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Thread: The Black Dragon Swordsman

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    Senior Member Long's Avatar
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    Thumbs up The Black Dragon Swordsman

    Hi Guys,

    Got a little bored so thought I'd write a little 'martial arts' story and post it here as well as in the story vualt located at;

    http://www.spcnet.tv/fanfiction/view...0c72db42419204

    That's probably going to be were the final story ends up. I hope you those who visit this link enjoy.

    Also if I have made errors, in spelling grammer, or even historical facts, I must apologise. I am typing this story at high speed and when I started I didn't have a map of China.

    Here's the draft prologue of the story:

    The story is set in the Ming Dynasty during the reign of Emperor Yongle. On her 16th birthday Bak Tin Kiew of Taishan, who is also the daughter of the Chancellor of Wulin, Bak Fung Wan (nicknamed the 'Gentleman Sword') discovers that she has been fooled all her life. Following the tragic death of his wife, Lin Chun Fa (nicknamed Heroine Lin), Bak Fung Wan issued a new clan rule prohibiting anyone from instructing his daughter in martial arts. He loved his daughter dearly and did not wish her to be involved in the affairs of Wulin. At that time Bak Tin Kiew was only 4 years of age.

    Later when Bak Tin Kiew reached the age of 10, Yik Ching Fung, the senior apprentice of Taishan had promised to teach her martial arts in secret. But he had no real intentions of doing so. He feared his master and did not want to disobey the clan rules. Instead he taught Bak Tin Kiew how to play the bamboo flute and managed to cleverly fool her into thinking that she had been learning some ‘divine bamboo flute’ martial arts. When Bak Tin Kiew found out the truth, she was very upset and embarrassed. She made up her mind to leave Taishan and headed in the direction of the Sichuan province knowing that her late mother, Heroine Lin, had once been a member of the Divine Butterfly Valley Sect located of the Shaanxi province

    Near the Shaanxi province is located the Sichuan which is the lair of two renowned unorthodox clans, the '13 Ghost Mountain Assassins', 'Red Wolf Fang', and the '7 Vixens'. It is also the stomping ground of "Invincible West", the sabre saint Yeung Tin Lung, also known as the "Black Dragon Swordsman". His is famed and feared for having never lost a single duel. He is an eccentric oddball who is neither good nor evil at heart. It is rumoured that the lives of over 300 orthodox and unorthodox clan members have died under his blade. His last known duel was with “Unrivalled East”, the sword saint Kim Mo Dik on Tiashan. Disappearing without a trace since that fated duel over 20 years ago, he is assumed to be dead. For the past few months rumours have begun running wild through the Sichuan province about the return of the “Black Dragon Swordsman”. Could it be that he is still alive after all these years, or is it just another ghost story in Chengdu.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  2. #2
    Senior Member Long's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 1: Lantern Festival

    The Black Dragon Swordsman - written by Long Dang

    Chapter 1: Lantern Festival

    It is a glorious evening in Chongqing, a thriving transportation and industrial centre of Southwestern China, on this the fifteenth day of the first lunar month in the year of 1410 AD. This period is the rule of Emperor Yongle during the Ming Dynasty. Tonight is the Spring Lantern Festival marking the end of the New Year celebrations. The streets are full of bustling people. Sounds of music and joyous laughter fill the evening air. Zithers, flutes, and huggins can all be heard. Endless rows of bright peach blossom coloured lanterns hang high above the main street. Short bundles of firecrackers dangle by the sides of walls. Loud cracking sounds echo back and forth through the crowd as they are lit. Brightly decorated lanterns of all colours, shapes, and sizes are hung aloft shopfronts.

    An old street vendor in his late 80s can be heard yelling at the top of his lungs trying desperately to be heard above all the commotion, “Flower lanterns for sale! Brings good fortune all year round! Just two taels! Very cheap! Flower lanterns for sale! ….”.

    A young crafty merchant on the opposite side of the street can be heard yelling frantically trying to compete for customers, “Jade lanterns for sale! Guarantees longevity! Fate lanterns for sale! Guarantees everlasting love! Dragon lanterns for sale! Guarantees protection from demons and ghosts! Get them here now! Just 4 taels! Jade Lanterns for sale! …”.

    About half the people who had lined up by the old street vendor in his 80s, moved to the other side of the street to buy a lantern from the young crafty merchant upon hearing his sales pitch. They were all thinking the same thought. The good fortune only lasts a year, but longevity and everlasting love lasts a lifetime. For the more superstitious, guaranteed protection from demons and ghosts is a far better than just mere good fortune. So even though the lanterns cost double the money, it was well worth it.

    For those on low incomes 4 taels was just too much for a lantern no matter what the supposed benefits were. So half of the people had remained in line to purchase a flower lantern of the old street vendor in his late 80s.

    Thousands of people continue to pile into the town centre from the river. Some rush about hurriedly here and there in search of a last minute bargain. Others gather to enjoy the atmosphere and watch the various street dancers, performers, and musicians. Fortune tellers are busy reading palms. Little kids run about stuffing their mouths with the sweet rounded little dumplings in the shape of a moon. They come in all flavours and colours. The many restaurants, taverns and inns are full. A sweet romantic flagrance fills the air. Couples can be seen walking shoulder to shoulder into the night carrying a lantern in hand. Lovers swear oaths of faithfulness, play rhyme chimes and exchange small gifts. Some propose under the clear moonlight down by the lake.

    A man in his early thirties and a young woman in her early twenties rush hurriedly among the crowd. They are husband and wife, travellers from afar who had just arrived at Chongqing by the Yangtse River from the port of Kuizhou. They are on the way to the city of Chengdu and are just stoping to rest for the night.

    The young woman has a soft oval face and rose red cheeks. A head full of long black silky hair hangs down to the middle of her back. White and pink ribbons tie her hair neatly into two small bundles at the front. Apart from a few specks of dirt on her face and arms obtained during the long journey, her skin is as white as snow. She looks very peaceful but yet weary.

    A closer look reveals that she is wearing a light pink dress showing off her slim figure and smooth curves. In her left hand is a long sword resting in its white sheath. Two butterflies are carved into the hilt of the sword. The handle of the sword is made out of white ivory. A white belt is worn around her waist. At the centre is a black insignia in the shape of a butterfly. A piece jade that has been carefully handcrafted into the shape of a butterfly hangs down by the side. This is no ordinary woman. Her surname is Lok and first names are Gum Fa. She is the senior apprentice of the ‘Iron Maiden’ Cheung Cum, and one of the renowned “Three Flower Maidens” of the Divine Butterfly Sect of Shaanxi province, an orthodox clan. It is rumoured throughout wulin that Lok Gum Fa’s beauty is unmatched and unrivalled on the central plains of China, though no one really knows for sure. For it is a custom for maidens of the Divine Butterfly Sect to wear a veil covering the lower portion of their face until they are married. Other than the many heroes who had gathered at Taishan about a year and a half ago for her wedding, along with those that have seen her during her travels, no one else in wulin has actually seen her beauty first hand. But rumour and news spreads like wild fire through wulin.

    The man is very rough and rugged looking. He is of solid built and very muscular around the chest and arms. He was once a handsome man but there are now four deep sword scars on the left and one long scar on the right side of his face. He wears a black patch over the right eye. Obviously these injuries have been inflicted through the many battles and duels that he has fought over his lifetime. His face carries a serious disposition. He does not appear to be at ease. He is wearing a torn and weathered black robe with a red cape that is flustering in the evening breeze. A black dragon is embodied on the back of the cape. A bamboo rain hat rests on his head, helping to shield his rugged face from sight. Underneath a single left eye as sharp as an eagle’s can be seen. His hair is all messed up and hangs down by the shoulder underneath the rain bamboo hat. A gold belt is wrapped around his waist. A black dragon insignia lies its centre. A short black sabre hangs by the side of his right leg. A small black dragon is carved into the hilt of the sabre.

    This is no ordinary man. His last name is Yeung, first names are Tin Lung. He is none other than the infamous “Black Dragon Swordsman”. He is one of the most feared swordsman throughout wulin. The other being “Sword Saint Unrivalled East”, Kim Mo Dik. No one really knows whether he harbours good or evil intentions. He has a very eccentric personality and is easily offend by others. In the past he had lived as he pleased and does as he pleased, although the times are now changing. He has been a loner all his life until recently. It is rumoured that he was once part of the “13 Ghost Mountain Assassins” of Chengdu, an unorthodox clan with allegiance with the Demon Cult. Over 353 orthodox clans members, unorthodox clans members, Demon Cult members, government officials, war generals, scholars, and commoners alike, both good and evil, are said to have died under the blade of his black sabre. His swordsmanship has reached such an advanced level that he has never lost a battle in his lifetime and is now considered to be invincible. Hailing from the western regions of China he also carries the nickname of “Sabre Saint Invincible West”.

    He is carrying a large rectangle bamboo basket over his shoulders. A newly born baby is sleeping soundly inside amongst the straw. A red silk scarf is wrapped around the baby. A black dragon is embroiled on the left-hand corner.

    Turning his head slightly to face his wife, Yeung Tin Lung remarked, “It’s been a long journey, but we’re finally here. Chengdu and the Ghost Mountain are near. We must be on extreme alert from now on. We have many orthodox enemies pursuing behind us, and many Demon Cult enemies ahead.”

    “Why should we fear them. Shouldn’t they be fearing you instead? You have a well earned reputation ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’.” Lok Gum Fa said smiling affectionately at her husband as she spoke those last four words.

    She continued, “Even my master the ‘Iron Maiden’ who has been following us for months dare not come to close. She is afraid that she will meet you head on. She has already had a taste of your power first hand at Taishan”.

    Tin Lung gave a long sigh, “The current situation is different from before. We should be careful never the less”.

    Lok Gum Fa glanced back lovingly over at her husband who at that moment was concentrating his “Divine 9 Dragon” inner energy to scan through the crowd of people for signs of potential hidden danger. It is rumoured that the “Divine 9 Dragon” inner energy can detect an opponent’s source of internal energy, its flow, and many variations at a 300 metre radius. So it would be very difficult for any martial artist in wulin to be able to catch Yeung Tin Lung off guard and gain advantage in combat by launching an ambush attack. It is also impossible for elite martial artists to disguise themselves as common folk and hide themselves amongst a crowd, as they would be detected by the “Divine 9 Dragon” inner energy. This would enable Yeung Tin Lung to distinguish a simple commoner from a martial arts expert. He would thus be prepared for any potential ambush or surprise attack. A slight smile suddenly appeared on Tin Lung’s face and he finally appeared to be at ease.

    “There are 24 Beggar Clan members, 8 members of the Lion Prestige Escort, 5 nuns from Emei Sect, and 3 swordsman from Qincheng Sect, this side of the city within a 300 metre radius of us”, said Yeung Tin Lung as he glanced over at his wife with a slight smile.

    “What truly amazing skills ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’!”, praised Lok Gum Fa with her right thumb raised.

    Casting an another affectionate glance at her husband, she continued, “It is not unusual for such a large number of Beggar Clan members to be gathered over a small area in a large city such as this”.

    Nodding in agreement Yeung Tin Lung continued, “Also, it is well known through wulin that members of the Lion Prestige Escort always travel in groups of 8 when they are couriering an important cargo down the Yantse River”.

    “And it is not unusual for nuns from Emei Sect to be wondering about through the city when their headquarters, Emei shan, is located in this province”, agreed Lok Gum Fa.

    Counting with her fingers to eliminate all the possibilities of danger that lie ahead, Lok Gum Fa continued “Also it is not unusual for swordsmen from Qincheng Sect to be here given that their headquarters Qincheng shan lies near”.

    “But why only 3 of them? Could it be them?…”, she said after a momentary pause.

    “You guessing that these 3 swordsmen are the renowned ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’, Priest Tin Moon, Priest Tin Do, Priest Tin Chi?”, remarked Yeung Tin Lung as he strode casually down the street. They were now about a 15 minute walk to the lake on the other side of the main town centre but could already see that thousands of people had gathered for the fireworks. Because it was Lantern Festival, Yeung Tin Lung wanted to take his wife there for the celebrations as well.

    Lok Gum Fa nodded before replying, “My master told me that, although Qincheng Sect are a large clan and have many apprentices, none other than the Head Master of Qincheng Sect dare to travel by themselves”.

    “The ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ travel in 3s, and all other swordsmen from Qincheng Sect travelled in groups of 9 or more”, she continued confidant that she had guessed correctly.

    “This is very unusual indeed. I have never heard of anything like that before about the Qincheng Sect. Why do you suppose that is?”, remarked Yeung Tin Lung as he took a big stride to his right down a small back street behind the shops to avoid the crowd celebrating ahead.

    He had always disliked walking through crowded places and today was going to be no different. Besides had they continued down the main street they would have been required to slow down their pace somewhat and be late in getting to the lake for the fire works. Even though they both possessed good lightness kung fu, it is almost impossible to be able to glide through the masses of people walking almost shoulder to shoulder, obstructing their way forward. They could have forced their way through but would have ended up injuring many innocent people. Not that Yeung Tin Lung would have cared at all. He has never worried about offending other people, but takes great care in trying not to offend his wife, whom he loved with all his heart. He knew that his wife was a gentle soul and would not forgive him for many days had he injured one, let alone a large number of the many innocent people before them. So he decided that taking a detour was the best way to proceed ahead.

    The width of he back street was so narrow that only one person could comfortably walk down it. Lok Gum Fa followed closely behind her husband before continuing, “My master says that the kung fu skills of Qincheng Sect have deteriorated over the generations, mainly as a result of the elite fighters and masters who fought and died to protect China during the Mongol invasion. Many of them died without being able pass on their expertise to the younger generations”.

    “This is very tragic indeed”, interrupted Yeung Tin Lung. He did not have a particular liking for swordsmen from the Qincheng Sect, but he couldn’t help but praise them inwardly upon hearing about their heroic deed in trying to defend the country from invasion all those years ago. Although wulin labelled him as a ruthless and senseless killer, he has done his country a good deed by murdering a number of corrupt officials and war generals who secretly collude with the jurchens on the borders of China.

    He remained silent in thought before continuing, “Yes, not only have the skills of Qincheng Sect deteriorated, but those of Huashan, Songshan, Taishan, Kunlun shan, Zhongnan shan, Emie shan and various other sects including the Beggar Clan share that same fate. Only the various skills and sword arts of Wudang and Shaolin have remained intact over the generations”, remarked Yeung Tin Lung.

    “You have missed one other major clan who’s many skills and sword arts have remained intact over many generations”, giggled Lok Gum Fa.

    Yeung Tin Lung knew that his wife was very intelligent and knowledgable, but for the time being he could not guess the identity of the other great clan that was comparable the great Wudang and Shaolin, so he quizzed, “Fa yee, I am dumbstruck. Which great clan are you referring to? Surely you don’t mean the ‘Divine Butterfly Sect’?”. Fa yee, was what he called his wife when they were lovers. Even though they are now married he had become used to calling her that way.

    A wide smile appeared on Lok Gum Fa’s face as she heard her husband mentioning her own clan, the Divine Butterfly Sect. She knew he had good intentions but at the same time she loved teasing and poking fun at her husband. She couldn’t stop herself from laughing childishly inside. Yeung Tin Lung would have been slightly embarrassed had he seen the mocking expression on his wife’s face behind him.

    “Your sword skills are brilliant but you’re as dumb as a cow, do you know that big brother Yeung?”, she mocked.

    Lok Gum Fa was feeling very affectionate at this point, and she had been used to calling her husband ‘big brother Yeung’ for a very long time now. That was what she used to call him when she first fell in love with him. It was actually by chance that they had met each other all those years ago. At that time she was only 16 and very naive. She had been sent on a mission on the outskirts of Chengdu valley with her two junior apprentice sisters Lin Chun Fa and To Guk Fa, collectively known as ‘3 Flower Beauties’, to eliminate the senior apprentice of ‘7 Vixens’, Fung Lau Yin. Not only did they fail to kill Fung Lau Yin, but Lok Gum Fa, fell for the devilish trickery of that Vixen, suffering a serious injury and along with being poisoned a “13 Phantom Venom” needle. During the battle she had been separated from both her junior apprentice sisters. At that point she was facing death alone and thoughts of being horribly eaten alive by the wolves in the valley had crossed her mind. In her darkest hour, Yeung Tin Lung, who had been travelling through the valley to return to the Ghost Mountain found her scared out of her wits. He personally sucked the poison from her veins and bandaged up her injuries. He kept her company for over two days and nights, to make sure she had food to eat and protected her from the wolves lurking in the valley. He never spoke much or looked at her that first time, and disappeared without a trace on the third morning. That was when her master the ‘Iron Maiden’ Cheung Cum had found her. She has always loved him since that time, but did not know who he was. It was not until she was 18 did they meet again, when they both fell in love with each other.

    Yeung Tin Lung was aware that his wife was poking fun at him from the previous comment and did not reply. They have been travelling for many days without rest. So he was feeling pleased knowing that his wife had regain her witty spirit.

    Having not heard a rebuttal from her husband, Lok Gum Fa continued whilst still giggling, “Dummy, I was referring to the Demon Cult”.

    Yeung Tin Lung glanced over his shoulder, looking at his wife with a touch of surprise. He enquired, “Demon Cult? Why Demon Cult?”.

    “The Demon Cult have been renowned for their many skills and arts in deception and trickery. They are cruel and ruthless, do wicked deeds, and kill by the thousands without reason. Yet after many generations, this has not changed. So why can’t they be compared to Shaolin and Wudang?”, protested Lok Gum Fa with a glowing smile.

    Yeung Tin Lung had no rebuttal and nodded to indicate that he agreed. He also realised there were merit in those comments. For generations the Demon Cult had been blamed for every wicked deed known in wulin and yet after many generations this view has not altered. Although the Demon Cult is by no means as wicked as their reputation, it was said that members of that clan should not be taken at face value. This was a long standing tradition in wulin, and comparable to the long standing tradition that Shaolin and Wudang have always been perceived as the ultimate good guys. Having gone down this line of thought a smile flashed across his face as he realised that his wife had attempted to cheer him up and was actually was referring to him and their present situation.

    “What were you saying earlier about those Qincheng Sect swordsmen?”, said Yeung Tin Lung, trying to change the subject.

    He had long been a member of the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins who were in alliance with the Demon Cult. Even though he has expelled himself from that clan to marry his wife, he still believed the Demon Cult members to be more heroic and chivalrous than the so called orthodox clans. Shaolin and Wudang were the only two clans he had any amount of respect for. So he did not want to discuss the Demon Cult any further with his wife, who is an apprentice of an orthodox clan, so was a little bit biased the other way.

    “I was going to tell you earlier but you interrupted me! So I won’t tell you unless you apologise!”, demanded Lok Gum Fa.

    Yeung Tin Lung knew his wife’s behaviour very well. She is now 22 and he was 31. She has been acting like this ever since he met her. That was a very long time ago. He was 27 then and had just finished attending the Chancellor of the Demon Cult, Tit Hit Wong’s 60th birthday in the Henan province on behalf of his master. He made a detour through the Shaanxi province to throw off his various enemies from the orthodox clans before attempting to travel back to Chengdu down the Jailing River. Just when he was about to board a boat and set off, around 20 members of the ‘Divine Butterfly Sect’ led by an 18 year old Lok Gum Fa had surrounded him. His “Divine 9 Dragon” inner energy had warned him that there had been attackers hiding nearby so he was well prepared in advance. But he could not have guessed it would had been led by that same 16 year old girl that he had saved in the valley’s of Chengdu two years ago. So naturally he was shocked and but managed to seize Lok Gum Fa as a hostage and made off down the Jailing River. The other members of the Divine Butterfly Sect could do nothing to prevent him from escaping. At that time Lok Gum Fa was both angered and pleased to see Yeung Tin Lung. She could not forget the incident in the valley of Chengdu, so was pleased that Yeung Tin Lung had escaped the danger. But at the same time she pretended to be angry on the outside for being captured as a hostage. So she rained down numerous curses to insult Yeung Tin Lung, who could do nothing but endure it all the way to the port of Shunqing. It was not long after that they fell in love and caused a major stir in wulin.

    Yeung Tin Lung knew that his wife wasn’t really that short tempered, but just wanted to play little games to know that her husband loves her dearly. So he cupped his hands together, turned around, and bowed politely whilst saying, “Empress Dowager Gum, your humble loyal servant sincerely apologises for all offences to your highness”.

    Kneeling down, he said, “Your loyal subject kneels here before you to await punishment”.

    Lok Gum Fa couldn’t help but giggle at this gesture. It was lucky that they were walking alone in a back street and there was no one to see this act. Otherwise she would have felt slightly embarrassed. But she was pleased in her heart to know that her husband thought all the world of her. He was a simple man and very up front. He did not care at all about adhering to any of the customs and traditions about how a man and a wife should behave in public.

    “That’s a good humble loyal servant. You can get up now”, she said with a smile as she bent down to help her husband back onto his feet.

    “The main reason why the swordsmen of Qincheng often travel in groups of 9 is that their individual sword skills are no match for a highly skilled fighter. But the combined forces of 9 swordsmen together in the renowned Qincheng Sect Dipper Formation is formidable force for any opponent to deal with”, she continued.

    Yeung Tin Lung smiled as he said, “Oh! I have never noticed before”. Not that he would have cared. Even if there were over 36 Qincheng students together he wouldn’t have been afraid of them. His swords skills were far too superior for any sword formation.

    The path they had taken through the back street led them down another main street. They have been walking for around 5 minutes and are now about two blocks away from the main town hall. A flamethrower was entertaining a small crowd of locals that had gathered a short distance away. Loud claps and praise suddenly erupted from the crowd as they cheered his every move.

    Taking a step in the general direction of the main town hall, Yeung Tin Lung remarked, “The ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ do not concern me at all. What worries me is that I have been unable to detect any Demon Cult members”.

    “Is it possible that your ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy is only able to the detect orthodox inner energy streams?”, sounding a little concerned, Lok Gum Fa remarked.

    “Not possible. I am able to detect all forms of inner energy”, replied Yeung Tin Lung. He knew full well that the ‘13 Ghost Mountain Assassins’, ‘7 Vixens’, and ‘Red Wolf Fang’ were in alliance with the Demon Cult, and were all based in the Sichuan province. So it is strange indeed that he was unable to detect a single clan member, including a scout, from any of those clans. He was deeply concerned about this, though he never would reveal this to his wife.

    “Do you know why we won’t have to fear the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng’?”, said Yeung Tin Lung, trying to change the subject noticing the deep look of concern on his wife’s face.

    Lok Gum Fa was still in deep thought, so just shook her head and said, “No. Why?”.

    “Everyone in wulin knows that my senior apprentice brother Kiu Pin Fok of the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins resides here in Chongqing. Those ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ would do well to avoid him”, replied Yeung Tin Lung

    “They have a previous grudge? How come I have never heard?”, remarked Lok Gum Fa in surprise.

    “There are usually 4 Aces in every deck of cards. Did you know that there were actually ‘4 Aces of Qincheng Sect’?”, replied Yeung Tin Lung.

    Lok Gum Fa was a very knowledgable person in the matters of wulin, but was still a little bit inexperienced compared to her husband. She once heard her master mention that the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’, are now in their 40s. So it may have been possible that in their younger days they roamed and gained fame in wulin as a foursome before some tragic misadventure.

    “So it was your senior apprentice brother who made the once renowned ‘4 Aces’ into ‘3 Aces’?”, speculated Lok Gum Fa. This was a good guess according to her.

    “In a way you can say that”, replied Yeung Tin Lung, feeling rather proud. It was actually the first time that his wife had failed to correctly guess an event that had occurred in wulin.

    “In a way? I thought your senior apprentice brother murdered the 4th Ace?”, said Lok Gum Fa in amazement.

    A large grin appeared on Yeung Tin Lung’s face as he remarked, “Kiu Pin Fok, was actually once known as Priest Tin Juk…”.

    “Ah Ha! So your senior apprentice brother was actually the 4th Ace of Qincheng!”, Lok Gum Fa jumped in. She was filled with joy having guessed correctly, even though she needed some clues from her husband.

    “How very clever!”, praised Yeung Tin Lung.

    Casting a glance at a lantern street vendor ahead of them, Yeung Tin Lung continued, “I’ll buy you a special gift if you can correctly guess the reason behind him leaving Qincheng”.

    Lok Gum Fa thought to herself, “Priest Tin Juk was a toaist and dedicated his life to the study of Taoism. At that time he must have been a very young man. Could it be that he left Qincheng because he found true love?”. She smiled thinking that this was a correct answer.

    She had another thought, “Even if he had found true love, there’s no need to leave Qincheng. Like many of the other toaist clans they accept secular apprentices as well. So all he had to do was abandon his studies and resume a secular life. But why…”.

    Seeing the beaming smile on her husbands face, the answer struck her like lightning, she said, “You owe me a pressie, big brother Yeung. I am guessing your senior apprentice brother was expelled from Qincheng Sect for falling in love with a female of the Demon Cult!”.

    “Very good. Very good indeed”, replied Yeung Tin Lung as he led his wife over to the lantern street vendor by the side of the street.

    Hung aloft the tiny little store were brightly decorated lanterns of all colours, shapes and sizes. There was a large red one with a rounded base with gold trimmings. Next to it was a rectangle peach blossom coloured lantern with black trimmings fitted with wood. One each side were painted the images of the “Four Beauties”. Apart from the big ones there were a few medium sized ones in the shape of a pear. There was also square jade lantern with a painting of the “Moon Maiden”. There were also a couple of tiny small lanterns in the shapes of tigers, and lions. These were intended for children. Small windmills were also available for sale here.

    “I’d like that one please”, pointing to a medium sized lantern to the right hand corner of the store, Lok Gum Fa said to the street vendor. It was a simple choice. The lantern was a rounded lantern matching the colour of her husband’s cape. A big dragon was painted on either side.

    By now the street vendor had fetched the lantern. Presenting it to Lok Gum Fa, he said with a smile, “Excellent choice madam. This lantern will protect you from all demons, ghosts, and evil spirits. It will give you good fortune this evening. 4 taels please”.

    Yeung Tin Lung paid for the lantern before saying with a grin, “I promised you a present, yet all you wanted was a dragon to accompany you. If I had known that earlier I would have saved 4 taels”.

    Yeung Tin Lung’s comments brought out a smile from Lok Gum Fa. She held the lantern out with her right hand and continued walking. Still smiling she said, “So which devilish woman made a toaist priest abandon his religion?”.

    “Can you guess? I’ll give you a clue! Your beauty is said to be unrivalled and unmatched on the central plains of China, but who ranks as number 2?”, said Yeung Tin Lung full of praise.

    Lok Gum Fa knew that in terms of beauty, it was rumoured that her two junior apprentice sisters Lin Chun Fa and To Guk Fa were not far behind her. In fact even her master, Cheung Cum, who is now in her late 40s was still considered by many to be a beauty. That’s because her master had practiced the ‘Divine Maiden Butterfly’ inner energy, which preserved her youthful appearance. But all these women on her mind were members of her own orthodox clan. In terms of beauties from the Demon Cult, rumour has it that none could match the beauty of the ‘7 Vixens’. They used their looks to seduce many men and then suck them dry of blood when they let their guard down. She herself had once fought with Fung Lau Yin, the senior apprentice of the ‘7 Vixens’ so knew that the rumours about the ‘7 Vixens’ were indeed true. In terms of beauty none were comparable to Fung Lau Yin’s 3rd junior apprentice sister, Fung Ching Mun. But it is well known in wulin that Fung Ching Mun died of poison many years ago at the valley of Chengdu near Ghost Mountain.

    Finally after a long pause, Lok Gum Fa said, “Your senior apprentice brother must have fell in love with, Fung Ching Mun!”.

    “You were very close with that guess, but it wasn’t Fung Ching Mun. It was Fung Lau Yin!”, remarked Yeung Tin Lung.

    Surprised, Lok Gum Fa replied, “It was rumoured in wulin that Fung Ching Mun died because she had sacrificed her life to suck deadly poison from an orthodox clan member. I thought...”.

    “Fung Ching Mun did indeed love and sacrificed her life for Priest Tin Juk. But he loved Fung Lau Yin only”, concluded Yeung Tin Lung.

    “Is it because of the sacrifice of Fung Ching Mun that Priest Tin Juk decided to leave the Qincheng Sect, changing his name to Kiu Pin Fok and became a 13 Ghost Mountain Assassin”, quizzed Lok Gum Fa.

    “He never did mention the real reason to me. But he has vowed to kill the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ to avenge the death of Fung Ching Mun”, replied Yeung Tin Lung

    “Obviously there is more to this than we know. But why is it that he and Fung Lau Yin never married”, still puzzled Lok Gum Fa decided to ask.

    “It’s because Fung Lau Yin was in love with another…”, said Yeung Tin Lung, not wanting to finish the sentence.

    “Look we have reached the main town hall”, interrupted Lok Gum Fa as she pointed to the great hall of Chongqing before them.

    Yeung Tin Lung had totally lost track of time. He could see the lake ahead. Thousands of people had set up camp for the firework display. They still have around 10 to 15 minutes before the firework show. Turning his head left and right to observe the surroundings. He could see not far ahead of them an old stocky street vendor selling bowls of rice noodles. The vendor was set up in a clearing next to a large tree not far from the side of the lake. It was a perfect out of the way place to observe the fireworks. A dozen or so of small tables were laid out underneath the old tree. Most of the tables were full with local fishermen and their families, who did not have enough money to be eating in the larger restaurants on either side of the main town hall.

    “Fa yee, you haven’t eaten all day. Let’s go over there and get something to eat”, said Tin Lung as he stepped in the direction of the street vendor.

    Lok Gum Fa nodded indicating that it was a good idea. But she remained silent in deep thought about what her husband had said to her earlier. She thought to herself, “I wonder who this Fung Yin Lau possibly could have fell in love with”.

    Yeung Tin Long approached the short stocky street vendor, “One bowl of steamed black duck rice noodles, and one bowl of vegetarian rice noodles please”, before handing over two small coins.

    He then led Lok Gum Fa to an empty table right next to the where the stocky street vendor was standing. He removed the bamboo basket from his back and gently placed it down next to him. Lok Gum Fa placed her sword on the table and the tip of the pole of the lantern into the ground. That way the lantern stood upright and provided them with much needed light. Though there was a small candle on the table, they could not see each other’s face clearly under the blanket of darkness. Sitting down they noticed that a large number of people were still walking about through the main street around the town hall. It was still early in the evening. Picking up a pair of chopsticks they both started to eat the bowls of rice noodles that had been served and placed before them.

    The many local fishermen, towns people, and merchants sitting on other tables were starring directly at them. To an outsider it was truly an unusual sight to see someone as beautiful as Lok Gum Fa be with a rugged and rough looking fellow like Yeung Tin Long. So they were attracting a lot of unwanted attention. This made Lok Gum Fa particularly uncomfortable. She knew what they were thinking and wished they could just mind their own business. But these same people dared not to stare at Yeung Tin Long for too long, particularly when they noticed the many scars on his face and the short black sabre by his right leg. But they could not help themselves from keeping a fix gaze on Lok Gum Fa. She was as beautiful as a deity was and they were caught in a trance. Just at that moment a band of street dancers and actors floated pass, capturing the attention of all the people sitting at the tables nearby.

    Lok Gum Fa felt at ease again upon seeing this. She knew that her husband has a touch of bad blood. No one could guess what he could be capable of doing at any given moment in time. Had the gazes of the various people remained fixed on them any longer, he would surely have lashed out and killed at will.

    “How could the hundreds or so people on this main street possibly defend themselves against the ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’ if he had made up his mind to kill them all?”, she thought to herself as stream of cold sweat ran down her back.

    There would have been an unspeakable blood bath on the streets of Chongqing for sure. That situation has been avoided now for the time being. Lok Gum Fa was aware that the reputation of her husband had been widely exaggerated throughout wulin. He has had his moments however, and the rumour about him murdering over 40 people in Louyang because a merchant had refused him entry into the “Divine Gods and Goddesses Inn”, based on his rugged appearance was indeed true. That day that same merchant, his servants, wife, children, and various unlucky guests all died under the blade of his black sabre. He left none alive, including 2 swordsmen from Huashan and 5 members from the Red Wolf Fang clan who had no previous feuds with him. She also noticed that her husband’s temper with outsiders has gotten worst over the past year because of losing his right eye in that fated duel against “Sword Saint Unrivalled East” on Taishan. He would always treated her with love and affection of course. But not even she could guess what was on her husband’s mind most of the time.

    “An excellent bowl of noodles”, praised Yeung Tin Lung as he finished eating, before turning to the street vendor to order another bowl.

    The stocky street vendor took out an empty bowl. Scooping into the big pot to his right he soon filled it with yellow rice noodles. Scooping into another pot to his left he filled the bowl with black duck stew and black duck meat, completing the simple dish.

    “Here you are. Another bowl of black duck rice noodles”, said the street vendor as he picked up the finished bowl from the table, and replaced it with another hot bowl of noodles.

    Yeung Tin Lung motioned to pay for the meal when he suddenly remembered his newborn child quietly sleeping in the bamboo basket. He enquires, “Street vendor, is it possible to get some cow or goat milk? I need to feed my son”. As he did this he picked the red bundle and placed his son on the table. The small baby was still in deep sleep.

    “I can take care of that”, replied the stocky street vendor. He took the coins that Yeung Tin Long had given him and gave a signal to a small child on the opposite side of the street.

    The boy was only about 7-8 years of age. It was unfortunate that even at such a young age the small boy was force to live on the streets and beg for a living. Such was the current state of affairs in China were poverty was still rampant in various regions. Even Lantern Festival could not hide this fact in Chongqing.

    The young boy raced up to the stocky street vendor with an enthusiastic look on his face. He was wearing a grey top and a pair of grey pants. They were very old and torn. His face, and hands were covered in dirt. He looked thin and weak, but had an air of pride about him.

    The street vendor gave the small child a couple of small coins, pointing with his index finger to Yeung Tin Lung, “The master here needs some milk for baby”.

    The small child reached out to take the coins, nodded, and disappeared down the street.

    “China is a trouble placed, when all the Emperor cares about is raising his taxes to build another grand palace, having no thought for the suffering of the people”, sighed the old stocky street vendor as he resumed to serve his other customers.

    Yeung Tin Lung looked at his son. He was quietly asleep without a care in the world. He couldn’t help but give a long sigh. A wave of depression overcame him. He though to himself, “We have many enemies pursuing us. Even if I am invincible and can escape the lions den. My wife and child won’t be able to. Should they be captured as hostages I will have to admit defeat immediately”.

    He started eating his noodles again, but then lost his appetite. Another thought ran through his mind, “If Fa yee, and I were to die, what should happen to our son? The way the government is, he would surely end up like that small beggar boy that has gone to fetch some milk. I have no relatives or close friends who I can entrust to take care of him”.

    He made up his mind, “Before I die, I will kill my son with my own hands to spare him from the suffering of the world. Even Fa yee, will understand my reasons for doing such a thing”.

    By now Lok Gum Fa had finished eating her bowl of vegetarian rice noodles and had already signalled to the stocky street vendor for another. She saw her husband starring at the new born baby in a daze and couldn’t help but ask, “Big brother Yeung, have you finally thought of a name for our son?”.

    Yeung Tin Lung awoke from his daze and hadn’t heard what had just been said, so he replied, “Fa yee, what did you say?”.

    “I saw you starring at our son, and it appeared to me that you had finally made up your mind about something, so I was thinking that you had thought of a good name for our son”, replied Lok Gum Fa.

    A smile crept back onto Yeung Tin Lung’s face as he said, “Yes. It’s been nearly a month since he was born and I still haven’t been able to think of a good name yet”. He was glad that his wife had not know what he had actually been thinking at that moment.

    “What on earth were you thinking about just now then?”, quizzed Lok Gum Fa in amazement. She was slightly annoyed at her husband for not having come up with a good name for the baby. It’s been nearly a month now. She was determined to settle this matter right now.

    Jokingly she said, “Why don’t we call our son, Yeung ‘Mo Ming’!”.

    Yeung Tin Lung laughed at this prospect, knowing full well that his wife was poking fun at him. Because he hadn’t been able to come up with a name, his wife had now suggested that they call their son ‘Mo Ming’ meaning ‘no name’.

    “Don’t be ridiculous. ‘Mo Ming’ is definitely not a good name for our son”, he replied.

    “Your name means ‘Heavenly Dragon’. Why don’t we call him ‘Divine Dragon’?”, joked Lok Gum Fa once again.

    “Definitely Not. I don’t want him to follow in my footsteps. Such a powerful name is a bad omen”, replied Yeung Tin Lung.

    Not satisfied, Lok Gum Fa suggested, “Tonight is Lantern Festival, so let’s call him Yeung Yin Siu in memory of this!”.

    Yeung Tin Lung thought to himself, “Yin means ‘first’, and Siu refers to ‘night’. My son is indeed first born and he was conceived at night. The character ‘Siu’ by itself means happy. Tonight might also be the last night that we are ‘happily’ together as a family, so indeed it is a good name. Let’s name him after Lantern Festival night”

    “That’s settled, let’s call him Yeung Yin Siu”, he said grinning back at his wife.

    At first Lok Gum Fa was a bit taken back, as she had only been joking, and did not really want her son to be called ‘Yin Siu’, but after thinking for a moment, she felt that the name was correct.

    “Big brother Yeung, I agree to the name if you insist”, said Lok Gum Fa.

    “It’s settled then”, replied Yeung Tin Lung as he began eating his bowl of noodles.

    Just then the small child had returned with a container carrying goat milk. Yeung Tin Lung grabbed the bottle and feed his son. Looking back at the small child he said, “Boy, take this 20 taels and buy yourself some good clothes. Whatever is spare you can use for food”.

    The small child had a lot of pride in him so refused to take the 20 taels. He replied, “Sir, the stocky street vendor has already rewarded me for my services”.

    Looking down at the small boy’s hands Yueng Tin Lung could see that he was holding a bowl of hot steamed black duck rice noodles.

    A smile flashed across Yeung Tin Lung’s face as he thought, “This boy has probably been an orphan all his life and has learnt to look after himself. Although he is thin and his clothes are torn. He is alive and in good spirits. I may be able to give him 20 taels of silver and he would probably make the most use of it. But what happens after that? 20 taels cannot really make a significant change to one’s life. Should he spend the rest of his life hoping for a thousand good natured men to give him 20 taels of silver a day? One has to be able to change themselves in order to achieve a better life.”

    Changing his tact Yeung Tin Lung said, “Boy, we need a room to rest for the night. Once you have finished eating, take this 20 taels of silver to rent a room for my wife and I at the ‘White Horse Inn’ which is located 3 blocks to the left from the town centre”.

    Handling the 20 taels of silver to the boy, he continued, “Remember. We are staying for one night only and whatever change left is yours to keep, okay”.

    “Yes Sir. Let me take care of that for you. Thank you for your kindness”, the small child said as he took the 20 taels of silver.

    The small child was just about to leave when Yeung Tin Lung suddenly had a thought and said, “When you book the room, the manager will ask for a name. You can say that the room is for the Lin couple”.

    The boy nodded his head and said, “Yes Sir, I understand”. With that he left the couple, still clutching the bowl of noodles in his hand.

    The stocky street vendor had overheard the conversation when he returned with a second bowl of vegetarian rice noodles for Lok Gum Fa. He said, “So you guys are the Lin couple of Kunlun shan, a pleasure to meet you both. How is ‘Heroine Lin’?”.

    Lok Gum Fa knew that her husband had used the good reputation of her junior apprentice sister, Lin Chun Fa and had claimed them to be her brother Lin Man Tung, and his wife Yip So So to avoid unwanted attention. She replied on her husband’s behalf, “Heroine Lin is well. Thank you for asking. She is with her master Cheung Cum in the Shaanxi province right at this moment I believe”. She knew very well that Lin Chun Fa and her master Cheung Cum were actually most probably pursuing them at this moment. So would likely be in Chongqing at this moment. But she thought that was too much information to reveal to a common street vendor.

    “That’s good news. Heroine Lin’s deeds are famed in this region. She has helped a good number of local fishermen and farmers, by ridding Chongqing of the those two nasty young vixens, Siu Wan and Siu Foon. If it wasn’t for Heroine Lin, who knows what might have happened”, he said with full praise.

    “Thank god she’s not here in Chongqing tonight”, said the stocky street vendor with a sigh of relief.

    Obviously this person was knowledgable in the affairs of wulin. But as Yeung Tin Lung did not detect anything unusual about him, he maintained a good disposition and kept on eating, leaving his wife to carry on the conversation.

    Lok Gum Fa was a little surprise, so asked, “Why? What is happening tonight?”.

    Grabbing a seat from the nearby table the stocky street vendor sat down to join the couple. He had a serious look of concern on his face. He continued, lowering his voice to almost a whisper, “I know you guys are a decent couple, so I don’t mind being up front. Something big is about to happen here tonight and no one can know of the consequences. It is best if you leave Chongqing immediately”.

    “Leave? Why?”, rebutted Lok Gum Fa.

    The old stocky street vendor gave a long sigh before continuing, “I have opened my little store here every single day and night for the last 2 months. I have heard and seen a great number of things. Believe me when I say this. You two are no match for that couple who will pass through here tonight”.

    “With our skills. What have I and my husband to fear. Which couple can be so deadly to force us to run like cowards”, replied Lok Gum Fa, forgetting that they are now pretending that they are the Lin couple of Kunlun shan. In fact by now she had already guessed what the stocky street vendor’s reply would be.

    Glancing nervously, the old stocky street vendor leaned forward and said, “The man. They call him ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’, and others say he is ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’. The woman is none other than Heroine Lin’s expelled apprentice sister ‘Divine Deity’ Lok Gum Fa. It is rumoured that they will pass through here tonight. A big trap has been set to capture them. They are sure to die a horrible death tonight”.

    Lok Gum Fa was about to ask further when suddenly the fireworks erupted. Lighting up the Chongqing sky line with various spectacular colours. Deafening cheers and cries can be heard from the lake. One after another, the fireworks shot high in the sky before exploding with sprinkling starlight. Some opened up in the traditional shape of a sphere. Others twirled around like a windmill. It was a delightful sight that lasted over 15 minutes.

    Both Yeung Tin Lung and Lok Gum Fa had been observing the fireworks in the sky, they hadn’t noticed that the old stocky street vendor and the people around them had suddenly dropped dead. They both broke out in cold sweat. Yeung Tin Lung had not been able to detect anything unusual for the past 15 minutes. So at no time did he put up his guard. He quickly circulated his internal energy. He became a little calmer. He hadn’t been poisoned. But the situation has changed somewhat.

    Looking directly forward he saw that his wife had been preoccupied with watching the thousands of people fleeing the lake and the main town hall upon seeing the sight of the dead people by the street noodle vending store.

    Placing a hand on the shoulders of his wife to calm her down he said, “Within a 300 metre radius of us there are now, 32 Beggar Clan members, 3 swordsmen from Qincheng, 2 swordsmen from Kunlun shan, 15 people from the Divine Butterfly Sect, 2 monks from Shaolin, 1 woman from the ‘7 Vixens’, and one lone swordsman from the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins”.

    It was obvious to Yeung Tin Lung who all these people were, but he didn’t have time to explain to his wife. 32 of them were the Beggar Clan members led by Chief Yik Fei Hung. 3 Swordsmen were the ‘3 Aces of Qingcheng Sect’ indeed. 2 swordsmen from Kunlun shan were most likely the real, Lin Mun Tung and his wife Yip So So. 15 people from the ‘Divine Butterfly Sect’ were most likely led by Cheung Cum, Lin Chun Fa and To Guk Fa. 2 monks of Shaolin were Guy Hung and Guy Jung, who had come to keep the peace. The lone 13 Ghost Mountain Assassin, he figured to be his apprentice senior Kiu Pin Fok, and the lone 7 Vixen must have been Fung Lau Yin. He knew he had a fight on his hands and had no time to think.

    “No doubt about it. Master has caught up. They are all here for us”, replied Lok Gum Fa as she picked up her sword from the table and the dragon lantern from the ground.

    “Caught up? You’re wrong. They arrived here before us to set a trap. Didn’t you hear what that stocky street vendor had said earlier?”, cried Yeung Tin Lung as he stood up.

    Yeung Tin Lung, placed his son Yeung Yin Siu back in the rectangle bamboo basket and swung it over his shoulder. He grabbed his wife by the hand and said, “Let’s leave this place now. No time to waste”.

    “Don’t you want to check the bodies to see how they had died?”, shouted Lok Gum Fa. At this point Yeung Tin Lung was a little distance away. She had a kind heart and wanted to know how these people died. She also wanted to give them a good burial as the stocky street vendor seemed to have been a very gentle and kind person.

    “No time to waste! Let’s charge out before its too late!”, said Yeung Tin Lung shouting back to his wife. A little bit of fear had gripped him. He sensed that something was not right although he could not put his finger on it. On top of this he had not been able to detect the presence of ‘Gentlemen Sword’ Bak Fung Wan or ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ Kim Mo Dik. He was sure these two would still be pursuing them after the events of Taishan. After all he did prevent Lok Gum Fa from marrying Bak Fung Wan. Also he did chop off Kim Mo Dik’s right arm, even though he lost his own right eye, in that fated duel. If these two were to arrive at this moment and join forces with the others, he and his wife would surely be doomed. So his heart was racing fast and he wasn’t thinking all that clearly at this moment. He grabbed his wife by the hand and ran towards the main get to leave the city. As they turned the left corner of the main town hall, a sly smile rose across his face.

    Lok Gum Fa had now resumed running by his side. She glanced across at her husband and noticed the sly smile on his face, and couldn’t help but ask, “What’s the matter big brother Yeung?”.

    “I don’t think those 3 swordsmen from Qincheng you referred to earlier are the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng’!”, replied Yeung Tin Lung casting a quick glance at the rooftops.

    Lok Gum Fa was shocked, she took great pride in her intelligence so she rebutted, “Big brother Yeung, I am afraid you are the one that is wrong here. Its definitely them”.

    “3 Aces from the Qincheng Sect! Blah!”, replied Yeung Tin Lung mockingly whilst signalling to Lok Gum Fa to have a look at the roof tops to the left. Lok Gum Fa now understood and remained silent in thought.

    “They’re nothing more than three old dogs from Qincheng barking up the wrong tree, looking for an early death. They must be tired of living”, continued Yeung Tin Lung with an insult. He knew very well that the ‘3 Aces from Qincheng’ had followed them when they first arrived in Chongqing. He just wanted them to come out of hiding and get it over and done with now.

    “We have no previous feuds, there is no need to insult us Hero Yeung”, an old taoist priests in his late 40s said as he glided down from the rooftop above them. He leapt backwards upon reaching the ground and stood about three arm lengths away from the couple.

    Yeung Tin Lung cast a glance at the old Taoist priest and noticed that he was wearing a yellow robe with black trimmings. He carried a sword on his back tied to a sash. In his hand was a dust pen. He recognised from these features that the old Taoist priest who stood before him was none other than Priest Tin Moon of the Qincheng Sect.

    “Hero? I am afraid you must have recognised the wrong person. I have never been referred to in that way! What do you want. Speak now!”, snickered Yeung Tin Lung. His voice was full of hatred. Different to the tone of voice he had used earlier with his wife.

    “Brother Yeung, no need to be hostile. I am here for advice and counsel”, said Priest Tin Moon changing his tone slightly.

    “Advice? Counsel? I am afraid I won’t be requiring any meditation, fortune telling, or ghost busting services today”, mocked Yeung Tin Lung.

    “Why don’t the other two old dogs come out to greet us. Sneaking about in the dark. How shameful!”, growled Yeung Tin Lung, as he rained down another insult.

    “Insulting us. How dare you!”, cried two Priests in their mid 40s as they both jumped down from the rooftop. Upon landing they immediately leapt back several paces. Yeung Tin Lung could now observe that they both wore yellow robes similar to that of Priest Tin Moon. They were both carrying a long sword and no dust pen. Both swords had been drawn ready for a battle.

    “Big brother Yeung, isn’t it a little weird? That two elite fighters of the Qincheng Sect would be sneaking about in the dark and appear before us smelling like the sweet flagrance of perfume. Obviously they have been up to no good”, mocked Lok Gum Fa. As she was saying this she was looking towards the right side of the main street where the “Phoenix Inn”, a renowned brothel in Chongqing stood. That’s were the two old Taoist Priests had just leapt down from.

    Beaming with a wide grin, she continued, “No wonder they didn’t want to come out and face us! What would the people in wulin say if they suddenly heard a rumour, ‘What the 3 Aces of Qincheng Sect attacked the Black Dragon Swordsmen in Chongqing? Where did it happen? At the Phoenix Inn? What could three old Taosits possibly doing there?’, I am afraid the reputation of Qincheng is going to be ruined forever from this evening forward”, mocked Lok Gum Fa once more, as she glanced with a sly look at the Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi.

    Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi could no longer hold in their fury. Unlike Priest Tin Moon these two were rather rash and hot tempered. They had also disliked Yeung Tin Lung and members of the Demon Cult. At once they stepped forward to launch an attack at Lok Gum Fa. Their swords tips pointed forward to strike Lok Gum Fa’s ‘adam’s apple’ pressure point.

    “Brothers. Please stay calm”, cried Priest Tin Moon in an urgent rush to keep the peace. He then signalled to Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi to put away their swords and to stand behind him. They both did as they were told.

    Getting more annoyed at the ‘3 Aces of Qingcheng Sect’ by the minute, Yeung Tin Lung, raised his voice and shouted, “Priest Tin Moon, what do you want? Speak quickly or die!”. As he said the word ‘die’, he drew his short black sabre. He had been prepared to defend his wife from the potential attack. Had Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi continued to lunge forward he would have used the move ‘slashing hidden dragon’, from his ‘Black Dragon’ sword art to cut off both their right arms before they could complete the strike on his wife.

    “Big brother Yeung, don’t get upset. Priest Tin Moon has done us a great deed today. Don’t you remember! He was afraid that the 20 or so people down by the lake would spoil our festive mood, and so decided to rid them for us. Thank you Priest Tin Moon for your good intentions but I am afraid we have done nothing to deserve it”, mocked Lok Gum Fa. She had been upset that a number of innocent people had died down by the lake. So she was accusing the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ for those murders. In this kind of mood she wouldn’t have minded if her husband had lashed out and killed these three old Taoists to avenge those local fishermen and the stocky old street vendor. Besides these same three old Taoists are standing before them and blocking their escape from Chonging

    “Little Witch! What are you saying? What dead people?”, protested Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi in unison.

    “I suppose you are going to tell me that you do not know anything about those dead people down by the lake?”, replied Lok Gum Fa.

    “What dead people? Where? How did they die?”, Priest Tin Moon cut in looking serious.

    Yeung Tin Lung and Lok Gum Fa glanced at each other in amazement. It was obvious that these ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ really had no clue as to what had happened.

    Lok Gum Fa broke the silence, “Apologies Priest Tin Moon, there are over 20 dead people by the lake. They were ambushed and we thought you were in league with those that had undertaken that devilish act”. She decided that Priest Tin Moon owed and apology, as he was polite to them. She did not apologise to the other two because they had been rude.

    “We swordsmen of Qincheng Sect are chivalrous and would never do such a thing! How dare you compare us to members of the Demon Cult”, protested Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi once again in unison.

    “One can never be sure. Wasn’t Priest Tin Juk once an elite swordsman of the Qincheng Sect? Is he not that same person who goes by the name of ‘Kiu Pin Fok’? Do you consider someone who has killed over 400 innocent people chivalrous”, rebutted Lok Gum Fa.

    Both Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi were shocked. They could never have guessed that a young girl in her early 20s would know about the shameful past of the ‘4 Aces of Qincheng’ This incident probably happened before her birth they figured. Even though they had both shocked and they could still manage an insult. “Dam *****! What do you know? Don’t meddle in past events you cannot possibly know about!”, they both cursed in unison.

    “Brothers. Please stay calm”, cried Priest Tin Moon once more to keep the peace.

    Yeung Tin Lung noticed that Priest Tin Moon did not have carry any ill intentions towards them. He decided to lead them down by the lake to have a look. He too wanted to investigate how those people could have suddenly died, when he wasn’t able to detect anything strange.

    “Follow me if you want to see the dead bodies by the lake”, said Yeung Tin Lung as he grabbed his wife by the hand and led the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ back the way they had come.

    The ‘3 Aces of Qincheng’ followed them back to the lake. Priest Tin Moon, Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi checked the bodies for the cause of death. They could find no wounds on any of the bodies. They didn’t show signs of being poisoned either.

    Suddenly Priest Tin Moon could be heard crying out in pain, “Ah Ya! They’re not dead. It’s a trap!”.

    Before he could say anything more they had been surrounded by over 20 members from the Red Wolf Fang. They had been taken by such a great surprise that none of them, including Yeung Tin Lung, had a chance to react and defend themselves. Yeung Tin Lung, Lok Gum Fa, Priest Tin Moon, Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi all had their woo gun and chun kwang pressure points sealed. None of them could move for the time being.

    “Great. What a mess you’ve gotten us into now senior apprentice brother Tin Moon. We told you not to meddle in this affair but you insisted. We warned you these people from the Demon Cult are wicked. Coming up with such a devious plan to capture us”, cursed Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi. Obviously they had been against Priest Tin Moon’s idea of being the peace makers between the orthodox clans and Yeung Tin Lung.

    “Who would have thought that the elite fighters of the Qincheng Sect are scared of death. Who asked for your help in the first place? We’re certainly not in league with these people!”, protested Lok Gum Fa.

    Members of the Red Wolf Fang had now caught them. The district leader of Red Wolf Fang members was now standing before them in a very arrogant manner. He glanced at Yeung Tin Lung and Lok Gum Fa before saying, “Ha! Ha! I have already warned you two to run away and leave Chongqing! Why have you come back to die?”.

    Both Yeung Tin Lung and Lok Gum Fa were shocked. It was none other than the stocky street vendor who had sold them noodles earlier. They could have never suspected that he was none other Feng Ting Ching of the Red Wolf Fang. He had taken off his disguise, along with everyone else who laid on the ground. They had only pretended to be dead to lure their opponents close so they could seal their pressure points.

    Earlier Lok Gum Fa and Yeung Tin Lung had rushed off in a hurry to leave the scene that they had not bothered to check the bodies for the cause of death. So they did not fall into the trap the first time.

    Now Lok Gum Fa understood. When those people had been starring at them earlier they had only been looking for clues as to their identity. She thought inwardly, “Dam! How could I have been so stupid as not to know”.

    Yeung Tin Lung was even more surprised with the fact that he could not pick up over 20 members from the Red Wolf Fang with his ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy. It was because he did not detect anything strange that he let his guard down. Leaving him totally defenceless. He was speechless. For once in his life, he thought, his internal energy had failed him. He cursed himself for not listening to his natural animal instincts that warned him of the danger, but had instead relied totally on his ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy.

    “Feng Tin Ching! You bastard! You’ve caught us now. What do you want?”, cursed Yeung Tin Long.

    “Who would have thought the great ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’ would have fallen into this simple trick of ours. Caught by a bunch of fameless people in wulin. How embarrassing!”, mocked Feng Tin Ching.

    Yeung Tin Lung was greatly annoyed at having fallen into their hands so easily, so started to channel his ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy to unseal his pressure points.

    Lok Gum Fa knew that her husband would be trying to free himself so wanted to buy him some time. She asked, “Fung Tin Ching, it’s obvious that you want my husband’s ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy and the ‘Black Dragon’ sword art manual. But before we give it to you, you’re going to have to tell us how you managed to capture us without us being able suspect a single thing. Then I’ll be able to die contently”.

    A proud and arrogant smiled appeared on the face, Feng Tin Ching, he couldn’t hold back any longer and said, “We pretty much guessed who you two people were when you first stoped by my shop to buy something to eat. We saw your white sword and his black sabre. Also everyone in wulin knows that the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ wears a red cape with a black dragon on his back”.

    He scoffed before continuing, “Really arrogant! Even though you knew there would be trouble in Chongqing, you did not even attempt to disguise yourselves!”.

    “So why didn’t you act right away and capture us then? We really had no idea that you people belonged to the Red Wolf Fang. You could have done as you pleased and we wouldn’t have suspected!”, replied Lok Gum Fa.

    Feng Tin Ching glanced at Lok Gum Fa before continuing, “We had to make certain that you were who you were. We couldn’t afford one mishap or the trap would not have worked”.

    “So when were you sure we were who we were?”, quizzed Lok Gum Fa.

    “A strange thing happened two nights ago”, replied Feng Tin Ching.

    A wide smile appeared on his face, before continuing, “Two nights ago the Lin couple stopped by my shop to buy some noodles. Last night Heroine Lin and your master Cheung Cum stopped by here. Weird isn’t it?”.

    Lok Gum Fa now understood. That’s why the stocky street vendor had enquired about Heroine Lin, when they had said they were the Lin couple. Obviously the stocky street vendor had seen through their cover all that time. She couldn’t help but groan inwardly, as she thought, “Also no one in wulin has ever called me ‘Divine Deity’. How could I have been so stupid”.

    “So you saw through our cover and that’s how you knew we were who we were! But how did you manage to escape detection from big brother Yeung’s ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy”, asked Lok Gum Fa, having not been content that they had been captured so easily.

    Rolling up his right and left sleeve for Lok Gum Fa to see, Feng Tin Ching said, “Here! Take a good look for yourself! Do you understand now?”.

    Both Lok Gum Fa and Yeung Tin Lung were shocked. The 20 of some people from the Red Wolf Fang had actually made themselves crippled in the chi area of the arm and had therefore released all of their ‘Red Wolf’ internal energy. They were now basically no different than just common people. That’s how they escaped detection from the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy.

    “A bold move indeed, even, for a district leader of the Red Wolf Fang! The chances for success was low and yet the risks were high”, remarked Lok Gum Fa.

    “That’s why we had to be certain. Now where’s the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy and the ‘Black Dragon Sword Art’ manual? Give it to me now!”, demanded Feng Tin Ching.

    “Do you really think it’ll make any difference? Even if you get your hands on the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy and the ‘Black Dragon Sword Art’ manual? You people are now cripple!”, remarked Lok Gum Fa. She wanted to know what their intentions had been with the two kung fu manuals.

    Stroking his short black beard proudly, Feng Tin Ching said, “You don’t know that much. Yes we are cripple, but to be able to learn such a superb inner energy such as the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ required us to release all of our ‘Red Wolf’ inner energy in the first place. One is ‘yin’ and the other is ‘yang’. If we don’t do this we would have died a terrible death. So you needn’t be concerned about us Mrs Yeung”.

