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

  1. #21
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tweety365 View Post
    I am finally up to date on my reading . It has been a terrific read for me. Didn't know a story about eunuchs can be so interesting, charbydis. I applaud your story writing skills. With your fixation on "evil" men, I am prepared for a very different approach to wuxia. Keep up the wonderful work.
    Thanks for responding, Tweety365.
    I am leaving for China tomorrow night for one month and will try to post up some more chapters after i get home from work. Thanks for reading.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  2. #22
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Eight:

    Cast of Appearing Characters
    Lung Tin Kwun – Felix Wong Yat Wah
    Chan Hong – Derek Kwok Ching Hung
    Yuen Ho – Pierre Ngo Ka Nin



    Yuen Ho stirred as the fresh sunbeams hit his closed eyelids. His eyelid fluttered rapidly. They had not opened for several days. He closed his eyes immediately as the light was too bright and he shielded his face with his hand. His back felt stiff and sticky. He looked around the room he was placed in. It seemed like a narrow cave with its rocky walls and damp smell. But it seemed clean and inhabited for someone had brought in a table with some wooden chair.

    Yuen Ho placed both hands on the bed and tried to sit himself up but intense pain radiated around his legs. What had happened? He looked down and saw both his legs bandaged tightly by greyish strips of cloth. What had happened to him? Worried, he ripped off the bandaged to look at the flesh underneath. He was frightened when he saw all the little scars that covered his legs. They were pink in colour so obviously the flesh was beginning to heal. He reached out one hand to touch it.

    “Stop!” cried a voice as a slim man rushed in and grabbed his hand before he reached his leg. “Don’t touch it too much or the skin might break and bleed again!”

    Yuen Ho looked at the man. He was sure he did not know who he was. “Who are you?” he asked as he squinted his eyes in the sunlight.

    “My name is Chan Hong!” introduced the man as he put down on the bed a bundle of grey strips of cloth. “I am second-in-command in the Brotherhood of the Heavenly Dragons! Our big brother, Lung Tin Kwun, saved your life back in Beijing! Remember that castrated dog, Lau Gan?”

    Then Yuen Ho realised and exclaimed, “You are one of those masked men outside Yuen Manor in Beijing!” Chan Hong nodded with pride but he did not expect what was about to happen. Tears begun to swell up in Yuen Ho’s eyes and all of a sudden, Yuen Ho fell off the bed and collapsed awkwardly on to his injured knees.

    “Hey, watch it!” yelled Chan Hong, “Your legs are still weak! Get up at once!” But Yuen Ho wouldn’t.

    “Hero Chan!” wailed Yuen Ho in despair, “Would you be able to tell me anything about my family? Are they still alive?” He still remembered his family being carted off that fateful night. He needed to know.

    “What’s going on in here?” bellowed a loud voice. Yuen Ho looked towards the origin and a well-built middle aged man was standing in the doorway. He had large round deep-set eyes and a short but thick bristles protruded from his wide chin. His stare seemed to be fierce but once you look more closely, you would be able to detect the kindness that shone within them. He was no other than Lung Tin Kwun.

    “Not my fault, Big Brother!” cried Chan Hong in innocence, “He woke up and knelt before me! I didn’t tell him to do it! He just won’t get up!” as he tugged upwards on Yuen Ho’s arms.

    “Hero Lung!” exclaimed Yuen Ho with gratitude, now facing Lung Tin Kwun on his knees, “Thank you for saving my life! I owe you what I can never repay!” and he began to kowtow on the rocky floor.

    Lung Tin Kwun rushed over to him and grabbed him from under both armpits. “Get up at once!” he persuaded, “You owe me nothing! If not for you shielding me from those projectiles, I might have lost my life that night! We are even! Get up now! And stop crying!” Yuen Ho refused to but Lung Tin Kwun lifted him up effortlessly and sat him down on the bed.

    “Hero Lung! Hero Chan! Please tell me about my family!” pleaded Yuen Ho, wiping his tears with his dirty sleeve. “My Yuen family is deadly loyal to the Great Ming Dynasty! Thirty-one of their lives have already been lost. I must save my remaining family if they are alive or die avenging them if they are dead! Heroes, please tell me!”

    Lung Tin Kwun beamed at him and slapped him encouragingly on one shoulder. “Spoken like a true man! Listen me, I tried to find out about your family but Lau Gan keeps them well hidden. But news from the Court seems to imply that they are alive, though imprisoned secretly by the Eastern Faction. Don’t worry, I will keep my spies on this matter and inform you if they are any advancements! And if there is a chance, I will make sure Lau Gan does not escape my blade again!”

    Yuen Ho bowed in relief, “Thank heavens they are still alive! Thank you, Hero Lung! I owe you everything! Even if I die I cannot repay you two! Thank you, Hero Chan!”

    Chan Hong commented, “Gees! You really make people feel awkward, don’t you? Stop this “Hero” business and call us “Big Brother!” and “Second Brother! That’s what we are used to!”

    “That’s right!” added Lung Tin Kwun, “Quit the formalities! We are all sufferers under the corrupt manipulation of Lau Gan! No need for any thanks! Lau Gan’s crimes has upset everyone from the earth to the Heavens, there are endless numbers of people who want him dead. I will swear to not stop trying to kill him till my dying breath and bring peace to the people! That is the united aim of all our brothers!”

    Yuen Ho said quietly, “Thank you, Big Brother! Thank you Second Brother!”

    Lung Tin Kwun paused for a while, and then announced, “Great! Now that you have called me and Chan Hong “Big Brother” and “Second Brother”, you are officially part of the Brotherhood of the Heavenly Dragons! We are now joined in life and death!”

    “What?” cried Yuen Ho. He could not help but gape in surprise.

    Chan Hong smirked and explained, “Now that you have seen our faces, known our names and been told of our goal, you must either join our brotherhood or we might just have to kill you!” It was obvious that he was joking. And in a more serious tone he continued, “Look here! You want to kill Lau Gan! So do us! And it’s not like you can go anywhere else now! Those hounds are looking everywhere for you! Only here in our hidden mountains are you safe to rest and recover your strength for revenge!”

    Yuen Ho hesitated. It was true. He has no place to go. He knew his auntie and uncle lived in Beijing but should he contact them? Or had the Eastern Faction been keeping them under surveillance as well? He was like a lonely leaf floating in the stream, powerless and helpless. There was no way, even if he had fully received, that he would be able to break though the numerous bodyguards Lau Gan and slit his throat. No way was he going to sacrifice his life for nothing. His family were still waiting for him to rescue them – wherever they were.

    “Big Brother! Second Brother,” he proclaimed, “I, Yuen Ho, swear to be eternally loyal to you two and the Brotherhood of the Heavenly Dragons. I swear that I will join you in your cause or die trying!” And with that the three men clasped their right hands one on top of another in agreement.

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

    Love Felix! But he always seems to get serious characters. I hope make Lung Tin Kwun a bit more friendly and jovial.
    Last edited by charbydis; 04-15-11 at 08:20 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  3. #23
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Nine:

    Cast of Appearing Characters

    Kuk Yuen Yau Lelia Tong Ling
    Suen Nga Yin Natalie Tong See Wing
    Emperor Ching Dak Matt Yeung Ming
    So Yee Ha Sharon Chan Man Chi
    Yiu So Sum Tavia Yeung Yi
    Cheung Wan Sheung Nancy Wu Ding Yan
    Siu Kei Chi/Lau Kei Sammul Chan Kin Fung



    Many months had passed and Kuk Yuen Yau spent a lonely birthday within the palace. The Emperor had been pleased with her since their first night together and after spending a month of intimate whisperings in the middle of the night, she was promoted to a fourth-ranked Privileged Concubine, and awarded residence in a small lodge within the Palace of Abundant Longevity - much to the jealousy of the other girls. Concubinage was a common and widely-accepted practice since the beginning of time, but in truth, how many women can truly tolerate sharing her husband with many other women?

