This is a fanfic that Charbydis, Goofy and I will co-write together, I hope this fanfic turns out good!
Chapter 1: The Past Memories of Snow
The snow of the purest white had just begun to fall upon the travelers in Luo Yang. As everyone was rushing towards the nearest inn or their own homes to hide from the extreme cold, a gust of wind blew even harder and mercilessly at the small groups of people who were still wandering outside.
A young man around the age of twenty-two had wisely planted himself at a table on the top floor of the Golden Dragon Inn, away from the cold weather. As he sat by the balcony drinking some wine heated from the little man-made stove on his table, his thoughts drifted far away from the Golden Dragon Inn and back to his painful past. It had been many years since he had set foot in his hometown.
Ten Years Ago…
The Miao family was well-known for making the best in quality weapons. Although, they made the sharpest blades and most intricate weapons, the Miao family themselves knew very little kung fu. However, they were skilled enough to fend off mountain robbers and those of simpler kung fu skills. Everyone in the Luo Yang prefecture of Henan province knew about the Miao family’s generosity. They would often help people in the city by passing out rice and dry rations for the less fortunate. Many people admired the Miao family for their righteousness and hospitality for others.
Furthermore, the Miao family knew many people in the Imperial court as well as people in the trading business; in particular they had strong bond between with the Lin and the Chen families. The Lin family held power as head merchant of the Lin'an (臨安) Trading Guild, which controlled a majority of the trades along the Grand Canal, Yangtze river and overseas. The Lin family would often help the Miao family deliver and ship weapons to their more distant consumers. In addition, the Chen family’s influential role in the imperial court has helped the Miao family business flourished as one of the main weapon suppliers for the imperial government’s military. Together, these three families were powerful allies, who worked together to benefit each other in reputation and wealth.
Until one snowy night a group of assassins on horseback had orders to make the Miao family disappear. Miao Ting Feng (苗霆锋), a young boy of twelve years, awoke to the slicing and clashing sounds of iron swords. Pools of blood were scattered and splattered everywhere in sight. Miao Ting Feng found his mother and grandparents lying dead on the cold marble floor of the main hall. Miao Ting Feng could hardly believe his eyes. It had to be a nightmare. No matter how many times he tried to wake them, they remained motionless.
The clashing of swords became louder as Miao Ting Feng made his way out to the front doors of the Miao Manor. Seven masked assassins were sword fighting with his father, Miao De Zhong (苗德钟), and his three uncles on foot. He could see his father and uncles had been fighting these men for quite some time. The Miao brothers continued to fight in spite of their bleeding injuries. The seven men mercilessly attacked them with each move. The young Miao Ting Feng stood frozen and watched helplessly, while the two masked men each used one final sword stroke to kill his third and fourth uncles. Scarlet blood splashed and stained the white snow. The two men he had always admired fell dead before his eyes. When the feelings in his legs returned, he charged forth, but his first uncle stopped him. Aside from his father, his uncle, Miao De Lun, was one of the better sword fighters in the family. His uncle was able to fight and kill two assassins while carrying Miao Ting Feng’s four year old sister tied securely on his back without bringing any harm to her.
Several feet away, his father and two servants were still fighting off the remaining group of five assassins. Then, Miao De Zhong cried out, “Big brother, my men and I will distract these scoundrels, please take my children to safety first! If anything happens, please raise them well.” His father turned and cut one of the assassin’s arms and stabbed another, but another assassin stepped in to fight him.
With the lives of the children to protect, Miao De Lun (virtuous order) reluctantly followed his brother’s request and took hold of his nephew’s hand and ran to nearest horse. It was a horse that belonged to one of the dead assassins. After Miao De Lun carefully climbed onto the horse making sure his niece is still steadily on his back, he then pulled the young Miao Ting Feng upon the horse. By then, the darkly clad assassin who received a cut on the arm earlier took notice of the uncle and the two siblings on horseback. Nimbly he jumped on a horse and started to chase after them. There was no time to lose, the uncle and the two children turned away from their home and started galloping in the direction of the city gates.