    “The earlier we ridded ourselves of the ‘Red Wolf’ inner energy, the sooner we can learn the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy. Such a simple logic! Yet even someone as intelligent as you couldn’t understand? How disgraceful! Ha! Ha!…”, laughed Feng Tin Ching. He was feeling quite proud of himself as he had actually taken a great risk to capture them. Now that he had succeeded he became over confidant.

    “Aren’t you afraid that Miu Tit Sei, Chief of the Red Wolf Fang, will take the kung fu manuals for himself and kill you?”, asked Lok Gum Fa. She really couldn’t care less if he did, but was doing this to stall Feng Tin Ching from taking immediate action to kill the 5 of them.

    Feng Tin Ching laughed out loud, before replying, “He doesn’t know and besides we won’t be afraid of him after learning the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy. After we’ve learnt it, we will form our own ‘Divine Dragon’ clan, won’t we. Ha! Ha!”.

    A sly look appeared on Feng Tin Ching’s face when he suddenly said, “Why Mrs Yeung! You seem to care a lot about my safety. You’re so pretty! Hmm… Maybe it’s because you have true feelings for me! If so you won’t mind if I give you a tender little kiss?’.

    He was about to lean forward when he heard Yeung Tin Lung roar out loud, “If you touch her. I swear you’ll die a most horrible death”. His voice shook the tree above them. Leaves and bits of loose old bark landed on the men.

    Although his pressure points had been sealed, Feng Tin Ching dared not offend him. Besides he had been cautious about the power of the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy and had not yet obtained the manual. So he thought he would get it first before acting rashly.

    Feng Tin Ching said, “Mrs Yeung. I’ll ask you for the last time. Where is the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy and the ‘Black Dragon’ sword art manual. We know you have it!”.

    There was a rumour spread through wulin that Yeung Tin Lung had give his Black Dragon sword art and Divine 9 Dragon manual to Lok Gum Fa on their wedding for safe keeping, when exchanging vows. Giving away those kung fu manuals would be like giving away his life.

    Noticing that her husband hadn’t freed himself, Lok Gum Fa said hurriedly, “Hold it! I’m still not satisfied! If you’ve crippled yourself of your kung fu. How did you seal our pressure points? You must tell me or I won’t die contently, and will come back as a ghost to take revenge”.

    She knew there were various ghost stories in this province because of the ‘Ghost City’ of Chengdu. So she knew that her threat wouldn’t be taken lightly by Feng Tin Cheng. The last thing he would want is to be haunted for the rest of his life. Also Feng Tin Cheng wasn’t particularly clever. So this trick worked like magic.

    In fact Feng Tin Ching hadn’t even realised that Lok Gum Fa had just been using delay tactics to stall him. So without a thought Feng Tin Ching replied, “Obviously we no longer have the strength to be lethal, but have to rely on our brains. See this!”.

    He held out a small black needle. It was strong and carried enough force to seal pressure points of even a great kung fu master. He continued, “Who on this earth would suspect that the dead would come back to life? All we had to do was lay there and pretended to be dead and wait until some fools come to investigate what had happened. And then! Gotcha”.

    It had indeed been a ingenious plan that had captured them so Lok Gum Fa was content. Even the wise and most experience fighters of wulin would have fallen for this little devious trap. Just at that moment a thought ran pass Lok Gum Fa, “Hmm. We’ll have to rely on our brains, hey!”. She had come up with a plan.

    “Unfortunately I don’t have ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy and the ‘Black Dragon’ sword art manual with me. So your plan is in vain”, Lok Gum Fa said with a big wide grin.

    She knew this would cause great alarm for Feng Tin Ching and the other Red Wolf Fang members. Because they had crippled themselves of all kung fu, they needed to obtain the kung fu manuals immediately. They could not wait for it to be delivered or even travel far to find it. In their current state if they had ran into an enemy they would be defenceless and surely die. Their plan had been perfect so far. So all they needed now was to obtain the two kung fu manuals. Then they could hide in a secret place to study the various arts. In a few years time they could return to conquer wulin.

    But now Lok Gum Fa had just mentioned that the manuals were not on her. Feng Tin Ching’s face now turned pale. He was no longer cocky or arrogant as he had been before. Stammering a little, he asked in total disbelief, “What… What do you mean you don’t have the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy and the ‘Black Dragon’ sword art manual? Where… Where is it?”.

    Grinning even more, Lok Gum Fa replied, “Did you really think that I would be so stupid as to carry ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy and the ‘Black Dragon’ sword art manual with me on such a dangerous journey. Did the rumours not mention that I have hidden both of them in a secret place in Shaanxi province?”.

    “You… You did what?”, mumbled Feng Tin Ching. Many thoughts now ran through his mind. He was in a dangerous position at this moment. Even a small boy would be able to ambush him and take his life. He lost his wits and was unsure what to do.

    “Ha! Ha! Ha! You are indeed a great man for thinking up this trap to capture us. But you should have scouted for better news before undertaking such a bold and risky plan”, laughed Lok Gum Fa.

    At this point even Priest Tin Moon and the other’s couldn’t help by laugh inwardly. Feng Tin Ching had gone to such painful undertakings to capture the couple, only to end up on the wrong end.

    “Brother Feng, is that little witch telling the truth?”, quizzed a member from the Red Wolf Fang. Under the moonlight even one could see that his face had taken on a total white complexion.

    Feng Tin Ching was motionless. He was scared out of his wits that he dared not move. Cold sweat was running down his back and dripping off his forehead. All of the Red Wolf Fang clan members had guessed that Lok Gum Fa had indeed been telling them the truth.

    Seeing the big bright smile that had emerged on Lok Gum Fa’s face, Feng Tin Ching became outraged. As the emotions of anger overtook fear, he shouted, “Someone search that *****’s body. I don’t believe it that she doesn’t have it on her”.

    A member of the Red Wolf Fang immediately walked towards Lok Gum Fa. His hands were just about to reach out and grab her on the shoulder when suddenly he leapt back, yelling in pain, “Ah Ya! You bastard, you cut off my right arm”.

    “That’s not all I am going to do to you! This is were all your miserable lives will all end”, howled Yeung Tin Lung like a mad animal that had been caged up for years and just been set free.

    In a flash he unsealed Lok Gum Fa’s, and the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’s’ pressure points. He then charged into the crowd of Red Wolf Fang members. He used a move called the ‘dragon whirlwind’, were he spun in endless cycles to create a small hurricane using his chi energy. That knocked most of the fleeing Red Wolf Fang members of their feet. They no longer had the inner energy to withstand such a great force. He then used the move called ‘spinning dragon’. Underneath the moonlight one could observe his black dragon blade spinning like a top at the end of his hands. The blade met the necks of around 10 Red Wolf Fang members in one stance and sliced their heads off directly above the shoulders. The bodies hit the ground with a bang. His blade continued to slash to the left where another 5 Red Wolf Fang members heads met his blade and rolled along the ground.

    He howled like a mad beast once more. That sent shivers down the spines of Lok Gum Fa and the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ who stood on the sidelines to watch the display. Continuing his offence he sliced to the right hand side and caught another 3 Red Wolf Fang members darting to escape. A thud sound could be heard as their bodies hit the ground. In the distance Yeung Tin Lung could just make out a one armed man running away. That was the person who wanted to hand search Lok Gum Fa’s body for the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy and the ‘Black Dragon’ sword art manual. His anger grew. Using a stance called the ‘boomerang dragon’, he flung the blade forward with his chi energy. The black blade shot out in amazing speed. It cut that member of the Red Wolf Fang’s head off at the shoulders. The blade rotated horizontally, before returning in the direction where it came from.

    Yeung Tin Lung reached out to grab the blade and amazingly the head returned with it. He smashed down with the left fist, breaking the head into thousands of pieces. Bits of blood and skull flew in the air hitting the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng’ squarely in the face. Their clothes became stained with death. Lok Gum Fa knew how brutal her husband could be so managed to glide behind the tree in time not to be hit by the flying flesh. Though he was wild with fury and hovering around like a mad beast, he could still tell that he had not yet killed Feng Tin Ching. He knew he could not use his ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy to detect his presence, but he was sure that Feng Tin Ching would still be close by. He immediately went to search the dead bodies on the ground. He was certain that Feng Tin Ching would be hiding amongst them to pretend that he was dead. But to his surprise Feng Tin Ching was no where in sight.

    “Could he have escaped by the river. Or did he escape on food through the main town hall?”, Yeung Tin Lung thought to himself. He scanned the town hall and the river slowly with his razor sharpe eyes. But he could see nothing. Suddenly he thought he had seen a shadow move towards the east end of the town hall. He immediately dashed forward thinking that it was the villain Feng Tin Ching. He felt humiliated for being so easily captured so he wanted all those involved to die tonight. He did not want anyone in wulin to hear about the events that had taken place. His image would be tarnished forever.

    “Big brother Yeung, wait!”, cried Lok Gum Fa, seeing that her husband had suddenly dashed off into the night.

    But Lok Gum Fa’s cries were too late. Yeung Tin Lung had already travelled a great distance ahead of her. He possessed ‘Ghost Mountain’ lightness kung fu, and could thus go and come as he pleased. Just like a ghost. The ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’, gave chase. They were a little terrified after seeing the awesome display earlier. Even though members of the Red Wolf Fang were defenceless during the battle, they still had to be in awe of the power and sword skills of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. But they dared not follow too closely, afraid that they may upset the eccentric ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. He had been howling and growling like a wild uncontrollable beast. To the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’, Yeung Tin Lung had appeared to have gone mad with rage and had loss control of all his senses.

    But how could respectful members of the orthodox clans possibly know about the sword arts and skills of the Demon Cult. In combat, orthodox clan members relied on being at peace and in a good frame of mind in order to gain an upper hand. It was totally different for the Demon Cult members. The more angrier and out of control, the more unpredictable they were. Thus they had the advantage, as the opponent would not be able to guess what their next moves were. But if one knew the origins of an orthodox clan member’s sword arts and kung, they could easily guess how he would attack and defend. This was the main reason why ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ Kim Mo Dik had lost his right arm to Yeung Tin Lung in that fated duel at Taishan about 1 and a half years ago.

    Seeing that the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ had darted after her husband. Lok Gum Fa did the same thing and followed them. She knew that her husband wasn’t that wise and feared that he might fall into another trap. Her heart pounce as she remembered that her newly born son was with her husband. Though Yeung Tin Lung loved his son very much. Sometimes he acted too rashly without thinking. A sudden thought crossed her mind, and she increased her speed using the ‘Divine Butterfly’ inner energy. She soon glided pass the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect. It had now become a very urgent matter and she sensed that she needed to locate her husband immediately. She knew there were many dangers that lie ahead of them. Many kung fu experts had gathered in Chongqing, but many of them had yet to reveal their true intentions. She turned left from the main town hall. She somehow sensed that her husband had gone this way. She knew now that the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ had come to be peacemakers. But what are the motives of the other people. There were so many ‘hidden dragons’ in the night. She was greatly worried.

    For one thing, Lok Gum Fa knew her master the ‘Iron Maiden’ Cheung Cum will never forgive her for falling in love with a member of the Demon Cult. It was when her master had uncovered the secret relationship that she was betrothed to the ‘Gentleman Sword’ Bak Fung Wan of Taishan, who is also the son of the Chancellor of Wulin, Bak Tin Fei. This event caused great trouble in wulin as many guests had been invited to attend the wedding at Taishan. Even the loner, Kim Mo Dik, ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ made an appearance. So when Yeung Tin Lung showed up at Taishan to swear his love to Lok Gum Fa in front of all the heroes that had gathered, and ruined Bak Fung Wan’s wedding, many of the heroes of the orthodox clan’s made him their number 1 enemy. Cheung Cum was humiliated by this act of her senior apprentice and thus lost a lot of respect and face in wulin. So now she wanted nothing more than to capture the couple for revenge. Also Cheung Cum had fought and lost miserably to the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ that day. They have been on the run ever since that event.

    Secondly, Lok Gum Fa, also knew that the ‘Gentleman Sword’ Bak Fung Wan had lost great face that day when she ran off with Yeung Tin Lung on their wedding day. Making matters worst was the fact that his father, Bak Tin Fei had attempted to stop them from leaving Taishan. That led to a duel between her husband the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’, and Bak Tin Fei. Though her husband had shown great mercy by not killing Bak Tin Fei after gaining victory. Bak Tin Fei committed suicide months later out of great shame. So although Yeung Tin Lung was not personally responsible for the death of Bak Tin Fei, many in the world of wulin still held him accountable for the death. Bak Tin Fei had been such a great hero, and had done such great deeds during his life, that everyone was sadden by his death. Bak Fung Wan had pursued them to avenge the humiliation he suffered at Taishan and also to avenge the death of his father.

    Finally, Kim Mo Dik ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ had been pursuing them to challenge Yeung Tin Long to another duel. At Taishan, the respected Chancellor of Wulin, after losing his duel, pleaded with Kim Mo Dik to assist them in that matter. So he challenged Yeung Tin Lung to a duel. That was the first time the sabre saint and sword saint had ever fought. Both possessed exceptional skills. Though no definite win/loss outcome had been reached when Yeung Tin Lung fled Taishan with his wife, many in wulin considered that Kim Mo Dik had lost. This is mainly due to the fact that when Kim Mo Dik had unleashed his most deadliest move the ‘unrivalled tiger guarantees death’, he was expecting Yeung Tin Lung to defend the move with all his might. He could not have guessed that Yeung Tin Lung, who was in a rage at not having been able to gain the upper hand in over 300 moves, to suddenly launch an attack with the ‘slashing hidden dragon’. So Kim Mo Dik lost his right arm when unleashing the strike and Yeung Tin Lung lost his right eye because he did not counter that particular move with defence. Kim Mo Dik, after many months of thinking about the duel, was not content with the defeat. So he was determined to right that past wrongs and prove that he was better than the ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’, even though he only has one arm.

    Lok Gum Fa had run all the way down the main street to the east of the town hall and still do not manage to find any signs of her husband. She thought to herself, “Did I go down the wrong path? Where could big brother Yeung have gone?”.

    She stood still under the clear moonlight. Looking up at the sky, she noticed that it was getting quite late. In normal days, they would have been in bed resting for the long journey ahead. The red lantern her husband had brought her earlier lit up the street with a red glow. Looking at the two dragons painted on the side, she suddenly missed her husband. She closed her eyes tightly and concentrated on listening to the evening wind. Perhaps it would bring her some news of her husband’s whereabouts. It was very quite now. Suddenly she heard the sounds of swords clashing not far from where she stood. She was still standing facing eastward of the main town hall. She had come from the west. The sounds seemed to have been coming from the north east end of the city. Moving without a thought she headed towards the sound of the clashing swords. She thought to herself, “Dear heavens. Let’s hope I’m not to late to assist big brother Yeung”. With that she disappeared into the night. And followed the sounds of battle.

    End of Chapter 1.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  3. #3
    Senior Member douggilmour's Avatar
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    good start....u seem to know alot about geography of china

  4. #4
    Senior Member Long's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 2: Murder Underneath the Moonlight

    Chapter 2: Murders Underneath the Moonlight

    The streets Chongqing are now but all emptied, with a few exceptions. A contrast to only a few hours ago, when the locals and visitors alike were all enjoying the fireworks arranged by the Mayor of the city to celebrate Lantern Festival. The main street is now full of rubbish. Bits of burnt firecracker paper are laced to the sides of walls. Unwanted and broken lanterns litter here and there on the ground. Broken clay cups and pots cover the side of the street. Broke hearts walk along the rooftops. The world is truly a lonely place in their hearts. They hide in the darkness from the shame and self humiliation. No one knows whether they will see the morning light. They bet all they had on love and lost. A few drunkards can be seen crouching in dark allies sleeping in their spew. After one too many! They’ve had a night they’d rather forget. Unfaithful men can be seen walking in and out of local brothels. Their faithful wives are asleep in bed, none the wiser. A few depressed gamblers walk through the street contemplating how they will tell their wives, children, and families about not having enough money to buy the bare essentials like food and clothing until the next pay day. A few hours earlier they had been in high spirits and celebrating the festive season. If only they could have resisted the temptation to gamble they would still be happy. Wallowing in their self made state of depression they make a promise to the moon that they will never ever gamble again after tonight. A promise they know they cannot keep, before disappearing into the night. They are the many lost souls that still linger about through the city. In time no one will even remember their names. History will pass them by. One has to live a life worth remembering in order to achieve immortality. Life is but a shadow walking through grains of time. It’s filled with many highs and lows. There a few winners, and many losers. No one knows what the outcome is going to be. In a split second the once calm waters and peaceful waters will turn into rough and life threatening tides.

    All of the lanterns that hung aloft the street for the earlier celebrations had now burnt out. The evening had now turned quite late. The moonlight still shone brightly high above. It provided much needed light to the dark streets below. Though a slight mist had gathered around the city. Creating a bit of a white haze. It blanketed one’s view from being able to see clearly into the night. A lone man can now be seen walking through the main street. He is carrying a white lantern and metal gong in his left hand. In his right hand is a smooth sort beating stick. He is using it to beat the metal gong as he is walking. Loud banging sounds echo back and forth on the now ghostly streets. He can be heard calling at the top of his lungs, “It’s now past midnight! Time to go home and rest! Forget all your worries and misery. Sleep and be at peace. Tomorrow is another day. It is now past midnight…”. He is the night watchman of Chongqing. Once he finishes his round, he will be able to go home and be with his family. At this moment he had turned into the main street east of the main town hall. His white lantern provides a yellowish glow on the streets lighting the way ahead.

    Suddenly he feels a cold chill running down his spine. A shadow can be seen on the walls to the left. He glances at the shadow and could barely make out an image of a woman undressing herself. She had just removed her top. He turned around to for a closer look, thinking that he had strayed into a dream. The young lady appears to be in her mid 20s. Underneath the dim moonlight one can see a beautiful dreamy face. She had the look of the ‘moon maiden’. Her skin was as white as snow. But her face looked a little pale. Her eyes were full of sexual passion. She was wearing a little red dress. Her top had been flung on the street floor. All she had on was her pink underwear. She had a very slim body and very smooth curves. The night watchman meet her eyes with a glance. He suddenly felt all hot inside.

    Clearing his throat, the night watchman stammered, “I must be walking in a dream. I’ve never seen someone as beautiful as you. You must be a deity sent down to earth”.

    The young lady did not reply. She leant against the wall, lifting her right knee and placed one leg against the wall. She ran her right hand softly through her hair, before placing it behind her head. She smiled errotically towards the night watchman before slowly removing her pink bra. With a flick of a leisurely wrist, she threw it towards the night watchman. He stood there like a clay statute, unable to move or talk. The pink bra landed on the night watchman’s face and covered his eyes. He could now smell the delicate fragrance of perfume.

    The young lady suddenly said in a sexy voice, half teasing the night watchman, “Don’t you want to come over and give me hug. I am feeling quite cold”.

    The night watchman was still motionless. His heart beat rapidly. Finally he plucked enough courage to take the pink bra from atop of his head so that he could see her half naked body. But to his surprise, he was a moment too late and, the young lady was no longer standing in front of him. She had suddenly disappeared from sight. The night watchman, thought to inwardly, a little relieved and yet a little disappointed.

    “It must be a dream”, he said as he wiped the sweat that had built up on his forehead.

    The night watchman walked towards the wall where the girl once stood. He suddenly noticed that he was still holding onto a pink bra. He looked on the ground and saw a little red top. He was certain now that it had been not been a dream.

    He thought to himself, “But where has she suddenly gone? I did not even catch her name”.

    The night watchman was about to turn around when he felt a soft warm body pressing against his back. His heart raced uncontrollably. It was beating fast like a drum. He felt a tender kiss on the side of his cheeks and a hand reaching for the bra.

    An erotic voice could be heard whispering into his ear, “Now that’s not nice. Taking possession of my clothes like that. You’re really bad! Aren’t you ashamed”. The pink bra had now suddenly been taken away from him by a soft hand from behind. The warm soft little body was still pressing against him.

    The night watchman stammered a reply, “I… I… I… I…”. He could manage now more than just those few words. Many wild and passionate thoughts had now run through his mind. He like he was about to explode.

    “Shh…” Whispered the young lady once more. Her voice was soft and full of tenderness.

    “Don’t be afraid! You’re all tense. Just relax!”, she continued. At that same moment she ran her fingers down the night watchman’s neck. Her hand then gently massaged the sensitive areas of his chest and stomach.

    The night watchman responded by leaning back and pressed his body against the young lady. He closed his eyes. It felt like being in heaven.

    “Does that feel good?”, asked the young lady, whilst still massaging the various regions of the night watchman’s body.

    “Yes! Yes! Keeping going”, replied the night watchman. He was lost in a daze and let the young lady take full control of him.

    Suddenly two fingers pressed against the side of the night watchman’s right neck. Yet the night watchman was not alarmed at all. He could feel two warm fingers massaging the main blood vessel in the regions. He felt very warm and comfortable, as if all the stress that had built up around the neck muscle region had suddenly been released.

    The night watchman praised, “You’re really good. I’d been having problems with my neck until now”.

    At this moment the young lady leant forward and kissed him again. She could feel him shake uncontrollable inwards. She slowly glided in front of the night watchman show off her half naked body in the pale moonlight. Their eyes met again for the last time. She smiled passionately at him again and could see the sexual passion building up in the night watchman’s eyes.

    She leant forward and whispered in the night watchman’s right ear, “It is time! Let’s do it”. She then proceeded to kiss the night watchman on the right side of the face again. But this time she went all the way down to the neck.

    “You’re truly amazing!”, praised the night watchman. Shortly after making this remark, he suddenly felt an itchy feeling on the right side of the neck. It seemed as if liquid had suddenly dripped over his right shoulder. He had the urge to scratch.

    The night watchman said hurriedly, “What are you doing? Stop that! You’re making me feel all itchy!”. But he heard no reply.

    Suddenly the night watchman could be heard screaming out at the top of his lungs, “Ah Ya! Someone! Help Me! Ahhhhhh”.

    The loud scream echoed back and forth on the emptied streets. Dogs nearby could be heard barking in fear. The once quite streets had been awoken by a terrifying thunderous scream. It lasted for around 60 seconds and then no more sound could be heard. A soft ‘thud’ sound could be heard and the streets were quite again. The sounds of barking dogs became lower, and lower before becoming all silent again. The dead silence lasted for around five minutes.

    A young lady could be seen taking out a red handkerchief to wipe her mouth and lips before placing it back in her pockets again. She picked up her top and dressed herself again. From a distant, one can now see a reddish shadow disappearing towards the dark alley towards the corner of the street. She was not yet satisfied and waited for another meal underneath the cover of the mist. The silence was soon broken when the sounds of wolves howling in the valley in the distance could suddenly be heard. They had smelt the taste of blood in the air and were hungry for some action. Unfortunately the city of Chongqing was well guarded with walls on the east, west, south and north side, so they could not enter the city. Now the streets of Chongqing had become quiet again.

    Moments later, from a distance not far ahead, a pair of faint footsteps and heavy breathing could be heard. It seemed as if someone has been running down from the east end of Chongqing directly towards the main town hall. A reddish glow of light could be seen from a distance. That person running down the street is carrying a red lantern in hand. As that person came nearer the main town hall, one could notice that it was a female in her mid 20s carrying a white sword in hand and wearing a pink dress. Even underneath the moonlight one could notice that she was quite pretty.

    Soon the young lady in pink had reached the end of the street facing eastwards from the town hall. She was about to take the road heading towards the north east of Chongqing, when she suddenly noticed a naked pale white body against the wall. She could not help but wonder across to find out what’s going. She shook the body a couple of times from behind and didn’t notice a response. Her heart raced as she placed two fingers below the man’s nose to see if he was breathing. She immediately leapt back a few paces in shock, as she realised that man laying on the ground had died. After recovering her nerves she lent over to feel the body with her left hand to find the cause of death. She noticed that the body was still quite warm. Indicating that man laying on the ground had died only moments ago. She held out her red lantern before her and passed it over the body. Underneath the reddish glowing light she couldn’t help but notice a short smooth beating stick and a metal gong laying on the floor next to the man.

    The young lady in pink thought to herself, “This must be the night watchman of Chongqing. How unfortunate it is that he has to walk the streets on this particular night when many there are so many hidden dangers”. She couldn’t help but let out a long sigh, as an innocent person, trying to make a simple living had just died. Being a kind hearted person she waved her lantern about from left to right, to try and find something to cover the body with. She noticed some clothes not far ahead. She went over to pick up the clothes, before returning to cover the naked man’s body with them. Having felt at peace, the young lady in pink was just about to turn away and leave the scene, when she noticed two big holes on the right side of the man’s neck. A chill went down her spine as she suddenly remembered that she had seen these kind of markings before, on dead human bodies. It was evidence that this man had met an unfortunate death at hands of one of the ‘7 Vixens’.

    Sudden alarm gripped her as she thought, “ The ‘7 Vixens’ are also here in Chongqing tonight! I must be extremely careful!”. She knew that the ‘7 Vixens’ were very tricky customers to deal with and should not be taken lightly. They are formidable opponents indeed and she has fought them before, and failed. They are renowned for their wicked trickery and poisonous projectiles called the ‘13 Phantom Venom Needle’. They also possessed advanced lightness kung fu. In fact the rumour through wulin is that the lightness kung fu of the ‘7 Vixens’ are superior to all other forms of lightness kung fu possessed by both orthodox and Demon Cult members.

    Standing deep in though for a moment, the young lady in pink suddenly felt a gust of wind created by chi energy behind her back. Someone had launched an unexpected attack upon her. She had been caught off guard and her natural reaction was to fling herself around, with her red lantern pressed forward in the direction of the attack for a closer look. She could suddenly feel the tip of a sword touch her ‘adams apple’ pressure point. In front of her stood another young lady wearing a little red dress. She could not quite make out the face, as it had been covered slightly by a red scarf. The young lady in pink froze momentarily and closed her eyes thinking that death was only a matter of a few more seconds and inches away.

    The young lady in pink had been carrying the lantern in her right hand, and had been concerned about the dead man laying on the street that had no time to draw the long sword in her left hand to defend the attack. She cursed herself inwardly for being all alone and defenceless at this moment in time. For she was not yet content with dying. But it seemed as if fate was now against her. She froze in a daze. Sweet poured down her back. She cursed herself for being afraid. In normal days she did not fear anything at all and could smile at death. But tonight was different. She did not want to die alone and she still had one last thing on her mind that she wanted to accomplish before she would be content with dying. The thought of begging the young red lady to spare her life had crossed her mind, but she decided in the end against it.

    But to her surprise nothing happened for the next 5 minutes or so. It seemed as if the lady in red had been caught in a deep trance, full of wild thoughts.

    The young lady in pink was shocked, thinking to herself, “What on earth can this young lady in red be thinking? Surely its not the first time that she’s killed someone?”.

    But the young lady in pink could still feel the tip of the sword pressed firmly against her neck. Yet no action had been taken to kill her for the last 5 minutes. Though 5 minutes is normally considered a short period of time, it seemed like an eternity for the young lady in pink. She was getting a little anxious now, and thought to herself once more, “Stop toying with me! I am defeated. Come on. Push forward and end my misery!”.

    Unable to control her emotions, the young lady in pink, finally spoke up to break the silence. She yelled loudly in defiance, “I am not afraid! Just kill me! Get it over with and be gone!”.

    The young lady in pink could hear no reply, however. She opened her eyes slightly and could see a pair of cold chilling eyes starring back at her. But these eyes seemed a little dazed and confused. The young lady in pink closed her eyes again expecting now to meet certain death, having demanded it herself. To her surprise she could suddenly feel the tip of the sword being pulled away from her ‘adams apple’ pressure point. Shortly after she could feel a gust of wind before her. The sounds of footsteps racing away could soon be heard. The young lady in pink now opened her eyes and could see a red blur running away to the north east corner of Chongqing. Disappearing at rapid pace from her sight.

    Not long after the young lady in pink heard the chilling voice of the young red lady echoing back towards her in the wind. The voice said, “Mrs. Yeung, take care! Next time you cross my path alone you won’t be so lucky!”.

    The voice paused for a second before continuing, “If not for the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ you would already be dead! Now get out of my sight and leave Chongqing immediately!”.

    The young lady in pink that stood before the main town hall, is none other that Lok Gum Fa. She has spent the past few minutes dashing back from the east side of Chongqing, to the main town hall to take the road north east of the city. She had heard sounds of swords clashing from that region earlier so wanted to see if her husband had passed that way. But the lake prevented her from crossing directly north east from the east side of the city. So she had to run back towards the main hall. But who could have guessed that she would have passed by the pale white body by the corner of the street, and nearly met death at the hands on an unknown, ‘7 Vixen’.

    Lok Gum Fa was now a little puzzled by the recent event. She thought to herself, “This woman must be from the ‘7 Vixens’. But why did she not kill me?”. That question was answered when she remembered that the young red lady had mentioned her husband.

    “So she’s a friend of my husband!”, Lok Gum Fa thought to herself. It was very probable that Yeung Tin Lung had made friends with some of the ‘7 Vixens’ clan members. They were virtually neighbours and Yeung Tin Lung had to travel through the valley of the wolves were they resided to get back to the Ghost Mountain in Chengdu.

    Another thought crossed her mind. She thought inwardly, “Even if lady in red was a friend of my husband. How did she know who I was? And that I was married to him?”. It was then that she noticed the beaming right light from her red lantern. Casting a glance at the medium sized red lantern with the two dragons painted on it in her right hands, she suddenly came upon the answer.

    “So it was this big bright red lantern that my husband had brought me earlier. It has painted on the sides, two dragons, that gave me away perhaps!”, she thought. The red lantern almost matched the design of her husband’s red cape exactly. After the events of Taishan, everyone in wulin knew who the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’s’ wife was. So it was not that hard for the young lady in red to guess who she actually was upon seeing the red lantern and the two dragons painted on the side of it.

    “So that street vendor who sold me this red lantern was indeed correct. It has brought me unexpected good fortune”, she smiled a little as she remembered what the lantern street vendor had mentioned to her about the particular lantern in her right hand.

    Having answered these questions in her mind, only brought further questions that needed answers. Lok Gum Fa thought to herself again, “But who is she? And what, if any, relationship does she have with my husband?”.

    Lok Gum Fa had never heard her husband mention anything about being friends with any ‘7 Vixens’ clan members to her before. Yet Yeung Tin Lung had always been up front and honest about his past. A slight feeling of worry overcame Lok Gum Fa at this moment. But she realised she couldn’t find any more answers to these questions by standing still on the side of the street. She needed to find her husband. With that in mind, she too decided take the road to the north east of the city of Chongqing. There had been a battle there earlier. So she had to check it out for herself. But as this had also been the same direction that the young red ‘7 Vixens’ clan member had taken earlier, Lok Gum Fa decided to draw her sword from her sheath. She held the sword in her right hand and now switched the lantern to her left. She was ready for any possible ambush now. She had been caught out once, but was determined not be caught out a second time.

    The road to the north east of the city was different to the main street. It was an unpaved soft dirt track. There were various trees to the side of the road and very few shops and buildings. The majority of trading that occurred on this side of the city were done through street vendors. At this late hour of the night nothing could be seen but a vast space, that stretched outwards. To her left was the famous ‘Phoenix Gardens’, and to the right was the ‘Chongqing Temple’. As she passed the famous ‘Chongqing Library’, she could hear the sounds of the clashing swords getting closer by the second. It seemed to have been coming from the 'Chongqing Park’ near the lake. Seeing that the red light from her lantern might attract unwanted attention, she stuck the handle into a tree and dashed forward. That way she could observe the battle in secret and out of sight without being noticed. She was not yet 100% certain that it was her husband who had been engaged in this battle, so was cautious about revealing herself. It she were to be captured now by a powerful foe, it would have been a complete disaster.

    She had been running for almost 15 minutes now before she reached some scrubs and bushes about 50 metres from the battle scene. She crouched down to hide herself from view and parted some leaves and branches so that she could observe the action. What she saw caught her by complete surprise. Underneath the dull moonlight one could vaguely see what looked like eight swordsmen dressed in blue surrounding a two swordsmen standing back to back, dressed in green, to fend off the attack. The eight swordsmen circled in and attacked but the two swordsmen wielded around and defended the blows. The eight were attacking and the two were merely blocking, trying to buy time and look for a method of escape. Or perhaps they were trying to wear the strength of the 8 swordsmen down before launching a counter attack. These thoughts ran through Lok Gum Fa’s mind, but she was a little bit annoyed at herself, upon realising that she had looked in the wrong spot. The fight clearly did not involve her husband at all.

    A sudden thought ran through her mind, “Where on earth has big brother Yeung disappeared to? He was heading in an easterly direction when he left the lake to chase after that villain Feng Tin Ching”. They have now been parted for almost an hour. And she was beginning to get a little concerned. Also there were no signs of the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ either.

    “Perhaps the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng’ have located big brother Yeung already!”, Lok Gum Fa thought to herself. This would be the most positive outcome, as the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’ were here to keep the peace. So if they found Yeung Tin Lung first it would to both their benefit.

    Another thought suddenly ran through her mind, “Dam! What if they are now running around looking for me instead?”. She cursed inwardly. Had she not been in such a rush and stayed with the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’, she and her husband might have already boarded a late midnight boat, and be on their way to Chengdu.

    Lok Gum Fa was about to get up and quietly disappear from this particular battle scene when she heard one of the men yelling, “The Loin Prestige Escort and the Grand Master of Kunlun Shan have no previous feuds. We respect him fully. But why does two of his apprentices insist on trying to steal our precious cargo?”.

    “Let me ask you a question! What is your cargo and who are you delivering it to? That you and I both know. But part of your cargo belongs to our great ancestor Lin Sap Sam. It thus belongs to me. Therefore I am not stealing anything but am reclaiming what is rightfully mine!”, rebutted a man in his late 20s.

    Lok Gum Fa was shocked. Lin Sap Sam, was her junior apprentice sister, Lin Chun Fa’s, great ancestor also. During his generation Lin Sap Sam was known as the ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’. He perhaps possessed even greater sword abilities than the now renowned ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ and ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’. Lin Sap Sam possessed two deadly arts. One was the ‘Frost Palm’ and the other was the ‘Frost Sword Art’. But rumour has it that both of these arts had either been stolen or lost altogether. Know one really knew the essence of the kung fu, other than that it was the famed arts of Lin Sap Sam.

    “Could this man be Lin Man Tung?”, Lok Gum Fa thought to herself.

    Lok Gum Fa had never really met her junior apprentice sister’s brother before. She had always been on an a mission with her master, or other junior apprentice sisters when Lin Man Tung had found the time to visit his little sister Lin Chun Fa. But she had met and became good friends with Lin Man Tung’s wife, Yip So So. Infact Yip So So delivered many messages between Kunlun Shan and the Divine Butterfly Sect. So Lok Gum Fa has always looked after her when she was at Butterfly Valley in Shaanix. Some could say that they were like sisters. But Lok Gum Fa and Yip So So have not seen each other for over 3 years. This was mainly due to the fact that Yip So So had married her senior apprentice brother Lin Man Tung. Also because Lok Gum Fa had travelled in secret during those years to be with Yeung Tin Lung. Knowing that Yip So So may be involved in the battle with the ‘Lion Prestige Escort’, Lok Gum Fa decided to stay around to lend a helping hand if needed. But she did not want to reveal herself so remained hidden in the bushes.

    A man from the Lion Prestige Escort could be heard yelling, “Don’t tell them anything. I doubt that they know what our cargo is and were it is being delivered. They are just trying to trick us”.

    Sounds of swords clashed again as the eight men from the Lion Prestige Escort exchanged violent blows with the two apprentices from Kunlun Shan. Lok Gum Fa observed the battle noticing that the two apprentices of Kunlun Shan were indeed a man and a woman. The man was young and handsome. Almost too handsome to be a skilled fighter. In fact he resembled more of a scholar. He was tall and slim. He wore a long dark green robe and a square dark green hat on his head. He wielded an extremely odd looking long broad sword. It was thin at the base and thick around the point. The young lady by his side wore a dark green dress matching the colour of her husband’s robes. Her hair was long and smooth, tied into two neat bundles at the front with green ribbons. She wore a gold hairpin. She was rather short and stood low to the ground. But she had a slim figure and smooth curves as well. She wielded a standard long sword. This was indeed Lin Man Tung and Yip So So of Kunlun Shan.

    “You people from the Lion Prestige Escort are bastards!”, scoffed Yip So So in between exchanging moves with the swordsmen from the Lion Prestige Escort.

    Ducking from a high slashing sword she continued, “You bastards know full well that you are in possession of my husband’s great ancestor’s ‘Frost Palm’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’. Yet you still deny this fact. How shameful!”.

    “Also we know it’s being delivered to the Head Master of Songshan Sect. Is that not true!”, Lin Man Tung jumped in as he blocked an attack slashing at his wife’s right knee.

    “That’s our business! And none of yours I’m afraid”, rebutted a swordsman from the Lion Prestige Escort as he lunged forward thrusting an attack towards Yip So So’s heart.

    Yip So So jumped back in time to escape the lethal blow. Returning by her husband’s side, she cursed, “Bastards! What a vicious move! You dare call yourselves orthodox clan members! Shameful!”.

    “You two are no different! Trying to steal other people’s possessions! How shameful is that!”, replied a Lion Prestige Escort swordsman.

    Suddenly Yip So So noticed that someone was launching an attack towards the middle area of her husband’s back and immediately leapt forward to block it. But now she had landed herself in a little bit of bother. Six swordsmen had surrounded her at this moment. One Lion Prestige Escort member launched an attack towards Yip So So’s left stomach, another attack aimed for her forehead, yet another attack aimed for her back, the two others aimed for the legs, and the final swordsmen did not launch an attack at all. Rather he waited to see which side Yip So So would doge to evade. He wanted to attack right at that moment and take her off guard. This was indeed a cowardly and vicious act. This time Yip So So knew she was in an urgent situation.

    She cried out hurriedly, “Big brother Lin! What are you waiting for? Please help me!”.

    Just to the left of Yip So So, Lin Man Tung had fixed his gaze at a Lion Prestige Escort swordsman holding a small wooden box that looked about the right size to carrying two kung fu manuals. He was determined to obtain the wooden box that he did not hear that his wife was in trouble and had called for help by the side of him. They had previously been defending each other’s vital pressure points from being attacked. But now all he cared about was the ‘Frost Palm’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’ kung fu manuals. They were the roadmap to his fame and glory. Besides there were now only 2 Lion Prestige Escort swordsmen he had to deal with. So he had to take advantage of the situation whilst it lasted. He suddenly launched a quick counter attack, abandoning his previous stances of defence.

    Lin Man Tung had faked a slash towards one of the swordsmen’s forehead, before suddenly dropping the tip of the sword towards the middle chest region.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried one of the Lion Prestige Escort swordsman. He had been pierced through the chest and drop dead on the ground. This swordsman had slashed up forwards to block the potential attack towards his forehead and had not expected the tip of the blade to be suddenly pointed downwards towards his chest region. Because he had swung so hard, he caught thin air, and could not retrieve his chi energy in time to drag his blade back down to defend the low blow towards his chest.

    “Help me! Big Brother Lin! Oh Dear Heavens! Please Help Me”, urgently cried Yip So So. She had somehow managed to escape the first series of attacks without being injured. But these same six swordsmen came at her again. She was still surrounded.

    But Lin Man Tung appeared not to hear her pleas for help. At this point he had his left hand on the wooden box and was exchanging moves with his right trying to kill the lone Lion Prestige Escort swordsman left guarding the wooden box, whilst the other six were preoccupied with his wife. He did not want to be distracted at this particular moment. Suddenly he thought of an idea. He turned his back appearing to rush to Yip So So’s aid. The Lion Prestige Escort swordsman was tricked by this move and leant forward to launch a strike to the middle of Lin Man Tung’s back.

    “Ah Ya!” cried the swordsman as he was pierced through the stomach and dropped to the ground dead. The wooden box in his hands fell on the ground also. When this swordsman had attacked forwards, Lin Man Tung dropped to the ground and rolled backwards before launching a reverse attack. This caught the Lion Prestige Swordsman off guard and he was thus slained. Lin Man Tung immediately bent over to pick up the wooden box and opened it. He had guessed correctly. The ‘Frost Palms’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’ kung fu manual had indeed been kept in that box. He stood underneath the moonlight smiling jubilantly at his success, forgetting the troubles of his wife.

    “Ah Ya!” cried Yip So So. She had been slashed across her mid stomach region. Blood immediately gushed from the wounds.

    Only a few moments later she could be heard crying out in pain again, “Ah Ya!”. This time she had been pierced on the right shoulder. The blade penetrated through her.

    “Ah Ya”, she cried a third time. This time she had been slashed across her thigh, and had now fallen onto the ground rolling uncontrollably in pain.

    “Lin Man Tung! What kind of man are you!”, cried Lok Gum Fa as she rushed by Yip So So’s aid. She arrived in time to block the fatal blow that had been launched to kill Yip So So. With a flick of a wrist she countered launching a strike upwards. She had seen her husband use this move called the ‘slashing hidden dragon’ a number of times to great success. Although Lok Gum Fa’s skills were far more inferior than Yeung Tin Lung’s, this move worked like magic.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried a Lion Prestige Escort swordsman, as he dropped to the ground in pain. His right arm had been cut off at the shoulder. But Lok Gum Fa was far from finished she twisted her wrist and striked back towards ground in the direction of the scream, and pierced that swordsman’s heart. The remaining 5 Lion Prestige Escort Swordsmen suddenly leapt back many steps and decided to backed off upon seeing this deadly move.

    “We have no previous feuds with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. Since Mrs Lin is a good friend of Mrs Yeung we will leave her alone!”, said one of the 5 Lion Prestige Escort Swordsmen. He recognised that the sword move belonged to the infamous ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. Since it was utilised by a woman, one could easily guess that she must have had a strong connection with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman”.

    Turning to Lin Man Tung who now seemed to be lost in his own fantasy world the Lion Prestige Escort swordsman said, “Lin Man Tung, the lives of over 200 Lion Prestige Escort swordsmen are at stake here. We beg you to reconsider your actions. If we don’t deliver the kung fu manuals to the Head Master of Songshan, he will surely declare war on us. We cannot defeat his large clan of over 400 apprentices”.

    “Humph! So you finally admit that I was right all along, that these two kung fu manuals belong to my great ancestor Lin Sap Sam!”, scoffed Lin Man Tung.

    “We are not 100% clear about the background of the ‘Frost Palm’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’, but it has long been rumoured throughout wulin that these two arts originated from Nepal and not China. Therefore the original owner could not have possibly have been your great ancestor, Lin Sap Sam”, said a Lion Prestige Escort swordsman.

    Glaring back at the 5 remaining Lion Prestige Escort swordsmen, he said coldly, “I don’t care! These two kung fu manuals have now fallen into my hands and are thus mine. What happens between the Lion Prestige Escort and Songshan Sect are none of my business!”.

    “You cannot claim these to be yours. We have been charged by an elder from Nepal to have these two manuals delivered to the Head Master of Songshan. He is expecting it!”, cried one of the Lion Prestige Escort swordsman in vain.

    At this moment Lin Mun Tung had enough of the small talk. He cupped his fist together and said, “Gentlemen! I am afraid I must be on my way. Thank you for helping me relocate these two kung fu manuals! Goodbye!”. With that he had leapt several paces forward into the darkness and disappeared.

    One of the Lion Prestige Escort swordsman gave chase shouting, “Hold it you thief!”. He too disappeared out from sight moments later.

    “Big brother Lin! Where are you going? Wait for me!”, Yip So So cried with nearly her last breath. But it was in vain. She suddenly passed out from the pain of all her recent injuries.

    Lok Gum Fa clutch onto Yip So So, and cried, “Sister Yip, wake up!”.

    But Yip So So was still unconscious. Tears started rolling down Lok Gum Fa’s face as she was filled with grief. When she had first seen the 6 Lion Prestige Escort swordsmen attacking Yip So So, she was certain that Lin Man Tung would help his wife fend off the attack. So she herself did not come out to assist Yip So So. Besides she did not want to reveal herself in case she came into contact with a tough foe. The last thing she wanted was to be captured as hostage forcing her husband to admit defeat and trade his life in return for hers. The risks of getting caught where far too high. So she decided to watch the battle from the sidelines. She could have never guessed that ‘Heroine Lin’s’ brother Lin Man Tung was such a filthy low life, that he would abandon his own wife in times of danger. By the time she had made up her mind to help, it was already too late and Yip So So had already received serious injuries.

    The remaining 4 Lion Prestige Escort swordsman gathered together to discuss the situation. They were trying to decide whether they should avenge the death of the swordsman that had died at Lok Gum Fa’s hands or to let it go.

    “It’s not wise for us no namers in wulin to harm the wife of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’, the first swordsman could be heard whispering to the others.

    “No doubt about it! We would surely die a terrible death if we do”, whispered the second swordsman.

    “But she killed 6th apprentice junior”, cried the third swordsman, wanting to be heard.

    “But we also seriously injured her friend, Mrs Lin! Even if we let her go, she may decide not to let us go, and seek revenge for her friend!”, rebutted the fourth swordsman.

    “You don’t have to worry about that! Although the act of 6 attacking 1 is a cowardly. The members of the Lion Prestige Escort cannot be blamed for the actions tonight. There is far more to this then I know and I will not interfere in this matter!”, replied Lok Gum Fa clearing her voice.

    Lok Gum Fa knew that the Lion Prestige Escort could not be blamed for their ruthless actions. Losing those two kung fu manuals will bring them a mountain of future trouble. So Lok Gum Fa knew that letting bygones be bygones was the best way to handle the situation. Besides she had already released much of her fury by killing that lone Lion Prestige Escort swordsman.

    “If that is what Mrs. Yeung has decided upon! We will do the same and let the events of tonight rest. Although one of our apprentices died under thee edge of your sword., we have also seriously wounded your friend. Besides you had come to save a friend. We will not hold such a chivalrous act against you”, said the first swordsman.

    “It’s just a pitty that Lin Man Tung is such a wicked man!”, said the second swordsman.

    “Who would have guessed that he is actually ‘Heroine Lin’s’ elder brother. Shameful!’, said the third swordsman.

    “Let’s figure how we can get those two kung fu manuals back!”, said the fourth swordsman.

    “2nd and 4th junior apprentice brother! You two go and help 8th apprentice brother track Lin Man Tung down and try to recapture the manuals if you can. I will go and tell the Chief, and bring some reinforcements to help you guys as soon as I can. All you need to do is send a message by the pigeons as soon as you locate that devil. 3rd junior apprentice brother, you go to Kunlun Shan and demand an explanation from the Grand Master. Since it was his two apprentices that had started this mess, ask him to assist us in dealing with the Head Master of the Songshan Sect”, ordered the first swordsman.

    “Yes! Senior apprentice brother. Goodbye”, replied the other three swordsmen in unionism upon hearing the first swordsman’s instructions. Cupping their hands together they each set off to attempt to accomplish their newly assigned tasks.

    After burying the bodies of his deceased junior apprentice brothers, the first swordsman cupped his hands together and said to Lok Gum Fa, “Mrs Yeung, I am leaving now. But before I do I just wanted to warn you of the hidden danger ahead. Earlier tonight we saw Kim Mo Dik ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ drinking at the ‘Contented Souls Inn’ on the north western side of the city. We know he had a previous feud with your husband. So take care!”.

    “Thank you very much for the news. Take care of yourself too!”, replied Lok Gum Fa. She never had suspected that the swordsmen of the Lion Prestige Escort were so level headed. It did not appear that way during their battle with the Lin couple. “But they had their reasons”, Lok Gum Fa thought to herself.

    The first swordsman from the Lion Prestige Escort could be seen walking into the night. He was whistling casually as he went. It was so rare to see someone so composed when he has just lost two top kung fu manuals and had just witness his three junior apprentice brothers die. But one must realise his logic that getting all worked up and worried over the incident isn’t going to do any good. There are many troubles in during one’s lifetime. A solution will present itself if one is patient.

    Hearing that ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ is lurking somewhere in Chongqing made Lok Gum Fa very uneasy. She wanted to take off immediately and look for her husband. But she realised that she couldn’t as she was clutching Yip So So in her arms. It appeared that Yip So So was now coming around again.

    “Big brother Lin, don’t leave me! Don’t leave me!”, she cried. Although a little dazed and out of it, she still remembered the earlier painful event when her husband had left her to die alone. Tears rolled down her eyes. She stared up at the moon and laughed a hollow laugh.

    “Sister Yip. How are you”, asked Lok Gum Fa. Her voice was full of concern.

    “He’s gone! I can’t believe he’s gone!”, cried Yip So So in self pity.

    “Sister Yip. Just relax. Try not to think too much”, said Lok Gum Fa trying to calm her down.

    “He swore an oath to me. That although we weren’t born at the same time, on the same day, in the same month, in the same year, that we would certainly die at the same time, on the same day, in the same month, in the same year”, replied Yip So So still looking up at the moon, and laughing another hollow laugh which was full of sorrow.

    Tears rolled down Lok Gum Fa’s cheeks as she tried to comfort her friend, “You’ll be just fine Sister Yip. He’ll be back soon! Don’t give up hope”.

    “He once told me that life wouldn’t be the same without me. So if I had died before him, he would commit suicide and die along with me!”, continued Yip So So. It was as if she was in a trance and had lost all of her senses.

    Lok Gum Fa could feel that Yip So So’s body was losing heat rapidly and was starting to become cold. It was certain life was flowing from her body by the second.

    “Lies! All just lies!”, cried Yip So So

    “Sister Yip. Don’t worry! I’ll murder Lin Man Tung and avenge your death”, replied Lok Gum Fa changing her tone a little.

    “Sister Lok! Is that really you!”, gasped Yip So So in shock. It’s been a very long time since they had seen each other, so she wasn’t sure who had been clutching her all this time.

    “Yes it’s really me! I am your sister Lok”, she said as she grabbed her hands.

    Yip So So sighed before making a request, “Sister Lok, I want you to swear an oath, that you’ll never tell anyone including ‘Heroine Lin’ about what happened tonight and to never think about avenging my death. Okay!”.

    Lok Gum Fa knew that even though Lin Man Tung was an evil man and deserved to die, that Yip So So still had loved him with all her heart. She gave a long sign and then said, “Sister Yip. If that’s what you want, then I will swear that I will never talk about the events of tonight and will never think about killing Lin Man Tung”.

    “Sister Lok. Thank you very much. You’re a kind and gentle soul. I will be able to die contently tonight”, she said coughing up some blood.

    “It’s all my fault that you’re this way”, cried Lok Gum Fa.

    “Why?”, asked Yip So So in shock.

    “Because I have been watching the battle all along and did not come out to assist you”, replied Lok Gum Fa.

    Yip So So gave a long sigh before responding and shaking her head at the same time, “Don’t blame yourself, sister Lok! This matter has nothing to do with you! It is a private matter behind my husband and I only”.

    Yip So So gavea long sigh, before continuing, “Even if you saved me tonight. I would have met death sooner or later at someone else’s blade. All my husband cares about now is obtaining that ‘Frost Palm’ ‘Frost Sword Art’ kung fu manuals. He doesn’t really care whether if I live or die, just as long as I help him obtain those manuals. We have actually been tracking the Lion Prestige Escort for over 4 months to try and steal it”.

    “Your husband’s kung fu has already reached an advance level. Why does he want those two manuals?”, asked Lok Gum Fa in surprise.

    “Because he is not content!”, replied Yip So So, almost running out of breath.

    Pausing for a moment she continued, “Although big brother Lin’s kung fu is well advanced, he is not famed in the world of wulin. In fact he is jealous that his younger sister ‘Heroine Lin’, Lin Chun Fa, has achieved greater fame then him. He wants to be as famous as, or even greater, than ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’, and ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’.”

    Lok Gum Fa sighed upon hearing this. She knew the drawbacks of being famous. Everyday your life would be in danger, as their would be countless numbers of people wanting to murder you for fame. That was what she had been experiencing with Yeung Tin Ling. They have done nothing but be on the run, moving from one province to another to try and find a peaceful life. In fact they had now made up their minds to find a secluded place in Chengdu live a normal life, away from the troubles of and affairs of wulin. Also it is only because of her husband’s famous reputation that many have pursued them to Chongqing tonight. Even though some had claimed to have come for revenge, the ultimate reason was always fame.

    “So when he heard about his famous ancestor’s Lin Sap Sam’s skills, he immediately set out to locate the two kung fu manuals? Thinking that he would dominate wulin upon learning the arts, and thus achieve the greatest fame of all?”, guessed Lok Gum fa.

    “You’re really clever. In fact you’ve always been very clever”, praised Yip So So.

    Changing the subject, Yip So So asked in a very weak voice, “I heard you’ve married the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. Tell me something. Does he treat you well?”.

    “Yes!”, replied Lok Gum Fa enthusiastically.

    Without a thought she continued cheerfully, “In fact I know that he would give up his life for me. He even gave me his two most precious kung fu manuals for safe keeping to prove it. He said that nothing in this world could compare with his love for me”.

    Yip So So could be heard groaning inwardly. She glanced up at the moon one last time to enjoy it’s beauty and mystery. She suddenly coughed up another mouth full of blood and left the troubled world for good. She had not died from her internal injuries, but of a broken heart. Her eyes were still wide open. They were full of sorrow and pity.

    Lok Gum Fa placed her hands over Yip So So’s face to close her eyelids. She sat there clutching onto her body for a while to remember the many warm memories they had together since childhood, all the way through to their adult lives. After a good 30 minutes, Lok Gum Fa, finally decided to take Yip So So’s body down by the lake and buried her under a tall old tree. She selected a few large rocks nearby for a tombstone and carved a few words into one of the large rocks with her long sword before turning to leave. It read, “Here lies Yip So So. The kind. The gentle. The merciful. The faithful. May the moon maiden protect her soul. In found tender memory - Lok Gum Fa”.

    As she was leaving the scene, Lok Gum Fa couldn’t help but think to herself, “When big brother Yeung and I die. I wonder if anyone is going to bury our body and erect a tombstone?”. Her junior apprentice sister, Lin Chun Fa, was the only person that she could think off. Lin Chun Fa was only a year younger than her at 21 years of age. They were also like sisters having gone through many death defying adventures together. Like herself, Lin Chun Fa was a very strong minded person. She has done a number of good deeds and has helped a number of innocent people. She often acted without thinking of the consequences and without fear for her life. She also acted without thought of reward. Nor did she wish that people repay her in the future for her deeds. That brought her great respect and fame from common people and martial artists in wulin alike. But in doing this she had also made numerous enemies in all provinces of China. ‘Heroine Lin’ was a well deserved nickname in deed for someone of Lin Chun Fa’s character. Thinking about Lin Chun Fa also brought up feelings of sorrow from a few moments earlier. She could never have guessed that Lin Chun Fa’s brother was nothing like his sister. She had promised Yip So So not to mention the event to Lin Chun Fa and so would keep her promise. Inwardly she really wanted to hunt Lin Man Tung down and kill him at this point, to rid wulin of another pest.

    By now Lok Gum Fa had walked out of the park and back towards the tree where she had left her red dragon lantern earlier. It was still hanging there in the same position as she had placed it. As she was walking over to recover it, she could hear the sounds of battle from the ‘Chongqing Gardens’ nearby. She immediately run in that general direction without taking her lantern. Once again she found a thicket of bushes about 50 metres away from the battle to observe what was going on without being detected.

    Lok Gum Fa thought, “I wonder if this battle has something to do with my husband”.

    As she parted the leaves to create a viewing window through the thicket, she was once again disappointed. Underneath the moonlight she could vaguely make out 5 nuns from Emei Shan surrounding a female swordsman wearing a dark blue dress. In that person’s hand was a long sword resting in its white sheath. Two butterflies were carved into the hilt of the sword. A white belt was worn around the waist with a black butterfly insignia at the centre. A blue veil covered the lower portion of her face. A pair of beautifully hand crafted jade butterflies hang by the side of the right leg. That female swordsman appeared to be none other than To Guk Fa from the Divine Butterfly Sect.

    Lok Gum Fa was shocked as she thought, “Why are 5 nuns from Emei Shan surrounding my 3rd junior apprentice sister, To Guk Fa?”.

    Another question flashed past her mind, “Why is ‘Heroine Lin’ and my master not there to help her?”.

    Though Lok Gum Fa had been expelled from the Divine Butterfly Sect after the events of Taishan, she still considered herself to be the senior apprentice of ‘Iron Maiden’ Cheung Cum. She loved both Lin Chun Fa and To Guk Fa like sisters. Seeing now that her 3rd junior apprentice sister was up against 5 nuns from Emei Shan, she crept forward for a closer look. She crouched down once more behind some bushes, and was now close enough to be able to clearly listen into the conversations.

    To Guk Fa was actually the youngest of the once renowned ‘3 Flower Maidens’ of the Divine Butterfly Sect. She is only 20 years of age this year. Like Lok Gum Fa, To Guk Fa was an orphan who joined the Divine Butterfly Sect from the age of 5 years. The 2 of them along with Lin Chun Fa, were the personal apprentices of the Chief of the Divine Butterfly Sect the ‘Iron Maiden’ Cheung Cum. Unlike Lok Gum Fa and Lin Chun Fa, To Guk Fa was a very serious and strict person, who always went by the book. She did not dare disobey her master’s orders. So although the three called each other sisters, To Guk Fa, never shared the same level of friendship that Lin Chun Fa and Lok Gum Fa enjoyed together. Lok Gum Fa was intelligent and yet a little devious. In good times her master, Cheung Cum, used to call her, the ‘Heretic Maiden’. Lin Chun Fa was caring and compassionate. So her master used to label her as ‘Heroine Maiden’. To Guk Fa was labelled as the ‘Moon Maiden’, because her master had said, that apart from her looks there was really not much personality in her 3rd apprentice worth mentioning. To Guk Fa used to hate being called ‘Moon Maiden’ for this reason and harboured a slight resentment against the other two. True, she was indeed a simple person, who lived through life with a cautious approach. She never strayed out of line and did not have a good sense of humour. But one could not say that she did not have a good personality worth mentioning, above her beauty.

    “Out of my way! I have something important to do!”, cried To Guk Fa as she twisted her body to evade two attacks to the right side of her body. She was clutching her sword, which was still resting in its sheath. It was obvious that she had intended not to harm any of the nuns from the Emei Sect, another orthodox clan. At this moment she was only leaping away and blocking the strikes with the sheath of the sword.

    But the nuns of Emei Sect, appeared to be hot with rage. Every move they had used were attacking vital pressure points, and soft organs. In fact every thrust seemed to be aiming to kill To Guk Fa.

    “You’re not going anywhere! You evil witch!”, insulted the first nun of Emei Sect, as she launched an attack at To Guk Fa’s mid cage region.

