Sam Shing Yee


Reviewed by: sukting

December 12, 2008

Rating: four-point-five

How long
16 episodes

Foreword

If you are unhappy that Yuen Yee and Fei Yeung don’t act as a couple in ‘Reincarnated’, this drama will make your wish come true. This renowned writer Huang Yi's popular swordplay novel has been adapted thrice, but the most memorable version is this version.

Aired in early 1979, it was released before the other Huang Yi-penned TV classic Reincarnated and features most from the same cast and production team. It stars Reincarnated hero Tsui Siu Keung as titular rogue swordsman Sheng Yi and Mah Man Yee, in her first period drama. Strangely, it doesn’t get the attention that it truly deserves like the latter.

Divided into eight stories over 16 episodes, I shall list the guest stars under each one. Some people are unknowns so I apologise as I really have no idea who they are. Many thanks to SC for allowing me to purchase this drama dvd.

Story

1) Kindness and hatred of the swordsman (A story showing the sad life of a swordsman)

Lau Chin Kum – Lau Wai Mun
Yu Sin – Chu Tiet Wor (now in TVB)
Fok Chau Ngor – Leung Suet Chong

Chin Kum plays his zither in the garden and Suen Yu comes as he is in need of money. He agrees to give him 50,000 taels of silver and tests Suen’s skills. Suen Yu wields a sword while Chin Kum wears a pair of golden gloves to hold his sword. Suen is impressed by his skills as he loses by one stroke but refuses to show him his face. (But all will know who he is anyway from his eyes.) Chin Kum hires him for 5 years to kill for him.

Soon, many mysterious deaths occur and Suen Yu is the culprit. All call him the silver sword killer. (Tsui Siu Keung is really cool to slash at each person’s throat at a stroke with no mercy!) Also to add a righteous swordsman to his list on a rainy day on a bridge. This man gives Suen 5000 taels of silver to kill the person who wants his life. Suen accepts the money and both spar.

The man dies and Suen promises to carry out his part of the deal. And truly, he doesn’t spare the adulterous pair who kills him as both want to kill her husband to be together. The woman knows that her lover is afraid of death but she prefers him to her husband as he neglects her to often help his friends. She doesn’t need a hero but love. Suen is struck by the thought although he is silent.

Yu Sin is the hero’s friend and wants to seek Shing Yee’s help. Chin Kum is drawing a portrait of his beloved. He wants to spar with Suen. This is 5 years later and the deal is almost up within 2 days. This time, Chin Kum loses. His long sleeves can’t manage to strangle him but Suen is faster to point his sword at his throat. Suen wins as he keeps killing to make a living while Chin Kum is too used to a comfortable life. Chin Kum wants him to kill a man.

After this round with Suen, he loses his confidence in his golden fist. He feels letting this man down as he is doing it of a woman but he must kill him – he is Sum Shing Yee. Is it that he must kill him as he loves this woman deeply? He replies the woman is the same too. After hearing this, Suen leaves.

Chau Ngor reads a poem on thoughts. (It consists the lyrics of the subtheme song which Lau Ying Hong will sing later.) She is disappointed that Shing Yee is back but meets Yu Sin’s group first. They request for his help and he agrees to follow them after that. (What a joke – they do not know that the killer is right in front of them.)

Shing Yee comes to see Chau Ngor and she thanks him for the zither he gets for her. (All should see how dashing he looks in the golden gown although it doesn’t match his nickname for Suen Yu as the silver sword killer – elegant and suave! My neighbour who watches with me kept grumbling that this woman should be contented as Shing Yee has her interests in his heart all along despite having little time for her. )

He refuses to stay to listen to her playing the zither and goes out again with a dagger. He ignores her completely as he doesn’t appreciate music anyway. (It strikes him bitterly that history is going to repeat itself on him from others and he feels the anguish.) Chin Kum tells Chau Ngor that Shing Yee that he will not return this time. Both are about to sleep on the bed when Chin Kum finds a silver sword. (The shameless two should find elsewhere to sleep! But it is sad that Shing Yee is paid for this kind of service. )

Chin Kum jumps – doesn’t this belong to Suen? Just then, Shing Yee walks into the room to face them calmly. Chin Kum escapes from the window. (I shake my head - what a coward to leave his woman to face her husband on her own!) Both recall the past. Shing Yee is a swordsman by day but a killer to make a living when they are poor.

She doesn’t understand why he helps others and not themselves. (Neither do I to understand why this famous Dap Hup becomes a cold-blooded killer because of such a plain-looking and heartless woman.) How can he tell this secret to her? (Siu Keung is at top form dealing with this scene but too bad his passion is wasted on this actress who is a wooden block! I don’t see tears at all when she cries.)

Chau Ngor has let him down – she knows Chin Kum when they play the zither together. Shing Yee is bitter that she has forgotten their happy days together. Hasn’t he been nice to her? She reminds him how many days he has been at home yearly and they hardly have a meal together. He admits that he is in the wrong as he only knows how to use a sword and doesn’t spend time on the arts.

But even so she should not hire someone to kill him. She maintains that she doesn’t know about it and he throws the sword on the table. They have promised to be together forever but she has betrayed him. He will let her leave but will not see her again. His back is facing her but doesn’t know that she kills herself with the sword out of guilt and shame. He is too late when he turns around as she is dead. He grieves over it. (This scene is sad indeed as we see how hard he suppresses his grief later.)

Yu Jin’s group waits for Shing Yee but he hasn’t arrived. They get a note that Suen is Shing Yee and rushes back. Shing Yee is in the hall touching Chau Ngor’s zither. Shing Yee admits to the killings but they shouldn’t have killed his maid. They burn his home and Shing Yee gets away, with them close on his heels. He doesn’t forget taking the zither along with him. (This shows how much he loves Chau Ngor.)

Shing Yee manages to kill them in the forest and picks up the zither from the ground. His home is ruined and he is devastated as he staggers back. Chin Kum is there and admits that the note is from him. Shing Yee leans against a tree as he is tired. But the zither never leaves his side.

Chin Kum vows to seek revenge for Chau Ngor and will never do anything that he isn’t confident of. (But it is not a man’s act to abandon his woman when in trouble although it is understandable that he wants to spring on Shing Yee when he is exhausted.) Both fly up the tree to spar with each other as they aim at each other’s throat in the air. (That is a fascinating scene.) Although Chin Kum tries strangling him, Shing Yee is faster as he has hidden his dagger in his sleeve to plant it into Chin Kum’s chest.

Shing Yee has wanted to give Chau Ngor to him as he is aware that Chin Kum is sincere to her. He has killed so many people because of her but what does he get in return? Chin Kum laughs – he is Sum Shing Yee indeed to be able to give her up. Chin Kum will never forgive him and gives a signal into the air – the 13 killers will be on his heels to seek revenge for him. Chin Kum is a member of the clan. Shing Yee fixes his silver sword on the ground and is sad.

2. 13 killers (I am very impressed by how 12 killers are introduced at one shot with their unique weapons! This is my top favourite among all the segments.)

Young master Chung Yong Kiem (the meaning is sword) – Kwan Wai Lun
Master Mou Cheung – Yeung Chak Lum
Young Master Mou Cheung – Lam Kok Hung (Chan Sau Mun’s real-life husband)
Cheung Lam – Chan Chit Kwai
Wan But – Tam Yat Ching
Fong Tin Lung – Kam San
Yin Hoi San - Ling Mun Hoi
Mr Bat – Lam Kum Tong

The other killers get the messages (from below a crab shell, poles, on birds, etc). Chin Kum will give his fortune away to anyone who is successful. (I wonder how as he is dead and who to give the others the extra clues. But they get the gold anyway.) Shing Yee is at Chau Ngor’s grave when 2 killers want to kill him. He learns that 13 killers have hired them. He has wanted to seek a quiet life as his heart is dead after losing Chau Ngor and his home.

A woman with many bells tied to her waist is chased by many. Shing Yee is puzzled but doesn’t probe further. She denies killing their master and flees after getting injured. These people come after Shing Yee instead as his life is valuable. But we know that none of them is his match to get defeated. He ignores her although she is injured in the woods. Both meet in a hut later. She has initially rejected his help to cure her but he doesn’t want her to bother him when he sleeps. (This exchange is hilarious indeed.)

He sees that she is seriously injured to faint so he brews medicine for her - she should recover after drinking 4 days of it. He doesn’t want to tell her his name. Yin Fei doesn’t want to owe him a favour but he doesn’t want to say further and leaves. Shing Yee sits under a tree with his sword a distance away from him and a man ambushes him. Shing Yee is too fast for him to reach his sword first and fights back.

The attacker laments that he has managed to defend for 1 hour 5 years back but loses to Shing Yee now within 10 strokes. He is Shing Yee’s friend - Young master Yong Kiem. Shing Yee wants him to forgive him as Yong Kiem has attacked him with deadly strokes. Yong Kiem has helped to provide news of Chin Kum and others. If not, Shing Yee could have been killed.

Yong Kiem reminds him what happens 5 years ago – he will not allow him to die if he isn’t confident of winning Shing Yee. Both have spar at a cliff and Yong Kiem makes the vow then. Shing Yee frowns as he is so petty to remember this incident after so long.

Yong Kiem encourages him to seek the other killers out before they kill him. Shing Yee starts with Ko Foon. He leaves a medical antidote seek message with money at a medical hall – writing down the name of the person to be killed so that Ko Foon will appear. Shing Yee arrives and passes both to an old man.

