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Thread: The Black Dragon Swordsman

  1. #61
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    Originally posted by douggilmour
    I wasn't talking in general, I was talking about this exchange:



    That last line there, who's one? is it Yeung interpreting her answr or u, as the narrator, telling the reader how she was delivering her answer?
    Oh, that. It is the narrator telling the reader how she was delivering her answer.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

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    great chapter, and very unexpected twist (actually a couple of them). I hope you can post soon and let us know the surprise!

    One comment I wanted to add was that I find it weird that a sector who's internal energy depended on being a virgin would marry off 2 of it's top apprentices, and that the headmaster has the "choice" to be single. The sector doesn't seem to have a lot of survival logic.
    Last edited by Demitre; 04-13-04 at 11:38 AM.

  3. #63
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    Default Divine Butterfly Sect

    Originally posted by Demitre
    great chapter, and very unexpected twist (actually a couple of them). I hope you can post soon and let us know the surprise!

    One comment I wanted to add was that I find it weird that a sector who's internal energy depended on being a virgin would marry off 2 of it's top apprentices, and that the headmaster has the "choice" to be single. The sector doesn't seem to have a lot of survival logic.
    Prehaps I'll need to make it clearer when I edit my story in the second draft once I have finished the skeleton 1st draft. Or include a background like JRR Tolkien of each clan ect...

    It is a clan rule that Chiefs of the Divine Butterfly Sect are supposed to remain a virgin and not allowed to marry during thier reign (I realise I haven't mentioned this anywhere). Once they hand over the leadership they may do as they wish - however thier youth would have been wasted by then.

    When Cheung Cum was the Chief she had actually wanted to groom Lok Gum Fa as the next Chief. She did not want to marry her off. It was only when she discovered that her favorite apprentice had fallen for the Black Dragon Swordsman that she decided to bethroth her to the Gentleman Sword - to save her clan face. But Lok Gum Fa ended up defying her orders eloping with the Black Dragon Swordsman on her wedding day - causing great shame to Cheung Cum and also led to the death of Bak Tin Fei.

    Thus when the Gentleman Sword met and sought the hand of Lin Chun Fa in marriage in Chongqing - Cheung Cum could not refused. She had caused the Gentleman Sword great shame and wished to rid herself of the blame for the death of Bak Tin Fei. That was the only reason why she agreed. I have more to this story in later chapters as we explore the Gentleman Sword more closely. Thus To Guk Fa became the Chief.

    There's a side story to To Guk Fa which I'll reveal in the upcoming story. Cheung Cum named her apprentices, Lok Gum Fa, Lin Chun Fa, and To Guk Fa. Though they had Fa in thier names, each were unique. Cheung Cum did not love To Guk Fa as much as her two other apprentices. That's why she was a little bitter towards the other two. She wasn't the best figther either.

    Thus when To Guk Fa took personal apprentices, she gave them all the surname of 'Yuk' to indicate that she loved them equally. And she wish her personal apprentices to treat each other like family members. She spoilt her apprentices with care and love as her master Cheung Cum never showed or display that much love towards her. Thus Yuk Wah and Yuk Ling became spoilt and didn't concentrate on learning martial arts. To Guk Fa did not discipline them enough (unlike Cheung Cum). That's why the clan's skills have deteriorated.

    Yuk Long on the other hand is her own person. She doesn't share the same level of friendship as Yuk Wah/Yuk Ling. Like To Guk Fa, Yuk Long is an outsider of the 3 Jade Maidens - but unlike To Guk Fa - for the better. The thing troubling on her mind is that she's being groomed as the next CHief. It's not something she wants. But that's for the later chapters to explain...

    Cheung Cum's generation including, Fung Mun Kit will also be explained a little later down the track - she's actually the clan's best figther! Her apprentice is Bak Tin Kiew. THere's a reason why I have done this as will be explained later in the chapters...(so stayed tunned)
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

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    Default Re: Divine Butterfly Sect

    Originally posted by Long
    Prehaps I'll need to make it clearer when I edit my story in the second draft once I have finished the skeleton 1st draft. Or include a background like JRR Tolkien of each clan ect...

    It is a clan rule that Chiefs of the Divine Butterfly Sect are supposed to remain a virgin and not allowed to marry during thier reign (I realise I haven't mentioned this anywhere). Once they hand over the leadership they may do as they wish - however thier youth would have been wasted by then.

    When Cheung Cum was the Chief she had actually wanted to groom Lok Gum Fa as the next Chief. She did not want to marry her off. It was only when she discovered that her favorite apprentice had fallen for the Black Dragon Swordsman that she decided to bethroth her to the Gentleman Sword - to save her clan face. But Lok Gum Fa ended up defying her orders eloping with the Black Dragon Swordsman on her wedding day - causing great shame to Cheung Cum and also led to the death of Bak Tin Fei.

    Thus when the Gentleman Sword met and sought the hand of Lin Chun Fa in marriage in Chongqing - Cheung Cum could not refused. She had caused the Gentleman Sword great shame and wished to rid herself of the blame for the death of Bak Tin Fei. That was the only reason why she agreed. I have more to this story in later chapters as we explore the Gentleman Sword more closely. Thus To Guk Fa became the Chief.

    There's a side story to To Guk Fa which I'll reveal in the upcoming story. Cheung Cum named her apprentices, Lok Gum Fa, Lin Chun Fa, and To Guk Fa. Though they had Fa in thier names, each were unique. Cheung Cum did not love To Guk Fa as much as her two other apprentices. That's why she was a little bitter towards the other two. She wasn't the best figther either.

    Thus when To Guk Fa took personal apprentices, she gave them all the surname of 'Yuk' to indicate that she loved them equally. And she wish her personal apprentices to treat each other like family members. She spoilt her apprentices with care and love as her master Cheung Cum never showed or display that much love towards her. Thus Yuk Wah and Yuk Ling became spoilt and didn't concentrate on learning martial arts. To Guk Fa did not discipline them enough (unlike Cheung Cum). That's why the clan's skills have deteriorated.

    Yuk Long on the other hand is her own person. She doesn't share the same level of friendship as Yuk Wah/Yuk Ling. Like To Guk Fa, Yuk Long is an outsider of the 3 Jade Maidens - but unlike To Guk Fa - for the better. The thing troubling on her mind is that she's being groomed as the next CHief. It's not something she wants. But that's for the later chapters to explain...

    Cheung Cum's generation including, Fung Mun Kit will also be explained a little later down the track - she's actually the clan's best figther! Her apprentice is Bak Tin Kiew. THere's a reason why I have done this as will be explained later in the chapters...(so stayed tunned)
    Ah ok, thank you for clarifying. When I was reading the story, I thought Emei was very shrewd in its reasoning for hating the Butterfly sect. As a reader, I thought it made great sense, but you don't usually see this reasoning in wuxia novels, it's usually orthodox vs unorthordox, so it was a breathe of fresh air that they were able to see through the whole thing.

    With your explanation, it becomes even more obvious. Cheung Cum forgos the usuall "forbid them to see each other" and brought in a third party, probably hoping to borrow a hand to kill as the saying goes. Maybe she even wants to be chancellor.

    Maybe you should clarrify a little bit on whther Cheung Cum tried the "forbid to see" route first, because it doesn't make a lot of sense for her to give up a good apprentice right off the bat.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Re: Divine Butterfly Sect

    Originally posted by Demitre
    With your explanation, it becomes even more obvious. Cheung Cum forgos the usuall "forbid them to see each other" and brought in a third party, probably hoping to borrow a hand to kill as the saying goes. Maybe she even wants to be chancellor.

    Maybe you should clarrify a little bit on whther Cheung Cum tried the "forbid to see" route first, because it doesn't make a lot of sense for her to give up a good apprentice right off the bat.
    I have written 5 pages which deals with the fight at Taishan between Bak Tin Fei and the Black Dragon Swordsman. If you read back through the threads, I had intended to open Chapter 5 with this flashback when Bak Tin Kiew was sitting at the Black Dragon Lagoon admiring the lake. But the 5 pages was told from the Gentelman Sword's point of view - so it didn't make sense that Bak Tin Kiew could have understood what the Gentleman Sword was going through at the time.

    It gives you an insight into what the Gentleman Sword was thinking at the time. How he wasn't really happy about the marriage - he was throughout the beginning of the ceramony fixing his eyes on Lin Chun Fa instead. He was an honorable man at that time caught between his own will and his father's will. It also explains why he had decided to use the 'exquistite snake sword'.

    As for Cheung Cum, you were very much right. She had indeed intended to lend a sword (two swords in fact - she knew Unrivalled East would attend the wedding) to try and kill the Black Dragon Swordsman. At that time she hated all men. Memories of how her heart had been broken when she was 16 years old stirred in her mind. She did use the 'forgo seeing the Black Dragon Swordsman' with Lok Gum Fa and actually banished her to meditate for an entire year and 6 months in a cave at Butterfly Valley.

    As will be explained later when Yeung Yin Siu finds the Divine 9 Dragon inner energy. The Black Dragon Swordsman had actually refined his skills, above and beyond the level taught to him by his master, so that he could detect all sorts of inner energy at a 300 metre raduis. He had a purpose and reason why he refined his skills to such an advance level. It nearly drove him mad and crazy. He thus was able to sneak up to the Butterfly Valley, follow Lin Chun Fa one day and located Lok Gum Fa. All he wanted to do was to be with Lok Gum Fa. His skills improved because of the love and the rage he felt when Lok Gum Fa suddenly no longer came to visit him at thier usual secret place. Everytime an apprentice or Cheung Cum came up to deliver lunch/dinner he would be able to detect with his inner energy thier presence and hide. So they were never caught. In the end the two decided that they would escape and elope but were eventually caught when they became so tired that both of them ended up falling alseep at the same time. Thus they could not detect the danger. The Black Dragon Swordsman could have fought but Lok Gum Fa gave herself up not wanting to harm Lin CHun Fa and To Guk Fa. Thus Cheung Cum reached the decision to bethroth Lok Gum Fa to someone else, someone powerful.

    You never know - I'm still trying to find the right place for this 5 pages. Might even be the prologue because it ends with the Black Dragon Swordsman and Lok Gum Fa fleeing from Taishan with a whole host of people giving chase.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

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    Default Re: Re: Re: Divine Butterfly Sect

    Originally posted by Long

    You never know - I'm still trying to find the right place for this 5 pages. Might even be the prologue because it ends with the Black Dragon Swordsman and Lok Gum Fa fleeing from Taishan with a whole host of people giving chase.
    Well, no one knows who YSS is yet, so when they find out, a lot of people will blame him for being unorthordox; and being the chanchellor's dauther, I am sure her father would object somewhat to the relationship. Or you could have the father support her while the rest of wulin shuns her. Either way, her father could explain the story then.

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    Is it me or does the Divine Butterfly sect don't sound colloquial(sp?) or sound right? Pai Shen Hu Die? (excuse my poor mandarin)
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

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

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    Originally posted by Suet Seung
    Is it me or does the Divine Butterfly sect don't sound colloquial(sp?) or sound right? Pai Shen Hu Die? (excuse my poor mandarin)
    You may be right... When I translated it back to cantonese/english, I have it as "Wu Dip Shun Gow".
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

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    Yeah, even as Wu Dip Shun Gow, it still sounds a bit odd.

    Sorry, I haven't been folllowing the story but is this more of a womanly or feminine clan or something? I've never heared of a Butterfly clan before and it sounds odd either way you put it. Hehehe sorrie for the trouble. Just curious.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

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

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    Default Chapter 15: Swordsman from the Himalaya

    Chapter 15: Swordsman from the Himalaya

    The last few days of summer in Kaifeng are always busy. The air is filled with the pleasant scent of the season and the aroma of hot noodle soup cooking on the side of the street. Many travellers and tourists rush through the streets to visit the Memorial of Justice Pao and the Iron Pagoda whilst the weather is still good. It’s now around 15 minutes to lunchtime. A number of local tradesman and labourers could be seen walking down a stone slab road that extended all the way to the Wuchao Gate west of the town. An old shopfront stood at the corner of the street. Two large clay dragon statutes were placed on either side of its gate. The large yellow silk banner hung aloft the gate bore three huge words in black that read “The Dragon Tavern”, all written in a bold. One could see that the Dragon Tavern was full of people at this moment. All of the tables and chairs had been taken. The many people inside were at this moment laughing and drinking whole heartily amongst themselves.

    On closer inspection, one could notice that there were very few locals who were currently sitting inside the tavern. All of the people who had gathered were mostly warriors of wulin and carried some kind of weapon in their hand. Two men wearing white robes with red trimmings were sitting together at a small table to the corner of the tavern. A red half-crescent moon was embroidered on the top right hand corner of the robes, indicating that these men were from the Demon Cult. One of the men wore a red bandanna on his head and the other wore a green bandanna. They were none other than Red Flame and Green Earth. Across another long table at the centre of the tavern sat eight swordsmen wearing light blue robes with white trimmings. Eight broad swords, containing a ying yang at its hilt, rested on the table. These swordsman were obviously from Taishan. Three of the men wore a light blue rectangle hat on their heads. They were the 3 personal apprentices of the Gentleman Sword, Yik Ching Fung, Ling Wu Mun, and Hua Ling Do.

    Towards the entrance sat eight female warriors around a rounded table. Seven of them wore a veil to cover the lower portion of their face. All of them wore silk dresses of various colours. Long broad swords with two black butterflies carved into the hilt of the sword rested on the table. These female warriors were obviously from the Divine Butterfly Sect. One of the females sitting on the table was an old Toaist Priestess. A white dust pen rested on the table before her. This was none other than the ‘Iron Maiden’ Cheung Cum. One could now see that the female who sat next to her wore a white dress with dark blue trimmings. It was none other than the ‘Moon Maiden’ To Guk Fa. The ‘3 Jade Maidens’ sat next to their master. They were all drinking herbal tea. None of them were drinking wine.

    There was a lone swordsman wearing a yellow robe with black trimmings standing at the bar. A tiger was embroidered on the top right hand corner of his robes. He looked to be a man in his mid 30s. A long beard and moustache covered his thin face. A black phantom mask was worn to cover the left side of his face. He was at this moment keeping a watchful eye on the patrons gathered at the Tavern. He had a rather wicked look about him, and no one dared stand next to him except for a man in plain red robes who stood 3 paces away. The man in red robes was rather tall and skinny, and looked to be in his late 20s. One could see that a large green dragon was embroidered across the front and black of the robes of red swordsman. He carried a pair of twin swords in his right hand. The swords were curved at the end like that of a hook. A rounded piece of jade hung down from his right waist. He wore a black rectangle hat on his head. A peacock feather rested on the right of the hat. It was obvious that this swordsman was from the Royal Court of the Ming Government. He was at this moment leaning across the bar having an in depth conversation with the barman. There were various other swordsmen and warriors gathered inside.

    “Waiter! Please bring me another jug of the finest red wine! Hurry up!”, suddenly shouted a scholar in grey robes as he slammed a fist against the table. His voice was rather loud and allowed him to be heard above the chattering crowd. Many of the patrons turned to cast a side-glance at the scholar. But they all resumed drinking upon noticing that he carried no weapon in hand. It appeared to them that he was just a local scholar who didn’t any know kung fu.

    A young waiter wearing a torn brown robe rushed up to the table. Looking directly at the scholar in grey robes, he said, “Sir! You’ve already had 20 jugs of wine today! Any more and you’ll be drunk!”. As a waiter this young man was concerned about the health and safety of all his customers. He knew the scholar had drunk too much for the day already despite the fact that it was only lunchtime.

    One could now see that the eyes of the grey scholar had become totally glazed. It looked as if he was having trouble seeing properly. His face and nose had turned a reddish complexion. He emitted a kind of foul and intoxicating odour. It smelt like beer or red wine that had gone off for weeks. The waiter nearly spewed up upon smelling the foul aroma. It was obvious that the grey scholar was very drunk at this moment. He had been drinking since the tavern opened at 8.00am in the morning. The table was full of broken wine cups and broken clay jugs. It was a total mess.

    Not totally satisfied by the waiter’s earlier response the grey scholar struggled to stand up from the table. His body was now swaying left and right as he stood. Like a boat drifting in rough tides. Slamming 20 taels of silver on the table, he said, “What! Don’t you think I have enough money to pay? Well here’s my payment!”.

    Pointing an index finger towards the direction of the wine cellar and grabbing the waiter gently by the throat he said in a threatening tone, “I’m a regular patron here! Your boss depends on my business each and every day! How dare you not serve me! Now get me some wine boy! Don’t give me any nonsense about being drunk! I’m very thirsty! Go quickly now! Or else!”.

    The waiter shrugged his shoulders whilst casting a glance at the barman. He nodded to indicate to the waiter to serve another jug to the grey scholar. It was obvious that the barman recognised the grey scholar. Besides the barman was only concerned about making money. He couldn’t care less if the scholar in grey robes had one too many. But the barman was also slightly nervous at this moment upon noticing the many warriors that had gathered. He knew the temper of the scholar in grey robes well and didn’t want any trouble. Picking the 20 taels of silver off the table, the young waiter said, “Sir! Okay, I will get you another jug of wine. Please let go of me!”.

    Releasing his grip from the waiter’s throat, the grey scholar said, “Wait! Just because I’ve had a few to drink, doesn’t mean I can’t count! 20 taels are worth four jugs! I now want four jugs instead of one! Hurry up boy!”.

    The waiter shrugged his shoulders once more before giving a long sigh. He said, “Okay! Okay! Four jugs! I’ll be right back!”, before going down to the wine cellar. Moments later he returned and placed four large jugs of wine on the table. He then proceeded to serve his other customers.

    “Excellent wine! Excellent wine!”, praised the grey scholar as he broke the seal to the first jug and smelt the sweet flagrance.

    Reaching around on the table the grey scholar could not find a small wine cup from which he could drink from. They were all broken. He cursed slightly as he picked up the jug of wine before leaning back and opening his mouth to scull all of its contents down his throat. He finished in around 30 seconds. A loud ‘clank’ sound echoed through the tavern as he dropped the empty wine jug onto the floor. It smashed into bits and pieces. Moments later he picked up the second, third, and final jug before sculling all of its contents. A loud ‘bang’ sound echoed through the tavern as the scholar in grey robes suddenly dropped face first onto the table upon finishing the fourth jug of wine. It was obvious that he had passed out. He was now laying motionless as he leant over the table.

    “Ay! Pity! What a pity!”, remarked a grey swordsman upon noticing that the grey scholar had sculled the four jugs of wine in quick succession and had passed out as a result. The grey swordsman was sitting at a table for two with a young girl around 7-8 years of age. A short green bamboo stick, and a long bamboo pen rested on the table before this man. A small rectangle bamboo basket containing various scrolls rested on the floor next to him. He was none other than the great Calligraphy Swordsman, Du Fu. The girl was none other than his young apprentice, Ah Sing.

    “Pity? Why? Master I don’t understand!”, remarked Ah Sing whilst looking at the drunken scholar in grey robes.

    “Those who drink wine like water do not drink for enjoyment! Therefore they can never appreciate the grand splendour and taste of the wine! So they should not be drinking at all! It’s a total waste of four jugs of fine wine!”, remarked Du Fu whilst shaking his head. He took a sip from his own wine cup upon making this remark.

    Ah Sing remained silent. She was drinking herbal tea and thus did not understand what her master has just said. After a while she decided to ask, “Master, do you know who that young scholar in grey robes is?”.

    Smiling slightly, Du Fu replied, “Of course! He was enrolled in the Royal Medical school in Southern China. But he wasted his university days by spending all of his time down at the tavern to make a name for himself. He is the one they call, ‘Thousand Cups Drunkard – The Lucky Doctor’, Wah Yek Si!”.

    Ah Sing was just about to ask Du Fu another question, when she suddenly noticed that he had raised his hand in the air to indicate to her to remain silent. Du Fu then leant back in his chair to take up a casual pose. He poured another cup of wine for himself before fixing his gaze at the entrance of the Dragon Tavern. There were two strange people approaching the tavern.

    One could now see that a tall well built man around 27-28 years of age had arrived at the Dragon Tavern. He had a rounded face, but one could see that he was rather handsome. The expression on his face seemed very indifferent. He looked neither happy nor sad. He stood around 6’0 tall. A plain white robe was wrapped around his gigantic frame. A plain white cape was worn over his shoulders and was flustering gently in the breeze. He carried a heavy looking sword in his right hand. It was 10cm wide, and around 100 cm long. It was thick in the middle and thin at the edges. The sword was resting in a white sheath. A cloud of white mist surrounded the hilt of the sword. His hair was neatly combed and tied up into a bundle at the back. A rounded white marble cap held his hair in place. He had an air of noble pride about him as he walked.

    He carried a long rope in his left had. He was pulling it as he walked. The rope was wrapped around the waist of a very tiny and short girl wearing a torn green dress. She carried a long broad sword in her right hand. A small black cloth had covered the hilt of the sword. A white mask covered the top portion of the face. The young girl tried her hardest to resist being pulled along by the white swordsman, but her inner energy wasn’t as advanced.

    “Waiter! A table for two please!”, shouted the white swordsman as he entered the tavern before tugging the rope hard with his left arm. The young girl in green entered the tavern moments later.

    The young waiter raced up to the white swordsman before saying, “Sir! I’m terribly sorry! But the tavern is full at the moment! Please come back another day!”.

    “What! I’m afraid that I can’t do that! I have an appointment with someone at this tavern at 12.00pm today! I’m not leaving! You must find me a table! Understand?”, said the white swordsman in a cold and chilling tone whilst taking a glance around the room to observe the surroundings.

    “But… But… But…”, mumbled the young waiter in brown robes whilst shrugging his shoulders.

    Pointing a finger at the table occupied by members from the Divine Butterfly Sect, the white swordsman said, “This is a tavern! Yet these people are drinking herbal tea! They’re not drinking wine or beer! Please ask them to leave! I’ll sit here!”.

    Smiling, Yuk Long, waved her hands to the waiter before saying, “Waiter! I would like a jug of red wine please!”.

    “We’re drinking now! So you have no right ask us to leave this tavern?”, remarked Yuk Long whilst casting a side glance at the white swordsman.

    The white swordsman did not reply. He was neither angered nor upset by those comments. He still looked very indifferent. He scanned around the room once more with his razor sharp eyes. He kept a very cold and ‘icey’ disposition. Like a piece of white snow.

    “That’s right! I’d also like a jug of wine!”, agreed her master, To Guk Fa, whilst casting a glare at the white swordsman.

    “Humph! Bloody tourists! Always think they own the country!”, snickered Yuk Wah and Yuk Ling underneath their breaths whilst casting an unapproving look at the white swordsman.

    Sounding very nervous the waiter said, “Yes! Two jugs of red wine coming up shortly!”. He was afraid that the white swordsman might lash out upon hearing those comments. He noticed that the white swordsman was holding a young girl as a hostage and thus realised that he was not a good person. But the white swordsman did not take any action. Instead he was still scanning around the room.

    “Sir! I’m not trying to be difficult! But you must leave! This tavern is full at the moment!”, said the waiter whilst turning nervously to the white swordsman.

    “Wait! I don’t believe you, when you say that the tavern is full!”, shouted the white swordsman whilst holding his hands up in the air.

    He then fixed his gaze at a table for four at the centre of the tavern. Three of the seats were currently empty. A drunken scholar was laying face first on the table. Pointing with his index finger towards that particular table, the white swordsman said, “What about that table over there? It’s virtually empty except for that young scholar! But he’s passed out at the moment and you should probably throw him out! I’ll sit over there then!”.

    “Sir, we can’t throw him out! He’s a regular here and owns that particular table that he is resting on! You’ll have to ask that scholar if it’s okay for you to sit there!”, replied the young waiter in brown robes before walking towards the wine cellar to retrieve two jugs of wine for members of the Divine Butterfly Sect.

    “Fair enough! I doubt he’ll refuse!”, replied the white swordsman.

    Dragging the young girl along with him, he soon approached the table occupied by Doctor Wah. Cupping his hands, he said in a loud voice, “You there! Is it okay if I sit at this table?”.

    But he heard no reply. All he heard was soft snoring from the young scholar before him. So he asked again, “Young man! If you object to me sitting here just shake your head! Otherwise I’ll assume that it’s okay to sit down!”.

    Hearing no response, for a second time, the white swordsman decided to sit down. Pulling out a chair form underneath the table for the young lady in green, he said whilst pointing to the chair, “Sit down! Now!”.

    The young girl in green sat down at the table without objection. She knew that her kung fu were not as advanced as the white swordsman. Most of the warriors in the tavern quietened down upon noticing that the white swordsman had entered. They knew that the young girl in green was the white swordsman’s hostage, and they were thus a little outraged. Being members from orthodox clans, many of the warriors in the tavern had immediately wanted to intervene. But they did not as the young girl in green did not appear to be in a life-threatening situation at the moment. So many of them decided to wait until they found out a little bit more as to the identities of the white swordsman and the young girl in green before intervening. They knew it was not wise to rashly intervene into another’s business without first knowing what’s going on.

    “Waiter! A jug of red wine please!”, shouted the white swordsman as he took out a couple of rice buns from his travelling bag.

    “Yes sir! Coming up!”, shouted the young waiter in return as he disappeared down to the wine cellar once more.

    Passing a white rice bun over to the young girl in green, the white swordsman said, “Here! Take this! You must be starving!”.

    The young lady in green immediately grabbed onto the white rice bun before shoving it down her mouth. She had always been a big eater, and somehow managed stay slim and thin. She was still very hungry but knew that she would not get anything else to eat for quite a while. Looking up at the white swordsman, she decided to ask, “Who are you? Why did you capture me as a hostage and who are you waiting for?”.

    At this moment the waiter return before placing a jug on red wine before the white swordsman. The white swordsman poured a cup of wine before downing it in one gulp. He replied, “Who am I? My surname is ‘Fa’, and first names are ‘Fei Sit’!”.

    “Fa Fei Sit? Who on earth is Fa Fei Sit? Never heard of him before!”, thought the young girl in green inwardly.

    Pausing for a moment he continued, “Why did I capture you and who am I waiting for? I captured you because I want to duel with someone! It’s the same person that I’m waiting for! I’m waiting for your brother Mo Yung Bak!”.

    Suddenly there was a hush in the tavern as everyone channelled their inner energy to try their best to catch the entire conversation between the white swordsman, Fa Fei Sit, and the young lady in green. In fact it was now obvious that Fa Fei Sit’s hostage was none other than Bak Tin Kiew, who he captured from the Golden Dragon Inn a few days ago. Everyone in the tavern now became curious upon hearing the name Mo Yung Bak being mentioned. It was wide known throughout wulin that the ‘Mo Yung’ family possessed great martial arts ability. But they have throughout the generations been very secretive about their allegiances. It was rumoured throughout wulin that Mo Yung Bak was amongst the top 10 fighters on the Central Plains of China. In fact his skills were considered to be just a level below that of the Gentleman Sword. His ‘essence counterattacking strike, iron palms, and iron sword was well renowned. But no one had ever met him before as he was a master in disguise and was able to impersonate anyone he wished in wulin. Also whenever he murdered someone, he had used his opponent’s own kung fu against them. So people in wulin could never know whether that person had committed suicide or died at Mo Yung Bak’s hands.

    The young swordsman wearing red robes appeared to become very interested in finding out more about the identity of the white swordsman and the young lady in green. He walked from the bar to the side of the tavern to be closer to the table to observe them.

    “My brother, Mo Yung Bak!”, gasped Bak Tin Kiew out loud whilst taking a glance around the tavern herself. She noticed that members of the Divine Butterfly Sect, and Taishan Sect had gathered at the tavern. She recognised that it was Doctor Wah who was passed out on the table they were sitting at. She also noticed Du Fu and Ah Sing on the table next to them. Bak Tin Kiew became slightly nervous at this point as she did not want to reveal her real identity yet. She knew that Yik Ching Fung and the others would never let her out of their sight if they discovered who she was.

    Pausing for a while to catch some air she continued, “No you’re very much mistaken! I’m not Mo Yung Bak’s sister! Please let me go!”.

    “What! You’re not Mo Yung Bak’s sister, Mo Yung Kiew? Then who are you? Why were you staying in Mo Yung Bak’s room at the Golden Dragon Inn?”, asked Fa Fei Sit. Though he was slightly shocked by her comments, he was not totally convinced that she was telling the entire truth.

    When Fa Fei Sit had initially captured Bak Tin Kiew, he was certain that she had been Mo Yung Bak’s sister. He had asked the hotel manager about who had been staying in the room with Mo Yung Bak. The hotel manager told him it was Mo Yung Bak’s sister, Mo Yung Kiew. So he immediately sealed all of her pressure points, including her vocal pressure points to prevent her from screaming. Bak Tin Kiew had been unable to speak for the past two days as a result. Fa Fei Sit had only decided to release her pressure points before arriving at the Golden Dragon Inn. They never spoke much during the past two days. Fa Fei Sit was a man of relatively few words.

    “I’m Lok Tin Kiew! I’m not related to Mo Yung Bak!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew whilst casting another glance around the room.

    Upon hearing the name, ‘Lok Tin Kiew’, Hua Ling Do and Du Fu immediately recognised her as the young lady who had been travelling with Fisherman Ho. But they decided to delay taking action as they wanted to find out the identity of the white swordsman first. None of them had ever heard of the name Fa Fei Sit before. So they were unsure as to his abilities and where his allegiances were.

    “Lok Tin Kiew?”, remarked Fa Fei Sit out loud to himself.

    Noticing that the young girl in green before him was wearing a white mast to cover the upper portion of her face, he said, “Somehow I don’t believe you!”.

    Stretching his hand out to remove the white mask he continued, “Why are you wearing a mask? You’re hiding something!”.

    “Oh no!”, gasped Bak Tin Kiew out loud upon noticing that the white masked had been removed from her face.

    “Ha! It’s little Miss Bak!”, shouted Ling Wu Mun as he stood up from his table before unsheathing his sword.

    “What are we waiting for? Attack formation!”, shouted Yik Ching Fung as he waved his hands in the air. The eight Taishan swordsman immediately surrounded the table with their swords pointed in an attacking position.

    “Let little Miss Bak go! Or else!”, demanded Yik Ching Fung as he walked forward towards the white swordsman.

    “Why should I let her go? Who is she?”, asked the white swordsman as he sat at the table whilst calmly drinking his wine. He did not appear at all concerned that he had been surrounded by the eight swordsman wearing light blue robes.

    Striding forward, Hua Ling Do cupped his hands before saying in a polite tone, “Greetings! I’m Hua Ling Do, the 3rd senior apprentice of Bak Fung Wan, the Chancellor of Wulin! This young lady is his daughter, Bak Tin Kiew! We do not want to cause any trouble! We would appreciate it if you immediately released her!”.