    “You people from the Divine Butterfly Sect caused the death of the Chancellor of Wulin, Bak Tin Fei, and have brought utter shame upon all of the orthodox schools”, cried the second nun as she slashed towards To Guk Fa’s right stomach region.

    “The Chancellor’s death has nothing to do with my sect. He committed suicide and only has himself to blame”, rebutted To Guk Fa, as she bent down whilst rolling forward and just managed to evade the two attacks.

    “If not for your master, arranging the marriage between your now expelled senior apprentice sister Lok Gum Fa and ‘Gentleman Sword’ Bak Fung Wan, knowing full well that your senior apprentice sister had a lover in the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’, the Chancellor of Wulin would not have died!”, rebutted the third nun.

    “We are not stupid like the rest of the people in wulin. We know who the main person at fault for that incident is!”, cried the fourth nun, whilst attacking To Guk Fa who was still rolling pass her on the ground.

    “Your master just can’t push the blame to other people, like the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ expecting us to risk our lives and hunt him down for her own personal revenge at being defeated at Taishan”, cried the fifth nun. She slashed with a late cut with the tip pointed upwards. To Guk Fa had just gotten on her feet, and ducked in time to avoid the thrust.

    “A really evil and vicious woman is that master of yours”, agreed the first nun as she suddenly threw her sword forwards in great speed. To Guk Fa managed to just see it in time and moved to the left and ducked her head out of the way to doge it. The sword stabbed into a tree and was quickly recovered by the first nun.

    “There is really no distinction between your master and those females from the 7 Vixens”, commented the second nun, starting another series of attacks towards To Guk Fa’s upper chest region.

    “She is in her late 40s but look like she’s in her mid 20s. What’s the difference between your master and Fung Lau Yin of the ‘7 Vixens’ I ask? Obviously they are both studying the same devilish arts”, jested the third nun whilst attacking the lower leg region.

    “Dam you all for cursing at my master like that! It’s the Black Dragon Swordsman’s fault and no one elses!”, said To Guk Fa pausing for a moment.

    “Besides what has this got to do with me? I have some urgent business to attend to! Let me pass!”, she demanded whilst dodging left and then moving right. Jumping up and then ducking low. She had been surrounded by the 5 nuns of Emei Sect for a second time.

    “No way! You’re one of her 3 personal apprentices! Like master! like apprentice! We need to rid wulin of all you pests”, cried the fourth nun as she maintained her position.

    “You’re now surrounded! You have no choice but to give up and surrender by committing suicide!”, shouted the first nun pointing her sword forward.

    To Guk Fa glared back at the 5 nuns of Emei Sect, in a little bit of a rage, she said, “If it wasn’t for my master’s instructions not to harm other orthodox clan members that had gathered in Chongqing without her permission! Do you think you 5 nuns can really surround me so easily?”.

    “What are you saying you little witch?”, cried the fifth nun.

    “I have yielded over 50 stances to you 5 nuns already. I have not even unsheathed my sword. I don’t want any trouble, but I have an urgent matter to attend to? Please move out of my way!”, replied To Guk Fa regaining a calm composure. She did not fear the nuns because she had good enough sword skills to be able to last for a long while defending herself. If she had actually unsheathed her sword and attacked, she would have been able to escape. But this did not cross her mind, as she thought that in attacking she may seriously injure one of the nuns.

    “We don’t care if you’re yielding us or not! We have sworn an oath to kill your master, and everyone of the ‘3 Flower Maidens’ on the same day that the Chancellor of Wulin had died”, cried the 5 nuns of Emei Sect together.

    “Everyone of the ‘3 Flower Maidens’?”, Lok Gum Fa thought to herself remaining hidden in the bushes. This was really an unreasonable and illogical act being undertaken by the 5 nuns of Emei. For one Lok Gum Fa and her master did indeed have a role in the Chancellor of Wulin’s death. But at the end of the day, it was the Chancellor’s own fault that he had died. Lok Gum Fa knew that full well. To Guk Fa and especially Herione Lin had nothing to do with it. They were both totally innocent in that event.

    “Tonight is your unlucky night for running into the 5 of us. One last time are you going to surrender by committing suicide or are you going to die trying to win a win less battle? You’re going to die either way, here tonight!”, they continued maintaining there position.

    Hearing no response from To Guk Fa the 5 nuns of Emie Sect launched 5 different attacks covering 5 vital pressure points on her body. One covered the adams apple, another the heart, others covered the middle of the back, liver and stomach. They were sure she wouldn’t be able to escape in this position. The attacks launched were quick and swift. Not allowing much time for To Guk Fa to properly assess the situation and decide whether or not she would unsheathe her sword. It had indeed become an urgent situation, but To Guk Fa remained paralysed unable to come up with a decision in her own mind. A normal person would have immediately thrown caution to the wind, knowing full well that if they had not reacted, by would certainly be dead. Just when the five swords looked like they would pierce To Guk Fa’s body, five projectiles in the shape of a butterfly came flying out from the bushes all aiming at the back of the head of each of the 5 nuns. They had no option upon hearing the projectiles swishing through the air, to pull back their attacks and evade the attack. Had the continued in their attacks they would have certainly killed To Guk Fa, but they would have also died upon being struck by those projectiles at the same time. Three of them ducked, whilst the other two leapt out of the way of the incoming projectiles.

    “Really wicked! Sneaking about in the dark like that and ambushing us from behind!”, cried the first nun, a little shocked and frightened.

    “No more wicked than 5 attacking 1! Then pressing ahead with the matter even though you realise that my 3rd junior apprentice sister wasn’t here to cause trouble and wouldn’t defend herself”, rebutted Lok Gum Fa with a smile as she emerged from the bushes and stood towards her junior apprentice sister To Guk Fa.

    “So it’s the little devil herself, who caused all the shame on the Bak family of Taishan and brought unspeakable shame on all the orthodox schools!”, snickered the second nun upon seeing Lok Gum Fa. At first they thought she may have been “Heroine Lin”, but upon seeing the pink outfit and hearing that she referred to To Guk Fa as 3rd junior apprentice sister, they could all guess that she must have been none other than Mrs Yeung – Lok Gum Fa.

    “Good! We can rid two birds with one stone!”, snickered the fifth nun.

    “You two may just as well commit suicide and die, to save us the trouble!”, demanded the third nun stepping backwards.

    “Commit suicide? That thought has never crossed my mind!”, protested Lok Gum Fa.

    Still smiling wickedly she continued, “What makes you think that you 5 nuns can defeat the combined forces of my 3rd junior apprentice sister and I?”.

    “Don’t try to hide the fact that you’re only a shadow of your former self!”, cried the fourth nun.

    “Mrs. Yeung! We’re not as stupid as you think we are!”, said the fifth nun.

    “We know that when a member of the Divine Butterfly Sect loses her virginity, she looses the first 25% of their ‘Divine Butterfly’ inner energy”, smirked the second nun.

    “Also we know that another 25% is lost when the first child is born”, remarked the first nun.

    “At most, we figure you only have around 50% to 75% of your inner energy left”, said the second nun.

    Lok Gum Fa gasped inwardly in shock, having never expected outsiders to know about their clan’s secret. Let alone nuns from the Emei Sect. Obviously they have scouted well for news prior to making a decision to come up to Chongqing and challenge ‘Iron Maiden’ Cheung Cum. But Lok Gum Fa remained confident of her own abilities. What she lacked in inner energy, she made up in through superb sword arts. She has studied the sword arts from her husband’s “Black Dragon”, kung fu manual recently, to further refine her abilities. Though she possessed different inner energy to that of her husbands, those sword moves where still nearly just as lethal, though lacking in power.

    To Guk Fa was standing next to Lok Gum Fa by now, was also looking a little shocked. Her expression seemed to be asking a question of Lok Gum Fa. So in reply Lok Gum Fa gave a little nod indicating that what had been said was indeed true. To Guk Fa had once heard her master mentioned something similar like that to her before she joined the Divine Butterfly Sect. But as she was still unmarried and a virgin, she had thought that it was just a lie made up by her master to keep her from falling in love and being fooled by men. She could never have guessed it was actually the truth.

    “True but my husband has given me another 25% of his inner energy to compensate for the loss”, smiled Lok Gum Fa, throwing in a lie to create fear and panic in the hearts of the 5 nuns from the Emei Sect.

    “That’s impossible! You’re lying! I don’t believe you”, said the fifth nun as she launched an attack pointing forward towards Lok Gum Fa’s adam’s apple pressure point with an out stretched right hand.

    Lok Gum Fa smiled as she saw the attack. At this point she could have used the ‘slashing hidden dragon’ to cut off the nuns right arm at the shoulder. But she was not as cruel or ruthless as her husband. Besides she had only stepped in to help her 3rd junior apprentice sister escape. Engaging in a heated battle had never not crossed her mind. Instead Lok Gum Fa used a move called ‘hidden dragon seizes the blade’, and channelled her inner energy towards the tip of her own sword and blocked the attack. As the nun pulled back after the attack, her sword remained stuck to Lok Gum Fa’s sword before sliding off and an angle with the handle pointed towards Lok Gum Fa’s left hand. With a flick of the wrist Lok Gum Fa now held two swords in her hands. Everyone was shocked by the superb display of sword skills on display. It was obvious these were no ordinary sword skills.

    Throwing the sword back to the fifth nun and looking at her 3rd junior apprentice sister, Lok Gum Fa said with a smile, “Sister To, let’s attack together and make these 5 wicked nuns take back there cruses and insults about our master”.

    To Lok Gum Fa’s surprise, To Guk Fa, stood there with her arms crossed and was starring at her with an emotionless face. She said in reply, “We’re not related! So there’s no need to call me sister, Mrs Yeung!”.

    Casting a glance over at the 5 nuns of Emei Sect, To Guk Fa continued, “But these nuns did insult my respectful master and I will deal with them later, when I have obtained approval from master to pursue this matter”.

    Glancing back at Lok Gum Fa, To Guk Fa, said coldly, “But this is a matter for the Divine Butterfly Sect, and do not concern any outsiders”.

    Lok Gum Fa was shocked and speechless. She could never have guessed that someone she had treated with love and caring affection since they were young would act like this. She felt slightly betrayed and bewildered. She had come out at an urgent time and saved To Guk Fa’s life. But this is how she repaid her! By treating her like an outsider and as an enemy. She couldn’t help but feel extremely annoyed and angry. She stood there without saying a word and just folded her arms as well.

    She could see To Guk Fa cupping her hands to the 5 nuns from Emei Sect who were also a little shocked, before saying, “Please understand that this is a just a missunderstanding between our respectful Emei Sect and the Divine Butterfly Sect! I have not come here to harm any of you! The Chancellor of Wulin did not die at my master’s hands nor is it a fault of the Divine Butterfly Sect that he died”.

    After a long pause To Guk Fa contiued, “Master had good intentions of betrothing my senior apprentice sister to Bak Fung Wan. If not for the ‘witch craft’ of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’, my senior apprentice sister wouldn’t have fallen under his spell and left Taishan, causing the great embarrassment that led to the Chancellor’s death”.

    “If you wish to seek revenge for the Chancellor then go and seek the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. My master should not be blamed for this matter”, concluded To Guk Fa.

    Turning to Lok Gum Fa, To Gu Fa said, “Mrs Yeung, don’t think I am going to thank you for saving me earlier. This misunderstanding between the Emei Sect and the Divine Butterfly Sect has been caused entirely by you and your husband alone. Otherwise these 5 nuns would have no reason to attack me at all and my life need not be in danger”.

    “But at the same time it’s only because that you’ve saved me that I will leave you alone tonight. When we meet again, I will be out to avenge the shame you have brought on my master and our sect. Goodbye Mrs Yeung”, continued To Guk Fa.

    Turning to the 5 nuns of Emei Sect, To Guk Fa, finally said whilst pointing to Lok Gum Fa, “Goodbye all! I have some important business at hand! However if you wish to seek revenge for the Chancellor of Wulin, the person most responsible for his death stands before you”. To Guk Fa then darted off into the night and soon disappeared from sight.

    Upon hearing To Guk Fa’s words, Lok Gum Fa’s temper had hit the roof. Just from those few words, To Guk Fa, had actually push the entire blame for the incident at Taishan and the subsequent death of the Chancellor of Wulin, Bak Tin Fei all on her and her husband. This was very wicked and low. Most rational people knew that Yeung Tin Lung had show great mercy at Taishan, yet tonight there are these people accusing him of doing wrong by the Chancellor of Wulin. She herself did not love Bak Fung Wan and thus did not want to marry him. Even though it was tradition that the Master should determine who her husband would be and she had no actual say in that matter, she still felt that it was wrong. She had no regrets about what she and Yeung Tin Lung had done.

    At this moment the 5 nuns from Emei Sect were trying to decide what to do. They could be heard discussing various things, whilst Lok Gum Fa stood there motionless in complete shock at the quick turn of events. At a blink of an eye she had gone from hiding to being involved in a battle.

    “What should we do”, asked the fifth nun. She still could not figure out how her sword had been snatched from her so easily during the battle.

    “That Divine Butterfly Sect member is right”, said the third nun.

    “Either way the Chancellor’s death still had something to do with both the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ and that witch in front of us”, said the second nun.

    “No doubt about it. Let’s attack and kill her to begin with and deal with her husband later”, said the fourth nun.

    “So it’s decided. Sisters attack formation”, cried the first nun.

    After first nun had said this the other four nuns took up their positions. Seeing that Lok Gum Fa possessed great sword fighting abilities, they attacked her in a different formation. Three of the nuns were in attacking stances covering the centre, left and right sides of Lok Gum Fa’s body. Two nuns were in defence covering the left and right sides of each of the attacking nuns. This way they could block the lethal moves from Lok Gum Fa and still be able to attack at the same time.

    By now Lok Gum Fa had regained her thoughts and could see the formation that the 5 nuns from Emei Sect had used to surround her. She knew she was in for a fight. It’s 5 against 1 and the chances of success were thus stacked against her already. Not mentioning the fact that although she possessed great sword skills, she had 50% less power than her 3rd junior apprentice sister To Guk Fa. Lok Gum Fa set her mind to kill. This was totally against her character but she knew that she had no other choice. If she were to fall into the hands of these people, they would surely take her as hostage. This would cause Yeung Tin Lung to admit defeat and trade his life for hers. That was the last thing she wanted to happen. So against the unreasonable nuns from the Emei Sect, she decided to be totally ruthless.

    Taking no time the first nun leapt at Lok Gum Fa in a horizontal dive and slashed her sword downwards.

    Taking two steps to the left, Lok Gum Fa managed to block the attack and cried out, “Really vicious! And you call yourselves orthodox clan members. Not even Demon Cult members would use such a weird stance!”.

    “There’s no need to adhere to the ‘ancient code of chivalry’ when dealing with a big demon witch such as yourself”, rebutted the fifth nun, as he launched an attack to the back of Lok Gum Fa’s head.

    Lok Gum Fa just managed to duck forward and launched a reverse attack sweeping upwards at the third nun, as she cried, “I doubt 5 useless nuns as yourselves would know anything about the ‘ancient code of chivalry’. With such poor skills, you’re not worthy to roam throughout wulin”.

    “Shut your mouth! You stinky witch”, cried the third nun blocking Lok Gum Fa’s strike.

    “Obviously the main reason why you 5 nuns want to avenge the death of the Chancellor of Wulin, is because you 5 nuns were once his bed time ****s!”, insulted Lok Gum Fa as she leapt back several paces from the three swords attacking together at her feet.

    Lok Gum Fa knew full well that many of the orthodox clans, but particularly the nuns from the Emei Sect needed to have a peaceful mind in order to gain an upper hand over their opponents. The major reason why she was using dirty words, and nasty curses was to anger them. This way they won’t be thinking clearly and their formation will break down. Especially when all 5 of the nuns become full of rage and start attacking together. That way she could pick them off one by one. At the moment, every attack of hers was being blocked, whilst she was being attacked by three swords. If this situation were to continue, she knew she would be over powered.

    The nuns were all in their mid 30s, and were somewhat attractive so it would have been possible for someone in wulin to start a rumour that the ‘5 nuns from Emei Sect had some kind of romantic connection with the deceased Chancellor of Wulin’. The nuns knew this of course and knew what Lok Gum Fa was getting at. It filled them with rage and the fifth nun abandoned her defence stances immediately and changed them to attacking stances.

    “We have no romantic connection with the Chancellor of Wulin. We have devoted our lives to the worship of Taoism”, rebutted the first nun, as she launched a slash trying to cut off Lok Gum Fa’s left arm.

    “We just respected him and felt pity that he died at the hands of two wicked demons”, cried the second nun launching an attack to cut Lok Gum Fa’s right arm.

    “Killing demons is our duty”, cried the fourth nun as she slashed wildly left and right without aiming.

    “That’s not what I heard!”, rebutted Lok Gum Fa as she jumped back several paces once more to avoid the strikes.

    Breathing heavily she continued, “I heard that your senior apprentice sister visits Taishan at least 10 times a year. There’s a great distance between Taishan and Emeishan! So what could she possibly be doing at Taishan so frequently. Don’t you think it’s rather odd? And yet you 5 nuns deny that she’s not the Chancellor’s bedtime ****?”.

    “WHAT! Where did you hear this rubbish? Why I am going to kill you, NOW!”, shouted the first nun. Her face had completely turned from snow white to red. It’s obvious that she was the senior apprentice of the Emei Sect. On close inspection one could now noticed that the first nun was wearing a light white and pink robe whilst the other four were wearing white and grey robes. The first nun was rather attractive, and had a slim figure. So it would be easy to start rumours about her and the Chancellor of Wulin. Many would believe those rumours as well and her reputation would be ruined forever. So these comments made her mad and she lost her self control and was now attacking out of formation. She herself was supposed to be in charge and call all the shots of ‘attack’ and ‘defend’ in the formation. Now she had lost her capacity to think clearly. The other nuns were completely lost in their stances now.

    Lok Gum Fa kept smiling slyly knowing that her tactics had worked for the time being. She continued talking to the first nun in a very mocking tone, “Why sister of the Emei Sect, you’re quite attractive! There was no need to keep your relationship a secret. All you have to do is resume a secular life and then head up to Taishan and marry the Chancellor of Wulin. There’s nothing preventing you from taking ghost as a husband”.

    “Evil witch!”, cried the first nun attacking with all her might rushing forward with the tip of the sword pointed towards Lok Gum Fa’s head.

    Lok Gum Fa blocked the move before continuing with the insults and laughing all the time, “The way you’re running around attacking me like a dog in heat, everyone in wulin might say that I am telling the truth”.

    The first nun became even more furious and suddenly launched a move called the ‘5 heavenly star’. From Lok Gum Fa’s view it appeared that there were five separate sword thrusts attacking her 5 vital regions at the same time. But in her own mind she knew that the first nun had only 1 sword and thus could only attack one of her 5 vital pressure points. The other strikes were fake.

    Lok Gum Fa countered with a move called the ‘windmill dragon’ from her husband’s sword art. From the first nun’s perspective it appeared that Lok Gum Fa’s sword was twirling around like a windmill. It had rotated at such a rapid rate that it looked as if a shield had suddenly appeared before her to protect all possible attacks on her 5 vital pressure points. So the first nun withdrew her thrust thinking that her strike would be useless.

    A smile appeared on Lok Gum Fa’s face knowing that this ‘fake’ powerful looking move of hers had tricked the first nun. Though it appeared she had covered all the attacking points. If the first nun’s trust had continued forward, Lok Gum Fa would not have the strength to block the attack, because of the great difference in inner energy level between the two fighters.

    Lok Gum Fa had been concentrating on blocking the strike from the first nun that she did not pay any attention to the other strikes launched at her. By the time she noticed the sword attacking the stomach region and the right thigh, it was already too late. She cried out in pain, “Ah Ya!”.

    At this moment Lok Gum Fa had been slashed across the right thigh. A large gash opened up and she began to bleed furiously. She had also received a deep cut to the mid stomach region. Blood started to gush out from that region as well. She cursed herself for being not being a little bit more cautious. But luckily for her these wounds weren’t that serious. Fighting off the pain she continued battling.

    “Yey! We’ve injured! Her”, cried the third nun jubilantly. The third nun had become a little over confident and launched an attack at Lok Gum Fa’s adams apple pressure point. She could be seen leaping backwards in pain all of a sudden.

    “Something was no right!”, thought the third nun before passing out from the pain. Her right arm had been slashed off from the right shoulder.

    It was the ‘slashing hidden dragon’ move so often used by her husband. It is a move that achieves great success because it is an offensive move that is used to counter an opponents offensive move. Most orthodox clan members are caught off guard by this move. When launching a deadly attack, one would always expect your opponent to block it and not counter it with another deadly move that would put one’s own life at risk. That’s having no fear of death. A very rare trait found amongst people. A normal person would pull back and defend to safe guard their lives. Not put their life in danger and along with that of their opponent.

    Seeing that the third nun had momentarily passed out, Lok Gum Fa took this opportunity to finish her off and launched a ‘butterfly’ projectile with her left hand. It hit the third nun on the adams apple pressure point and she instantly died without moving.

    “How cowardly! Taking advantage of a defenceless person like that”, protested the second nun as she leapt forward with a thrust.

    Dodging the blow Lok Gum Fa continued, “There’s no need to adhere to the ‘ancient code of chivalry’ when dealing with ****s and *****s”.

    Hearing this insult the first nun used her inner energy and threw her sword towards Lok Gum Fa’s rib cage. Lok Gum Fa was almost caught off guard but managed to jump up to avoid it. But this put her in a bad position and a sword pierced into her lower left abdomen.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried Lok Gum Fa as she rolled in pain on the ground moments later. She was panting heavily and most of her energy had been spent. She had suffered a wound to her mid stomach region, left abdomen, and right thigh. Blood continued to gush out from the three wounds. She had not been able to seal her pressure points around that region to stop the bleeding. She was about to faint at any moment. Gathering up some courage she took another four ‘butterfly’ projectiles from her pocket, before throwing her sword on the ground in disgust. Had she not lost 50% of her ‘Divine Maiden Butterfly’ inner energy she would have not be in her present situation.

    The 4 remaining nuns relaxed and put their swords down, thinking that Lok Gum Fa would drop dead any instant now. They knew she was now defeated. They slowly walked up towards Lok Gum Fa to seize her and use her as bait to force the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ to admit defeat and commit suicide. Then their task of revenge for the Chancellor of Wulin would be accomplished.

    Lok Gum Fa kept quite. She waited and waited for them to come forward so she could launch one last ambush and take as many with them to hell as she could. She thought to herself, “I am going to die now! But there’s no way I am going to take me as your hostage and cause big brother Yeung to die as well”. Suddenly she thought of an idea.

    “Big brother Yeung! You’re finally here!”, she cried with tender love and affection.

    The 4 nuns were shocked and turned around to see if it was true. Suddenly they heard 4 swooshing sounds behind them. A sign that 4 projectiles had been launched through the air.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried the fourth and fifth nun as they hit the ground with a thud. The projectiles hit them squarely on the back of the head and they died shortly after the point of impact.

    “That was really evil and cowardly”, protested the first nun and the second nun. They were the two most experienced fighters in Emei Sect and had not put down their guards totally. Thus they managed to get out of the way of those projectiles just in time. At this point, Lok Gum Fa, fainted from her injuries and as a result of losing too much blood.

    “Good she’s passed out”, shouted the first nun.

    “Let’s tie her up and use her as bait to capture the Black Dragon Swordsman”, said the second nun stepping forward to pick up Lok Gum Fa’s body.

    Suddenly both nuns could be heard crying loudly, “Ah Ya!”. The cries echoed back and forth in the ‘Phoenix Gardens’, were they were. Two thud sounds could be heard not long after as two more bodies dropped to the ground. A red blur ran pass the two dead bodies and stood over Lok Gum Fa.

    End of Chapter 2
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

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    If anyone has any comments about the story and/or characters that would be greatly appreciated. It's my first story in this theme so would welcome comments along this line.

    Don't worry about pointing out spelling errors, sentence structuring, or typos. I expect that to happen in my first draft when I am tying at 100 miles an hour.

    My final draft should clear all that up when I have finished the story.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

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    Default Chapter 3: The Young Lady in Red

    Chapter 3: The Young Lady in Red

    It’s now around 3.00am in the morning in the city of Chonqqing. There’s a rumour in wulin that at this hour in Chongqing is the hour known as the ‘devil’s hour’. When all things wicked and evil are said to walk through the city. An hour when the various ghosts, evil sprits, and demons roam through the earth from a gateway in hell before disappearing back to the underworld at the sign of first light. The streets are now totally emptied. Doors, and windows of houses and shop fronts are locked and barricaded tightly. Everyone is indoors. Safe from the lurking danger outside. Those who are awake, tremble in fear, clutching a weapon in the darkness. Wolves can be heard howling in the valleys. Dogs can be heard whimpering, or not even heard at all. The moon could still be seen shining brightly high above in the sky. The mist has now gotten thinker. Covering the city with a blanked of white fog. It was becoming increasingly difficult to see. There is an uneasy feeling of death in the air.

    By the ‘Chongqing Park’ near the lake on the north east side of the city, a young girl in red can be seem placing little paper boats into the water. A small candle lies at the centre of each paper boat. They are lit providing a yellowish glow in the lake. There are now over 48 little paper boats drifting through the lake. It is quite a beautiful and magnificent sight. It is said that these little boats placed in the lake are for remembrance of loved ones. Carrying lost souls to the gate of heaven. Not far from the lake underneath a tall old tree, one can see a pile of soft earth covering a recently deceased body. Piles of rocks have been stacked at the end for a tombstone. Some words have been carved into one of the rocks, but from a distance one cannot read those words clearly.

    On closer inspection one can see that the young lady in red by the lake has a pale thin face. She is quite pretty and looks to be around 20 years of age. A tiny blood red dress covers her slim figure and soft curves. Her long black silky hair is tied into a neat bundle at the back with red ribbons. Two long locks of her hair dangle in front of her right and left shoulder down to the mid chest region. She is carrying a pair of twin blades in her left hand. The head of a wolf is carved into the hilt of the sword. Two tiny tear drops fall onto the soft cheeks of the young girl in red. At this moment she is sitting by an old log watching the little paper boats disappear into the lake. Soon they sink one by one and the light they once carried fade into the darkness. Like the many lives that walk the earth. A wave of depression and sorrow fills her heart. She can be heard giving a long sigh, whilst starring blankly into the lake. She can no longer hold back the tears. Her heart is full of pain. There is no comfort in the dead silence of the night. The world is a lonely place indeed. The young lady in red can suddenly be heard reciting a poem. Her voice is full of sadness, self-pity, sorrow. The words of the poem echo through the wind.

    When I die,
    No tears will fill the eye,
    As no one will cry,
    Nor will they sigh,
    Understand? They won’t try,
    Time will pass them by,
    In the blink of an eye,
    No one will remember why?,
    Underneath the dirt I lie,
    In heaven up high,
    Only then will I say goodbye.

    Suddenly a faint weak voice of another young lady could be heard asking, “Who’s… Who’s There?”.

    Still breathing heavily the voice of the other young lady continued, “Where… Where I am?”.

    It is obvious from the tone of her voice that this person was in pain and had recently been seriously injured. From a distance one can see a naked young lady laying on the ground behind the log where the young lady in red had sat. The naked young lady was resting by the side of a small warm fire. Her naked body glows underneath the moonlight. A pink dress, white bra, and white panties, are hanging up on an old branch above the fire to dry. It is a sign that they have recently been washed to remove the stains of blood. The pink dress was torn around the mid stomach region, right thigh region and the left abdomen region. There are three deep wounds on the naked lady’s body. The wounds to the mid stomach region, left abdomen, and right thing had been covered with medical herbs and bandaged with a red scarf. Finger marks left around the wounded areas indicate that the pressure points around that region had been sealed to stop the bleeding earlier. The naked lady’s eyes were shut tight. Sweat was forming on her forehead, indicating a slight fever. She seemed a little dazed and out of it. But it appeared as if she was awake and could hear the young lady in red crying and reciting the sad poem about death.

    The young lady in red suddenly jumped up from the log, having not expected her lonely silence to be broken all of a sudden. She had been in a trance and had forgotten momentarily forgotten about the recent events. She had just gone to great lengths to save the life of another and had carried the body the lake.

    Clearing her throat the young lady in red said, “Mrs. Yeung. Why don’t you take some rest! Don’t think too much”.

    On closer inspection it was obvious now that the naked lady resting on the ground near the small fire was none other than Lok Gum Fa.

    Hearing that the female’s voice in front of her was gentle, and carried an air of concern. Lok Gum Fa couldn’t help but ask, “Sister… Sister Lin. Is… Is that… that.. you?”. She was referring to none other than her 2nd apprentice junior sister Lin Chun Fa.

    “I am not your Sister Lin”, replied the lady in red in a calm voice.

    “Who… Who… Who are you”, asked Lok Gum Fa in surprise. For now, she couldn’t think of anyone else in Chongqing who would lend her a helping hand. The majority who have come are seeking hers and her husband’s life.

    “Who am I? I am a no one in wulin. My name is not worth mentioning”, replied the young lady in red.

    The young lady in red sighed before continuing, “It’s best not to talk too much Mrs Yeung. You need to rest to recover from your injuries”.

    At this moment Lok Gum Fa could remember the painful event of experiencing her 3rd apprentice junior sister, To Guk Fa taking off on her, leaving her to deal with 5 nuns from Emei Sect all by herself. She remembered that she had suffered a serious injury. She could feel various parts of her body aching. She winced in pain. The slash to her left abdomen region was long and deep. This was indeed serious. A thought suddenly ran pass her mind, “What if this young lady intends to use me as a hostage and force big brother Yeung to kill himself”.

    She gathered up some strength so she could speak loudly and in defiance, “I know what you’re up to. You want to use me as a hostage and force big brother Yeung to kill himself, don’t you? I won’t let you do it. I’ll commit suicide before that happens! So you won’t succeed”.

    “Relax Mrs Yeung. I can honestly tell you that I am not here to kill you and your husband. Get some rest!”, continued the young lady in red will full of concern.

    Lok Gum Fa was really shocked at this response and wanted to know the identity of the young lady who had saved her just now.

    “Even if she doesn’t personally tell me. I will be able to guess her identity if she gives me enough clues”, Lok Gum Fa thought to herself.

    “You’re… You’re not a member from an… an orthodox clan… are… are you?”, asked Lok Gum Fa. She thought this would be a good guess because almost everyone from the orthodox clan wanted her husband dead at this point.

    A little shocked and surprised the young lady in red remarked, “You’re very clever Mrs Yeung. Yes I’m not a member from an orthodox clan”.

    “Then… Then I am guessing you… you are… a member of an unorthodox clan… and not a Demon Cult member!”, continued Lok Gum Fa. In her mind Demon Cult members are senseless killers and would never save her. They had no reason to save her. Her husband had no actual friends from the Demon Cult itself, though he had some friends from the unorthodox clans. Some were in allegiance with the Demon Cult and some weren’t.

    “Is there any difference between members of the unorthodox clans and the Demon Cult?”, asked the young lady in red.

    “Of… Of course… unorthodox members can harbour both good and evil intentions. Demon… Demon Cult members are just senseless killers… they would never... never… save someone like me!”, continued Lok Gum Fa. She was confident now that this person was not a Demon Cult member.

    “Mrs Yeung. You’re the only one in this world with an open mind and enough vision to be able to make this distinction. Many of the people in wulin only think in terms of good and evil, orthodox and Demon Cult”, remarked the young lady in red.

    Smiling the lady in red suddenly asked, “What would you say about someone who is part of an unorthodox clan with allegiance to the Demon Cult then?”. She did not know she had actually given away part of her identity by saying this. She started feeling a little bit better now. She had been very depressed earlier on.

    Inwardly Lok Gum Fa thought to herself, “The only unorthodox clans with allegiance to the Demon Cult in this region are ’13 Ghost Mountain Assassins’, ‘7 Vixens’, and the ‘Red Wolf Fang’. All three clans had female apprentices. But the ’13 Ghost Mountain Assassins’ and the ‘7 Vixens’ were the only ones that did not have ill intentions towards the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. But the ‘7 Vixens’ had the most females”.

    “I would say… say that they would be around… around about 7 parts evil and 3 parts good. Not… Not as bad as… as 9 ½ parts evil… and ½ part good of Demon Cult members”, replied Lok Gum Fa. 3 parts good was indeed better than ½ parts good of the Demon Cult members.

    Stoping to take in a deep breath whilst winching in pain, Lok Gum Fa asked, “So which one of the ‘7 Vixens’ are you?.

    By this Lok Gum Fa had meant which one of the 7 personal apprentices of the Chef of the 7 Vixens this young lady was. The small clan actually has over 100 apprentices, but only 7 of them were renowned throughout wulin. That’s why they have been labelled as the ‘7 Vixens’ clan by wulin. They had actually referred to themselves as the “Ghost Valley Wolves” clan. But no one cared what they had called themselves.

    The young lady in red was shocked that Lok Gum Fa had correctly guessed the identity of the clan she belonged to so easily. She knew there numerous unorthodox clans with allegiance to the Demon Cult but had forgotten that in Sichuan province that there only 3.

    The young lady in red replied, “Very clever Mrs. Yeung”.

    Pausing for a moment she said with a cheerful voice, “You’ve probably guess who I am by now! Are you frightened yet?”.

    Lok Gum Fa was a little shocked at the response form the young lady. It implied that they have met before. She knew who the ‘7 Vixens’ were by name in order of seniority. They were Fung Lau Yin, Fung Lau Sit, Fung Ching Mun, Siu Wan, Siu Foon, Siu Wah, and finally there’s one called Siu Wai. The only ones still alive today were Fung Lau Yin, Fung Lau Sit, Siu Wah and Siu Wai. The only two that she’s come across was Fung Lau Yin many years ago and the unknown ‘7 Vixen’ around mid-night.

    “We’ve… We’ve met earlier in the night! Is that… that correct?”, mumbled Lok Gum Fa, the pain was swelling in her body.

    “Not only tonight! You’ve tried to murder me before. But I won’t hold that against you. It’s in the past now”, replied the young lady in red.

    “You’re… You’re Fung Lau Yin? I… I don’t understand?”, cried Lok Gum Fa in shock.

    Lok Gum Fa and Fung Lau Yin could be said to have been bitter rivals. One was the senior apprentice of the Divine Butterfly Sect, a clan of females who sought to eliminate the ‘7 Vixens’. In fact her 2nd junior apprentice sister, Lin Chun Fa, had gained fame by murdering both Siu Wan and Siu Foon. Fung Lau Yin was the senior apprentice of the ‘7 Vixens’ who would love nothing more then to eliminate the Divine Butterfly Sect. She had in fact killed many of the junior apprentice sisters under the leadership and tutor of Lok Gum Fa. Never in Lok Gum Fa’s wildest dreams could she have imagined that her lifetime foe had actually saved her. Life is sometimes strange indeed.

    “You don’t have to understand! But know that I am touched by your kindness. I will never harm you again after tonight”, replied Fung Lau Yin full of sincerity.

    Lok Gum Fa was even more puzzled by the response. In her mind Fung Lau Yin was no different than that of a member of the Demon Cult. She has been renowned for her utter ruthlessness and has killed countless numbers of men, draining dry of blood. The sudden change of heart was indeed very troubling. She was not totally convinced that Fung Lau Yin had harboured good intentions. After all it was said that members of the ‘7 Vixens’ could not be take at face value. They rely totally on their ability to deceive.

    Lok Gum Fa thought inwardly once more, “I wonder what she means, ‘I am touched by your kindness’. It’s obvious that she won’t tell me up front. So I’ll have to guess again”.

    “Is it because… because you loved my husband that… that you saved me?”, asked Lok Gum Fa. This was indeed a good guess she thought. Otherwise Fung Lau Yin would have no reason to save her. She also remembered her earlier conversation with her husband.

    “What? Who told you that?”, replied Fung Lay Yin in shock. She leapt up upon hearing this.

    “So… So it is… true!”, murmured Lok Gum Fa, feeling a slight ache in her heart all of a sudden.

    “Mrs. Yeung, you’re mistaken. It is because of your husband that I decided not to kill you earlier tonight. I owed him a great favour. But I do not love him. You can be sure about that”, rebutted Fung Lau Yin in all earnest. Even Lok Gum Fa could tell that she had been telling the truth.

    After a short pause Fung Lau Yin continued, holding back the tears, “The reason I saved you is because of your recent kindness!”.

    Another thought ran through Lok Gum Fa’s mind as she remembered that when she had initially woken up, she could hear Fung Lau Yin reciting a sad poem about death. She thought inwardly, “Perhaps someone close to Fung Lau Yin has passed away tonight. But what does that have to do with me?”.

    “Has… Has something happened… happened to Kiu Pin Fok?… or… the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’”, asked Lok Gum Fa. She thought that this was a good guess as her husband had mentioned the feud between these people to her earlier in the night.

    “What on earth are you talking about?”, rebutted Fung Lau Yin sounding very annoyed. Her voice was full of hatred upon hearing those names being mentioned.

    After a long while Fung Lau Yin warned, “Mrs Yeung. Don’t mention those names to me ever again. Or I will take back what I said earlier about not harming you. Don’t meddle in past events that you can not possibly understand”.

    Lok Gum Fa remained silent. She was taken aback by Fung Lau Yin’s response. She could never have guessed that she would flare up in anger all of a sudden. But she was well aware that it must have something to do with Kiu Pink Fok, and the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’. But since Fung Lau Yin won’t say, Lok Gum Fa knew she could never get an honest answer out of her. She decided to try another line of questioning.

    “Where… Where are we at the moment?”, Lok Gum fa finally asked to break the dead silence. It was an innocent enough question that would be answered by Fung Lau Yin, but may yet provide some clues.

    “We’re down by the lake at the end of the ‘Chongqing Park’. Don’t worry. We’re all alone. You’re safe here with me”, replied Fung Lau Yin. Most people in wulin feared Fung Lau Yin and no one would dare approach her. Although she cannot match the skills of Yeung Tin Lung, Kim Mo Dik, and Bak Fung Wan, her sword skills are never the less considered to be in the top 20 in wulin. Her lightness kung fu was the 2nd best in wulin behind that of her master’. That’s how she killed the senior apprentice nun of the Emei Sect so easily and without being noticed. That’s also the reason why she caught Lok Gum Fa off guard so easily and could have killed her earlier in the night.

    Lok Gum Fa remembered she had been down this way earlier in the night. The answer suddenly struck her like lightning. She said, “Somewhere… Somewhere around here is a…. a tall old tree and buried underneath…. is the body of my… my childhood friend Yip So So... I am correct?”.

    Fung Lau Yin could suddenly be heard crying, “Yes! Yes! That’s correct”.

    “She’s… She’s also your good friend?”, replied Lok Gum Fa.

    Lok Gum Fa figured that it was a good guess. Though Fung Lau Yin was actually over 40 human years old. It was said that her race or type of people lived for 200 years. They grow up like normal humans during childhood. However they age very slowly after reaching adulthood, which for them is 20 human years of age. So she was considered to be quite young among her race of people. She still had the young face of a 20 year old human. So it was possible for Fung Lau Yin and Yip So So to some how become good friends. She knew that it was not uncommon in wulin that many of the good natured and open minded members of the orthodox clans to have good associations and close friends within the Demon Cult or unorthodox clans.

    After a long while, Fung Lau Yin, finally dried the tears on her face and said, “Yip So So! She’s… She’s is my daughter!”.

    This was a complete shock to Lok Gum Fa. Never in her wildest dreams could she have guessed that Yip So So’s mother was actually none other than Fung Lau Yin. All through her life she thought that Yip So So was like her, an orphan. Now she understood why Fung Lau Yin had saved her and promised to never harm her again. Fung Lau Yin must have seen the tombstone that she had made and thus realised that she and Yip So So were the best of friends. Everything became a lot clearer now. Though she still had questions like who the father was. What happened between her and, Priest Tin Juk, Fung Ching Mun, and the ‘3 Aces of Qincheng Sect’, but she realised that it was not a good time to be asking such questions. This year Yip So So was exactly 20 years of age. According to her husband it was exactly 20 years ago that Priest Tin Juk changed his name to Kiu Pin Fok.

    “So… it was you who took Yip So So up… up to Kunlun Shan and left her… there, knowing that the Grand Master is a kind… kind and gentle soul and… would accept her as an apprentice”, guessed Lok Gum Fa. She remembered the stories that Yip So So had told her in the past about how she was accepted into Kunlun Shan.

    Fung Lau Yin shook her head as she said, “It was actually a young 10 to 11 year old boy by the name of Yeung Tin Lung from the ‘13 Ghost Mountain Assassin’, your husband, who took my daughter up to Kunlun Shan after she was conceived. He remained at the bottom of Kunlun Shan for around one month and heard news that they changed my daughter’s name to Yip So So, before returning to tell me”.

    “For an entire year I hid in a cave at Ghost Mountain to give birth to my daughter. I did not roam through wulin for fear of shame. Your husband, who was only a young boy, then was the one who looked after me during that time. He brought me food and took good care of me. So I was able to hide and disappear from wulin for over a year. If not for your husband I don’t know what would have happened” continued Fung Lau Yin, remembering those shameful events. She didn’t mind telling Lok Gum Fa because she knew that it would remain a secret.

    “Oh! I… I understand now!”, replied Lok Gum Fa in a little bit of a shock. She now understood a whole lot more about her fierce lifetime rival. She couldn’t help but pity her. It was very obvious that she had loved her 20 year old daughter very much, even though she didn’t reveal herself during her lifetime. It was because of this she had been in great pain. The poem that she had recited earlier made a lot of sense. It was about a lone orphan who committed suicide, thinking that there was not a person in the world who loved and cared about them. It was tragic indeed.

    “Thank you Mrs Yeung. For taking care and being a friend for my daughter. At least she did not die alone in this world. At least she died knowing that someone had cared about and loved her”, signed Fung Lau Yin.

    “Sister Fung… There’s no… no need to thank me. If not for… for you, I would have never… met my husband at all. I should be thanking… you for that”, Lok Gum Fa gave a long sigh, before saying with all sincerity.

    Taking another deep breath, Lok Gum Fa continued, “Also… Also I think your daughter… will know in the underworld that she has… has your love too”.

    “Thank you! Mrs Yeung. You’re such a kind and gentle soul. It’s no wonder why the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ had fallen for your all those years ago!”, remarked Fung Lau Yin.

    Taking a momentary pause Fung Lau Yin continued, “Mrs. Yeung. I hope you can keep secret, what I have told you tonight! It is only because you were a friend of my daughter that I have told you these things”.

    Even though Fung Lau Yin had never personally revealed herself to her daughter, Yip So So, she often shadowed her through her journeys throughout wulin. That is why there has never been much trouble in Yip So So’s life up until now. Fung Lau Yin had actually tracked Yip So So and her husband, Lin Man Tung to Chongqing, but got distracted when she saw the many top martial arts experts who had gathered in the city. So she went around to investigate and lost signs of her daughter and husband. There were many sounds of battle during the night and she had followed the wrong ones. She herself had seen To Gu Fa duel with the 5 nuns from the Emei Sect earlier in the night at ‘Phoenix Gardens’ before proceeding to the ‘Chongqing Park’. She had actually passed Lok Gum Fa by without being noticed. She was hiding behind the reddish glow of light from the red dragon lantern hanging by the tree. That’s how she came to find that her daughter had died down by the lake. Seeing the markings on the tombstone and realising that Lok Gum Fa was proceeding towards a possible battle, she immediately went back through the way she had came to assist her, and thus found Lok Gum Fa passed out on the ground.

    “Don’t worry… I… I… will”, replied Lok Gum Fa. She felt a sudden sharp pain build up around the left abdomen region. She knew her own business. She wanted to urgently find her husband. Many thoughts ran through her mind and she thought about the many unresolved concerns in her heart. She finally came up with an idea and felt peaceful at heart.

    Clearing her throat, Lok Gum Fa said, changing the subject, “Sister Fung... I have something on… on my mind, but I’m… not sure whether you’ll… you’ll agree to it”.

    “What’s on your mind Mrs Yeung? Don’t be afraid. Please tell me”, replied Fung Lau Yin.

    “In my lifetime…. I have only two… good friends. Your daughter and … and Lin Chun Fa. I was wondering… if you’d mind… becoming blood sisters… and take an oath… sisterhood?”, asked Lok Gum Fa.

    “Blood sisters! I’d be delighted! Not to mention that I have already transferred some of my blood to you earlier tonight to help heal your injuries”, smiled Fung Lau Yin.

    Pausing for a moment she continued, “That’s of course if you don’t mind being blood sisters with a wicked witch from the ‘7 Vixens’”.

    “Of course not… Sister Fung. I am different from… from other people and like… like making friends with … with people of true… character. People who are honest…. and up front. Besides most people…. in wulin now label me… a ‘big evil witch’ also. So… So you can say… that we have something…. in common”, responded Lok Gum Fa with all sincerity.

    “That’s true”, remarked Fung Lau Yin.

    “It’s… It’s settled then”, said Lok Gum Fa with a soft low voice.

    Coughing a little Lok Gum Fa continued, “You’re the elder and I will therefore call you big sister Fung”.

    Reaching with her hand to the right side, Lok Gum Fa, took one of the carefully hand crafted piece of jade butterflies in her hand. Reaching out she said, “I… am wounded at this moment… and therefore cannot bow… three times. But please… take this jade butterfly… as a symbol that we… have taken an oath of sisterhood”.

    Reaching out with a hand to take the jade butterfly, Fung Lau Yin said, “Thank you. Mrs Yeung. You are younger and I will call you little sister Lok”.

    Reaching into her pocket Fung Lau Yin took out a short red dagger. It was curved at the tip and had the face of a wolf carved into it’s hilt. Placing it into Lok Gum Fa’s hands she said, “Take this dagger as a symbol that we have taken an oath of sister hood”. Shortly afterwards they could be heard swearing an oath together in the presence of the moon. It is tradition that when undertaking an oath of sisterhood that the two sisters agree to endure the hardships and bask in the glory together. That they will defend each other and die for one another.

    Getting up from her feet Fung Lau Yin said, “It is custom after swearing an oath that the elder sister does a deed for the younger sister! Tell me little sister Lok, is there anything that you need done? Your big sister will take care of it for you”.

    “I… I… don’t… don’t… have… have… long… long… left!”, Lok Gum Fa struggled to say.

    Circulating her inner energy to control the flow of chi energy in a last stitched attempt to heal the injured areas of her body, Lok Gum Fa, continued, “All… I want is to… to see my husband… one last time before… before die!”.

    “Little sister Lok. You won’t die. I have applied medicine and sealed all of the pressure points around the injured areas around your body. Also you have drank my blood to replace all the blood you’ve lost earlier. I know it feels very painful at the moment. But you’ll be okay after some rest”, replied Fung Lau Yin, with full of reassurance.

    Lok Gum Fa took a long sigh, before continuing, “I know… my own business. I am bleeding… internally. I don’t fear… death. I just want… to see my husband… one last time but… don’t know where he is”.

    At this moment a touch of sadness over came Fung Lau Yin. She had just lost her daughter earlier in the night, although she did not know the particular cause. She had just taken an oath of sisterhood with Lok Gum Fa and now she was about to die. She thought inwardly, “I haven’t done a good dead in my life. I have been a bad mother also and haven’t done a thing for my daughter throughout her life. But I’m not going to fail my blood sister, even if I have to die”.

    “Are you able to injure the pain and hold onto my shoulder”, asked Fung Lau Yin, indicating that they would get moving right away too look for the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’.

    “Yes… I think so… I am not afraid… of the pain”, said Lok Gum Fa as she reached out her hands to Fung Yin Lau. Her eyes remained shut due to the un bearable pain. She still felt a little dizzy and dazed.

    Fung Yin Lau reached for the underwear and pink dress hanging on the branch and dressed Lok Gum Fa. She then bent down and slung Lok Gum Fa over her shoulders. Lok Gum Fa held on with what little strength she had left in her body. She winched a little from the pain. Kicking out the small fire, Fung Lau Yin took one last glare at the burial by the tall old tree before setting off into the night. She ran from the north east of the city back to the main town hall, and then from the main town hall to the north of the city. There was still no sign of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ anywhere in sight. What was even more disturbing was that not a single person on that side of the city. Lok Gum Fa would fall into a short sleep and then wake up again. She would occasionally ask whether there was any news of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’, but Fung Lau Yin always shook her head.

    “Try… Try… the north west of the city”, said Lok Gum Fa after a while. She had heard a swordsman from the Lion Prestige Escort that “Sword Saint Unrivalled East” Kim Mo Dik had set up camp at the ‘Contented Souls Inn’. It was possible that her husband may have been on that side of the city duelling with Kim Mo Dik for the past few hours and that’s why there was no news of him.

    “Okay little sister Lok”, replied Fung Lau Yin as she turned her body and headed off towards the north west side of Chongqing.

    The streets to the north western side of the city were uphill. Chongqing was known as the ‘Mountain City’, because it was built on the slope of a mountain. So it was very difficult for Fung Lau Yin to travel at great speed uphill whilst carrying onto Lok Gum Fa. She made steady progress and soon reached the old ‘Chongqing Temple’ at the end of the street. To the left and right were various shops, taverns, and inns. In the broad daylight this is a thriving market place. It was also the main gathering place for the various hunters and the mountain folk who make a living off capturing various forms of wildlife. Wolf skin, tiger skin, deer skin, elephant ivory, can all be brought here. Meats of various varieties and various cuts are sold here also. This side of the city carried a kind of a foul odour of death. The buildings, streets and shop fronts were all worn and slightly fifthly. It was a sign that this place was extremely old and not very well maintained by its occupants.

    Fung Lau Yin could be seen suddenly dashing into the ‘Chongqing Temple’ to hide from sight. She rested Lok Gum Fa behind a large clay statute of the Budda. Her eyes were still closed and she breathed in and out faintly.

    “Stay here little sister Lok. I won’t be far away. I am just going to take up another position to see what’s going on”, said Fung Lau Yin as she leapt up onto a parallel beam above the entrance of the temple.

    From that position Fung Yin Lau could see the street outside and the events that had unfolded two blocks away from the temple. See could vaguely make out a large gathering of about 32 people all standing in a circle. There was a man at the centre giving loud instructions to the people that stood before. Suddenly they all scatter in various directions. Some of the men ran around the dark street corners. Other climbed onto the rooftops. Some dived into thickets and large piles of grazing straw. Soon some of the me dashed around in the street ahead of her view. The men that had just arrived hid themselves around the street corners. Two of the leaped onto the roof above the temple not far from where she was. But they did not notice her laying on the parallel beam at all. They fixed their gaze at the main street ahead of the temple. Two more men ran inside to hide behind the left and right door of the temple and stood their looking outwards. Upon seeing the two men come rushing into the temple, Fung Lau Yin had reached for her ’13 Phantom Venom’ needles. But as they had not yet noticed Lok Gum Fa hiding behind the large Budda statute, she did not use them. Instead she kept calm and waited for the action to unfold.

    Lok Gum Fa had heard the two men running into the temple and could not resist taking a look. She struggled to open her eyes. Reaching up and turning her head slightly she could vaguely see the activity taking place on the streets outside of the temple. Peering out from behind the large clay Budda statute she noticed, underneath the dim moonlight, that the two men hiding were wearing very old and torn clothes. The hairs of both men were a mess. It looked as if they had never been combed. They were covered in rot and fifth. A small clay drinking basin dangled by the right leg of each of the men. These served a number of purposes. They were used for begging for money, and for eating. A small bottle containing wine dangled by left leg. They carried a short stick in their right hand. These men were obviously from the Beggar Clan.

    “Could these Beggar Clan members be launching an ambush attack on big brother Yeung”, she thought inwardly. But then she remembered that her husband could use his ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy to detect this ambush. So she relaxed knowing that if it had seen set for her husband, he would not fall into that trap. She stared out towards the main street, waiting for the events to unfold. If it was her husband she would be able to reunite with him after he has dealt with the various men. So she was feeling slightly happy at this moment.

    Suddenly light footsteps could be heard not far ahead. A reddish glow of light could be seen lighting up the street, moving closer and closer. As the person approached closer to the temple, one could notice that it was a man in his late 40s walking down the street. He was carrying a red dragon lantern in his left hand. On the sides were painted two dragons. He was whistling casually as he walked. A torn black robe with red trimmings was wrapped around his gigantic frame. On his back was a red cape with a black bat embodied on his back. A gold belt was worn around the waist with the insignia of a bat at its centre. His hair is all messed up and blowing in the evening breeze. Their were two streaks of white hair amongst the thick black hair. He had a somewhat handsome face that was covered by a long beard and short moustache. He was a giant of a man and stood around 6’5 inches tall. A black paper fan strapped by the right side of his waist. He was carrying a fishing net bag in his right hand. It had been slung over his right shoulder. It appeared that the bag was filled with the heads of seven people. This was none other than the 3rd senior apprentice of the Chief of the ’13 Ghost Mountain Assassins’ Kiu Pin Fok. He carries the nickname the ‘Black Bat Assassin’.

    “Kiu Pin Fok. You big demon. You’ve murdered too many of our men. Prepare to die tonight. We have you surrounded!”, someone suddenly said as they stepped out from behind the dark alley towards the corner of the temple.

    This was a rather short and rounded man. He looked to be a man in his late 60s. He wore a torn dark grey robe. A large red drinking vessel hanged down by his right shoulder. A short jade bamboo stick rested in his right hand. It was none other than Yik Fei Hung, the 46th Chief of the Beggar Clan, the largest orthodox clan on the central plains of China.

    “Who the heck are you?”, shouted Kiu Pin Fok.

    The people listening into the conversation and Yik Fei Hung himself was shocked at Kiu Pin Fok’s response because there was not one person in wulin who doesn’t know that the beggar clan member who holds the jade bamboo stick is no other the than the Chief of the Beggar Clan. Everyone knew that the current Chief of the Beggar Clan was Yik Fei Hung.

    “I am Yik Fei Hung! The Chief of the Beggar Clan”, proudly responded Yik Fei Hung.

    “I don’t care who you are! Why don’t you kneel upon seeing the Emperor of Chongqing!”, shouted Kiu Pin Fok with an air of pride. His voice seemed to carry some authority and it appeared that he had believed that he indeed was an emperor.

    Inside the temple behind the large clay statute of Budda, Lok Gum Fa thought inwardly, “Big brother Yeung, never mentioned that his senior apprentice brother was mad and crazy!”. But from what she had just heard outside, she was convinced that Kiu Pin Fok was a little mad in the head.

    “Kiu Pin Fok! Are you going to surrender? You’re surrounded!”, replied Yik Fei Hung ignoring Kiu Pink Fok’s earlier comment. As he said these words the other 31 Beggar Clan members suddenly appeared blocking most of the escape routes. They had also formed an attack formation known as ’16 dog beaters’ formation. Sixteen men stood in a square with four fighters on each side. The other members watched on as reserves.

    “So you’re not recognising me as your Emperor! Obviously you’re not one of my loyal subjects from Chongqing! I am afraid I am going to have to collect some taxes!”, replied Kiu Pin Fok in a very hostile tone. As he said this he swung the fishing net bag he had been carrying forward, and placed in on the ground before him.

    On closer inspection one could see that of the seven heads in the bag, five of them belonged to the nuns of Emei Sect. It was obvious that he had been through the ‘Phoenix Gardens’ sometime during the night and seized those heads as his trophies. One head belonged to that of a swordsman from the Lion Prestige Escort and the other head was that of a male. But one could not see clearly who it was or even it’s origins. It was now obvious he had also been through the ‘Chongqing Park’, as Lok Gum Fa’s red dragon lantern was now in his possession.

    Pointing to the bag containing the 7 heads, Kiu Pin Fok stated, “Here’s my tax bag. These people aren’t my loyal subjects either so they had to pay their taxes in order to walk through Chongqing! And walking through Chongqing they are now as I promised them”.

    Everyone was shocked at having seen the heads in the fishing net bag. They were even more shocked at Kiu Pin Fok’s statement. Did he really intend to kill all 32 Beggar Clan members. One could not be sure as he seemed to be insane and somehow not insane.

    “Hey! Old man! Are you going to pay your taxes or not?”, questioned Kiu Pin Fok, indicating that he wanted Yik Fei Hung’s head in the bag.

    “What nonsense are you talking about? What taxes?”, replied Yik Fei Hung.

    “Obviously you’re not my loyal subject. So you must pay your taxes to walk through my kingdom. Tonight I am taxing heads, and I have come to personally collect them!”, replied Kiu Pin Fok whilst taking drawing his black paper fan.

    Yik Fei Hung was shocked and could not manage a response. He had intended to ask Kiu Pin Fok to surrender one last time but realised that he was wasting his breath. He was speechless at this moment.

    “So you’re not willing to pay your taxes, hey! We’ll I am going to have to collect it myself then! Prepare to die!”, shouted Kiu Pin Fok as he suddenly launched an attack on the Beggar Clan members.

    Kiu Pin Fok opened his fan and slashed with it to the right and brought down the four Beggar Clan members who did not anticipate the attack. They didn’t even have time to raise their sticks to defend the blow. Four heads could be heard rolling down onto the floor. From the side another 4 beggars joined into the formation as they saw 4 of their fellow clan member’s bodies hitting the ground.

    “What a demon! Attack!”, shouted Yik Fei Hung standing to the side to call the shots in the formation as the 16 members of the Beggar Clan pushed forward and attacked together.

    The formation based itself on having 2 people on each side attack whilst the 2 others defended. That way they would keep the opponent trapped in the tiny square and eventually wear him down. For every deadly move the enemy unleashed, it would be met with 8 sticks in defence and the other 8 sticks would counter attack forcing the enemy to retreat and defend. This dead lock would last for hours and then the enemy would eventually run out of strength. This formation was normally quite deadly and could handle most elite fighters.

    But today they were out of luck. Kiu Pin Fok was darting right and left at such an amazing speed like a ghost, coming and going as he pleased, with his ‘Ghost Mountain’ lightness kung fu that he broke in and out of the formation exposing some weaknesses. Suddenly he launched his black fan into the air like a projectile whilst defending the Beggar Clan members bare handed. The fan zipped at amazing speed to the north side of the formation, cutting through the sort sticks of the Beggar Clan members and chopped another 4 heads off from the shoulder. Soft thudding sounds could be heard as bodies hit the ground. The black paper fan soon returned to Kiu Pin Fok who used his chi energy to redirect it to the west side of the formation. Sweeping through the air it met another 4 heads of the Beggar Clan members, before they flew off at the shoulders and along the ground. He had now killed 12 Beggar Clan members in a sort space of time and with great ease. It was obvious that he possessed excellent skills and the Beggar Clan members had not scouted him well enough before planning this attack. After completing this move he used another stance called the ‘teleporting bat’, he zipped around the formation appearing to stand before a Beggar Clan member and then suddenly behind him and then to the side of him. The sticks of the Beggar Clan members seemed to move one step too late. When it appear that a strike would hit Kiu Pin Fok in a critical pressure point region it just missed him and strike through thin air. Kiu Pin Fok was zipping around and appeared to be a black could of mist within the 16 man square formation. Not even Yik Fei Hung who was standing outside calling the shots could know exactly where Kiu Pin Fok was, so he was rendered helpless and could not set a formation to ensure that his men would be safe.

