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Thread: Legend of the Sword and Saber - by Gigi

  1. #141
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Back at my homeland


    no more babies. I am done with them for a while. <IMG SRC="smilies/rolleyes.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/dizzy.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/sweating.gif" border="0">

    Hope the last chapter is not too cheesy. <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0">
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  2. #142
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Back at my homeland


    Part II: Book of Saber

    Chapter 29
    Black Snow Bird

    Characters list (not in particular order):
    Yong Butong …………...................…......………………...Vivian Leung Siu Bing
    Li Renying .....................................……….......... .…..……..Tony Leung Chiu Wai
    Ah Yan……………………............………………….....….Margie Tsang Wah Sin
    Tian Xing-xing ………………………….………….....…...Kitty Lai Mei Han
    Ah Yi …………..................................……………………..An dy Lau Tak Wah
    Di Bao ………….......................…..………….……………Roger Kwok Chun On
    Ah Ju .........................................……………..…… ……….Idy Chan Yuk Lin
    Yue Ling .......................................….….………………… .Gigi Chiu Ngar Chi
    Medicine Man .....................................…......……………. . Chun Wong
    Dragon Lady .....................................……..………………. Helena Law Lan

    Late at night, in an ancestor room of Sword South School, a figure in black mask was searching diligently for something that must have been very important to him since he was so engrossed in the activity that he was taken by surprise by an appearance of another man. Startled, the former leaped out of the open window and vanished into the dark. The latter was no less surprised than the other but lost no time in chasing after the former. The former, who was the figure with mask, tried to speed up himself, but his pursuer was gradually gaining on him. Suddenly, he changed a direction. He turned left to the big corridor and disappeared through the door that led into a female quarter. Five minutes later, the chaser arrived at the same corridor and was about to enter by the same door but was stopped by Li Renying.

    “Brother Yong, you cannot enter the women quarter at this hour. It was not a gentlemanly conduct. Good thing I was on patrol and was in time to see you here.” He strongly reprimanded his guest, not so pleased with Master Yong’s behavior.

    Yong Butong was about to explain his reason to his host but changed his mind. Li Renying seemed to be in bad mood. Besides, he was not entirely sure that the figure he was following did really enter this area or not. He sighed and made a polite apology then retreated to his own room.

    The next morning, Li Renying gave his guest a thorough lecture on a gentleman’s place and season. Then he left Yong Butong in a library with a booklet on etiquette of gentlemen. Yong Butong picked the pamphlet up and read it eagerly at first. Then he lost an interest as he observed aloud. “Hmm, if I have to behave according to the book, I will bore myself to death. That’s probably why Ruyu said that I should be responsible for her because I have seen her shoulder. But that’s nonsense. If I hadn’t sucked out poison from her whip cut, it could have infected and poor Ruyu would have been sick. So, if I help suck up poison from three women, does it mean I will have three wives? But Father used to say that a man should have one love only. Central Plains customs are very confusing!” He heard a giggle from behind a shelf, and Ah Yan emerged with smiling face, trying not to laugh out loud.

    “Master Yong,” she cordially greeted him then turned to her dusting. Yong Butong greeted back, using the phase he had just learned from the booklet, which made the young maid almost loss her control. With difficulty, she kept a straight face and continued with her work, while Yong Butong walked back and forth, viewing the numerous paintings that decorated the library wall.

    All of a sudden, he stopped in front of the largest scroll. It was a drawing of two women standing side by side. The woman in the left looked rather fierce, and the woman in the right had a sad face. Both of them were equally beautiful though in a different way. Below their portraits were two names, Yue Feng and Yue Ling, written respectively.

    Yong Butong could not take his eyes from the scroll. Somehow, he felt drawn toward the women in it. He turned and asked Ah Yan who these Yue ladies were. But she was a new maid and didn’t know much about it except that it was a highly treasure item of Master Tian Fei.

    Yong Butong turned back and looked at the painting again. Minutely, he memorized every details of the two ladies’ features, hoping that he would have a chance to meet such persons in life. He was so absorbed in the portrait that he totally forgot to ask Ah Yan a question he had had for her.

    He spent his entire morning and afternoon in the library. From another servant, he learned that the two ladies were the family of Gentleman Sword Tian Fei. “Where are they now?” He asked the old servant enthusiastically.

    The old man shook his head sadly and said, “Nobody knew. They disappeared eighteen years ago, and Master has been searching for them since. Every time that he comes back from a trip, he will come in here and talk to the drawings as if they were real people. He is very unhappy at not finding them yet.”

    Yong Butong felt affected and could not help but sighed deeply. It must have been a lonely life to live without these women. He sat on the floor and looked up at the painting thoughtfully. “If I were Master Tian, I would have not let you both go away.” He talked to the portraits. “Surely, if my father saw you two, he would change his mind about a man with only one love.” He didn’t come out the library for dinner, and nobody came to pester him as all servants were used to seeing Tian Fei doing the same thing. Li Renying was gone for the day with his martial sister. Because he hadn’t come home for quite a while, he wanted to compensate his absence by being her shopping companion in the nearby town. On their way back, their carriage had a bent wheel and took some time to have the wheel changed. Therefore, it was long after midnight by the time they both got home. Everyone had gone to bed, and the house was in silence.

    Ah Yan was the only one who was up. She was waiting patiently for her young master. As the carriage stopped, she came forth to help Tian Xing-xing to her room and after taking care of her mistress’ needs, she retreated to Li Renying’s bedroom. However, the young man told her to go to bed and not to worry about him. Then he took off his clothes, blew off his candle and retired for the night.

    Just before midnight, Yong Butong came out of the library, feeling rather hungry when the same figure with black mask he saw last night appeared. This time, this figure ran past him and jumped over the wall, heading in the direction of a wild forest. Intending to know about this person’s real identity, Yong Butong sped after that shadow. He was led past a wood and to an inhabited field. Then suddenly that figure was gone. Puzzling, Yong Butong looked around under a moonlit sky when a cluster of purple powder was thrown at his face. Before he realized that it was poisonous gas, he had inhaled it already. His knees began to shake, and his eyes could not see anything clearly. Then he toppled on the ground and went unconscious.

    The black mask shadow jumped down from the nearby tree and went to inspect his victim. He touched the soft skin of Yong Butong’s face and uttered softly. “Humph, it was a nice face – almost too beautiful for a man. What a waste! Too bad that I cannot let you live. You are too nosy for your own good.” He took out a knife from his shoe and stabbed down. At that moment, he heard a cry of an eagle. In the next second, a large white eagle appeared, its wings spreading full length in the luminous light of the almost full moon. The assailant paused with uncertainty. Fears from the old tale crept in, and when he heard a shrill whistling came from afar, he broke out sweats. “Sword God!” He whispered with trebly voice and retreated from the area as quick as he could.

    A pair of footsteps approached. Pretty soon, its owner emerged into a full view. He was a young man with clean-cut face and kind eyes. He whistled again, and the white eagle flew down to land neatly on his shoulder as if in habit to. Its human friend laughed and gave it a soft pat. Then he kneeled down to inspect the senseless man. “Lin Xin-er,” he exclaimed inwardly then changed his mind. “No, it is not.” He picked up the body and with some difficulty carried it to a clearing behind a bush.

    In the morning at Sword South School, Li Renying couldn’t find his guest. He came inside his bedroom and asked his maid, “Ah Yan, did you see Master Yong this morning at all?” He was only curious, not yet alarmed.

    “No, young master. But he likes to get up early for a walk in a back garden. Did you check there yet?” The maid answered quietly while arranging fresh flowers in a vase.

    “Yes, I did but he’s not there either. Look as if he didn’t even sleep on his bed at all last night. Li Renying was getting worried. Then he happened to set his eyes on Ah Yan and realized with a shock that he was wishing right at that moment that Ah Yan were in his room as his wife instead of as a maid.

    Ah Yan stole a glance at him and could see plainly his naked desire. She blushed and accidentally knocked down the flower vase. Flowers flew off, water spilled, and the vase shattered into pieces. She mumbled apology and kneeled down to pick up the mess. Li Renying strode forward to give her a hand despite her protest. In a hurry to finish her job, she was cut by a sharp fragment of the broken vase. Ah Yan gave out a cry and tried to hide her blood-soaked finger, but Li Renying was faster. He grabbed her finger and pressed on it till the blood stopped. Then he used his sleeve to wipe away the blood, asking all the while if she was all right.

    When she did not answer, he looked up and saw that her face was pale. He was alarmed and asked her if she was feeling fainted again. When she nodded with cloudy eyes, he rolled up his shirtsleeve and snatched a fruit knife from the central table and stabbed onto his left arm. Blood gushed out and he immediately put his left arm over her mouth, encouraging her to drink the blood from it. When her color began to return, he gave her a slight scolding. “You have been working too hard. Don’t forget that it is full moon today. Have you been drinking black hen’s blood as I told you to? Did Ah Tan give you a bowl of it every week during I was away? Where has he been?” He was full of concern over her well being.

    Ah Yan fingered the cut on his left arm gratefully. She rubbed the other scars on it. Each scar represented a stab that Li Renying inflicted on himself to give her some blood. From childhood, she had had a strange disease that would make her feel faint and finally gave her a seizure. It could only be stopped when she received some blood, especially that from human.

    Li Renying found her one day during one of his trips to Guilin. She was having an epileptic fit on the roadside, and he took her immediately to see Dr. Ma. After giving her some sedative, Dr. Ma examined his patient carefully. Then he told his friend of the nature of her illness. He suggested black hen blood as short-term remedy for her and set out for the market himself to buy some black hens.

    Fifteen minutes later, the patient woke and started another round of her convulsion. Li Renying was watching over her and could not stand seeing her suffered so much. So, he wounded his left arm in order to give her blood. When Dr. Ma came back with the black hens, she was well again and fast asleep on a bed.