    The Emperor had not summoned for her for a long time. She still had regular gifts of jewellery of exotic fruits but had not seen his face for at least two months. She was not allowed to go and find him. She could only wait. What had he not yet asked for her? It must be either those vixens Soo Yee Ha or Suen Nga Yin that had ganging up together against her to mesmerize him. It seemed only yesterday that they joked innocently of sharing the same husband. Why had they all turned against her? The palace was a lonely place. Being a medium-rank consort, she was not allowed any communication with the outside world. She had not heard from her parents for many months.

    At that moment, a haughty voice was heard coming behind some trees, close to the pavilion where Kuk Yuen Yau was seated. The Emperor wishes to hear me play the pipa tonight. Polish it well and make sure the strings are tuned!

    Kuk Yuen Yau felt a tinge of jealousy as she cut into the conversation, You can polish and tune all you want. Wondrous music can only come out if the musician has an honest heart. But if the musician has a selfish and evil heart, then all that comes out of the instrument is only noise And she stepped up regally onto the footpath to her challenger.

    Yiu So Sum bowed and greeted her, Greetings to Lady Kuk! So Sum must go and do work for Lady Suen now! Please excuse me for not staying to serve you! She was now the personal maid of Suen Nga Yin. She knew better than to stay around when a heated conversation was about to explode.

    Suen Nga Yin waved her hand to permit her absence. Decked in gold hairpins and fine brocade, she seemed like a high and mighty phoenix, ready to strike. I will not lower myself to argue with such an unreasonable person. It will tarnish my fifth-rank status as a Cultured Concubine!

    Some dream that people have - a vixen dreaming of becoming a phoenix. Said Kuk Yuen Yau walking up to her rival and veered close to her face, No matter what methods you try, you can never sprout wings and take to the sky!

    Ha! said Suen Nga Yin moving away, Vixen or phoenix who are you to say? I am only doing what my duty as a consort requires - what the Emperor wishes.

    Then what about your duty as a friend? The Emperor is my husband! I was the first to serve him as a consort! How can you betray me and steal him away from me? Kuk Yuen Yau said fiercely.

    Dont forget that he also my husband! she retorted, Just because I am your friend, does it mean that I have to wallow in loneliness til old age while you and the Emperor act like lovebirds? Have you spared any thought for me when you are accompanying the Emperor? I too have a right be loved and pampered by my own husband!

    Then why deny me my right too? snapped Kuk Yuen Yau, Why do you have to slander me before the Emperor and damaging our relationship?

    Dont frame me for your own misfortunes! cried Suen Nga Yin indignantly, I did no such thing!

    Yes, you did! and the two carried on with their exchange of words.

    Suddenly, someone yelled, Silence both of you! Both quickly hushed down and curtseyed in respect. The Emperor had arrived! But around his arm was entangled So Yee Ha.

    Why ruin a lovely afternoon like this with your irritating screaming and shouting? You both give me headaches! Go back to your residences at once! I dont want to see either of you for the rest of the day! Go now! I dont want to hear another word from either of you! Get out of my sight! His tone was not soft and mannered like in the past. He was really bellowing at them.

    So Yee Ha was always the calm one. She knew better than to argue with other women before her own husband. There was no point in it. No man liked a loud-mouthed woman and certainly not the Emperor who could have any woman he wanted. She saw through the superficial bickering between consorts. She only wanted to be with her handsome husband when she had the chance. Thats why even though she felt for her two friends; she did not say a word of to ease the situation. It would only make the Emperor detest her as well. Thats why even though she was one of the last ladies of her group to serve the Emperor; she had no problem climbing to the status of a Privileged Lady.

    Behind her, Cheung Wan Sheung signalled silently to the two consorts who were kneeling in fear. It was no use explaining. The Emperor was not a patient person nor was he an understanding person. Just the other day, he bumped into an Exquisite Lady in one of his rages and though it was his fault, he had her casted into a well. It was better for them to leave now than to enrage him further. The two ladies understood the signal and quickly left without a word.

    Then as if nothing had happened at all, he cooed tenderly to Soo Yee Ha My beloved, let us continue to admire these lovely flowers! and the party walked on.
    Kuk Yuen Yau ran crying to her room. What did he treat her like this? Why did he have to humiliate her before so many people? She collapsed onto a chair and put her head on her dressing table.

    Are you alright, Lady Kuk? asked a gentle voice. She turned around and a young eunuch was bending down and looking at her tenderly. His simple words of concern brought some warmness back to her heart. Since her promotion, Yiu So Sum and Cheung Wan Sheung were not assigned to serve her. Instead, a friendly young eunuch called Siu Kei Chi was appointed to follow her everywhere and to serve her. Now, he was her only friend and confidant.

    Wiping her tears from her eyes, she exclaimed, Oh! Siu Kei Chi! I dont know how to survive within this palace anymore! Everyone changes with a blink of an eye! One minute a person could be tender and loving and then in the split of a second, he could be ferocious and unreasonable!

    Siu Kei Chi bent down to his knees and looked up at her, Lady Kuk. The palace is such a place. The Emperor is such a person. There is nothing that you can do to change it. All you can change is yourself!

    Kuk Yuen Yau looked at him in disbelief. But I dont want to become conniving and two-faced! Id rather die than lower myself to their standards! Id rather never ever see the Emperor again but I will not betray my character! I wish I had never entered the Imperial Palace! She felt disgusted when she saw Suen Nga Yins haughtiness and So Yee Has coldness. She even felt appalled when she realised she was letting jealousy get a hold of her.

    Siu Kei Chi hesitated for a moment. I know Lady Kuk is discontent with the recent circumstances. But you must see the Emperor when you have a chance. Lowering his volume, he whispered, I have news from your father! Your grandfather and his whole clan have been arrested for treason by the Eastern Faction and Yuen Manor has been confiscated. Minister Kuk asks for you to plead with the Emperor for their release!

    -----------------------------------------------
    Author's Note:
    Jealousy between concubines is bound to happen. Not really interested in writing about it this would be a passing moment.
    Last edited by charbydis; 04-15-11 at 09:06 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  4. #24
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Ten:

    Cast of Appearing Characters
    Siu Kei Chi Sammul Chan Kin Fung
    Kuk Yuen Yau Lelia Tong Ling
    Yiu So Sum Tavia Yeung Yi
    Cheung Wan Sheung Nancy Wu Ding Yan


    In the eastern garden of the Palace of Abundant Longevity, Kuk Yuen Yau could not sleep as she reminisced about her grandfather. Yuen Mo Kei was the most caring grandfather you could find within the city of Beijing he was kind and forgiving and had many stories to tell.

    She was his favourite granddaughter, he said, as she reminded him of his elder daughter, who died many years ago. Often he would ask her parents to allow her live in Yuen Manor for many months at a time, for she brought great joy to him. She would wait patiently for him to return from Court each day and he would tell her tale after tale of heroic war battles or tragic demises of the previous dynasties. In fact, she felt more at home in Yuen Manor than in her actual home. But now, her grandfather and uncles were sitting on rough dry straw in a prison cell while she was lying on soft and warm silk bed sheets. She had to save them. But how?

    Suddenly, an idea sprang into her mind and she jumped up from her bed. Siu Kei Chi? she called.

    What is the matter, Lady Kuk? For many nights, Siu Kei Chi had stayed beside her bed to keep her company. He was now lighting the candles for visibility.

    She cried excitedly, Do you remember a scroll that I had brought over from the Palace of Eternal Peace? It has a backing of light-blue embroidered brocade. I brought it from my home when I entered the palace! Fetch it for me please!

    Siu Kei Chi knitted his eyebrows in thought. I think I put somewhere here . And he rushed off to another part of the room to fetch it. Sure enough, he returned with the scroll in his hands.

    Kuk Yuen Yaus eyes twinkled with the reflection of the candlelight as she hurriedly untied the scroll and unrolled it. She laughed gleefully. Looking up at Siu Lei Chi with hope, she announced, Siu Kei Chi! This time my family will saved!

    Before he had the time to enquire why she was so excited, there was an abrupt clamour of loud gong beating and yelling. Intruder in the Imperial Palace! Catch him! Catch him! Siu Kei Chi and Kuk Yuen Yau hurried towards the window and peered outside to see what was going on. They could see the increasing red glow of lanterns outside their wall and the sound of undistinguishable cries of men bursting into the courtyard.