    “Ah! Ya!, cried one beggar clan member as he dropped to the ground dead. Soon another three cries can be heard. Kiu Pink Fok had zipped around and killed Beggar Clan member from each side of the square formation. He had now killed 16 members and there were exactly only 16 Beggar Clan members remaining alive.

    “Hold it! Step back! Let me take him 1 on 1. We’re losing too many lives”, cried Yik Fei Hung stepping forward with his short jade stick drawn out to attack.

    The Beggar Clan members immediately leapt back several paces upon hearing their Chief’s orders. Meanwhile Kiu Pin Fok was casually swooping around picking up the 16 heads on the ground before placing it into his fishing net bag.

    “Good! Good! My tax bag is nearly full!”, Kiu Pin Fok jested as he tied up the bag with a short string.

    Yik Fei Hung was just about to step forward and attack Kiu Pin Fok, when he suddenly heard the sounds of two men approaching from the end of the street towards them. Everyone turned their heads to see who the two men were. As they approached one could tell that they were the dark blue swordsman from the Lion Prestige Escort.

    “Young heroes! What business brings you here?”, asked Yik Fei Hung in surprised, as he stepped towards the side. He had not expected anyone to be running around through Chongqing at this late hour of the night.

    “Greetings Chief Yik! We’re here to ask that demon Kiu Pin Fok to return the ‘Frost Palm’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’ manual back”, said the first swordsman from the Lion Prestige Escort cupping his hands to acknowledge Yik Fei Hung.

    “We’re also here to avenge the death of our 8th junior apprentice brother”, replied the second swordsman from the Lion Prestige Escort as greeting Yik Fei Hung by cupping his hands. It is obvious that these two were the 2nd and 4th apprentice brothers that had been sent by the senior apprentice of the Lion Prestige Escort to track down Lin Man Tung and recover the two kung fu manuals.

    Lok Gum Fa was now thinking to herself, “I wonder what happened to Lin Man Tung! Why are the two swordsman from the Lion Prestige Escort now claiming that the two kung fu manual’s have fallen into Kiu Pink Fok’s hands?”.

    “Kiu Pin Fok! Where is the ‘Frost Palm’ and the ‘Frost Sword Art’ kung fu manuals?”, demanded the first swordsman drawing pointing his sword forward.

    “What stinky manuals? Why would I want them?”, protested Kiu Pin Fok not moving an inch. He cast a glare towards the two swordsmen.

    “Don’t deny it! You’ve taken the manuals after you killed Lin Man Tung and our 8th junior apprentice brother in front of the White Horse Inn”, said the second swordsman.

    “So Lin Man Tung has been murdered by Kiu Pin Fok”, thought Lok Gum Fa, feeling a little bit relieved that this pest has been ridded. She couldn’t help but pity Lin Man Tung a little bit. He had gone to great lengths to obtain the manual only to be murdered shortly after his success. His life had been cut short abruptly in the pursuit of fame and fortune. Had he been content with his life and current status, he could have enjoyed a longer life with Yip So So. She suddenly remembered the unknown 7th head that was in Kiu Pin Fok’s bag earlier and had now guessed it must have belonged to Lin Man Tung.

    “Your 8th junior apprentice brother and Lin Man Tung did not pay their taxes. So I had to collect it myself. What’s wrong with that? Every kingdom has it’s own rules. I’m the emperor here and tonight I’m taxing heads”, said Kiu Pin Fok whilst stroking his long beard and turning his head away from the two swordsmen. This indicated that he did not respect the skills of the two swordsmen in front of him.

    “But I never took any stinky manuals. I don’t mind if you search me! So that it is clear that the Emperor is innocent! But after that you’ll both done, you’ll still have to pay your taxes just like everyone else who’s not my loyal subject”, replied Kiu Pin Fok indicating that he wished to take their lives shortly after clearing his name.

    Shortly after saying that Kiu Pin Fok stood with his arms out stretched. The first swordsman from the Lion Prestige Escort walked up and searches him on the spot. To his surprise he had found nothing even after searching a second time.

    “Incredible! He hasn’t got it”, remarked the first swordsman with a stunned look on his face.

    After finding the two corpses of their 8th junior apprentice brother and that of Lin Man Tung laying on the ground without their heads in front of the ‘White Horse Inn’, the two swordsmen immediately searched both bodies to see if they had the ‘Frost Palm’ and the ‘Frost Sword Art’, manual on them. To their surprise they could not find any trace of the kung fu manuals. Looking on the ground they could see a trail of blood leading to the north western side of Chongqing and decided to follow the tracks. The headless bodies with the zigzag markings on them indicated that the two men had met an untimely death at the hands of the ‘Black Bat Assassin’ of the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins. So they could easily guess who the murderer had been.

    “Perhaps he has hidden it! No one else could have obtained it!”, shouted the second swordsman in shock as well.

    “I said I didn’t take any stinking manuals and have proved it already”, protested Kiu Pin Fok.

    “But you two are two rude and haven’t yet paid your taxes. So I guess I’ll have to collect it myself”, snickered Kiu Pin Fok as he suddenly dashed forward and launched a sudden attack.

    The first swordsman who had searched Kiu Pin Fok could suddenly be heard shouting, “Ah! Ya!”. A soft thud sound could be heard followed by another shortly after as head and body hit the ground.

    “Cruse you! You big demon”, shouted the second swordsman as he reached for the sword. But before he had even drawn it, a black shadow appeared before him. Not longer after a loud shriek could be heard as another head and body thudded to the ground. In a blur the black shadow returned to where he was standing. Opening up his fishing net bag, he placed another two heads into it.

    Smiling in delight Kiu Pin Fok could be heard remarking, “My kingdom is indeed great! There are so many tourists here tonight to enjoy the wonderful scenery. Just in a short space of time my tax bag is nearly full”.

    “You big demon! Prepare to die”, shouted Yik Fei Hung as he suddenly launched into an attack with his short jade stick. He had been standing to the side and did not expect that Kiu Pin Fok would have killed another two swordsmen just like that in front of his eyes. He was hot with rage and determined to slaughter the demon. He utilised the first stance known as the ‘beating the mad dog against the wall’.

    From Kiu Pin Fok’s view he could see the jade stick suddenly break into three and attacked in a straight line towards his head, middle chest, and groin region. As it drew closer it appeared that the three sticks were moving left and right to cover both sides of the head, chest and thigh region as well. He broke out in cold sweat as he has never seen such a deadly move. He regained his composure and managed to move out of the way just in time to doge the attack.

    Looking back at the wall where the strike ended up. Kiu Pin Fok could see that the attack had made three holes on the side of the street wall. It would have struck him on the right side of the head, heart and left thigh, had he not been able to doge out of the way. This was indeed amazing as he thought that the three strikes were fake and only one would be real. Who could have thought that the short jade stick could have moved so quickly and strike at three points virtually seconds within each other.

    Kiu Pin Fok countered by launching his fan into the air. It flew and guided like a bat and approached Yik Fei Hung with great speed. From his perspective it appeared that it was a live bat flying through the air and attempted to strike and drain his blood on the right side of the shoulder. Yik Fei Hung was using the renowned ‘jade dog beating’ skills of the Beggar Clan. This art was initially devised to fend of the attacks of wild dogs on the streets attacking the many beggars. Everyone knows that dogs run along the ground and do no leapt into the air much, so Yik Fei Hung could not think of a defence or counter attack of the flying bat in the split second of time that he had to deal with the deadly move. So he ducked his head out of the way and the fan swung past him. To his surprise he could still hear the fan zipping to the side and attacked his right shoulder from behind. A large ‘clang’ sound could be heard as Yik Fei Hung raised his short jade stick to fend the attack towards the back of his head. He could be seen visibly shaking after defending the blow. It was now obviously that Kiu Pin Fok had launched 75% of his inner energy along with the strike which he launched his fan into the air. His inner energy had now struck Yik Fei Hung when he defended the blow. A soft tap sound could be heard as the fan suddenly hit the ground. A sign that all of the inner energy trapped in the fan had been dispersed.

    Kiu Pin Fok was standing with a shocked expression as he had expected the black paper fan to return by his side after striking Yik Fei Hung. Never did he expect that his black paper fan to suddenly drop on the ground like that. He knew he had met a formidable foe. He immediately leapt out to reach for his fan.

    Seeing a shadow approaching at rapid speed to collect the fan on the ground in front of him, Yik Fei Hung launched a stance called ‘smashing the dog’s head’. From Kiu Pin Fok’s view he could see four short sticks raised in the air above his head ready to strike down on him. It did not matter if he had leapt towards his left, right, forward, or backwards, he would have still be struck on the head. He was not close enough to reach the fan so that he could block the move. Without a weapon he was in a spot of real bother.

    “The ‘dog beating’ arts of the Beggar Clan are indeed deadly as their reputation”, thought Kiu Pin Fok expecting to meet a horrible death. He had over-estimated his own abilities having defeated the earlier Beggar Clan members so easily. How could he have known that the Chief of the Beggar Clan was actually ranked in the top 5 in terms of martial arts skills. It was because Yik Fei Hung rarely fought a duel unless he needed to, that many martial arts experts in the orthodox and Demon Cult had under estimated his abilities. Not in his wildest dreams could Kiu Pin Fok had been expected to lose after only just two stances from the ‘dog beating’ arts of the Beggar Clan Chief.

    Suddenly a swishing sound could be heard through the air as a shiny object flew towards Yik Fei Hung at great speed. He was caught off guard. Besides he was in the process of launching a deadly attack on Kiu Pin Fok that he could not react in him. A clang should could be heard as the short jade stick suddenly hit the ground.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried Yik Fei Hung as he felt the pain from being pierced through the right arm. Looking down on his injury he suddenly noticed that black blood was gushing out from the wounds.

    “How shameful and cowardly!” protested Yik Fei Hung not content with being caught of guard and injured so easily. His body began to shake wildly from the poison.

    At this moment Kiu Pin Fok had just recovered his fan and was about to strike forward and kill Yik Fei Hung, when suddenly another swish sound was heard through the air and a shiny object flew towards him. This forced him to leap several paces back away from Yik Fei Hung. A cling sound could be heard as the tiny needle struck into the wall.

    “Fung Lau Yin! You dam horny Vixen! Get out here at once. Stop sneaking about like that in the dark! It’s not fair”, protested Kiu Pin Fok. In terms of kung fu abilities, he knew that he would only manage to break even with Fung Lau Yin, but she now had the advantage of being hidden by the cover of darkness and was launching projectiles at him. So this was an untenable and unfair situation he had thought. So he wanted Fung lau Yin to come out and face him. Meanwhile Yik Fei Hung had passed out from the poison on the ground and 15 beggar clan members were at his side to guard and protect his body.

    Hearing no response, Kiu Pin Fok taunted, “I know that lover boy of yours, Priest Tin Moon, is here in Chongqing also! As he is not my loyal subject I too am going to have to collect his taxes”.

    “What rubbish are you talking? What lover boy? Who told you that kind of nonsense”, cried Fung Lau Yin as she rushed out of the temple. She was clearly annoyed and irritated by Kiu Pin Fok’s remarks.

    “Other people may not know! But you’re forgetting who I am. Don’t deny that it was because you fell in love my with 2nd junior apprentice brother Priest Tin Moon 20 years ago that you rejected my love”, smirked Kiu Pin Fok with a slight grin.

    “So Kiu Pin Fok is not mad after all. He was just acting up to put on a show!”, Lok Gum Fa thought to herself as she peered out from the temple. She knew that since Priest Tin Juk had changed his name to Kiu Pin Fok, he had behaved oddly and did a countless number of cruel and ruthless acts. Some of which made absolutely no sense.

    “Absolute rubbish! If I see Priest Tin Moon I’ll kill him”, rebutted Fung Lau Yin in hot rage.

    “Surely you’re not telling the truth here? Why did you injure me with a ’13 Phantom Venom’ needle all those years ago to save Priest Tin Moon’s life at the cave near Ghost Mountain?”, questioned Kiu Pin Fok. His voice carried a lot of anger and hatred.

    “That I don’t have to explain! But I never loved you because I found you to be very repulsive! I don’t love Priest Tin Moon either! So you can stop talking all this rubbish!”, rebutted Fung Lau Yin.

    “Then why did you injure me? I must know! Fung Ching Mun’s death needs to be avenged!”, growled Kiu Pin Fok.

    Many years later Kiu Pin Fok had actually regretted many of the things that he had done. He actually had no idea that Fung Ching Mun had fallen in love with him. He had only been concentrating on winning the love of Fung Lau Yin. But she was cold like ice and rejected his love many times. He had expected that Fung Lau Yin’s heart was with another. So on that fated day that he had been injured by a ’13 Phantom Venom’ needle when duelling with Priest Tin Moon he had suspected that it was because Fung Lau Yin had fallen in love Priest Tin Moon. That day he ran out of the cave with a broken heart and was content to die from the poison, when Fung Ching Mun arrived to save him. Fung Ching Mun sucked the poison from his veins and died shortly after. It was only then he realised that she had loved him and regretted the fact that he had not known earlier. So from that moment onwards he swore an oath that he would kill the ‘3 Aces of the Qincheng Sect’, to avenge Fung Ching Man’s death. Though he knew that it was actually Fung Lau Yin’s poison needle that had struck him in the first place, he still did not blame her. He blamed Priest Tin Moon, Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi only for pursuing him for many months. He stumbled across Priest Tin Moon one night in a dark cave near Ghost Mountain and they immediately fought. It had never really occurred to Kiu Pin Fok to actually question what Priest Tin Moon had been doing there in the first place.

    “You don’t need to know why I saved Priest Tin Moon! All you need to know is that Priest Tin Moon is not as religious as he looks and has broken the clan rule of love!” replied Fung Lau Yin.

    “So he too fell in love with you! What a hypocrite! He told master and forced me out of the Qincheng Sect when he found out that I had broken the clan rule of love! I am going to rip him apart the next time I see him!”, cursed Kiu Pin Fok getting angrier by the minute.

    Not satisfied Kiu Pin Fok asked once more, “But if you don’t love him! Then why did you save him that night at the cave near Ghost Mountain! It was obvious you were in the cave also!”.

    “I don’t have to explain myself to you! You’ll die a horrible death if you ask any further”, shouted Fung Lau Yin as she reached for her twin blades. She held a sword in each hand ready for battle.

    “So Priest Tin Moon is Yip So So’s father”, thought Lok Gum Fa. She now understood the events of 20 years ago. It was obvious from the way Fung Lau Yin was talking that Priest Tin Moon in his younger days, in hot blood, upon seeing a beautiful woman had somehow doe a shameful act. She also understood why Priest Tin Moon would want to force Priest Tin Juk out of the Qincheng Sect. That way he would be the Head Master after the current Head Master dies. But who could have guessed that the Head Master of the Qinchenge Sect would live to the old age of 80 years old and did not hand over his leadership.

    “Even though you’ve rejected my love! I still consider us to be long time friends! There’s no need to be hostile. Okay I won’t ask if you insist. But I am still going to kill those 3 Aces of the Qincheng Sect for Fung Ching Mun”, replied Kiu Pin Fok.

    “Good that makes the both of us!”, replied Fung Lau Yin with her swords still drawn in an attacking position.

    “But why are you still holding your weapons like that”, asked Kiu Pin Fok in shock upon seeing that Fung Lau Yin was still in attacking position.

    “Because you’ve just murdered a good friend of mine, Yip So So’s husband Lin Man Tung”, replied Fung Lau Yin.

    Kiu Pin Fok stood there in shock before managing to ask, “Since when did you and Mrs. Lin become good friends?”.

    “That’s not important but you’ve killed her husband! And now you’re going to die!”, replied Fung Lau Yin.

    “If you wanted me to die! Why did you intervene earlier just now to save me?”, asked Kiu Pin Fok in shock. He had thought that Fung Lau Yin had saved his life because in some way she did love him. Even though it wasn’t romantic love. It was still the love of friendship. But now he was deeply disappointed.

    Fung Lau Yin gave a very long sigh before continuing, “That was to repay the needle I threw at you 20 years ago, causing the death of my 3rd junior apprentice sister Fung Ching Mun. But this is another matter!”.

    “You’re pushing this way too far… There’s no need to avenge the death of a cowardly man such as Lin Man Tung. Believe me when I say that I have done you and young Mrs Lin a good favour by killing this scoundrel!”, rebuffed Kiu Pin Fok as a slight smile rose on his face.

    “How dare you! Insulting my good friend’s husband like that!”, shouted Fung lau Yin. She was clearly upset by those remarks.

    “If you don’t believe that Lin Man Tung is a scoundrel! Just ask the Black Dragon Swordsman’s wife. She will tell you what she saw!”, smirked Kiu Pin Fok. It was obvious that he had seen the duel between the Lin couple and the swordsmen from the Lion Prestige Escort before moving off to take care of other business.

    “What did you see tell me know! Or else!”, demanded Fung Lau Yin. As she said the word ‘else’ she took a step towards Kiu Pin Fok.

    Seeing that Fung Lau Yin was quite determined and had no fear of his abilities in her eyes, Kiu Pin Fok stepped backwards before saying, “Would you say that a man who abandon’s his wife in a time of danger and leaves her alone to die is a coward and deserves a horrible death under my black paper fan?”.

    “Yes”, replied Fung Lau Yin.

    “Good then I have killed Lin Man Tung correctly and ridded wulin of a pest”, smiled Kiu Pin Fok.

    “What are you saying?”, replied Fung Lau Yin in shock. She didn’t know how her daughter had died, so she wanted to know. In fact she had wanted to ask Lok Gum Fa earlier but didn’t have the opportunity to.

    “Surely you can guess by now?”, replied Kiu Pin Fok in amazement.

    Fung Lau Yin now understood in her heart that Lin Man Tung had left Lip So So to die during a battle. Otherwise she would not be dead right now. Her angry hit the roof, and wanted to avenge those involved. She asked, “Brother Kiu, you seem to know what happened. Tell me who was involved and what it was about”.

    “The wife of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ knows all. Why don’t you ask her? All I can tell you was that members of the Lion Prestige Escort was involved. But for what reason, I am not totally sure!” replied Kiu Pin Fok.

    “So it was those swordsmen from the Lion Prestige Escort who had killed my daughter. They are going to pay for this. Also I’m not going to Lin family off that easily”, Fung Lau Yin thought to herself.

    “The Chief is dying!”, a member of the Beggar Clan be suddenly heard crying.

    “Surround that evil witch and ask for the antidote for the poison”, said another member from the Beggar Clan. After he had finished the remaining 15 members surrounded Fung Lau Yin and were ready to attack.

    “15 of you no hopers against an elite fighter of the 7Vixens and the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins. You guys are brave”, remarked Kiu Pin Fok stroking his beard.

    Opening a tiny bottle, Fung Lau Yin, took out a small brown pill. Walking over to Yik Fei Hung she said, “I have no previous feuds with the Beggar Clan. But I am not going to give up antidote to my 13 Phantom Venom needle so easily. You’ll have to promise me one thing”.

    “What do you want you witch!”, shouted a member of the Beggar Clan, stepping forward in an attempt to forcefully grab the bottle from Fung Lau Yin’s grasp.

    A loud ‘whack’ sound suddenly echoed through the street as a body went flying through the air at great speed and hit the wall. The man’s body hit the ground shortly afterwards and passed out. He had been seriously injured but did not die. Fung Lau Yin had executed a stance from her ‘Phantom Palms’ technique but only utilised 25% of her inner energy in the attack.

    “Anyone else who decides to insult me is going to suffer the same fate. Now wake up your Chief so that I may speak with him”, demanded Fung Lau Yin stepping forward.

    Struggling from the effects of the poison and a little dazed Chief Yik asked in a low voice, “What do you want? Say it! If it does not harm the reputation of the Beggar Clan, I may consider doing it”.

    “I want you to send your men to scout for the location of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ for me. When they have news of his whereabouts to come back to this temple and tell me personally”, said Fung Lau Yin. She could not find the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ herself and it would take hours to search through the entire city of Chongqing to find him, so decided that she needed more hands.

    Pausing for a moment she continued, “And if I’m not here to receive the news, all you have to do is shout it out and the wind will carry the news to my ears”. She knew that Lok Gum Fa who was hiding in the temple would at least hear the news, if something should happen to her.

    “You want my men to suffer death at the hands of the Black Dragon Swordsmen? I can’t do that!”, replied Chief Yik in a low voice.

    “Better than suffer by the edge of my black paper fan. If you don’t do this I’ll be forced to personally collect my taxes!”, said Kiu Pin Fok stroking his beard and grinning wickedly.

    “All I want is for your men to locate the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. They need not enter into a battle with him!”, replied Fung Lau Yin.

    “What if the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ attacks my men? He is an eccentric odd ball! Know one can handle his abilities! That’s just like telling my men to commit suicide right in front of me!”, rebutted Chief Yik.

    “Hey old man! Why are you talking so much nonsense? If they stay here any longer than I am going to kill them all the same”, replied Kiu Pin Fok drawing his paper fan to indicate that he was dead serious about it.

    “Brother Kiu! Put away your little toy! Who asked you to get involved!”, growled Fung Lau Yin.

    “You dare offend the Emperor of Chongqing? After how I’ve warmly welcomed you into my grand empire? Lady you’ve got nerves!”, replied Kiu Pin Fok with a smile on his face.

    “Brother Kiu! What silly games are you playing now! I know you’re not stupid! So just stand aside and behave yourself!”, replied Fung Lau Yin flashing an angry glare at Kiu Pin Fok.

    “I take my orders from no one! Other than my Queen!”, replied Kiu Pin Fok with a smirk on his face. He had actually suggested that he would only listen to Fung Lau Yin’s orders if she became his wife. After all these years, his feelings for her did not change.

    “What… How dare you… you insult me!”, shouted Fung Lau Yin. A swishing sound could be heard through the air as she launched another 13 Phantom Venom needle at Kiu Pin Fok.

    Ducking in time to evade the attack, Kiu Pin Fok, could be heard laughing his heart out, “You look even more beautiful when you get angry!”.

    “Hey evil witch! Are you going to give us the antidote or not?”, angrily asked a member from the Beggar Clan.

    “Stop fooling around with your boyfriend! Our Chief is dying”, cried another member from the Beggar Clan.

    Another loud ‘whack’ sound could be heard as the body of another member from the Beggar Clan flew through the air and banged against the wall. A loud ‘thud’ sound could be heard upon the impact. That member of the Beggar Clan had also only been injured and passed out. Fung Lau Yin was showing great restraint not to murder anyone. This shocked everyone, including Chief Yik.

    “Sister Fung! If you can promise that no one will die at the hands of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ then I will send all of the members in Chongqing to locate his whereabouts and report back to you here”, said Chief Yik in a low voice.

    “They need not worry. When they meet the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ all they have to do is to say that I know important information about his wife and that he should come here to meet me! The ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ would not kill any of your men upon hearing this”, replied Fung Lau Yin.

    “Is that true?”, replied Chief Yik Fei Hung.

    “You don’t have to worry about whether what I am saying is true or not. This will prevent the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ from killing your men. I will deal with the rest. You needn’t worry! I don’t fear him”, said Fung Lau Yin in a confident tone. She did not trust the members of the Beggar Clan and was not going to tell them that Lok Gum Fa had been injured and was not resting behind the big clay statute of Budda inside the temple.

    “Okay I agree! District Commander! Take your men and spread news through Chongqing to locate the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ and to bring any news about him to this temple”, ordered Yik Fei Hung.

    “Right away Chief. Men follow me!”, said the District Commander. 11 of the Beggar Clan members followed him towards the end of the street before scattering in all directions. Two of the men stayed to watch over their Chief and the two injured members laying unconscious by the side of the wall.

    “Here! Take this pill and give it to your Chief. He will be okay in 24 hours time, but will need to rest for at least another 4 days before being able to use his inner energy”, said Fung Lau Yin as she handed the pill to one of the Beggar Clan members.

    “Thanks”, Chief Yik said in a very low voice. After a while the two injured men woke up and stumbled besides their Chief. They all left the Temple with the two healthy Beggar Clan members carrying their Chief. It was obvious they were making their way towards to Chongqing market place directly west of the city. That was the main Beggar Clan hang out in Chongqing.

    “Old man! Count yourself lucky that I am allowing you to go without paying your taxes. The next time you won’t be so lucky!”, snickered Kiu Pin Fok. Deep inside he was slightly afraid of Chief Yik’s abilities by now, but he did not want to reveal any fear.

    Turning his head to cast a glance at Kiu Pin Fok, Yik Fei Hung said, “You’ve killed many of our men tonight! If I hadn’t been ambushed you’d be dead by now. Just count your stars that you don’t meet me again”.

    “Good! Good! Let’s see if you come to Chongqing and act so rashly the next time. Remember I am the Emperor here, and I won’t fall into your trap the next time. Until we meet again”, replied Kiu Pin Fok jesting in a bowing position. It was a sign of disrespect being shown towards Chief Yik and to indicate that he wasn’t afraid.

    Seeing that Kiu Pin Fok had remained, Fung Lau Yin couldn’t help but be a little annoyed. She said, “Brother Kiu! What on earth are you doing still standing here! Aren’t you going to help locate the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’?”.

    “I said before that I don’t take any orders from any one other than my Queen. So I can stand here as long as I please! What are you trying to hide?”, Kiu Pin Fok replied with a suspicious look. It was obvious to him that Fung Lau Yin had been hiding something.

    “You and I both know that our skills are evenly matched! You won’t be able to defeat me so why do you insist on staying here and causing trouble?”, replied Fung Lau Yin. She wanted Kiu Pin Fok to leave immediately knowing that Lok Gum Fa was resting inside. She did not want any potential trouble from him at this moment. She did not know Kiu Pin Fok’s true intentions yet, and everyone in wulin knows about the large bounty placed on the head of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ by both the Ming Government and the Chief of the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins.

    “You’re a beautiful young lady! To leave you here all by yourself in the darkness, is not a thing a gentleman would do. I’ll stay here to protect you”, replied Kiu Pin Fok with a sly smile. It was obvious he wasn’t going to leave.

    “You call yourself a ‘gentleman’? Blah!”, replied Fung Lau Yin, knowing full well that Kiu Pin Fok was jesting and poking fun at her.

    “I might now be as renowned as the ‘Gentlemen Sword’ Bak Fung Wan! But I am indeed a gentleman!”, laughing replied Kiu Pin Fok.

    “He’s obviously not going to leave. I have the better lightness kung fu so I will lead him away from here and then come back after I have lost him”, thought Fung Lau Yin.

    Ignoring what Kiu Pin Fok had said earlier, Fung Lau Yin placed her twin blades by the side of the right leg. Putting on a serious face she said, “Brother Kiu. I am leaving now to track down Lin Chun Fa and to kill her to avenge the death of my daughter. You can stay here all night with that smelly bag of heads if you like”.

    After she said this Fung Lau Yin had walked pass Kiu Pin Fok and was about to leave.

    “Wait. I’ll come and help you. Lin Chun Fa’s skills are just as good as yours. But with the two of us she doesn’t stand a chance”, said Kiu Pin Fok following in the same direction.

    “You can come if you want. But only if you’re able to keep up!” replied Fung Lau Yin, suggesting that Kiu Pin Fok would slow her down from accomplishing her mission. She had deliberately said this to anger Kiu Pin Fok. Shortly after she utilised her lightness kung fu and appeared to be like a red blur running through the city.

    “Right behind you!”, shouted Kiu Pin Fok noticing that Fung Lau Yin had travelled a great distance ahead of him.

    “What remarkable lightness kung fu. I thought the ‘Ghost Mountain’ lightness kung fu was unmatched. Yet I’m losing ground to her right at this moment. She must be up to something”, Kiu Pin Fok thought to himself as he followed closely behind trying to figure out what Fung Lau Yin had intended.

    Hearing that everyone had left the temple, Lok Gum Fa struggled to sit up behind the large clay statute of Budda. She was still in great pain and sweat was pouring off her forehead. She sat in a crouched position and meditated for a while. She attempted to circulate as much of her inner energy as possible to the injured areas of her body. Knowing that Fung Lau Yin had temporarily left her, she planned to head off as soon as she received news of her husband’s whereabouts. She waited for what seemed like an hour and still heard no news. In fact the streets had been dead quite but for the sounds of doors that hadn’t been closed properly banging against the wall in the strong winds. Suddenly a pair of faint footsteps could be heard running down the street.

    “If wonder if that person is a Beggar Clan member coming to bring me some news about the location of my husband!”, she thought to herself. But as the sounds of the footsteps got closer and closer, Lok Gum Fa could make out that they were very light and elegant. A sign that it was in fact a female who was running down the street.

    Another thought ran pass Lok Gum Fa’s mind, “Maybe its big sister Fung, who’s returned to collect me. Maybe she finally knows where my husband is!”. She smiled at this prospect. She knew that Fung Lau Yin had the best lightness kung fu. So if she knew where her husband was located, they would be able to meet up very shortly. She had missed her husband greatly by now. They have been separated for a long time and it was almost morning now.

    The sounds of the foot steps were getting closer and closer now. Lok Gum Fa decided to turned her body so that she could peer out onto the street before her. What she saw amazed her.

    End of Chapter 3.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  7. #7
    Senior Member Long's Avatar
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    Okay I am going to have a long break from writing. Obviously my story is a little disappointing. Anyway here's what's ahead for the silent readers who don't like positing.

    Chapter 4 - The Duel

    Yes we do return to the showdown between "Unrivalled East" and "Invincible West". And also "Gentleman Sword"
    and "Invincible West".

    Chapter 5 - The Chancellor's Daughter

    20 years later. Starts off with Bak Tin Kiew's 16th birthday (ie Lin Chun Fa's daughter). She's the daughter of the gentleman sword also. The real story begins here. There's also a flashback to the original duel at Taishan on Bak Fung Wan's wedding day.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  8. #8
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    I'm one of your many silent readers. I'm sure there are many more like me out there. I really enjoy your story telling and hope you are able to continue at your current pace - it's wonderful that you are able to update every couple of days. Thanks for taking your time to entertain us all.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Melanie's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Hi, Long! I am also an avid reader of your story. I have finished the Forewords and a bit of Chapter 1. I also took a peek at your teasers for the upcoming chapters. It sounds like Lok Gum Fa and Black Dragon Swordsman will be in the older generation of folks in your story. I am kinda sad to hear that, since Lok Gum Fa reminds me of Wong Yung, although more mature in personality and not as spoiled and unreasonable. Hopefully, this couple will play a large role in the story.

    Keep up the good work!

  10. #10
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    I've just finish chapters 1-3 in about 3 hours time. Have to say that I'm impressed. Your writing style is quite flowing and immersive.

    The pacing of your story is reminiscent of a season of 24; the action being almost non-stop and full of twists and turns

    Originally I was expecting a rather short formulaic epic intro -the one where the hero's parents are slain by a multitude of gathered enemies, leaving him orphaned and alone in the world. It was rather surprising to see levels of complexities and mixed motivations in this story. Kudos.

    Your descriptions are very vivid, and do an adept job of painting the scenery. I've noticed that some other writers here tend to over embellish, or are drawn to making rather flowery imagery. While on the initial pass it may seem rather fantastic and alluring, it often leaves inconsistencies that are difficult not to nit-pick over. You seem to have found that balance between descriptive language, and flowery embellishments.

    I look forward to seeing more of your writing.

    Random observations:

    I notice that you've been using a spell checker. It's catching gross spelling errors but not unintentionally interchanged words. Still it's a very polished piece of work.

    The female undergarments felt a bit anachronistic. A shift or chemise might seem more appropriate?
    HK47: Now do you understand the travails of my existence master? Surely it does not compare to your existence but still...
    You: I survive somehow
    HK47: As do I. It is our lot in life I suppose master. Shall we find something to kill to cheer ourselves up?

    -KotOR

  11. #11
    Senior Member douggilmour's Avatar
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    I'm reading it through, and im enjoying it a lot. Each chapter has a good intro and story is very fluid. hope u update soon.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Long's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 4: The Duel

    Chapter 4: The Duel

    It was now nearly morning on the streets of Chongqing. In a few hours the moonlight would fade away into the night giving way to the sun rising. A thick mist had now covered the city making it nearly impossible to see clearly into the distance. The many fishermen, hunters, farmers, bakers and blacksmiths of Chongqing have just awoke from their deep sleep. They get up to make a large breakfast and prepare for another long day of labour. They are the early birds who wake before the sunset to prepare their tools, enjoying a simple living and a peaceful life. Many people in this world would not be content living out their lives in this way, and yet many others think they are the lucky ones. Smoke can be seen rising from the chimneys of the many houses along the shore and on top of the mountain on the out skirts of the city. The industrial city of Chongqing will soon become alive and full of activity again. There are those however who have been unfortunate as to have been unable to rest for the entire night. They are the various martial arts experts who have been gathered at Chongqing in search of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’.

    On the north western side of the City a young lady in her early 20s can be seen running towards the ‘Chongqing Temple’. It is still dark and gloomy so obviously she has not come to say her morning prayers for the day. On closer inspection one could see that she was a girl of medium height. She wore a dark green gown that wrapped around her slim and soft body. There was a slight elegance about the way she moved, like an eagle soaring in the sky. Her thick long black hair was tied neatly into a bundle at the back. She wore a golden hairpin in the shape of a butterfly. Two locks of hair hang in front of her shoulders towards the mid chest region. The lower portion of her face was covered by a green veil. But one could still vaguely see that she had a thin and beautiful face underneath. Her eyes carried a touch of soothing gentleness. A pair of beautifully handcrafted jade butterflies hangs down by the right side of the leg. Wrapped around her waist was a white belt with a black butterfly at its centre. A green bamboo flute was carried on the left side of her waist. It was obvious that this person shared a love for music and the finer arts. A long sword resting in its white sheath was carried in her left hand. The handle was made of white ivory and had two butterflies curved into the hilt of the sword. It was obvious that this person belonged to the Divine Butterfly Sect.

    “Brother! Sister-in-law!”, the young girl in green could be heard yelling as she was running down the street. Her voice was full of concern and worry. For she had not seen her brother or sister-in-law for the past day. The last time she had seen them was over two nights ago when they had spent some time drinking and laughing together at the ‘Grand Fortune Restaurant’, the finest restaurant in Chongqing. That evening they had the pleasure of feasting on large plates of the finest clay fish, clams, and trout in Chongqing. This was still fresh on her mind. Her master Cheung Cum was also present that night and remarked what a loving couple her brother and sister in law were. At the moment she could not help but feel little tense knowing that the streets had been full of danger and peril. Her heart raced as she approached the temple.

    “Maybe brother and sister-in-law are hiding in the temple”, the young lady in green thought to herself as she cautiously entered.

    Upon entering she did not see anyone. It was very dark so she couldn’t see clearly inside despite the moonlight. She walked left and right of the temple to have a look around but it appeared to be completely emptied. Sighing for a little while Lin Chun Fa thought out aloud to herself and broke the dead silence in the temple, “Brother! Sister-in-law! Where have you two gone? Are you two hiding somewhere here but don’t want to see me? Or have you fallen victim to some unknown evil?”.

    “Sister… Sister Lin! Is… Is… that really you?”, the young lady in green suddenly heard someone hiding behind the large statute of Budda say in a weak and faint voice. She leapt back a few paces having not entirely expecting a reply. Up until now she though she had been alone in the temple.

    It was obvious the person still hiding behind the statue was Lok Gum Fa. She had remained there patiently waiting for news of her husband to be delivered by the Beggar Clan members and her blood sister Fung Lau Yin. She had been waiting for a long time now and yet there was stil now news of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’s’ whereabouts. So she thought she’d finally try her luck with the person who had just entered the temple. Though she had no idea what this person’s motivations were. But underneath the dim moonlight she could vaguely see a young lady dressed like her 2nd junior apprentice sister, Lin Chun Fa. So gathering up some courage she decided to speak up and talk with this person to see if she had indeed guessed her identity correctly. To her pleasant surprise it was now clear that the young lady in green standing in the temple before here was none other than Lin Chun Fa.

    Lin Chun Fa had spent most of the night running around to try and locate her brother Lin Man Tung and Yip So So. Her master had sent her to look for the Lin couple so they could assist the Divine Butterfly Sect in dealing with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. But it seemed as if they had suddenly disappeared from sight. She had spent much of her time looking for them at the ‘Chongqing Port’ which was south east of the city. She also looked directly south, south east, west and now finally north west but could find no signs of them. She could have never guessed that she had had spent the entire night looking in all the wrong places. The clues she was seeking lied directly north east of the city. But life is like that. Those who often spend their entire lives searching end up finding a mirage rather than an oasis.

    “Who’s there? Show yourself!”, demanded Lin Chun Fa as she reached for her sword before unsheathing for a potential battle. She would not normally greet a stranger in this way, but tonight was different. She knew there were countless ‘hidden dragons’ in the night and so had too be extra cautious. That was the difference between living and dying in wulin.

    “It’s… It’s me! Sister… Lok!”, replied Lok Gum Fa in a faint voice. Even though she was weak, one could tell that her voice carried some joy and happiness upon seeing Lin Chun Fa.

    Lok Gum Fa struggled to stand up and felt a little dizzy and was about to fall over. At this moment Lin Chun Fa rushed behind the big statute of Budda to brace her fall.

    Seeing that Lok Gum Fa was injured Lin Chun Fa could be heard saying with full of concern and love, “Sister Lok, are you okay? What happened to you?”.

    “What… What happened is… is not important! I’m… I’m just glad… glad that you’re here!”, replied Lok Gum Fa looking at Lin Chun Fa. She was overwhelmed with joy upon seeing that Lin Chun Fa had still considered her to be a good friend and a sister. This was totally different to the cold and heartless reception that she had received from To Guk Fa.

    “Have you seen my brother Lin Man Tung and Sister Yip So So?”, asked Lin Chun Fa. Her face still carried a deep look of concern and anxiety.

    “It’s best that I don’t tell her that Yip So So and Lin Man Tung are dead. But I can’t say that I haven’t seen them either. But what can I say?”, Lok Gum Fa thought inwardly to herself. She struggled hard with this thought.

    After pausing to think of the right words to say, Lok Gum Fa said, “I saw your brother… and sister Yip earlier… in the night! I think they… looked as if they had… some business with the members… of the Lion Prestige Escort! Why don’t you… visit the Lion Prestige Escort headquarters… in the Hennan province… sometime and ask to speak… with their senior apprentice… brother! He will be… able to explain… everything to you”.

    Lok Gum Fa knew that the senior apprentice of the Lion Prestige Escort was a level headed kind of person and would never blame Lin Chun Fa for her brother’s actions. So she felt this person was in the best position to tell Lin Chun Fa exactly what had happened. Also she had promised Yip So So that she would never say a word about the events earlier in the night.

    “That’s excellent news! They’re safe then! I an uneasy feeling that something might have happened to them tonight. It is unlike them to have gone for so long without being seen”, remarked Lin Chun Fa, thinking that Yip So So and Lin Chun Fa were safe from harm. Earlier in the night when she was having a late supper with her master she unexpectedly felt a cold chill running down her spine and broke a plate. It is often said that smashing a plate during dinner is a bad omen that something had or will happen to your loved ones.

    Lok Gum Fa did not reply. She groaned inwardly feeling a little guilty for having told a lie to her best friend. But she knew that is was the only way to keep Lin Chun Fa’s mind in a good frame of mind and out of trouble for the time being. Also Lin Chun Fa had thought the world of her brother and loved him dearly. To hear news of his death and his treachery would almost break her heart. This would also cause an instant rift between their friendship as Lin Chun Fa would have reasons to doubt that Lok Gum Fa would be telling her the truth. She knew the personality of her 2nd junior apprentice sister well.

    Keeping silent for a long while Lok Gum Fa finally decided to ask, “Sister Lin, have… you seen my… husband anywhere? I… I have spent the… entire night searching for him”.

    “You mean the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’, Yeung Tin Lung? He passed my way earlier tonight on the west side of the city. He approached me to ask if I had seen you!”, replied Lin Chun Fa.

    Earlier in the night Lin Chun Fa got an enormous fright when the she saw the eccentric ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ ran wildly towards her, before standing three arm lengths directly in front of her. He had looked in hot rage. Sweat poured down his forehead indicating that he had travelled fast and hard for most of the night, and had been searching for someone. She had expected death right at that moment. But never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined that the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ would cup his hands together and great her politely before asking Lin Chun Fa if she had seen her. Upon hearing that she hadn’t he dashed off into the night and hasn’t been seen since by Lin Chun Fa. That incident occurred outside the west hall over four fours ago. So one could guess that the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ had gone searching elsewhere.

    Lok Gum Fa groaned inwardly upon hearing this, “Dam! I’ve searched in all the wrong places. So he went west and not east. He must have used the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy to try and locate me and ended up following Lin Chun Fa instead”.

    Lok Gum Fa had actually guessed correctly. Not only did her husband run into Lin Chun Fa, but he had also manage to run into To Guk Fa. The ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ did not kill Lin Chun Fa and To Guk Fa because he knew how much Lok Gum Fa had loved her two junior apprentice sisters. He had politely asked Lin Chun Fa if she knew where Lok Gum Fa was but she did not know. So the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ then headed in a south west direction to search. Even though Lin Chun Fa had located the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ she did not rush back to report it to her master but instead kept searching for her brother and Yip So So instead. Lin Chun Fa loved her sister equally and so therefore hoped in secret that her master would not locate them allowing Lok Gum Fa and the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ to escape from Chingqing un-noticed. Had they been caught by Cheung Cum it would have really tested their friendship. It was an entirely different matter, however, with To Guk Fa. When asked by the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ if she had seen Lok Gum Fa, To Guk Fa actually lied to him. To Guk Fa told the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ she had seen Lok Gum Fa running towards the west of the city. Having located the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ and having sent him down the wrong path, To Guk Fa, rushed hurriedly to report back to her master. To Guk Fa headed north east where her master had been and thus ran into the 5 nuns from Emei Sect. That’s when Lok Gum Fa stumbled across the scene. It had been a night of complete misadventure for the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ and his wife.

    Another thought ran passed Lok Gum Fa’s mind as she thought inwardly, “Oh Dam! What if big brother Yeung is still trying to use his ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy to find me! Rather than being able to find me, he will surely run into the trap set by my master Cheung Cum instead”.

    “Sister… Sister Lin, do you know… were master is at the moment?”, asked Lok Gum Fa. She was certain now that her husband would be somewhere around the city near where Cheung Cum had set up camp. She wanted Lin Chun Fa to take her that she can meet up with her husband before its too late.

    “Master had some business to take care in the north side of the city earlier in the night. But I suspect that she would have returned to the ‘Double Door Inn’ to rest by now. That inn is next to the main town hall in the heart of the city. Why do you want to know?”, asked Lin Chun Fa. She had been thinking the last thing Lok Gum Fa would want is to run into her master at this moment in time. She could have never guessed her true intentions.

    “What… What was master doing up north?”, asked Lok Gum Fa in surprise. It was unusual that her master would go somewhere without one of her three personal apprentices. Cheung Cum had always been keen to train her apprentices in the matters of wulin so that they could take leadership of the Divine Butterfly Sect one day. Cheung Cum had been planning to retire shortly to wonder through wulin all by herself. She had seen much in her 20 years at the helm of the Divine Butterfly Sect. In normal days Lok Gum Fa would always be at her master’s side to observe and learn how to be a leader. That’s why Lok Gum Fa had such a profound knowledge of many matters that had occurred in wulin. In fact out of all the three personal apprentices Cheung Cum had loved Lok Gum Fa the most. Cheung Cum had considered that Lok Gum Fa was a mirror image of herself in her younger days. She could have never guessed that her assessment was wrong. Lok Gum Fa was a more caring person and kind person than she could have imagined.

    “Master received a letter from ‘Gentleman Sword’ Bak Fung Wan. So I guess they went to discuss how to deal with you and your husband”, replied Lin Chun Fa. But how was Lin Chun Fa to know at this moment that it was not all the only thing her master had been discussing Bak Fung Wan. There was a definite reason why Cheung Cum had not taken Lin Chun Fa along to that meeting and had instead sent her to locate the Lin couple to assist them.

    Lok Gum Fa was very worried now having heard that ‘Gentleman Sword’ was in Chongqing also and hiding up north. She knew if the ‘Gentlemen Sword’ and ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ were to team up, her husband would be doomed. A thought had crossed Lok Gum Fa’s mind as she suddenly say, “Sister… Sister Lin, can I… I ask you a favour?”.

    “What is it Sister Lok? I will try and do my best”, replied Lin Chun Fa, not knowing what else to say.

    “I… I want you to… to take me to see master!”, replied Lok Gum Fa.

    “What! Do you really want to die?”, asked Lin Chun Fa in complete shock.

    “No… No… I only want to see big brother Yeung… one last time. I… I am sure… that he is searching somewhere… near where master… is resting for me using… his ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy!”, replied Lok Gum Fa. If she had not told Lin Chun Fa what was on her mind, Lin Chun Fa would never have agreed to take her to where Cheung Cum was. That would be like sending Lok Gum Fa to a certain death, and Lin Chun Fa would never do that. For she cared greatly about her senior apprentice sister.

    At this moment Lin Chun Fa was able to look directly at Lok Gum Fa for the first time. She had been hidden by the darkness earlier but had moved slightly out from behind the big clay statute of Budda. Underneath the dim moonlight Lin Chun Fa could see the determination written on Lok Gum Fa’s face. She knew all too well the personality of her senior apprentice sister, so decided not to go against her will now that it had been set.

    Finally Lin Chun Fa could be heard saying to break the silence, “Okay! I’ll take you two blocks away from the main town hall. I can’t carry you any further after that! Otherwise master will find out!”.

    “Do you have enough strength to hold onto me?”, asked Lin Chun Fa upon seeing the pale face of Lok Gum Fa and the sweat dripping off her forehead. It was very obvious that she was holding on with her last ounce of strength to see the face of her husband one last time. Lin Chun Fa had not seen how weak Lok Gum Fa looked until now and her heart was suddenly filled with sadness. Many thoughts and questions ran through her mind, like how Lok Gum Fa had become this way. But she knew that Lok Gum Fa appeared to be running out of time, so thought it best to find the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ first and discuss facts later. Lin Chun Fa made up her mind that regardless of what happens later on, she would definitely make sure that Lok Gum Fa can see her husband one last. With this she crouched down so that Lok Gum Fa could climb onto her back.

    Lok Gum Fa stretched out a weak and pale looking hand to grab onto Lin Chun Fa’s shoulders. Lin Chun Fa then placed Lok Gum Fa over her shoulders and grabbed onto her legs around the knee region for support. Upon standing up Lin Chun Fa could feel that Lok Gum Fa’s body was becoming very cold. Life had indeed started to flow from her body as her chi energy had nearly been spent.

    Suddenly Lok Gum Fa felt a surge of hot chi energy flowing into her body from the left hand that was holding onto Lin Chun Fa’s shoulders. It was quite obvious that Lin Chun Fa had channelled her own inner energy from her shoulders through Lok Gum Fa’s hands into her body to make sure that she would last through the whole of the journey. Lin Chun Fa figured that Lok Gum Fa had only around 8 hours remaining upon receiving some of her inner energy. But 8 hours is more than enough time to find the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. Lok Gum Fa’s body became slightly warm again, and the hand on her left shoulder started to grip a little tighter. A sign that Lok Gum Fa had regained some much needed strength in her frail body. A slight smile emerged on Lin Chun Fa’s face upon this discovery as she kept on running. Her pace had been slowed a little because of this. But she still managed to travel at a rapid rate never the less.

    Lok Gum Fa was touched by this kind gesture of her 2nd junior apprentice sister. She was overcome with emotions of delight. “Sister Lin…Thank… Thank… You!”, said Lok Gum Fa.

    “Sister Lok! There’s no need to thank me! We’re sisters! Don’t talk too much. Rest and save your strength for later!”, replied Lin Chun Fa. Lin Chun Fa had always considered Lok Gum Fa to be her elder sister. So in her mind she did what an elder sister should do and required no thanks. After all it was the duty of the elder sister to look after and protect the younger sister. In fact Lin Chun Fa knew that if she passed too much chi energy from her own body into that of Lok Gum Fa’s, she would be virtually defenceless later in the night as all of her chi energy would be spent. But this did not concern Lin Chun Fa at all. Saving Lok Gum Fa’s life was a higher priority for her at that moment. These thoughts crossed her mind as she utilised her ‘Butterfly Maiden’ lightness kung fu and continued to move swiftly down the street. As Lin Chun Fa was heading towards the main town hall, Lok Gum Fa had passed out once more through the pain building up in the left abdomen region.

    She woke up several times before falling passing out for a sort while as Lin Chun Fa continued running down the street. This continued for what seemed like 30 minutes. When she woke up again not long after, she could feel that she had been lying on top of the surface of some rough tiles. The wind blew over her body, making her shiver a little. Opening up her eyes she could see only the moon in the sky. It was obvious that she was laying on top of roof of one of the shop fronts. Where? She could not actually tell at this moment. But it was certain that she was resting somewhere around two blocks from the ‘Two Doors Inn’, were Cheung Cum had set up camp. This was what Lin Chun Fa had promised her and she knew her 2nd junior apprentice sister would keep her promise.

    At that moment she could hear someone jump onto the rooftop. Footsteps could be heard steeping across the tiles as someone approached her.

    “Sister Lok, I have checked around. This place is safe and know one will be able to see you from below”, she could hear Lin Chun Fa say.

    Pausing for a moment continued Lin Chun Fa, “I have gone around the block twice and did not find signs of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. But my master is here and I will have to go and report back to her. Take care!”.

    “I hope by chance the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ finds you here! I will be back to get you in the morning if he doesn’t. Take care! And Good luck!”, turning to leave and jumping off the roof Lin Chun Fa could be heard saying.

    “Thank you… Sister… Sister Lin”, Lok Gum Fa could be heard saying in a weak voice. But there was no response as Lin Chun Fa had already left. At this moment Lok Gum Fa was feeling very tired and could not help but fall asleep again. When Lok Gum Fa woke up again she noticed that things had changed upon opening her eyes. Right at that moment someone placed a hand over her mouth to stop her from speaking, or making a sound at having been slightly caught off guard by someone else’s presence. She turned her head and noticed the sun had started to rise from the west end of the city. The moon was now gone and the streets were beaming with specks of morning light. She could see a lot clearer now, than had been the case the previous evening.

    “It must be around 6.00 am in the morning”, she thought to herself. Looking onto the hand before motioning her eyes up to the face of the person who was now at her side, Lok Gum Fa was slightly surprised to see that it was actually Fung Lau Yin who held her index finger over her lips whilst shaking her head slightly. This was to indicate that it was not a good time for Lok Gum Fa not to make a sound or ask questions about how she came to be by her side. Fung Lau Yin knew that Lok Gum Fa was a every inquisitive. She then motioned her finger to the town square below. Indicating that something was happening down on the streets below.

    Many questions started running through Lok Gum Fa’s mind like, “How did Fung Lau Yin find me? Where has Kiu Pin Fok disappeared to?”. But she knew she would not get answers to these questions and it appeared that something big was happening right at this moment. Otherwise Fung Lau Yin would not have covered her mouth.

    “Where has sister Lin gone?”, she thought inwardly. She remembered that Lin Chun Fa had promised to collect her in the morning if the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ did not find her. It was now early in the morning, she was a little concerned upon seeing Fung Lau Yin instead. She was worried that Lin Chun Fa and Fung Lau Yin might have seen each other and started to fight, being the rivals that they are. If that was the case Lin Chun Fa would have definitely lost having passed so much of her chi energy into her body. But she knew this was a remote possibility as Lin Chun Fa was now most likely by her master, Cheung Cum’s side.

    Finally deciding to take a look at her surroundings, Lok Gum Fa, noticed that she was on top of the main town hall. This building stood higher than most of the shopfronts around the town hall, so she could see nearly the entire centre region of town. She noticed little specks of people wondering around far away from the main town hall. From her view Chongqing was like a big maze with paved streets, dirt tracks, rivers, and lakes parting the many red roof tops. The big wooden sign with the worlds ‘Grand Chongqing Hall’ written on it provided the perfect cover for the both of them. Even in the sunlight one would not be able to see them from below. The town square was directly below her.

    She could suddenly hear a man shouting and cursing from down below, “Fight me one on one if you’ve got the courage! Whoever can beat me may do as they wish! But I am not going to be crowded to death today! Who’s got the guts to fight? Or are you all of you people cowards? Dare call yourselves heroes? Blah”.

    Hearing no response the loud voice spoke again, “Attack all at once if you want! I knew you people from the orthodox clans are nothing but cowards! But I’ll send most of you all to hell before I die!”.

    This voice was full of anger and sounded very familiar. Taking no time Lok Gum Fa leaned under the large sign to take a closer look at the events directly below her on the main town square. She noticed a man wearing a torn black robe with a red cape flustering in the wind, standing in the middle. He wore a bamboo rain hat on his head and a rectangle bamboo basket was swung over his shoulders.

    Lok Gum Fa was filled with joy as she thought to herself, “So this were big brother Yeung has gotten to him! He is alive!”.

    Taking a closer look down below she noticed that three old Taoist Priests wearing yellow robes standing behind her husband. She could see that the three Toaists were none other than the ‘3 Aces of the Qincheng Sect’. They were taking up a position to meditate. It was obvious that they were channelling their inner energy in preparation for a battle. Three long broad swords were pointing into the ground before them. These obviously belonged to the ‘3 Aces of the Qincheng Sect’.

    Two monks from Shaolin sat to the side of her husband. They too had taken up a meditating position. They moved the little round beads in their hand and were reciting a sutra. It was obvious that the two monks are also channelling there inner energy for a battle. To the right side of the street, Lok Gum Fa could see in total 15 members from her own clan the Divine Butterfly Sect. Her master, Cheung Cum was sitting casually in the middle sipping a cup of tea. Tot Guk Fa and Lin Chun Fa were standing on the side looking on. To the left hand side of the street stood various people. There were 5 apprentices from Huashan Sect, 6 apprentices from Songshan Sect, and 16 members from the Beggar Clan were there also. Over 30 unknown swordsmen from various tiny clans were there also. Many of the locals who did not know martial arts had also gathered to watch the events taking place. The more cautious and safety conscious people dare not approach the town square upon seeing so many people standing about holding weapons. It was obvious that a big battle was going to take place, so it was best to avoid it. It was a great number of people who have gathered against one.

    Lok Gum Fa could notice that in front of her husband stood side by side two men. On closer inspection one could see that the man standing on the right wore a long green robe. He was in his late 30’s and had a rather handsome face. Unlike her husband’s face this man had no blemish. It did not contain any scars or injuries and was very smooth. This indicated two things. Either this man had fought many battles and won without being injured, or that he had not fought many battles at all. One could see that he was a tall and medium built man. The sleeve by the right side of his shoulder was flustering and flapping in the breeze. It was obvious that this man had lost his right arm. His hair was a mess, and blowing wildly in the wind. Around his waist was a black belt. By the left side of his waist was a short green bamboo flute. It was obvious that this man enjoyed his music as well. He stood with his head looking directly down on the ground. His eyes were closed. A sign that he is deep meditation in preparation for battle. He carried a strange looking sword in his left hand. It was a long, thin, and narrow looking sword. Its shape was rounded like that of a fencing sword. The blade was very flexible. A sign that his swordsman ship was based on the elegance and flow of the ‘yin’ energy. His sword tip was pointed into the ground just in front of his feet. He was in deep concentration. This was none other than Kim Mo Dik ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’.

    The man standing to his side was wearing a light blue robe with white trimmings. One could see that he was a very young looking man in his mid twenties. He was of medium built and had a very handsome face. He looked very much like a learned man and had a scholarly feel about him. A square blue hat rested on his head. A white belt was wrapped around his waist. The words ‘Chancellor of Wulin’ was embodied in red at the centre. A rounded piece of jade hung by his right left. He carried a very long and flexible thin sword in his right hand. A tinge of metallic blue reflected off the sword. A cold chilling aura of death surrounded his sword. In fact it was widely rumoured throughout wulin that this sword had once belonged to the ‘Black Snake Assassin’ of the ’13 Ghost Mountain Assassins’ before he died. It was rumoured that the ‘Black Snake Assassin’ had killed over 500 innocent people using that sword. It is a well known fact in wulin that an aura of death surrounded the weapons and the people who have killed over 500 innocent people. It was a warning from the ghosts and spirits of those slained to warn the living of the danger. Those who came across the sword or the person wielding the sword will get an instant chilling sensation going up their spine.

    The width of the sword was no thicker than the edge of a piece of paper. In the hands of an ordinary swordsman the sword would have no actual power and would be rendered useless in a battle. It would also shake constantly like paper in wind. But under the control of the man in blue robes the sword was as straight and sturdy as any other precious sword in the world. It could cut through metal like butter. At the flick of the wrist the sword could become flexible and bend like water. To have strength of metal and flexibility of water is rare indeed. A sign that his swordsman ship was based on both the elegance and flow of the ‘yin’ energy, and the strength and sheer power of ‘yang’ energy. The swordsman in blue was looking directly at the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. He carried a clam expression on his face. He held his ‘exquisite snake sword’ in his right hand. It was flustering in the breeze, making small rattling noises. It sounded like that of a metal cobra shaking its tail. An indication that the swordsman in blue had not yet channelled his inner energy into the sword. The swordsman man in blue was none other than ‘Gentleman Sword’ Bak Fung Wan.

    Lok Gum Fa was suddenly filled with great worry in her heart upon seeing that her husband had been surrounded by so many formidable foes. She thought inwardly, “I must not fear! Big brother Yeung is ‘invincible’ and will fight through this. If he dies, I will commit suicide follow suit”.

    “Let fate decide the outcome of this day!”, Lok Fum Ga thought contently. He heart was suddenly filled with peace. She knew there was nothing else she could do at this moment to help her husband.

    Down at ground level on the town square, Yeung Tin Lung could be heard shouting, “Come on why don’t you attack! What are you waiting for”. He was looking at Bak Fung Wan in the eyes with full of hatred upon saying this. But no one moved an inch. All the heroes that had gathered remained fixed in their positions. They were only concerned with blocking all of Yeung Tin Lung’s escape paths.