    After finding that the poor woman had no work or no home, Li Renying brought her back to Sword South School with him as Dr. Ma was rather reluctant to care for the strange patient. “Xing-xing will be glad to have another friend.” He told the doctor.

    However, his martial sister didn’t want any new maid at that time. As a result, Ah Yan, for that was her name, somehow became a personal maid of his instead.

    Ah Yan was speaking to her master composedly. “Don’t hurt yourself for me again. It’s no use.”

    Li Renying looked into her eyes and told her. “I love you, Ah Yan. I want you to live even I have to loss my entire arm.” His love for Ah Yan was like water dripping into a bowl drop by drop. He was only aware of it when the bowl was full, when his heart left no more space for anything else.

    Ah Yan looked down in silence. She did not know how to answer him. ‘I’m not worth it. This should not have happened.’ She denied his love in her mind.

    Li Renying took a deep breath. He helped Ah Yan up and walked her to the door. “Go take a rest. We’ll leave for Dr. Ma’s this afternoon. He might find a cure for you this time.” He stood in the corridor so that he could keep on watching her receding figure till she passed the corner.

    Then he turned around to face Tian Xing-xing. “You have heard everything.” He said in a matter-of-factly manner. His martial sister’s face was white from shocks. She whispered hoarsely. “Why? Why Ah Yan?”

    Li Renying shook his head. “I don’t know.” He looked at her with sorrowful eyes. “Forgive me, Xing-xing.” That was all he could say at that moment. Tian Xing-xing uttered a choking cry. She covered her mouth and ran away in the opposite direction. Li Renying could only apologize to her repeatedly in his mind. ‘It’s probably for the best that she knew today. I don’t want to hurt her more than this.’ He went back inside his room and began to pack.

    At the gate of Sword South School, a beggar was asking to see Hero Tian Fei. Upon knowing of his absence, he walked away a few chi (a Chinese measurement like a meter nowadays) and sat down on the dirt road to wait for Tian Fei. He was still there when a carriage with Li Renying and Ah Yan left the house.

    The beggar was Ah Yi. After he had separated from Yong Butong, he had traveled south for a few days before finally went back to the waterfall, hoping wildly that his young friend would still be there. However, he found no one there. Thus, he retraced his steps to the south and arrived at Sword South School eventually.

    Unknown to him, only a li away was the person he had been thinking of, whom at present was making a new friend with his rescuer. Yong Butong regained his consciousness and could tell right away that the man in front of him was mute. He signed to the stranger, “Can you hear me?” When the man nodded, he clapped his hands with delight. “Good. We have lots of servants at home, and they were mute too. I rather miss them. Now I can talk to you just like I talked to them. My name is Yong Butong. What is yours?” He was expert in talking in signs and by eyes.

    “Di Bao.” The man wrote on soft earth. He was relieved that someone knew his mute way of talking. Di Bao lifted his shoulder and a large bird that sat on it stirred. Yong Butong squealed with joy. He reached out and stroked the white wings of the eagle. “It is a beautiful bird, but it was injured. Did you help curing it?” He chatted on. He seemed to understand what Di Bao wanted to say. “You found it with broken wings last week, you say, and it has stayed with you since? So you want to see the Gentleman Sword of the South right? I think you mean Tian Fei of Sword South School, but he is not there now. We should wait for him here because I can’t go back to Sword South School again. Someone from there wanted to kill me. I want to investigate the matter a bit. Besides, brother Li always tells me how to act gentlemanly. You won’t do that, will you? No, I don’t think so. But I think you are a good enough man. You have heeling eyes. My uncle was a doctor too. He cured my sickness when I was a baby.” He told his story to Di Bao. “He owned an island in the eastern sea, and he had a lot of friends staying there. My father used to tell me that Uncle rescued Father and me from a group of bandits. Since then we have stayed with him on the island. Uncle Yuan and his friends traveled a lot. They didn’t stay much on the island. But one day, Uncle came home alone with a lot of wounds. Father gravely told me that Uncle Yuan has been giving me a lot of his own energy for many years thus became weak; therefore, he got hurt by bad people. Father was quite worried and he gave me a scolding, but Uncle Yuan just laughed at my father. Uncle said that he was old and would die anyway. So, it was better to save the younger blood. He said that I would grow up to be the strongest person in the world because I have his energy and Father’s saber dance. When he died, we cried a lot. Father called him the greatest brother and went without food for two days. I have never been sick again after that, and Father never let anyone on our island again without making him our servant. I told Father that we shouldn’t cut off our servants’ tongues and put them in chains. But he said that was for our own good. He always says that I’m too kind-hearted, just like my mother. I have never seen my mother’s face, but I know how I would like her to look like.” He spoke dreamily, picturing the portrait of two Yue ladies in his mind.

    Di Bao thought of his own family and sighed. He hoped that he could find his brother soon. Then he will go fetch Zhan Zhiying from Emei and bring her back to the Medicine Forest to his Lulu. Oh! Lin Xin-er too. He’d better find some money soon to send to her so that she wouldn’t have to work in that lantern place. They all can live with him even the person in front of him, a youth who looked so alike Lin Xin-er as if they were the same person. Still, he could tell just from feeling. He felt more connected with Lin Xin-er more than with Yong Butong. ‘Maybe I will be confused once I am with Yong Butong a little longer.’ He told himself and had to smile. He signed to his new friend that he knew a girl who looked just exactly like Yong Butong.

    Yong Butong was thrilled. “Really? Humph, that’s probably why when I was in Guilin, everyone thought that I was her. It would be great to meet this Lin Xin-er. Did you say that she lived in Guilin? But she must not be there any more since everyone took me for her. She must have done something bad to them because they looked so angry. But I will protect her from them because I didn’t like the look of the fat man and his friends.”

    Then he talked to Di Bao of his saber dance. Di Bao looked at his new friend awhile then brought out a leather pack. He showed it to Yong Butong who opened it and found a manual on series of saber techniques. “This is great. Father used to talk to me about it. He said that whenever I find it, I will also find the most important person in my life.” He stared at Di Bao and comforted him, “You are important too, just not the most important. Maybe, I’ll meet Ah Yi soon.” His face turned red with excitement.

    Di Bao just shoved the scroll that had been with him since a boy on the lap of Yong Butong. ‘This is only the other valuable thing I have with me. I gave Xin-er Lulu’s jade flower, so I should give Butong something too.’

    Yong Butong sat down and started study the stances in the manuals. Then he executed the new moves for Di Bao, who was indifferent between saber fighting skill and mere saber dance. With simple hearts, both youths got along with each other very well.

    After the dance, Di Bao suggested to his friend that they should make camp under bushes, and Yong Butong had no problem with that. Thus the two friends stayed on the vast field, waiting for the arrival of Gentleman Sword Tian Fei.

    Meanwhile, Ah Ju and Yue Ling reached their destination, the Medicine Forest. In a few sentences, they told the old couple of the appearance of Black Devil. Medicine Man sighed when they finished. “It couldn’t be helped. I have hoped that he would have never come back, but he was too stubborn. Don’t worry. I think we could handle him between us two.” He stroked his short beard, and for once, his wife agreed with him. “Yes, not to say that he would never get past my Eight-Array Maze here.”

    Yue Ling also told her mentors about her true identity, and the two elders shook their heads in remorse when they heard the death of Liu Tong. “Sword South School just lost its limb.” Then Medicine Man turned to Ah Ju and spoke. “You should go back to Emei to warn your master about Black Devil. He is here for revenge, and he wouldn’t let Xun Ci Shi Tai go. Almost sixty years ago, I and my wife, Lord of Saber, and Sword God got together to get rid of him. Our Kung Fu was nothing to speak of then. However, by sheer force, we forced Black Devil to promise not to come back to the Central Plains again for fifty-five years. Time passes so quickly. Seasons have changed, but old hatred is still there.”

    Ah Ju still didn’t understand. “But what that has to do with my master. Fifty-five years ago, she was just a girl.”

    Dragon Lady laughed shrilly. “Don’t you know that your master is the younger sister of Lord of Saber? Do you why she hated the Sword South School so much? That’s because she fell in love with Sword God, but he already had a wife, the tribal woman he had stolen from her fiancee. Your master challenged him to a duel and lost to him. Since then, she had entered priesthood and became a master of Emei.”

    Medicine Men tried to shut his wife up, but she enjoyed reminisce old memories to a rare audience. “Don’t think that we don’t know anything just because we live in seclusion. We have ways to learn about the outside world. For instance, we knew that Di Bao had a saber technique manual, that belonged to Lord of Saber and Yue Gao with him all the time. We tried to have him practice the manual, but he just wasn’t interested. We could have told him to give the manual back to you, Yue Ling, if we had known who you were.”

    Yue Ling shook her head. “It is useless in my hands also. If Di Bao is the one to have it, then so be it.”

    Medicine Man just recalled that they had another guest. “Oh! We had two visitors while you were gone. Hero Tian Fei and a gentleman named Yong. Hero Tian had left for the south, but we still have Mister Yong here.”

    He went to invite his guest to meet Yue Ling and Ah Ju, but found only a piece of paper and a large pearl. It said, “Thank you for your hospitality, much appreciated. I feel much better now, so I am leaving in my haste to take over Hero Tian’s job of finding my own son. I won’t forget your kindness and will repay it some day.”

    He took the letter to Dragon Lady who grinned and said. “I think this Yong person went away because he didn’t want his secret to be revealed. Might as well since we don’t know if he is a foe or a friend.”

