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The Forbidden City The City Of Disillusionment (幻滅紫禁城) - Page 16
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Thread: The Forbidden City The City Of Disillusionment (幻滅紫禁城)

  1. #301
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see you're still writing. I've been more preoccupied this year. Hope to get some down time and get back to things I value.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

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

  2. #302
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung View Post
    I'm glad to see you're still writing. I've been more preoccupied this year. Hope to get some down time and get back to things I value.
    Hiya SS!

    I have been quite sick this year so have a bit of time to spend when confined to the house due to respiratory problems. Australia has a lto of fresh air, but a hell a lot of pollen in the air. And bushfires are coming soon so the air is going to get even worse. Work has been quite hectic and emotionally challenging recently and it is taking a toll on my immune system. Writing has become an outlet for emotions that I am not allowed to express in work and at home.

    However I am currently stuck in the middle of Chapter 99 where I am trying to depict a graphic duel-to-the-death between two top martial arts practitioners filled with hate, viciousness and intensity but I just cannot get the intense mode when I have two cute pomeranians hovering at my feet, trying to climb up my leg onto my lap or throwing toys at me.

    My sister is getting her balcony fixed so her dogs have no place to play and will be living with me for the next month or so. They are extremely distracting spoilt brats though adorably cute. Baci has learnt how to roll over and Milky always wants to go for a walk. I can't really ignore them because they will start to cry and it breaks my heart. Milky is such a crybaby and Baci wil go on a hunger strike if I don't pet him enough. They are so overly possessive and emotionally sensitive that I cannot even concentrate on writing my author's notes for my chapters. I will probably start posting again when the babies go home though they will be with me on the weekdays.

    I hope you will too find time in your life to do things that you love or take care of people/animals who you love.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  3. #303
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Fifty:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Lung Tin Kwun - Felix Wong Yat Wah
    Chow King Fong - Christine Ng Wing Mei
    Cheung Luk Chung - Cheung Kwok Keung
    Tsui Sing Lau - Lau Dan
    Ma Wing Shing - Lee Kar Ding
    Ngai Bun - Sunny Fong Kong



    The old Chiu Mansion had stood on Cheung Wong Street for decades. It was built during the reign of Emperor Wing Lok, shortly after the completion of the Forbidden City when Beijing was made the new capital. The Chiu family were millionaires but over the years, their business and reputation dwindled and they soon departed from Beijing, leaving behind their great mansion. The mansion had supposedly been bought by a wealthy man as a collectors item. A band of servants kept the house under maintenance. Occasionally, one or two men would have been seen entering from the front gate.

    But tonight was different, all the surrounding neighbours peeped from gaps in their windows at the loud war cries that were coming from within. Fierce looking ruffians armed with weapons stood guard at the gate as the burning fumes from the North Gate filled the air. Mountains of dead bodies lined the North Gate; the ground spattered with fresh and dried blood. It was a horrifying sight, but it was nothing compared to what was inside the mansion.

    The ground level of Chiu Mansion was like every other mansion you could find interconnecting square layouts of the rooms, each around their own courtyard. Rows of blood red roses lay in full bloom throughout the gardens but no one was there to admire their beauty.

    A group of veiled women forced their way into the courtyard of roses and the East Faction guards rushed out of every room and corridor to meet the intrusion of the rescuers. The women released a series of golden spinning projectiles which ricocheted off the metal shields back towards them. The women flipped into the air to avoid the projectiles which embedded into the wooden pillar behind them. As the guards closed in with their shield formation, the women were gathered into the centre of the garden, unable to escape from the tall metal walls that were immune to their swords.

    Suddenly, a beautiful woman somersaulted over the rose bushes and descended gracefully in the centre of the garden. The gentle moonlight was kind to her aging skin and did not enhance the faint wrinkles that had appeared at the ends of her mesmerizing eyes over the last few years. She had a veil over the lower half of her face but from her figure and frame, one could not deny that she was a beauty. A long whisk twirled through the air towards the wooden pillar and with each skein wrapped around the projectiles, a gentle pull from the other end released the projectiles at the guards.

    The tall metal shields were no use against the whisk as each skein sliced cleanly through to clear the path for the oncoming projectiles. The sliced remnants of the shields fell to the ground the same time as their masters, their throats sliced with the fine but deadly petals of the spinning chrysanthemum.

    Suddenly, there was a loud scraping noise and the rose bushes around the courtyards started to move by themselves encircling the women. The veiled beauty scoffed at the moving bushes and screamed Go! to her followers. But as soon as they passed over a bush, a cluster of needles shot up vertically at them, trapping them within.

    Petty tricks! scoffed the veiled beauty as she swung her whisk around the trunk of a few bushes and uprooted it with an upwards pull. The women charged through the opening just as a cloud of fine smoke erupted from the holes in the earth and enclosed around the women. The women closed their eyes and coughed in the smoke which clouded all visibility. The veiled beauty swung her whisk around in an effort to clear the smoke but it was too late.

    Watch out! came a male voice from the side. The veiled beauty quickly turned to his direction where a swishing sound came from.

    A blade with a greenish tinge passed right before her nose. Clang! Clang! Clang! The tip of the blade flicked sideways and interjected several black wooden darts that were inches away from her face. The veil fell into pieces along with the darts.

    The smoke had now cleared and the moonlight shone favourably on the beautys face. The leader of the Nine Chrysanthemum Clan, Mistress Chow King Fong was a well-known beauty in wulin. She was more like a rose than a docile chrysanthemum; beautiful to look at yet one had to beware of her hidden thorns. As she stared at her saviour, there was no gratitude in her eyes, only loathing.

    So you still havent died yet? The King of the Underworld wont let you in? sneered her beared rescuer who knew her too well to expect any gratitude.

    Since the likes of you are not yet dead, why should I go first? she replied smugly.

    Stop it both of you! shouted a stout man who leapt in between them.

    Despite being two of the three major clans, the Nine Chrysanthemum Clan and the Green Mountain Clan were notorious for not getting along and so were their leaders. Peace in wulin would have never been achieved had it not been for the head of the Meteor Clan, Tsui Sing Lau stepping in as a senior to keep them controlled.

    But the bearded man glared at Mistress Chow, Crazy lunatic! he muttered under his breath.

    But Tsui Sing Lau heard him. Cheung Luk Chung! You are a man! Show some gentlemanly manners!
    There was a sudden loud bang and another garrison of guards came running at them.

    Dont you Eastern Faction guards ever run out? cried Cheung Luk Chung as he charged forwards at them.

    The guards did not even last minutes against the leaders of the three major clans. Cheung Luk Chung spun his sword around his wrist like a mini-tornado of green that cut a clear path through black clad guards. Mistress Chow lunged into the guards in a blur of red as they all succumbed to her powerful kicks at their head and chest. No one even got one metre within Tsui Sing Lau as his chain of meteor hammers swung at all enemies within range with deadly accuracy and extreme force.

    Soon, there was only one guard left. Cheung Luk Chung locked his hands behind his back and forced him down on one knee. With one hand on his neck and the blunt side of the sword against the front of his neck, he threatened menacingly, You hound! Tell me where the prisoners are kept or I will break your neck!

    But a long white whisk curled around the sword and pulled it aside. Mistress Chow quickly sped forwards and snatched the captive away. With her hand around his neck, she asked in a firm tone Tell me where Yeung Yat Ching is kept or you will know what it is like to hear your neck bone shatter!

    He is mine! hollered Cheung Luk Chung angrily as he lunged at Mistress Chow who kept him at bay with his sword. Dont think that because you are a woman, I dont dare to lay a hand on you! he reached out and grabbed the man by his shoulder to pull him aside, but she would not let go.

    I dare you to lay a hand on me! I will tell the entire wulin what a hypocrite you are!

    You think I would be scared of your lies? I also know a lot of dirt about you that you dont want the rest of wulin to hear! You want to try me?

    You dare to hit me and you will see how I try!

    You crazy woman!

    You pig of a man!

    Both were too absorbed in their heated argument that none of them noticed the captured guard was pointing a swaying finger at a nearby building as he struggled to breathe as Mistress Chows fingers unknowingly contracted with the fury from the dispute. His shoulder had already shattered from Cheung Luk Chungs tightening grip.

    Stop it both of you! interrupted Tsui Sing Lau as he wrenched the guard away from both of them. The guard fainted from the ordeal with his outstretched hand still pointing at the building.

    Not too far away, Lung Tin Kwun and his brothers searched the other rooms for any remaining guards. They had barely stepped into a large hall when suddenly, the doors closed by themselves and metal gates blocked all doorways and windows. But still not a guard in sight. That made Lung Tin Kwun even more alert. A multitude of arrows shot out from the top of the doorways and windows. There was nowhere to run. There was nowhere to hide.

    All men up onto the beams! he hollered as he leapt up into the air. His men followed obediently. In all the years they had followed him on their missions, he had never failed them.

    Lung Tin Kwuns feet clamped securely around the central beam and hung upside down from the ceiling. With the whole room clear before him, he swung his Wild Dragon Sabre before him that let out continuous bursts of energy that seemed to glow red as they emitted from the wide blade. It was as if fireballs were firing from the engraved dragons open mouth and melted the wooden arrows in mid-air. Sparks flew as the energy hit the metal bars and the deadly contraptions fell useless into the ground.

    Then an echoing voice traversed through the closer doors and into their ears. Righteous Outlaw! I have found the entrance to the prison! Follow my voice! It was Tsui Sing Lau using the rare skill of Thousand Mile Resonation to send his message. Lung Tin Kwun and his men descended onto the ground and kicked down the metal gates effortlessly for their exit.

    The prison cells were kept in an intricate underground compound layered with metal gates and deep narrow connecting corridors that led into darkness. Screams from the prisoners echoed off the walls but none could be seen in the dim light. Even the rescuers could not see properly as the ventured down the sloping passages. Lung Tin Kwun and his men passed torches down to the rest as the first lot of rescuers stepped foot onto the bottom level.

    All of a sudden, the ground caved into a wide crevice and the unfortunate men and women fell to their death. A small number were luckily caught by those who had not yet stepped off the wooden platform. Someone shone threw a torch into the deep pit. There were a few dozen bodies impaled upon the massive numbers of long nails that lay at the bottom.

    A makeshift bridge was quickly made by removing selected planks off the platforms and the remaining rescuers stepped carefully across the narrow bridge, closing their eyes with sadness at their fallen comrades below. Once they reached the other side, they were faced with a four-forked road.

    Everybody! Lets spread out! shouted Lung Tin Kwun, We only have half an hour left to find Yeung Yat Ching before the guards reach us! There will be a lot of traps lying around! Everyone be careful!

    The three major clans each went to explore a different direction whilst Lung Tin Kwun and his brothers came to a large dark hall. Even with their torches, it was hard to see the other end of the hall.

    Breaking in without permission how rude! said a low gruff voice in the dark.

    Who is it? shouted Lung Tin Kwun, waving his torch before him. He held up a hand to signal his men to not take a further step.

    A different voice answered his time. It was a raspy hissing voice. What do you expect from outsiders? They are so uncultured! It sounded as if a large snake was talking.

    Since you have made your presence known to us, why not show your faces instead of hiding in the dark like cowards?

