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Thread: Legendary Book of Sun-Moon Swordplay

  1. #1
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Talking Legendary Book of Sun-Moon Swordplay (日月剑谱传奇)

    Thank you to all my readers who have created the lovely story posters below for Legendary Book of Sun-Moon Swordplay.

    HAOMEI'S CREATIONS:










    TWEETY'S CREATION:






    HANNIE'S CREATION:






    CAST OF CHARACTERS

    Ada Choi Siu Fun---Lok Bing Yee
    Adam Cheng Siu Chow---Emperor
    Alec Su You Peng---Ah Peng
    Andy Lau Tak Wah---Lam Siu Tin
    Angie Cheung Wai Yee---Cheung Yim Na
    Angie Chiu Ngar Chi---Chung So Lan
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Sui Han
    Bae Yong Joon---Yip Fung
    Benny Chan Ho Man---Koo Yat Keung
    Chun Wong---Bandit Leader
    Ekin Cheng Yee Kin---Yeung Lap Chun
    Eric Wan Tin Chiu---Law Mun Kin
    Felix Wong Yat Wah---Wong Hup Ming
    Frankie Lam Mun Lung---Lam Yik Wah
    Gigi Lai Chi---Lam Suk Chi
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun
    Helena Law Lan---Grandmother Fa
    Idy Chan Yuk Lin---Chan Yin Yuk
    Joe Ma Tuk Chung---Lau Dong
    Joyce Tang Lai Ming---Suen Ling Wan
    Kenix Kwok Ho Ying---Kwok Mong Yuet
    Kevin Cheng Ka Wing---Cheng Sai Chung
    Kitty Lai Mei Han---Kwan Suet Lin
    Kristy Yeung Gong Yu---Lam Suk Yu
    Lau Dan---Old Man
    Lee Heung Kum---Old Woman
    Louis Koo Tin Lok---Koo Yat Fei
    Marco Ngai Chun Kit---Ng Sam Lung
    Margie Tsang Wah Sin---Chu Sau Fa
    Myolie Wu Hung Yee---Mok Yee San
    Patrick Tam Yiu Man--- Marquis Ching Bong
    Paul Chun Pui---Royal Physician Chun Ying
    Rain Lau Yuk Chui---Sung Ling
    Ray Lui Leung Wai---Lok Koon Lam
    Raymond Lam Fung---Chu Kot Chuet Ching
    Roger Kwok Chun On---Kong Dai Hei
    Sean Lau Ching Wan---Lau Yuen
    Selena Li Sze Wan---Sum Guk Yiu
    Simon Yam Tat Wah---Fong Sing Duk
    Song Yun Ah---Tong Mei Si
    Steven Ma Chun Wai---Lee Wai Kit
    Steven Ma Jing Tao---Leung Cheuk Fu
    Tony Leung Chiu Wai---Ha Ming
    Vincent Jiao Enjun---Chau Mo
    Wong Suk Yee---Lai Hong
    Yammie Lam Kit Ying---Koo Ming Chu
    Yeung Jak Lam---General Law

  2. #2
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    This story is dedicated to my pooh bear. Hugging you brings a smile to my heart. Huggie!

    ********************

    PROLOGUE

    The Sword of Sun glows bright and red
    His blade fierce and all-consuming
    Slashing those who stand in his path
    With ruthless vengeance and deadly swiftness

    The Sword of Moon shimmers in ethereal beauty
    Her timeless grace unrivalled
    In the heavens above and on the earth below
    Mesmerizing all who have laid eyes on her

    United, two swords attack as one
    Like lovers with hearts beating in harmony
    Striking fear and stirring awe
    In all who witness the power of Sun and Moon

    But pity that Sun betrayed Moon
    Leaving her with hatred and revenge raging through her heart
    And she vows to never rest in peace
    Until Sun and Moon meet once more

    And hence two swords shall rest in eternal sleep
    Their radiance and power never more
    Until Sun and Moon walk the earth again
    And learn to forgive and love once more

  3. #3
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    CHAPTER 1 -- THE ESCAPE

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Adam Cheng Siu Chow---Emperor
    Idy Chan Yuk Lin---Chan Yin Yuk a.k.a. Sui Yuk (Concubine Chan)
    Andy Lau Tak Wah---Lam Siu Tin
    Angie Cheung Wai Yee---Cheung Yim Na (Concubine Cheung)

    IN THE DESERT

    Lightning blazes across the dark sky, sending currents of electricity hissing through the silent night. A lone rider, astride his mighty black stallion, gallops across the desert terrain, the horse's hooves beating the rhythm of a thousand drums. The tall man on horseback, robed in an impressive long yellow garment embroidered with the imperial symbol of the dragon, scans the horizon, his eyes darting back and forth urgently, hoping to catch a glimpse of his target.

    Finally from afar, he spies two figures, a man in black and a woman in white, racing through the evening sky using their lightness kung fu. The man on horseback urges his horse along, and with a hand placed on the stallion's back for leverage, he pushes himself into the air, executing several flips to pursue the couple ahead of him. As he nears them, he reaches out with his hand and attempts to palm the man in black.

    Sensing another's presence, the man in black twirls in the air, avoiding the man on horseback's attack and at the same time pulling the woman with him so that they both land safely on the ground. The three people now face each other, both men with menacing expressions on their faces and the woman with a contrite look on hers.

    The man wearing the yellow gown with the embroidered dragon points at the man in black, a ferocious expression on his face. "How dare you try to elope with Concubine Chan! I shall have you beheaded for this outrageous behavior!"

    The woman, with a terrified expression, runs to stand in front of the man in black, as if trying to protect him from the man in yellow's wrath. "No! Please, Your Majesty! Spare my senior martial brother's life! If you need to blame someone, then blame me."

    She kneels down in front of the Emperor and holds his hand beseechingly. In the background, thunder rumbles and lightning flashes, giving the night sky an eerie brightness and accentuating the woman's delicate and breathtakingly beautiful features.

    The Emperor stares despairingly at the woman. "Why, Sui Yuk? I love you so much. In the past year since you have entered the palace, I have not even looked at other women. I have even neglected Concubine Cheung in order to spend more time with you. Why do you betray me with this man?"

    Tears stream down her cheeks as Yin Yuk pleads. "Your Majesty, I know I have abused your kindness by eloping with Big Brother Siu Tin, but we truly love each other. Even though I have tried my hardest to put him out of my mind after I entered the palace, I cannot bring myself to forget him. My senior martial brother will always be my one and only true love. Your Highness, you control the world in your fist. Why not let an insignificant woman like me go? I do not deserve your love and kindness!"

    The Emperor looks at his beloved concubine for a painful moment, then suddenly turns to his love rival, Lam Siu Tin. "This is all his fault! If he had not shown up at the palace, enticing you to leave with him, then you would still be at the palace now and we would still be happy together! I am going to kill him for this!"

    Concubine Chan tightens her hold on the emperor's hand. "No, Your Highness! Execute me, instead!"

    Lam Siu Tin drops down to the ground to hug Yin Yuk tightly. "Sui Yuk, do not beg him. I am not afraid to die. I will die without regrets, knowing that you still love me." He tenderly kisses her on the forehead and then stands up facing the Emperor. "Your Highness, I challenge you to a sword fight. If I win, then I want you to let us leave. If I lose, then my life is yours to take."

    Yin Yuk, horrified at the prospect of a sword fight between these two men with powerful kung fu, bursts out, "No, please!"

    The Emperor looks at his precious concubine for a long time with a tortured expression. "Just leave, both of you. I do not want to see you again."

    He turns his back on the couple, who looks at each other with surprised relief. Lam Siu Tin helps his junior martial sister stand up, and they both slowly walk away.

    Suddenly, the Emperor turns to look back at the couple. "Wait! Take my stallion with you, Sui Yuk. You are not accustomed to prolonged travel by foot. My stallion is strong, and he will take you safely to your destination."

    Yin Yuk gnaws at her bottom lip and gives the Emperor a remorseful look. "Thank you, Your Highness. I will always remember your kindness."

    The couple takes the reins of the stallion from the Emperor. Siu Tin leaps up onto the stallion and bends from the waist to help Yin Yuk onto the horse. They gallop away, the sound of hoof beats fading into the darkness, as the Emperor stares at their retreating backs with tears streaming down his face. As if the heavens pity the Emperor his misfortune of losing his most beloved concubine, the sky releases a torrent of heavy rain.

    THE NEXT MORNING, ON A SMALL BOAT

    Yin Yuk, with her head snuggled on Siu Tin's shoulder, looks at her senior martial brother uncertainly. "Big Brother Siu Tin, do you regret running away with me?"

    Siu Tin glances down at her, surprised at her question. "Of course, not! I love you, Sui Yuk!"

    Yin Yuk gnaws at her bottom lip anxiously. "But I am carrying the Emperor's child…"

    Siu Tin lifts her chin with his index finger and thumb. "Don't be silly, love. The Emperor does not know that you are carrying his child. Besides, I will treat your child as my own. He will receive the best of care, the best schooling, and I will personally teach him the Lam Family Sword Fighting Style."

    Yin Yuk glances at him teasingly. "Him? How do you know the baby will be a boy? Are you a physician?"

    Siu Tin looks insulted. "I do not have to be a doctor to know! I can just feel your abdomen here…" He reaches forward to caress her flat belly.

    Yin Yuk giggles and playfully pushes his hand away. "There are other passengers on the boat!"

    An elderly couple looks on the younger couple's playful antics with a smile. How loving and compatible they appear, the elderly man and woman think to themselves. As the boat sails off into the horizon, Yin Yuk snuggles closer to Siu Tin, feeling like the luckiest person in the world.

    NINE MONTHS LATER
    CITY OF LAM ON
    AT LAM MANSION

    Siu Tin paces back and forth in front of the birthing room. "What is taking so long?! It has been hours!"

    Inside the room, Yin Yuk lets out an ear-piercing scream. Upon hearing her scream, he jolts to a halt. "Oh, no! Sui Yuk!"

    He dashes into the room in time to see the midwife wrap a squalling, red-faced infant boy in a red blanket. The midwife turns to the new father with a jubuliant grin. "Congratulations, Young Master Lam! You have a son!"

    The midwife hands the baby over to Siu Tin, and he stares at the little wrinkled face with awe. He brings the baby over to his wife's bedside to share his joy with her.

    Siu Tin shows the baby off to Yin Yuk proudly, as if he single-handedly brought the child into this world. "Sui Yuk, we have a beautiful son! Look how handsome he is!"

    Yin Yuk peeks at her son with a tired but serene expression. "He is kind of cute. Look at his tiny hands and feet!" Pausing, she ponders, "What shall we name him?"

    Siu Tin pauses in deep thought. "Let's name him Yik Lun."

    Yin Yuk strokes her son's cheek tenderly as the baby punches the air vigorously with his miniature fists as his tiny rosebud mouth searches for his mother's breast. "Yik Lun…"

  4. #4
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    CHAPTER 2 -- SWEET BUN

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Sui Han

    TWENTY-FIVE YEARS LATER
    SEASHORE

    Seagulls glide across a deep blue sky, their cries blending in with the soothing melody of gentle waves lapping against the jagged rocks lining the bottom of a steep cliff. The orange sun blazes proud and hot, its rays reflecting off the waves, making the sea appear like a blanket of shimmering ice-blue jewels.

    A lone man in a long white robe walks briskly along the shore, his right hand clutching a sword. Suddenly, he stops as if listening intently to the surroundings. Out of nowhere, five men, dressed completely in black with black handkerchiefs covering the lower part of their faces, fly out toward the lone man in white. The man in white adroitly executes several flips in the air and vanishes from eyesight. The five men in black survey the surrounding beach in confusion. Suddenly, from the corner of their eyes, they catch a glimpse of the metallic glint of a sword, but before they could react, they feel the fatal sting of blade against their throats. All five men in black collapse onto the sandy beach, blood gushing from their wounds.

    The man in black gasps and pants as he points weakly at the man in white. "Lam Yik Lun, there are more assassins to come. One day, your guard will be down, and you will die at our hands!" He coughs up blood and finally drops his head onto the sand as he takes in his last breath.

    Yik Lun looks on the deaths of the five assassins emotionlessly. Drops of crimson blood slowly trickle down the blade of his sword, saturating the dry, thirsty sand. Calmly, he re-sheaths his sword and strolls away without a backward glance.

    LATER THAT SAME DAY
    ON A GRASSY MEADOW

    Lun sits cross-legged on the soft grassy land under the shade of a willow tree, with his ever-present sword on the ground beside him. A travel bag lies open on his lap, and he takes out a sweet bun and starts to chew on it. He leans back against the trunk of the willow tree and closes his eyes as he listens to the gentle swishing sounds of leaves swaying in the breeze. Bees buzz busily around the field, flying from one sweet blossom to another, sampling their sweet nectar.

    The tinkling sound of chains and soft footsteps interrupt the peaceful sounds of nature. Lun opens his eyes, looks up, and finds himself staring into the most angelic face he has ever seen. A young woman stands in front him, garbed in a long frosty pink gown with silver ruffles at the hem. Her long, silky black tresses trail down her back, the tips fluttering around her tiny waist. Long, thick eyelashes frame a pair of large, brown eyes. She looks achingly beautiful and fragile and would have been mistaken for an angel if not for the steel chains clamped on her feet, restricting her from taking long strides and from running. Lun could not help but gawk at her delicate perfection.

    On the other hand, the young woman does not seem to notice his attention, but instead stares hungrily at the sweet bun in his hand. Finally, Lun notices her hungry look and offers her a new bun from his travel sack.

    Tears of gratitude swim in her eyes as she hesitantly reaches for the bun. She whispers gratefully. "Thank you, Sir."

    Lun continues to stare at her with a mesmerized expression. Oblivious to his fascination with her, she hungrily devours the bun and finishes it within minutes. Still, her stomach continues to rumble, as she has not eaten in three days. She is penniless and does not have the money to purchase food. Shamefully, she looks at Lun with downcast eyes, wanting to ask him for another bun but too embarrassed to voice her request. Astutely, he notices her longing look and gives her the rest of his sweet buns. She takes the food from him shyly.

    The young woman smiles at him sweetly. "Thank you. I will forever be grateful to you."

    The young woman turns around and begins to walk away, the chains on her feet rattling with her every step.

    Lun jumps up from his seated position. "Wait! Forgive me for being too curious, but why do you have chains on your feet?"

    She pauses and stares at the ground with a sad expression. "It's a long story. I must leave now, for I do not want to bring you trouble."

    She begins to walk away. Once again, Lun chases after her, unwilling to let this beautiful woman disappear.

    Lun attempts to stop her again. "Miss, wait! My name is Lam Yik Lun. Please, will you tell me your name?"

    The young woman hesitates but finally decides to divulge her name since he has been so kind to her. "My name is So Sui Han."

    Lun trails after her. "Miss Sui Han, if you do not object, I would like to accompany you." He helpfully offers. "It is not safe for a woman to be traveling alone in the wilderness."

    Sui Han shakes her head vigorously, her eyes huge as saucers. "No, you must not travel with me, Young Master! I will bring you bad luck!"

    Lun smiles at her frantic expression. "Nonsense. Why would you bring me bad luck? Does this have something to do with the chains around your feet?"

    Sui Han nods her head sadly before explaining. "I was born in a small fishing village. From the day I was born, my family started experiencing episode after episode of misfortune. My family could not catch any fish, and because of this, my baby brother starved to death. By the time I was three years old, my father died in a boating accident. My mother, due to unbearable grief, committed suicide soon afterward, leaving my older brother and me to fend for ourselves."

