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Thread: The Forbidden City The City Of Disillusionment (幻滅紫禁城)

  1. #1
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Red face The Forbidden City The City Of Disillusionment (幻滅紫禁城)

    Prologue:

    All look upon the Forbidden City with awe and wonder at its brilliant architecture and majestic aura.

    Many strive to enter within the towering walls of crimson, unaware of the fact that it is no more than a devious spider, enticing its unsuspecting prey with false promises of luxury and splendour, and then consuming them without a trace in its den of no return.

    How many can see through the veil of power and ambition?

    How many can escape from its intricate web of bitterness, oppression and revenge?




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

    Author's Note:

    Hi Everyone!

    I have decided to return to fanfiction after a long break. After two years of research and brainstorming, my new fanfiction is taking shape. The plot will set in the Ming Dynasty and will focus upon politics and wuxia.

    It is my first attempt at a historic plot with real historical characters that will play a role in my story. There will be both fact and fiction involved so I find it is a challenge due to increased restrictions on plot development because history is already clearly written in the books. But I will attempt to make it as lively as possible.

    This will also be my first time using a set cast for my characters whereas in the past I have left them up to the reader's imagination. So here it goes.

    The first chapter will be up on the 1st March 2011.
    See you then!
    Last edited by charbydis; 07-30-11 at 11:24 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

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    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    The story sounds awesome already and you haven't even posted up the first chapter! Is my hot Wallace Chung in it?

  3. #3
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    The story sounds awesome already and you haven't even posted up the first chapter! Is my hot Wallace Chung in it?
    Nope! :P
    Wait till you view the first chapter then you will celebrate that your fav actor is not my cast list!
    Thanks for replying!
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  4. #4
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    I cannot think of a reason why I wouldn't want Wallace Chung featured in a story penned by you. There is only a handful of fanfic authors whose stories I will spend time reading and you are one of them. Who's in the cast list?

  5. #5
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Prologue:

    Surrounded by riches; yet forbidden to possess.
    Surrounded by beautiful women; yet forbidden to desire.
    Such is the tragic life of a eunuch, destined to a life of eternal servitude and solitude.

    All fingers emerge to criticise when a lowly servant rises above his master,
    but who are we to judge a man’s right to survive?
    Who are we to condemn a man’s will to fight against his appointed destiny?


    Last edited by charbydis; 07-30-11 at 11:24 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  6. #6
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter 1:

    Cast of Appearing Characters

    Yuen Ho - Pierre Ngo Ka Nin
    Yuen Hong - Eddie Kwan Lai Kit
    Yuen Mo Kei - Eddy Ko Hung
    Yuen Lun - Jim Bing Hei
    Yuen Chiu - Ben Wong Chi Yin
    Yuen Long - Dickson Lee Kar Sing


    1st Year of Ching Dak (1506)

    The streets of Beijing were silent. Not a person walked the streets of the lonely Capital. There wasnt even a bark from a dog, Not even the cold night breeze dared to howl when channelling swiftly through the empty streets. Every day after sunset, Beijing was a ghost city. No one dared venture out after dark. No one dared to even light their candles indoors. They had rather eat their dinner in the dark. It had been like this for six whole months.

    It had been six months since Emperor Wang Chi had ascended to the heavens. Everyone around the country had been in mourning for many months. He was a well-loved Emperor who was wise and kind to the people, yet tough with the corrupt officials who plagued their lives. Taxes were alleviated during his reign and they were finally able to breathe and enjoy life. But now that Emperor Wang Chi was no longer on the throne what did the future hold for them?

    Emperor Ching Dak was now their heavenly mandate. Rumours were spreading that he had not gone to court for five months already. No one dared talk much about the matter so those who talked the loudest in public were often not seen again. Since then, life in Beijing had been turned upside down.

    The chilling silence of the winter night was suddenly interrupted by the galloping of distant hooves ploughing through the thick snow. A group of fast horses were approaching at top sped, all heading to the same unfortunate destination. It was a dark night as the moon was hidden by thick clouds. But still visible, a group of twenty black cloaked men had dismounted from horseback and rushed into Yuen Manor.

    Yuen Hong was sitting in his favourite garden with his favourite concubine on his lap, serving him the most fragrant Red Daughter wine. For a man in his sixty-first year of life, he had all that a man could wish for - a powerful and influential family, strong political links and not to mention, a virtuous wife who did not mind his six young and beautiful concubines. He had twelve children eight of them were young and healthy sons. What more could he want? But he did not expect this night to come.

    Screams and yells suddenly filled the night air. Who are you? What do you think you are doing here? The old servant in charge of the front door shouted in protest as he was forced to lead these mysterious men to find his master.

    Yuen Hong got up at once and prostrated himself. What do YOU think you are doing? he said with an air of arrogance, How dare you enter my presence without being summoned?

    They all wore tall black hats but their dark cloaks shielded their hidden uniform as it flapped gently in the night breeze. They looked like large bloodthirsty bats hovering just above the snow with a ghostly presence, ready to attack at moment.

    One of the intruders, their leader, stepped forward. He had a cold hard expression like a statue chiselled from stone. Stiffly, he said. We have orders to take Minister Yuen back to Headquarters for questioning. Please come with us now! His request was more like an order.
    How dare you? Dont you know who I am? I am a third-rank official! Who dares touch me? blurted out Yuen Hong.

    The stone-faced man said coldly, If we did not know who you are, we would not be here tonight. Men! Escort minister Yuen back to Headquarters immediately! Immediately, the bat-like figures answered a short Yes! moved forward all at once. Yuen Hong and his concubine staggered back.

    Hold it right there! A strong and solid voice came from within one of the surrounding buildings. The doors opened and out stepped an old man in his eighties with a tall and dignified stature, showing no signs of fragility. Behind him, stood three middle-aged men, each dressed in rich brocades and each looking strong and calm.

    The old man proclaimed, On whose orders are you acting on to arrest my son and invade my Yuen Manor? The gentle moonlight revealed his kind facial features but his words were stern.

    Yuen Manor was bestowed upon the Yuen family three decades again by the late Emperor Shing Fa. Our family has been loyal to the Great Ming Empire for four generations. Even though I, Yuen Mo Kei, am only a mere second-rank Head Minister of Revenue and my sons only of the third-rank, I believe the Brocade-Clad Guards still doesnt have enough authority to intrude on our privacy like this. If you want to take my son into custody, then first seek permission from the Emperor at Court tomorrow!

    The Yuen Clan had been very influential in the Court for many decades; most of their male descendents has positions in the government. Even though their power was no longer as strong as before, no one dared to offend them like this.

    The stone-faced man seemed unfazed by these words and laughed, The Brocade-Clad Guards might have the authority to take in Minister Yuen, but the Eastern Faction has no need to first gain Imperial permission prior action. Minister Yuen, I persuade you to let us do our job! With that, the men removed opened their cloaks and revealed a dark grey uniform. Indeed, they were not dressed in the yellow-gold uniform of the Brocade-Clad Guards.

    One of the sons, Yuen Lun scoffed at him. So it is an only a bunch of castrated officials!

    Shut your mouth! snapped Yuen Mo Kei. The Eastern Faction was no joking matter. Their power was greater than the Brocade-Guards and their actions much more mysterious. No one who they took rarely returned. So it is Yau Jui who ordered this! Leave at once! You tell him that the first thing all Yuen Clan members will do tomorrow morning is to complain to the Emperor at Court! No one will lay a hand on my family!