    All of a sudden, a spark flashed at them in the distance and the hall lit up with thin waxed string connected each candle to the next. Two elderly white-haired men were at the other end. One was seated in a large throne while the other seated on a wooden chair beside him. Both were seated before a stone plaque engraved with a large blue character that read East. There was no other door in hall.

    Lung Tin Kwun leaned backwards and whispered to his men, I will take care of these two. Go back outside and save all the prisoners!

    But Big Brother they protested. One glare from Lung Tin Kwan and they obediently left him alone in the room with the two eunuchs.

    Who are you two ancient-looking freaks? Do you have a name or should I just call you ancient-looking freaks? asked Lung Tin Kwun, intending to infuriate them.

    There was no laughing at the other end of the hall.

    Head Commander of East Faction, Ma Wing Shing answered the eunuch upon the throne.

    Commander of the Battalion of Three Thousand Ngai Bun! hissed the other with a sly smile, We have been waiting for you a long time! Lets get started!

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

    This is the point in the story where I choose to deviate from real history so don't blast me about it. The Headquarters of the Eastern Faction is actually an official building within Beijing where everyone openly knows. The Western Faction has one too. But for the purpose of the plot, I have decided to make it more interesting and mysterious by shifting the locations to fabricated ones. As far as I know, there is no Cheung Wong Street in Beijing.
    "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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    Thank you so much for continuing this intriguing story.

  5. #305
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sjohnb View Post
    Thank you so much for continuing this intriguing story.
    Thanks for posting a comment and letting me know that someone is reading. Gosh! There were times where I wanted to give up and delete the thread because no one was reading. Your comment is like the candlelight on a dark night, encouraging me to continue the story.
    "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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    Thank you for your kind words. I am a big fan of your writing and just wish you'd update more often. Please don't give up on this incredibly well researched and written story!

  7. #307
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Fifty-One:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Duen Mo Ngai - Lawrence Yan Chi Keung
    Kuk Yuen Yau - Lelia Tong Ning



    Kuk Yuen Yaus feet lifted off the ground as Duen Mo Ngai pulled her along the underground corridor. She felt totally weightless as if she was flying through the air, and the wind blowing her long black hair behind her like a trail.

    Duen Mo Ngai was an erratic man but did not seem dangerous or abusive to her. There was a certain warmth and security when with him; maybe it was the loving way he gazed at her as if she was someone else. The Wandering Swordsman Duen Mo Ngai was a total stranger to her, but maybe she had known about him sometime before. She had always tried to deny it but since this meeting, there was no doubt about Duen Mo Ngais true identity. His age, his words and actions all fitted perfectly together.

    You are Yim Lai Yin, arent you? she asked loudly. The muffled sounds of fighting were getting louder and louder as they moved through the corridors.

    Duen Mo Ngai suddenly stopped in his tracks and spun around to face her. Ngok Yee, you finally remember who I am! he gasped with joy.

    He was indeed Yim Lai Yin, the lover of her late aunt, Yuen Ngok, who was none other the author of the letter in the scroll. He had waited forty years to find her again yet she had long left the world. Who can blame his moments of delusion when faced with a reflection of the object of many years of painful separation?

    Kuk Yuen Yau could not bear to ruin the last ounces of hope in his voice but it was no use pretending. Foolish acts of kindness will only lead to even more pain. Taking a deep breath, she said calmly, I am sorry, I really am not Yuen Ngok. But I know about your past together!

    He still didnt believe her. How can you not be Ngok Yee? You even look similar! You are Ngok Yee! he protested as he slowly circled her in his steps. The more he looked, the more resemblance he noticed. He reached out a hand to caress her face.

    Kuk Yuen Yau shunned away from him. We look similar, but not identical. I am her niece, Kuk Yuen Yau! It is not uncommon for family to have similar facial features. My aunt had already passed away thirty years ago. I am not her. Even if she was still alive, she would not be as young as me!

    Her sincere words seemed to reach him amidst the depths of his self-willing delusions. Ngok Yee is really dead? Never to return? he asked warily. His eyes gazed at her pleadingly as if begging her to say otherwise. But Kuk Yuen Yau nodded.

    Duen Mo Ngai touched his greying hair and beard, and then looked at the youthful and radiant Kuk Yuen Yau. He was already entering his sixties yet she had not even passed her twenties. As he started to settle back into reality, the closer he looked, the more realised their differences and less their similarities. She could not be his lover. He shut his eyes and tears of despair streamed down his face at the realisation that the last remnants of hope had slipped through his hands. The departed would never return to his side. She felt sorry for him.

    You really do look like her! he said weakly as he got out the precious scroll from belt and unrolled it before her.

    The paper had yellowed with time and was full of creases. Tiny specks of dirt had settled into the texture of the paper. He had always kept it by his side as he travelled the nation. The painting was done in blank ink, devoid of any colours but the mastery of the brushwork was still evident. The whole image was so lifelike, as if there really was a young maiden eternally frozen in time in the middle of her dance.

    Her subtle smile was like the first shards of spring warmth after a long cold winter. But yet, her whole image was so ethereal and captivating. Her facial features were gentle and graceful, and her eyes especially stood out which seemed to twinkle at all who looked into them. Her long dark hair flowed down over her shoulders like a tranquil waterfall draped elegantly over a mountain range. A long white sash twirled around her slender frame and her billowing sleeves seemed to swirl around her in the air as if feathery clouds in the sky. So this was Yuen Ngok!

    Kuk Yuen Yau noticed that they both had the small and delicate frame. Even their smiles were similar. But her own eyes were round and doe-like whereas her aunt had an enchanting pair of phoenix eyes,

    Duen Mo Ngai closed his eyes as he recalled her sweet face. All who saw her would never forget her! She is like the fresh blossoms of spring. Even though she is long gone, her sweet fragrance lingers! Then he suddenly opened his eyes and looked at Kuk Yuen Yau. Did you say you knew of our past together?

    Kuk Yuen Yau nodded and unrolled her own scroll for him to see. I found this in my aunts room back in the ancestral home in Yangzhou. I had only thought of it as a normal painting until recently. Inside the fabric backing, she hid a brief letter stating the events of your separation.

    As the two scrolls lay side by side, the similarities between the brushwork was immediately evident. Even the red square stamp from the artist was printed in the bottom right corner was exactly identical. At the bottom of the painting, there was a date Yangzhou, 1st Feburary, 1st Year of Shing Fa. Kuk Yuen Yau remembered that the letter was written in March of the same year. The painting was done just over month before she had written the heartbreaking letter. Kuk Yuen Yau felt a tinge of sadness as she thought of what her aunt would feel if she knew that her lover had waited for her all these years yet come to such an ending. Would it be joy, sorrow or utmost regret?

    Duen Mo Ngai stared fixated at the two scrolls. Then out of the blue, he asked, How did we meet?

    What? cried Kuk Yuen Yau in surprise. She thought she heard wrong.

    Duen Mo Ngai repeated his question and seeing her astounded expression, he then explained. Forty years ago, I sustained severe head trauma when I fell off a cliff and awoke with no memories. I have no recollection of our past together but her smiling face appeared before me every now and then! For many years, I never knew who she was and only thought of her as a figment of my imagination. But each time I saw her face, I felt the warmth and familiarity rise within me. Then one day until I found this painting, then patches of my memories started to come back to me.

    Wait a minute. interrupted Kuk Yuen Yau, If you have no recollection of the past, how did you find out who she was and who you were?

    Duen Mo Ngai gave a wry laugh and pointed to the writing at the bottom of the painting. I knew my name was Yim Lai Yin from the stamp so I went to Yangzhou to investigate my past. But twenty or so years had passed by that time and no one really remembered much but the sight of these familiar surroundings triggered part of my memory. I managed to find my house which was abandoned and in ruins. All my servants had left long ago. There had been several outbreaks of plague in Yangzhou since then and not many people who would have known me survived the ordeal. It was as if Yim Lai Yin had never existed in Yangzhou."

    He breathed deeply and continued. "I also remembered Ngok Yee and went to the Yuen Household but everyone had already moved to Beijing to advance their political careers. The whole house was empty except for a few servants who had no idea who I was. I managed to find out that Ngok Yee entered the Imperial Palace as a Noble Consort but I was seven years too late. She had already passed away. From then onwards, I roamed the wulin realm as Duen Mo Ngai hoping to forget my regret but time only made it dig deeper in my heart.

    Kuk Yuen Yau came to a realisation. Is that why you live as Duen Mo Ngai nowadays instead of Yim Lai Yin?

    He laughed bitterly at her question. I am more Duen Mo Ngai than I am Yim Lai Yin. I have only brief and limited knowledge of Yim Lai Yin. How can I be someone that I do not know of? Duen Mo Ngai is a name that someone gave me after my amnesia. Maybe deep down, I hope that living as another identity would make the pain less real.

    Kuk Yuen Yau took both paintings and carefully rolled them back into a scroll. My aunt shares the same regret. She agreed to enter the Imperial Palace to keep you safe. But I think that if she were still here today, she would be happy to see you alive and safe! Senior Duen, cherish your life and her sacrifice by living happy and contented.

    Duen Mo Ngai looked up to the ceiling of the corridor as if he was looking right through it at the stars in the skies. I have passed by Beijing many times before but did not have the courage to visit Ngok Yee at her tomb. Tonight, I had originally planned to enter her tomb and visit her. Even the sight of her white bones or a pile of ashes would relieve me of the suppressed longing in my heart. But instead, one thing led to another and I was somehow led to you! When I first saw you, I originally thought that the Heavens were merciful and let Ngok Yee come back to me but his voice trailed off.

    Dont think too much about it, Senior Duen. If my aunt knew that your love for her lasted for long, she would be very comforted. consoled Kuk Yuen Yau.

    Taking a deep breath, he asked, How much do you know about my past?

    Not much! My aunt says that my grandfather forced you two apart so she can marry into the Imperial Palace and bring honour to the Yuen Clan. You attempted to elope but were caught and separated. You never met again and I know no more of what happened next. Again, his hopes were dashed.

    Kuk Yuen Yau suddenly knelt down before him and Duen Mo Ngai was caught by surprise. What are you doing? he exclaimed.

    Kuk Yuen Yau lowered her head and tears of shame dripped out of her eyes. The Yuen Family owes you for the suffering you have been though. Nothing can excuse their actions but I hope you would accept my apologies on behalf of my family!

    Duen Mo Ngai breathed a deep sigh. The past is the past. What is there to forgive? I have no hatred for your family because it is the family that Ngok Yee loved. I can only blame the Heavens for our fate! Get up now!

    But Kuk Yuen Yau was insistent and remained kneeling. Nothing can excuse the actions of my family but I beg you to do something for me; something that is very unreasonable.

    What is it? You are Ngok Yees niece and therefore also my niece. I would do anything for you.

    She hesitated. How can she ask the man to do such a thing? But she must.

    Just say it! he pressured. His tone was firm but not angry.

    Kuk Yuen Yau looked up at him with tears shining in her eyes and exclaimed, I beg of you to save my family!

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

    You can often find a red square or rectangular stamp of writing in the corner of a chinese painting or piece of calligraphy. This red seal is like the ancient version of a signature of the artist. To actually write a name in black ink can damage the overall look of a painting so a red stamp is used instead so it is easy to find and will not be confused as part of the actual artwork. But the placement of the red stamp is to never interfere or overlap with the lines of the artwork. But the placement of the red stamp is to never interfere or overlap with the lines of the artwork.

