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Thread: Legendary Book of Sun-Moon Swordplay

  1. #21
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Thank you Danielle for your comments and Cherrie for your private message. I will respond to both of your messages along with the posting of my next chapter.

  2. #22
    Senior Member cherrie's Avatar
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    i can't wait for the next chapter! pls update asap! your reader is getting impatient... <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
    cherrie
    currently watching: best selling secrets (tvb), the money-maker recipe (tvb), forensic heroes 2 (tvb), super trio supreme (tvb)

  3. #23
    Senior Member jeh's Avatar
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    I like your story, please update soon. I wonder what will happen to Gong Yu. Who was the man that save her?

    [ November 10, 2002: Message edited by: jeh ]

  4. #24
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    CHAPTER 12 --- TANGLED LOVE

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Siu Han 蘇小嫻
    Louis Koo Tin Lok---Gu Yat Fei 古日飛
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun 林億倫
    Benny Chan Ho Man---Gu Yat Keung 古日強
    Andy Lau Tak Wah---Lam Siu Tin 林笑天
    Idy Chan Yuk Lin---Chan Yin Yuk 陳嬿玉
    Ada Choi Siu Fun---Luk Bing Yi 陸冰怡
    Steven Ma Chun Wai---Lee Wai Kit 李偉劼
    Rain Lau Yuk Chui---Sung Ling 宋玲

    DAWN THE FOLLOWING MORNING
    FIVE MILES FROM LAM MANOR
    FOREST

    Gu Yat Fei tenderly brushed aside her bangs. "Why did you save him last night?"

    The simple joy of being in his arms vanished as Siu Han sighed and wandered a few steps away to pick nervously at the leaves on a low-hanging tree branch.

    After a long moment, she suddenly turned around to face Fei. "Godfather sent me an unexpected, last-minute message, asking me to save Lam Yik Lun."

    Fei frowned and murmured, "Why would Father do that when the original plan is to kill all four Lam siblings to disrupt Chancellor Lam Siu Tin’s household?"

    Siu Han frowned. "He said he changed his mind and wanted me to remain within Lam Manor to find opportunity to steal a martial arts manual, the Book of Sun Moon Swordplay. Godfather is convinced this manual is hidden somewhere within Lam Manor."

    Siu Han paced back and forth before suddenly stopping in front of Fei. "Anyway, why must we kill the Lam siblings? I have been at Lam Manor for a few months now, and I find that the Lam family is not as horrific as Godfather makes them out to be."

    Fei walked up to her and held both of her hands in his. "Siu Han, you are too naïve. You do not understand that the face of evil comes in many forms. Even the Lam family, the most respected family in wulin, has hidden skeletons. Father has his reasons to want to destroy the Lam family, and we must respect and obey his wishes."

    Siu Han wrinkled her nose uncertainly. "But…"

    Fei sighed. "All right, let's not waste the little time we have together arguing about this." He gathered her close to him as he inhaled the floral fragrance of her hair. "I miss you so much. We have never been apart for this long. Remember that time when Father sent me on that mission and forbade you to come along?"

    Siu Han nodded, the corners of her mouth curving upward slightly. Yet, the smile didn’t reach her eyes. Then, in the blink of an eye, she seemed to snap out of her thoughts.

    Grinning radiantly at Fei, Siu Han laughed softly. "I remember. Godfather had just accepted me as his disciple then. I was new, and because of my background, nobody wanted to befriend me. You were the only one who treated me with kindness. When I found out that you would be leaving on a mission, I panicked, knowing that I would be losing my only ally. Therefore, I secretly trailed after you and ended up spraining my ankle after tripping on some loose rocks. I slowed you down, because you had to piggyback me the entire way."

    Fei chuckled at the memory. "Father was furious when we returned."

    Siu Han giggled, “Yes, Godfather's complexion was even darker than yours!"

    Fei tightened his arms around her. "I just wish Father had informed me earlier that he was planning to send you to infiltrate the Lam family. If I had known about his plans before you had left for this mission, I would have objected. It is too dangerous. If the Lams find out…"

    Siu Han smiled reassuringly. "They won't find out. Don't worry. I will be careful."

    Fei cupped her cheek with his hand and leaned down to gently touch his lips to hers. The sunlight reflected off the jewels on her hairpin, their twinkle catching Fei's attention.

    Fei touched the corner of the pin. "Where did you get this?"

    Siu Han glanced down at her toes, mildly embarrassed. "Oh, that hairpin… First Young Master bought it for me."

    Upon hearing this, Fei's mouth flattened into a grim line. "He bought that for you?" He stared hard at Siu Han for a long moment. "He is in love with you, isn't he?"

    Siu Han flushed. "Of course, not! He was simply being kind and bought the hairpin after he saw me admiring it at the market square!"

    Fei's mouth remained stubbornly grim. "Well, I don't think he is 'simply being kind.' Men do not give gifts out of kindness. He wants something from you."

    He paced back and forth, mumbling to himself. Finally, he halted in front of her. "I don’t want you to return to Lam Manor."

    Siu Han opened her mouth to object, but Fei interrupted her. "I will take full responsibility for aborting our plans when we return and explain to Father."

    An indescribable gleam flitted across Siu Han’s eyes and then disappeared quickly.

    She shook her head. "No, Godfather wants the Book of Sun Moon Swordplay. He won’t let anyone jeopardize his chances of possessing this martial arts manual.” When Fei tried to object, Siu Han sighed. “Besides, I owe Godfather.”

    “Owe?” Fei scowled. “What do you mean? Just because you are Father’s disciple doesn’t put your life and safety under his total control. You have a right to decline such a dangerous task.”

    At his words, Siu Han smiled bitterly and shifted her eyes away from his intense gaze. “Big Brother Fei, I am just an orphan. My life is disposable.”

    “Disposable?” Fei exploded, his eyes flashing with anger. “Who told you that?”

    He didn’t wait for Siu Han’s answer, but grabbed her hand and started pulling along with him. “Come home with me. I will take the punishment for you if Father is angered.”

    Siu Han dug in her heels and pulled back. “Big Brother Fei, wait.” She pasted a brilliant smile on her face and reassured him. “I’ll be fine! I’m very careful. Lam family will not discover my true intentions.”

    At her insistence at returning to Lam Manor, Fei paused and narrowed his eyes at her. “Do you wish to return to Lam Manor because of Lam Yik Lun? Do you like him?”

    Siu Han stiffened her back at his accusing words. “Godfather entrusted me with this mission, and I refuse to fail him just because of your paranoia. If you don't have enough faith in me, then there's nothing else to discuss."

    She began to walk off huffily, but Fei grabbed her hand as she brushed by him.

    “Siu Han, wait,” Fei pleaded contritely. "Please, don't be mad. I just…" He sighed. "I just don't want to lose you."

    Siu Han softened as she wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head on his chest. "You will never lose me."

    Fei tightened his hold on her, as if trying to permanently attach her to his side. "Let's talk about something else. Keung is with me at the inn. Why don't you come back with me so that I can introduce you to him?"

    Siu Han lifted her face upward and smiled into Fei's eyes. "So your younger brother is finally back from his training with his teacher?"

    Fei nodded. "You have never met him, since he left for his training before you joined the Sun Moon Sect." He pulled her along as he started to head out of the forest. "Come on. For some reason, he has been wandering around the market square and patronizing a specific restaurant a lot lately. Let us go before we miss him."

    Siu Han reluctantly shook her head. "I can't go meet your younger brother. I have to go back to Lam Manor. Mistress Lam wants me to accompany First Young Master on some journey."

    Fei blurt out in disbelief. "What?! What journey? Where are you two going?"

    Siu Han shrugged helplessly. "I don't know. Mistress didn't tell me."

    Fei clenched his jaw in anger and jealousy. "Well, why can’t Lam Yik Lun go alone? He is a big boy. He can take care of himself!"

    Siu Han sighed. "Let's not start this again."

    Fei paced furiously. "I don't like him."

    Siu Han sighed in exasperation. "He is quite a gentleman and very kind, even to servants."

    Fei stubbornly refused to listen to reason. "I still don't like him."

    Siu Han shook her head at his childish behavior. "You don't even know him! The Lams are respectable people, despite what we have been told."

    When Fei continued to sulk, she decided to play along and humor him. "All right, tell me what you don't like about him."

    Fei searched for an answer, any answer. "I don't like the way he dresses." He nodded, as if to reaffirm his response.

    “What?” Siu Han threw her hands up in disbelief. “That is a ridiculous reason to dislike someone! Besides, he dresses the same way as you do! Both of you mostly wear white and blue robes!"

    When Fei’s expression remained stubbornly mutinous, she rolled her eyes, thinking about the absurd tangent that the conversation had taken. "I should leave before the Lams become suspicious."

    As she walked by, Fei grabbed her hand and looked at her with a pitiful expression.

    Siu Han relented a little. "I will contact you by carrier pigeon if I have the opportunity."

    She stood up on tiptoes to peck at his cheek before rushing off, leaving him behind to watch after her rapidly disappearing figure.

    LAM ON CITY
    MARKET SQUARE

    Siu Han hurried by the market square on her way back to Lam Manor, her gaze lingering longingly at the various vendor stands lined along the street. She had spent her life first in her small fishing village and then in the desert near the border where her Godfather’s Sun Moon Sect was located. Therefore, this was her first experience of the big city. Fascinated, she glanced curiously left and then right, her eyes wide with awe. Not paying attention to the path in front of her, she walked straight into a man’s chest.

    Siu Han, a bit dumbfounded from the impact, apologized quickly. "I am so sorry, Young Master!" Flustered, she finally looked up to discover the gawking pervert she met at Sky Dragon Restaurant a while back. "You!"

    Gu Yat Keung smiled joyfully. "Miss! I have finally found you!"

    Siu Han scowled at him. "Hmph!"

    She grumpily brushed past him, but he happily trailed after her.

    Keung, trotting along beside her, attempted to start a conversation. "Miss, where do you live? I'll walk you home."