    “Heroes! Be at peace! Let me say a few words”, interrupted Priest Tin Moon suddenly getting up.

    Turning around to look at all the heroes that had gathered, he continued, “Although the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ has done a number of unspeakable cruel acts he has served our country well by ridding us of evil General Hon, Excellency Chow, and Magistrate Wang, of Luoyang”.

    “These corrupt men made the common people suffer to no ends and everyone knows that they collaborated with the jurchens on our boarders! The people of Louyang now live in peace all because of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. This act alone could be said to be the act of a hero and not a senseless killer! He does not deserve to die. I ask all of you to reconsider your actions today!”, continued Priest Tin Moon as he walked around the circle of men as he spoke each of the words. He was almost pleading to them to show mercy.

    “What do you know you old Taoist priest?”, said a man stepping forward from the crowd. He was a short thin man in his mid 20s. He wore a green robe with white trimmings. He his left hand was a standard long sword resting in its sheath. This was Song Yin Fat, the senior apprentice of the Huahsan Sect.

    Walking around to the crowd he said, “Two years ago in the same city of Luoyang this same the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ murdered the lives of over 40 people at the ‘Gods and Goddesses Inn’. Amongst them were defenceless women and children! He is clearly a big devil who kills without reason and does not feel any remorse for his actions. We cannot let him live”.

    “Also on that same day he killed my two younger siblings, Song Yin Fei and Song Yin Kiu! Even if the other respectful clans let this big demon off the hook! The Huashan Sect will still seek him out for revenge”, said Song Yin Fat looking Priest Tin Moon right in the eye.

    Priest Tin Moon was caught speechless by this remark. He thought for a moment and then said in all earnest, “A long time ago, many swordsman from the Qincheng Sect fought and defended our country from the Mongol invasion. We therefore respect what the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ has done to rid the Ming Government of corrupt officials, thus making it a better place to live. I only ask that the many respectful heroes who have gathered here to remember those past events and gives us some face to spare the life of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. We will take him into our respectful Sect and purge his soul of evil”.

    “Purge his soul from evil! Blah! What nonsense! Who are you trying to kid? We are not 3 years old!”, mocked a swordsman in red robes with black trimmings as he stood forward. He was a medium built man in his late 30s. He wore a square red hat on his head and held a broad sword in hand. This was none other than an apprentice from the Songshan Sect. His name was Sau Ching.

    Smiling slyly Sau Ching mocked, “Purge his soul from evil! Ha! Ha! You people from Qincheng Sect have no credibility whatsoever! You can’t even purge your own senior apprentice bother of evil, so how do you expect to purge the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ from evil! How shameful! Get lost you old Taoist and don’t interfere in this matter!”.

    “That’s right! That’s right!”, people in the gathering audience could be heard shouting out lout.

    “But… But…”, mumbled Priest Tin Moon lost for words. He could not think of anything else to say.

    “If the heroes here today do not give face to the Qincheng Sect! Will they give face to Shaolin?”, asked a Shaolin elder as he stood up from the ground. He had just finished meditating and had been listening into the conversations. In the bright light of day one could see that this monk was around 80 years old. His hair had gone white. A long beared and moustache covering his face. Nine round incense marks were burnt to the top of his bold head. Indicating that he was indeed a very senior monk in Shaolin. He wore a yellow robe and a red shash was pinned on the right corner of his shoulders. He wore a chain of beads around his neck. He carried no weapon in hand. This was none other than Reverend Guy Hung from the Meditation Hall in Shaolin. He is not a fighting monk, although he does possess exceptional kung fu. He had come to make peace today and had the same intentions as Priest Tin Moon from the Qincheng Sect.

    “I promise as an elder of the Meditation Hall that Shaolin will be able to purge the evil from the soul of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman. This would be of great benefit to wulin and spare us of the impending bloodshed ahead”, Reverend Guy Hung continued. Unlike the others he did not move around the crowd but instead just talked from were he stood without moving.

    “If Shaolin promises that they will purge the evil from the soul of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. Then that’s what they will do. There is no need for any one here to doubt it! This indeed is a good solution”, agreed Priest Tin Moon.

    “That’s correct! It’s a good plan”, someone in the crowd can be heard saying.

    “It’ll spare the bloodshed here on the streets of Chongqing today!”, said another swordsman.

    “Even if we all attacked together! We may not be able to beat the Black Dragon Swordsman”, replied another.

    “We’re only here to stop the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ from killing more innocent people and do other ruthless deeds. If he joins Shaolin and is purged of evil, then it’s to wulin’s and all of our benefit”, repeated another swordsman.

    “We have total faith in Shaolin’s abilities”, shouted a number of swordsmen in unionism.

    Turning to Song Yin Fat and Sau Ching, Reverend Guy Hung asked, “Do you two have any problems with what I have just proposed?”.

    “As long as the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ does not step a foot outside of Shaolin, then the Huashan Sect will not cause him any trouble. But once he leaves Shaolin we will hunt him down and avenge the deaths of the many innocent people who have died at his hands”, replied Song Yin Fat as he walked back to join his other four apprentices from the Huashan Sect by the side of the main square.

    “I have no problems with this proposal. If Shaolin wants to take the burden of purging the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’s’ heart of evil entirely on their hands, so let it be!”, smirked Sau Ching as he too rejoined his other Songshan apprentices and stood by the side.

    Looking at the ‘Iron Maiden’ who was sitting quietly on the side drinking some herbal tea, Reverend Guy Hung decided to ask, “Ms Cheung, what about you? We know you and the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ have a previous grudge!”.

    Sitting near a small table, lifting up a cup of tea to her mouth before taking a sip and replacing it back onto the table, Cheung Cum finally decided to speak up, “The Black Dragon Swordsman used ‘witch’ craft to seduce my senior apprentice and has caused great shame on our Divine Butterfly Sect!”.

    “We have come here for revenge. But we have also come to make sure that the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ stops committing evil and ruthless acts. If the elder of the Meditation Hall has promised that he will be able to purge the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’s heart of evil, then we have nothing further to add. We will not cause him any trouble whilst he remains in Shaolin”, continued Cheung Cum after pausing for a moment to think for the right words. Deep in her heart she still hated the '‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ and wanted nothing more than to see him die today. But she also realised that she had to give face to Shaolin.

    After she had finished speaking Cheung Cum resumed drinking her herbal tea. With a swift hand she lifted her veil and took a sip. It was so quick that no one could catch a glimpse of her face properly before the veil covered the lower portion of her face again. But one could see that she was a very slim and slender woman. Her long silky black hair was tied neatly in two bundles at the front with white ribbons. There were two long streaks of white hair to the right and left of her fringe. She wore a white veil to cover the lower portion of her face. But one could vaguely see through the fabric that she had a soft oval face and was quite pretty. Although she was in her mid 40s she carried the youthful look of a 20 year old. She wore an elegant white dress with pink trimmings. A long sword rested on the table in its black sheath near the teapot. The handle of the sword was black and had two white butterflies carved into the hilt. This was the Head Master’s sword of the Divine Butterfly Sect passed down from generation to generation. A dust pen rested next to it.

    People in wulin gave Cheung Cum the nickname “Iron Maiden”, because of her personality. In their eyes she was no lesser than a man and often behaved like one. Though one would surely be die a terrible death if they were to directly mention this to her. In fact see deeply resented all men and despised them. She had only been in love once in her life when she was sixteen years of age and her heart was broken. She has never buried this feeling of hatred in her heart. She had a reputation of doing wicked things herself to men who broke the hearts of young maidens. In one particular occasion she cut off a young merchant’s penis in Fuzhou when he was caught in a brothel cheating on his wife. So most of the men in wulin feared the ‘Iron Maiden’ after this event and they made sure they never did anything to offend her. That event took place now some 15 years ago. It could be said that she kept the majority of men in wulin honest. It remains in her eyes however that all men are deceivers and evil doers. That’s why she hated Yeung Tin Lung even though somewhere in her heart she knew that he had treated Lok Gum Fa well. But she would never admit this though. She could always be heard cursing that the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman had used ‘witch craft’ to take her beloved apprentice Lok Gum Fa away from her.

    “Ms Cheung! Thank you for giving us some face today! You have demonstrated good judgement and did not let revenge cloud your thinking”, said Reverend Guy Hung. He was now making his way up to speak with Kim Mo Dik and Bak Fung Wan at this point.

    “I have no problems with this proposal! It would indeed be of benefit to all of us here today! I thank you on behalf of everyone in wulin for Shaolin’s good deed today”, shouted Bak Fung Wan anticipating that Reverend Guy Hung was going up to have a direct conversation with him. He thus wanted to save Reverend Guy Hung the time. He had now taken up his father’s post as the Chancellor of Wulin and so knew that what was being suggested by Reverend Guy Hung was a good for all of wulin. So he would not let his personal revenge cloud his good judgement.

    “What about you Kim Mo Dik?”, asked Reverend Guy Hung standing some distance away. Although he was a member of an orthodox clan, it was well known throughout wulin that Kim Mo Dik possessed some odd behaviour. So no one really knew what he was thinking at any given point in time. He had always done good deeds though. So everyone called him a hero. But his temperament was not that different to the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. Rumours say that he is an apprentice of the famous Wudang Sect. But one really knows for sure as his famed ‘Unrivalled Tiger Sword Arts’ do not belong to the Wudang Sect. Either way he was a wild card on Reverend Guy Hung’s mind.

    Keeping his head down and his eyes shut, Kim Mo Dik, could be heard replying, “What Shaolin does is Shaolin’s business. Unlike the people who have gathered here to do good deeds and prevent the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ from doing further evil acts, I am actually here for a duel!”.

    “After our duel! Shaolin can do whatever they want. I am not after his life”, continued Kim Mo Dik still with his head down and eyes shut.

    Walking over to Yeung Tin Lung, Reverend Guy Hung said, “It’s settled then! Brother Yeung you will come with us now and join Shaolin. We will change your name to Reverend Sun Long, as in the ‘new dragon’ meaning to start over again and begin fresh”.

    “I wonder if big brother Yeung is going to follow to Shaolin monks?”, Lok Gum Fa thought to herself as she watched the events unfold below. She thought that what Shaolin suggested was a good idea. Even though she couldn’t help but feel a little pain in her heart as that would mean that she and Yeung Tin Lung would then be parted forever, as monks can’t have wives.

    “As long is he lives! I don’t care about anything else!”, Lok Gum Fa thought to herself feeling peaceful and content in her heart once more.

    Thinking that the situation had been resolved, many of the heroes that had come, including Cheung Cum started to move away from the main town square. Only Bak Fung Wan and KimMo Dik remained standing exactly where they had stood. In fact Kim Mo Dik had not even moved a inch during this time. His head remained down in deep concentration and his eyes remained shut. No know could have guessed that he was going through his mind everyone of 300 stances that he had encountered during his first battle with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ on Taishan. He was thinking about those moves and coming up with a counterattack or defence in his mind right at this moment.

    Reverend Guy Hung and Reverend Guy Jun were just about to walk over to Yeung Tin Lung and take him up to Shaolin with them when he could suddenly be heard laughing out loud. His laughter shook the tiles on the roof tops of the buildings close by and lasted for around 5 minutes. By this time most of the people who were about to leave had returned to where they previously stood to see what was going on.

    “The world is indeed a crazy place!” Yeung Tin Lung shouted as he continued to laugh looking up at the big blue sky and the sun rising above.

    “There so many people who think they know what’s best for me and have made a decision without even asking me for my intentions! Or whether I agree to it or not! Ha! Ha! What a troubled world! Ha! Ha! What is this world coming too! Ha! Ha!”, Yeung Tin Lung continued amongst the laughter.

    As the various people were discussing his future Yeung Tin Lung had indeed been listening in and contemplating about what’s ahead for him as well. He had made up his find that he would find a secluded place in Chengdu and live a peaceful life with his wife, away from the troubles of wulin. The Shaolin proposal did sound reasonable at first, but after he thought about it for a little longer he realised that it was not what he wanted. He figured life wasn’t worth living without Lok Gum Fa and he had previously decided upon killing his baby son Yeung Yin Siu if he had died. He was now peaceful at heart and did not fear death. At this moment he decided to channelled his ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy one last time to check the surroundings and lurking danger. Casting a glance at the 15 Divine Butterfly Sect members to the side, a big smile suddenly crept across his face. He had also caught Lin Chun Fa gazing at the big blue sign on top of the main town hall near the roof. This confirmed his suspicions.

    “Reverend Guy Hung, thank you for your very noble and good intentions! However I won’t be going to Shaolin!”, shouted Yeung Tin Lung.

    Reverend Guy Hung was shocked beyond words and could only manage, “But… But this is the only way?”.

    “The only way? You mean the only to keep you orthodox people happy? Is that it?”, smirked Yeung Tin Lung as he glanced at all the so called heroes that had gathered to murder him.

    “I don’t care! I have two feet and two hands! I can go were ever like and do what I want! No one can deny me that”, continued Yeung Tin Lung.

    “Shaolin will be able to protect your life and guarantee you a peaceful life as long as you stop murdering people and do wicked deeds”, interrupted Reverend Guy Jun seeing that his senior apprentice brother was speechless.

    “Since I married my wife, I have already promised myself that I would not murder an innocent person and never do a wicked deed again. In fact for the past and a half year I have not done a single thing or caused a single feud with you orthodox clans. I have also left the ‘13 Ghost Mountain Assassins’. It is you orthodox people who won’t let me go and am creating the trouble here today! Not I”, protested Yeung Tin Lung.

    Casting up at the big blue sign above the main town hall Yeung Tin Lung could be heard saying, “I love my wife with all my heart! We’ve decided to live go somewhere secret and live a secluded life and not meddle in the affairs of wulin any more”.

    Looking back at Reverend Guy Hung and Guy Jang, Yeung Tin Lung continued, “What’s the difference between this and going up to Shaolin? Either way I have decided to stop doing evil? What’s the difference? Tell me!”.

    “So he knows I am here!”, thought Lok Gum Fa upon seeing that her husband had glanced in her general direction and upon hearing say those words.

    “The difference is that no one will trust you and will continue to pursue and hunt you down until you die! Everyone in wulin can rest knowing that you are at Shaolin and that we will be responsible if anything should happen!”, replied Reverend Guy Hung, having recovered from his initial shock.

    “So you want me to spend the rest of my life as a stinky monk by the name of Reverend Sun Long?”, replied Yeung Tin Lung. His anger was starting to build up and the ‘yang’ energy in his body was building up. If the various heroes had known this they would have been frightened as it was a sign that Yeung Tin Lung would soon lash out. He had enough of the small talk.

    “Spend the rest of my life without being able to taste wine or eat meat! Reading Buddist Scriptures to purge my heart of evil! without ever stepping one foot outside Shaolin!”, mocked Yeung Tin Lung.

    “What kind of life is this? I’d surely die of boredom if nothing else! It’s no better than being in a prison. You may believe in Budda, but I do not! You cannot force me to live against my will”, growled Yeung Tin Lung.

    Casting another glance at the large blue sign he said, “Also you would be asking me to spend the rest of my life being separated from my wife? There’s nothing more important to me this world than my wife’s love. I would rather die than live without her!”.

    Turning to Reverend Guy Hung he finally said, “Don’t mention your proposal to me again. I have made up my mind and won’t change it!”.

    Upon hearing those words, Lok Gum Fa, felt like jumping down onto the street and giving her husband a big hug. But she knew she was injured and would be a burden to her husband had she went down. So she decided to stay where she was. Lok Gum Fa thought inwardly, “He loves me with all his heart! How can fate be so cruel as to separate us now!”.

    “Okay maybe it won’t be necessary for you to join Shaolin”, replied Reverend Guy Hung in a sincere voice.

    Looking a little puzzled Yeung Tin Lung asked, “What do you mean? What are you suggesting? As long as I can be with my wife and live out the rest of my life in peace, I will consider it!”.

    “All you have to do is cripple yourself of your kung fu! That way everyone in wulin will be sure that you’ll not be capable of doing further evil deeds and wicked acts. Shaolin will promise to protect you! Anyone who pursues you after today will be an enemy of Shaolin. I can guarantee that!”, replied Reverend Guy Hung.

    Looking at the crowd and then Bak Fung Wan, Reverend Guy Hung continued, “Young Chancellor of Wulin, what do you think of this proposal?”.

    Casting a glance from Yeung Tin Lung over to Reverend Guy Hung, Bak Fung Wan replied, “If the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ cripples himself of all his kung fu then he would be no different then a common defenceless peasant. I Bak Fung Wan would surely not pursue him to seek revenge as it would be considered a cowardly act to attack a defenceless person. I agree to it!”.

    Looking around at the heroes gathered, Bak Fung Wan continued, “I Chancellor of Wulin have made this decision! Anyone who goes against this and seeks the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ after today will be disobeying my orders and will be disrespecting not only me but the clan of Taishan and all orthodox clans. If anyone is against this proposal it’s best to speak now!”.

    “We’ll leave him alone if he cripples all he’s kung fu”, someone shouted from the crowd.

    “All we want to do today is rid his ability to do evil!”, shouted another swordsman from the crowd.

    “There’s no need to resort to battle if we don’t need to!”, replied another swordsman.

    “Good plan! Good plan!”, shouted another swordsman, praising Reverend Guy Hung’s idea.

    “It’s settled then!” said Reverend Guy Hung as he walked across to Yeung Tin Lung to prepare to cripple him of his kung fu.

    High above hiding behind the large blue sign on the rooftop Lok Gum Fa thought, “If everyone decides to leave us alone after big brother Yeung cripples himself of his kung fu that would be good. We can still enjoy a happy and peaceful life together for the rest of our lives”.

    Lok Gum Fa had monetarily forgotten about her fatal injuries at this point. Another thought crossed her mind not long afterwards, “What if the heroes here pretend to agree and then pursue us after Reverend Guy Hung leaves? That would be a disaster and guarantees certain death for both of us!”. Cold sweat dripped down her spine as she looked on. She wanted to somehow warn her husband but yet knew she could not. It was now up to fate to determine the outcome of the day.

    Many thoughts ran pass Yeung Tin Lung’s mind at this moment. He had thought of a number of scenarios by now upon hearing Reverend Guy Hung’second proposal. But he felt uneasy as he glanced at the so called heroes that had gathered and saw that 95% of them had been grinning slyly back at him. He could no longer hold back his anger, as he shouted, “Reverend Guy Hung, your idea is great and I would have complied with it!”.

    Casting a cold glare at the rest of the so called heroes he said in defiance, “But I Yeung Tin Lung am not going to be bitten to death by little ants. These cowards have no intention of keeping to their side of the bargain. All they want me to do is cripple my self of the kung fu. I won’t fall into their trap!”.

    “Shaolin will guarantee your safety! You have nothing to fear!”, replied Reverend Guy Hung.

    “There are but only 2 of you here today and you cannot protect us forever! These people will not let us live a peaceful life. I have made up my mind. Don’t mention this proposal to me again”, replied Yeung Tin Lung.

    Glaring at the crowd once more Yeung Tin Lung continued, “Well here I am! Who’s first?”.

    “Quick let’s all attack together and kill this big demon”, someone shouted out loud from the crowd. But no one actually dared move forward to strike the first move. There was a long silence. Reverend Guy Hung and Priest Tin Moon did not know what else they could do. A huge battle and unspeakable bloodshed was about to occur and they could do nothing to prevent it.

    Suddenly Kim Mo Dik could be heard asking, “I am here to challenge the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ to a duel. Do you accept? Or do you decline”.

    Hearing that Kim Mo Dik had challenged him to a duel, Yeung Tin Lung, could not hold back any longer, he said “Kim Mo Dik! I respect your abilities! There’s no need to duel here today! I have already lost to you at Taishan”.

    “You’re mocking me! You cut off my right arm and now claim that you’ve lost?”, replied Kim Mo Dik. His voice carried with it a lot of hate towards Yeung Tin Lung.

    Since losing his right arm Kim Mo Dik’s character had changed somewhat. He became a very bitter man. He knew that the rumour throughout wulin was that he ad lost miserably at the hands of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ and lost his right arm as a result. So of course he would not be pleased with what Yeung Tin Lung had just said. Words were not good enough for him now. He needed to show that he was better than Yeung Tin Lung through action. A duel in his mind was the only way to settle this matter.

    “If you’re afraid to have a duel with me then just say so! There’s no need for flattery here! We’re both grown men!”, taunted Kim Mo Dik, indicating that the reason why Yeung Tin Lung would not fight was because he was afraid of him.

    “Kim Mo Dik! Are you implying that I am afraid? You sure have the nerves! I have never been afraid of you! If you want to duel with me then we will do so! But not now”, growled Yeung Tin Lung. He hated nothing more than someone calling him a coward.

    Pausing for a moment he continued, “It’s only because you’ve lost an arm that I will not duel with you right now! Otherwise people would be saying that I took advantage of your handicap. You know in your heart that you cannot beat me with your left arm, so why do you persist?”.

    Kim Mo Dik did not reply and just stood there without speaking. Everyone knew that Yeung Tin Lung had told the truth. So Kim Mo Dik waited. All he wanted was a duel and Yeung Tin Lung had accepted. He would get his chance later and continued meditating where he stood.

    “I respect your abilities and feel that it would be a shame if you should die before taking on an apprentice! You will be the last person I will duel with today to be fair”, continued Yeung Tin Lung casting a glance at Kim Mo Dik.

    “It’s settled! I will wait until you’re do with all your other business”, replied Kim Mo Dik in a cold voice.

    “Those who want to seek me for revenge step forward now!”, demanded Yeung Tin Lung as he stepped froward and glanced around the gathering crowd of people.

    “No need to adhere to the ‘ancient code of chivalry’! Let’s all attack now and kill this big demon”, a swordsman could be heard saying from the crowd.

    At this moment Yeung Tin Lung used the stance of the ‘boomerang dragon’ and shot it out towards the source of the voice. A loud shriek could be heard, followed by a soft thud sound, as a body hit the ground. Reaching for the head that returned with his black dragon blade Yeung Tin Lung took it and smirked, “So it’s one of the swordsman from the Songshan Sect! How shameful! Standing in the crowd shouting like that trying to rally everyone against me all at once”.

    Smashing the skull into a thousand of pieces with his left fist, causing bits of skull and flesh to stain the clothes of the swordsmen gathered around the main town square, Yeung Tin Lung yelled, “Well why don’t you all attack me at once? If I am going to die today then I am going to take as many of you to hell with me!”.

    Upon seeing Yeng Tin Lung’s display of incredible display of swordsman ship no one dared to step forward. At this present time Yeung Tin Lung looked rather horrid. His face had been covered by blood adding to his already rough and rugged appearance. He did look like an imposing figure and stood there like a huge unmovable obstacle. His eyes were beaming sharply, and he now had a wicked grin. Some would say he looked like a demon at this point. But how could the orthodox clan members understand the origins of his martial arts. It required him to be in a state of rage in order to for his abilities to reach a peak.

    “Indeed there is no need to adhere to the ‘ancient code of chivalry’! When dealing with this big demon! Let’s all attack at once. Bak Fung Wan! Kim Mo Dik! Cheung Cum are you with me?”, shouted Song Yin Fat of Huashan as he stepped forward to avenge the death of his two younger brothers that had died at the hands of the Black Dragon Swordsman.

    “Song Yin Fat! You have your private feud with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ and I have mine. If we combine and gain victory! The heroes of wulin would laugh at us for not being able to accomplish our revenge with our own skills. Besides 50 attacking one is not something that ‘gentlemen’ let alone a hero would consider doing!”, replied Bak Fung Wan looking directly at Song Yin Fat and not wanting to get involved at the moment.

    “I am here for a duel and not to help anyone get their own personal revenge. I won’t get involved!”, replied Kim Mo Dik still in deep concentration.

    “If that’s what the Chancellor of Wulin has decided the Divine Butterfly Sect won’t get involved either”, replied Cheung Cum casting an angry look at Bak Fung Wan. It was quite obvious that Cheung Cum had thought that this was a good time to gang up and murder the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’.

    Looking very disappointed Song Yin Fat suddenly asked, “Sau Ching! What about you? The ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ has just killed one of your junior apprentice brothers. Don’t you want to at least get revenge?”.

    Replying with a smirk on his face, Sau Ching said, “You heard what the Chancellor of Wulin had just said! This is a private matter between the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ and the Huashan Sect. It has nothing to do with my Songshan Sect”.

    Looking around at all the so called heroes who had gathered Song Yin Fat cursed inwardly, “Dam these people! Nothing but cowards! They want me to attack first and tire out the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. Once the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ has used up all his inner energy they can attack and kill him to become famous! Dam them all!.

    After going through this line of thinking Song Yin Fat came up with a plan of his own. Looking at Reverend Guy Hung and Priest Tin Moon, Song Yin fat said, “Reverend Guy Hung! Priest Tin Moon! You have both witnessed with your own eyes that the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ has just murdered an apprentice of Songshan Sect for no good reason. It is clear that he is mad with rage and will murder many innocent people today. Is it not a task of Shaolin and Qincheng Sect to rid wulin of such big demon pests? Are you two going to help?”.

    Smiling slightly Priest Tin Moon was the first to respond. He said, “The Chancellor of Wulin has already said that this is a private matter and therefore does not concern the Qincheng Sect. Besides we have no previous feuds with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. We respect what he has done for our country and therefore will not engage in battle with him unless he attacks us first”.

    Reverend Guy Hung walked over to Yeung Tin Lung before casting a glance at Sing Yin Fat. He said, “Your matter with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ is a private matter for the Huashan Sect! It does not concern Shaolin! However we monks from Shaolin should try our best to prevent a possible bloodshed when it is foreseeable!”.

    “Brother Yeung! Please understand that we did not come here with the intention to fight! But in order to prevent a mass blood bath on the streets of Chongqing today! We have no other choice! Are you going to follow us to Shaolin or not? And keep the peace”, asked Reverend Guy Hung one last time. As he said this his junior apprentice brother stepped forward as well. They had taken up an attacking position.

    “I have already told you that I have already made up my mind and won’t be going to Shaolin! So why bother asking!”, replied Yeung Tin Lung.

    “You leave us with no choice then! We will now have to resort to using force in order to bring peace!”, replied Reverend Guy Hung removing the necklace of holy beads from his shoulders to use as a weapon. Reverend Guy Jun did the same.

    “Bring peace with war? A strange concept indeed!”, smirked Yeung Tin Lung as he drew his black dragon sabre.

    Attacking shoulder to shoulder, Reverend Guy Hung attacked towards Yeung Tin Lung’s right shoulder with his chain of holy beads. Reverend Guy Jun attacked towards the mid section region with his. As both of these Shaolin elders belonged to the Meditation Hall they were not used to fighting in a real battle, and were thus a little rusty, despite their excellent abilities. They did not attack in a very solid formation. Yeung Tin Lung did two back flips to avoid the attacks and then countered using his left palm to launch a ‘Black Dragon Palm’ strike directly forward at Reverend Guy Jun in the mid chest region. Reverend Guy Jun met this attack with a ‘Shaolin Fist’. As the palm connected with fist a ‘whack’ sound echoed through the crowd. Reverend Guy Jun could be seen shaking visibly as a stream of energy went down his arms sending shock waves through his entire body. Yeung Tin Lung looked comfortable as if nothing had happened.

    “Ouch!”, cried Reverend Guy Jun shaking his right hand. He noticed that all of the five knuckles on that hand were blacked and bruised. Indicating that Yeung Tin Lung had only used 25% of his inner energy. Otherwise Reverend Guy Jun would have suffered a serious injury.

    A ‘clang’ sound could suddenly be heard as the black sabre collided with Reverend Guy Hung’s chain of holy beads. Reverend Guy Hung then launched a ‘Shaolin Shadow Fist’ aimed for Yeung Tin Lung’s chest. Yeung Tun Lung swung to the left and avoided the strike. To the side Reverend Guy Jun swung his holy beads directly for Yeung Tin Lung’s stomach. Yeung Tin Yeung his sabre down low to block the attack. Another ‘clang’ could be heard as holy beads met sabre. Yeung Tin Lung then launched another ‘Black Dragon Palm’ this time aiming for Reverend Guy Hung’s chest. He was standing on the other side and managed to dive out of the way of the attack. It was very unusual for Yeung Tin Lung to use his ‘Black Dragon Palms’. These were his weakest set of kung fu arts and he only used it when he was not in a mood to kill.

    At this moment Reverend Guy Jun suddenly loosened his chain of holy beads and launched around 40 of the beads together into the air like a mass of projectile missiles. They were aimed for various parts of Yeung Tin Lung’s body.

    “Excellent move!”, praised Yeung Tin Lung as he utilised the move called ‘windmill dragon’. He rotated his sabre at 360 degree cycles in a very rapid rotation. It almost appeared as if a shield had appeared in front of his body to cover all of his vital pressure points. Multiple ‘cling’ sounds could be heard as beads struck blade. In fact Yeung Tin Lung had done more than just block. He directed the beads back at both Reverend Guy Jun and Reverend Guy Hung, using his inner energy. Without a weapon Reverend Guy Jun could be seen ducking and diving frantically to avoid the holy beads that he himself had launched in the attack.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried Reverend Guy Jun as he had been hit on both then right and left side of his chest by two holy beads. He felt the full impact shortly after they hit him, and coughed up a mouthful of blood.

    “Sorry senior apprentice brother! Old monk here is useless and can’t assist you any more”, said Reverend Guy Jun as he sat down on the ground to meditate and channel his inner energy to heal his injuries.

    Meanwhile Reverend Guy Hung had used his own chain of holy beads and managed to fend off the beads directed at him. As the immediate danger had passed Reverend Guy Hung then launched his chain of beads in the air. It flew above Yeung Tin Lung’s head and landed directly over his shoulders before sliding down to his mid chest region. He had been momentarily caught as he could not free his arms. At this moment Reverend Guy Hung dashed forward to launch a ‘Shadow Kick’ aimed for Yeung Tin Lung’s mid chest region. Seeing the oncoming attack, Yeung Tin Lung redirected his black dragon sabre so it’s tip pointed upwards. The chi energy from the blade immediately cut through the chain of holy beads and feed both his arms. He managed to dive out of the way of Reverend guy Hung’s attack just in the nick of time before launching a counter attack. He launched his sabre into the air once more attacking Reverend Guy Hung’s mid chest region and followed it himself with a horizontal attack with the ‘Black Dragon Palm’. Reverend guy Hung dived to his left to avoid the flying sabre. A ‘clang’ sound was heard as the sabre struck the wall. A ‘whack’ sound could be heard moments later as the palm struck Reverend Guy Hung directly in the chest.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried Reverend Guy Hung as his body collided against the wall. A loud ‘thud’ sound could be heard moments later as his body hit the ground.

    Getting up and coughing up a mouthful of blood Reverend Guy Hung pleaded, “Brother Yeung, excellent kung fu! Shaolin no longer has the power to interfere in this matter. However I would like to make request if you allow it”.

    “Speak! What’s on your mind?”, asked Yeung Tin Lung standing over Reverend Guy Hung.

    Struggling a little from his injuries Reverend Guy Hung finally managed to say, “I request that you show everyone gathered here today as much mercy as you’ve just shown Reverend Guy Jun and myself. There is no need for a blood bath here today. Please consider this brother Yeung”.

    “That all depends on how these other people treat me! I will treat them how they treat me! I have great respect for Shaolin, so please forgive me for injuring you and reverend Guy Jun. But that was the only way I could prevent the two of you from interfering in this matter. Apologies!”, said Yeung Tin Lung in all sincerity, whilst cupping his hands to Reverend Guy Hung and Reverend Guy Jun. Reverend Guy Hung said no more and immediately sat in a meditation position to channel inner energy to heal his injuries.

    “Song Yin Fat! What are you waiting for you coward? Don’t you want to avenge the death of your two younger brothers? Come on! Let’s get it over and done with”, growled Yeung Tin Lung.

    Seeing that no one else was going to assist him , Song Yin Fat signalled to his 4 junior apprentice brothers to form a star attacking formation. This consisted of 3 swordsman defending from behind and 2 swordsman attacking at the front. The purpose of this formation is to wear down a stronger opponent by outlasting him. Once he had used up a high percentage of inner energy then it would be the time to counter attack.

    Yeung Tin Long looked at the formation and said, “So you think you can out last me do you? We’ll see about that”.

    “Attack”, replied Song Yin Fat as he lead the formation and two swords were launched aiming for the lower thigh and left shoulder of Yeung Tin Lung.

    Yeung Tin Lung managed to duck out of these attacks rather easily. He then launched the ‘dragon hurricane’ where he spun around in quick cycles creating a slight whirlwind. This moved had used up a bit of his energy. The 5 Huashan swordsmen struggled to stay on their feet. Utilising his ‘Ghost Mountain’ lightness kung fu, Yeung Tin Lung then zipped up to three of the swordsman defending from behind the formation. Three loud shrieks could be heard, followed by six soft thuds, as heads and bodies soon hit the ground. Song Yin Fat broke out in cold sweat upon seeing how quickly a formation of 5 had become 2. Wasting no time Yeung Tin Lung followed his last move with the ‘spinning dragon’. The black dragon blade spun like a top in his hands and slashed the body of the fourth Huashan apprentice in half.

    Now Song Yin Fat was all by himself and could see a sabre slashing towards his neck region. He put up his sword to block it. A loud ‘clang’ sound could be heard as sword met sword. Followed by a ‘cling’ sound as a sword broke in half.

    “What excellent sword moves! Ah YA!”, Song Yin Fat could be heard praising as he slumped to the ground. He coughed up a mouthful of blood and then died. He had been slashed across the throat after his sword had been broken in half by the powerful force of Yeung Tin Long’s strike.

    “Who’s next! Step forward!”, shouted Yeung Tin Lung wasting no time. He still possessed much inner energy despite having fought two rounds already. But his opponents were getting tougher now.

    But no one dared step forward upon seeing how easily the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ had just defeated two elite elders from Shaolin, and 5 swordsmen from the Huashan Sect. Yeung Tin Lung had a plan in mind that he would take care of all of the lower skilled fighters first and tackle the toughest ones at the end. That way no one would be able to pursue after him and his wife, after he gains victory. Had he fought the toughest fighters first and suffered a serious injury he knew he would have been trampled to death, like an elephant by ants, by the lower skilled fighters who would definitely take advantage of his injuries.

    “Sau Ching, what are you awaiting for? Aren’t you going to avenge the death of your junior apprentice brother who has just died by my hands today? Or are you afraid”, smirked Yeung Tin Lung casting a glance at Sau Ching.

    Sau Ching knew he was no match for Yeung Tin Lung in a battle, but still wanted to preserve his life. He had actually wanted to kill Yeung Tin Lung to gain fame after he suffered a serious injury at the hands of one of the other heroes. So he decided to engaged into a battle of wits instead. Looking directly at Yeung Tin Lung he said, “With my three legged cat and mouse kung fu I am no match for you! I am just a no name in wulin and dare not offend the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. Besides the Songshan Sect and you have no previous feuds. What reasons have the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ to kill me?”.

    “No previous feuds? You dare not offend me? What rubbish are you talking? Earlier today, you and your junior apprentice brothers had gone to great lengths to try and rally everyone gathered here to attack me together”, rebutted Yeung Tin Lung.

    Smiling a little wickedly, Yeung Tin Lung continued, “Sau Ching, you may say that you have no feud with me! But I have a feud with you! Draw your weapon!”.

    “I am defenceless! Surely the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ will not lower his reputation in front of all the heroes here and attack a person without a sword”, smirked Sau Ching as he threw his sword down and walked up to Yeung Tin Lung with his arms out stretched. The 5 other swordsman from Songshan Sect did the same as Sau Ching.

    This move made Yeung Tin Lung even angrier and provoked him into action. Casting an angry look at Sau Ching, Yeung tin Lung shouted, “There’s no need for play acting. I’m not dumb as you take me to be. I know what you’re up to! You’ll stab a blade into my back if you get the chance!”.

    “Unfortunately I have made up my mind to kill you now! With a weapon or without a weapon will make no difference to the outcome, what so ever! You’ll still die at my hands. Prepare to die!”, smirked Yeung Tin Lung with an evil grin. As he said the word ‘die’ he had already unleashed his blade in the ‘boomerang dragon’ stance.

    Sau Ching who had been standing three arm lengths in front of Yeung Tin Lung with a big smirk on his face, thinking he had outwitted the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ and had preserved his life with those words that he did not expect the attack. His face suddenly turned pale white as she saw the black dragon blade three centimetres from his neck. He had no time to defend.

    “Ah! Ya!”, cried Sau Ching before his head departed from his shoulders and rolled onto the ground. He had lost in the battle of wits forgetting that Yeung Tin Lung had killed defenceless women and children before, so his words weren’t going to make a difference. Once Yeung Tin Lung becomes angry, he will kill anyone. Soon another 5 shrieks followed, closely behind as ‘thud’ sounds could be heard as bodies and heads of swordsmen from Songshan Sect hit the ground.

    Retrieving his blade in his right hand Yeung Tin Lung shouted, “Who’s next?”. He had used very little inner energy up to this point and was feeling happy about having ridded himself of potential trouble in Huashan Sect and Songshan Sect.

    “What a big demon! Let’s take this opportunity together and attack him! Bak Fung Wan, are you waiting for!”, shouted Cheung Cum as she stood up with an angry glare over at Bak Fung Wan.

    “I have already said that we will not attack the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ together and gain victory through sheer numbers. That would bring great shame upon all of the orthodox clans! Each one of you have your own private feuds and may handle it how each of you best decide! I will not interfere!”, replied Bak Fung Wan smiling at Cheung Cum.

    Bak Fung Wan and Cheung Cum had discussed this previously in the evening, and now they still could not agree on the approach as to how to deal with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. Bak Fung Wan mainly wanted to protect his reputation as a ‘gentleman’, but also wanted to gain fame by defeating the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ by himself. He was quietly confident of his own abilities and thus did not want a mass battle. He knew that there is no glory in that. On the other hand all Cheung Cum wanted to do was see the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ die, she didn’t care how. He had caused her great embarrassment and shame. Besides she knew her abilities were far too inferior to defeat the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ all by herself.

    “If all of us gathered here today cannot defeated the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ with our own abilities, then we have no choice but to let him go on his way. No all in battles! That’s my order!”, said Bak Fung Wan in an authoritative tone.

    “I hope you can deliver upon what you’ve just said! Are you really going to let me leave Chongqing unimpeded if I win all of these battles?”, replied Yeung Tin Lung casting a glance at Bak Fung Wan.

    “A gentleman always delivers on his promises!”, replied Bak Fung Wan in sincerity.

    Watching the events from above, Lok Gum Fa, became very relieved upon hearing Bak Fung Wan’s words. She thought inwardly, “As long as they attack one on one, or clan by clan in formation, they cannot possibly beat big brother Yeung. Fate is smiling upon us today”.

    Looking at Bak Fung Wan in disgust Cheung Cum could only manage, whilst pointing with her index finger, “Bak Fung Wan! You… You…”.

    Sitting back down in disgust, Cheung Cum had a thought, “So this young Bak Fung Wan wants me to deal with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ all by myself. He knows that I don’t have the ability! Dam him! He’s only wanting me to fight so that I can burn up some of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’s’ inner energy and make it easier for him. Well he’s got something else coming!”.

    Smiling wickedly, before casting a glance at Yeung Tin Lung, Cheung Cum said, “Brother Yeung! The Divine Butterfly Sect and you do not really have a feud! I am just angry that you had used ‘witch craft’ to steal my beloved apprentice from me!”.

    The heroes in the crowd and Bak Fung Wan were all shocked upon hearing this. Everyone in wulin knew that Cheung Cum hated Yeung Tin Lung to the bones after the events of Taishan.

    “So master! Does not want to fight big brother Yeung today!”, thought Lok Gum Fa as she watched on from above. She was also very glad as she knew that Lin Chun Fa would have been called into the battle to help her master. That would put Lin Chun Fa’s life in danger as she has channelled a lot of her won strength into Lok Gum Fa’s body in the previous night.

    “Witch craft!”, protested Yeung Tin Lung with a thunderous voice. Indicating that he was upset by those comments and would surely lash out soon to kill Cheung Cum.

    Pausing for a moment, he continued, “I have not bound her arms and legs with rope! My wife has her own will and does as she pleases. She stays with me because she loves me! What you call ‘witch craft’, I call true love!”.

    Knowing Yeung Tin Lung’s eccentric nature and seeing how he had dealt with Sau Ching in a battle of wits she changed her tact. She knew it was not going to be of any benefit to exchange more words with Yeung Tin Lung and get him angry.

    Changing the subject Cheung Cum said, “Earlier tonight you could have killed both of apprentices Lin Chun Fa and To guk Fa! They both told me that you have shown her great mercy to them. So for this kind act of yours, I am willing to put aside whatever feud we had in the past for another day”.

    To everyone, including Yeung Tin Lung, this made some sense. She did not deny that she did not have a feud with Yeung Tin Lung, but mentioned that she would put their feud to the one side for the time being. One could have never guessed her real intentions however. Also Yeung Tin Lung did not really want to fight with the Divine Butterfly Sect knowing how much his wife loved her master, Lin Chun Fa and To Guk Fa. Yeung Tin Lung knew that his wife would never forgive him if he had killed a member from the Divine Butterfly Sect. So he was actually glad at having not to deal with them at this point. He could not use his ‘Black Dragon Palms’ like he did with the Shaolin elders because there were 15 of them. So he would have to have been ruthless, meaning serve loss of lives.

    “Ms Cheung, if that’s what you’ve decided, then I will not duel with your Divine Butterfly Sect today. Besides I have never held a grudge with your Sect as you well understand”, replied Yeung Tin Lung cupping his hands to greet Cheung Cum. She did not respond. She just sat back in her chair and continued to drink her herbal tea and waited for the events to unfold.

    “Yeung Tin Lung! It’s about time we settled our scores”, shouted Bak Fung Wan as he walked forward. His sword was still shaking in the breeze making little metallic rattling sounds.

    Glaring back at Bak Fung Wan, Yeung Tin lung replied, “What scores do you want to settle? We have none!”.

    “None? You must be joking!”, replied the Bak Fung Wan in shock. He had now walked up to face Yeung Tin Lung. He now stood directly five arm lengths away.

    “That’s correct! Rumours have it that you’re after revenge for the shame inflicted on you at Taishan when I stole your wife Lok Gum Fa. But let’s make it clear that I did not steal your wife. Her heart was never with you! She’s always loved me!”, growled Yeung Tin Lung.

    Continuing whilst casting a glance from Bak Fung Wan to Cheung Cum and then back again, Yeung Tin Lung said, “It’s only because of a disgrace custom that her master decides who she would marry that you were even involved. Some might even say that you have insulted me instead! Trying to take away the one I love at Taishan knowing that she did not love you. Yet this was not your fault so I did not blame you!”.

    Looking up at the big blue sign above the town hall Yeung Tin Lung continued, “Sure you suffered some shame! But a true gentleman would get over it! Also isn’t it more shameful to marry someone who does not love you? Marriage is about true love!”.

    Bak Fung Wan stood there speechless. He knew in his heart that he did indeed wasn’t to blame, but couldn’t help but agree partially with Yeung Tin Lung’s words. That day at Taishan he was only worried about protecting his own reputation as a ‘gentleman’ did he did not realise that other people’s hearts were involved. He himself had not loved Lok Gum Fa, but for reputation’s sake, had risked all. He had actually loved Lin Chun Fa only, but was afraid to reveal it until recently.

    Hearing no response from Bak Fung Wan, Yeung Tin Lung continued, “Secondly, they say you’re here to avenge the death of your father, Bak Tin Fei! Let’s make this clear today I did not kill your father! I could have chopped off his head and smashed into a thousand of pieces”.

    “Yet it was because I felt I had been in the wrong to rush into Taishan and take away someone who had been betrothed to you that I decided to let him live. Besides we had no previous grudge up to that point”, growled Yeung Tin Lung.

    “Bak Fung Wan, we have no past scores! Why can’t you openly admit that you’re here not for revenge but to gain fame by defeating the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’? Are you afraid because it will affect your reputation as a gentleman and how people in wulin will perceive you?”, smirked Yeung Tin Lung.

    Bak Fung Wan stood there in shock. Yeung Tin Lung was partially right. He understood that his father had committed suicide and that no one was to blame. But he had been angry at losing a lot of face through wulin at having his wife snatched away on his wedding day. It was losing face that day at Taishan that he had come. But he also wanted to defeat the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ to become both the ‘Chancellor of Wulin’ and ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’. He knew that ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ had lost one arm and assumed that he was no longer a match for him. But it would not have been appropriate for him as a ‘gentleman’ to openly do this so he hid behind the pretence that he was out for revenge. Today his plan had been revealed by Yeung Tin Lung so he couldn’t help but be a little annoyed. The people watching on the side, knew that the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ did indeed have some logic.

    Channelling his inner energy into his sword to straighten it and make it as sturdy as a precious sword, Bak Fung Wan finally said, “I don’t care how you put it. But I am here for revenge. Now prepare to die!”.

    As he said the word ‘die’ Bak Fung Fun launched an attack slashing towards Yeung Tin Lung’s left thigh region. To the many observers his ‘exquisite snake sword’ appeared to be like a live water snake flowing effortlessly through the wind. Yeung Tin Lung was a little stunned upon seeing this sword art as it was totally different to that of Bak Tin Fei’s. But Yeung Tin Lung managed to leapt out of the way of the attack. Suddenly another slash was launched attacking towards Yeung Tin Lung’s chest. Loud metallic rattling sounds echoed through the air. It was soon followed by a loud ‘clang’ as sword met sabre. But to Yeung Tin Lung’s surprise when he blocked the attack, the exquisite snake sword’ suddenly bent and attacked his lower stomach region. Pushing the sabre forward with all his might with the sword and sabre still connected to each other in defence, he manage to create enough space between his body that the bending sword could not attack his stomach region.

    “Excellent! But vicious move”, remarked Yeung Tin Lung. He had been taken by surprise at how flexible the ‘exquisite snake sword’ was. But it could also be sturdy. Indicating that even at such a young age, Bak Fung Wan had reached an advance level of both ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ sword arts. Rare indeed.

    After 10 moves had passed during this time. Yeung Tin Lung was still defending to try and find a flaw in the Bak Fung Wan’s sword art. An attack was launched towards Yeung Tin Lung’s foreword. He pushed his black dragon sabre to block the incoming blow. Another loud ‘clang’ echoed through the air. But to Yeung Tin Long’s surprise the sword bent itself around the defence life a river flowing through the mountain, and attacked towards his left eye. Pulling his head back with great force he managed to just evade the attack.

    “Another great move!”, praised Yeung tin Lung.

    Bak Fung Wan did not respond. He had a large smirk on his face keeping up the offensive. Bak Fung Wan was clearly on top at this stage of the battle. Realising that Bak Fung Wan’s sword possessed great flexibility, Yeung Tin Lung tried another tactic after another 20 stances had whisked by in a blink of an eye. He used his ‘Ghost Mountain’ lightness kung fu to zip and zap around Bak Fung Wan without blocking his sword thrusts. This prove successful as Bak Fung Fan’s thrust striked nothing but air when he looked like he was going to hit one of Yeung Tin Lung’s vital pressure points. His sword seemed just one step too late. Observers could now see that Bak Fung Wan was attacking rapidly and frantically without much success. He had burnt out a lot of inner energy as a result. But so did Yeung Tin Lung in utilising his ‘Ghost Mountain’ lightness Kung fu at such a rapid rate to duck and doge.

    After another 20 moves had whisked by both men became covered in sweat. Drops of liquid flowed continuously from both men’s forehead. Yeung Tin Lung had been doing nothing but blocking up until now. He continued with this tactic. Bak Fung Wan launched a strike at Yeung Tin Lung’s right shoulder. Just as it appeared as if the tip of the sword would stab Yeung Tin Lung, he managed to leapt out of the way and appeared to the left of Bak Fung Wan. Bak Fung Wan then slashed to the left and met thin air. He slashed to the right and met thin air. Yeung Tin Lung had now gained total control of him.

    Utilising a move called the ‘hidden dragon seizes the blade’ Yeung Tin Lung finally decided to block the thrust attacking to his chest region. As expected the sword bent around the sabre to attack towards the right lower abdomen. At this point Yeung Tin Lung channelled his inner energy into the blade, and like a magnet the flexible sword suddenly bent back towards the sabre and wrapped it self around the blade. Bak Fung Wan was now in shock. Cold sweat dripped down his back. He tried to pull the sword back with all his might holding onto the handle, but it did not release itself from the blade. Yeung Tin Lung then pulled the blade back towards him utilising his ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ inner energy. Feeling himself being pulled forward Bak Fung Wan tried another tactic. He channelled ‘yang’ energy into the blade to make it sturdy again. Seeing that the sword had started to uncoil itself from the sabre, Yeung Tin Lung leapt back to evade the danger. A lout ‘cling’ sword was heard when the sword had freed itself and had stretched itself out in full. At that moment Yeung Tin Lung had just narrowly missed a stab towards his stomach, and Bak Fung Wan had narrowly missed a ‘Black Dragon Palm’ to the chest, launched with 75% power. That would have caused serve internal injuries.

    “Excellent move! No one has been able to seize my blade like that”, praised Bak Fung Wan. Half in awe and half in shock.

    Bak Fung Wan then launched another attack to strike the adams apple pressure point on Yeung Tin Lung with an outstretched right hand. Yeung Tin Lung countered with the ‘slashing hidden dragon’, slashing upwards. But to his surprise Bak Fung Wan had expected this move and bent his body like a piece of cloth, executing his ‘yin’ energy, and manage to get out of the way. But Bak Fung Wan’s sword tip was still attacking forward at Yeung Tin Lung’s adams apple pressure point. This was an indeed an urgent situation. Yeung Tin Lung flicked at the incoming sword with his left index finger. A ‘loud’ cling sound was heard as the flexible sword striked thin air and Yeung Tin Lung managed to evade the fatal blow.

    “Ouch!”, cried Yeung Tin Lung in pain. Observers could now see that the left index finger on Yeung Tin Lung’s left hand had been sliced off.

    Roaring in pain like a wild animal, Yeung Tin Lung’s face became red. His eyes sharpened. He looked wild and crazy. That sent shivers down Bak Fung Wan’s spine and froze him on the spot momentarily. Yeung Tin Lung then resorted to his most lethal move. The strike known as the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’. He had never used this move before until today so know one had actually seen it. From Bak Fung Wan’s point of view he could see 9 strikes launched at his forehead, neck, right chest, left chest, heart, right abdomen, left abdomen, right thing, and left thigh. Bak Fung Wan was totally shocked and did not know how to react. He was paralysed with fear.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried Bak Fung Wan as he fell to the ground with a heavy thud. He felt unspeakable pain in all regions of his body. After coughing up a mouthful of blood he look at the various cuts on his body. The black dragon sabre had penetrated his the regions around the neck, right chest, left chest, heart, right abdomen, left abdomen, right thing, and left thigh. He felt stinging pain on his forehead indicating that he had been struck there also. He knew that all the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ had to do was put an inch further with his attack and he would have died. But he somehow decided to pull back.

    “Thank you for showing me mercy today! ‘Invincible’ you truly are!”, struggling from the pain Bak Fung Wan managed to say.

    “I have no direct feuds with you and was impressed with your sword arts at such a young age. That’s why I did not kill you”, replied Yeung Tin Lung as he ripped off a bit of black cloth from his robe to tie it around his left hand to cover up the minor injury he had suffered.

    Throwing his sword down in disgust, Bak Fung Wan remarked, “I thought my skills were well advanced. It seems that I have a long way to go”. At the moment he knew that even if he had practised for another 20 years he would still have been unable to fend off the ‘Divine 9 Dragon’ stance.

    Picking up the ‘exquisite snake sword’ from the ground and handling it back to Bak Fung Wan, Yeung Tin Lung remarked, “Heed my advice! Your swords skill cannot advance any further if you try to combine both ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ energy together. You obviously know that they are opposite forces. So even though it is good to have aspects of one and aspects of the other. At the end of the day if you have equally as much ‘yin’ as you do ‘yang’ you’ll be completely useless in a battle as one force will try and counter another”.

    Looking at Kim Mo Dik, Yeung Tin Long continued, “I am around 95% ‘yang’, and the ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ over there is 95% ‘yin’. I noticed during the battle that you are 55% ‘yin and 45% yang’. A powerful combination at the moment, but when you reach 50% ‘yin’ and 50% ‘yang’ you’ll start to notice that your sword skills will begin to deteriorate”.

    Taking back his sword, Bak Fung Wan said, “Thanks for your advice. I appreciate it! It seems I can no longer interfere in this matter”.

    “Goodbye all! Remember my orders! There is to be no all in one mass battles today! That is my order! Those who disobey me are disrespecting the will of all orthodox clans”, said Bak Fung Wan picking himself off the ground.

    Picking up a sort stick to support himself Bak Fung Wan could then been seen stumbling away in the general direction of the Chongqing Port to return to Taishan. His work was done today. He had suffered a crushing defeat and did not care any more. He had even forgotten his responsibilities as the Chancellor of Wulin. It was a custom for him to remain until all the battles were over to avoid a potential bloodshed.

    “Yeung Tin Lung! It is time! Let’s duel!”, interrupted Kim Mo Dik in a cold chilling tone. He had been waiting patiently all this time for their duel. He could hear the exchange of stances and the battles that took place before. He was now set and had a plan in mind to defeat Yeung Tin Lung. He had the upper hand also. Yeung Tin Lung had now fought 4 rounds, with the last one being the toughest. He had also lost his left index finger.

    “Kim Mo Dik! There’s no need to duel today! You were impressive at Taishan”, replied Yeung Tin Lung. He held Kim Mo Dik in high respect and did not want to injure him today.

    “Stop talking nonsense! People say that I do not deserve my reputation because Mo Dik, meaning ‘unrivalled’ was a name I gave myself. People say that they only gave me the title ‘Sword Sain Unrivalled East’ because of that name I gave myself. So it could be said I don’t deserve that title, because my skills are not as good as my reputation. I am here to put that straight today!”, rebutted Kim Mo Dik.

    “Do titles and reputation really mean that much to you?”, asked Yeung Tin Lung in shock.

    Snickering a little Kim Mo Dik said, “You wouldn’t understand. You have a wife! I don’t”.

    “Your title ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’ was actually given to you as a result of your ability to prove yourself time after time during battles. So people say your reputation is well earned! You yourself would prefer to be known as the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. That implies that you think you’re better than me in both swordsman ship and in person. We’ll have to see about that!”, growled Kim Mo Dik.

    “I never thought that!”, replied Yeung Tin Lung.

    “Stop talking! Let’s fight”, roared Kim Mo Dik, unable to contain his anger. As he said the word ‘fight’ he lifted up his head, opened his eyes and launched an attack at Yeung Tin Lung’s right chest.

    Observers could see that Kim Mo Dik had charged in like a tiger, true to the name his sword arts, the ‘unrivalled tiger sword arts’. Yeung Tin Lung lifted up his sabre to block the strike. A loud ‘clang’ sound could be heard as sword met sabre. Both Yeung Tin Lung and Kim Mo Dik could be seen leaping back several paces backwards after the exchange indicating a very high level of inner energy was being used. Yeung Tin Lung leapt back at a greater distance indicating that he had used up quite a bit of his in previous duels. Kim Mo Dik then launched forward again with a ‘3 tiger’ thrust. His rounded fencing sword tip pointed to strike at the right, and left shoulders of Yeung Tin Lung. The third strike aimed for the stomach below the belly button. Utilising his ‘dragon windmill’ Yeung Tin Lung managed to block all three strikes and three ‘clang’ sound echoed through the crowd.

    Yeung Tin Lung as always was starting out with defence moves. He wanted to work out the various flaws in Kim Mo Dik’s sword stances. Though had fought once at Taishan, Kim Mo Dik has altered his style of fighting to suit his recent handicap. Also his moves now contained less power and were a little slower. Never the less, Yeung Tin Lung would never under estimate his abilities. In a quick space of time 40 moves had been exchanged and Yeung Tin Lung remained on defence. Kim Mo Dik was now starting to get impatient. Yeung Tin Lung was zipping and zapping around him using his ‘Ghost Mountain’ lightness kung fu that rendered most of his attacks as useless. Another 30, and then another 40 moves passed and yet the deadlock remained.

    By now Yeung Tin Lung was breathing very heavily. Most of his inner energy had been spent. He felt a sharp aching in both his legs. It was now time to attack and bring Kim Mo Dik down and end it all he thought. He then launched a stance of the ‘spinning dragon’, as the blade spun like a top at the end of his hands. This fast rotation allowed him to attack continuously whilst the opponent was forced to defend. Kim Mo Dik saw the attack coming an leapt vertically in the air to dodge it. The as he glided downwards he launched a thrust towards the top of Yeung Tin Lung’s head. Yeung Tin Lung turned his blade to counter the attack. A large ‘clang’ sound could be heard as bade met sword once more. Yeung Tin Lung’s body suddenly sunk three inches to the ground from the impact. He was shocked! He looked up and noticed that Kim Mo Dik was using the ‘spinning tiger’ stance and was driving him into the ground like a drill. He quickly countered by rolling forward so that when Kim Mo Dik landed, his sword would only pierce the ground. Had he remained in that position he would have been driven completely into the dirt and be trapped.

    “Excellent move”, praised Yeung Tin Lung as he countered with the ‘dragon hurricane’ trying to knock Kim Mo Dik off his feet.

    But Kim Mo Dik stood solidly with his chest out, before launching his sword into the air with the ‘flying tiger’. The sword ripped into the air at amazing speed. Yeung Tin Lung was caught off guard and was struck on the left stomach by the tip. He had expected that nothing could have penetrated the whirlwind created by his chi energy.

    “Ouch!”, cried Yeung Tin Lung upon seeing that blood had gushed out from his stomach region. Luckily it was not serious. The force of the whirlwind took away much of the power in the thrust. Once more his face became red and full of anger.

    But before he had a chance to launch a move, Kim Mo Dik had recovered his sword and suddenly launched the ‘unrivalled tiger guarantees death’, his most deadliest move. Yeung Tin Lung had seen this move previously and had countered it with the ‘hidden slashing dragon’. He anticipated that Kim Mo Dik would expect this same move so countered with the ‘dragon windmill’ instead. The the ‘unrivalled tiger guarantees death’ covers almost the exact points of the body as the ‘divine 9 dragon’ move of Yeung tin Lung’s. So the ‘dragon windmill’ blocked the move well. A loud ‘clang’ could be heard as sword met with sabre.