    Frowning, she continues. "We lived off the streets, because the landlord considered us bad luck. When I was ten years old, my brother went up the mountains to look for wild berries and never came back. From that day on, I roamed the streets alone. When I turned fifteen years old, a terrible flood killed many people in my village. So, you see, I am bad luck." Sui Han concludes her story with a depressed sigh.

    Lun smiles at her forlorn expression. "I am not superstitious. Everything that happened to your family could simply be coincidence. You should not blame yourself."

    Sui Han, her eyes downcast, speaks in a shaky voice. "A fortune-teller in my village predicted that I would bring misfortune to everyone around me. Because of his words, no one would dare come near me."

    She stares into space, as if looking into the past. In a trance, she continues her story. "Big Brother Sai Chung was the only one who would befriend me after my biological brother disappeared. He's an orphan, too, and immediately looked after me as if I were his own younger sister. He brought me food and blankets when it was too cold in the shack that he found for me. But…"

    Too emotional to continue, Sui Han sniffs back her tears. "But one day, he didn't come to visit me. Later, I heard a rumor that mountain robbers had stabbed him to death while he was on his way bringing food to me."

    Sobbing softly, Sui Han confesses, "I killed him with my bad luck." She wipes her tears with the back of her hand and then looks at Lun determinedly. "Don't you see? You must stay away from me!"

    She turns and walks away as quickly as her chains would allow her, but she trips on a rock in her haste. Lun quickly lunges forward in an attempt to break her fall. Unfortunately, he is too far away and reaches her a second too late, and instead of preventing her from falling, he tumbles to the ground with her. He lands with her sprawled on top of him, their faces inches apart.

    He stares deeply into her beautiful brown eyes, besotted. Embarrassed, Sui Han scrambles to get up, but he suddenly jerks her head down onto his chest. Alarmed, she looks up at him, but he signals her to be quiet. He concentrates intensely on the grove of trees behind them.

    Suddenly, arrows shoot out from the vicinity of the trees. In one fluid movement, Lun picks Sui Han up in his arms and flies away from the rain of arrows.

    Five men, dressed in black, give chase. Lun settles Sui Han back on her feet and charges toward the men. Sui Han, her eyes wide with fear, backs away from the scene, trying to distance herself from the violence. Meanwhile, the five men seem to be losing to Lun's superior martial arts skills. With five consecutive forceful kicks, he knocks all five men in black down.

    Sensing defeat, one of the assassins looks at Sui Han out of the corner of his eyes. Without warning, he lunges to his feet and charges toward Sui Han in an attempt to hold her hostage. Swiftly, Lun flips through the air and stabs the man through the heart. Without his feet touching the ground, he kicks off from a nearby tree trunk and flips several more times through the air to where the other four men in black are sprawled on the ground. With one swift slash of his sword blade, he finishes them off.

    Shocked at what just happened, Sui Han stands frozen to the ground.

    Walking toward Sui Han, Lun looks at her with concerned eyes. "Miss Sui Han, are you all right?"

    Sui Han stares at him with wide, horrified eyes and begins to hyperventilate. The combination of hunger and fright causes the world to suddenly spin out of control, and soon she sees gray before she drops limply towards the ground. Lun rushes forward and catches her in time.

    Lun holds an unconscious Sui Han in his arms and gently slaps her cheeks in an attempt to rouse her. "Miss Sui Han! Miss Sui Han!"

    When he receives no response from the unconscious Sui Han, he quickly picks her up in his arms and runs swiftly towards Lam Mansion.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    CHAPTER 3 -- THE REST OF THE LAMS

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Gigi Lai Chi---Lam Suk Chi a.k.a. Chi Chi
    Frankie Lam Mun Lung---Lam Yik Wah
    Kristy Yeung Gong Yu---Lam Suk Yu

    IN THE MARKETPLACE OF THE CITY OF LAM ON

    A young man, delicate in build with almost feminine features, walks around in the crowded marketplace, eyeing the vendors and calmly fanning himself with an expensive white fan. He strolls past Yee Heung Lau, the City of Lam On's most famous brothel, then suddenly backtracks to the brothel's main entrance. He glances up the balcony occupied by seductive women waving their handkerchiefs and calling to the men on the streets. Mischievously smiling, he walks into the notorious establishment.

    INSIDE YEE HEUNG LAU (THE BROTHEL)

    The madam of the brothel, a colorfully dressed older woman, rushes toward the young man who has just entered her establishment. He looks at his surroundings with a cheerful twinkle in his big eyes.

    The Madam sashays shamelessly up to her new costumer. "Young Master! Welcome to Yee Heung Lau, where the women are beautiful, the music is high-classed, and the food is delicious! Is this your first time here? You do not look familiar to me. But I promise after one unforgettable night in the company of my beautiful girls, you'll come back for more! Now who is your pleasure?"

    The young man grins playfully as he dangles a pouch full of gold pieces in front of the madam's nose. "I want the most beautiful girl here!" he declares brashly.

    The Madam stares greedily at the bag of gold chips, practically drooling thinking about the amount of wealth in that litle pouch. "Of course! I will immediately summon her!" She turns around and screams at the top of her lungs. "Mong Ching! Mong Ching! Come here quickly!"

    However, before Mong Ching is able to make an appearance, the young man feels a masculine hand on his arm. He turns around and sees another man, dressed in blue, with an angry expression on his face. The man in blue yanks the young man away and, with his lightness kung fu, speeds past the confused Madam while dragging the protesting young man with him. In the blink of an eye, both men are five miles away from the brothel in an open field.

    The young man pouts as he rubs his sore arm where the other man's tight grip has previously been. "Second Brother! You and Eldest Brother are always ruining my fun!"

    Lam Yik Wah sighs as his angry expression fades. "Chi Chi, do you know it is inappropriate for a genteel lady like you to be found in a brothel? What will your future husband think?! If your good name is soiled, the Lam Family's honor will be marred and no man would want to marry you!"

    Lam Suk Chi pouts at her brother. "I am just having some good-natured fun. Besides, I want to see what a brothel looks like. I am disguised as a man, so nobody will know who I am." She kicks at a loose pebble with her foot. "It is so boring at home, especially with Eldest Brother away on a mission and Third Sister visiting grandpa and grandma. And you are no fun to be with! All you do is practice your sword skills. You won't even practice with me!"

    Wah sighs. "Chi Chi, have you ever heard of the phrase 'Curiosity killed the cat?' A well-bred lady like you should not run around dressed as a man! And to enter such a disreputable establishment! What would Mother and Father say if they return and find out?" Seeing her about to interrupt him, he holds up a hand and continues his lecture. "And I don't practice my sword skills with you because you always quit after you sense that you are losing. Now come on. Let's go home. Eldest Brother and Suk Yu should be back soon."

    Chi Chi, still pouting, reluctantly trails after her second brother while muttering under her breath about boring brothers. "Fine. I will go home and stare at the walls," she mumbles, disgruntled.

    IN THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE CITY OF LAM ON
    AT A SMALL TEA STAND

    A beautiful young woman dressed in pale yellow sits at a small table at a tea stand, enjoying tea and some biscuits. On the table beside her food lies a jade flute, her weapon of choice. She finishes her meal quickly, places a few gold coins on the table, and leaves. A few minutes after her departure, two burly men sitting at a table nearby pick up their swords and follow her.

    IN A FOREST

    As the young woman passes through the forest on her journey home, she plays her flute, showering the woodland with a sad, lilting melody. The rustle of leaves from the nearby brush alerts her to the presence of others. She stops in her tracks, but continues to play her flute. However, her tune changes to a sharp, ear-piercing pitch, causing the surrounding trees to quiver and the small animals to run for cover. The men hiding in the brush scream and crash out of the shrubbery, their hands clenched against their ears. The young woman continues her flute playing mercilessly as she looks at the two burly men writhing in pain on the ground. Blood trickles out of the side of their mouths. Finally, taking pity on their suffering, the young woman halts her melody.

    The young woman twirls her flute. "Had enough, you two? Which sect do you belong to and why are you following me?"

    Without responding to her questions, the two men stab themselves with their swords, refusing to provide her with answers. The young woman hurries to their sides in an attempt to prevent them from committing suicide. Unfortunately, it is too late, for the men have already died. A metal disc hanging from a chain from one of the men's waist catches her eye, and she picks it up for closer inspection. The engraving on the metal read, "Sun Moon Sect."

    The young woman frowns as she examines the metal disc. "Hmmm…the Sun Moon Sect? I have never heard of this sect."

    In the distance, footsteps are heard pounding on the dirt road of the forest. Two familiar voices are heard, one male and the other female.

    Wah shouts, "Suk Yu! Suk Yu! Where are you?"

    Chi Chi follows close behind her brother, screaming at the top of her lungs. "Third Sister! Third Sister! Are you all right?"

    Lam Suk Yu turns toward the direction of the voices, her hand still holding the metal disc. "Chi Chi! Second Brother! I am over here!"

    From the depths of the woods, Wah and Chi Chi emerge. They run towards their sister, Lam Suk Yu.

    Chi Chi happily trots over to her sister, a wide smile gracing her mischievous face. "Third Sister!"

    Suk Yu looks at her second elder brother and her younger sister with a confused expression. "Why are you two here? I thought you were at home."

    Wah shoots Chi Chi a long-suffering look before turning toward Suk Yu to answer her question. "We were home, until Chi Chi sneaked out to cause trouble. I had to go look for her. On our way back to Lam Mansion, we heard your flute playing and were concerned that you were in danger."

    Chi Chi, highly insulted by her brother's remark, pouts. "I was not out causing trouble, Second Brother! I just wanted to have some fresh air!"

    Suk Yu smiles at her younger sister's irked look. "All right, Chi Chi. I believe you. By the way, Second Brother, have you ever heard of the Sun Moon Sect?"

    Suk Yu shows Wah the metal disc in her hand. Wah scrutinizes it closely, his brow furrowed in concentration. Finally, he shakes his head in confusion.

    Wah hands the disc back to Suk Yu, replying, "No, I have never heard of this sect. I wonder why its members are following you."

    Suk Yu appears just as confused as her brother. "I asked them the same question, but they committed suicide before I was able to force an answer from them. I guess we'll have to ask Father when he and Mother return."

    Listening in on her siblings' conversation, Chi Chi suddenly chirps excitedly. "Maybe we should ask around to see if anyone has heard of this sect!"

    Alarmed that Chi Chi will get into further mischief, Suk Yu and Wah shout in unison, "No!"

    Wah frowns sternly at his youngest sister. "Chi Chi, you need to learn how to stay out of trouble! Lam Family is one of the martial arts world's most respected families. We have a reputation to uphold! You have to remember that. Let's all return and wait for Eldest Brother to return."

    The three set off on their journey home. Suk Yu and Wah continue to speculate on the origins of the mysterious Sun Moon Sect, while Chi Chi trails after them with a pout.

    As the three siblings exit the forest, two men arrive on the scene, dressed similarly in style as the two dead men. They rush towards the two corpses lying on the forest ground.

    The first man checks the pulses of the two dead men, his expression grim. "They're dead. We have to report back to First Young Master that they have failed their mission."

    Nodding, the second man inquires, "Should we pursue the Lam siblings?"

    The first man ponders briefly before answering, "No. It appears that they have very powerful kung fu skills. It will not be easy to capture them. Let's see what First Young Master wishes for us to do next."

    The two men disappear into the thick woodland.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    CHAPTER 4 -- UNCONSCIOUS GUEST

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Sui Han
    Frankie Lam Mun Lung---Lam Yik Wah
    Kristy Yeung Gong Yu---Lam Suk Yu
    Gigi Lai Chi---Lam Suk Chi a.k.a. Chi Chi
    Rain Lau Yuk Chui---Sung Ling
    Myolie Wu Hung Yee---Mok Yee San

    CITY OF LAM ON
    LAM MANSION

    The three Lam siblings arrive home. A servant girl runs out to greet the Lams and heads directly towards Lam Yik Wah.

    The servant girl places her hands on Wah's arm and bats her eyelashes. "Second Young Master, you have finally come home!"

    Wah, clearing his throat, extricates his arm from her grasp. "Yee San, have the cook prepare us a meal."

    Mok Yee San pouts and replaces her hands on Wah's arm again. "Second Young Master, where did you go? Why wouldn't you let me accompany you? You need someone to see to your comforts.”

    Shaking his head with a mild trace of impatience, Wah extricates his arm from her grasp again, this time firmly. "Yee San, would you please do as I say and go get us some food?"

    Yee San pretends to have not seen his irritaion and smiles at him. "Fine. I will bring you some food immediately."

    Her smile turns into a vicious snarl the minute she enters the hallway and is out of the Lam siblings' earshot. With her fists tightly clenched, she stomps into the kitchen.

    Yee San mutters to herself angrily. "One of these days, I will marry into the Lam Family and never have to tend to others' needs again."

    IN THE KITCHEN

    News of the Lams' return reaches the kitchen staff rapidly. Because the Lams have always been kind and fair to the servants, many are extremely loyal to them and are overjoyed that they have returned safely. The cook and several servants bustle around the kitchen. Some busily chop firewood, some wash vegetables, and some tend to the huge wok.

    The Lam's cook, Sung Ling, screams indignantly at another servant. "AAAAAHHHHHH! Ah Ming! You cannot just randomly throw ingredients into the pot! You must add them one by one delicately." She demonstrates by gently sprinkling a dab of salt here and a dab of pepper there. "There! Perfect!" Satisfied, she ladles the boiling soup as she leans forward to sniff the aromatic the fumes.

    As Yee San passes by, the cook grabs her arm and drags her towards the sizzling pot of stew.

    Sung Ling smiles happily. "Yee San! Here, try my stew. I bet Second Young Master, Third Young Mistress, and Fourth Young Mistress would love it!"

    Yee San angrily brushes off her friend's hand. "Ling, leave me alone. I am not in the mood to taste any of your concoctions."

    Sensing something wrong with Yee San, Ling frowns as she stares at her friend's dark expression. "What's wrong, Yee San? I thought you would be happy that Second Young Master is home."

    Pouting, Yee San, sighs deeply and stomps her feet. "He doesn't even notice that I am alive. All I am to him is a servant. I'll show him one day."

    Hearing this same complaint from Yee San a million times before, Ling now sighs and shakes her head sympathetically. "Yee San, I told you not to get your hopes up. We are servants and should know our place. Besides, I do not think Second Young Master has any romantic feelings toward you."

    Yee San clenches her fists. "I will make him love me. I swear to this!"

    LAM MANSION
    MAIN ATRIUM

    Lun bursts through the main entrance of Lam Mansion, an unconscious Sui Han cradled in his arms. He looks about frantically, shouting for assistance.

    Lun shouts for his third younger sister, who has a knack for healing. "Suk Yu, Suk Yu! Are you home, yet? I need your help!"

    After a few minutes, he carries Sui Han into one of the guestrooms and lays her gently down on the bed. As he wipes her brow with a cloth, Suk Yu, Wah, and Chi Chi barge into the room upon hearing their eldest brother's shout.

    Wah rushes up to Lun, a happy grin gracing his serious face. "Eldest Brother! I am glad you are back. It has been months since you left on your mission."

    Chi Chi curiously sidles toward the bed and stares at Sui Han. "Eldest Brother, who is she? She's very pretty."

    Lun urgently looks at Suk Yu. "Suk Yu, she just suddenly fainted. Can you find out what is wrong with her?"

    Suk Yu sits on the bed beside Sui Han and reaches for her radial pulse. After a few minutes, she turns toward Lun, a reassuring smile on her face. "Don't worry, Eldest Brother. This Miss' pulse appears fine to me. She probably fainted from exhaustion. A few days' rest should revive her."