Ko Foon is amused that he pays to kill himself but is astonished to know that he is Shing Yee. Both fight in the dark forest and Ko chops down many branches. He still misses Shing Yee as the target. Shing Yee points his sword at his neck and injures his arm. Ko gets killed mysteriously by an arrow after revealing 10 names and before he can tell the last name.

Yin Fei are among them. Shing Yee is speechless to hear her name and loses the killer as he escapes too fast. He finds a drawing of a crab on Ko. What does it mean? Does it belong to Master Mou Cheung? Yin Fei is at a stream and recalls how Shing Yee takes care of her. She follows an arrow on a stone to get a message from a bird.

Shing Yee appears at 100 year palace. Monk But Liu is with many women. He wields a long sabre but Shing Yee is still vigilant with his sword. He throws him into the pool after piercing his sword into his body. A bird flies away and Shing Yee knows what will go on later. A man in a veil, Cheung Fung walks in the woods. Shing Yee has been waiting for him for a long time and kills him within 5 strokes.

Yin Fei meets the other 4 killers at 100 year palace. They get very tense as they face a dangerous enemy, Shing Yee now. Yin Fei joins them because of her love for her cousin, Chin Kum. She vows to avenge for him as she believes that he will never seduce another man’s wife. They should have combined forces earlier to prevent such a sad ending from happening. They decide to discuss further at Wan But’s home.
They wonder why Cheung Fung hasn’t arrived and fear the worst for him.

They know that Wan is scared of death so they will deliberately drag him into the picture. Shing Yee stays at an inn and is puzzled why he can’t order meat as his dish. No one is supposed to order meat dishes within Master Mou Cheung’s territory. He wants to meet Master Mou Cheung anyway. Yong Kiem appears to kill all the men for him and brings him to see Master Mou Cheung. Shing Yee finds him acting too fast and too ruthless as he has wanted them to take him there.

Master Mou Cheung receives Shing Yee (the place is nicely decorated with a crab design on the wall and also another on a carpet.) Shing Yee is dumbfounded to find him wheelchair bound. Master Mou Cheung is puzzled as he doesn’t know what is happening – even though he sees the crab note that Shing Yee gives him. He laughs when Shing Yee wants to kill him.

He has been paralyzed for 10 years in exchange to save 64 lives from a disaster. Shing Yee knows that it is unlikely for a righteous man like him to become a killer as 13 killers have not been together as yet. They are only around for 5 years. Shing Yee apologises for the mistake and wants to leave. Master Mou Cheung demands to know more about it – he still has a pair of hands and wants to spar with him. (Sigh – any swordsman will be eager to challenge with a top pugilist regardless of his age.)

Master Mou Cheung is unhappy that he charges into the hall and kills some of his disciples. He can’t leave just after stating a few words. He has wanted to have a duel with him for a long time. The result – his secret weapons from his wheelchair are unable to stop him and Shing Yee’s sword points at his throat when he falls to the ground. Unable to accept the failure, he kills himself and Shing Yee is too late to stop him.

Young Master Mou Cheung appears and stops the others from surrounding Shing Yee. They are not his match and he will seek revenge on Shing Yee when his skills are better. Ying Hoi San gets a letter from the crab message sender to know that Shing Yee is coming. He competes with Shing Yee with his spear but gets killed. So Shing Yee has killed 5 of the 13 killers.

Yin Fei is too late when she reaches his home. Upon knowing that Shing Yee just leaves, she follows suit and is able to throw her bells when she realizes that he is her life saviour. Wan (he uses a metal fan) is happy that many come over at his home as he needs protection. Mr Bat doesn’t believe that Shing Yee is so powerful. He doesn’t think he will be able to see them in the dark.

How wrong he is – Shing Yee blindfolds himself to practice his sword skills. He gets the inn helper to throw papers and he doesn’t miss cutting any of them. (The scene is very impressive.) He also practices at sea in case they will attack him from there. He comes to Mr Bat’s residence at dawn, pondering where their hideout can be. He finds a cave. Mr Bat hangs upside down from the ceiling and attacks him.

Shing Yee can’t dodge his blows and is kicked on the chest. There are also scratches on his face.
Mr Bat suddenly disappears but Shing Yee notices green liquid forming on a rock behind him to make some noise. Although he sits still on the floor, he takes out his small dagger from his sleeve. So when Mr Bat appears again, he strikes it right at his chest to finish him off. (All must not miss this scene!)

The other 7 will meet him on the 7th day of the 7th month at the autumn lake at autumn lake. Shing Yee places his dagger back into his sleeve and leaves. Yin Fei tries in vain to kill him with her bells when she suddenly appears. She doesn’t want him to go as it is dangerous as she owes him a favour. He has disregarded his safety and she considers her mission done. He catches up with her to return her her bells.
He has never expected a woman to join the gang.

She reveals she is pulled into the gang by her cousin, Chin Kum. Shing Yee gets agitated for the first time – she wants her revenge so he should let Chin Kum off?! She insists that Chau Ngor must have seduced Chin Kum. Shing Yee has to reveal painfully that both have the affair indeed and he will not wrong them in front of her. Yin Fei goes to Chin Kum’s home to find Chau Ngor’s painting by Chin Kum and Chau Ngor’s love letter to him. She realizes that she has wronged him and she views him differently now.

All killers discuss on where to ambush Shing Yee. Shing Yee passes a town to see women offering to the gods. He feels lonely as he misses home as it is close to mooncake festival. Knowing that the innkeeper also misses home, he gives him a lot of money to open a business at home. He wants him to pay respects to Chau Ngor yearly for him since her grave is at his hometown. (Sigh – why is he still pinning over this heartless woman?) He is relieved as his wish is granted.

Shing Yee is on a boat at the beach. Yong Kiem is happy that he will die soon. A bamboo shoot comes out from water and one man is under water, moving towards the boat. Shing Yee jumps into the water and attacks him who keeps appearing behind him. Shing Yee manages to thrust him under water to pierce him with his sword. He picks his sword and goes on land.

Yong Kiem gets the killers’ list to strike off the names one by one. They are going to get Chin Kum’s 50,000 taels of gold soon as it is now on the table. Shing Yee kills another swordsman killer on land. But, Lam and Tin Long wonder why Shing Yee has not arrived yet. Shing Yee is now walking towards them so they become frightened. The other two divide in different ways while Tin Long gets his shield ready to wait there. Shing Yee stops and misleads Lam to throw his darts onto But’s body to kill him instead.

Shing Yee is now behind Lam as he tries running away helplessly. Tin Long joins forces with Lam to attack Shing Yee. They injure him but he manages to slash their throats. Yong Kiem is pleased – Shing Yee should be exhausted now and he can inherit the killers’ fortune now. Yin Fei comes and Shing Yee nearly collapses. She holds him and Yong Kiem appears.

Shing Yee laments that he should have thought of him as one of the killers. What Foon draws on the cloth is not a crab but a red flag. He has made the cost mistake this time all his life – he has regarded him as his friend. Both have helped each other – Shing Yee has helped him to get rid of all. Actually, they could have won him by combining forces. But Yong Kiem doesn’t want to share the money by doing that.

The 50,000 gold isn’t that appealing to him than taking over everything from the 13 killers. He also wants to kill him. He attacks Shing Yee and Shing Yee retaliates. However, Yong Kiem’s sword turns into double swords and one is struck to Shing Yee’s chest. Shing Yee ends up falling to the ground after a few strokes. Yin Fei saves Shing Yee with her bells but gets injured.

She should have avenged Chin Kum’s death but Shing Yee is a good man. Yong Kiem is about to kill them when Lam throws his darts at his forehead to kill him. Yong Kiem has deceived them so he will not let him off. Shing Yee leaves Yin Fei alone and she is annoyed.

3. The white spider (Shing Yee starts checking on cases from here)

Wai Chat – Lau Chi Wing
Siu Ling – Chan Yuk Kuen
Siu Fong – Mun Chin Sui
Tong Piew – See Mah Wah Long

A man is poisoned to death and a thief, white spider takes his wealth away. Ling ambushes Shing Yee with her daggers and long cloth. Shing Yee points the dagger at her throat and releases her after discovering that she is a woman. He wonders how he has offended her as he has never seen her before. He returns her cloth and is amused when she wants to test if he is really Shing Yee. She wants him to capture white spider who commits a lot of crimes. Shing Yee is shocked that so many martial pugilists are killed.

He doesn’t see why he should help as Wai Chat, the no.1 constable is present. Chat is supposed to solve the case within a month or his family will be killed. He looks at her small daggers and returns to her. He notices that she doesn’t belong to the pugilistic world and learns that her elder brother, Fong is an official. ShingYee wants some money in exchange – he only jokes about it. He agrees to look into the case.

Fong blames Chat for being unable to solve the case. The white spider’s poison is from the Tong clan. Tong Bao is still in prison while his senior, Tong Piew escapes while trying to save him. Shing Yee ponders if the white spider is Piew when Yin Fei appears. She blames him for leaving the autumn lake without telling. He apologises as he is too eager to find a place to recuperate then. (All will feel that this is just a lame excuse.) Shing Yee leaves in haste with Ling and Yin Fei gets mad.

Shing Yee and Yin Fei meet Chat at the inn. It has a songstress and an innkeeper. 18 cases have happened so far – the ninth prince’s birthday gifts are stolen. It happens at the 10th gong of the night – it seems that a constable might be responsible for this as only those in the political field know this arrangement well. Shing Yee notices this fact and points out to Chat.

