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The Forbidden City The City Of Disillusionment (幻滅紫禁城) - Page 13
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Thread: The Forbidden City The City Of Disillusionment (幻滅紫禁城)

  1. #241
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    Thanks for the pics on the Justice Bao series! It brings back really good memories! I might just go and re-watch the series. (Now I can totally see your love for Ling Dong in my story. I do see Lawrence's appeal. ) There was a MV on them together in the Justice Bao series, but now I can't find it on youtube.
    You mean this one?



    Back in the 90's, Kwong Wah, Gilbert and Lawrence were the ones who drew me to ATV series even though they had less promotion. Lawrence is so underrated and underused at ATV when ATV made way for the likes of Andrew Yuen!
    Last edited by charbydis; 11-03-11 at 06:55 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  2. #242
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charbydis View Post
    Just realised that this is the same pagoda where Cheung Ah Ngau went nuts and recalled his past as Yelu Ho Nam!
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  3. #243
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    I don't even remember the Swordsman storyline, since I never really watched it fully. I just remember it being extremely boring. Plus, I was really frustrated because I was all excited about the series, hearing that Lawrence and Erica were in it! Then, I couldn't even find them in the series when I frantically fast-forwarded around, so I gave up. Can you give me a brief summary on Erica and Lawrence's storyline in Swordsman?
    Just watch this: The scenes in it are pretty much all you get for Erica and Lawrence. I am serious. Nothing happened.

    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  4. #244
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    ATV's Swordsman is just a really bad adaptation of Gu Long's Liu Xing Hu Die Jian. They didn't even keep the names of the characters, they just put all the storyline and characters in a pot and mixed it all around. Some aspects were kept, but they were tweaked a bit. Some characters was conflated.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

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

  5. #245
    Senior Member tweety365's Avatar
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    I watched the Swordsman when it first came out, but I don't remember much. All I know is that I was not at all impressed with the series. I even forgot how handsome Lawrence looked in his clothes and hair style. Generally, I like the work of the costume department for both TVB and ATV back in the 80s-90s.

  6. #246
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    The first half of "The Swordsman" wasnt all that bad with all the villians and spies running around. The fighst were classy. The first Damian was cool. It was until Kristy came into picture and Erica dead that the story started to go downhill. Then Lawrence died like two-thirds through and we had to put up with the ridiculous geneartion gap/love triangle of Damian-Kristy-Norman.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  7. #247
    Senior Member tweety365's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charbydis View Post
    The first half of "The Swordsman" wasnt all that bad with all the villians and spies running around. The fighst were classy. The first Damian was cool. It was until Kristy came into picture and Erica dead that the story started to go downhill. Then Lawrence died like two-thirds through and we had to put up with the ridiculous geneartion gap/love triangle of Damian-Kristy-Norman.
    Kristy looked so awkward next to both Damian and Norman. Not to mention the lack of chemistry, the cradle robbing feel just made me . Best pairing was Patricia Chong and Damian. I liked their story. Even their death scenes were cool. For me, it went downhill after they died. Hence, I don't remember much about the series. Now rewatching some of the fight scenes, gotta say the choreography is definitely . A whole lot better than what is churned out nowadays in tv series. I suppose the good stuffs are reserved for movies.

  8. #248
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Why does no one care about my characters' life and death?
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  9. #249
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Thirty:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Lau Gan - Gilbert Lam Wai Sun
    Yau Jui - Lau Kong


    It was indeed Yau Jui the Head Commander of the Eastern Faction. How did you know it was me? he asked surprised.

    Lau Gan did not turn around and kept his eyes closed. We have known each other for decades. I would not be Lau Gan if I did not recognise your voice. Lau Gan carefully memorised all the positions of all his numerous opponents by the sound of their breathing.

    Yau Jui laughed like a crazed hyena. Well, my old friend. Today is the day you die!

    So you are not going to tell me the reason for my death? asked Lau Gan. The acupressure points on his elbow tingled as if someone was jabbing a million needles into them as they were struggling to contain the flow of the poison.

    Why should I tell you and let you die in peace? Yau Jui dug his hands into the depths of his cloak, getting his weapons ready for the slaughter.

    Lau Gan smiled again. What makes a man kill another person? The answer never deviates far from greed, revenge or ambition. I am not interested in your answer at all but seeing that you are going to the effort of stalling to ensure more poison being absorbed into my body, why should I not satisfy your urge to reveal what you have been so terrified to say to me for all these years? After all, you dare not face me head on unless you ambush me from behind.

    Yau Jui was raging with emotion. In a loud outburst, he spat at Lau Gan. You vile pig! You demonic monster! What right do you have to treat everyone else like garbage? Every day of my life since we formed the Eight Tigers, I have dreamed of this moment every single night where I stand over you being feeble and weak. Now get down on your knees and beg me to spare your miserable life! I want to see you grovel and clutch at my ankles in desperation! Do it now!