    The eunuch smiled. I am afraid that none of you will be present at Court tomorrow. Our orders are to arrest all Yuen Clan members back to Headquarters regarding treason against the Great Ming Dynasty! Men! Take them all! The Eastern Faction guards instantly unsheathed long sword and hooks previously hidden under their cloaks, and moved forward like a flock of crows.

    Yuen Hong retreated towards his father as a silver hook gripped his beloved concubine by the neck and dragged her forward, breaking her slender neck. Another three guards leapt up and charged in mid-air at Yuen Mo Kei with the tip of their swords aiming for the Ministers throat.

    A long spear cut a path through the air and blocked the weapons just as they were centimetres from their intended victim. A smartly-dressed young man jumped in between his grandfather and the guards and caught his weapon in one hand and then twirled it menacingly before his opponents.

    No one can lay a finger on my family in front from Yuen Ho! cried the young man. Fifty or so security guards had entered the courtyard and blocked all exits. Even the Eastern faction guards could capture their targets, they had to fight to the death to exit Yuen manor. And they did.

    Soon, the quite night was filled with sword of metal clashing against metal, and the painful groans of injured men. The Lead Eunuch yelled out to his men, Listen all! Supreme Commander Lau has given ordered to take all of those in Yuen Manor! No matter men or women, elderly or children, take all in, dead or alive! The haunting command shook the hearts of all those who heard.

    The Eastern Faction guards were greatly outnumbered but they were well-trained fighters. They had been carefully selected since young to participate in a ruthless and aggressive training program to make them efficient and vicious killers. Compared to the Brocade-Clad Guards, they had more freedom to explore their tactics and expand experience using real people for practice.

    Soon, the Eastern Faction Guards were gaining the upper hands and many security guards were slaughtered. Women and maids were flocking to the exits but were blocked by the fighters and some even injured in the process. In his youth, Yuen Mo Kei may have been able to take five of these attackers at ease, but now he found it hard to catch his breath after delivering two deadly palms of force. His sons did not fare any better.

    All the male members of the Yuen family had been trained in martial arts but their age and years of good living had made them forget their reflexes and fighting instinct. Yuen Ho was a brave and skilled fighter but he was not well prepared to battle these trained assassins. He protected what he could of his family as they retreated into an opening but their enemies pursued. A fine mist of fragrance engulfed them as Yuen Ho felt his limbs beginning to weaken and his head begin to spin.

    Out of the corner of his eye, Yuen Ho saw his mother and grandmother had been captured and beaten on the ground. A sharp pain seared across his right shoulder as a silver hook had appeared from nowhere and penetrated his flesh. Digging deep into the wound, he was dragged to one side by one attacker as the rest took down his grandfather, his father and his uncles. But he was helpless to come to come to their rescue as he had to fend off three of the Eastern Faction guards who had taken hold of his spear and locked him into a corner.

    Suddenly, Yuen Hong broke free and pounced on one of the attackers, yelling out, Run, Ho! Run! Dont worry about us! Save yourself! Yuen Ho wanted to stay but he knew he had to go or they would just all die together. Using his spear handle as a lever, he forced his two remaining opponents to one side created an opening just large enough for him to leap onto the roof. With one last longing look at his family, Yuen Ho turned and escaped from Yuen Manor.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Author's Note:
    For those unfamiliar with the history of the Ming Dynasty, it is famous for its spy agencies that arrested and tortured people without going through the official process. During the reign of Emperor Ching Dak (Zheng De), there were four as you will read later on in the story. The Brocade-Clad Guards (Jin Yi Wei) is the oldest yet lowest ranked agency made up primarily by men selected from the Imperial Guards. The next up is the second-oldest Eastern Faction (Dong Chang) which is governed and made up by eunuchs trained in martial arts and interogation. The existence of these factions secured the important political influence of eunuchs during the Ming Dynasty.
    Last edited by charbydis; 01-30-13 at 09:28 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  7. #7
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Two:

    Cast of Appearing Characters

    Yuen Ho - Pierre Ngo Ka Nin
    Masked Attacker 1 - Felix Wong Yat Wah
    Masked Attacker 2 - Derek Kwok Ching Hung
    Lau Gan - surprise, to be revealed later




    Yuen Ho landed gently onto the soft white snow as his shoulder seared with pain. Only then, did he look at his wound. The broken tip of a silver hook was still embedded in his flesh, causing it to further tear with each movement. But he had to move. Clutching his injured shoulder, he tried to get up but then came the sound of something moving fast through the air behind him. He was too slow to avoid it and he was kicked in the back of the head and his face was pushed down hard into the snow. The freezing snow numbed his face and someone stepped on his head.

    Ha! A small fish that has slipped through the nets! said a voice from behind him, Too bad you cant swim through this one, little fish! Yuen Ho felt his hands being forced up against his back as they were tied up. He groaned with pain as it aggravated his wound. He was dragged and pushed into the main street where he got a big fright. The street was now filled with at least a hundred Eastern Faction guards who were supervising the loading of his family into caged carts that had arrived during the fight. But he could not identify who was who as it was too dark and his head hurt like it had been slitted open. He was kicked in the back of the knees and compelled to kneel before the guards. They had all assembled around a dark sedan chair with a black translucent curtain. The silhouette of a mans side complexion could be seen but Yuen Ho could not make out any details.

    His captors also knelt in the snow beside him on one knee and with their hands cupped in respect before their bowed heads, they recited, Greetings to Supreme Commander Lau! We, the Eighth Division of the Eastern Faction have successfully accomplished our mission and managed to capture all of Yuen Clan members here tonight. However, thirty-one have died while resisting arrest but a total of eight-five survivors are being transported back to Headquarters as we speak! Yuen Hos heart sank. Thirty-one members of his family had died. Who were they?

    The man within the sedan chair did not make a sound. But one of the two Eastern Faction guards standing directly beside the sedan chair, obviously of some position, replied, Well done! Head Commander Lau is pleased with your work!

    Out of the blue, a manly voice cried, Lau Gan, prepare for your death! And from nowhere, thirty scruffy masked men had appeared on top of the surrounding buildings. Their leader was a tall man with a wide-build. He carried with him a heavy iron sabre with a fierce dragon etched into the blade. Lau Gan, you castrated animal! Since the new Emperors coronation, you have usurped power by eliminating the loyal officials from Court with your hounds and caused great harm to the people! Everyone wants to kill you! We brothers have patiently waited for four months for you to show your turtle head! Finally, you have dared to venture out of the safety of the Forbidden City, you coward! Now prepare to die for your crimes! And with that, the masked leader jumped off the rooftop and lunged at the sedan chair.

    The surrounding Eastern Faction guards leapt up to protect their master and another great fight immediately ensued. If the Eastern Faction guards were vicious killers then these masked men were efficient warriors. With their weapons gleaming in the dim moonlight, they advanced all together at the same group of guards on one side, forcing them back towards the remaining guards so they could break free and attack them from another side and neither did they allow them space to swing their weapons to attack without injuring one another. The leader swung his treasured weapon at the guards and sliced effortlessly through five of them at a time. The rest of his men were also gaining on the guards, most of who had been fatigued after the fight within Yuen Manor.

    Yuen Ho was dragged backwards through the snow as the guards backed towards the sedan chair as the masked men were cutting their way through towards it. All of a sudden, the large outline of the masked leader appeared in the moonlight and he stepped upon the heads of the guards towards the sedan chair. With one swift movement, Yuen Hos captor swung him at the assassin to block the deadly swipe. Seeing an innocent being pushed in his path, the masked leader quickly spun to one side to avoid slicing at Yuen Ho and speedily pulled Yuen Ho to his side as he landed on both feet.