Chat doesn’t want Shing Yee to interfere in his investigation. Yin Fei stops Shing Yee from drinking with her bells – he must meet her at night in the temple at the third hour of the night alone so that she will tell him news of the white spider.

Chat chases after her but can’t catch up with her as her ‘heng gong’ is too good. Ling asks if there is bad blood between him and Yin Fei. Shing Yee doesn’t answer and forbids her to follow Yin Fei. He will meet Yin Fei alone to see what she wants. He will inform them of any news. The innkeeper tries sparing with Shing Yee with his hands but he is not Shing Yee’s match – even if he doesn’t hold his sword.

Shing Yee is impressed with so many capable people around within Chat’s area. Fong wants Ling to return home. Fong’s officials, Lau and Yip are angry when Ling compares their skills with Shing Yee. Shing Yee waits at the bamboo forest but Fei Yin doesn’t turn up. He is puzzled as some killers come instead. Shing Yee hurts them and Yin Fei is at the temple and the white spider kidnaps her as she feels giddy suddenly. He leaves his signage on the web.

Shing Yee feels giddy as he enters the temple too. A man who comes earlier informs that he has been poisoned and saves him with his antidote. The man is surprised that Shing Yee trusts him. Shing Yee notices that he is a secret weapon expert to wear gloves. If he wants to kill him, he doesn’t need to do this. He is Piew but he will not hurt him. He doesn’t know how his Tong clan poison is so widely used now.

Piew guesses that white spider wants to bargain with Shing Yee by taking Yin Fei away. (All can see anxiety in Shing Yee’s eyes for the first time.) Piew requests Shing Yee’s help for Bao’s whereabouts and gives him extra antidote for the poison. He enquires if he is injured as he sees blood on his clothes. The blood is from his attackers. They are back at the forest.

The white spider wants to force the truth out of Yin Fei but she doesn’t know anything. She is only jealous of Ling to say that. The two men come to look at all the dead killers – they are actually poisoned and not killed by Shing Yee. The white spider is vicious indeed and likes working alone.

He has no choice to engage others for help this time to get rid of Shing Yee. Knowing that Chat is arriving, Piew gets away. Chat accuses him for killing them and Shing Yee asks back how Chat makes his way here.
Chat demands Shing Yee to return to the court with him and he refuses. Both men come to blows. Chat uses his two small metal poles that are tied by a chain.

Suddenly, white spider yells from the top of a tree that Yin Fei is in her hands and Shing Yee should watch out. Both men hear a female voice but are too late to go after her. Yip gets the money from a rich man and kills him. Piew see the corpse and both men fight. Yip gets away. Chat apologises for wronging him. Chat and Shing Yee are on the way back to court. Chat reveals Bao is in the imperial jail as he is considered a court criminal. He is confident that Bao can’t escape from there to harm the innocent with his poison.

The key locks are made from Persia. They are with two people – the ninth prince and also Fong. So it is not easy for Shing Yee to meet Bao. They get to another murder scene where Ling just gets there. Fong doesn’t like Ling to go out often but she sneaks out. Lau commands Shing Yee to leave the province. Shing Yee refuses to leave as he is attacked many times and Yin Fei is missing. Ling is obedient to step aside.

Lau fights with Shing Yee with his double swords – Fong’s command is the reason. Ha fails to win Shing Yee and Shing Yee doesn’t see why he takes it so hard over his failure. Lau decides to retire from the pugilistic world and will not return to Fong. Yip agrees to continue getting information for white spider – he has known how he works so he has written the white spider’s secret for his friend to keep so that Yip can stay alive. He tells him to look for the map himself.

Shing Yee wonders who the white spider is as there are not many suspects. Ling doesn’t have a clue too. Shing Yee has suspected to be Piew earlier but he can’t be now. Yip remains as a suspect on his list since Lau leaves. Piew has the money from the dead man and examines it. A man kills him and searches the bed for the poison to run away as he can’t find it. Shing Yee is too late when he comes and feels that the tea is warm. He finds a note on the table – which is what the killer wants but fails to find it.

It writes on Shing Yee being attacked the last night and is left by the white spider. Ling refuses to believe that Fong is the culprit. Shing Yee finds it possible as he wants him to leave. How can she explain that? She admits that Fong knows martial arts. Shing Yee is surprised that he is a skilled swordsman and learns Yip has followed him 5 years. Ling brings him home to confront Fong.

Yip is now packing all the jewels, going to leave. He leaves a letter with the maid, telling her to pass to Fong 3 hours later. Shing Yee stops him but he gets away. Fong chides him for intruding and doesn’t give him a chance to explain to spar with him. Shing Yee promises to give an answer within 1 hour and gets away. Ling then explains that Yip is the culprit and she gets the letter from the maid.

Fong reads the letter and passes it back to her. He gets her to read it herself. Ling reads it – the white spider is Shing Yee! Yip is on horseback and Shing Yee catches up with him. Yip slips from the horse and Shing Yee walks to him. He can’t escape now and Shing Yee is determined to catch him. Yip refuses to surrender and fights with him. Shing Yee brings him back to court.

Chat assures Fong that he will get to the bottom of this matter to capture Shing Yee. Shing Yee returns and Yip is ashamed of himself. Shing Yee denies being the white spider and wants Fong to ask Yip himself. Yip looks at Chat and Chat releases the poison. All feel giddy as he laughs to admit it. Shing Yee has the guts to check on him. Yip is a coward to betray him so he kills him.

Shing Yee says that Yip hasn’t told a word at all – it is just that he doesn’t trust anyone. Fong never expects the no.1 constable can be the no.1 thief. A woman walks out – she is the songstress at the inn and forges to be the white spider. She is Chat’s sister while the innkeeper is his brother-in-law. They get the poison from Bao who is in prison and he is willing to do it in exchange for his freedom. Chat plans to get away with them after getting all the money. Shing Yee commands him to stand still – he is just smart for a while.

Shing Yee befriends Piew so he should know that he gets the antidote. Shing Yee passes the antidote to the the Siu siblings. He has eaten the drug beforehand. Now he has the energy to deal with him after stalling time to talk with Chat to allow the medicine to flow in his body. Chat is mad with him for being a nosey person. The three get their weapons to deal with Shing Yee. But as expected, he kills the innkeeper, throwing his body out of the window and deals with the siblings. He pushes his sword into the woman’s stomach and Chat is the last to deal with.

Shing Yee points his sword at his neck and lowers it to his chest – Chat can use the sword to spar with him again or he will be captured. Chat picks it and kills himself as he knows that he is no match for him. He doesn’t want to die in his hands. He doesn’t reveal where Yin Fei is but Shing Yee’s sixth sense tells him that she is right in the room beside this hall. Shing Yee leaves quickly and Ling follows suit. He sees the white spider mask on the wall after opening the secret door. He finds Yin Fei gagged up and releases her.

She is cold to him and walks away, after thanking him for saving her. (This is exactly the same way he treats her earlier too.) Shing Yee is concerned as he has noticed a cut on her neck. He touches it but she brushes his hand away. She is jealous to see him with Ling. Fong gives him 500 taels of silver to leave the province. He has initially rejected the note but accepts it to leave later. Ling is reluctant to see him leave but Fong holds her back.

4. Madam Sheung See (it means Madam Thoughts in Cantonese – the weakest story among all segments. ATV should have chosen ‘Young Mou Cheung’ as I believe all will wish to know how he seeks revenge on Shing Yee for causing his father’s death.)

Sheung Fu Far – Lau Kong
Fei Mou Gek – Ling Mun Hoi
Kam See – Mak Tin Yan
The ninth prince – Wai Liet

Fong pays 5000 taels of silver to a killer, Mou Gek to kill Shing Yee. (Sigh – this man should have teaken his own younger sister in hand and not to bother Shing Yee about it.) Mou Gek’s confidante, Hong Mui sings a song for him to cheer him up. (This song is the themesong, Madam Sheung See.) Kam See wants to bring Mou Gek to Madam Sheung See but he rejects him.

Shing Yee is at an old temple and Ling comes to look for him. He tells her to return home as she is from a rich family and she isn’t suitable for him. A killer plants an explosive and Ling dies while shielding him from being killed by Mou Gek. She is devastated when he doesn’t tell if he likes her or Yin Fei. But she can tell from his expression that he likes Yin Fei. Shing Yee sends Ling’s body back to Fong.

The ninth prince is devastated that Ling, is dead. She is his fiancée – if not for Shing Yee, how will she leave home and gets harmed? (This woman is daring indeed – she is already engaged and yet she is after another man so openly.) He wants his men to kill him but he escapes from the rooftop. Kam Shi rides a horse and saves him to bring him to Madam Sheung See. He has not wanted to go but changes his mind.

Shing Yee is on a boat to Sheung See lodge later. Why? Because Yin Fei and Mou Gek are also there. Madam Sheung see wants Shing Yee to pretend to be Mou Gek to approach Sheung Fu Far. Sheung is known as the Sentimental Swordsman. She is at loggerheads with Sheung and wants to kill him. She will give the people in exchange to her if he is successful.

Mou Gek uses Shing Yee’s sword to kill himself as he is badly injured. He thinks of Hong Mui before he dies. (Sheung See – he is really missing her.) Shing Yee sits beside Yin Fei and agrees to look for her if his mission is done. (another person to pin over and ‘sheung see’ – this segment is definitely on thoughts!)

Shing Yee takes Mou Gek’s sword to go to Sheung residence. He exchanges the secret code with the housekeeper. Shing Yee is surprised to see the same verse hung in the hall – it is exactly the same verse that he sees at Sheung See lodge. Sheung comes to meet him and two others. He wants them to go to the Pearl Lodge – the richest place in town that keeps antiques. The three do not back out and will confront Suen Sau – the protector of the place.