    But suddenly, a dark shadow appeared close to their window and before they could do anything, the person in black had leapt inside. Two more armed eunuchs quickly burst through the door and engaged in a heated battle with the masked intruder. Siu Kei Chi pushed Kuk Yuen Yau against the wall and protected her with his body as they watched the three people destroying the room in their scuffle.

    The masked intruder was a skilled fighter. Armed with a retractable silver spear, the mysterious person had no trouble fending off both eunuchs armed with long swords, but they were doing a good job to keep the intruder occupied until reinforcements arrived. The intruder backed further in the room as five more armed eunuchs joined the fight, and as though sensing the longer the fight the greater the disadvantage, the intruder became fiercer in combat and forced the eunuchs to spread out within the room.

    Siu Kei Chi huddled against his mistress and he shielded her from bits of flying debris. Kuk Yuen Yau screamed as a bloodied eunuch lay dead before her eyes. Siu Kei Chi quickly pulled her away as the combatants got closer. Suddenly, the intruder saw it and leaping across the length of the room, managed to push Siu Kei Chi away and take Kuk Yuen Yau hostage.

    With the tip of the spear at Kuk Yuen Yaus neck, the intruder cried out, Let me leave or she dies! So the intruder was a female.

    But the armed eunuchs laughed and shouted, We have orders from Head Commander Yau to take you alive at any cost! I dont think the Emperor will be sad for long! Without warning, one of them sliced their sword right at Kuk Yuen Yau, who would have been killed had the intruder not pulled her sideways in time. She pushed the ashen concubine aside as she continued her battle.

    How dare you? cried Siu Kei Chi out of the blue, rushing forward at the eunuchs. It turned out that Siu Kei Chi was also a practitioner of martial arts as he quickly disarmed two eunuchs in surprise and injured them both. Then together with the masked female, they managed to kill the remaining six eunuchs in a short period of time.

    All of a sudden, the masked intruder swung her spear across to face Siu Kei Chi. Dont think just because you helped me that I will trust you. If you tell anyone more about me, then I will return to take your life!

    Kuk Yuen Yau scampered behind Siu Kei Chi and faced the intruder. She cried hastily, Dont harm him! We wont tell anyone. We only know that a masked intruder entered here and killed all seven eunuchs! We dont know what gender or what weapon was used. I can give you my word!

    Siu Kei Chi added, I only am concerned about Lady Kuks safety. Anything else I do not care about! Leave before more guards arrive!

    The woman retracted her spear and leapt out of the room but she was blocked. More armed eunuch guards had barged into the courtyard at least twenty. There was no way that she could get out of here being so outnumbered. There was sharp whistle in the air and the intruder quickly ducked into the room as a shower of darts rained down the eunuchs. Then as quick as lightning, the intruder leapt high into the air where a whip suddenly appeared and wrapped around her waist, pulling her over the wall to safety.

    Close by in another part of the Palace of Abundant Longevity, two masked figures dressed into a totally black tight outfit slipped into the empty maids quarters.

    Elder Sister! whispered one of them, You have been too careless! How can you sneak into the Lau Gans residence without telling me? Luckily he was out of the palace at the time. You could have been killed!

    The other girl removed her mask. It was no other than Yiu So Sum. Wan Sheung, it is because I know Lau Gan would not be there that I dared to go there! Lau Gan killed my father! I will rather die trying to find evidence of his crimes than to live with my fathers grievances unavenged!

    Cheung Wan Sheung was getting quickly removing her back outfit, I know your reasons, Elder Sister. Thats why I agreed to enter the Imperial Palace with you. But the palace is full of Lau Gans spies and guards. We cannot afford to take a step wrong lest we draw attention to ourselves. Think of your godfather!

    Yiu So Sum had already changed into her bedclothes. She sighed and agreed, You are right! I will be more careful next time. Lau Gans crimes are numerous and plentiful, I will find a chance sooner or later!

    -----------------------------------------------
    Author's Note:
    Lau Gan was responsible for many innocent deaths during his height of power. There were many grievances but no one dared speak out. But when he died, people rushed into the streets to buy his flesh for comsumption. That shows just how popular he was.
    Last edited by charbydis; 04-15-11 at 09:05 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  5. #25
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Eleven:

    Cast of Appearing Characters
    Siu Kei Chi – Sammul Chan Kin Fung
    Kuk Yuen Yau – Lelia Tong Ling
    Emperor Ching Dak – Matt Yeung Ming
    Yau Jui - Lau Kong

    The previous night had been a terrifying experience for Kuk Yuen Yau and was bedridden with shock. But all was worth it as the Emperor had heard about the attack and came in person to visit her that very next morning to find out the details. He seemed to have forgotten his harsh behaviour the day before was and showed great concern for her through his sweet words. Kuk Yuen Yau could not bring herself to angry at him anymore. Maybe he was just in a bad mood.

    “Your Majesty!” she said tenderly, “I wish to ask a favour of you!” She had not forgotten her task to save her family.

    The Emperor put his arm around her shoulder and answered, “Ask away my beloved!” He was in a generous mood today.

    But before she could ask, an old eunuch had interrupted the room and kneeling down with his head on the floor, he reported, “Yau Jui, Head Commander of the Eastern Faction pays his greetings to Your Majesty and Lady Kuk!” He dared not raise his head up from his kowtow.

    To her surprise, the Emperor grabbed a bowl from a nearby table and flung it at the old eunuch. Yau Jui did not flinch when the bowl smashed into smithereens just before his head. “Old Yau, you brute!” he cried, “How do you govern your subordinates?” My beloved has told me all that happened yesterday! Your underlings dared risk the life of my beloved! And they still let the intruders get away? Tell me how should I punish you?”

    Yau Jui slowly raised his body and muttered humbly, “I offer my apologies to Your Majesty and Lady Kuk. I do not know the details of what happened since all seven men involved have all died. But I believe they only risked Lady Kuk’s life due to the sensitive nature of the intrusion.”

    The Emperor leaned forward and ordered, “Explain yourself!”

    Yau Jui explained “The room the intruders broke into was no ordinary room in the Eunuch Administrative Bureau, but the study of Supreme Commander Lau which contains various documents of confidential matters. Since he is still away from the Imperial Palace at this stage, it is still hard to determine if anything of significance has gone missing. So I assume my men who died valiantly were only trying to make sure no classified information would be leaked out as it would endanger the stability of the Ming Empire. I am sure that if he were here, Supreme Commander Lau will support my theory. As for the remaining guards, they were ambushed by surprise and thus failed you. But as of now, all twenty-two Eastern Faction guards are all kneeling outside the room, waiting for your sentence!”

    “All right then,” said the Emperor casually, “I will accept your reason as to endanger the life of my beloved concubine. What punishment should your guards receive for letting the intruders escape?” Turning to Kuk Yuen Yau, he asked, “How do you think I should punish them? Kill them? Whip them? Beat them? Tell me, my dove! Tell me!” he more he spoke, the more excited he was. Kuk Yuen Yau was speechless. How can he be so jovial when mentioning taking other people’s lives?

    “I .. I am afraid I do not know, Your Majesty!” she stammered, “I guess they couldn’t help it that they were ambushed. It’s not their fault!”

    “Nonsense!” cried the Emperor in an aroused manner, “Of course it is their fault! How can I trust them to protect my Inner Court in the future if they can’t even catch two mere intruders? I know! I order those twenty-two men to be caned heavily fifty times then stripped naked and hung outside in the sun for four hours!”

    “Your Majesty!” cried Yau Jui in protest, “It is the duty of the Imperial Guards to secure the Imperial Palace! The Eastern Faction guards were just supposed to guard the Eunuch Administrative Bureau!” But the Emperor was too absorbed in his thoughts to listen.

    “Yes!” he muttered wildly to himself, I’ll strip them naked first, and then cane them!” And laughing continuously to himself, he got up and left.