    Little brother! Stay by my side! he ordered Yuen Ho, as he had to quickly defend blows from the two higher position Eastern Faction guards who were defending the sedan chair. Long swords were their weapons and the two moved in perfect unison and timing. The masked leader did not even have the time to blink as he leaned backwards to dodge the double blades swiping over his torso. Taking the two by surprise, he kicked them in the shins and he fell flat on his back and then added two more kicks to their chests that sent the two flying unconscious into the walls. Using his sabre blade to bounce himself back onto his feet, the masked leader swung his weapon and freed Yuen Ho from his bondage.

    A piercing sound traversed the air and a loud clang was heard as the masked leader was forced backwards, with feet skidding through the thick snow. A small metal bearing had been flicked from within the sedan chair and its impact with the sabre and impelled the masked leader away. Yuen Ho quickly ran to his side, and asked with concern, Hero, are you alright?

    Move away! yelled the masked man, shoving Yuen Ho to one side as more metal bearings came flying out from the sedan chair. Clang! Clang! Clang! The masked man blocked all attacks and the shower of metal bearings deflected and embedded into the walls of surrounding buildings. The rain of deadly weapons has stopped. He has run out of them. Humph! I want to see how many hidden weapons you can have! scoffed the masked man and he leapt up in another attempt to attack the man inside the sedan chair.

    Landing on the handles, the masked man swung his weapon at the sedan chair which spun wildly to deflect the blows with its wooden frame. Suddenly, a hand emerged from the dark curtain and palmed the masked man in the right shoulder causing him to lose grip of his weapon. Swiftly, the masked man swapped to battle with his hands, still managing to avoid his opponents blows while maintaining balance on the sedan chair handles.

    But the surrounding guards had noticed the attack on their master and rushed forward to protect him. Yuen Ho grabbed the abandoned sabre from t he ground and swung it at them. It hurt his wounded shoulder very much for it weighed a ton to him but it was indeed a valuable treasure for it cut through the silver hooks of the offending Eastern Faction guards which made them stumble back.

    With a quick glance towards the masked leader, Yuen Ho saw the pair of deadly palms hit him squarely in the chest and he flew off the sedan chair and vomited blood on the thick white snow. Yuen Ho rushed to his defence as did his followers.

    Big Brother! Lets retreat! one of them said. We have lost many men already. We have underestimated these hounds and eagles of the Government. Lets retreat! Indeed, at least half of these masked heroes were lying lifeless on the ground along with a number of dead East Faction guards, and the rest were gathered around their leader, each sporting injuries and supporting each other.

    The masked leader looked around. Yuen Ho saw that he had large round fierce eyes but they showed care and concern for his wounded men. Alright! Retreat, Men! he shouted and grabbing Yuen Ho, they obediently leapt away to escape via the rooftops. Another few men were lost as they moved through the East faction guards trying to deter the escapees. As they flew through the air, the masked leader spat out blood and hollered, Lau Gan! We failed to take your wretched life today, but wait and see! You will suffer a terrible death!

    But the man within the sedan chair was not finished yet. White particles were ejected from the sedan chair after them like a spray of hailstone. The owner obviously didnt care if his own men were injured in the process as they were lethal to all who stood in its path. Yuen Ho could not see what exactly they were, but instinctively, he lunged over behind the masked leader and shielded him from the unknown projectiles. That was the last he remembered about that night for he had lost consciousness from that moment forth.
    ---------------------------------------------------

    Author's Note:
    Lau Gan or better known as Liu Jin, is one of the most notorious eunuchs that held power during the Ming dynasty. He controled the Imperial Court with defacto power from the weak Emperor Ching Dak and eliminated political opponents to his advantage. He used the different Eunuch Factions to consolidate his power and increase his influence in the empire.
    Last edited by charbydis; 03-04-11 at 08:44 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  8. #8
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Three:

    Cast of Appearing Characters

    Yuen Mo Kei - Eddy Ko Hung
    Yuen Hong - Eddie Kwan Lai Kit
    Lau Gan - Surprise



    The Headquarters of the Eastern Faction were well hidden within Beijing. Many thought it would be well within the crimson walls of the Forbidden City, for the eunuch commanders to gain easy access to, but in fact, the Headquarters was just outside the palace walls. It had the appearance of a large mansion of a wealthy merchant but inside was a heavily guarded area. The buildings and courtyards were only a front; the real Headquarters was in a large underground cellar built under the whole mansion, hidden from sight. It contained hundreds of prison cells for all the secret prisoners that were secretly arrested. There was a large hall lit with many candles, whose light shone brightly on the numerous torture tools for suspects who did not like talking.

    Yuen Mo Kei and his sons were locked in the same cramped cell. His grandsons, security guards, servants, and other male relatives were also imprisoned nearby. His wife and other female relations were locked in a separate section of the prison – separating them from loved ones increased the fear and anxiousness which prepared them for interrogation later. But it was too late for interrogation at this hour. They had plenty of time to wait for the Yuen family were not going anywhere soon.

    “Why have you locked us in here? I am the Head Minister of Revenue! Answer me!” yelled Yuen Mo Kei. He was no longer calm and collected as before. Too much had already happened tonight – but why? “Answer me!” His cries were echoed by other prisoners in the same area - all wanting the same answer. Why were they locked up without due process? What had they done wrong? But no one cared to answer.

    “Answer me!” shouted Yuen Mo Kei with the remaining of his strength. His hair hung scruffily over half his face and blood from his injuries had leaked all over his undergarments. All prisoners’ outer clothes and accessories were removed before entering the cells. It added insult to the chills of the night.

    “Lau Gan! I know it is you! I know you are here! Tell me why? How have I wronged you? Why have you done this to my family? Tell me!”

    “Right or wrong, you need not know and I need not tell you. You only need to know that from today onwards, you and your family’s lives are in my hands.” said a calm but cold voice. The voice had resonated from across the entrance of the prison. It was dark and Yuen Mo Kei could not make out the appearance of the speaker. The prison seldom lit candles as sitting in darkness made the prisoners more insecure.

    “Lau Gan!” screamed Yuen Mo Kei breathlessly, almost with madness. “What wrong have I done to you? Have I not tried to appease you with bribes and expensive gifts? Have I not tried to be out of your way during Court and turned a blind eye to your open elimination of opponents? What wrong have I done? You have sent back my gifts and bribes unopened and refused to grant me even one audience with you! You have planned this from the start! But why?”

    Something stirred in the shadows from the direction of the voice. Lau Gan had stepped closer towards the prisoners, but not enough for Yuen Mo Kei to make out his face. All he could see was that he was a tall and slim, standing straight with his hands behind his back.

    “Why?” Lau Gan mockedd coldly. “You still don’t know why? Is why important? All throughout history, people have plotted and schemed against each other for much lesser reasons than a why. I though you know that already. ” His voice was calm and monotone, not betraying any emotion but it could not disguise the viciousness of his words.

    “Lau Gan, you castrated dog!” yelled Yuen Hong. “Where is my son, Ho? What have you done with him?” Yuen Hong tightly clutched the wooden bars of his cells. As far as he knew, all seven of his sons had been brutally beaten to death during the arrest. Yuen Ho was his only hope. He did not care about his own safety, for anyone who entered these cells were as good as dead. He only wanted to know if Yuen Ho had managed to survive the ordeal.