    But Medicine Man argued. “Of course, he is a friend. He is a sworn brother of our grand-apprentice. How about his face then? He isn’t healed yet.” He was concerned, but his wife grunted. “Well, serve him right if he chooses to practice a dangerous Kung Fu till he is disfigured. Besides, I doubt that we could help him much. He had had that Kung Fu for years, so it would be hard to abandon it just for the sake of a nice face. No wonder he likes to wear veil and hat.”

    Before a new quarrel could erupt, Ah Ju cut in their conversation. “Then I’d better take leave of you three. My master needs to know about Black Devil.” She turned to Yue Ling and said, “I’ll send a letter to Hero Tian, notifying him that you are here. Hero Liu wanted you and him to meet each other.”

    Yue Ling replied somberly. “Sometimes, not seeing is better than seeing. Not knowing is better than knowing. Liu Tong had good intention, but he didn’t understand a lot of things. Would you please not mention to Master Tian of my whereabouts?” Ah Ju was reluctant but promised eventually. “But I’m afraid that even I am not talking, the other will. Hero Mu is heading toward Sword South School, and he is sure to mention about you.”

    To with, Yue Ling calmly replied. “Then it’s up to fate whether I am to meet big brother or not.”

    After that, Ah Ju departed the Medicine Forest and traveled hurriedly to Emei, but she was too late. The Emei she had known now was reduced into cinders. All buildings were destroyed, and charred bodies of her fellow disciples lain in a heap among the ruins. Ah Ju walked around wildly, looking for her master and her three junior martial sisters. She called. “Master, are you there? Xiaofei, Lianhua, Zhiying, where are you?” She sat down dejectedly on the dirt ground. “Am I the only one who was left? Where is everyone?” Tears ran down her face that was full of grime.

    Out of a blue, a person with black mask appeared. “Since you seem so lonely, I will send you to meet your fellow disciples.” The voice was cold, devoid of any emotion. The newcomer didn’t wait for the answer as he threw projectiles in a shape of flowers at Ah Ju with incredible speed.

    Ah Ju had no time to evade the comings flower projectiles, so she grabbed the first thing nearest to her hands and lifted it to meet the projectiles. Her lifesaver happened to be a golden plate, one of the gifts from Sword South School. Flower projectiles flew forcefully and embedded into the plate. Ah Ju threw the plate away and took out her pair swords, standing on guard.

    With no more word, the black mask figure rushed to Ah Ju with a knife. His moves were fast and vicious, target for the life of the opponent. Ah Ju parleyed back with the Butterfly Sword series. To a layman’s eyes, Ah Ju was losing as her moves were slow and seemed without any strength. However, when her thrusts met with the opponent’s chops, slow became fast and weak stabs turned powerful.

    The person with black mask was taken aback by this turn of event, he tried to retreat but instead, received two cuts on both of his arms simultaneously. Ah Ju had an upper hand and followed the advantage with another move of Butterfly Sword. This time, her attack was swift and fierce. Her opponent was in a difficult situation now. Because he was wounded, he didn’t dare to meet with such forceful strike. Instead, he ducked down and tried to somersault away. However, that was exactly Ah Ju wanted him to do. She slightly pressed down one sword and veered it toward the lower body of her opponent while covered his upper body with her other sword. There seemed to be no way out for the black mask person at all.

    “Clank.” A rock was thrown at the lower sword, causing it to swerve from its target. In that second, the figure with black mask rolled out from the sword circle and was rescued away by another figure in black suit who was the rock thrower. Ah Ju had no chance to see who he was.

    Two figures in black were running rapidly toward a wood. When they were sure that nobody was behind them, they stopped near a bank of rivulet, out of their breath. The first person with black mask cupped his hands to thank his rescuer silently and was about to leave when the other person called him. “Ah Yan, don’t go.”

    The former figure stopped and turned around. She said flatly, “I’m not your Ah Yan any more. I am Black Snow Bird, a ruthless killer of Love Palace.” She showed him her upper arms that were shown through the torn shirtsleeves. There was a small tattoo of an arrow in a triangle on her left upper arm.

    Li Renying glanced at her proof and sighed but would not give up yet. “It doesn’t matter who you really are. I only know that I love you. I have known all along that you have Kung Fu, and I knew that you wanted something from Sword South School. When you left Dr. Ma’s house in secret, I have been following you all along. You succeeded in evading me three days ago, but luckily, I picked up your trail again today. Let me help you, Ah Yan. I know that I can.” He stepped forward with pleading eyes.

    Black Snow Bird avoided his eyes, but they seemed to have magnetic power as she was compelled to look into his loving eyes. Her body trembled and she staggered a bit. She demanded Li Renying, “Well, you can help me with my wounds for now.”

    Li Renying smiled. He went to examine her injured arms and with the aids of water and ripped pieces of clothing, he cleaned and dressed the wounds neatly.

    “Thank you.” Black Snow Bird whispered. Her voice was mellow, and Li Renying could see his Ah Yan’s shadow in her eyes. Then she was rigid again. “I have to go now. We should not meet again.” But how could he let her go like this? He quickly put his arms around her; all his lessons of etiquette were forgotten. He informed her, “I am going to hug you like this till you promise to be my wife. You have to kill me if you want to leave here.”

    Black Snow Bird blushed. She threatened him, “Don’t think that I can’t kill you. I can and I will.” However, she did nothing but let herself relax in his embrace.

    The next morning, Li Renying woke up with a piece of paper on his chest. Ah Yan was gone. He read the note with trembling hands. “I really have to leave you. Our love shall never be, and that is fate. Thank you for the most memorable time. I would never forgot last night that I was in your arms, talking only about happy things. Forget Ah Yan. She is but a shadow that you will never find.”

    “Ah Yan!” Li Renying looked up at the rising sun and shouted. “Ah Yan!”

    I tend to write longer chapters. <IMG SRC="smilies/noidea.gif" border="0"> Hope you like it though. Thank you. <IMG SRC="smilies/bow.gif" border="0">
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  3. #143
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Back at my homeland


    Actually, I updated my ch. 29. So if you want to read small additions, please goto winglin site

    Part II: Book of Saber

    Chapter 30
    Yong Yi Sword

    Characters list (not in particular order):
    Ah Yan……………………............………………….....….Margie Tsang Wah Sin
    Zhang Xinlang ………....………...………………………..Miu Kiu Wei
    Ruyu ...............................………...............… ...……………Rain Lau Yuk Chui
    Di Bao ………….......................…..………….……………Roger Kwok Chun On
    Yong Butong …………...................…......………………...Vivian Leung Siu Bing
    Huang Jiwen .....................................……….......... .…..…...Howie Wong Man Ho
    Ah Yi …………..................................……………………..An dy Lau Tak Wah

    Ah Yan was behind a bush, looking on at Li Renying’s lamentation over her. Her heart bled, but she had no more tears to shed. Its well if had not dried up for years, certainly did from the event at Emei Sect two nights ago. She coughed out blood as her mind recalled the past.

    She had received an order from her master to go to Emei Sect and eliminate every soul there. Accordingly, she left Li Renying (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) at Dr. Ma’s house and traveled toward Sichuan, where the sect located. However, Li Renying was on to her and somehow had kept watch on her. He shadowed her quietly, intending to find out about her real identity. Nevertheless, with cunning experience, she managed to shake Li Renying off her trail and arrived at Emei to meet up with ten fellow killers and, unexpectedly, young master of Love Palace, Zhang Xinlang, who said that he was there to supervise their work personally.

    Zhang Xinlang was actually there to get samples of Xun Ci Shi Tai’s letters so that he could forge an answer to Chu Lianhua’s letter. After he got what he wanted, he set out fire to the whole area of Emei and left.

    Ah Yan and her colleagues began a cold-blooded slaughter of every Emei Sect’s disciple, maid, and servant till her knife was covered with blood and number of dead bodies was countless. As Black Snow Bird, an emotionless killer under Zhang Tin’s command, she was used to victims’ cries for mercy and their looks of agony. Seeing that there was plenty of blood to have, she stopped to drink it from fresh corpses now and then. ‘Nothing else could be this simple and boring.’ She thought.

    However, there was yet a surprise in store for her that night. She was wandering to the back of Emei, checking for any possible survivors when a figure rushed out from a small cottage, being pursued by a killer. With one swift leap, the killer lifted his sword and slashed down onto his victim’s back who fell down immediately on the ground.

    Ah Yan walked uninterestingly past the lifeless body when its hand came up and seized her ankle. Irritatingly, she was ready to chop down at the still alive body but paused midair when she saw the upper half of its face. It was a familiar face of an old woman who was on a verge of death.

    “Mom!” Ah Yan cried, dropping herself weakly next to her dying mother. She gently lifted the old woman on her lap and called her again, “Mom, this is Feiyan. Your Feiyan is here.” She sobbed.

    Mrs. Zhan (Carol Dodo Cheng Yu Ling) opened her eyes and saw a face of her long lost eldest daughter through a misty cloud. She smiled happily and whispered faintly to her child whom she took as a ghost. “Feiyan, did you come to take me to the heaven? I and your sister have missed you a lot these ten years. Please protect Zhiying. She’s too…young…to…go…yet.” Her head dropped, but her eyes were still opened from concern over her youngest daughter.

    Zhan Feiyan hugged her mother tightly. Then she tenderly closed her mother’s eyes and made a promise. “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll protect Zhiying with my own life. I won’t let anyone hurt her.” She laid the dead body on the ground and stood up. Then, without warning, she went after her colleagues and executed them one by one with precise strokes and unmatched speed. Taken by surprise, they were caught off guard and many were dead even before realizing their attacker. When Zhan Feiyan came across the last killer, she put her knife on his neck and queried him in icy voice. “You were the spy in Emei, so you must know who Zhan Zhiying is. Where is she now? What does she look like? Tell me everything about her, and I’ll consider letting you live.”