    Siu Han ignored him and continued walking. Unfazed by her less than enthusiastic attitude, he walked alongside her, chattering about the fine weather. As she strolled by Pearl Fragrance Pavilion’s open doors, she suddenly pushed Keung through the entrance, right into the waiting arms of the prostitutes standing by the doorway procuring customers. Caught off guard, he crashed into the furniture inside Pearl Fragrance Paviliion as several women immediately surrounded him.

    Keung tried to ward off the women. "Hey! Don't touch me!"

    The women ignored his command, for his understated, expensive attire signaled to them that he was rich.

    "Hey! Keep your hands to yourself!" Keung’s irritated voice could be heard all the way down the busy market street.

    Giggling, Siu Han quickened her pace and headed back to Lam Manor.

    MEANWHILE…
    FIVES MILES FROM LAM MANOR
    AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CANYON

    Siu Tin and Yin Yuk wandered around the bottom of the canyon, searching in vain for Suk Yu.

    Yin Yuk shouted desperately, her voice hoarse from calling out her daughter for hours. "Suk Yu! Suk Yu! Where are you?"

    Siu Tin followed his wife, making sure she did not collapse from exhaustion.

    "Siu Yuk, she is not here. We have searched the entire area for her. Let's go home for now, sweetheart." He took her hand, attempting to lead her away, but she shook off his grip, and took another few steps forward as she stubbornly called her daughter's name.

    “Suk Yu!” Yin Yuk shouted.

    Siu Tin sighed and walked toward Yin Yuk. "Siu Yuk, I don't want you to overtax yourself."

    Yin Yuk whirled toward her husband, her eyes hot with anger. "I am not giving up! You should return to Lam Manor if you want to, but I am staying here!"

    Siu Tin grabbed both of Yin Yuk's arms, holding on tight as she struggled. "Do you think that I don't worry about Suk Yu? She is my daughter, too! However, we are not doing our children any favors by continuing this fruitless search. We have been here for hours, and yet we do not see any trace of her!"

    Realizing her husband’s words had merit, Yin Yuk began to cry in frustration.

    Siu Tin gathered her close to him and stroked her hair, letting her soak his robe with her tears of anguish. "Honey, let's return home. Yik Wah still needs us to take care of him."

    Yin Yuk buried her face against the side of his neck as she sobbed. "What if she is already…?"

    Siu Tin patted her back soothingly. "Shhh… Don't think that way. For all we know, she may have been rescued." He cupped her face with his palms and tenderly brushed away her tears with his thumbs. "Let's go back, all right? We need to be there when Yik Lun leaves today to steal the antidote."

    Yin Yuk sniffed back her tears and nodded. She allowed her husband to lead her away, but she could not help but glance back one more time at the deserted expanse of land, hoping to miraculously catch a glimpse of Suk Yu.

    LATER THAT MORNING
    LAM MANOR
    COURTYARD

    Lam Yik Lun sat on one of the stone benches in the courtyard outside the servant quarters, his eyes focused on the door leading to the servant rooms. He had not seen Siu Han since last evening and wanted to see if he could catch a glimpse of her here.

    Sung Ling, the Lam's cook, swung open the door to the servant quarters and walked out. "First Young Master! Why are you sitting out here?"

    Lun stood up to peer behind her at the partially opened door. "Is Siu Han in there?"

    Sung Ling nodded. "She is in there packing for your journey today."

    Before Lun could respond, he spied his parents enter the main courtyard, their expressions grim. He headed over to them, already knowing the answer to his unasked question about Suk Yu.

    Lun spoke quietly, "Mother, did you find…"

    Yin Yuk brushed away her tears and took one of Lun's hands in hers. "Be careful, honey."

    Siu Tin patted his eldest son on the shoulder. "Bringing the antidote home is important, but your safety should always be your first concern. If something goes wrong and you are unable to steal the antidote, I want you to abort the mission and leave immediately."

    Lun nodded. "Don't worry about me. I won't let you down, Father."

    One of the servants approached Siu Tin to announce the arrival of the daughter of a family friend. "Master, Miss Luk is here to see First Young Master."

    Siu Tin nodded. "Please invite her in."

    The servant left and returned a few minutes later with a statuesque beauty and a tall young man following behind her. The Luk family has been close friends with the Lam family for generations. The Luk family’s eldest daughter, Luk Bing Yi, had been fond of Yik Lun since childhood. He, on the other hand, had always treated her as a younger sister.

    Seeing Bing Yi, Yin Yuk smiled in greeting. "Bing Yi, are you here to visit, Yik Lun?"

    Bing Yi shyly smiled and glanced at Lun. "Yes, I am. Big Brother Yik Lun, I hear that you are injured. Are you all right?"

    Lun nodded in response. "Yes, I am fine. Thank you for coming, Bing Yi."

    Bing Yi gestured to the travel bag of food her male servant carried. "I heard that you will be leaving on a journey today. I brought you some food to bring along on your trip." She turned to her servant, Lee Wai Kit, and signaled for him to hand over the small sack to Lun.

    Lee Wai Kit passed the sack to Lun. "Young Master Lam, Miss stayed up all night to make you these desserts."

    Lun cleared his throat, mildly uncomfortable. "Thank you, Bing Yi. You should not have stayed up to make me these."

    She blushed shyly, making Lun even more uncomfortable. He darted his eyes nervously over to the servant quarters, willing Siu Han to appear so that they could leave for their journey. As if on cue, the door opened and Siu Han walked out with a heavy travel sack containing clothes and food. Relieved, Lun grabbed his sword and waited for Siu Han to join them in the courtyard.

    Siu Han tried to juggle the heavy travel sack as she addressed everyone respectfully, "Master, Mistress, First Young Master."
    Lun introduced Siu Han to Bing Yi. "Siu Han, this is a good family friend, Miss Luk Bing Yi."

    Siu Han gave Bing Yi a friendly smile and bowed respectfully. "Young Mistress Luk."

    Lun, eager to leave, started ushering Siu Han out without giving Bing Yi a chance to respond to Siu Han’s greeting. "It’s getting late. We should be going."

    He smiled reassuringly to his parents. "Mother, Father, I will return safely."

    He then turned to Bing Yi and nodded to her briefly before grabbing Siu Han's hand and rushing off with her. Confused, Siu Han ran after him in an attempt to keep up.

    Yin Yuk shouted at her son's retreating back. "Be careful!"

    Bing Yi stared at Lun's back until he could no longer be seen. Meanwhile, her male servant, Wai Kit, watched her gaze at Lun, his heart sad with unrequited love for his young mistress.

    OUTSIDE LAM MANOR

    Once outside Lam Manor, Lun slowed his pace. Noticing Siu Han toting the heavy travel sack, he took it from her and easily slung it over his shoulder.

    Siu Han shook her head anxiously at him and tried to take the sack back. "First Young Master, you are injured! I should be carrying that sack!"

    Lun smiled at her outburst. "This sack is heavy." He laughed. "It probably weighs more than you do."

    Siu Han protested, “You are my young master. The whole purpose for me to come along is so that I could take care of you!"

    Lun took her hand and pulled her along with him. "Don't be silly. I don't want you lugging heavy bags around."

    Siu Han frowned but decided to let the issue go. "First Young Master, you never told me where we are going."

    Lun glanced at her as they walked. "We are going to the Sun Moon Sect near the Sung border to steal the antidote for Wah."

    Upon hearing this, Siu Han suddenly halted, a hundred thoughts racing through her mind.

    Lun stared at her in confusion as he noticed that she had stopped walking. "Siu Han? Siu Han?" When she continued to ignore him, he tugged at her sleeve gently. "Siu Han?"

    Siu Han, startled from her thoughts, stared at Lun, perplexed. "Huh?"

    Seeing her preoccupation, Lun leaned down and peered at her with concern. "Are you all right? You seem to be a hundred miles away."

    Siu Han quickly smiled at him reassuringly. "I am fine."

    Relieved that she is all right, Lun took her hand again and continued on the journey, while Siu Han woodenly allowed herself to be pulled along as she planned her next step as they headed toward her home by the Sung border, the Sun Moon Sect...

  5. #25
    Registered User Danielle Lin's Avatar
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    WOW! YOU FINALLY UPDATED!! <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">JUST IN CASE IF YOU'RE WONDERING I'M DANIELLE BUT I LOST MY PASSWORD SO I USED A DIFFERENT E-MAIL ADDRESS AND NOW I'M DANIELLE LIN... WELL ANYWAY I REALLY LIKE ANNIE's CHARACTER KINDA MYSTERIOUS LIKE... KLATER DAYS- danielle

  6. #26
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    jeh,
    Thank you for reading my story. I am so excited to have a new reader. I hope you continue to find Legendary Book interesting. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    danielle,
    Aww! Losing your password sucks! Anyway, I'm glad you're back and still reading my story. You simply amaze me with your dedication at fanfic reading! <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> I see your comments virtually on every story here at SPCNET! Kudos! <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0"> How do you ever find the time to read everything? I try to read a couple of stories, but then I end up lagging behind on updating my own story! <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0"> Anyway, I hope to hear from you soon. Bye!

  7. #27
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Talking

    CHAPTER 13 --- CALL OF THE WILD

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Louis Koo Tin Lok---Gu Yat Fei 古日飛
    Benny Chan Ho Man---Gu Yat Keung 古日強
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun 林億倫
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Siu Han 蘇小嫻
    Gigi Lai Chi---Lam Suk Chi 林淑姿
    Kristy Yeung Gong Yu---Lam Suk Yu 林淑瑜
    Ekin Cheng Yee Kin---Yeung Lap Chun 楊立俊
    Roger Kwok Chun On---Kong Dai Hei 江大嘻

    LAM ON CITY
    EAST SEA ROYAL INN

    After a depressing morning of finding the young woman whom he had been searching for and then losing her again, Gu Yat Keung stomped angrily up the stairwell of the East Sea Royal Inn to his inn room on the second story. He swiped disgustingly at the front of his robe, trying to brush away the sickeningly sweet fragrance used by the women at Pearl Fragrance Pavilion. He grimaced at he memory of being mauled by those aggressive, man-eating women. He had finally managed to escape by making threatening gestures with his daggers, scaring them off. Reaching the threshold of this room, he swung open his inn room door, his mood dark.