    A chilling laugh was his response. Lau Gan teased, “You mean that brave little thing that was rescued by those masked men? The acupressure points of his lower body have been damaged by my hidden weapons. Forceful removal of the embedded projectiles will only cause further damage. Even if he managed to survive his injuries, he will be paralysed for life! Absolutely useless!”

    “No!”. Yuen Hong screamed, “No!” Lau Gan continued to laugh cruelly. “You low-life eunuch!” continued Yuen Hong in grief, “Who do you think you are? You are nothing but an incomplete animal. You are neither woman nor man, only a grovelling dog that has only gained power through a woman!”

    Lau Gan swiftly replied, “But don’t forget I am not the only one who has gained power through a woman. Did the Yuen Clan not also gain power through a woman, and thus the bestowment of the large and luxurious Yuen Manor, and the high and powerful positions in Government for all your clan? Where would you all be without gaining power through a woman?”

    “Lau Gan, you castrated low-life” bellowed Yuen Mo Kei, “Must you endeavour to discontinue my bloodline? Why, you low-life? Why? Even if I die, I shall become a ghost and haunt you for the rest of my life!”

    Lau Gan’s voice was suddenly filled with rage. “Insult me all you want! I have had more than enough of insults in my life but I have never wavered! Castrated dog I may be but you do not fare any better. I shall order continuous monitoring of you at all times and will not let you swiftly end your own life! You and what is remaining of your clan will rot in here until you die slowly and painfully! I will torture you when I want, and starve you when I want! I want you and your family to suffer the worst of the worst until your last breath! You and I will both share the same fate and have no sons to carry on our bloodline! Yuen Mo Kei! Don’t blame me! You caused your own undoing! You have no one to blame but yourself!”

    Yuen Mo Kei cursed, “Lau Gan! You dog! May you be plagued by your victims in your sleep! May you be tormented by their faces when you eat! May you die by death from a thousand cuts! May you be casted into the depths of the Eighteenth Level of Hell after your pitiful existence!”

    But Lau Gan’s cold laugh echoed hauntingly across the prison walls as the voice went further away until it finally disappeared when its owner left the premises.
    Yuen Mo Kei collapsed in distraught and repeated desperately, “Why? Why? Why?”

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

    Author's Note:
    Just merely expressing the common view of eunuchs during the old times, I have absolutely no intention of degrading or insulting eunuchs. Hope no one got offended.

    Sorry. I got distracted from updating by the Tokyo tsumani. I had to track down a few friends first. Found all of them now. Phew!
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  9. #9
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Four:

    Cast of Appearing Characters

    Kuk Yuen Yau - Lelia Tong Ling
    Suen Nga Yin - Natalie Tong See Wing
    Yuen Mo Kei - Sharon Chan Man Chi
    Yiu So Sum Tavia Yeung Yi
    Cheung Wan Sheung Nancy Wu Ding Yan



    The long night eventually passed and the residents of Beijing had begun to stir. No doubt, they had all heard the big commotion of the previous night, but no one dared look out of their windows to check. The plum- coloured blood-stains had now been buried under the bright-white morning snow, disguising all tracks of horses, and carts and footsteps of the night before. The fallen bodies had been removed and the only traces that remained of the fight before were the small bits missing from the building walls and the sealed doors of the once powerful Yuen Manor.

    Two pieces of yellow paper with red writing were pasted on the large crimson front doors in a criss-cross, officially telling everyone that no one was allowed to enter the building without government permission. Not one asked why because inside their hearts, they already knew the answer. Whether Eastern Faction or the Brocade-Clad guards it did not matter. All those taken were never seen again.

    While life outside the palace walls was haunted with fear and suspicion, the Forbidden City was like a totally different world. The funeral of the previous Emperor had long passed and the new Emperor had already begun to enjoy his new position and luxuries. Entertainers has been invited from all over the countries to keep the Emperor amused whether magic performances, acrobatic performances, puppet shows, or even exotic dance troupes; they came one after the other, day after day. The Outer Court was a busy place. But no place was more vibrant and exciting than the Enclosed Palace where the women of the Emperor resided.

    No flowers were in bloom in the gardens of the Palace of Eternal Peace. No birds sung for they had all flew south for the warmer climate. It was a cold morning and everyone was still huddled in their warm beds. Not everyone liked the cold. But there was one exception. Kuk Yuen Yau sat before her open window and watched the snowflakes float gently across the garden. She laughed as they balanced delicately on the waters of the lotus pond. She laughed as they brushed softly against her nose and it tickled. She was easily amused.

    Yuen Yau! called a gentle voice from behind. Kuk Yuen Yau turned her head and smiled at her new friend. Good morning, Nga Yin! Suen Nga Yin smiled back as she got up next to her friend on the large wooden chair. The two young girls hugged each other and watched the dancing snowflakes together.

    What are you doing up so early in the morning? Arent you cold? asked Suen Nga Yin with curiosity. She was freezing for the palace maids had not yet arrived to help her dress. Over her thin undergarments, she only had a padded cloak on, but huddled together with Kuk Yuen Yau, it made the cold morning much more bearable.

    Dont you think that this peaceful scene is wonderful? exclaimed Kuk Yuen Yau, pointing a slender finger at the snow-filled tree tops, and the morning light reflecting gently off the white surfaces. Once everyone else gets up, it will be too noisy. Plus, those palace maids will begin to sweep the snow away soon and such scenery would not be seen until the next morning.

    You silly goose! teased Suen Nga Yin, Dont let the other ladies hear you or they will laugh at you!
    Hear what? said another clear voice, and other young girl jumped onto the large wooden chair that supported them. The other two did not expect this and jumped with fright.

    Yee Ha! they both shrieked, Dont creep up on us like that! Your feet are like that of a small fox always tiptoeing around us stealthily all day long! You could scare us to death like this!

    So Yee Ha chuckled innocently at her prank and getting down off the chair, she bowed playfully to her two friends and announced, My sincere apologies to Honoured Lady Suen and Honoured Lady Kuk! May you grant forgiveness to your lowly companion who wishes you peace and health!

    The two girls giggled and replied, We forgive you, Honoured Lady So! But not without punishment! and with that, they both jumped off their seating and chased So Yee Ha around, tickling her till she snorted with laughter. Very unladylike, Honoured Lady So! said Kuk Yuen Yau, What will the Emperor say of you? All three giggled as they chased each other around innocently.

    Two young maids hurried into the room. My ladies! one of them said. What are you all doing up at this hour? Quickly get dressed or you will all get a cold! And the two gathered the three young mistresses and guided them to the warmth of the heaters.

    So Sum! pouted Kuk Yuen Yau as she sat down before the mirror to have her hair combed, You are so nagging! Yiu So Sum bowed her head in disgrace and said quietly, It is my responsibility to look after you Honoured Ladies. If anyone of you got sick, I would have to take the punishment from my superiors and I dont want to.

    So Yee Ha teased, Oh, Yiu So Sum! Stop being so serious! You are only four years older than us but act like our mother! Why arent you nice and cheerful like Wan Sheung here? Shes only eight months younger than you! So Yee Ha leaned back and smiled at the maid that had efficiently managed to pin her hair into simple bun and was now applying hair accessories.

    The maid smiled sweetly at her mistress, Cheung Wan Sheung thanks Honourable Lady So for her compliments! But if you dont get up soon, Honourable Lady Suen going to kick you out of your chair because she wants her hair done too!