    “Bak Tin Kiew! So she’s Lin Chun Fa’s daughter!”, gasped Cheung Cum and To Guk Fa together as they watched the various events taking place before them. Yuk Long motioned to stand up to assist the Taishan swordsman, but To Guk Fa grabbed her hand whilst shaking her head. Indicating that it was not yet an appropriate time to intervene. Cheung Cum nodded her head to indicate that it was a good idea to wait before taking any action.

    “Ah! So this is the Chancellor’s daughter! No wonder! No wonder!”, remarked the white swordsman out loud whilst casting a glance a the pretty rounded face before him. He had also noticed that all of the warriors who had gathered was now starring at him. They were all intent on saving the Chancellor’s daughter. The only two swordsman who did not appear to be concerned were the Demon Cult members quietly sitting towards the corner, trying their hardest to mind their own business.

    After a while, Fa Fei Sit, thought inwardly, “It’s not a total loss then! If I can’t challenge Mo Yung Bak to a duel then I’ll challenge the Gentleman Sword instead!”.

    Turning to face Hua Ling Do before shifting his glance across to Yik Ching Fung, he continued, “Young man! You have very good manners! Unlike that other wild dog in front of my eyes!”.

    “Why you!”, interrupted Yik Ching Fung looking very annoyed.

    He was about to charge forward when, Hua Ling Do stretched out an arm to prevent him from taking any further action. He said, “Senior apprentice brother Yik, don’t behave so rashly! Little Miss Bak is in his grasp. We’re here to ask for her release! We’re not here to cause trouble!”.

    “Please let little Miss Bak go!”, continued Hua Ling Do as he turned his attention back on the white swordsman before him.

    Taking another sip of wine, Fa Fei Sit said, “Let her go? I’m afraid I can’t do that as I’ve gone to so much trouble to catch her! Since she’s the Chancellor’s daughter, why don’t you get your master to come here personally to ask for her release!”.

    Turning to face Yik Ching Fung again, Fa Fei Sit continued whilst snickering a little, “But the three of you are not worthy to be asking me to release this young girl! Do you think I’m afraid just because you out number me?”.

    “What a devil! Attack!”, shouted Yik Ching Fung whilst waving his hands into the air. He directed the formation at the centre. Five swordsman attacked whilst three swordsman defended.

    Fa Fei Sit immediately sealed Bak Tin Kiew’s pressure points before unsheathing his sword. One could now noticed that his word was entirely white. It appeared to be made of snow and a thick cloud of white mist surrounded it. The sword was very cold around the core. Fa Fei Sit leapt up from the table to avoid the five strikes aiming for his chest. Hua Ling Do attacked from the left, Ling Wu Mun from the right, and Yik Ching Fung from the centre. Fa Fei Sit twisted left and right to avoid the blows. He suddenly leapt over the five swordsman attacking him before to charging towards the three swordsman who specialised in defence and the back of the formation.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried the three swordsman out loud as they were struck by a palm across the chest. They immediately felt very cold upon being struck. Their pressure points had been sealed and they could not move.

    “Ha! The Frost Palms!”, shouted Yik Ching Fung upon recognising the palm attacks.

    “Frost palms!”, remarked all of the warrior in the tavern together as they observed the fight before their very eyes. All of them knew that during his generation, Lin Sap Sam, had used the ‘frost palms’ and the ‘frost sword arts’ to claim the title of ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’. So they became very intrigued that this swordsman knew the ‘frost palms’. Some of the warriors immediately had the thought of murdering the white swordsman named, Fa Fei Sit, and claiming the manuals for themselves.

    “So he’s the one who’s stolen the Frost Palms and the Frost Sword Arts!”, shouted Ling Wu Mun as he launched continuous attacks towards the lower stomach region of Fa Fei Sit.

    “Stolen! The Frost Palms and the Frost Sword Arts originally belong to the ‘Fa’ family of Nepal! I, Fa Fei Sit, did not steal them!”, protested Fa Fei Sit as he blocked the attack with his snow sword.

    Suddenly the sword in Ling Wu Mun’s grasp froze as a result of the chi energy being emitted through the snow sword. A loud ‘clang’ echoed through the air moments later as the sword shattered like ice into thousands of pieces. Ling Wu Mun was struck across the chest with a frost palm moments later. He coughed up a mouthful of blood as a result before crashing on the floor. He no longer had the strength to fight as his pressure points had also been sealed by the palm strike.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried another two swordsman from the Taishan Sect moments later as they were struck by a palm across the chest. Their pressure points had been sealed as a result of the strike.

    Yik Ching Fung launched his sword forwards. Flicking his wrist, he launched a swift attack towards Fa Fei Sit’s head. The sword appeared to have covered both Fa Fei Sit’s eyes and neck at the same time. He ducked left before striking his sword right. Another ‘clang’ sound echoed through the air as the sword in Yik Ching Fung’s sword shattered like ice.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried Yik Ching Fung as he had also been struck by a frost palm across the chest. He coughed up a mouthful of blood before punching the ground with a fist. He had a very dejected look on his face. He was also slightly outraged that Hua Ling Do had managed to outlast him and was still battling with the white swordsman. Moments later he sat in a meditating position.

    Hua Ling Do tried another tactic. He waited for Fa Fei Sit to strike first and he would counterattack. As expected Fa Fei Sit launched a strike towards Hua Ling Do’s thigh. Hua Ling Do flicked his wrist to turn the move of defence into a stance of attack towards the thigh of Fa Fei Sit. He immediately leapt back upon seeing the strike before counterattacking with a strike towards Hua Ling Do’s chest. Hua Ling Do twisted to the right before striking towards his left. Suddenly another loud ‘clang’ sound echoed through the air as the sword in Hua Ling Do’s grasp shattered into a thousand of pieces. Hua Ling Do was momentarily stunned by the events that he did not realise that a palm had been launched towards his right chest.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried Hua Ling Do moments later has he suddenly felt all cold inside. His body temperature immediately dropped. He coughed up a mouthful of blood before sitting in a meditating position to channel his inner energy to release his pressure points and heal himself at the same time. Looking around he notice the other 7 Taishan swordsmen were also doing the same.

    Casting a glance at Hua Ling Do, Fa Fei Sit said, “You cannot defeat me! If you want me to release this young lady, then get your master the ‘Gentleman Sword’ to come here personally to confront me!”.

    Hua Ling Do and the others did not reply. They were concentrating hard to heal themselves. Upon seeing the awesome skills on display none of the warriors in the Dragon Tavern dared to intervene. Du Fu was just about to stand up and challenge Fa Fei Sit when he noticed that Cheung Cum had stood up and was now approaching the table occupied by Fa Fei Sit.

    “The Chancellor is currently at Shaolin! It would take sometime for him to travel from Luoyang to Kaifeng! However if you wish to challenge the Chancellor to a duel you could go to Shaolin yourself!”, remarked Cheung Cum upon approaching the table. Lin Chun Fa was one of her favourite apprentices, so she had wanted to save her daughter from the white swordsman’s grasp.

    Casting a glance at Fa Fei Sit, she continued, “Why do you need to hold the Chancellor’s daughter as a hostage? Please let her go!”.

    “Humph! If I don’t hold the Chancellor’s daughter as a hostage, he would have no reason to duel with me! I won’t release her!”, replied Fa Fei Sit whilst casting a side glance at Cheung Cum.

    “Who are you?”, suddenly asked Fa Fei Sit. He seemed to have recognised the face of the old Taoist Priestess. But he didn’t know where he had seen her before.

    “I’m the ‘Iron Maiden’, Cheung Cum! Former Chief of the Divine Butterfly Sect!”, proudly replied Cheung Cum.

    “Oh! So its only you! No wonder! No wonder!”, replied Fa Fei Sit whilst smirking a little.

    Slightly shocked, Cheung Cum replied, “Do we know each other? Who are you?”.

    “You’re very much mistaken! We don’t know each other! But I recognise you as the person who ordered your apprentices to kill the Black Dragon Swordsman after he had been seriously injured following the duel with Sword Saint Unrivalled East! That was very wicked!”, replied Fa Fei Sit as memories of 20 years ago flashed past his mind. He was in Chongqing on that fated morning and had seen a large number of people gathering in the city square. So he was slightly curious and stood amongst the crowd to watch the events unfold before his eyes. He had seen what had happened to the Black Dragon Swordsman that day. He was only 7-8 years of age then but had always hated the person who had wanted to take advantage of the Black Dragon Swordsman’s injury. That’s why he remembered Cheung Cum.

    Upon hearing the Black Dragon Swordsman being mentioned, Cheung Cum, became totally outraged as past memories flashed through her mind. She had tried her hardest the past 20 years to bury the feelings of shame that she suffered at Taishan, when she was defeated by the Black Dragon Swordsman, and when her favourite apprentice had defied her orders. She was a very vengeful person and thus could not let those events rest. She had heard rumours of the Black Dragon Swordsman’s return in Chongqing, making her even angrier that she had been unable to kill him over 20 years ago. She shouted, “Who the heck are you? How are you connected to Black Dragon Swordsman?”.

    “I’ve already told you! I am Fa Fei Sit!”, replied Fa Fei Sit.

    Pausing for a while he continued, “The Black Dragon Swordsman is my saviour! I owe him greatly! I will never be able to thank him for his kindness!”.

    “Saviour? You mean he actually saved someone in his lifetime?”, smirked Cheung Cum. She was slightly shocked by the white swordsman’s comments.

    Shooting a glare at Cheung Cum, he replied, “I was nothing but a beggar until 20 years ago, when I stumbled across a kind and caring couple. The man gave me 20 taels of silver to hire a room for them to rest for the night at the ‘White Horses Inn’! That night I recovered something that has belonged to my family through the generations! Therefore I am very much grateful to the Black Dragon Swordsman!”.

    It was now obvious that Fa Fei Sit was none other than the 7-8 year old boy who was standing by the side of the street noodle vending store. He was the same small boy who had gone to fetch goat milk to feed Yeung Yin Siu. He was also the same person that he been sent to book a room at the ‘White Horses Inn’. That night he stayed to beg for money at the side of the ‘White Horses Inn’. He had been there all night and had witnessed the Black Bat Assassin murdering a Lion Prestige Escort Swordsman and a man named Lin Mun Tung in front of the hotel. He immediately searched the two bodies for money and useful items that could help him survive. He managed to find the ‘frost palms’ and ‘frost sword art’ kung fu manuals that once belonged to his ancestors in Lin Mun Tung’s grasp. It was indeed fate that he manage locate the two kung fu manuals. He immediately reclaimed them as his own. That morning he had planned to leave China to learn the ‘frost palms’ and the ‘frost sword arts’. That’s when he stumbled across the large crowd at the city square and decided to remain behind to watch the various events. After that he decided to leave China and headed towards Nepal. From there he journeyed to the Himalaya’s to study the various arts in the two kung fu manuals, amongst the harsh and snowy conditions. He had now refined his skills to the highest level and has decided to return to China to attempt to claim the title, ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’.

    Cheung Cum ignored the comments of the white swordsman, she said, “Are you going to release the Chancellor’s daughter or not?”.

    “I’ve already told you that I wouldn’t! So why bother asking?”, replied Fa Fei Sit. He unsheathed his sword, anticipating an attack.

    Cheung Cum launched her dust pen towards Fa Fei Sit’s head. He leant backwards before pushing his snow sword forward to block the attack. Upon retracting her weapon, Cheung Cum, noticed that every thread on her dust pen had frozen. Fa Fei Sit immediately launched his sword forward to strike the mid-stomach region of Cheung Cum. She slapped her dust pen hard to the right to block the blow. A loud ‘clang’ could be heard moments later a the dust pen shattered into thousands of pieces. It was followed by a loud ‘whack’ sound as Cheung Cum was struck across the chest by a ‘frost palm’. She was sent crashing towards the table being occupied by members from the Divine Butterfly Sect. Fa Fie Sit resumed sitting and drinking at the table.

    Yuk Long assisted Cheung Cum to her feet. She had just coughed up a mouthful of blood upon being struck. To Guk Fa, Yuk Wah, and Yuk Ling motioned to charge forward to attack, Fa Fei Sit.

    “Hold it! You’re no match for his abilities!”, shouted Cheung Cum whilst stretching out and arm to prevent them from moving forward. Seeing that To Guk Fa and the others had resumed sitting, Cheung Cum decided to sit in a meditating position to channel her inner energy to heal herself. The tavern was now dead silent. Everyone was shocked by the skills of the white swordsman. Cheung Cum was considered amongst the top 20 fighters in all of the orthodox clans, and yet she had been so easily beaten.

    Looking at the entrance of the Dragon Tavern, Fa Fei Sit, had expected Mo Yung Bak to suddenly enter. Though he now knew the identity of the young girl in green before him, he was convinced that she still had some connections to Mo Yung Bak. In fact he had guessed her to be Mo Yung Bak’s girlfriend. So he expected Mo Yung Bak to be on time for his appointment. He thought inwardly, “It’s now 12.00pm! Where’s Mo Yung Bak?”, before taking a glance around the room. He knew that Mo Yung Bak was a master of disguise. So it would not be out of the question that he was at this moment, sitting at one of the tables nearby to observe him closely.

    “Let her go!”, suddenly shouted someone to break the silence as they entered the room.

    Everyone turned to take a closer look at the man who had just entered the tavern. It was just an old bearded man wearing a torn black robe. He looked and smelt like a Beggar Clan member. A long black spear was resting in his right hand. A sword was strapped to his back. It had been covered in a brown silk cloth so no one could see what the sword looked like. This man was none other than Yeung Yin Siu. The Divine Butterfly Sect members, Du Fu, and Bak Tin Kiew immediately recognised this person.

    “Beggar Ho! You’re here! Where have you been?”, remarked Yuk Long as she raced by his side to acknowledge his presence. She had been very glad to see him and that he was alive. A few nights ago she had been greatly worried and concerned upon discovering that the old bearded man named, Beggar Ho, had suddenly disappeared. She had wanted to speak with him, after taking care of her master Cheung Cum that night.

    Yeung Yin Siu had been a little late for his appointment with Fa Fei Sit. He had intended to arrive at the Dragon Tavern a lot earlier in the day to observe the atmosphere. But he remained on his boat to take good care of Chueng Ka Bo. She had caught a slight cold from spending too much time out on the deck of the boat to admire the sun. She had also been feeling slightly weak from her injuries. Yeung Yin Siu had spent much of the day pondering over the disappearance of Blacksmith Chan and the reasons behind why his shop had been burnt to the ground. The previous day he managed to locate the black dragon sword upon smashing the large clay statute of Buddha. Why Blacksmith Chan had hidden the sword there, he did not know, so became very curious and intrigued by his disappearance. The black dragon sword itself was a very long broad sword. It was very unique and different to every other broad sword that has ever been forged by Blacksmith Chan. It was around 80cm in length and 5cm in width. It was thick at the centre and thin at the edges. There was a long hollow groove down the centre of the sword. The groove was around 50cm in length and 0.5cm wide. A black dragon with golden scales was carved into the hilt of the sword.

    Turning to face Yuk Long, Yeung Yin Siu remarked, “Miss Yuk, I apologise for not saying goodbye the other evening! But I had some urgent business I needed to take care off!”.

    “Who’s that young lady? Why is brother Yeung apologising to her?”, Bak Tin Kiew thought inwardly upon fixing a gaze at the Divine Butterfly Sect apprentice standing next to Yeung Yin Siu. She felt slightly uneasy for some reason upon seeing that another pretty young lady had been standing next to Yeung Yin Siu. But she knew that there was nothing she could do at that moment in time.

    Turning his attention to Fa Fei Sit, Yeung Yin Siu continued, “That man has captured a good friend of mine! Therefore I must confront him!”.

    “But I must do this alone!”, Yeung Yin Siu decided to say whilst shifting his glance back at Yuk Long. He knew that she had wanted to assist him in dealing with Fa Fei Sit. But he was confident in his own abilities and thus did not want to be distracted during the fight.

    “Long yee, what are you doing? Sit back down! Now!”, shouted To Guk Fa whilst pointing to the empty chair next to her. She hated the man named, Beggar Ho, after the events of the past few days. Yuk Long did not dare to defy her master’s orders and immediately sat down to watch the events unfold towards the side.

    “So that’s Yuk Long! The senior apprentice of the Divine Butterfly Sect!”, Bak Tin Kiew thought inwardly. She had been keeping her gaze on the young lady wearing a light blue dress all this time. Trying her hardest to find out a bit more about her. Her heart suddenly ached a little upon realising who she was.

    Standing up and believing the old bearded man to be Mo Yung Bak, Fa Fei Sit said in a very polite tone whilst cupping his hands, “Greetings Mo Yung Bak! Your skills are famed throughout wulin! It’s an honour to meet you!”.

    Pointing with an index finger towards, Bak Tin Kiew he continued, “I will release your friend following our duel!”.

    “This way! After you!”, continued Fa Fei Sit whilst motioning towards the garden of the Dragon Tavern at the back. That was where he had intended to duel with Mo Yung Bak.

    But before Yeung Yin Siu had a chance to respond, the red swordsman leapt forward from the side of the tavern. He stood three paces away from Yeung Yin Siu with the pair of hooked swords held in an attacking position. He said, “So you’re Mo Yung Bak! I’ve come to arrest you!”.

    Slightly amused, Yeung Yin Siu decided to ask the red swordsman, “Who the heck are you?”.

    “My surname is ‘Jin’ and first names are ‘Mo Ying’! I’m the royal inspector! You’re under arrest for assaulting the Emperor’s brother, Chu Yin Fu!”, replied Jin Mo Ying as he reached out a hand to capture Yeung Yin Siu.

    Slapping the red swordsman’s hands away from his grasp before drawing his spear, Yeung Yin Siu remarked, “So you’re the ‘Shadowless Sword’ - Inspector Jin! You’re the distant relation to the famous ‘Jin Chiu’!”.

    “But you’re very much mistaken! I’m Beggar Ho! I’m not Mo Yung Bak! You’ve got the wrong person!”, continued Yeung Yin Siu with a smirk.

    It was now obvious that the brother of the Emperor, Chu Yin Fu, had informed Emperor Xuande that a masked man, named Mo Yung Bak, had attacked him, and now sought his revenge. He had actually requested the Emperor to send a garrison to wipe out the ‘Mo Yung’ family. Although Emperor Xuande was outraged that someone had committed such a cruel and ruthless crime against his brother, he was a very wise man. He was well aware of how the Ming Dynasty had been established. He knew that if he were to send his entire garrison to wipe out the ‘Mo Yung’ family consisting of over 100 people, it would cause an outrage in wulin. He knew that the forces of all of the unorthodox nomads, orthodox clans, and Demon Cult combined were more than enough to overthrow his rule as the Emperor. His throne was safe as long as the various clans fought amongst each other. So he wasn’t about to do anything rash that could potentially unite the whole of wulin against him. So he sent his top royal investigator, Jin Mo Ying, to capture the man whom he thought had been directly responsible for committing the crime against his brother.

    “You claim you’re not Mo Yung Bak! I don’t believe you! Why are you resisting arrest then? We can sort this out at the Royal Court in Kaifeng! You can prove that you’re innocent then!”, replied Jin Mo Ying. He had always believed the court system to be fair and equitable.

    “I don’t have to explain myself to you! But you’ve got to be kidding! Courts are just a way for the rich and corrupt people in this world to get their own way against others! You could murder someone, but as long as you’ve got enough money, you can always get away with it! I’m not going anywhere! You’ll have to kill me first!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu. Although he had actually been the one who had committed the crime against the Emperor’s brother and not Mo Yung Bak, he would never admit it. Besides he did not consider it to be a crime as he had actually saved a girl from being rapped. Fronting up a court had never crossed his mind as he knew he would be at the whim of a corrupt law system that favours the rich.

    “Okay! You leave me with no other choice! I must use force to arrest you!”, shouted Jin Mo Ying as he launched a strike forward the hook sword attacking towards Yeung Yin Siu’s right shoulder. He held his left sword in a position to defend against an incoming blow.

    “Don’t think that I’m afraid of you and your ‘shadowless sword’! You asked for it!”, continued Yeung Yin Siu as he twisted to left to avoid the strike before launching his black spear directly forwards towards the mid stomach region of Jin Mo Ying.

    Jin Mo Ying blocked the strike with his left sword. He suddenly felt a jolt go down his left arm as the sword collided with the spear. The sword nearly fell out of his grasp as a result. It was obvious that his opponent possessed a very high level of inner energy. Gripping both of the swords tightly he launched continuous attacks with both swords aiming for Yeung Yin Siu’s right and left shoulder. He was slashing at such a rapid rate that it almost appeared as if his sword had disappeared from sight. All Yeung Yin Siu could see was a thick cloud of silver mist attacking towards his right and left shoulder. Unsure as to the location of the attacks, Yeung Yin Siu, decided to leap a couple of paces backwards to avoid the blow. He then bent at the waist before appearing to separate into three different people before resuming in an upright position. Although he could not see the sword being wielded by Jin Mo Ying, Yeung Yin Siu, fixed his gaze on Jin Mo Ying’s right and left hand, and waited for an opportunity to strike. Jin Mo Ying’s on the other hand attacked forward towards the central image but struck nothing but thin air. He was certain that the two other images of the old bearded man were fake. But he attacked in the wrong place.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried Jin Mo Ying moments later as he was struck on the right and left hand. A numbing sensation went down both his arms, causing him to drop the hook swords from his grasp. A soft ‘clang’ sound echoed through the air as the weapons hit the ground.

    Pointing his long black spear at Jin Mo Ying’s throat, Yeung Yin Siu continued, “Inspector Jin! I’ve heard you are a very honest official! I will therefore let you go today! Besides we do not have any previous feuds with each other! You’ve just mistaken me for someone else! I’m not Mo Yung Bak! So you’ve come to arrest the wrong person!”.

    Though Yeung Yin Siu had caught the young girl who had impersonated him, he stilled believed that Mo Yung Bak was behind the whole scheme. He now wanted to use Jin Mo Ying to help him track down the location of Mo Yung Bak. He was aware of Jin Mo Ying’s reputation as the best inspector and investigator on the Central Plains of China.

    Giving a sigh, Jin Mo Ying replied, “Okay! I believe that you’re not Mo Yung Bak! Goodbye!”. He noticed that the various stances of the old bearded man did not match the renowned kung fu of Mo Yung Bak. So he reached the conclusion that the old bearded man had been telling the truth.

    Moments later Yeung Yin Siu released the pressure points on Jin Mo Ying. He bent over to retrieve his weapons from the ground. He cupped his hands together before disappearing from the tavern.

    Turning his attention to Fa Fei Sit, Yeung Yin Siu decided to say, “Brother Fa! You’re also mistaken! I’m not Mo Yung Bak! I’m Beggar Ho!”.

    Pointing an index finger at Bak Tin Kiew he continued, “Your little hostage is a friend of mine! Please let her go!”.

    “You’re not worthy to be asking me to release this young girl Only the top 10 fighters on the Central Plains on China may ask me to release her!”, replied Fa Fei Sit whilst calmly drinking his wine.

    Noticing that Fa Fei Sit was rather arrogant and was over confident in his own abilities, Yeung Yin Siu, decided to say, “I don’t care whether you believe that I am worthy or not! But you will release the little girl!”.

    “Oh! Is that so? We’ll see about that!”, replied Fa Fei Sit as he suddenly stood up and unsheathed his sword.

    Wasting no time he launched a strike aiming for the middle of Yeung Yin Siu’s chest. A loud ‘clang’ echoed through the air as Yeung Yin Siu raised his black spear and blocked the blow. He was slightly surprised upon seeing that the middle portion of the spear that had blocked the strike had suddenly became white like snow. Extending his spear forward Yeung Yin Siu, attacked towards Fa Fei Sit’s head. He pulled his head back before taking a pace to the left. Taking a step towards Yeung Yin Siu, Fa Fei Sit, aimed a swift strike towards Yeung Yin Siu’s lower stomach. Another loud ‘clang’ echoed through the air as the spear clashed violently with the sword. The upper portion of the spear had now turned white after contacting the sword. Yeung Yin Siu immediately rolled towards the right. He launched a strike towards Fa Fei Sit’s lower thigh with the tip of the spear pointed upwards, whilst still rolling on the ground. Fa Fei Sit kneeled down on his right knee before blocking the tip of the spear with his sword. The long black spear in Yeung Yin Siu’s hands had turned all white. It felt rather cold, like ice, in his grasp. It appeared that the spear had become frozen. But it was still hard and sturdy. Noticing that the snow sword was now striking towards his head, Yeung Yin Siu raised his spear to defend against the blow. Another loud ‘clang’ echoed through the air as the black spear shattered like ice into a thousand of pieces.

    “Excellent move!”, praised Yeung Yin Siu as he rolled forward to avoid the strike. He had also managed to narrowly miss being struck by a frost palm.

    Realising that the ‘frost’ energy being emitted from the snow sword had frozen the spear, Yeung Yin Siu, worked on another tactic. He pulled his new black dragon sword from over his shoulders and unsheathed it. Running two fingers along the side of the blade he channelled his ‘essence dissolving energy’ into the sword. The black dragon sword suddenly radiated a kind of golden glow. The audience gave a soft cry upon seeing such a finely crafted sword. It had no equal on the Central Plains of China.

    Giving a loud cry, Fa Fei Sit attacked forwards again. Flicking his wrists left and right, he attacked in a zig zagged motion with the tip pointed towards the right and left shoulders of Yeung Yin Siu. Swinging left and right whilst moving backwards, Yeung Yin Siu managed to block the continuos thrusts.

    “Excellent inner energy!”, praised Fa Fei Sit upon seeing that water had been flowing freely from the end of the black dragon sword. His frost inner energy had been dissolved into water. He therefore realised that he could not freeze and subsequently shatter the sword in his opponents hands. Although he praised his opponent, he started to slightly fear his abilities.

    They exchanged another 30 stances and fought to a standstill. Yeung Yin Siu suddenly utilised his ‘divine red moon reflecting in the water stance’ and attacked towards Fa Fei Sit’s chest. All Fa Fei Sit could see was three identical people attacking with the tip of the sword pointed towards his chest. The left image attacked towards the right. The right image attacked towards his left. The central image attacked directly forwards. He did not try to second-guess where the attacks were coming from, but instead, immediately did three back flips to avoid the strikes. He wanted to create some distance between himself and his opponent. Watching from a distance Fa Fei Sit, noticed something particularly odd. He spotted a flaw in his opponent’s stance. He noticed a shadow underneath the image to the left. Suddenly the shadow moved to the central image, and then the right image. He thought inwardly as his opponent approached him, “Attack the image with the shadow”.

    Yeung Yin Siu flashed a strike directly forwards at his opponent’s stomach. He suddenly had a terrible fright when he noticed that Fa Fei Sit’s sword was suddenly attacking towards his elbow. He was forced to retract his sword and defend the blow. Otherwise he would have lost his right arm.

    “Lucky guess!”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly upon noticing that Fa Fei Sit had managed to strike directly towards where he stood.

    The ‘divine red moon reflecting in the water’ stance at its most advance level consists of nine perfect reflections including a shadow below each of the images. But Yeung Yin Siu has only perfected 25% of the arts. Thus there was a flaw to his stance. Though he was aware of this, none of the other opponents he had fought against thus far had managed to perceive it, as he was moving at such a rapid rate. He utilised his 13 Ghost Mountain lightness kung fu along with each of the strikes. Another 10 stances were exchanged as the two fighters fought to yet another stand still. They appeared to be very evenly matched up until this point.

    “He’s found the flaw!”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly at the conclusion of the 11th stance. He now started to worry a little as he stared at his opponent in awe. It was now certain that Fa Fei Sit was indeed a top class fighter.

    Suddenly Yeung Yin Siu, noticed that his body was starting to become very cold, and that his core temperature had dropped. He was using the ‘essence dissolving arts’ which required him to absorb all of the frost inner energy before dissolving its power. At its most advance level he could use such arts to dissolve any form of inner energy without causing him any harm or internal injuries. But he had only managed to master 25% of this art. He was therefore absorbing ‘frost inner energy’ at a faster rate than his body could dissolve. As a natural reaction, his body started shaking a little form the cold. He stances started to become a little slow. Noticing that he finally had his opponent on a back foot as a result of his ‘frost inner energy’, Fa Fei Sit launched forward with a ‘frost palm’ with his left hand towards Yeung Yin Siu’s chest.

    “Dam it!”, cursed Yeung Yin Siu upon seeing the attack. His black dragon sword was now defending a strike from the snow sword, and he could not retract it to block the incoming palm attack. His palm strikes were his weakest skills.

    A loud ‘whack’ echoed through the air as Yeung Yin Siu blocked the ‘frost palm’ with the ‘phantom palms’ he had perfected from Fung Lau Yin. Having left China for so long at such a young age, Fa Fei Sit, was unable to fully grasp the various kung fu being utilised by his opponent. He felt a surge of warm energy enter his body as his soft organs felt like being squeezed like an orange. But this feeling did not last long and he soon recovered. He praised, “Excellent kung fu! No one has been able to last this long against me! You’re truly an amazing fighter! But your abilities are not as great as mine!”.

    Yeung Yin Siu did not reply, but instead gritted his teeth. He felt a surge of cold energy enter his body. That was more than his body could handle. Looking up he noticed that his left palm was still connected to Fa Fei Sit’s left palm. The handle of the black dragon sword was starting to turn a little white, and then the frost would evaporate into water. Yeung Yin Siu had a sudden thought. He strapped the black dragon sword towards his right waist. He suddenly grabbed onto a chair close by. Fa Fei Sit was concentrating his inner energy down his left palm that he did not strike with the snow sword in his right hand. He was convinced that he would win the contest of inner energy. Not long after the chair in Yeung Yin Siu’s grasp turned white. A layer of thick frost had built up along the chair. Yeung Yin Siu had decided not to dissolve the frost inner energy entering his body, but rather diverted it elsewhere. His body suddenly felt a little warmer as a result. This standstill lasted another 20 minutes.

    “Excellent inner energy!”, praised Fa Fei Sit after a while. He thought that Yeung Yin Siu had been able to resist his ‘frost inner energy’. Most people who had fought like this against him had frozen up and died after around 5 minutes. He did not yet noticed that the chair behind Yeung Yin Siu had turned into a mountain of frost. So he did not know what Yeung Yin Siu had been doing all this time.

    After another 5 minutes had passed, Fa Fei Sit, finally noticed a big mountain of frost building up behind his opponent. Taking his palm away before standing back 10 paces, he shouted, “What the heck! What devilish arts are these?”.