    The fellow was full of sweat. He knew the capability of this Black Snow Bird. She was the best killer of Love Palace, never hesitated to take anyone’s life. He answered her with trembling voice. “She was the seventeenth disciple of Xun Ci Shi Tai, one of the ‘Three Flowers’ group. She had an ugly face; its left side had burnt scars. She went out of Emei last month with her senior martial sister, Chu Lianhua to present invitation cards for her martial sister’s wedding to leaders of sects and clans in the east. On their way back to Emei, young master Zhang had ordered an ambush. He kidnapped Chu Lianhua and left Zhan Zhiying to die with poisoned projectiles. The last time we heard of her was a letter that she had sent to her master. Yesterday, I confiscated it just before it could reach to the priestess. I still have it with me in my shirt.” He boasted proudly, forgot momentarily that his life was in danger. His stupidity was his undoing as Zhan Feiyan pushed pressure on her knife, and it slit through his neck. He collapsed on the ground even with the last sentence on his lips.

    Zhan Feiyan searched for the letter and found it. She hastily opened it and read its content. The writer informed Xun Ci Shi Tai of the disappearance of Chu Lianhua and the meeting up with Wu Dang heroes and finally the asking for reinforcement from Emei. Zhan Feiyan held her younger sister’s letter in her hands and gave herself up for the last mourning in her life.

    In the morning, she buried her mother at one corner of Emei and started thinking of her own situation. “Master won’t me get away with killing my fellow workers, but I might appease him by bringing him the head of Ah Ju’s. Master sounded so bitter when he mentioned her name. Since she was away, she would have to come back here soon. I’ll wait for her here and finished my work before looking for Zhiying. As long as no one knows that she is still alive, she will be safe enough.”

    Hence, she camped among the deaths to wait for the coming of Ah Ju thus unwittingly gave more time for Li Renying to catch up with her.

    Ah Yan came back to the present. She wiped out blood from her mouth and went back to her master to give a full report.

    In the meantime, Huang Jiwen was on his way back to Sword South School. After the disappearance of Ruyu, he and Dr. Ma (Yeung Quan) had organized a search around town with no avail. Therefore, he followed a wise advice of Dr. Ma in going to Sword South School for additional help from Li Renying and Huang Yitao while Dr. Ma would stay in Guilin, keeping an eye and an ear open for any useful information.

    After Huang Jiwen had left Guilin for two days, Li Renying arrived at Dr. Ma, who at that moment was after a possible new trail of Ruyu. Then, before Dr. Ma could have come back from another wild goose chase, Ah Yan had run away and Li Renying had to go after her. Therefore, the three men just missed one another.

    On his way, Huang Jiwen passed a vast desolate field and happened to come across Di Bao and Yong Butong, who were looking for some late summer fruit for their meal. Yong Butong recognized Huang Jiwen and rushed over to greet him. “Hey, nice to see you again. Do you know where Ruyu is? Is she with you? How is your older brother? Did she give him the antidote yet?”

    Instead, Yong Butong was greeted back with a sword. Huang Jiwen yelled at him heatedly. “My brother’s affair is no concern of yours. Think you have a gut to ask about Ruyu after hurting her like that? You have promised to marry her, yet you just left her without a word. Ruyu was unable to eat for days! She even thought of suicide. You have no longer right to see her. I am her protector now, and you will have to answer to me first. Today, I’ll punish you for making Ruyu cry.” Huang Jiwen did not know the truth behind the meeting between Lin Xin-er and Ruyu as Ruyu felt too shameful to reveal to him that she was infatuated with a person of her own gender. He only formed his version of theory from her reluctant statements and her appearance of broken heart over Yong Butong. Now that he met Ruyu’s former love eyes to eyes, all his turmoil emotions during the past three days erupted. With no more word, he lashed at his love enemy zealously, releasing his stress and frustration.

    Yong Butong did not understand what this man Huang was talking about but felt that there must be some misunderstanding afoot. He pushed Di Bao away from harm and defended himself with the stances of Maiden Sword he had studied with Ah Yi. Huang Jiwen recognized the set moves and became more enraged.

    “Ah! You are not only an unfaithful rogue but you are also despicable enough to steal our school’s martial art. For Sword South School and Ruyu, I’ll have to get rid of you today.” He doubled his strength in his strikes and renewed his attack.

    As Huang Jiwen used his godfather’s famous Tiger Leaping and Eagle Catching moves, Yong Butong countered with Butterfly Sword then changed to Maiden Sword and back to Butterfly Sword again because he couldn’t decide which sword dance he liked the most. While he was using the two sword series, he felt that they had similar basic dance steps. So, he began to combine both techniques and created a new dance that was elegant and graceful like Maiden Sword and contained many variations and trick moves like Butterfly Sword.

    Huang Jiwen found that the longer they were fighting, the weirder his opponent’s martial arts became. Sometimes, the moves were similar to Sword South School’s Maiden Sword but they looked too complicated. However, when the thrusts came, the stances had changed into something like Emei Sect’s Butterfly Sword, yet they were too slow and seemed too weak. Several times, the stick in Yong Butong’s hand almost touched his vital points on his body, forcing him to step backward, but it was always pulled back in time.

    Yong Butong was having fun making up new dance steps. He totally forgot about the fight and merely took Huang Jiwen as his spar partner to test the invented sword stances. As a result, although these sword moves confused Huang Jiwen at first, soon he discovered that there was no inner force put in them and that the stick owner had no intention to hurt him. Therefore, he took no care of the coming up stick but went ahead to strike at his opponent.

    “Quack.” Yong Butong’s robe was torn at the side, but he had his vest-armor on. So the sword only bounced back, and Huang Jiwen’s hand shook from his own power rebounding to him. At the same time, Yong Butong’s stick came to rest on his neck.

    Seeing that he was no match for this pretty face boy, he angrily threw away his sword and shouted abuses to his opponent. “So, I am not a match for you. Just kill me then. But I won’t beg you for mercy.” He thought of Ruyu and was sad that he wouldn’t get to see her again.

    Yong Butong was perplexed. He only wanted to know whereabouts of Ruyu, but this Huang man didn’t seem to want to talk about her to him at all. Then he thought of Li Renying’s sunflower seeds game. He smiled widely and pushed a laughing pressure point on Huang Jiwen, who started to laugh non-stop. Finally, when he was out of breath, Yong Butong unsealed his acupuncture point and tried again on the subject of Ruyu. He patiently explained to Huang Jiwen. “Brother Huang, my friend here is Ruyu’s apprentice brother. He and I just wanted to know if she is all right. I don’t know why you hate me so, but I think there must be some misunderstanding. You said that I’ve met her last month, but I was with a friend of mine all the time last month.” In which, Huang Jiwen refused to believe, but was too exhausted from laughing so much that he had no energy left to argue. So he only gave a ferocious at this boy with girlish face. ‘What did Ruyu see in him?’ He grumbled inwardly.

    Yong Butong sighed and began again. “If you don’t want me to meet her, then it’s fine. Just lead Di Bao to see her. He is quite anxious about his apprentice sister.”

    The name ‘Di Bao’ worked magic as Huang Jiwen remembered that Ruyu had told him about her apprentice brother. Her description did fit the man. “Are you the mute one?” He turned to Di Bao, who was standing in silence nearby.

    When Di Bao nodded solemnly, Huang Jiwen started to talk to him, ignoring Yong Butong. “Ruyu was kidnapped from an inn by an unknown person, possible with high martial skills. I’m on my way back to Sword South School to ask Uncle Tian and everyone else for help.”

    “But there was nobody there. Brother Di went there this morning to see if Hero Tian was at home, and the housekeeper told him that brother Li was gone days ago, and your brother Huang Yitao came home yesterday with a lady but had left again to go after Miss Tian. There were only servants in the house.”
    Yong Butong put in his bits of news.

    Huang Jiwen didn’t answer but turned to Di Bao for confirmation. Then he heaved a discouraged sigh. “Then all is lost. What shall I do?” His eyes fell on Yong Butong and with no other choice, he cast away his pride and asked for help. “You have good martial arts. Please help me search for Ruyu. If she still wants you then, I’ll go away from her like a gentleman.”

    Yong Butong was surprised at this change of attitude but easily accepted the peace offering. He beamed happily at Huang Jiwen and said that he was glad that they could be friends again. He then looked at Di Bao by way of consultation. After a careful consideration, Di Bao communicated through Yong Butong that they should all go to the Medicine Forest and let his mentors know about Ruyu. The other two agreed to his suggestion and they set forth in the northwest direction.

    Ah Yi was out hunting for food as he was considering what to do next. Two days ago, after the carriage had left the house, a woman came out and followed the road of the carriage. Yesterday, a man and a lady arrived at Sword South School, but after a while, the man rushed out and called for a horse. He shouted something about having to go after sister Xing-xing. Then the woman who traveled with him appeared and said she would go with him too. The man tried to argue, but his friend was determined. So, in the end, both rode two horses in the same direction as the other woman had gone to. Then this morning, a young man in villager clothes politely knocked at the door and showed a note to a servant at the gate. The servant read the message and narrated to the stranger the comings and goings of the past three days. He also informed the youth that a letter from Master Tian just came in, stating that he wouldn’t be back awhile yet. The young man seemed disappointed and walked away toward the deserted field ahead. Ah Yi heard the news too and was equally disheartened. So he left his station and went to a nearby field, unconsciously followed the young man’s path, intending to fill his empty stomach before deciding on his next move.