A mysterious masked man comes to kill everyone and even escapes from Shing Yee. Shing Yee returns to Sheung See Lodge with Fu Far’s head in the box. He is puzzled that Madam Sheung See is so sad that she faints. Kam See is unhappy that she can’t let him go. Suddenly the real Fu Far comes and he isn’t dead. Madam Sheung See is his wife. They have not met for a long time as she runs away from home.

Shing Yee is stunned. Fu Far has known all along that she has planted a spy and the dead person is a criminal at large. So stealing from Pearl Lodge is just a hoax to lure her out. Kam See chides him for being despicable while Fu Far thanks Shing Yee for letting them reunited again. They are a loving couple when younger but he is often not at home so she leaves home. (Shing Yee touches his nose – he never expect this to be just a couple’s quarrel.)

Fu Far still has the jade pendant that is from her all along. He wants her to forgive him, willing to give up everything to be with her and she agrees. Kam See can’t tolerate this. He has been in love with her for a long time. He kills her with his golden palms so that Fu Far can never get her. Fu Far kills him. Shing Yee watches aside as this is their personal feud. It is only when Kam See’s helpers come then he goes to help Fu Far. Fu Far is too fast and kills them.

Fu Far has two wishes – to get Madam Sheung See back and also spar with Shing Yee. Shing Yee agrees and both stand near a river. Fu Far thinks that he has hurt Shing Yee but Shing Yee has cut his chest with his sword. He knows that Fu Far has lost his will to live and grants his wish. He meets Fei Yin but he still has something to see it but will be back soon.

Shing Yee has guessed that Fong sends Mou Gek to kill him but doesn’t know why. Fong explains that Ling’s liking towards Shing Yee can cause his whole family to die. (For goodness sake, he should tell that to Ling then to control her in hand.) Shing Yee doesn’t want to kill him as he is Ling’s brother. He also doesn’t know if it is his or Fong’s fault for Ling’s death. Fong has to watch him leave in silence.

5. Ghost flute (almost a whole cast of unknowns but excellent swordplay by the cast. This segment isn’t in the dvd and I am puzzled.)

Ngan Pang – Koo Gun Chung
Gan Leung – Bao Hon Lam
Fong Hsuen – Leung Tin
Gan Heung Lien - Chan Kei Kei

Gan Heung Lien is alone to escort an expensive item, unlike in the past to be with her uncle. He reminds her to be careful before they part. She is going to Bak Kar Inn – sigh – how careless she is not to notice two evil men on a tree. They tail her and Pang saves her. He throws a dart at them but accidentally hurts her leg instead. He tends to her wound and she is grateful to him. She suddenly feels giddy and faints into his arms. Pang gives an evil grin. (We know what happens later.) She knows Lam Tin Fong later.

Tin Fong proposes to Heung Lien for 2 over years and wonders why she keeps rejecting him. She feels that she isn’t good enough for him but Tin Fong assures her that he doesn’t mind her escort agency background although he comes from a family of officials. She finally agrees to marry him. Hsuen comes to attack Tin Fong and Hsuen is injured but flees. Mrs Lam opposes to the marriage but he insists of doing so.

Shing Yee and Yin Fei are strolling together in the woods. She feels that he keeps avoiding her although he is beside her. He admits that as he is unsuitable for her. She needs someone who is attentive to her. Shing Yee senses two evil people – Pang’s henchmen killing a righteous man. Both try in vain to save him.

Hsuen asks the way to the Lam family. Tin Fong’s younger sister, Hor Yee manages to persuade Mrs Lam to let Tin Fong marry Heung Lien and he is overjoyed. Heung Lien recalls seeing someone with the flute and Tin Fong quickly practices his sword skills in the garden. Pang comes to disturb him.

Pang wants him to delay their wedding but he refuses to do so. He threatens to wipe out his whole family. Heung Lien is going to Lam residence with Leung for the wedding. Shing Yee and Yin Fei meet them at the inn. They have not met for a long time and Leung claims that he is losing a lot of money this time for marrying Heung Lien off. Leung invites the two of them to the wedding. Shing Yee accepts the invitation.

An attacker comes and Shing Yee blocks him from attacking them. Leung shakes his head – he is his disciple and must have mistaken that Shing Yee is Heung Lien’s fiancé. This man is bitter that he can’t get to marry his junior. Pang learns that the people have arrived. His followers lie that Shing Yee’s skills is about the same level as theirs.

Shing Yee accompanies Leung on land and grabs a sharp weapon that is about to kill Leung. Pang spars with Shing Yee and flees when loses. (All fans must be pleasantly surprised to see two Wan Dai Hap sparing with each other. My neighbour found it a pity to miss this segment out in this dvd version.)

Heung Lien knows that he is here for her but lies that nothing is wrong. Pang tells Tin Fong that Heung Lien is his woman two years ago. How can Leung marry her off like a virgin? If Tin Fong marries her, he will tell the whole world about this and his family will fall into disgrace. Tin Fong tells Mrs Lam that he wishes to cancel the wedding but now Mrs Lam disallows this.

Heung Lien also hesitates marrying but Leung wants a better life for her. Tin Fong is troubled and walks in the garden. Hsuen comes again to spar with him but gets killed this time. The family suddenly hears the bamboo ghost music for a few nights. This is the wedding night and Yin Fei looks at Shing Yee, wondering when her turn will be. Tin Fong is gloomy throughout the ceremony although their parents are happy as Pang’s words are on his mind.

Leung thanks the two for coming and all are about to sleep when they hear Leung shout. A masked man injures him. They rush to the ‘listening to waves’ pavilion where the newly weds are. The two are dead and Shing Yee finds a flute on the ground. Pang vows to kill all – if not for Shing Yee hindering him, Heung Lien might not have died. (Strange man – he doesn’t marry her in the first place and now he blames others.)

Shing Yee and Yin Fei come to the woods. They hear the bamboo music but don’t know where it comes from. He finds a flute on a tree while Hsuen’s dead body is found. Shing Yee deduces that Tin Fong kills
Heung Lien before killing himself. He can’t be killed by Hsuen who is already dead. This is to cover an ugly affair and preserves his reputation. Leung has told them the truth before he dies.

They have thought that things aren’t so simple when the two are dead. The flute they find confirms their suspicion even more. Tin Fong has tied it there so as to create the noise. He is also the one to kill Leung before running back to the room to kill Heung Lien. This man is just too proud to reveal the truth.

Mrs Lam then recalls that he has wanted to cancel the wedding – she has caused his death. The two leave but Pang and his men come after them. The two want to avenge the two families’ deaths. Both parties have a fierce battle. Pang deals with Shing Yee while the other two fight with Yin Fei. He is distracted when she loses after killing one man and is injured on the chest by Pang’s sword.

He comes to her aid and kills one man for her. Shing Yee is at the lower hand till Yin Fei manages to tie Pang’s legs with her bells. Pang falls to the ground and Shing Yee seizes this chance to kill him. He helps Yin Fei up and both feel sad as the tragedy could have avoided if not for this ruthless man.

6. The hell assassin (This is not from the novel so the plot is as weak as Madam Sheung See. I don’t understand why ATV didn’t select another story since the novel has 23 segments. This proves to be a stupid move. Luckily it is only one episode.)

Lau Dong Ching – Lam Kok Hung
Long Fei – Cheng Lui

A group of white masked men recite their rules of the assassination clan under the moonlight. See Ma plans to kill Long Fei after killing his only daughter, Yin Chi. Fei has killed his son so he wants Fei to feel how it is like to lose a kin’s life. The group comes but Fei has hidden Yin Chi. Yin Chi isn’t that highly skilled and can be killed easily. See Ma has enlisted the help of hell swordsman to avenge his death if he dies. Fei kills See Ma’s son as he has violated many women.

See Ma poisons himself to death after losing. The white masked men find Yin Chi but she is rescued by her 2 housekeepers. Fei asks Shing Yee for help. Yin Chi is Chau Ngor’s niece and Fei knows that he will not be so heartless. Shing Yee’s friend, Lau Dong Ching agrees to help too. (He looks like a female ghost dressed in white with long hair and a dark fringe although he has a fan. This is my first encounter with an extremely girlish-looking swordsman.) The two swordsmen have to stop their chess game to set off immediately to protect her quickly.

The two housekeepers (one of them is her nanny) are now in an inn with Yin Chi. She wonders how long she must hide from the killers. Yin Chi can’t sleep as she worries about Fei’s safety. Someone attacks her, leaving 3 daggers on her bed. Shing Yee only hears of the hell assassin as a cunning man and believes that he can’t surpass the 13 killers. The hell assassins are despicable and skilful but they have trust to kill themselves if they fail. But Lau has not heard of them failing till now.

Shing Yee and Lau reach the other end of the river through boat. They see Yin Chi on horseback. The boatman starts attacking her but Shing Yee manages to save her on time to kill the man on time. The housekeeper and her nanny remind her not to venue on her own again. Lau is attracted by Yin Chi and all assemble at the inn with Fei. Lau gets angry when Yin Chi only looks at Shing Yee to thank him. (If given the choice, I will not want to look at a girlish looking man too.)

Suddenly a man throws a dagger at Yin Chi but luckily Lau helps her. Fei finds Lau a fine man and praises him. He is known for using his iron fan and shadowless sword. Shing Yee suggests returning to Long residence instead of being on the run. Fei agrees with him. Lau has a nightmare when sleeping with Shing Yee in the same room. Shing Yee wakes up and sees him in agony. He taps him and he wakes up, attacking him with his metal fan. Shing Yee takes some time to stop him.