    Yeung Yin Siu smiled and released his grasp on the chair before walked forwards. After 5 paces towards his opponent Yeung Yin Siu suddenly he collapsed on the floor as his body suddenly felt very cold. Being one of the first times that he had used the arts in a real battle, he did not realise that he had let go too soon. He hadn’t been able to diverted all of the residual ‘frost inner energy’ to the chair yet. His body became slightly frozen as a result. He struggled to pick himself up, before deciding to sit in a meditation position to channel all of his inner energy to warm his body.

    Fa Fei Sit gave a slight laugh upon realising that his opponent had been defeated. He said, “Even with that devilish art, you still managed to lose today!”.

    Walking back towards the table to take Bak Tin Kiew as a hostage once more, he continued whilst shifting a glance towards Hua Ling Do, “This little girl is my hostage! Tell the ‘Gentleman Sword’ to meet me at the ‘Obsession Inn’ in Louyang in three days if he wants to see his daughter alive!”.

    Fa Fei Sit was just about to release Bak Tin Kiew’s pressure points and leave the Dragon Tavern, when Du Fu finally stood up. He said, “Wait! The Chancellor’s daughter should not be taken as your hostage! You will release her now before you leave!”.

    “Who are you? You know I won’t release her until someone worthy comes to ask for her release!”, snickered Fa Fei Sit whilst casting a side glance at the swordsman in grey robes. He did not seem to possess any special abilities and resembled more of a learned scholar than a fighter.

    Cupping his hands together and bowing slightly, Du Fu remarked, “Who’s worthy and who’s unworthy is not for your eyes alone to judge! Those who you think are worthy, may not be so. Those who you think are unworthy, may yet be so! One cannot tell for sure by appearances and reputation alone!”.

    “My name is Du Fu! But most people know me as the ‘Calligraphy Swordsman’! You will release the Chancellor’s daughter now!”, smiled Du Fu whilst walking forward. He did not have an ounce of fear in his eyes as he casually strode forward.

    “Ha! So you’re the ‘Calligraphy Swordsman’!”, remarked Fa Fei Sit in shock. The reputation of the Calligraphy Swordsman was well known to him along his travels. It was said that the skills and abilities of the Calligraphy Swordsman was a level below that of Kim Mo Dik, the Sword Saint Unrivalled East and equal to that of the Gentleman Sword. Fa Fei Sit had intended to duel against Mo Yung Bak, and then the Gentleman Sword to test his own abilities before confronting the Calligraphy Swordsman.

    He was now trying his hardest to decide whether or not to duel with the Calligraphy Swordsman at this point in time. He was uncertain as to whether he would win or not and thus hesitated. But he was certain that he would be able to defeat Mo Yung Bak and the Gentleman Sword though. Knowing that a defeat would ruin his reputation, he decided to say after a while, “Since the great Calligraphy Swordsman has decided to ask me personally! I will release this young girl!”.

    Releasing Bak Tin Kiew’s pressure points, he continued, “But I will only do so if you promise one thing!”.

    Bak Tin Kiew immediately took this opportunity to rush to the side of Yeung Yin Siu. She asked, “How are you? I’m so glad to see you!”.

    Yeung Yin Siu replied, “I’m fine! I’m glad that you’re safe from harm! You should thank Du Fu when you have the chance!”.

    Bak Tin Kiew nodded her head to indicate that she agreed. Looking around she noticed that the other apprentices from the Taishan Sect were still sitting in a meditating position. Seeing that they weren’t in a dangerous condition she stayed by Yeung Yin Siu’s side.

    At this moment Yik Ching Fung, opened his eyes and noticed that Bak Tin Kiew was sitting to the side of the old bearded man. He could see that they were quite intimate with each other. He slammed a fist against the ground as his face turned a slightly orange complexion. Ling Wu Mun looked across and noticed the jealous complexion on Yik Ching Fung’s face. But he did not say anything. Instead he appeared to have smiled slightly before resuming back into his meditating position.

    Ignoring the various conversations going around him, Du Fu remarked with a big grin on his face, “You want to challenge me to a duel! Is that not correct?”.

    Turning to face, Fa Fei Sit, he continued, “I accept! Just set a time and a date!”.

    “Excellent! Two months from this day outside the great hall of Luoyang!”, replied Fa Fei Sit.

    “Gentleman’s agreement! I will see you in two months time outside of the great hall of Luoyang!”, said Du Fu whilst cupping his hands.

    “Agreed! Even the fastest horse can’t pull back the carriage!”, replied Fa Fei Sit whilst cupping his hands together. Moments later he walked towards the entrance of the tavern to leave.

    “Wait! You devil!”, shouted Yik Ching Fung whilst still sitting in a meditating position on the floor some distance away.

    “Humph! What do you want? Speak quickly!”, shouted Fa Fei Sit with a glare.

    “You may go! But leave the ‘frost palm’ and ‘frost sword arts’ behind!”, demanded Ling Wu Mun.

    “I’ve already told you! These two kung fu manuals belong to my great ancestors! So they are thus mine! There’s no need for me to leave the behind!”, rebutted Fa Fei Sit as he continued walking.

    Bak Tin Kiew was just going to get up to confront Fa Fei Sit about the kung fu manuals when she felt someone grabbing her by the hand. It was Yeung Yin Siu. He said, “Don’t! He’s abilities are far too great! Besides there are other ways in which to clear your father’s name! Du Fu and members of the Divine Butterfly Sect know that Fa Fei Sit has taken those two manuals! They will inform everyone at Shaolin! You needn’t worry!”. Once again Bak Tin Kiew nodded her head to indicate that she understood. She resumed sitting by Yeung Yin Siu’s side.

    “Wait!”, shouted Hua Ling Do as he got to his feet and blocked the entrance of the Dragon Tavern to prevent Fa Fei Sit from leaving. He had now recovered and managed to release his pressure points.

    After a while Hau Ling Do continued, “My master has been accused of stealing the two kung fu manuals that are currently in your possession. The Kunlun Sect, Songshan Sect, and the Lion Prestige Escort have been warring for the past 20 years following the disappearance of the two kung fu manuals in Chongqing!”.

    “So what? How does this concern me?”, replied Fa Fei Sit, unmoved by Hua Ling Do’s comments.

    “Even if you decide not to hand over the two kung fu manuals to us! You should at least attend the urgent summit held at Shaolin and set the record straight! That you were the one who reclaimed these two kung fu manuals in Chongqing over 20 years ago and that these two kung fu manuals originally belonged to your great ancestor! That would also help my master to prove that he did not take them!”, continued Hua Ling Do whilst still guarding the entrance of the Dragon Tavern.

    “Humph! I have some urgent business to attend to and have no time to be attending summits held at Shaolin! If your master wants to clear his name tell him to meet me here in two weeks time! Goodbye!”, shouted Fa Fei Sit as he extended both his arms before pushing Hua Ling Do out of the entrance. He disappeared moments later. Since Mo Yung Bak had not showed up for his appointment, Fa Fei Sit, decided that he would personally roam through wulin and track him down. A number of swordsman followed Fa Fei Sit closely behind. It was obvious that they were fools who backed their own abilities to murder Fa Fei Sit and claim the ‘frost palms’ and ‘frost sword arts’ for themselves. The swordsman in golden robes with black trimmings remained at the bar. He was at all times, paying close attention to all of the fighters that had gathered at the Dragon Inn.

    Hua Ling Do picked himself up before running back into the tavern to release the pressure points on the other Taishan apprentices. All of the apprentices said, “Thanks”, upon having their pressure points released except for Yik Ching Fung. All he could manage was a loud ‘grunt’ and a “Humph!”, before rushing towards Bak Tin Kiew. The other Taishan apprentices including Hua Ling Do followed him.

    “Old bastard! Let little Miss Bak go!”, shouted Yik Ching Fung as he approached Yeung Yin Siu and Bak Tin Kiew. He reached behind his shoulder to unsheathed another sword before standing in an attacking position. Most of the Taishan apprentices carried a spare sword strapped to their backs.

    Yeung Yin Siu was still trying to heal himself at this moment, and thus did not have the strength to fight. But he could still manage a smile as he replied, “Humph! She’s not my hostage! I have not bound or tied her arms and legs with rope. She sits by my side because she wants to!”.

    Turning to face Yik Ching Fung, he said, “And what’s this got to do with you?”.

    “Humph! I’m her senior apprentice brother! I’m also her master! Therefore little Miss Bak’s business is my business!”, rebutted Yik Ching Fung getting more annoyed.

    “Funny! You didn’t even teach her any kung fu! So how can you be considered as her master?”, snickered Yeung Yin Siu whilst casting an affectionate glance at Bak Tin Kiew.

    Turning his attention to Yik Ching Fung, he continued, “Besides you’re not worthy to be her master! Now get out of my sight!".

    “Why you!”, cursed Yik Ching Fung as he pointed the tip of his sword towards Yeung Yin Siu’s adam’s apple pressure point.

    Bak Tin Kiew was just about to unsheathed her sword to block the attack, when a green bamboo stick flashed past and blocked the strike. It was now obvious that Du Fu had intervened. Looking at Yik Ching Fung with a big grin on his face, Du Fu continued, “Shameful! Attacking an injured person is something that a true ‘gentleman’ would never do!”.

    “Eh! Senior apprentice brother Yik, we’re here to save little Miss Bak! She’s safe now! We should go and meet up with master! Not cause trouble!”, agreed Hua Ling Do to the side whilst exchanging a polite nod with Du Fu. It was obvious the two had met before. In fact the three ingenious stances that Hua Ling Do had given to Bak Tin Kiew on her 16th birthday were stances from Du Fu’s sword arts.

    Turning his attention to Hua Ling Do, Yik Ching Fung said, “Humph! Who do you think you are? I’m the senior apprentice here! I give the orders and make the suggestions! Not you!”.

    Shaking his head, Du Fu remarked, “Eh! Pity! Pity! You’re the senior apprentice brother only because you were the first apprentice accepted by your master! That alone does not make you a leader!”.

    “Humph! What are you implying?”, protested Yik Ching Fung whistle glaring down at Du Fu.

    Du Fu did not reply. He just folded his arms and remained silent. A cheeky grin appeared on his face. After a while Ling Wu Mun suggested, “Senior apprentice brother! Let’s go and report this incident to master!”.

    “We’re not going anywhere! Master also told us to find and take care of little Miss Bak! She should come with us too!”, demanded Yik Ching Fung whilst reaching out a hand to help Bak Tin Kiew up onto her feet.

    Bak Tin Kiew ignored Yik Ching Fung and stood up by herself. She asked, “Brother Hua! What are you, brother Ling and brother Yik all doing here?”.

    Pausing for a moment, Hua Ling Do continued, “I had been sent to locate news of the ‘frost palms’ and ‘frost sword arts’. Then I received a message from master saying that you had gone missing! So I have been searching all over China for you for the past few months! I ran into senior apprentice brother Ling and Yik here by accident!”.

    Bak Tin Kiew looked slightly apologetic upon hearing that she had caused so much trouble for Hua Ling Do whom she loved like a brother.

    “Brother Yik and I had also been sent to find you! We arranged to meet here before heading to Shaolin to assist master!”, interrupted Ling Wu Mun anticipating that Bak Tin Kiew would ask that same question of him.

    In fact Ling Wu Mun had been turned back by the Head Master of the Lion Prestige Escort as soon as he set foot inside Hennan. He was told in no uncertain terms that his presence was unwanted and that the Lion Prestige Escort were more than capable of dealing with the Head Master of the Songshan Sect. He thus headed back to Taishan only to discover that Bak Tin Kiew had gone missing. The same thing happened with Yik Ching Fung upon delivering the letter to the Head Master of the Songshan Sect. He was sent on his way as soon as he arrived. His presence was also unwanted. Upon returning to Taishan, Bak Fung Wan, had sent them on another mission. To roam through China to find Bak Tin Kiew. Whilst they were roaming around they heard news that an urgent summit would be held at Shaolin to discuss the position of Chancellor of Wulin. Yik Ching Fung thus sent a note to Ling Wu Mun and arranged to meet at the Golden Dragon Inn. He wanted to make Hua Ling Do look bad and had deliberately not sent him an invitation. By as fate would have it Hua Ling Do was in Kaifeng and decided to drop in for a drink at the Dragon Tavern, and thus bumped into Yik Ching Fung and Ling Wu Mun.

    “You should probably come with us now! We’re heading towards Shaolin to meet up with master!”, Hua Ling Do and Ling Wu Mun decided to say together in a very polite tone.

    “Err… Go to Shaolin with you two…”, mumbled Bak Tin Kiew whilst hesitating. She shot a glance at Yeung Yin Siu and her heart did not want to leave his side. They have been separated for a couple of days, yet she already missed him greatly.

    "Little Miss Bak! You have no other choice but to come with us!”, shouted Yik Ching Fung whilst grabbing onto her arm.

    “Let go!”, protested Bak Tin Kiew upon noticing that Yik Ching Fung had grabbed onto her arm.

    At this moment, Yeung Yin Siu, had fully recovered. He stood up before tapping Yik Ching Fung on the right shoulder. He acted so quickly and swiftly that he was totally caught off guard. He felt his entire right arm going numb as he released the grip on Bak Tin Kiew. Casting a glare at Yik Ching Fung, Yeung Yin Siu decided to say, “Touch her again and you’ll die! She may go with whoever she chooses!”.

    “Who the heck are you? How dare you interfere in the internal affairs of the Taishan Sect? You’re just an outsider! You have no power to interfere in this matter!”, rebutted Yik Ching Fung.

    “I’m not an outsider! I’m her…”, replied Yeung Yin Siu before stopping short. He realised that even despite their intimate relationship, he was still a total outsider and thus could not interfere in another clan’s business. He knew that Bak Tin Kiew’s reputation would be ruined had she stayed by his side. Many of the orthodox warriors had now tuned into the conversation, ready to start gossip and nasty rumours, to make matters worst. But at the same time Yeung Yin Siu did not want Bak Tin Kiew to leave.

    “I’m not going anywhere! I’m staying here with Beggar Ho!”, Bak Tin Kiew decided to say as she stood to the side of Yeung Yin Siu with a determined look on her face.

    “So Beggar Ho has already got a girlfriend!”, Yuk Long thought inwardly as she gave a little sigh.

    Hua Ling Do and Ling Wu Mun shot a glance at each other. It was clearly obvious to them that Bak Tin Kiew had fallen for the old bearded man in front of them, and that he had felt the same way about her. As Bak Tin Kiew was the daughter of the ‘Gentleman Sword’, and have yet to marry, Hua Ling Do knew that it would be inappropriate for her to be roaming around with another male all by herself. He also knew that she was determined to stay by the side of the old bearded man.

    “Senior apprentice Yik and Ling! Why don’t the two of you travel to Shaolin first? I will stay here to look after little Miss Bak! She’ll be safe with me!”, suggested Hua Ling Do whilst turning to face Yik Ching Fung and Ling Wu Mun.

    Yik Ching Fung did not respond. He was still brooding. He stared at the old bearded man with a jealous look in his eyes. Ling Wu Mun noticed that his senior apprentice brother did not respond. So he cupped his hands before bowing slightly. He said, “That sounds like a good idea junior apprentice brother! We’ll see you at Shaolin in a few weeks time! But don’t be too late as I’m sure master would eager to love to see little Miss Bak as soon as if hears of news that she’s safe!”.

    “Don’t worry! I’ll make my way to Shaolin as soon as possible!”, replied Hua Ling Do whilst cupping his hands.

    “Enough! Enough! Let’s go!”, shouted Yik Ching Fung as he waved a hand to the other Taishan apprentices before storming out of the Dragon Inn. Ling Wu Mun and the others followed him.

    “Thanks, brother Hua! I don’t know what I would have done without you!”, remarked Bak Tin Kiew with a big smile on her face.

    “It’s nothing! Besides, I wanted to catch up with a good friend of mine!”, replied Hua Ling Do as he took a seat at the same table as Du Fu. They immediately started chatting about the various stances and arts used by Fa Fei Sit.

    Moments later, Yuk Long approached Yeung Yin Siu. Cupping her hands together, she said, “Beggar Ho! We’re leaving for Shaolin now! Goodbye!”.

    She was just about to leave when, Yeung Yin Siu decided to say, “Miss Yuk! Wait!”.

    “What is it Beggar Ho?”, asked Yuk Long whilst turning around. She had no idea what was on his mind. She also took this opportunity to shoot a glance at Bak Tin Kiew to observe her more closely.

    “I was just a little curious as to why members of the Divine Butterfly Sect came to Kaifeng rather than head directly towards Shaolin?”, continued Yeung Yin Siu with a curious look on his face.

    “We had some business with Blacksmith Chan! But when we arrived his workshop had already been burnt to the ground! He had also disappeared!”, replied Yuk Long.

    “What business did your master have with Blacksmith Chan?”, questioned Yeung Yin Siu once more.

    Raising her butterfly sword in the air for Yeung Yin Siu to see, Yuk Long said, “These swords were forged by Blacksmith Chan! Master just wanted to see him about forging another 3 swords for future apprentices!”.

    “Oh! So they only wanted to see him about forging some swords!”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly. He was still trying to figure out the reasons behind the sudden disappearance of Blacksmith Chan. He was the top Blacksmith on the Central Plains of China, and specialised in making precious swords. Just under half of the weapons forged in wulin were made by him.

    He had another thought, “Dam! What if he’s been kidnapped by someone!”.

    Seeing the worried and concerned expression, Yuk Long couldn’t help but ask, “Beggar Ho! Is there anything wrong?”.

    “It’s nothing!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu, not wanting to reveal what was on his mind.

    Noticing that To Guk Fa, and Cheung Cum were patiently waiting for Yuk Long at the entrance of the Dragon Tavern, Yeung Yin Siu decided to say, “Miss Yuk, you’d better get going now! Everyone’s waiting for you! But we shall meet again at Shaolin! Goodbye!”.

    Yuk Long felt a little bit embarrassed upon noticing that she had kept everyone waiting for her. Turning to leave she said, “Goodbye! Take care!”.

    As members of the Divine Butterfly Sect exited from the tavern, more people came in to take the empty seats. Pulling over two chairs from Doctor Wah’s table, Yeung Yin Siu and Bak Tin Kiew decided to join the table occupied by Hua Ling Do and Du Fu. They just caught onto the last part of the conversation where, Du Fu advised Hua Ling do that, “There’s foreseeable trouble at the Taishan Sect after the Gentleman Sword decides to pass over his leadership to Yik Ching Fung”. Hua Ling Do nodded in agreement. Though Bak Tin Kiew remained silent she couldn’t help but agree with Du Fu. But she was at this point powerless to do anything about it. Her father had already made up his mind it seems.

    “You know each other?”, interrupted Bak Tin Kiew upon noticing that Hua Ling Do had been conversing with Du Fu.

    “Of course! He’s the elite Wudang fighter whom I met along my journeys through wulin. He was the one I told you about at Taishan! He’s also the one who taught me those 3 ingenious stances that I gave to you on your birthday!”, replied Hua Ling Do whilst toasting Du Fu.

    “Oh! Thank you very much! For those arts and for rescuing me earlier today!”, continued Bak Tin Kiew turning to Du Fu.

    “It’s nothing! It’s nothing!”, replied Du Fu whilst looking across at Yeung Yin Siu.

    He noticed the troubled look on his face, so couldn’t help but ask, “Beggar Ho! What’s the matter?”.

    “Nothing! It feels like déjà vu! It seems as if I’ve been here before!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu whilst taking a glance around the dimly lit tavern that was full of people. It was exactly like he had seen in his dreams, except for the fact that Ah Sing, Bak Tin Kiew and Hua Ling Do had been sitting at the table with him.

    “Oh!”, remarked Du Fu whilst downing another cup of wine. He noticed that a pigeon had flown towards the barman, who untied the note before giving it to the waiter.

    “Which one of you is Du Fu?”, asked the waiter as he raced around the tavern.

    Holding his hands up in he air, Du Fu shouted, “I’m Du Fu! What’s the problem?”.

    “Sir, no problem! We have just received a message that has been sent to you!”, replied the young waiter as he passed the note over to Du Fu before serving the other customers.

    “What is it?”, questioned Yeung Yin Siu. He was slightly intrigued as to what the note had said.

    Smiling slightly, Du Fu answered, “Oh! It’s nothing! My junior apprentice brother has just sent me a note to say that he’s located the senior apprentice of the Lion Prestige Escort, Dik Ho Tin, and that he’ll be here shortly! He tells me to wait here for him as he’d like to catch up for a drink!”.

    “Oh! Who’s your junior apprentice brother?”, asked Bak Tin Kiew in a curious tone. Yeung Yin Siu had already guessed who this person was, though he wasn’t 100% certain.

    “You’ve probably heard of him already! He’s name is Lee Siu Yan! But most people call him ‘Chopstick Lee!”, replied Du Fu with a smile.

    “Oh him!”, remarked Bak Tin Kiew upon hearing the name.

    Turning to Ah Sing, Du Fu continued, “Please go and greet junior apprentice brother Lee! Bring him here! We’ll wait here for you!”.

    Ah Sing got up to leave, when Bak Tin Kiew got up as well. She said, “Wait little girl! I’ll come along with you!”. She wanted to meet with Dik Ho Tin and ask the many burning questions that had been on her mind about her mother’s death. She couldn’t wait any longer.

    Knowing what was on Bak Tin Kiew’s mind, Yeung Yin Siu decided to say, “Eh! Kiew yee, can’t you wait till he arrives? I have a few things to discuss with Du Fu!”.

    “No! I can’t! I must know!”, replied Bak Tin Kiew turning to leave.

    “Okay! But I’ll wait here for you!”, continued Yeung Yin Siu. Knowing that he was going to be at the tavern a little while longer, he decided to signal to the waiter to bring him a jug of the finest red wine in the house. He wasn’t concerned about Bak Tin Kiew’s safety because she was travelling with Ah Sing and was going to meet up with Chopstick Lee.

    Upon seeing that Bak Tin Kiew was leaving the tavern, Hua Ling Do immediately stood up. Cupping his hands together he said, “Brother Fu! Beggar Ho! I have promised to take good care of little Miss Bak! I therefore must leave! Goodbye!”. Moments later he disappeared from the tavern, following Ah Sing, and Bak Tin Kiew closely behind.

    “Eh! Beggar Ho! What is it that you want to discuss with me?”, questioned Du Fu sounding very curious. He knew various people were listening into their conversation so decided not to call him ‘Fisherman Ho’.

    “I was wondering if you knew whether Mo Yung Bak had a sister around 17 to 18 years of age?”, asked Yeung Yin Siu. Part of the reason he had remained behind was to pick apart Du Fu’s brains whilst at the same time, try and figure out the identity of the young girl who had impersonated him.

    Du Fu was now rolling his eyes to the back of his head, searching his memory banks for critical information on the ‘Mo Yung’ family. After a while, Du Fu, said, “To the best of my knowledge, Mo Yung Kwok was the heir of the ‘Mo Yung’ family in the last generation. He had nine sons and one daughter! Mo Yung Bak is the only son of Mo Yung Kei, the third son of Mo Yung Kwok. There are no other girls in the ‘Mo Yung’ family! Mo Yung Kwok’s only daughter Mo Yung Lam never married for some reason! She passed away a few years ago!”.

    “Are you sure? That there are no other girls in the ‘Mo Yung’ family?”, asked Yeung Yin Siu once more. He wasn’t totally convinced by Du Fu’s answer. He was certain that the young girl was connected to the ‘Mo Yung’ family.

    Du Fu searched hard in his mind. Finally he said, “Actually, I heard rumours that Mo Yung Kwok had adopted a niece 14 years ago! Her name is Mo Yung Jing!”.

    Turning to Yeung Yin Siu, Du Fu continued, “It’s rumoured that Mo Ying Jing bears a striking resemblance to Mo Yung Kwok’s only daughter, Mo Yung Lam!”.

    “Mo Yung Jing! Ah! So she’s Mo Yung Jing!”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly. He was confident that he had guessed correctly.

    “Why did you want to know?”, questioned Du Fu upon seeing the expression on Yeung Yin Siu’s face.

    “Its nothing!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu, wanting to keep his thoughts to himself.

    Pouring a cup of wine he continued, “Enough talking! Let’s drink my friend”. The two toasted each other and started to drink. Du Fu started to tell Yeung Yin Siu some funny stories and jokes. They laughed whole-heartedly together. A hour had passed by without them knowing. They had gone through another 3 jugs of red wine during this period.

    Now slightly drunk, Yeung Yin Siu remarked, “That Fa Fei Sit whom I fought today did possess some magnificent skills!”.

    “If not for the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’ the ‘Sabre Saint’ in the West, I’d say that he was the best swordsman from the Western Regions of China!”, remarked Du Fu out loud as he poured another cup of wine before downing it.

    “That is certain. He has already reached an advance level in the ‘frost palms’ and ‘frost sword arts’! I could not defeat him today! In fact I’ll have to study for a few more years yet before I’m his match!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu as he remembered the duel he had with Fa Fei Sit earlier in the day.

    “Nonsense! You’re just being modest!”, rebutted Du Fu with a beaming smile.

    Leaning forward so that no one could hear them, he said, “I know that you’ve learnt the ‘essence dissolving art’ and the ‘divine red moon sword arts’! You only need to master these arts for another few months and you’d be able to defeat that Fa Fei Sit with great ease!”.

    “How did he know that they were the ‘essence dissolving art’ and the ‘divine red moon sword arts’? He does possess a great deal of knowledge!”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly upon hearing Du Fu’s remarks. He figured that both arts had been lost through the generations, and that no one would be able to recognise them.

    In fact Yeung Yin Siu could have never guessed, but Du Fu was very knowledgable in all kinds of martial arts possessed by Demon Cult members, unorthodox clan members, and orthodox clan members. He had also noticed that Yeung Yin Siu had used the ‘phantom palms’ of the 7 Vixens to defend against Fa Fei Sit’s ‘frost palms’. But Du Fu wasn’t overly concerned, as he figured that Yeung Yin Siu was a good person at heart. He became slightly curious as to his real identity however, knowing full well that ‘Fisherman Ho’ was just an alias name.

    Not showing any concern at the previous comment by Du Fu, Yeung Yin Siu picked up another cup of wine before downing it. He said, “I can tell that you’re also modest man! If you had intervened earlier, you would have been able to defeat Fa Fei Sit with great ease! Why did you wait until two months before duelling with him?”.

    Du Fu remained silent in thought. He said, after a while, “Fa Fei Sit’s skills are indeed well advance! You have the ‘essence dissolving art to counter his ‘frost inner energy’! I have yet to figure out a way to defeat him!”.

    “You’re joking right? How’s that possible?”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu totally shocked at Du Fu’s response. He had heard a great deal about Du Fu, and according to the rumours the Calligraphy Swordsman was one of the top 5 fighters on the Central Plains of China.

    Shaking his head and giving a long sigh, Du Fu said, “I only stepped out to challenge him today, upon seeing that you had lost! I would have not done so otherwise! Who would have thought that Fa Fei Sit would become scared upon hearing of my reputation! That’s the only way we managed to save the Chancellor’s daughter!”.

    Seeing the blank look on Yeung Yin Siu’s face, Du Fu explained, “My skills are based on the essence and flow of ‘yin’. The theory of this art is that one must be as flexible as air and water. Fa Fei Sit’s ‘frost inner energy’ stifles this free and natural flow. My weapons will become frozen and break! My body would also become inflexible. That can lead me down the path of defeat! In fact not only will I fall victim to his arts! But so too would the ‘Gentleman Sword’. If the ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’, were alive today, he could defeat Fa Fei Sit! In fact only a person with 95%+ ‘yin’ can defeat him!”.

    “Those capable of defeating Fa Fei Sit are those who’s kung fu are based on the sheer power and aggression of ‘yang’, like the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’, Mo Yung Bak, and yourself! Each of you have arts that can counter the ‘frost inner energy’!”, continued Du Fu as he poured another cup of wine before downing it again.

    “Ah! You’re only being modest again!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu with a beaming smile.

    He continued after signalling to the waiter for another jug of wine. He said, “Brother Du! Don’t take me for a fool! I’ve heard that you’re actually 96% ‘yin’! Therefore you’re more than capable of defeating that white swordsman named Fa Fei Sit!”.

    At this moment a scholar in dark blue robes walked into the tavern. He appeared to be in his mid 20s and had a rather average looking face. He looked a bit clumsy as he walked in. He carried two large books in each hand. He was dropping them, and picking them off the floor as he walked. Looking around the tavern he noticed that all of the tables were full. There were a couple spare seats next on the table occupied by Du Fu and Yeung Yin Siu. He immediately approached the table.

    Not noticing that someone had walked towards them, Yeung Yin Siu continued, “Other than yourself, there’s no one else in China that could claim to be the best swordsman in the ‘Central’ regions!”.

    “Oh! Is that so? You seem to hold me in very high regard!”, remarked Du Fu with a bigger grin. He knew his own abilities, but had always been modest about them. His was not the kind of person who brags.

    Yeung Yin Siu was just about to respond, when he heard someone ask in a polite and curious tone, “Who’s the best swordsman in Central China?”. It was obvious that he had missed the majority of the conversation and only caught the end of it.

    “Who are you?”, asked Du Fu upon noticing a young scholar in blue robes standing before him.

    “My surname is ‘Cheung’ and first names are ‘But Tung’! Scholar and martial arts historian!”, replied Cheung But Tung whilst cupping his hands and bowing slightly.

    Pulling over a chair, he continued, “You two gentleman seem very knowledgable in the matters and affairs of wulin! So do you mind if I sit down and join you both?”.

    “Not at all! Not at all! Please sit!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu whilst stretching out his hands. He gave a wink to Du Fu. In return Du Fu gave a little laugh.

    “Brother Cheung! What brings you to Kaifeng?”, asked Du Fu in a very curious tone.

    “I’m here to search for my sister! I am also here to help my master complete his life long ambition of recording the 4th volume of history in wulin!”, replied Cheung But Tung as he signalled for another jug of wine from the waiter.

    “I wonder if this man is any relation or connected with the girl who impersonated me?”, Yeung Yin Siu couldn’t help by wonder, upon noticing that the young scholar’s surname had also been ‘Cheung’ and that he was looking for his sister.

    Suddenly he had another thought, “Could this person be Mo Yung Bak?”. He suddenly became a little suspicious of the young scholar in blue robes. Although he did not appear to know any kung fu, Yeung Yin Siu, knew that looks could be deceiving.

    “4th Volume? Where did the 3rd volume end?”, he could hear Du Fu asking the blue scholar.