    Yeung Tin Long then followed this move with the ‘divine 9 dragon’. Seeing that the black dragon sabre had attacked the regions around the neck, right chest, left chest, heart, right abdomen, left abdomen, right thing, and left thigh, Kim Mo Dik thrust his sword out directly in front of his stomach. He had seen Yeung Tin Lung use this move earlier against Bak Fung Wan and knew its origins well. In the short space of time had thought of a countering move. A loud ‘whack’ sound could suddenly be heard as two bodies flew in opposite directions in the air. Yeung Tin Lung’s body hit the right side of the wall and hit the ground hard with a ‘thud’. Kim Mo Dik hit the left wall and landed with a loud ‘thud’.

    Observers could now see that Kim Mo Dik was twitching in great pain. His body was covered in red blood. After giving a long sigh, Kim Mo Dik could be heard saying, “I am great! BUT WHY DOES THERE HAVE TO BE A YEUNG TIN LONG ON THIS EARTH!”.

    Kim Mo Dik coughed up a mouthful of blood and left the troubled world for good. His eyes peered at the sun, with a look of discontent. The many observers that had gathered could not help but feel sorry for him. He was a loner all his life and prized his sword art above anything else. But in the end he died being a defeated man.

    Picking himself at one the other side of the street, Yeung Tin Lung could be seem stumbling uncontrollably. He fell on the ground twice before being able to stumble back onto his feet. One could tell that he had taken a fatal blow and had been injured rather seriously. The small baby that had been quietly sleeping in the bamboo basket could now be heard crying out loud. But it did not appear that the bamboo basket had been damaged. So it appeared that child had not been hurt or injured during the battle. It perhaps had been crying from the shock, or perhaps something else.

    Watching from above, Lok Gum Fa’s heart ached! She had seen her husband crashing heavily against the wall. Now she was watching her husband stumbling around the street all dazed and confused. She couldn’t help but cry. She also started to feel very weak inside. Fung Lau Yin who was crouching down next to her placed a hand on Lok Gum Fa’s shoulders to comfort her. But Lok Gum Fa did not seem to have noticed. Her eyes remained in a fixed gaze town towards the town square.

    At this moment Yeung Tin Lung managed to stumble across to the other side of the street and stood over Kim Mo Dik. Seeing the uncontented look on his face Yeung Tin Lung couldn’t help but feel sorry for Kim Mo Dik. He then placed his hands over Kim Mo Dik’s face and closed his eyelids. Untying his red cape from behind his back, he covered Kim Mo Dik’s body with it as a sign of respect for a fallen hero in battle. Yeung Tin Lung knew himself that the only thing that had separated them at Taishan was their will and not their skills. At Taishan, Yeung Tin Lung did not care about his life and fought without fear of death. Kim Mo Dik on the other hand was cautious and thus lost. Although today they both fought without fear death, Kim Mo Dik had already lost his right arm and could not overcome this disadvantage. Even though Yeung Tin Lung had used up a lot of inner energy in the previous battles, his sword skills were still greater as a result. So even today, against all odds Yeung Tin Lung had remained ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’, and perhaps would now be know as the ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’. Not that he cared.

    “Kim Mo Dik, may you find peace in the underworld!”, said Yeung Tin Lung taking the black dragon insignia around his belt, before placing it into Kim Mo Dik’s left hand. A sign that Yeung Tin Lung had actually admitted defeat to the battle at Taishan and that Kim Mo Dik would have won had they duelled under normal circumstances. He wanted Kim Mo Dik to know that in the underworld.

    Having finished this kind gesture, Yeung Tin Lung turned around and was about to jump onto the rooftop of the main town hall to reunite with his wife, when he could suddenly be seen collapsing in a heap on the floor. The baby in the bamboo basket cried uncontrollably. One could not see that a long deep sword wound had penetrated through Yeung Tin Long at the right stomach region. Blood was gushing out of it rapidly. It was now clear that he had been stabled by Kim Mo Dik’s sword as the same time as his sabre stabled into Kim Mo Dik at nine different places.

    “Let’s attack the big demon together now and rid wulin of another pest”, Cheung Chum could suddenly be heard shouting. The 15 Divine Butterfly Sect members stood up together upon hearing their master’s orders. The 30 other nameless heroes also rushed forward and surrounded Yeung Tin Lung’s body. All eager for to strike the last fatal blow and gain fame through wulin. It was like a swarm of flies around a fallen lion in the jungle ready to feed on its dead flesh. It was a sad sight indeed.

    “Heroes! Remember the Chancellor of Wulin’s orders!”, shouted Reverend Guy Hung in vain.

    “He’s not here! And besides, he said if we had a private matter with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ each clan could deal with it how they see fit! It’s time that I settle my personal scores with him”, rebutted Cheung Cum casting a sly smile back at Reverend Guy Hung.

    “But master you promised that you wouldn’t settle the scores today!”, replied Lin Chun Fa in shock. She had never seen her master acting so unreasonably.

    “Chun Fa! How dare you? Are you try to disobeying my orders?”, shouted casting a wicked glance back at Lin Chun Fa.

    “Master No! But… But… But…”, quickly replied Lin Chun Fa not wanting to upset her master, but at the same time no wanting to take part in killing an injured and defenceless person on the ground.

    “There’s no reason to adhere to the ‘ancient code of chivalry’ when dealing with a big demon such as this! If we don’t take this opportunity to kill him now! We won’t have another opportunity! Who else besides the ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ can injure the ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’. But he’s now dead! If we don’t strike now we’ll regret it the rest of our lives”, rebutted Cheung Cum.

    Though he was on the ground with his eyes shut. Yeung Tin Lung heard what had been going on and could only manage to say in a loud voice, “You evil witch! I hope you die a horrible death”.

    “Huh! He’s not dead!” shouted a swordsman leaping backwards. The many other swordsman that had gathered about two arm lengths away from Yeung Tin Lung leapt back in fright as well.

    “Who cares! He won’t last long!”, said another swordsman.

    “Let’s take this opportunity to kill him!”, said another swordsman.

    “We’ll be famous!” replied another swordsman as 3 men walked forward with the tips of their swordsmen pointing at Yeung Tin Lung’s throat.

    Suddenly 3 swishing sounds could be heard through the air as three tiny shiny objects approached the men. They did not have good kung fu and could not evade the attacks.

    “Ah Ya!”, shouted the three men in unionism before collapsing on the ground and shaking violently from the poison. They died soon afterwards as their inner energy wasn’t particularly strong and could not without the strength of the position. One could tell that these projectiles were the 13 Phantom needles.

    “Fung Lau Yin! You evil witch! Come out and face death now!”, demanded Cheung Cum. But there was no response. Everyone remained silent but alert and scouted for the potential hidden danger along the rooftops.

    Thinking that Lok Gum Fa was now in deep trouble, Lin Chun Fa’s heart ached. She climbed the rooftop near the big blue sign of the main town hall, and approached it with rapid speed. Suddenly a red blur came out and met her head on. She was holding a pair of twin blades, one in each hand, drawn in an attacking position. She stared coldly at Lin Chun Fa, who also drew her sword.

    “Evil witch! Leave my senior apprentice sister alone! Have you no shame attacking an injured person!”, shouted Lin Chun Fa.

    Seeing that the situation had gotten desperate, Lok Gum Fa, rushed out despite the pain and said, “Sister Lin, I am here! I am okay!”.

    Lin Chun Fa was shocked and did not understand why Fung Lau Yin, being the big evil demon that she is had decided not to kill Lok Gum Fa. She was shocked and speechless.

    “Your senior apprentice is fine! But I cannot say the same for you! Your brother left my daughter to die. Now I am going to make you pay”, said Fung Lau Yin as she launched an attack at Lin Chun Fa’s chest. Lin Chun Fa immediately dodged the blow and counter with a strike to Fung Lau Yin’s head. Fung Lau Yin blocked that move with her left blade. They continued fighting on the rooftop and exchanged over 20 stances. At this moment Lin Chun fa did not fully understand what Fung Lau Yin was saying, nor did she care.

    “Big sister Fung! Stop don’t harm sister Lin! Sister Lin stop! Don’t harm big sister Fung. Don’t fight! Don’t fight!”, Lok Gum Fa could be heard shouting in vain on the roof of the main town hall.

    But her two good friends did not heed her pleas and kept fighting. Lin Chun Fa was determined to kill Fung Lau Yin to avenge the lives of all those innocent people who had died at her hands. Fung Lau Yin was in a rage wanting to avenge the fact that Lin Man Tung had left her daughter to die. Soon both of them leapt from the roof and landed on the main town sqaure and continued to exchange heated blows. But now Lin Chun Fa was struggling and breathing very heavily. Fung Lau Yin had launched an attack on Lin Chun Fa’s adams aple pressure point. Having nearly run out of breath, Lin Chun Fa could only gasp inwardly and waited for death, which was only a few inches away. At this moment Cheung Cum intervened a threw a butterfly projectile heading directly for the back of Fung Lau Yin.

    “How shameful! Ambushing one from behind!”, protested Fung Lau Yin ducking out of the attack.

    “You can’t talk! Evil witch! Hiding about throwing your 13 Phantom needles”, replied Cheung Cum as she launched an attack towards Fung Lau Yin. To Guk Fa attacked with her master, whilst Lin Chun Fa was panting on the side of the streets. Fung Lau Yin was now defending rappidly with her twin blades and retreating.

    At this moment Lok Gum Fa leapted down from the roof. Upon landing she felt a sharp pain from the injury in her left abdomen. She nearly fainted from the pain. Gritting her teeth, she made it slowly towards Yeung Tin Lung’s body and soon stood over him. His faced look exhuasted and pale. He had been losing a lot of blood. She could see that Kim Mo Dik’s sword hand penetrated through her husband’s right stomach and was fatal. Two tiny tear drops rolled down her face as she said, “Big brother Yeung, are you okay!”.

    Finally opening his eyes Yeung Tin Lung could see a pale pretty oval face in from of him. He noticed that his wife look tired and in pain as well. Looking up and down he noticed the sword wounds and couldn’t help but groan inwardly. The pair of hands holding him were also cold. Looking into his wife’s hands he said, “What happened? Are you okay?”.

    Still crying whilst looking directly into Yeung Tin Lung’s eyes she said, “I’m fine big brother Yeung! These injuries are minor”. She lied not wanting her husband to be concerned. He was in a critical condition at the moment.

    Looking peacefully at the sky and then casting a loving glance at his wife Yeung Tin Lung said, “Fa yee! I am the happiest man to have been able to marry you!”.

    “Ssh! Don’t talk big brother Yeung! Save your strength! You need some rest”, said Lok Gum Fa as tears flowed freely from her face.

    “I’m not going to make it! Run away while you have time! Take ‘Yin Siu’ somewhere safe! Teach him how to grow up like a man of honour!”, sighed Yeung Tin Lung. His face was looking serious. Lok Gum Fa could feel that his body was going golder by the second.

    As Yeung Tin Lung said this he reached inside the rectangle bamboo basket and took out the red bundle and placed it gently on the ground in front of Lok Gum Fa. The little baby was crying wildly. Yeung Tin Lung smiled and stroked the little baby’s nose gently with his right finger, “Yin Siu! Don’t cry! Don’t cry! You’ll be a man one day and have to be strong! Look after your mother!”.

    After he had said this Yeung Tin Lung passed out from the pain. His body layed there motionless. Lok Gum Fa clutched onto her husband’s body tightly as tears rolled down her face. She felt uncontrollable grief in her heart. The observers could not help but pity her. She was no longer concerned about the heated battle around her. She just sat their looking at her husband’s face trying to remember all the found memories that they had together in their lifetime. She groaned everytime she missed a fine detail as she did not want to forget any of those events. The heroes that had circled around Yeung Tin Lung’s body soon decided to leave, one by one. They thought that Yeung Tin Lung had finally died. Although they were not 100% certain, they knew he had suffered a fatal blow and would die anyway. So they left Lok Gum Fa to be alone with him. The heroes did not have a problem with Lok Gum Fa as she’s always done good deeds in her life. The only thing she had done wrong in their eyes was fall for a demon, but he was either dead or would die soon.

    At this point Fung Lau Yin had been backed into a corner by Cheung Cum, To Guk Fa, and Lin Chun Fa. She laughed wickedly, “I can’t believe I would actually die today and be unable to avenge the death of my daughter! I’m a really bad mother!”.

    “Attack now!”, cried Cheung Cum as three swords aimed for her heart, chest and neck. With her back against the wall she could only fend two of the blows with her twin blades and the third one would surely strike her. So she was in an urgent position. Just at this moment Priest Tin Moon could suddenly bee seen leaping in front of Cheung Cum and take the blow slashing towards Fung Lau Yin’s heart.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried Priest Tin Moon as he slumped to the ground. Cheung Cum, To Guk Fa and Lin Chun Fa withdrew their swords momentarily in shock.

    Rushing by Priest Tin Moon’s side, Fung Lau Yin could be heard asking with a voice full of concern, “Big brother Tin are you okay?”.

    “Yin yee, old Priest here is really useless”, replied Priest Tin Moon whilst coughing up a mouthful of blood.

    “Big brother Tin, don’t speak! Please let me heal you!”, replied Fung Lau Yin as tears drops flowed down the side of her face.

    Casting an affectionate glance back up at Fung Lau Yin, Priest Tin Moon said whilst sighing all the time, “Yin yee, I’m really useless! I have loved you all these years, but yet rejected your love! For what? For the chance to be Head Master of the Qincheng Sect! Fearing that my reputation would be harmed! If only I can turn… turn… turn… back the hands of time”. Priest Tin Do and Priest Tin Chi were speechless standing on the side listening in on the conversation.

    “That’s all in the past! Let’s start over again from today!”, cried Fung Lau Yin clutching onto Priest Tin Moon’s body.

    Shaking his head Priest Tin Moon replied, “I am not going to make it! It’s too late! If only I wasn’t a fool to leave you alone all these years!”.

    “Tell me! How’s our daughter?”, Priest Tin Moon suddenly asked. It was obvious that he knew all those years ago but never dared mention it to anyone, for fear of harming his own reputation.

    “She’s… She’s… She’s dead!”, cried Fung Lau Yin. Her heart felt as if was being squeezed like an orange. Priest Tin Moon did not respond. He just gave a long sigh. He knew that he was to blame for his daughter’s death. Had he admitted that he loved Fung Lau Yin all those years ago they could have been living in a secluded place and be happily together as a family. Taking one last glance at Fung Lau Yin’s face and then casting a glance at sun high above, Priest Tin Moon left the trouble world. His eyes look very regretful.

    “Big brother Tin! Big brother Tin!” cried Fung Lau Yin, still clutching onto Priest Tin Moon’s body. At this moment she noticed that Lok Gum Fa had been feeling the same pain on the other side of the street. Her emotions of grief suddenly subsided.

    At this moment Lok Gum Fa had reached for the short wolf dagger that Fung Lau Yin had given her and was about to commit suicide, when a black paper fan suddenly flew past and knocked it out of her hands. Leaping down from the roof top, one could see that it was no other than Kiu Pin Fok.

    “Mrs Yeung. No need to be rash! The Emperor of Chongqing is here!”, he said with a slight grin.

    Looking at Fung Lau Yin he said, “Emperor here should be taking a dagger to the heart instead! Dam horny Vixen! Making me chase after you all night!”. It was obvious that Fung Lau Yin had lied to him and Lok Gum Fa in the previous evening. Fung Lau Yin and Priest Tin Moon had in fact been secret lovers. He now understood matters a lot more clearer. Why such a big rift had developed between himself and the other ‘3 Aces of the Qincheng Sect’. He couldn’t but help feel a little annoyed and angry.

    “What are you doing? Stop talking this rubbish! Help get Mrs Yeung and your 5th junior apprentice brother out of here!”, said Fung Lau Yin glaring back at Kiu Pin Fok.

    “Okay! Okay! I’ll deal with you later”, casting a glance and stroking his beard he said to Fung Lau Yin.

    After Kiu Pin Fok had said this he picked Yeung Tin Lung, and Lok Gum Fa up and swung the both of them over his massive 6’5 frame. He then picked Yeung Yin Siu up in his hands and dashed towards Chongqing port with his ‘Ghost Mountain’ kung fu. Fung Lau Yin got back onto her feet and dashed after him like a red blur. They disappeared out of sight in a sort space of time. Seeing that Kiu Pin Fok and Fung Lau Yin were together, and formed a formidable force to deal with Cheung Cum, Lin Chun Fa, To Guk Fa, Priest Tin Do, Priest Tin Chi, and the various other people dared not give chase. All they could do was stand there in shock and discussed the various events that had just taken place.

    Not long after Kiu Pin Fok and Fung Lau Yin reached the Chongqing Port. They noticed a tiny boat and gently placed Yeung Tin Lung and Lok Gum Fa’s body into the boat. Kiu Pin Fok held onto Yeung Yin Siu in his basket sized right hand.

    “Big sister Fung, can I ask a favour of you?”, asked Lok Gum Fa.

    “What is it little sister Lok?”, replied Fung Lau Yin who could guess what was on Lok Gum Fa’s mind.

    “I know my own business! I’m not going to make it”, sighed Lok Gum Fa. Looking at her husband besides her she started crying again.

    “Big brother Yeung has left me all alone in the world too soon! I’ll be following him shortly to keep him company in the underworld. But after I do that ‘Yin Siu’ will be without a mother! I wonder if you could…”, asked Lok Gum Fa.

    “Of course I will! It’s an elder sister’s duty!”, replied Fung Lau Yin as a couple of tiny tear drops also rolled down her cheeks.

    Hearing these words from Fung Lau Yin, one could see that Lok Gum Fa’s body had suddenly dropped and slumped motionlessly onto of her husbands body. Her head was resting on Yeung Tin Lung’s shoulders.

    “Little sister Lok! Little sister Lok!”, cried Fung Lau Yin reaching into the boat to check her pulse.

    At this moment Kiu Pin Fok looked at Fung Lau Yin with a big grin. He smiled wickedly. Stroking his long beard he said, “Good! Good! The Emperor of Chongqing has a heir! Little Prince! Isn’t that right?”. As he was saying this he lifted his right hand up to his face so that he could look at the little baby child. He was overcome with fatherly love.

    “Brother Kiu! What nonsense are you talking. How’s this any of your business?”, replied Fung Lau Yin in shock as she heard Kiu Pin Fok’s comments.

    Drawing her twin blades and looking ver serious, Fung Lau Yin said, “Little sister Lok, told me to look after ‘Yin Siu’. That’s what I am going to do! Given him back or else!”.

    “Not fair! Not Fair! Little Prince is mine!”, cried Kiu Pin Fok as he started to utilise his ‘Ghost Mountain’ lightness kung fu and started to run away.

    Becoming very annoyed Fung Lau Yin dashed after Kiu Pin Fok, shouting, “Come back here you thief! I’m going to cut off your balls when I catch you”.

    Soon from a distance one could hear the worlds echoing back and forth through the Chongqing Mountains, “No Way! Little Prince is Mine!”. As a black cloud mist race back and forth followed by a red blur. After a while the sounds faded further and further away. The mountains were at peace again.

    It was now 12.00pm. The sun is shinning brightly above. There is a warm feeling in the air. Though a thick fog still cover parts of the city. The streets of Chongqing have returned to normal. All the trouble makers have now gone. The labourers are in the forests cutting down trees to build, houses, boats and furniture. The furnaces have been fired up to make plates, pots and vases. Blacksmiths are busy beating armour and swords. Loud continuos banging sounds could be heard. Hunters are in the mountains setting up various traps, to capture tigers, lions, bears, wild boar, and wolves. Fishermen can be seen out in little boats on the rivers and lakes casting out a line for a good catch. Ships, boats, and tiny vessels travel up and down through the Chongqing Port. People from various provinces begin arriving and leaving Chongqing. From a distance, one can see a tiny unmanned boat drifting aimlessly into the breeze. It appears to be heading in the general direction towards Chengdu.

    End of Chapter 4.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  13. #13
    Senior Member Long's Avatar
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    Default Comments on Chapter 4

    Sorry about the length. It will take some reading. I had to adjust some aspects to fit in with what I have in mind for the rest of the story.

    Also someone sent me an email saying who would I have selected for the cast members. I am an 80's fan so not sure if you guys will know these names. Here is what I would have in mind if I was making a series of it, most of these actors of course would be guest stars:

    Black Dragon Swordsman - Felix Wong Yat Wah
    Lok Gum Fa - Sheren Tang Siu Mun
    Lin Chun Fa - Noel/Vivian Leung Siu Bing
    To Guk Fa - Patricia Chong Ching Yee
    Unrivalled East - Eddie Kwan Lai Kit
    Gentlemen Sword - Eddie Cheung Siu Fa
    Fung Lau Yin - Fiona Leung Pai Leung
    Kiu Pin Fok - Chin Siu Ho (that's if we can make him 6'5)
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  14. #14
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comments on Chapter 4

    Originally posted by Long
    Sorry about the length. It will take some reading. I had to adjust some aspects to fit in with what I have in mind for the rest of the story.

    Also someone sent me an email saying who would I have selected for the cast members. I am an 80's fan so not sure if you guys will know these names. Here is what I would have in mind if I was making a series of it, most of these actors of course would be guest stars:

    Black Dragon Swordsman - Felix Wong Yat Wah
    Lok Gum Fa - Sheren Tang Siu Mun
    Lin Chun Fa - Noel/Vivian Leung Siu Bing
    To Guk Fa - Patricia Chong Ching Yee
    Unrivalled East - Eddie Kwan Lai Kit
    Gentlemen Sword - Eddie Cheung Siu Fa
    Fung Lau Yin - Fiona Leung Pai Leung
    Kiu Pin Fok - Chin Siu Ho (that's if we can make him 6'5)
    I know everyone except Patrica Chong Ching Yee. BTW, Nice Cast.

    I was going to print some of the chapters to read but the chapter themselves or all together are too long to print out on paper. So I guess, I'll need to read it online everyone else.

    So many fanfics to read, so little time.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

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

  15. #15
    Senior Member Long's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 5

    If not for a virus on my disk from my home PC to my work PC I would have been able to post the complete Chapter 5 today. So it will be up tomorrow. Thanks for the comments some of you have sent to me via my personal email address found at the Wong Yat Wah Ancient Series website.

    Yes I do like my stories a little different, hence this one will hvae plenty of twists and turns. Also note that I will make a major revision of Chapter 4 in my second draft. It ended a little abruptly, when I wanted to draw out a bit more of the characteristics between Kiu Pin Fok, Fung Lau Yin, Lin Chun Fa, and Preist Tin Moon. (Cleaners were virtually pushing me out of my office door on Friday... after work)

    But hopefully after positing Chapter 5 tomorrow, that many of you will enjoy the character of Bak Tin Kiew as much as you've enjoyed Lok Gum Fa. They are different types of characters. Aslo apologies that the Chapters will be getting longer in length.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  16. #16
    Senior Member Long's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 5: The Chancellor's Daughter

    Chapter 5: The Chancellor’s Daughter

    Winter has just given way and it is once again Spring in China. Sorrow gives way to joy. Death gives way to life. The once baron forests are now flowing with life and beautiful colours. Lush green leaves cover the tops of large tall trees that were previously bare. The once frozen rivers now flow freely down from the mountains. Bees are busy flying from here and there carrying the nectar they’ve just sucked from the flowers from one region to another. Playing a vital role in nature’s cycle of life creation. Rabbits, hares, reptiles, snakes, and other creatures awake from their deep hibernation. Herds deer, and wild horses, gather to drink the clear water down by the lake. Cattle can bee seen grazing on the lush green grass. Birds chirp peacefully and fly high in the sky. At the wink of an eye, almost 20 years has passed by since that fated night in Chongqing. As time passes by, things are certain to change, for time and change are inseparable companions through the generations. It’s now the year 1430 AD of the Ming Dynasty. Emperor Yongle, has given way to Emperor Hongxi, and now Emperor Xuande resides over China.

    The wind of change has also blown through wulin. The Demon Cult are now leaderless after the death of their Chancellor, Tit Hit Wong. Rumours through wulin indicate that there will be a gathering of Demon Cult members at the ‘Demon Valley’ in Henan to determine the new Chancellor. The 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins are now under the leadership of their senior apprentice Gwai Mo Ming, nicknamed the ‘Nameless Black Ghost Assassin’ after the sudden death of the previous leader. Miu Tit Sie, a ruthless grave robber still heads the Red Wolf Fang. The 7 Vixens are now under the leadership of their 2nd apprentice senior, Fung Lau Sit, following the disappearance of Fung Lau Yin from wulin over 20 years ago.

    A new mysterious clan called the ‘Divine Tiger Sect’ has been formed in the city of Fuzhou. Though no one is certain of the origins of this new clan or where their allegiance lies. Although the rumours have it that they are somehow linked to the once famous Kim Mo Dik ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’.

    At present the orthodox clans are in total disarray. Though Bak Fung Wan remains as the Chancellor of Wulin, many of the orthodox clans have begun to question his leadership after numerous incidents of in fighting between the Lion Prestige Escort, Songshan Sect, and Kunlun Sect. Emei Sect and the Divine Butterfly Sect, now under the leadership of ‘Moon Maiden’ To Guk Fa, are also at war. There is a heated dispute for the leadership of the Beggar Clan following the death of their 42nd Chief Yik Fei Hung. Shaolin has called an urgent summit in six months time to discuss the position of the Chancellor of Wulin of all orthodox clans. Rumours of the return of the once assumed to be dead, ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ have also surfaced in the Sichuan province. These are troubled times in wulin indeed.

    It is now 4.00am in the afternoon in Shandong province in North Eastern China. A young girl is sitting on a big smooth rock at the foot of mount Taishan admiring the scene. There is a large lagoon before her. The water in the lagoon appears to be black. It is obvious that the base of the lake is full of dark black mud thus making it appear that way in the daylight. Above the lagoon is a small waterfall. Streams of water flow from the little river high above the vertical rock face falling down into the lagoon below. Loud splashing sounds echo through the valley at the base of mount Taishan. Streaks of little rainbows can be seen between the waterfall and the rock face. It is a magnificent sight indeed.

    On closer inspection one can see that the girl is about 15 to 16 years of age. She has a pretty rounded face and soft red cheeks. There was a look of shyness and innocence in her eyes. Her skin is as white as snow. Her hair is tied into two neat buns on each side of her head by green and white ribbons, and hangs down pass her shoulder. Two locks of hair dangle past her right and left ear down to the shoulders. A flowing green dress is wrapped around her slender and soft body. A plain white belt with a ying yang at its centre is worn around the waist. A jade bamboo flute is resting in her left hand. The young girl in green sitting by the lake is none other than the Chancellor of Wulin’s daughter Bak Tin Kiew.

    She is now looking down at the big smooth rock by the lagoon that she is sitting on. Three big characters have been carved into the surface of the rock just before her knees. On closer inspection these words have been carved into the rock by a sword. There are some words carved to the left and right side of the rock also. The words carved into the left-hand side of the rock was done in the same calligraphy style as the three big characters. The characters on the right hand side of the rock are in a different calligraphy style, indicating that a different person had written them into the rock.

    “Black Dragon Lagoon!”, Bak Tin Kiew thought out aloud as she read the three big characters written in the rock. She had once heard the senior apprentice of Taishan, Yik Ching Fung, say that these words were carved into the rock by her father, Bak Fung Wan. This was done after his duel with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ at Chongqing many years ago. It was said that Bak Fun Wan had named this lagoon out of respect and in remembrance of the Black Dragon Swordsman.

    Reading the smaller words written on the left hand side of the rock, Bak Tin Kiew, could be heard saying, “In memory of the Sword Saint Unrivalled East and Sabre Saint Invincible West!”. Bak Tin Kiew heard that her father carved these words into the rock as well. It had been done to remember the duel between these two renowned swordsmen here by the lagoon many years ago. In fact it was said that the main reason why her father had named the lagoon ‘Black Dragon Lagoon’ was the fact that the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ Yeung Tin Lung had defeated Kim Mo Dik in that duel. Otherwise her father would have most probably called it the “Unrivalled Black Lagoon”.

    Reading the smaller words written on the right hand side, Bak Tin Kiew, could be heard saying to herself, “In fond tender memory of senior apprentice sister Lok Gum Fa and her husband Yeung Tin Lung the Black Dragon Swordsman”. It was obvious that Lin Chun Fa had come down by the lake shortly after marrying Bak Fung Wan and had carved these words into the rock in remembrance of her senior apprentice sister, Lok Gum Fa and her husband.

    Bak Tin Kiew sighed upon reading these words. It brought back the sad memories and the horrible images that has haunted her since she was four years old. One day she was playing in the yard when all of the sudden there was chaos outside in the main hall of Taishan. She went outside to have a look and saw that all of the apprentices at Taishan had gathered along with her father. Her father Bak Fung Wan had been crying and there was a look of sorrow in his face. She did not know why at that time and felt sad as well. Suddenly a Lion Prestige Escort swordsman had arrived with news that Heroine Lin had died. Shortly afterwards four Beggar Clan members came in carrying the deceased body of her mother. She did not understand back then what had happened or the reasons why her mother had died. All she remembered was running up and grabbing onto her mother’s hand to try and wake her up. But her mother’s hands were as cold as ice. Her body was motionless, and she did not ever wake up again. She has been having frequent nightmares since that time.

    In her nightmares she would see an image of her mother dying. Four shadows surrounded her mother to strike the final fatal blows. But she could not make out who these four shadows were. Her deceased mother would then be looking at her with an uncontented look on her face and would then grab tightly onto her hands not letting go. She could then hear a voice saying with full of anger, “Tin Kiew! Tin Kiew! Your mother has died a horrible death at the hands of villains! I was deceived! I am not content! Please promise that you’ll avenge my death! Promise! Promise! Promise!”.

    Bak Tin Kiew would then nod in agreement. The image of her deceased mother would then seem to be at peace. The image of her deceased mother could then be heard saying in a caring tone, “Tin Kiew! Sorry to put this burden on you! You’re so young! But there’s no one else! You’re a good daughter! Remember the wounds! Remember the wounds! Remember the wounds! Remember…”. Then the voice would disappear and she would suddenly see the wound marks on her deceased mother’s body. It was a horrid sight. There were four deep slashes to her left chest, heart, right abdomen, and neck.

    Bak Tin Kiew would then wake up in cold sweat because of this. But for these past few years she still could not tell what was so special about those wounds that she had seen in her nightmare. She even read medical books to see if she could find any clues, but to this day she cold not. She has been having these same nightmares now for the past two months. It was her 16th birthday tomorrow, so she wondered if there was any connection between this and her mother’s death, given the frequency of her nightmares lately. This puzzled and greatly troubled Bak Tin Kiew. Though Bak Fung Wan knows about her dreams, she has not mentioned to him that they had been getting more frequent.

    Bak Tin Kiew had heard from her father and Yik Ching Fung, which her mother Lin Chun Fa had left Taishan to sort out some trouble between the Songshan Sect, Kunlun Sect, and the Lion Prestige Escort. She never returned from the journey alive. There were various rumours floating around about how her mother had died. The most popular rumour was that her mother had been killed by the ‘Black Bat Assassin’ Kiu Pin Fok of the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins, and Fung Lau Yin of the 7 Vixens. Rumour has it that Heroine Lin’s brother had somehow caused the death of Fung Lau Yin’s daughter and that’s why Fung Lau Yin killed her. Others say that it was because Heroine Lin had murdered Siu Wan and Siu Foon, of the 7 Vixens, many years ago that she died at the hands of Fung Lau Yin. There was another rumour that Heroine Lin died at the hands of the ‘Five Storms’ (Thunder, Lightning, Rain, Cloud, and Wind) of the Demon Cult. There were also rumours being spread by the unorthodox clans that Heroine Lin had in fact died as a result of an ambush set by the Lion Prestige Escort. Others say she died at the hands of apprentices from the Songshan Sect and the Kunlun Sect. But she was determined to find the truth and avenge her mother’s death. Fung Lau Yin was the number one suspect at the moment, and Bak Tin Kiew has sworn to bring this big demon witch down and take her head to her mother’s tomb.

    Bak Tin Kiew gave a long sigh after running these thoughts through her mind. She looked up at the sky and noticed that it was now late in the afternoon but the sun was shining brightly never the less. It was unusually hot today and she felt a little sweaty after running down all those steps on the east slopes of mount Taishan. She had came down from the east side of the mountain to avoid the large number of tourists and pilgrims that make their way up to Taishan to visit the “Temple of the Jade Emperor”, and the “Temple of the Princess of the Azure Clouds” located at the top of Taishan. It was particularly busy this time of year. Many renowned Ming Government Officials, war generals, poets, writers, artists, scholars, doctors, merchants, and commoners alike come to visit and pray at the two temples. It was said that Taishan was the gateway to heaven itself. In fact in Chinese mythology this mountain was actually the son of the Emperor of Heaven. So indeed it was a special place in many people’s hearts. It was said that those who made a pilgrim up to Taishan would live to 100 years old. On the other side of the mountain about a 20 minute walk from the two temples were located the main headquarters of the Taishan Sect. That was basically Bak Tin Kiew’s home.

    After a long time of looking into the crystal clear water and the lagoon, along with feeling all hot and sweaty, Bak Tin Kiew, suddenly had an urge to go swimming. She looked around to make sure that no one was nearby. She then undressed herself so that she was naked to the sun and stepped towards the water. She got an instant chilling sensation when her toes touched the water of the lagoon. Standing there a sort while to acclimatise to the cold, she finally stepped in, and started swimming in freestyle towards the waterfall. The water was very cool and refreshing. She soon made her way to a large pile soft rocks and sat underneath the waterfall. The water dripped onto her soft naked body and skin. Giving her an unusual tickling sensation. But it was indeed very relaxing in the water and good to be away from the hot temperature. She closed her eyes for a while and almost fell into a deep sleep.

    Suddenly she could hear some footsteps running towards the lake. It was soon followed by the voice of a man shouting, “Little Ms Bak! Were are you? It’s time to practice the ‘Divine 36 Jade Bamboo Flute’!”.

    Bak Tin Kiew nearly jumped up in shock and fright. She thought to herself as she looked up at the sky, “It must be 5.00 because Brother Yik is here already here to teach me kung fu!”.

    Yik Ching Fung was the senior apprentice of her father, Bak Fung Wan. When she was just four years of age her father had laid down a new clan rule prohibiting anyone from teaching her kung fu. This followed the death of Lin Chun Fa. Her father had said to her at that time that wulin was a dangerous place and did not wish her to patriciate and get involved with the various affairs of wulin. Her father loved her dearly and did not wish that she would suffer the same fate as her mother, Lin Chun Fa.

    But as a result of the nightmares, Bak Tin Kiew, wanted to avenge the death of her mother so that she could finally rest in the underworld. So when she reached the age of ten, she decided to ask Yik Ching Fung to take her as an apprentice and secretly teach her kung fu. Yik Ching Fung refused out right at first fearing repercussions from his master. But she persisted and kept nagging Yik Ching Fung to teach her kung fu. That lasted for around 4 months. Finally Yik Ching Fung caved in and agreed to accept her as an apprentice and teach her kung fu in secret. But he mentioned that he did not wish to teach Bak Tin Kiew any of the kung fu from Taishan. Instead Yik Ching Fung said that Lin Chun Fa had some famous art called the ‘Divine 36 Jade Bamboo Flute’ arts. She has been meeting Yik Ching Fung by the waterfall to learn this art ever since.

    “Brother Yik! Just wait where you are! Don’t you come any closer!”, shouted Bak Tin Kiew in some urgency.

    Bak Tin Kiew turned slightly red from embarrassment. She felt the urge to swim back to the big smooth rock by the lagoon and dress herself as quickly as possible. It’s been a while since she’s gone swimming. In her younger days she did not really care about running around the foot of Taishan naked. But that was a long time ago when she was only 5 years old. Today she felt that it would be totally inappropriate to be greeting her senior apprentice brother in this way. She immediately raced back to the side of the lake in freestyle. Her heart was racing and beating rapidly at this point. But all she focused on was the green dress resting atop the smooth rock.

    The footsteps became louder. Indicating that Yik Fung Ching had ignored her comments and was now approaching by the side of the lagoon. He was saying, “Why? What’s the matter little Ms Bak? We always practice here at 5.00pm! I don’t have much time today! I need to be somewhere very shortly. I am coming now”.

    Bak Tin Kiew increased her paddling to swim quicker, whilst calling out frantically, “I don’t care! I don’t care! Don’t you dare come any closer! Or else”.

    “Okay! If that’s the case. I am going back up to Taishan. I need to practice for the ‘apprentices’ tournament at Huashan in a years time”, replied Yik Ching Fung as he started to walk away.

    At this moment Bak Tin Kiew was nearer the side of the lagoon and shouted out, “Wait! Brother Yik, don’t go! I want to practise! Don’t go!”.

    “Dam it! Make up your mind! I don’t have time to be playing games”, replied Yik Ching Fung sounding a little annoyed as he walked back towards the lagoon.

    As he approached the clearing he noticed a hand reach for a green dress from behind the rock. It was now obvious to him that Bak Tin Kiew was naked behind the big smooth rock and was now frantically dressing herself. He let out a loud laugh that echoed in the valley. Pausing for a moment he said, “Well! Well! Little Ms Bak, you could have just told me that you’d been swimming. I would have understood”.

    At this moment Bak Tin Kiew walked out from behind the big smooth rock. She had dressed herself again, though her hair was a little bit of a mess. Water was dripping off her face, arms, and legs. The green dress was soaked in water. Her face was as red as a cherry from being shy. She didn’t know why she had felt that way. She had grown up without a mother, so didn’t understand fully that she was becoming a woman and that her body had gone through major change the past few years.

    With her head slightly down and not daring to look directly at Yik Ching Fung, Bak Tin Kiew said, “Master, I apologise for making you wait! I am ready to practice now!”.

    “I’ve already told you not to call me master many times already! Believe me when I say that I am not worthy!”, he said with some sincerity. He was now glancing down at Bak Tin Kiew with warm affection. A slight smile flashed across his face.

    Still smiling affectionately Yik Ching Fung said, “Why little Ms Bak, you’re sixteen today! So you’re no longer little any more. Let me wish you a very Happy 16th Birthday! May you live a long an enjoyable life full of love and happiness!”.

    At this moment Bak Tin Kiew looked up and caught Yik Ching Fung’s glance. She felt a little uneasy inside at the way he was looking directly at her. But she did not know why. Pausing for a little while and ignoring Yik Ching Fung’s last comment, she managed to say, “You’re teaching me kung fu so I should call you master”.

    “Okay! If you insist! I am not going to argue with you. But remember it is you who want me to call me master. I don’t recognise myself as your master okay!”, replied Yik Ching Fung still looking at Bak Tin Kiew with warm affection.

    One could now see that Yik Ching Fung was a man of medium built and height. He appeared to be around 26 years of age. He had a somewhat handsome face. He wore a blue robe and a square blue hat. He carried a long sword in hand and a ying yang was carved into the hilt of the sword.

    After a short pause Yik Ching Fung finally said, “Okay! Let’s see if your skills have shown any improvement. Last time you managed to use the ‘Divine 36 Bamboo Jade Flute’ inner energy to destroy a plant 50 paces to your right and 50 paces to your left”.

    “If you can destroy a plant 50 paces behind you as well today, that is a sign of good progress”, continued Yik Ching Fung as he picked up the jade bamboo flute from the big smooth rock and passed it over to Bak Tin Kiew.

    In rushing to dress herself, Bak Tin Kiew had forgotten that she had left the flute on the big smooth rock. She thought she had lost it somewhere so was glad that Yik Ching Fung had found it. Reaching out a hand to take it, Bak Tin Kew said, “Brother Yik! Thanks”.

    Bak Tin Kiew the placed the jade bamboo flute to her lips and started to place her fingers over the holes of the flute in the order that Yik Ching Fung had shown her. She started playing a tune that echoed through the valley. The birds resting amongst the tree tops seemed to be chirping in tune with the music coming out from the jade bamboo flute. The ducks floating by as quacked in the exact tune. After about 10 minutes of playing the tune a loud ‘bang’ sound echoed through the valley as a plant 50 paces to the left suddenly exploded into pieces, followed by a plant 50 paces to the right. Bak Tin Kiew was getting excited now but to her disappointment she did not hear a plant exploding from behind so she kept playing the tune. Another 10 minutes finally passed when a plant exploded 50 paces behind her. She immediately turned around and saw bits of flowers and leaves flying up into the air. She was slightly pleased.

    “I’ve improved again! Haven’t I?”, asked Bak Tin Kiew. A big bright smile flashed across her face making her appear even more prettier than before.

    Not looking overly happy, Yik Ching Fung said, “A little improvement since last time. You need to be able to destroy all three plants at the same time to show great improvement!”.

    “Okay that’s enough for today! Keep practising and I will see you here tomorrow”, said Yik Ching Fung turning to leave.

    “Brother Yik, wait. I want to ask a question!”, cried Bak Tin Kiew as she walked towards Yik Ching Fung.

    Turning around Yik Ching Fung said, “Little Ms Bak, what do you want to ask”.

    “Why is it that the plants only explode when we practice together and at 5.00pm? Whenever I practice by myself nothing seems to happen! Could it be that I am channelling my inner energy incorrectly when you’re not around?”, asked Bak Tin Kiew.

    Bak Tin Kiew had noticed for a while now that nothing happens unless her senior apprentice brother is around. At first she thought it was because her skills weren’t good enough. However it has now been practising this art form for 6 years so should be able to channel her inner energy properly by now without the assistance of Yik Ching Fung. She began to get a little bit suspicious, though she though Yik Ching Fung had no reason to trick her.

    Pausing for a long time Yik Ching Fung finally said, “You only have the ability to channel your inner energy between 5.00pm and 6.00pm. When you are able to explode 3 plants at the exact time, I will teach you a method to be able to channel your energy at any time during the day. Your kung fu isn’t that advanced yet. You need to keep practising”.

    “Oh! I understand now! Thanks”, replied Bak Tin Kiew. She thought what Yik Ching Fung had just said made a lot of sense. Her level of kung fu was indeed not that well advanced yet.

    Turning to cast a glance at Bak Tin Kew again, Yik Ching Fung said, “Little Ms Bak, if you have no more questions I must go now. Master is waiting. Practise a little more by yourself and I will see you tomorrow”.

    At a wink of an eye, Yik Ching Fung was gone. Bak Tin Kiew stayed for a little while to practice and played the same tune earlier. After 10 minutes she could hear a loud bang sound echoing through the valley. A plant to the right of her about 50 paces away had exploded.

    Bak Tin Kiew suddenly leapt up in delight and shouted, “Ya! I have been able to destroy a plant all by myself without Brother Yik’s help”. Her voice echoed through the valley. She thought about what Yik Ching Fung had said earlier made a lot of sense. She was filled with joy.

    “In a few months I will be able to kill Fung Lau Yin and avenge the death of my mother”, thought Bak Tin Kiew inwardly.

    Having had a little success Bak Tin Kiew decided to race back up to Taishan to tell Yik Ching Fung. When she arrived back at the main hall of Taishan she was shocked to see that many people had gathered to see her father. She took a seat to the side to observe what was going on. She could see that Yik Ching Fung was standing to the right side of the chair that her father normally sits on to greet the guests as the Chancellor of Wulin. To the left side stood her 2nd senior apprentice brother Ling Wu Mun. Her father had not yet arrived.

    Looking at the guests that had arrived she could see that two of them wore dark blue robes. A loin was embroided on the back of their robes. It was obvious that these swordsman belonged to the Lion Prestige Escort. There were also two young females dressed in a purple and orange dress. They both wore veils to cover the lower portion of their faces. They carried a white sword with two butterflies carved into the hilt of the sword. She recognised these people to be from the Divine Butterfly Sect.

    “What are these people doing here?”, Bak Tin Kiew thought to herself. She was slightly intrigued by now. She could not forget that her mother’s death was somehow linked to the Lion Prestige Escort so she did not take a liking to them and glanced at them coldly.

    “Please welcome the Chancellor of Wulin, Bak Fung Wan, and show your respects”, the apprentices of Taishan said together as Bak Fung Wan had come from the right and took a seat in his Chancellor of Wulin Chair to council the guests who have just arrived. The guests saluted to acknowledge Bak Fung Wan’s arrival to the grand hall.

    “Greetings Master!”, the apprentices of Taishan said shortly afterwards. They bowed as the said this to acknowledge their master.

    “Thanks!”, replied Bak Fung Wan waving a hand to indicate to his Taishan apprentices to stop bowing.

    On closer inspection one could now see that Bak Fung Wan looked to be a man in his mid 40s. He still had a rather handsome face that was now covered by a short moustache and a long beard. There were streaks of white hair amongst the thick black hair. Indicating signs of great stress. Today he wore a white robe with blue trimmings and a blue square hat. A blue belt was worn around the waist with the words ‘Chancellor of Wulin’ written at the centre. The ‘exquisite snake sword’ rested in its sheath by his right hand side.

    Leaning comfortably in his chair to the one side Bak Fung Wan said, “Welcome guests! May I have the pleasure in knowing what business brings you to Taishan?”.

    “Greetings! Respectful Chancellor of Wulin!”, cupping their hands together greeted the two swordsmen from the Lion Prestige Escort.

    “I am Wan Do Kei!”, said the first swordsman still cupping his hands.

    “I am Ng Hung Yat”, said the second swordsman still cupping his hands.

    Shortly after the formalities had finished Wan Do Kei took a step forward, before saying, “Chancellor, we have come for your aid ten times in the last 20 years to help us in dealing with the Head Master of the Songshan Sect. This is the 11th time we’ve come for your assistance”.

    “Each time you send a handful of men as negotiators for peace. Each time we agree on a deal and peace is kept! However when your men leave the bloodshed between the Lion Prestige Escort and the Songshan Sect continues. The Head Master of Songshan Sect has committed countless cruel acts against us for the past 20 years and yet remains unpunished”, continued Wan Do Kei.

    “Wan Do Kei! What do you suggest I do?”, asked Bak Fung Wan leaning slightly forward as he said this.

    Glancing at Bak Fung Wan, Wan Do Kei said, “Chancellor, obviously the Head Master of Songshan Sect will stop at nothing until the Lion Prestige Escort is burnt to the ground! He has made his intentions clear”.

    “The Head Master of Songshan Sect is only picking on us because we’re a small clan. He can bully us as he pleases. But you have over 600 apprentices at Taishan. You are therefore capable of dealing with the 400 apprentices of the Songshan Sect! We therefore request that you personally lead your men up to Songshan Sect and punish the Head Master for the crimes he has committed against us! Otherwise we’ll be doomed!”, pleaded Wan Do Kei.

    “My position, Chancellor of Wulin, is not provided to me so that I may take sides! I am here to keep the peace in wulin! I cannot therefore comply with your request”, rebutted Bak Fung Wan looking quite annoyed.

    “If you don’t use force on the Head Master of Songshan Sect now! He’ll lead his 400 apprentices to wipe us out. We have suffered enough already! We have only 100 apprentices left to deal with him!”, replied Wan Do Kei in a very loud voice. He’s face turned red. A sigh that he is clearly frustrated by the small talk.

    “After he wipes us out! He won’t stop there, I promise you! He is an evil man who will stop at nothing until he conquers all of wulin! If you don’t act now, one day, even your respectful clan will be driven into the ground by the Head Master of the Songshan Sect. YOU MUST ACT NOW! YOU MUST ACT”, pleaded Wan Do Kei.

    “Wan Do Kei! Be careful now! You’re making a lot of statements about the Head Master of Songshan Sect without any real evidence! It’s your words against his! You say he has done countless cruel acts on your clan. Yet each time you seek my assistance you do not bring any real proof with you! How can I assist you then? Other than send negotiators and peacemakers!”, replied Bak Fung Wan as he slammed down on his arm chair. Indicating he is not totally satisfied with this situation. It has gone on long enough only because both sides are to blame for the war.

    “You say he is up to no good and that he plans to conquer wulin! Yet the scouts I have sent to monitor him do not indicate that is the case! Where is your proof that the Head Master of Songshan Sect is as evil as you say he is?’, continued Bak Fung Wan as he leant back into his chair.

    “EVIDENCE? YOU WANT EVIDENCE! THE MAIN REASON HE WANTS TO WIPE US OUT IS BECAUSE HE WANTS THE ‘FROST PALM’ AND ‘FROST SWORD AR’ KUNG FU MANUALS! HE BLAMES US FOR LOSING IT! INFACT HE SUSPECTS THAT WE STILL HAVE IT! ISN’T THAT ENOUGH TO SAY HE IS UP TO NO GOOD?”, shouted Wan Do Kei. He has lost all his senses by now. He was clearly in rage.

    “Wan Do Kei! I suggest you calm down! Even if he wants to retrieve the ‘Frost Palm’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’ kung fu manuals, doesn’t mean that he is up to no good. Sure Lin Sap Sam once became the ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’ using those arts! But doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll achieve the same greatness and have the ability to conquer wulin! As one says! There’s always a taller mountain! Besides these are just your guesses and are not facts. I can’t assist you just because of these few words”, replied Bak Fung Wan.

    Wan Do Kei did not reply. He just turned his head away from Bak Fung Wan. It was a sign that he did not respect Bak Fung Wan’s judgement.

    Seeing that his senior apprentice brother was still brooding, Ng Hung Yat stepped forward and said with a smirk on his face, “Chancellor, it is obvious that you don’t want to get involved and tangle with a powerful clan such as the Songshan Sect! We can’t blame you for that! They are indeed powerful and not easy to deal with as we’ve discovered!”.

    Listening on the sidelines Bak Tin Kiew’s temper hit the roof. Her mother had left Taishan with two apprentices of the Lion Prestige Escort around 16 years ago to assist them in this same matter and had lost her life as a result. Now they accuse her father of being a coward.

    “Your clan deserves to be destroyed and whipped out for being so useless! You’ve got no one else to blame!”, shouted Bak Tin Kiew. She did not know how the feud between the Lion Prestige Escort and the Songshan Sect had actually started. So her comments just made matters a whole lot worst.

    “Tin Kiew! Keep quiet! This is none of your business!”, urgently shouted Bak Fung Wan. His face had also turned red in fury as well. He too had now lost his composure.

    Seeing that her father was full of rage, Bak Tin Kiew decided to sit back in her seat and kept quiet. She folded her arms as she was still angry and what the Lion Prestige Escort swordsmen had said.

    “HA! HA! HA! DID YOU HEAR THAT? WE DESERVE TO BE WIPED OUT! WE ARE USELESS! I ASK YOU HOW DID ALL THIS TROUBLE START TO BEGIN WITH!”, laughed Ng Hung Yat out loud in a very ironic tone, whilst casting a vicious glare at Bak Tin Kiew. It was quite obvious that he had blamed Lin Chun Fa, and Lin Man Tung for losing the two kung fu manuals.

    “Ng Hung Yat! Calm down! My daughter is young and is not well versed in the maters of wulin, and meant nothing by those comments!”, replied Bak Fung Wan.

    After calming himself down, and seeing that his junior apprentice brother was now full in rage, Wan Do Kei, stepped forward whilst taking a glance from Bak Tin Kiew and then Bak Fung Wan, before saying, “Chancellor, it’s obvious that you still blame me for the death of your wife! It’s also obvious why you won’t assist us any further in this matter. I’ll save my breath!”.

    “Wan Do Kei! As I’ve said before! Never once have you presented me with any proof or real evidence! How I am supposed to act?”, rebutted Bak Fung Wan looking very annoyed. He knew he can’t act as the Chancellor of Wulin without any real evidence, otherwise the rest of the orthodox clans would say he is abusing his power of authority.

    “Okay! I am not going to talk about the matter of punishing the Songshan Sect any more! Forget that I have mentioned it!”, said Wan Do Kei waving a hand and still looking very disrespectful towards Bak Fung Wan.

    “However there is something I want to be honestly answered today!”, smirked Wan Do Kei casting a glare at Bak Tin Kiew.

    “What is it?”, responded Bak Fung Wan in shock. He did not know what Wan Do Kei wanted to say. He had seen the way Wan Do Kei had looked at Bak Tin Kiew so thought it may have something to do with his wife, Lin Chun Fa.

    “Where’s the ‘Frost Palm’ and ‘Frost Swort Art’? The trouble started all because of these two manuals! Once you hand it over to us, the feud between the Lion Prestige Escort and the Songshan Sect is over!”, replied Wan Do Kei all of a sudden. He had actually just openly accused Bak Fung Wan of stealing those two kung fu manuals over twenty years ago.

    “HOW DARE! YOU!”, shouted Bak Fung Wan as he slammed his fist on the side of the Chancellor of Wulin chair. It broke into several pieces as he drew his ‘exquisite snake sword’ and walked up to Wan Do Kei and stood three paces before him.

    “Chancellor! Now it is you who needs to calm down!”, replied Wan Do Kei still smirking.

    “Everyone knows that the ‘Frost Palm’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’ manuals were lost by members of your Lion Prestige Escort 20 years ago in Chongqing! No one else is to blame”, rebutted Bak Fung Wan looking at Wan Do Kei straight in the eye.

    Ng Hung Yat strode casually by the side of Bak Fung Wan and said, “We lost it? Everyone knows it was stolen by Lin Man Tung. He was your wife’s brother right? I find it strange that we’ve searched for 20 years and am still unable to locate the two kung fu manuals. One might say that they have been conveniently hidden!”.

    “What are you implying? Everyone knows that Lin Man Tung died at the front of the ‘White Horses Inn’ three blocks left of the Chongqing main town hall! He was murdered by the Black Bat Assassin. So what does that have to do with my wife or I?”, replied Bak Fung Wan casting a side glance at Ng Hung Yat whilst still maintaining his focus on Wan Do Kei.

    “The strange thing was that although the ‘Black Bat Assassin’ murdered Lin Man Tung, the ‘Frost Palms’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’ were not on him. The Beggar Clan members in Chongqing can testify to that!”, snickered Ng Hung Yat casting a glance back at Bak Fung Wan.

    “What are you implying!”, replied Bak Fung Wan once more in annoyance. He knew what they had wanted to say. They he wanted them to directly say it.

    “You’re a smart man surely you can guess! Let me ask you! Where were you staying in Chongqing that night?”, said Wan Do Kei stepping forward two paces so that he now stood eyeball to eyeball directly in front of Bak Fung Wan. It was obvious to the observers that a battle was going to occur sooner or later.

    Drawing their swords Yik Ching Fung and Ling Wu Mun stepped forward and said, “How dare you insult our master! He is a ‘gentleman’ and will never steal those two stinky manuals”.

    “Stop! Put away your swords”, said Bak Fung Wan waving to his two senior apprentices to put away their swords and to resume standing to the side. Both Yik Ching Fung and Ling Wu Mun did as they were told.

    “Gentleman? Ha! Ha! Don’t think we don’t know that this is only a reputation that you master hides under! He is no gentleman!”, snickered Ng Hung Yat as he glanced at Yik Ching Fung and Ling Wu Mun. He was getting quite nasty now.

    Unable to control her anger upon hearing her father being insulted like that Bak Tin Kiew moved so that Ng Hung Yat stood about 50 paces away to the right hand side of her and started playing a tune with her jade bamboo flute. She had intended to blow him up with her ‘Divine 36 Jade Bamboo Flute’ inner energy at this point.

    Ng Hung Yat stood were he was and ignored the music being played by Bak Tin Kiew as he continued, “Chancellor, do think you can hide your true intentions. You have always wanted to claim the title of ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’! That’s the real reason behind you duelling with the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ over 20 years ago. But you lost! So you’re not content with the defeat you had suffered. That’s why you want to obtain the ‘Frost Palms’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’ kung fu manuals”.

    “Also what would a gentleman be doing using the ‘exquisite snake sword’ that once belonged to the ‘Black Snake Assassin’ of the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins who has killed over 500 innocent lives. Shameful! You’re no gentleman”, snickered Wan Do Kei.

    Ignoring the comments and the music being played by his daughter Bak Tin Kiew, Bak Fung Wan said, “It is true that I did lodge at the ‘White Horse Inn’ 20 years ago at Chongqing on the same night that the ‘Frost Palm’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’! However there were also many other heroes who had lodged at that same Inn. Also that evening I held two lengthy meetings that lasted from 9.00pm to 5.00am in the morning with Reverend Guy Hung, Reverend Guy Jun, and the ‘Iron Maiden’ Cheung Cum. I was thus not at the ‘White Horse Inn’ on that particular night. They can all testify to that”.

    Looking both Wan Do Kei and Ng Hung Yat in the eye, Bak Fung Wan said with all sincerity, “I did not steal those kung fu manuals!”.

    Turning to his daughter, Bak Fung Wan said with a tender smile, “Tin Kiew! What are you doing? This is no time to be demonstrating to our guests your musical abilities! It is also an inappropriate time to be playing the song, ‘lifetime of unrequited love’. If you’re interested in playing music, I can teach you some pleasant songs suited to that of a young girl to play tomorrow!”.

    Hearing what her father had said, Bak Tin Kiew put away her jade bamboo flute. At first she was a little annoyed at not seeing Ng Hung Yat explode as a result of her ‘Divine 36 Jade Bamboo Flute’ inner energy. Casting a glance around the room she suddenly noticed that the two members of the ‘Divine Butterfly Sect’ were starring at her and were giggling to themselves. Her senior apprentice brother, Yik Ching Fung, stood there with a hand covering his face. It looked as if he was slightly embarrassed for some reason. Her second senor apprentice brother, Ling Wu Mun, was jabbing with his elbow into Yik Ching Fung’s ribs. All of the other apprentices had sly smirks on their faces.

    Bak Tin Kiew suddenly felt hot as blood raced to her face and made it red. She was overcome with a touch of shyness and embarrassment. It was now clear in her heart that she had been fooled by Yik Ching Fung, though she still wasn’t 100% certain, as earlier by the lake she had managed to blow a plant 50 paces to the right all by herself. But then she could not forget had her father had said, that the song she had been playing was the ‘lifetime of unrequited love’. She stared at Yik Ching Fung who was still covering his face with his hands and was suffering the brunt of jests from the other apprentice brothers. She also remembered the way Yik Ching Fung had looked at her by the lake, and it all struck her like lightning.

    “Oh! No!”, she groaned inwardly as more blood rushed up to her face. Its complexion had turned as red as a cherry. She sat down back town in her chair and turned her head away from the giggling and smiling faces looking at her. She felt very little, like a speck of dirt in the wide desert at this moment.

    Ng Yung Yat’s face also had a slight smile as he glanced across at Bak Tin Kiew before turning his attention back to Bak Fung Wan. He continued, “So you deny you haven’t taken it and have witnesses to prove it! However your wife was also in Chongqing that night! It’s possible she might have taken it!”.