    But Lau Gan did not budge. His voice did not falter as he laughed. How could a person laugh at such a moment? But he did. He was Lau Gan.

    You have planned this attack long ago. Even before the Eight Tigers were formed, you have always wanted to supersede me. Who do you think you are? It was I who let you be the Vice-Commander when I was offered the position and declined! Do not forget that it was I who made you Head Commander of the Eastern Faction! Did you earn your position by your own abilities? Without me, you are nothing! You can take my life today and even take my position, but it does not change the fact that you are an insignificant nonentity!

    Shut up! hollered Yau Jui. We are all eunuchs within the Forbidden City destined for the same fate. What right do you have to treat us worse than animals? Our lives are no more precious to you than the lives of the ants that populate this forest. You abuse us verbally and physically at will and oppress our every move! Do not think that you are supreme and impervious! Many people are petrified if you but all of them secretly loathe you behind your back! I managed to find thirty-two eunuchs that share my hatred for you! You shall suffer an excruciating slow death and your remains exposed to be ravaged by wild beasts! Do not blame us, Lau Gan! You caused your own undoing!

    Lau Gan cocked his head slightly as he heard his enemies move upon the dead leaves. But he continued to distract them with words as he planned his defence.

    The weak should bow down to the strong. The strong should oppress the weak. That is how this world works. I did not conceive that rule for survival. It was already in place when I was forced into this pugilistic world. I have been humiliated by others in the past just I humiliate you today! We both chose not to be the oppressed but to be the oppressor for there is no other way out. But the main difference between us is that I am the victor whilst you are the loser.

    Yau Jui and his minions laughed vociferously. Your internal energy is draining out of you like a sieve and your life is in our hands. What makes you think that you are the victor?

    Lau Gan opened his eyes and turned around to face them; his confident glare directed right at Yau Jui as he said, Because your opponent is me! And he flipped high up into the air as his assailants struck the ground where he stood.

    Surrounded by enemies, Lau Gan could not afford the leisure to force out the poison from his system using his internal energy. Kun Lun Sects Energy Dissipating Poison was a unique concoction in that it did not travel idly in the bloodstream waiting to be expelled. Instead, it diffused out through the capillary walls to block the energy channels and sunk deep into the porous framework of the bones. To expel all the toxin from the bones was an arduous process.

    Yet if he maintained intervention of the energy circulation through his body by closing his acupressure points to deter the flow of poison, he could not deliver his blows at full force which was extremely dangerous against thirty-three highly skilled opponents.

    Lau Gan chose the most inconceivable to solve this dilemma. With three taps to his arm, he unblocked all his acupressure points, letting both internal energy and the poison circulate freely within his body. Whilst in midair, he released consecutive palm blows of energy at the assailants below. If he could eliminate all of the threats using maximum power before he became entirely defenceless, he still had a chance for survival.

    Lau Gan used the bodies of the fallen guards like stepping stones as he made his way across to the others. Necks were shattered with each lethal blow. Skulls were smashed with each deadly kick. The remaining assailants scattered away from him that instant and thrust their swords in unison to form an iron curtain encircling him. The curtain of moving blades rotated around him endlessly, leaving no space for him escape. A second curtain of blades materialized over him and trapped him within the metal cylinder. Any limb that dared to venture through the curtain would not emerge whole.

    All of a sudden, the iron curtain disintegrated like broken ice and the men were thrown backwards onto the ground with the impact. Lau Gan emitted an icy aura that surrounded him as he moved through the throng. Yau Jui was flabbergasted.

    Each blow of energy was like a gust of wintry wind that passed through each man leaving behind a cold lifeless corpse. No man could get close to him with any weapon without being frozen by his internal energy. All thirty-two men perished within minutes.

    Yau Jui chose that moment to attack. The purpose of the thirty-two men was to deplete
    Lau Gans already dwindling internal energy levels. Lau Gan choked uncontrollably as he had increasing trouble summoning energy from his meridian. Yau Jui gave a cry of victory as he withdrew two blurs of silver from the depths of his cloak and swiped at him.

    Lau Gan leant backwards just in time as two metal claws passed over him and dived downwards in a consecutive attack. Each claw was a small curved blade that cut through human flesh like silk. Lau Gan skidded horizontally and once at a safe distance, he shot out two freezing palms at the metal claws.

    Yau Jui found both his hands and weapons had been encased in a solid block of ice, unable to move his fingers at all. Lau Gan palmed him at both shoulders and he staggered backwards. He vomited a mouthful of blood but it was no severe injury for the force of the blows was diminishing with each strike. Lau Gan clutched his abdomen in pain as he was again deterred by the disruption of energy from his meridian.

    Yau Jui forced his own internal energy to both hands and the brittle metal shattered at once. With his free hands, Yau Jui palmed Lau Gan in the chest which sent him crashing backwards into the truck of a tree. A solid foot dug into Lau Gans shoulder as Yau Jui pinned him against the trunk. Lau Gan glared up at him as he wiped a trickle of blood from his mouth with sleeve.