    In the past, the Chancellor was in charge of processing and assisting the Emperor with government administration. But Emperor Hung Mo of the Ming Dynasty did not trust too much power to ministers and therefore the eradicated the position of Prime Ministers, and created the Eunuch Administrative Bureau to assist with running the country instead. The concept behind that was that eunuchs would have no ambition to usurp the throne since they will never have descendants and will be trapped till death within the palace walls, whereas whole men like ministers would.

    The Eunuch Administrative Bureau was the heart of all twelve eunuch departments within the palace. But their duties did not merely lie with organisation and governing of eunuch activity within the Forbidden City. Its real purpose was to summarise and assess all government correspondence travelling in and out of Beijing. Their headquarters contained top-secret documents such as military routes and army camp positions, account from undercover whistleblowers and even classified record of secret events within the palace. As Lau Gan now held the Imperial Seal, all documents had to first pass by him before being presented to the Emperor, and were stored in his private study. A breach of security within the Eunuch Administrative Bureau was a serious matter.

    Later that day, Kuk Yuen Yau and Siu Kei Chi were alone as he helped her drink the medicine prescribed for shock.

    Kuk Yuen Yau was feeling a little better. “Siu Kei Chi, you risked your life to protect me! I will remember that in heart forever!” They had only known each other for a couple of months, but she always felt safe and comforted when he was around.

    Siu Kei Chi averted his gaze. “Lady Kuk! I am only a servant. It is my duty to protect my mistress.” He bowed and backed away from the bed. But Kuk Yuen Yau reached out and held him back by his hands. He looked up in surprise.

    Kuk Yuen Yau looked right in his face and asserted, “You and I have long surpassed the relationship between master and servant. You must never again mention before me again that you are only a servant! You are my best friend, my only friend within these palace walls! You are as dear to me as my own brother! You must remember that always!”

    Siu Kei Chi was touched, but he paid attention to what came out of his mouth. “Thank you, Lady Kuk for your kind words. But Siu Kei Chi was destined to be only a servant since entering the palace three years ago. You are destined to be the mistress since you became the Emperor’s consort. Our lives and status were concreted long ago. Palace rules do not allow for friendship between master and servant. But I will always remember Lady Kuk’s words as I stand by you as your servant and protector!”

    “Siu Kei Chi…” she murmured. She couldn’t understand why two people of different status could not openly be friends. Why do rules have to be so stringent? Why do the palace rules allow people to become enemies yet be so harsh when they want to be friends? She just could not understand.

    But Siu Kei Chi pulled his hands free from Kuk Yuen Yau, he said softly. “Lady Kuk needs her rest. You still have the task of rescuing your family on hand! I will leave you to retire!” And bowing in respect, he walked out of the room.

    Many people think that just eunuchs have incomplete anatomy, that they are different from men. But does a missing bit of flesh affect their heart and mind? They still have ambitions, yearnings and feelings. Within the cold enclosed walls of the Forbidden City, there is no difference between the hearts of eunuchs and the hearts of men. Eunuchs were still men.

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

    As I said, Emperor Ching Dak is one sadistic man - probably because of the drugs he was taking.

    Eunuchs and concubines are together all the time, some feelings are bound to develop even though no action is taken.

    Okay. I am leaving my house for the airport now. Should be enough updates until get back! See you all later!
    Last edited by charbydis; 07-31-11 at 09:59 AM.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  6. #26
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Currently in Luoyang now! Just visited the Shaolin Temple and what a disappointment. There are LCD advertisement boards everywhere and the monks are on mobile phones and wearing leather shoes. So commercialised. At least Zhong Yue Temple and White Horse Temple still retain the dignity of a religious temple. That's it! I am cutting out Shaolin Temple from this story!

    Going to Xian tomorrow and then five days later to Beijing.

    Funny enough, Sammul can be seen in a lot channels at different times of the day! Must be very popular.
    Sammul!
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  7. #27
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    3 weeks and no reply!
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  8. #28
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Twelve:

    Cast of Appearing Characters

    Young Man with Spear – Kenneth Ma Kwok Ming
    Leader of Attackers - Savio Tsang Wai Kuen




    A pair of tired horses went galloping through the night as their riders urged them hurriedly on with their reins. They have had nothing to eat and have not rested for four hours. Luckily the area outside Baoding was full of flat plains and not rocky mountainous terrain or their tasks would have been much more gruelling. Both horses were aiming for the same destination; however, their riders did not have the same mission. The horses were getting weary and the first horse started slowly down. Following close behind at five hundred metres away, the second rider took the opportunity and whipped his horse to close the distance.

    Without warning, the first rider flung a curved dagger behind him at his pursuer to deter him. The second rider did not stop his horse but ducked forwards as the spinning blade whirled just over his back and then spun around back to its master. The second rider quickly released a long wrapped weapon tied behind his back and shot it his opponent.
    Clang! The first rider repelled the long golden spear just as his fingers gripped his newly-returned blade handle. But the spear returned for the second rider had tied a long rope to the end of it and was now flinging it back in attack. It missed the rider but managed to rip a small hole in baggage fastened to his back. The first rider hastily ripped the baggage from his back and secured it under his saddle.

    “Damn it!” swore the rider riding on, “Who on earth are you and why have you been trying to kill me for the last thirteen days?

    The second rider kept up and yelled back, “It is not your head I want but what you are carrying in that wooden box! Give me the box and you will never see me again!”

    “Never!” cried the first rider, “My life depends on this package. If I lose it, I lose my head!”

    “If you do not give me that package, I will cut your head off myself!” retorted the second rider firmly, “Once that package gets into the hands of Lau Gan, many innocent lives will be lost! Can you bear with that?”

    Then unexpectedly, the first rider shouted the phrase, “Returning home clad in rich brocades!” shouted the first rider, and all of a sudden, ten men jumped out onto the road. They all had on a yellow-gold brocade vest that gleamed in the moonlight. Brocade-Clad Guards!

    The first rider galloped unhindered on his journey as the Brocade-Clad Guards exposed their long swords. The second rider leapt off his horse as a large webbed net of steal chains was flung at him and wrapped his poor horse that collapsed onto the ground instantly, unable to move under the heavy weight.

    “Die, you felons!!” bellowed the young man as he landed right in between them and lashed his golden spear. He was agile and nimble with the golden spear. None of the ten swords could even touch a hair on his head. Before long, he efficiently disarmed all of them and toppled them over by breaking one of their femurs with the sturdy handle of his spear.

    Standing over his fallen opponents, he asked, “There is no way you can win over me! Are you really willing to die for that castrated felon, Lau Gan?” He did not want to slay them. He just could not understand why so many people were willing to lose their lives out of fear of Lau Gan. If he could only talk some sense into some of them, he would.

    Then suddenly, all of them started shaking and spat out a fresh mouthful of blood. The young man stepped back stunned as all ten men had taken their own lives by biting off their own tongue. Then maybe that wasn’t so unanticipated. Whether it was the Eastern Faction or Brocade-Clad Guards, failure was not an option.

    The young man found his horse and released him. Stroking the horse compassionately, he said, “Don’t worry! I think you have had enough for today! Let find a place to rest!” The black horse neighed in agreement as they trotted off slowly towards Baoding.

    But the man dared not find an inn to stay in. There could be more hidden enemies waiting for him ahead. Passing by an abandoned temple, he decided it was the safest place to spend the night. With the minor hold-up with the Brocade-Clad Guards, there was no way he would still be able to keep up with his target. He may as well rest for the night and then double-up speed the day after.

    But just as he entered the temple, he sensed something was not right. Pushing his horse aside, he somersaulted within the centre of the temple just as two sabres sliced at the tips of his hair. As expected, armed men jumped out from their hiding places all over the temple and attacked him. He spun around and blocked all attacks with the handle of his spear, then kicking aside three swordsmen that had lunged at him; he leapt at a broken window. But before he could make his exit, a man with two bronze double swords blocked him off and he was forced to leapt back into the myriad of blades.

    The man with the double swords shouted insults at him. “You scum! You vermin of society! Men! Let us not allow this Eastern Faction spy to escape!” And then he joined the attack at full force as the others backed away. He was definitely the most skilled and the leader of these mysterious men.

    “Wait!” shouted the young bewildered man whilst fending off his attackers with great difficulty, “Heroes! I think you are mistaken! I am not from the Eastern Faction!”