    The apprentices stopped giggling now and all drew their swords upon hearing Ng Hung Yat’s comments, and surrounded the two swordsmen from the Lion Prestige Escort. Two loud ‘slap’ sounds could be heard as Bak Fung Wan could not control his anger and slapped the two men and hit them squarely on the side of the cheeks. He said in full rage, “HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE MY WIFE! SHE HAS DONE MORE THAN ENOUGH TO HELP YOU AND YET.. AND YET…”.

    Bak Fung Wan was in total rage that the ‘yang’ energy in his body had built up to an uncontrollable level. He suddenly felt weak and coughed up a mouthful of blood and was about to faint.

    Seeing that her father had become so upset that he was about to fall over, Bak Tin Kiew rushed to his side to brace his fall. She had also forgotten her shyness. She said, “Father! Father! Are you okay?”.

    Grabbing his daughter’s hands, Bak Fung Wan said, “Tin Kiew! I’m fine. Don’t worry”.

    Bak Tin Kiew’s heart was now full of hatred towards the two swordsmen from the Lion Prestige Escort. In her eyes they had caused the death of her mother, accused her father of being a coward in not dealing with the Songshan Sect, accused her mother of stealing the two kung fu manuals, and now has caused a serious internal injury to her father.

    “You two bastards! Get lost! Leave us alone. You’ve already caused the death of my mother! Do you want my father to die as well before you’re happy? Go! Get lost!”, said Bak Tin Kiew holding onto he father who had momentarily lost all his strength and was laying on the ground.

    Both Wan Do Kei and Ng Hung Yat had just coughed up a mouthful of blood at being slapped hard by Bak Fung Wan. The right sides of their face had both been blacked, indicating that Bak Fung Wan did not hold anything back in his strike.

    Glaring back at Bak Tin Kiew, Ng Hung Yat said coldly, “We’re not leaving until we get the ‘Frost Palms’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’!”.

    “We don’t have those two stinky manuals! Why would my father want those two stinky manuals! Just get lost”, cried Bak Tin Kiew unable to control her anger.

    “Tin Kiew! Keep quiet! Don’t interfere!”, shouted her father as he had recovered and stood up to face the two men once more.

    Looking them directly in the eye again, Bak Fung Wan said, “I can honestly swear to you that I do not have the two kung fu manuals and that my wife did not take it. If one day it is discovered that it is in my possession, I will personally present my head on a plate and have my apprentices deliver it to your Lion Prestige Headquarters”.

    Pausing for a little while he continued, “But I will not lead my men to Songshan Sect. However to prove that I am innocent I will send 60 of my men to scout through China for any news of the location of the ‘Frost Palm’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’ manuals. Once we find it we’ll hand it back to you. You can then deliver it up to Songshan Sect and end the feud”.

    Hearing the sincerity in Bak Fung Wan’s voice both men could tell that he was telling the truth, although they were still quietly suspicious.

    “If that is what the Chancellor has decided to do! We will report back to our Chief. Finding the manuals will end this bloodshed between our clan and the Songshan Sect”, replied Wan Do Kei.

    Smirking Ng Hung Yat said, “That’s all good in the longer term. What are we to do now? The Head Master of Songshan Sect is about to dispatch all of his apprentices to wipe us out”.

    “Ching Fung! You take 10 apprentices and head to Songshan Sect tomorrow to deliver a letter for me. I will make it clear in this letter that if he does not stop this bloodshed with the Lion Prestige Escort I will lead my men up there personally. Also I will mention in my letter that I have dispatch my apprentices to look for the ‘Frost Palm’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’ kung fu manuals. I will also make it clear that it is now the responsibility of the Taishan Sect to locate the two kung fu manuals”, said Bak Fung Wan as he glanced at Yik Ching Fung and Ng Hung Yat.

    Yik Ching Fung was Bak Fung Wan’s best fighter. He possessed very good swordsmanship so it would be difficult for an enemy including the elite fighters of the Songshan Sect to be able to defeat him. Sending him to Songshan Sect was a good option, in case the Grand Master of the Songshan Sect had indeed intended to cause trouble.

    “Yes master! I understand”, replied Yik Ching Fung as he bowed to his master.

    Turning to Ling Wu Mun, Bak Fung Wan said, “Wu Mun, you take 10 apprentices and follow the Lion Prestige Escort back to the headquarters. If the Head Master of Songshan Sect does not heed the advice in my letter, then you are to try and attempt to negotiate on my behalf and find a peaceful solution”.

    Ling Wu Mun was not as a good fighter as Yik Ching Fung, but he possessed a good mind and was very clever. He can come up with a lot of plots and schemes to get his own way with people. He was thus a good choice as a negotiator.

    “Yes master! I understand”, said Ling Wu Mun as he bowed to his master.

    Turning to another apprentice Bak Fung Wan said, “Ling Do, you are responsible for taking 60 apprentices to search through China to locate information about the ‘Frost Palm’ and ‘Frost Sword Art’ kung fu manuals”.

    Cupping his hands together, a young man called Hua Ling Do walked forward and said, “Yes master! I understand”.

    Pausing for a moment this young swordsman, Hua Ling Do continued, “Master! But with senior apprentice, 2nd senior apprentice, and myself gone. There will be no one around to protect and look after your daughter, little Ms Bak!”.

    “Can I make a request master?”, asked Hua Ling Do, as he bowed again to his master.

    “Ling Do, what is it?”, replied Bak Fung Wan, looking at his young apprentice.

    Hua Ling Do was the youngest of his three personal apprentices. This year he is only 17 years of age and a little inexperienced in the matters of wulin. But he was also the one that Bak Fung Wan had trusted the most, and knew that if he had found the two kung fu manuals he would return with them to Taishan. He was not certain about the motivations of his other two apprentices. Hua Ling Do was an orphan whom he had accepted when he was just three years old. He had grown up playing with Bak Tin Kiew and had treated her as a sister. He had also treated Bak Fung Wan like a father, so Bak Fung Wan knew whatever his 3rd apprentice had to say was to the Bak families benefit. Otherwise he would not mention it.

    Pausing for a moment Hua Ling Do finally said, “Masters, I request that you reconsider teaching your daughter in arts of the Taishan swordsmanship. These are dangerous times and your daughter will need to be able to defend herself! Also your daughter will be able to help you train the other apprentices when all of us are away from Taishan”.

    Bak Tin Kiew glanced at Hua Ling Do with an affectionate smile upon hearing his request to her father. She thought inwardly, “Brother Hua treats me really good! But he’s never around. He’s only been back for a day and already master has sent him on another mission! He would definitely teach me kung fu if he stayed at Taishan and didn’t travel as much as he did”.

    Hua Ling Do smiled back with brotherly love upon catching Bak Tin Kiew’s glance. To the side Yik Ching Fung had a jealous look on his face, when he saw the two of them exchange glances at each other. Ling Wu Mun saw the look on Yik Ching Fung’s face and jabbed at Hua Ling Do with his elbow. The two of them then began nudging each other trying their best to hide it from their master, who was still in the process of contemplating Hua Ling Do’s request. It appeared to Bak Tin Kiew that it was all in good fun and carried no ill intentions. So upon seeing the jostling between her 2nd and 3rd senior apprentice brother, Bak Tin Kiew couldn’t help but poke her tongue out! She then walked over to grab Hua Ling Do and Ling Wu Mun by the hand, to stop them jostling before taking her hand away. A smile suddenly rose across her face once the two men stopped jostling and she looked all young and pretty again. The two apprentices smiled at each other as well upon seeing Bak Tin Kiew’s beaming smile.

    “Ling Do! Rules are rules. I won’t change them. Don’t mention that to me again”, said Bak Fung Wan stroking his beard after a little, as he glanced with loving affection at Bak Tin Kiew.

    “Dam it!”, thought Bak Tin Kiew inwardly. A feeling of disappointed filled her heart as she went back to the chair on the side and sat down again. She folded her arms in some annoyance whilst looking back at her father.

    Bak Fung Wan caught her daughters glance but had no time to deal with it. Looking at both Wan Do Kei and Ng Hung Yat, Bak Fung Wan finally asked, “Are you both satisfied now? This matter is now a matter for the Taishan Sect to deal with and the Songshan Sect should not have any more reason to bother you!”.

    Wan Do Kei and Ng Hung Yat both cupped their hands and said, “Chancellor, this is a good plan indeed. It will prevent the immediate feud and also give us more hands in looking for the two kung fu manuals that have been lost. Goodbye!”.

    Both men were just about to leave when Bak Fung Wan suddenly said, “Wait! Where are you going?”.

    “What would Chancellor have us do?”, they both asked in shock.

    Sounding a little annoyed Bak Fung Wan said as he looked at the Bak family ancestor wall that had been set up to the side of the great hall of Taishan, “My wife, Lin Chun Fa, did a noble deed for the Lion Prestige Escort many years ago! Aren’t you two at least going to pay your respects before leaving?”.

    Wan Do Kei had no reservations about paying his respects, and walked over to the wall. He knelt down before the Bak family ancestor wall. Taking a long sigh and he decided to bowed three times in front of the wooden tombstone with Lin Chun Fa’s name on it. Wan Do Kei could then be heard saying, “Heroine Lin, rest in peace! We’ll never forget your brave and courageous deeds”.

    Ng Hung Yat walked over to the Bak family ancestor wall and only made three half hearted bows whilst standing up. After completing this act he said with a snicker, “Brother Wan, lets go now! We have no time to waste. Our business here is done!”.

    Moments later both men left the great hall of Taishan followed closely by Ling Wu Mun and 10 of his apprentices Taishan apprentices. Bak Fung Wan noticed that Ng Hung Yat did not pay his proper respects to Lin Chun Fa, that he couldn’t help but get annoyed. As the Chancellor of Wulin he did not wonder far from Taishan, in case there were many people in wulin who had come for his help. Apart from major events that had taken place in wulin, Bak Fung Wan, had not left Taishan for the past 20 years. So he was still uncertain as to how his wife had died. There were various rumours and he now had his suspicions about the Lion Prestige Escort after the way the two swordsmen had just behaved. They had openly accused Lin Chun Fa of having possession of the two kung fu manuals. Although he and Lin Chun Fa were both in Chongqing that night, none of them had known about the event of Lim Man Tung stealing the two kung fu manuals. Later Lin Chun Fa on advice of her senior apprentice sister Lok Gum Fa went to seek the senior apprentice brother of the Lion Prestige Escort, Dik Ho Tin, and uncovered the truth of her brother’s treachery. Lin Chun Fa thus felt guilty and somehow responsible for the bloodshed between the Songshan Sect and the Lion Prestige Escort. That’s why she had offered to help them 16 years ago and died as a result. Deep inside Bak Fung Wan knew Lin Chun Fa died as a result of losing 50% of her ‘Divine Butterfly’ inner energy as a result of giving birth to Bak Tin Kiew. Otherwise it would have taken an elite fighter and a superior sword formation to be able to kill her.

    Walking back up to the front of the great hall of Taishan and standing there once more to face his guests, Bak Fung Wan said, “May I have the honour as to know why two apprentices of the Divine Butterfly Sect has come up to Taishan”.

    “Greetings Chancellor!”, said the two apprentices from the Divine Butterfly Sect as the walked forward cupping their hands to acknowledge Bak Fung Wan.

    “I am Yuk Wah the 2nd apprentice of the Moon Maiden – To Guk Fa”, said the young girl in orange.

    “I am Yuk Ling the 3rd apprentice of the Moon Maiden – To Guk Fa”, said the young girl in purple.

    “Excellent! Excellent! So its two of the renowned ‘3 Jade Maidens’ of the Divine Butterfly Sect. A pleasure to meet you both. How is your master To Gut Fa?’, politely asked Bak Fung Wan.

    “Master is well. Thank you for asking!”, replied Yuk Wah.

    “Master has sent us here for three reasons”, said Yuk Ling as she took a step forward.

    “Oh? For three reasons?”, replied Bak Fung Wan with a stun look on his face.

    “Yes. The first reason is to deliver a present that master has personally brought for little Ms Bak’s 16th birthday today!”, said Yuk Wah.

    “Thanks! Your master is too kind and has a good memory”, remarked Bak Fung Wan as two apprentices walked over to take a small square box from the hands of Yuk Wah and then walked over to present the gift to Bak Tin Kiew.

    Taking the small box into her own hands by the side and opening it, Bak Tin Kiew took out two small pieces of jade. They had been handcrafted into the shape of a butterfly. These were the exact identical to the ones that her mother used wear by the side of her right leg. Bak Tin Kiew was filled with joy upon seeing this and immediately wore then by the side of her right leg. Smiling in delight she said, “Sister Yuk Wah. Sister Yuk Ling. Thank you both for delivering this gift and thank your master for these two special gifts. I will always have them by my side”.

    Cupping their hands together, Yuk Wah and Yuk Ling said together, “Little Ms Bak, there’s no need to thank us. It’s our duty that we do this. Besides we have great respect for your late mother, Heroine Lin”.

    Stroking his beard, Bak Fung Wan decided to ask, “May I have the pleasure of knowing the other reasons why you two Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices are here!”.

    “Secondly, master has sent us here to ask your permission to take little Ms Bak to the Butterfly Valley. Master wants to accept her as her fourth and last personal apprentice”, replied Yuk Wah.

    To the side Yuk Ling interrupted by saying, “Master had heard about the Taishan Sect clan rule of forbidding anyone from instructing little Ms Bak of kung fu, and felt it tragic that Heroine Lin’s daughter is therefore is unable to carry on the heroic legacy of her late mother”.

    “Sister Yuk Wah! Sisiter Yuk Ling! Is that true?”, Bak Tin Kiew couldn’t help asking. She had wanted to learn kung fu now since she was 10 years old. So she became very excited and delighted upon hearing this.

    Casting a glance at Bak Tin Kiew, Yuk Ling said, “Yes, little Ms Bak. It is true!”.

    “Chancellor! Do we have your permission? Or not?”, asked Yuk Wah having not heard a response from Bak Fung Wan.

    Taking a moment to assess the proposal, Bak Fung Wan finally decided to say, “Tell your master that I sincerely thank her for her kind intentions. However I love my daughter dearly and do not wish that she be involved in the affairs and matters of wulin. I would like her to live a normal life. My answer is no!”.

    Upon hearing those words from her father, Bak Tin Kiew couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed again. She thought to herself, “I wonder why father keeps insisting that I don’t learn kung fu? Does he not want me to avenge mother’s death?”.

    “We ask you to reconsider your decision! The world is a dangerous place. Just because your daughter doesn’t know kung fu doesn’t mean that she’ll be safe from the dangers, affairs, and matters of wulin”, rebutted Yuk Wah, in a last stitched attempt to get Bak Fung Wan to change his mind.

    “Also have you ever consider that she is already involved in the matters of wulin by being the daughter of the Chancellor of Wulin?”, interrupted Yuk Ling. Adding to Yuk Wah’s statement. There was much logic in both their comments.

    “Thank you both for your concern! However I have made up my mind”, replied Bak Fung Wan. He did not want his daughter to learn kung fu and that was going to be that. He wasn’t going to listen to any logic from outsiders.

    Changing the subject, Bak Fung Wan said, “Okay you’ve told me about the two matters you wanted to see me about, so what is the third matter?”.

    “As you know the Emei Sect and our respectful Divine Butterfly Sect has had a misunderstanding that has dated back to the death of your father, Bak Tin Fei. We are not the aggressors in this war! Master has sent me to ask that you write a personal letter to clear up this misunderstanding”, replied Yuk Wah.

    Since that fated night in Chongqing many years ago. The Head Master of the Emei Sect had blamed the Divine Butterfly Sect for the death of their senior apprentice and four other apprentices that night. She knew they had gone to kill Cheung Cum and the ‘3 Flower Maidens’ and never returned. Though they had heard rumours that Fung Lau Yin and Kiu Pin Fok had also had some part to play in their deaths, the Head Master, blamed the Divine Butterfly Sect only. Also the Head Master of the Emei Sect had greatly respected Bak Tin Fei and had always blamed the Divine Butterfly Sect for his death. This view did not change even when Bak Fung Wan married Lin Chun Fa. According to the Head Master of the Emei Sect, Cheung Cum had only married her 2nd apprentice to Bak Fung Wan to take away her responsibility for the events that happened at Taishan that led to the death Bak Tin Fei. How could the Head Master of the Emei Sect know that Bak Fung Wan had actually married Lin Chun Fa because he loved her.

    “That’s not a problem. I will write a letter to the Head Master of the Qincheng Sect that the Divine Butterfly Sect was not to be blamed for the deaths of her 5 apprentices in Chongqing over 20 years ago. I will also explain that the main culprits were expelled senior apprentice of the Divine Butterfly Sect, Lok Gum Fa, Fung Lau Yin and Kiu Pin Fok. If they do not stop the bloodshed I will personally lead my men to Emei Sect!”, replied Bak Fung Wan. Had Cheung Cum swallowed her pride many years ago and asked Bak Fung Wan to write this letter, the bloodshed would have ended almost as it started. So Bak Fung Wan was glad that To Guk Fa had finally reached a decision to try and end the bloodshed and seek a truce after 20 years.

    “Is that all?”, asked Bak Fung Wan as he looked across and noticed that Bak Tin Kiew was still brooding in her chair.

    “Chancellor, we have nothing more. Hopefully after reading your personal letter the Head Master of the Emei Sect will end the bloodshed between our two respectful sects. We will be heading off now”, replied Yuk Wah turning to leave. Yuk Ling followed her senior apprentice sister and soon disappeared from the great hall of Taishan.

    Bak Tin Kiew couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed upon seeing both Yuk Wah and Yuk Ling had disappeared from the great halls of Taishan. She decided to walk back to her room to have a bath and clean herself before dinner. As she was leaving she could see her father giving various instructions to the apprentices. Some went to pick up the broken bits of the chair that was once the Chancellor of Wulin’s chair.

    Walking past one of the servants, Bak Tin Kiew said, “Maid, please prepare hot water and bring it to my room so that I may have a bath”.

    “Yes, little Ms Bak”, said the maid as she went towards the well to fetch some water before going to the kitchen to boil it.

    Bak Tin Kiew did not go straight back to her room but instead decided to walk towards the garden to the back of the great hall of Taishan. At was only around 6.00pm in the evening so it was still awhile before dinner. She wanted to relieve a bit of steam and disappointed she has just experienced. She was so close to being an apprentice of the Divine Butterfly Sect, but yet her father had refused to take up on the proposal, so she was a little bit confused by this. As she approached the garden she heard two men talking together. It appeared as if they were arguing with each other. Bak Tin Kiew decided to sneak behind some large bushes to take a closer look. To her surprise, the two men were none other than Yik Ching Fung and Hua Ling Do.

    “What are these two doing?”, thought Bak Tin Kiew inwardly as she listened in closely into the conversation.

    Yik Ching Fung could be heard shouting with a raised voiced, “Messenger boy! Stop! I have something I want to ask you”.

    The messenger boy he referred to was obviously Hua Do Ling. This term was used as insult and a sigh of disrespect for his 3rd junior apprentice brother’s abilities.

    “Ever since you’ve come back to Taishan, you’ve been doing nothing but nagging master on behalf of little Ms Bak, to teach her kung fu! What are you up to?”, continued Yik Ching Fung casting a suspicious glance at Hua Ling Do.

    “Nothing! I am just concerned that little Ms Bak is getting older, and the three of us won’t be around Taishan all that often to protect her. If something should happen to master, she would be totally defenceless!”, replied Hua Ling Do, looking at back at his senior apprentice brother in shock.

    “Why are you so concerned about little Ms Bak? Is it because that you love her? Do you want to marry her and gain leadership of the Taishan Sect? That’s it! Isn’t it?”, continued Yik Ching Fung, not satisfied with Hua Ling Do’s answer.

    “Senior apprentice brother Yik! You’re totally mistaken! I do admit that I love and care a lot about little Ms Bak! But this love is only brotherly love and nothing more!”, replied Hua Ling Do with all sincerity.

    “Brotherly love? I don’t believe you!”, replied Yik Ching Fung, starring directly into Hua Ling Do’s eyes. He did not believe that Hua Ling Do was telling the truth.

    Listening in the thick bushes about 50 meters away from the conversation, Bak Tin Kiew, could not help but groan inwardly, “So these two are arguing because of me”.

    “You can choose to believe it or you can choose not to! It’s up to you. I’ve told you the truth. Out of my way! I have to prepare for my journey tomorrow! You should too, senior apprentice brother Yik”, said Hua Ling Do trying walk pass his senior apprentice brother.

    “You’re not going anywhere until we sort this out! Who do you think you are? I am the senior brother! I give the orders here and not you! I’ll go and prepare for my journey to Songshan Sect when I want to!”, replied Yik Ching Fung blocking Hua Ling Do’s path with an outstretched hand.

    Turning around with a smirk, Hua Ling Do said, “Senior apprentice brother, don’t you think I know what this is all about? It’s because you’re jealous that little Ms Bak and I are close like brothers and sisters!”.

    Looking directly at Yik Ching Fung, Hua Ling Do said, “I wasn’t going to say this! But you’ve forced me to! You are the one who loves little Ms Bak and not me! But she only treats you like her big brother! So you’re upset that she may have fallen in love with someone else and not you. That’s why you’ve blocked my path and won’t let me go until this is sorted. But little Ms Bak is too young to understand the meaning of true love, and therefore there’s no one in her heart at the moment! You can relax!”.

    A loud ‘slap’ sound could suddenly be heard in the garden. Yik Ching Fung had just slapped Hua Ling Do across the face, before saying, “Little bastard! You’re really brave! What do you know?”.

    Hua Ling Do picked himself up from the ground, after coughing up a mouthful of blood. Feeling the large black bruise to the side of his face, he said, “Senior apprentice brother! There was no need to be so ruthless! Don’t you think I know that you’ve been fooling little Ms Bak for the last 6 years. Teaching her that ‘Divine 36 Jade Bamboo Flute’ inner energy! Shameful! No such kung fu exists! You’re only doing this to spend time with her”.

    “So it is true! Senior apprentice brother was lying all along!”, thought Bak Tin Kiew inwardly as she listened. In she was overcome with a little bit of rage and then embarrassment, but remained hidden behind the bushes. In rage that Yik Ching Fung had tricked her. Embarrassed because she had been tricked without knowing. She also did not blame Yik Ching Fung because he only agreed to teach her kung fu after much persuasion.

    At this moment Yik Ching Fung reaching forward to slap Hua Ling Do to the right side of the face again. But Hua Ling Do had anticipated that move and had leaped several paces back to avoid it!

    “Little bastard! I’m going to kill you”, shouted Yik Ching Fung as he rushed forward to launch a series of attacks. But each time Hua Ling Do managed to evade it.

    Yik Ching Fung was taken by surprise by this. Being the senior apprentice brother, he had always thought that his kung fu, other than his master’s, was the best at Taishan. So he had always bullied the junior apprentices when he was in a bad mood. He can defeat his 2nd apprentice junior brother, Ling Wu Mun with great ease. So he was very surprised that Hua Ling Do had lasted this long. 20 stances had now passed. He was 26 and Hua Ling Do was only 17 years of age this year. Unknown to Yik Ching Fung, Hua Ling Do was an experienced fighter. He had spent much of his time roaming wulin to deliver messages for Taishan. As a result he had been engaged in a number of minor battles during his travels and had managed to escaped with his life. Yik Ching Fung on the other hand rarely left Taishan. So although he possessed great skills, he had little real combat experience.

    Seeing the exchange had gotten rather heated, Bak Tin Kiew was about to rush out to prevent the two men from causing each other serious harm when she saw that her father had approached the garden and had seen the battle.

    Seeing that his two personal apprentices had been fighting, Bak Fung Wan shouted, “Shameful! Since when did I allow two of my personal apprentices engage in a life and death battle at Taishan! Stop it now!”.

    “Ching Fung! Ling Do! What’s all this about? Please tell me and I’ll consider giving you both a lighter punishment!”, shouted Bak Fung Wan. He was outraged that these two could have been fighting amongst themselves on the eve of their big mission.

    “Master, it’s nothing! I ran into some trouble on the way back to Taishan and I was just demonstrating the kung fu that those fighters had used to trap me to big apprentice brother. He was just showing me how to defeat this sword formation”, said Hua Ling Do. He did not really want to reveal the real reason why they had been fighting as that may harm the reputation of little Ms Bak.

    Not totally satisfied with this answer, Bak Fung Wan asked, “Ching Fung! Is this true?”.

    Casting a glare at Hua Ling Do, Yik Ching Fung said, “That’s the honest truth master! We had to spa like it was for real so that 3rd junior apprentice Hua can defeat his enemies the next sees them!”.

    “Good! Good! For a while there I thought that you two were fighting amongst yourselves”, replied Bak Fung Wan with a calm expression.

    Looking at his senior apprentice, Bak Fung Wan said, “Ching Fung! One day you’ll be Head Master of the Taishan Sect. It’s good to see that you’re teaching the young junior apprentices in the arts of self defence!”.

    “Thank you for your praise, master”, replied Yik Ching Fung casting a smirk across at Hua Ling Do.

    Walking back into the great hall, Bak Fung Wan said, “Ching Fung! Ling Do! Go and make all the necessary preparations for your journey tomorrow and come and see me after you’ve both finished. I have some important advice for you both, before you set off on your journey!”.

    Bak Tin Kiew waited for her father, Yik Ching Fung, and Hua Ling Do to leave before taking a short walk along the garden to clear her head. She had just witnessed the battle between Yik Ching Fung and Hua Ling Do. She had heard what each of them had said. She couldn’t help but suddenly get annoyed at Yik Ching Fung. He had promised to teach her kung fu and only ended up deceiving her. Remembering how the fight had started, Bak Tin Kiew was now also greatly worried. She now knew that her senior apprentice brother was not at all a decent person. He bullies the junior apprentices, and what was worst, had romantic feelings for her. Yet her father, Bak Fung Wan seems to be grooming Yik Ching Fung as the future leader of the Taishan Sect. That might one day mean that she would be betrothed to Yik Ching Fung. As these thoughts flashed pass her mind she had an urgent feeling that she needed to leave Taishan immediately. Besides she wanted to learn kung fu to avenge the death of her mother. But no one would teach her any kung fu at Taishan because of her father. Remembering what the two apprentices from the Divine Butterfly Sect had said earlier, she decided to make up her mind to travel to the city of Fengxiang in the Shaanxi province. That was were the Butterfly Valley and the Divine Butterfly Sect was located.

    After a while Bak Tin Kiew went back to her room to rest, having made up her mind to see off from Taishan at first light in the morning. As she approached her room her maid had been standing outside to wait for her.

    “Ah! Little Ms Bak, you’re back. I have prepared water for your bath. I have also put all of the presents that you’ve received for your 16th birthday on your table. You have lots of presents this year!”, the maid said with a large smile on her face.

    “Thank you”, said Bak Tin Kiew as she entered her room. The maid followed closely behind closing the door before helping Bak Tin Kiew to undress, before helping her into the bath that was prepared for her. The maid then stood behind Bak Tin Kiew to help her bath herself.

    “Maid, can I ask you a question?”, suddenly asked Bak Tin Kiew whilst bathing.

    “Yes, little Ms Bak! What is it?”, replied the maid as she sponged Bak Tin Kiew’s back and shoulder.

    “Have you been to the city of Fengxiang in the Shaanxi province before?”, asked Bak Tin Kiew. She wanted to know as much information as possible before setting off in the morning.

    “Yes, little Ms Bak! Why do you want do know”, replied the maid.

    “You don’t need to know! Just prepare me a horse, and enough money, food, and clothes to be able to travel from here to Fengxiang for me tonight! But you mustn’t tell anyone okay! Promise!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew.

    “You’re planning to leave Taishan?”, asked the maid in shock. She had been able to guess what Bak Tin Kiew’s intentions by her comments.

    “Yes! But you mustn’t tell anyone! Okay!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew looking at the maid with a very serious expression on her face.

    “Don’t worry, I won’t! I’ll leave to make all the necessary arrangements for you now. Is that all you need done?”, replied the maid as she stepped out of the room.

    “No, that’s all! Thanks”, replied Bak Tin Kiew looking delightfully at the maid. She seemed to know what Bak Tin Kiew had needed for the trip.

    Bak Tin Kiew rested in the bath for a little longer, before stepping out and dressing herself once more. This time she put on a long flowing yellow dress. Looking next to the bath she noticed that the maid had already taken her green dress along with her to wash it later in the evening. Bak Tin Kiew was most pleased with this as the green dress was her favourite and she had wanted to wear that dress when setting off from Taishan. Now that everything had been arranged Bak Tin Kiew felt peaceful at heart. After a while Bak Tin Kiew went over to the small rounded table in her room. Many presents had been stacked one on top of the other on the table. Most of these presents came from people whom Bak Tin Kiew had never met, but knew her mother Heroine Lin. Word through wulin was that it was Heroine Lin’s daughter’s 16th birthday today. So the many heroes that had known Heroine Lin decided to send her presents. Amongst these were also presents from the various apprentices from Taishan, including some from the various maids and servants.

    After opening a few of the presents Bak Tin Kiew became a little disappointed. Most of the gifts that she had received so far were dresses, golden hair pins, jade bracelets, books, paintings, perfume, and mostly sweets to eat. Though she was grateful for the gifts, and these gifts were suited to a young lady of her age, what she greatly wanted was a precious sword or kung fu manual that could help her avenge her mother’s death. She gave a long sigh before fixing her gaze on the various presents that still remained unopened. Suddenly a small square package caught Bak Tin Kiew’s eyes. There was a bright yellow card accompanying the gift. She looked at the small card on the present and read the words out loud to herself, “Happy 16th Birthday, Little Ms Bak. May these gifts be of great benefit to you in your greatest time of need - from Reverend Guy Hung, elder of the Meditation Hall of Shaolin”.

    Upon realising that Reverend Guy Hung had sent her a gift, Bak Tin Kiew’s face glowed in anticipation. After all Shaolin was renowned for it’s kung fu so in her heart, she had hoped for some kung fu manual script. She immediately opened the box and became disappointed again. Reverend Guy Hung’s gift was not a kung fu manuscript from Shaolin. Carefully placed inside the square box were three small wooden figurines. One of the figurines was of a monk standing up in a static boxing position. The second figurine contained a monk in a static kicking position. The third figure was a small wooden Budda that appeared to be in a static meditating position.

    Looking at the figures with a touch of annoyance, Bak Tin Kiew thought to herself, “Now what would a monk like Reverend Guy Hung be doing sending me these figurines. I’m turning 16 years of age today and am too old to be playing with dolls and figurines. These gifts are more suited to an eight year old kid!”.

    After going down this line of thinking, Bak Tin Kiew, swept across her table with her left arm and sent all of the unopened presents flying off the table. All of her remaining unopened presents landed on the ground with a thud. A few ‘clack’ sounds could be heard as the presents hit the hard floor. It was now obvious that amongst the gifts on the table, there were some porcelain vases for her flowers.

    Suddenly a feeling of regret over came Bak Tin Kiew as she thought to herself, “Oh no! What have I done? It’s really not these people’s fault that they do not give me a precious sword or kung fu manual. They don’t know how I feel at the moment. They’ve been kind enough to send me gifts and I should accept them with a gracious heart”.

    One by one Bak Tin Kiew began picking up each of the presents that she had sent crashing to the floor. When she picked up ones that appeared to be broken or squashed as a result of her previous action, she felt very regretful. She then made sure to read each and every card attached to those presents to make sure that she had remembered the good will of the people who have sent them.

    As Bak Tin Kiew leant over to pick up the three figures that had fallen under the table she noticed something strange about one of them. The figurine of the monk that was in a boxing position was now moving. The right fist twisted forward from the chest position and displayed a punch. Then the left fist came forward displaying another punch as the right fist retracted to the waist. Picking up that figurine and placing it on the table, Bak Tin Kiew, went through the same set of actions to that being demonstrated by the figurines.

    “Ah! So these figurines are demonstrating the first stance from Reverend Guy Hung’s renowned Shadow Fist. I knew I could count of that kind old monk to know what my heart had desired for my 16th Birthday!”, Bak Tin Kiew thought out aloud. A smile flashed back across her face, as she was now very delighted. She spent around another 15 minutes copying the action of the boxing figurine. Her action was a little rusty but she could tell that this fist technique once mastered could be very powerful.

    “It’s a shame that Reverend Guy Hung only sent me one stance of his renowned Shadow Fist”, sighed Bak Tin Kiew inwardly. She knew if she could master half of Reverend Guy Hung’s Shadow Fist, that would be more enough to deal with the likes of Fung Lau Yin and the people who participated in murdering her mother.

    At this moment Bak Tin Kiew picked up the boxing figurine and examined it closely. She noticed that there was a small switch its base. Touching the switch with her pinkie finger, Bak Tin Kiew noticed that the figurine became static again. She suddenly understood, “So the two other figures must also display a stance from Reverend Guy Hung’s renowned kung fu. I wonder what they are?”.

    Touching the switch at the bottom of the monk kicking figurine and placing it on the table, Bak Tin Kiew noticed that this particular figurine was demonstrating a complete stance from Reverend Guy Hung’s Shadow Kick. Once again Bak Tin Kiew stood to the side of the table and copied the actions being demonstrated by the figurine. Her heart was filled suddenly filled with joy. These two figures had taught her two stances from Reverend Guy Hung’s famous kung fu. Although they were only two stances, it was still better than nothing.

    Shortly afterwards, Bak Tin Kiew activated the mechanism on the third and final figurine. This figurine was rather different from the other two. It was the figurine of the Budda sitting in a meditating position with his legs crossed. The hands rested by the side of each knee with the palm facing upwards in the direction of the sky. From that position the hands reached up to the chest before the hands rotated and faced directly outwards from the chest. Both hands then pushed directly outwards from this position. Once the figurine had reached this position the hands rotated once more so that the fingers pointed outwards. The hands then joined each other and came back to the chest area. The final position being demonstrated by the figurine was that of the Budda in a praying position with both of his hands joined together with the fingers pointing to the sky. After this final position the figurine had returned to the starting position.

    Bak Tin Kiew decided to sit on the floor with her legs crossed and copied the action being demonstrated by the figurine once more. After around 15 minutes of going through the same actions, Bak Tin Kiew, noticed a small amount of chi energy had been built up in her body. Bak Tin Kiew finally understood the purpose of the third figurine. It was demonstrating the most basic form of breathing exercises used to develop the level of inner energy required to properly execute the first stance of the Shadow Fist and the first stance of the Shadow Kick. Deactivating the two figurines, Bak Tin Kiew, immediately place all three of them in her pockets. She knew that if her father had come across the three figurines he would have certainly confiscated them. The three figurines weren’t much, but at least they were the first steps in assisting her ton learn kung fu.

    Bak Tin Kiew then decided to open up the her remaining presents. Most of them were once again just sweets, and gifts suited to a young lady. She piled them all up to the corner of her bed before returning to the table. She then noticed that there was a small envelope underneath the table which she did not noticed before. Wasting no time Bak Tin Kiew opened the envelope and to her surprise were the drawings of three sword stances. To the right hand corner of the piece of paper were written some words.

    Bak Tin Kiew decided to read the words out loud to herself, "Dear Little Ms Bak, on my many journeys through wulin I manage to learn these three stances of sword art from an elite fighter of Wudang. These three moves are very refined and suitable for self-defence. They are very easy to learn. These are but my gifts to you on your 16th Birthday! Take care and I trust you won’t tell master! – from 3rd senior apprentice brother Hua Ling Do”.

    Bak Tin Kiew’s face was filled with delight once more upon reading those words. She then fixed her gaze on the three drawings on the piece of paper. The first drawing showed a swordsman defending a slash towards the legs. The wrists then rotated and the stance of defence had turned into a thrust of attack at the opponents legs. The second drawing showed a swordsman defending an attack to the chest region. Once more the wrists rotated and what was once defence turned into an attacking thrust towards the opponents chest region. The last stance showed the swordsman defending a slash to the head. Once more at the twist of the wrist what had once been a move of defence turned into a thrust of attack at the opponents head.

    “These three moves are ingenious indeed”, thought Bak Tin Kiew as she copied the actions contained in the drawings with her jade bamboo flute. They were three simple moves, but would catch most average to good fighters off guard. The elite fighters however would be able to counter the moves depicted in the three drawings with another deadly move. Bak Tin Kiew had spent another 30 minutes practising the three simple moves in her room with her jade bamboo flute that she had lost track of time. Suddenly there was a knock on the door, so she decided to take the piece of paper and placed it into her pockets as well. Just in case it was her dad.

    “Little Ms Bak! Little Ms Bak! Are you in?”, she could suddenly hear the voice of a female asking from the outside. She recognised this to be her maid so was filled with a little relief.

    “Yes! Come in! What is it?”, replied Bak Tin Kiew, as she opened the door.

    “Here take this! This should be more enough for your journey and return home if you need to!”, said the maid, passing over a 4 ingots of gold, 6 ingots of silver, and around 20 small coins that had been carefully placed into a blue money bag. That was indeed more than necessary for the journey. However the maid could never be sure how much money would be needed by Bak Tin Kiew given she had never travelled before. So the maid thought it was better to be safe than sorry.

    The bag of money was quite heavy indeed, so Bak Tin Kiew decided to ask, “Maid! This seems like an awful lot of money! Are you sure that I’ll need all of this”.

    “Little Miss Bak! The load will only get lighter when you begin to use the money contained in the bag! If you use it wisely you’ll have more than enough to take four trips! However one is never sure what will happen! So you can never have enough”, replied the maid. She indeed had no idea how Bak Tin Kiew was going to survive after she leaves Taishan. Bak Tin Kiew had grown up and was accustomed to having a maid by her side. She herself had never thought about this before.

    “Okay, if you insist!”, said Bak Tin Kiew placing the large bag on money underneath her bed to hide it for her journey.

    “Little Ms Bak, if you have nothing more, I will go to the stables now and prepare your horse for the journey!”, said the maid.

    “I have nothing further! Thanks you can go now!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew walking over to close the door.

    Bak Tin Kiew was feeling very excited now. She could almost taste the fresh air and the adventure that awaited her. She was not yet ware that wulin was full of trouble, dangers, and peril at this moment. All she knew was that if you treat people well, others would also treat you well. So therefore she would not run into any trouble. One could not blame her for thinking this way as she had spent her entire 16 years of her life at Taishan without stepping a foot off it. So she did not have a fear in her heart at this point. She was determined to go to Fengxaing and learn kung fu from To Guk Fa the Chief of the Divine Butterfly Sect and that was going to be it. Suddenly there was another knock on her door.

    “Surely its not the maid again! She can’t have finished preparing my horse for the journey yet!”, Bak Tin Kiew thought to herself.

    Moments later Bak Tin Kiew could hear a gentle and caring voice outside her door asking, “Tin Kiew! Open up! Are you in?”. It was now obvious that it was her father, Bak Fung Wan who was standing at the door patiently waiting outside.

    “Yes father, I am coming now”, replied Bak Tin Kiew opening up the door with a gentle affectionate smile as she greeted her father.

    Bak Fung Wan looked around the room before glancing at her daughter. He couldn’t help but ask with a smile, “Ah! So the reason why you took so long to open the door was because you were opening up all your presents! What did you get this year? Anything interesting?”.

    Glancing back at her father with a smile, Bak Tin Kiew replied with a slight sigh, “No! Almost the same as last year. Just dresses, jade bracelets, hairpins, perfumes, make up, and lots of candy!”. She did not want her father to know that she had received the three figurines from Reverend Guy Hung and the piece of paper with the three stances of Wudang sword art from Hua Ling Do.

    Seeing the disappointed expression on his daughter’s face, Bak Fung Wan said, “Oh! And what are wrong with all these gifts? They’re suitable for a fine young lady who’s about to turn 16 years of age tomorrow aren’t they?”.

    “I also have a special gift for you! Can you guess what it is?”, continued Bak Fung Wan casting an affectionate smile at his daughter.

    “It’s definitely not mother’s sword, so I don’t know!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew with a touch of disappointment. On her 10th birthday, Bak Tin Kiew had asked her father for her mother’s jade bamboo flute, and to her surprise and delight that was what her father had given her as a present that year. She had asked for her mother’s sword this year. However she was certain that her father would not give it to her as a present, that was why she was a little disappointed.

    “Tin Kiew! I know you’re disappointed tonight because I turned down the offer from Chief To Guk Fa and rejected the proposal from Hua Ling Do to reconsider my decision and allow you to learn kung fu! But I have my reasons. You will see one day that I was right! Do you understand why I won’t allow you to learn kung fu?”, said Bak Fung Wan turning to look at his daughter.

    “No. I don’t understand”, replied Bak Tin Kiew. She had heard of the reasons given to her father before, but she did still not understand the reasons, so she wanted to hear one last time. She had made up her mind to leave Taishan and learn kung fu, so she gave her father one last chance to reconsider his decision.

    “One, I don’t want you to get involved in the matters and affairs of wulin. Once you’re involved you can never get out alive! Your life becomes subject to the rules, customs and ‘ancient code of chivalry’ of wulin. You are no longer your own master after that! You will no longer have the freedom to do what you want!”, replied Bak Fung Wan.

    Looking his daughter straight in the eye he said, “Freedom is what matters most! Losing your freedom is like losing your life!”.

    “Do you know who taught me that?”, asked Bak Fung Wan all of a sudden.

    “No father! Who?”, replied Bak Tin Kiew, shaking her head.

    “It was the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. That morning in Chongqing over 20 years ago, the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ could have chosen to preserve his life by joining Shaolin or crippling himself of his kung fu, but he chose the path that led to his ultimate death instead! I did not fully understand why he had chosen to take that course of action back then, but I do understand him now! He made that decision because he wanted to fight for his own freedom. In other words he did not want to become a prisoner of wulin. That’s what happens to most people including myself!”, continued Bak Fung Wan with a sigh as he said the last sentence.

    “Father! I don’t understand!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew looking back at her father with a blank expression.

    Reaching to take his daughter’s hands into his own, Bak Fung Wan said, “Tin Kiew! Today are 16 years of age! To say that you’re old, you’re not! To say that you’re young, you’re not! Perhaps it is fate that you’ll endure what I’ve endured before you’re able to fully understand what I have said to you tonight”, replied Bak Fung Wan with all sincerity whilst looking affectionately at his daughter.

    “Tin Kiew, even if you don’t understand now! I want you to remember what I have told you tonight! Know also that your mother and I have fallen victim to wulin! If it were now possible for me to choose my own fate, I would choose to no longer participate in the matters of wulin. But it is too late for me know because I am Bak Fung Wan, the Gentleman Sword! I can’t escape this title!”, continued Bak Fung Wan with a long sigh.

    Sitting to the side, Bak Tin Kiew, did not understand what her father hand been talking about. So she remained silent and did not respond. At all times she put on an understanding face so that her father would not ask any questions. At this moment Bak Tin Kiew was very young and inexperienced in life. So how was she expected to understand her father’s logic.

    Hearing no response from his daughter, Bak Fung Wan, was filled with delight. He thought that his young daughter understood fully what he had been saying to her just now.

    Changing the subject Bak Fung Wan said, “I’ve actually got two presents for you tonight! In fact I should say one from me and one from your late mother!”.

    “Two presents?”, asked Bak Tin Kiew in shock.

    Reaching from behind his long white robe, Bak Fung Wan produced a long broad sword resting in its white sheath in his right hand. On the hilt of the sword were carved two butterflies. The handle of the sword was made of white ivory. It was clear that this sword had once belonged to Lin Chun Fa.

    “Father! It’s… It’s…”, mumbled Bak Tin Kiew in shock.

    “Yes! It’s your mother’s sword! But don’t thank me! You can thank your mother! It was agreed on the day that you were born that you shall receive this sword upon turning 16 years of age. So how can you ask me to deny the will of your mother!”, replied Bak Fung Wan with a warm smile on his face.

    Bak Tin Kiew was speechless and didn’t know what to say. So she hugged her father tightly to express her joy and delight. She had wanted to hold this sword ever since her mother died. It was as if it was a lifelong dream of hers had just been fulfilled.

    With a stern look on his face, Bak Fung Wan said, “Tin Kiew! I am only giving the sword to you for safe keeping! But I am still not going allow you to learn kung fu! That’s certain, okay!”.

    Bak Tin Kiew just kept on hugging her father. She did not know what to say at this moment.

    “Okay! Okay! That’s enough! I guess you’re now forgotten that I have another present for you”, said Bak Fung Wan as took out a small golden hairpin in the shape of a butterfly. This used to belong to Lin Chun Fa was well. He then clipped it onto her daughter’s hair before reaching for a mirror.

    Holding the mirror so that Bak Tin Kiew can look directly into it, Bak Fung Wan said with warm affection, “Tin Kiew now isn’t that lovely? You look exactly just like your mother!”.

    “Father, thank you!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew as she stared into the mirror. She noticed that she’s changed a lot these past few years. She had grown up indeed and did in fact start to look like her mother, though she now had few memories of her now. A little tear rolled down her cheeks as she suddenly felt saddened by the image in the mirror. It reminded her of the tragic death of her mother. She clutched onto the sword tightly.

    Placing the mirror back to the dressing table, Bak Fung Wan asked, “Tin Kiew, what’s the matter? Why are you crying all of a sudden?”.

    “I was thinking of mother!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew, as more tears rolled down her eyes.

    “Shh! Don’t cry! You’re now a grown woman and am no longer a little child!”, said Bak Fung Wan comforting his daughter.

    But Bak Tin Kiew just kept on crying so Bak Fung Wan stayed with her for another 15 minutes. After drying her tears Bak Tin Kiew decided to finally ask, “Father! Do you know who killed mother?”.

    “There are many rumours about how your mother died in wulin! However I suspect that none of them are true!”, replied Bak Fung Wan looking back at his daughter. They had never spoken much about this, as Bak Fung Wan thought that his daughter was previously too young. And won’t understand.

    “Father, why do you say that?”, replied Bak Tin Kiew. She was now very curious.

    “Because it is just too easy to blame Fung Lau Yin for your mother’s death! On the surface she would appear to be the most likely suspect as she had all the right motives”, replied Bak Fung Wan.

    Pausing for a moment he continued, “However! Life is not as clear cut as this. Events can never be taken at face value. Your mother made a lot of enemies not only with members of the Demon Cult, and unorthodox clans. But she made a lot of enemies with the orthodox clans as well!”.

    “Father! What are you saying?”, asked Bak Tin Kiew. She did not fully understand what her father had been implying.

    “Tin Kiew, I am saying that it is very probable that your mother was actually murdered by members from the orthodox clans!”, continued Bak Fung Wan.

    But before Bak Fung Wan could say any more, Yik Ching Fung had arrived outside and said, “Master, I have made the necessary preparations. 3rd junior apprentice brother and I are waiting your advice and counsel before we set off tomorrow”.

    “Okay, I’ll be right there!”, said Bak Fung Wan getting up to lave to join his two apprentices. He wanted to advise and council them before they set off in the morning.

    Turning his head back into the room, to cast a glance at his doughtier, Bak Fung Wan finally said, “I won’t be able to join you for diner tonight so good night and sleep well”.

    That night Bak Tin Kiew had dinner with the maid in her room. The maid had made all the necessary preparations for Bak Tin Kiew’s journey in the morning. She had packed Bak Tin Kiew’s clothes. Packed dried food and supplies. She also drew a rough map of China and all of the major routes and ports. So Bak Tin Kiew had all she needed for her long journey. She had planned to set off around about 5.00am in the morning when it was still slightly dark and everyone would still be asleep. That night she went to bed early around 8.00pm in the evening. She clutched her mother’s sword in bed, and fell into a deep sleep. Suddenly she felt a cold chill down her back and she heard a voice. It was the voice of her deceased mother again. She had the same nightmare that she has been having for the past two months. She woke up in cold sweat once more. Looking outside her window, Bak Tin Kiew, noticed that it was early morning. It was most probably now around 4.30am in the morning. Changing out of her nightgown, she wore her flowing green dress. She took out the blue moneybag from under her bed and swung the large rectangle bamboo basket containing food, supplies, and clothing over her shoulders. She clutched her mother’s sword. Her will was set and she was determined to avenge her mother’s death. A short time later she headed to the stables to untie her horse. Taking one last look at the great hall of Taishan, she rode off into the darkness and headed in the direction general of Kaifeng.

    End of Chapter 5.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  17. #17
    Senior Member Long's Avatar
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    Default comming up

    Sorry for the massive amount of typos and sentence structring in Chapters 4 and 5. I was trying to type way too quickly and will revise both chapters a little later. Also I decided to take away the flash back to the original duel at Taishan at the beginning of Chapter 6 as it did not really contribute much to the overall story.

    Please note also that the 'Black Dragon Lagoon' (or sometimes known as black dragon pool) is actually locate on the west side of Taishan (ie invincible west), and not the east of Taishan as I have stated in my chapter.

    What's coming up?

    Chapter 6 - The Mysterious 'White Maiden'

    Introduces the Demon Cult and the struggle for leadership. The first essential element of the story as they look to wipe out the orthodox clans who are currently in disarray. Yes Bak Tin Kiew is caught up in all this. Her journey to Butterfly Valley is a long and dangerous one...

    More twists and turns, awaits the reader...

    Chapter 6 should be up within the next couple of days. I have slowed down my writting pace somewhat and hope Chapter 6 will be like Chapter1,2,3 free of major flaws and inconsistencies.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  18. #18
    Senior Member douggilmour's Avatar
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    Default

    hey long, just a quick question, Is Bak Tin Kiew going to be the main character or Lok Gum Fa's son?

  19. #19
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    Default main character

    The main character is 'Yeung Yin Siu' the son of Lok Gum Fa and the Black Dragon Swordsman. I thought after chapters 1-4, with all the unresolved issues left in the orthodox clans, that it would be better to introduce thier Yeung Yin Siu from the prespective of someone else, ie another major character.

    Plus the first volume ie, Chapters 1 - 20, I am intending to call it, "The Black Dragon Swordsman - Rage and Revenge". So it has a lot to do with Bak Tin Kiew as well.

    Chapter 6, will be up sortly. Had a rest from writing on the weekend.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  20. #20
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    Default Chapter 6: The Mysterious White Maiden

    Chapter 6: The Mysterious White Maiden

    The night is late in the wilderness on the out skirts of Kaifeng. From a distance one can see a small campfire amongst the dense thicket of bushes and tall trees in the forest not far from a small river. Three horses have been tied to a wide rounded tree not far from the campfire. There happily grazing on the lush green grass below. On closer inspection one can see that there are three men sitting in a circle by the campfire. They are in the process of roasting what appears to be wild board meat that has been skewed onto the end of three short sticks held aloft the fire. The carcass of the dead wild board lies to the right side of the campfire. It has been skinned and chop into bits and pieces. All three men are wearing weathered white robes, and a red belt is tied around the waist. The crest of a half moon is emborided in red on the right chest region on their robes. A long white bandanna is worn around their heads, with the end tied at the back. Strapped to the left side of the three men’s waist are strange looking curved sabres in the shape of the half moon crescent. Their white robes are stained in dirt and mud. An indication they’ve travelled long and hard.

    The three men sitting by the fire appear to be in there mid 30s. Each of the men have a short black beard and moustache covering their rugged faces. They all appear to be a little tired and weary, as they sit by the fire with solemn faces. None of the men are speaking to each other, and fix their gazes onto the fire and the flesh. Apart from the sounds of sizzling meat and the crackling of the fire, it is dead silent.

    “Hmm… Very tasty!”, said the first man breaking the dead silence as he suddenly removed his short stick from the fire and started to take large bites from the piece of raw wild board flesh. Blood started to drip from the piece of flesh down onto the man’s chins. So the top of his white robe below the neck region is now covered in blood.

    “Brother Yu! That’s disgusting. The meat is still raw!”, protested the second man sitting by the fire as he observed the eating habits of the first man in disgust.

    “Brother Ma! Why do you think I suggested the idea we chop the wild boar’s flesh up into bits and pieces so that we can individually roast the pieces by ourselves, rather than roast the entire boar at once!”, replied the third man as he laughed out a loud, upon seeing the expression on the second man’s face.

    “Brother Chong! You’re the only one that knows my eating habits! But I enjoy the taste of raw meat and blood juice! There’s nothing on earth that can compare to it!”, replied the man named Yu, flashing a smile at both. His face looked very disgusting at the moment as both his face and lips had been stained with blood.

    A short while later the man named Ma removed his meat from the fire and started to eat indicating that he liked his meat medium rare. A long while later the man named Chong removed his stick from the fire and started to feats on the meat as swell. It was obvious that he liked his meat well cooked. By now the man named Yu had already started on a roasting a second piece of meat.

    “Brother Chong! Don’t complain after dinner that you didn’t have enough to eat, okay! It’s your own dam fault for being so slow!”, said the man named Yu casting a beaming grin.

    “Go ahead brother Yu! It doesn’t bother me! At the end of the day, that’s why I’m slim and you’re as fat as a pig!”, replied the man named Chong with a little laugh. It was all in good humour. The man named Ma was now laughing hard to his side.

    “I finally understand why he likes his meat raw! Fat as a pig! Ha! Ha!”, said Ma unable to contain his laughter.

    From the light of the campfire one could see that the man named Yu was indeed a very large and well rounded man. His face suddenly turned red, indicating that he did not appreciate the little joke that both men were having at his expense.

    “Brother Ma! Shut your stinky mouth! Or else I’ll shut it for you!”, shouted the man named Yu raising a fist in the air to indicate that he was dead serious.

    “Why only me? What about brother Chong?”, protested the man named Ma, indicating that it was unfair to signal him out for abuse alone when, the man named Chong was also involved.

    Glaring at the man named Ma, the man named Yu said with a serious look on his face, “Brother Chong and I have been sworn brothers for many years now. I therefore do not take what he said seriously as he was just joking with me. But you’re an outsider and I find what you’ve just said to be very rude and offensive! Especially after how I’ve treated you with good hospitality tonight! So I suggest you keep your mouth shut! Or else!”.

    The man named Ma kept silent and did not reply. Up until now he felt very welcomed and part of the group. But from the man named Yu had said, he now felt very much like an outsider and alone. He was now uncertain about the motivations of the two other men, even though they were supposed to be on the same side.

    “Eh! Brother Yu! No need to get upset. Brother Ma meant no harm! Besides we’re all here for a common purpose. Brother Qiu will be back shortly!”, said the man named Chong trying to change the subject.

    “Yes! He’s been gone a while now. I wonder if he’s got any news to report?”, asked the man named Ma feeling a little bit better.

    “Of course he’ll have news! I’ve known Brother Qiu for the past 16 years now and he’s never failed once to track down a person that we’ve been sent to capture!”, replied the man named Yu, whilst casting a glare back at the man named Ma. It was obvious that he still had not forgiven the man named Ma for his earlier comments.

    “I hope so! Our necks are on the line if he doesn’t find that person!”, rebutted the man named Ma. It was now obvious that the man named Ma was indeed not part of the group, but was never the less with them to attempt to find someone.

    “If you don’t believe in our abilities, then I suggest you find someone else!”, angrily replied the man named Yu.

    Just as the men were about to engage in a heated argument, the sounds of horse hoofs racing towards them could be heard. It appeared that the rider was now only about 5 minutes or so away from the three men.

    “Ssh! Be quite! Someone is coming”, said the man named Chong drawing his curved sabre from its sheath as he stood in an attacking position.

    “Brother Yu! You hide to the left behind a tree and I’ll hide to right behind a tree also. That way we’ll hide our numbers!”, said the man named Ma as he stepped to hide behind a tree.

    “Like I needed any advice!”, snickered the man named Yu as he hid behind a tree to his left.

    Moments later the rider and the horse in the distance approached the small camp fire. As he came closer one could noticed that it was another man wearing a white robe with red trimmings, and a white bandanna on his head.

    “Relax! It’s only brother Qiu!”, shouted the man named Chong calling out to the two others hiding behind the tree.

    As the two men stepped out from behind the trees, before returning back to the campfire, the man named Qiu had already dismounted from his horse and had tied it to a tree. He immediately rushed up towards the three men by the campfire. His face appeared to be full of excitement.

    “Brother Yu! Brother Yu! I’ve found her!”, said the man named Qiu as he reached the campfire.

    “Are you certain it’s her?”, replied the man named Yu with a look of uncertainty on his face.

    “It’s definitely her! It can be no other!”, replied the man named Qiu.

    “How can you tell? We need to be certain its her! We can’t afford a mistake!”, interrupted the man named Ma with a look of authority and seriousness in his face.

    “If brother Qiu say its her! Then it is that young lady we’re looking for! There’s no need to doubt his judgement. If you don’t trust us then you can find someone else to do your handy work!”, rebutted the man named Yu, whilst casting a glare back at the man named Ma.

    “Okay! Okay. Enough already!”, replied the man named Ma as he look apologetically at the man named Yu.

    Shifting his glance to the man named Qiu, the man named Ma asked, “Was she alone or was she with someone?”.

    “Strange! What could she be doing travelling all this way by herself? She’s always had someone by her side! Could you be mistaken?”, remarked the man named Chong to the side with a curious look on his face.

    “Brother Chong! I am not mistaken! It’s definitely that young lady we’re looking for!”, replied the man named Qiu looking a little annoyed that three men had questioned his judgement one the other.

    “Brother Qiu! Do you know where she was headed?”, asked the man named Yu.

    “It appeared to me that was taking the main road to Kaifeng!”, replied the man named Qiu.

    “Excellent! We can intercept her in the morning”, said the man named Ma, whilst stroking his beard. He had a wicked look in his eyes.

    “That’s right! We’ll make her suffer as well for making us come all this way to capture her!”, replied the three other men.

    “It’s settled then! Let’s mount our horses! We’ll ride to the main road and set up an ambush!”, said the man named Yu, walking towards the horses. The three other men followed him.

    Just as the three men were walking away from the campfire, a lady in white suddenly approached them from behind the campfire. It appeared as if she had been hiding behind one of the trees all this time, and had now decided to reveal herself.

    “Wait! You’re not going anywhere!”, said the lady in white with a chilling tone.

    The four men leapt in shock before turning around. What they saw amazed them. The lady in white before them, wore a long flowing white dress. She had a slim figure and elegant curves. To say that she was old, she did not appear to be old. To say that she was young, she did not appear to be young. Her face had the look of a woman in her mid 30s but her hair had now gone all white, indicating that she had lived a long time, or had been in great stress. No one could be certain from her appearance. Her hair was untied, and flowed down to her shoulders and over her back. She was quite an attractive lady. A plain white belt was wrapped around her waist. She carried two long swords in her left hand. Both swords were resting in a white sheath. However the head of a red wolf was carved into the hilts of one of the swords. This was an indication that she had some connection with the 7 Vixens. A pair of black butterflies were carved into the hilt of her second sword. An indication that she was also somehow connected to the Divine Butterfly Sect.

    As the Divine Butterfly Sect and the 7 Vixens were bitter rivals, all of the men stook in shock upon seeing the two swords. They did not know whether she was a friend or foe.