    You mischievous little maid! exclaimed So Yee Ha, Let me smack your mouth! She laughed as she gently tapped Cheung Wan Sheung on her lips.

    Will you all stop this Honourable Lady nonsense? cried Suen Nga Yin, who was seated patiently on her bed and swinging her dangling feet just above the ground. Honourable Lady is only a meaningless title! We have been in the Imperial Palace for four months already and have not even seen the shadow of the Emperor! We are only his consorts in title. As far s I am concerned, you and I and all of us here are just the same. Just young girls stuck together in a pretty bird cage. Just call us by our names and we will call you by your names. Oh! I am so bored! she yawned and leaned backwards onto her bed, spreading her arms out in relaxation.

    Yiu So Sum replied, Whether true consort or not, you are all officially recognised as the Emperors consorts. It is only a matter of time before the Emperor requests your services. It is so with the eighty young mistresses that has entered the Imperial Palace during these four months.

    Kuk Yuen Ha tapped her Yiu So Sum gently on the shoulder and pointed to the blue outfit on the clothes rack, I want to wear that one!

    As Yiu So Sum went to fetch the blue outfit, Kuk Yuen Ha sighed, I dont know what is keeping the Emperor! So bored! Every day, we just wait and wait and wait! If not being put with you all, I would be bored to death already! I hope we get to see him soon! And she had a worried look on her face.

    Ha! Someone wants thinking about her husband already! mocked So Yee Ha, who had already put on a pink outfit and jumped behind Kuk Yuen Ha, placing both hands firmly on her shoulder.

    Ah! Stop doing that! cried Kuk Yuen Ha, Or are you trying to punish me for thinking about YOUR husband? and she teased her friend back.

    Who cares, the Emperor is husband to like a million women! said So Yee Ha, moving away to allow Yiu So Sum access to dress Kuk Yuen Yau. I just hope he is handsome and smart!

    The Emperor is currently being entertained by festivities celebrating his coronation! informed Cheung Wan Sheung, Once he is done, he will celebrate with his consorts!

    Suen Nga Yin who had her hair done already and was choosing what outfit to wear, scoffed, Dont really care. Hope breakfast is ready! All the girls giggled at this and continued in preparing their appearances for the day.

    All the three maidens were at the tender age of seventeen all innocent, nave and simple. They were too young to understand what circumstances they were lined up for already. What was love? What was romance? What was hate? What was jealousy? They did not understand the loneliness of being an Imperial Consort trapped in a golden prison, or the pain of sharing a single husband with numerous women. They did not perceive the dangers that lurked behind the beautiful appearance of the Forbidden City or the surprises that fate had in store for them.

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

    Author's Note:
    What sort of story about the Forbidden City would be without the presence of imperial concubines?
    So here they are!
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  10. #10
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Five:

    Cast of Appearing Characters

    Lung Tin Kwun Felix Wong Yat Wah
    Chan Hong Derek Kwok Ching Hung
    Yuen Ho Pierre Ngo Ka Nin



    In some hills away from Beijing, a group of lumpy makeshift tents had propped up hurriedly by sticks. Their owners were in a hurry for they had just spent the last two days fleeing for their lives. Out of the thirty men that had been selected for the mission, only twelve remained. Lung Tin Kwun sat cross-legged before the dimming fire in silence with both eyes closed. He had been doing that for the last three hours. Suddenly, he leaned backwards and then spat out a mouthful of fresh red blood.

    But he was not alarmed. That night, Lau Gan had injured his pericardial regions and the congealed blood had blocked his central energy channel. If he did not force out the congealed blood, he could not bring the internal energy up from his meridian for circulation and increase his rate of recovery.

    Lung Tin Kwun finally opened his eyes. It was bright. It was not yet noon but the bright sun was shining. It had not shone this brightly for a long time. One of his underlings approached him, Big Brother, how are your injuries? Will you be alright to travel?

    Lung Tin Kwun grinned slightly and replied, It would take much more than a palm attack from that castrated dog to kill me! I am fine! I just brought up the last lot of congealed blood clogging my qi channels. Within three days, my martial arts should be back to normal. How are the rest of the brothers?

    The man sighed and reported, They are fine but all injured. But I still think it is best for us to hurry back to Gan Su and hide in our mountains. The Eastern Faction people are bound to catch to us soon if we dally for too long!

    Lung Tin Kwun placed a comforting hand on the mans shoulder, Dont worry, Chan Hong! I will get all our remaining brothers back to Gansu if it is the last thing I do! But how is that little brother doing? Take me to see him! And the two men got up and walked towards an open tent.

    Chan Hong reported, He still has not awoken and his body is weak. But we have regularly cleaned up and bandaged his wounds, but each time we move him for travel, they break open bleed. I still cannot get a look at the projectiles that hit him. I only can gather that they are sharp and feel hard.

    Yuen Ho groaned with pain in his comatose sleep. He did not know where he was but the scenes of his family been beaten and captured played continuously in his mind. His clothes were covered with dried blood. He was laid on his back with bandages wrapped tight around his right shoulder and all over his legs which were beginning to spot with blood.

    It is my fault! exclaimed Lung Tin Kwun. If he had not risked his life to shield me, then it would be me who would be lying here conscious and on the brink of death. Kneeling down beside him, he continued, Let me have a look at what vicious weapons Eastern Faction is using! With a sharp knife, he cut open the bandages of Yuen Hos right leg and prised open the wound with his fingers. Yuen Ho moaned.

    Placing one hand over the wound, Lung Tin Kwun summoned up his qi and directly it, and then quickly directed it elsewhere. All of a sudden, small pieces of white matter broke free from the wound and stuck to Lung Tin Kwuns outstretched hand. Yuen Ho moaned again as his leg began to bleed.

    Lung Tin Kwun brought his hand into the sunlight so he could see the projectiles more clearly. Chan Hong also leaned closer to get a better look at the gleaming fragments. Chan Hong squinted his eyes and asked, Is that what I think it is?

    Yes. answered Lung Tin Kwun, brushing the bits of his hand. My fault again. If I had not forced that old bandit to use up all his metal bearings, then maybe he wouldnt have resorted to using this. He looked Chan Hong in the eye and said, Lau Gan must have broken up whatever was handy at the time, and in this case, a white jade tablet, and used it as projectiles. That old bandit has powerful internal energy, and has been able to send them deep into the flesh. But it is even more deadly than those rounded metal bearings for these jade fragments all have sharp edges that will damage his legs if we dig them out.

    Wow! cried Chan Hong, So we have to leave him with these jade bits stuck in his legs forever?

    Lung Tin Kwun shook his head sadly responded, I am afraid not. His wound will never heal if we leave them in him. We have to take them out or he will die. I have an idea! Come and help me! Take me to that cave you told me about yesterday. And the two men lifted Yuen Ho onto their shoulders and took him outside.

    There was a large cave nearby that was surrounded by strange long rocks that stuck out form the ceilings and the walls were dripping with moisture. It had come from the large pool of water that was hidden behind the large rocks. It looked crystal clear and gleamed gently with the little sunlight that was able to get into the cave. Lung Tin Kwun and Chan Hong lifted the unconscious Yuen Ho into the save and placed him beside the water.

    Now what? said Chan Hong.

    Lung Tin Kwun grinned at him and replied, Take off his clothes and drop him into the water!

    What? exclaimed Chan Hong with surprise.