    The ink of the stamp comes from a mixture of cinnabar powder (mercury sulphite) and water (which is poisonous by the way ). Its bright red colour will allow it to stand out from a coloured painting so it can be easily identified and not be mistaken as part of the painting. Chinese paints do not like leaving large blank areas so they will often fill it with one or more red stamps to even out the usage of paper. For black and white paintings, the bright red stamp will bring out the contrast of the central object whereas for coloured paintings, it can enhance different colours used.

    The stamps are made by carving some words onto a square seal, usually made of either wood, metal, stone, or in some cases, ivory. The words can either be a simple carving of the artist's name or courtesy name (pen-name by educated males) or have simple pictures along with the official title of artists.

    An artist will rarely use the same seal for the whole of their lives as one, the seal is not durable to last so long, and secondly, the mindset will change as status and age changes and what they want to be represented by to future generations will also change. Some artists like to carve their own seals at home if they have a lot of patients and a very steady hand (please close your door firmly if you decide to do this! Your parents do not need to hear the bombardment of expletives from your mouth as your hand shakes!) Lots of artists carve their personal seals but there are also carvers who will do it for you as well. The handle of the seal is usually engraved with animals for decorative or superstitious reasons.

    In China, a lot of people are still attached to these red stamps. Apart from the chinese painters, more and more people are scanning in their seal and using it as an electronic signature for their emails. I have received some letters where the seal is used as part of the letterhead. You can get one made cheaply at some markets for under $10. Or some precious stone shops also offer jade seals for a hefty price (laser cutting).


    Last edited by charbydis; 10-13-13 at 04:38 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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    Thank you for the quick update, Charbydis. This is an intriguing story and thanks for all the research you put into it. Your notes also help add clarity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sjohnb View Post
    Thank you for the quick update, Charbydis. This is an intriguing story and thanks for all the research you put into it. Your notes also help add clarity.
    Thanks for the quick reply. Thank you reading my notes. I just find that sometimes footnotes can be used to clarify certain hidden meanings or cultural significance that will look too strange if included into the main text. I have written up to Chapter 110 now, close to the end of the first book. I hope you stay with this thread till then.
    "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 Fifty-Two:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:


    Yeung Ming Hung - Kenneth Ma Kwok Ming
    Yeung Ming Guk - Ruco Chan Chin Pang
    Chan Hong - Derek Kwok Jing Hung
    Suen Nga Yin - Natalie Tong Sze Wing
    Guk Dai Yung - Waise Lee Chi Hung
    Siu Kei Chi - Sammul Chan Kin Fung
    Duen Muk Chung - Kenny Wong Dak Ban
    Yuen Ho - Ngo Ka Nin
    Duen Mo Ngai - Lawrence Yan Chi Keung



    The gentle branches of the tall cypress trees swayed gently in the night breeze of Beijing, showering a handful of fresh leaves all around the tranquil Royal Ancestral Shrine. It was solemn place for it held the spirit tablets of all the deceased members of the Ming Dynasty Royal Family. Rows of large spirit tablets were lined neatly across the hall, position in order of rank and contribution to the Ming Empire. While their bodies lay guarded in the tombs of the Royal Mausoleum, their spirits supposedly laid wait within the wooden spirit tablets for their appointed offerings by descendants at certain festivals. On normal days, the Royal Ancestral Shrine was peaceful all until tonight.

    The cypress branches suddenly shook violently as the earth grumbled beneath them. The beautiful golden engravings on the walls and beams started to crumble and the whole yellow-tiled roof would have caved in had it not been for the sturdy sandalwood pillars holding up the whole structure. The rows of spirit tablets slid and toppled off their shelves as the tiles on the floor cracked into tiny fragments much to the terror and worry of the caretakers. Most of them had guarded the shrine for many decades, but little did they know that the Royal Ancestral Shrine was more than just a shrine. The dark secret lay underneath layers of stone and dirt which deadened the terrifying screams of pains within the underground chambers.

    A group of men ran through a dimly-light corridor lined at both sides with a long body of water contained by a low brick wall barely reaching the knees of a full grown man. The water flowed in and out from an underground spring, keeping it crystal clear at all times. But now littered with dead bodies, stains of red polluted its pure appearance.

    Keep up, Ming Guk! shouted Chan Hong at the head of the group, one hand holding a torch and one hand holding his blood-stained sabre, Quit the sight-seeing for now! We only have about half an hour left!

    Im coming, Brother Chan! called out Yeung Ming Guk sprinting from behind and finally catching up. I cant believe that those eunuchs have the guts to build this here! If you hadnt told me, I would have never guessed that the Headquarters of the Western Faction was directly under the Royal Ancestral Shrine!

    Well, people who have Yin or Yang imbalance tend to think outside the box! Take Wan Sheung for an example! cut in Yeung Ming Hung who was running behind them with some other men who were chuckling at the thought.

    Brother Chan, do you think that we will find General Yeung here? What if he is not here? Would all our efforts to break into the cells have been wasted? asked Suen Nga Yin.

    Chan Hong shrugged. Those eunuchs appear united but they are like scattered pebbles within. They will most certainly fight over a prize like General Yeung and definitely wont share his custody! Now that we have split into two halves, either Big Brother will find them in the Eastern Faction or we will find him ahead in the Western Faction!

    Turning to Suen Nga Yin, Yeung Ming Hung explained, It does not matter whether Uncle is not here. Uncle Lung will surely save him! Many righteous and loyal Ming subjects are kept here in the prisons for unlawful interrogation. Even if we can save only one of them, our efforts would not have been wasted!

    Yeung Ming Guk looked around suspiciously. Wait a minute! How come there are no more guards coming? Something was wrong. And it was. All of a sudden, ripples appeared in the pools of water at the sides of the corridor and out shot continuous streams of arrows.

    Run! shouted all four of them in unison as they broke into a heated sprint along the length of the corridor, trying their best to block and avoid the deadly arrows. But the release of projectiles seemed to be endless as cries of pain came from behind them. Men had fallen but their groans meant that they were still alive.

    Everyone on the floor at once! ordered Yeung Ming Hung as he dove onto the cold hard surface, pinning down Suen Nga Yin beneath him with one arm. Everyone followed his instruction as the hardwood arrows flew harmlessly over them like a small arched ceiling. The small brick wall protected them from the onslaught. Is everyone alright?

    Yeah! came a few muffled groans from behind.

    Chan Hongs voice yelled over the whooshing sounds of the moving arrows. Are we to stay like this forever?

    No! answered Yeung Ming Hung, quickly analysing their surroundings, We will now crawl ahead! Take care to stay down low beneath the height of the brick walls! Come on men! We can all do this! And down on all fours, the rescuers crawled through the corridor to reach the end.

    What a wonderful sight to see these bits of garbage crawling around like turtles at our feet! came a mocking voice, And I thought all men from the Yeung Family Army were upstanding heroes!

    The sounds of airborne arrows stopped immediately and Chan Hong got onto his feet and looked right at the three eunuchs. Brushing the dirt off his knees and hand, he joked, Better turtles than castrated dogs!

    The broad eunuch standing to the right got mad immediately. Who are you calling castrated dog?

    The eunuch standing in the middle was the oldest out of all three. He did not get angry at the comment. After enduring so many years as a eunuch, he had long grown indifferent to the insulting comments made by outsiders. Now as the Head-Commander of the Western faction, he knew other ways to exact revenge than argue. With a smile, Guk Dai Yung replied, Better castrated dogs than self-righteous fools about to die!

    The youngest eunuch stood to his left kept silent. Even in the dim light, Suen Nga Yin recognised his chiselled facial features. The young eunuch looked at her with an innocent smile and gave her a slight nod of the head. He could have easily disclosed her identity as a fugitive but he didnt. The other eunuchs didnt seem to know her. There was a large metal door behind where the eunuchs stood. There was large lock on it. The rescuers all exchanged glances. This must be where the prisoners were kept.

    Still better than being castrated dogs about to die! cried Yeung Ming Guk stepping up next to Chan Hong.

    Yeung Ming Hung brandished his gleaming golden spear at them. This is the final warning! Release my uncle or suffer the consequences!

    Guk Dai Yung laughed and clapped his hands. Thirty Western Faction guards rushed from the side doors and stood before them in a neat line with weapons in their hands. Why dont I not release your uncle and you suffer my consequences? and with that, he leapt over the line of guards and lunged at Yeung Ming Hung.

    The attack prompted the two sides to engage in a heated battle. Yeung Ming Hung spun to the side just in time to evade the sneaky attack of Guk Dai Yungs metal whip. Though no thicker than a mans finger, the long body of the metal whip cut through the stone tiles as it hit the floor with great force. The whip lashed backwards in the air and curled back after its target. When the metal whip clashed with the golden spear, bright sparks sprayed across the hall where the others were fighting.

    Suen Nga Yin and the members of the Yeung Family Army held off the thirty eunuch guards whereas Chan Hong found himself face to face with the muscular Duen Muk Chung. Chan Hong was too dynamic a fighter to be deterred by his slow-moving opponent.

    Delivering continuous stabs and slices with his sabre as he moved round and round the eunuch, Chan Hong would have easily dispatched him had it not been for the metal pieces sewn onto the inside of his uniform. His sleeves were immune to the blade of the sabre and the knuckle braces he was wearing made each punch and palm twice as painful.

    Let me help you, Second Brother! came a young voice as a young man leapt out and kicked Duen Muk Chung in the back whilst in mid-air. Protected by his muscles and weight, Duen Muk Chung only staggered a mere step forwards.
    Yuen Ho landed beside some eunuch guards and began to valiantly slaughter them with his new skills, shouting wildly I want to kill all of you eunuchs! Come out to your deaths!

    Whos this? cried Yeung Ming Guk as he cut through the crowd while exchanging blows with Siu Kei Chi. Siu Kei Chi was as flexible as a snake and his palm attacks were well-placed. But Yeung Ming Guk had taken Duen Mo Ngais advice to heart and knew how to limit the position of his enemy with his sword energy. Siu Kei Chi was forced back and brushed against the back of Chan Hong before attacking from another position.

    Holding off his opponent, Chan Hong replied with a laugh, Hes a little rascal we adopted since we last met! Born to be a bandit! Then his brows knitted together with worry as Guk Dai Yung began to gain on Yeung Ming Hung in the distance.

    Yeung Ming Hung was a brave and skilled fighter but Guk Dai Yung was at least twice his age and thrice his combat experience.

    Yeung Yat Ching taught his students to fight with honour and openness yet Guk Dai Yung survived by accuracy, deception and power. He was taught to prey on the enemys weaknesses and deliver merciless attacks at it until the enemy fell. Being with weaker internal energy, Yeung Ming Hung was restrained with each attack as whip lashed out destruction all around him.

    Chan Hong somersaulted up into the air by stepping on Duen Muk Chungs shoulder and gathering up all his internal energy, he concentrated his power all onto one strike. At once, a long crack divided the stone ceiling into two halves. However, it did not collapse due to the strong pillars erected at the construction of this secret hall. But large chunks of jagged rocks did fall and everyone immediately cleared out from underneath.

    As soon as the clouds of dust and shattered rock settled the fighting resumed. Only then did Yeung Ming Guk suddenly notice that Siu Kei Chi was nowhere to be seen.