    “We will not be deceived by your lies, you vermin!” puffed the leader between blows, “My men have seen the Eastern Faction spies gradually entering the area! Prepare to die!” And with that, he made such a powerful blow at his young opponent that despite being able to block the attack, slid backwards with the remaining force.

    The young man was at his wits end. Then came an idea. “I can prove my identity! Sorry about this, Senior! My sincere apologies in advance!” The young man confidently started to aim his spear at his opponent’s legs with quick speed, forcing the man backwards. And then with a turn, he attacked the man’s upper torso, restricting him only to a defensive position.

    But the leader took a big risk and locking the spear tip with one of his sword handles, he swiped at his young challenger with the other and the young man turned around as to leave. But all of a sudden, he spun around like lightning and somehow, he had freed his spear and thrust the spear tip right at the older man’s chest.

    Clang! The golden spear tip hit the side of the thick bronze blade and pushed the older man towards the wall.

    The older man was in shock! “You know how to use Yeung Family Spear?

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

    For those who don't know the phrase "衣錦還鄉", it is a common phrase to describe a poor person who has worked hard away from home and has now returned to his hometown a success and clad in rich brocades to show off. In this chapter, I chose it as a code from the first rider to the Brocade-Clad Guards that he has obtained the object of his mission is now returning home with success. It is also a code for the Brocade-Clad Guards to come out and help him.

    I had always thought out of all the younger generation of actors, Kenneth was the only one who gave me a wuxia feel. The others are too modern to give me the feeling of a wuxia hero who is both physcially active and cool at the same time. To me, Kenneth is so underated at TVB. So yay! Kenneth!

    Does anyone need me to explain about the Yeung Family Spear? I hope not!
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  9. #29
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Thirteen:


    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Yeung Ming Hung Kenneth Ma Kwok Ming
    Nam Wai Dak - Savio Tsang Wai Kuen (cameo)


    The young man withdrew his weapon and cupped his hands before his hand and declared, Yes! It is indeed the Yeung Family Spear! I am sorry to have offended Senior with my clumsy attack but it was the only way to show you I am not with the Eastern Faction!

    Another man stepped forward and pointing his sword at him, said with suspicion, How do we know that you are not an Eastern Faction hound who only knows a bit of the Yeung Family Spear to fool us?

    The leader waved him down and announced, Nonsense! The Yeung Family are known for their prowess and loyalty! They will never be traitors to their country! Besides, this young fellow here is not only proficient with the spear, he also knows the Revolving Horse Thrust! Then in a kinder tone to the young man, he asked curiously, Who are you? To know the Revolving Horse Thrust, you must be from the Yeung family for they do not teach this secret skill to outsiders!

    The legendary Yeung Family Army was a well-known household name since the early Sung Dynasty. Originally serving the Northern Han Dynasty during its short-lived reign, they saw the sufferings of prolonged war and soon became loyal to the conquering Sung Dynasty for many generations by securing the northern borders against foreign invasion. However, their numbers dwindled as increasing numbers of casualties and they gradually disappeared from the battlefields. Rumour has it that they secretly settled in their hometown of Taiyuan as normal peasants. But the breath-taking legends of their gallantry and valour were never forgotten.

    Seeing that these rough men meant no harm, he revealed his identity. My name is Yeung Ming Hung from Anning, Yunnan! I am the Right Vanguard of the Yeung Family Army, directly under Military Commander Yeung Yat Ching of the Three Border Provinces!

    Cries of awe came from the men. Although Yeung Yat Ching was not from the direct lineage of the legendary Yeung generals, there were strong rumours that he was a descendant of one of the less superior officers in the army. He was not officially a military general but a civil governor; however he was skilled in combat and often led armies himself. He and his massive army were based in the Three Border Provinces as a major resistance force against rebellions from the Mongolians and Hui people. He was well known for his mercy and tactical prowess. Even though he was a literary official, he was nicknamed General Yeung. He was known in the wulin world as one of the Four Heroes - The Loyal General

    The leader exclaimed, I had the chance to catch a glimpse of General Yeung in my younger days! I am Nam Wai Dak from Shanxi. So what brings you here, young nephew? The atmosphere had totally changed once Yeung Ming Hungs identity was disclosed.

    Yeung Ming Hung said, I am on a mission to pursue and retrieve a roster regarding names of military officials still loyal to the Great Ming Empire and not that traitorous dog, Lau Gan! It was leaked from our army back in Ningxia by a filthy spy. Even though we managed to apprehend and execute the traitor, he had already sent the roster via the secret courier service!

    Lau Gan! That criminal! spat Nam Wai Dak in an undeliberate disruption.

    He continued I have been chasing the courier for twenty-seven days already and I had managed to catch up with him thirteen days ago, but every time I get near, he manages to flee! Just then, he had help from ten Brocade-Clad guards which I managed to fend off but I have lost track of the courier. I must catch him before he gets to Beijing or all families of names on that roster will be executed once Lau Gan presents it to the Emperor!

    Nam Wai Dak shook his head with a sigh. I am afraid that you will have much trouble, my young friend! We have originally gathered here tonight at this abandoned temple to discuss how we wulin pugilists should take action against the unforgivable crimes of Lau Gan and his Eastern Faction. But unfortunately, the men we have sent to scout the area have reported sightings of two groups of twenty-man troop of Eastern Faction Guards within the area. We had just got the news when you walked in so thus the misunderstanding. You cannot be delayed! You must leave quickly this area before the fight starts!

    But Yeung Ming Hung was insistent. No! Let me stay and help you kill those treacherous hounds! I can easily catch up with the courier with my Ferghana horse tomorrow! The Ferghana Horse was a rare breed found exclusively from Dayuan. It had extreme long-lasting stamina for extensive journeys and was rumoured to sweat blood after galloping for a long time. However, Yeung Ming Hungs horse did not but it did gallop extremely fast.

    Nam Wai Dak put up a hand in objection. No need, young hero Yeung! We are more than capable to deal with forty or so Eastern Faction Guards! Arent we, my men? And the temple chorused with excited cries as the men raised their weapons in a boost of morale.

    Well kill each and every one we see! they hollered in unison, All of them damn eunuch and their hounds!

    Suddenly, a cold and proud voice came through the air. Well see about that! And immediately, a multitude of arrows shot through from the temples front door and rained down on the men. There were so many arrow s that it was impossible to defend with merely weapons. The rain of arrows only took twenty seconds but when it ended, cries of pain and frustration filled the temple as most of the men were impaled and penetrated. Both Yeung Ming Hung and Nam Wai Dak had been pierced through their shoulders but they backed against the solid walls just in time or they would have been corpses by now.

    Nam Wai Dak ripped the arrow from his breast and yelled in both pain and grief as the surrounding flesh was torn out as well. Grabbing Yeung Ming Hung by the front of his garments, he said, Young hero Yeung, you have a very important mission to accomplish! You cannot die here! Looking up over their heads, he pleaded, Leave through that window while I distract those castrated vermin! You must get that roster!

    There was no way that Nam Wai Dak would survive further attacks and Yeung Ming Hung was unwilling to have others sacrifice for him, but he knew what was more important and it pained him to make that decision. Hero Nam! he gasped, with tears of gratitude welling up in his eyes, It was my honour to have known you! I swear that I will avenge you and your men!

    Valiantly, the men used their last breaths to pounce upon the archers and slew them. Being the last man alive, Nam Wai Dak broke the vicious bows as he sliced his double swords through both wood and flesh. As he struggled to stay upon his feet, Nam Wai Dak saw the silhouette of a tall lone man standing on the roof. The man had his back towards him with both hands clasped behind him in a relaxed manner. Pointing his right sword at the man, he bellowed tragically Come out you coward! Id rather die with you together than be taken alive!

    In the blink of an eye, the shadow flew towards him and a hand had crushed his throat between its ice-cold fingers before he could raise his weapon. His hands swung loosely by his side and his double sword fell lifelessly to the ground. Struggling to speak as the blood gurgled out of his mouth, Nam Wai Dak gasped feebly, Who are you?