    “My master completed the 3rd volume over 20 years ago! The last pages record the epic and final duel between Yeung Tin Lung the ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’ and Kim Mo Dik the ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’!”, replied Cheung But Tung as he opened the final pages before reading out the epic descriptions written by his master. Yeung Yin Siu and Du Fu listened to it very intently.

    “What a minute! Your master described that Fung Lau Yin and the Black Bat Assassin snatched the Black Dragon Swordsman, his wife, and their son before escaping towards the Chongqing Port! Does he mention what the name of that baby was?”, asked Du Fu all of a sudden.

    Yeung Yin Siu was feeling slightly nervous at this point in time, as he knew few people in wulin actually knew that the Black Dragon Swordsman had a son. The blue scholar was now turning the pages to find the information that Du Fu had sought. After a while he said, “Ah Ha! Here it is! The Black Dragon Swordsman son’s name is ‘Yeung Yin Siu’!”.

    “Yeung Yin Siu”, remarked Du Fu to himself as he smiled whilst shifting his glance at the old bearded man before him.

    Yeung Yin Siu caught his glance and felt a little uneasy. He thought to himself, “I wonder if he’s figured out my real identity?”.

    Changing the subject, Yeung Yin Siu asked the young scholar, “So how would you like to start the 4th volume of the martial arts encyclopedia?”.

    “I’d like to begin by recording the top 5 martial artists in wulin today!”, replied Cheung But Tung as he took out a long bamboo pen. Moments later he opened the fourth volume of the encyclopedia. He had not been lying. The pages were blank.

    “Were would you like to start”, asked Du Fu as he signalled for another jug of wine for himself.

    “Who’s the best swordsman in Central China?”, questioned Cheung But Tung.

    End of Chapter 15.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  11. #71
    Junior Member Quantum's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Yay!! another update

    Hmm, wonder whose Cheung But Tung and why did his sister impersonate Yueng Yin Sui. Wonder who this ChEung character really is....The mystery is yet to be resolved

    Great story Long !! I bow to you with much appreciation and salute to you
    To live life like a dream is rare. To let it happen in reality is even more rare.

  12. #72
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    Originally posted by Melanie
    I also think your high frequency of update is impressive. How do you do it? I am often too tired from classes, studying, work, and personal life to do much at the end of the day. Tell me your secret!

    I have been a long time visitor of your Felix Wong site. I didn't realize that you are the webmaster until now when I noticed your signature. It's an excellent site, very comprehensive. Your summary of Yang's Saga convinced me to purchase the vcd's a while back.
    Thanks - Probably took a little while to respond to this one. The secret is that I am up around 6.00am in the morning and don't sleep till around 11.30pm in the evenings. I travel a lot on work, and am always catching a flight, bus somewhere. I write with a laptop when I wait/travel. Others like to read on trains, and buses ect.. But I write. That's why the first draft is a little messy. Other than that I set aside Sunday for writing.

    Thanks for visiting my website by the way - and looking forward to updates from your own fanfic.

    Ps. I don't consider myself a good writer - only a good story teller in some respects.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

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    That's quite an update in the span of two weeks.
    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

  14. #74
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    Default Chapter 16: Secret Spies

    Chapter 16: Secret Spies

    It’s still early in the afternoon on the streets of Kaifeng. The streets are full of people. Various merchants are screaming at the top of their lungs trying to lure customers into their store. Dancers, artists, and performers are busking on the street as usual. There’s a long line stretching from the Iron Pagoda and the Memorial Temple of Justice Pao. Many young couples are sitting and admiring the scene on the lake. Towards the west of the city near the Wuchao Gate, one can see a swordsman dressed in yellow robes with black trimmings walking away from a tavern. There was a large yellow silk banner hanging above the gate. It bore three huge words in black that read “The Dragon Tavern”. A tiger was embroidered on the top right-hand corner that yellow swordsman’s robes. He appeared to be a man in his late 30s and wore a black phantom mask to cover the left portion of his face. He held a very strange looking sword in his right hand as he walked. It was rounded like that of a fencing sword. The swordsman in yellow robes takes a glance left, and then right to observe the surroundings upon arriving at the intersection of the main road. He turns down a street towards the right. It was obvious that he was heading in the direction of Luoyang and Shaolin. He soon walks amongst a crowd of locals and disappears from sight.

    Moments later two men wearing white robes with red trimmings walk out from the same tavern. A red half-crescent moon is embroidered on the top right corner of both their robes. One of the men are wearing a red and the other a green bandanna on their heads. These two men were none other than Red Flame and Green Earth, two of the 5 Elements of the Demon Cult.

    “Senior apprentice brother, good luck with your mission! I will meet you back at Hennan!”, said Green Earth after cupping his hands and bowing slightly.

    “5th junior apprentice brother, likewise! Good luck with your own mission!”, replied Red Flame returning the gesture.

    Placing a hand on Green Earth’s shoulders, he continued, “You mustn’t let him out of your sight! Understand?”.

    “I won’t! Trust me!”, replied Green Earth, whilst taking a stride down the street towards the right before rushing amongst the crowd. He appeared to be tracking the swordsman in yellow robes.

    “I hope not!”, remarked Red Flame to himself as he turned left down the main road. He appears to be heading in the opposite direction towards the port of Kaifeng.

    As Red Flame disappears, a mysterious man steps from behind a large willow tree at the front of the tavern. One could see that he was a skinny man of medium height. He is wearing a white robe with black trimmings. A plain black cape is worn over his shoulders and is flustering in the breeze. A bamboo rain hat is worn on his head to shield his face from sight. A pair of luminous blue eyes can be see underneath. It is glowing brightly at the moment as he gently strokes the bottom of his chin whilst glancing left and right. A white paper fan is strapped by the right side of his waist. This man was none other than Wind of the 5 Storms. Seeing that Green Earth had taken the path towards Luoyang, Wind followed him closely behind.

    As Wind disappears into the distance, something unusual happens. The trunk of the tree appeared to suddenly come alive. A shadow and then a man could be seen standing in front of the tree. He was wearing a white robe with red trimmings. A brown bandanna is worn on his head. This was none other than Brown Wood, the camouflage master. Reaching into his pockets he grabs a piece of paper and a small pen. He rips the piece of paper in two before writing a short note on each of them. Placing two fingers to his lips he gives a loud whistle. Two pigeons fly down from the rooftops of the shopfront before landing on his shoulders. He ties a note to the pigeon on his right shoulder before releasing it into the air. It immediately flies in the direction of Luoyang. The pigeon on his left shoulders flies towards Hennan upon having a note tied to its claw.

    Moments later, Brown Wood decides to open the gate of the ‘Dragon Tavern’ before stepping into the courtyard. He does not enter the tavern however. Standing towards the entrance he notices the walls of the tavern are made of pinewood. Taking a glance left and right along the street to make sure that no one is close by, he suddenly disappears from sight. One could just manage to see that his body and robes matched the colour of the pinewood on the side of the tavern. He had blended perfectly into the surroundings like a lizard. It appeared as if he had gone inside. But one could not be totally sure.

    Not long after, a swordsman in plain red robes with a green dragon embroidered on the back and front, entered the tavern. He carried a pair of hook swords in his right hand. He wore a black rectangle hat with a peacock feather on the right side. He appeared to be none other than Jin Mo Ying, the royal inspector.

    “Inspector! You’re back! Welcome! This way please!”, shouted a young waiter in brown robes upon noticing that the red swordsman had entered the tavern. He stretched his hands towards an empty table for two.

    “I’m back?”, remarked the Jin Mo Ying to himself as he walked towards the empty table.

    After a while, he said, “Of course! Of course! I was here earlier”, upon noticing that some of the warriors in the tavern had fixed their gaze upon him. He placed the twin blades on the table before calling the waiter over.

    The waiter walked over to the table before saying, “Inspector! Just the usual?”.

    “Yes! Just the usual!”, replied Jin Mo Ming as he took a glance around the tavern to observe the surroundings.

    Soft footsteps approached the table, as the waiter returned standing to the side. Placing a pot of hot tea on the table, along with a few small cups, he said, “Inspector! Here you are! The finest herbal tea in the house!”.

    The waiter was about to turn to leave when Jin Mo Ying remarked, “Herbal tea? I wanted some rice beer!”.

    Staring blankly at Jin Mo Ming, the waiter replied, “Inspector! I thought you couldn’t drink wine or beer when you were on duty? You’ve never ordered beer before when you are in uniform! In fact you’ve rarely ordered any beer with the exception of when you’re entertaining your lady friends outside of work! Why the sudden change today?”.

    “Ahem! Excuse me! What a day! I’ve just been so tired today that I’ve forgotten that I’m still on duty! Herbal tea is fine! Thanks!”, said Jin Mo Ming whilst reaching into his pockets to grab a few small coins to pay the waiter.

    Refusing to take any payment whilst waving his hands about the waiter said, “Inspector! Have you forgotten? The herbal tea is on the house! You saved the barman’s life 6 months ago so you’re our special customer!”.

    “Of course! How could I forget something like that! What a day! What a day!”, remarked Jin Mo Ying as he glanced around the tavern a second time.

    He noticed the table directly opposite to his was a table for four. A scholar in grey robes was, at this moment, resting at the table by himself. He was leaning over the table and appeared to be passed out. This was none other than the ‘Thousand Cups Drunkard – The Lucky Doctor’, Wah Yek Si. The table to the side of Doctor Wah was currently being occupied by three men, two of them appeared drunk, and the other appeared to be recording their conversation in his large book. One of the men at the table appeared to be a Beggar Clan member. A long beard and moustache covered his face. A swordsman in grey robes and a scholar in blue robes sat on the table beside him. The three men were obviously, Yeung Yin Siu, Du Fu, and Cheung But Tung.

    “Inspector! Is there anything wrong? You don’t seem to be yourself today?”, asked the waiter after a while.

    Turning his attention to the young waiter, Jin Mo Ying said, “Young man! There comes a time in your career when you’re overworked and become so tired and stressed out, that you don’t even know what day of the week it is, or where you are at the moment! This is just one of those weeks!”.

    “Inspector! You’re absolutely right! I know how you feel! I’ve had plenty of those weeks as well! Why almost every week!”, replied the young waiter with a smile as he resumed serving his other customers. Jin Mo Ying leant back and drank his herbal tea. He was at all times keeping a watchful eye on everyone who had gathered at the tavern.

    Seeing that the young waiter had walked past, Du Fu stretched out a hand before saying, “Young waiter! Bring us another jug of wine please!”.

    “Yes sir! Coming right up!”, replied the young waiter in brown robes before he disappeared back down to the wine cellar.

    Pouring a cup for himself and looking rather drunk at this point, Du Fu remarked with a laugh, “Beggar Ho! Do you realise that we’ve just committed ourselves to a duel with that young fellow named Feng Sap Chut at the top of the Tiger Mountain in two years time?”.

    Yeung Yin Siu, Du Fu, and Cheung But Tung had been discussing the top 5 rated martial arts experts on the Central Plains of China, when a swordsman in yellow robes with black trimmings interrupted them. He had claimed that a young swordsman by the name of Feng Sap Chut, nicknamed ‘Southern Tiger’, was the best swordsman in the Southern Regions of China, and that he was also the ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’. Naturally Du Fu, and Yeung Yin Siu took exception to this boast and therefore agreed to head up to the Tiger Mountain in two years time to challenge Feng Sap Chut to a duel.

    “Ah! The things that one commits themselves to whilst being in a drunken state!”, sighed Du Fu to himself upon realising that he had now committed himself to duelling against two top swordsmen, Fa Fei Sit, in tow months time, and Feng Sap Chut, in two years time, on the same day. He didn’t know what had overcome him. In normal days he rarely fought, unless he needed to. He was more of an artist than a fighter at heart.

    “Of course! I couldn’t let that ruffian get away with being so arrogant, claiming that the young 25 year old, Feng Sap Chat was the ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’ and had defeated the Black Dragon Swordsman!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu joining in the laughter.

    “Oh! And why are you so concerned that someone had claimed to have defeated the Black Dragon Swordsman?”, questioned Du Fu with a curious look on his face.

    “It don’t know! I think its just wrong for someone to be going around and making false statements like that! Without any real proof I mean!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu. He could not think of a better answer, otherwise he may reveal his own identity to the crafty Calligraphy Swordsman. Even though he suspected that Du Fu already knew who he was.

    “Who on earth was that ruffian anyway? I’ve never seen anyone dressed like that before! Which clan does he belong to?”, interrupted Cheung But Tung after a while. He had been very intrigued by the swordsman in yellow robes and black trimmings that approached them earlier.

    “Oh him! If I’m not mistaken, that was Yik Lo Fu! The 2nd senior apprentice of the Head Master of the Divine Tiger Sect!”, replied Du Fu. By now the waiter had returned and placed another jug of wine on the table. Du Fu immediately broke the seal before taking a whiff of the sweet flagrance. He soon filled everyone’s cup before toasting them. The three men downed the cup of wine together.

    “How can you be sure that he was Yik Lo Fu? He looks to be about 35 years of age! So how could he possibly be only the 2nd senior apprentice of the Head Master of the Divine Tiger Sect when his senior apprentice Feng Sap Chut is only 25 years of age? There’s a 10 year age gap between them!”, questioned Yeung Yin Siu whilst glancing around the tavern. He noticed that a few warriors had moved on and a few new ones had arrived. The return of Jin Mo Ying to the Dragon Tavern, in such a sort space of time, immediately caught his eye.

    “What’s he doing back here?”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly before turning his attention back on Du Fu.

    Shifting his glance across to Yeung Yin Siu, Du Fu said, “I’m not mistaken! I’ve heard rumours that the Head Master of the Divine Tiger Sect had taught his son from the age of 3 years old. He accepted Yik Lo Fu as an apprentice when he was 13 years of age. So he came into the clan a lot later than Feng Sap Chut and is therefore only the second apprentice!”.

    “Ah! So that’s the reason!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu. He was becoming interested in the Divine Tiger Sect by the second. They appeared to be very secretive and mysterious.

    “We’ve decided that the ‘Central Poet’ is the best swordsman on the Central Plains of China! But does the ‘Southern Tiger’? I mean that Feng Sap Chut fellow qualify to be the best swordsman in Southern China?”, interrupted Cheung Bat Tung to the side, upon noticing that the conversation had strayed away from the top 5 martial artist’s in China.

    Noticing that both men had refocussed their attention towards him, Cheung But Tung continued, “Does he have any special qualities or abilities that differentiates him above all of the other fighters in Southern China?”.

    “Southern China is pretty baron at the moment! Most of the fighters possess average to moderate skills! Few of them are worth mentioning with the exception of the ‘Romantic Swordsman – The Flying Chopsticks!’, Lee Siu Yan!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu. There was a tone of seriousness in his voice. He and Du Fu had been in a joking mood earlier in the day. But they have changed slightly following the encounter with Yik Lo Fu.

    “It is rumoured that Feng Sap Chut has reached an advance level in the ‘unrivalled tiger’ sword arts made famous by the ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’! There is no doubt that he would be considered as the best swordsman in Southern China! Whether he is in the top 5 elite fighters in all of China is debatable! He has never openly duelled with anyone before, and not much else is known of his abilities!”, remarked Du Fu whilst rolling his eyes to the back of his head. He could not think of any other fighter from the South that could defeat the unrivalled tiger sword arts possessed by Feng Sap Chut.

    “So it is agreed that ‘Southern Tiger’ Feng Sap Chut is the best fighter in Southern China then!”, remarked Cheung But Tung. He sought reassurances from the two men before making an entry in his martial arts encyclopedia.

    “Definitely! There’s no one better in the South!”, agreed Yeung Yin Siu and Du Fu whilst nodding.

    Cheung But Tung took a moment to record an entry in his encyclopedia that the ‘Southern Tiger’ was the best swordsman in the South. After a while he said, “Who’s the best swordsman in the North?”.

    Yeung Yin Siu and Du Fu thought long and hard about this one. Like the South, the North was currently very baron. There were few people with exceptional martial arts skills. If the former Beggar Clan Chief, Yik Fei Hung, were alive today it would be a no brainier. But he passed away many years ago. The Beggar Clan have been engaged in a power struggle for the leadership ever since he died. Thus no one has been able to master the ‘jade hitting dog stick’ technique that is passed down from through the generations to the Chief. There was no longer a Beggar Clan member that was in the top 20 elite fighters. The clan now relieved solely on its various formations to deal with the elite fighters in wulin. There were various Demon Cult members who resided or were born in the North that were capable fighters, and would be considered to be in the top 20. But none had reached an advanced level that they could claim to be in the top 5.

    “That’s indeed a very difficult question! I can’t for the moment think of a fighter that has the skills and abilities to be considered the best in Northern China! Apart from Lightning of the 5 Storms! He was born in the North but now resides in Central China however!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu whilst scratching his head.

    Smiling Du Fu said, “I know of one elite fighter in the North who’s capable of holding his own amongst the top 5 elite fighters in all of China!”.

    “Who? Please tell me!”, replied Cheung But Tung with a very excited look on his face.

    After a while Du Fu continued, “Who’s the person with the most tongue and cheek? Who’s the person with a courageous heart? Who’s the person with a most intelligent mind? Who’s the person that wields the black dragon blade? Who’s the person with the ability to remain hidden to the world? Who’s the person that hides behind an alias name?”.

    “Mo Yung Bak?”, replied Cheung But Tung. He thought this would be a pretty good guess given that Mo Yung Bak was an elite fighter and a master of disguise.

    “So he’s already guessed who I am”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly upon hearing Du Fu’s comments. But he did not say anything. Instead he decided to pour himself a cup of wine before downing it in one gulp. He knew that Du Fu was a type of person who wouldn’t go about and reveal his real identity to just anyone, unless he needed to.

    “No! Mo Yung Bak does not wield the black dragon blade! Nor does he have any connections with the North! I was referring to the Black Dragon Swordsman’s son! The ‘Northern Dragon’ Yeung Yin Siu!”, continued Du Fu as he poured a cup of wine for himself before casting a glance at Yeung Yin Siu. He toasted him moments later.

    “The ‘Northern Dragon’ Yeung Yin Siu? I’ve never heard of him before! Why do you say that? What unique abilities does he have?”, questioned Yeung Yin Siu with a smirk on his face. He was interested to find out the reasons why Du Fu had claimed him to be one of the top 5 elite fighters in China. He was also slightly puzzled as to why he had been given the title of ‘Northern Dragon’, as he had spent much time in Central China roaming between Hennan and Kaifeng.

    Smiling Du Fu responded, “As recorded in the 3rd volume of the martial arts encyclopedia! When the Black Dragon Swordsman and his wife fled Taishan they headed North! The Black Dragon Swordsman’s son was thus born in the North! Since the Black Dragon Swordsman is the current reigning ‘Champion of Wulin’! His son surely would rank amongst the top 5 elite fighters in all of China!”.

    “Not necessarily! Those who are great do not usually have great sons! In fact history has recorded time and time again, that the son of a great champion normally fails to live up to the great expectations! Therefore Yeung Yin Siu may not be as great as his father Yeung Tin Lung!”, rebutted Cheung But Tung.

    “Yes indeed in most cases that’s often the truth! That the sons of great are not great themselves!”, agreed Du Fu. He knew there was logic in Cheung But Tung’s statement.

    After a short pause he continued, “However the only reason this is the case, is that many great people arise from the ashes of poverty! They experienced a lot hardships and grief in their lives before achieving greatness”.

    Looking directly at Doctor Wah Yek Si, who’s the distance relation of Doctor Wah To, Du Fu continued, “But the son’s of those who are great do not have to endure the same hardships and misery that their father’s have experienced during their lives. In fact many of the sons of great people are born into a rich and wealthy environment! They do not know what it is like to live in poverty! In life they have almost everything severed up on a silver platter before them! They are normally spoilt to death and thus take many things for granted. Thus they do not put in the same level of dedication or desire to achieve their own goals! They expect to great rather than work hard to be great! That’s why they fail!”.

    “But you’re very much mistaken about Yeung Yin Siu! He was orphaned at a young age and thus has experienced many hardships in life! He therefore has the same level of desire and will as his father Yeung Tin Lung! I can assure you that he possesses the level of skills and abilities to be rated as one of the best 5 fighters in all of China!”, remarked Du Fu whilst casting a glance towards Yeung Yin Siu.

    Not totally convinced, Cheung But Tung turned to face Yeung Yin Siu before asking, “Beggar Ho! You’re from the North and are part of the Beggar Clan! Do you agree with what your friend has just said? Who do you think the best swordsman in Northern China?”.

    “Eh! Brother Cheung! I’m a beggar, but I’m not from the Beggar Clan!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu with a grin whilst casting a glance at Du Fu.

    Pausing for a while he continued, “If my friend thinks that the ‘Northern Dragon’ Yeung Yin Siu is the best swordsman in Northern China! Then you should not doubt him!”.

    Shooting a glance across at Du Fu, Cheung But Tung said, “Okay! Okay! It’s agreed then! The ‘Northern Dragon’ Yeung Yin Siu is the best swordsman in Northern China!”.

    After recording the Northern Dragon down in his martial arts encyclopedia, Cheung But Tung continued, “It’s obvious that the Black Dragon Swordsman, the ‘Sabre Saint Invincible West’ remains as the best swordsman in the Western Regions of China!”.

    “That’s true! But there’s something you don’t know!”, interrupted Du Fu.

    “What’s that?”, asked Cheung But Tung with a blank look on his face. He appeared to know very little about the matters and affairs of wulin.

    “The Black Dragon Swordsman is no longer known as the ‘Invincible West’! People in wulin know refer to him as ‘Immortal West’!”, interrupted Yeung Yin Siu with a smile. He knew what Du Fu had been hinting at.

    Smiling, Du Fu continued, “That’s correct! Ever since the Black Dragon Swordsman has reappeared in Chengdu and then Chongqing, people have been claiming him to be an ‘Immortal’! Rumours have it that he cannot be killed and that he is a deity that has been sent down to earth!”.

    “I heard there’s now a cult of people in Chongqing who now worship the ‘Black Dragon Swordsman’!”, continued Du Fu after downing a cup of wine and giving a sigh. Yeung Yin Siu and Cheung But Tung shot a glance at each other with a blank look on his face. Yeung Yin Siu had never heard of this rumour before. He was going to ask further questions about the cult but decided not to. To often people lose faith in themselves and worship gods who are not worthy or join cults blindly.

    “Okay! I’ll record the ‘Immortal West’ Yeung Tin Lung as the best swordsman throughout Western China then!”, remarked Cheung But Tung whilst writing it down in his martial arts encyclopedia.

    “The ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’ used to be the best swordsman in the Eastern regions of the China! But he passed away 20 years ago! Who is the best swordsman in Eastern China now?”, asked Cheung But Tung as he poured a cup of wine for himself. He was getting a little drunk by now.

    “Eastern China like the Central and Western regions are full of renowned fighters and swordsmen! The top two swordsmen in this region are Mo Yung Bak and the Gentleman Sword! But I heard the Gentleman Sword’s skills and abilities are by far the best!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu whilst downing a cup of wine.

    “That’s correct! The ‘Gentleman Sword’ Bak Fung Wan is indeed the best swordsman in the Eastern regions of China. His skills are based on both the power of ‘yang’ and the elegance of ‘yin’! A truly remarkable swordsman indeed!”, continued Du Fu whilst downing another cup of wine. It was well known that despite the advice offered to him by the Black Dragon Swordsman over 20 years ago, the Gentleman Sword continued to based his sword arts on both ‘yang’ and ‘yin’.

    “You two would rate the ‘Gentleman Sword’ above Mo Yung Bak? I’m sure he’d disagree with you both if he were here!”, remarked Cheung But Tung to himself out loud. Both Du Fu and Yeung Yin Siu heard what he had said, and casted a little bit of a suspicious look at him.

    After a while, Cheung But Tung said, “Okay! It’s agreed then! That the ‘Gentleman Sword’ Bak Fung Wan takes over as the best swordsman in Eastern China!”.

    “So here we have it! Gentleman East, Immortal West, Southern Tiger, Northern Dragon, and Central Poet! The five top martial artists in all of China!”, remarked Cheung But Tung as he completed the final entry in his martial arts encyclopedia.

    The three men toasted each other and downed a few more cups of wine. After a while, Cheung But Tung closed up the fourth volume of his martial arts encyclopedia and packed up his pen. Standing up from the table before cupping both his hands together, he said, “Gentlemen! It’s been a honour to meet you both! I have some urgent business to attend to, and therefore must get going!”.

    “Where are you going?”, asked Yeung Yin Siu in a curious tone.

    “I’m on my way to Shaolin! I heard they’re holding an urgent summit! So I want to record that event in my martial arts encyclopedia!”, replied Cheung But Tung whilst getting up to leave.

    “We’re also headed in the same direction! Why don’t you stay and travel with us?”, questioned Du Fu. He figured if this Cheung But Tung character was also heading to Shaolin that they may as well travel together. Besides Du Fu had wanted to find out a little more about him.

    “Yes! Why don’t you travel with us! Stay a little while!”, agreed Yeung Yin Siu. He had wanted to find out a little more about Cheung But Tung before allowing him to leave.

    “Thanks for the offer! But I’m also looking for my sister at the moment! So I’ll be visiting the local magistrates on my way to Shaolin to register her as missing!”, replied Cheung But Tung. He figured that most of the martial artists hated nothing more than the law and Ming government officials.

    “Oh! In that case we’ll see you at Shaolin!”, remarked Du Fu and Yeung Yin Siu together. They did not wish to visit nor associate with the law or the Ming government.

    Cheung But Tung was about to leave when Yeung Yin Siu added whilst pointing an index finger towards Jin Mo Ying, “If you’re going to register your sister as missing! You may as well start with Inspector Jin over there! He’s the best Inspector in all of China!”.

    Cheung But Tung nodded to indicate that he agreed. He walked over to the table being occupied by Jin Mo Ying before introducing himself. He sat himself down moments later. Yeung Yin Siu channelled his inner energy to listen into the conversation. He could hear, Jin Mo Ying asking in a curious voice, “Oh! Who’s your sister? What does she look like?”.

    “My sister’s name is Cheung Wai Mun! She’s 18 years of age this year and has a rounded pretty face! She carries a rounded piece of jade with the name ‘Cheung’ carved into it!”, replied Cheung But Tung, trying to give as much clues as possible to Jin Mo Ying.

    “Cheung Wai Mun? So you’re related to Justice Cheung Kwok Leung of Taiyaun are you not?”, questioned Jin Mo Ying in a curious tone.

    “Yes! That’s correct! I’m his eldest son!”, proudly replied Cheung But Tung.

    “But I heard that she’s been missing since she was 4 years of age! She’s already been taken off the missing list years ago! The rumours say that she was snatched away by a masked man from Justice Cheung’s mansion! Is that not correct?”, questioned Jin Mo Ying once more. It was obvious that he was very knowledgable about the disappearance of Justice Cheung’s daughter. In fact Justice Cheung has offered a large reward to the sum of 10, 000 taels to anyone who’s able to locate his daughter.

    “Yes! That’s correct! She’s been missing for 14 years! But I wish to register her as missing again!”, replied Cheung But Tung whilst taking out a pen and writing details about her missing sister before handing it over to Jin Mo Ying.

    “But how do you know that she has a rounded pretty face then? She’s been missing since she was a child? Also how do you know that she’s still alive?”, questioned Jin Mo Ying looking even more puzzled and troubled.

    Pausing for a long while, Cheung But Tung finally replied, “My father say’s that my sister looks exactly like her mother as a child and will continue to do so as an adult! I have a portrait of my mother here with me! We know for sure that she’s still alive! Because whoever kidnapped her did not demand a ransom!”.

    “Oh! Can I please have the portrait!”, requested Jin Mo Ying as he reached out a hand to take the a closer look at the portrait of Mrs Cheung.

    “Hmm… I think I’ve seen this painting once before! Do you know the artist who drew this?”, questioned Jin Mo Ying upon recognising the portrait.

    Shaking his head Cheung But Tung replied, “No! Father never mentioned that to me! But I know it was done by a renowned artist!”.

    “Renowned artist?”, remarked Jin Mo Ying out loud.

    Turning cast a glance at Cheung But Tung, he continued, “This portrait seems to have been drawn by a highly skilled fighter! Not a renowned artist!”.

    “How can you tell?”, questioned Cheung But Tung not entirely convinced.

    “Because every stroke on this portrait is highly refined. I’ve never seen anything like it! The artist had very good wrist control!”, replied Jin Mo Ying.

    Pointing his fingers at certain portions of the portrait, Jin Mo Ying continued, “Painting and calligraphy are similar to sword fencing! It requires a high level of concentration, dedication, and control. But it’s all in the wrist! Look at the fine and delicate strokes here on the upper portion of the portrait. There’s no doubt this has been done by a very skilled fighter!”.

    After a while, Jin Mo Ying asked, “Do you know if there were any other motives or reasons why someone would want to kidnap your sister?”.

    “Father says that the kidnapping was done out of revenge for something he did many years ago. The kidnappers would not harm my sister!”, continued Cheung But Tung whilst giving a little bit of a sigh.

    “Do you know who the kidnappers are? It sounds like that your father knew them well enough to be able to understand that they would not harm your sister?”, questioned Jin Mo Ying once more.

    “No! Father did not mention who he suspected the kidnappers to be! I’m afraid that’s all I can tell you! Goodbye! But she’s still alive! Please believe me!”, replied Cheung But Tung as he cupped his hands together before getting up to leave.

    “Brother Cheung! Leave it with me! Justice Cheung is a very good friend of my superior Justice Tao here in Kaifeng! So I’ll try and do my best! Goodbye!”, continued Jin Mo Ying whilst cupping his hands to return the gesture.

    “It would be great if we were able to find her before my father’s 80th birthday! That would be the greatest gift he could ever have or dream off!”, added Cheung But Tung with a sigh.

    “I’ll try my best! I’m sure your father loves her daughter dearly!”, replied Jin Mo Ying. Moments later Cheung But Tung disappeared from the tavern. Jin Mo Ying continued to drink his herbal tea. He was at all times keeping a close eye on the table being occupied by Du Fu and Yeung Yin Siu.

    Noticing that Yeung Yin Siu had been channelling his inner energy to listen to the conversation between Cheung But Tung and Jin Mo Ying all this time, Du Fu couldn’t help but ask in a curious tone, “Eh! Beggar Ho! You’re not planning on trying to locate that missing young lady to claim the reward of 10, 000 taels are you?”.