He asks Lau why he attacks him. He apologises as he has a nightmare. Shing Yee has a nice dream of killing the hell assassin while Lau dreams of being killed by the hell assassin. Shing Yee finds him too tense and he admits as he nearly ruins the whole matter. (This sentence has a double meaning.) The nanny and Fei can’t sleep at night. Fei knows of her affections for him. Someone sets a bomb in the room upstairs.

Yin Chi is missing and Shing Yee is the first to come. She is saved by Lau and is in the other room. Fei vows to kill the hell assassin. Shing Yee suggests setting off immediately as it is dawn. Lau chides the white assassins for behaving rashly. They scold him for saving Yin Chi. He is their head so how can he defy their rules? Why must he stop them from capturing her to keep her as a hostage?

It is hard to attack with Shing Yee around. All accuse him of telling Shing Yee their plan beforehand. Is he reluctant of letting Yin Chi go? They remind him that he sets up the assassin clan and can’t let them down. They are all orphans to grow up together to go through thick and thin. He assures them that he isn’t a person who gets moved easily. They make a pact to plan the attack on Long residence the next day.

Yin Chi plays the zither at night. Lau listens to it and takes out a small dagger. He hopes that she will forgive him as he is forced to do it. He recalls the morning and Yin Chi notices that Lau is troubled. Is he delayed because he needs to protect her? He wonders why he can’t do things that he likes. She wonders who will oppose to what he does. He asks her which is important – trust or love?

To her, love is more important as it helps a tree to grow leaves and flowers. If not, living is the same as dead. Shing Yee suddenly comes when he hides the dagger and Yin Chi only realizes now that the men are behind her. Shing Yee has asked Lau for pointers to continue the chess game. Fei asks Shing Yee of his opinion to marry her off to Lau.

The nanny has seen Yin Chi hiding a love poem in her book and passes it to Fei. Fei gets Shing Yee to read it. He feels that they should ask both of them personally. (These elders really pry into the young’s affairs overeagerly.) It is confirmed that Yin Chi is interested in Lau too. (My neighbour and I gasp in horror – how can this be as there is no hint of affections before that?! We have thought that she is fond of Shing Yee.) Shing Yee reminds Fei to be wary of the hell assassin to seize this chance to attack them.

Fei and Shing Yee see that the innkeeper is around with his family. Fei has wanted to pay for the damages to him for ruining his inn. Fei fears that he will bring harm to them if they stay at his home so he gives them some money. The little girl looks sick so Shing Yee kneels down to examine her pulse. The girl suddenly scratches Shing Yee’s hand and causes him to be wounded. (This is quite unexpected!)

She refuses to let it go. Shing Yee has no choice but to break her neck but he is already poisoned. (All along we have only seen Shing Yee killing adults and this is his first time killing a child.) Blood oozes continuously and he feels faint. He hears the girl muttering Lau’s name before she dies. He quickly warns Fei to be careful of poison. The other two men quickly run into the house to want to kill Yin Chi.

The two old men fight at the bridge and Fei kills him. Shing Yee sits under a tree, searching for the antidote that Piew has given him. The nanny manages to kill the other man. Fei sees that Shing Yee is recovering and tells him not to worry as Lau is with Yin Chi. Shing Yee jumps – Lau is the real hell assassin. Lau is about to kill the nanny when Shing Yee comes on time.

Shing Yee wants to know if Lau is in love with Yin Chi. He is willing to die with her. Shing Yee decides to help Lau fulfill his promise to others then. The two men fight in the yard and Lau keeps retreating backwards. Sheng Yi wins him by hurting his throat. Lau gets up and Yin Chi is surprised that he is alive. He wants to kill himself. Shing Yee reminds him what Yin Chi should do if he dies. Shing Yee tells him about his past as a killer – so Lau should live for himself. Yin Chi kneels beside Lau and both are together.

7. The skeleton killer (another nice thriller with surprising ending)

Kok Yuk (name means drug) – Koo Gun Chung (many fans must be thrilled to see him again.)
Chi Yin Ha – Ng Fung
Chi Sin Wa – Mun Shuet Yee
Chu Tin Yuk – Lam Kum Tong
Fong Shun - Lam Kok Hung
Taoist Mou Ching – Yeung Chat Lum
Crow – Yip Tin Hang

Yin Ha examines dead bodies to bring home. Fei Yin is chasing after two evil Taoists. (She is finally better dressed now!) She is angry with them for taking 78 innocent lives – one includes her foster mother who brings her up. Shing Yee shields her from getting attacked and both are nearly bombed to pieces. Yin Ha prevents the two villains from leaving – he is out from retreat as he hears of these two men.

Yin Ha wants their bodies for examination since they are so highly skilled. Their souls will be trapped for 10 days and can be alive again. His son-in-law, Yuk will try to enable it to happen. Both men hope that a revival drug can be produced. Shing Yee is curious and follows Yin Ha home. Yin Fei needs to return to her hometown to arrange the funeral so they part.

Sin Wa nearly kills Yuk with her pearl darts when he walks in. She scolds him for walking in without any warning. Isn’t he supposed to test out the drug? She doesn’t want him to come to her for 3 months. He gives her a fragrance sachet but she wants him to return to the drug chamber.

Yin Ha and Shing Yee leave the coffins in the hall of the inn. Constable Leung checks at the inn for missing jewellery for the magistrate. He doesn’t touch the coffins after knowing who are in them.
Shing Yee is curious to know if the dead will surely come alive. Yuk is still at the experimenting stage.

As age catches up with Yin Ha, he misses his home. Shing Yee is a vagrant so home means nothing to him. Yin Ha knows that he is often out to help others but cites that he should have a home. Shing Yee gives a bitter smile – his past has given him sad memories. Yuk starts brewing the drug. Sin Wa marries Yuk because he is a skilled physician and she is very weak. She can only practice secret weapon skills. She is very bad-tempered but all men can’t escape from her fingers as she is lustful.

Yin Ha introduces his disciple Shun to Shing Yee. His other disciple, Tin Yuk isn’t back yet. Sin Wa appears and Shun becomes unfocused. She throws a dart at Shing Yee and he receives it. She wants to test his skills and isn’t convinced that he is among the top pugilists till now. Sin Wa wishes him to demonstrate his skills and he paces in the hall for a while. He asks her what other noises she hears. She replies that she can hear the cricket sounds. Shing Yee says that she still misses something – a noise made by a man.

True enough, a man comes. He is Taoist Mou Ching who wants to claim lives for his two dead disciples. Shing Yee replies that they have turned into bones. Taoist Mou Qing is also here for the revival drug for himself. He has spared with Yin Ha many years back and no winner is determined. Now is the time to find out who is stronger. He knows that Yin Ha has not held the sword for 10 years and isn’t afraid even though Shing Yee is around. Shing Yee follows him to the garden and both have a battle.

Taoist Mou Ching uses two silver wheels to defend himself. Crow comes into the drug chamber with his crow in a cage. He hides at a corner as Yuk comes in to add something to a corpse. Yuk opens a box – it contains the jewels. Yuk comes to Sin Wa again to tell her that he has gotten jewels for her. She is attracted by a jade bangle and goes to the drug chamber with her maid to find out where he keeps more of them.

Shing Yee manages to chase Taoist Mou Ching away and has a drink with Yin Ha. Shing Yee guesses that either Crow or the golden swallow have taken the boot. He is more familiar with the latter as she is a woman who often steals while the former doesn’t show up often. He only hears that he often brings a crow with him. Yuk joins them in their chat.

Sin Wa is in the drug chamber, looking around. She opens a coffin and a skeleton comes out. She gets too frightened and faints on the spot, after throwing her darts at the coffin. Her maid hurries to tell the men that Sin Wa is killed. They rush to the chamber to find her dead body. Shing Yee asks if Yuk’s drug can be used on her. Yin Ha replies that she is too kind and the drug will fail to save her.

Shing Yee picks up Sin Wa’s flower secret dart from her and looks around. The skeleton in the coffin is hit by her darts. Yuk carries her away and all prepare for the burial for the two corpses. Shing Yee sees that the monks have turned to bones. Yuk nearly wants to burn them to ashes for scaring Sin Wa to death but Yin Ha stops him. All get ready for Sin Wa’s funeral and Shun is extremely upset to get drunk over it.

He has told her not to be with the turncoat, Ting Yuk in secret – why doesn’t she listen to him? He must be responsible for her death. Shing Yee suspects that Shun tells the truth. Sin Wa and Yuk are polite to each other although they are hardly loving. As for Shun and her, Yin Ha doesn’t bother about it. (What kind of father is this for not knowing what happens under the same roof?) But he believes that Sin Wa will not do something so shameful. Shing Yee doesn’t think that it is the work of the skeleton killer as the rest.

He doesn’t believe in Yuk’s revival drug. Yin Ha doesn’t know what to do now. Shing Yee decides to look around again. Shing Yee consoles Shun and asks if he likes Sin Wa. She is killed by a poisonous needle on her neck – Taoist Mou Ching’s weapon. But the way she gets killed isn’t the way he normally uses. Both are puzzled on the real killer’s identity. Shun is sure that she has no feud with them to get killed.