    He could not see his killers face properly but he could the mans arrogant piercing eyes full of contempt and hatred. He saw the side of the mans mouth turn slightly upwards as he announced himself sarcastically in the same cold and proud voice, The Traitor Lau Gan. And that was the last thing that Nam Wai Dak ever heard.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Author's Note:
    I have to admit, when I added the historical character of Yeung Yat Ching in, I had never thought he was just a civil officer. But it was all too late when I found out because I had all the plot planned and mapped out of him as this fantastic martial artist. And I can't do without him because he is the guy who took down Liu Jin in real history. So rather than taking apart my whole story and starting from scratch, he is now a civil officer with fantastic martial arts. Yay!

    As for those who don't know what a Ferghana Horse is, it is the legendary Blood-Perspiring Horse (大宛馬/汗血馬) from the Middle-East that has great physcial capabilities. It can travel a thousand miles per day and one of the top horse breeds one could find in the ancient world. I have always wanted to have one in my stories and it can help me cut out boring travelling bits.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  10. #30
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    Charybdis! Just saw a new story in the fanfiction thread so I just had to read it! So far I'm hooked! When are you goin to tell us who lau gam is? :O I'm very curious ! Since I see that you have only casted tvb stars i imagined Wayne lai in this role lol update soon again!

  11. #31
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abc123lol View Post
    Charybdis! Just saw a new story in the fanfiction thread so I just had to read it! So far I'm hooked! When are you goin to tell us who lau gam is? :O I'm very curious ! Since I see that you have only casted tvb stars i imagined Wayne lai in this role lol update soon again!
    Hi! Yay! Another reader! Thansk for reading and commenting. I have been feeling like I am talking to myself all the time in this thread.

    Lau Gan's actor will be revealed when he actually reveals his face in the story. Give it a few more chapters. I like building up the suspense.

    No, Wayne is not Lau Gan. I actually find Wayne not suitable for this role despite his versatility. I like him better in modern and pre-modern costumes. The Lau Gan I am after is multi-faceted and extremely unpredictable (a little on the crazy side). I actually took a whole year to finalise my choice for his casting. You will understand my choice when more of the story is revealed.

    For the casting, I am actually sticking to underrated artistes of all times that I like and those who I feel have been unjustly forgotten over time and given crap roles. The popular artistes are in like 90% of online fanfics so I think if they don't feature in mine, it won't be a loss. Most of the casts are TVB ones (especially the young ones) because I don't like anyone that is young and from ATV. I considered writing Ruco a role but I felt it did not do him justice so i cut it out. Older ATV artistes will be appearing later in the story. I am not using Mandarin cast because I will get confused and distracted on the dialogue and I am writing in cantonese pronounciation. So sticking to Cantonese speaking artistes for the whole of this story.

    Again, thanks for reading. I would probably post another chapter next week or so over the weekend.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  12. #32
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Fourteen:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Yeung Ming Hung Kenneth Ma Kwok Ming
    Suen Nga Yin Natalie Tong See Wing
    So Yee Ha Sharon Chan Man Chi
    Kuk Yuen Yau - Lelia Tong Ning
    Emperor Ching Dak - Matt Yeung Ming
    Empress Ha - Claire Kar Nei



    Yeung Ming Hung rode on as blood trickled from his wound. The long arrow was still impaled through his left shoulder, narrowing missing his heart and major arteries. But he afraid to take it out as yet for the arrow tip was laced with small teeth, and pulling it of the body would rip a large wound away. Besides, it was more important to get away from the area or Nam Wai Dak and his men would have died for nothing. When at a safe distance away, Yeung Ming Hung carefully broke off the deadly arrow head and gritting his teeth, he pulled out the body of the arrow with one smooth movement as blood spurted out. It was then a simple job of bandaging the wound and then concentrating on tracking down the courier.

    True to his word, his Ferghana horse was able to catch up with the courier within one day.
    But it was too late. The courier was already strolling casually along Cheung Wong Street within the security of Beijings city walls where the jurisdiction of the Eastern Faction was the greatest. Disguising as a middle-aged man, Yeung Ming Hung tailed him at a strolling distance on foot, as not to draw unwanted attention. For all knew that there were disguised agents of the Eastern Faction on every street of Beijing. One wrong move and the person would disappear in the blink of the eye and never be seen again - not even their corpse.

    And then he saw his target turn swiftly into a side alley just before a large grand mansion. Yeung Ming Hung hurried over but all there was no one in that empty passage. He could not believe it. Tagging his horse behind him, he searched the alley for a secret opening that he could have escaped through but all he could find was a small splatter of red on the ground.

    Yeung Ming Hung bent down and touched it. It was still wet and stuck to his fingers. It was fresh blood. He looked up and found some blood specks on the side tiles of tall wall that was adjacent to the alleyway. They must have killed that courier and then dragged his body over the wall into the large mansion.

    Yeung Ming Hung decided to scale the wall when he heard the back door of the mansion open. Quickly leading his horse back onto the main street and pretending to buy something, he saw a man walk hurriedly into the main street and securely in hands, was a square shaped packaged. It was wrapped in the exact yellow fabric as the box was in. Yeung Ming Hung gripped his spear tightly. Maybe he could quickly attack that one man, snatch the box and make a run for it. Maybe on his horse, he could make it out of the city gates just in time before the news spread.

    But just as he was about to take a step forward, there were a series of loud cries that distracted him. A large black sedan chair was making its way through the street and black-cloaked armed men were herding the public to the sides as it passed through. Yeung Ming Hung took a closer look it was no other than the Eastern Faction Guards. He had seen their dark-grey uniform as he fled from the abandoned temple.

    One of the guards approached the suspicious man who secretly passed the yellow package to him under the guise of pushing him back from the sedan chair. The guard then passed it to the window of the sedan chair where a hand reached out and drew the package within.

    Yeung Ming Hung watched powerlessly as the sedan chair quickly entered the palace gates without obstruction. There was no way now that he would be able to retrieve the roster by force in broad daylight where there were thousands of Imperial Guards patrolling the grounds. It was wiser to settle down in an inn and wait for dark to enter by stealth.

    Meanwhile within the Enclosed Palace, the Emperor was enjoying the fabulous entertainment before his eyes as one after the other, his consorts performed musical and dance routines. Seated regally beside him with a golden phoenix crown perched on her head, was Empress Ha. Empress Ha heaved a sigh as she watched all these women vie for her husbands attention with their seductive glances and mesmerizing poses. She saw the way her husbands eyes followed their every move he had never looked at her that way before. Yet, she could not show jealousy for she was the Mother of the Nation, the Head of the Enclosed Palace. The Empress was supposed to represent the virtue and generosity of the tradition women how could she show signs of discontent or jealousy?

    The consorts were all seated in two rows along the sides of the large hall, each decked with layers of cosmetic and perfume and adorned with expensive jewellery and hair pins. Each of them was dressed in eye-caching brocades and silks, trying to surpass each other in appearance.

    Suen Nga Yins slender fingers pressed down and silenced the strings of her pipa as her performance came to an end. It was spirited piece of music, as her lovely voice sang of a thousand varieties of flowers blooming vividly in the gardens, gleaming in the sun and waiting for a destined admirer to pick and take home. The Emperor clapped passionately and exclaimed, What a great song! My beloved, you are truly the most spectacular performer today! She curtseyed graceful before returning to her seat with a triumphant look on her face as other consorts glared jealously at her.

    So Yee Ha sipped her wine quietly, not even looking at the silent bickering that was going on in the background. All these tactics and squabbles were only superficial and pointless; there was only one way to guarantee status within the Imperial Palace give birth to an Imperial Heir.

    The Emperor was in a joyful mood today. Who else is yet to perform? Dont let it stop! His young face was now had a slight shade of red and his speech slurring. Obviously, he was having too much of the good wine served at this function. The sky had already darkened yet he was unwilling to retire.

    The old eunuch bowed and reported, Your Majesty! Next is Lady Kuk who wishes to perform a short dance! The emperor clapped his hands again to signal for the dance to commence. Other consorts seemed unfazed. Many of them had performed colourful dances today how much different could the next one be?