In the short moments before they lost sight of Miao manor, Miao Ting Feng turned to see a tall man and his horse walk out from the shadows. The tall man wore a wide brimmed hat, which partially covered the top part of his face, leaving his mouth and the big mole below his chin to be visible to the young Miao Ting Feng. He knew this man. His father also recognized this man. He saw the tall man order the two assassins to stop and his father with an astonished face stumble down to one knee with only his sword to steady him. It looked like the tall man wanted something from his father, but then his uncle had steered the horse off the straight path and made a turn to lose the assassin chasing them.
As they reach the city gates, the soldiers guarding the large gate doors was just letting an old lady and her granddaughter in after hours, when gates would have been closed for the night. Miao De Lun shouted, “Keep the gate door open! Keep the gate door open!” The soldiers recognized him to be the head master of Miao weaponry and immediately reopened the doors again. Seeing the darkly dressed assassin on their trail, the soldiers attempted to quickly close the gate doors on him, but they were no match for his great horse riding skills. He and his horse galloped and passed through the gate doors with ease.
After a long ride towards the forest, Miao De Lun and the two children reached a fork in the road, one path leading up to the monastery on the mountain and another path towards a village. Miao De Lun pulled the reigns and the horse stopped.
“Uncle, why are we stopping?” Miao Ting Feng asked.
“Ah Feng, get off the horse and take your sister.” Miao De Lun untied the large cloth holding his niece to his back and placed her in his nephew’s open arms.
“Listen carefully, Ah Feng, I want you to take sister and go hide in the monastery. Our family has good relations with the head abbot. He will take care of you until I return.”
Miao Ting Feng nodded while his sister sobbed for their parents. He watched as his uncle took the horse and rode down the road towards the nearby village. The snow kept falling from the sky without any sign of stopping. ‘Good,’ Miao Ting Feng thought. 'Our trail will disappear with the fallings snow.'
“Xiao Bing (小冰), come on, we have to hide from the bad man.” He carried his sister up the trail, where they hid behind a large boulder. His sister, Miao Xiao Ping (苗小冰) clings to her brother and cried, “Brother Feng, I want mama and papa! I am scared of those demons in black!”
“I know. I know but we have to wait for uncle to return.” Miao Ting Feng sat and hugged his sister closer to him. Tears dropped silently down his cheeks as he tried to quiet his sister’s little sobs by gently rocking her to sleep.
Soon, the assassin reached the fork and paused for a second and decided to continue towards the road to the next village. The two Miao siblings waited for a long time before they set out to walk up to the monastery. When they reached the temple, a young Buddhist monk answered the door and led them to the head abbot who took them in and gave them a place to stay.
A few days later, when Miao Ting Feng and his sister had not heard from his uncle, he asked the Head Abbot to let them return home to see what had happened to Miao manor under some supervision. News all around town told a story about the Miao family meeting an unfortunate demise that involved a group of robbers who came to steal from the Miao family. They stole and killed everyone in the manor. With the loss of the Miao family, everyone in the entire prefecture felt their absence. That snowy night ended the lives of forty-eight members of the Miao family, not counting the maids and servants that served the Miao family.
After a month, Miao Ting Feng and Miao Bing Bing (苗小冰)wandered aimlessly on the open roads in search of their uncle. The Head Abbot tried to convince them to stay at the monastery, but they refused. They wanted to be reunited with their only family member, so he gave the children extra clothing to stay warm in the cold weather and food rations to last a few days. Miao Ting Feng and his sister searched the next village, but there was no sign of his uncle. They continued look for their uncle in other villages, but one day, his sister fell sick with pneumonia. He brought his sister door-to-door to physicians, but they all refused to treat his sister because they had no money. Only one physician generously offered to treat his sister, but it was too late. His sister had stopped breathing. When his sister died, Miao Ting Feng’s hatred for his enemies deepened even more that day, the death of his family and the losses his family had suffered because of the tall man with the mole had left him, homeless and orphaned with no living family.