    GU YAT KEUNG'S INN ROOM

    Keung muttered to himself as he steped into the room. "Women…can't live with them, can't live without them…"

    Fei, who sat at the table, his fingers tapping a discordant rhythm on the tabletop, burst out, "Finally! Where have you been all morning?"

    Keung looked at his brother with narrowed eyes. "Why are you always lurking in my room?!"

    He turned toward his bed and noticed a tied-up, gagged, and squirming Chi Chi on his bed, staring at the brothers with belligerent eyes.

    Keung threw up his hands in disbelief. "What?! Why you have moved her over to my room?"

    Fei, with his jaw clenched, spoke in a carefully controlled voice. "I was hoping you would be able to baby-sit her for a few hours this morning, but obviously you had more important things to do."

    Jealous of Lam Yik Lun's feelings for Siu Han, Fei had hoped to sneak over to Lam Manor shortly after Siu Han's departure from the forest this morning to spy on her interaction with Lam Yik Lun. Unfortunately, his brother had not been available to watch over Lam Chi Chi.

    Angry for different reasons, the brothers glared at each other. The tense silence abruptly ended as a small knife suddenly shot into the room through the opened window, its sharp blade embedding itself in the wooden bedside post, the note attached to the knife waving loosely from the knife hilt.

    Fei detached the knife from the post, removed the note, and briefly glanced at its contents. "Father wants us to return to the Sun Moon Sect immediately."

    Keung frowned, crestfallen. "So soon?"

    He remained silent for a moment, disappointed that he will not have another chance to look for the young maiden he had met at the Sky Dragon Restaurant. "I want to go to the marketplace one more time before we leave."

    Fei shook his head. "If it's not important, then we should just begin our journey now. Father's note sounds urgent."

    In the background, Chi Chi squirmed and wiggled, trying to loosen the knots on the ropes binding her hands and feet together. She tried to curse at the brothers but only ended up uttering muffled sounds through her gag.

    "Hmmm! Hmmm! Hmmmmmmmmm!" Her straining efforts to talk caused her veins to stand out prominently against the slender column of her neck.

    Keung gestured at Chi Chi. "What do we do with her?"

    Fei shrugged. "Bring her with us. Father may want to use her as a hostage."

    Keung sighed and shook his head. "All right, but she is going to slow us down."

    He walked over to Chi Chi and tried to glare her into silence. Unfortunately, he was apparently not menacing enough, and she continued to mumble curses at him through the cloth covering her mouth. Letting out a long-suffering sigh, Keung poked at the base of her right neck, sealing her speech pressure point, thus preventing her from screaming for help during their journey. He then untied her, removed her gag, and escorted the struggling Chi Chi off the bed. Keung rolled his eyes heavenward as Chi Chi sent him a venomous look.

    "Come on," he muttered as he pulled Chi Chi along with him.

    Fei grabbed his sword and followed behind.

    OUTSKIRTS OF LAM ON CITY
    BAMBOO FOREST
    SECLUDED COTTAGE

    A young man, robed in a long white gown, sat at a simple wooden table, playing a solitary game of Chinese chess. He bent his head slightly as he contemplated his next move, his right thumb and index finger slowly rolling the black chess piece back and forth. Outside the cottage, the sun shone bright and orange, its rays reflecting off the bamboo stalks, giving them a glossy, glistening finish. Bamboo leaves swayed in the breeze, their gentle motion casting odd-shaped shadows on the dirt path lightly sprinkled with pebbles, as dust motes danced merrily in the air to a silent melody. The gurgling sound of a shallow stream nearby and the intermittent chirping of birds completed this perfect portrait of nature's serenity.

    The white-robed young man smiled to himself as he decided his next chess move. He placed the token on the chosen spot on the chess board and picked up his white fan, leisurely fanning himself as he sipped a cup of hot tea. Calmly, he set down his teacup. As he continued to fan himself, he picked up another black chess token and flicked it forcefully out the opened window. The token, making a whooshing sound in its swift trajectory, flew directly into the dense collection of bamboo stalks.

    Suddenly, a shout sounded in the distance, and another young man, dressed somewhat shabbily but cleanly, fell out from his hiding place behind the bamboo and crashed to the ground in an inelegant heap. He scowled as he rubbed at his chest, trying to soothe the dull pain caused by the chess token that had smacked him. Then, recovering quickly, the shabbily dressed young man straightened and ran over to peer into the window of the cottage.

    "Teacher!" The shabbily dressed youth saluted delightfully at the white-robed man, who continued to play his solitary game of chess.

    The man in white flicked his fan so that it closed with a snapping noise. "Please do not address me that way." He lightly hit the shabbily dressed youth on the head with the end of his fan. "I never agreed to accept you as my student."

    The shabbily dressed youth continued to grin, unfazed by this minor setback. "All right, then I will refer to you as Big Brother Yeung." He cheerfully ran to the entrance of the cottage and entered uninvited.

    Yeung Lap Chun, the white-robed man, sighed. "Little Brother, I have told you repeatedly that I do not accept students. I am not old enough nor experienced enough to be your teacher. You should not waste your time and effort on me. It would be more prudent for you to search for another more suitable and qualified teacher."

    The shabbily dressed youth stubbornly shook his head. "I, Kong Dai Hei, will only learn from the best, and you are the best that I have seen so far."

    Yeung Lap Chun laughed and shook his head with amusement. "If you think that I am the best pugilist in wulin, then you have a lot to learn!"

    Dai Hei sat down on the stool next to Lap Chun. From his tattered sack, he pulled out a package of Chinese herbs wrapped in yellow paper. "I bought this medicine package for the young maiden you have rescued three days ago from the bottom of the canyon." He glanced into the guest chamber, where she continued to sleep the deep slumber of the unconscious. "How is she?"

    Lap Chun sighed. "She remains unconscious.”

    “I wonder who she is,” Dai Hei mused aloud.

    Lap Chun remained silent, his expression thoughtful. “It appears that she was heavily injured before her fall. She must have very powerful and determined enemies."

    Dai Hei seized the opportunity to get into Lap Chun's good graces. "Maybe I should stay here and help you take care of her!"

    Lap Chun glanced at Dai Hei suspiciously. "Don't you have a younger sister to take care of?"

    Dai Hei shrugged unconcernedly. "That sneaky and clever girl can take care of herself a lot better than I can. Besides, we live close by, so I can always go visit her periodically." Before Lap Chun could object, Dai Hei hurried to the small kitchen area, cheerfully saying that he will make himself useful by cooking dinner tonight.

    As Dai Hei disappeared into the kitchen, Lap Chun sighed and shook his head. Walking into the guest chamber, he quietly approached the sleeping Lam Suk Yu. He settled himself on a stool beside her bed and took her pulse, his brow furrowed with worry as her pulse continued to feel weak and unstable. Concerned, he peered down at her beautiful face and wondered who had injured her.

    EVENING
    FAR AWAY FROM LAM ON CITY
    WILDERNESS

    The full moon glowed brightly, a huge white globe suspended in the dark heavens, surrounded by millions of stars studding the night sky like tiny pinpoints of light on a black canvas. The tall weeds, scattered throughout the vast expanse of wilderness, undulated in the breeze, like ghostly arms performing an otherworldly ritual dance, luring unsuspecting travelers to their doom.

    An owl, its beady eyes glowing in the dark, perched on the branch of an ancient willow tree, quietly observing the two humans trampling through the field. It hooted, its low call startling the young woman, who stared anxiously up at it. Ignoring his human audience, the owl suddenly swooped down to snatch a field mouse by the neck. The small rodent squeaked helplessly. In the distance, a wolf howled, its cry reverberating eerily through the silent night, drowning out the mouse’s plea for help.

    Eyes wide with fright, Siu Han edged nervously closer to Lun, while scanning the deserted field for hungry, four-legged predators. The combination of nighttime and wolves made her anxious and reminded her of the past, when she had wandered the lonely roads and had slept with only the earth and nature as her companions.

    Lun glanced at Siu Han and noticed her white-knuckled grip on his arm. "Siu Han, I am sorry. I underestimated the amount of time it would take us to reach Hoi Yeung City."

    He took Siu Han's cold hands in his, as he stared into the distance, trying to see in the darkness. From afar, he noticed the pointed tip of what appeared to be the roof of some sort of dwelling.

    He smiled as he pulled Siu Han along. "Come on. I think I have found a place for us to lodge for the night."

    Siu Han breathed a small sigh of relief upon hearing that they were leaving this creepy place.

    HALF AN HOUR LATER
    ABANDONED TEMPLE SITUATED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WILDERNESS

    The abandoned temple stood tall and proud despite its sad, crumpling state, with peeling paint and cracked eaves caked with mud. Lacy cobwebs spanned the entranceway, a flimsy substitute for the wooden door, which hung drunkenly from only one hinge, its wood filled with holes likely caused by termites. Swiping aside the cobwebs with the end of his sword, Lun stepped over the threshold with a tired Siu Han behind him.

    The interior of the temple appeared just as sad as its exterior. Several tiles on the roof were missing, allowing faint beams of moonlight to peek down into the darkened interior. Cobwebs clung to the corners of the large, single-room temple and to the bronze Buddha statue, which sat tall and serene on the altar, despite its shabby surroundings. An overturned offering table lay abandoned on the floor, one of its legs broken off. Bits of straw and debris scattered randomly over the cold, stone floor of the temple.

    Lun smiled sheepishly at Siu Han. "Well, this certainly isn't the royal palace, but at least we don't have to spend the night outside."

    Siu Han gave him a weak smile and walked over to examine the corner farthest from the chilly draft blowing through the opened doorway. Collecting several long strands of straw from the floor, Siu Han improvised by using the straws to make a broom to sweep away the debris littering the corner. With one hand covering her nose and mouth, she prepared to swipe away the cobwebs clinging to the corner when Lun stopped her. Lun motioned for Siu Han to stand behind him as he cleared away the webs.