    The music soon began and the flute was the lead instrument. The Emperor dropped his cup when Kuk Yuen Yau entered the hall. She was dressed in a stunning tight yellow outfit that was embroidered with golden silk patterns spreading from her body to her feet, glimmering spectacularly as she lifted her limbs gracefully in the air. Strings of pearls and gold beads decorated her supple waist as she spun across the tiled floor. Each pose seemed to show off her slim figure and each move demonstrated the flexibility of her young body.

    A long red length of silk was draped around her arms that billowed freely in the air as it surrounded her in twirls and spirals when controlled by her nimble hands. Kuk Yuen Yau looked like a grand phoenix that was dancing with poise as life-giving crimson flames consumed her body. In fact, she looked divine. Her red slippers seemed to float above the ground as she gracefully made her way around the hall with quick light steps. The Emperor was mesmerized with both her form and her smiling face. His mind was totally blank except for the enthralling image of Kuk Yuen Yau and he staggered down from his platform and joined her with a drunken dance.

    But someone else watching the performance was also absorbed into a space outside reality. It brought back memories from a long time ago where the same dance was performed. The dance was not intended to show a phoenix dancing happily in devouring flames that signalled her rebirth. It was of an elegant crane that lived high in the tall mountains, alone amongst the mist and clouds that surrounded her nest as she flew across the sky. The magnificently-attired Kuk Yuen Yau was unable to show that tranquil essence of the dance.

    In a trance, the person travelled back into the depths of their recollection where another young maiden performed the same dance too long ago.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Author's Note:
    Sorry for the dance description but I have no idea what is going on when looking at dancing. Just a plot device. Emperor Zhengde was known for his wild and drunken parties and dancing girls. He only gets worse with age. On the other hand, his formal wife Empress Ha was a very strict and formal person but not ambitious. Strange couple.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  13. #33
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default Book One: The Fist Of Domination (權傾天下)

    Chapter Fifteen:

    Cast of Appearing Characters:

    Yeung Ming Hung Kenneth Ma Kwok Ming
    Suen Nga Yin Natalie Tong See Wing
    So Yee Ha Sharon Chan Man Chi
    Kuk Yuen Yau - Lelia Tong Ning
    Emperor Ching Dak - Matt Yeung Ming
    Empress Ha - Claire Kar Nei
    Siu Kei Chi - Sammul Chan Kin Fung
    Cheung Wan Sheung - Nancy Wu Ding Yan


    The music soon stopped and Kuk Yuen Yau stood still while the Emperor encircled her with drunken steps and started to sing incoherently out of tune. The old eunuch helped the Emperor reluctantly back to his seat and straightened his crown and robes as he settled down.

    My treasure! He giggled between hiccups, You are indeed the best dancer within in the whole Forbidden City! I have never seen anyone that can dance like that! Since you are the best performer tonight, I have decided to grant you a wish! Whatever it is that you want, just say the word! Even if you want to be Empress, just say the word!

    Empress Ha jumped at the words and looked at her husband in disbelief. Your Majesty. she stammered. It was as if he did not regard her presence in the hall. He had never really taken a liking to her since they married only a few months ago but still, she was his original wife and his Empress. All the consorts within the hall were eyeing Kuk Yuen Yau with envy as they waited to hear what she would request.

    To their surprise, Kuk Yuen Yau knelt down on the floor, and exclaimed, Your Majesty! I only have one request! But I am unafraid to ask! She had been dreaming day and night of this moment yet she could not help the fear that struck her.

    Ask away, my dove! said the Emperor, I am the Mandate of Heaven, the Ruler of the Earth! I have the power to give you everything you desire!

    Kuk Yuen Yau bit her lip in anxiety and took a deep breath. Then, your Majesty, I wish that you grant my grandfather and his family freedom from the prison and an open trial for their allegations! That shocked everyone in the hall.

    The Emperor stood up in anger. Who dares imprison my beloveds family? Tell me, my dove!


    My grandfather, Yuen Mo Kei, was the Head Minister of Revenue. He was suddenly arrested along with his whole family five months ago by the Eastern Faction for allegations of treason. But since then, no one has seen or heard from them. Nor has anyone heard of an upcoming trial. Your Majesty, my grandfather is old and fragile. I am afraid that he will die secretly in prison before a trial comes. Please release him and the others from the harshness of imprisonment. My family has served the Great Ming Empire for four generations in total. They are loyal to your Majesty and the Great Ming Empire! They will not commit treason! Definitely not! Please, your Majesty, grant them a trial and the truth will be revealed!

    Kuk Yuen Yau wept silently as she pleaded. The hall was silent. Some felt sorry for her, and others were suspicious of her intentions. Empress Ha stepped down from her seat slowly with her small bound feet and helped Kuk Yuen Yau to her feet. Turning to the Emperor, she said, Your Majesty. Lady Kuk is virtuous with filial piety and honour. Please do not deny her request! Kuk Yuen Yau looked up at the elegant face of Empress with tears of gratitude.

    The Emperor hesitated. Then he shouted, Why not? I am the Emperor and I can do anything! A trial it will be! I shall go to Court tomorrow and demand their release! I am wise, am I not, my Empress?

    Empress Ha smiled and replied, Your Majesty is indeed wise in your decisions! And I thank you for your mercy!

    Thank you, Your Majesty! uttered Kuk Yuen Yau. Thank you, Empress!
    Empress Ha merely nodded gently at her and then declared, I think today has been a tiring day for everyone! Let us end the banquet here and retire to our chambers! And after the Emperor and Empress left, everyone went their separate ways back to their residence.

    You were brave, my Lady! whispered Siu Kei Chi gently as he helped Kuk Yuen Yau through the gardens, You seem much happier now that it is all over!

    Kuk Yuen Yau smiled whole-heartedly as she spun around blissfully and began to walk backwards. I cant believe it is all over! It felt like centuries before the Emperor yet it was only minutes! It is like a large stone uplifted from my chest after being there for long!

    Siu Kei Chi offers his congratulations to Lady Kuk.

    I just cant wait until tomorrow! My grandfather and uncles and everybody else will soon be freed from their chains and be able to breathe the fresh air. Kuk Yuen Yau took in a deep breath of the fresh night air. It was lovely. Then in a more worried state, she asked, Siu Kei Chi, you think that the Emperor will really free my family? He seemed very drunk and disorientated. You think he will remember what he promised me when he wakes up tomorrow?

    Siu Kei Chi could not to bear to tell her the honest truth. The Emperor was not a responsible person. But even if he remembered, he still had to interject into the affairs of the Eastern Faction which has never happened before. But still, since Lau Gan was currently away from the Imperial Palace, maybe he could still have a chance a slim chance.

    After seeing you dance like a celestial fairy and hearing your touching speech, there was no way that the Emperor would not be moved and not grant your wish! Siu Kei Chi strolled leisurely after her.

    Kuk Yuen Yau innocently cocked her head to one side and looked at him sideways. You really think that I looked like a celestial fairy?

    Yes, my Lady answered Siu Kei Chi sincerely, You are lovely tonight! It was amazing how you could dance as if gracefully floating across the floor!

    Kuk Yuen Yau laughed as she spun round and round along the path. Ha! Graceful? You know how clumsy I was when I tripped over numerous times when practising those moves! You were there to hold my hand and guide me through the choreography!

    But you did succeed in the end and you danced brilliantly. No one could have dance like you even if they had the scroll. How can you actually dance like if you were not dancing? he asked with curiosity.

    Why? Kuk Yuen Yau giggled, and she stuck her foot out at him, Because of my big feet! And chuckling, she ran ahead.

    She did indeed have unbound feet, which was very uncommon for women in the era. He has noticed that the moment he was assigned to serve her. He wanted to ask her why but that was a topic for another day, and he hurried to catch up to Kuk Yuen Yau to carry on their conversation. But it was cut short when some old eunuchs suddenly appeared before them and asked for Kuk Yuen Yau to accompany them back to the Imperial Chambers. Siu Kei Chi watched silently as they left and continued his lonely path back to the Palace of Abundant Longevity.