    Ah Yi was busy gathering some berries when he heard loud shouts. Then he heard Yong Butong’s voice. With gladdened heart, he ran toward a clearing where the noise came from. There from behind a bush, he saw Yong Butong was fighting with a rugged man he recognized from the roadside over a month ago. He was in time to see Yong Butong used combinations of Maiden and Butterfly Swords and was impressed at his friend’s creativity and cleverness. At that moment, a sword from the other man stabbed at Yong Butong’s side, and Ah Yi almost shouted out a warning but realized in time that a friend of his had a turtle scale armor on. So, he settled back and chuckled quietly as he had learned from experience what would happen. True to his prediction, the burly man cried out with pain as his hand received his own force bouncing back from the armor. Ah Yi was about to come out from his hiding when he saw Yong Butong was with the young villager who was at the gate of Sword South School this morning. They seemed very close friends as Yong Butong looked often at the youth, and vice versa.

    Something near jealousy arose, and Ah Yi stopped in his tracks. He took a look at the young man in old but tidy and clean garment and at himself in beggar outfit and had to admit that he smelled pretty bad. ‘Friend Butong doesn’t like smelly person, so no wonder he seems to like that guy more. I have to clean up myself first before meeting him. He was pretty mad at me then, so I’d better not anger him any further.’ Ah Yi thought and decided to followed the three men silently, waiting for the right time to come out and greet his dear friend.

    On the way, Yong Butong felt that someone was following them in secret and mentioned it to his friends without thinking, never once dreamed that anyone would think of harming him. Di Bao was not worried about their shadow either, as he had no enemy and he had total confidence in Yong Butong’s Kung Fu skills. Huang Jiwen, having more experiences than the other two, was the only one who reacted. He proposed that they should encounter their mysterious trailer in open, but Yong Butong did not want to create another conflict.

    “I don’t think that he means us harm. He is probably just a curious passer-by who wants to see what we are doing. Let him follow us and maybe he can help us with Ruyu.” He and Di Bao were calm, which further irritated Huang Jiwen who exclaimed. “You are both too naïve! The martial art word is full of wolves and thieves. We cannot trust anyone that we don’t know.” He argued but nobody listened to him.

    Finally, Huang Jiwen decided to take things in his own hands to protect his two ‘stupid’ travel companions from danger. ‘After all, I need this Yong guy to help me with Ruyu, and I have to protect her apprentice brother as well, however stupid persons they both are.’ He grumbled to himself for having to baby sit two idiots. Nonetheless, he thought up a plan and told Yong Butong and Di Bao to go ahead while he would stay behind to buy some dried food for the trip. The two had no reason to doubt him, so they left the inn early one morning.

    Next he made a pretense to leave after them too, luring Ah Yi to follow behind. Then he turned around and confronted Ah Yi with belligerent air. “Who are you? Why are you following us?” He threatened the young man in front with a sword.

    Ah Yi just laughed undauntedly. He teased Huang Jiwen back, “Are you trying to bully an innocent traveler just to let out your humiliation from being beaten from a weak man the other day? Sword South School should be ashamed to have a student like you.” He rolled his eyes and made funny face at the other man. His mockery hit the right target, as Huang Jiwen had always been proud of his martial skills and his strength. Being the third students in line of sword skills next to Li Renying and Huang Yitao, he had never lost to anyone before till he met Yong Butong. It was his biggest embarrassment to lose to a girlish man who didn’t even attempt to fight.

    When he was reminded of his defeat by a dirty beggar, he turned pale from rage. “So, you have been spying on us from the start? I hate those nosy people, especially the louse like you. I’m going to teach you some of our school’s skills today so that you wouldn’t be too easy with your mouth in the future.”

    With that, he wielded his sword in a move called ‘Snake Trashing with His Tail’. Liu Tong, his godfather, was the one who thought of this stance. The sword thrust from various curving angles with swiftness and direct force, making it as if there were numerous lashes at the same time. Ah Yi felt the sword coming in several directions, aiming at his body with force. “Good move,” he praised and jumped back to evade the attack, but the stroke followed him relentlessly. So, with Yong Butong’s movements were still fresh in his mind, he shifted his feet according to the new stances that Yong Butong had invented and used his right hand as a sword, executed combinations of the Emei’s and Sword South School’s sword sets.

    “Be careful!” He yelled out a warning before punching his left palm at Huang Jiwen’s face while his right hand reached for the sword. In one second, the sword changed its owner, and once again Huang Jiwen suffered a defeat from a stranger.

    With surprise, Huang Jiwen cried out. “You know the Yong Yi Sword too! Do you know Mister Yong?”

    Ah Yi paused. “Yong Yi Sword? Is that what the stance called?” He smiled happily, glad that Yong Butong did not forget him.

    Huang Jiwen saw a chance to escape, so he picked up a handful of sand and threw it at Ah Yi’s eyes and somersaulted away. When Ah Yi could see again, Huang Jiwen was nowhere to be seen.
    <IMG SRC="smilies/bow.gif" border="0"> Thank you...
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  4. #144
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Back at my homeland


    Feedbacks would be appreciated b/c I felt the story is getting a little boring. What is your opinion?

    Part II: Book of Saber

    Chapter 31
    Book of Four

    Characters list (not in particular order):
    Lin Xin-er ……………………............………………….....….Vivian Leung Siu Bing
    Leader Wu……………………............………………….....…..Lo Chan Shun
    Xun Ci Shi Tai……………………............…………………....Lui Yau Wai
    Tian Fei ……………………............………………….....…….Adam Cheng Siu Chow
    Black Devil……………………............………………….....…Luo Le Lin

    Lin Xin-er was walking out of the clothing store, having bought a set of woman garment for herself. She was having enough with dressing as a man since this white robe seemed to bring troubles to her constantly. At that moment, a group of men appeared on the street. One of them saw her and pointed her out to his leader, who immediately ordered his men to go after their new target.

    Lin Xin-er looked up and saw a gang of strangers advanced toward her. “Oh, no! There are more of them!” She cried and turned around, sprinting into a small alley. With equal speed, the men chased after her down alleys and small lanes. With her small frame, she ran swiftly like a hunted rabbit, went through holes and gaps on gates here and there. Eventually, she emerged into a main thoroughfare on opposite end of where she had bought clothes. Just when she was about to relax from succeeding in shaking off her pursuers, a rough hand caught her shoulder and a voice called out triumphantly. “Got you!” It belonged to the group leader, who had anticipated her move and stationed some of his men at either end of the street.

    Lin Xin-er tried to twist out of his grasp, but his hand was like iron tongs, pinching her shoulder till she cried. “Ouch! It’s hurt! Help! Murderer! Thief!” She yelled, at the same time brought down one foot onto the man’s foot and kicked out at his leg with her other foot. To her dismay, he did not even blink his eyes. He positioned himself firmly in the middle of the road, waiting for his men to arrive.

    This man was a division leader of Love Palace. He was called Leader Wu (Lo Chan Shun) and known throughout the martial art world for his ‘Iron Pincer’ technique. It was said that nobody had ever escaped from his grip once he put his hand on his victim.

    Despite her vigorous kicks, Lin Xin-er was panic when her assailant acted as if he was touched with a feather. In return, he added more pressure on his clasp, making her cried out once again. He gave her a nasty sneer and demanded her to give him ‘the book’. To buy the time, she pretended not to understand what he meant while trying her hardest to struggle out of his clutch without a success.

    When she was on the verge of losing hope, help came unexpectedly. A tall and good-looking middle-aged gentleman stepped forward from gathering crowd and spoke calmly. “You should pick people of your size to bully, not a small boy without Kung Fu.” He smiled comfortingly at Lin Xin-er. His eyes were kind. “Don’t worry. I’m a friend of your father, and I’m here to help you.”

    He picked up some gravel from the street and flicked the pebbles in his hand rapidly in succession, one after another. One stone hit the hand that still grasped Lin Xin-er’s shoulder, disabled the capture’s entire arm. He cried out and let go of his captive; his hand was shaking from high inner force that came with the small stone. The rest of pebbles smacked right at the foreheads of the other gang members, knocking them all out. Leader Wu shouted with rage, and with his remaining able hand, he swung his club, aiming to bash at a nosy body’s head. The gentleman smiled serenely at the coming weapon and flipped the last pebble. It met with the club powerfully as if it were a huge bolder. The club broke, and its owner’s arm shook; from shoulder to tips of his fingers throbbed with pain.

    “Heavenly Fingers technique!” Leader Wu acclaimed with marvels. He realized that he was now up against ‘Gentleman Sword’ Tian Fei of Sword South School. However, the order was to be followed, so he swallowed the pain and went after the boy in white robe again, who now ran swiftly to hide behind Tian Fei.

    Tian Fei frowned. He stepped forward and took hold of the other’s right shoulder in the same manner as he had done to Lin Xin-er earlier. Leader Wu tried to move but felt that his entire right side was numb, so he punched out at Tian Fei with his left fist while kicking with the left foot. Undisturbed, Tian Fei caught the fist between his left index and middle fingers and sent his left foot out to subdue the coming left foot of Leader Wu.

    Leader Wu was in a dire strait. Both of his hands were disabled, and both of his legs were forced into a stand still. Seeing the situation unfavorable to him, he tried to free himself by putting all his force into his left arm so that he could wrestle his fist out of Tian Fei’s fingers.

    At that moment, Tian Fei instantly released his grip on the other’s right shoulder, resulting in Leader Wu staggering back five steps. Enraged, he leaped forward and attacked Tian Fei with his ‘Iron Palm’. Tian Fei met it with ‘Ten Thousands Jins Breaking Palm’ (Jin is a weight measurement, about half of a kilogram – Author); his right palm struck squarely on Leader Wu’s chest, who was thrown over by force and landed in a mud hole on the dirt street. He spat out blood and lay still.

    Tian Fei went over to make sure that Leader Wu was still alive. Then he sealed the unconscious man’s pressure points and tied him securely with a coil of rope. Then he motioned Lin Xin-er to follow him while he dragged the roped body behind him.