    "It’s very dusty. I don't want you to dirty your hands," he explained as he cleaned the area swiftly.

    Removing his cloak from the travel sack, he spread it onto the floor and then gestured for Siu Han to sit down on the makeshift bed.

    Siu Han hesitated. "First Young Master, that is your cloak."

    Lun smiled and pulled Siu Han down onto the cloak-covered floor. "Don't worry. We can always wash the cloak later if it gets dirty. The floor is icy cold. The cloak will help keep you somewhat warm tonight."

    Reluctantly, Siu Han sat with her knees drawn up to her chest, hugging herself to ward off the chill. She watched nervously as Lun headed toward the doorway of the temple. At that moment, a wolf’s cry echoed hollowly through the night.

    Siu Han quickly ran toward Lun and clamped onto his arm. “First Young Master, where are you going?!"

    Lun patted her hand reassuringly. "Don't worry. I am not abandoning you here. I am just going to collect some firewood to start a campfire in here."

    He attempted to leave, but Siu Han held onto his arm more tightly, refusing to let him leave her alone.

    Siu Han felt somewhat shameful of her fear, but was unable to control her urge to cling. "First Young Master, don't go! I don't want to stay here alone!"

    Lun stared at Siu Han's terrified expression and paused. "All right, let's forget about the firewood."

    He led her back toward the makeshift bed. After she settled down onto the cloak-covered floor, he crouched down beside her, observing her wide-eyed fright with concern. "Are you all right? I did not realize you are scared of the wilderness."

    Siu Han shook her head quickly as she swallowed her fear. "I am just tired. Maybe some rest will make me feel better."

    Lun nodded in agreement. "Don't worry about anything tonight. Go ahead and lie down. I will sit in the corner here and watch over you."

    He settled himself on the stone floor a few feet away from Siu Han, his sword lying across his crossed legs. Assuring herself that he was close by, Siu Han hesitantly lay down and curled herself into a tight ball, trying to warm herself and block out the wolf howls heard in the distance…

    TWO HOURS LATER…

    A skinny little girl of about ten years of age tore through the wilderness during the middle of the night, heedless of the overhanging tree branches and prickly thorns of plants scratching the tender skin of her face, arms, and legs. She sobbed uncontrollably, tears leaking from her eyes, her hair matted and her clothes filthy. She tripped on a protruding tree root. Sprawled on the ground, she quickly sat up and drew her knees tightly up to her chest, her stomach growling from several days of hunger. She scanned the surrounding dark forest, her eyes huge with fear.

    The little girl sniffed back her tears. "Mama, Papa, where are you? Why haven't you come back? I am scared! I don't want to be alone!"

    She emitted soft whimpering noises and buried her face between her knees. In the depths of the woods, a wolf howled at the full moon, its cry throaty and deep. Terrified, the little girl scrunched herself into a tight ball, shivering violently. From the distance, a predator stealthily approached, eyes glowing in the darkness, sharp fangs dripping with saliva, nostrils flared open as it smelled the intoxicating scent of human fear…

  8. #28
    Senior Member jeh's Avatar
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    You definitely need to update more!I'm guessing the little girl is Sui Han. Sui Han is probably dreaming about her past. That's just my opinion.Keep on updating. It's getting to a good part.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Talking

    CHAPTER 14 --- REBORN THE SEER

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Siu Han 蘇小嫻
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun 林億倫
    Andy Lau Tak Wah---Lam Siu Tin 林笑天
    Idy Chan Yuk Lin---Chan Yin Yuk 陳嬿玉
    Frankie Lam Mun Lung---Lam Yik Wah 林億龍

    Special guest cameos:
    Old Beggar 老乞丐
    Wallace Chung Hon Leung 鍾漢良---Sit Chung Nam 薛钟南
    Sun Fei Fei 孙菲菲---Fa Heung Yan 花香燕

    The little girl sniffed back her tears. "Mama, Papa, where are you? Why haven't you come back? I am scared! I don't want to be alone!"

    She emitted soft whimpering noises and buried her face between her knees. In the depths of the woods, a wolf howled at the full moon, its cry throaty and deep. Terrified, the little girl scrunched herself into a tight ball, shivering violently. From the distance, a predator stealthily approached, eyes glowing in the darkness, sharp fangs dripping with saliva, nostrils flared open as it smelled the intoxicating scent of human fear…

    Siu Han shot straight up into a sitting position, screaming in terror, her body shaking uncontrollably. "Ah!"

    Lun, startled awake by her cry, rushed over to her side. "Siu Han! Siu Han!"

    Still trapped in the murky depths of her dream, she fought him furiously, scratching and clawing at him.

    He clamped her arms down to her sides and wrapped his arms tightly around her. "Siu Han! Siu Han! Wake up!"

    Eyes wild with fear, Siu Han snapped out of her dream state to find herself securely wrapped in Lun's arms. Coming to her senses, she grabbed onto his arm.

    "First Young Master! First Young Master!” She gulped in deep breaths. “We have to go save her! We have to go save the little girl!"

    Lun stroked her back soothingly. "Shhh… It is just a dream… Everything will be all right…"

    Siu Han pushed at his chest urgently, trying to break free of his embrace. "No! We must go save her, or else it will be too late!"

    Lun frowned with confusion. “There is no one here. There is no little girl in danger. Whom are you referring to, Siu Han?”

    Siu Han opened her mouth to respond, but then froze. As if suddenly transitioning back into her dream world, Siu Han suddenly went limp in his arms. She stared ahead, as if looking into some invisible portal that only she could see. Her pupils dilated into large black orbs, swirling with terror.

    "Ah! Ah!" She shrieked, shuddering uncontrollably.

    Alarmed, Lun tightened his grip on Siu Han and shook her lightly, trying to bring her back to reality. "Siu Han! Siu Han!"

    She ignored Lun's presence and continued to scream. "Ah! Ah!"

    The anguished cry persisted for what seemed like an eternity. Then finally and mercifully, the screams diminished to whimpers. Her pupils constricted back to normal size and she slowly turned toward Lun, her expression drained and hopeless.

    In dazed state, Siu Han mumbled in a dull voice, "It is too late…too late… The little girl is gone..."

    Unsure what had just happened, Lun gathered her close to him, tucking her head under his chin as he stroked her hair comfortingly. "Shhh… It was just a bad dream. Go back to sleep. I'll sit here with you."

    Even as he whispered those comforting words, Lun could feel an intangible sense of doom.

    Oblivious to his words, she continued to stare blankly ahead, muttering to herself. "My Sight is back… It is back… Why is it back to torture me?"

    AT THAT SAME MOMENT IN TIME
    HORIZON PEAK
    OUTSIDE SECLUDED COTTAGE

    Wisps of mist swirled around Horizon Peak, shrouding it in layers of flimsy, cloud-like puffs, giving an observer the illusion of heaven. On the summit of the mountain stood a single bamboo cottage, its simplicity belying the profound wisdom of its inhabitant.

    An old man, dressed in a long gray robe, stood outside his cottage in the middle of the night and gazed thoughtfully up at the stars twinkling in the heavens. Calmly, he stroked his long white beard, as he read the secrets the stars beheld.

    "The Seer has finally fully awakened, and the wheel of fate has already started spinning." He murmured softly, a tinge of sadness tainting his serene tone. “A veil of despair will fall upon wulin. Rivers of red will pour forth. Whether right or wrong, the debt that was owed centuries ago must be repaid. If only the will of Heaven could be altered...”

    Sighing, he slowly walked back to his cottage, all the while shaking his head, his faded brown eyes full of wisdom of what was yet to come.

    ONE HOUR LATER
    BACK AT THE ABANDONED TEMPLE

    Outside the temple, the wind howled, stirring the fallen leaves into a miniature tornado before settling them back down onto the ground. The single-hinged wooden door creaked loudly in the silence of the night, flapping back and forth with every gust of wind. For some reason, the wolves had retreated, their cries no longer heard echoing in the distance, as if they had sensed the presence of a force more dangerous than they.

    Cradling Siu Han protectively in his arms, Lun looked down at her angelic features, so serene and childlike in sleep. After the strain her nightmare had caused, she finally fell into deep slumber. Lun rubbed gently at the dried tear tracks on her cheeks with his thumb, as he listened to her gentle breathing. He sighed, feeling guilty for pushing her so hard on this journey in his rush to obtain the antidote for Wah. Perhaps he shouldn't have brought her along.

    Meanwhile, in her sleep, Siu Han drifted off to a land far, far away from the abandoned temple…

    BACK OUTSIDE THE SECLUDED COTTAGE ON HORIZON PEAK

    Surrounded by the beauty and serenity of nature, Siu Han dashed from the rose bushes to the gurgling stream and then back to the edge of the mountain to glance curiously down at the swirls of cotton-like mist separating the mountain from the rest of the world. Eyes wide with joy and fascination, she giggled childishly to herself, immensely pleased to have found this beautiful playground.

    From within the mist emerged a figure, tall and aloof, robed in a long white gown, his features obscured by the thick haze. Although she could not see his face clearly, she somehow knew he was handsome, and despite his reserved nature, a light would dance mischievously in his eyes on the rare occasions when he smiled. How she knew that, she did not understand. She just felt that she had known him before, and that they had once been very close.

    Curious, Siu Han reached out to touch him, but she realized that he was only an illusion as she grasped thin air.

    “Wait!” She called out to thin air.

    Confused and strangely upset, Siu Han dejectedly sat down on a flat rock, her eyes glancing wistfully at the spot where the figure once was.

    Then suddenly from behind, another person appeared. Rather than the tall, handsome stranger, this person was an old man, dressed in a gray robe. As he approached her, she could see that his eyebrows were so white they appeared like feathery wisps of delicate cotton, his snowy beard so long it tapered to a pointy tip a few inches above his waist.