    Lun lets out a relieved sigh, reclaims his seat by the side of Sui Han's bed, and gently dabs her brow with the wash cloth. The rest of his siblings look down on Sui Han curiously and then direct a questioning look at their eldest brother, who has never brought a woman home, let alone shown such concern for one.

    Suk Yu, the most sensitive sibling of the bunch, smiles with understanding as she observes the worry on her brother's face. Suk Yu places a comforting hand on her oldest brother's shoulder. "Don't worry, Eldest Brother. She will wake up soon. You have just returned from a long journey. Why don't you eat something and then get some rest? Chi Chi and I will take care of her and inform you when she wakes up."

    Chi Chi cheerfully pipes up. "Yay! I am so happy that I now have someone my age to keep me company! I wonder if she knows martial arts? Maybe we can practice our sword skills together. You three never practice with me." She stares accusingly at her three siblings.

    Suk Yu gently pushes her eldest brother out the door. "Go ahead, Eldest Brother. Get some rest. Chi Chi, why don't you see if you can get some fresh clothes for her to change into once she rouses."

    Lun reluctantly leaves after one final concerned glance at Sui Han. Wah, who has remained silent all this time, trudges out, too, after another curious look at their delicate guest. Chi Chi, however, continues to gawk at the unconscious young woman with interest. Suk Yu, not wanting her talkative younger sister to disturb their guest, shoos her out to search for clothing.

    LAM MANSION
    LATER THAT SAME EVENING

    The moon shines luminescent and bright, its white light bathing the majestic gardens of Lam Mansion. In a guestroom facing the gardens, Suk Yu sits at a table, reading a kung fu manuscript in the lamplight, her ever-present jade flute on the table by her side. Chi Chi paces back and forth, too full of energy to sit still. Her older sister looks at her and sighs, shaking her head indulgently.

    Chi Chi comes to stand beside Suk Yu. "Third Sister, why do you think this Miss has chains on her feet?" She ponders this mystery for a while. "Maybe she's an escaped convict! Maybe she's a ruthless killer!" Her eyes widen as her imagination runs wild. "But why would Eldest Brother bring her home if she's evil? Hmmm…"

    Suk Yu sighs at Chi Chi's bizarre imagination. "Eldest Brother has always been a good judge of character. I doubt our mysterious guest is evil. Remember, try to refrain from asking her about the chains when she wakes up. It might upset her."

    Chi Chi nods absentmindedly. Trotting back to stand beside the bed, she stares down at the unconscious Sui Han. "She looks very slender. I bet she hasn't eaten in days. Poor thing!" Tilting her head curiously, she spies a small, simple heart-shaped jade hanging from a string by Sui Han's waist. "Look at this, Third Sister. It's very simple but pretty."

    Chi Chi's voice breaks through Sui Han's consciousness, and she struggles to surface back to reality. Sui Han moans as she turns her head slowly to stare up at Chi Chi. Shocked at seeing a stranger's face, Sui Han sits up quickly, knocking her forehead right into Chi Chi's.

    Chi Chi and Sui Han grimace in pain as they both rub their foreheads. In unison, they mutter in surprise. "Ouch!!!"

    From behind, Suk Yu approaches the bed. "Miss! You are awake! How do you feel?"

    Alarmed and still disoriented, Sui Han backs away from the two sisters in shock and fright.

    Suk Yu smiles reassuringly. "Miss, do not be afraid. We mean you no harm."

    Nodding her head enthusiastically, Chi Chi tugs on Sui Han's sleeve. "I'm Lam Suk Chi, but everybody calls me Chi Chi. This is my sister, Lam Suk Yu. What's your name?"

    Sui Han, still rubbing her forehead, eyes the two strangers warily. "Why…why am I here?"

    Chi Chi, eyes wide, exclaims, "Don't you remember what happened? You fainted and my eldest brother carried you home."

    Confused, Sui Han stares at Chi Chi and Suk Yu blankly. "Huh?" Then she suddenly remembers her sweet buns, which she has been looking forward to eating. "Where are my sweet buns?!" She frantically searches the bed for the buns. When she realizes that she must have dropped them, she becomes teary-eyed because she is so hungry.

    Suk Yu suspects that their guest is hungry since she is so upset over the sweet buns. "Miss, would you like to eat something first?" She gestures at the dishes of food on the table." Why don't you and Chi Chi eat, while I go inform Eldest Brother that you are awake?"

    Suk Yu leaves the room, while Sui Han edges hesitantly towards the table full of delicious smelling food. Sui Han sits down and hungrily devours the biscuits and slices of fruit. Chi Chi sits down next to her, with her elbows resting on the table.

    As Sui Han devours the food, Chi Chi perches on the stool and looks at Sui Han curiously. "You haven't told me your name."

    Less frightened now as she senses that the sisters mean her no harm, Sui Han swallows her food slowly before answering. "My name is So Sui Han."

    Chi Chi tilts her head curiously at her guest. "Do you have any family here?"

    Sui Han shakes her head. "No. I come from a fishing village up north. Everyone in my family has passed away except for me."

    Chi Chi nods sympathetically. "It must be difficult being without family." She stops to ponder something. "Although I must admit being the youngest in a big family isn't always easy. My siblings always treat me like a child, and they watch every move I make!" She suddenly brightens as an idea pops into her head. "Hey, why don't you stay here and become my younger god sister, so that I don't have to be the youngest anymore!"

    Sui Han peers at the talkative Chi Chi questioningly. "Hmmm…," she mumbles, unsure of how to reply to that statement.

    Thinking that this pretty stranger is weird, Sui Han makes a noncommittal sound and returns to her eating. Since escaping the brothel three days ago, she has not eaten and has been hiding in corners and alleys, afraid that the two burly brothel bouncers would find her and drag her back. If Mong Ching, another prostitute at the brothel, had not created a diversion to help her escape, she would still be trapped in that despicable place. Sui Han is not so na´ve to believe that Mong Ching had aided her out of kindness. She knows that the other woman sees her as stiff competition for customers and would love to see her leave the establishment.

    While Sui Han is deep in thought, Chi Chi babbles on and on about all the fun things they could do together as god sisters.

    Sui Han finishes her food quickly and turns to Chi Chi. "Where am I?"

    Smiling proudly, Chi Chi puffs out her chest and exclaims, "Why, you're at Lam Mansion in the city of Lam On. We are the one of the most respected families in the martial arts world. Don't worry, no one would dare harm you here."

    Upon learning about her location, Sui Han starts panicking. "I am back in the city of Lam On?! How could it be? I remembered being near the outskirts of the city yesterday!"

    Frightened at the prospect of being discovered by the brothel bouncers since the brothel is also located in the city of Lam On, Sui Han frantically thinks of a plan to quickly escape. She stands up and hurries toward the door. Finally noticing that her guest is leaving, Chi Chi halts her non-stop chatter and places a hand on Sui Han's arm to stop her departure.

    Chi Chi exclaims in surprise. "Sui Han, where are you going? Eldest Brother will be so mad at me if I let you leave before he sees you!"

    Ignoring Chi Chi's question, Sui Han frantically shakes off Chi Chi's hand. "Miss Chi Chi, I really must go!"

    Sui Han rushes out the door at full speed, runs smack into Lun's chest, and bounces back from the impact.

    Caught by surprise, Lun reaches out to steady her. "Whoa! Miss, where are rushing to? You have just recovered. You must stay here and rest!"

    Sui Han looks up at him with terrified eyes. "I can't stay! They are going to come after me! They are going to come after me!"

    Lun and Chi Chi exchange confused glances and asks in unison. "Who's going to come after you?"

    Breathing rapidly, Sui Han replies in a shaky voice. "Those Yee Heung Lau bouncers! They are out there looking for me, waiting for the opportunity to drag me back! The Madam said that she would pay a handsome reward for any employee who is able to return me to her."

    Wah, who has wandered out of his room to see what the commotion is about, joins in the conversation. "I am Chi Chi's second brother. Miss, why don't you explain the situation to us? We will help you." He tries to calm Sui Han down.

    Sui Han looks at her hosts with big, frightened eyes before taking in a deep breath. "About a week ago, the villagers in my fishing village said that my presence was bad luck. They all decided to sell me to a house of prostitution in Lam On, far away from the village so that my bad luck would no longer affect them. The Madam of Yee Heung Lau paid a hefty sum for me and planned to launch my debut as one of her 'stars.' I tried to run away once but was captured. They locked me in chains to prevent future escapes. Luckily, three days ago, one of the girls there helped me escape. They have been looking for me ever since. I must leave before they locate me!"

    Wah furrows his brows, speaking in a reassuring voice and trying to calm down Sui Han's hysteria. "We will pay for your freedom. You have nothing to fear."

    Chi Chi chimes in cheerfully. "Yeah! I'll accompany you tomorrow to Yee Heung Lau and give that evil Madam a piece of my mind!"

    Sighing, Wah and Lun glance at Chi Chi repraochfully. "Chi Chi, please! We do not need anymore problems while Mother and Father are away!" They burst out in unison.

    Sui Han, looking at her rescuers, whispers gratefully. "Thank you, everyone. I will work to repay you your kindness."

    Lun shakes his head. "No, you are our guest. There is no need to repay us." He reassures her.

    Sui Han, full of stubborn pride, purses her lips into a grim line. "I won't accept your help unless you let me work to repay you."

    Chi Chi squeezes into the converstaion enthusiastically. "Okay! Then, it's settled. Sui Han can be my personal maid!" Turning to Sui Han, she grabs her hand excitedly. "We'll have lots of fun exploring the city!"

    Her brothers stare at her warningly.

    Chi Chi returns their glances indignantly. "What?! I'll take care of Sui Han. I promise!"

    The brothers look at Chi Chi suspiciously, while Sui Han smiles at their sibling tiff.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    CHAPTER 5 -- MY HERO

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Louis Koo Tin Lok---Koo Yat Fei
    Benny Chan Ho Man---Koo Yat Keung
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Sui Han
    Joe Ma Tuk Chung---Lau Dong
    Vincent Jiao Enjun---Chau Mo
    Helena Law Lan---Grandmother Fa

    NEAR THE BORDER OF THE SONG DYNASTY
    OUTSIDE A HUGE STONE STRUCTURE, WHICH SERVES AS THE SUN MOON SECT HEADQUARTERS

    The two Sun Moon Sect members, who had previously discovered the deaths of two fellow members in the forest, have returned to headquarters to report this setback. They press a hidden stone lever near the entrance of a stone structure, and a hidden door slides open to reveal a long, torch lit hallway. The two members enter, their footsteps echoing loudly in the silence. At the end of the hall, they hesitate at the entrance of a huge, dimly lit room and exchange apprehensive glances before stepping inside.

    INSIDE THE DIMLY LIT ROOM

    A darkly handsome man sits on a stone bed with his legs crossed and eyes closed as he practices his martial arts. His eyes suddenly open, and he jerks his head in the direction of the doorway. His cold, emotionless eyes pierce the two Sun Moon Sect members standing at the entranceway.

    The man looks questioningly at the two members. "Did they capture the Lams?"

    One of the members, Chau Mo, shakes his head. "No, First Young Master. Lau Dong and I found the bodies of our two men in a forest. The Lams must have killed them."

    Hearing this news, the darkly handsome man tightens his jaw muscles, his lips flattened into a grim line. "Incompetent imbeciles! I send two burly men out, and they cannot even capture one young woman! What about the ten assassins we sent out to kill Lam Yik Lun?"

    The other member, Lau Dong, looks worriedly at his fellow Sun Moon Sect member, Chau Mo, before answering. "They, too, have failed their mission. Chau Mo and I found five assassins dead on the beach and five more dead on a meadow in the outskirts of the city of Lam On."

    Incensed at this news, the darkly handsome man hurls a fireball at the opposite stone wall.

    Another young man stands at a corner of the room, his front turned away from the other three people in the room, as he calmly studies the kung fu drawings on the walls. He now turns around and speaks, smirking slightly at his darkly handsome older brother. "Elder Brother, I told you that the Lam siblings are difficult to defeat. After all, the Lam family has been holding the title of Chancellor of the Martial Arts World for over forty years."

    The darkly handsome man glances over at his younger brother, his gaze piercing. "Yat Keung, don't be so sure of the Lams' invincibility. After all, everyone has an Achilles' heel. All we have to do is find that weak spot and strike. If worse comes to worse and I have to battle these siblings personally, I believe that I, Koo Yat Fei, will be able to defeat them."

    Koo Yat Keung walks calmly toward his older brother. "Why waste your talents, Elder Brother? Why don't I personally go and take care of them for you?"

    Fei looks at his younger brother questioningly. "You? Are you sure you want to deal with this?"

    Keung shrugs nonchalantly. "Sure. Why, not? I haven't had the chance to try out my newly learned flying knives kung fu. I might as well use this skill on the Lams."

    Fei smiles. "Then I shall wait here for your good news. Take Lau Dong and Chau Mo with you to help. Don't disappoint me, Keung."

    Keung smiles confidently. "When have I ever let you down?"

    CITY OF LAM ON
    OUTSIDE YEE HEUNG LAU (THE BROTHEL)

    Lun walks toward Yee Heung Lau, with Sui Han trailing apprehensively after him. He pauses in front of the brothel's entrance and glances back at the quivering Sui Han.

    Lun smiles reassuringly at the frightened young woman, as he walks over to Sui Han's side. "Sui Han, do not be afraid. I promise I won't let them recapture you."

    Sui Han peeks up at Lun worriedly. "But First Young Master, what if they…?"

    Lun reassures Sui Han, "Don't worry. We are here to pay for your freedom. You'll never have to return to this place again."

    Sui Han looks at him gratefully. "Thank you, First Young Master. First, you free me of my chains. Then, you pay for my freedom. I don't think I will ever be able to repay you for your kindness."

    Lun stares at her intently and murmurs to himself. "Maybe you will be able to repay me someday, if you are willing…" Pulling himself away from his wishful thinking, he speaks in a louder voice. "Don't be silly. There is nothing to repay. Let's get this unpleasant task settled, and we can be on our way."

    Sui Han, eyes wide, hesitantly follows him into Yee Heung Lau, her hand tightly gripping his.

    INSIDE YEE HEUNG LAU (BROTHEL)

    Inside the notorious house of ill-repute, drunken men chase scantily dressed women around, while some customers enjoy the seductive dance on stage as they sample the fine wine and cuisine. From a corner of the room, the Madam of the establishment spies a well-dressed Yik Lun and, smelling a potential rich customer, sashays up to him.

    The Madam smiles charmingly, baring all her teeth. "Young Master! Welcome to Yee Heung Lau, where the women are beautiful, the music is high-classed, and the cuisine is delicious! We have a wide variety of girls for selection. Who is your pleasure today?"

    As the Madam chatters on, Sui Han hides behind Lun and stays out of the Madam's line of vision.

    Lun dangles a pouch full of gold pieces in front of the Madam's nose. "I am actually here to pay for the freedom of one of your girls." He pulls Sui Han out from behind him, thus revealing her presence to the Madam.

    Spotting Sui Han, the Madam’s mouth hangs open with surprise. As surprise turns into outrage, the Madam points an accusing finger at Sui Han as she advances toward Sui Han threateningly. "You! So this man is whom you have been hiding with all this time! I paid good money for you, and you have not brought in one gold chip for me!"

    Terrified, Sui Han burrows herself against Lun's chest. He holds her protectively against him as he holds out one hand to halt the advance of the angry Madam.

    Lun speaks calmly. "Madam, why don't you just take this bag of gold and forget that you ever laid eyes on Sui Han? There is more than enough money in here to cover all your losses."