    Take over, Ho! shouted Chan Hong as he left his opponent to join the fight against Guk Dai Yung.

    The metal whip slithered in the air like an air-borne serpent striking at his prey. Chan Hong clamped the whip against the wall with his sabre and slid his blade towards the whip handle with flying sparks. Yeung Ming Hung lunged at him with a golden blur before him. But quicker than they imagined, Guk Dai Yung curled the fingers of his left hand into the shape of a snakes head and stabbed at his throat. Yeung Ming Hung moved his spear to block it but was locked as Guk Dai Yung wrapped his arm around it. He tried to attack with his other hand but Guk Dai Yung blocked with a series of high kicks. With his right hand, he pulled backwards and the metal whip slid smoothly from under the sabre.

    Beware of his fingernails! shouted Yeung Ming Guk as he dived in front of his brother. Guk Dai Yungs hand has slithered around and up the spear handle and was about to strike. Yeung Ming Guks chest seared with burning pain as a long red stain appeared. Guk Dai Yung retracted his sharp fingernails as Yeung Ming Guks sliced his sword upwards, and he concentrated on dealing with Chan Hong.

    All three men fought against the Head Commander of the Western Faction and only then was it a tie. Guk Dai Yung sneered as the brothers attacked both his upper and lower body simultaneously whilst Chan Hong aimed for his head. Three against one - what fairness!

    A voice suddenly echoed around the large hall through all the tunnels. How about a one-on-one between you and me? And Duen Mo Ngai appeared at one of the side doors.

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



    The Royal Ancestral Shrine or "Tai Miao" (太廟), meaning "grand shrine" is the building where the royal family paid their respects to their ancestors on special ceremonial events. Built just left of the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing, it is not to be confused with the Royal Mausoleum, north of Beijing, where the tombs of the imperial family are located.

    Built of a similar symmetrical design to the Inner Halls of the Forbidden City when Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty redesigned the capital city, the Royal Ancestral Shrine is separated into three halls of different uses.

    The first hall is the Ceremonial Hall where the Emperor and important royal members gather to offer incense and food offerings to past Emperors for good luck and supernatural protection over the family and the country. This hall is the tallest of the three and is actually taller than the Hall of Supreme Harmony within the Forbidden City where the Emperor holds Imperial Court, showing eternal respect from the Emperor to his ancestors. It walls and pillars are well decorated with gold foil amongst intricate flowery engravings.

    The middle hall is the Resting Hall where the spirit tablets of ancestors with title given after the Qing Dynasty was established are usually kept along with a collection of objects that once belonged to the ancestors and held special meaning to them, such as weapons, edicts, paintings, calligraphy, pillows, music instruments, etc ... These are kept for commemorative purposes to remind the descendants of how daily life was for the ancestors. Here, worship is carried out for female members of the Royal family with prestigious titles such as past Empresses and Empress Dowagers or high-ranked Princesses.

    The final hall is the Inner Hall where the spirit tablets of ancestors with lesser-ranked royals are kept, e.g. princes, royal cousins, etc... Not much is known about this hall. But if a member of the royal family has committed treason, they lose the right to have their spirit tablets stored here, and depending on the severity of the crime, sometimes the spirit tablets of their direct ancestors have to be removed as well.

    Other than that there are two separate rooms to the side of the Ceremonial Hall which stores the spirits tablets of people not related to the royal family at all, but have earned their position to receive worship due to their sacrifice for their countries, such as important generals which died in war.

    As said before, the Royal Ancestral Shrine was designed and built along with the Forbidden City when Emperor Yongle shifted the Capital from Jin Ling (aka Nan Jing) after he ousted his nephew Emperor Jianwen from the throne. According to tradition from "The Rites of Zhou", he had to build the ancestral shrine left of the family's lodgings. When the Manchurians invaded in 1644, the Qings adopted this tradition and the Royal Ancestral Shrine for their own use.

    After the Cultural Revolution, the building was converted into a education and leisure centre which is open to the public. There are many multicultural performances and activities held there on certain festivals. It is now known as the "Beijing Working Peoples Cultural Palace".
    Last edited by charbydis; 08-25-14 at 09:11 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  11. #311
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    Thank you for another update. I'm not going to read this until you have more chapters posted. I like reading this story and crave more, so I'll make sure to wait for you to add more. I'll start from the beginning again and hopefully by the time I get to ch 52 there'll be more.

  12. #312
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Fifty-Three:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Duen Mo Ngai - Lawrence Yan Chi Keung
    Yeung Ming Hung - Kenneth Ma Kwok Ming
    Yeung Ming Guk - Ruco Chan Chin Pang
    Yuen Ho - Pierre Ngo Ka Nin
    Siu Kei Chi - Sammul Chan Kin Fung
    Kuk Yuen Yau - Lelia Tong Ning
    Suen Nga Yin - Natalie Tong Sze Wing
    Guk Dai Yung - Waise Lee Chi Hung
    Lung Tin Kwun - Felix Wong Yat Wah
    Ngai Bun - Sunny Fong Kong
    Ma Wing Shing - Lee Kar Ding
    Yeung Yat Ching - Michael Miu Kiu Wai


    Senior! cried the Yeung brothers at once. Suen Nga Yin kept silent and looked at him apprehensively.

    Duen Mo Ngai propelled himself at Guk Dai Yung with a kick off the wall and withdrew his gleaming blade, exuding a bloodthirsty aura. The minute Guk Dai Yung set eyes on the Blade of the Peerless Moon he knew he was in trouble. The others backed away as Guk Dai Yung ripped the heavy throne from its roots and hurled it at the newcomer. The throne split cleanly into two halves even before it came into contact with the blade, just in time for Duen Mo Ngai to see the tip of the metal tip shooting towards him. Duen Mo Ngai cocked his head to one side to avoid being licked by the deadly weapon and delivered a series of attacks from multiple directions. His speed was so fast that it seemed if there were four men attacking at Guk Dai Yung at the same time.

    Beads of sweats rolled down Guk Dai Yung as he found it harder and harder to control the movement of the whip. Each time he tried to launch it into attack, Duen Mo Ngai would intercept the momentum and redirect it before it could reach the whole body of the whip.

    All eyes were glued on the duel; hardly anyone had noticed that an extra person had entered the room. But one did.
    The girls hugged each other tightly. Nga Yin! You are still alive! cried Kuk Yuen Yau.

    Yuen Ho could not believe his eyes, crying out with disbelief, Yuen Yau!

    Is that you? exclaimed Kuk Yuen Yau. Duen Mo Ngai did not stop his strikes but kept one eye on the cousins as they embraced.

    Yuen Yau, I thought that since you entered the Forbidden City, we would never meet again!

    Kuk Yuen Yau wiped away tears of joy as she replied, Me too! When I heard that the whole Yuen family had been arrested, I and could not finish her sentence.

    There, there! comforted Yuen Ho as he wrapped an arm around his sobbing cousin. Unless their family members were still alive, all they had from now on was each other.

    Get away from her, you pervert! shouted Duen Mo Ngai with rage.

    Yuen Ho stared at him dumbfounded as Kuk Yuen Yau quickly explained, You have misunderstood, Senior Duen! He is my cousin!

    Duen Mo Ngai was only distracted from for just a few seconds but that was all it took for Guk Dai Yung, Duen Muk Chung and the Western Faction guards to exchange a few silent glances. All at once, they pounced at Duen Mo Ngai and attacked. This gave the opportunity for Guk Dai Yung to retract his whip free from his range as he somersaulted into the air and slashed down.

    Seeing him in danger, the others attempted to rush to his aid but were halted by a loud holler. Stay back! shouted Duen Mo Ngai and they quickly saw why. An invisible sphere of internal energy formed around Duen Mo Ngai, protecting him from oncoming weapons. But those who stood close to him who trapped by the invisible force field, unable to advance yet unable to retreat as their arm and weapons were stuck within. Creating a force field was a rare skill in the wulin realm as it required a large reserve of internal energy. Yeung Ming Guk had never seen one before and he was mesmerized by the faint spheric outline caused by falling dust and dirt from the broken ceiling.

    There is no time left! shouted Duen Mo Ngai, his voice distorted as it travelled through the force field, I can handle these lackeys! You go and find Yeung Yat Ching! Hurry! All eyes were all on the large metal door.

    Guk Dai Yung flicked his eyes towards them and shouted nervously, Yeung Yat Ching is not in there! But no one listened. With a simple twist of his golden spear, the lock fell to pieces and they all rushed in.

    There were rows of cages everywhere with narrow aisles in between them. Flailing arms reached out from within the bars as the rescuers rushed passed, scanning each cage for Yeung Yat Ching. Yuen Ho and Kuk Yuen Yau dashed around, scanning for any faces of their loved ones.

    General Yeung is not here! cried out the men as they scouted the place.

    Yeung Ming Hung could not help but be disappointed, but he also saw the desperate looks on the dirty prisoners reaching out to them. Men! Break these people out! And they hurriedly chopped at the locks and pulled the prisoners out.

    Look! shouted Suen Nga Yin, pointing to the distance where there was another metal door, We havent check inside there yet! As they got closer, sounds of water flowing and faint moaning could be heard.

    The lock was quickly broken and they barged through into a pitch dark room. As soon as the torch was brought in, they were shocked at what they saw. There was a group of people huddled together for warmth in the cold room. Their clothes were dirty and bloody as matted hair hung over their woeful faces. Thick chains of metal shackled them to the length of the brick walls. The Yeung brothers saw another metal door and rushed straight at it. This one was double the thickness of the others and the multiple locks across its length were twice as large. Someone important must be kept in here - someone important to Lau Gan.

    Back at the Headquarters of the Eastern Faction, Lung Tin Kwan single-handedly held off the Ma Wing Shing and Ngai Bun whilst the Brotherhood of the Heavenly Dragons was busy pulling people out of their cramped cells. It was a difficult task to take on two advanced fighters at the same time, especially when both fought with different styles. Using a long soft whisk as a weapon, Ma Wing Shing had the advantage when their weapons clashed so it would just flop down when impacted with a powerful force. On the other hand, Ngai Bun chose to use a silver alloy cane which was strong and sturdy against the Wild Dragon Sabre. Lung Tin Kwun had to accommodate for two fighting styles alternately and interchange at will when faced simultaneous attacks. They had soon exchanged over two hundred stances.

    Hey Righteous Outlaw! shouted Ma Wing Shing as his whisk swished past, Since you are in your forties and still unmarried, why dont you join the Eastern Faction? We can call you Siu Lung Chi!

    Rubbish! hollered Lung Ting Kwan and he delivered a high kick at the offending eunuch.

    Siu Lung Chi! hissed Ngai Bun, elongating the words as he brushed past, I like the sound of that! You can take Yau Juis place in the Eight Tigers! We can play together! I dont think he would mind! Ngai Buns already proptosed goldfish-like eyes bulged even more with excitement.

    Lung Ting Kwun was furious. Well, in that case, I am going to start calling you Siu Bun Bun and I hope you like the sound of this! and with that, he released the Wild Dragon Sabre into the air. The sabre spun around horizontally in the air like a boomerang as it whirled about the two eunuchs persistently with attacks of its own mind. As it whizzed through the air at high speeds, the sabre handle emitted a deafening continuous roar like the call of a wild dragon that resonated around in the enclosed hall and down their ear canals.