    Lin Xin-er was watching the whole scene with open mouth. She was awed by the charismatic presence of Tian Fei and his Kung Fu skills. Dazedly, she followed the hero gentleman meekly out of town into a forest. They marched past clumps of bushes and thickets of trees till they reached a small stream with water trickling leisurely. Her savior stopped to wash his face and took a drink. Then he made a cup out of a leaf and filled it with clear water and brought it to her. “Have some water. You look so pale, still frightened from the event in town?” His voice sounded gentle and sympathetic. He gave her an encouraged smile, showing her his white teeth.

    Lin Xin-er could not help complimenting the older man in front inwardly. ‘He had a nice smile though rather sad eyes and a handsome face even at his age.’ She could sense his hidden sorrow and wanted to be his friend, to comfort him. She felt drawn to him as if they had known each other for a long time. She smiled back at him cordially and mumbled thank you.

    Tian Fei felt a shock running through him for a fraction of a second. It was almost as if he had seen Yue Feng standing in front of him. He blinked his eyes and was back to his sense. “You must be Yong Butong.” He said by way of asking but did not wait for the answer. “You don’t know me, but I have been asked by your father to find you. My name is Tian Fei of Sword South School.” He took out a scroll of Yong Butong’s portrait and gave it to Lin Xin-er. “Your father drew this picture of yours for me. He signed his name and wrote a message underneath it too so that you know that I am your friend.” Somehow, he had an instant liking of this youth.

    Lin Xin-er rolled out the scroll and gasped. She was looking at her own portrait in man clothes. She surveyed her outfit and understood. The person in the painting wore white robe just like the one she had on now. ‘That was why the girl I met last month claimed that I was her fiancee. Oops! Hope the real Yong Butong wasn’t really in love with her.’ She stuck out her tongue. She didn’t feel bad lying to that obnoxious girl, but this gentleman was different. He was a nice person, and he was kind to her.

    Lin Xin-er was about to point out to Tian Fei that he got the wrong person but suddenly remembered that she was still in danger and she needed protection. When she thought of Tian Fei’s high Kung Fu, she decided to risk pretending to be this Yong Butong for safety sake. So, she cleared her throat and tried to act as manly as she could. She lowered her tone of voice and bowed to Tian Fei. “Uncle Tian, I’m glad to see you.” She stole a look at the writings on the scroll and muttered. “Father…er…how is he doing? Where is he now?”

    “He is at the Medicine Forest when I left him. He was a bit under weather, but Medicine Man told me that he should be fine soon. I was delayed coming back this way because I had to go to Master Mo’s funeral at Mt. Hua Shan. I was going to organize a search for you as soon as I get home, but it was providence that we met each other this way. Your father gave me an instruction to meet him in Xiangyang this coming full moon whether I have found you or not. Now that we have less than a month to travel, we should go straight to Xiangyang without delay. I’ll send a letter ahead to the address your father had left to me, so he won’t have to worry about you any more.”

    He raised his eyebrows and scolded the person he took to be Yong Butong. “It is not good to run away from home like this. There are many bad people in this world.” Then he quizzed the lad. “Tell me, what did people of Love Palace want from you?”

    Lin Xin-er walked to the bank of the silent stream and sat down on a big rock. She picked up a tiny pebble and skipped it on the surface of water and sighed. A lot of things had happened one after another these past few days that she wondered sometimes if she was in a dream or not.

    After she had separated from Ruyu, she journeyed on without definite destination. One day, while she was resting near a river, waiting for a ferry to come, she saw two people fighting on a bamboo raft in the middle of the river. The current of water ran rapidly, and in no time, the raft approached near the landing she was on and ran aground eventually.

    At that moment, the two martial artists battled with each other into the stand still. One was an old woman dressed as a priestess, and another was an old man with long white hair clad in black. The priestess sent a web of high inner power to surround the old man through her whisk, and he calmly countered the net with his black rays of inner force. The rays worked as arrows, penetrating the circuit of energy and going on toward the priestess.

    The black energy pierced through her chest and threw her out of the raft onto the sandy bank. She bounced against a big tree and coughed up blood. She attempted to get up but failed. Thus the famous unbeatable ‘Web of No Way Out’ of Xun Ci Shi Tai was defeated by Black Devil’s ‘Arrows of Death’. The old man looked down at the injured woman and laughed gleefully at his victory. “Ha-ha. My dream has come true. I’ve won! Xun Ci Shi Tai, your renowned skill is nothing but a child play. I used to be afraid of Lord of Saber’s martial arts knowledge, but he apparently didn’t teach you enough. For decades, I have thought of a way to counter the techniques from his Book of Four. But today, I needed to use only a fraction of my new skill that I invented with you. Ha-ha. What a pity!” He stroked his grayish beard and turned to face the river, opening his arms wide. “I’m the victor, and I’m the world’s best martial artist. I’ll rule the martial art world.” He announced to the heaven and earth.

    Xun Ci Shi Tai ground her teeth. She cried with rage. “Black Devil, don’t be too arrogant. I’m but an ignorant student of my brother and only learned a little from him; therefore, his real skills have not yet been revealed. There will be a day that you will regret your haughty statement about Lord of Saber. You may be a winner today, but it is early yet to tell if you are the best. Don’t forget that there are yet Sword God, Medicine Man, and Dragon Lady. You have lost before, and you will lose again.” She panted from emotional and physical exhaustion. More blood spat out from her mouth.

    Her words seemed to incense the old man as he turned around and advanced closer to her. “Then, I’ll send you to meet Lord of Saber so that you can ask him for more pointers.” He scorned at her. “Don’t worry about the other three. They will follow you to meet their old friend soon.” He brought up a palm ready to deliver a final blow to the old priestess, when a clear sky suddenly seemed red as if in flames. Flurry of sand swirled around, and waves in the river sounded roaring. Black Devil was distracted for a moment, and during the short period that he took his eyes away from his prey, a hand reached out from a bush, pulling the old woman into its hiding.

    When Black Devil found that priestess was gone as if she had vanished into thin air, he was taken aback. He searched around but found no trace of the old woman or her rescuer. At once, he laughed. “Dragon Lady and Medicine Man, why don’t you come out if you are here. Are you afraid of your old enemy? I came to the Central Plain to fight with you two, not to play hide and seek.” He called out but when nobody answered, he shouted angrily. “Think that you can save Xun Ci Shi Tai? Her entire internal system is destroyed by me, and she will not live to see tomorrow, however miracle healers both of you maybe. It is all the same to me if she dies now or three hours later. Have fun playing doctor while you can. I’ve some business to take care of. After that, I’ll make a visit personally to the Medicine Forest.” He announced before disappearing from the scene like rapid torrent that brought destruction everywhere it flooded.

    Xun Ci Shi Tai was pulled through a mass of grass into an old animal hole. She was badly injured but was conscious enough to be aware of a youthful face in white garment of gentleman clothing style bending over her. She tried to sit up and small white hands came out to assist her. In the dim interior, a sweet voice asked with concern. “Are you all right? That old guy must be a mad man, talking about killing people like that.” Then the voice sighed with relief. “Good thing the trick from the notebook worked. I’m glad that I have been reading it by way of passing time. Didn’t think that few white stones and piles of sand could work a miracle. Wait a bit. I’m lighting a torch now. I think it is better to stay here till you can walk. I don’t know if I can make a maze again if we go away from the river.” The voice chatted on, while the hands were busy making a torch. Finally, the dug out hole was illuminated by a small torch. One hand brought a water pouch to the priestess’ lips, and she drank thirstily. She mumbled, “Thank you.”

    She closed her eyes wearily then opened them again. She saw a beautiful face of a young girl robed in man’s clothes. “What’s your name, little girl? How did you help me?” She asked curiously.

    The girl replied in a bell-like voice. “My name is Lin Xin-er. I was waiting for ferry when I saw you two fighting on a raft. A wise man once said that well water should not mix with river water. I don’t want to get tangled in the martial art world affair, so I built a maze to hide myself. But I couldn’t help myself when I saw that you were badly hurt. Martial art world or not, I can’t stand seeing a person being murdering in front of me. Hence, I created a diversion from five elements and made a maze to hide your track according to this diary.” She brought out a tiny notebook from Yong Butong’s bag. “The writer mentioned that there were at least 365 variation of the maze, but he knew only one hundred and one methods.” Her pretty face lit up and she clapped her hands with joy. “But I know one more than he did. I just invented a new method yesterday.” She rolled her eyes, “Hmm, I shall call it ‘Hiding Among Grass’ method.” She declared proudly.

    The old woman’s cough brought Lin Xin-er back to the present situation. She turned to tend the old priestess and gave her another mouthful of water. Xun Ci Shi Tai took a deep sigh and uttered ironically. “I, Master of Emei, never imagine to die like this. I regret now that I was too haughty to study the Book of Four. That was because of him…” She recalled how her love was turned down by Sword God. He had said to her, “I have only one wife, now and forever.” She remembered bitterly of her duel with him. She could still taste the defeat on that day. Actually, Sword God was letting her win, but she forced him to use his seventy-two sword techniques in order to protect his own life. He ended up attacked her back, hence a scar on her shoulder that still remained to these days.

    From that day on, she refused to touch anything that Sword God had a hand in. The Book of Four was a copy of ‘Two Weapons Manuscript’ that Sword God and her brother, Lord of Saber, had written together. She had kept the book as a last memorial of her elder brother but couldn’t bring herself to open it because the old memory of Sword God was still painful.

    Instead, she created a set of powerful energy palm and called it 'Web of No Way Out’ and used it to build her fame throughout the martial art world. Later, she received a leader position of Emei Sect from the former master and since had become a formidable Xun Ci Shi Tai.