    It was obvious that Du Fu had also been listening closely into the conversations. Smiling, Yeung Yin Siu replied, “No! I don’t have any need for 10, 000 taels even though I’m a mere beggar! I was just curious about that young fellow, Cheung But Tung, that’s all! For a martial arts historian he seemed to know very little about the matters and affairs of wulin!”.

    “But appearances are a little deceiving!”, remarked Du Fu as he fixed his gaze towards the entrance of the Dragon Tavern.

    “True! Absolutely True!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu before turning his attention to Du Fu.

    He asked, “Brother Du! Why is it that people refer to you as the worst ‘artist’ in all of China? And claim that you’re the worst poet, painter, musician, and calligraphy writer? I thought your calligraphy skills would be the best given that you’re known as the ‘Calligraphy Swordsman’!”.

    “Ha! Ha! Good question! Really good question!”, laughed Du Fu out loud as he slammed an empty cup of wine on the table upon finishing it in one gulp.

    Pouring a glass of wine for himself, he continued, “It’s because my poetry, paintings, music, and calligraphy have reached such an advanced and pure level that no one understands or appreciate them any more!”.

    “Oh? How’s that possible?”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu not totally convinced by Du Fu’s comments.

    Pulling out a piece of blank paper before inking his pen, Du Fu asked, “How may strokes does it take to write the character of ‘Tin’?”.

    “Four strokes! Everyone knows that!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu. He knew that he had replied correctly.

    “Ha! Ha! Indeed that’s correct! Many people write the word ‘Tin’ in four strokes! I see you’re no different!”, laughed Du Fu was he raised his bamboo pen and was about to write on the piece of blank paper.

    With a flick of the wrist he had written the word ‘Tin’ four different times. The four words looked identical. He took four strokes the first time he wrote the word. Five, six, and seven strokes for the second, third, fourth ‘Tin’ word respectively. Smiling he continued, “Four strokes is just one method of writing the same word of ‘Tin’! If we envisage the word to be an object, four strokes are only one method we may use to write the word. There are countless other ways in which to write the word Tin”.

    Suddenly he inked his pen and decided to write another ‘Tin’ word on the paper. But this time he used very tiny dots rather than fine strokes. Sure enough he had written another ‘Tin’ word using over 40 dots on the piece of paper. But it was still recognisable as the word ‘Tin’ even though it was not really appealing to the eye. Upon completing the fifth ‘Tin’ word, Du Fu added, “The problem with art is that its beauty is within the eye of the beholder! What is appealing to one may not be appealing to another! Unfortunately many people in China are rather strict when it comes to art! They find my work to be repulsive and against tradition! But who knows? Maybe in a few years time that may change”.

    Turning to Yeung Yin Siu he continued, “The highest form of swordsmanship is to have no sword at all! That is the swordsman is the sword and may kill barehanded!”.

    “That is the same with Calligraphy! That the highest form of Calligraphy sword arts is no Calligraphy at all!”, added Du Fu with a laugh as he downed a cup of wine.

    “I don’t understand”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu. He was a little puzzled by Du Fu’s logic.

    “If I write according to the traditional Calligraphy style and form, I would be no match for a moderate skilled fighter!”, explained Du Fu as he suddenly stood up and flicked his wrists left and right. He began writing in the traditional calligraphy style. His words were rather refined and beautiful. It appeared as if words suddenly appeared in the air before Du Fu.

    “Moonlit Night!”, shouted Du Fu as he continued writing in the traditional calligraphy style.

    Yeung Yin Siu examined the moves and now realised that Du Fu had been demonstrating a set of sword arts to him based on the Tong Dynasty poem from Du Fu called, ‘Moonlit Night’. Yeung Yin Siu knew the poem well. After watching Du Fu for a while, he countered in his mind with his own moves that could defend and counter-attack against the various moves being displayed by Du Fu. He figured that he would have already defeated Du Fu by the 20th stance.

    “Indeed, if Du Fu continues to write in the traditional calligraphy style he would be defeated by the most modest of swordsmen!”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly upon observing the various moves from Du Fu.

    Seeing the confident expression on Yeung Yin Siu’s face, Du Fu continued, “My sword arts are based on the poetry of Du Fu! Therefore those familiar with his poetry would know the words to the various poems! They could thus anticipate each and every one of my attacks and thrusts! These sword arts would thus be rendered as useless!”.

    Giving a yell, Du Fu suddenly shouted, “Travelling Again”, as he flicked his wrists and twisted his body gracefully and effortlessly. A series of large words appeared before Du Fu. It seemed as if he was writing in a black cloud of mist.

    Yeung Yin Siu knew the poem ‘Travelling Again’ well having studied it during his childhood from Fisherman Nam. He knew each and every character from this poem from the beginning to end. Once again he observed the various moves, and fought with Du Fu in his mind. He thought of a number of attacking, defending, and counterattacking stances well in advance upon hearing the title of the poem. Suddenly Du Fu changed from using the traditional to unorthodox calligraphy style of writing. This change of stances dumb founded Yeung Yin Siu. In a short space of time, he realised that he had no idea where Du Fu’s attacking thrusts were coming from. He would have suffered a mortal wound in less than 5 stances.

    “Incredible!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu upon this realisation.

    Noticing the change of expression on Yeung Yin Siu’s face, Du Fu remarked with a smile, “By using a formless style of calligraphy I render my opponents useless in a battle! They know the words, but cannot guess the attacks! Leading them to an ultimate defeat!”.

    He laughed very hard before resting his bamboo pen back on the table. He resumed sitting moments later. Sweat was falling freely from his face and neck. After a while he continued, “Also I am by no means the worst poet, painter, or musician!”.

    “Most artists leave their personal feelings in their paintings! People can accurately guess the mentality of a painter and their state of mind upon looking at their paintings! This is not necessarily a good thing!”, remarked Du Fu.

    Shifting his glance to Yeung Yin Siu, he continued, “But in my paintings I am able to foretell and accurately guess the mentality of the people who observe my paintings! They cannot guess what I’m thinking however! Is this not the highest form of art?”.

    “I guess so!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu. It was indeed better to be able to guess what other people are thinking and feeling.

    “But people dislike having their own thoughts and state of mind being revealed upon looking at one of my paintings! Therefore everyone says that mine are the worst!”, added Du Fu with a beaming smile.

    Smiling, Yeung Yin Siu continued, “Why did you reveal your secrets to me today? Aren’t you afraid that I’m going to use these against you in the future?”.

    “Not at all! Not at all!”, replied Du Fu with a loud laugh.

    After a while he said in a confident tone, “My sword arts are formless! Though you know the essence behind it, you’ll never be able to accurately guess or anticipate the thrusts!”.

    “The more you know! The less chance you have of winning!”, added Du Fu in a serious tone. Yeung Yin Siu did not offer a reply. Instead he sat quietly pondering over what had just been said by Du Fu.

    After a while, Yeung Yin Siu noticed that Du Fu was preoccupied with something. He asked in a curious tone, “Brother Du! What is it?”. But Du Fu did not reply.

    Following Du Fu’s gaze, Yeung Yin Siu, could see a three people walking towards the tavern. One was a little girl around 7-8 years of age. She was wearing a light grey dress with white trimmings. This was Ah Sing. There was a man in his mid 20s walking with them. He was wearing a long purple robe with white trimmings. He had a very handsome face, covered by a small black moustache. This was none other than Chopstick Lee. The third person was a man in his late 40s. A long beard and moustache covered his face. He wore a torn brown robe. He looked very much like a common street vendor.

    “Could this man be the senior apprentice of the Lion Prestige Escort, Dik Do Tin?”, Yeung Yin Siu couldn’t help but wonder to himself.

    “Ah! So junior apprentice brother Lee is finally here!”, remarked Du Fu upon recognising the three people that had just entered the tavern and were now approaching the table.

    “Where on earth are Bak Tin Kiew and Hua Ling Do?”, Yeung Yin Siu thought to himself again upon noticing that they had not returned with the group.

    “Senior apprentice brother, greetings!”, said Lee Siu Yan whilst cupping his hands together upon approaching the table. He pulled over a seat and sat down. Ah Sing and the third man with them did the same thing.

    “Greetings!”, replied Du Fu returning the gesture.

    Motioning his hands towards the third man, Du Fu continued, “I guess this must be the senior apprentice of the Lion Prestige Escort! Dik Ho Tin! A pleasure to meet you!”.

    “That’s correct! I’m Dik Ho Tin! Likewise, I’m honoured to meet you! You’re famed throughout the Central regions of China!”, replied Dik Ho Tin whilst cupping his hands together.

    “Eh! Senior apprentice brother, who’s this?”, asked Lee Siu Yan as he motioned his hand across to Yeung Yin Siu.

    “I’m Beggar Ho!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu whilst cupping his hands together to acknowledge the other men at the table.

    “Beggar Ho?”, remarked Lee Siu Yan out loud to himself whilst looking up and down at the old bearded man before him. He looked very familiar. But Lee Siu Yan for the time being could not guess who he was.

    Du Fu turned around to order another two jugs of wine. The young waiter walked down to the cellar before returning with two jugs of red wine and placed them on the table. Du Fu broke seal on one of them before pouring a cup for each of the men. The men toasted each other before downing the wine in one gulp.

    Turning to face Lee Siu Yan, Yeung Yin Siu decided to ask, “Chopstick Lee, did you see the Chancellor’s daughter, Bak Tin Kiew and his 3rd senior apprentice, Hua Ling Do? They were on their way to meet up with you!”.

    “Yes! We saw them over two hours ago! They have since left!”, replied Lee Siu Yan as he poured himself another cup of wine.

    Stroking his beard whilst smiling at the same time, he continued, “Who would have guessed that the Chancellor’s daughter is such a pretty young girl! In fact she’s the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen! It’s lucky that I’m still a bachelor!”.

    “Eh! Junior apprentice brother, be careful what you say around this table!”, interrupted Du Fu upon noticing the look on Yeung Yin Siu’s face. He knew that Bak Tin Kiew and Yeung Yin Siu were in love with each other. He also knew the sleazy nature of his junior apprentice brother. Lee Siu Yan was known as the ‘Romantic Swordsman’ because all he ever did was win and break young girl’s hearts. He was also known as a ‘Freak’ because all he ever did was talk about girls and sex.

    “Why? She’s a pretty young lady! It’s just a pity she left so early! Otherwise I could have invited her for a drink! You know that no lady is ever able to resist my charms! I could have won over her heart in one night!”, continued Lee Siu Yan with a beaming grin as many romantic and sexual thoughts entered his mind.

    Suddenly a loud ‘bang’ sound echoed through the tavern as Yeung Yin Siu slammed a fist on the table. There was a touch of annoyance on his face.

    Smiling slightly Du Fu said, “Eh! Junior apprentice brother Lee, it’s not wise to mess with the Chancellor’s daughter! He’s a very powerful opponent you know!”.

    Ignoring Du Fu’s comments and focusing at the old bearded man before him, who was at this point looking rather annoyed, Lee Siu Yan decided to say with a smile, “Eh! Beggar Ho! What’s the matter? Don’t you like it when other people talk about young pretty girls? Or don’t you like girls at all?”.

    “Humph! What are you implying?”, questioned Yeung Yin Siu still looking very annoyed.

    Casting a glare at Lee Siu Yan he added, “Also I don’t mind it when other people are talking about pretty young girls! But not my girl!”.

    “Your girl? What do you mean your girl?”, questioned Lee Siu Yan with a puzzled look on his face. He was a little surprised that an old bearded beggar would claim the Chancellor’s daughter to be his girl. So he was a little confused. Besides, Lee Siu Yan, had always considered every girl on this earth to be his. He was successful at seducing both single girls and married women. He thus did not believe in true love. That’s why he’s remained single even after all these years.

    “Eh! Beggar Ho! Junior apprentice brother Lee! You’re forgetting that there’s a young lady sitting at this table! Let’s save this discussion for another day!”, interrupted Du Fu upon realising that an argument may start.

    “Master, it’s okay! They can discuss whatever they want! I’m not offended! Really!”, remarked Ah Sing with a big smile. She was a little curious as to why Yeung Yin Siu had become so upset upon hearing Lee Siu Yan’s comments. She was still very young and didn’t totally understand the relationship between a man and a woman. She found it very amusing that two grown men may start an argument over a young lady.

    “Eh! Ah Sing! Keep quite and don’t be so nosy!”, continued Du Fu whilst shaking his head to indicate to Ah Sing to remain quite.

    Turning to Lee Siu Yan, he said, “Junior apprentice brother, you were saying earlier that you had seen both the Chancellor’s daughter and Hua Ling Do! Where have they gone? Why did they not return here with you?”.

    But before Lee Siu Yan had a chance to answer, Dik Ho Tin asked, “Junior apprentice brother? You two are from the same clan?”.

    “Not only are they from the same clan! But they both have the same master!”, interrupted Ah Sing to the side with a little childish laugh.

    “Oh! Which master from Wudang would accept two such eccentric apprentices?”, questioned Yeung Yin Siu whilst laughing really loudly.

    “Eh! Beggar Ho! Only one of us are eccentric!”, protested Du Fu, with a smile.

    “And it’s not me either!”, added Lee Siu Yan joining in the laughter.

    “Grandmaster’s name is Priest Integrity!”, interrupted Ah Sing upon noticing that the conversation had strayed a little.

    “Priest Integrity? You mean the same great master from Wudang who taught the ‘Sword Saint Unrivalled East’?”, remarked Dik Ho Tin in shock. Never could he guess that Kim Mo Dik, Du Fu, and Lee Siu Yan were instructed by the same great master. Kim Mo Dik and Du Fu were top fighters, but Lee Siu Yan fell a little short of his expectations.

    “Yes! Priest Integrity is our master!”, replied Du Fu in a serious tone.

    “Ha! Ha! Ha!”, laughed Yeung Yin Siu out loud. He found it quite amusing that Priest Integrity could have accepted three weird apprentices such as the likes of the loner Kim Mo Dik, the artist Du Fu, and the playboy Lee Siu Yan.

    “If Priest Integrity is your master! I can see why he decided to expel your junior apprentice brother, Chopstick Lee from Wudang!”, added Yeung Yin Siu whilst still laughing hard to the side.

    “Eh! Beggar Ho! What would you know? I was kicked out for an entirely different reason than you could ever imagine!”, protested Lee Siu Yan with a cheeky smile.

    “You don’t need to lie to me! Rumours have it that you slept with Priest Integrity’s only daughter and was thus expelled from Wudang as a result!”, continued Yeung Yin Siu whilst laughing even harder.

    “That’s not true! Where did you hear that?”, protested Lee Siu Yan once more.

    Breaking into a little bit of a laughter himself, Lee Siu Yan continued, “I slept with his 25 year old sister!”.

    All three men broke into loud laughter upon hearing Lee Siu Yan’s comments. Ah Sing looked a little confused. She asked, “What’s wrong with sleeping next to a woman? Why did grandmaster expel you for that?”. Everyone remained quiet and did not respond to Ah Sing’s question. As grown men they found it a little awkward to explain the ‘birds and the bees’ to a young girl who’s not yet in her teens. So they jerked at the issue and quietly drank their wine for a while.

    After a while Du Fu decided to change the subject. He asked again, “Eh! Junior apprentice brother! You were saying earlier that you had seen the Chancellor’s daughter with Hua Ling Do. Where have they gone?”.

    “That’s partially my fault!”, interrupted Dik Ho Tin whilst shaking his head and downing a cup of red wine.

    “Your fault? How?”, asked Yeung Yin Siu upon regaining his composure. He wasn’t really angry at Lee Siu Yan for his earlier comments and still considered him a good friend. But he couldn’t control his rage upon hearing that another man would talk so freely about his intentions of seducing whom he thought was his girl. He was a little stunned an puzzled by this.

    “Young little Miss Bak was too eager to learn news about her late mother, Lin Chun Fa! She wanted to know what I discussed with her mother on the outskirts of Hennan 16 years ago!”, replied Dik Ho Tin as he gave a long sigh.

    “So what did you and Heroine Lin discuss 16 years ago? We’d also like to know!”, interrupted Du Fu and Yeung Yin Siu to the side. Lee Siu Yan and Ah Sing had already heard this story once so they went about their own business. Ah Sing remained drinking her herbal tea. She continued to ponder what had been said by the three men earlier. Lee Siu Yan glanced around the room to see if there were any pretty young ladies that he could take home for the night. But there were none. So he was slightly disappointed.

    Taking a moment to down another cup of wine Dik Ho Tin continued, “Heroine Lin came to seek a secret appointment with me on the outskirts of Hennan 16 years ago! She had come to uncover the truth about how her elder brother, Lin Mun Tung, and his wife, Yip So So, had died in Chongqing! Apparently she had come to seek me on advice from her senior apprentice sister, Lok Gum Fa!”.

    Leaning forward slightly so that no one could hear him, he continued, “Naturally I informed Heroine Lin that her brother and sister in law had died attempting to steal the ‘frost palms’ and ‘frost sword art’ kung fu manuals! That her sister in law, Yip So So, had been slained by members of the Lion Prestige Escort during the skirmish at the Chongqing Park! I also told her that I was uncertain as to how her brother had died as he managed to flee from the Chongqing Park whilst still being in possession of the two kung fu manuals!”.

    “How did Heroine Lin respond to that?”, questioned Du Fu looking very interested.

    “Heroine Lin agreed not to pursue the matter any further with the Lion Prestige Escort! Nor did she wish to seek revenge for the death of her sister in law given the various circumstances leading up to the skirmish! She also advised me that she was aware of the various rumours that indicated that the Black Bat Assassin murdered her brother! She said she had intended to visit the Beggar Clan to seek the truth from their Chief, Yik Fei Hung! That’s the last time I saw her!”, concluded Dik Ho Tin as he poured another cup of wine for himself.

    “If that was all that was discussed! Why did you disappear all those years ago?”, questioned Yeung Yin Siu not totally satisfied by Dik Ho Tin’s story.

    Stroking his beard, he continued, “Shortly after meeting secretly with Heroine Lin, a number of top martial artists came to see me to ask about the location of the ‘frost palm’ and ‘frost sword art’ kung fu manuals! I told them everything I knew but they did not believe me!”.

    Giving a long sigh, Dik Ho Tin continued, “One day a young swordsman named Yik Lo Fu sought an appointment with me!”.

    “Yik Lo Fu!”, remarked Du Fu and Yeung Yin Siu out loud.

    “Yes! This Yik Lo Fu was a rather vicious character! I told him all I knew, but he did not believe me!”, continued Dik Ho Tin as he slammed a fist down on the table. There was a touch of rage in his eyes.

    “So he captured and tortured you in an attempt to force what he thought was the truth out of you?”, guessed Du Fu upon seeing the look on Dik Ho Tin’s face.

    “For six stinky months!”, cursed Dik Ho Tin underneath his breath whilst slamming another fist on the table. One could notice a big scar on the left and right of his face, even despite the thick black beard. It was obvious that he had suffered and endured numerous tortures at the hands of that swordsman named, Yik Lo Fu.

    Downing another glass of wine, he continued, “I only managed to escape when Yik Lo Fu went to seek an appointment with the Chief of the Beggar Clan, Yik Fei Hung!”.

    “So you’ve been hiding ever since to avoid being questioned by other martial arts experts over the disappearance of the ‘frost palms’ and ‘frost sword arts’?”, questioned Yeung Yin Siu at the conclusion of Dik Ho Tin’s tale. Dik Ho Tin did not respond. He nodded to indicate that Yeung Yin Siu had guessed correctly.

    Still a little troubled, Du Fu asked in amazement, “So that young swordsman, Yik Lo Fu, also went to seek the Beggar Clan?”.

    “Yes! He sought to intercept and capture Heroine Lin for questioning!”, replied Dik Ho Tin whilst shifting his glance across to Du Fu.

    “So there’s no question that Yik Lo Fu is somehow connected to the death of Heroine Lin”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly upon remembering the look on Bak Tin Kiew’s face when she saw the wounds on the Black Phoenix Assassin’s neck. Those wounds were made by the tip of a fencing sword that are commonly wielded by the ‘unrivalled tiger swordsman’. He also noticed that Yik Lo Fu had carried a similar sword in his grasp earlier in the day.

    “Apart from Heroine Lin! Who else sought an appointment with you during the past few years for information about the ‘frost palms’ and the ‘frost sword arts’?”, questioned Yeung Yin Siu once more. He wanted to know whether members from the Songshan Sect, or the Kunlun Sect had sought an appointment with Dik Ho Tin as they too would be likely suspects in the murder.

    Rolling his eyes to the back of his head to search deep within his memory banks, Dik Ho Tin replied, “Yik Lo Fu wasn’t the only one who sought an appointment with me. Chor Heung Lau from the Songshan Sect, and Yip Sai Yuk from the Kunlun Sect has also sought an appointment!”.

    “Chor Heung Lau! Yip Sai Yuk!”, repeated Yeung Yin Siu out loud to himself. But he did not recognise these two particular people.

    Stroking his beard, he asked once more, “Did they believe what you had told them about the two missing kung fu manuals?”.

    “I don’t think so! They said they would visit the Beggar Clan and Heroine Lin for further information! That was the last time I saw them!”, replied Dik Ho Tin trying his hardest to remember in detail the events that had occurred many years ago.

    “Hmm… It would not be out of the question that these people were also involved with Heroine Lin’s death!”, pondered Yeung Yin Siu as he downed a glass of wine.

    After a while he continued with another question, “Does the Chancellor’s daughter know that Chor Heung Lau and Yip Sai Yuk had also sought an appointment with you?”.

    “No! She left after I told her that Heroine Lin had gone to seek information about the death of her brother, Lin Mun Tung, from the Chief of the Beggar Clan!”, replied Dik Ho Tin with a sigh.

    Downing another cup of wine, he continued, “In fact young little Miss Bak doesn’t even know about Yik Lo Fu! She and her senior apprentice brother, Hua Ling Do, had gathered up a heat of steam and are now making their way directly to Shaolin to question members of the Beggar Clan!”.

    “Dam! She’s acting too rashly! There’s no doubt that some of the Beggar Clan members may have been connected with ‘Heroine Lin’s’ death! But they’re never going to reveal anything up front upon being questioned!”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly once more.

    Suddenly he had another thought, “Dam! What if she falls for a trap of theirs!”.

    Getting up from the table, before cupping his hands together, Yeung Yin Siu decided to say in an urgent rush, “Excuse me gentlemen! I must leave as I have some urgent business to attend to!”.

    “So soon? I’ve only arrived! Please stay!”, protested Lee Siu Yan as he downed a cup of wine.

    “Why don’t you stay for a little longer!”, added Du Fu whilst stretching out an arm towards the empty seat.

    “No really! I must get going!”, repeated Yeung Yin Siu. He had wanted to stay and chat with Du Fu and Lee Siu Yan a little more. But he realised that he needed to catch up with Hua Ling Do and Bak Tin Kiew to keep them out of trouble.

    “In that case we’ll see you at Shaolin then!”, continued Du Fu upon realising that Yeung Yin Siu had been determined to leave.

    Yeung Yin Siu did not respond. He immediately walked out of the tavern and onto the main road. Looking up at the sky he noticed that it had turned quite dark. It was already around 6.00pm in the evening. Time pass by quickly when one is having too much fun. Soft rain started to fall as he walked down the main street. He cursed inwardly upon realising that he did not have an umbrella. His hair and clothes became dripping went in around 10 minutes time as he casually strode down the main road. After a while he thought inwardly, “Should I return to the port of Kaifeng first to collect Cheung Ka Bo and take her as evidence to Shaolin or should I proceed directly there?”.

    Yeung Yin Siu thought about this long and hard. Had Cheung Ka Bo fully recovered and had regained her memory, he would have no reservation about taking her up to Shaolin for questioning. But Yeung Yin Siu knew that in her current condition she wouldn’t be able to help him. Besides Cheung Ka Bo could not have realised or understood what she had done. Reaching into his pockets, Yeung Yin Siu found the skin mask that was used to impersonate him. He thought inwardly, “This mask, Du Fu, and Cheung Cum are all I need to clear my name! There’s no need to drag that young lady into it!”.

    Upon making up his mind, Yeung Yin Siu also took the path towards the left of the main road and headed in the general direction of Luoyang and Shaolin. As he was walking down the street, he noticed something unusual towards a narrow back path to his right. He immediately glided towards the narrow path to take a closer look. He immediately recognised the swordsman walking down the narrow path. It was none other than Fa Fei Sit.

    “What’s he doing here?”, Yeung Yin Siu thought once more as he followed the white swordsman closely behind.

    Fa Fei Sit did not appear to notice that someone had been following closely behind. He too had been walking through the soft falling rain without an umbrella. But unlike Yeung Yin Siu, Fa Fei Sit was not soaking wet. A white cloud of mist formed around him as he walked casually down the street. It appeared as if the tiny little raindrops had been turned into snow upon contacting the skin and clothing of Fa Fei Sit. The snowflakes were caught in the gentle evening breeze and seemed to roll off Fa Fei Sit’s body with ease. It was quite an extraordinary sight.

    Fa Fei Sit was fast approaching the corner of the street. From the right side of the street appeared a young lady wearing a flowing blue dress. She had a pretty long face and appeared to be around 25 years of age. Her skin was as white as snow, but her face looked rather pale. Her lips were blood red. A small bamboo umbrella shielded her from the soft falling rain. She was proceeding slowly towards Fa Fei Sit. An inviting and warm smile suddenly appeared on her face as she stood 3 paces away.

    “Hey there handsome! It’s raining tonight! Aren’t you all wet and cold!”, the young lady in blue could be heard saying to Fa Fei Sit. She held the umbrella above Fa Fei Sit’s head to shield him away from the rain.

    “Ah! So it’s only Siu Wah!”, thought Yeung Yin Siu as he hid towards a dark alley to observe them. He found it quite amusing that he would run into one of the 7 Vixens whilst they were preying on an unsuspecting victim. He had also wanted to protect Siu Wah from any potential harm, as he realised that Fa Fei Sit was a powerful fighter.

    Fa Fei Sit immediately stopped in his tracks. He turned to observe the young girl in blue but did not reply. At all times his face remained indifferent and cold. He kept on walking down the road moments later. Siu Wah followed him. She continued in a sexy voice, “It’s so cold tonight! Why don’t you hold me so that I can keep warm!”.

    Noticing that the young girl in blue had only been wearing a very revealing blue silk dress, Fa Fei Sit replied, “If you want to keep warm! Why don’t you wear more clothes!”. He removed his white cape and handed it to Siu Wah. But she did not take it. Fa Fei Sit tied the white cape back around his shoulders and continued walking.

    Siu Wah became a little dumbfounded. In all her years on this earth, she had been able to seduce countless numbers of men without even trying. In normal days she had most of them drooling over her with sexual passion in their eyes by just asking them to hold her. Yet this white swordsman seemed unmoved. This made her even more determined to succeed. Stopping in her tracks, she decided to remove her top, revealing an almost see through brassier underneath. She said in an inviting tone, “Don’t you want to have some fun tonight!”.

    Pointing with an index finger between her legs, she continued, “All the warmth I need is here tonight!”.

    Fa Fei Sit did not turn around. He noticed that the girl had removed her top upon seeing the shadow on the wall. Reaching into his pockets before producing 50 taels of gold, he said, “You’re quite an attractive young lady! Why do you lower yourself to entertaining men on the streets for money?”.

    Fa Fei Sit placed the 50 taels of gold onto the ground. He said, “Please take this 50 taels of gold! You can start your own business or do whatever you want with it! But I don’t want to see you on the street again!”.

    “Why you? How dare you…”, cursed Siu Wah underneath her breath upon realising that Fa Fei Sit had mistaken her to be a hooker. How could he have known that she was particularly hungry tonight and was just looking for an early meal. How could she had realised that she had just met one of the most powerful fighters in the realm of wulin. He could have easily taken her life if he had wanted to.

    Despite remaining hidden behind a dark alley. Yeung Yin Siu couldn’t help but laugh a little inwardly upon seeing that Siu Wah had failed to seduce Fa Fei Sit.

    At this moment Fa Fei Sit had disappeared out of sight. Siu Wah was still standing in the middle of the street with a blank and confused look on her face. For the first time in her entire life, she had been unable to seduce a man. She was a little angered at first, but then she was overcome with a touch of love. This Fa Fei Sit was indeed a very unusual man. She became slightly intrigued by him. Siu Wah dressed herself before walking over to retrieve the 50 taels of gold. She immediately placed them into her pockets to cherish them like a gift from her lover.

    “Oh! I’m really cold! Why don’t you hold me?”, said Yeung Yin Siu in a mocking tone as he stepped out from behind the dark street corner.

    Siu Wah was immediately startled. Turning around, she shouted, “Who the heck are you?”.

    “Someone who wants to hold, kiss, and have fun with you tonight!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu unable to contain his laughter.

    Pointing an index fingers towards the bulge at the front of his pants, he continued in a cheeky tone, “I’m got the warmth you seek!”.

    Siu Wah was a little puzzled upon observing the old bearded man more closely. He appeared to be a member from the Beggar Clan, but his voice sounded very familiar. She shouted whilst drawing her twin blades, “Who the heck are you? Speak quickly now!”.

    Having enough fun, Yeung Yin Siu, smiled before launching two projectiles in the air towards the wall. Siu Wah immediately recognised them as the phantom venom needles. She said, whilst taking a glance around to make sure that no was nearby, “So you’re him! You managed to survive after all!”.

    Yeung Yin Siu nodded before walking up towards Siu Wah. He told her the entire story about the imposter from beginning to end. After a while he asked, “Where’s your sister, Siu Wai, at this moment?”.

    “She’s in Luoyang at the moment!”, replied Siu Wah.

    “Luoyang? What on earth is she doing at Luoyang?”, questioned Yeung Yin Siu in a very curious tone.

    “She heard various rumours that you had murdered a number of orthodox Head Masters and have thus gone to Luoyang to locate evidence to clear your name!”, replied Siu Wah once more.

    “Dam it! She’ll only get herself into more trouble!”, cursed Yeung Yin Siu inwardly. He knew there were many orthodox clan members gathered in Luoyang, making it a very dangerous place for a 7 Vixens member like Siu Wai.

    Suddenly he had another thought, “What if Siu Wai finds out that Lok Tin Kiew is actually the Chancellor’s daughter Bak Tin Kiew!”.

    Yeung Yin Siu was well aware of the deep grudge between the 7 Vixens and the Divine Butterfly Sect. He was also aware that Bak Tin Kiew’s mother Lin Chun Fa had murdered Siu Wai and Siu Wah’s two eldest sisters, Siu Wan and Siu Foon to gain fame throughout wulin. Siu Wai could no longer seek Lin Chun Fa out for revenge, but there’s nothing preventing her from seeking her revenge on Bak Tin Kiew. He had a sudden urge to travel towards Luoyang upon realising that Bak Tin Kiew was striding towards unknown hidden danger.

