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The Quest of Heaven and Earth - Page 5
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Thread: The Quest of Heaven and Earth

  1. #81
    Senior Member eve13's Avatar
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    i'm abit confused with who's the author of this story.
    is it goofy or gigi or both???
    <IMG SRC="smilies/confused.gif" border="0">

  2. #82
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Eve13:

    Gigi is the pen name that she has in Winglin fanfics.

    Goofy is the pen name that she goes by here.

    Gigi is Goofy and Goofy is Gigi= one person...
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

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

  3. #83
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Gigi is my penname and Goofy is the handle for this forum.. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    I have thought that Goofy didn't sound solemn enough for wuxia writing. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  4. #84
    Member Acidbeastonfire's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><table border="0" width="80%" bgcolor="#dcdcdc" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"><tr><td width="100%"><table border="0" width="100%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="10" bgcolor="#DCDCDC"><tr><td width="100%" bgcolor="#eeeeee"><font size="1">Originally posted by eve13:
    <STRONG>to gigi/goofy

    this is my first time reading fan fic, and wow, i didn't expect it to be that 'excellent'!!
    the plot and writing's great!
    keep up the great work.
    i can't wait for the next chapter.
    the story is good that it evens out the fighting, romantic and serious parts, not spending too much time on either. and the romance parts are just right. it doesn't get too soppy, makes u feel content and fullfilly with just what there is.
    xin-er and ke-jing are really cute.
    both so naiive and innocent.
    jiaping and ah yu are also very cute.
    i esp loved the bit when xin-er thought of using her sword technique backwards to defeat shu. very cleverly thought!
    it's been great reading u're work, i must say that i'm really enjoying!

    <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0"></STRONG></font></td></tr></table></td></tr></table></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Aha...looks like another soul has fell under the spell of your wonderful literature Goofy!

    Eve, do read 'The Legend of the Sword & Saber'. Its a prequel to The Quest of Heaven & Earth. I read the first half of the story over a week & by the second half the addiction was so merciless, i finished the second half over a weekend. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
    See whether ur addiction is worse than mine.
    You have been warned!!!!

    Keep it up Goofy!!!!
    "Man is his own star; and the soul that can
    Render an honest and a perfect man,
    Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
    Nothing to him falls early or too late.
    Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
    Our fatal shadows that walk by us still."

  5. #85
    Senior Member eve13's Avatar
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    ahhh....... that clears it up!! thanks
    gigi or goofy. and whitekrane.

    as for Acidbeastonfire, i will read the prequel, but not right now. got exams to do. but when i finish...i'm pretty sure i'ill get addicted. i'v actually read abit already, but dared not to continue in case i do get addicted!!! then that'll be a bad sign, coz then i'll spend all my time reading and not studying!!!

  6. #86
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    <IMG SRC="smilies/bow.gif" border="0"> to all readers.

    I am glad that my stories proved to be that addicatable. It is nice to know someone is enjoying my writing since I have put a lot of work into it. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

    I am having someone doing a poster for the third fanfic at the moment -

    The title would be Tale of Phoenix Twins, Mystery of Hidden Treasure.

    It would be the last in the Twins Trilogy... <IMG SRC="smilies/director.gif" border="0">
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  7. #87
    Senior Member eve13's Avatar
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    another fanfic???
    what about this one?
    are u continuing it goofy??

    also, i read in another msg, i think it was the interview, that u said u had a poster done for each part. but when i went to the wingli site, i only saw one poster. can u tell me where the other two are? i want to see them. thanks!

  8. #88
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    here are the other two since winglin would allow only one poster at a time. I replaced each one as I was done with each part. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    Book of Sword


    Book of Saber
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  9. #89
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    and yes, I will continue this story. The new one would not come soon since I can't write two stories at the same time effectively.

    However, this fanfic is about halfway, so it might not be long before I finish it. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    The new story happened some many decades after this one, so it can be read independently although it has some connection with the other two.

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

  10. #90
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    <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">Hey thanks for the update! I don't comment much,(silent reader) but I have to say your stories are good!! (my friend told me about the site)- later days- G2G <IMG SRC="smilies/thumbsup.gif" border="0">

  11. #91
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    thanks Danielle. <IMG SRC="smilies/bow.gif" border="0">

    Incidentally, I cast Chun Wong (who appeared as Zhou Bo Tong in LoCH 83 and RoCH 84) as ‘No Name’ although I could honestly say that I did not mean my character to be a replica of Jin Yong’s ZBT. It just shows that great minds do think alike, doesn’t it? (j/k)

    Chapter 17
    Mud, Snake, and Maze

    Character List (not in any particular order):
    Tian Xin-er (Vivian Leung Siu Bing)
    Shu Qiuyang (Deric Wan Siu Lan)
    Ke Jing (Julian Cheung Chi Lam)
    Miao Li (Jackie Lui Chung Yin)
    Huang Yitao (Felix Wong Yat Wah)
    Jiaping (Fiona Leung Ngai Ling)
    Shu Xiayue (Maggie Siu Mei Kei)
    No Name (Chun Wong)

    After Jiaping was gone, Ah Yu called out softly. “You can come out now, Miss Tian.”

    A shadow stepped out from behind a tree. It was Tian Xin-er. “How do you know that it’s me?” She didn’t bother to ask how he realized that she had been hiding there. Her hand was around a sword hilt at her side, ready for an action. After witnessing the masked man’s martial skills, she didn’t dare to be careless.