    Lung Tin Kwun palmed them both in the abdomen as they clasped their hands over their ears with pain and they keeled over.

    Reclaiming his weapon with an outstretched hand, the roaring stopped and the eunuchs stopped writhing on the ground. Siu Lung Chi likes to play roaring with Siu Bun Bun! If you cant take it, then guess I am not welcome in the Eight Tigers anymore!

    What? Big Brother wants to join the Eight Tigers! came an astonished cry from the doorway as his brothers had returned.

    Lung Tin Kwun turned around with a smile. Yes. I will be called Siu Lung Chi now and you all have to become eunuchs too!

    No way! cried the men with a look of disgust upon their faces.

    Well, you did all swear to follow me to the ends of the earth until death! he pointed out, Why not follow me into to the Forbidden City? The men stared at him blankly as Lung Tin Kwun could hold it in no more and let out a loud hearty laugh.

    Watch out, Big Brother! called one of them, but Lung Tin Kwun had already caught sight of what was going on.

    Ngai Bun pressed on a secret button on his engraved cane which released an inner hidden dagger with one pull of the handle and stabbed at Lung Tin Kwun. Lung Tin Kwun caught his hand between his wrists and twisted to force him to release his weapon. But Ngai Bun did not let go. As soon as the dagger was near enough to Lung Tin Kwuns face, he pressed another button which let loose a burst of green powder. Lung Tin Kwun immediately held his breath as not to inhale the powder and quickly let go of his captive. The fibres of a whisk hit him in the chest and he stepped back, losing sight of the two eunuchs in the cloud of green powder.

    Big Brother! Are you alright? asked his men with concern when the powder cleared.

    Lung Tin Kwun nodded as he rubbed his chest. Where did the two freaks go?

    They just disappeared into thin air! They must be eunuch ghosts! exclaimed one of the men with astonishment.

    Nonsense! snapped Lung Tin Kwun, examining around the walls of the hall for any signs of trapdoors. He knew well enough that men do not just plainly vanish into thin air. As he bent down low onto the floor to examine any strange markings or stains, a dart flew out at him from behind.

    Lung Tin Kwun caught it with one hand and examined it. It was made of a dark hardwood. He turned to the direction he thought the dart came from and examined the wall there. The wall and floor seemed normal but then he saw it - thin skeins of fibre from Ma Wing Shings whisk were caught in the doorway. Quickly pressing on all the bricks on the wall with both hands, he somehow found the key to the secret room. The concealed stone doorway caught him as it spun around and before he knew it, he was already on the other side of the wall.

    Before him was a narrow corridor which he decided to follow, until he came to a forked path. Which side should he take? Skeins of white fibres could be seen on the floor leading to the right path. The two eunuchs must have escaped through the right path. He was just about to take the right path when another dart came at him from behind. It came from the left path. Lung Tin Kwun could hear someone breathing from within.

    Who is the coward hiding in the shadows? He called out. The question repeated itself as it echoed through the corridors.

    If you want to find Yeung Yat Ching, follow me! came an echoing voice and another dart flew out at him.

    Lung Tin Kwun quickly followed but the other person was faster. Lung Tin Kwun did not use his Lightness Skills since he did not know what was ahead. It was safer to go by foot. He tried to talk to the mysterious man as he was led into a winding maze of corridors but the man did not talk back. After a few minutes, he turned the corner just to see a black clad man disappear through a secret doorway in the wall. He rushed at the wall trying to find the key by patting the bricks but to no avail.

    Its no use! cried a calm familiar voice to his left. He turned his head but no one was there. However, he saw the dark impaled on the base of a candle holder on the wall. With the tip of his sabre, he knocked it to the side and immediately, a stone door slid upwards and revealed a chained man inside.

    Looking through gaps between his dishevelled hair, Yeung Yat Ching repeated calmly, It is no use, Old Friend! I will not leave with you!

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

    The cane (鐧 "jian") is a medium-length blunt metallic weapon that relies on its strength and resilience to block and defend against sharp weapons like swords, sabres and spears. It is thin yet made of solid metal so it can counter much thicker or heavier weapons due to its simple sturdy structure. Most blades just slide off its smooth surface.

    As an attacking weapon, it is not long so you can move quite quickly around opponents. It is not too short that you have to move quite close to the opponent and increase the risk of getting hit. It usually as a grip handle but both sides can be used in an attack. Some historical characters are known to use double canes which is rumoured to break armour (or basically the blunt force from a cane can transfer through armour whereas blade might slide of the lamellar plates sewn into the armour).

    Use of the weapon relies on quick yet accurate strikes to vital crippling body parts. It is quite painful to be hit by a solid metal cane, especially if you get hit on an acupressure point. It is not uncommon for bone fractures to occur if struck with a cane so it is quite effective if quickly disabling an opponent by burdening them with a broken arm or leg during a hit. Applying the same theory, you might be able to break weapons with one powerful carefully planned hit.

    Socially, the cane is symbol of righteousness, often presented by the Emperor to loyal officials so they can carry it around and beat corrupt officials if they wished to. (e.g. Detective Dee's weapon in the Andy Lau version which can find every weapon's fracture point and shatter it). But I ran out of weapons when assigning weapons for the eunuchs so Ngai Bun is stuck with the cane.

    During my research, I found that the cane was also translated as a mace or a sword breaker ( ). I see a mace as a club with a spike end and sword breaker just sounds confusing so I will just use cane for this story.

    This is a modern version of the cane.


    I love Andy Lau so you lot focus on the cane while I focus on the guy!

    Last edited by charbydis; 08-25-14 at 09:16 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  13. #313
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sjohnb View Post
    Thank you for another update. I'm not going to read this until you have more chapters posted. I like reading this story and crave more, so I'll make sure to wait for you to add more. I'll start from the beginning again and hopefully by the time I get to ch 52 there'll be more.
    Hi! That's fine! Thanks for reading!

    I have been a bit slack in updating cos I have been sick. I was bedridden for the past week and the screen keeps on freezing when I try to post on my mobile in bed. I wish SPCNET had a mobile version. The words are so small. I will post more when I feel better.

    Anyhow, Merry Christmas to all my readers! Thanks for reading!

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

  14. #314
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Fifty-Four:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Kuk Yuen Yau - Lelia Tong Ning
    Suen Nga Yin - Natalie Tong Sze Wing
    Yeung Ming Hung - Kenneth Ma Kwok Ming
    Yeung Ming Guk - Ruco Chan Chin Pang
    Yuen Ho - Pierre Ngo Ka Nin
    Duen Mo Ngai - Lawrence Yan Chi Keung
    Kuk Him Yu - Lawrence Ng Wai Kwok
    Yuen Mo Kei - Eddy Ko Hung
    Yuen Hong - Eddie Kwan Lai Kit
    Lung Tin Kwun - Felix Wong Yat Wah
    Yeung Yat Ching - Michael Miu Kiu Wai


    Meanwhile back at the Western Faction Headquarters, almost all the prisoners had been freed and set running in the direction of escape but Kuk Yuen Yau was still darting anxiously around the room to check the already empty cages and screaming out loud for her parents. The emptier the room became, the more distressed she seemed to get.

    Suen Nga Yin reached out and grabbed her from behind to calm her down. In a soothing voice, she cooed, Your parents are not here, Yuen Yau! They are not here!

    Hyperventilating and with tears streaming down her childish face, Kuk Yuen Yau cried, But if they are not here, then where could they be, Nga Yin? Do you think that Lau Gan already had them slain?

    No! cried Yuen Ho indignantly in a strong voice, They are still alive! And we will find them! You and I, we will find them! Do you hear me? Stay strong!

    At this point, a burst of golden and silver sparks erupted in the small room as the Yeung brothers had finally managed to break open the last lock. As one, they dug their weapons into the gap between the door and frame and pried the gigantic door open. Closest to the door, Yeung Ming Guk was the only person who heard the faintest click as the door opened but that was enough. Instinctively,

    Yeung Ming Guk pushed his brother to the side and screamed out loud, Beware of traps!

    Almost immediately, a large stone door dropped down from nowhere and divided the prison chambers from the outside hall. Some unfortunate escapees clawed helplessly at the solid stone slab that crushed their last chance at freedom. One man tried to swipe at the stone slab with his sabre but all he got was a snapped blade. All of a sudden, blue gas gushed out from the borders of the stone slab and began filling the air-tight room. Those who had been crouching at the door got a faceful of the poisonous gas and within seconds, clutched their throats in agony as blood streamed out from every facial orifice.

    Yeung Ming Guk clapped a cupped palm over his nose and mouth, cursing, That black-hearted dog of a eunuch, Lau Gan! Truly wicked and evil to the core! There is no ventilation in here! He not only wants to block our escape route, he also wants us to die in here!

    The rescuers all retreated within the small room which was the furthest from the blue poisonous gas which was slowly filling up the air-tight room. There was no ventilation, the only air that the prison chambers received came from the outside chamber from which it was now cut off from.

    In midst of the chaos, Yeung Ming Hung glanced at the locked room and got an idea. Ming Guk, help me open this door! The more space, the more air! Maybe there might be another way out of here through the door! he grunted as he started to push with all his might.

    The men all helped to open the gigantic door open as they covered their noses with whatever spare material they had, hoping to buy some extra time.

    As more and more people fought to get away from the blue gas, Kuk Yuen Yau was pushed back against the filthy chained prisoners that were huddled into the corner. Only then, did she realise that the barely conscious lot had nothing to cover their noses with.

    Quickly tying a handkerchief around her own face, she tore up the bottom of her thin dress into small pieces to share with the prisoners.

    One of the prisoners murmured incoherently as she struggled to tie a cover over his nose and mouth. Small amount of the gas had already begun to invade the small room as she coughed at the bitter taste of the gas. Her head started to spin wildly and her fingers were having difficulty tying the knot.

    The prisoner grabbed at her hand suddenly but missed and continued to murmur incoherently. Ignoring the murmurs, Kuk Yuen Yau concentrated all her mind into tying the knot. But this time, the prisoner ripped the cloth off his face and wheezed in the loudest voice he could muster, Yuen Yau.

    The familiar voice hit her like the cold blast when one first opens the window on a cold winter morning. There could be no mistake.

    Father! she cried in surprise and she turned to look at all the other filthy prisoners chained to the wall. Mother! Auntie! Uncle! Grandmother! She could now see through their grimy appearances and she recognised her relatives and frantically tried to tug their chains from the wall to no avail.

    There was a loud bang from outside, quickly followed by another. Duen Mo Ngais clear and distinct voice called out to them, Hang on! I am breaking this door open! The gas is escaping already! Hang on!

    Duen Mo Ngais words seemed to give encouragement to the men and with one final heave, the heavy door swung open and the stench from within were revolting. The sight within was even more so.

    The putrid smell came from two male bodies barely covered with shreads of dirty clothing. Their hair hung in shreds over their faces, matted with dirt and dried blood. Their exposed backs were marked with the bloody trails of a leather whip where the skin was ripped open. Both men were in a strange position, neither fully kneeling nor fully standing as they adapted in a half-kneel position with the large wooden cangue around their necks and hands.