    Yau Jui peered down menacingly at him. He jeered Who is the victor now, Supreme Commander Lau? Lau Gan did not say a thing and coughed some more.

    Yau Juis eyes narrowed as he brought down a palm upon Lau Gans head. All the humiliation and suffering he had endured had been finally avenged. All power and riches belong to him now. The Emperor and the nation were in his control. All would be his after that one merciless blow to the Hundred Congregating acupressure point that was centred on the crown of Lau Gans head. He could not help but laugh at the thought.

    But his laughter soon turned into a cry of pain as a chilling sensation surge through his outstretched right arm.

    Yau Jui tried to retract his hand from Lau Gans head but Lau Gan would not let the flow of energy break. Lau Gan sent another burst of chilling energy from his finger that was jabbed in the middle of Yau Juis palm. Yau Jui gave out a bloodcurdling scream as the sensation of a million cold miniature icicles travelled through his energy channels, shredding him to bits from the inside.

    His martial arts were destroyed forever and he dropped weakly onto the forest floor after a spraying out a mouthful of flesh blood. He convulsed involuntarily with unimaginable pain as he looked up feebly at Lau Gans haughty stare. It had all been an act!

    Yau Jui could not believe it. How could he have been so stupid? It is impossible! How can you not be affected by the Energy Dissipating Poison?

    Lau Gan kneeled down beside him and whispered tauntingly, I am. The poison has already found its place within my bones, but my deep foundation of internal energy will prolong my life until I expel the poison. I know your skills and to battle you will only drain me more. But if I consolidate all my power into one single blow that cannot miss, I will prevail for sure!

    Yau Jui laughed maniacally at him, his hair dishevelled and face stained with specks of blood and bruises. I have underestimated you, Lau Gan! I never thought that you would have achieved the lost stance of Myriad of Ethereal Frost. But each time you use this stance, you cannot execute it again until your reserve rebuilds itself one month later. Even if you can expel the poison, you wont recover in time! he laughed some more.

    Lau Gan, Lau Gan! How many people do you think would try and kill you in the next month? A hundred? Two hundred? Can you defend yourself against them all?

    Lau Gan replied calmly. That is my problem to deal with. You should deal with your own problems first! You should know that I will never forgive those who betray me!

    Yau Jui sensed in the increased tension at those words and decided to make one last strike. Without warning, he grabbed one of the broken shards of his metal claw and made a wild stab at Lau Gan. Though his martial arts were temporarily disabled, Lau Gan had no trouble intercepting the hand and bent it backwards as hard as he could, hissing Who is the victor now, my old friend?

    The brittle bones cracked immediately as Yau Jui howled with pain. Take my life! Get it over and done with! screamed Yau Jui. If only he had the power to end his own life, then he would. To remain alive in Lau Gans hands would be worse than death itself.

    Lau Gan leaned close. The sides of his mouth curled upwards in a sinister smile. Taking a life is effortless. To make one suffer endlessly is an art that I plan to perfect.

    -----------------------------------------------
    Author's Note:

    The historical Yau Jui (Qiu Ju), came to power as the Head Commander of the Eastern Faction along with the other members of the Eight Tigers when Emperor Ching Dak (Zheng De) came to the throne in 1506. Little is known about him but there are records of him where on one occasion, Lau Gan caught him backstabing him before the Emperor Ching Dak. (Lucky guy! )

    In rage, Lau Gan demoted him from the Eastern Faction and banished him to guard the Royal Mausoleum in Nanjing. He temporarily returned to the Imperial Palace after Lau Gan's death and got involved in a few more eunuch political struggles, before being demoted and banished to Nanjing for life.
    Last edited by charbydis; 11-05-11 at 01:00 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  10. #250
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Am rewatching DSGD 97! Am at the end! So depressed!
    Will return in about a few hours after the finale to post another chapter!
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  11. #251
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Thirty-One:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Kuk Yuen Yau - Lelia Tong Ning
    Siu Kei Chi - Sammul Chan Kin Fung
    Eunuch Chan - Yuen Wah


    A small crowd of eunuchs and maids congregated outside Kuk Yuen Yau’s room in the Palace of Abundant Longevity. Loud shouts came from inside the closed doors and resonated along the corridor, attracting even more listeners.

    “Go away! I never want to see you again!” Kuk Yuen Yau shouted angrily and there came the sound of something metal being thrown about.

    “Lady Kuk, let me explain!” pleaded a soft voice. “I could not disobey the Emperor!” But he was interrupted.

    Kuk Yuen Yau’s voice sounded furious. “Do not say more! I did not ask you to disobey the Emperor. You yourself heard him. He told everyone not to stand back! But what did you do? I would have not expected you to help them escape but you attacked! You put my friends’ lives at risk despite viewing the injustice displayed with your own eyes! How could you do it, Lau Kei? How could you?” And then there was silence except for sounds of weeping.