    Last year, she lent the treasury Book of Four to Ah Ju so that this favorite disciple of hers could take a short cut in developing her inner energy in preparation for ‘Web of No Way Out’ skill. The priestess intended to pass Emei Sect legacy to Ah Ju soon. However, because the Book of Four was based on the inner power used with top saber and sword techniques, skill on both weapons was necessary. As a result, due to lack of knowledge, Ah Ju was able to achieve up to only the third step within the total thirteen levels mentioning in the Book of Four.

    With this obstruction, Xun Ci Shi Tai had to give up the idea of teaching Ah Ju ‘Web of No Way Out’ for the time being for this martial art required strong inner force to accomplish it. She took back the Book of Four and instructed Ah Ju to concentrate on perfecting all other Emei Sect’s skills and strengthening her energy with the usual route – Taoism’s breathing practice.

    Xun Ci Shi Tai watched the strange girl who had saved her life keenly for a moment then she reached out and grabbed the wrist of Lin Xin-er with her last strength. “Ouch! That’s hurt.” Lin Xin-er cried with surprise; her whole arm went numb. She thought that the old woman became so delirious that she turned mad.

    The priestess released her grip and seemed satisfied with the result. She paid no attention to Lin Xin-er’s anger but spoke in stern voice. “So, you have no Kung Fu. You are really a common girl, not a spy from Love Palace.”

    Lin Xin-er moved away from the injured woman cautiously while massaging her sore wrist. She began to think that this priestess was mad. “Of course, I’ve just told you that I don’t belong to the martial art world. Naturally, I don’t know Kung Fu.” She looked at the other uncertainly. “If you don’t want me here, just tell me so. No need to hurt me like this. Gee! I should have thought more carefully before deciding to help you from that old man. Both of you are weird people.” She retreated to the cave exit.

    Xun Ci Shi Tai frowned. She moved and spat more blood. Lin Xin-er forgot any danger and rushed to her, wiping her mouth gently and giving her more water. “Elder, take care. Don’t mind my big mouth. I didn’t mean what I said.”

    Xun Ci Shi Tai seized the girl’s shirt. She whispered in between her heavy breath. “I’m going to die…soon. Please do…something…for me.” She paused from the pain rising up inside the body.

    Lin Xin-er realized with a shock that death was here, and she gave the haggard woman a hug. “I promise. What can I do for you?” Tears of pity rolled down her cheeks.

    Xun Ci Shi Tai smiled. She brought out a manuscript and a letter from her inner shirt and took off a metal ring from her thumb. Then she pushed them toward Lin Xin-er with her last words. “Go to Emei Sect in Sichuan and give these three things to a woman named Ah Ju, the fourth disciple of Emei. Tell her that she is to be the next master but don’t try to avenge my death. From now on, let her befriend with Sword South School. I understand now that love is but a dream, intangible and unreachable for me. Can you do that for the dying woman, little girl?” She gathered all the energy and transferred it into Lin Xin-er’s body, who felt as if lightening had run through her, making her faint from the sudden load of coming inner energy.

    When Lin Xin-er woke up, the priestess was already dead; her hands were stilled on the girl in the position of giving out energy. All that afternoon, she embraced the cold body of Xun Ci Shi Tai as a silent mourning. In the evening, she buried the body and after paying the proper respect to the grave, she took off with three new possessions in her pockets; her destination was Sichuan.

    Since then, she had been hunted by a mysterious group of people who seemed to have an interest in ‘the book’. With the aid of the diary of mazes and pure luck, she was able to escape a series of attempts to capture her till today.

    Lin Xin-er stole a glance at the aged gentleman who was leaning a tree trunk, waiting for her to answer his question with patient. She felt that she could trust him with her life, and the priestess said that Sword South School was to be friend with Emei Sect. But, still… She hesitated from the experience of deceptions she had encountered these last couple days. In the end, she just gave him a typical story of witnessing a gang of bad people committed a serious crime. Tian Fei accepted her account with no further question. He could tell that this young master Yong was concealing something. However, he was only concerned on escorting the youth to his father in safety. Thereafter, he ventured a suggestion to start for Xiangyang. However, that was not in Lin Xin-er’s agenda. So, she spun another yarn. This time, she had been robbed on the course of escaping from the mention gangsters, and she was now after a thief who had gone in the direction of Sichuan. She ended the tale dramatically by showing Tian Fei the remnant of her treasure, a piece of old jade in a shape of flower.

    To her astonishment, Tian Fei became a changed man. His face lit up, and light of hope kindled in his eyes. He snatched the jade from her and asked her urgently. “Where did you get this jade? Who gave it to you? How did you have it?”

    Lin Xin-er stammered; unconsciously, the truth came out. “A friend of mine gave it to me almost two months ago. His name is Di Bao of the Medicine Forest. His apprentice sister had given it to him as a keepsake.”

    Tian Fei felt as if he could fly. He asked the young lad excitedly, “What is her name? Do you know what she looks like?”

    Lin Xin-er shook her head and felt for him when she saw his disappointment. She added helpfully, “But Ah Bao said that she lives in the Medicine Forest.”

    Tian Fei could hardly believe his ears. “Medicine Forest,” he repeated. “Yue Ling is there, my Ling-er.” He told Lin Xin-er, “Thanks, little brother. You don’t know how this news changes my life. I have an urgent business to tend to, so I can’t accompany you to Xiangyang. But I will ask escort agents in the next town to send you there. They are my friends and they are reliable. I’ll send an apology letter to your father for my rudeness later.”

    Whereupon, Lin Xin-er refused to budge unless she was allowed to travel with Uncle Tian. “I don’t trust anyone else but you. You have seen how powerful those gangsters were, and there are more of them. What would you say to my father if I come to harm during the trip? Are you going to forsake me for a lady?” She rebuked him and quickly proposed her plan. “Hmm, I’m not a hard-hearted person. If you want to go to Medicine Forest first, I’ll go with you. Then you can take me to Sichuan after the thief. After that, we can go back to my father. My father is a good man, and he will understand the reasons for the delay.”

    Tian Fei was reluctant to do so. He knew that she was right about the ability of Love Palace, and it was his duty to safeguard her to Master Yong. But, Ling-er… He swallowed his agony and told Lin Xin-er that he would take her to Xiangyang first then, but she opposed, pointing out that she needed to go to Sichuan first. When he didn’t seem to buy her story about thief, she confessed to him that she had ordered a birthday present for her supposed father there and wanted to pick it up before meeting him again. In short, she pleaded and threatened till he agreed to write an excuse letter to Yong Butong’s father about their delayed arrival.

    In truth, Tian Fei could not deny the eyes that looked beseechingly at him. They looked so much alike the eyes of Yue Ling’s when she had asked him to make a grasshopper for her. Finally, he sighed. “I will just kowtow to your father a hundred times as my failure in missing a meeting then. At least you are safe here with me.” He changed the topic. “Are you interesting in learning a few Kung Fu to protect yourself?”

    Lin Xin-er was elated. She grinned with pleasure. “Of course, I am. I want to be as good as Uncle Tian.” Her eyes went to a body of Leader Wu, and she walked over to give him a few kicks but was stopped by Tian Fei. “The first rule of learning martial art from me is to have a courageous heart. Bullying others is a coward act, not a brave behavior a hero should have. This person is from Love Palace and deserves death for his crimes, but he is now in our hands and cannot defend himself. We should not mistreat him just for personal sake.”

    When Lin Xin-er wanted to know the reason that Tian Fei had brought along this prisoner, he explained to her fondly. “Our school has tried to find the location of Love Palace’s headquarters for months. Now that we got one of its leaders, it seems that we have some clue here at last.”

    However, Leader Wu refused to talk. He knew too well what would be his punishment if he so much uttered a word about Love Palace. Tian Fei had to resort to the original plan, taking him back to Dr. Ma’s and left him there for a time being till he got back from his trip to the west.

    Accordingly, Tian Fei built a strong cage and with a help of Lin Xin-er, transported their prisoner to Guilin.

    Thanks for keeping reading. <IMG SRC="smilies/touched.gif" border="0">
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  5. #145
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Back at my homeland


    Part II: Book of Saber

    Chapter 32
    Plot and Conspiracy

    Characters list (not in particular order):
    Zhan Feiyan (Black Snow Bird)……………………...........Margie Tsang Wah Sin
    Zhang Tin.......................…………………………………..Eddie Cheng Siu Fai
    Lu Peng........................…………………………………….Kong Wah
    Zhan Zhiying. ........................……………………………...Sheren Tang Siu Mun
    Ah Zhu........................................... ......................................Yeung Pan Pan
    De Pang.............................................. . .................................Liu Kai Chi
    Duan Hui …………….….………………………….……. .Alex Man Chi Leung
    Man He …………………………………...…..……………Simon Yam Tat Wah
    Xian Yuo…………………………………………………...Eddie Kwan Lai Kit
    Eunuch Cao…………………………………………………Kwan Hoi San
    Eunuch Xu………………………………………………….Lee Sing Cheung

    It was a peaceful night. The sky was without cloud and the moon was bright, bathing the isolated path in its golden light. Owls’ cries were heard at the distance, indicating that they had found their victims. Night animal eyes were seen among bushes and behind tall grass, hiding from their hunters or waiting to attack their preys. The cool wind sang a soft lullaby for the ones who needed night rests so that they could start wake up in the morning with renewed energy.

    Oblivious to the surrounding nature, three figures were in a deep conversation. One figure was kneeling on the ground, asking pardon from her master. “Please forgive me Master. I had a sudden attack from the poison, so I lost myself in a fit and before I knew, I’ve slain all my fellow killers. I did try to capture Ah Ju of Emei for you, but unfortunately, some busybody came by and helped her.”