    The three square feet cangue was made of hardwood, meaning that it was even heavier than it looked. It was so heavy that their heads were pulled downwards by the weight of the cangue but the chains around their waist made it impossible for them to rest it on the ground. Instead, they had to rest the large block on each leg in turn for their necks would surely break if the lock hung unsupported. Furthermore, the lower half of their bodies was submerged in cold sullied water, causing the skin to rot and smell.

    The rescuers had never seen anything like this before. What had these men done to deserve this inhumane treatment?

    The blue gas was slowly dissippating and Yeung Ming Guk could feel his strength back. With one smooth swipe, he cut through all the numerous chains that held one of the men, who collapsed as soon as their bonds were severed.

    Help! grumbled Yeung Ming Guk under the weight of both the heavy wooden cangue and the man. And the others quickly rushed to help him and free the others. It took three men to lift both the man and the lock and even then, it was an effort.

    Yuen Hos knees nearly buckled as he helped set one of the men gently on the straw that lined the room. The smell was even more dreadful once the men were out of the water. The man lay face down on the straw and muttered, Leave my son alone! My son, Ho

    Yuen Ho jumped up, What did you say? and he brushed away the hair from his fathers face.

    Yuen Yau wheezed Kuk Him Yu with difficulty as he caught hold of his daughters hands and pulled her close, Save save your grandfather.

    Grandfather? cried Kuk Yuen Yau, Where is he?

    Kuk Him Yu was already weakened from starvation and he no longer had the strength to speak. He merely pointed towards the open metal door.

    Grandfather! she shouted as she spun around and dashed into the hidden cell. Her eyes welled with tears as she saw both her grandfather and uncle lie unconscious on the rough straw with the heavy cangue still upon their heads. She knelt beside Yuen Mo Kei and stroked his hair lovingly as she came to terms with his condition.

    Yuen Ho was overwhelmed with emotions and snatched a sabre from one of the men beside him. Yelling and crying at the same time, he bellowed, Dont worry, Grandfather and Father! I am here! I will get this lock off you and get you out of here! and he lifted the sabre to strike.

    No! shouted Yeung Ming Guk who blocked the blow and with a second swift move, stole the weapon out of his hands.
    Yuen Ho staggered blindly after the lost sabre like a wild animal, Give it to me! Why wont you give it to me? I must get them out of here!

    It is of no use, Ho! screamed Chan Hong in his face, Cant you see that that their necks have swollen under the pressure of the cangue? This is extremely dense hardwood! Unless you break the lock open with one guaranteed clean swipe, the pressure from the blow would crush their necks! Do you want them to die immediately, Ho? Do you?

    Yuen Ho grabbed Yeung Ming Hung tightly at the hands and fell on his knees. Hero Yeung. I know I have terrible martial arts and cannot free my father and grandfather. But you have both advanced skill and strength, please help me! I will be eternally grateful to you and will willingly do your bidding for the rest of my life! Please!

    There was not one person in the room who was not moved by Yeung Hos plea of filial piety. Yeung Ming Hung and Yeung Ming Guk caught each others eyes and both shook their heads. Yeung Ming Hung said in a deep voice, I am sorry but we do not have the ability to guarantee one clean swipe. Even with our abilities, one must have a peerless blade in order to do that!

    Kuk Yuen Yau thought hard. A peerless blade. Then it came to her - The Blade of the Peerless Moon!

    Senior Duen! she cried at the top of her voice, Come quickly!

    On the other side of the wall, Duen Mo Ngai called back, I am nearly through! Hang on! Ngok Yee! Im coming for you! and the thuds against the stone slab became more rapid.

    Did you hear that, Grandfather? sobbed Kuk Yuen Yau as she whispered the good news in his ear, Someone is coming to save you! Senior Duen is coming to save you! Yim Lai Yin is here to save you! Did you hear that? Yim Lai Yin is coming! Hang on! He will be here very soon!

    Yuen Mo Kei lay insentiently on the ground and repeated aimlessly after her, Yim Lai Yin. Yim Lai Yin and his voice trailed off.

    Whilst they waited patiently in the Western Faction Headquarters for their rescuer to come, an Eastern Faction prisoner refused to be rescued.

    Yeung Yat Ching sighed deeply, and said, I am content to have you as a friend in my lifetime, Outlaw! But you know your own price ten thousand taels for your big head! Now leave before Lau Gan gets here and it will be too late!

    Lung Tin Kwun screamed in frustration and bellowed, I should have never exchanged blood vows with you, Soldier! Why was I so stupid to vow to die with you on the same day? You want to die! I dont!

    Yeung Yat Ching calmly sat cross-legged in his cell as if in meditation and said with a laugh. Ha! Who would have thought that the terrifying Righteous Outlaw who gives nightmares to the filthy rich is afraid to die?

    And who would have thought that the valiant Loyal General who makes Mongolians soil their pants is nothing but a coward who is willing to die without a good fight? This small cell is not enough to hold you! Come on, Soldier! pleaded Lung Tin Kwun.

    Then as if reciting a poem, Yeung Yat Ching closed his eyes and said, There are many kinds of deaths - those which are meaningless and those which are meaningful. Death is sometimes a good thing.

    Lung Tin Kwun peered down into his old friends face. Yeung Yat Ching greeted him with a smile in his eyes. They were a strange set - one civil and the other rough; one debonair and the other heroic. An unlikely pair of friends but yet the best of friends.

    Lung Tin Kwun hollered, Well, tell that to the hundreds of wulin friends who have come to rescue you! Tell that to the ones who have died with the hope that they have done something for the good of society and now have died a meaningless death that you are unwilling to leave!

    Yeung Yat Ching continued in his calm voice which was beginning to be corrupted by pent-up emotions, You need not make me feel guilty! I have more than enough blood on my hands. Our old comrades! My men from Gansu! Too much blood already! But only even more blood will shed unless I stay and complete my last task!

    What task is worth your life? And the lives of so many friends and comrades? questioned Lung Tin Kwun fiercely.

    Yeung Yat Ching sighed and announced, To eliminate the root of all the bloodshed once and for all Lau Gan!

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

    This is a Cangue.



    A cangue ("枷", pronounced "jia") is the large square or rectangular wooden collar placed around a prisoner's neck. It is mostly used in ancient China (first documented use was in the Jin Dynasty (AD 265-420) (the Sima clan one, not the Jurchen one) to contain as well as humiliate prisoners. As you can see from the picture above, it is made of a solid block of wood that can weigh from 7-12 kilograms (around the weight of a medium-sized dog). The board is cut in half, allowing the cangue to be opened and closed to fit it around the neck. A lock is usually placed at the front once the prisoner is secured.

    There are different types of cangues. The simple one just has a hole where the prisoner's neck sits. For complicated cases like prisoners who have been arrested for severe crimes (murder, treason, etc..), a cangue with two extra holes is used to lock the prisoner's hands as well. Chains can also be used to secure the feet but in some cases, I have heard of foot cangues were a long block of wood with two holes is secured around a prisoner's feet, probably to stop them from running away. There is also a variation where two or three prisoners can be locked together with a single board.

    The first purpose of the cangue to contain the prisoner and prevent their escape. As you can imagine, the sheer weight and bulkiness of the cangue is enough to physically limit one's mobility. Even Usain Bolt would not make it far with a wooden cangue around his neck!

    The second purpose of the cangue is extra punishment. To carry around that much weight all day long on the neck and shoulders is extremely painful, and can cause bone dislocation. Friction between the neck and the wooden board can cause skin breakages, which in the unhygienic Ancient Chinese prisons, can easily lead to inflammation of the neck which can in turn lead suffocation via pressure on the windpipe. Inflammation hurts and there is no one to help clean up the pus or treat the infection.

    The third and final purpose of the cangue is humiliation. Wearing a cangue is ugly to look at and it is instant identification that one has committed a crime. Being physically limited, one can not feed or clean after themselves. They will smell bad and rely on the mercy of the guards for food and drink.



    The cangue is usually worn by a prisoner while waiting for execution in prison, or while being escorted from one location to another (usually the marketplace to be beheaded or to exile). The horrible tool was used from the Jin Dynasty up to the end of the Qing dynasty so there are actual black and white pictures of real people in cangues. But I find them distressing so I have only included drawings. You can find lots of real pictures on Google if you are interested.

    To summarize, I hate cangues. It is an horrible yet non-erasable part our history regarding corporal punishment in ancient China that China will be forever associated with at the mention of the word. But I feel it is important for us to learn about it, as it can remind us of how cruel human beings can be to one another and how important human rights are for everyone, even for people who have committed crimes.
    Last edited by charbydis; 08-25-14 at 09:19 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  15. #315
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Fifty-Five:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Lung Tin Kwun - Felix Wong Yat Wah
    Yeung Yat Ching - Michael Miu Kiu Wai
    Kuk Yuen Yau - Lelia Tong Ning
    Suen Nga Yin - Natalie Tong Sze Wing
    Yeung Ming Hung - Kenneth Ma Kwok Ming
    Yeung Ming Guk - Ruco Chan Chin Pang
    Yuen Ho - Pierre Ngo Ka Nin
    Duen Mo Ngai - Lawrence Yan Chi Keung
    Yuen Mo Kei - Eddy Ko Hung
    Yuen Hong - Eddie Kwan Lai Kit



    Lung Tin Kwun looked at his friend with disbelief. You dont want to leave because you want to kill Lau Gan?

    Yeung Yat Ching nodded slowly.

    Lung Tin Kwun shuffled around in one spot before shooting out a finger at Yeung Yat Ching. Do you really think you are capable of killing him, Soldier? Lau Gan is much more powerful then you can I can both imagine. I once ambushed him many months ago but I had underestimated him and over-estimated myself. I originally thought that my half-baked Wild Dragon Whirlwind Palms would be enough to handle him but wrong I was! His stances are perplexing and merciless everything stance is aimed at taking ones life! Every stance is unbreakable and without weakness! Had it not been for the internal energy circulating around my heart to protect my major energy channels, I would have definitely died in that encounter. His internal energy is fathomless and anything he picks up can be used as a deadly projectile! Even you had the chance to face him alone, what makes you think that you can touch a hair on him and walk away alive?

    Yeung Yat Ching let out a woeful laugh, If I can kill him and end his terror on the nation, what does it matter whether I can walk away alive or not?

    Lung Tin Kwun stared at his friend in horror as he asked, You want to die together with Lau Gan? Has the many years of subservience to this corrupt empire tamed your determination? Even though the two had rarely spoken in recent years, their friendship remained deep inside their memories.

    Yeung Yat Ching got up slowly onto his knees and brushed the dry straw from his legs. The chains around him clanked and clattered with his movement. I had once seen Lau Gan as well. He is cunning and meticulous at all times; even the place where his foot lands had been carefully calculated. I might not know his martial arts ability but I know mine! As long as Lau Gan stands within ten paces of me, he can not escape my fatal blow. I know Lau Gan would most probably not die straightaway, with plenty of time to lash out at me with his remaining strength. But knowing that I have completed my duty to the Ming Empire, I will die with solace!

    Lung Tin Kwun glared angrily at Yeung Yat Ching. You stupid fool! Do you really want to sacrifice yourself for this stupid nation? You think the Ming Empire cares if you live or die? Dont forget that to the Ming Empire, you are the traitor and Lau Gan is the loyal subject. You will be remembered no more that a treacherous villain who murdered a loyal subject of the Ming Empire! No one will appreciate your sacrifice! Dont be a fool and leave with me this instance!