    Siu Kei Chi stated calmly. “Lady Kuk! If you trust in Siu Kei Chi’s character, then believe in me that I have a valid but unspeakable reason for my actions. I will do anything you want for your forgiveness!”

    There was another clatter of something else being thrown about. Kuk Yuen Yau let out a high-pitched scream. “Don’t touch me! Get away from me! You repulse me! Your unspeakable reason is that you want to gain credit and move up in rank! I do not want anything further to do with you! Get out of my sight!”

    The nosy listeners all crouched low to have their ear against the thin doors. The doors opened unexpectedly and they all tumbled head-first into the room just as a pair of legs leapt over them to escape from the teapot thrown in their direction. The listeners scattered as fast as their legs could take them as more objects were thrown out of the room.

    Siu Kei Chi had both his hands up to shield himself from the attack. Kuk Yuen Yau ran around the room and hurled out everything she could get her hands on – books, tablecloths, clothes, chairs, and even her basket of embroidery needles. She did not stop and Siu Kei Chi let her. With his martial arts, he could have disarmed her within seconds but he willingly accepted her rage.

    Kuk Yuen Yau was now before her desk. “Get out of my sight, you black-hearted person!” She grabbed a vase filled with paintings and scrolls and pitched at her servant. But it was too heavy for her. The scrolls unrolled themselves over the shattered china shards that lay all over the room.

    There was a sound of hurried footsteps. A feminine-sounding voice screamed at the messy state of the room. “Ahhhh! What happened here? Did intruders enter here as well?” Eunuch Chan clutched both sides of his face in distress and stared at Kuk Yuen Yau with his gaping mouth.

    Kuk Yuen Yau stopped her tantrum immediately. Trying the best to contain herself, she asked in a low voice, “What brings you here, Eunuch Chan? I am in a bad mood to have visitors!”

    Her friends had been missing for two days already. She had no news of them and she was extremely worried, especially for So Yee Ha who was carrying the Emperor’s unborn child.

    Eunuch Chan took care to tiptoe around the shards as he entered the room. He waved his whisk habitually in the air when he was anxious.

    “Oh dear, Lady Kuk! I have orders from Supreme Commander Lau to take Siu Kei Chi away and arrange for someone else to serve you. Will I come back later? Oh no! Then what if Supreme Commander Lau gets angry? Oh no! What if you get angry?” And he started muttering to himself uneasily as if he was alone.

    Both Kuk Yuen Yau and Siu Kei Chi looked at each other at the same time then looked away.

    Kuk Yuen Yau took a deep breath. “Eunuch Chan. Take him away! Supreme Commander Lau can do whatever he wishes with this servant! Arrange for a maid to serve me instead!”

    She did not look up but she knew that Siu Kei Chi’s eyes were focussed on her.

    Eunuch Chan gave a big sigh of relief. “Well, that makes things a lot easier! Thank you, Lady Kuk! I have your new maid to come around as soon as possible to clear up this awful mess!” And he made a repulsive face at the disarray.

    He bowed low and said, “Good fortune to you, Lady Kuk!” Turning to Siu Kei Chi, he pulled on his sleeve and instructed him to offer his farewell.

    Siu Kei Chi slowly bowed in obeisance and said quiet, “May Lady Kuk be blessed with prosperity!” and without another word, he turned and followed behind Eunuch Chan to exit the corridor.

    Kuk Yuen Yau glanced at him just in time as he disappeared from her sight. She slammed the door shut and back away towards the opposite wall. She crouched low on the ground in tears and rocked herself in comfort. She was alone again in this empty palace.

    Both Suen Nga Yin and So Yee Ha were still in danger and now Siu Kei Chi was no longer her friend. The Emperor was a sadistic and selfish man and she no longer wanted anything to do with him. Between tears in her eyes, she saw the scroll of the dance choreography lying messily across the floor. She immediately picked it up.

    There came a ripping sound as the fabric backing of the scroll had caught onto a china shard and torn when she pulled on it. Kuk Yuen Yau immediately held it close to inspect the damage. There was a sizeable hole in the pale blue fabric backing of the scroll though the painting itself was unharmed.

    Then it caught her eye. There was something hidden inside the fabric backing. Kuk Yuen Yau stretched the hole and shoved her fingers inside to touch it. It was a piece of folded paper. With difficulty, the tips of her fingers closed over the edge of the paper and she pulled it out of its hiding place.

    The paper had yellowed with age. It was at least twenty years old. With care, she opened the delicate letter and revealed a page of small neat writing. The brush strokes were soft yet elegant – the writer definitely female. There were small blots of dissolved ink on the letter as if water droplets had trickled onto the page as it was written. Kuk Yuen Yau sat down on the floor as she read the letter.

    8th March, 1st Year of Shing Fa

    Three more days will pass before I farewell my old life forever. Unceasing riches await me within the walls of the Forbidden City if I succeed to gain the Emperor’s favour and my clan will receive unlimited honour and glory. Many people envy my good fortune, but to me it is no other than a curse. I do not wish for riches or fame – all I want is my beloved to be safe.