    The old man stroked his beard slowly. "Siu Han, you have come. I have been waiting for you for five-hundred years."

    Siu Han cocked her head slightly as she examined the kind, grandfatherly figure in front of her. "Grandfather, do I know you?"

    The old man smiled knowingly. "Of course, you do, my child. Of course, you do."

    Siu Han pondered his words and then shook her head in confusion. "I think you are mistaken. I do not recall meeting you before."

    The old man looked at her with wise eyes. "You may call me Old Beggar. We have met many cycles of reincarnation ago, Siu Han. I was present five centuries ago, when I first handed the Swords of Sun and Moon to your husband’s parents.”

    The old man paused, a flicker of amusement in his eyes, as he recalled that night long ago when he had gifted Sect Leader Sit Chung Nam and Clan Leader Fa Heung Yan with the swords. He lifted his head and stared up at the twinkling stars, reminiscing fondly. A soft breeze brushed past him, and for a brief moment, he could almost see a pair of shadows flash across the dark heavens. He blinked, and the moment passed, leaving only the bright stars winking back at him. He chuckled lightly, stroking his beard.

    Then, with gentle eyes, he glanced back toward Siu Han. “I was also present when your husband, Sit Tin Pang, was born. I watched him grow up to become a formidable young pugilist, and witnessed him rise through the wulin ranks with the skills he inherited from his father.” The old man smiled as he continued, “Furthermore, I was present when you and your husband met for the first time and when he later gifted you his Sword of Moon.”

    Then, with his next words, his smile gradually faded, and a glimmer of regret and sadness flashed across his eyes. “Sadly, I also helped bury your child, and later you. You don’t remember any of this simply because you are not meant to remember until the time is right.”

    Siu Han frowned at the old man’s words. “My husband? I don’t have a husband. I don’t recognize any of the names you have just mentioned. Grandfather, you must have mistaken me for someone else.”

    However, the old man merely looked at her kindly, his eyes clearly telling her there was no mistake.

    An indescribable fear began to blossom in her chest as she stared back at the old man. “I have a child? He or she died?”

    Even though this conversation did not entirely make sense to her, Siu Han wholeheartedly believed the old man’s words. In the deepest part of her mind, a long-buried memory tried to claw its way to the surface. The memory flickered across her eyes, too quickly to allow her to see, but it left behind a horrifying feeling of anguish, hopelessness, and fury. It screeched and wailed in her ears, the sound nearly bursting her head. Then, in the next instant, that fleeting memory fled, leaving her exhausted and empty.

    “Was my child a boy or girl?” Siu Han managed to ask hoarsely.

    Boy. Her baby was a boy.

    That piece of information flashed through her mind. Siu Han didn’t know how she knew, but somehow she did.

    Her baby was an innocent baby boy.

    “How did he die?” Siu Han shot out the next question, starting to feel upset when the old man remained silent.

    The old man sighed and shook his head at her agitation. “Siu Han, you will remember everything when the time is right. I come to you today in your dreams to tell you that it is not too late to turn back. What has happened centuries ago cannot be changed. Let dust remain dust, ashes remain ashes. Only then can your soul freely move forward.”

    The old man’s sage advice only ignited Siu Han’s anger more, for some reason. Something roared in her ears, the wailing sound of a distressed baby crying enveloping her. Then suddenly, the cries stopped, the silence ironically even more deafening than the wailing.

    “How did my baby die?” Siu Han panted, her fists clenched.

    However, the old man refused to answer her question. He flicked his hand, the long, loose sleeve of his gray robe fluttering in the wind.

    “It is time for you to leave and return to him,” he said.

    Siu Han shook her head fiercely in protest. “No! Answer my question!”

    Unfortunately, the old man waved his hand again, and Siu Han felt herself propelled through air by an invisible hand, flying, flying further away from Horizon Peak…

    “When you wake up, you won’t recall the details of our conversation, but I want you to remember one thing.” The old man reminded her, “Let dust remain dust, ashes remain ashes.”

    The old man’s voice gradually faded into the distance. Soon, a young man’s voice replaced the old man’s. The voice calling out to her was strong and insistent, yet strangely familiar, as if she has known him for many hundreds of years…

    Siu Han. Siu Han. Wake up.

    BACK AT THE ABANDONED TEMPLE

    Siu Han wiggled restlessly in Lun's arms, mumbling incoherently. Concerned that she was having another nightmare, Lun gently shook Siu Han.

    "Siu Han, Siu Han, wake up,” Lun called firmly.

    Siu Han stirred as she heard a distant voice calling to her and began to slowly open her eyes. "Hmmm?"

    She peered up at Lun with dazed eyes, studying him with a strange look, as if she was seeing, not him, but someone else. Slowly, she reached a hand up to touch his cheek, her eyes clouded with confusion. After a few seconds, she gradually drifted off to sleep once more, her hand slipping back down onto her lap.

    Lun shifted and settled Siu Han more comfortably in his arms, while he silently reprimanded himself for tiring her out on the trip. He decided to allow her to rest tomorrow.

    THE FOLLOWING MORNING
    ABANDONED TEMPLE

    Sunlight shone through the cracks in the temple roof, flooding the interior of the temple with cheerful brightness. Birds chattered outside, bringing life and noise to the deserted temple.

    Lun smiled down at the still sleeping Siu Han, while he tenderly brushed a few strands of her hair away from her face. His arm, which she had been using as a pillow, had long since gone numb, but he ignored that minor discomfort in favor of letting her sleep undisturbed.

    A courageous little sparrow hopped into the interior of the temple, chirping hesitantly, its eyes examining Lun and the sleeping Siu Han curiously. Slowly, it ventured forward until it stood a few feet away from the two humans. After emitting a few more sharp chirps, the bird lost interest in the pair and fluttered out the doorway.

    Siu Han, hearing the distant high-pitched squeaks of a bird, gradually awakened from her deep slumber. Her heavy eyelids half-opened, she scanned her surroundings in confusion, before focusing in on Lun's face.

    Quickly, she sat up in embarrassment, her face crimson.

    "I am sorry, First Young Master.” She blushed. “I did not mean to lean all over you last night."

    Lun stared at her for a moment before clearing his throat self-consciously, looking anywhere but at her. "It is all right. I was not very sleepy last night, anyway."

    After a long, embarrassed pause, Lun cleared his throat again, asking the first thing that popped into his mind, hoping to ease the awkwardness. “What did you dream about last night?”

    Siu Han stared at him blankly. “Dream?”

    Lun nodded. “First you were screaming about saving a little girl, and then later, you started muttering something about a baby.”

    Siu Han remained silent for a long moment. She couldn’t recall anything about a baby, but she certainly remembered the part about the little girl, for it wasn’t a dream. She shuddered. Her visions were back. She squeezed her eyes shut, willing herself to calm down. Her visions have disappeared for so long that perhaps that scene she had witnessed regarding the little girl was truly just a bad dream brought on by fatigue.

    “Siu Han?” Lun’s question brought her out of her reverie.

    “Huh?” Siu Han glanced up at him and blinked.

    “What did you dream about?” Lun asked again.

    Siu Han frowned and shook her head, half lying, half telling the truth. “I don’t remember too clearly.”

    Seeing her slightly dazed, disturbed expression, Lun started to worry if she was getting ill. He reached forward with his hand and touched her forehead, checking for fever. Then he suddenly realized the intimacy and inappropriateness of his action when he saw Siu Han’s surprised expression and swiftly withdrew his hand.

    “I’m sorry,” he muttered.

    “That’s all right,” Siu Han muttered, looking down at her lap.

    For another long, awkward moment, they both sat staring at a cobweb at the opposite end of the room.

    Finally, Lun broke the uncomfortable silence. “We should probably go.”

    Siu Han bobbed her head up and down.

    They stood up swiftly, brushing the dust from their clothing. As they both leaned down simultaneously to pick up the travel sack, their fingers brushed. Shocked from the contact, both withdrew their hands as if electrocuted, their eyes downcast.

    Lun shifted awkwardly from one foot to the other. "Ahhh… Ahhh… I remember passing by a small stream last night. Why don't we go there to wash up?"

    Siu Han nodded, her eyes still downcast. "All right."

    Both of them rushed toward the doorway. In their urgency to leave the confines of the temple, they squeezed through the doorframe at the exact same moment and ended up stuck there temporarily. Quickly, Lun backed away from the door, gesturing for Siu Han to leave first. After she walked out, he picked up the travel sack and his sword and followed behind her.

    FIVE MILES FROM THE ABANDONED TEMPLE

    The afternoon sun beat down hard on Siu Han and Lun as they traveled across the barren land. Using her hand to shade herself from the bright rays, Siu Han swallowed, trying to wet her throat. Feeling slightly lightheaded from dehydration, she forged ahead, trying to keep up with Lun.

    A few paces in front of her, Lun squinted against the glaring sun and spied the blurry outline of a tea stand in the distance.

    Smiling, he turned to Siu Han. “There’s a tea stand up ahead. Let’s rest there for a while and get something to eat.”

    Nodding with relief, Siu Han quickened her footsteps.

    TEA STAND

    The tea stand keeper, a pudgy elderly man in his sixties, rushed up toward Lun and Siu Han, eagerly gesturing them toward his small business.

    “Welcome! Welcome! It sure is a hot day, isn’t it?” He chatted amicably. “Please come to my tea stand for a cup of tea and some refreshments.”

    Lun and Siu Han settled down onto the wooden stools next to a small square table placed under a large cloth awning.

    Lun placed his sword and travel sack on the table and ordered a pot of tea. “What do you serve here?”

    “Oh, even though we are a small establishment, we serve a wide variety of dishes here!” The tea stand keeper boasted. “I recommend our steamed pork buns, sticky rice with chicken wrapped in lotus leaves, and mango pudding. We also serve red bean pudding drenched with a melted, creamy coconut topping.”

    Hearing Siu Han’s stomach growl at the mention of food, Lun smiled indulgently. “We’ll take two orders of each of the dishes you recommended.”