    Ah Yu glanced at her briefly and calmly replied with his back turned at her. “Each person has unique smell. Each woman uses different perfume. Miss Shu smells of rose, while Jiaping uses musk and sandalwood. As for you, the scent is of orange blossom.”

    Tian Xin-er was impressed. “Hmm, you seem to have a good nose and excellent sword skills too, if I might add. You know me, but I don’t know you. Who are you and what do you want from me?” She asked directly.

    Ah Yu sighed tenderly. “My name is Ah Yu, and I don’t want anything from you.” He turned around slowly to face her. “I am Jiaping’s friend; therefore, I will never harm her friends. What happened before was a mistake. Please forgive me.” He bowed lowly to the young woman in front, not afraid that she could slash at his head any minute.

    Silver laugh came from Tian Xin-er. “If it was truly a mistake, why didn’t you come with Jiaping and Xiayue? On the other hand, I believe that you have no bad intention to us since you are not the masked man we want?”

    Ah Yu stared at her astoundingly. “How did you know?” He was flushing underneath his animal skin mask.

    Tian Xin-er grinned, showing her white teeth under the pale moon. “Because you have no aura of killing like the other masked man does. And also, because your eyes were too kind.”

    Ah Yu could not help but smiled. “Miss Tian has better sense than I do.” He praised then turned grave. “If you want to ask me more about the other masked man, I am sorry that I cannot do that.” He spread his legs and lifted his chin. “I really admire your sword skills. To die under your blade would be my honor.”

    Tian Xin-er released her sword and smiled back. “You have just said that you are Jiaping’s friend. Wouldn’t I be a heartless person if I hurt someone she knew?” She reached in her pocket and brought out a small bottle. Next, she threw it at him. “This is Emei’s medicine for your wound. Oh! Brother Ke wants me to tell you not to exert yourself for a few days. Keep meditating to circulate energy to the spot he had hit you, and you should be all right.”

    She then added as an afterthought. “We are leaving Beiping tomorrow; please inform this to Yitao when you meet him.” With that, she glided away without waiting for the other’s thanks.

    Ah Yu looked at the disappearing figure and took a deep breath. “Even if I could beat her, I would never have a heart to harm even a strand of her hair.” Tian Xin-er reminded him of the dove that nested behind his cottage. Like the white bird, her movements were nimble and pleasant to the eyes. He could feel her spirits for freedom and adventure like a creature of nature. Ah Yu let out a smile then solemnly knitted his eyebrows as he pondered why his mentor would want her life.

    Meanwhile, on the mud island, Huang Yitao had just discovered that he was not the only guest of the old man. He woke up in the middle of the night when something heavy rested itself over his body. He immediately tried to get up but was pressed to the bed with the weigh of the unknown subject. In the dark, he heard soft sound and instantly recognized it as hissing. Automatically, he yelled out, and the old man with a strange name appeared at the door sleepily.

    Light from a candle in his hand showed Huang Yitao that a large white snake was dozing on top of him. The old man took a look at the surprising young man and chuckled. “Oh! That’s my Xiaobai, and you are sleeping on his bed. That’s all right. He won’t mind sharing it with you. Good night.” Then, he left Huang Yitao in the dark with the snake.

    Who could sleep in that condition? Huang Yitao wanted to lift the animal out of him but was afraid that he might wake it. He had already regarded No Name as a crazy man; therefore, he took the other’s words with a grain of salt. On the other hand, he did not want to kill the snake just in case that it really was the old man’s pet. He had realized by now that he was not a match for his elder, and it was best not to anger him.

    Consequently, he lay on the bed frozen, partly because his legs began to lose feelings from the snake’s weigh and partly because he did not want to annoy it. He was tortured in that manner all night long and could only sigh with relief when the old man came to feed his pet in the morning.

    Not bother about the young man on the bed, the old man blew a small whistle softly, and the snake unhurriedly lifted up its white head. The old man made a clucking sound and put down a bowl of milk on the floor. Instantly, the white snake slithered down its long body lithely toward its breakfast. Huang Yitao did not delay even one more second as he jumped out of the bed and rushed out of the room. The old man laughed loudly and teased his new apprentice for being frightened of ‘such cute old snake’. He waited till the snake finished the milk then he coiled it around his torso and went out to introduce two roommates to each other.

    “Xiaobai, this is Huang Yitao, my new apprentice. He will be staying with you for a while, so don’t squash him at night.” The snake sleepily looked at the young man and put out its thin tongue.

    The old man patted its white head lovingly. “He likes you.” He translated and walked toward the kitchen, humming lulling tunes.

    Huang Yitao stared after the old man and his pet snake incredibly. This mad elder expected him to spend another night in the same bed with that snake! He wondered what he had done in past lives to fall into the hands of this old man. He looked up at the sky and prayed earnestly. “Heaven, please get me out of this island.”

    Heaven probably did not listen to his pleas for he had to remain at the island days after days. Moreover, he had to share a bed with Xiaobai every night. Seemed that the snake took fancy of using his legs as its pillow; therefore, it would hunt him down regardless where he would pass the night. As the hut was quite small, and there are not many dry places to take shelters in, in the end, Huang Yitao had to give up and resigned himself as the white snake’s new roommate.