    I was born in Yangzhou during the turbulent 14th Year of Ching Tung, just as it was announced that the Emperor Ching Tung was captured at the Battle of Tumu Fortress. Back then, the world was in chaos and my parents were afraid that I would not survive infanthood. The pregnancy had been a difficult ten months.

    My mother nearly miscarried on the way back from a journey to her hometown when our carriage was attacked by a group of bandits. But luckily, an old retired general was passing by and saved their lives. To show his gratitude, my father proposed an arranged betrothal between me and the old general’s newly orphaned grandson, which he readily accepted.

    The old general died when I was thirteen and in the following year, I met my beloved for the first time. He stayed a guest in the Western Chambers of our mansion to prepare for the Imperial Exams and my father warm-heartedly accepted. Apart from being well versed in both literary as well as martial arts, he had a photographic memory and we never ran out of topics to discuss. We expressed mutual admiration since the beginning but since his three years of filial rites had not yet expired, it was improper for us to wed. But we soon secretly vowed a lifetime of mutual devotion.

    He was naturally arrogant due to his exceeding talents, and had great ambitions to improve the policies of the government. But he was too honest in his examination essay and he criticised the government for its corruption and incompetence. He was shattered when he was disqualified and forever banned from the Imperial Exams. He felt disillusioned but I did not leave his side.

    However my father no longer wanted him for a son-in-law - he had set his sights on the new Emperor. He could not annul the betrothal whilst my beloved was alive so sent men to ambush him while he was returning to his hometown in Huaiyin. He was injured and barely escaped their vicious attacks but he braved the dangers to return for me. We tried to elope but were outnumbered. Since that day when the wooden doors swung closed, we were separated for life.

    I was unwilling to enter the Imperial Palace but my father stayed cold-hearted. I tried weeping, pleading, starving myself and even committing suicide but my father would not relent. He knew I would not comply so he used my lover’s life to exchange for my cooperation.

    Even though he always had treated me with moral etiquette, my mind had already acknowledged him as my husband. Seasons may change but my feelings will never change. To betray him was worse than death, but I could not let him die. He was willing to die to return for me. Why can I not endure life for him?

    Three more days and I will leave Yangzhou forever and leave my lover forever. I pleaded with my father to allow too see him for one last time, but he refused. I do not know whether he is dead or alive. I do not know if my father will keep his end of the bargain but I have no choice but to trust in him.

    “To enter the noble gates is like a sea of no return;
    Henceforth lovers will be no more than strangers.”

    Once I enter palace gates, I shall be condemned to die within the palace walls. I will be no more than a walking corpse. Only an empty shell will enter the Imperial Palace to serve the Emperor. This is the end of my happiness and I am better off dead.

    I dare not hope for a reunion. I am not longer worthy of him, but I will strive to survive until one day where I can gain news of him living happily in the outside world. I only hope that he will forget our memories together and build a future with someone else. To wish that of him is to drive a dagger through my heart, but for him, I can only accept the fate that awaits me.

    Part of my bargain with my father is that I am never to mention his name in voice or on paper though his every move and expression will be continuously reminisced within my mind.

    This is my last open declaration of my love to him. I have enclosed this message securely in this dance scroll for it is a combined work of his brushwork and my choreography. Even if we could not be together in life, I wish for our work to be eternally joined in this painting.

    It is extremely dear to my heart but I dare not take it into the Imperial Palace lest it be discovered and he will be implicated in any imperial harem struggles. May he be blessed with health and good fortune! And if Heaven permits, then let us meet again in the next life and allow me the chance to redeem my unforgivable sin.


    And that was the end of the letter.
    -----------------------------------------------
    Author's Note:

    The Battle of Tumu Fortress (土木堡之變) is famous military embarassment in the Ming Dynasty. Basically in the early parts of the Ming Dynasty, the Han Chinese and the Mongolians were still constanly alternating between war and negotioations with each other.

    One day in 1449, Esen Taishi of the Oriat Mongols who felt offended by the less than expected peace offerings by the Ming Dynasty, decided to lead a small army to invade China. In retailiation, China assembled a large army that vastly outnumbered the Oriat Mongols, thinking that they would win for sure.

    Wang Zhen, a favoured eunuch at the time, came up with this great idea for the Emperor Zheng Tong (Zhu Qizhen) to lead the army. Despite protests of danger from ministers and generals in addition to other obstacles along the way to meet the Oriat Mongols, Wang Zhen insisted that the Emperor should lead the army.

    To cut the long story short, the Ming forces lost terribly and were totally annihilated by the Orial Mongols' calvary. The Emperor was captured as a POW as well all the advanced equipment of the Ming army. Esen Taishi attempted to ransom the Ming Dynasty with the Emperor but the ministers decided that the Ming Empire was more important than the Emperor's life ( ) and ignored their requests.