    Seeing the concerned look on Yeung Yin Siu’s face, Siu Wah decided to say in a reassuring tone, “Don’t worry about my little sister! She’s quite clever you know! She won’t get into that much trouble!”.

    “It’s not your sister who I’m worried about!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu out loud to himself.

    “Oh!”, remarked Siu Wah a little shocked upon hearing Yeung Yin Siu’s comments.

    After a while she continued, “My sister treats you really well! Don’t you ever hurt her! Understand?”.

    “I know she treats me well! We’ve been life long friends! I’ll look after her!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu, not totally understanding the warning given to him by Siu Wah.

    “Now that’s what I’d like to hear! Goodbye!”, continued Siu Wah as she cupped her hands to leave. She was looking in the same direction that Fa Fei Sit had headed off to.

    Yeung Yin Siu smiled. He said in a mocking tone, “Goodbye, sister Wah! Hurry up or you won’t be able to catch up with that white swordsman!”.

    “Why you…”, cursed Siu Wah underneath her breath as she disappeared like a blue blur from sight.

    Yeung Yin Siu turned back towards the main road. His legs felt rather tired at the moment. Looking around he noticed that a white horse had been tied to a rounded pole outside of a small inn. There was a ying yang carved into the saddle. Yeung Yin Siu smiled as he remembered the story about how Bak Tin Kiew’s horse had been stolen by Rain one night at the ‘Triple Fortune Inn’ in Kaifeng. Glancing left and right to make sure that no one was nearby, Yeung Yin Siu untied the horse. It gave a soft neigh before jumping on its hind legs. Yeung Yin Siu pulled the reigns to calm the horse down. He then leapt onto the saddle before giving the horse a boot to the backside. The horse gave a loud neigh before galloping off into the darkness.

    As Yeung Yin Siu and the white horse disappeared out of sight. A mysterious man rushed out of the small in. He was wearing a plain white robe with a red half-crescent moon embroidered at the top right hand corner. A black cape was flustering in the breeze. He wore a bamboo rain hat to shield his face from sight. A pair of sails had been strapped to the right side of his waist. This was none other than Rain of the 5 Storms. Waving a fist in the air, he cursed, “Dam thief! I’m going to make to pay for this!”.

    Rain disappeared back into the small inn moments later. Suddenly the wall towards the corner of the street seemed to come alive, as a shadow and then a man emerged before the wall. He was wearing a white robe with red trimmings and a brown bandanna on his head. This was none other than Brown Wood of the 5 Elements. He wrote a message on a small piece of paper before tying it to a pigeon that had flown down onto his shoulders. The pigeon flew in the air moments later and appeared to be heading in the direction of Luoyang. Upon sending the message, Brown Wood, walked towards the small inn. Looking left and right, he suddenly disappeared from sight. He appeared to have gone into the same small inn occupied by Rain.

    The End of Chapter 16.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  15. #75
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    Good chapter. Very nice setup for the next chapter I think.

    But he couldn’t control his rage upon hearing that another man would talk so freely about his intentions of seducing whom he thought was his girl. He was a little stunned an puzzled by this.
    This struck me as weird for some reason. "thought was his girl?" I thought she was his girl thus far?

  16. #76
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    Once again a nice chapter; I find your characters to be highly entertaining. Good job on the characterizations.
    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

  17. #77
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    Originally posted by Demitre
    Good chapter. Very nice setup for the next chapter I think.



    This struck me as weird for some reason. "thought was his girl?" I thought she was his girl thus far?
    What I was trying to convey there was that although he knew that Bak Tin Kiew was his girl, no one else seems to have acknowledge that fact. One to note for my revision.

    Chapter 17: Autumn Tears - should be up soon. Was hoping to finish today.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  18. #78
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    Default Chapter 17: Autumn Tears

    Chapter 17: Autumn Tears

    The once green leaves on the treetops are starting to turn a dull yellow, orange, brown, and reddish colour. Some of leaves are caught in the gentle breeze and fall slowly to the ground like tiny little raindrops. The once bright and colourful flowers have withered away, unable to bear the freezing cold. The tops of some of the trees and plants have begun to go bare. Reptiles, snakes, rabbits, foxes, and various other creatures can be seen making preparations to descend under the ground for a long hibernation. It is a sign that Summer has now given way to Autumn. The weather has also started to turn freezing cold. A thick fog is forming at ground level. Blocking one’s view from being able to see clearly into the distance. Soft rain falls gently from the sky. The dirt track is very muddy as large puddles of water begin forming on the ground. Making it very difficult for travellers.

    It is now early in the evening on the outskirts of Luoyang. There’s a large stone at the end of an intersection of a dirt path. The words, “Yellow Willow Village”, have been carved into the rock. The village is about a day walk from the city centre of Luoyang. There are around 250 people who live and reside in the small village. Many of them make a peaceful living by hunting various forms of wildlife in the forest and selling them in the market of Luoyang. Right at this moment, on can see that there’s group of 10 hunters walking along the dirt path. They are making their way home after a good day of hunting in the ‘Old Willow Forest’ nearby. A few of the men carry a small dear or wild boar by slinging them over their shoulders. They ease the load on the others as a number of the men are struggling to push the large cart containing the day’s catch through the mud. The wheels sink in the deep mud. The hunters all look very tired and weary, but are quite proud of their large catch. Many of them realise that it’s the last few days of the good hunting season and that its going to be very difficult to hunt during Autumn and then Winter season.

    As the group of hunters disappear into the distance, a young girl in her early 20s emerge from the forest before making her way down the dirt path. It appears as if she’s heading in the direction towards Kaifeng. She’s carrying an umbrella in her right hand to shield away from the rain. A long walking stick is carried in her left hand. It appears as if she’s tapping the stick in front of her as she walks forward. There’s a large brown hawk resting on her shoulders. It appears to be very well trained. As the young girl approaches the large stone at the intersection, one could see that she is of slender built and of medium height. Her long silky black hair is tied into one bundle at the back. Two locks of hair dangle down to her shoulders by the side. She has a very soft and pretty face that is glowing brightly under the fading light. There’s a touch of purity and innocence about her. A flowing white silk dress is wrapped around her body, showing off her soft and elegant curves. Her boots and the lower portion of her white silk dress are slightly covered in dirt as she proceeds down the wet and muddy path.

    Moments later, the sounds of horse hoofs can be heard proceeding towards the large stone from the distance ahead. The riders appear to be coming from the main dirt path from Kaifeng and appear to be heading towards Luoyang. As they approach closer, one could notice that there was a group of eight men wearing bright yellow robes with red trimmings. They wore a red headband on their heads with a pair of red wolf fangs at its centre. All of the men were very rough and rugged in appearance. It was obvious that they were from the Red Wolf Fang. Most of the men were wearing a cape made out of wolf skin to keep warm. The leader of the group of men was a well-built middle aged man. He looked a lot fiercer than the other men. There were a number of deep claw scars on both sides of his face. A curved sword is carried in his left hand as he rides. The sheath of his sword was made of wolf skin. This man appeared to be none other than Hung Ngan, the senior apprentice of Miu Tit Sie.

    As the group of men approaches the intersection the hawk on the young girl’s shoulders launches into the air. It gives a loud cry before flying off down the main road. It seems as if the hawk senses the danger ahead and appears to be looking for help to aid the young lady in white.

    “Be careful Sky King!”, shouted the young lady in white upon noticing that her pet hawk had flown from her shoulders. The hawk gave another cry to acknowledge the young lady in white as it flew towards the group of riders ahead. The young girl in white decided to move off the dirt path and walk along the rough grass to the side, upon noticing that the group of riders are approaching her. She was trying her best to avoid trouble.

    Noticing that a hawk was flying above their heads towards them, Hung Ngan, could be heard shouting, “Ha! Ha! Let’s have a little bit of fun!”.

    “Shoot it down!”, he continued as he pulled a bow and arrow strapped to his back. He immediately tried to shoot the hawk out of the sky. The other men did the same. They were all laughing hard as they launched a series of arrows in the air. To them it was all in good fun. But the hawk twisted and avoided all of the arrows. It managed to escape unscathed. Giving another loud cry it disappeared into the distance ahead.

    “Dam it!”, cursed Hung Ngan upon seeing that the hawk had managed to escape from his grasp. Hung Ngan had always considered himself to be a master of the beast. He hunted and killed the most dangerous animals on this earth including, wolves, tigers, lions, and mountain bears with his two fists alone. So he was a little disappointed that he was unable to shoot down the hawk with an arrow.

    The members of the Red Wolf Fang had now approached closer to the large stone at the intersection. They immediately fixed their gaze at the pretty young girl in white walking to the side of the road. Hung Ngan give a signal for everyone to stop. All of the men pulled on the reigns on their horses. Giving a nudge to a rider close by, Hung Ngan asked slyly, “What do you think of that girl! I need a second opinion!”.

    “Yeah! She’s great! Almost like an angel!”, replied one of the riders with a smirk. His face looked rather horrid at this moment. He wore an eye patch over his left eye. There was a deep sword scar on the right sight of his face that creased as he smiled.

    “She’s a goddess!”, added another one of the riders with a beaming grin. One could see that this man had lost his two front teeth.

    “She’s definitely one of a kind! A real beauty!”, added another with a sly smile.

    “We haven’t seen someone as pretty as her along our journey!”, agreed another whilst drooling.

    The young girl in white could hear what the riders were saying to each other as they approached her slowly. She immediately began to feel a little uneasy inside. She had rarely ever left home, but was aware that the outside world, but especially wulin was full of peril and danger. She increased her speed hoping to walk past the group of riders without trouble. They haven’t taken any actions as of yet.

    Suddenly she could hear the riders bursting out in loud laughter amongst themselves. It was all too easy. They could not see a single person travelling along the dirt path apart from the young girl in white. She appeared to be totally frail and defenceless. Most of the hunters had already gone home. Just as Hung Ngan was about to dismount, one of the riders at the rear decided to say, “Senior apprentice brother! Let’s just go on our way! Master has sent us on an important mission! We can’t afford any delays!”.

    Turning to cast a glare at the rider who spoke up, Hung Ngan said, “What the hell is wrong with you? This won’t take long! We will still be able to go about our business! Let’s just have some fun first!”.

    The rider at the rear seemed to have been enchanted by the beauty of the young lady in white. He had suddenly fallen for her and did not wish to participate in causing her any harm. Despite his rugged appearance, he possessed a good heart deep inside. He was unlike the rest of the men who only had lust in their eyes upon seeing the young pretty girl in white dress. In every group there is always a leader, and someone who does not follow his leadership.
    The rider at the rear spoke up once more, “Senior apprentice brother! Please let her pass! Let’s just get on our way!”.

    Grabbing a whip from one of the riders closest to him, Hung Ngan swung it across the face of the rider at the rear. A loud ‘whack’ echoed through the air as a large wound immediately opened up to the right side of the face of the rider at the rear. It started to bleed freely. The rest of the men gave a loud cheer upon seeing this. Hung Ngan said with a tone of disgust, “That’s your punishment for being a coward and for defying my orders!”.

    Dismounting his horse before handing the reigns over to the rider at the rear, Hung Ngan continued, “Since you don’t want to participate in this! You can at least do something useful! Like holding the reigns to all of our horses!”.

    The rider at the rear had now learnt his lesson. He paid the price of going against the will of the majority of the group. But he still did not want to harm the young girl in white, but at the same time did not wish to defy the orders of his senior apprentice brother. He held his face slightly as he reluctantly took hold of the reigns of Hung Ngan’s horse. Being the odd person in a group is always difficult. One must always submit themselves to the peer pressure of the group. Only those of strong will chose to roam through wulin alone.

    “Senior apprentice brother! That’s a great idea!”, agreed all of the other riders as they dismounted before handing the reigns of their horses over to the rider at the rear. The seven men immediately surrounded the young lady in white.

    “What do you want? Please let me pass!”, said the young lady in white upon noticing that her path had been blocked by 7 men. She stopped tapping her long walking stick along the ground. She knew what the men were up to and was slightly afraid upon realising that she was all alone. But she hoped that her pet hawk Sky King would be able to locate some help close by. She thus wanted to hold off these men as long as possible until help arrives.

    “Let you pass! Of course we’ll let you pass!”, laughed Hung Ngan out loud whilst signalling to the other men to prepare to attack.

    “After we’ve all had our fun!”, agreed another one of the men as he gave another loud laugh.

    “Ha! She’s blind!”, remarked one of the other men upon noticing that the young lady in white was holding a long walking stick in her hand. Although her eyes were wide open it was obvious that she could not see. Her gaze wasn’t fixed directly at any of the men. She was relying on all of her other senses to guide her.

    “That makes it easier for us!”, remarked another one of the men laughing even harder.

    “Enough talking! Grab her and pin her down!”, shouted Hung Ngan holding his hands up in the air. Indicating to the men to attack.

    Six of the men rushed forward to grab the young girl in white. Hung Ngan stood back with his arms folded. He figured that he didn’t need to intervene and the young girl would still be subdued. The lady in white suddenly dropped her umbrella before raising both of her arms in the air. One could now see that she had strapped to both of her forearms a hidden weapon. Four darts were strapped onto each side. A loud ‘swish’ sound echoed through the air as she launched the four darts from her right and then left arm. She aimed for one of the men approaching her from the right and one from the left. Although she could not see, she could hear the men trudging loudly through the mud. She used all eight darts as she wanted to kill as many of the men as possible. This was against her character, but she had no choice. She knew that the men had wanted to rape her.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried one of the Red Wolf Fang members out loud as the four darts pierced through his body. He had been caught off guard at having not expected that the young lady in white would suddenly launch an ambush attack to defend herself. He fell to the ground and died instantly.

    It was soon followed by another loud cry of, “Ah Ya!”, as another one of the men met the same fate as that of the previous Red Wolf Fang member. He had been too eager and was thus caught of guard. The four darts from the left forearm pierced through his body. He died upon contacting the ground.

    Hung Ngan and the 4 remaining Red Wolf Fang members were slightly stunned at the turn of events. They immediately jumped back to defend themselves against another possible attack. In a short space of time two of their men had been slained. So they were slightly afraid. Hung Ngan glanced up and down to observe the young girl in white more closely. A big smile crept back onto his face. Noticing that the young what lady was now out of darts, he ordered, “Quick! Seize her! She’s out of darts and is now totally defenceless!”.

    The young lady in white heard Hung Ngan’s orders. She suddenly bent down to retrieve for her walking stick before carefully listening to the movements of the men that had surrounded her. Hearing that one of the men had approached from directly in front of her, she launched the walking stick forwards with all of her might.

    “Ah Ya!”, cried another Red Wolf Fang clan member as he slumped to the ground and died instantly. The walking stick pierced right through his body. But he managed to clasp the stick tightly as he fell and took it out of the grasp of the young lady in white.

    “Oh! No!”, gasped the young lady in white upon noticing that the walking stick was no longer in her grasp. But she was determined to fight on. She gave a chop left and right in the general direction of the men who approached her. But they were rather useless strikes that carried very little strength with them. It was obvious that she was only, at best, a very moderately skilled fighter.

    The only reason why members of the Red Wolf Fang had died at the hands of the young lady was through their sheer arrogance. They had underestimated the young lady in white upon noticing that she was blind and looked rather frail. So they totally left their guards down. But the young lady in white was now totally defenceless. She felt that someone had grabbed onto the right side of her body and another had grabbed onto her left side of the body. She attempted to twist away, but they had a very tight grip on her. Besides their inner energy were far too superior. The pressure points on the young lady in white had now been sealed. She could no longer move or cry out for help.

    Walking forward and looking quite annoyed at the fact that three of his men had died at the hands of the young lady in white, Hung Ngan said, “Undress her! We’re going to make her pay for what she’s just done!”.

    “Right away!”, shouted one of the men standing next to Hung Ngan as he walked forward.

    He was just about to reach forward and undress the young lady in white when he could suddenly be heard crying out in pain, “Ah Ya!”, before falling to the ground. It appeared as if a black blade had struck him. It rotated horizontally before zipping away. Hung Ngan and the rest of the men jumped up in alarm upon seeing that the Red Wolf Fang member’s head had been severed from the shoulders. It was now rolling along the ground as blood spurted from the neck. Fixing their gaze towards the black blade they noticed a rider on a white horse fast approaching towards them.

    The rider was wearing a torn black robe, and looked to be that of a Beggar Clan member. The black rider reached out his hands to catch the black blade back into his hands. It was obvious that this rider was none other than Yeung Yin Siu. He had spent the past few days rushing to Luoyang from Kaifeng. He went as quickly as he could, but was delayed somewhat as a result of stopping along the way to assist some common folk who were in various kinds of strife. He had intended to ride all night and reach Kaifeng in the early hours of the morning. But as he was riding along, he noticed something unusual. A large brown hawk flew down towards him whilst giving a loud cry. It appeared to be urgent, so he turned from the secret short cut he had taken towards Luoyang back onto the main road. He followed the brown hawk and noticed a group of people attempting to rape and undress a young lady in white. Rage immediately swelled up in his heart. So he zipped his black dragon sword into the air with the ‘flying bat’ stance he had learnt from Kiu Pin Fok. He was fast approaching the group of men as he caught the black dragon blade back in his grasp. The big brown hawk circled around in the air above the heads of the Red Wolf Fang members.

    Seeing that someone had approached them at a rapid rate, Hung Ngan shouted, “Who the heck are you? How dare you interfere in the business of the Red Wolf Fang!”.

    “Ha! Ha! So it’s only you! Little 3 year old kids need to behave!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu as he dismounted his horse before tying it to a tree. He recognised Hung Ngan as the ruffian he had tangled with at the Golden Dragon Inn. He no longer feared his abilities or curved daggers.

    Casting a glare at Hung Ngan he continued, “Never mind who I am! Let the young lady go! Or else!”.

    “Old bastard! You must be dreaming! Prepare to die!”, shouted Hung Ngan as he reached into his pockets before launching around 10 curved daggers into the air. The other men held onto the young lady in white. She listened carefully into the fight between the two fighters. There was a slight look of disappointment on her face. She realised it was not the person she had gone to seek.

    Yeung Yin Siu had previously fought against Hung Ngan at the Golden Dragon Inn. That day he was unable to deal with the projectiles being launched against him with the fishing rod. But today was different. The black dragon blade was in his grasp. He twisted left and right whilst flashing his black dragon blade into the air. A continuous ‘cling’ sound echoed through the air as the projectiles were diverted away from Yeung Yin Siu’s body. His skills have greatly improved since that day. Hung Ngan was totally shocked. In his mind there were very few people in wulin capable of beating him apart from the top 20 elite fighters. He was slightly terrified upon seeing how easily his curved daggers had been dealt with. He realised that the beggar in front of him had indeed been a tough fighter. He immediately unsheathed his sword to launch an attack towards Yeung Yin Siu’s head. Yeung Yin Siu ducked backwards to avoid the blow. He suddenly swept forwards and tripped Hung Ngan onto his backside with his right leg. Suddenly Yeung Yin Siu appeared to have separated into three people. Hung Ngan’s face suddenly turned a little pale upon seeing this.

    “Quick! That old bastard is powerful! Let’s retreat!”, shouted Hung Ngan upon picking himself up from the puddle of mud. He leapt onto his horse before giving it a hard boot to the backside. The horse immediately took off and disappeared from sight. The other men did the same and soon disappeared from sight. Four horses without riders disappeared into the wild also. Their master’s had died during the skirmish. It was a heavy price for them to pay indeed, what they thought, was some fun along their journey.

    “What are members from the Red Wolf Fang doing here?”, Yeung Yin Siu thought out loud upon seeing that Hung Ngan and the others who had attempted to rape the young lady in white had disappeared. The Red Wolf Fang was based in the Sichuan province, so it was indeed a little strange that they had been roaming around on the outskirts of Luoyang. He immediately suspected that something was wrong. But he could not place his finger on it. He had also noticed that Red Flame, Green Earth, Siu Wah, and Rain had set up camp in Kaifeng the previous day.

    “Perhaps Tit Yum Ching has also headed to Luoyang!”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly again. This was a high possibility he thought given that the 5 Elements and various other Demon Cult members had been in Kaifeng. He stood with his arms folded and thought very hard about this prospect. Momentarily forgetting that the young girl in white was standing silently to the side. Her pressure points had not yet been released. The brown hawk had now returned resting on the shoulders of the young lady in white. It gave a soft cry.

    Yeung Yin Siu suddenly awoke from his daze. He finally noticed that the young lady in white had remained standing upright without moving an inch or saying a word. He immediately approached her and released her pressure points.

    Cupping her hands together, the young lady said, “Thank you very much for saving my life!”.

    “It’s nothing! Saving lives and ridding the world of evil is something that I should do!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu as he examined the deceased bodies on the ground. He knew that he had only killed one of them so wanted to know how the other three had died.

    Taking a couple of darts into his hands before examining them more closely. He thought inwardly, “So this young lady knows a little bit of kung fu!”.

    “Thanks!”, continued the young girl in white once more. At this very moment the young girl in white reached into her pockets before reloading both of the secret weapons strapped to her forearms with eight darts, four on each side. She reached around before picking up both her walking stick and her umbrella from the muddy path. The soft rain was still falling from above. She was now both slightly muddy and wet. But she looked as if she was determined to journey on. Soft tapping sounds could be heard as she walked.

    It was only then that Yeung Yin Siu realised that the young lady in white was blind. He decided to say in an urgent rush, “Eh! Little girl! Where are you going? It’s dangerous to be walking all alone tonight!”.

    Stopping slightly, the lady in white continued, “I’m searching for my brother! He’s been gone for almost six months now! I’m worried about him! So I must find him!”.

    “Who’s your brother?”, asked Yeung Yin Siu in a curious tone as he raced by the young lady in white’s side. He stood 3 paces directly before her. He wanted to prevent her from journeying on. Looking up at the sky he noticed that it was starting to turn late. It was around 6.00pm in the evening. The light had already started to fade. He was thus very concerned about the safety of the young girl in white and wanted to convince her to go home.

    “My brother! I’m afraid that I can’t tell you! I promised to keep his identity a secret!”, replied the young lady in white she started moving forward again.

    “Oh!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu out loud. He was a little shocked by her response. He thought inwardly, “I wonder who her brother is! Why is he so secretive!”.

    After a pausing for a moment to think, Yeung Yin Siu continued, “Eh! It’s getting very late! It’s very dangerous to be travelling by yourself this time of night!”. He remained standing before the young girl in white to block her path forward.

    The young lady in white stopped in her tracks. She realised that the man who stood before her had some logic. She had just been surrounded by a group of thugs and nearly got raped as a result. It was lucky that someone had been travelling close by that she managed to escape unharmed. But she still wanted to find her brother at the same time. She debated hard in her mind about this. She half wanted to proceed ahead to find her brother, and she half wanted to go home to wait for him to return.

    Realising that a young and blind girl couldn’t have walked far even if she had started the journey in the morning, Yeung Yin Siu decided to say, “I have a suggestion! But I don’t know whether you’ll listen to me or not!”.

    “What do you have in mind?”, questioned the young girl in white. She was very interested in knowing what had the man before her had wanted to say.

    “Why don’t we find a place to rest for the night? I’ll help you find your brother in the morning!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu. He had actually wanted to continue journeying towards Luoyang but felt very uneasy leaving a blind and defenceless girl by herself. He realised that her kung fu was only modest at best.

    Giving a sigh, the young girl in white replied, “My home is located in the ‘Old Willow Forest’ not far from here! We could rest there for the night if you want!”. She was feeling wet, and tired at the moment. So she had finally made up her mind that she would go home. She could sense that the man in front of her was a very honourable person and would not harm her. It was said that the blind could see through the heart of all those before them. They could differentiate between those that are good and those that are evil.

    “Then it’s decided! I’ll take you home!”, agreed Yeung Yin Siu as he led the young girl in white towards his horse before untying it from the tree. He mounted the horse first before giving the young lady a helping hand. He sat her at the front of the saddle. That way he could hold onto her tightly to make sure that she couldn’t fall off the horse. She seemed a little startled and uneasy upon mounting the horse. It was obvious that she had never rode on horseback or been off the ground before.

    “Don’t worry! Riding on horseback is very safe! I won’t let you fall! Trust me!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu to reassure the young lady in white.

    “Which way so I go? Are you able to guide me?”, continued Yeung Yin Siu as he stared down the dirt path in front of him. He knew he had arrived at the ‘Yellow Willow Village’, but had no idea where the ‘Old Willow Forest’ was.

    Suddenly the big brown hawk flew into the air before giving a soft cry. The young lady in white smiled, before saying, “Just follow Sky King! He knows the way home! He’s my eyes and will lead the way!”.

    “Excellent!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu as he booted the horse. It immediately galloped after the brown hawk in the sky. They travelled down the small dirt path for around another 10 minutes. The hawk then turned towards the right. Yeung Yin Siu followed him and turned down a narrow path into a forest of very tall and old willow trees. The leaves on the trees had all turned yellow. The leaves were caught in the gentle evening breeze and fell softly onto the ground like tiny little raindrops. The ground had been covered in a blanket of yellow.

    “It’s beautiful!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu as he looked up and marvelled at the sight before him.

    “What’s beautiful?”, asked the young girl in white in a very curious tone.

    “The yellow leaves on the old willow trees! They’re falling to the ground like soft yellow rain!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu as he held out his hands to catch a few of the leaves in his grasp.

    “Oh! It’s probably a beautiful sight indeed! I wouldn’t know!”, remarked the young lady in white as she gave a long sigh. She was blind and thus could not appreciate such a beautiful sight.

    Yeung Yin Siu suddenly felt a little sadden upon realising that the young lady in white was blind. Suddenly the images that Yeung Yin Siu had blocked out of his mind for the past few months flashed before his mind. He remembered that he had seen such a sight before in his dreams and nightmares. He suddenly clutched tightly onto the reigns of the horse. In doing so he also clutched tightly on the young lady in white. It appeared as if she could feel the wave of emotions stirring through Yeung Yin Siu’s heart. She asked in a curious tone, “What is it? Is there anything wrong? I sense the fear, grief, regret, and sorrow building in your heart at the same time!”.

    Yeung Yin Siu was a little shocked by the young lady in white’s comments. But he realised that people who are blind have very attuned senses. So he replied, “This old forest reminds me of a place deep in my dreams and nightmares!”.

    “What did you see?”, questioned the young lady in white once more. She was becoming very interested.

    “Death!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu. He suddenly realised that Autumn and death were strongly connected with each other and thus gave a little sigh.

    “Death? What do you mean?”, continued the young lady in white, probing for further information.

    Yeung Yin Siu decided to tell the young girl in white about the images that he had seen in his dreams and nightmares. The young girl in white remained silent upon hearing Yeung Yin Siu’s story. She asked after a little while, “Did you see the name that was written on the wooden plark?”.

    “No! I chose not to look! But I could recognise that it was someone very close!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu. Never once did he see the full name that had been written on the wooden plark in his nightmare. He only saw and recognised the first four strokes of the character being written onto the wooden plark. But from the sorrow, regret, and misery that he felt in his heart, he was sure that it was someone who was close to him that he had seen die. He would wake up in cold sweat before having a chance to look at the full name.

    “Oh! Then perhaps you should let go! It’s obvious you know in your heart who the person is but chose not to believe it!”, continued the young girl in white. She then proceeded to explain that dreams and nightmares are nothing more than the subconscious mind travelling between, past, present, and future. It enables one to learn from pats events whilst at the same time allow one to foreshadow the events in the future.

    Yeung Yin Siu remained silent and did not respond. He fixed his gaze ahead and noticed that they are now arriving towards a small bamboo cottage built in a clearing amongst the forest. The roof of the house was thatched with straw. The walls were made with pinewood. There was a small courtyard at the front, and a small garden at the back of the house. The house was surrounded and fenced off by tall bamboo sticks. There was a small river that flowed from the mountains and passed through the front of the house. A small stone bridge was built to the side to allow access. There was a short gate just before the bridge. Two large elephant statutes had been placed on either side of the gate.

    “Does anyone live with you?”, asked Yeung Yin Siu as they slowly approached the large gate before the stone bridge. Even from a distance, he could notice that the house had been lit up by candlelight. This was rather odd given that the young lady in white was blind. So he assumed that the young lady in white did not live by herself. But wanted to make certain by asking.

    “No! My parents have past away! I live by myself! Why do you ask?”, replied the young lady in white in a curious tone.

    “You house has been lit up by candle light! It’s a sign that someone may have passed through or are currently resting inside! Are you expecting anyone?”, continued Yeung Yin Siu as he pulled the reigns on his horse to stop. They had arrived at the large bamboo gate. He dismounted the horse moments later before opening the gate.

    The young girl was caught in a trance, she though out loud, “Perhaps brother’s finally home!”.

    Another thought crossed her mind, “Or maybe it’s him!”.

    “Who are you talking about?”, asked Yeung Yin Siu in a curious tone upon hearing her thoughts and comments. They had now entered the gate. Yeung Yin Siu closed the gate before leading the horse and the young lady over the small stone bridge. He was now proceeding towards the front courtyard.

    A slight smile appeared on the young lady in white’s face before she replied, “A very good artist friend of mine! He passed this way around 5 months ago! He decided to lodge here for two months before moving on! But he said he’d be back to visit me again in Autumn! So I’m expecting him!”.

    Unable to hold back her laughter, she continued, “My friend is really special! He’s very funny and talented! He’s the only person in this world who’s been able to make me see the splendour and beauty of this world! Not only is he a talented artist, but he’s also a great musician, and poet as well!”.

    “Du Fu?”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly upon hearing the comments from the young lady in white. Apart from Du Fu, he could not think of anyone else in China who was equally skilled in painting, music, and poetry.

    Yeung Yin Siu had now entered the courtyard. There were various fruit trees and herbal plants grown to the left, and peach-blossomed flowers grown to the right side of the courtyard. There was a small pavilion just to the side of the house. A chessboard, jug of wine, bowl of fruit, and a white zither rested on the table. There was also a small pond to the side of the pavilion. There were two gold fish swimming in the pond. Yeung Yin Siu helped the young girl to dismount from his horse before walking over to tie it to the base of an apple tree. He then proceeded to help the young girl inside the house.

    “Thank you very much!”, said the young girl in white once more as they entered the living room.

    “It’s really nothing!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu once more as he took this opportunity to observe the room more closely.