    More than a week had passed, and he began to get used to sleeping with the giant snake at night and learning how to avoid fatal mud holes during daytimes. Although he stubbornly refused to call the other ‘Mentor’, he had no choice but to receive instruction in the art of light kung fu in order to survive on the island. The area around the hut was full of small pits that looked like solid ground on the surface but would turn out deep pools of mud that worked like quicksand to their hapless victims.

    After a careful contemplation, Huang Yitao decided to take lessons from the old man for his future escape from the island. As if he was unaware of the younger man’s intention, the old man eagerly taught everything to the other, especially his mud walking technique. By day, Huang Yitao would train with the old man, and in the evening, he would sat down around a wood stove, talking leisurely with the other.

    Little by little, he came to understand that No Name was not crazy though a bit strange and extremely childish through being by himself for so long. The only thing that could frighten the old man was the mentioning of his sister-in-law. Huang Yitao wondered what she had done to the other that left such impression and accordingly asked the old man about his past.

    No Name shook his head, unwilling to tell, but after a moment, he let out steam of bitterness and frustrations that had been inside him for a long time.

    “She is a viper, a toxin, a scorpion.” He shuddered at the memories of her. He then opened his shirt and showed Huang Yitao two tiny red spots on his chest. “These are her work and the reason why I choose this place to live. Right after she had married my brother, she poisoned me and left me with the antidote with a warning that she would kill me if she has ever cast eyes on me again. I was just a puny lad with weak martial arts then, so I had no choice but to leave my beloved brother. Unexpectedly, she was cruel enough to plant another type of poison in her antidote. To get rid of her second poison, I had to come to this mud island in order to bath in mud pools. Although I have got rid of the poison from my system decades ago, I would feel pain at my chest every time the weather is too dry. Only mud bath can help ease up my pain. Therefore, I could never revenge her because she lives in a place that has no dampness all year long.”

    The old man sighed remorsefully at his reminiscence. “I loved my brother too much to destroy his happiness. He really loves that devilish woman, so I never tell him about what she had done to me.”

    Huang Yitao was sympathetic to the older man. “Elder, you must feel very bad to be separated from your brother for this long. Your sister-in-law is indeed evil.”

    No Name beamed slyly; his mood changed all of a sudden. “So, you see that I am so lonely here. That’s why you should stay here and be my apprentice. Xiaobai is a good companion, but he has no limbs, so he couldn’t play certain games with me.”

    Xiaobai lifted its head as if to reproach its master, and the old man quickly amended his words. “But he is very good at chess. He beat me so often.” The white snake moved its head as if to agree with him and made a sound that could be considered a satisfied purr.

    Huang Yitao did not know whether to frown or smile at the other’s silly behavior. In fact, came to think of it, the old man’s tale might not be that truthful after all. He sighed inwardly. Even his little daughter, Huang Tingli, was more reasonable than this elder was. Whenever he tried to strike a serious conversation with No Name, most of the time, the old man would wander off the point like this, and he would be at a loss for a proper response.

    ‘I really need to get away from here.’ He determined and privately planned an escape.

    In two days, No Name would need to soak in his mud pool again for he had complained that he felt a bit sick from wandering so far away from the island the last time. Thus, Huang Yitao thought of using this chance to run away. Being a good-mannered person, he behaved toward the elderly man courteously during his last two days as a repayment for helping him improve his martial skills.

    After the old man had gone inside the bathhouse, Huang Yitao kneeled down and kowtowed to the building three times as a farewell. Then, he agilely skipped over familiar mud holes toward coasts of the island using light kung fu that No Name had trained him.

    Halfway, he was suddenly lost. Somehow, the whole island looked different as if it had revolved itself or turned inside out. Immediately, Huang Yitao realized that he was inside a maze. Unwillingly to give up, he gritted his teeth and marched on to discover that he had yet again returned to the same spot. Tired at last, he sat down under a shady tree to take a rest. Instantaneously, green vines shot out from the tree like long fingers and wrapped around the young man who was sitting underneath it. Taken by surprise, Huang Yitao had already been securely tied up and slung up the tree before he could have escaped from this trap.

    In that state, Huang Yitao was suspended from the tree for three days and three nights. On the first day, he tried to release himself from his bonds without success. The following day, he yelled out for No Name but received no answer. After that, he became quiet from exhaustion, hunger, and thirst.

    Not until the sun had set on the third day that No Name appeared and looked up delightfully at his captive. Chuckled with mischievous eyes, he jumped up and cut down the vines, releasing the young man. Then, just before Huang Yitao could have bumped down on the earth, No Name quickly caught his shoulders and carried him back to the hut. There, the old man dumped his ‘naughty apprentice’ on the floor in the middle of the coiling white snake who was taking a late nap.

    The white snake woke up grumpily and instantly wrapped its long body around the young man with reproachful eyes. It was evidently annoyed and intended to punish the interrupter. Huang Yitao was being squeezed with no room to move. He could not breathe and realized that his end was coming, so he closed his eyes waiting peacefully for the hands of death.

    All of a sudden, the snake loosened its coil and slid away out of the room. Huang Yitao felt the pressure off his body and opened his eyes while inhaling the air in big doze into his lungs.