    Emperor Zheng Tong's brother, Zhu Qiyu was pushed to ascend the throne as Emperor Jing Tai so everyone is happy except for the Oriat mongols and Emperor Zheng Tong. However, Emperor Zheng Tong was released one year later back to Beijing after the Oriat Mongols realised they were not going to get what they want.

    Then China was put in this awkward situation where there were two Emperors and the former had to be put under house arrest for seven years before he got his act together and took back his throne in a coup. Zhu Qiyu was demoted and died in house arrest. (Remind anyone of QSHF? Except Meng Qiyou ( ) is much more cooler than Zhu Qizhen!)

    I thought this was an interesting event to mention in this story because China was actually quite torn over what was right or wrong during those years of political instability and insecurity. Which Emperor was the rightful one? Is the Heavenly Mandate more important or is the nation more important? It also alerted people of the growing influence of eunuchs upon the rulers, which sadly was neglected until decades later.

    Though shady, I personally thought Emperor Jing Tai was the wiser ruler out of the two.
    Last edited by charbydis; 11-06-11 at 09:35 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  12. #252
    Senior Member tweety365's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the brief history lesson, charby. You are so knowledgeable with Chinese history. I'm always impressed reading your author's notes

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    Quote Originally Posted by tweety365 View Post
    Thanks again for the brief history lesson, charby. You are so knowledgeable with Chinese history. I'm always impressed reading your author's notes
    I am so traumatised! Kiu Fung died!

    BTW Tweety, have you begun to read the story yet? Or are you just skimming around for the history lesson? Maybe I should just write bogus stuff and see if you fall for it!
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by charbydis View Post
    I am so traumatised! Kiu Fung died!

    BTW Tweety, have you begun to read the story yet? Or are you just skimming around for the history lesson? Maybe I should just write bogus stuff and see if you fall for it!
    Since you are "rewatching" DGSD, you already know that KF will die, so why the trauma?

    Anywho, I am shamefully just skimming around for the history stuffs . The main reason for my constant procrastination is due to the fact that I am a sucker for sappy romance tales. I have no doubt in your writing skills, charby. I am sure the characters are very 3D and have lots of traits worth reading. However, my mind just wanders away when the main subject matter involves power hungry eunuchs. Tell me you are gonna include a great love story somewhere in the plot. And why are you gunning me down in my own profile page?

    I can't tell fact from fiction, so don't feed me bogus info! I will go around reiterating what you told me. Will make a fool of myself
    Last edited by tweety365; 11-06-11 at 06:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tweety365 View Post
    Since you are "rewatching" DGSD, you already know that KF will die, so why the trauma?
    I get really into good plots and well developed characters so each time is like reliving the pain again!

    Quote Originally Posted by tweety365 View Post
    Anywho, I am shamefully just skimming around for the history stuffs . The main reason for my constant procrastination is due to the fact that I am a sucker for sappy romance tales. I have no doubt in your writing skills, charby. I am sure the characters are very 3D and have lots of traits worth reading. However, my mind just wanders away when the main subject matter involves power hungry eunuchs. Tell me you are gonna include a great love story somewhere in the plot. And why are you gunning me down in my own profile page?
    Yes, there is more than one love plot coming in soon but I don't think you would like it! How would you feel if all the eunuchs fell in love? I am traumastised so I am acting funny in your profile!

    Quote Originally Posted by tweety365 View Post
    I can't tell fact from fiction, so don't feed me bogus info! I will go around reiterating what you told me. Will make a fool of myself
    Going to include false facts that would make you !
    "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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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Thirty-Two:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Kuk Yuen Yau - Lelia Tong Ning
    Siu Kei Chi - Sammul Chan Kin Fung
    Duen Muk Chong - Kenny Wong Tak Bun
    Lau Gan - Gilbert Lam Wai Sun
    Guk Dai Yung - Waise Lee Chi Hung



    Prior to reading the letter, Kuk Yuen Yau was crying for herself. Now her thoughts were totally concentrated on the unfortunate author and her lover. Neither of their names was mentioned but she could feel the deep pain that the anonymous author experienced. Life within the walls of the Forbidden City was not easy to endure - eternally trapped in the empty struggles of the Imperial Harem and the illusions of grandeur and luxury whilst forever separated from their families.

    Even she herself, who had willingly entered the Forbidden City, had cried herself to sleep for many nights with thoughts of her much-missed parents. How much worse it would have been for the author who had been forced as against her will?

    Who was the mysterious writer? And where was she now? Kuk Yuen Yau wiped her tears away as she carefully examined the scroll for clues. She ran her fingers over one of the corners of the fabric backing. The edge feel slightly thickened. On closer inspection, it was just visible that someone had delicately repaired a small hole in the fabric, about the length of two-thirds of a finger. This must have been where the letter was inserted.