    Her master smiled coldly. “So, I suppose it is your way of asking for an elixir pill?” Upon which, Black Snow Bird replied uneasily. “Certainly not. I don’t dare to assume that privilege. I’ve drunk some blood from the corpses and I felt a lot better now. Your humble handmaid only hopes for a painless death from her master.” She looked up at her master demurely and bowed down to the ground, waiting for the sentence.

    Zhang Tin burst out laughing. He pulled his maid up and patted her back fondly. “How can I afford to loss such a beautiful disciple like you? The others were just disposable killing machines, but you are my favorite maid and the best killer I have. Here is the antidote for this month.” He gave a pill to the young woman, who quickly swallowed it. He eyed her slim body and added flatly, “If you satisfy me tonight, I’ll give you the next month’s ration too.” He put her arms around her, and she flinched. He frowned annoyingly but saw her injured arm, so he released her and ordered her to get some rest instead. Before she left, he called her back to give further instruction.

    “Tomorrow, meet me at the inn in town. I will need you for two things. One is to take care of Lu Tingli, and another is to get the Book of Four from a certain young man. Also, I know that Li Renying is infatuated with you, so you have to use him to obtain all the secrets we can have and entice him to our side. If he won’t cooperate, kill him. There are many other young men in Sword South School. I don’t believe that they are all a good bunch who wouldn’t betray their teachers for your charm.”

    Zhan Feiyan bowed and acknowledged the order before withdrawing in a calm manner, but her heart was heavy. ‘Do I have to kill him? What shall I do this time?’

    Zhang Tin watched her retreating figure lustily. However, work came first, and there was still another night. He sighed, and the other man who hid under a dark shadow of a tree sneered at him. “Want her, do you? You are getting too obsessed with women these days. If you don’t let go of your virile desire, you might end up like me.”

    Zhang Tin turned to his senior martial brother angrily and jeered back at him, “brother Lu, this is my personal business, and I would appreciate that you stay away from it. Every REAL MAN needs a woman once in a while. Of course, you probably forgot how it was with a woman since it’s been so long…”

    Lu Peng turned purple with livid. Zhang Tin just hit his vulnerable point. He clenched his fist and growled. “Don’t cross the line, brother Zhang. I have yet a few things to discuss with your favorite youngest son. He killed my servant and lured my daughter to work for him at Sword South School, not to say meeting her without my permission. What would you say to that?”

    Zhang Tin smiled mischievously. “But, wasn’t that your plan all along any way? Xi-nan just executed it a bit earlier. Don’t you think that it’s the time to return a daughter to Hero Tian? Too bad we can’t find Yue Feng yet. Otherwise, it would be quite a family reunion. Ha-ha.” He found the notion funny.

    Lu Peng laughed along with his junior martial brother. It was half-bitter, half-irony laugh. Maybe it was time for revenge after all.

    While laughing, Zhang Tin was forming details of his scheme. ‘It was unfortunate that Black Devil did not bring back the Book of Four. A blockhead old turtle! He thought that he was the best in the world that the mere martial art book was of no importance to him. Still, it was providence that Xun Ci Shi Tai happened to be a sister of Lord of Saber, thus I could get rid of her without wasting my three requests from Black Devil. Hua Shan then Shaolin, and I still have one request left for the throne. Sword South School is of no consequence. Liu Tong is death, and Tian Fei is not hard to deal with. Feiyan can handle the rest of them. Finally, Black Devil will take care of the other three Greats. As a precaution, I just have to make sure that he fulfills my goals first before getting himself killed along with any of them.

    Now if only I could lay my hands on the Book of Four and the saber technique of Lord of Saber. At least, I know who has the Book. Luckily that some men of Leader Wu picked up a trail of a young man in white robe who Black Devil had seen near the duel site. He must be the one, but for now, he is under Tian Fei’s protection. Hmm, I’ll probably need to send Feiyan for this job the first thing. As for Lu Tingli, Xi-nan can deal with her.’ He was also wondering about his oldest son, Zhang Xinlang. ‘Hope he won’t let me down with his work.’

    Meanwhile, at Wu Dang Sect, everyone was in anxious state. The second brother Duan and the third brother Man had come back with the youngest disciple of Emei, Zhan Zhiying without any news of the kidnapped Chu Lianhua. Xian Yuo was the most tortured one because he couldn’t openly reveal his feeling for the girl in front of everyone. They had just received a letter from Xun Ci Shi Tai, stating that she was sending Gu Xiaofei ahead to Wu Dang and that she should enter the marriage ceremony as soon as she arrived. There was no explanation to this odd idea of the priestess, but the five brothers were used to the old woman’s eccentric personality, so they were preparing for the arrival of the bride. However, a sudden wedding was another matter. It was not that easy to follow the priestess’ instruction to a letter. On the other hand, there must be some urgent reasons for her to write out that order for she was still a strict disciplinarian for ritual conducts such as wedding.

    After a brief discussion, the first brother De Pang brought out a plan. “I and Duan Hui will escort Miss Zhan back to Emei because I think that Xun Ci Shi Tai might be in danger. Man He will go back to Xiangyang for another investigation for Miss Chu. Xian Yuo, you wait here for Miss Gu. If we meet her on our way, we will send her straight to Wu Dang. Third sister-in-law, you can’t go with us because you are needed here to get everything ready for the wedding.” He turned to Ah Zhu who was all ready to go.

    Ah Zhu was disappointed. “How come? Chu Lianhua and Zhan Zhiying are my junior martial art sisters. At least, if I can’t go to Xiangyang with Ah He, I should be the one who leads this expedition to Emei. I am the third disciple of Xun Ci Shi Tai, and I should be there to help my master.” She announced stubbornly, but Man He was the one who persuaded his wife to stay successfully.

    “Dear wife, you have to think of our baby. It would not be convenient for him to be exposed to danger. It’s almost the time for his birth, so I don’t want you to risk your life unnecessarily.” When he saw Ah Zhu relented a little, he added comfortingly. Don’t worry. Both brother De and me will do our utmost to help Emei. Moreover, your task here is no less important than ours because you will have to take care of Miss Gu and brother Xian. Some adult is needed here to supervise the entire procedure.” He touched his wife’s round stomach tenderly.

    Ah Zhu had to concede to her husband’s logical reasons. So, she sighed and organized packing for the men and Zhan Zhiying.

    When everything was ready, De Pang and Duan Hui took off for Emei, and Man He took leave of his wife to go to Xiangyang.

    At the Imperial Palace in the capital, another plot was afoot. Eunuch Xu was at that moment reporting the progress of Love Palace to his chief, His Excellency Eunuch Cao. “Your Excellency, Hua Shan School’s leader, Master Mo, has passed away two weeks ago. It was rumored that he was murdered in his sleep by a mysterious man. Also, Heng-Shan Nunnery and Emei Sect were destroyed into ashes. Shaolin Temple is their next target. After that, Wu Dang Sect will fall, leaving only Sword South School in solitude. Master Zhang said that he had sent a spy to induce some talented disciples of the school to our side before ridding it for good. Other clans either have surrendered to Love Palace or are not significant enough to be afraid of.”

    Eunuch Cao was satisfied with the update. He smiled in anticipation. “So, it is almost time for a new ruler. In the past, Cao Cao’s descendants failed to retain their kingdom, but today, I, Cao Shan will change a history and create my own dynasty. I’ll become a greater ruler than my ancestors had ever been. Ha-ha. Stupid Manchurian prince thought that I am aiding him to conquer China, and Love Palace believed that I am supporting them into the leader of the martial art world. With the helps of both parties, how couldn’t I help but succeed?”

    A vindictive laugh was echoing in that closed room.

    End of Part II (Book of Saber).
    See you in part III. <IMG SRC="smilies/bow.gif" border="0"> Thank you.
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  6. #146
    Moderator CrazyT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002


    This is a very interesting story Goofy. I stayed up till 2 am reading it and I still didn't finish. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0"> You made a lot of reference to Jin Yong's books. And it seems the time period should be around the time of the Golden Snake Warrior. Is he gonna appear? Ehe. j/k. Can't wait to continue with book 3. Keep up the good work.
    I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code.

  7. #147
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Back at my homeland


    I wanted to write a JY fanfic, but this is as close as I can get for now. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> I have to wait till I get to read all his books so that I have enough knowledge to do so. <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0">

    Actually, this story set before crimson sabre. Ming won't come down yet in this story... <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0">
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  8. #148
    Senior Member Sioben's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    somewhere between here and there....


    geezzz...........I've only been away for a few weeks and you've already finish the second book!!!!!!

    Well.....I have to make some free space or I wont be able to continue reading your fanfic <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
    I've been touch by an angel
    I've been bless by the power of Sioben
    I can hardly believe you're that short!!

    Sioben: 'ohh....shut up'

  9. #149
    Administrator spcnet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003


    As I came down with the cold and cough these few days, I finally had time to start archiving the fan fics. Goofy, part I of your fan fic is now up. I made some minor editing to it. Also had a chance to finally read it--pretty exciting. <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0">

    Please start a new topic for part III of your story.

  10. #150
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Back at my homeland


    thank you. Shall do.. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  11. #151


    Long time since this has been updated. Do you plan to continue, goofy?
    Zhang Ziyi CSC: news, biography, gallery, filmography, forums, more...

  12. #152
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001


    Part Three of this fanfic is located here...Spcnet wanted the writers to split their fanfic into another thread once it gets too many pages...thats all..

    Here it is...
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

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

  13. #153


    Oh... okay. Then disregard that post in your ALOS thread. I guess CH 9 must be here somewhere too.
    Zhang Ziyi CSC: news, biography, gallery, filmography, forums, more...

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