    The old man’s eyes danced amusingly while observing the other’s discomfort. Then, he finally uttered proudly. “I have tricked you, haven’t I? Ha-ha.” He cocked his head and murmured. “One thing that WE are not alike is your lack of slyness.” He sighed. “Besides my brother, it is probably impossible to find an exact replica of me.”

    Huang Yitao looked down at his feet with despairs. He felt so hopeless. Suddenly, he kneeled down in front of the old man and kowtowed at the other’s feet countless times. “Elder, please let me go. I have a very important errand to do. Afterward, Elder can have my life.”

    No Name shook his head unbelievably. “Who would want you dead? I only want you to be my companion on this island.” He then inspired an idea. “Hmm, but if you can do a task for me, I will give you the freedom. You will have to kill my sister-in-law for me. That way, I can be with my brother again without him knowing that I am behind you. With the kung fu you have now, you should be able to kill her easily.”

    He forgot to consider that his sister-in-law could have improved her martial skills all these years too. Luckily, Huang Yitao did not agree on his condition. “Elder, I cannot kill an old woman just because she and you did not get along. What other crimes has she done?”

    The old man snorted. “Her separating me from my brother is an enough crime for me. She is an expert of poison – the witch in fact.”

    Huang Yitao still attempted to patch things up between the unknown woman and the old man. “But your brother loves her very much, according to what you said. Don’t you think that he would feel sad if she were to die suddenly? Your feuds are all in the past. Why not let bygones be bygones and started anew?”

    No Name stamped his feet furiously. “How could I get near her enough to talk about our past when she chose to live in the Medicine Forest that was full of traps?”

    He hurriedly covered his mouth, but it was too late. He had revealed the secret, the home of his enemy. Huang Yitao’s surprise increased, so he curiously questioned the other.

    “What is your connection with Medicine Man and Dragon Lady?”

    No Name rolled his eyes then sighed forlornly. “Medicine Man is my brother, and that witch is my sister-in-law.” He closed his eyes painfully then stared at the young man. “Now that you know everything, you will understand why she should die.”

    Huang Yitao shook his head. “Even if I am willing to follow your order, it would be useless because…”

    The old man turned red; he shouted, “because what?”

    Huang Yitao reluctantly replied. “Because Dragon Lady had died for three years now with her husband.”

    No Name’s face began to light up then crumpled at the news of his brother’s death. “No! It can’t be true.” He smiled weakly. “You are pulling my legs to revenge for my harmless trick, right? All right, I will take back my words on your not being sly enough. You are exactly like me – able to lie with straight face.”

    Huang Yitao solemnly looked at the elder man unblinkingly. “No, I am telling the truth. I can swear to heaven for you.”

    The old man still refused to believe him. He cried aloud. “Who cares about heaven and gods?” He eyed the other suspiciously. “You are not likely to meet my brother, so how could you know about him?” He then answered the question himself. “That is because you do not know him and never meet him; therefore, you are just lying.” He seemed pleased with his deduction and began to smile once more.

    Huang Yitao persisted. “It is true that I have never had an honor to meet the famous couple before, but my younger has. He was the only witness of Medicine Man and Dragon Lady’s death.”

    No Name instantly inquired the other. “Where is your brother then? I want to hear him with my own ears.”

    Huang Yitao sighed remorsefully. “Unfortunately, my younger brother is still unconscious from Black Devil’s palm. He is now at the Medicine Forest under the care of Doctor Tian Bao, Medicine Man’s last apprentice.” He then recounted the incident that happened to his younger brother, Huang Jiwen.

    By then, No Name was certain that Huang Yitao was not joking, but the news was just too harsh to take. He sat weakly on a chair, sobbing with tears streaming down his pink cheeks. The next moment, he shot up, wordlessly grabbed the young man by shoulders, and dashed out of the hut. In a few minutes, he reached the beach. With choking voice, he bid farewell to Huang Yitao.

    “I cannot have you here anymore because you will remind me of the bad news. Good bye.” Without warning, he threw the young man over the lake with enormous strength. Huang Yitao was blown half across the lake before he started to fell down toward the murky water. Quickly, he somersaulted in the air and used his light kung fu to balance himself on the lake’s surface then flew forward to the dry land.

    When he reached the bank, he paused briefly to decide which way to go. The sky was without moon, but the North Star was shining especially brightly tonight. Huang Yitao looked up and used the brilliant star as his guide, traveling in a direction of Beiping.

    In the Medicine Forest, the orange tree was laden with white blossoms, sending fragrance to the entire area. At that moment, Ruyu (Rain Lau Yuk Chui) was sitting under it with Tian Bao (Roger Kwok Chun On) and Zhan Zhiying (Sheren Tang Siu Mun), discussing about Huang Jiwen’s illness.

    Tian Bao sighed. “If my mentor were alive, he probably could heal Jiwen with his ‘One Finger’ technique. It is unfortunate that I don’t have high enough inner power to learn this art.”

    Ruyu suggested with hope. “Maybe Hero Tian or Ah Yi can.”

    Tian Bao shook his head. “But they don’t have medical skills. One Finger technique is like acupuncture whereas the doctor uses his finger together with his internal force instead of needles. To use the technique effectively, one has to be good at both fields – inner strength department and acupuncture knowledge.”

    Ruyu’s face showed disappointment. “Jiwen will never wake up then.” She cried, trying to hold back a big sob.