    “Thank you, Young Master!” The tea stand keeper grinned happily, glad for the business.

    Then sighing, he shook his head, as he poured tea for Siu Han and Lun. “Normally, by this hour, my place would be bustling with people. However, lately, many customers have remained home due to the recent unfortunate incidents in this area, of people being mauled to death by wolves.”

    About to bring the teacup to her lips for a drink, Siu Han froze, a shiver running down her spine as she heard this news. “Wolves?” She whispered. “Did a young girl die last night?” She asked, almost afraid of hearing the answer.

    Lifting his eyebrows, the tea stand keeper sputtered. “Why, yes!” He burst out, surprised. “How did you know that, Miss? Last night, a young girl was mauled to death by wolves, her body found mangled and torn in the forest early this morning!” Clucking in pity, he shook his head. “That poor girl’s family! My wife actually knows the girl’s mother.”

    The tea stand keeper continued on and on, chatting about the unfortunate girl’s family and how his wife was consoling the girl’s mother at this moment. However, Siu Han did not hear a word he was saying, as she replayed the horrible vision she had last night of the little girl’s death.

    So it wasn’t a nightmare, as she had hoped. Her vision was truly back.

    As the tea stand keeper waddled off to prepare the dishes of food, Lun leaned over and gently placed a hand over Siu Han’s. “Siu Han?” He squeezed her hand when she remained quiet. “Siu Han? Are you all right?”

    Shaking herself out of her reverie, Siu Han focused in on Lun’s worried expression. “Huh? I’m fine, First Young Master. I just…I just…feel sorry for the little girl and her family.” She mumbled, not wanting Lun to know that she had seen the girl’s death in her vision last night. She did not wish for Lun to think of her as an evil witch, as the villagers of her seaside village had once thought.

    She had first started having visions of the future as a child. However, they only seemed to be visions of death and destruction, never of happy things to come. The people of her village called her a witch, a bad omen, an unlucky charm. At the age of thirteen, her visions suddenly and inexplicably disappeared, leaving her to sleep in peace at night. Relieved, she prayed for the visions to disappear forever. And they had…until last night, when they returned, showing her the death of the little girl.

    Worse, her visions returned stronger than before. Her past visions consisted only of vague, unsettling feelings. Now, she could see the images play in front of her in vivid detail, as if she were present at the scene of the misfortune.

    Noticing Siu Han staring off into space, Lun calls out to her again. “Siu Han? Siu Han?”

    “Huh?” Siu Han snapped out of her daydream. Looking at Lun with a blank expression, she asked, “What’s wrong, First Young Master?”

    “I just asked if you would like to have some more tea, but you seemed to be a thousand miles away.” Lun replied worriedly.

    Forcing a smile, she tried to reassure Lun. “Sure, I would love to have another cup of tea. Don’t worry, First Young Master. I’ll be fine once I get some food in my stomach. We should eat quickly so we can be on our way soon to find the antidote for Second Young Master.”

    Frowning, Lun nodded. Glancing at Siu Han, he took a sip of tea, letting the issue go for now as he sensed that she did not wish to discuss what was bothering her.

    BACK AT LAM ON CITY
    LAM MANOR
    LAM YIK WAH'S CHAMBER

    Yin Yuk sat at the foot of her second son's bed, keeping constant vigil, her hand clutching his tightly. The door to his chamber gently opened, and Lam Siu Tin walked in, carrying a tray of food, a cloak slung over his right arm. He quietly set the tray on the table and approached his exhausted and dozing wife. Crouching down to stare into her face, he shook his head slightly as he reached up to gently smooth out the frown between her eyebrows. Awaken by his ministrations, Yin Yuk startled and quickly straightened, glancing at Wah to see if he was still there.

    Yin Yuk finally noticed her husband crouched in front of her. "Why haven't you gone to sleep?"

    Siu Tin took the cloak and draped it around her shoulders. "How could I fall asleep without you beside me?" Taking her arm, he led her to the table. "You need to eat something to keep up your strength."

    Yin Yuk shook her head. "I am not hungry."

    Siu Tin started to object, but Yin Yuk quickly wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned her head against his chest.

    "I just have no appetite right now, not with Yik Wah like this, Suk Yu and Chi Chi missing, and Yik Lun on a dangerous mission." She frowned, her expression full of guilt. "We shouldn't have left them alone for so long."

    Siu Tin sighed and wrapped his arms comfortingly around her. "They are all grown up. We cannot hover over them forever. Let's take a walk. It's not healthy for you to mope around like this." Before she could protest, he gently led her out the door. "Come on."

    FIVE MILES FROM LAM MANOR
    NEAR THE EDGE OF THE FOREST

    A small tombstone stood alone at the edge of the forest. Offerings of fresh fruit and pork buns were placed in front. Colorful wild flowers framed the stone slab that had a few simple characters etched on it

    Mok Yi San, beloved servant and friend

    Siu Tin and Yin Yuk knelt down to pay their respects to the young woman who had sacrificed her life for their second son.

    Yin Yuk reached out and brushed away debris and dead leaves scattered around the tombstone. She traced the lettering on the stone slab, smiling sadly. "Thank you for saving Yik Wah's life. May you rest in peace."

    Siu Tin stood up and reached down to help his wife up. Hands linked, they slowly walked away. Suddenly, Siu Tin halted, listening closely to the silence of the forest.

    His head slightly cocked, Siu Tin frowned. "Siu Yuk, do you hear that?"

    From afar, a voice echoed clearly.

    The voice chuckled, amused. "I am surprised you lovebirds still remember me. You haven't visited me in a long time."

    Yin Yuk smiled happily, a twinkle brightening her eyes. "Teacher! Teacher!" She eagerly scanned the surrounding forest. "Where are you?"

    The voice chuckled again. "You can stop looking now. I am not there with you. I am using my internal energy to transmit this voice message to you."

    Siu Tin called out joyfully. "Teacher! How have you been?"

    The voice snorted. "I am doing well, thank you. At least I am still informed, unlike you two. How can you claim to be Wulin Chancellor and still not be aware of this news?"

    Siu Tin asked in confusion. "What news?"

    The voice switched to a serious tone. "The Seer has awakened. You must find this person immediately."

  10. #30
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Ooops. I forgot to add my short addendum at the end of Chapter 14, so here it is.
    Definition: A seer is one who sees the future.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Oh, by the way, if you are a guest and cannot leave comments because you are not registered, just click on the blue Legendary Book of Sun-Moon Swordplay link below to go to the winglin fan fiction site, where you do not need to be registered to leave comments. Thank you for reading and for leaving me valuable feedback. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

  12. #32
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    <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0"> wOw intense moment cant wait to see what happens next!!! ooh still I hope the dai sui yee and annie and be together <IMG SRC="smilies/azzangel.gif" border="0"> oh well keep typing and we'll keep reading <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">oooh yeh and check out my website sometime its currently under construction though... and wOw that sifu must be really strong or something huh??? (well duh)cu your fan, danielle a.k.a. ella :birthday <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0">s i forgot to tel you its my birthday! (soory just HAD to tell everyone it had to come out somehow) -yours till the pencil points- <IMG SRC="smilies/beerchug.gif" border="0">

  13. #33
    Registered User Danielle Lin's Avatar
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    ooh dang it a typo i meant to put <IMG SRC="smilies/birthday.gif" border="0"> not the <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0"> although ti is cute!!! hey i forgot to ask why the long update a couple of weeks ago? <IMG SRC="smilies/confused.gif" border="0"> -danielle aka ella

  14. #34
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Hey Danielle,
    Happy birthday! Thanks for your comments. They really brighten my day. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> Sure, I will check out your website in the near future. About my slow update pace - well, I'm kind of loaded down with several papers that are dued soon. Plus, I have some exams coming up. Another reason is that my cast is rapidly expanding exponentially, and I am trying to figure out what to do with each character. Hey, I have a general outline, but I unfotunately am not experienced enough to have all the details down yet. Don't worry. My next chapter will be posted sometime next week...hopefully. <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0"> I will not abandon my story and will finish it...eventually. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

  15. #35
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Oh, Danielle. What's the URL of your website? Forgot to ask. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

  16. #36
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    Talking

    CHAPTER 15 --- THE SEARCH BEGINS

    Characters appearing in this chapter:
    Andy Lau Tak Wah---Lam Siu Tin 林笑天
    Idy Chan Yuk Lin---Chan Yin Yuk 陳嬿玉
    Gilbert Lam Wai Sun---Lam Yik Lun 林億倫
    Annie Man Chung Han---So Siu Han 蘇小嫻
    Louis Koo Tin Lok---Gu Yat Fei 古日飛
    Benny Chan Ho Man---Gu Yat Keung 古日強
    Gigi Lai Chi---Lam Suk Chi 林淑姿
    Helena Law Lan---Grandmother Fa 花婆婆

    Guest appearances in this chapter:
    Tony Leung Chiu Wai---Ha Ming 夏命
    Kitty Lai Mei Han---Kwan Suet Lin 關雪蓮

    FIVE MILES FROM LAM MANOR
    NEAR THE EDGE OF THE FOREST

    The voice switched to a serious tone. "The Seer has awakened. You must find this person immediately."

    Siu Tin shook his head in confusion. "But I thought the Seer does not exist and is nothing more than an ancient legend."

    The voice sighed. "Oh, no… The Seer is very real…very real… She is, after all, one of the founders of our Sun Moon Sect."

    Yin Yuk's eyes lit up in alarm as a new thought occured to her. "Teacher, if the Seer has reincarnated, then according to the legend that means…"

    Siu Tin finished his wife's sentence. "That the reincarnation of the Guardian will soon also awaken, and the Swords of Sun and Moon will resurface to again attain their former glory!"

    The voice cut in before everyone got too excited. "I’m afraid it’s not that simple. The reawakened Seer will no longer be the Guardian’s ally. After all that has happened to her centuries ago, do you think she will fight alongside him again? The moment her reincarnated self reunites with her Sword of Moon, her memories will return, as will her powers. Hundreds of years of vengeance and hatred will converge on wulin, and nobody in the pugilist world will be able to control her, possibly not even the reincarnation of the Guardian himself. I need you to find the Seer’s reincarnation before she finds the Sword of Moon."