    Drop him into the water! repeated Lung Tin Kwun, taking off his outer clothes. I can only have one chance at forcing out the jade fragments with my internal energy. Any more than one try might drive the fragments into other places. I expel them in a single short and powerful go. But if I do it on dry ground, then he would bleed to death once the jade fragments break out, but in the cold water, they will help stop the bleeding and close up the wound.

    Chan Hong looked at his leader with doubt, You sure about this? You only just recovered from your injuries. Shouldnt we wait til after we get back to Gansu when your injuries are better and then try?

    Lung Tin Kwun laughed and answered, Well. You get injured once and recover. If you get injured twice, then you just have to wait longer to get better. Besides, you said it yourself, his wounds tear each time we move him. He would not survive the journey back to Gansu and I wont let him die like that! And with that, Chan Hong obediently removed most of Yuen Hos clothes and bandages and lowered him gently into the icy water.

    Lung Tin Kwun was already submerged and he caught Yuen Ho just before he hit the bottom. Summoning up his energy, he placed both palms over Yuen Hos back and began. To Chan Hong who was looking onwards from the rocks, it was a magnificent sight. Ripples began to form around the submerged duo and all of a sudden, streaks of white radiated from Yuen Hos wound and shot sideways with great speed like sunbeams escaping from a tiny hole in a wall.

    It was all over in a few seconds and Lung Tin Kwun swam to the bank, dragging the insentient Yuen Ho behind him.
    -----------------------------------------------

    Author's Note:
    Is anyone reading this?
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  11. #11
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Hi Charby,

    I will read this new fan-fic. I just been kind of busy. Will read this soon and comment too. Congrats on your return to writing.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

  12. #12
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung View Post
    Hi Charby,

    I will read this new fan-fic. I just been kind of busy. Will read this soon and comment too. Congrats on your return to writing.
    Thanks SS!
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  13. #13
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Comments on Prologue & Ch. 1:

    The prologue reminded me of the eunuchs in Beyond the Realm of Conscience. I was surprised that you characterized Yuen Hong (Eddie Kwan) as a man of 60. I just got done rewatching TVB's Legendary Twin Heroes (w/ Tony Leung and Hugo Ng) and Eddie was still quite young then. He still looks youthful now...though for me he can pass for someone in his 30s-40s. I suppose if I pictured him in his Ming dynasty garb with mustache and beard with some visible gray hair growing in...he can look 60. An interesting start so far...you might want to go back and touch up and do some minor proofreading.

    Chapter 2: YES! Derek and Felix! Derek was also in Legendary Twin Heroes as one of the four warriors from Kitty Lai's country, but it was still a small role. He was super young back then too. It's cool how you include Lau Gan into the story. I would think he would not physically appear at an arrest, just in case there is any assassination plot against him. I thought for sure he'd used a dummy in the sedan.

    I'm going to save the next 3 chaps for tomorrow. Good to see you writing again!
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

  14. #14
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung View Post
    Comments on Prologue & Ch. 1:

    The prologue reminded me of the eunuchs in Beyond the Realm of Conscience. I was surprised that you characterized Yuen Hong (Eddie Kwan) as a man of 60. I just got done rewatching TVB's Legendary Twin Heroes (w/ Tony Leung and Hugo Ng) and Eddie was still quite young then. He still looks youthful now...though for me he can pass for someone in his 30s-40s. I suppose if I pictured him in his Ming dynasty garb with mustache and beard with some visible gray hair growing in...he can look 60. An interesting start so far...you might want to go back and touch up and do some minor proofreading.
    Ah! Will leave proofreading for later! I did go through once already but did not find anything. will read through later on when i have time.

    Actually, I chose Eddie for that role just because of his youthful looks. There will be flashbacks later on in the story and I need a few people in the story that can portray a large range of age. I think Eddie can act as a twenty-year old as well as a sixty year old with the help of make up. That is why I don't like using cast lists in my stories cause they can limit the story flow and timeline. But everyone else is using it and it would probably be my first and last time, so I had a go at casting suitable artistes. Will warn you though that my casting is very very strange. Sometimes, it might be better to ignore it and skip right to the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung View Post
    Chapter 2: YES! Derek and Felix! Derek was also in Legendary Twin Heroes as one of the four warriors from Kitty Lai's country, but it was still a small role. He was super young back then too. It's cool how you include Lau Gan into the story. I would think he would not physically appear at an arrest, just in case there is any assassination plot against him. I thought for sure he'd used a dummy in the sedan.

    I'm going to save the next 3 chaps for tomorrow. Good to see you writing again!
    Thanks for reading. Lau Gan's strange behaviour can be explained in later chapters. I can tell you at this stage that Lau Gan is no minor character. And you know how much i like villians!

    I personally love Felix and Derek!;
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  15. #15
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Hey, charbydis! I started reading your story while I was on vacation, but due to my limited internet minutes, I didn't leave you a message. I have only read up to chapter 2. I have to admit I am quite surprised that you have focused this story on eunuchs. However, given the eunuchs' immense power during certain points in Chinese history, I trust that this story will be a very interesting read. I admire you for trying to tackle a plot line that incorporates real historical facts and figures in with fictional ones. I do not think I will ever have the time to do all that history research nor do I have the talent to weave facts seamlessly in with fiction. So kudos to you! By the way, I now know why you said I would be glad you kept Wallace Chung out of your cast list... I don't recognize very many of the actors in your story, other than Felix Wong, Eddie Kwan, and Derek Kwok, but it hardly matters as I no longer choose stories based on cast list. Keep up the good work, and may I say that I am quite glad to see you back as a writer!

  16. #16
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    Hey, charbydis! I started reading your story while I was on vacation, but due to my limited internet minutes, I didn't leave you a message. I have only read up to chapter 2. I have to admit I am quite surprised that you have focused this story on eunuchs. However, given the eunuchs' immense power during certain points in Chinese history, I trust that this story will be a very interesting read. I admire you for trying to tackle a plot line that incorporates real historical facts and figures in with fictional ones. I do not think I will ever have the time to do all that history research nor do I have the talent to weave facts seamlessly in with fiction. So kudos to you! By the way, I now know why you said I would be glad you kept Wallace Chung out of your cast list... I don't recognize very many of the actors in your story, other than Felix Wong, Eddie Kwan, and Derek Kwok, but it hardly matters as I no longer choose stories based on cast list. Keep up the good work, and may I say that I am quite glad to see you back as a writer!
    Thanks for reading, Mel. I chose eunuchs because of their mysteriousness and undeniable tragic life. I mean, they are literally doomed for life. I hate how they have been treated and think that too many series make eunuchs power-hungry villians without fully exploring why. I hope to give some explanation into why they do what they do and think what they think. Just hope that my readers won't be freaked out when I start exploring the mind of a psycho. Also, eunuchs have always been associated with strange martial arts which fits right in with a wuixia story.