    Tian Bao’s wife, Zhan Zhiying, looked at the other sympathetically. “Master Huang is a good man. Heaven will not desert him.” She reached for Ruyu’s hands kindly.

    At that moment, Ruyu’s young boy cried out frighteningly from inside his father’s cottage. Simultaneously, Tian Xing-xing (Kitty Lai Mei Han) screamed shrilly as she encountered a dark shadow at the cottage’s entry.

    The group beneath the orange tree immediately rushed toward the site to find that Huang Jiwen was gone without trace. His son was crying and looked terrified, but Tian Xing-xing had recovered from a shock and told everyone that she had seen a monster disappearing into thin air with Huang Jiwen’s unconscious body in its hands.

    Ruyu screamed and instantly fainted into Tian Bao’s arms while Zhan Zhiying busily quietened down the little boy. Tian Xing-xing had returned to herself and unhesitatingly lent her hands to Tian Bao to carry Huang Jiwen’s senseless wife into the cottage.

    The first thing that No Name did after placing Huang Yitao’s younger brother on the bed was taking a bath to wash out the mud that he had pasted on his body. After that, he sat cross-legged and meditated to regulate his inner channels. The forbidden trip to the Medicine Forest had tired him out and almost brought back his old symptoms again. However, in order to learn the truth about his brother, he had no other choice. Luckily, he thought of covered himself with mud to conserve the body’s moisture. He stared intensely at his hand and said to himself. “This is the time that I will test the One Finger technique.”

    A life was about to be saved, and a man was going to wake up. Such was the fate that the heaven had mandated.
    ------------------------------------
    The masked man might be revealed in the next chapter. Keep in tune. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

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

  12. #92
    Senior Member eve13's Avatar
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    thanks for posting up the posters Goofy!
    they are really nice! i feel like i'm watching a real tvb series! coz i'm a person who likes to visualise the characters in the story, it really helps alot to make things clear cox when i can't visualise them, i get everything muddled up and lose the plot completely! but now, everything's in perspective.
    and again...great work goofy!
    yeah, another chapter is out!!!

  13. #93
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Warning: This chapter is rated PG-13. Some adult scenes were to be expected. <IMG SRC="smilies/blush.gif" border="0">

    Chapter 18
    Green Bamboo, White Plum, and Blue Robe

    Character List (not in any particular order):
    Tian Xin-er (Vivian Leung Siu Bing)
    Shu Qiuyang (Deric Wan Siu Lan)
    Ke Jing (Julian Cheung Chi Lam)
    Miao Li (Jackie Lui Chung Yin)
    Huang Yitao (Felix Wong Yat Wah)
    Jiaping (Fiona Leung Ngai Ling)
    Shu Xiayue (Maggie Siu Mei Kei)


    Shu Xiayue’s party had left the capital and was now heading for Jiaping’s uncle’s mansion. Ke Jing tagged along with the group, much to Tian Xin-er’s delight and Shu Qiuyang’s disapproval. The only person that remained in Beiping was Miao Li as he could not find any excuse to accompany Tian Xin-er like Ke Jing did.

    After everyone was gone, Miao Li returned to his room and changed his clothes. Then, he also left the inn and headed out of Beiping.

    At a clearing surrounded with a green bamboo forest, a young maiden clad in entirely white dress was playing a flute softly. Next to her was an ancient zither, sitting quietly as if to wait for its rightful owner. Some minutes passed, and a tall man in blue robe appeared. Wordlessly, he walked lightly toward the zither and sat down. Then, he joined the maiden in the same tune.

    At the end of the song, he suddenly stood up and pulled out a sword from the zither. Next, he leaped into the air, twirling his sword slowly. Each stance looked harmless outwardly but was full of hidden force. Each thrust toward a big plum tree nearby would bring down a shower of white plum petals.

    The maiden in white looked up amid the rain of white flowers and clapped cheerfully. While smiling merrily, she threw long white cloth toward the sword and flew after it gracefully. The material wrapped around the steel blade like a hero with white robe. The tall man laughed and directed his weapon toward the coming maiden who swiftly tugged her cloth and redirected the blade with her inner strength toward the bamboo grove instead. The man in blue robe’s force clashed with the young woman’s internal power, sending the sword in white cloth right at the middle of one bamboo plant. The bamboo trunk was immediately split in half and fell down to the ground with groaning sound.

    Meanwhile, the man somersaulted once and caught the young maiden’s waist. He then pulled her close to him and looked into her eyes with passion. He was rewarded with challenging star from the other with no less fervor than his. With a tender smile, he sealed her ruby lips with his while gently alighting down.

    As soon as their feet touched the ground that was carpeted with plum blossoms at the moment, the young maiden demurely shook herself out of the other’s embrace. She threw him a shy smile and playfully chided her offender. “Martial Brother, you are picking on me.” She pouted prettily.

    The tall man in blue robe chuckled; his face showed no guilt. “I am sorry, Xiaomei. In this setting, with a beautiful girl and pretty music, who could stop himself?”

    The young maiden’s face turned crimson, but her smile was radiant with happiness. Her martial brother was calling her with a special pet name, which showed how he truly had missed her.

    Nevertheless, she slapped his arm lightly. “I guess you spoke like this to Miss Tian too?” Her tone was resentful, and the tall man quickly reassured her that she was the only woman in his heart.