He still feels that Ting Yuk is the culprit as both of them commit adultery. Yin Ha and Yuk overhear him – is this true? Yuk doesn’t believe this but Shun insists that it is true and goes out to get him back with Yin Ha. Ting Yuk is intelligent and has mastered 70% of Yin Ha’s skills. Yin Ha wishes Shing Yee to take care of Yuk for him but he doesn’t want to and returns to the drug chamber alone. Yuk is with Crow now. (Sigh – Yin Ha doesn’t know Sin Wa nor Yuk well although they stay together for so long.)

Crow claps his hands for acting so well that Shing Yee believes him. Crow knows too many of Yuk’s deeds to show up. He has seen how he places the poisonous needles onto the skeleton’s hands. Once the coffin lid is opened, the victim will be hit and killed. Crow wants to get the jewels from him but he refuses to give to him. No one should believe a thief’s words but Crow believes that Shing Yee should have guessed the answer now. Yuk agrees but Crow must do two things for him.

Crow has to remove the skeletons from the graves. The two men fail to find Ting Yuk and both are on separate ways – he must be with different women. Yin Ha gets home first and asks what Shing Yee discovers in Sin Wa’s room. Shing Yee asks if she likes jewels as he sees the bangle on her dressing table. The two are expensive and Yin Ha doesn’t get them for her. Shun sees the skeleton killer on the way back.

A servant is killed and all suspect that it must be the work of the skeletons which come alive. Shing Yee believes that it might be the work of someone else. They return to the burial plot to find the skeletons missing. Shing Yee suspects that Taoist Mou Ching might be behind this. One Taoist has said that he will not let them go if he turns into a skeleton before dying.

All come to Yuk and he cites that he is still unsuccessful. They detect someone there – he is Taoist Mou Ching. He spars with Shing Yee again to see if he can win. But Shing Yee kills him as he plants his sword into his chest although he is holding on the other direction of the roof pillar. (I really adore this scene when he is so skilful.)The skeleton killer appears from elsewhere. Shun sees that his ‘heng gong’ is good. Thus Sin Wa must be killed by the skeleton killer.

Ting Yuk returns and admits to the affair but he doesn’t kill Sin Wa. He has been at the brothel for the past few days and the brothel owner can be his witness. Yin Ha is angry that he hasn’t changed so he gets Yuk out to testify against him. The skeleton killer enters the drug chamber – he is Crow. Yuk forbids Ting Yuk to get close to Sin Wa’s tablet and both blame each other for her death.

Ting Yuk cites that this will not happen if Sin Wa hasn’t married Yuk. Yin Ha knows that both are close since young but still gets her to marry Yuk. Why is he keep thinking on getting drugs to prolong his life? Yuk suddenly pushes the coffin cover towards Tin Yuk when he wants to look at Sin Wa and it hits him in the stomach. Ting Yuk dies before saying that he has the poison needle in him.

Yuk has known that both have an affair. Yin Ha doesn’t like him to kill ruthlessly but Yuk insists that they must die. Since Shun knows of the affair, how can he not know it? Experimenting with the drugs is just an excuse and is part of his plan. Shing Yee thinks that he can come up with other ways to kill Sin Wa but why must he be so cruel? Because she treats him like dirt. Yuk is past caring about death as he has had his revenge. He snaps that Yin Ha will never understand how he feels.

Shing Yee says that he has no use of his medicine no matter how good it is. Yuk slips away so Shing Yee and Shun run after him but are too slow for him. Yuk has gone away by a secret passage. Shun thinks he might be able to find out where he goes as he shouldn’t have gone far. Shing Yee follows him. Yuk is in a cave and takes out the jewels. Crow is behind him and wants his share now.

Yuk suddenly catches him unaware to throw the fire to the ground. Fei Yin approaches the beach and there is the skeleton killer coming out of the cave. Yin Ha, Shing Yee and Shun are already waiting for them. Shing Yee grabs the jewels from the skeleton killer. Yin Ha recognizes Yuk’s voice underneath the mask. Although he has suspected him of working with the skeleton killer, he never expects him to be the one.

Yuk only wants to get the jewels back and attacks Shing Yee with his spear. Yin Fei reaches the beach so Shing Yee throws it to her so that he can concentrate on the fight. The spear becomes a flag when Yuk pulls the handle away. Shing Yee watches calmly for a chance to attack but slips to fall. Yin Fei suddenly calls him to distract him. The spear pierces into Shing Yee’s stomach and he manages to cut the mask open. So Crow is the real skeleton killer – he has already killed Yuk in the cave.

Shing Yee feels that his wound is tearing and pulls the spear part out of his body. He picks the second half of it to Crow. Sweat is forming on their foreheads but Shing Yee is faster to thrust his sword into Crow’s body to kill him before collapsing on the sand. (Another exciting arrangement that will take your breath away if you watch it. )

Yin Fei walks to Crow to take out Shing Yee’s sword. She goes to Shing Yee and points his sword at his neck. He is stunned – why? This is the sword that kills the 13 killers so she is going to use it to kill him. She has so many chances to kill him – why wait till now? Because the sword never leaves him so she must get his trust. Now she is going to use the sword he likes to kill the man she loves. She must avenge Chin Kum’s death although she truly loves him. Shing Yee asks if she will be happy if he dies.

She only hopes that he knows even if he isn’t dead yet, the blood in her is already dead. He urges her to kill him but she becomes hesitant. Both look at each other at the beach – so what happens later? Sorry but I have no answer! (This Fei Yin part has nothing to do with the novel to create the dramatic effect. The novel has Yuk committing suicide as he can’t escape while Crow is being captured. But it is tragic indeed when both face each other.)

8. Mou Sheung Manual – which is subcategorized into two segments. I shall take some extracts from the novel as the producer has changed some of the parts.

Mok Yung Gu Fong – Cheung Mah Lee (as the first Xuan Yin princess in ‘Reincarnated’)
Fong Chong Sang – Poon Chi Mun
Duk Gu Yin - Yip Tien Hang
Bak Yuk Lau – Kong Tu
Master Bien Far (meaning is Change in Cantonese) – Bao Hon Lam
Fong Yap Chong – Leung Tin
Oi Fei Yu - Ling Mun Hoi

The evil ghost swordsman

Yuk Lau is the consort (he has married the emperor’s daughter, the first princess). He is the top scholar and is also a pugilistic expert. What makes all curious is he also holds Mou Sheung manual. He reprimands the guards for hindering him from entering the imperial study. He gets into the room to take the jade ornament away from the table. He is not supposed to take anything away without the emperor’s permission. The generals have no choice but to stop him. He still gets away after killing some men.

The guards come into the consort residence, demanding Yuk Lau to return the ornament. Yuk Lau is surprised that he is being captured for murders but yet he has never left the place. He is in charge of the treasures so why should he steal it? Yuk Lau is angry and will see the emperor about it. Suddenly, there is a red invitation by red blossom thief. This thief is renowned to get all the expensive objects. The court is after this thief so he is challenging their authority.

One official suggests getting Shing Yee to help as he is in the capital now. Another opposes to this as he is only a swordsman and why should they seek help from an outsider since they have so many capable men? Yuk Lau chides him – Shing Yee is also his friend and is of worthy help now. The officials search around the whole town for Shing Yee. They start hitting children when they don’t tell them.

Shing Yee dislikes them for bullying children and teaches them a lesson. (Many will be upset that he has a moustache now.) Actually, all the children know Shing Yee but they just don’t want to reveal. The officials have a shock when a boy calls him Brother Sum. Shing Yee visits Yuk Lau to find out what happens. The whole town is talking about the loss – is Yuk Lau looking for him regarding this?

Shing Yee looks at the invitation card. Yuk Lau loves freedom but has to stay in the palace to help the emperor. He is angry that someone impersonates him to steal the ornament. Second Princess Choi Wan comes to try to grab the card from Shing Yee but he seizes her daggers instead. Shing Yee will not want to look into the case as no lives are lost.

Yuk Lau wishes Shing Yee to stay for a while and Choi Wan wants to spar with him. She wants to explore the martial arts world with Shing Yee. She vows to follow him wherever he goes. (There is no Choi Wan in the novel. Probably ATV wants to give this actress some screen time.)

Bien Far congratulates Gu Fong for getting another treasure as she places the jade ornament on her shelf.
(So she is the one who pretends to be Yuk Lau.) She is now determined to get Bing, the no.1 reputed beauty and also a book – Mou Sheung Manual. Shing Yee exclaims Bing has grown as she addresses him as uncle. (Now we know why he must have the moustache to look mature but why doesn’t the drama follow the novel? He is supposedly to be only 27 years old now and Bing is in love with him! )

Shing Yee will not be staying as he doesn’t want to interfere into the court affairs. He wants to tour Jiang Nan so Yuk Lau and Bing offer to keep him company. (Shing Yee treats Bing as his younger sister in the novel and Bing doesn’t know why Shing Yee cites that he is old as he is badly affectedly by Chau Ngor’s betrayal.) Yuk Lau is too troubled over the court affairs and wishes to get away for a while. Shing Yee finds Choi Wan too willful. If she is set to harass him, she will do it. Thus they set off early and secretly.

Yin is happy to have a nice friend, Duen Tin Bo in Da Li. He gets a letter that Tin Bo is with his wife. He returns home and kills Tin Bo. He doesn’t kill his wife but she is executed by Duen’s father (Wong Wai) – a prince to make sure that there is a closure to it. Yin is a killer who has a knife chained to his belt and is now being hunted. He is then on the run as Duen’s father sends people to hunt him down. Tin Bo’s master, Fong Yap Chong is one of them.