    Upon hearing this, Yin Yuk and Siu Tin exchanged worried looks, staring into each other's eyes as if communicating by telepathy.

    The voice huffed in exasperation. "Why are you two still standing there? This is not the time to be exchanging romantic looks! Go! Find the Seer!"

    Siu Tin frowned with bewilderment. "But we don't who she has reincarnated into. We don't even know where to start looking."

    The voice explained, "Travel southbound and look for the one who possesses the gift of sight. That is all I am able to tell you without revealing too much and thus going against Heaven's will."

    Siu Tin formed a fist with his left hand and wrapped his right hand around his left fist, as a form of salute to his teacher. "Yes, Teacher. Siu Yuk and I will leave immediately to look for the Seer."

    Yin Yuk grabbed her husband's arm before he dashed off with his lightness kung fu. "Brother Siu Tin, we cannot leave Yik Wah at Lam Manor."

    Siu Tin halted suddenly, remembering that his second son needed the combination of his and Yin Yuk's internal energy to stay alive. Brows drawn together in indecision, he glanced toward the direction of his teacher's voice for guidance.

    His teacher sensed Siu Tin's indecision. "I understand your dilemma. I have a solution. I want you and Yin Yuk to use the acupuncture point sealing technique I taught you to seal Yik Wah’s thirty-six major pressure points. That will halt the progression of the poison, lessen his pain, and give him the ability to use a quarter of his martial arts. Bring him along with you on the journey."

    Yin Yuk hesitated before speaking. "Teacher, if you know about Yik Wah's situation, then you must already know that Eldest Senior Martial Brother has returned after disappearing from the pugilist world for twenty-five years…" She trailed off, not wanting to upset her teacher.

    The voice angrily grunted. "Hmph! That traitor! First he steals the second manuscript of the Book of Sun Moon Swordplay. Then he has the nerve to name his newly found sect the Sun Moon Sect! He is trying to bring disgrace to our original Sun Moon Sect. Hmph!"

    Siu Tin and Yin Yuk wait patiently as their teacher fumed.

    Suddenly, their teacher stopped ranting and blurt out, as if suddenly remembering that his students were still loitering around. "Well, go! Go find the Seer!"

    Siu Tin and Yin Yuk, galvanized into action, quickly responded in unison. "Yes, Teacher!"

    Holding hands, they flew off together.

    As his students disappeared, the voice sighed to himself. "Let’s hope history will not repeat itself…"

    MEANWHILE…
    HOI YEUNG CITY
    MARKETPLACE
    FISH VENDOR STAND

    The marketplace in Hoi Yeung City bustled with activity. A fish vendor advertised his merchandise by putting on a show for his potential buyers. With his butcher knife held firmly in his right hand, he flipped the fish up into the air using his left hand. While the fish was still in the air, he expertly sliced it into thin pieces, which landed neatly onto the plate near the end of his worktable. The audience burst into thundering applause.

    The fish vendor, a man in his mid-forties with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, grinned cheekily and bowed low at the waist, his right arm making a grand sweeping gesture. The fish vendor held his plate of fish slices toward the admiring crowd. "Now! Who wants to buy some fish?"

    The excited crowd surged forward en mass, a sea of madly waving arms, as each person screamed loudly to have his order heard over the din of noise. The fish vendor happily wrapped the slices of fish in butcher paper for each customer.

    One of the female customers fluttered her eyelashes rapidly at him and sashayed up to his side. In a seductive voice, she drawled, "Big Brother, I want two slices of your fish." She resumed her rapid eye blinking after voicing her order.

    The fish vendor smiled charmingly at her. "Coming right up!"

    He wrapped two slices in paper and handed the packet to her. "Miss, that will be two bronze coins."

    The female customer swayed her hips so that her rear end collided with the vendor's. "How about just one bronze coin?" She looked at him with an exaggerated pout.

    The fish vendor hedged. "Well…"

    However, before he could make a decision, he felt his left ear suddenly being jerked forcefully to the side. Tilting his head toward the direction of the ear-jerker to relieve the tension on his ear, he glanced around and stared straight into the angry face of his beautiful wife.

    Ha Ming smiled sheepishly at his wife. "Wife!"

    Kwan Suet Lin, her right hand still twisting Ha Ming's left ear, while her left hand rested on her left hip, glared at her husband suspiciously. "What do you think you are doing?" She glowered at him menacingly.

    Ming grinned charmingly at her. "I was just doing my job and selling fish!"

    Suet Lin continued to glare, unamused. "Uh huh. Right. Does selling fish include flirting with the customers?" She gave his ear another forceful tug to emphasize her question. "HMMM?"

    Ming rapidly explained, "I wasn't flirting! I love only you, my beautiful wife!"

    Suet Lin pinned him down with a fierce look before letting go of his ear. "I don't want to see any rear ends bumping next time." She shifted her furious gaze over to the flirtatious female customer. "Hand over the two bronze coins and scram!"

    Lips flattened in scorn, the female customer slammed down her payment onto the vendor table and sashayed off, her generous rear end swinging from side to side with her every step.

    Suet Lin stared scornfully at the retreating customer. "Shameless hussy!" She looked over and noticed Ming also looking at the other woman's undulating rear end and pinched him on the arm. "What are you looking at?"

    Ming smiled innocently. "Hehe! Nothing, Wife. I have eyes only for you."

    Suet Lin snorted. "Dear Husband, that line no longer works with me."

    She stomped off huffily to serve a customer at their simple sidewalk food stand set up next to the fish vendor stand.

    Ming grinned widely at her retreating back. "Still as sassy as ever! That's my love!"

    SUET MING’S SIDEWALK EATERY NEXT TO THE FISH VENDOR STAND

    Suet Lin wiped her hand on a dishrag before approaching a young couple who was about to settle down at a table in her small eatery. She smiled as she watched the handsome young man pull out the stool for the fragile-looking beauty traveling with him. The young woman peered up and smiled at him sweetly, thanking him for his gentlemanly gesture.

    Suet Lin muttered quietly to herself, a smile in her voice. "Ahhh… It is so refreshing to see young love." She approached the couple and graced them with a welcoming smile. "Welcome to Suet Ming's Sidewalk Eatery. What would you like for lunch today?"

    Lun glanced up at the food stand owner with a smile. "We would like three large bowls of pork noodle soup along with some hot tea." He leaned slightly toward the young maiden next to him. "Siu Han, would you like anything else?"

    Siu Han shook her head, her expression shy. "Nothing else for me, thank you."

    Suet Lin grinned at the charming pair. "I will be back with your order soon."

    As Suet Lin walked away, Lun turned his attention back toward Siu Han. Seeing a small leaf still clinging to her hair from sleeping in the abandoned temple last night, he reached over toward her head.

    Siu Han, surprised at his actions, withdrew slightly. "First Young Master…?"

    Lun’s lips curved upward slightly. "You have a leaf clinging to your hair. I am just going to pick it out." He gently untangled the leaf from her hair. "There!" He beamed at her.

    At his proud, satisfied expression Siu Han couldn’t help but return his smile, her heart beginning to soften toward him.

    "Thank you," she laughed softly.

    With her head lowered, she absentmindedly fiddled with the leaf he had handed to her, all the while scolding herself for ever considering betraying him when he was so kind to her. At that moment, she made up her mind to talk to her godfather about making peace with the Lam family when she returned to the Sun Moon Sect. With that decision made, a huge burden lifted from her heart and she began to enjoy her surroundings, her mood cheerful.

    A few minutes later, Suet Lin approached with three large bowls of steamy pork noodle soup, followed by a kettle of hot tea. Ravenous, Lun devoured his bowl in record time, while Siu Han daintily nibbled at hers. Staring at the extra bowl of noodles, Lun pushed it toward Siu Han, whose own bowl was only half-finished.

    Shaking her head, Siu Han pushed the bowl back toward him. "One bowl of noodles is enough for me."

    Lun shrugged and positioned the extra bowl in front of him, since Siu Han did not want any more noodles. With great efficiency, he started to gobble up his second bowl. Suddenly, he heard giggling and stared at Siu Han.

    Confused, he raised one eyebrow at her questioningly. "What are you laughing at?"

    Siu Han grinned teasingly. "First Young Master, you have a piece of noodle on the tip of your nose!"

    She giggled as she reached over to pick it off. Then with her handkerchief, she delicately dabbed at the tip of his nose. While she was performing that task, Lun stared at her adoringly. Oblivious to his devoted expression, she focused on wiping his nose, feeling quite maternal toward him.

    After several dabs, she smiled at him, satisfied that she had cleaned off all the oil from the noodle soup.

    "There!" Siu Han exclaimed happily.

    Tucking away her handkerchief, she returned her attention to her bowl of soup. However, after a few minutes, she glanced up at him, feeling his steady gaze on her.

    Puzzled, she gently tugged at his sleeve. "First Young Master, your soup is getting cold."

    Lun, startled out of his trance, quickly lowered his head and stuffed in a few mouthfuls of noodles.

    From her position at the stove, Suet Lin glanced at the young couple from the corner of her eye, smiling like an indulgent mother.

    MEANWHILE…
    HOI YEUNG CITY
    MARKETPLACE
    ONE STREET DOWN FROM SUET MING’S EATERY
    OUTSIDE GOLDEN PHOENIX INN

    Fei led the way, with Keung pulling Chi Chi along behind him and Grandmother Fa bringing up the rear. Fei stopped in front of an inn and turned toward his brother.

    Gesturing toward the inn, Fei suggested, "Let's rest here for the night before continuing on our journey back to the Sun Moon Sect."

    Keung nodded in agreement. "Good idea."

    Fei and Grandmother Fa walked in ahead of Keung to arrange for two inn rooms.

    Meanwhile Keung turned back toward Chi Chi and attempted to pull her along.