    I will be introducing more main characters in later chapters though I do think that you would spew blood when you see the rest of my cast list though. Maybe I should just hide it in spoilers then. What do you think?
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  17. #17
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Hi guys! My computers at home are done at home are down so no internet access til friday. Not allowed to bring outside USBs to work computers so wont be able to update til friday. Will update two chapters to make up for it. Sorry.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  18. #18
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Six:

    Cast of Appearing Characters
    Lau Gan Surprise
    Tse Chin Law Lok Lum
    Lau Geen Kenneth Tsang Kong
    Kuk Him Yu Lawrence Ng Wai Kwok



    Meanwhile, it was a stressful time in the Outer Court. The officials had been standing there at The Gate of Heavenly Reverence since before daybreak even though it was well known that Court will not officially start till two hours later. And they all knew that they were not permitted to leave til well after. They had to stand there silently in Court from pre-dawn to post-dusk for twelve to fourteen hours a day when not called upon by the Emperor to enter the Hall of Heavenly Reverence. It had been the new rule for four months as per the new Emperors orders to show increased respect for the Court and for them to be available just in case the Emperor has urgent matters to discuss so as it seems. Deep down, they all knew who was behind these malicious orders.

    Suddenly, a loud voice announced, Supreme Commander Eunuch Lau has arrived! All the ministers entered the Great Hall in two lines and knelt in sync while they ground their teeth with frustration. As per the Emperors orders, Lau Gan now was in charge of the Imperial Seal, able to make decisions for the Emperor in his absence and represented the Emperor in his absence. The Emperor was always absent from Court and Lau Gan always took his place where the entire court of top-ranked ministers had to now to him. It was the law. And Lau Gan enjoyed it.

    The ministers got up from their knees and straightened their uniform as footsteps approached from behind the dark curtains and stood behind them. They could not see his face but he could see them through the translucent curtains. He never lit candles from behind the curtains so they could not see his expressions and guess his thoughts. He hated being predictable.

    The ministers all looked sideways at one another as they silently acknowledged the absence of several things in Court today. Firstly, the Dragon Throne was gleaming brightly as it stood empty on its lonely Royal platform. That was not unusual. But secondly, all thirteen spots where Yuen Mo Kei and his relations used to stand were now empty.

    From behind his curtain, came Lau Gans voice. The Emperor has other matters to attend to today and will not be present at Court today. Let the ministers report important matters here now and I will make decision the minor matters. Any major matters, I will relay your thoughts to the Emperor later after Court! Speak! he ordered. That was what he always said in the beginning of Court, but how much information was actually relayed to the Emperor? Did the Emperor know at all?

    A brave minster made the first move and stepped forward to report, I, Tse Chin, Minister of the Grand Secretariat as well as Royal Tutor, have something to enquire. May I ask where the missing thirteen members of the Ministry of Revenue are today, including Head Minister of Revenue, Yuen Mo Kei?

    Lau Gans cold voice retorted, Ex-Head Minister of Revenue, Yuen Mo Kei, has been taken into custody by the Eastern Faction late last night along with all members of his family for questioning. They will not be returning any time soon until all concerns have been satisfied. I suggest the Ministry of Revenue and the Ministry of Personnel to urgently send through a list of candidates for those thirteen vacant positions so the Emperor can decide without delay.

    Another minister stepped out. Head Minister of Personnel, Lau Geen, wishes to enquire, on
    what charges has the Yuen family been accused of? And does the Emperor know about their arrest without due process?

    A middle-aged man with a black beard stepped out, Yes, Kuk Him Yu, the Secretary of Justice reports that there has been no notification of this charges of yet!

    Silence! commanded Lau Gan, The Yuen family has been alleged of treason to the Great Ming! The law permits the Eastern Faction to immediately take anyone into custody for any allegation of treason, without being delayed by whatsoever due process required by the Ministry of Justice.

    Tse Chin asserted, But Yuen Mo Kei is a high second-ranked official, and his sons Yuen Lun, Yuen Chiu, Yuen Hong and Yuen Long are all third-ranked officials - all pillars of the Court that have served the Ming Empire well for decades! Surely they should be given a true trial in Penal Court before any punishment or torture is applied!

    Kuk Him Yu added, I agree! Such serious allegations need to be well proven with evidence and eye-witness statements! I formally request for all related to the Yuen family treason case to be released to the custody of the Ministry of Justice so a fair trial can be given.
    All related to the Yuen family treason case? scoffed Lau Gan, Does that include you then, Minister Kuk?

    Kuk Him Yu looked up with shock. I beg your pardon? What did he just get himself into?
    Lau Gan reminded, I hope you do remember that your wife is no other than the daughter of Yuen Mo Kei!

    I I stuttered Kuk Him Yu, unable to deny his relationship to his father-in-law. Lau Gan was trying to tie him to the whole case. Kuk Him Yu could feel the piercing stare coming from behind the curtains, looking at him.

    The only reason you are standing here unchained and free is that the Eastern Faction is overloaded with cases and if you are arrested, then the Eastern Faction will be even more busier taking over your work. There is not yet evidence to link you to the treason charges but I can assure you that the Eastern Faction knows how to do their job when they do!

    Is that a threat to an Imperial minister, Supreme Commander Lau? asked Lau Geen.

    No! replied Lau Gan sharply, I was merely outlining how the work process of Eastern Faction as Minister Kuk seems not to understand. Do you want me to explain it to you as well, Minister Lau? I am happy to explain in detail the internal proceedings of the Eastern Faction to any minister that queries our efficiency.

    Without a word, all three ministers backed down and settled back in line. Everyone else was too scared to say anything. How many of their colleagues had mysteriously disappeared under these so-called allegations of treason? True or fabricated, these allegations came handy when any minister deterred Lau Gan in Court.

    So all settled then! Since no one else wants to tell me how the Eastern Faction should do their job, all members of the Yuen family treason case will be handled by the Interrogation Court of the Eastern Faction without disruption from the Ministry of Justice. Next issue!
    Lau Gans words were final. No one dared say a further word on the matter. The ministers were secretly ashamed that they had come to being ordered around by a eunuch. Gone were the glorious days of Emperor Wang Chis reign where his wise decision created much benefit to the people and commanded respect from his ministers. Even though they had to display the bowing and kneeling etiquette to Lau Gan, none of the ministers respected him and they all wanted him to drop dead that moment. No able-bodied man would be happy kneeling before a eunuch, much less a controlling manipulative eunuch that the power of an Emperor. But where was the Emperor now?

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

    Author's Note:
    One thing the historical Lau Gan was famous for was his psychological tactics. He did not always use force but instead used mental stress to wear out the ministers so they did not have the time and energy to plot against him. Sometimes, he would have them followed by the Brocade-Clad Guards to increase their stress levels. His constant unpredictability made him a fearful figure in history. I have had enough of loud and angry eunuchs from TVB series so I thought it would be interesting to include a chapter which shows Lau Gans dominance in court instead of just yelling like crazy or executing people. Shows his need for control and authority. I have to admit I have always like Lau Gan a lot even before I started writing this story and I have yet to find a TV portrayal of him that can show all of his tactics, intelligence and strengths. Most of them are just angry eunuchs. I want to show Lau Gan from a different perspective and why people were so terrified of him.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  19. #19
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Seven:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Kuk Yuen Yau Lelia Tong Ling
    Suen Nga Yin Natalie Tong See Wing
    So Yee Ha Sharon Chan Man Chi
    Emperor Ching Dak Matt Yeung Ming



    Not too far away, loud festive music filled the Hall of Central Supremacy as the palace musicians displayed their talents on their instruments. Whether zither, lyre, qin, pipa, flute, or zheng, the music from each instrument fused harmoniously into a wonderful masterpiece that entertained Emperor Ching Daks concubines very much. But the Emperors eyes were focussed on the acrobatic performance that had specially been organised to celebrate his coronation. The ten acrobats performed amazing stunts at dangerous heights. On top of five tall terracotta jars stacked together, one lean acrobat stood on one leg while balancing another large jar on his crouched back. Then the other nine jumped over the jar while accomplishing a variety of difficult tasks like fire breathing, spinning plates, twirling ribbons and so on

    Meanwhile, twenty young maidens gathered anxiously outside the hall as they waited for permission to enter. They were all newly acquired Imperial Consorts from all over the country. Dressed in their best and decked with golden jewellery, they stood next to each other like summer flowers vying for attention with their vibrant colours and poses.