    Quick as a flash, Lung Tin Kwun his Wild Dragon Sabre at the chains but Yeung Yat Ching blocked the blow with his elbow and pushed his old friend away.

    Yeung Yat Ching said quietly, I am a soldier. You are an outlaw. You can have the freedom of choice but I do not. It does not matter whether I am appreciated or not. My duty is to do the best for my nation in both life and death and that is what I am going to do. If you really treat me like a friend, then let me be!

    I wont let you be! shouted Lung Tin Kwun as he flung his sabre at the wall in anger, I will not let you die for a meaningless cause. Dont forget that once upon a time, I was too a soldier! Do you not remember the old days of General Gans trial? We had hoped and strived for justice from the Imperial Court but what did we get in the end? A scapegoat was executed but the true conspirators got away scot-free! There is no justice or righteousness in this government. It only exists within the hearts of righteous men!

    Then you must remember General Gans last words: Serve the country with utmost loyalty! replied Yeung Yat Ching, bending down and picking up the abandoned sabre. Yeung Yat Ching gripped his friends hand and shoved the hilt firmly back in his hand. I understand your frustration. The government is overrun by devious and corrupt men. But if even the righteous men were to leave, then who will save the nation? How can I let the Ming Empire be torn to shreds by the tyrant Lau Gan? I have my duty to protect the Ming Empire and you have your duty to protect the common people. Continue to do yours and I will do mine.

    Lung Tin Kwun laughed bitterly as he cried, General Gan did say Serve the country with utmost loyalty. But as much as he respected Ngok Fei for his devotion, he also severely disagreed with his blind loyalty. Ngok Fei carried out his loyalty to his Emperor, but as a result he not only lost his own life, the people who believed in him also lost hope!

    Yeung Yat Ching stayed silent and slowly clenched his fists. He had the utmost respect for the Legendary General Ngok Fei. Whenever he heard the story about his death, he would clench his fists in anger. Had Emperor Go Chung not been solely worried about his own throne, then the twelve golden medallions would have not been sent out and Ngok Fei would not have died. If only those twelve golden medallions were not sent out, then the land taken by the Jin people when the Northern Song Dynasty fell would have been reclaimed and the national shame endured would have been avenged. But because of one mans selfishness, the hope of the nation was forever dashed and the Southern Song Dynasty never regained its former military prowess.

    Seeing that Yeung Yat Ching was taking the time to consider his words, Lung Tin Kwun quickly continued, Soldier, do you not see the hope that the people and ministers place in you? Are you just an insignificant man that no one cares about? Dont underestimate your impact on the common people! They trust and believe in your reputation as the Loyal General to defend them from enemies both outside and inside the Ming Empire. What would they think when you die? Stop being so selfish, Soldier!

    Yeung Yat Ching shook his head as he smiled, saying, They still have you. Do they not also place their trust in the Righteous Outlaw who kills oppressive officials and violent bandits? But to kill Lau Gan, I must also die!

    So you think that heaping all the responsibility upon my shoulders is fair on me? shouted Lung Tin Kwun, Even if you can guarantee that no one can escape your attack from within ten paces, how can you guarantee where Lau Gan would be standing? What if he never gets within ten paces of you before you get beheaded? Why do you have to choose the narrow path instead of exploring other alternatives? Is there no other way to kill Lau Gan except rushing blindly at death?

    Can you think of any other way to guarantee the death of Lau Gan? asked Yeung Yat Ching.

    No! replied Lung Tin Kwun hurriedly at the sound of a flare signalling that half an hour had nearly passed. Their time was nearly up and the thousands of Imperial Guards trapped inside the city would have found their way out from other gates by now. I dont have any other way to kill Lau Gan. But I know as long as we can stay alive, then we can figure something out! Just get out of here first!

    Yeung Yat Ching took in a deep breath. You really should have stayed a soldier, Outlaw! To battle without all these years without you had been a great loss! And with that, Yeung Yat Ching gathered all the chains around him, he gave out a loud cry and shattered the long chains into little metal bits. Immediately, the loss of weight from the other side of the chain triggered a hailstorm of metal star projectiles that rained heavily from the ceiling like a dark cloud of death. With ease, Yeung Yat Ching broke off the two chains that still bound his ankles and deflected the metal hailstorm to the side walls with several lashes of the chains. The wall behind them instantly crumbled with one extra lash from the loose chains. The cries of the men from the Brotherhood of the Heavenly Dragons could be heard. They were only a wall away.

    Grasping Lung Tin Kwun by the shoulder, he said, Let us enter another battle together, Brother! and with another blow of the chain, the remaining wall collapsed and the men made a break for freedom.

    Back at the Headquarters of the Western Faction, the one-foot thick wall finally gave way to the persistent violent blows of the Blade of the Peerless Moon and with one final kick from Duen Mo Ngai, the remainder of the toxic blue gas escaped through the newly formed opening. Duen Mo Ngai jumped over the pile of crumbled rocks and entered in the enclosed chamber.

    Senior Duen! cried Kuk Yuen Yau from within and Duen Mo Ngai hurried inside.

    Hurry up, men! ordered Yeung Ming Hung who cut through the chains restricting the Yuen family with one blow. Did you not hear the sound of the loud flare? Take one of these people each and get out of here! Obediently, the men each propped up one of the unconscious on one shoulder and made their exit out of the room pass Duen Mo Ngai.

    What happened? he asked flabbergasted at the sight of the two ragged men lying face down with the gigantic lock around their necks. Both were still showing faint signs of breathing. Kuk Yuen Yau and Yuen Ho were both kneeling on the ground beside them.

    Yeung Ming Guk quickly explained, Lau Gan had these gigantic hardwood cangue placed around their necks but we cannot get them off without risking breaking their necks. We think only your Blade of the Peerless Moon can provide the one smooth cut that will free them without putting them in danger!

    On seeing his arrival, Kuk Yuen Yau wept, Senior Duen, please save my grandfather and and uncle! Without hesitation, Duen Mo Ngai swiped twice at the two men and immediately, the wooden block fell in two clean halves.

    Father! cried Yuen Ho as he turned his father around and placed his neck upon his arm. Apart from the swelling and redness from prolonged wear of the lock, the neck was unharmed.

    Grandfather! cried Kuk Yuen Yau shaking her grandfather who remained still. In despair, she laid her head upon his chest and gasped, Help! He has no heartbeat! Yuen Ho quickly did the same to his father and got the same result.

    That is impossible! cried Duen Mo Ngai, crouching down to hold a finger to Yuen Mo Keis nose, then put his head at his chest.
    Then at that instant, Yuen Mo Keis right arm suddenly swung up and plunged a piece of broken wood into Duen Mo Ngais side.

    Roaring with pain, Duen Mo Ngai pushed Yuen Mo Kei away who fell on his back, laughing with running discharge streaming down out of his swollen eyes. Before anyone else could make sense of what had just happened, Yuen Hong sat up and stabbed Duen Mo Ngai in the thigh.

    What are you doing, Father! shouted Yuen Ho in shock as he pulled his father away who was laughing wildly as well.

    Get away! yelled Yeung Ming Hung as he and Suen Nga Yin quickly disabled the two by blocking their acupressure points and the two fell unconscious again.

    Blood was spurting from Duen Mo Ngais wounds as he struggled to come to terms with what had happened; only gasping the words, Hibernation Technique! In fact no one in the room really understood what was going on or how to react.

    Kuk Yuen Yau supported him at one side to stop him from toppling over but she was speechless. Why had her grandfather and father suddenly attacked Duen Mo Ngai? Duen Mo Ngai looked right into her watery eyes and then let out another holler. With the shout, Duen Mo Ngai forced the two lengths of wood out of his body with his internal energy, and grabbing Kuk Yuen Yau, rushed out of the room.

    Senior Duen called Suen Nga Yin as both she and the two Yeung brothers chased after them but they never turned back.

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

    I really don't have to explain who Yue Fei (Ngok Fei) is right? He's the famous military general from the end of the Northern Song Dynasty (12th Century China) who held back the Jurchen Jin forces from taking over Southern China after they ransacked the Imperial Palace at Bian Jing (汴京)(modern day Kai Feng) and kidnapped thousands of royal family members back to their city of Wu Guo Cheng (五国城) (modern day Harbin), thus the Jing Kang incident (thus the sequence of events preceding Jin Ying's LOCH, YIPS!!!).

    Yue Fei held together the hope and dignity of the failing nation to get back their stolen land and the kidnapped royals who were subjected to slavery, humiliation, mass rape and forced prostitution by the invaders. But due to self-serving purposes, the Emperor Gaozong of Southern Song decided that it was better to be a tributary state to the Jurchen Jin's under a peace treaty than have Yue Fei retrieve his brother who was the previous Emperor before the siege and risk a challenge his position as the Heavenly Mandate.

    To make a long story short, a conspiracy was formed between the Emperor Gaozong, Chancellor Qin Hui and the Jurchen Jin's, and Yue Fei was executed on false charges of treason. His eldest son was executed and his family was exiled to Hainan Island. But some twenty years after his death when the new Emperor Xiaozong came to the throne, Yue Fei was cleared of treason after his grandson Yue Ke spent years proving his innocence. Yue Fei's body was reburied and a tomb was erected in Hangzhou in his honour. Kneeling metal statues of Qin Hui and his conspirators can be found outside the building, which is now protected by a metal barrier as people like to kick, spit and urinate on them.

    If you still have no idea what I am going about, go and watch Huang Xiao Ming's "The Patriot Yue Fei" for a rough biography of this national hero.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On a personal note, this week has been rough on me. My dog got a tooth infection that led to a jaw infection and all his teeth had to be surgically removed. Then I just dropped my iPod into the bath a few hours ago and my boss is back from his holidays. I am pretty preoccupied with taking care of my dog and training him to eat with just his fangs. He is doing well but very distressed when he does not get attention. I will try to update soon.
    Last edited by charbydis; 08-25-14 at 09:23 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  16. #316
    Senior Member szfong's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your dog, if your dog is not particularly old in dog years, and you are relatively rich, you might consider dental implants... That way, your best friend does not need to go on a permanent soft food / pre-processed food diet...

  17. #317
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by szfong View Post
    Sorry to hear about your dog, if your dog is not particularly old in dog years, and you are relatively rich, you might consider dental implants... That way, your best friend does not need to go on a permanent soft food / pre-processed food diet...
    Thanks for yoru concern. I did ask the art about whether dental implants were needed but eh said because Baci is not young (~ 10 years old), his bone density may not be good for long and the screws that hold the implants may loosen with time. HE could really swallow the screws and choke to death. So we have opted to stay way from that.

    Currently, we are feeding him rice with minced meat (chopped by hand from fillet) or shredded meat with some diced carrots. He eats a lot now and looks healthy and happy.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  18. #318
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Fifty -Six:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Chan Hong - Derek Kwok Jing Hung
    Yuen Ho - Pierre Ngo Ka Nin
    Chan Sam - Yuen Wah
    Yiu So Sum - Tavia Yeung Yi
    Cheung Wan Sheung - Nancy Wu Ding Yan



    Chan Hong was the first to speak after everyone disappeared from the room. What on earth just happened?