    The candlelight lit up the house with a yellowish glow. Yeung Yin Siu could see a large dinning table at the centre with a few chairs to the side. A large porcelain vase was placed at the centre of the table. It contained many beautiful flowers and roses. A large plate of fruit and various other items had been placed to the side of the vase. A large birdcage was hung from the ceiling. The doors were wide open. One could notice a water basin and a small container of food inside. The big brown hawk immediately flew from the shoulders of the young lady in white to take its place in the cage. It immediately started to feast on the food contained in the tray. The walls of the house were decorated with various drawings, and paintings. The bookshelves were full of books. Yeung Yin Siu found this to be very unusual given that the young lady was blind. There was a large bedroom at the back. Two small guestrooms were to the side of the main bedroom. A small fireplace rested to the side of the main living room. A pile of dried wood had been stacked up near the fireplace. Looking out towards the back garden, Yeung Yin Siu, noticed a small hut. He assumed that to be the kitchen. There was a restroom towards the opposite corner of the garden. A small clothesline ran across the back of the house.

    Turning to the young lady in white, Yeung Yin Siu decided to ask in a very curious tone, “I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure in knowing your name, miss…”.

    “My surname is ‘Yan’ and first names are ‘Sik Sik’!”, replied the young girl as she closed up her umbrella and placed it to the side. She then walked towards the main bedroom before returning with a large bucket in her left hand.

    “Yan Sik Sik! That’s a very good name!”, remarked Yeung Yin Siu out loud to himself.

    “You may call me Beggar Ho!”, continued Yeung Yin Siu after a little while. He still refrained from using his real name.

    “Beggar Ho! So you’re from the Beggar Clan! A pleasure to meet you!”, replied Yan Sik Sik sounding very pleased. She had heard about the heroic deeds of the Beggar Clan before. She was now certain that the man in front of her was a very kind and caring person, and that she did not have to fear that he might take advantage of her disability.

    Yeung Yin Siu thought he would clear up the matter by saying, “Miss Yan! You’re mistaken! I’m just a mere beggar! But I’m not from the Beggar Clan!”. But she elected not to respond to this. She just gave a nod before attempting to walk outside.

    Looking at the large bucket in Yan Sik Sik’s hands, Yeung Yin Siu realised that she had wanted to fetch some water from the river outside to bathe herself. He decided to say, “Miss Yan, why don’t you let me take care of that for you!”.

    “Okay! I’ll start up the fire then!”, replied Yan Sik as she passed the large bucket over to Yeung Yin Siu. She took out a couple of rocks from her pockets before banging them together. The dried wood caught alight as heat suddenly radiated from the fireplace and flowed through the living room.

    Pointing an index finger towards the small guestroom on the right, Yan Sik Sik said, “There’s also a bath in the guest room if you want to bathe!”.

    Yeung Yin Siu did not respond, he walked back out into the rain down to the river before filling the large bucket with water. He then sat by the fireplace to heat up the water before pouring it into the bath in the main bedroom. Yan Sik Sik was sitting on the dining table at this time playing a mellow tune on a white flute.

    Soon Yeung Yin Siu had filled the bath in the main bedroom with hot water. Cupping his hands together, he said, “Miss Yan! Your bath is ready!!”. Yan Sik Sik nodded her head before disappearing into the main bedroom. She closed the door behind her for some privacy.

    Yeung Yin Siu then went about filling the bath in the guestroom with hot water. He finished in around 10 minutes time before removing his old and torn black robe. He felt very calm and relaxed upon stepping into the bath. He sponged himself very slowly to start removing the dirt, mud, and filth on his body. He sat in the bath for around another 20 minutes before finally deciding to dress himself. He opened up his travelling bag and took out a clean black robe to wear. He tossed his old robe out on the line to dry after washing it in the bath water to remove the dirt and mud. He decided against combing his hair and looking too neat at this point in time. Until he cleared his name of course. He tipped the bath water out of the window towards the back garden before deciding to step back into the living room. He could hear that Yan Sik Sik was still resting and humming in the bath in the main bedroom.

    Walking up towards the wall, he examined the various drawings and paintings more closely. He noticed something very unusual about them. They were not drawn or painted on a piece of fine paper as was the tradition. They were actually drawn and painted on rather large thick blocks of soft pinewood. Running his fingers over the surface of one of the paintings, Yeung Yin Siu noticed that the artist had used a knife to cut the lines into the wood before applying the paint. Each of the pictures, drawings, paintings had very rough edges around the lines. Paint of different colours had slightly different textures. Allowing one to be able to differentiate from one colour to the next. It suddenly struck Yeung Yin Siu like lightning upon running his fingers along the portrait of a tiger. He thought inwardly, “Ah! So that’s what she means when she says that someone has been able to make her see the splendour and beauty of this world!”.

    He examined the other drawings and noticed that they were simple drawings of butterflies, leaves, birds, waterfalls, rivers, mountains, and various other animals. All of the beautiful and simple things in life that are often taken for granted by people who can see. There was also a painting of ‘Sky King’, and a portrait of Yan Sik Sik on the wall. This portrait was very detailed and quite beautiful. Yeung Yin Siu was impressed by the huge array of art on display, and now understood why the wall had been covered with them. It was obvious that Yan Sik Sik would stand near the wall and run her fingers across each of the paintings to visualise in her mind all of the beautiful things on this earth that she could not see. Yeung Yin Siu could also tell that the artist had loved the young girl named Yan Sik Sik with all his heart, given the amount of effort he had put into the paintings. But strangely Yeung Yin Siu noticed that no signature had been placed on any of the artwork. It appeared as if the artist had wanted to remain anonymous.

    Yeung Yin Siu saw an empty block of pinewood resting on the dining table, a small knife, and a colour pallet. He suddenly had an idea. He sat at the table before picking up the small knife. He carefully carved an image of an old beggar wandering through a large willow forest holding his hands up in the air to catch the yellow leaves as they descend to the ground. He finished in around 10 minutes before starting to paint over the image with the fine colour pallets. He used mostly dull colours like yellow, brown, and red. It took him just over an hour to finish his piece of artwork. It was thus not as refined, nor as elegant, as the ones on the wall. Besides how could Yeung Yin Siu’s artistic abilities compare with that of the unknown renowned artist. Time had passed by so quickly that he did not noticed that Yan Sik Sik had already dressed herself in a flowing peach coloured dress and had walked out of the main bedroom long ago. She had already gone to the kitchen to prepare a simple vegetarian meal and steamed rice for dinner.

    Yan Sik Sik could smell the scent of fresh paint in the air upon entering the living room. She asked in a curious tone, “Beggar Ho! What are you doing?”.

    “You’ll see in a moment when the paint dries!”, responded Yeung Yin Siu as he looked at the first ever painting he has done in his life since childhood.

    Yan Sik Sik smiled. She could guess that Yeung Yin Siu had painted something for her. Pausing for a moment she said, “Why don’t we eat first! And then you can show me what you’ve drawn!”.

    Yeung Yin Siu placed the painting near the fire to dry before picking up a pair of chopsticks to eat. Neither of them spoke much during dinner. After finishing his meal, Yeung Yin Siu, picked up the painting he did from the floor before returning to the table. He handed the painting over to Yan Sik Sik. He explained moments later, “Miss Yan! I thought that it was very tragic that you had been unable to see the yellow leaves from the tops of the willow trees being caught in the gentle evening breeze and falling to the ground like tiny little raindrops!”.

    “I saw the paintings on the wall, and thought I’d try my best to help you visualise those images for you! So that you’ll understand the beauty behind it!”, continued Yeung Yin Siu upon noticing that Yan Sik Sik had started to run her fingers over the painting. A wide smile crept across her face. It was obvious that her artist friend has spent some time educating her on the various colours. How they feel and what they looked like. Using emotions and touch as an example of how to visualise the colours. She seems to know that yellow felt hot like the sun. Blue was cool like water. Brown was dirty like mud. Red was anger. Purple was pain.

    “Beggar Ho! Thank you so much! This is wonderful! It’s a lovely sight indeed!”, she remarked as she continued running her fingers along the painting. She ran her fingers along each curve, and rough areas of the drawing. Though it was a little rough the drawing painted a detailed image in her mind of the yellow leaves falling to the ground.

    “No wonder my artist friend says that leaves falling softly from the tree tops are like mother nature’s Autumn tears for fading love!”, remarked Yan Sik Sik with a smile.

    “Autumn tears?”, repeated Yeung Yin Siu. He had no idea what that meant.

    “He once told me that, in Spring boy meets girl and love grows! In Summer lovers exchange kisses as passion burns! In Autumn tears flow freely as the love begins to fade! In Winter couples separate as the love finally dies!”, remarked Yan Sik Sik with a sigh. She had met her artist friend in Spring. It was now Autumn, so she couldn’t help but feel a little sadden upon remembering those words.

    After a while she asked, “Are you that old beggar in the painting?”.

    “Yes! That’s me! But it’s a very poor drawing and do not really reflect what I look like at all!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu with a little laugh.

    “Of course! You’re very funny looking according to this picture! You’ve nose seems a little long! Your chin seems a little too wide, and your ears seem a little too big!”, replied Yan Sik Sik as she gave a little laugh as well. Her smile lit up the room. But she was pleased that someone had gone to all that effort to paint a picture for her. Moments later she proceeded to the side of the wall before hanging it up on an empty space to cherish like all the other pieces of art she had received.

    Yeung Yin Siu was just about to say something, when he suddenly felt a cold chill run down his spine. He immediately reached for his black dragon sword, but it was already too late. He could feel the tip of an ‘icy’ sword pointing towards his ‘adam’s apple’ pressure point. It was followed by a very cold and chilling voice. It said, “What are you doing here? Tell me quickly or die!”.

    Before he had a chance to respond, he could hear Yan Sik Sik crying out in a loud voice, “No! Brother! Please don’t! He’s my friend!”.

    “Friend?”, questioned the mysterious swordsman whilst still maintaining the tip of his sword towards Yeung Yin Siu’s adams apple pressure point.

    Yeung Yin Siu took this opportunity to closely observe the mysterious swordsman by shifting his glance from the tip of the sword up to the face of the swordsman. What he saw amazed him. It was none other than Fa Fei Sit. He was totally shocked as he thought inwardly, “How could they be brothers and sisters? The young lady’s surname is ‘Yan’ and the white swordsman’s surname is ‘Fa’!”.

    It was now obvious that Fa Fei Sit had arrived at the house sometime during the evening and noticed that Yan Sik Sik was not at home. He lit up the candles before venturing out to find her in the dark evening rain. He spent around two hours walking in the dark before finally deciding to head back towards the small cottage.

    Yeung Yin Siu could now hear Yan Sik Sik explaining in detail about how she had left the house, and how he had just saved her from being raped by a gang of eight men. Fa Fei Sit decided to retract his sword before placing it back into his sheath. He still looked rather indifferent. He said, “Little sister, I’m glad that you’re safe! But don’t venture out in search of me again! The outside world is too dangerous for someone like you! Besides, no one in wulin can harm me!”.

    Turning his attention to Yeung Yin Siu, he said, “Beggar Ho! Thank you for saving my sister!”.

    “Brother Fa! It’s nothing! It’s our duty as warriors to save lives and protect the innocent!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu as he cupped his hands to acknowledge Fa Fei Sit.

    “You know each other?”, asked Yan Sik Sik in shock as she had not yet introduced them. But the two men seemed to have recognised one another.

    “We met at the Dragon Tavern in Kaifeng! Is that not correct?”, questioned Fa Fei Sit. They had actually fought with each other that particular day. But Fa Fei Sit did not want to raise that matter in front of his younger sister.

    “Yes! That’s correct!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu with a smile. He was aware of what Fa Fei Sit had been thinking.

    “Brother! Where have you been the past 6 months? I was worried about you all this time!”, interrupted Yan Sik Sik upon noticing that her brother and the man named Beggar Ho did not appear to carry any ill intentions towards each other. So she settled down a little bit. She knew that her brother was very protective of her and did not really like strangers or unexpected guests in the house when he is around.

    Casting a warm glance at his sister, Fa Fei Sit said, “I was in Chongqing in search of the Black Dragon Swordsman! I then travelled to Hennan and Kaifeng, before deciding to return here! That’s why I’ve been gone for such a long time!”.

    “Why did you go in search of the Black Dragon Swordsman?”, asked Yan Sik Sik in total shock. She did not know the reasons why Fa Fei Sit had taken off around 6 months ago. All he said to her was that he needed to do something urgently.

    “Because he is the ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’! I need to defeat him in order to prove that I am the best!”, replied Fa Fei Sit.

    “Did you manage to find the Black Dragon Swordsman?”, interrupted Yeung Yin Siu to the side. He had become very interested in the conversation. He had heard Kiu Pin Fok mention that Fa Fei Sit was in Chongqing that night and had pursued after the Black Dragon Swordsman when he was injured.

    Shifting his glance towards Yeung Yin Siu, he said, “Yes!”. Though Yeung Yin Siu was just a total stranger, Fa Fei Sit, didn’t mind telling him the entire story as he had just saved the life of his sister. Besides Fa Fei Sit was totally sure and confident in his own abilities did he did not fear Yeung Yin Siu.

    “Did he say anything to you?”, questioned Yeung Yin Siu once more. There was a touch of excitement on his face.

    “He said that I was not yet ‘worthy’ to be challenging him for the title of ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’ and that I needed to prove myself first before he will accept any kind of duel!”, replied Fa Fei Sit.

    Yeung Yin Siu smiled slightly as he guessed, “So he was the one who told you that you needed to defeat Mo Yung Bak, the Gentleman Sword, and the Calligraphy Swordsman before you’re worthy of challenging him to a duel! Am I correct?”.

    “How did you know?”, asked Fa Fei Sit in return.

    It was obvious that Yeung Yin Siu had guessed correctly. He continued, “I didn’t know for sure! I was just guessing! But you’ve just confirmed it!”. Yeung Yin Siu found it strange that the Black Dragon Swordsman would not duel with Fa Fei Sit, but instead sent him to challenge the other greats of wulin first.

    Suddenly he had another thought, “Why didn’t the Black Dragon Swordsman tell him about Feng Sap Chut in the South?”. That question was soon answered as Yeung Yin Siu remembered that Feng Sap Chut was virtually unknown to everyone in wulin. Few people were aware of his skills and abilities.

    “Perhaps the Black Dragon Swordsman had a hidden motive!”, Yeung Yin Siu thought to himself again as another thought ran through his mind. He was slightly troubled. He knew that someone of his father’s stature would not refuse a duel outright upon being challenged.

    After going through this chain of thinking, Yeung Yin Siu asked again, “Brother Fa! Did you see what he looked like?”.

    “I saw the Black Dragon Swordsman 20 years ago, and he hasn’t changed much since then! He is still very rough and rugged looking fellow, though his hair has now turned all white! He has four deep sword scars on the left and two on the right side of the face! An eye patch is worn over his right eye!”, replied Fa Fei Sit. He greatly respected the Black Dragon Swordsman despite wanting to beat him to claim the title of ‘Grand Champion of Wulin’. That’s why he had no hesitation in seeking out Mo Yung Bak, the Gentleman Sword, and the Calligraphy Swordsman on the Black Dragon Swordsman’s advice.

    “Maybe the Black Dragon Swordsman who’s returned to Chongqing is really my father, Yeung Yin Lung!”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly upon hearing the descriptions given to him by Fa Fei Sit. But he was still a little troubled by it all. Finally he remembered something Fung Lau Yin had told him years ago about his father. That he had lost the index finger on his left hand during the duel with the Gentleman Sword.

    Yeung Yin Siu probed once more, “Are you sure it was the Black Dragon Swordsman who you spoke with? How many fingers did he have on his left hand?”.

    “I’m not mistaken! I met the Black Dragon Swordsman 20 years ago! It’s the same person!”, replied Fa Fei Sit. He looked and sounded rather confident in his own judgement.

    Pausing for a moment he added, “But I didn’t see how many fingers he had on his left hand! Why do you ask?”.

    “Because the real Black Dragon Swordsman should only have four fingers on his left hand! He lost his index finger in the duel against the Gentleman Sword”, replied Yeung Yin Siu. He knew this was a very critical piece of information as few people in wulin know about this fact.

    “Yes! You’re correct! I remember that now!”, agreed Fa Fei Sit as images of the duel flashed pass his mind. He remembered that a lot of Beggar Clan members had gathered in Chongqing that day, and assumed that Yeung Yin Siu must have been amongst them. So he didn’t question how Yeung Yin Siu came to know that the Black Dragon Swordsman only had four fingers on his left hand. Besides in his present state, Yeung Yin Siu resembled that of a 40-year-old man rather than a 20-year-old man. Fa Fei Sit could never imagine that the old bearded man before him is none other than that same little baby boy that he had gone to fetch milk for all those years ago.

    Yeung Yin Siu still did not totally believe that it was his father who had been causing all of that trouble in Chongqing. But he knew that he would not know for certain until he journeyed to Chongqing himself. Shifting a glance towards Yan Sik Sik, Yeung Yin Siu decided to ask another question, “Brother Fa, if you don’t mind me asking? How is it that you and young Miss Yan here are brother and sister?”.

    Fa Fei Sit did not respond. He just shot an uneasy glance at Yeung Yin Siu. As if he suspected that Yeung Yin Siu had some ulterior motive for asking. Yan Sik Sik on the other hand decided to say, “Our parents died when we were both very young! We were both adopted by a kind and caring family! Their surnames were ‘Yan’! I have spent the majority of my life here!”.

    “We were separated when brother was accepted as an apprentice by the Head Master of the Songshan Sect, Chor Ngo Tin!”, added Yan Sik Sik as she shifted her glance across at her brother, Fa Fei Sit. It was obvious that Yan Sik Sik had changed her surname to ‘Yan’ as a sign of respect of her foster parents. Fa Fei Sit on the other hand maintained his surname of ‘Fa’ to ensure that the family legacy would live on. Yan Sik Sik’s foster parents had died just a few months before Fa Fei Sit decided to return to China. She’s been taking care of herself ever since.

    “Humph! But Chor Ngo Tin never had any real intentions of accepting me as an apprentice! He had other motives in mind! That’s why I decided to run away from Songshan Sect when I was just eight years old! But I didn’t have enough money to travel back here! So I hid on a ferry and ended up in Chongqing instead!”, interrupted Fa Fei Sit to the side. The expression on his face was normally cool and icy. But one could notice there was a touch of annoyance on his face upon mentioning the Head Master of the Songshan Sect. It was now obvious why the Head Master of the Songshan Sect had wanted to accept him as an apprentice.

    “Ah! That’s probably why the ‘frost palms’ and ‘frost sword arts’ had been delivered by an elder of Nepal to the Songshan Sect! Because they had heard rumours that Fa Fei Sit had been accepted as an apprentice by Chor Ngo Tin!”, Yeung Yin Siu thought inwardly. He knew he had guessed correctly. He now understood why the Head Master of the Songshan Sect had caused all of that trouble on the Lion Prestige Escort for losing those two kung fu manuals. It seemed as if Chor Ngo Tin had planned to obtain the frost palms and frost sword arts right from the beginning. Yeung Yin Siu was going to probe a little more about the history of the ‘Fa’ and ‘Lin’ family, and the origins of the ‘frost palms’ and ‘frost sword arts’. But the expression on Fa Fei Sit’s face was less than inviting. It appeared as if he wanted Yeung Yin Siu to leave immediately.

    Realising that Yan Sik Sik was now safe in the company of her brother, Yeung Yin Siu turned his attention back on the safety of Bak Tin Kiew and Siu Wai. He cupped his hands together before saying, “Brother Fa! Originally I was going stay here overnight and assist your sister in locating you in the morning! Now that you’ve returned, I really should be getting on my way! I have some urgent business to take care of!”.

    “Of course! Of course! I’m sure we’ll meet again! So take care until then!”, replied Fa Fei Sit with a hand out stretched towards the front door. He grinned a little as he motioned towards his snow sword. It was obvious that Fa Fei Sit had wanted to duel with Yeung Yin Siu sometime in the near future.

    “Beggar Ho! Goodbye and do take good care of yourself! Hopefully this won’t be the last time that you past through the ‘Yellow Willow Village’ and the ‘Old Willow Forest’!”, added Yan Sik Sik as she gave a little sigh. She had been very lonely since childhood. Apart from an old family friend who would come to visit her on a weekly basis to deliver the essentials like rice, and meat to her, she had no other visitors for the past few years.

    “No! I’ll definitely come and visit you again when I have the chance!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu as he walked towards the back garden to retrieve the wet torn black robe from the clothesline.

    “Excellent! I have another special friend! I won’t be so lonely here from now on after all!”, remarked Yan Sik Sik as she smiled again.

    Yeung Yin Siu was just about to walk out the front door when he heard Fa Fei Sit say, “Wait a minute!”.

    “Brother Fa! What is it?”, asked Yeung Yin Siu as he turned around to face Fa Fei Sit.

    “No one in wulin knows that I have a sister who’s blind! I’d like to keep it that way!”, continued Fa Fei Sit sounding very serious.

    “Of course! Your secret is safe with me!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu sounding very sincere and honest.

    “I hope so for your own sake! If anything should happen to my sister, I’ll know who to go after!”, warned Fa Fei Sit in a cold and chilling tone.

    Yeung Yin Siu did not respond. He just smiled before walking out of the front door and then untying his white horse from the apple tree. He lead the horse out to the main gate before mounting it. The horse gave out a loud neigh before galloping off into the darkness. As Yeung Yin Siu rode down the narrow dirt path between the old willow trees, he noticed a blue blur duck behind one of the thicker trees from the dirt path as he approached. He thought inwardly, “So Siu Wah has followed Fa Fei Sit all the way here from Kaifeng!”.

    He gave a little chuckle to himself upon this realisation, knowing that Siu Wah had to endure the cold weather and the rain for the past few days. He pretended not to notice Siu Wah hiding behind the tree and gave the horse another boot to the side so that it would gallop away quicker. He knew that the 7 Vixens had a very nasty temper. They love to flirt and tease men. But they hated nothing more then when being at the receiving end of jests and laughter. That’s why Fung Lau Yin often finds Kiu Pin Fok to be very repulsive. Besides Yeung Yin Siu had other important matters that he needed to attend to. The white horse galloped out of the ‘Old Willow Forest’ in around 10 minutes time before turning back down the main dirt path towards the city of Luoyang. Yeung Yin Siu rode non-stop for around two hours. It was dead silent in the night. He noticed that there were few travellers on the road. By now the horse had become rather tired and weary. Turning to the left of the main dirt path, Yeung Yin Siu, noticed a small stream following down from the mountains. He immediately dismounted from the horse before leading it down towards the stream. The horse immediately drank the water from the stream.

    Looking up at the sky, Yeung Yin Siu noticed that the soft falling rain had stopped. The full moon was shining brightly above in the sky. He estimated it to be around 11.00pm in the evening. His hair was caught in the gentle evening breeze. He felt rather cold as the wind brushed past his face, arms, and legs. His body had been covered in wet clothes so he shivered a bit. An uneasy feeling suddenly stirred in his heart as he thought. “Should I continue on or should I rest here for the night?”.

    He was quite undecided, having journeyed long and hard for the past few days on horseback. Bak Tin Kiew and Hua Ling Do had left Kaifeng well before he did. So they had most likely already reached the city of Luoyang by now. He had seen no signs of them along the way and thought they must have taken a secret short cut. His heart had not been at ease for most of the day for some odd reason. Walking over to the stream in scooped up some water in his hands before taking a sip. The water was cold as ice, but quenched his thirst, never the less.

    Suddenly the white horse reared up on it’s hind legs before giving a loud neigh. It appeared to have been frighten out of its wits by something. Wasting no time the white horse galloped away by itself into the darkness. Yeung Yin Siu had wanted stop it from taking off but he was a little too late with his efforts to hull in the reigns. He cursed, “What the heck!”, as he watched the horse disappear before his eyes.

    Yeung Yin Siu could now hear a loud hiss as something dark approached him. Turning to the source of the sound he noticed that a pair of luminous red eyes had emerged from the side of the stream and fixed its gaze directly at him. Yeung Yin Siu immediately drew his black dragon blade to defend himself. His heart was pounding slightly as he had never fought with an animal in the wild before. The beast in front of him looked rather vicious. But the big black beast did not immediately attack. Instead it walked three paces forward towards Yeung Yin Siu. He could hear the beast sniffing wildly in the air. Yeung Yin Siu became a little calmer upon noticing this. Strapping the black dragon sword over his back, Yeung Yin Siu decided to say, “Ah Ya! Black Snow what on earth are you doing here all alone! You gave me a terrible freight!”.

    The big black wolf immediately recognised Yeung Yin Siu as a friend upon catching his scent in the wind. It raced up to Yeung Yin Siu before sitting on its hind legs. It raised a paw in the air. Yeung Yin Siu grabbed onto the black wolf’s paw and shook it. He said in a cheeky tone, “You’ve scared away my horse! I’m very tired and will therefore need to ride on your back!”. The big black wolf gave a hiss to indicate that it would not allow Yeung Yin Siu to sit on its back.

    “Oh come on! Be reasonable! It’s all your fault that the horse has taken off!”, protested Yeung Yin Siu with his arms outstretched. He was feeling very tired at the moment having hardly slept for the past few days. But the wolf gave another loud hiss whilst showing its fangs to indicate that it was serious.

    Knowing that he wasn’t going to win the battle, Yeung Yin Siu decided to ask, “Where’s your master, Siu Wai?”.

    The big black wolf then propped back onto all fours and started to race down the main dirt path towards Luoyang. It appeared to be very excited at having located Yeung Yin Siu. It was running so quickly that it disappeared out of sight. It was obvious that the big black wolf had wanted to bring the good news to his master, Siu Wai, as soon as possible. Turning back to the main road, Yeung Yin Siu shouted, “Black Snow come back here! I’m only human you know and can’t run as fast as you! Besides I’m tired as hell! And you scared my horse away so I can’t keep up!”.

    Even with Ghost Mountain lightness kung fu, Yeung Yin Siu knew he couldn’t keep up with the big black wolf. It was the fastest creature across land on this earth. Besides he was rather tired and couldn’t be bothered chasing after it. Also he was still partially upset at having lost his white horse. Yeung Yin Siu was a rather lazy fellow at heart in any case. Not long after Yeung Yin Siu could see a pair of luminous red eyes approaching him again it the distance. Black Snow had returned, but maintained a good 100 metre distance ahead of him. Yeung Yin Siu could just see a pair of luminous red eyes starring back at him at regular intervals. It was almost as if the big black wolf was checking up on him to make sure that he was flowing closely behind. Now and again the big black wolf would give a loud ‘howl’ that echoed through the empty darkness. It appeared as if it was trying to communicate with its master as it proceeded ahead.

    After around 20 minutes of walking, Yeung Yin Siu, suddenly heard another loud ‘howl’ from Black Snow. A pair of luminous red eyes stared back at him before appearing to dash forward into the darkness at top speed. Yeung Yin Siu, could tell by the pitch of the loud howling that it was quite an urgent matter. He immediately pursued after the big black wolf, but he was quite some distance behind. He cursed upon feeling that his legs ached terribly as he ran. Running for what seemed like another 15 minutes, Yeung Yin Siu, could hear the sound of clashing swords. He could also see the bright sparks fly as weapons collided violently with each other in the distance ahead. As he approached the battle scene he could vaguely make out under the dim moonlight what looked like a group of 12 people led by three young ladies. They were surrounding another young lady in the middle of the dirt path. The three young ladies were wearing a light blue, orange, and purple dress. Each of them wore a matching coloured veil to cover the lower portion of their faces. It was obvious that they were none other than the ‘3 Jade Maidens’ of the Divine Butterfly Sect, Yuk Long, Yuk Wah, and Yuk Ling.

    One could notice that 12 horses had been tied to the trees to the side of the dirt path. They obviously belonged to the members from the Divine Butterfly Sect. There appeared to be a deceased body of a man laying naked slumped up against the tree on the opposite side of the dirt path. The body looked rather pale as if it had been drained of blood. The girl they surrounded was wearing a flowing black silk dress. Her luminous red eyes glowed in the darkness. She wielded a standard black broad sword with a red wolf head carved into the hilt. This young female was none other than Siu Wai of the 7 Vixens. The big black wolf had been trapped under a large net and could not assist Siu Wai who was now exchanging violent blows with each of the ‘3 Jade Maidens’ and another 6 Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices. The other 3 Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices kept a watchful eye on the big black wolf to make sure that it could not escape. Given that the black wolf was trapped a short distance away from the deceased body, it was obvious that it was caught whilst in the process of feasting on the dead human flesh. Siu Wai had probably cursed at it for thinking only of its stomach first and not rushing to the side to assist her in the fight.

    Yeung Yin Siu hesitated to take immediate action as he hid behind a large willow tree. He didn’t really want to harm any of the females from the Divine Butterfly Sect. But at the same time he had wanted to help Siu Wai to escape. So he decided to observe the fight from a distance as he thought of a plan to stop the fight without injuring anyone. He thought, “If I reveal myself now, everyone’s going to know who I am! I’ll have little to no chance to clear my name after that! But what can I do to intervene!”.

    He could now hear, Yuk Ling, shouting in a demanding voice, “Give yourself up you big demon witch!”.

    “You’re totally out numbered! And there’s no one here to help you!”, agreed Yuk Wah as she proceeded to launch a strike forwards towards Siu Wai’s lower stomach region.

    Defending the blow with the sheath of her sword, Siu Wai protested, “What’s the big deal even if you win this fight! It’s 12 against 1! You’ve won by sheer numbers alone and not through your own ability!”.

    “If you’re really chivalrous! Why don’t you tell the others to back off and I’ll take you one on one! I’ll be at your mercy if I lose! But you’ll have to let me go if I win!”, continued Siu Wai launching a strike of her own at Yuk Wah. The tip of her sword was pointed towards Yuk Wah’s left ear. Siu Wai knew that she could not possibly defeat the 12 Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices by herself. Knowing that she would be overwhelmed sooner or later, she worked on the tactic of upsetting one of them into accepting a one on one duel with her. She knew she’d win for sure against any one of the ‘3 Jade Maidens’. Her kung fu was a little more advanced as she had already lasted over 90 stances against 9 apprentices. Siu Wai could have utilised her lightness kung fu to escape if it wasn’t for the fact that her pet, Black Snow, had now been captured. In fact that’s the main reason why the Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices did not immediately kill the big black wolf upon capturing him in the net.

    Dodging to the side to avoid the strike, Yuk Wah replied, “There’s no need to adhere to the ‘ancient code of chivalry’ against a big demon witch like you!”.

    “That’s correct! Just prepare to die!”, agreed Yuk Ling to the side as she kept up with the offensive. Slashing diagonally left and right as she moved forwards.