    “Tian Xin-er is my enemy, so how could I behave to her the same as I do toward you?” He reasoned and wrapped his arms around the other’s slim waist, inhaling the fragrance of her hair. “I missed you so, my little martial sister.”

    Bai Chang (Joey Man Yi Man) blissfully enjoyed the warmth from his body. She rested her head on the other’s chest and whispered wistfully. “I think of you days and nights. I want to go to you but Grandpa won’t let me.”

    Her martial brother laughed pleasantly. “Naughty girl, you’d better obey your grandpa’s orders. Otherwise, he might not let you leave the cave at all.” He looked around and asked her. “Is he still in the meditating cave?”

    Bai Chang nodded. “Yes, he won’t come out until tomorrow, and you know that he doesn’t like to be bothered unnecessarily.”

    The tall man in blue robe smiled. “That is all right. I came here to see you after all.” He walked to his zither and played a few notes before thoughtfully making a comment. “Xiaomei, your martial arts have improved quite a lot. If I ask Martial Uncle to let you go with me, will you promise to do whatever I say?”

    Bai Chang nodded eagerly. She jumped up and down with delight. “Of course, I will listen to you, Martial Brother.” She proceeded to complain of her boredom here. Then, she teased him half-seriously. “I can see to it that you won’t fall in love with that Tian woman then.”

    Her martial brother inwardly sighed annoyingly; he never liked to deal with women’s jealousy. Still, he had to humor his fiancé. He lifted her hands to his lips and earnestly swore that he only loved her. “The Aisin Gioro men never lies.” He spoke proudly.

    Bai Chang eyed him coquettishly. “Hmm, maybe Aisin Gioro Miaozhong is truthful, but Miao Li might not. Otherwise, why didn’t you kill her at the first chance?”

    Miao Li flirtatiously played with her hair. “That is because I can’t. Her kung fu is as good as mine. Besides, a young lad named Ke Jing is always on my way. You saw how strong he was that day.” He picked up the flute and handed to her. “Let’s play some songs. Although our music could not be compared with the legendary songs in the history, I think it is charming enough for gods to envy us.”

    He sat down and was lost in the musical world. Bai Chang gazed at him adoringly and put her flute to her lips. A few minute later, wonderful tunes resounded throughout the silent forest. Birds stopped flying, and wild animals paused to listen to the heavenly melodies. The forest was as if under the spell for there was no other sound besides the music from the young couple.

    Their hearts united in creating lovely sounds; they finally stopped when the sun left the horizon. Then, Miao Li took off with a promise that he would come back for her. He had also left a letter to her grandpa with an instruction for her to deliver it as soon as the elder came out of the cave.

    From there, he traveled unhurriedly to a large mansion where Jiaping was residing at the present.

    Jiaping and others had reached her uncle’s residence since noon. Needless to say, her kind uncle was very glad and relieved to see his favorite niece safe and sound. Accordingly, he had invited everyone to spend a night at his home and joined in Princess Jiaping’s welcoming party. At first, Tian Xin-er had thought of turning down his invitation since she felt that it was not appropriate for a patriot like her to remain long in the home of foreigner. However, she relented upon seeing how everyone else was willing to stay.

    Shu Xiayue had grown very close to Jiaping these last few weeks, so she naturally wanted to take time saying a farewell to this Mongol princess, and Shu Qiuyang let his cousin decide for him as usual. As for Ke Jing, he felt danger and thought that a well-guarded mansion should be a safer place for Tian Xin-er than a wayside inn.

    Unbeknown to him, the target this time was not Tian Xin-er but Jiaping and he.

    Jiaping was getting ready for bed after a long party given by her uncle. She was tired and yawned sleepily as she lay down. At that moment, the door opened and someone noiselessly approached her bed. Jiaping felt a presence of the stranger and got up, ready to shout for guards. Then, she smiled happily as she discerned the newcomer in dim light. “Ah Yu!”

    A masked man in blue robe nodded and went to sit next to her on the bed. “I have been thinking about you these days. I want you.” He whispered huskily and hugged her.

    Jiaping was surprised at the other’s action but did not protest when he kissed her gently on the forehead, eyebrows, cheeks, and red lips. She was electrified by his touch and totally engulfed in his fire of passion. Shyly, she responded to him and only slightly objected when his hands were trying to take off her clothes.

    The masked man paused and dryly spoke. “I thought that you liked me. That’s why I have braved all dangers to be here with you. If you tell me that you don’t want me now, I will go from you forever.” He smiled winningly in the dark as the maiden immediately reassured him that she wanted to be with him always. His hands worked on, and Jiaping felt her gown slipping away.

    “Ah Yu, do you love me?” She whispered confusingly, and the masked man chuckled. “Of course, Ah Yu loves you.” Inwardly, he promised to himself. ‘Everything he has will all become mine.’

    Dawn came, and Jiaping woke up to find herself alone. For a moment, she thought it was only a dream then turned crimson when she saw the untidy state of her bed. She sighed blissfully at the sweet memory of last night yet her heart was twang with guilt when she recalled her present status and her uncle’s kindness.

    However, she shook unpleasant thought from her head. “Ah Yu said that he will soon introduced himself to Uncle in person. Now that I am his, even Papa could not make me marry anyone else.”