    The Madam, incensed at being told what to do, screeches, "What?! Forget that I ever laid eyes on this girl? Are you kidding? She has the kind of fragile beauty that attracts men like honey attracts bees! She will make me a million times richer than I am now! Do you think that your pouch of gold can compare to the riches that lie ahead for me?!"

    Lun's eyes narrow dangerously, his voice cold with anger. "I wouldn't overreact if I were you, Madam."

    The Madam laughs mockingly in Lun's face. "I am not afraid of you! I have men to take care of troublemakers like you."

    The Madam backs away from Lun and Sui Han as she claps her hands loudly. From the balcony, four heavyset men leap down and surround Lun. Sensing trouble, he sets Sui Han away from him and turns to face his opponents with a dangerously calm expression.

    The Madam shrieks in the background. "Beat him up, men!!!"

    The four men charge at Lun simultaneously with fists raised menacingly. Calmly, without unsheathing his sword, Lun grabs one of the men by the shirt front and flings him toward a second man, who is in the process of charging forward, thereby knocking both down. Out of the corner of his eyes, he sees two more men swiftly approaching and, with a forceful kick, sends both crashing into a nearby table. The occupants of the table scream and run for cover. Chaos ensues as guests quickly evacuate the brothel, leaving the four bouncers writhing in pain on the floor and the Madam cowering in the corner.

    Sui Han quickly runs to Lun's side and latches onto his arm as she surveys the carnage. Lun, with Sui Han attached to his arm, walks toward the frightened Madam.

    Lun drops his pouch of gold onto the floor in front of the Madam. Stretching his hand out toward the frightened woman, he demands, "Give me her ownership papers." When the Madam continues to stare up with him with shock, her eyes glazed over, he adds calmly in a lethally soft voice. "Now."

    Her head nodding like a puppet attached to strings, the Madam, with shaky hands, pulls out Sui Han's papers, and hands them over to Lun. "Here, Young Master."

    Lun takes the papers and shreds them to pieces. Then, holding Sui Han's hand, he proceeds to walk out of Yee Heung Lau with her.

    One of the burly men, unwilling to accept defeat easily, charges at Lun's back with a small knife. A split second before the knife touches his back, Lun swiftly turns around and stares emotionlessly at the burly bouncer. Frightened by Lun's steely gaze, the bouncer drops his knife and runs away.

    OUTSIDE THE WRECKED YEE HEUNG LAU

    Holding firmly onto Sui Han’s hand, Lun pulls her across the cobblestoned street across from Yee Heung Lau. Stopping once they are some distance away from the brothel, Lun pauses and looks at Sui Han with concern. "Are you all right?"

    Sui Han looks at him quietly for a moment before breaking into a wide grin. "First Young Master, you were fabulous in there, just like the heroes in the bedtime stories my mother used to tell me!"

    Lun turns beet-red and looks bashfully down at the ground. "Ummm…" Clearing his throat, he mumbles shyly to his feet. “It is nothing. Sui Han…”

    However, by the time he glances back up, Sui Han has already wandered off to inspect some hairpins at a nearby vendor stand. He walks over to her and looks over her shoulder to see which pieces have caught her eye.

    Lun comments, "Those hairpins are beautiful. Would you like…?"

    But before he is able to complete his question, Sui Han interrupts him. "The hairpins are pretty, but too expensive for me. Let's go, First Young Master. It's getting late." She walks away after one last longing look at the hairpins.

    Lun glances back at the hairpins and then follows Sui Han, who appears to be deep in thought. Tapping Sui Han on the shoulder, Lun makes up an excuse to stop Sui Han from heading straight back to Lam Mansion. "Sui Han, I am a bit hungry. Why don't you find us a table at that restaurant up ahead? I have something to do first and will meet up with you in a few minutes."

    Sui Han nods. "Okay."

    Sui Han walks toward the restaurant up ahead. Once she disappears into the restaurant, Lun backtracks to the hairpin vendor stand.

    VENDOR STAND SELLING HAIR ACCESSORIES

    The vendor, a smooth-talking elderly woman, enthusiastically welcomes Lun's browsing and excitedly advertises her goods. He inspects the wide selection of hair accessories with a confused frown on his brow, as he has never bought anything for a woman before.

    The vendor speaks encouragingly. "Take your time, Sir. I have a wide variety of hair accessories that not only accentuate a lady's beauty but also are sturdy to wear and tear."

    Lun studies the hairpins with a confused expression as he scans the wide assortment laid out on the table. "Which hair accessory did that young woman seem interested in?"

    The vendor looks at Lun questioningly. "You mean, the young lady with you here a few minutes ago? Well, it was hard to tell because she glanced at every piece." The old woman smiles cunningly, sensing an easy target. "Sir, if you want to impress her, then my advice is to purchase this one here." She points to a beautiful, delicate gold hairpin with multi-colored stones embedded along the edges and three long, shimmering, gold chains dangling from one end of the pin. "It's an exact replica of the hair accessory worn by the beautiful and famous Tang Dynasty concubine, Lady Yeung Yuk Wan."

    Lun picks up the recommended hairpin and examines it closely, his brow furrowed in concentration. "Hmmm…" He glances at the other hairpins, which look very pretty to him, also. He tries to imagine which one Sui Han would prefer, but comes up with a blank. Finally, after much deliberation, he makes a decision. "I'll take all of them. Wrap them up for me, please."

    The vendor smiles excitedly, for this is her lucky day. "Thank you, thank you, Sir! That young lady is truly fortunate to have you as an admirer."

    After handing over his payment and tucking his package away, Lun walks toward the restaurant, deciding that he will surprise Sui Han tonight with his purchases. As he strolls away, the vendor, also known to others in the Sun Moon Sect as Grandmother Fa, smiles slyly at Lun's retreating back…

  8. #8
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Talking

    CHAPTER 6 -- PERVERT!

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Sui Han
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun
    Benny Chan Ho Man---Koo Yat Keung
    Frankie Lam Mun Lung---Lam Yik Wah
    Gigi Lai Chi---Lam Suk Chi a.k.a. Chi Chi
    Myolie Wu Hung Yee---Mok Yee San
    Rain Lau Yuk Chui---Sung Ling
    Vincent Jiao Enjun---Chau Mo
    Joe Ma Tuk Chung---Lau Dong
    Helena Law Lan---Grandmother Fa

    CITY OF LAM ON
    ON THE SECOND FLOOR OF SKY DRAGON RESTAURANT

    Koo Yat Keung, Chau Mo, and Lau Dong sit at a table near Sky Dragon Restaurant's second floor balcony overlooking the busy marketplace of Lam On. The three Sun Moon Sect members sip wine as they plan their next course of action against the Lam family.

    Koo Yat Keung brings his miniature cup of wine close to his nostrils for a sniff. "Have you sent our people to survey the lay of Lam Mansion?"


    Chau Mo nods. "Yes, we have, Second Young Master. According to reports, Lam Siu Tin and Chan Yin Yuk are away, leaving their four children to guard Lam Mansion. There are a total of four entrances to the mansion, each with two stationed manservants serving as guards. Change of guard duty occurs at sunrise and at sunset."

    Keung nods approvingly. "Have you found out any more useful information?"

    Lau Dong smiles. "As a matter of fact, yes. One of the servants, a Mok Yee San, appears to have romantic feelings toward the second Lam son. It also appears that she is very rash and short-tempered. In addition, a few days ago, the Lams acquired a new maid, who used to be one of the "untouched" new girls at Yee Heung Lau, Lam On's most popular house of ill-repute."

    Keung rubs his chin thoughtfully. "Very interesting, indeed. I want you to find out more information on these two servants. They may be the keys to the downfall of this family of invincible martial arts experts."

    Chau Mo nods in assent. "Yes, we will see to this immediately. Grandmother Fa wants us to inform you that she will meet with you tonight for any reports of new developments."

    Chau Mo and Lau Dong get ready to leave the restaurant. While descending the stairs of Sky Dragon Restaurant, they brush pass Sui Han, who is coming up the stairs to look for a table to sit while she waits for Lun. Delighted at finding an empty table near the balcony overlooking the bustling marketplace, she quickly walks over to claim her spot. Now that she is free of Yee Heung Lau, she feels lighthearted and cheerful, emotions which she has not experienced since her Big Brother Sai Chung died. Humming a soft tune to herself, Sui Han glances down on the street below, trying to catch a glimpse of Lun.

    At the next table facing her, Keung looks up from his wine, trying to locate the source of the gentle, sweet melody, and sees a vision of delicate beauty in front of him. He gazes at her, bewitched, his wine forgotten. For Keung, the rest of the world has faded away, leaving only this fair maiden.


    A toddler, who has escaped his mother's grasp, energetically chugs his stubby legs towards the balcony, where colorful lanterns sway in the gentle breeze. He clumsily bumps into Keung, bringing him out of his trance. The little boy, who has fallen down from his collision with Keung, now sits on the floor wailing, more from shock than from pain.

    As Keung and Sui Han rush toward the child, both of their hands accidentally touch in their haste to pick up the boy. Sui Han hurriedly withdraws her hands, uncomfortable. At that moment, the child's mother rushes up to them and claims her boy.

    The child's mother gushes effusely. "Thank you so much, Sir. Thank you, Miss."

    Keung acknowledges her gratitude distractedly. "You're welcome." He keeps his eyes on Sui Han, who has her head turned slightly away from him, uncomfortable at being stared at so blatantly.

    Sui Han goes back to her seat and resumes her watch for Lun, while Keung also returns to his table. Out of the corner of her eyes, she notices Keung's steady gaze.

    Sui Han mutters under her breath. "Pervert!"

    Extremely uneasy, Sui Han tries to ignore him. After a few minutes, she peeks over in his direction, hoping that he has lost his fascination with her. Unfortunately, her gaze locks with his the second she glances over. He smiles charmingly at her. Unimpressed, she leaps up from her seat and hurries downstairs.

    Alarmed that he has scared her off with his smile, he attempts to pursue her, but his chase is thwarted by the appearance of huge, overly friendly, burly man.

    The burly man envelops Keung in a bone-crushing embrace. "Thank you, Sir, for taking care of my little boy when he fell down." The man delivers a couple of forceful slaps to Keung's back before walking off with his family.

    Stunned at what just occurred, Keung stands rooted to the ground for a few minutes before he remembers Sui Han. Quickly, using his lightness kung fu, he leaps down the balcony and runs down the street, urgently scanning the area for the young woman who has stolen his heart within a matter of seconds.

    Sui Han, hiding behind a large woven basket in an alley, sneaks a peek at Keung as he rushes past her. "You pervert! You've got some nerve to stalk me in broad daylight!" She grumbles angrily under her breath. She waits a few more minutes after he has passed before walking back toward Sky Dragon Resturant to wait for Lun.

    MUCH LATER THAT SAME DAY
    IN THE GARDENS OF LAM MANSION

    Sparrows flutter from tree to tree, chirping furiously as their peace is disturbed by Yik Wah's swift and accurate sword strokes. He flies into the air and flips from one tree to the next, scattering leaves with his sword. With one final air-borne somersault, he lands on the rooftop, sits down, and chugs from a small gourd of wine to quench his thirst. On the ground below him, the scattered leaves form the Chinese character, "Lam."

    Nearby, Chi Chi, who is also practicing her sword skills, stops and runs over to admire her Second Brother's handy work.

    Chi Chi exclaims excitedly. "Second Brother! I want to learn how to form Chinese characters with scattered leaves!

    Wah leaps down from the rooftop to pat Chi Chi on the cheek. "I'll teach you only if you promise to not leave Lam Mansion until Father and Mother return."

    Chi Chi pouts. "Hey! That's not a fair exchange! I'll be bored to death! You and Eldest Brother never let me go anywhere! He wouldn't even let me accompany Sui Han this morning to Yee Heung Lau."

    Wah sighs. "That's because a well-bred lady is not supposed to frequent those places!"

    Chi Chi sticks her tongue out at Wah. "I am going to find Sui Han. She is more fun to be with!"

    She runs off to the kitchen, leaving Wah staring after her with a resigned look. He picks up his sword and dabs the sweat from his forehead with this sleeve. At that moment, Mok Yee San enters the garden, carrying a tray of desserts. She smiles at Wah and quickly places the tray down on the stone table.

    Yee San rushes over to Wah and makes a move to dab the sweat from his forehead. "Here, let me help you, Second Young Master."

    Wah quickly moves his head backward, away from her hands. "I am fine." He walks into his room and shuts the door firmly, leaving a fuming and speechless Yee San standing alone in the garden.

    IN THE LAM'S KITCHEN

    Sui Han busily chops vegetables on a cutting board. Because the Lam's regular cook, Sung Ling, is visiting her ailing mother and most of the kitchen staff is sick with a head cold, Sui Han has volunteered to help prepare today's evening meal. Beside her, Lun stares at the pot of half-cooked rice in confusion.

    Lun frowns and mutters to himself. "I could have sworn I added enough water to the pot! But why is the rice only half-cooked?"

    Sui Han glances over at him and smiles secretly. "First Young Master, how is the rice coming along over there?"

    Lun tries to hide the rice pot from her view. "Ummm…fine. Everything is under control."

    Sui Han probes teasingly. "Really? Let me see the rice pot."

    Lun stares at her indignantly. "Why? I can cook just as well as any person!"

    Not believing a word he says, Sui Han stands on tiptoes to peek over his shoulder at the pot of half-cooked rice. "Hmmm…" She giggles at his insulted look. "First Young Master, you do not belong in the kitchen. Why don't you wait in the dining room until dinner is ready? I can handle this by myself."

    Lun, wanting to take advantage of every opportunity to be near Sui Han, objects quickly. "No, I want to help you. You are new here, and it is unfair that you have to take over another servant's responsibilities in addition to your own."

    Chi Chi, who has just reached the kitchen, stands in the doorway silently observing her Eldest Brother's lovesick expression. She smiles mischievously.

    Chi Chi remarks teasingly. "Eldest Brother, since when did you decide to become a cook? I recall that you dread even the simple task of boiling water. Remember that time you almost burned the whole kitchen down trying to impress mother by making her breakfast?" She turns to Sui Han and whispers to her. "Our old cook retired the day following that incident!"

    Lun glares at Chi Chi, willing her to be quiet with his stern expression. "You're making that up!" He denies.

    Sui Han smiles at the siblings. "First Young Master, to be honest, I think dinner will be finished sooner if you wait in the dining room."

    Chi Chi, upon hearing this, giggles uncontrollably. Lun continues to glare at his youngest sister.

    Sui Han, taking pity on Lun, suggests, "First Young Master, why don't you help by chopping more wood for me?"

    Lun breaks into a wide grin, relieved that he does not have to re-cook the rice. "Sure! I can do that!"

    He walks over to the pile of wood and proceeds to break each large block into miniature pieces with his bare hands. Chi Chi rolls her eyes at her brother's obvious attempt to show off in front of Sui Han.

    Chi Chi clears her throat. "Uhhh…Eldest Brother, the axe is right at your feet."

    Lun stops and glares at Chi Chi. Sui Han chuckles, convinced that the Lams are a strange but very amusing family.

    THAT EVENING
    CITY OF LAM ON
    IN ONE OF THE CHAMBERS OF A HIGH-CLASSED INN

    Koo Yat Keung sits at the table, a small smile on his lips as he stares dreamily at his drawing of the young woman he has met this morning at Sky Dragon Restaurant. Three consecutive knocks on the door interrupt his reverie. Keung quickly rolls up the drawing and places it beside his pillow on the bed.

    Keung walks toward the door. "Who is it?"