    Father! Father! screamed Yuen Ho, shaking his unconscious father, Hes not waking up? What shall we do, Second Brother?

    Chan Hong looked up as he heard the faint sound of another flare. The second flare has been sounded. The Imperial Guards are getting out! We must hurry to get out of here!

    Yuen Ho hoisted his father onto his back then looked alternatively between Yuen Mo Kei who was still lying on the ground, and then looked at Chan Hong.

    Chan Hong glared uneasily Yuen Mo Keis hands then at the bloody lengths of wood lying on the ground. But he could not ignore Yuen Hos pleading eyes. Finally, Chan Hong gave in rolling his eyes and cried, Fine! Ill carry him! and undoing out a leather strap from his wrist. But I am not carrying him without typing his hands up first! With their heavy loads, they staggered out of the room after everyone else.

    Hurry up! shouted Chan Hong at Yuen Ho who was trailing behind with his fathers weight. Though Chan Hong was not a big man, he had the limp Yuen Mo Kei draped across his shoulder like a hunter would carry a dead deer. But Yuen Hong was taller than Yuen Ho who supported his father on his back while his feet dragged behind, making the weight even heavier.

    All of a sudden, the sound of stones scraping against each other could be heard as a secret stone door had slid open for many armed eunuchs to enter the passage. The empty passage glimmered in an eerie red glow as the line of firebrands moving out of the doorway resembled the movement of a deadly centipede.

    Hurry up! yelled one of the eunuchs, We must get to the North Gate to capture the rebels before the Eastern Faction does or else they will get all the credit in front of Supreme Commander Lau!

    Ease up! replied another eunuch, Supreme Commander Lau is still stuck in his training chamber unaware of what is going on outside! Even if the Eastern Faction gets there first, we can still claim the credit by overwhelming them with our guards! By the time that Supreme Commander Lau does get out of his training chamber, all he will see is the end result and not the process!

    Perched between the two narrow walls of the passage, Yuen Ho had heard everything. Chan Hong and him had leapt up to the ceiling the minute they heard the eunuchs coming, spreading out their hands and legs like crafty spiders against the walls to support themselves high above and out of sight. Both Yuen Hong and Yuen Mo Kei were balanced carefully over their backs.

    Wow! This corridor is so humid! cried one of the eunuchs as he felt a bead of moisture trickling down the side of his face, I cant stop sweating! and he furiously wiped his head with his sleeve, which quickly stained red. With all the movement, Yuen Hongs wounds had burst open and blood was seeping through his clothes and down onto his dangling limb and onto the head of the eunuch down below.

    All the eunuchs looked up instantly but it was still not quick enough to avoid the flurry of quick-paced kicks to their faces and chest. Even before they could draw their swords, Chan Hong wrapped both his legs around the necks of two eunuchs which broke instantly as he tightened his hold.

    With his father still on his back, Yuen Ho landed with both knees firmly on the backs of two eunuchs who were knocked unconscious. Chan Hong swiftly threw him two stolen swords and between the two of them, the small eunuch group quickly dwindled in numbers until none were left.

    Hurry up! The others must be exiting this very moment! reminded Chan Hong as he rehoisted Yuen Mo Kei onto his shoulders, ready to leave. But Yuen Hos mind seemed to be occupied elsewhere as he stood staring at the open stone door.

    Ho! shouted Chan Hong as he smacked his friend on the back of his head to gain his attention.

    Yuen Ho immediately turned around with a determined look upon his face. Second Brother! he cried, There will probably never be another chance for me to step within the Forbidden City. I cannot let this golden chance to kill Lau Gan pass before my eyes. Even if I must die trying, I must avenge the deaths of my clan!

    Are you crazy? yelled Chan Hong, Not even Big Brother is able to kill Lau Gan, what makes you little weasel can do any damage?

    Yuen Ho smiled wryly. Even Lau Gan cannot be alert all hours of the day. I will strike when he least suspects! Only his fresh blood will appease the tortured souls of my deceased family members!

    What about your Father? said Chan Hong, pointing at Yuen Hong with an outstreched hand, Who is going to take care of him if you die?

    Thanks! said Yuen Ho quickly as he quickly placed his unconscious father into Chan Hongs outstretched hand before the latter could object.

    Hey! protested Chan Hong as Yuen Hong collapsed onto his shoulder but Yuen Ho had already sprinted through the stone door which slid shut automatically. With the weight of two full-grown men upon him, Chan Hong cursed out aloud and slowly trudged to the exit.

    Inside the dimly-lit passageways, an elderly eunuch hurried along the winding path, flicking his long whisk irritably with each step. As he turned around a corner, the dark figure of a young man blocked the passageway, with a sharp sword gleaming in his hand. Nice place, isnt it?

    The old eunuch shrieked in a high-pitched voice and moved backwards against the wall in terror.

    Dont kill me! Dont kill me! he repeated in a frantic voice as he held his whisk between him and the approaching young man, as if it would protect him.

    Yuen Ho scoffed at the petrified eunuch as he pushed the whisk aside with one blow and held the sword to his neck. Tell me something.

    Ahhhh! the old eunuch shrieked again loudly, his eyes wide with terror as the coldness of the blade spread to the flesh of his neck. Dont kill me! Dont kill me! he repeated as Yuen Ho moved in on him, with his face only inches away.

    Oh stop shrieking like a girl! Why would I want your life? sneered Yuen Ho, I only want to know where Lau Gans training chamber is?

    No! cried the eunuch, If Supreme Commander Lau found out then he will kill me for sure!

    Yuen Ho pressed the sword deeper into the eunuchs neck. You will lose your head here and now if you answer me straight away! Tell me where he is? Now! Totally unaware that the blunt side of the blade was at his neck, the eunuch quickly pointed with his finger.

    Yuen Ho smiled deviously at him and quickly rendered him unconscious with a swift hand chop to the neck. Thanks for the clothes, Chan Sam. he said after reading from the small wooden plaque at his belt that engraved the name of the eunuch, and quickly proceed to strip him. Afterwards, he hurried down the passageway in the direction that the eunuch had indicated.

    Barely had he begun to walk did he hear more footsteps approaching. It must be more of those dastardly eunuchs. he thought, Lucky I am well-prepared. The owner of the footsteps would be arriving any time soon.

    Standing still close to the wall, he lowered his head and bent his body and greeted, The humble Eunuch Chan Sam greets you all! He smiled at his plan to attack when they had their backs to him.

    Too his surprise, a flying punch came at his nose and a girls voice called out irately, Take that, eunuch!

    Blood spurted from both nostrils as he toppled backwards at the surprise attack. Two blurry females in black sprinted quickly by as another rush of eunuch guards quickly followed with weapons and fire brands in hand.

    One of the girls called, See! I told you not to take that exit! How are we going to lose this pack of hounds now?

    Yiu So Sum ignored her and jumping over the unconscious body of Chan Sam, she swiftly turned around to shoot out her last darts at the eunuch guards behind. The two disappeared around the corner.

    Yuen Ho clutched his nose tightly and he cursed loudly. Several eunuchs that had come running later immediately came to his assistance.

    Are you alright, Eunuch Chan? It was a dark corridor and with a similar build, they had failed to distinguish Yuen Ho from Chan Sam.

    Aware that he was alone in the corridor with thirty or more guards, Yuen Ho covered his face with his hands and yelled, It hurts! It hurts! I need some fresh air!

    That is not Eunuch Chans voice! cried one of the eunuchs in horror as Yuen Ho had forgotten to mimic Chan Sams distinctive high-pitched effeminate voice. The eunuchs nearby all backed away and brandished their weapon in a semicircle around him. Yuen Ho was trapped and he had to think fast.

    Help! he screamed in Chan Sams voice, and all the eunuchs further down the corridor stopped in their tracks.

    Spies! Saboteurs! Help! They are really from the Eastern Faction! Help! They are trying to kill all of us so that their Eastern Faction can steal all the credit from our Western Faction! Save me! Help!

    You mongrel! How dare you! screamed the eunuch next to him, and swung his sword high in the air, ready to drop at any moment.

    Clang! A small dagger came flying along the corridor and the weapon fell onto the floor. Not so fast, saboteurs! shouted one of the other eunuchs ahead, You think you Eastern Faction are all that good?

    You idiots! We are from the same Faction! It is he who lies! said one eunuch, pointing furiously at Yuen Ho.

    Yuen Ho took the opportunity and ducked out of the human barricade, screaming Help me! Those Eastern Faction hounds are trying to get us to kill each other! Save me!

    Stand aside, Eunuch Chan! shouted one of the eunuchs, We will show them who has the upper hand! Charge! and the two groups of eunuchs ran at each other.

    With the eunuchs guards busy killing each other, Yuen Ho took a deep breath as he realised that he was not going to have this luck all the time. Lau Gan will just have to live another day and then quickly scampered out the stone door.
    The refreshing night breeze hit him in the face as he raced outside to find that the whole North Gate was full of people and horses which came from the outpost stables destroyed by the intruders. It was hard to find familiar faces in the crowds as everyone was struggling to escape.

    Suddenly, Lung Tin Kwuns commanding voice came thundering though the air. Everyone jump on a horse with another person and just get out of Beijing! Hurry! The guards are breaking out!

    But where was Lung Tin Kwun? And which horse should he jump on? Yuen Ho looked around frantically but all horses seemed to have two riders. His eyes settled on a dark figure upon a black horse riding by. With a quick somersault, he leapt into the horseback behind the rider.

    Come on! Lets get out of here! he urged as he wrapped his hand around the waist of the rider.

    Ah! A eunuch! screamed Cheung Wan Sheung as she elbowed him in the stomach but Yuen Ho did not let go.

    Oh no! A woman! yelled Yuen Ho as he blocked another blow from her.

    I hate eunuchs! Get away from me! she screamed as she withdrew a small dagger from her waist and lunged at him.

    Well, I hate women! Get lost! he replied in an annoyed fashion as he stole a matching dagger from her belt and defended himself. He saw a gap as she swung to the side to avoid his stab, and moving forward to dismount her, he quickly grabbed the reins.

    But Cheung Wan Sheung had hooked her feet around the stirrups and quickly swung on horseback before him to block him from the reins. She rocked her head backwards like a hammer and whacked him on his injured nose.

    Letting out a growl of pain, Yuen Ho ducked down and sank his teeth into ther right shoulder. Cheung Wan Sheung shrieked in pain and elbowed him in the stomach to get him to let go. With a quick punch to the face to follow, Yuen Ho fell off the steed which quickly galloped off to find Yiu So Sum.

    Women! he said as he spat some bloody mucus out of his mouth.

    What are you doing, Ho? came Chan Hongs familiar voice, We have to leave soon! Get on!

    Taking Chan Hongs arm, Yuen Ho launched himself behind him on horseback. Did you see that witch that did this to me, Second Brother? he cried pointing at Cheung Wan Sheungs disappearing silhouette.

    Chan Hong pulled on the reins and replied from experience, Dont ask! Just never mess with women! and the two galloped off.

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

    Sorry, no facts to discuss today, I could find no relevant topic regarding his chapter. Cheers.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  19. #319
    Senior Member szfong's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update, and good to know your dog is feeling much better!

  20. #320
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by szfong View Post
    Thanks for the update, and good to know your dog is feeling much better!
    Thanks for your concern. he is back to chewing stuff now.
    "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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