Yin is rescued by someone (a boatman with another face that belongs to See Mah Wah Long) to go million flower valley. The old man cites that his skills are secondary to Mou Sheung manual. His mask can’t stand for long and his own looks have not changed. The top challenge is to change a person totally. Yin gets fascinated upon seeing the real look – Gu Fong. No wonder he finds her familiar even with the mask.

He recognises her at once – why risk her life personally for him? He has saved her life some years ago. Gu Fong knows what happens to him. She decides to help Yin to create another identity and will change his face. But he can’t change his looks back. He will be known as Chong San from then onwards. Yin declares that he will never regret this as he is not even scared of death.

Bien Far walks in to create the miracle on him. Yin has the killer skills but not the heart so he has to be cruel. He brings Yin into a room and he finds many bodies under covers. They are Bien Far’s enemies or dug from new graves nearby. He is grateful to Gu Fong for giving him a place to conduct his experiments. Yin has never thought of the million flower valley is a place to keep corpses on the outside. Bien Far plants many needles on Yin and conducts the change.

Gu Fong brings a lamp to Yin – or rather he is Chong San now. It has Shing Yee’s name on it – he is the person she wants to kill. The lamp on the four sides has his history as Suen Yu. It names the killings he has done too. It is said that Shing Yee also shuts the whole hell killer clan of 24 by finishing all too. Gu Fong wants him to keep the scroll to know his enemy better. (This lamp is done tastefully with nice calligraphy. I doubt any tv station will do it as nicely now. )

Chong San has heard of Shing Yee to be the killer among the killers – he has gotten rid of others who are higher skilled than Chong San. Still, Chong San is confident of meeting him. The million flower valley should be called Mou Sheung valley as what she has is none than the second. Chong San is stunned to see all the theft items here. Chong San said that Gu Fong is the no. 1 beauty and no one can surpass her. She wants to get Bing as she is the real no.1 beauty.

Chong San sees a handsome male corpse in a coffin – she wants a female corpse to keep him company. This dead man is of average looks but she is unsatisfied to ask Bien Far to change his looks. (Weird person – she is a perfectionist and wants to own the best. The dead handsome man who never undergoes any facial change is her husband in the novel so she wants the best for him. ) Chong San is supposed to stall Shing Yee while she will grab Bing and Mou Sheung manual.

Choi Wan comes to look for Shing Yee but he is no longer at Bak residence. She is angry that the three have left without her. She vows to join them and sends message pigeons to find out where they are. The three enjoy the scenery and settle at an inn. Choi Wan disguises as a man and grabs the jewels back from some robbers. It seems that Choi Wan can’t let Shing Yee off as the governor receives the three. Shing Yee decides to meet them at the inn as he doesn’t wish to meet officials.

Yuk Lau receives the red blossom invitation at the governor’s home. It states that he wants Bing so Yuk Lau doesn’t want Bing to go out. Shing Yee believes that they will not clash openly since the thief pretends to be Yuk Lau to steal the jade ornament. Bing asks if he will pretend to be Yuk Lau or Shing Yee. Yuk Lau then decides to get their friend, Fei Yu to help. Shing Yee comes and both spar with swords.

Fei Yu is known as the fast sword and is also impressed by her beauty. Yuk Lau sighs – that is why he invites trouble to his doorstep. Yuk Lau suggests the two swordsmen to exchange their identity. (Why don’t they exchange the moustache too as Fei Yu doesn’t have one? and Fei Yu doesn’t wear Shing Yee’s mask at all as the novel has written to be. Sigh….Bing calls Fei Yu as uncle too to make him sound so old!)

Shing Yee will pretend to be Yuk Lau’s bodyguard. Bien Far suggests attacking them at Fai Wood Lam. Fei Yu is now Shing Yee – without disguise while Shing Yee becomes a one-eyed follower who claims that he is only a lowly servant. (special guest star by Mak Tin Yan. In the novel, Shing Yee protects them in secret. The drama should have followed the novel’s arrangement to create more suspense.)

Gu Fong invites them to meet at her inn. Bing asks what Mok Yung family is. Their past generations have experts heading the pugilistic world but bellows down for 20 years. No one is supposed to attack in the Fai Wood Lam so Bing still thinks that it is safe but Shing Yee feels that it isn’t as safe as it seems. Both men remind her not to blow their cover because she keeps on smiling at Shing Yee’s disguise. Gu Fong plans to use a chest to trap Bing in it.

Gu Fong holds Chong San’s hand to meet the four. All feel that the place is too quiet. Yuk Lau spars with Shing Yee’s enemies that come to seek for trouble. (Luckily, they come to seek revenge without knowing how Shing Yee looks or Fei Yu’s cover will be blown.)

Chong San kills one as no one is supposed to disturb Fai Wood Lam. Gu Fong comes out and wants him to kill all so he finishes all with his saber. The men can’t tell which sect he belongs to even after seeing his strokes. Fei Yu hasn’t seen him before and all are taken aback to know that this is the first time Chong San kills. (She is partly right as he does kill under a new identity.)

Yuk Lau says that he must have been a genius. Yap Chong comes in and Chong San gets uneasy. Gu Fong stays calm and Chong San remembers that he has a new face so he should not been able to recognize him. Yap Chong doesn’t think that he masters Mou Yung’s family’s skills as he has seen 40 over experts from her family. He has seen Gu Fong 4 times but has not seen Chong San before too.

Yap Chong hints that he should have linked a chain to it and uses it to kill his opponent faster. Chong San nearly goes crazy when he gets his saber to take a close look. (The novel has him sweating in secret when Yap Chong looks at his face carefully.) Yap Chong is in mainland China to kill Yin.

If not to hunt Yin down, he will want to challenge Chong San to a duel. He wants to spar with all who carry sabers – even the unknowns. Gu Fong commands Chong San to walk close to Yap Chong. Chong San gets very tense when Yap Chong mentions that Yin can still change his looks.

Yap Chong sees that he has no disguise and apologises. He has thought that he is Yin. He is still eager to spar with Shing Yee. He will be more eager to be among the top pugilistic experts when younger but not now. Yuk Lau agrees with him as people will change when age catches up. Yap Chong also sees Bing. All are in their own room. Bing is eager to meet the red blossom thief and the three men shake their heads. She laments that Choi Wan isn’t around to help them deal with the red blossom thief. But they will prefer not to have her present!

The robbers are after Choi Wan for the jewels but she has given all away to the poor. Chong San gets used to the new saber – Yap Chong is suspicious of him. Yuk Lau mentions about the red blossom thief coming after Bing to the others when they meet for dinner. All assure him that he should not worry so much. They guess that the red blossom thief is a man as most women are timid while Gu Fong feels it should be done by a woman. Both bet with each other. He will admit defeat to stay in Jiang Nan if she is red blossom thief.

She wants Yuk Lau’s residence if she wins. Another round is between the red blossom thief and Shing Yee So is she to take her home as a stake. If Shing Yee loses, he has to retire from the pugilistic world. The red blossom thief suddenly shouts that he is here. All men go out while Gu Fong drags Bing into her home. They see Yap Chong’s followers being knocked out but don’t know where the thief goes. Gu Fong knocks Bing out and gets her maid to pretend to be her.

Yap Chong hits a tree but the masked man is not there – only a black cloth remains. The two women put Bing into the chest and both go out again. The men return and Yuk Lau asks if the red blossom thief has hurt Bing. Bing avoids him touching her. Doesn’t she say that she isn’t scared? Gu Fong gets her to rest and Yuk Lau gets Fei Yu to watch over ‘Bing’. They do not know that Gu Fong has made the switch.

Yap Chong also looks forward to spar with Yuk Lau as he is a skilled swordsman too. Yuk Lau is modest to reply that Shing Yee is better. Yap Chong asks a lot on Shing Yee as he is wary of Fei Yu but Yuk Lau cites that he must have thought that he has not lived up to Shing Yee’s reputation. Fei Yu laments that it is tough to pretend Shing Yee as his weakness is his ‘heng gong’. He is afraid he has blown his cover earlier.

Yuk Lau and Fei Yu are alone – they still need to be careful although they have made special arrangements. Yap Chong is in the garden, telling his followers to guard Yuk Lau. Yuk Lau doesn’t know why ‘Bing’ is still so frightened. She removes her outer clothes to become a masked person to sneak out. The chest is taken out of Gu Fong’s home and sent to the river bank. Yap Chong sees the boat already drifting away but the man he catches chooses to kill himself instead of telling him.

Shing Yee wants to check the chest when Chong San reaches the other end. He is there waiting for him all along as Fei Yu protects the others! (The novel’s description is breath-taking. Shing Yee, without his disguise, is in his usual white gown with his sword. Chong San feels the chill even in bright daylight. ) Chong San realizes that Yuk Lau sends Shing Yee here – Fai Wood Lam only has this exit but Chong San says that Yuk Lau is the one who is stupid to just send a lowly guard here.

Shing Yee realizes now that Gu Fong is the red blossom thief when he recites the two verses of the poem he sees in the hall. (Her name is linked to the two words red blossom.)Chong San escapes while Shing Yee rescues Bing out of the chest. He finds Chong San’s style ruthless but yet doesn’t seem to get used to the saber that he is using.

Gu Fong tries getting away after her plan fails and Chong San joins her. She knows that something is wrong when none of her people return. Yuk Lau is stunned when Bing comes in from outside with Shing Yee. Yuk Lau looks closely at Bing and sighs that he is tricked. The imposter is missing so Yuk Lau suggests Bing back in the room as it is safer for her. Yuk Lau knows that Gu Fong is the red blossom thief when both of them are back.