    Grandmother Fa replies, "Second Young Master, it is I, Grandmother Fa."

    Recognizing the voice of one of his subordinates, Keung opens the door and invites her in. "Do you have any more news on the Lams?"

    Grandmother Fa nods. "Yes. It appears that the oldest Lam son is infatuated with the new maid. He came by my vendor stand this morning and bought all my hairpins in an attempt to impress her."

    Keung laughs amusingly. "Interesting! So the lone swordsman known to the martial arts world as cold and emotionless is not so emotionless after all!" He chuckles slyly.

    Grandmother Fa asks, "What do you want us to do?"

    Keung, with an evil glint in his eyes, muses to himself. "United, the Lams are invincible. Even individually, they are difficult to defeat. However, it seems as if we have discovered a new weak link in this unbreakable chain." He paces the room slowly, scheming. "Grandmother Fa, here's what I want you to do…"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    CHAPTER 7 -- LOVE POTION

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Sui Han
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun
    Benny Chan Ho Man---Koo Yat Keung
    Louis Koo Tin Lok---Koo Yat Fei
    Myolie Wu Hung Yee---Mok Yee San
    Rain Lau Yuk Chui---Sung Ling
    Helena Law Lan---Grandmother Fa

    THE FOLLOWING MORNING
    LAM MANSION
    LAM YIK LUN'S CHAMBER

    Lam Yik Lun sits crossed-legged on his bed with fifteen assorted hairpins spread out on the bed in front of him. He picks one up, holds it up toward the ceiling, and examines it with one eye squeezed shut. He then repeats the procedure with the other fourteen pins. Finally, he puts the last hairpin down and sighs. He gets off the bed and starts to pace around the room as a hundred thoughts race through his mind.

    Lun mutters to himself. "Which one should I give her? Maybe she would like the one with the rubies." He shakes his head. "No. No. That one looks too bloody red. How about the one with the silver flowers? No. That one is so bulky it will hurt her head. Maybe she would like the one that the vendor recommended. But what if she does not like wearing a hairpin that is a replica of something once worn by a dead person? What if she does not want any hairpins at all?" He suddenly stops in his tracks as a horrifying thought pops into his mind. "What if she LAUGHS at me when I show her the hairpins?"

    Finally, after wearing out the rug with his pacing, he drops down into a chair, his head slumped forward gloomily. A soft knock on his door has him springing up from his seat in surprise.

    Lun shouts. "Who is it?"

    Sui Han stands outside his closed bedroom door balancing a heavy tray of rice soup. "First Young Master, it is I, Sui Han. Third Young Mistress wanted me to bring you some breakfast."

    Lun, with a panicked look at the hairpins scattered all over his bed, stutters. "Ummm…hold on, Sui Han." He rushes over to his bed and frantically collects the hairpins into a black velvet pouch. However, in his haste to put them away, the dangling chains on several of the pins become tangled together. On the other side of the door, Sui Han knocks again. Lun glances at the door worriedly. "Wait just a few more minutes, Sui Han."

    Sui Han, having a difficult time balancing the heavy tray, calls out, "First Young Master, please hurry up. This tray is very heavy!"

    Not wanting Sui Han to drop the tray and hurt herself, Lun gives up trying to hide the hairpins and opens the door. "Sui Han, here, let me help you with that tray."

    He takes the tray from her and walks over to place it on the table. The sunlight shining into his room through the opened window reflects off the gold and silver hairpins lying on his bed, attracting Sui Han's attention. She curiously wanders over to the bed and stares at the hairpins with awe.

    Eyes wide, Sui Han gasps in awe. "They are so beautiful! Why do you have so many hairpins, First Young Master?"

    Lun turns around and notices Sui Han's wistful look. "Do you like them?" He comes to stand behind her.

    Sui Han nods slowly as she reverently touches a dangling chain on one of the hairpins. Overjoyed at Sui Han's interest, Lun reaches from behind her and picks up the pin she has just touched.

    He turns Sui Han around to face him, and with the hairpin in hand, he reaches up and inserts the pin into her hair. "It looks even more beautiful now that you are wearing it."

    Sui Han shakes her vigorously as she reaches up in an attempt to remove the hairpin. "I cannot accept it, First Young Master! You must already have a young lady in mind to give this to. I cannot take this away from her."

    Lun clasps her hands in his to prevent her from removing the hairpin. "Leave it on, Sui Han. I bought it for you."

    Sui Han, eyes round with wonder, looks at Lun questioningly. "You bought this for me?" She looks down at the floor demurely. Then, suddenly remembering that her hands are still enveloped in his big warm ones, she quickly jerks her hands away and hides them behind her back, a warm blush creeping up her neck.

    Lun smiles at Sui Han's charming shyness. "I bought all these hairpins for you." He gestures to the hair accessories scattered on his bed. "Do you want to try on a different one?"

    Sui Han shakes her head and looks down on the floor bashfully, while Lun stares at her, completely mesmerized by her ethereal beauty, which is accentuated by her comely blush. After several long moments of silence, Sui Han glances up and notices Lun's steady gaze. Embarrassed, she hurriedly leaves the room.

    As Sui Han rushes from Lun's room, Grandmother Fa, who has stationed herself on the rooftop of Lam Mansion overlooking Lun's room, smiles slyly and follows Sui Han's departure with calculating eyes…

    CITY OF LAM ON
    KOO YAT KEUNG'S INN ROOM

    Koo Yat Keung returns to his inn room, after a long fruitless search for the young woman he saw at Sky Dragon Restaurant yesterday. He walked around the marketplace, showing the townspeople her drawing. Unfortunately, no one knew who she was. He even waited at the restaurant for two hours this morning, hoping she would reappear. Mildly dejected, he shuffles listlessly into his room.

    Sitting at the table enjoying tea, Koo Yat Fei glances at his younger brother, who has just stepped over the threshold. "Where have you been, Keung?"

    Keung looks up in surprise. "Elder Brother, what are you doing here? I thought you were back at headquarters."

    Fei puts down his cup of tea. "I want to be here to witness and enjoy the Lams' defeat."

    Keung smiles challengingly. "Did you come to check up on me? Do you doubt my ability to handle them?"

    Fei chuckles. "Wow, you are in a nasty mood this morning!" Then he speaks in a more serious tone of voice. "How are the plans coming along?"

    Keung walks over to the table to pour himself a cup of tea. "Everything will go off like clockwork. You just relax and sit back to enjoy the show."

    The brothers smile craftily as they discuss their upcoming plans for the Lam family tonight.

    LAM MANSION
    IN THE SERVANTS' QUARTERS

    Sui Han sits on her cot folding laundry, as Sung Ling, who has just returned from visiting her mother, unpacks her travel bag. Suddenly the door to the servants' quarters slams open, and Mok Yee San stomps in and flops down angrily on her cot.

    Ling goes to Yee San with a concerned expression. "Why are you so mad, Yee San?"

    Sui Han sidles up to the other two servants curiously. Yee San picks up her pillow and throws it across the room in a fit of rage.

    Yee San whines. "Second Young Master ignored me again this morning."

    Ling sighs and shakes her head. "I told you to stop wishing for the impossible!"

    Confused, Sui Han asks, "What are you two talking about?"

    Ling turns to Sui Han to explain. "Yee San likes Second Young Master, but I told her that her dream is impossible! We are servants. Why would the master's son want to marry one of us when he has plenty of ladies from rich families fluttering around him?"

    Sui Han slowly sits down on Yee San's cot, mulling Ling's words over in her mind.

    Yee San looks up from her snit and sees the expensive hairpin on Sui Han's head. She reaches up to gently touch the pin. "This is exquisite. Where did you find the money to purchase this?"

    Suddenly remembering the hairpin, Sui Han reaches up to touch the shimmering hair accessory. "First Young Master gave it to me as a gift."

    Yee San looks at her suspiciously. "Really? Why would he do that?" After a few minutes, she smiles with a knowing look on her face. "Oh, I see. How many nights did you have to spend with him in order to persuade him to buy you that hairpin?"

    Ling yanks on Yee San's arm, admonishing her to be quiet. "Yee San!"

    Furious at Yee San's implication, Sui Han leaps up from the cot. "WHAT!!! I did no such thing! Unlike you, I have morals!" She stomps to the door and flings it open to reveal Lun on the other side, who is just about to knock on the door.

    Lun smiles. "Sui Han, I want to…" He trails off as he notices Ling and Yee San in the room listening closely to his words. Awkwardly, Lun stands at the entrance. An uncomfortable silence descends on the room.

    Yee San gives Sui Han a sly wink as she drags Ling with her out of the room. "We'll leave you two alone."

    Sui Han pouts and glares after them and then shifts her look of displeasure to Lun. "What do you want now, First Young Master?" She crosses her arms and turns her back to him.

    Lun clears his throat nervously. "Sui Han, I am wondering if you would…"

    Still indignant about Yee San's accusations and in no mood to deal with Lun, Sui Han interrupts him. "Honestly, First Young Master, you should get your own servant. I am Fourth Young Mistress' personal maid, not yours." Sui Han huffily walks out, leaving a confused and stunned Lun behind.

    Staring at Sui Han's retreating figure with bewilderment, Lun speaks to the empty room. "What did I do?"

    LATER THAT AFTERNOON
    IN THE MARKETPLACE

    Mok Yee San walks along the marketplace, a woven basket containing lettuce and fruits hanging from her arm. She envies Sui Han. If only Second Young Master would look at her the way First Young Master looks at Sui Han! Deep in thought, she strolls by a fortune-telling stand.

    As Yee San walks by the booth, the fortune-teller calls after her. "Miss! Miss! Congratulations! I could not help but notice the good luck blooming on your face. According to my years of fortune-telling experience, I can guarantee that you will marry a wealthy husband by the end of this week!"

    Yee San stares at the elderly woman curiously. "Really?" Her interest piqued, she sits down on the stool at the fortune-telling stand. "Do you know who my future husband is?"

    The fortune-teller takes Yee San's palm and scrutinizes it. "Hmmm…I see you marrying a handsome man. He is the second son of a powerful and wealthy family. Hmmm…It appears that you already know this person…"

    Yee San's face lights up excitedly. "Yes! Yes! I think I know whom you are talking about!" She claps her hands together in glee, but then glumly slumps down on her seat as she remembers that it would be impossible for Second Young Master to change his mind that quickly. "It is an impossible dream. He doesn't even like me. How will I get him to marry me?"

    The fortune-teller smiles knowingly. "I have a little something to help you, Miss." She takes out a small bottle and hands it over to Yee San. "This is a love potion that my teacher has passed along to me. All you have to do is put a few drops into his drink, and he will have eyes only for you."

    Yee San studies the bottle and then looks up. "Will it really work?"

    The fortune-teller smiles reassuringly. "I guarantee that you will be married by the end of the week. As a show of good faith, I will not collect any money now. You may come back at the end of the week with your payment."

    Yee San smiles happily. "Thank you, Grandmother! I will put the potion in his drink tonight!"

    As Yee San walks off, her mind filled with thoughts of which bridal outfit to wear, the fortune-teller looks at her retreating figure with a crafty smile.

    Grandmother Fa, who is disguised as the fortune-teller, chuckles evilly to herself. "Yes, little girl. You will be surprised at what that potion can do…"

  10. #10
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    CHAPTER 8 -- THE CRY OF DEATH

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Myolie Wu Hung Yee---Mok Yee San
    Frankie Lam Mun Lung---Lam Yik Wah
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Sui Han
    Kristy Yeung Gong Yu---Lam Suk Yu
    Gigi Lai Chi---Lam Suk Chi a.k.a. Chi Chi

    THAT EVENING
    IN THE KITCHEN OF LAM MANSION

    Yee San rushes to the kitchen after returning from the marketplace, her bottle of love potion nestled safely in her pocket. She causally saunters over to the shelves holding several jugs of wine. One of the kitchen servants removes one of the jugs and places it on a tray.

    Yee San quickly intercepts the kitchen servant and asks nonchalantly, "Are you bringing that jug of wine to Second Young Master?"

    The kitchen servant nods. "Yes, Second Young Master requested that I bring some wine to his room."

    Yee San takes the tray from the servant, the eagerness building up inside her. "Actually, I can bring that to him. You are busy enough here with your kitchen duties."

    The servant looks at Yee San gratefully. "Thanks, Yee San. I am especially busy tonight, especially with several servants still sick with a head cold."

    Yee San smiles cheekily. "I am glad that I am able to help out!"

    The moment she walks out with the tray, she quickly takes out her bottle of love potion and sprinkles a few drops into the jug of wine.

    With a satisfied smile on her lips, Yee San exclaims softly to herself, "There! That should do the job!" She brings the jug of wine to Wah's room and knocks on his door.

    OUTSIDE LAM YIK WAH'S CHAMBER

    Yik Wah sits at his table, reading a kung-fu manuscript. "Who is it?" He asks when he hears the knock on his door.

    Yee San calls out from the other side of the door. "Second Young Master, I brought you the wine you requested!"

    Wah sighs to himself, wishing Yee San would just leave him alone. "Why don't you leave it by the door? I will come get it in a moment."

    Yee San pouts but reluctantly agrees. "Sure. I'll leave the tray by the door. Remember to come get it soon." She places the tray down and walks away. However, instead of leaving, she hides behind a pillar near his room.

    Wah, upon hearing no movement outside his room, walks to the door to pick up his wine. Outside his room, a crow perches near the edge of the rooftop overlooking his room, its beady eyes glowing dangerously in the moonlight as it squawks loudly, as if announcing impending doom. An ominous shiver runs down Wah's spine. Uneasy, he walks back to the table with his wine. As he sips his wine, he senses something terribly wrong but could not place his finger on it.

    Outside Wah's room, Yee San giggles with glee as she observes Wah drink the love potion that is mixed in with his wine…

    MEANWHILE…
    IN THE COURTYARD OUTSIDE THE SERVANTS' QUARTERS

    Lun paces back and forth, wringing his hands. He wants to ask Sui Han why she is mad at him, but he is afraid that she will rebuff him again as she did this afternoon. Finally, drawing in a deep breath, he marches over to the door leading to the servants' rooms and raises his hand, getting ready to knock. However, his breath whooshes out of him at the last minute, and he loses his resolve. He shakes his head at his lack of courage when it comes to Sui Han. How ironic that he can face an opponent without breaking a sweat and can kill without a backward glance, and yet his heart thumps wildly when he is within shouting distance of Sui Han. Discouraged, he dispiritedly shuffles back to his room.

    INSIDE LAM YIK LUN'S CHAMBER

    As Lun enters his chamber, he notices a note on his table. Quickly, he scans its contents, becoming more excited as he reads.

    First Young Master,
    I am sorry about the way I treated you this afternoon. Please let me make it up to you. Meet me in the forest five miles from here. I have a surprise for you. I'll be waiting for you and won't leave until you show up.
    Sui Han

    As he finishes reading the letter, Lun's eyes sparkle happily. All thoughts of caution vanish from his mind as he thinks only of Sui Han. He picks up his sword, more out of habit than necessity, and hurries out into the dark night.

    IN THE GARDENS OF LAM MANSION

    Suk Yu and Chi Chi, who are both in the garden enjoying the cool, balmy night, notice their eldest brother rush by them.

    Chi Chi runs up to Lun. "Eldest Brother, where are you going so late at night?"

    Suk Yu approaches her oldest brother at a slower pace, her expression just as confused as Chi Chi's.

    Lun looks at his sisters. "Uhhh…I have some business to take care of."

    Chi Chi enthusiastically asks, "What business? May we come with you?!"