    “Who the devil are you?”, shouted the man named Yu to break the silence.

    “Who I am is not important!”, replied the lady in white in a chilling tone. She had a wicked look on her face. It was obvious from the way she spoke that she was not on the same side as the four men.

    “What are you doing here?”, shouted the man named Ma.

    “For the same purpose as the four of you!”, replied the lady in white.

    “You’re here to capture that young lady?”, asked the man named Yu in shock. Apart from the four of them he could never have imagined that there would be a 5th person looking for that same person they had been following.

    “Not capture! Find!”, replied the lady in white not willing to give away much information about her true purpose and intentions.

    “Don’t worry about her! She’s on our side. Lets go or we’ll be late!”, interrupted the man named Chong taking a step toward his horse.

    “Who said I’m on your side? And who said you could leave?”, said the lady in white, as she drew both of her swords and stood in an attacking position.

    “You’re not from the Demon Cult?”, asked the man named Qiu in shock. His face had turned pale. Never did he expect that non Demon Cult members would know of their plans.

    “Never you mind which side I’m on! But I won’t let you capture that young lady!”, replied the lady in white.

    “This matter is a private matter for the Demon Cult! I don’t see how this concerns you”, said the man named Chong, as he drew his curved sabre to attack. The other three men drew their curved sabres as well and prepared to attack the lady in white.

    “Of course it concerns me!”, replied the lady in white, as she thrusted out a strike with her wolf sword at the man named Yu, followed by another with her butterfly sword at the man named Ma.

    “Attack!”, cried the man named Chong as he swept towards the lady in white with his right leg, in an attempt to trip her. To his shock when his foot collided with the lady in white’s leg, her inner energy was far greater than he could have imagined, causing him to trip over on his backside.

    At this moment the man named Yu and the man named Ma struggled to defend the attack from the lady in white.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried the man named Yu as he had been stabbed through the heart by the wolf sword and slumped to the ground and died immediately.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried the man named Ma as he took a blow to pierced his body through the mid stomach region. He too slumped to the ground and died shortly after coughing up a mouthful of blood.

    The man named Qiu now thrusted a strike forward aimed for the lady in white’s left thigh. The lady in white blocked the curved sabre with her wolf sword. A loud ‘cling’ sound echoed through the forest and birds scatter from the tree tops. With a flick of her wrists the lady in white attack forward towards the man named Qiu in the mid chest region. Seeing the attack the man named Qiu tried to retract his curved sabre to block the blow. To his surprise it appeared that his sabre was trapped by the chi energy of the wolf sword and did not release itself. The butterfly sword of the lady in white was now only 3 centimetres away from his piercing his chest.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried the man named Qiu as the sword had penetrated through his body from the mid chest region. He coughed up a mouthful of blood and died instantly.

    At this moment the man named Chong had finally managed to pick himself off the ground. Turning to see that the three men had already died at the hands of the lady in white, his face turned pale. He was panic strickened and ran towards his horse in a last stitched attempt to escape with his life. Suddenly a swooshing sound could be heard through the air. It was coming directly from behind the man named Chong.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried the man named Chong as he turned around to investigate the swooshing sound from behind him. He had just been pierced all the way through the stomach by the wolf sword. He could be seen visibly shaking before coughing up a mouthful of blood. He immediately slumped to the ground and was twitching in pain. Indicating that he was barely alive at this moment.

    “Why?”, mumbled the man named Chong with almost his last breath.

    “Because I could not let you succeed! It affects the survival of the Demon Cult!”, replied the lady in white walking over to retrieve her sword.

    “So you are a senior member of the Demon Cult!”, mumbled the man named Chong, as he stopped twitching and died without a murmur.

    “Wrong!”, said the lady in white she retrieved her sword from the man named Chong’s body.

    Looking into the darkness ahead, the lady in white thought out aloud, “So she’s going to Kaifeng! I must intercept her! No time to waste!”.

    With this the lady in white could be seen releasing all of the horses that had been tied to the wide old tree. Three of them ran into in the wild and disappeared into the darkness. One of them remained and could be heard neighing. Indicating that the lone horse remaining had wanted to join his other three companions into the wild. The horse that had remained was white, so it was obvious why the lady in white had chosen this horse for the journey. She held onto the reigns, before mounting the horse, and giving it a kick to the side. The horse then rode of into the night towards the main road into Kaifeng. The lady in white rode the horse long and fast from late until the evening until the morning, determined to get ahead of the other young lady who had taken the main road. Soon the lady in white reached a small pavilion to the side of the main road leading to Kaifeng. A noodle street vendor had set himself up by the side of the road, next to the small pavilion. There were a dozen of small tables laid out underneath a big old willow tree. All of the tables were full with travellers busy eating a large breakfast before the long day ahead. There was only one empty table. Upon smelling the aroma of the steamed noodles, the lady in white could not help feel a little hungry. Looking up at the sky above, she estimated that it was now around 6.00am in the morning. Looking ahead at the main street she estimated that she was now only two hours from the city of Kaifeng.

    “She’ll definitely pass by here sooner or later today”, the lady in white thought to herself, as she dismounted her horse and tied it to a tree near the side of the pavilion.

    Walking over to the noodle street vendor the lady in white said, “Vendor, can you arrange for someone to bring water for my horse over there by the tree! Also I want two bowls of vegetarian rice noodles please”.

    The street vendor casted a suspicious look at the white horse tied to the tree and then back at the lady in white before saying, “Yes Ms, not a problem”.

    At this moment the street vendor gave a signal to a young looking waiter to get some water and feed the white horse tied to the tree. The young waiter disappeared, before running back moments later carrying a bucket of water that he had filled from the stream nearby and went over to feed the horse. But the young waiter did not come back immediately, but instead decided to examine the horse a little more closely. He then returned and whispered something in the street vendor’s ears. The lady in white did not appear to notice what the street vendor and the waiter was doing. She kept her gaze fixed on the road ahead. It was obvious that she was waiting for someone to suddenly arrive.

    At this moment the street vendor walked over towards the lady in white giving her a very suspicious look before placing two bowls of hot vegetarian noodles on the table.

    “Here you are miss, two bowls of vegetarian noodles, as promised!”, said the street vendor reaching out his hand for payment.

    “Here you are!”, said the young lady in white as she turned her gaze away from the main road, to take out a few small coins from her pockets before placing them into the hands of the street vendor. She then returned her gaze back on the main road, afraid that someone might sneak pass if she did not focus on the road for a long period. The street vendor walked back and forth to serve his other customers upon receiving payment.

    “Vendor, can I have some water for my horse please? I’ve been travelling all night and she’s now very thirsty! My horse is tied up to the tree over there next to that white one!”, the voice of a young lady could suddenly be heard saying to the street vendor.

    Turning around to the source of the voice the lady in white could see a young lady wearing a flowing green dress standing next to the street vendor. She was pointing with her index finger over to the same place that the young lady in white had tied her horse. The lady in green appeared to be very young. At most she was only 16 years of age. She was a short girl and was being dwarfed by the street vendor who stood around 5’11 tall. The lady in white then turned her head and started to eat her bowl of noodles, whilst keeping a watchful eye on the main street. It was now obvious that the girl in green had not been the person she had been looking for.

    “I would also like a bowl of steamed black duck noodles please! My tummy is rumbling from not having anything to eat!”, the young girl in green could be heard saying in a sweet innocent voice to the side.

    The lady in white could now hear the sounds of soft footsteps approach her from the side, but she decided to ignore it. She kept on eating and maintained her concentration on the main road.

    “Miss is this seat taken?”, the lady in white could suddenly her the voice of the young lady in green asking in a very polite tone. But she decided to ignore it and pretended that she did not hear what had been said. Her eyes were still glued to the main road.

    “Excuse me miss! All of the tables are full, so would you mind if I sat down here to rest?”, the lady in white could hear the young lady in green asking again in a polite voice. But once again the lady in white decided to pay no attention to the young lady in green.

    Right at this moment the street vendor returned with a hot bowl of black duck noodles.

    “Here you are miss. A bowl of steamed black duck noodles as you ordered!”, said the street vendor reaching out his left hand, whilst holding the bowl of noodles in his right hand.

    The young lady in green paid for the meal and took the bowl of noodles into her hand. She could then be heard asking, “Vendor, the tables are full and I have no where else to sit! I’ve asked this lady in white twice already whether she would mind me sitting here but she has not responded. What should I do?”.

    “Don’t worry about her! Just sit where you like! As long as you mind your own business, no one would get upset , okay. Also we wouldn’t want miss to be sitting over there eating with the horses would we!”, replied the street vendor with a smile as he pointed towards the pavilion where the majority of horses had been tied up.

    “Okay! Thank you, street vendor!”, replied the young lady in green as she pulled over a chair and sat directly on the othersider of the lady in white, who was still focused on the main road. The young lady in green ignored the young lady in white and ate her bowl of steamed black duck rice noodles, hurriedly. She finished in a few moments time and was not yet satisfied.

    Signalling her hand to the street vendor, the young lady in green could be heard saying, “Street vendor, I’d like another bowl of noodles steamed black duck noodles please!”.

    “Why, young miss! You do have a big appetite! Coming right up”, replied the street vendor. Moments later he returned with another bowl of rice noodles and placed it on the table.

    Reaching out with his hands to take payment for the meal, the street vendor could suddenly be heard asking in a curious tone, “Why little miss! You’re no from around here are you?”.

    “No, I’m not!”, replied the girl before resuming to eat.

    “May I ask where you’re from and what business you have in Kaifeng this time of year!”, said the street vendor whilst standing over the table and stroking his beard.

    “I’ve travelled far! I came from the foot of Taishan and am now heading to the city of Fengxiang in the Shaanxi province. I am just passing through Kaifeng to catch a boat down the Huang River!”, replied the young girl in green without giving any thought as to why the street vendor had taken a sudden interest in her.

    “Ah! So you’re an apprentice from the Divine Butterfly Sect! No wonder! No wonder!”, replied the street vendor upon seeing the pair of black butterflies carved into the hilt of the white sword that had been resting to the side of the left leg of the young lady in green.

    A sudden smile appeared on the lady in white sitting on the other side of the table. It was obvious that she had been listening into the conversation whilst keeping her focus on the main road.

    The young girl in green could suddenly be heard gasping out loud, “No! I’m not an apprentice of the Divine Butterfly Sect!”.

    “Strange! Then how did you come to be in possession of the precious butterfly sword? These swords are normally only carried by the personal apprentices of the Chief of the Divine Butterfly Sect through the generations”, replied the street vendor all the more curious.

    It was now obvious to the lady in white on the sitting on the other side that the street vendor was no ordinary street vendor, as he appeared to know far too much about the matters and affairs of wulin. The lady in white decided to put up her guard and channelled her inner energy to defend a possible ambush attack. Looking around on the other tables, she suddenly noticed that the people who had gathered were no ordinary travellers. They were strongly built and their eyes were sharp. An indication that they possessed excellent inner energy. The lady in white was now quietly curious as to what the 20 or so people had intended. Casting a quick glance at the young girl in green, one could notice that she was quite innocent looking and very inexperienced in the matters of wulin. In fact she did not even realise that she was now in grave danger.

    “Oh! The sword was a gift from my…”, replied the young girl in green before holding back her words. She was just about to tell the street vendor everything, when suddenly caught the wicked expression on the street vendor’s face. It was obvious that the young girl in green was none other than the Chancellor of Wulin’s daughter Bak Tin Kiew. It’s now been two weeks since she left Taishan. Being her first time roaming through wulin, she had travelled at a very leisurely pace to admire the scenery and often rested for the night at small Inns at small towns on her way to Kaifeng.

    Bak Tin Kiews’s natural instincts now told her that she needed to be cautious. Upon looking around at the other tables she did not notice anything strange about the various travellers that had gathered. But she could sense that the line of questioning from the street vendor was more than just mere idle chat to pass the time.

    Bat Tin Kiew was just about to continue, when suddenly a red blur could be seen running down the main road and headed towards the city of Kaifeng at great speed. In just 10 seconds the red blur had already travelled a great distance ahead and could now be seen running off into the distance, and had nearly disappeared from visible sight.

    “It’s her! It’s her!”, cried the street vendor out loud. He had a shock expression on his face.

    “Quick after her!”, cried the young waiter, as he raced towards his horse.

    At this moment the lady in white also stood up from the table and had intended to chase after the red blur. The street-vending store was suddenly filled with confusion. Bak Tin Kiew watched on in amazement not knowing fully what had just happened and what all the fuss had been about.

    “What are all these people doing? Where on earth are they now rushing off to?”, Bak Tin Kiew thought to herself.

    “Stop her! Stop Her! She’s not part of us. She’s working for the Demon Cult!”, cried the street vendor upon seeing that the lady in white had stood up and was about to chase after the red blur.

    Suddenly the 20 people who had been dressed as merchants, scholars, hunters, fishermen, waiters, and the street vendor became 20 swordsmen in weathered black robes with red trimmings. Each of the swordsmen wore a red cape that was flustering in the breeze. 17 of the swordsmen wore plain red capes and held a long black sword in their hands. One of the swordsmen had a black phoenix, another had a black panther, and finally the one dressed as the street vendor had a black bear, embroided onto the back of their red capes. These three were obviously the elite fighters of the group of swordsmen.

    “So it’s the ‘Black Bear Assassin’, ‘Black Phoenix Assassin’, and the ‘Black Panther Assassin’ of the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins! What an honour to meet you all!”, said the lady in white whilst cupping her hands.

    One could now see that the Black Bear Assassin was a tall and well-built man in his late 30s. He had been the one disguised as the street vendor. He was wielding a pair of large black axes in his right and left hand. The Black Panther was actually a medium built lady in her early 30s. She was the one disguised as the young waiter. She wielded a black whip in her right hand. Last but not least was the Black Phoenix Assassin, also a medium built female in her early 30s. She wielded a strange weapon in her right hand. It was a black phoenix claw at the end of a short stick. It was obvious that these three swordsmen were the youngest of the 13 personal apprentices of the former Chief of the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins. They were in the same martial arts generation as the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. They were now all in attacking position. Ready to battle the lady in white. 5 swordsmen had also surrounded Bak Tin Kiew as well.

    Taking a step forward towards the lady in white the Black Bear Assassin smirked, “Old hag! There’s no need for flattery! We know you’re working for elder Ma, the Rule Keeper, of the Demon Cult! Otherwise he wouldn’t have leant you his fastest white horse to pursue after that young lady in red!”.

    Obviously the elder Ma that the Black Bear Assassin was referring was the same person as the man named Ma who had died at the hands of the lady in white in the previous night.

    “You’re mistaken! Elder Ma and the ‘3 Snakes’ of the Demon Cult have been slained! I am not in league with them!”, rebutted the lady in white. Obviously the man named Yu, Chong, and Qiu were once known as the ‘3 Snakes’ of the Demon Cult.

    “Slained? Who slained them?”, asked the Black Panther Assassin in shock.

    “They were unfortunate to have come across me last night!”, replied the lady in white.

    “Oh! So I get it! You expect me to believe that you’ve slained elder Ma, and the 3 Snakes of the Demon Cult and out of good intentions stole one of their horses and came here to greet the young lady in red with no ill intentions in mind? I’m not three years old you know! And it’s also not the first time I’ve wandered through wulin! I’m not going to fall into your trap”, rebutted the Black Bear Assassin whilst casting a glare back at the white lady.

    “Believe it or not it’s your choice! I have told you the truth! Now out of my way as I have something important to do!”, replied the lady in white glaring back at the 20 swordsmen. She was not in a good mood for small talk as every second meant the red blur was going further and further away.

    “We’re not going to let you go unless you tell us who you are and where your allegiance lies!”, rebutted the Black Phoenix Assassin stepping forward with her black claw.

    Holding up her twin swords for all to see the lady in white said, “Here, have a look for yourselves! Do you know who I am now?”.

    Bak Tin Kiew could only see the sword with the two black butterflies carved into the hilt of the sword. Inwardly she thought to herself, “Ah! So she’s an elder of the Divine Butterfly Sect! Becoming an apprentice of hers is just as good as going to the Butterfly Valley itself! I’ll see if there’s a way to convince the lady in white to accept me as an apprentice!”.

    “So you’re the ‘White Maiden’!”, cried the Black Bear Assassin in shock as he leapt serval paces backwards. The Black Panther and the Black Phoenix Assassin also did the same. It was obvious that these people had feared the abilities of the White Maiden.

    “Impossible!”, cried the Black Panther Assassin.

    “Rumours have it that you died 40 years ago!”, cried the Black Phoenix Assassin in shock.

    “Ha! Ha! Ha! I decided for a change and went to live in Nepal for a couple of years. Who would have thought now that everyone thought that I had died! Ha! Ha! Really weird! Did anyone actually see me die all those years ago?”, rebutted the White Maiden.

    Smiling with a wicked look on her face she continued, “Also didn’t rumours say that the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ had died over 20 years ago in Chongqing after duelling with ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’. But isn’t there now a rumour that has been floating around for the past six months that says he’s still alive and has been seen in the Ghost City of Chengdu? Isn’t your Chief the Nameless Black Ghost Assassin and three of your other senior apprentices in Chengdu right at this moment trying to locate the Black Dragon Swordsman?”.

    Pausing for a moment the White Maiden said in a very calm voice, “Everyone in wulin knows that there will be a forum held at the Demon Valley on the outskirts of the city of Hennan in two months time to decide the leadership of the Demon Cult!”.

    “So what about it?”, replied the Black Bear Assassin folding his arms.

    “Rumours have it that there are three people contending for the leadership. Your Chief, Gwai Mo Ming, of the 13 Ghost Assassins. Miu Tit Sie, Chief of the Red Wolf Fang, and finally Tit Yum Ching, the 20 year old daughter of the previous Chancellor of the Demon Cult. I am correct?”, said the White Maiden.

    “For someone who’s only recently returned to China, you sure know a lot!”, remarked the Black Panther Assassin.

    “That’s correct! So what?”, replied the Black Bear Assassin, wanting to know the White Maiden’s true intentions.

    “Rumours have it that the former Chancellor of Wulin died without passing over his leadership. The Deputy Chancellor had also died some years ago. So according to the traditional Clan Rules of the Demon Cult. The new Chancellor will be determined by a vote amongst the personal apprentices of the Clan and District Leaders during Tit Hit Wong’s reign as Chancellor!”, replied the White Maiden with a smile.

    Counting with her fingers the White Maiden continued, “If I guessed correctly, at the moment Tit Yum Ching has 40 certain votes for the leadership. Miu Tit Sie also has a definite 40 votes. However your Chief, Gwai Mo Ming, only has a certain 37 votes at the moment. He needs another 3 definite votes to force a deadlock. According to the clan rules, when there is a deadlock, the leadership will be decided by a battle amongst the contenders and those who support them”.

    “When it comes to a battle, Gwai Mo Ming will stand a good chance of winning because he is backed up by the powerful 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins, and the 7 Vixens. However, Tit Yum Ching, will have the ‘5 Storms’ on her side and they are powerful opponents indeed! That’s why your Chief has sent you all over China to locate the 3 other elite fighters of the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassin and the 7 Vixens who have gone missing for the past 20 years,” continued the White Maiden.

    “Very clever! So you already know which three people we’re looking for then!”, said the Black Phoenix Assassin with a smile.

    “It’s very obvious that you’re trying to locate the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’, ‘Black Bat Assassin’, and Fung Lau Yin of the 7 Vixens. If your Chief finds all of them he has the 3 votes he needs for his leadership along with the top class fighters that will guarantee him victory”, replied the White Maiden. It was quite obvious that she was very knowledgable in the matters of the Demon Cult.

    Hearing Fung Lau Yin’s name being mentioned, Bak Tin Kiew’s heart filled with rage, but then she remembered what her father had said and decided to calm down. She was not 100% certain that her mother had died at the hands of Fung Lau Yin, so thought it was best to find out the truth first before prejudge people.

    “Ah! So these people are linked to the Demon Cult. But they don’t appear to be that bad. They haven’t attacked me yet, despite the fact that I’m alone”, Bak Tin Kiew thought inwardly.

    Although Bak Tin Kiew was surrounded by 5 swordsmen at this point in time, they appeared not to be attacking her as of yet because of the White Maiden.

    “Very good! Very good!”, praised the Black Panther Assassin.

    Talking a step forward and unfolding his arms, the Black Bear Assassin said, “But you still haven’t told us why you’re here and what you intend on doing!”.

    “With me here your Chief will only need to find another 2 definite votes to force a deadlock! Besides, it would be very difficult to find the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ and force him to attend the forum at the Demon valley. He has never been to a forum all his life. Nor does he care what happens to the Demon Cult”, replied the White Maiden. It was obvious that she also had allegiance to the Demon Cult and now supported Gwai Mo Ming in his quest to obtain the position of Chancellor of the Demon Cult.

    “You’re willing to support our Chief? Why? You also have ties with the orthodox schools!”, questioned the Black Bear Assassin with a suspicious look on his face.

    “Because your Chief is the only candidate who’ll keep the peace in wulin. He does not seek to conquer wulin and wipe out all of the orthodox schools!”, replied the White Maiden.

    “But the same goes for Tit Yum Ching! Why don’t you support her instead? Your lone vote would guarantee her victory!”, said the Black Bear Assassin.

    “True! However you’re forgetting that Tit Yum Ching is only a young girl at 20 years of age. She will be but a puppet Chancellor. The real rulers would be the ‘5 Storms’ of the Demon Cult. They harbour great ambitions and the supporters of Tit Yum Ching do not have the power to suppress them. That’s why I won’t vote for her!”, replied the White Maiden.

    “So this White Maiden is someone how also connected to the Demon Cult! But it appears that she’s on the side of the orthodox clans as well and her intentions seem to be good!”, thought Bak Tin Kiew inwardly, whilst keeping a watchful eye on the five swordsman surrounding her.

    Folding his arms again to relax, the Black Bear Assassin said, “Interesting! I have never thought of that before!”.

    “But why then are you looking for the young lady in red?”, asked the Black Phoenix Assassin.

    “Because apart from myself, she won’t listen to anyone else. Even if you people from the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins find her, it will all be in vain”, replied the White Maiden, looking across at the Black Phoenix Assassin.

    Turning her head across to the Black Bear Assassin, the White Maiden said, “Leave, Fung Lau Yin to me. I can guarantee that in two months time she’ll be at the Demon Valley to vote and support your Chief in his leadership claims! You people need to focus on finding Kiu Pin Fok, the ‘Black Bat Assassin’ instead!”.

    “I’m afraid it won’t be that easy! Even I don’t know where my 3rd senior apprentice brother has gotten himself to these days. Though he will heed my advice when we find him!”, replied the Black Bear Assassin shaking his head.

    “I heard from some Demon Cult members on the way here that the ‘Black Bat Assassin’ was last seen wondering the streets in Louyang at the moment! Why he left Chongqing and is now at Luoyang I cannot be sure!”, replied the White Maiden.

    “We don’t have much time left! We need these last two votes. Let’s split up and go our separate ways to find them before the Demon Cult and the 5 Storms find them! Otherwise we’ll be doomed come the forum at Demon Valley in two months time!”, continued the White Maiden with some urgency in her voice.

    “It’s settled then! We’ve see you at Demon Valley on the outskirts of Hennan in two months time”, replied the Black Bear Assassin has he cupped his hands together. Waving his hands to the other swordsmen, they headed for their horses.

    Pointing with her index finger at Bak Tin Kiew, the Black Panther Assassin said, “What about her? She may be connected to the Divine Butterfly Sect and has overheard our plans! Are we just going to leave her alive and wonder about freely?”.

    “You’re forgetting who I am. Leave her to me!”, replied the White Maiden holding up her white butterfly sword with the two black butterflies carved into the hilt of the sword.

    “Okay! As you wish!”, replied the Black Bear Assassin turning to leave. Moments later all of the 20 swordsmen from the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins mounted their horses. Following the lead of the Black Bear Assassin, they headed in the direction of the city of Luoyang, still in the Hennan province.

    At this moment Bak Tin Kiew was slightly relieved upon seeing that the five swordsmen that had surrounded her had left without causing any trouble. Had they actually attacked she would have found it difficult to against them. This despite the fact that she has been practising the one stance of the Shadow Fist, Shadow Kick and the simple breathing exercise to build up a small level of inner energy, along with the 3 ingenious stances from the Wudang sword art, for the past 14 days during her travels, she would still have been no match for the low level fighters of the 13 Ghost Mountain Assassins. Still feeling a little hungry, she walked over to the two big pots still boiling over the small fire below. She scooped up some noodles from one of them, and then stew and black duck meat from another into her empty bowl and returned back to the table and started eating again.

    The White Maiden stood with her arms folded, watching in amazement at the calm manner in which the young girl in green had just gone over to serve herself another bowl of noodles and resumed eating.

    “Surely, she must have at least suffered a fright at being surrounded by the five swordsman. But yet…”, thought the White Maiden inwardly. Suddenly she had an urge to know the identity of this young girl.

    Noticing for the first time, the long sword resting in its white sheath with the two black butterflies carved into the hilt, and the golden butterfly hairpin clipped onto the young girl in green’s think black silky hair, the White Maiden couldn’t help but ask, “Eh! Little girl, if you don’t mind me asking. How did you come to have possession of that butterfly sword, if you’re not an apprentice of the Divine Butterfly Sect?”.

    Bak Tin Kiew glanced at the White Maiden. She had an amazed and puzzled look on her face. She was amazed because earlier she had tried to capture the attention of the White Maiden and she totally ignored her. But now she was the one asking the questions. Puzzled because Bak Tin Kiew simply did not know why the White Maiden had wanted to know and whether she should respond or not.

    Pausing for a moment, Bak Tin Kiew thought inwardly, “Obviously the White Maiden is connected to the Divine Butterfly Sect, and does not seem to harbour any ill intentions. Otherwise I’d be dead by now! But I’m not going to tell her the total truth either. Just in case!”.

    “The sword was a gift from my late auntie, Heroine Lin!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew with an innocent smile.

    “Oh! So you’re related to Lin Chun Fa, the 2nd senior apprentice of Cheung Cum!”, replied the White Maiden with a slight smile on her face.

    The White Maiden had been away from China for over 40 years and did not realise that apart from Lin Man Tung, Lin Chun Fa had had no other siblings. So it was impossible for Lin Chun Fa to be an auntie of the young girl in green. The White Maiden however did come across news in Nepal that the ‘Iron Maiden’ Cheung Cum had 3 personal apprentices, and the one most renowned was Heroine Lin, because of her heroic deeds.

    Hearing no response, the White Maiden continued probing, “Little girl, may I have the pleasure of knowing your name?”.

    Bak Tin Kiew decided to pause for a moment and did not respond right away upon hearing the question from the White Maiden. She thought inwardly, “Father is probably sending apprentices from Taishan all over China in search for me at the moment. If I say my real name, then I would become very easy to find. Saying that my surname is ‘Lin’ is also not good, as it would link me back to my mother, and then father. That would still enable father’s apprentices to find me. Also I may come across some unwanted trouble because of uncle Lin Man Tung’s treachery. But what name should I use?…”.

    “My surname is Lok, and first names are Tin Kiew!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew with her head down, munching away at a piece of black duck meat. She feared that the White Maiden, would know that she had just told a lie, upon looking at her face. So she pretended to be calm and kept eating. She thought that using the surname of Lok was a good idea. It was obvious that Lok Gum Fa was her mother’s best friend, as she remembered what her mother had written on the smooth rock by the side of the Black Dragon Lagoon. So this would be a believable lie.

    “So you’re Lok Tin Kiew?”, replied the White Maiden. Her voice carried within in it a little of confusion. She recalled hearing someone had once mentioned to her in Nepal once that Cheung Cum had also had an apprentice named Lok who had married the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’. So she did not immediately question the young girl in green’s identity. It was possible for this apprentice named Lok to have a brother and so it would also not be unusual for the daughter of that person to be calling Heroine Lin auntie given the high probability that the two apprentices had become blood sisters. But her natural instincts told her that something was not quite right. But she had other matters at hand at the moment. She needed to locate Fung Lau Yin.

    Seeing the calm disposition of the young girl in green, the White Maiden assumed that she possessed top class kung fu and could look after herself. After a short while she finally said, “I’ve got some urgent matters to attend to! So take care. Until we next meet!”.

    “Wait!”, cried Bak Tin Kiew upon seeing that the White Maiden was turning to leave.

    “Why?”, replied the White Maiden turning around.

    “Because I’ve told you who I am and you’ve not told me who you are! To leave like that is not fair!”, protested Bak Tin Kiew. She wanted to know more about this White Maiden before deciding whether or not she should ask the White Maiden to accept her as an apprentice. This was something that has been burning on her mind for the past few minutes.

    “Oh! Just because you’ve told me all about yourself, doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to tell you who I am in return!”, replied the White Maiden with a smile. It was obvious that she wasn’t going to reveal her real identity that easily.

    “Okay! Fine! Don’t tell me then!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew as she turned away looking a little annoyed. She had always been polite yet this White Maiden did not seem to respect that. When Bak Tin Kiew was at Taishan, it was very easy for her to get information out of people, as all the apprentices and servants did not want to upset her.

    Seeing the annoyed look on the young girl’s face, the White Maiden finally said, “When I used to roam through wulin, people refer to me as the White Maiden. But you already knew that!”.

    “I meant to ask what your real name is and not what people refer to you as!”, cried Bak Tin Kiew still a little annoyed.

    “Name? My name is not important, and there are few people now alive who recognise it! But since you want to know, I can tell you that my surname is Fung, and first names are Mun Kit!”.

    “Are you on the side of good or evil?”, replied Bak Tin Kiew al of the sudden. To her this was an important question.

    “Good or evil? Good festers in the hearts of those that are evil, and evil festers in the hearts that are good. It is how we control these two forces which makes us what we are. One cannot be said to be good and the other said to be evil. At a slight push or nudge, those who were once good can suddenly be evil and those that are evil can be suddenly good. So you can say I that I am neither good and neither evil, but am an ordinary person! Just like anyone else!”, replied Fung Mun Kit with a smile.

    Bak Tin Kiew did not fully understand what Fung Mun Kit had just said. She continued with another probing question, “You’re obviously part of the Divine Butterfly Sect! But how come I’ve never heard about you before?”.

    “Maybe because its those people from the Divine Butterfly Sect who don’t want to recognise that I exist any more! So they’ve never mentioned anything good or even mention anything at all about me! There are actually very few people in wulin who know me, most of them actually think that I’m dead!”, replied Fung Mun Kit, still sounding a little vague. She loved talking in riddles.

    Taking a closer look at Fung Mun Kit for the first time, Bak Tin Kiew could tell that she was rather quiet old looking, but yet youthful in the face. She only looked to be in her mid 30s, however her head full of white hair indicated that she was a lot older than she appeared. From this she could gather that this Fung Mun Kit or the ‘White Maiden’ must have been one or two generations above her mother.

    “So you’re in the same generation as the ‘Iron Maiden’ Cheung Cum then? Are you not?”, guessed Bak Tin Kiew.

    A smile crept slightly across Fung Mun Kit’s face as she said, “Very good! I’m actually the Iron Maiden’s senior apprentice sister!”.

    This response puzzled Bak Tin Kiew as she had heard that the ‘Iron Maiden’ Cheung Cum was the previous Chief of the Divine Butterfly Sect before To Guk Fa. She had heard from her father that it was tradition that the elder apprentice of the Divine Butterfly Sect takes over as the Chief. The only reason why To Guk Fa had taken over as the Chief of the Divine Butterfly Sect from Cheung Cum, was the fact that Lok Gum Fa had been expelled and then assumed to be dead. Lin Chun Fa had married and lost 50% of her ‘maiden butterfly’ inner energy, and had also died before Cheung Cum decided to hand over her leadership.

    “Could it be that something had happened to the Divine Butterfly Sect over 40 years ago?”, Bak Tin Kiew thought inwardly.

    “So how come you never became the Chief of the Divine Butterfly Sect?”, asked Bak Tin Kiew with a puzzled expression on her face.

    With a serious expression on her face, Fung Mun Kit replied, “Who’s says that master never passed over the leadership of the Divine Butterfly Sect over to me? Perhaps it was someone who harboured evil intentions who challenged me for the leadership!”.

    “Are you implying that Cheung Cum challenged you for the leadership around 20 years ago?”, asked Bak Tin Kiew in shock. She had made up her mind to leave Taishan and join the Divine Butterfly Sect and become an apprentice of To Guk Fa so that she could learn kung fu to avenge the death of her mother. But she was now very intrigued to learn more about the history to the clan. She was now greatly worried because from what Fung Mun Kit has just said, the Divine Butterfly Sect may not be as heroic as she once thought it to be.

    “That’s correct!”, replied Fung Mun Kit.

    “But even so. You’re the senior apprentice and you had an order from your master that the leadership had been passed over to you!”, rebutted Bak Tin Kiew, not totally believing Fung Mun Kit’s side of the story.

    “Orders and rules can be broken to suit an individual when the time is convenient! There is a reason why Cheung Cum was able to overturn master’s order and subsequently expelled me from the Divine Butterfly Sect upon assuming the leadership. But that’s in the past now!”, replied Fung Mun Kit.

    Turning around to leave, Fung Mun Kit said, “You now know who I am, and you also know my name! I must get going now as I have something important to do!”.

    “Wait!” cried Bak Tin Kiew, getting up from the table and rushing over to the side of Fung Mun Kit.

    Turning around once more, Fung Mun Kit said, “What is it? Speak up! I am something urgent I need to do!”.

    Wasting no time Bak Tin Kiew said, “I wanted to ask you if you’ve taken on an apprentice yet?”.

    “Er! Taking on an apprentice? No never…”, Fung Mun Kit could be heard mumbling. She’s never taken on an apprentice before, and had not expected someone to ask this question. But upon looking at the young girl’s face before her she could guess what was on her mind.

    Pausing for a moment, Fung Mun Kit said, “So you want me to accept you as an apprentice? Are you sure?”.

    “The only reason why I am travelling to the Butterfly Valley is to learn kung fu from To Guk Fa. But it appears that they’re not as heroic or chivalrous as I had thought them to be! So I would rather learn kung fu directly off you if I could!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew with a smile.

    “What you don’t know any kung fu? What on earth are you doing travelling through wulin by yourself?”, asked Fung Mun Kit in shock.

    “Because I want to learn kung fu to avenge the death of my mother! I do not fear death or pain. I only fear dying without being able to avenge my mother’s death!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew with a determined look on her face.

    Fung Mun Kit could be heard giving a long sigh before saying, “Revenge! Revenge only brings you pain and grief. Your life will not benefit from it. I cannot, therefore, accept you as an apprentice for this reason. Goodbye!”.

    Fung Mun Kit had now walked over to her white horse and was just about to untie it, when the young girl suddenly the young girl attacked her with a stance of the Shadow Fist. Fung Mun Kit dodged to the left and easily avoided the blow. Then the young girl attacked with a Shadow Kick but Fung Mun Kit easily avoided that move too.

    “So this girl wants to prove that she has character and determination worthy to be an apprentice of mine”, Fung Mun Kit thought to herself as she dodged the weak attacks.

    Another thought flashed across Fung Mun Kit’s mind as she thought to herself, “But doe she have the skill, knowledge and intelligence?”.

    Fung Mun Kit suddenly drew her butterfly sword and her red wolf sword and attacked Bak Tin Kiew with a strike slashing towards the right thigh region with her butterflie sword. Bak Tin Kiew blocked that move down low and then twisted her wrist so that defence became attacked. Her sword now thrusted out at Fung Mun Kit’s right thigh. Fung Mun Kit blocked that move with her red wolf sword, and then the attacked towards the mid chest region with her butterfly sword. Bak Tin Kiew could not block the move as her sword was still connected with the red wolf sword.

    “Gotcha!”, shouted Fung Mun Kit as she placed the tip of the sword towards Bak Tin Kiew’s mid chest regoin before pulling away.

    Pulling away her sword, before standing back up straight, Fung Mun Kit said, “Your skills are too inferior to be wondering alone through wulin! I see that you have learnt some basic stances from both Shaolin and some ingenious stances from Wudang. These are useful against simple thugs and robbers. They might even bring down an unexpecting low to moderately skilled fighter, but are no use against a highly skilled fighter like myself, understand!”.

    Nodding her head to indicate that she agreed with what was being said, Bak Tin Kiew replied, “I apologise for attacking you, however this is the only way to show that I am serious about learning kung fu. Besides I did not ever imagine that I would be able to harm you as I’ve only been practising these moves for the last 14 days during my journey”.

    Staring at Bak Tin Kiew in amazement and wonder, Fung Mun Kit thought inwardly, “This young Lok Tin Kiew’s kung fu foundation is not bad. After just 14 days of practising she has been able to fully grasp the essence of the basic Shaolin and Wudang kung fu skills. Though her stances are a little rusty, she’s learnt them by herself without any guidance. Good apprentice material indeed!”.

    After a long while, Fung Mun Kit finally spoke up, “Little girl! I am heading to the Demon Valley to attend the Demon Cult’s annual general meeting in two months time! Are you afraid to come along?”.

    Bak Tin Kiew hesitated. She thought inwardly, “My father is the Chancellor of Wulin, peace keeper of all orthodox schools. Surely I would harm his reputation and that of all orthodox schools if it was discovered that I attended the Demon Cult’s annual meeting. The Demon Cult are so devious and wicked. I can’t go!”.

    Just when Bak Tin Kiew was going to tell Fung Mun Kit that she would not go to the Demon Valley, another thought flashed across her mind. She thought, “But before I left, father told me that nothing in life was as straight forward as it appeared. Also he mentioned that my mother may have in fact been murdered by apprentices from the orthodox clans. This White Maiden doesn’t seem like a bad person, and her intentions of going to the Demon Cult annual general meeting is to preserve peace in wulin. Surely this is considered to be a heroic deed. Since she has asked me to come along. I should not be afraid. Even if I were to die, it would have been for a good purpose”.

    “I’m not afraid! I’ll go to the Demon Valley with you”, replied Bak Tin Kiew in a very confident voice.

    Smiling, Fung Mun Kit said, “For a while there, I definitely thought you’d made up your mind not to come”.

    Leaping up onto the saddle of her white worse, Fung Mun Kit said, “Okay you can ride with me! I have some urgent business to take care of in Kaifeng. I’ll teach you the basics of self defence from the Divine Butterfly Sect, but that’s it!”.

    At this moment Bak Tin Kiew leapt onto the saddle of her horse as well. A delightful smile flashed across her face. Fung Mum Kit gave a kick to the side of the horse and it started dashing forward down the main street in the same direction that the red blur had headed. Bak Tin Kiew gave a kick to her horse as well and followed closely behind.

    They reached the city of Kaifeng in about two hours time. As they rode into the city of Kaifeng, Bak Tin Kiew could see the Buddhist Iron Pagoda stretching high in the sky in the distance ahead. The streets were full of bustling people, walking about here and there. There were various street performers and entertainers on the street busking for money. A small crowd of people circled around a young girl who was entertaining them by twirling six porcelain plates in the air with the three short sticks that she held in each hand. A lone swordsman was on the other side of the street demonstrating his kung fu. Loud claps and applause echoed back and forth through the street. There were various merchants and street vendors on the side of the street, selling various items and products. Bak Tin Kiew had never seen such a busy city and wonderful sight before. A beaming smile flashed across her face.

    “Wow! I never thought Kaifeng could be so busy! This is wonderful!”, remarked Bak Tin Kiew turning her head from one side to another trying to catch the performances of all the street performers that had gathered.

    “So you’ve never been to Kaifeng before! This city is rich in history. The grand palace used to be located in this city at the Wuchao Gate. Did you know that Justice Pao and the Yang general family also resided in this city?”, remarked Fung Mun Kit upon seeing Bak Tin Kiew’s glowing face.

    “I had no idea. I’ve never been away from home till now”, replied Bak Tin Kiew.

    “In that case, you should have a wonder around by yourself after we find a place to rest!”, replied Fung Mun Kit.

    They reached the city centre after around another 15 minutes of carefully riding through the busy main streets to ensure that they don’t injure any of the city dwellers walking below them.

    “We’ll stop and rest here!”, said Fung Mun Kit as she dismounted her horse and tied it to the base of a rounded pole in front of a place called the ‘Triple Fortune Inn’.

    Bak Tin Kiew also leapt off her horse and was about to tie it onto the base of a rounded pole as well, when a young stable boy rushed out from behind the entrance of the ‘Triple Fortune Inn’.

    “Ladies! Are you intending to lodging here for the night?”, asked the stable boy. He was dressed in dirty brown robes, and smelt of a foul odour, mainly as a result of spending too much time in the stables.

    “Yes! Infact I plan to lodge here for an entire month”, replied Fung Mun Kit as she headed into the reception area to book a room.

    Bak Tin Kiew followed closely behind with a puzzled look on her face. She was thinking to herself, “What an earth are we going to do here for one month?”.

    Holding onto Bak Tin Kiew’s horse and untying Fung Mun Kit’s white horse from the base of the rounded pole the stable boy said, “I’ll take care of both these horses for you. The stable is out back. Anytime you need your horses just tell the waiter. He in turn will advise me and I’ll prepare and bring the horses out front for you”.

    “Thank you, stable boy!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew turning back. She always thought it polite to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to people. Fung Mun Kit just kept on walking without acknowledging the stable boy.

    “Manager, can I book two separate rooms for the duration of 1 month please”, said Fung Mun Kit upon approaching a small counter situated to the side of the stairway leading up to the rooms.

    Glancing back at Fung Mun Kit, the stocky little hotel manager in his late 50s said, “Madam, you’re very lucky today. We have exactly just two rooms free at the moment. Many guests that have gathered here to lodge at this Inn this particular month! 80 taels please!”.

    Handing a note over to the hotel manager, Fung Mun Kit couldn’t help but ask, “It’s not so strange that so many people have gathered here in Kaifeng this time of year. However can you please tell me whether you’ve seen a large group of people dressed in white robes with red trimmings, and a half-crescent moon embroided on the right hand corner of their robes, lodging at this Inn or wondering through the streets of Kaifeng lately?”.

    “Large groups of men in white robes with red trimmings?”, replied the hotel manager a little puzzled. He was scratching his head. Finally he remembered something and said.

    “Oh! You mean those white robbed people who wear a white bandanna on their heads right?”, quizzed the manager.

    “Yes, they are the ones I am looking for”, replied Fung Mun Kit.

    Looking a little annoyed the manager suddenly asked, “Are you in league with these people?”.

    “No. I am just curious if they have passed through this way that is all”, replied Fung Mun Kit noticing that the unhappy look on the manager’s face. It was now obvious to her that the manager had seen this group of people recently.

    Leaning forward and looking slightly afraid, the manager whispered in a small voice, “There are about 20 of those men resting up stairs on the west side. They are an odd bunch and very ill tempered. They are nothing but bad news and troublemakers! If it weren’t for the fact that they possessed good martial arts, I would have kicked them out long ago. But you must understand I don’t want any trouble”.

    “I don’t intend on creating any trouble!”, replied Fung Mun Kit with a wicked smile. She had guessed accurately. There were 20 Demon Cult members lodging here at the Inn.

    Fung Mun Kit was just about to go up to her room to rest, when another thought had crossed her mind. She decided to ask, “Manager, have you seen a young woman wearing a red dress pass by here? She has a rather pretty face like mine, but she looks a little pale in the face. She would also be carrying a couple of twin blades, with the head of a wolf carved at the hilt”.

    “Ah! So the White Maiden is lodging here to look for Fung Lau Yin of the 7 Vixens”, Bak Tin Kiew thought inwardly as she stood to the side.

    “Someone wearing red who looks a little like you?, replied the manager with a puzzled look on his face. He rolled his eyeballs to the back of his head, twice as he said this. He was trying to think long and hard about whether he had seen this person or not.

    After a long while he finally spoke up, “Madame, I don’t think I have seen this person before. Someone who looks as beautiful as you is very rare indeed. I would definitely remember if I have seen her”.

    Smiling slightly at the praise from the manager, Fung Lau Yin finally said, “Well if you see someone like that can you get one of your waiters to tell me immediately!”.

    “Yes! Yes! Leave that to me!”, replied the manager with a big grin.

    “Ladies this way”, said a young waiter standing to the side with his hand out stretched.

    “Wait a minute! Who the hell are you? Where is the regular waiter Ah Fok?”, replied the hotel manager will an annoyed look on his face.

    The young waiter replied with his head down looking at the ground, “Ah Fok is resting at home. I am a new casual worker that ‘Ah Chu’ the Chef has just taken on. He said he would mention that to you later tonight!”.

    “Dam it! That Ah Fok is always hitting the town late at night and getting drunk. Showing up at work late, or not showing up at work at all. I’ll sack that lazy bum when he gets in tomorrow. Also that fat pig of a Chef, Ah Chu! Who on earth does he thinks he is making decisions without first consulting with me! I own this place and not him”, cursed the hotel manager out loud, momentarily forgetting that the two customers were still standing before him.

    “Okay! Okay! It’s obvious that you don’t want me working here so I’ll get going. It’s not like I needed this job, as I work down at the port for fisherman Ho and for blacksmith Chan as well. I am only doing this to help you whilst you’re understaffed. I’m giving up all of the precious time that I could have spent at the Dragon Tavern!”, cheekily replied the young waiter. He was now casually whistling and was skipping pass the hotel manager with a roguish look on his face.

    “What a little rogue! If he acted this way at Taishan, he would never get a job as a waiter or a servant! Who on earth does he think he is?”, Bak Tin Kiew thought to herself as she watched to the side.

    Fung Mun Kit on the other hand seemed to be very alert. The young waiter to seemed to her to be a little bit odd. For one poverty was very high in this region despite its grand splendour and various royal attractions. So it would be very difficult to find a stable job here and earn a good living. Yet this young man had just causally turned down a decent job, paying him good money and had claimed to be working in two other jobs as well.

    “Something is not right with this young waiter!”, Fung Mun Kit thought inwardly.

    One could see that the young waiter was a man in is early 20s and of medium hight. His round face was covered in dirt and mud. A sign that he had probably been out fishing in the morning. Despite the muck on his face, one could tell that he was quite handsome. A torn and weathered brown robe covered his medium built body. It carried a slightly fishy odour. His feet were bare and covered in mud as well. His hair was a total mess.

    “Why you little rogue! If I wasn’t understaffed today, I would send your backside flying out of this door! But since you’re here you can at least show the young lady to their rooms. Now get out of my sight!”, shouted the hotel manager.

    “Whatever! I’ll be gone tomorrow and don’t think that I’ll come back! You could get down on your knees and bow down to me three times and I still won’t be coming back!”, replied the young waiter as he walked up the stairs.

    He had now walked to the top of the stairs with Fung Mun Kit and Bat Tin Kiew following closely behind. He suddenly shouted back to the hotel manager, “Old man! Which rooms are these two ladies to stay at?”.

    “What did you call me? You little rouge?”, replied the hotel manager.

    “Well I can’t call you ‘young man’ can I? You’re now in your late 50s, so what’s wrong with calling you an ‘old man’? Would you prefer to be called ‘old hotel manager’ instead? Would that suit you? Obviously I’m new here and can’t possibly know which rooms you’ve booked for these two young ladies!”, replied the young waiter.

    The old hotel manager can be heard simmering, down stairs. He could only manage, “Why you little scoundrel! I’m going to…”.

    The manager was going rain down a number of curses, but realised that it was not going to do the reputation of his hotel any good. He calmed himself down before saying, “The last two rooms on the left”.

    “How very polite! I don’t think he had it in him!”, remarked the young waiter with a sly smile.

    Turning to Fung Mun Kit and Bak Tin Kiew, the young waiter said, “This way please!”.

    He lead Fung Mun Kit and Bak Tin Kiew to the east wing of the Inn. He walked all the way down to the end and stood outside of two rooms.

    “Here are you rooms! Enjoy your stay”, said the young waiter turning to leave.

    “Thank you”, replied Bak Tin Kiew. But the waiter did not acknowledge her and kept on walking.

    At this moment Fung Mun Kit stepped to the side of the young waiter and put her foot out to trip him. A loud ‘bang’ sound could be heard as the young waiter hit the floor face first.

    He struggled to pick himself off from the floor before falling down again. He protested, “Old hag! That’s not very nice! I’m only doing my duty to show you to your rooms! How have I offended you”.

    “So he doesn’t know any kung fu! Maybe he’s just a rouge after all!”, Fung Mun Kit thought to herself, though she still had her suspicions.

    “My master didn’t mean any harm! It’s so narrow here, so you just managed to trip by mistake!”, Bak Tin Kiew rushed in to say, not knowing that Fung Mun Kit had intentionally set out to trip the young waiter to test his abilities. She bent over to lend a hand to help the young waiter back onto his feet.

    The young waiter looked rather annoyed at this point. He slapped away Bak Tin Kiew’s hands, and picked himself up. Looking at both Fung Mun Kit and Bak Tin Kiew, the young waiter said, “Oh! So I understand. The old one is the master and the young one an apprentice! So you two know kung fu!”.

    “Just so typical! You people who know kung fu are all the same! Picking on the weak and defenceless people. You are no different than those 20 white robbed swordsman staying in the west hall”, continued the young waiter. Not totally satisfied.

    Fung Mun Kit, had no time to argue with this waiters so she said, “Little girl, once you’ve had a chance to settle down, come into my room. I will begin instructing you in the arts of the Divine Butterfly Sect! I don’t have much time!”.

    “Yes, master!”, enthusastically replied Bak Tin Kiew as she immediately went into her room to un pack and settle in.

    The young waiter was still brooding outside. After a while he could be heard, saying, “Typical! How very typical! They have insulted me and yet I get no apology! Just wait until they need my help!”.

    The young waiter soon disappeared. Moments later Bak Tin Kiew went to the other room to see Fung Mun Kit, who immediately began instructing her on the basics of the Divine Butterfly sword art, and inner energy. They would spend time together for the next 3 weeks practising various moves. Bak Tin Kiew was a quick learner and managed to grasp a lot of the principles and theories behind it stance and the purpose for which they were being used. Her inner energy however developed very slowly as predicted. Her stances were also a little rusty, but that was to be expected from a beginner.

    Fung Mun Kit would spend the mornings, afternoons, and early evening instructing Bak Tin Kiew in the arts of the Divine Butterfly Sect non-stop. She would disappear late in the evenings from around 12.00am in the morning to roam through the city for signs of Fung Lau Yin. But for the past three weeks Fung Mun Kit was unable to locate any bit of evidence to suggest that Fung Lau Yin was staying in Kaifeng. She could not even find one single human body that had been drained of blood. That would be a trademark that Fung Lau Yin was in town. This greatly troubled her. She had seen her run in the general directions of Kaifeng, so was sure that she was in the City. She had also seen that the Demon Cult members who had lodged at the ‘Triple Fortune Inn’ had been roaming through the city for the same purpose and could not come up with any evidence to suggest that Fung Lau Yin was resting in the city. Another week passed by, but produced the same result. There was only 4 weeks left until the annual general meeting of the Demon Cult so Finally Fung Mun Kit was getting very impatient. Finally she decided to search elsewhere.

    After supper one evening, Fung Mun Kit finally said, “Tin Kiew! I have been search for Fung Lau Yin for the past month and have been unable to locate any evidence to suggest that she is in Kaifeng! I am planning to leave Kaifeng tonight and head to Luoyang in an attempt to find both Fung Lau Yin and Kiu Pin Fok. But I want you to stay here and wait a while. If you happen to see a young woman in red who looks similar to me pass through here, all you have to do is send the message to Louyang by the pigeons.”.

    Handing over a couple of kung fu manual scripts and a Demon Cult command insignia, Fung Mun Kit continued, “Your kung fu has developed to a standard that I won’t have to worry about you being caught by common thugs and robbers. However you’ll still need to practise hard if you want to be able to deal with moderately skilled fighters. So I am leaving these to you! Learn them well. We’ll meet up in three weeks time at the ‘Golden Dragon Inn’ in Hennan! If I am not there, make your way to Demon Valley yourself. All you need to do is present this insignia upon reaching the Demon Valley and no one will dare harm you. Take care!”.

    Before Bak Tin Kiew even have a chance to respond and say thanks, a white blur dashed out of the door and was gone. Moments later one would hear the sounds of horse hoofs from the stable, as a white horse and white rider galloped off into the darkness. Bak Tin Kiew sat in her master’s room for a while with a stunned look on her face. Seeing that her master was gone mad her feel a little sad. She decided to go outside and take a walk along the graden to clear her head near the stables. Just as she was walking out of the room she noticed a red blur suddenly dashed into the first room located on the side of the west wing.

    “Could this person be Fung Lau Yin?”, Bak Tin Kiew thought to herself.

    Gathering up enough courage, Bak Tin Kiew leant against the door so that she could hear the conversations going on inside.

    She could hear the voice of a woman asking, “What’s been going on since I left? Have those 20 Demon Cult members uncovered your identity?”.

    The voice of a young man replied, “Auntie! Those 20 men are as dumb as a herd of cattle! They won’t be able to recognise me! I’ve been spitting in their beer, peeing on their beds, and stealing all of their money. Yet they still don’t realise that anything is wrong! All they’ve been doing is blaming each other and arguing amongst themselves over those incidents. So don’t you worry about me! I can take care of myself”.

    “Why you little rogue! You are nothing like your father! At least he was decent. You’re more like your Uncle! Why I am going to beat him up the next time I see him! Teaching you to behave like that! Is there anything else that you saw that I should be aware of?”, replied the voice of the woman.

    “Nothing! Except there are these two weird people staying in the last two rooms in the east wing. It was a master and an apprentice. The master who was a white haired woman dressed in white robes. She was rather interesting!”, replied the young man.

    “Why what was so interesting about her?”, asked the woman.

    “Auntie, in a way she looked very much like you. Except that she has more white hairs on her head!”, replied the young man in a cheeky voice.

    “Why you… you… What else was interesting about her?”, continued the woman, obviously not wanting to engage in a battle of words with the young man.

    “In one hand she carried a white sword with a red wolf carved into the hilt of the sword. A white sword with two black butterflies was carved into the hilt of the other sword”, replied the young man.

    There was dead silence in the room all of a sudden.

    “Could it be her?”, the woman could be thinking to herself out loud.

    “Who?”, the young man could be heard asking.

    “Did you see where’s she gotten to?”, asked the woman ignoring the comment of the young man.

    “I saw her riding out of the stables just now. It appears that she’s heading to Louyang!”, replied the young man.

    “Good work! That’s where I’ll be headed. Besides I’ll have to go there to meet up with your uncle anyway. It’s really weird that he suddenly left Chongqing like that! Chongqing is like his stomping ground!”, remarked the woman.

    “Could it have something to do with the rumours about the return of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ in Chongqing?”, asked the young man.

    “You don’t know that much! Your Uncle and the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ were friends. Even if that rumours are correct, there is no reason for your Uncle to leave like that and flee to Luoyang overnight. There’s obviously more to this than we know!”, replied the woman. Her voice carried a little bit of concern.

    “Auntie, what are you implying?”, questioned the young man.

    “I was suspicious when I heard that the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ had returned. After the recent events, I am sure that this ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ is not Yeung Tin Lung, but an imposter”, replied the woman.

    “How do you know?”, asked the young man.

    “Because your uncle and I saw Yeung Tin Lung die 20 years ago at the Chongqing Port. Though I was never able to check the pulse of the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ and his wife. I have a feeling they passed away not long after we left”, replied the woman.

    Changing the subject, the woman could be heard saying, “I’ve got to go and track down that white haired maiden. So look after yourself and I’ll see you at Demon Valley on the outskirts of Hennan in around 3 weeks time”.

    “Sure auntie, no problems. See you then!”, the young man could be heard saying as the footsteps could be heard racing out of the window. Moments later the room was once quiet again.

    Bak Tin Kiew slowly walked away and returned to her room. She was thinking to herself, “That woman must have been Fung Lau Yin. I will send a message to master tomorrow to say that the young woman in red will be heading to Luoyang also and to be careful”.

    Bak Tin Kiew was just about to lie down and rest when another thought ran through her mind, “Who was that young man in the room? Why did he call that woman auntie? Also how did he manage to spy on master and I for the past few weeks without any of us noticing?”.

    Soon Bak Tin Kiew rested for the night and feel into a deep sleep. She had planned to wonder through Kaifeng in the morning to admire the scene. She wanted to visit places like the Dragon Pavilion, Memorial Temple of Justice Pao, and the Iron Pagoda. She had been busy practising kung fu for the past month that she hadn’t stepped a foot outside of the ‘3 Fortune Inn’ by herself during the day. So tomorrow was her rest day to admire the splendour and scenery at Kaifeng.

    Bak Tin Kiew woke up around 8.00am in the morning the next day. She did the usual things like wash her face and had a small breakfast which the waiter brought up to her room. Putting on a flowing yellow dress and picking up her butterfly sword, Bak Tin Kiew decided to leave the ‘3 Fortune Inn’ and wonder around by herself. She walked down the main street headed towards the market. She wanted to take care of one particular task first before going sight seeing. Having found a pigeon massaging service Bak Tin Kiew raced up to the owner and said, “Sir, I would like to deliver a message to my master in Luoyang. Is that possible?”.

    “No worries. All I need to know is a name and the Inn that she staying at in Luoyang. Just 2 taels thanks!”, replied the pigeon trainer.

    Bak Tin Kiew was just going to reach into her pockets to take out two taels to pay the man, when she noticed that her money bag had gone missing.

    “Did I lose it on my way here? Or did I leave it at the hotel?”, she thought inwardly.

    Bak Tin Kiew immediately raced back to her hotel room from the market. But to her surprise she did not find her moneybag. Cold sweat dripped down her back and she felt a slight panic. She had always had money by her side, but now she had none. She had lost it all. It was lucky that her master had paid up to one month’s rent for the room. Otherwise she would now be in deep trouble.

    Many thoughts ran through Bak Tin Kiew’s mind at the moment like, “How can I survive in a city without money? How can I travel to Hennan and the Demon Valley to meet up with my master with no money? What I am going to do for food?”.

    Bak Tin Kiew wanted to burst out in tears right at that moment, but she managed to hold them back realising that it wasn’t going to do any good. She remembered that she had a horse, and various other items that she could sell for money. Without giving it another thought, Bak Tin Kiew, wrapped up all her valuable items that she had carried with her, into small carry bag and headed to the stables to take her horse. She had no idea how much money she needed, or the current market price for many of her items, But was sure that the various merchants in Kaifeng were all honest folk, and would therefore treat her fairly and thus pay the market price for all her items. A smile flashed back across her face again, as she started feeling a little bit better.

    End of Chapter 6.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

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