    She then took a look at the paper. One touch and she immediately knew that it was of the highest quality – hard to crease yet thinly cut. It absorbed ink deep into its fibres to preserve the detailed form of the calligraphy, yet did not scatter the ink to ruin the work.

    The words were neat and clear while the strokes elongated. Whoever wrote them must have been a keen practitioner of calligraphy. But the broad powerful strokes were different from the concise yet graceful handwriting found in the letter.

    Her eyes passed over and locked upon the square seal located in the bottom right corner of the scroll. The crimson colour of the ink used to stamp the seal was still vibrant, revealing the artist’s name. Yim Lai Yin. So the lover was called Yim Lai Yin. But who was the anonymous author of the letter?

    Meanwhile in another part of the Forbidden City, Eunuch Chan had delivered Siu Kei Chi to Siu Chong Chi who was waiting outside the Eunuch Administrative Bureau. Eunuch Chan was ordered to leave and Siu Chong Chi made him wear a blindfold. Siu Kei Chi had expected that he would be led into Lau Gan’s private study but instead, Siu Chong Chi guided him through a series of passageways. He tried to remember the directions and deduce the destination but all the sharp turns made it confusing.

    “Where are we going? He called out to Siu Chong Chi and his own voice echoed mockingly back at him. He could hear the fear in the voice.

    He felt Siu Chong Chi tug on his sleeve. “Don’t ask questions. You will know when you arrive.” Then for another half an hour, he was led around until he was ordered to stop. Siu Kei Chi held a rhythmic banging upon a steel door which then opened with a loud scraping sound.

    “Come along!” came Siu Chong Chi’s deep voice. He stepped onto a cool rock-hard surface. He could feel the coldness through his shoes and the warmness from the candles nearby. He could hear that there were people in the same room as him but all was silent.

    “Take your blindfold off!” ordered Siu Chong Chi and he obeyed.

    He was in a dimly-lit hall that was paved with large flat stones of a dark colour. There were candles along the sides of the hall that led from the entrance to the far end where two eunuchs were seated. One was seated on the side and the other on the large throne before a large stone plaque engraved with a red character – West. Siu Chong Chi knelt down before the men and he copied his actions.

    The man on the throne spoke up. “So you are Lau Kei? Are you the one who battled with the intruder two days ago in the Palace of Abundant Longevity?”

    Siu Kei Chi nodded. “Yes, Sir.”

    The man raised his hand without another word and instantly, Siu Chong Chi leapt up and charged at him.

    Siu Chong Chi was a well-built man, well-trained in the upper body. His colossal biceps bulged menacingly from within his sleeves as he threw several fast punches at Siu Kei Chi who managed to jump aside and evade them all.

    “What is going on?” he shouted in bewilderment as Siu Chong Chi kept up his attacks and punched him in the chest. The spot where he was punched seared with pain and heat as if he had just been scalded with boiling water. Siu Kei Chi took several steps back. His opponent was easily twice the size of him. Any more punches from him could break his bones.

    The other eunuch stood up and called out to them. “Lau Kei! If you can last a hundred stances with Duen Muk Chong, then we will talk!” So Siu Chong Chi’s real name is Duen Muk Chong!

    There was no other choice but to take on the challenge. Siu Kei Chi spun backwards to distance from Duen Muk Chong who was charging at him like mad bull, raising his right arm ready to strike. Siu Kei Chi kicked off the wall and propelled himself like an arrow heading for its target. He deflected two fists coming at him and delivered several quick palms to his biceps before being grabbed and flung away like a rag doll.

    Duen Muk Chong’s arms were aching at the sudden attack and he shook them rapidly to rid of the pain. The minute of delay gave another chance for Siu Kei Chi to attack. This time, instead of heading right in front, Siu Kei Chi spun to the sides and attacked his biceps from the outside. But Duen Muk Chong swung around and put him in a firm headlock, kneeing him repeatedly in the back to block any defensive blows from Siu Kei Chi who was struggling for breath.

    All of a sudden, Duen Muk Chong felt a sharp pain in his thigh and he looked down. Siu Kei Chi had dug all five fingers of one hand into the flesh of his thigh and twisted hard. Duen Muk Chong roared in agony and immediately released his captive from the headlock. Siu Kei Chi rotated in the air and kicked him twice in the face before sliding down on the floor and delivering a powerful kick to his opponent’s knee.

    A burly fighter always delivers powerful blows from his upper torso but he often neglects training of his legs, making him less agile and reactive. So it is important for them to defend their legs in a fight for it is their weakness. Duen Muk Chong lost balance of his heavy body and toppled forward. Quickly putting his palms before him, he pushed off the ground and bounced back onto his feet, ready for action. The floor had sunk in slightly to mark where his palms struck.

    Siu Kei Chi took advantage of his opponent’s lack of flexibility and somersaulted over him to attack him from behind. But to his surprise, Duen Muk Chong took hold of both his legs and swung him towards the wall. Siu Kei Chi flipped around to kick him twice in the massive chest and then jumped away to safety.