    Lun, his face reddening, stammers, "Uhhh…" Unsure of how to refuse Chi Chi's request to tag along without rousing her susupicions, he pats Chi Chi on the head awkwardly. "Next time, okay? Eldest Brother must go now, or else I'll be late."

    He quickly walks away. Suk Yu and Chi Chi watch his disappearing figure in confusion.

    Chi Chi worriedly looks over at Suk Yu. "Third Sister, where do think Eldest Brother is going at this time of night? He is never this closed-mouthed and mysterious."

    Suk Yu shrugs but a frown remains on her forehead. "I don't know, but we should not be too concerned. Eldest Brother can take care of himself."

    At that moment, Sui Han wanders out of the servants' quarters, unable to sleep as Yee San's words circle in her mind. Upon seeing Suk Yu and Chi Chi at the far side of the garden, she breaks into a happy smile and runs over to the sisters, looking forward to gossiping with them to take her mind off of the rumors circulating about her and First Young Master.

    Sui Han greets the sisters, a bit breathless from the jog. "Third Young Mistress, Fourth Young Mistress."

    Chi Chi turns to Sui Han delightedly. "Sui Han! Isn't this just so funny? It's already pretty late, but no one seems to be asleep yet tonight!"

    Sui Han, confused by Chi Chi's comment, looks at her questioningly. "What do you mean?"

    Suk Yu explains. "We just saw Eldest Brother rush off somewhere a few minutes ago. We wanted to come along, but he refused. He said he has some 'business to take care of.'" Suk Yu sighs to herself. "We are just worried because he was acting strangely."

    Sui Han mulls over this new information to herself. "Hmmm… That's strange. He doesn't seem to be the type to leave without letting people know where he is going. Unless…" Sui Han's eyes widen as a new thought occurs to her. "I have to leave!" She rushes off, her heart pounding with dread.

    Chi Chi and Suk Yu call out in unison. "Wait! Sui Han, where are you going?!" They exchange confused looks as Sui Han rushes off.

    MEANWHILE…
    IN LAM YIK WAH'S CHAMBER

    The empty jug of wine sits by the candle on the table. At the opposite end of the room near the wash basin, Lam Yik Wah prepares for bed. For some odd reason, the image of the crow that was perched outside his room earlier this evening refuses to leave his mind. Its continuous squawking echoes through his head, like a death cry. With his brow wrinkled in worry, he walks over to the table, about to blow out the candle. Suddenly, from the corner of his eyes, Wah sees a human shadow dash by.

    Wah shouts in alarm. "Who is it?"

    He listens carefully for an answer. Seconds tick by as the candle flame dances wildly, sending ghostly shadows bouncing off the walls. Complete silence, save for Wah's heavy breathing, descends on the room. All of a sudden, a shadowed figure flickers by outside his room, and several small knives shoot through his window. Wah executes several back flips to avoid the rain of knives. Determined to find out who the intruder is, Wah picks up his sword and flies out through his window, giving chase.

    Nearby, Yee San, who has been lurking near Wah's room all evening, curious about the effects of the love potion, stealthily follows him.

    MEANWHILE…
    BACK IN THE GARDENS OF LAM MANSION

    Meanwhile, back in the garden, Suk Yu and Chi Chi stare at Sui Han's rapidly retreating figure, baffled by the turn of events.

    Chi Chi shakes her head. "Everyone is acting so strangely this evening. Third Sister, what do you think…?" She stops mid-sentence as Suk Yu raises a hand to signal to Chi Chi to be silent.

    Suk Yu twirls her flute as her eyes scan the surrounding area carefully. "Friends, you have been hiding for quite some time now. Don't you think that it is time you reveal yourself?"

    Chi Chi comes to stand beside Suk Yu, her eyes also surveying her surroundings. Out of nowhere, a fireball shoots out in their direction. Quickly, Suk Yu and Chi Chi leap apart, avoiding the fireball's licking flames.

    Four figures, dressed in black, flip over the walls of Lam Mansion and land on the garden grounds, surrounding the sisters. However, instead of charging at Suk Yu and Chi Chi, they throw small hand bombs at the young women and then immediately flip back over the walls of Lam Mansion. The sisters somersault through the air, dodging the bombs, which shortly explode, enveloping the garden in a cloud of smoke and dust. The impact sends Suk Yu and Chi Chi crashing into the hard surface of the huge well in the garden.

    Chi Chi leans against the side of the well in a daze. "Ouch!!!"

    Suk Yu winces from the pain but crawls over to Chi Chi. "Are you all right?"

    Chi Chi nods. "Yes, I am just a little shocked. Who are those people?"

    Suk Yu helps Chi Chi to stand up. "I don't know, but we'll find out very shortly."

    Suk Yu grabs Chi Chi's arm, and together they flip over the walls, flying after the intruders.

    MEANWHILE…
    FIVE MILES FROM LAM MANSION
    IN THE FOREST

    Lun reaches the edge of the forest, his heart pounding furiously as he anxiously searches for Sui Han. Slivers of moonlight peak through the small cracks in the thick canopy of leaves, illuminating the forest ground with a lacy pattern of white light. Other than the sound of his footsteps and the crackle of dry leaves, silence reigns throughout the forest, almost like the calm before a storm. From the depths of the woodland, Lun spies a small figure with her back turned to him. The iridescent shimmer of precious stones from her hairpin winks at him in the moonlight, almost like a beacon beckoning to him.

    Lun approaches her, giddy with love and yet strangely uneasy. "Sui Han…"

  11. #11
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    CHAPTER 9 -- BLINDED BY LOVE

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun
    Frankie Lam Mun Lung---Lam Yik Wah
    Kristy Yeung Gong Yu---Lam Suk Yu
    Gigi Lai Chi---Lam Suk Chi a.k.a. Chi Chi
    Myolie Wu Hung Yee---Mok Yee San
    Benny Chan Ho Man---Koo Yat Keung
    Louis Koo Tin Lok---Koo Yat Fei
    Helena Law Lan---Grandmother Fa
    Vincent Jiao Enjun---Chau Mo
    Joe Ma Tuk Chung---Lau Dong

    FIVE MILES FROM LAM MANSION
    IN THE FOREST

    Lun reaches the edge of the forest, his heart pounding furiously as he anxiously searches for Sui Han. Slivers of moonlight peak through the small cracks in the thick canopy of leaves, illuminating the forest ground with a lacy pattern of white light. Other than the sound of his footsteps and the crackle of dry leaves, silence reigns throughout the forest, almost like the calm before a storm. From the depths of the woodland, Lun spies a small figure with her back turned to him. The iridescent shimmer of precious stones from her hairpin winks at him in the moonlight, almost like a beacon beckoning to him.

    Lun approaches her, giddy with love and yet strangely uneasy. "Sui Han…"

    The figure remains silent. Confused, Lun ventures closer, until he stands directly behind her. Reaching a hand out to touch her shoulder, he calls to her again. "Sui Han…"

    The figure slowly turns around…and suddenly flings white powder into his face, blinding him. Lun backs away in surprise, his stinging eyes squeezed shut and his arms flailing the air in an attempt to clear the dense cloud of powder surrounding him.

    From the surrounding trees, twenty men, garbed in black, flip out from their hiding places and surround the blinded Lun. One of the men, taking advantage of Lun's shock, delivers a resounding kick, sending Lun flying backwards and crashing into a tree trunk.

    The figure, which resembles Sui Han, disappears in a poof of smoke, and in her place stands Grandmother Fa. She cackles loudly, her whole body trembling with glee. "The invincible, lone swordsman, Lam Siu Tin's heir apparent to the seat of Chancellor, brought to his knees today in the name of love!" She chuckles to herself as she backs away from Lun.

    Lun, his vision greatly impaired by the gritty powder still clinging to his eyes and face, quickly recovers and stands up. With his eyes tightly shut to prevent further irritation and damage by the unknown powdery substance, he relies on his hearing to determine the location of each of his opponents. Head slightly cocked, he listens carefully and estimates a total of fifteen to twenty men surrounding him, all with swords as he hears the whooshing sound of blades slicing through the air. With his sheathed sword in his left hand, he twirls it three times before switching the weapon over to his right hand as he readies himself for attack.

    From his right, three assassins, with swords raised, charge at him. Lun flips his sword horizontally, allowing the sword sheath to shoot out, hitting the first man in the chest and sending him crashing into the two men running behind him. With a swift turn of his body toward the left, he kicks two more opponents down. Then, stabbing his sword vertically down into the forest ground and holding onto the hilt with his left hand, he suspends himself over his weapon, using it as a pivot point to spin himself in the air as he sends consecutive, forceful kicks to the assassins rapidly approaching from all directions.

    MEANWHILE…
    AT THE OTHER END OF THE SAME FOREST

    Wah, with his sword strapped to his back, races along the treetops, chasing after the figure clothed completely in black. While in the air, he nears the intruder and attempts to palm him in the back. The intruder flips away adroitly, and using a tree trunk as a springing board, he kicks off and circles back three-hundred sixty degrees, flying straight toward Wah. Seeing his approach, Wah, using the treetops as a stepping stone, launches himself higher up into the air and then shoots vertically straight downward in a move to palm the intruder on his head. The man in black quickly changes direction and flies upward vertically. Both men's palms meet half way, causing a resounding clash to echo throughout the silent night. Reeling from the impact, both men execute air-borne back flips away from each other before landing on the ground.

    Wah points to the intruder with his sword. "Who are you and why are sneaking around Lam Mansion?"

    The intruder laughs slyly behind the black cloth covering the lower part of his face. "Why don't you ask the God of the Underworld for the answer?"

    Wah, incensed, retorts, "We shall see who ends up in the Underworld."

    They charge at each other and a fierce battle ensues. The intruder flings several small blades, sending them flying at Wah, who parries using his sword blade to block the rain of knives. Stabbing his sword into the ground, Wah rushes toward the intruder. Their palms once again collide in a forceful clash, as each uses his internal energy to try to defeat the other.

    As this clash of inner strength continues, four more men, dressed in black, race toward the battling duo. The four intruders periodically glance behind them, as if expecting company. From afar, Wah hears two familiar female voices.

    Suk Yu's echoes loudly in the distance. "Hold it right there, you four!"

    One of the four men in black flings a hand bomb backward over his head as he continues to run forward.

    Chi Chi screams warningly, "Watch out, Third Sister!"

    An explosion shatters the silence of the night as rock particles scatter in all directions. From the corner of his eyes, Wah sees the approach of four men garbed in black. But unlike the intruder that he is currently battling with, these four men's faces are uncovered. The men run to stand directly behind their leader, the masked man in black, who ignores them as he concentrates on defeating Wah.

    From the darkness, two young women flip out and land on the forest ground, chasing close behind the four men in black.

    Chi Chi points to Wah. "Third Sister, it's Second Brother!"

    Chi Chi and Suk Yu run toward Wah.

    Koo Yat Keung, his palms still connected to Wah's, looks sideways at the four other men in black. "Don't just stand there, idiots!" He jerks his head toward Suk Yu and Chi Chi's direction. "Finish them off!"

    Chau Mo nods. "Yes, Second Young Master."

    The four men charge at Suk Yu and Chi Chi.

    MEANWHILE…
    BACK ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE FOREST

    While his siblings battle the Sun Moon Sect members on the other end of the forest, Lam Yik Lun fends off wave after wave of assassins on his end of the forest. Even blinded, he remains amazingly calm, as he sends his opponents crashing to the ground with his deadly accurate kicks and sword strokes.

    In the background, a darkly handsome man emerges from the woods, quietly observing the struggle between his men and the young swordsman known throughout the martial arts world as unbeatable. As he watches all twenty assassins fall at this swordsman's feet, he smiles craftily and steps over several of his Sun Moon Sect members writhing in pain on the ground. With a flick of his hand, he orders the remaining assassins who are still alive to retreat to the background.

    Koo Yat Fei steps forward and claps loudly twice, applauding Lun's martial arts skills. "Very impressive! Even when blinded, you manage to defeat all twenty of my members. It is no wonder that the Lam Family Sword Fighting Style has been undefeatable for over forty years."

    Lun, his eyes still closed, turns toward the direction of this new person's voice. "Who are you?"

    Fei chuckles. "I am your nemesis. Prepare to die at my hands tonight."

    Lun snorts at Fei's brash declaration. "You? What makes you think that you could kill me?"

    Fei smiles coldy. "We'll see who will emerge as the victor tonight."

    Fei rubs his palms together. A small flicker of flame rises from his clasped hands, gradually enlarging and gaining heat, and eventually becoming a fireball balanced on the palm of his hand. With a wicked grin, Fei hurls the fireball toward Lun, intending to burn him alive.

    Unable to see the approach of the fireball, Lun tilts his head slightly, listening attentively to his enemy's actions. Suddenly, he feels a change in the air temperature and hears the licking of flames. Deducing that he is being attacked with fireballs, he shifts slightly to the side, avoiding the fiery ball. Immediately, several more balls follow. Lun twists through the air, expertly dodging each volley. Using his sword, he bats at one of the fireballs, sending it hurtling back toward Fei, who executes a back flip to avoid being burned.

    Lun goads Fei with a mocking smile. "Is that the best you can do?"

    Furious, Fei signals with his hand. Immediately, ten men in black leap down from the treetops, each armed with a long wooden staff. At their leader's cue, the ten men strike the ground with the ends of the staffs, filling the previously silent forest with harsh, discordant noise. With the aid of the background noise created by his men, Fei flies at Lun. Unable to hear clearly now, Lun tries his best to dodge Fei's blows. After ten minutes of combat, Fei manages to sock Lun in the chest, causing Lun to back away several steps.

    Unwilling to give up easily, Lun hooks his foot around Fei's leg and trips him. Just as Fei stands back up, Lun somersaults in the air and kicks him in the chest. The battle ensues for another ten minutes. Finally, unable to see and hear well, Lun begins to lose the upper hand. Taking advantage of this, Fei forcefully palms Lun on the shoulders, sending him crashing backward into a tree. Lun spits out a mouthful of blood.

    Fei approaches the injured Lun, his sword raised with the intent to kill. "Prepare to die, hero…"

    MEANWHILE…
    ON LAM YIK WAH'S SIDE OF THE FOREST

    Wah remains locked in an inner strength contest with Keung. For twenty excruciatingly long minutes, the two men remain stationary with their palms connected. In the background, Suk Yu and Chi Chi engage in combat with the four Sun Moon Sect members.

    Suddenly, for some odd reason, Wah feels his inner strength draining. The trees start to blur together and his vision grays. Sensing victory, Keung smiles slyly as he pushes forward forcefully, sending Wah flying backwards several feet before crashing to the ground.

    Suk Yu and Chi Chi yells in unison. "Second Brother!" Both sisters run toward Wah, but they are thwarted by the four Sun Moon Sect members, who attack them from behind.

    Keung approaches the injured Wah, who writhes on the forest ground, clutching his heart painfully. Blood trickles out the side of Wah’s mouth.

    Keung chuckles wickedly and speaks in a taunting voice. "Nothing like a little love potion to bring a hero to his knees." Keung picks up Wah's sword from the ground and then stares straight into Wah's eyes. "Prepare to die by your own sword."

    Keung raises the sword and throws it straight at Wah.

    Suk Yu turns toward Wah's direction and calls out frantically, "Second Brother!" She sends her jade flute twirling into the air, in an attempt to block the advance of the sword heading straight at her second brother.

    Unfortunately, Keung quickly responds by flinging two small knives at the flute, knocking it down. Meanwhile, Wah's sword continues to shoot through the air toward him. Suk Yu and Chi Chi, with too little time to halt the sword's progress, watch in horrified silence.