The months after he lost his sister, Miao Ting Feng found a job at a local blacksmith making axes, sickles, swords, bows, arrows, sabers. It was not easy for a young boy to find a job. Miao De Zhong would have been proud of his son. He proved to the blacksmith, he knew his ways in forging weapons and farming tools. The weapons he made were superior to the blacksmith, but the old blacksmith didn’t care. The boy brought in more profit for his small shop.
In the ten years after his family massacre, he went on living in hope to get revenge for the loss of the forty-nine lives. He was grateful to have met his shifu, Qin Yan Fei (秦雁飞). She took pity in the boy and took him in as her student months after he had lost his family. Among her specialties, his shifu taught him the Peerless Swordplay and trap making. He spent many days and months of his youth practicing and honing his sword fighting skills, while other kids were playing. His determination for revenge motivated him and his natural aptitude for learning martial arts allowed him to become a quick learner of the swordplay.
The crowd in the Golden Dragon Inn increased in their loudness and merriment, when a group of travelers came in demanding a full table of hot food and wine. The loud laughter and gambling ruckus shook Miao Ting Feng’s attention away from his painful memories of past and back to the present. The top floor of the inn became crowded and noisily to him again. However, he did not seem too bothered by the noise. He continued drinking nonchalantly and when the wine bottle was empty, he carelessly threw it off the balcony. The empty ceramic wine bottle almost hit a young woman’s head as she was entering the Inn. Her quick reflexes enabled her to jump and let the bottle break into many little pieces as it crashed to the ground. The near accident prompted her to run up the stairs to find the culprit.
“Who threw that wine bottle out the balcony?!” said the young woman dressed in a light blue robe and cloaked with a black cape.
The young woman looked around but nobody paid her any attention, except for the waiter working earnestly to earn his daily wage. The waiter approached the young lady and asked, “Greetings Young Miss, would you like to stay the night or eat a meal?”
She nodded and the waiter led her to Miao Ting Feng’s table. “Sir, excuse me, since all the other tables are full, would you mind sharing your table with this young lady?” The waiter asked. Miao Ting Feng made no objections and so, the young lady sat down. The waiter waited to take her order and left promising her quick delivery.
Miao Ting Feng went ahead to move his plates of food closer to his side of the table and poured him a fresh cup of the hot wine. The young woman looked at him and asked, “Did you see who threw that wine bottle that almost hit my head?”
But Miao Ting Feng made no attempt to reply. The young lady frowned and deliberately took the wine bottle from his hand and poured herself a cup. She took sip of the wine and stuck her tongue out as the alcohol tasted bitter.
“How can you drink such a bitter drink?” She asked.
Miao Ting Feng had watched her steal his bottle away and take a deliberate sip of the wine. Her reaction to the wine reminded him of the time he convinced his little sister to steal a wine bottle from the kitchen and took his first sip of wine. He smiled at the fond memory he created with his sister, but the smile became bitter as the wine he drank.
“You don’t have to be sad. I apologize for taking your wine without asking. My shifu says frequent wine drinking is bad for the soul and makes people act wildly. I just wanted to taste and see if that is true.”
Miao Ting Feng just smiled quietly at her and took his wine bottle back to his side of the table.
“Ha…you are a strange man. You don’t know how to reply to people’s questions, but only know how to drink and smile.” She said.
It was true. Miao Ting Feng had spent many years withdrawn from society and focusing only on perfecting his learning martial arts. The only person he spoke to was his teacher. He looked at the girl sitting in front of him again. She looked familiar, but couldn’t quite place where he had met her before. Just then, the waiter returned with her order and began placing the plates on the table.
Miao Ting Feng stood up and decided it was time to leave. He fumbled for two silver ingots and left it on the table. As he left the Golden Dragon Inn, he could still hear the girl saying, “That man is truly weird. The heavens bestowed him with a handsome face, but forgot give him a voice.”
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Goofy or Charbydis! Who's next!