    “Humph! I doubt if any of you ‘3 Jade Maidens’ would know anything about the ‘ancient code of chivalry’! Your skills are to poor to be roaming through wulin by yourselves! That’s why you must rely on sheer numbers to gain victory!”, continued Siu Wai as she did a single backflip to avoid the various strikes aiming to pierce through her body and take her life.

    Noticing that the senior apprentice of the Divine Butterfly Sect, Yuk Long, had kept quite all this time whilst maintaining her series of offensive strikes, Siu Wai laughed before continuing, “I heard a rumour that only the ‘Jade Dragon’ is deserving of her reputation and fame! The rest of ‘3 Jade Maidens’ are just plain useless and are overrated! In fact I heard that the rest of the apprentices from the Divine Butterfly Sect only posses three legged cat and mouse kung fu!”.

    “Don’t listen to her! She’s only trying to divide our attention! Flying butterfly formation!”, shouted Yuk Long as she took up a central attacking position before launching herself into the air with a horizontal attack. She knew what was on Siu Wai’s mind and wanted to prevent it from happening.

    Siu Wai knew her plan had worked upon noticing the annoyed and jealous looks on both Yuk Wah and Yuk Ling’s faces. Smiling wickedly she continued, “At first I did not believe the rumours to be true! But they’ve now been confirmed since none of the ‘3 Jade Maidens’ dare fight with me one on one! You’re all nothing but cowards!”.

    “Evil witch! What do you know?”, protested Yuk Ling striking towards Siu Wai’s left thigh with a low cut.

    “Okay! If that’s what you want! Then I’ll fight with you! Everyone back off!”, shouted Yuk Wah as she held her hands in the air. The rest of the Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices sheathed their swords but maintained their position around Siu Wai.

    “2nd junior apprentice sister, no! Don’t fall into her trap!”, interrupted Yuk Long to the side as she walked up to Yuk Wah. She grabbed Yuk Wah by the right hand to restrain her form taking any foolish action.

    But Yuk Wah did not appear to heed Yuk Long’s advice as she slapped her hand away. Casting a direct glare at Yuk Long, Yuk Wah said, “Humph! Don’t try to play dumb with me, senior apprentice sister! You’ve never let anyone of us handle matters by ourselves! So everyone in wulin thinks that we’re nothing but a bunch of no hopers! We’ll I’m here to set the record straight!”.

    “That’s right! Let 2nd senior apprentice sister handle this matter alone!”, agreed Yuk Ling to the side. The majority of the other Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices nodded their heads in agreement. Yuk Long had never really been close or really good friends with anyone from her own clan. So although she was the senior apprentice sister, not many of them actually liked her as much as they liked Yuk Wah and Yuk Ling. They would respect her judgement of course, had she enforced it. But the majority of them would brood about it later. Some would even talk behind her back.

    Yuk Long decided that she would back off and stood to the side. Yuk Long knew that Yuk Wah’s skills her probably not as good as Siu Wai’s who is a generation above them in terms of kung fu. So she warned, “2nd junior apprentice sister! I’m totally against this idea! But I’m willing to let you handle this matter if you insist! But you’ll also have to take responsibility for your actions should you fail! Understand?”.

    Yuk Wah did not respond. She just gave a ‘humph’ before turning her attention to Siu Wai. She said, “Are you ready evil witch?”.

    “Wait! You haven’t agreed to my terms!”, replied Siu Wai whilst holding back her smile. She had just managed to turn the tables to her own advantage. But she wanted to make certain of it.

    “What are your terms? Speak!”, demanded Yuk Wah whilst folding her arms.

    “Simple! That the winner of the this duel may do as they wish! If I lose I’ll place myself at the mercy of all of the Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices gathered here today!”, continued Siu Wai.

    “That’s agreed!”, shouted Yuk Wah in reply.

    “I haven’t finished yet! If I win then you’ll have to agree to allow me to leave here without being pursued by any of the Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices gathered here!”, added Siu Wai as she drew her black sword and stood in an attacking position.

    “Humph! You’ll have to defeat me first! Agreed!”, replied Yuk Wah as she gave a yell before charging forward. Channelling her inner energy Yuk Wah launched two butterfly palms aiming for the chest of Siu Wai.

    Twisting to the side to avoid the blow, Siu Wai bragged, “You’re not match for me! I’ll defeat you within 13 stances!”.

    “Humph! If you’re able to defeat me in 13 stances then I’ll commit suicide!”, replied Yuk Wah getting very annoyed.

    Sparks flew as the butterfly sword and wolf sword collided with each other. Yuk Wah looked very much like a beautiful and graceful butterfly in the sky. Her moves were elegant and based on the flow of ‘yin’. Siu Wai on the other hand resembled that of a blood thirsty bat. Her luminous red eyes glowing as she attacked. She possessed a very high level of ‘yang’ energy. It was said that out of all of the 7 Vixens, Siu Wai, was one of the few pure blooded vampires amongst them. That’s why her eyes are red, unlike the others. Fung Lau Yin and Fung Mun Kit’s parents were half human and half vampire. That’s why their eyes were normal. Siu Wai could be heard counting out loud as they exchanged blows, “One, two, three, four…”.

    By the 12th stance Siu Wai had Yuk Wah jumping up in the air with both feet stretched out horizontally. The tip of Siu Wai’s sword was originally striking towards Yuk Wah’s head. She had launched the attack whilst being in a crouched position. But now the tip of the sword attacked between Yuk Wah’s legs. She lowered her sword horizontally to block the blow. Siu Wai immediately took this opportunity to rush forward and launched a ‘phantom palm’ directly towards Yuk Wah’s chest. That was the 13th stance and last stance. Yuk Wah was in the process of landing and thus could not block the blow. Her sword was still held in a defending position below the waist. A loud ‘whack’ echoed through the air as Siu Wai struck Yuk Wah squarely in the mid-stomach region. She was sent crashing to the ground before coughing up a mouthful of blood.

    Standing in triumph some distance away, Siu Wai couldn’t hold back the laughter. She said, “I told you I’d defeat you in 13 moves! Your kung fu are exactly as the rumours say! Just modest!”.

    “But you don’t have to commit suicide! I don’t want the death of such a lowly skilled fighter on my hands! Besides people in wulin would laugh at me for bullying a ‘junior apprentice’ of the Divine Butterfly Sect! Being the senior that I am!”, added Siu Wai with a smirk. She knew she was a generation above that of Yuk Wah.

    “Now! Release my pet wolf and let me pass!”, added Siu Wai upon sheathing her sword and fixing her gaze at Yuk Long who was the leader of the group. She assumed that orthodox clan members would keep their word, and was no longer concerned about the other Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices suddenly launching an ambush attack at her, even though she was alone. Besides she had shown mercy by not killing Yuk Wah during the duel as it was conducted in the spirit of the ‘ancient code of chivalry’.

    Yuk Wah was brooding inside upon hearing Siu Wai’s previous comments. Her heart was suddenly filled with rage. She shouted, “Humph! You’re very much mistaken! I agreed to let you go! But I never said anything about letting your pet wolf go!”.

    “Kill that big black wolf! Quickly now!”, ordered Yuk Wah as she raised her hands in the air.

    “That’s really wicked!”, protested Siu Wai drawing her broad sword again as she tried to save her pet wolf. The other Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices drew their swords as well before launching an attack at Siu Wai. The three apprentices keeping a watchful eye on Black Snow immediately raised their weapons in an attempt to kill him.

    Watching to the side, Yeung Yin Siu, finally made up his mind to intervene. He had seen the unreasonable way in which many of the Divine Butterfly Sect had conducted themselves and couldn’t help but get a little annoyed. Reaching into his travelling bag, he took out a black scarf to cover the lower portion of his face. He took out a black piece of cloth to cover up the black dragon blade strapped over his shoulders. He knew that members of the Divine Butterfly Sect had seen the black dragon blade before and thus would immediately recognise him as Beggar Ho. Taking the black paper fan into his right hand, Yeung Yin Siu decided to use the ‘flying bat’ stance before immediately zipping it in the air to protect Black Snow. He did not want to kill the Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices, but just wanted to force them backwards.

    The three Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices immediately leapt back several paces upon noticing a black paper fan attacking towards them. It appeared to be a live bat attempting to drain blood from their necks.

    “Ha! The flying bat!”, cried one of the apprentices upon recognising the stance.

    “Be careful! The Black Bat Assassin is here!”, shouted another as all of the Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices raised their level of awareness. They all realised that the Black Bat Assassin is indeed a very tough opponent to deal with. But they still fancied their chances as they still outnumbered their opponents 6 to 1.

    By now Yeung Yin Siu had caught the black paper fan back into his grasp. He had listened to what the Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices were saying to each other and immediately came up with another plan. Utilising his lightness kung fu he darted behind another willow tree on the opposite side of the dirt path. He immediately launched two shiny projectiles just to the side of Yuk Ling and Yuk Long. He had aimed to miss them both.

    “13 Phantom Venom needles!”, gasped Yuk Long out loud upon noticing a shiny needle projectile whiz past her before lodging into a tree.

    “So that dam horny vixen, Fung Lau Yin, is here also!”, remarked Yuk Ling as her face started to turn a little pale in fear as the second needle whizzed past her right ear. Though Fung Lau Yin had disappeared from wulin during the past 20 years, she had left behind a brutal legacy. She had killed and murdered a number of Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices in her prime. She was also one of the most fiercest female warriors in all of China. Members of the Divine Butterfly Sect feared her greatly as a result. For it was said that Fung Lau Yin was totally ruthless and would make them suffer to no ends before killing them.

    Thinking that Kiu Pin Fok and Fung Lau Yin had arrived to save Siu Wai, Yuk Long immediately raised her hands in the air before shouting, “Quick! Let’s leave this place! We’re no match for the Black Bat Assassin and that demon witch, Fung Lau Yin!”.

    The apprentices from the Divine Butterfly Sect did not have to think twice about Yuk Long’s orders. They all utilised their lightness kung fu before untying and mounting their horses. The twelve Divine Butterfly Sect apprentices disappeared out of sight moments later.

    “Senior apprentice sister Fung! Brother Kiu! Is that you?”, Siu Wai could be heard asking as she took glanced right and left towards the old willow trees to the side of the dirt path. But she could not see anyone. She then untied Black Snow who immediately raced towards one of the large willow trees. Siu Wai immediately smiled. She knew that it had to be her good friend Yeung Yin Siu/Fisherman Ho who had just saved her life, because the big black wolf would not greet anyone else in such a friendly manner. It would still hiss and sneer even at the likes of Ah Kau, Kiu Pin Fok, Fung Lau Yin, and Fung Mun Kit. Kiu Pin Fok really hated Black Snow because of that.

    “Fisherman Ho! Is that you?”, questioned Siu Wai in a very excited tone as she searched for his whereabouts with her eyes.

    Siu Wai had not seen Yeung Yin Siu in over 2 months and thought that he had died. That day her heart had ached upon seeing that Yeung Yin Siu had fallen back towards the valley before disappearing from sight during the ambush on the outskirts of Hennan. That day she had crept under the Black Bat Assassin’s shoulders to save him instead of Yeung Yin Siu, because she knew he had treated Kiu Pin Fok like a father. Had Kiu Pin Fok died or been unable to escape during the ambush, Yeung Yin Siu would have definitely stayed behind and died along with him. Besides she was the only one who was capable at the time of saving Kiu Pin Fok from the sea of arrows launched at them. She had intended to return to fight by Yeung Yin Siu’s side once Kiu Pin Fok was safe on the slopes of the valley. But that’s when Yeung Yin Siu had crashed landed into the small cave and disappeared from visible view. Later she heard rumours that Fisherman Ho, had one by one, killed a number of the Head Masters of the orthodox clans. So she immediately went to seek evidence that would clear his name. She had also wanted to investigate whether the rumours were true. She was now making her way towards Kaifeng upon receiving a note from her elder sister, Siu Wah, indicating that Yeung Yin Siu was in Kaifeng.

    Yeung Yin Siu smiled as he realised that his cover had been blown. He removed the scarf covering the lower portion of his face before deciding to walk from behind the old willow tree. Black Snow had now run back in the direction towards the deceased pale body on the ground. It immediately began feasting on the flesh. Ripping off both of the arms before chewing them slowly. It was a rather horrid sight that even sent a chill down Yeung Yin Siu’s spine as he observed from a distance.

    But he managed to find a lighter side to things as he said in a cheeky tone whilst fixing a gaze at Siu Wai, “Sister Siu! Of course it’s me! Otherwise any other fellow who saves you would only share the same fate as that other fellow over there!”, whilst pointing at the deceased body being eaten by Black Snow for dinner.

    Still smiling he added, “I see that you haven’t lost your touch with men! Still as deadly as always!”.

    Even though Yeung Yin Siu had now grown a beard and In normal days Siu Wai would respond by being very angry and annoyed at Yeung Yin Siu’s initial cheeky comments. Yeung Yin Siu would always greet her in this a manner. He was a little bit of a rogue at heart and spoke to Siu Wai in the exact manner as how Kiu Pin Fok spoke with Fung Lau Yin. Siu Wai would then say something like, ‘shut up’, ‘little brat’, or just plain old ‘humph’. Or she would cross her arms, turn her back on him, and look very annoyed. But for some reason today it had been totally different. She did not take exception to his comments. Instead there was a beaming smile on Siu Wai’s face as she immediately raced up to Yeung Yin Siu with open arms. She hugged him tightly before saying, “It’s you! It’s you! I can’t believe that you’re alive! I can’t believe that you’re alive!”.

    Though Yeung Yin Siu had looked totally unrecognisable, Siu Wai did not doubt for a second that it was him. She just held on and hugged him very tightly and repeated, “I’m so glad its you! I’m so glad you’re alive! You had me worried for the past two months!”.

    Yeung Yin Siu was also filled with joy upon reuniting with a very close and personal friend of his. So he held Siu Wai tightly in his strong arms as well. He was filled with such delight that he actually picked Siu Wai from off the ground whilst holding onto her waist. He spun her around and around in the air before placing her back on the ground again. He said, “I’m glad that you’re alive as well! I thought that something might have happened to you during the ambush!”.

    Yeung Yin Siu was just about to question Siu Wai about how she had come to be engaged in a battle with members of the Divine Butterfly Sect. But Siu Wai placed a gentle finger over his lips. She said, “Shh! You don’t have to say a word! I know what you want to say already!”.

    By those comments, Yeung Yin Siu assumed that Siu Wai had meant that she knew he was innocent and had not murdered the Head Masters of the orthodox clans. Yeung Yin Siu smiled. Siu Wai caught Yeung Yin Siu smiling at her and smiled in return, before fixing an affectionate gaze directly into his eyes. Yeung Yin Siu met Siu Wai’s glance. A warm tinge surged through his heart as he thought of all the people in the world, how Siu Wai was one of the few who totally had faith and trusted him without question.

    “I wanted to…”, muttered Yeung Yin Siu trying his best once more to ask Siu Wai about the events that had taken place earlier. But once again Siu Wai placed a gentle finger over his lips. She leant forward and hugged him again, before resting her head on his shoulders.

    Yeung Yin Siu suddenly felt her warm soft body pressed up against him. He could smell the sweet flagrance of rose perfume in the air. He became a little puzzled at the gesture and said, “Sister Siu! What are you…”.

    Before he could finish, Siu Wai asked, “Do you remember what you used to call me when you were a little child?”.

    “Of course! How can I forget? I used to call you Auntie Siu!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu upon remembering the warm memories of his early childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood.

    During those days, Fisherman Nam, would take him along the river to teach him various skills like fishing, cooking, and hunting. He would also try his best to teach Yeung Yin Siu how to read and write. Advise him about what was wrong and what was right. So that he would grow up being a man of true character and honour. Kiu Pin Fok would teach him philosophy, poetry, and the finer arts. Fung Lau Yin would care for him like a mother. All three of them would teach him kung fu as well. But all through his childhood, Yeung Yin Siu, was pretty much of a loner. He had very few friends. Siu Wai was the only friend that he had. She would always visit Yeung Yin Siu on special occasions and on his birthdays. Her presents were always the best. The old fishing rod that Yeung Yin Siu wielded previously had actually been a gift from Siu Wai. They would spend countless hours together doing all the fun stuff that little kids would do. Like going swimming, build tree houses, fly kites in the sky, skimming stones into the river, and playing little games like hide and seek. But Siu Wai was by no means a little child back then. She was 20 human years of age, but only 10 years of age amongst her own race of people. That’s why Yeung Yin Siu had initially called her ‘Auntie’. Whenever Yeung Yin Siu needed someone to talk to Siu Wai would always be there for him.

    At this moment Siu Wai asked in a soft and gentle voice, “Do you remember what I told you on your 18th birthday?”.

    “Of course! I’ll never forget!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu in a gentle voice as he glanced to the side at Siu Wai with a warm smile.

    After a while he continued, “You said that I’d grown up into a man! That we’re two very special friends and therefore I should call you ‘Wai yee’ or ‘Sister Siu’ and not ‘Auntie’!”.

    “You have kept those words in your heart all these years? Do you remember what I gave to you on ‘Lantern Festival’ that year?”, questioned Siu Wai again as she looked directly into Yeung Yin Siu’s eyes. A warm and inviting smile appeared on her face.

    Yeung Yin Siu decided to remove the necklace he had been wearing around his neck before lowering it for Siu Wai to see. One could see that the necklace was nothing more than what looked like two large fangs threaded through a thick black silk thread. Yeung Yin Siu smiled as he said, “You gave me your baby vampire fangs!”. It was rumoured the vampire fangs once worn around the neck would bring good fortune, and guarantee a long, prosperous, and healthy life. It was a very personal gift from Siu Wai.

    “You’ve worn it around your neck all this time?”, questioned Siu Wai once more upon seeing the necklace. She felt a warm tinge surge through her heart. Her luminous red eyes became brighter and glowed in the darkness. Yeung Yin Siu had never seen her eyes shine so brightly before so he was a little intrigued. Looking up he noticed the full moon above, and assumed it had something to do with it.

    “Yes! It’s never left my side! I’ve worn it every day!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu. Siu Wai leaned forward again and rested her head back on his shoulders.

    “Do you remember what you gave to me that evening?”, questioned Siu Wai once more as she reached into her pockets. She produced a small black scarf before opening it up to show its contents. One could see three beautiful butterflies that had been pressed and well preserved. They were purple, yellow, and blue. Though the 7 Vixens hated the Divine Butterfly Sect, they didn’t mind collecting real butterflies.

    “Of course! I spent that entire day in the garden to capture those three beautiful butterflies for you!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu as memories flashed past his mind. He had actually spent two entire days, and not one, to capture those three butterflies as a gift for Siu Wai on Lantern Festival night.

    He continued, “You’ve kept them with you all this time?”.

    “Yes! Do you remember what you said to me that night?”, questioned Siu Wai again. It was as if she was in a trance. As though the past was the present. That they were, at this moment, together once more on that very particular night, two years ago.

    It didn’t take Yeung Yin Siu long to respond. He said, “I said that I would preserve your beauty in my heart like how I’ve preserved the beauty of the butterflies! That you’ll be forever my special friend and that you’ll always be young and beautiful in my eyes!”.

    Taking a step backwards so that Yeung Yin Siu could see her entire face glowing underneath the moonlight, Siu Wai continued, “Well! Am I still as beautiful and young as I was two years ago?”.

    Yeung Yin Siu took a moment to observe Siu Wai more closely. She had not changed the slightest in the past couple of years. She was the same young girl that he had laid eyes on two years ago. The only thing he noticed different was that Siu Wai’s cheeks and face weren’t as pale. Her luminous red eyes were glowing brightly. He replied, “You’re just as young and beautiful now as you were before!”.

    “Do you remember what you did after you gave me this gift?”, asked Siu Wai once more in a soft voice as she relived those moments.

    Yeung Yin Siu’s face turned red with a little embarrassment upon fixing his gaze at Siu Wai. He replied with a slight smile, “If I remember correctly I leant forward and tried to kiss you on the lips!”.

    “But you pulled back and didn’t talk to me for another 6 months after that!”, recalled Yeung Yin Siu as memories of that particular evening came flooding back to him. He now remembered even the finest details.

    Seeing that Yeung Yin Siu was lost in a trance, Siu Wai, questioned, “Why did you try and kiss that evening?”.

    “I guess I was just being foolish!”, replied Yeung Yin Siu as he gave a sigh. That was the first and last time he had ever tried to kiss Siu Wai. He treated her as a very good friend from that night onwards. As he grew up he also realised that Siu Wai was not human but a pure blooded vampire. That she required to drink blood from men whilst they were at their sexual peak, in order to survive and look youthful. This meant that she had to flirt with all of the men to build up passion before killing them. Yeung Yin Siu was never found of that ‘darker’ side of her character. But he knew there was very little that Siu Wai could do besides die. She was just like any living creature on this earth who needed to kill to stay alive. It was just unfortunate that humans were part of her food chain. It a civilised world, this is considered bad. That aside, Siu Wai, was a good person at heart.

    “Do you know why I pulled back?”, questioned Siu Wai once more. She rested her head on Yeung Yin Siu’s shoulders once more upon saying this, before giving him another gentle hug.

    “No! Why?”, asked Yeung Yin Siu wanting some closure past events. He never understood why Siu Wai suddenly pulled back that evening.

    “Because I was also being a little foolish! I do not understand then what I finally understand now!”, replied Siu Wai as she gently caress Yeung Yin Siu and massaged his right shoulder. Siu Wai did not realise that she had truly fallen in love with Yeung Yin Siu all this time. She had lived in self-denial for the past couple of years. Though she was jealous when she saw how Bak Tin Kiew had treated Yeung Yin Siu at the Demon Valley, she still did not admit it in her heart that she loved him. But her heart could not bear the pain when she thought that Yeung Yin Siu had died during the ambush on the outskirts of Hennan. That event made her realise that she could not live without Yeung Yin Siu. But love’s often like that. People often search endless boundaries in the hope to find true love. Yet often what they’re seeking lies right before their eyes. It is the denial and lack of confidence in oneself that makes one blind. Suddenly Siu Wai opened her mouth, displaying her two large adult fangs before appearing to bite down on the right shoulder blade of Yeung Yin Siu.

    “Ouch! What are you doing?”, cried Yeung Yin Siu out loud upon noticing that he had temporarily lost all feeling in his right shoulders. It felt a little itchy as liquid seemed to be dripping down his back. His right arm felt very numb. He noticed that a bright glowing red light lit up the main dirt path like a large campfire. Siu Wai’s eyes seem to be hot like the sun as it radiated both warm heat and bright light. Her pupils had disappeared. Her body had become very warm. Yeung Yin Siu did not understand that Siu Wai had reached the highest peak of sexual passion as his blood entered her system. Vampires are creatures of high passion.

    After a short while, Siu Wai, motioned forward to kiss Yeung Yin Siu. He appeared to be totally stunned and was unsure as to what to do. As lips touched lips, Yeung Yin Siu decided to pull back frantically. He said, “I can’t! We’re the best of friends and I don’t want to ruin it tonight!”.

    Siu Wai did not heed Yeung Yin Siu’s comments and leant forward once more to kiss him. She thought that Yeung Yin Siu was as confused as she was 2 years ago, when she suddenly pulled back when he leant forward and tried to kiss her upon exchanging a gift. But to her surprise Yeung Yin Siu leant back before pushing her gently away. He repeated, “I can’t do this! Please understand that we’re nothing more than friends!”.

    “Friends? Don’t you love me?”, asked Siu Wai in total shock and amazement. Her luminous red eyes seemed to grow even brighter. As fury built up in her heart.

    Yeung Yin Siu did not immediately reply as he tried to search for the right words to say. He could never have guessed that Siu Wai would suddenly ask that question of him. Nor could he have guessed that she could have been so up front and forth coming. Most girls would never dare ask a male, who they were uncertain about, that particular question outright for fear of rejection. Most of the girls would only ask that question when they’re actually together with someone for a long time. He had momentarily forgotten that Siu Wai was a vampire and thus was very up front.

    He did not want to break Siu Wai’s heart as they’ve been such good friends up till now. He muttered, “I… I… I… I…”, but he did not know what to say. Either way he would only end up saying the wrong things. So he figured that it would be better to say nothing at all.

    Anger and rage was building in Siu Wai’s heart. She thought inwardly, “He must have fallen for that little witch, Lok Tin Kiew!”.

    But she would never say it out loud, as it would mean that she had admitted that she had lost Yeung Yin Siu’s heart to another. She asked in a very loud voice, “It’s it because you’re in love with someone else! That you rejected my love! Isn’t it! ISN’T IT!”.

    “I… I… I…”, continued Yeung Yin Siu not quite sure what to say. He nodded his head slightly to indicate that he had indeed fallen in love with someone else. He didn’t want to mention who as he knew it would break Siu Wai’s heart. So he felt it best if he did not mention the name Bak Tin Kiew at all. He was trying his hardest to be as gentle as he could.

    Suddenly a loud ‘whack’ echoed through the air, as Siu Wai, raised her right hand before slapping Yeung Yin Siu hard across the face. Yeung Yin Siu coughed up a mouthful of blood as a large black bruise emerged on the right side of his face. Pointing with an index finger before stumbling back a few paces, she continued in a little bit of a rage, “Fisherman Ho! I don’t ever want to see you again!”. The ‘yang’ energy built up to an uncontrollable level that Siu Wai coughed up a mouthful of blood as well. She felt like collapsing in a heap on the floor as strength suddenly flowed from her body. But this lasted for only a brief moment. She regained her strength soon enough to be able to stand upright again.

    At this moment Yeung Yin Siu had raced by her side to brace her from falling. Slapping away his hands, she said, “Let me go! I don’t need your help! I don’t need your pity!”.

    Looking directly into Yeung Yin Siu’s eyes, she said, “AND I DON’T NEED YOUR FALSE FRIENDSHIP! GOODBYE!”, before turning to leave. Tears flowed freely down her face as she could be heard crying her heart out.

    At this moment Black Snow stopped feasting and immediately raced up to the side of Siu Wai. He had sensed that something was wrong upon hearing that Siu Wai had raised her voice and upon hearing the loud ‘slap’. Noticing that Siu Wai was crying and looking very distressed, Black Snow gave a loud hissed before showing both his fangs towards Yeung Yin Siu. It was a sign from Black Snow to warn Yeung Yin Siu to back off, otherwise it would take aggressive action. Black Snow was fully aware and could sense that Yeung Yin Siu had in some way been responsible for hurting his master, Siu Wai. It thus became very protective of her.

    “Wait!”, cried Yeung Yin Siu as he reached out a hand to grab Siu Wai to prevent her from leaving.

    But Black Snow leapt forward and sat on his hind legs before Yeung Yin Siu. His fingertips managed to just brush Siu Wai on her right shoulder. She had already utilised her lightness kung fu and started to disappear from sight. She had no sense of direction or where she was at this moment. Nor did she have any idea where she was running or where she was going. All she wanted to do was run and get as far away from Yeung Yin Siu as possible.

    Yeung Yin Siu stretched out a hand again, but it was far too late. It all appeared to be going in slow motion for him as Siu Wai disappeared into the darkness before his very eyes. He could see the distraught look on her face and the tears streaming down both sides of her cheeks. He noticed the bright reddish light being emitted through Siu Wai’s eyes. The red light became fainter and fainter as she disappeared into the darkness. The yellow leaves on the treetops of the old willow trees were caught in the powerful force being generated by Siu Wai’s ‘chi’ energy and fell to the ground like heavy rain falling from the sky. It seemed as if mother nature had felt Siu Wai’s sorrow. The leaves falling from the treetops resembled the Autumn tears for fading love.

    “SIU WAI! COME BACK! SIU WAI! COME BACK!”, cried Yeung Yin Siu out loud hoping to convince Siu Wai to return and talk things through. But his cries were met with the emptiness of the wind. He knew he had broken her heart. He suddenly wanted to chase after her, but Black Snow maintained blocking his path. It stood there like an immovable object, giving a loud hiss whilst showing all of its fangs. Warning Yeung Yin Siu to back off once more.

    Yeung Yin Siu knew that if he did not take immediate action, he would never be able to catch up with Siu Wai. He shouted, “Back Snow! Move out of the way! I’m going after you master! No matter what!”.

    He motioned to run forwards. Suddenly Black Snow leapt directly at him with both of his claws raised. Yeung Yin Siu, gave a loud, “Oomph!”, as he had been pinned to the ground by Black Snow. He was quite a strong and heavy beast. Yeung Yin Siu could not get up because he could not use his right arm properly. It was still feeling very sore and numb at being bitten by Siu Wai. Black Snow pinned him to the ground for what seemed like half an hour before finally releasing Yeung Yin Siu from his grasp. He gave a sorrowful howl before turning to leave. Moments later a pair of luminous red eyes could be seen starring back towards Yeung Yin Siu around 100 metres away before disappearing moments later. It was almost seemed as if Black Snow was saying his final goodbyes to a former friend.

    Yeung Yin Siu picked himself off the ground before starring in the darkness towards the direction in which Siu Wai had ran. He stretched out a right hand as though she was still there before him and it was not too late to prevent her from leaving. All he caught in his grasp upon clenching his fist was thin air. He stretched his fingers forward once more, and could now feel the yellow willow leaves brushing his hands before gently falling to the ground. He reached out and grabbed a couple of the yellow leaves in his grasp. Tears suddenly flowed from his face as a feeling of loss entered his heart. Like losing something important or precious without knowing what it was. He crushed the leaves in his grasp before shouting, “Siu Wai!”, out loud once more. His cries echoed through the air. But he was met with dead silence.

    Was it a feeling of regret that had built up his heart? He could not tell. He stood in the middle of the dirt path like a clay statute without moving. The sky suddenly opened up and rains down hard upon him. The freezing cold winds blew past his body, making him shiver all over. He could not feel any warmth in his body. In fact he could not feel a single thing at all as he fixed his gaze on the darkness ahead with his right out stretched. The left hand still clutching onto the baby vampire necklace. The large bruise on the right side of his face did not hurt. His heart was the only thing feeling a little pain. His mouth was wide open. But he did not say a word. He was lost.

    End of Chapter 17.
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  19. #79
    Senior Member JigSta's Avatar
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    Very nice story keep up the good work! Im really enjoying the story
    All that's needed to say have been said, why say anything more? The man is drunk, why stay any longer?....
    Quote Originally Posted by Question
    if CarMAN Lee hair is green, then am sure carMAN #$%@ a dog to give birth to you.

  20. #80
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    I really liked this chapter, especially the end. I found it a nice touch, what YSS did. He didn't give in, and it wasn't as simple as him viewing SW only as a friend/sister. He previously held feelings for her.

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