    MEANWHILE…
    ON LAM YIK LUN'S SIDE OF THE FOREST

    Fei approaches the injured Lun, his sword raised with the intent to kill. "Prepare to die, hero…"

    Just as Fei's sword is about to stab into Lun, a figure, clothed in black from head to toe with face covered with a black cloth, flies out from the depths of the woodland. The mysterious person flings three silver needles at Fei's sword, knocking it to the ground. Taken by surprise, Fei jerks around and flies toward Lun's savior. The two meet halfway in the air, their palms clashing, causing the trees to quiver and the earth to rumble. Both execute air-borne back flips away from each other. Fei lands on the ground and stares up his new adversary, who twirls gracefully in the air to land on a low-hanging tree branch.

    Fei demands in a cold voice. "Who are you?"

    The mysterious rescuer lounges calmly on the tree branch, ignoring Fei's question. After staring silently at Fei for a few minutes, the person throws multiple silver needles at him. While Fei twists in the air trying to dodge the onslaught of needles, the person flies down from the tree branch, and grabbing Lun's arm, flies off with him. As they flash by, Fei catches a glimpse of a piece of heart-shaped jade hanging from the rescuer's waist.

    Grandmother Fa and the rest of the Sun Moon Sect members chase after Lun and his rescuer, but Fei raises his arm to halt their pursuit.

    Fei commands, "Let them go."

    Fei takes a few steps forward and looks thoughtfully in the direction in which Lam Yik Lun and the rescuer have disappeared, his eyes narrowing with rage…

    MEANWHILE…
    BACK ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FOREST

    Suk Yu and Chi Chi watch helplessly as the sword shoots through the air straight toward their Second Brother's heart.

    One split second before the blade pierces Wah's heart, Mok Yee San leaps out from her hiding place behind the trees and flings herself in front of her Second Young Master, thereby shielding him. As the weapon stabs into her back, blood spurts out of her mouth and splatters onto Wah's dark blue gown, quickly saturating the dark fabric with a thick crimson stain.

    Wah, shocked at Yee San's appearance, holds her in his arms and shakes her limp body. "Yee San! Yee San!"

    Yee San chokes on her blood and tries to speak in breathless spurts. "Second…Second Young Master… I am… I am sorry. I was the one who put… who put the love potion in your wine. I did not…" She coughs up some more blood, her voice becoming weaker and weaker with each word. "I did not realize it was poison." Yee San sobs softly, tears rolling down her cheeks. "I only wanted you to love me…"

    Wah wipes the tears from her face. "Yee San…"

    Yee San gulps in large breaths as it becomes harder and harder for her to breathe. "Good-bye, Second Young Master…" Her voice trails off, and her head falls forward onto his chest.

    Wah shakes her lifeless body. "Yee San!!! Yee San!!!" He leans his forehead against hers, his heart heavy with guilt for not loving her the way she wanted him to.

    While Wah holds Yee San's lifeless body in his arms, Suk Yu and Chi Chi manage to kill two of the four men in black, leaving only Chau Mo and Lau Dong.

    Keung charges at Wah, intent on killing him. Swiftly, Wah sets aside Yee San's body and staggers up to a standing position. Unfortunately, in his weakened state, Keung easily strikes him down again.

    Seeing her Second Brother in danger, Suk Yu delivers a strong kick to Lau Dong and flies over to Wah's side. She blocks the blow Keung is about to deliver to Wah with her flute. Suk Yu and Keung engage in a fierce hand-to-hand combat. Keung charges at Wah with every opportunity he gets, while Suk Yu tries her best to thwart his advances.

    A few feet away, Chi Chi slashes Chau Mo's arm with her sword blade and palms him in the shoulders, causing him to collide backward into Lau Dong.
    Both Sun Moon Sect members crash to the ground in an unconscious heap.
    Chi Chi races over to Wah and quickly sits him up. Sitting crossed-legged behind him, she places both palms on his back, channeling her internal energy toward him in an attempt to halt the progression of the poison.

    Wah coughs and spits out blood. "Chi Chi… It is useless…"

    Chi Chi shouts in frustration. "No!!! Don't give up, Second Brother!"

    Wah starts to hyperventilate as the world spins uncontrollably. "Listen to me!" He painfully takes in a deep breath. "If you still consider me as your Second Brother, then do as I say."

    Chi Chi holds her brother in her arms, crying softly while nodding her head. Second Brother, what do you want me to do?"

    Wah tries to focus on Chi Chi's face. "Go find Eldest Brother. We need his help. Suk Yu is no match for that masked man in black. Hurry! Hurry!"

    Chi Chi begins to sob uncontrollably. "I am not leaving you here! Besides, I don't know where Eldest Brother is! He rushed off earlier this evening without letting us know where he is going!"

    As Wah and Chi Chi are arguing, Keung kicks Suk Yu in the stomach, and she crashes backward into a tree trunk. Ignoring her pain, she swiftly stands back up and flies toward Keung again.

    Wah screams at Chi Chi urgently. "Try your best to locate Eldest Brother, or else we will all die tonight! GO!!!"

    With her Second Brother's urging, Chi Chi nods quickly and runs off into the depths of the forest, away from Suk Yu and Wah, with tears streaming down her cheeks as she prays to the heavens to watch over her siblings while she searches for her eldest brother…

  12. #12
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    I like the poster at wingi you should post it here! <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">nice story!! is there a part II?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Hi Danielle,
    Wow! Aside from Hannah, you are the second reader I know of from SPCNET. Since I have been posting my story here for so long and have not been receiving any comments, I thought everyone is ignoring my story or just hate it in general. Thank you so much for coming forward and letting me know that you are reading it. That means a lot to me. I have taken your advice and have posted the story's poster here. Thank you for complimenting the poster. All credit for the poster goes to Hannah(HMT), who has been kind enough to make Legendary Book a marvelous poster. As for a part 2 - well, part 1 is still a long way from being finished. Therefore, if there is a part 2, then it will not be written any time soon. Please continue to leave me comments to let me know you are reading. Thanks. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

  14. #14
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    Melanie! I bet u there are plenty of people that reads your story!! there are just probabaly silent readers! <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">on't get discouraged! can wait for your next update your fan <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> cant wait to till part II! <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0">

  15. #15
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Hi Danielle,
    Thanks for the encouragement and support! I hope more readers will drop me a short message to cheer me on. Please continue checking the winglin fan fiction forum for more current updates, as my chapter postings here at SPCNET lag behind by several chapters. Once again, thank you and I hope to hear more from you in the future!
    http://www.winglin.net/fanfic/legendarybook/

  16. #16
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool

    a promising story with some interesting dialogues. <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    Probably a bit more description on setting, maybe to make the story flow better.

    Anyhow, interesting cast. BTW, who is the actor in that blue robe next to Annie Man?
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  17. #17
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Hi Goofy,
    Thank you for reading my story. I feel very honored that you, an established, veteran author of ancient fan fictions, have given my amateur story a glance. Thank you for your advice about the setting. Sadly, I lack sufficient knowledge about Chinese history and geography to elaborate on the setting in my story. <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> Hopefully, you and everyone else will overlook this major flaw and the many other shortcomings in my story and continue to support it. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    The actor in the blue robe next to Annie is Gilbert Lam Wai Sun. He used to be with ATV and has starred with Annie in ATV's Heroine of the Yangs 1998. Since then, he has switched over to TVB and has appeared as supporting characters in various dramas, such as Where the Legend Begins, Burning Flame 2, and Doomed to Oblivion.

    If you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to let me know, as I am a fumbling novice. I would greatly appreciate guidance from a master like you. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    Once again, thank you for reading my story, and I hope to hear from you again in the future.

  18. #18
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    Red face

    sorry i have not been updating comments! <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> Wow I read the updates on wingli!! cant wait to find out what happens to ching ching! <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">its kinda annoying though why does everyone like annie??? ooh! i was hoping she'll fall in love with the 'da sui ye' but she already likes the other dude:crying <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0">k ok its you story i will butt out of it!! cant wait for an update <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0"> -danielle-

  19. #19
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    Talking

    CHAPTER 10 -- THE BLACK VOID

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Sui Han
    Frankie Lam Mun Lung---Lam Yik Wah
    Kristy Yeung Gong Yu---Lam Suk Yu
    Gigi Lai Chi---Lam Chi Chi
    Benny Chan Ho Man---Koo Yat Keung
    Louis Koo Tin Lok---Koo Yat Fei
    Helena Law Lan---Grandmother Fa

    THAT SAME EVENING
    INSIDE A CAVE A FEW MILES FROM THE FOREST

    A campfire burns strong and hot, its licking flames crackling furiously, reaching upward like fiery hands fighting to ward off the chill inside the dark, drafty cave. His face bathed in the soft firelight, Lam Yik Lun lies unconscious on the makeshift straw bed on the floor of the cave. Sui Han sits beside him, gently cleaning the caked blood at the corner of his mouth with a damp cloth.

    Lun mumbles in his sleep. "Sui Han… Sui Han… Don't be mad at me…" He shifts around restlessly, his hands grabbing Sui Han's in his slumber. "I'm sorry, whatever I did. Sui Han…"

    Sui Han tries to extricate her hand from his grasp, but he holds on tightly. Finally, she gives up trying to yank her hand away and sighs with exasperation. “First Young Master? First Young Master?" She shakes him gently at first and then with a little more force. "Wake up, First Young Master."

    Lun begins to waken as he hears Sui Han's voice at the edge of his consciousness. "Sui Han?" He blinks several times, trying unsuccessfully to focus on Sui Han's blurry image. His eyes feel gritty, as if he had not slept for several days.

    Sui Han smiles as she stares down at Lun. "You are finally awake! How do you feel?"

    Lun confused, he reaches up to rub his eyes. "My eyes…"

    Sui Han grabs his hand to stop him. "Don't rub your eyes. Someone threw sand and some sort of powder into your eyes. I cleaned it off, but your eyes will still feel gritty and your vision will still be out of focus for some time."

    Lun tries to sit up, and Sui Han immediately scoots closer to him to prop him up against her side. Looking around the cave in confusion, hee asks, "Where are we? Why am I here?"

    Sui Han tries to support his heavy weight against her. "I am not sure what happened. I walked by your room earlier tonight and found it empty with the door gaping open. When I went inside, I saw a note on the floor. Sensing something was wrong, I read it and immediately knew that you were somehow in danger, since I never sent you such a note. I wandered around searching for you. Finally, I found you unconscious by the edge of the forest, so I lugged you back here."

    Lun stares at Sui Han questioningly. "You never left me a note asking me to meet you in the forest?"

    Sui Han shakes her head, her eyes wide with surprise. "Why would I do that?"

    Without answering her question, Lun looks down at his hands glumly and sighs. "I just thought that you…" He shakes his head. "Never mind." He sits there in silence, while Sui Han looks at him strangely. Suddenly, he jerks his head up as a new thought occurs to him. "What happened to that hero who rescued me?"

    Sui Han looks confused. "What hero?"

    Lun stumbles up from his straw bed with Sui Han's support. "I was ambushed in the forest and a hero saved me. I couldn't see at the time and therefore do not know his identity."

    Sui Han asks doubtfully. "Are you sure you remember correctly? When I found you at the edge of the forest, you were alone on the ground. Why would this person save you and then leave you alone so that you would be vulnerable to attack again?"

    Lun shakes his head as he staggers unsteadily. "No. I specifically remember someone rescuing me!"

    Sui Han replies soothingly. "Okay, okay, First Young Master. I believe you. You are injured and should not overtax yourself. Why don't you lie down and get some rest?"

    Stubbornly, Lun starts heading unsteadily towards the entrance of the cave, his footsteps faltering slightly as his vision remains hazy. "No, for some reason, I have a bad premonition. I want to return to Lam Mansion as soon as possible to make sure everything is in order."

    Sui Han rushes toward him to help guide him out of the cave. "Be careful, First Young Master!"

    The two leave the cave, with Lun stumbling drunkenly, as Sui Han struggles to prevent both of them from collapsing to the ground.

    MEANWHILE…
    NEAR THE EDGE OF THE FOREST

    Chi Chi tears through the thick shrubbery, half running and half flying as she tries to sprint back to Lam Mansion as quickly as possible to see if her Eldest Brother has returned yet. Her vision blurred by tears, she trips on a root and falls forward, scraping her palms. Too frightened and worried to be aware of the stinging pain, she scrambles back up and charges blindly ahead, her mind only thinking of bringing reinforcements to rescue Yik Wah and Suk Yu. Preoccupied, Chi Chi does not realize that she is no longer alone, until it is too late…

    MEANWHILE…
    BACK IN DEPTHS OF THE FOREST

    Keung dodges the swipe of Suk Yu's jade flute, and with a strong kick, he knocks her weapon into the dark bottomless canyon situated dangerously close to their battleground. Improvising, Suk Yu somersaults through the air to where Wah's sword is lying on the ground. She grabs the sword and uses it to evade the onslaught of flying knives.

    As Suk Yu tries to ward off Keung's attack, Wah pulls himself upright and settles himself into a cross-legged sitting position on the ground, as he uses his internal energy in an attempt to force some of the poison out. After much effort, he manages to spit out a mouthful of blood, which congeals rapidly into a viscous puddle of black substance. Gulping in a tortured breath of air, he leans against the tree behind him, his arms and legs feeling like rubber and his head throbbing painfully. He tries to crawl over to his sister to lend her a hand, but his severely injured body refuses to cooperate.

    A few feet away, the fatigued Suk Yu flies toward Keung, who easily grabs and yanks on her foot, causing her to crash to the ground as she clutches her abdomen in agony. Her sword clatters a few feet away from her. Suk Yu crawls slowly over to the weapon, but her enemy flips through the air and kicks it over the canyon.

    Keung speaks tauntingly. "Give up, you two. You will die tonight, and nothing will change that."

    He approaches brother and sister threateningly…

    MEANWHILE…
    AT THE EDGE OF THE FOREST

    Chi Chi continues dashing through the thick woodland, sobbing as she runs. In her haste, she again trips over a root.

    Chi Chi, sprawled on the ground, her hands clenched in tight fists, shouts loudly, "ELDEST BROTHER!!! ELDEST BROTHER!!! WHERE ARE YOU?""

    Her cry for help echoes hollowly through the dark forest. The leaves quiver around her and footsteps pound on the dirt ground, signaling the presence of others in the forest. Suddenly, from the dark night, ten men in black flip out and surround Chi Chi, who quickly scrambles up to a standing position, her sword raised as she readies for attack.

    The ten men in black part away, revealing a tall, dark man, his eyes emotionless, his hands linked loosely behind his back.

    Koo Yat Fei smiles calculatingly. "Why don't I bring you to your Eldest Brother?"

    Chi Chi takes a step backward, as she looks at him suspiciously. "Who are you? What have you done to my Eldest Brother?"

    Fei snorts mockingly. "Your Eldest Brother, the coward, is already dead. Why don't I do you a favor and hasten your journey to the Underworld to meet up with him?"

    Chi Chi screams in anger. "You are lying! My Eldest Brother is undefeatable!"

    She charges at Fei, who expertly knocks the sword from her hand and kicks her hard in the abdomen. Undaunted, Chi Chi flies toward him and immediately crashes backward into a tree trunk as Fei palms her shoulder. She knocks her head forcefully on the rough bark and loses consciousness.

    Grandmother Fa turns to Fei. "First Young Master, should we finish her off?"

    Fei stares unsympathetically at Chi Chi. "No. Bring her with us. She may be useful as a hostage."

    Fei leads the way out of the forest and calmly walks back toward the city of Lam On. The others follow behind, carrying the unconscious Chi Chi with them, as the group makes their way back to the hotel to wait for Keung.