    "Come on," he muttered through his clenched teeth when she tried to resist.

    Being contrary on purpose, Chi Chi suddenly plopped down onto the middle of the street in front of the inn. Since she could not speak because Keung had sealed her acupuncture point controlling speech, she decided to show her displeasure of being dragged along all day through her actions.

    Keung sighed in exasperation at Chi Chi. "What in the world are you doing?!"

    He attempted to pull her up, but she stubbornly remained seated on the street, thus attracting the attention of a small crowd. Chi Chi smirked as the townspeople jabbed their fingers in Keung's direction, speculating on what was going on.

    With the unwanted attention from the local townsfolk, Keung's face reddened. "All right, there is nothing to see."

    He attempted to shoo the crowd away, but the busybodies refused to budge. Helpless, he shot Chi Chi a murderous glare before leaning down to pick her up into his arms. Rapidly, he vanished into the inn, away from prying eyes.

    INSIDE GOLDEN PHOENIX INN

    Chi Chi gave Keung a victorious grin. He, on the other hand, frowned warningly at her, while carting her up the stairs with Fei and Grandmother Fa leading the way to their inn rooms.

    Fei glanced back at Keung and Chi Chi, and seeing the two engaged in a glaring match, shook his head with exasperation.

    Just as Fei, Keung, and Chi Chi disappeared up the stairs, Lun and Siu Han wandered into Golden Phoenix Inn and approached the innkeeper's table to request rooms for the night.

    Lun placed two gold ingots onto the innkeeper’s desk. "We would like two rooms for tonight."

    The elderly innkeeper stared longingly at the gold ingots for a long time. Finally, he glanced up at Lun and Siu Han and sighed apologetically.

    "I apologize, Young Master.” The innkeeper gestured helplessly toward the second story. “We only have three rooms vacant today and two of them were just taken by a group of four people. That only leaves one room available.”

    Lun frowned, disappointed. "Is there another inn nearby?"

    The innkeeper shook his head regretfully. Lun looked at Siu Han helplessly, but surprisingly, Siu Han sent him an understanding smile.

    She glanced at Lun, her voice quiet, tinged with some awkwardness. “It’s all right, First Young Master. We should take whatever vacant room the inn has left. It’s better than spending another night in the wilderness.”

    Lun nodded slightly at her and turned back toward the innkeeper. “Then we’ll take that remaining vacant room.”

    The innkeeper sighed happily, relieved that the dilemma had been solved. He turned toward a small room situated below the staircase and called for the inn’s servant boy. "Ah Fok! Please take this lovely young couple to the room across the hall from those other two gentlemen who were here right before them."

    With Ah Fok leading the way, Siu Han excitedly followed, glad that she will not be hearing any howling wolves tonight. Seeing Lun standing there looking confused, Siu Han rushed back and grabbed his hand, pulling him along.

    Siu Han urged him along enthusiastically. "Come on, First Young Master! It won't be that bad. You can have the bed."

    SECOND STORY OF GOLDEN PHOENIX INN

    Just as Fei and Keung closed the door to their inn room, Lun and Siu Han turned the corner, following Ah Fok to the room right across the hall from Fei and Keung's room.

    Ah Fok opened the door of Lun and Siu Han's room. "Please let me know if there is anything I may assist you with." He gestured for them to enter and stood at the threshold, waiting for further instructions.

    Lun turned to Ah Fok. "Thank you. We won't be needing anything for the moment."

    Bowing respectfully, Ah Fok backed out of the room and gently closed the door.

    Once Ah Fok had left, Siu Han peered around her new surroundings with interest, seemingly oblivious to Lun’s sudden flushed look.

    The inn room, though small and sparsely furnished, was neat and clean. A medium-sized round table, flanked by two chairs, occupied the center of the room. A fat red candle sat at the center of the circular tabletop, its flame dancing wildly, mirroring the wild rhythm of Lun's heart beat. A washbasin sat on a smaller rectangular table located near the single window in the room. A canopied bed, barely large enough for two people, was pushed up against the wall on the side of the room opposite the window.

    Lun shifted nervously on his feet as he stared at the only bed in the room.
    Unaware of his anxiety, Siu Han excitedly ran over to Lun and yanked away the travel bag in his hands. She dug eagerly inside and pulled out the cloak they had used last night to sleep on. Happily, she spread it out on the floor near the window and prepared to lie down to rest.

    Lun immediately objected, "Siu Han, you take the bed tonight. I'll sleep on the floor."

    Siu Han hesitated, shaking her head. "Thank you for your kindness, First Young Master, but you did not get enough sleep last night at the abandoned temple. You should take the bed."

    Lun shook, smiling at her concern. "I’ll be fine sleeping on the cloak, Siu Han. The floor is cold and uncomfortable. I want you to take the bed."

    Siu Han stubbornly refused. "No, I can’t take the only bed in the room, First Young Master. Who ever heard of the servant taking the bed, while the master slept on the floor?”
    Lun sighed, "Sui Han…"

    Siu Han resolutely shook her head again. “No, I’ll be comfortable on the floor.”

    Unsure how to deal with her stubborn refusal, Lun stared helplessly at her. “Then I’ll sleep on the floor with you. We’ll be uncomfortable together.”

    As the words left his mouth, he realized how inappropriate they sounded. “I mean,” Lun stammered, “I’ll sleep on the floor, too, but on the opposite side of the room, away from you.” Again, he fumbled as he heard his own words. “Wait! I don’t mean I don’t like being near you, Siu Han! I just mean I will sleep on the other side of the...”

    Siu Han suddenly laughed at their ridiculous conversation, interrupting Lun’s awkward mumblings. “It would be wasteful to leave a perfectly warm and comfortable bed empty while we both sleep on the floor.” She paused briefly, smiling brilliantly as an idea popped into her mind. "We can both sleep on the bed, if you don’t mind, First Young Master."

    Lun gawked at her, flabbergasted. "Huh?"

    Siu Han jumped up quickly and dragged Lun over to the bed. She pushed him onto the bed aggressively. Stunned, Lun allowed himself to be stuffed into the far corner of the bed and then just sat there with a bewildered expression on his face. Siu Han ignored him and busily arranged the pillow longitudinally at the center of the bed.

    Glancing up at Lun, Siu Han grinned proudly, pleased with her plan. "There! I'll stay on my side of the bed and you on yours."

    She ran over to the table to blow out the candle flame and then hurried back to bed, eager to get some rest. Siu Han lay down on the cozy bed and released a soft, satisfied sigh. However, upon noticing Lun still sitting up on his side of the bed, she lifted her head up slightly and stared at him.

    "First Young Master, why aren't you sleeping?" She asked, confused.

    When he blinked at her blankly, she frowned at him. "You really should get some rest."

    Without waiting for his response, she plopped her head back down onto the bed and promptly fell asleep.

    On his corner of the bed, Lun watched her even breathing with bewilderment. Siu Han must really trust him, he thought wryly to himself. To her, was he really that harmless? Feeling somewhat disgruntled, he continued to stare at her slumbering form for some time. Finally, Lun gingerly scooted down until he lay squeezed up against the wall on his side of the bed, his heart thumping wildly.

    ONE HOUR LATER…

    Possessing none of Lun's reservations, Siu Han slept soundly. On the other hand, Lun remained awake, lying flat on his back, awkwardly hugging the wall on his side of the bed as he listened to Siu Han's soft breathing. His heart rate had slowed down a little, but it was still far from normal. He tried to mentally guide his mind through several martial arts techniques to take his thoughts off Siu Han, but his traitorous mind kept drifting back to her smooth white skin, to her soft curvy body snuggled up against his last night at the abandoned temple. Reaching up to gently slap himself on the cheek as punishment for his ungentlemanly thoughts, he squeezed his eyes shut in an attempt to block out images of Siu Han.

    On the other side of the bed, Siu Han suddenly started tossing restlessly in sleep, shifting around unconsciously for a comfortable position. With her hand, she accidentally knocked away the pillow at the center of the bed. A chill crept in through the slightly opened window. Shivering a little, Siu Han gravitated toward Lun's warmth. Frowning slightly, she again searched for a comfortable position.

    Then without warning, she sat up and unconsciously flopped onto her stomach right on top of Lun. Stunned, Lun held his body as stiff as a board, not daring to move a muscle while Siu Han tucked her head beneath his chin and nuzzled her cheek against his chest. Hugging him as if he were a big pillow, she finally settled down into a deep slumber, having found a warm cozy spot.

    Trapped beneath Siu Han, Lun gulped and tried hard to imagine his sword stances. Meanwhile, Siu Han wiggled against him in her sleep.

    Lun nervously darted his eyes back and forth from one dark corner of the ceiling to the other. "Oh, no. This is going to be one long night…"

  17. #37
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    hmmmm i don't know how many time have i read your story but never have time to comment it, what can i said your story is really good. one request can you write more on kristy and ekin pls
    update more pls
    Many people will walk in and out of your life. But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

  18. #38
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Datenshi,
    Thank you! It is so wonderful to hear that you have read my story, not only once, but multiple times. I feel so honored. Yes, a lot of readers have requested for more scenes on Kristy and Ekin, and I will try my best to accommodate everyone's wishes. This is a long story, so every character will get his/her time in the spotlight. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> Please continue to leave me your valuable comments and thank you for reading. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

  19. #39
    Senior Member jeh's Avatar
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    Great chapter on Sui Han and Wai Sun. It was hilarious when he has the noodle on the tip of his nose but also gross, too. So when are you going to write about what happen to Kristy when she fell off of the cliff?

  20. #40
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    jeh,
    Thanks for your comments. I am glad that you find Sui Han and Wai Sun funny. Sorry, the noodle on the nose was meant to be funny, not gross. I hope I didn't gross anyone else out! <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0"> Anyway, I believe Kristy will appear in either chapter 17 or 18. Wow, I am happy to know that there are lots of Kristy fans reading my story! Once again, thank you for reading and for your feedback. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    [ November 16, 2002: Message edited by: Melanie ]

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