    In her uncle’s room, an old man was composing a letter to the ruler of Manchu. “As Your Highness might have heard, my stubborn brother meant to give away his beautiful daughter to the Han emperor as a tribute. Luckily, I managed to foil his plan and rescued my pitiful niece in time. As a proof of my loyalty to Manchu, I will send her to Your Highness as a new concubine. This niece of mine is as pretty as the first bloom in the morning. She is talented in singing and dancing, and she is the gem of our Mongol tribe. I hope that Your Highness is pleased with this present and become my valuable ally in the future.”

    He put the letter in an envelope, sealed it, and called for his guard to deliver it. Then, he beamed at his good fortune. “Ha-ha. My patience has paid off, and the Mongol kingdom is going to be mine soon.”

    In the past, he had relinquished the throne to his younger brother because he had realized the other’s ambitions and prowess. He knew too well that he was not a match for his brother; therefore, he left the tribe and came to this place, living a life of a rich merchant peacefully though in humiliation. He had waited patiently all these years for a good opportunity to strike. At last, the heaven had rewarded him with the arrival of his niece.

    Alas, the young princess had been turned into a mere pawn in a political game without knowing. Was it luck or curse to be born as a noble lady?

    Two days later in late afternoon, Jiaping was informed by a servant that a stranger with a mask wanted to have an audience with her. Her heart skipped with joy at the news, and her doubt during the last two days vanished. “He told the truth. He came at last.” She hurried to the main hall and found that the new visitor was being attacked by Shu Qiuyang right at the front yard.

    Shu Qiuyang was shouting with rage. “How dare you come here? I am going to collect the debt that you has poisoned me.” He charged at the masked man furiously, and the other tried to avoid his strikes without fighting back.

    Out of nowhere, a pebble was flown toward Shu Qiuyang and hit his wrist. His hand turned numb and he had to drop his sword. He angrily turned around to the culprit and admonished her. “Sister Tian, why did you have to help this killer? He has tried to kill you and brother Ke.”

    Tian Xin-er shook her head and smiled calmly at the agitating young man. “This man is not the masked man we want. Although he is dressed in blue robe and has on a similar mask, he is a different person. Brother Ke can attest to that since he has fought with both of them before.”

    Ke Jing at her side nodded to support her statement. “Xin-er is right. This person is Princess Jiaping’s friend, not our enemy.”

    He turned to the stranger and bowed. “My name is Ke Jing.”

    The man in blue robe returned the greeting. “I am Ah Yu. I am here to meet Jiaping.” His face showed concern then relaxed into a smile when he observed that the princess looked radiant. He exhaled with relief. “I had a bad dream about you, so I came here to see if you are all right.”

    Jiaping only thought that the other was making an excuse for being there, so she replied cheerfully. “I am as happy as I can be.” She glanced at him shyly and was somewhat disappointed that his eyes had only friendliness not love.

    Ah Yu nodded and turned around to leave, but Jiaping caught his arm. “Are you leaving so soon? Why not come inside and meet my uncle first.” She hinted to him.

    Tian Xin-er agreed. “Yes, walking away would not clear your name. I think that we are entitled to hear some explanations from you.” Her voice showed determination, and Ah Yu realized that he could not possibly leave without further combat. He silently sighed and followed everyone into the building.

    After tea and sweetmeats were served, he explained to the group that he was only there for Jiaping and did not care about his name. “I am of course grateful to Miss Tian and Master Ke for proving my innocence, but I have nothing else to say. My last word on this matter is that I don’t know about the other masked man. Since Jiaping and Miss Shu have found you, I only wish to return to my peaceful life.” He spoke guilelessly, and Tian Xin-er could not help but admired his straightforwardness.

    She looked at Ke Jing as if to consult the matter then spoke. “We are not an unreasonable bunch, so we will respect your decision. However, we need to investigate this business to the end, and we just want to make sure that the masked man we want has no connection with you. Wise men say that making friend is better than gaining enemy, so we’d rather have you as our ally when we have to encounter our opponent.” She was being honest to Ah Yu, feeling that he was a good man and could be trusted.

    Shu Qiuyang lifted her eyebrows irately. Would he never get rid of any man around Tian Xin-er at all? Miao Li had gone, but this man came instead.

    Ah Yu pondered for a moment then said. “I can only promise that I would not help either side when the time comes. I don’t want to hurt you, but I can neither be against my benefactor.” He felt that he had said too much and became quiet.

    Jiaping tried to clear the air. She smiled delightfully. “I was right that Ah Yu could not have been the culprit, wasn’t I? Now that everyone has met and made friends, let’s have supper together. Uncle will be overjoyed for an excuse to have another party. He loves to celebrate.” Her eyes were dancing with joy, and Ah Yu could not help making a note to himself that she looked especially pretty and grown up today.

    However, she was now an elegant princess, no longer the damsel in distress that he had rescued some months ago. Ah Yu suddenly felt suffocated in this luxurious environment and missed his small cottage and his garden dearly. Nonetheless, he agreed to stay because he did not wish to let down Jiaping who seemed so eager to talk to him. Besides, a new idea suddenly popped up in his mind, causing him to fervently pray that he was wrong.