    Unharmed, Duen Muk Chong glared at him as brushed the dirt off his chest. Siu Kei Chi glared back at him. Both were panting for breath in the intense fight as blood pumped rapidly through their veins.

    Then the man on the throne called out in a calm and authoritative voice. “That is enough!” The men stepped away from each other in obedience, but maintained their exchange of stares.

    The man leaned forward. “Lau Kei. Do you know who I am?” His voice was haughty.

    He quickly replied between catching puffs of breath. “No, Sir!”

    The cold voice spoke again. “I am Lau Gan.”

    Siu Kei Chi immediately felt uneasy as he spluttered, “Siu Kei Chi begs forgiveness for not recognising Supreme Commander Lau! Siu Kei Chi also begs forgiveness from the other officer for not recognising him either!”

    The other middle-aged eunuch laughed. “Ignorance is indeed an excuse! Why not forgive this bright young man, Master? I like him already!”

    Lau Gan smiled and nodded in agreement.

    The eunuch spoke again. “Lau Kei! This is the Headquarters of the Western Faction. I am Guk Dai Yung, Head Commander of the Western Faction!”

    Siu Kei Chi greatly respectfully, “Good fortune to both Supreme Commander Lau and Head Commander Guk!”

    Kuk Dai Yung laughed again. “We have been keeping an eye on you ever since you entered the Imperial Palace three years ago and you have been obedient and dutiful. We heard about your great ability from your performance against the intruder. After the trial fight with Duen Muk Chung, you have proved to us that you are a brave and accomplished fighter. Your skills are wasted serving women and housekeeping. Join the Western Faction and your skills will be put to good use.”

    “Siu Kei Chi can dream of no greater honour to serve you and thanks Supreme Commander Lau and Head Commander Guk for your consideration!” and he bowed his head so it reached the ground.

    Lau Gan eyed him suspiciously for a while before giving his word of caution. “Lau Kei. I have to warn you. I never forgive people who betray me. Serve me loyally and you shall do well. Betray me once and you shall suffer a fate worse than death!”

    Shivers ran along his spine at those words. “Siu Kei Chi dares not dream of disloyalty towards either of you!” And he bowed his head onto the floor again.

    “Good!” replied Lau Gan, “You will have many chances to prove yourself for Beijing will be a very busy place in the days ahead.”

    -----------------------------------------------
    Author's Note:

    The preference of material which ancient Chinese people wrote on changed remarkably over the years - from bone, to shell, to bamboo strips, fabric and then finally paper. The Chinese needed to adapt to changing needs.

    Bone and shell preserved the carvings well but the process was time consuming and storage was diffcult. Bamboo-strips came at a later stage which was light to carry and easy to store, and bamboo was easily accessible.

    When calligraphy brushes were invented, silk and parchment were used instead. Both were light to carry and easy to store, but demand and supply did not meet well. More and more people were becoming more literate and the expensive silk could only be afforded by the rich scholars. Parchment is made from dried animal skin, and cost even more to process. Even if poorer population were literate, they had no material to write on.

    Some more years passed and some bright dude living in Jing County, Xuanzhou (within Anhui) during the Tang Dynasty came up with this great idea to ground some plants, rice and other material together than after some secret process where the residue is compressed, bleached and smoothed out after heating, produced what we now call paper!

    Paper was named Xuan paper after Xuancheng where it was produced. Material were cheap and easily accessible so it could be manufactured in bulk and sold at a cheaper price than parchment and silk. ( guess the silk traders and animal traders were really happy! )

    However, though the top quaility Xuan paper was cheaper, was still expensive to the poor so other types of paper were invented with other materials and less manufacture processes, making the end product more rougher and less absorbant. Using bad quaility paper causes blotting and strokes look demented as the brush hairs get caught in the particles sticking up from the paper and you get annoying specks of ink flicking everywhere. Parchment is terrible to use for drawing as the ink runs along the surface instead of absorbing and you have to wait for it to dry. Silk is smudges very easily with the slightest of movement.

    Xuan paper is top quality because of its strength, smoothness and absorbancy. Ink needed to sink only into the area the brushes sweeps across so it maintains the elegant form of the calligraphy. The smooth surface allow the brush hairs to glide uninterrupted while painting or writing. Xuan paper is able very durable and the ink sinking deep into its fibres captures the colour and vibrancy for many years. Plus it dries quickly so you can roll up your masterpiece almost immediately and store it for safe-keeping.

    (No, I am not a salesperson for Chinese Xuan paper but feel free to buy some! The prices in China for Xuan paper are crazily expensive! )
    Last edited by charbydis; 11-13-11 at 08:55 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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    Xuan Paper

    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  18. #258
    Senior Member tweety365's Avatar
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    Wow, another great history lesson, Shifu Charby!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tweety365 View Post
    Wow, another great history lesson, Shifu Charby!
    Its all fake!
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by charbydis View Post
    Its all fake!
    Even so, still got me entertained .

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