    Cheung Wan Sheung was also strolling slowly not too far away. She had gone back to retrieve a silver hairpin that So Yee Ha has left behind at the banquet was heading back to her quarters. Suddenly, a sharp but familiar tune made by blowing on a leaf came from behind her. Cheung Wan Sheung spun around with alertness and quickly scanned the courtyard for any signs of human life. Then she saw it, a dark figure seated comfortably in the shadowy branches of the large tree.

    In an annoyed voice, she called, Come out, Senior Martial Brother!

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Author's Note:
    I did take into account the terrible fashion of having bound feet for well-off women in the Ming Dynasty but I just can't put that into effect when my lead ladies totter around clumsily when danger erupts. I cantl just ignore it because it is a part of chinese history. Cheung Wan Sheung and Yiu So So are fine because they are warrior women so no bound feet but what happens to Kuk Yuen Yau, So Yee Ha and Suen Nga Yin when danger comes? So I have decided to have all the major ladies have unbound feet just for the smoothness of plot. And I have provided a plausible reason for it as well so don't send me hate mail yet! Cheers!
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  14. #34

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    No more Eddie Kwan?
    Hiya! Eddie Kwan will reappear later in the story about two-thirds of Book 1. Then he will play a more prominent part of the story in Books 2 & 3.

    Why? Can't wait to see him be tortured?

    Why don't you put up with Kenneth for now? More men to be introduced in the next few chapters. Get ready for the first appearance of Lau Gan!

    My internet keeps cutting me off every few minutes so can't post a new chapter. Wait til next weekend.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

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    Quote Originally Posted by charbydis View Post
    Hiya! Eddie Kwan will reappear later in the story about two-thirds of Book 1. Then he will play a more prominent part of the story in Books 2 & 3.

    Why? Can't wait to see him be tortured?

    Why don't you put up with Kenneth for now? More men to be introduced in the next few chapters. Get ready for the first appearance of Lau Gan!

    My internet keeps cutting me off every few minutes so can't post a new chapter. Wait til next weekend.
    I'm into Eddie Kwan right now! He's hot! WHERE'S EDDIE???

    There are books 2 and 3? Wow... How do you update so quickly? I can hardly find time to write.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    I'm into Eddie Kwan right now! He's hot! WHERE'S EDDIE???

    There are books 2 and 3? Wow... How do you update so quickly? I can hardly find time to write.
    Go and watch Sword of Conquest or something! I love that show!

    Yeah, there are going to be three books! I thought if I am going to write, might as well write a trilogy with a different focus of themes in each book. There are three generations of characters involved (thus why I cast Eddie Kwan as a 60 year old) and half of the later story will be told via flashbacks or reminiscence. Book 1 is introduction of characters and the main villian's cause. Book 2 and 3 will be the bulk of all the action and drama. I have currently updated like less than one-quarter of Book 1 here in this thread.

    I write a general plot for the story, then add in details when i think of something. It helps me gather my focus and stop me from having a writer's block which I had for TOV. I draw pics of my characters and relationship charts as well to help me see the bigger picture. I have even chosen theme songs to keep me in wuxia/history mode!

    Well, your chapters are way longer than mine so you take more time to tie it all up than I do. I write like about 2000 words per chapter (give or take), you write like 6000 words.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  18. #38
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charbydis View Post
    Go and watch Sword of Conquest or something! I love that show!

    Yeah, there are going to be three books! I thought if I am going to write, might as well write a trilogy with a different focus of themes in each book. There are three generations of characters involved (thus why I cast Eddie Kwan as a 60 year old) and half of the later story will be told via flashbacks or reminiscence. Book 1 is introduction of characters and the main villian's cause. Book 2 and 3 will be the bulk of all the action and drama. I have currently updated like less than one-quarter of Book 1 here in this thread.

    I write a general plot for the story, then add in details when i think of something. It helps me gather my focus and stop me from having a writer's block which I had for TOV. I draw pics of my characters and relationship charts as well to help me see the bigger picture. I have even chosen theme songs to keep me in wuxia/history mode!

    Well, your chapters are way longer than mine so you take more time to tie it all up than I do. I write like about 2000 words per chapter (give or take), you write like 6000 words.
    Is Sword of Conquest the one with Kathy Chow as the female lead? I really liked that series also, but I didn't like Eddie's hair. I prefer the men to just have their hair pulled back completely from their foreheads, clean and simplistic.

    After hearing about how you plan out your stories, I feel like one big mess. I don't plan anything and make up things one chapter at a time. I feel incredibly disorganized and inferior.

    I didn't realize my chapters are that long, until you pointed out that they are about 6000 words. Maybe I should shorten them so that the readers don't get tired of reading such long chapters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    Is Sword of Conquest the one with Kathy Chow as the female lead? I really liked that series also, but I didn't like Eddie's hair. I prefer the men to just have their hair pulled back completely from their foreheads, clean and simplistic.

    After hearing about how you plan out your stories, I feel like one big mess. I don't plan anything and make up things one chapter at a time. I feel incredibly disorganized and inferior.

    I didn't realize my chapters are that long, until you pointed out that they are about 6000 words. Maybe I should shorten them so that the readers don't get tired of reading such long chapters.
    I actually don't mind a small fringe or loose strands hanging down for guys like Eddie did in SOC but to have the hair flying loose like a madman is a nono to me unless he is: (a) a madman (b) a prisoner (c) a beggar (d) Golden Haired Lion King.

    Yeah. SOC is the one with Kathy Chow. I loved the series but hated the main couple being together. The battle scenes are exhilirating. It was the anniversary series of 1991 so lots of production costs and detail went in.

    Every writer has their own style. I like writing with a plan. Some don't. There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as the end product is enjoyable and liked by the audience. I just do the extra planning because i tried writing with no plan before (GSS II & III) and I hated it because I always forgot what I had planned earlier for the plot. I try to revolve my story about the same central themes (love vs revenge, justification of evil acts, honour vs personal, etc...) so i get some of my messages through in the end.

    I tend to write shorter chapters because I like to pause at certain moments to make the audience think about themes and issues for a while before I post my next chapter. And I don't think anyone is complaining about your long chapters. Actually, I think it is suited to Legendary Book of Sun & Moon Swordplay because there is so many things going on at the same time that you need a longer chapter to fit everything in. I think that as the author, you have the power to do what you feel best. If you feel like it is a good spot to stop the chapter, then end it there.

    BTW, where's Bluey?
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

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    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charbydis View Post
    I actually don't mind a small fringe or loose strands hanging down for guys like Eddie did in SOC but to have the hair flying loose like a madman is a nono to me unless he is: (a) a madman (b) a prisoner (c) a beggar (d) Golden Haired Lion King.

    Yeah. SOC is the one with Kathy Chow. I loved the series but hated the main couple being together. The battle scenes are exhilirating. It was the anniversary series of 1991 so lots of production costs and detail went in.

    Every writer has their own style. I like writing with a plan. Some don't. There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as the end product is enjoyable and liked by the audience. I just do the extra planning because i tried writing with no plan before (GSS II & III) and I hated it because I always forgot what I had planned earlier for the plot. I try to revolve my story about the same central themes (love vs revenge, justification of evil acts, honour vs personal, etc...) so i get some of my messages through in the end.

    I tend to write shorter chapters because I like to pause at certain moments to make the audience think about themes and issues for a while before I post my next chapter. And I don't think anyone is complaining about your long chapters. Actually, I think it is suited to Legendary Book of Sun & Moon Swordplay because there is so many things going on at the same time that you need a longer chapter to fit everything in. I think that as the author, you have the power to do what you feel best. If you feel like it is a good spot to stop the chapter, then end it there.

    BTW, where's Bluey?
    No Bluey for you until I get my Eddie!

    You didn't like Eddie and Kathy in SOC? Why? I thought they were pretty cute together. It was an anniversary series? Really? I didn't know that! Usually anniversary series had a ton of stars and were long, but SOC was just about 24 episodes with only a few well known actors, right?

    I never quite liked GSS 2 and 3 as much as I liked GSS 1. To this date, it is still my favorite fan fic story. In fact, you were my inspiration, the writer I looked up to. And you still are. Did you know I started my story after being so inspired by yours?

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