    No, he shook away the dreadful thought. Mentor was a kind and honor man. He could not possibly be the masked man. As to why he had ordered Ah Yu to kill Tian Xin-er was probably a mere misunderstanding.

    ‘If I explain to him that Miss Tian is a good person, he will surely forgive me for disobeying him. Someone must have informed him incorrectly about Miss Tian.” He was optimistic about his mentor and determined to see that his mentor would not be accused wrongly in this affair.

    Meanwhile, Jiaping was getting anxious when Ah Yu made no move to seek an audience with her uncle. Then she mistook that he suddenly became shy upon discovering her princess status. Since Ah Yu would not mention about this sensitive subject, she decided to take the matter into her own hands.

    Consequently, later in that evening, she dragged the reluctant Ah Yu to her uncle’s library where he was busily organizing his niece’s wedding. Jiaping was about to knock when she suddenly heard her uncle arranging with a chief guard in sending her to Manchu.

    “I don’t want the princess to escape from the caravan like last time, so you have to keep vigilant watch until she has married to the His Highness.” Jiaping froze at her uncle’s command.

    In her daze, she walked away from the door with tears running down her pale cheeks. She felt betrayed – the relative that she had always loved and respected just sold her out like her father had done. Her legs lost strength, and she collapsed weakly. “What am I to do?” She kept repeating with dry lips.

    Ah Yu had been walking behind her with puzzle expression, so he was thereto catch her in time. With concerned voice, he asked her what he could do, and Jiaping instantly snapped out from her reverie. Her soft hands grabbed his arms tightly, and she looked at him pleadingly. “Please take me away from here.”

    Her eyes reminded Ah Yu of a rabbit he had once rescued from a trap. It was severely injured, and one leg had already broken then. Nevertheless, it had looked up to him for help just like Jiaping. For Ah Yu, Jiaping at this moment was no longer the royal lady but a wounded animal waiting to be saved by him.

    He nodded. “All right. We will leave here together.” He then picked her up and jumped over a high wall.
    -----------------------
    <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> I need to create some conflicts so please excuse my clumsy attempt to write some 'hot' encounters here. <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0">

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

  14. #94
    Senior Member Sioben's Avatar
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    slow down missy!!!
    some of us haven't finish your first fanfic yet!!!

    ( nah......just kidding....I know that there are some who ARE finish with you first fanfic........ <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> it is properly just me who are slow <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0"> )

    [ October 24, 2002: Message edited by: Sioben ]
    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'

  15. #95
    Senior Member eve13's Avatar
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    nooooooooo...................
    dont' slow down. i'm constantly waiting for the next one once i finish the one u've just posted. (but don't bother with me if u've got other stuff to do. i don't wanna rush u)

    [SPOILERS]
    by the way, the masked man that ... with jiaping, he's not the 'real' one right?
    i mean, she ... with the wrong one right?
    am i right? huh? huh?
    sorry if i spoil it for anyone.

    apart from xin-er and ke jing, i'm really interested in jiaping's story now. poor girl. <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0">

  16. #96
    Member Acidbeastonfire's Avatar
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    Whatever you do Goofy, don;t restrict your creative force. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
    Don't slow down!!!

    eve, JiaPing was with the wrong (the evil one who was playing music with bai chang) mask man. It wasn;t ah yu.

    Go goofy go.
    "Man is his own star; and the soul that can
    Render an honest and a perfect man,
    Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
    Nothing to him falls early or too late.
    Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
    Our fatal shadows that walk by us still."

  17. #97
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool

    the man who was with Jiaping was the masked man that xin-er was hunting. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    Sorry if I confuse people, but I thought every answer was there in this chapter. <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0">
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  18. #98
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool

    For my new readers, the name of the white snake, Xiaobai, is to honor of my handsome white cat, Gigi. <IMG SRC="smilies/love.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/kiss.gif" border="0">

    I intend to post his picture once my scanner works again. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    Is the story so far too confusing for you? What improvement do I need? Be direct. (Bracing myself for any critism)... <IMG SRC="smilies/bow.gif" border="0">
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  19. #99
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    Hey Goofy!
    Your chapter's are great as usual. I especially like the casting of No Name. I loved that guy in LOCH and his interactions with Felix (my most favourite scene is when the two first meet and he forces Felix to become his sworn brother. GJ is so dense and ZBT is sooo impatient- cute).

    I can feel the tension building up and the chapters are becoming more exciting. As usual you have great expression, though sometimes i feel as if too many characters are in a scene...[minor detail, i'm being way too picky]

    I'm beginning to fall in love with Jiaping despite not really liking Fiona for the role [your writing is too good] and i feel so sorry for her because Ah Yu seems to only pity her....Bai Chang is not worth it!!!
    Read the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud now. I swear that you won't regret meeting someone like Bartimaeus. Ever.

  20. #100
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool

    hi, Kara. <IMG SRC="smilies/wave.gif" border="0">

    I actually have the ending already in my mind and couldn't wait to write it down. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    As I have stated, did not mean to copycat JY on that character - just a pure coincident. <IMG SRC="smilies/rolleyes.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0">

    Chun Wong had always be my favorite ZBT, but you will see later on the reason that he was cast as No Name. <IMG SRC="smilies/shifty.gif" border="0">

    I am glad you like the chapters. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0"> As for characters on scenes, hmm, not sure what you meant. Any advice or thought on that?

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

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