    Suen Nga Yin felt like she wanted to faint with all the excitement. After all, it was going to be the first time they were meeting the Emperor the Son of Heaven. She had always heard from her father back in Zhenjiang that the Emperor shone like the sun with his golden clothes and the pearl from his golden crown gleamed like the moon. Everywhere he went, even in an unlit room; it was like the sun moving about. But then her grandmother had told her that the Emperor was always dressed in a robe of solid gold and moved stiffly about. Suen Nga Yin breathed rapidly as she felt the blood rushing up to her face. She was worried. How did it make her look? She was about the meet her husband, her support for the rest of her life. What if he didnt like her at first glance?

    So Yee Ha must have felt her anxiousness as she kicked her friend gently in the foot to bring her back to reality. So Yee Ha was nervous but she wasnt too worried. In spite of all the fuss, she only wondered if he was tall and handsome or did he sport a long black beard like those she saw in painting. She did hear that the Emperor was only seventeen, just two months old than herself, But Emperors were like regular people, maybe they were all born with a long beard at birth? She dreaded if he turned out extremely ugly or hunchbacked. Should she bear with it or kill herself?

    Kuk Yuen Yau stared quietly at her own feet and concentrated on the embroidered mandarin ducks in the intricate patterns. Her grandfather and father had already given her a brief description of the young Emperor when they informed her that she was selected for an Imperial Consort. She just hoped he was a good man and would be kind to her.

    A middle aged eunuch came walking hurriedly from the Great Hall and taking a deep breath, he proclaimed, The Emperor expresses consent for the Honoured Ladies to enter his presence! And silently, he waved at them to begin walking. The fifty steps from outside the hall to the centre of the hall was not a long distance, but to these girls, it seemed like a never-ending journey. The acrobats had been dismissed to clear the floor and the musicians ordered to stop playing. The whole hall was so silent that the girls could hear their own footsteps on the brightly-polished floor.

    Standing neatly in four lines, they curtseyed in time and repeated, Greetings to the Emperor! They dared not gaze up to look directly at the Emperor. Yiu So Sum and Cheung Wan Sheung had reminded them repeatedly of the etiquette that must be followed in the audience of the Emperor once must never look directly at him unless being asked to. Back in the time of the Emperor Hung Mo, there was one Imperial Consort from Korea that did not of this etiquette and was cruelly beaten to death by rods. The girls dared not to make one mistake but all three were shaking unnoticeably underneath their long robes as they kept bent in the curtsey position.

    A young voice rang out clear in the silence, Rise, my consorts and raise your heads! All twenty girls obediently raised their chins and looked up at where the voice came from. The Emperor was indeed young and handsome. He was clean-shaven with fair skin. His eyes shone brightly and seemed to twinkle at all of them as they met his eyes. He smiled mildly, also mischievously as he eyed each of his new consorts one by one. Very well, be seated my consorts and join us for the next performance!

    The girls thanked him and sat in the prepared seat on the side. But none of them really paid much attention to the performances. Every now and then, the girls stole glances at their husband and at times, they caught him taking momentary looks in their directions and blushed as their eyes met. Kuk Yuen Yau felt her heart flutter each time she felt his piercing stare never like she had felt before.

    Soon the performance ended, and the girls stood up and curtseyed as the Emperor left his seat. Suen Nga Yin peeked up fleetingly and noticed that he was glancing in their direction while whispering to the middle-aged eunuch that showed them in. The strange thing was that the eunuch was also looking at them whilst nodding at the Emperors instructions. Suen Nga Yin blushed. He must be talking about me. He must be! But then the Emperor just left the hall without turning his head.

    At this stage, the middle-aged eunuch proclaimed, The Honoured Ladies may return to the Palace of Eternal Peace for the night! All the girls breathed a sigh of relief it was finally all over. But then the eunuch continued, All expect for Honoured Lady Kuk. The Emperor wishes her to travel to the Palace of Heavenly Purity to serve him tonight!

    There were gasps of surprise as all the other nineteen unchosen maidens stared at Kuk Yuen Yau. Kuk Yuen Yau couldnt believe her ears. She looked around at her friends. It was very strange as they felt an invisible barrier between them had suddenly appeared. Kuk Yuen Yau felt elated or maybe even a little proud. As for So Yee Ha, she congratulated her friend with a smile but maybe she was just a little bit jealous. Suen Nga Yin did not say a thing. And Kuk Yuen Yau was led away by the eunuch while the rest advanced back to their accommodation.

    The Imperial Chamber was in the centre of the Palace of Heavenly Purity. The tall roof was supported by magnificent red pillars that seem to reach the sky. The Imperial Chamber was separated from the Outer Chamber by a series of transparent embroidered separators with long gold curtains all around. Kuk Yuen Yau had been already bathed and redressed by a team of palace maids, and then left alone in the chamber awaiting the Emperors arrival.

    She tried to calm her anxiety by walking around but she could not help but jump when some eunuch announced, The Emperor has arrived! and a pair of strong arms grabbed her from behind. The young playful face of her husband rested on her shoulder and moved closer to kiss her. Kuk Yuen Yau closed her eyes.

    Back in the Palace of Eternal Peace, Cheung Wan Sheung had assisted So Yee Ha to bed and blew out the lamps. She was about to leave when So Yee Ha called out to her, Wan Sheung!

    Yes? she replied. In the dim moonlight invading the room, she could see that So Yee Ha had sat up in bed. Wan Sheung, do have any idea of how many consorts the Emperor can have during a lifetime?

    Cheung Wan Sheung answered wisely, The Emperor is the Son of Heaven, the Heavenly Mandate. All women in the country belong to him, not to mention all in the Forbidden City. No one can tell many he can have or will have - as long as he requests, the supply will always meet the demand in abundance. Honoured Lady, I implore you to stop thinking too much about the matter. It is not anything that mere women like you and I can control or judge! Good night then, Honoured Lady! and she closed the doors and left.

    Suen Nga Yin lay silently alone in her bed. She did not speak a single word since the eunuch took Kuk Yuen Yau away. She was so sure that the Emperor was looking at her back in the hall. It was a strange night for all of them. After all, they were at an age where love and romance were new things to experience. And so was jealousy.
    -----------------------------------------------

    Author's Note:
    Emperor Ching Dak (Zhengde) was a jerk in real life and I hate his guts. But the Emperor needs to appear to have this story to make sense. For those who are worried that this story will turn into a catfight about concubines, be assured nothing of that sort will happen. I hate catfight and I have no idea on how to write about catfights. I think they are pointless. But how can you have a palace story without talking about jealousy between concubines? The story will quickly move along into the actual fighting of wulin people.

    Off track: My lecturer passed away suddenly on Thursaday night. I am in a really bad mood. Still in shock.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

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    I am finally up to date on my reading . It has been a terrific read for me. Didn't know a story about eunuchs can be so interesting, charbydis. I applaud your story writing skills. With your fixation on "evil" men, I am prepared for a very different approach to wuxia. Keep up the wonderful work.

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