    Shortly after Fei and the Sun Moon Sect's departure, Lun and Sui Han wander onto the scene on their way back to Lam Mansion. Lun, his vision still extremely blurry, walks carefully so as to not trip over the potholes on the forest ground. Sui Han walks beside him, her hand on his arm, just in case he stumbles.

    Sui Han spies a metallic object a few feet away. "First Young Master, be careful. There seems to be a sharp piece of metal a few feet ahead of us."

    Lun blinks several times in an attempt to clear his vision. He ventures closer to the piece of metal, suspecting that it may be a sword.

    Lun crouches down on the ground and picks up the sword as he concentrates to bring the inscription on the hilt into focus. "It's Chi Chi's sword!" He points to the Chinese character, "Lam," which is engraved on the sword hilt.

    Sui Han hunches down beside him, her brow furrowed with worry.
    Sui Han asks worriedly. "Why would Fourth Young Mistress' sword be out here? Isn't she supposed to be back at Lam Mansion?"

    MEANWHILE…
    BACK IN THE DEPTHS OF THE FOREST

    Keung approaches Wah, his palm raised, prepared to strike a fatal blow to his head. Suk Yu swiftly crawls over, ignoring her intense pain, and grabs tightly onto Keung's leg, trying to halt his advance toward Keung, who lies helplessly on the ground.

    Suk Yu screams, "NO!!!"

    Keung looks coldly down on Suk Yu before flinging her away with one forceful shrug of his leg. She rolls away, but crawls back again, determined to sacrifice her own life to save her Second Brother. Irritated by her pesky attempts to stop him, Keung kicks her hard in the head, sending her flying off into the hollow, black depths of the canyon.

    Suk Yu screams, her arms and legs flailing the air helplessly as her body rapidly descends into the black void. "AHHHHHHHH!!!"

    MEANWHILE…
    BACK AT THE EDGE OF THE FOREST

    Lun and Sui Han stare at Chi Chi's sword with concern. Before Lun could speculate on the whereabouts of his youngest sister, they hear an ear-piercing bellow reverberate through the woodland, the agony in the scream sending an ominous chill shooting down Sui Han and Lun's spines.

    Sui Han anxiously looks around. "What is that?" She looks around frantically, trying to see through the thick foliage.

    Lun quickly drags Sui Han up with him. "I don't know, but we'll find out soon."

    They rush into the depths of the forest, toward the direction of the scream…

  20. #20
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
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    Talking

    CHAPTER 11 -- THE DAWN OF A NEW DAY

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Andy Lau Tak Wah---Lam Siu Tin
    Idy Chan Yuk Lin---Chan Yin Yuk a.k.a. Sui Yuk
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Sui Han
    Frankie Lam Mun Lung---Lam Yik Wah
    Kristy Yeung Gong Yu---Lam Suk Yu
    Louis Koo Tin Lok---Koo Yat Fei
    Benny Chan Ho Man---Koo Yat Keung
    Joe Ma Tuk Chung---Lau Dong
    Vincent Jiao Enjun---Chau Mo

    FIVE MILES FROM THE CITY OF LAM ON
    BACK IN THE DEPTHS OF THE FOREST
    NEAR THE MOUTH OF THE CANYON

    Wah watches in horror as Suk Yu catapults over the edge of the canyon. Hollering in emotional and physical pain, he cries out, "SUK YU!!!"

    Wah drags himself over to the edge, overlooking the bottomless pit, which has swallowed his sister whole. Unsympathetic, Keung calmly strolls over to Wah and raises his palm, ready to strike a deathblow.

    Suddenly, a sword twists through the air, heading straight for Keung, and slashes at his hand. He executes five back flips to avoid further injury. From the darkness, Lun flies out and grabs his twirling sword mid-air. Hooking his arm around a high tree branch, he swings himself around and heads straight back toward Keung, who shoots three small knives at him. Lun knocks them down like pesky flies, as he continues flying toward his adversary. As he sweeps by Keung, his sword slashes a gash across Keung's chest. Keung twists sideways in the air from the impact and lands hard on the ground. Lun lands behind the severely injured Wah. Quickly, he sits his brother up and places his palms against his back, his expression fierce with concentration.
    Seeing this as a good opportunity to attack Lun while he is preoccupied with healing his brother, Keung charges at Lun. Keeping his left palm against his brother's back, Lun wards off Keung's blows with his right arm.

    At that moment, Chau Mo and Lau Dong awaken from their bout of unconsciousness and stumble unsteadily to their feet. They scan the area in confusion before focusing in on Keung fighting with Lun several feet away. Immediately, the two Sun Moon Sect members fly over to lend Keung a hand.

    As all three attack Lun, who tries to keep one of his palms on Wah's back while dodging the enemies' blows, twin swords shoot out and pierce Lau Dong through the heart while injuring Chau Mo. A long sash of white fabric whips out from somewhere within the depths of the forest and wraps around Chau Mo, flinging him through the air before dropping him abruptly, causing him to crash against a tree, the impact killing him immediately.

    From the behind a large tree, hidden from view, Sui Han watches the impressive display of martial arts with wide eyes. Only two people in the martial arts world have the ability to kill without actually being physically present - the Martial Arts World Chancellor, Lam Siu Tin, and his wife, Chan Yin Yuk.

    Sensing grave danger for himself, Keung abandons his attack on Lun and flies off. Without Keung's distraction, Lun is able to concentrate fully on reviving his younger brother.

    Wah coughs and speaks in a weakened voice. "Eldest Brother, you are finally here." He tries to turn around to face Lun. "Suk Yu… Suk Yu…" He gasps as tears fill his eyes. "She went over the cliff. Find her… Find her…"

    Lun nods. "Don't waste your energy speaking. We need to concentrate on healing you first. Mother and Father are back. We will find Suk Yu. She will be all right."

    Sui Han walks out from behind the tree and runs toward Lun and Wah. Kneeling down next to the brothers, she begins guiltily, "Second Young Master…"

    She is interrupted as a handsome couple in their forties flip out from the depths of the woodland and land a few feet away. The woman is stunningly beautiful, despite her age, in a long flowing white gown with a hint of pale blue flowers at the hem, sleeves, and collar. The man beside her, also dressed in white, cuts a dashing figure with his twin swords strapped behind his back. Upon seeing Wah injured and sprawled on the ground, the woman swiftly runs over to her sons, while the man follows closely behind.

    Chan Yin Yuk kneels down on the ground next to Wah and tenderly cups his cheek with her hand. "Yik Wah, honey, you are hurt." She looks over at Lun questioningly. "How badly is he injured?"

    Wah responds in weak voice. "Mother, it is poison. We don't know what kind, unfortunately."

    Lam Siu Tin crouches down to examine Chau Mo's body. He discovers the metal disc hanging from his waist with the engraved Sun Moon Sect emblem. His eyes darken with worry as he heads over to his wife and sons' side.

    Siu Tin shows the metal disc to his wife. "After twenty-five years, he is back." He sighs. "I fear the martial arts world will face blood shed again."

    Yin Yuk takes the metal disc from her husband and stares at it with a hopeful look. "If it really is him, then there is hope for Yik Wah! I could seek him out and beg him for the antidote!"

    Siu Tin shakes his head sadly as he takes his wife's hand. "Sui Yuk, you are dreaming. Do you think that after all those years of hatred, he would simply hand over the antidote?"

    Yin Yuk, with tears forming in her eyes, cries, "But we can't just let Yik Wah die!"

    Wah grabs his mother's hand. "Don't worry about me, mother. What will happen, will happen. You and father must help Suk Yu!" For the first time, he notices Chi Chi's absence. He quickly turns to Lun. "Eldest Brother, where is Chi Chi? Did she go back to Lam Mansion first?"

    Lun regards Mun Lung with confusion. "Chi Chi? I did not see her tonight since leaving Lam Mansion." He suddenly recalls finding Chi Chi's abandoned sword. "Oh no! I found her sword abandoned on the forest ground! Where could she be?"

    Siu Tin looks from one son to the other. "What are you two talking about? What happened to Suk Yu and Chi Chi?"

    Wah takes in a tortured breath before explaining the situation to his parents and older brother.

    Yin Yuk rushes over to the edge of the canyon after hearing Wah's explanation. "Suk Yu! Suk Yu!" Loose rocks scatter and cascade down into the bottomless pit as Yin Yuk steps closer and closer to the edge, peering desperately down.

    Siu Tin hurries to his wife's side, and with his arm protectively around her, guides her back to safer ground. "Sui Yuk, don't worry, we will send a search party down to look once there is enough daylight."

    Yin Yuk looks to Siu Tin worriedly. "But what about Chi Chi? Where could she be? She has never been away from home!"

    Lun tries to reassure his mother. "I will go and look for her now. Why don't you and father bring Wah back to Lam Mansion?"

    Sui Han, who has been up to this point a quiet observer in the background, steps forward upon hearing that Lun is planning to search for Chi Chi at this time of night.

    Sui Han places her hand on Lun's arm. "But First Young Master, you are injured and your vision has not completely recovered, yet!"

    Noticing Sui Han for the first time since their arrival, Lam Siu Tin and Chan Yin Yuk glance at her with curiosity.

    Yin Yuk looks at the young woman questioningly. "This Miss is…?"

    Lun explains, "This is Sui Han. She is our newly hired servant."

    Sui Han chimes in helpfully. "Why don't I go look for Fourth Young Mistress? I am not injured and therefore would have a better chance of finding her." She rushes off before anyone has a chance to answer.

    Lun chases after her. "Sui Han, no! You shouldn't be wandering around the woods by yourself at this time of night!"

    Siu Tin interrupts before Sui Han has an opportunity to reply. "I think the best plan of action now is for us to all return to Lam Mansion and get some rest. It is impossible to conduct a search at this time of night. Plus, we need to find a way to halt the progression of Wah's poison."

    With Lun and Sui Han supporting Wah from both sides, the group begins to head home.

    MUCH LATER THAT SAME NIGHT
    AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CANYON

    Suk Yu sprawls on her side, her right leg bent at an awkward angle, a purple bruise on her forehead discoloring her flawless porcelain complexion. The long stalks of weed undulate in the soft breeze, brushing back and forth against her face, as if trying to rouse her from her deep slumber. Yet, she remains still and unconscious.

    A few feet away, footsteps approach Suk Yu hesitantly.

    The person bends down to gently shake Suk Yu's arm. "Miss? Miss? Are you all right?" He finds a weak, thready carotid pulse.

    Receiving no response from her, the person picks her up in his arms and carries her away.

    MEANWHILE…
    LAM MANSION
    YIK WAH'S CHAMBER

    Lam Yik Wah sleeps fitfully in bed, as Lam Siu Tin sits by his side. He feels his son's weak radial pulse, his brow furrowed in concentration and worry. Yin Yuk hovers anxiously by the bedside as she awaits her husband's verdict on their second son's condition.

    Yin Yuk asks worriedly, "How is he?"

    Siu Tin sighs. "The poison is strong. In addition, his condition is worsened because he used his internal energy, which accelerated the circulation of the venom throughout his body."

    Yin Yuk, her voice hoarse with tears, laments, "There must be a way. We can't lose him, now that Suk Yu and Chi Chi are missing, too!"

    Siu Tin stands up and hugs his wife comfortingly. "Don't worry. We will find Suk Yu and Chi Chi. As for Yik Wah…" He sighs deeply. "I will prolong his life with my internal energy each day. Meanwhile, I am afraid we must venture to the Sun Moon Sect headquarters quickly and steal the antidote."

    Yin Yuk delicately sniffs back her tears. "I will go immediately tomorrow."

    Siu Tin shakes his head. "No, you must stay here. Yik Wah needs both of our combined internal energy in order to maintain his life."

    Yin Yuk sighs with frustration. "But that leaves only Yik Lun free to go steal the poison. He is injured…"

    AN HOUR LATER…
    LAM MANSION
    YIK LUN'S CHAMBER

    Lun sits on his bed with his legs crossed and his eyes closed as he concentrates on using his internal energy to heal his injuries. He hears soft footsteps outside his room, and he smiles and opens his eyes.

    Lun calls out happily just as the door to his room opens. "Sui Han…" However, instead of Sui Han, he sees his mother enter his room, carrying a tray of desserts. A damp cloth lies to the side of the tray. Lun tries to smile at his mother, but his disappointment is apparent to Yin Yuk. "Oh…it's you, Mother." He gets off the bed to help her with the tray, as she sits down on one of his chairs.

    Yin Yuk jests. "How quickly my darling son trades me in for a pretty girl. I guess he has completely forgotten who has brought him into this world and has raised him for twenty-five years." She sighs dramatically, a teasing expression on her face.

    Lun's face reddens. "I just thought you were Sui Han because she promised to bring me a cool towel for my eyes."

    Yin Yuk gives her son the damp towel lying on the side of the tray. "Here's your towel."

    Lun stares at the towel with a crestfallen look on his face. "You mean Sui Han is not coming?"

    Yin Yuk smiles knowingly. "I am sure you would rather that she bring you the towel. I saw her outside, and since I was gong to bring you some desserts, I volunteered to also bring you the towel so that she could get some rest."

    Lun glumly takes the towel from her. "How is Wah?"

    At the mention of Wah, a sad expression replaces Yin Yuk's teasing look. "His condition is serious. Your father and I need to stay here to prolong his life with our combined internal energy. Yik Lun…" She turns to her oldest son as she takes his hands in hers. "We need someone to travel to the Sun Moon Sect headquarters and steal the antidote."

    Lun hears this and replies without a single thought to his own injuries, "Then I shall go."

    Yin Yuk frowns. "But you are injured…"

    Lun pats his mother's hand as he laughs amusingly. "Don't worry about me, Mother. A little injury won't stop me. But…ummm…" He looks down at his hands, his face flaming red. "Since I AM injured, I am wondering if someone could…could…"

    Yin Yuk studies her son with an amusing look as she finishes her son's thoughts. "If someone could come along with you to take care of you on this journey? Someone like Sui Han?" Lun remains silent, his face beet-red. Yin Yuk laughs as she pats his hands. "I will ask Sui Han tomorrow to accompany you on your trip. It is late. Get some rest. You have a long journey ahead of you."

    DAWN THE FOLLOWING MORNING
    FIVE MILES FROM LAM MANSION
    IN THE FOREST

    In the distance, the sun barely peaks above the horizon, its early rays painting the sky the faintest shade of pink. The clouds glide aimlessly across the heavens, like wispy swirls of cotton candy. Morning dew glisten like translucent pearls on the forest green, as fat droplets plop loudly onto the ground. Birds chirp busily and hop from treetop to treetop, their activity signaling the dawn of a new day. Gradually, squirrels emerge, running around nature's playground chasing after various nuts. Little by little, the forest begins to awaken after witnessing a long night of conflict.

    Human footsteps, long purposeful strides, intrude upon the teeming activity of nature. Several miles into the depths of the woodland, those footsteps stop a few feet behind another person, who stands silent and still, waiting in the weak light of dawn.

    Fei walks to stand directly behind the person who waits in the forest for him. "I miss you."

    The person remains silent as she gently touches the delicate wings of a butterfly resting on a nearby leaf. The creature, disturbed by her action, flutters away, its bright, multi-hued wings a colorful contrast to the solid green of the forest. She smiles fleetingly as she turns around and walks directly into Fei's waiting embrace, her movements causing the heart-shaped jade to swing loosely by her miniscule waist. Fei looks tenderly down into her face, memorizing the fragile bone structure and drowning in the deep, deep inky pools of her eyes.

    Fei tenderly brushes aside her bangs. "Why did you save him last night?"

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