Yuk Lau recalls that someone yells that the red blossom thief is around earlier on – it is a ploy to lure them away. No one will expect her to make the switch. The imposter seldom talks and Gu Fong hardly leaves her. There are many doubts then but they don’t see that. Yuk Lau is impressed by her slyness. Yuk Lau even can’t tell that ‘Bing’ is an imposter so he is sure that there is a master of disguise with Gu Fong. This person is as good as him. Shing Yee replies that he is already a genius as all can’t tell who he is now.

Gu Fong wants to get Bing but still loses to Yuk Lau. Shing Yee is at the exit at all times to observe what will happen but is shocked to know of the bet. Fei Yu laughs – Gu Fong has no guts to come to claim her home back now. He still wins a round between the red blossom and Shing Yee. They do not dare to look down on this woman. Gu Fong is curious of Yuk Lau’s mysterious helper’s identity as he ruins their plan.

They get on a raft and (Can you believe that a fugitive can escape so elegantly? The raft’s sedan is made of bamboo decorated with four bright lanterns with the word ‘million’ on it!) Bien Far learns that their plan has failed. Yap Chong sees them getting into a house. Fei Yu sits on a rock and ponders over matters.

Yuk Lau doesn’t wish Fei Yu to get tense as Gu Fong should not strike so soon. He attacks a masked man who eavesdrops on them. Chong San is outside the home and kills the masked man for being so timid. Yuk Lau deliberately lets him go so that he can find Gu Fong. He isn’t as cruel as Chong San and will tail him if he wishes. Chong San gets away quickly and Yuk Lau is about to chase when Choi Wan is here. She
fights with Fei Yu, demanding to know where Shing Yee is.

Yuk Lau commands her to return – afraid that she will blow Fei Yu’s cover. This stupid woman even asks so loudly why Fei Yu claims to be Shing Yee. (That is why I feel that Fei Yu should have worn a mask.) Yuk Lau has to say what she sees isn’t exactly believing. He tells her to wait at a nunnery nearby so he will get Shing Yee to go. (Yuk Lau is so stupid – isn’t he scared that someone will harm Choi Wan instead? This arrangement is crazy.) Someone is spying from the rooftop and knows everything now.

Shing Yee just hopes that Chong San will not hear it. If not for her, he could have tailed Chong San. Yuk Lau suddenly has a better idea. Yuk Lau thinks that Chong San is ruthless and experienced. They will cast doubts on him as a killer and should not be an unknown. Yuk Lau and Shing Yee suspect him to be Yin. Yap Chong will not suspect a person without reason – the two must have some similarities. Their saber skills are familiar so the master of disguise must have helped him.

The name Chong San means changing to another person. What they have thought should be in Yap Chong’s mind. Shing Yee guesses correctly that he is spying them now. Choi Wan sleeps at the nunnery and the three men come again. She wants to kill them but Shing Yee comes. He claims that Shing Yee tells him to come. The three men guess that he is Yap Chong but he can’t be this young. They claim that he can’t be invincible and Yap Chong overhears them.

He kills them with needles from his windpipe for their evil deeds and bullying a woman. Shing Yee is impressed by his skills and claims that he doesn’t dare to spar with him. But Yap Chong forces him to draw his sword. Shing Yee knows Mou Dong’s skills although he isn’t a disciple from the sect. It is an honour to use this skill with him as he is the prime minister of Da Li state. Yap Chong is moved by his hospitality.

Soul in the sword

Both have an exchange. Yap Chong is impressed by his skills and both decide to catch up after they have settled their matters. He reveals that he knows about their whereabouts and brings him there. Yap Chong suspects that Chong San might be Yin’s junior. He sees that Choi Wan’s ‘heng gong’ is impressive and allows her to follow them. Yap Chong is wary of Bien Far’s skills and warns both to be careful.

The killers ambush them but get killed by Shing Yee. Shing Yee only sees Bien Far there and knows that he is stalling for time. Yap Chong and Bien Far fight with each other but both are stuck when competing their inner strength with each other. Yap Chong tells the other two to catch up with Gu Fong. Both catch up
to kill the followers but the sedan has one killer setting explosive, nearly killing them.

They are back to learn from Yap Chong that Gu Fong has escaped. All can’t find the secret passage that they leave. They are sure that all are still hiding in the house. If only Yap Chong’s followers are here, it will be easy to seek them out but he will still get his men to search for them. Choi Wan pretends to trip and fall and lures Shing Yee to come over to her.

She pulls out a dagger but Shing Yee stops her. She demands to know who he is as she has never seen him before although she has been to the consort residence for long. She still insists of seeing Shing Yee as he is so arrogant. Why doesn’t he want to be her friend? Shing Yee smiles and removes the mask. She is delighted and asks why he is in disguise. He tells the whole story.

They do not know where Yuk Lau learns the skills from. Sing Yee doesn’t think that it is fun to play with as Choi Wan thinks. Now he has to get help from Yin Fei. She is daring, witty and agile for the task since the job is so risky. Choi Wan is annoyed that he has not thought of her as he keeps singing Fei Yin’s praises. Her ‘heng gong’ is good so it will be easy for her to escape even if she is no match for her enemy.

Choi Wan sneers as she doesn’t think she will lose to Fei Yin. Shing Yee doesn’t want to land her in trouble since she is from the royal family. He will try to ask from Yuk Lau then. (It is sad that Fei Yin never appears but at least we know that she has settled her grudge with Shing Yee.) Bien Far and Gu Fong are up to a new plan. Yap Chong hides aside to see how Chong San kills Shing Yee’s enemies (the ones who are related to those Chong San has killed earlier at Muk Yung residence.)

(The novel’s version is that Shing Yee disguises as an old follower. Yuk Lau only sees Yap Chong and thus makes him to look like Yap Chong. Knowing that Shing Yee dislikes wearing red clothes, he makes him wear them so that no one will suspect his identity. He passes by the nunnery and has exchanges with Yap Chong. Yap Chong is stunned to see someone looking similar to him. Seeing Fei Yin in trouble, both rescue her from Bien Far and Yap Chong chases after him.

She doesn’t know why this old man seems to be familiar to her so she is delighted to see him as he removes his mask to confirm her doubts. Seeing that she frowns, he asks her if she doesn’t believe him. She has seen him with Shing Yee and becomes unsure of herself. Shing Yee allows her to cling close to him as he hugs her gently. Seeing his anxiety in his eyes when she offers to be part of the operation, she assures him that she will be fine. Too bad the drama version doesn’t arrange it.)

Yap Chong insists that Gu Fong should leave Chong San behind. Both men nearly come to blows but Bien Far attacks Yap Chong first. The three get away and Yap Chong is angry to miss again. Gu Fong blames Chong San for being careless to reveal his natural skills and he admits his mistake. She gets an imposter, Yin out and Chong San is stunned. Bien Far is magnificent indeed.

Bien Far get the news that Bing appears on the street openly. They are puzzled why Yuk Lau is so daring now. Yuk Lau is grateful to all for helping him. Gu Fong is a proud person who will not give up easily so they must be very careful. Bing is asleep and Bien Far sneaks into her room. He smells something but still knocks her out to kidnap her. Yuk Lau is angry over this.

Gu Fong knows that Bing is most important to him and will want Mou Sheung manual in exchange. But it is of no use to her if she has no idea at all. Yuk Lau decides to make something out from Mou Sheung manual secret to her as an exchange then. Yap Chong is hot on ‘Yin’s’ heels and kills him. Yap Chong knows that he isn’t the real Yin – he has no killer air in him. He will send the body back to Da Li capital but he will still stay to look for the real Yin.

Yuk Lau is anxious that Gu Fong has not contacted them after a day. Shing Yee assures him that nothing should go wrong as his disguise skills are good. Shing Yee decides that they will take the initiative to strike if things go wrong. Gu Fong arranges to meet them at the flower cliff to exchange for the manual. Gu Fong wants both things. Yuk Lau has the thing ready and knows that even Gu Fong can’t make anything out of it even though she is smart.

Yap Chong arrives using his ‘heng gong’ and senses that Fei Yu is too nervous. He sneers that ‘Shing Yee’ doesn’t earn his name due to skills and both men are silent. The three men get to the cliff to see Bing with Chong San. Fei Yu is puzzled why Gu Fong chooses here so Yuk Lau knows that this place is up to use to her. They wonder why Gu Fong isn’t present. Chong San informs them that they have ambushed 36 archers around so they should not move rashly.

Seeing a pale Bing makes Yuk Lau upset. Chong San explains that he will not put Gu Fong in danger and he is willing to die for her. Yuk Lau throws the box to him and demands that he releases Bing. Shing Yee sees that he is too tense – Yuk Lau guesses that he is a killer. He kills others and is also afraid of getting killed. Shing Yee knows that Muk Yung family does not accept outsiders so he must have joined them as he has nowhere else to go. Chong San denies this but Yuk Lau knows that Bien Far has changed his face.

All tell Chong San to open the box to see what it is. Chong San sees that it has something there. Seeing that Bing doesn’t look at him to look into the box too and even glares at him later, Yuk Lau realizes that she is an imposter. Her eyes can’t be this sharp – who is she? She is Gu Fong! She will test if it is Mou Sheung manual before returning Bing to him. Yuk Lau is enraged – he isn’t a person who doesn’t keep promises.

He must tell her the use of it. Yuk Lau laughs that she forgets she is in danger herself. The three men run to them but they escape fast. Are they inside the cave? Luckily, ShingYee alerts them or they could have
been blown to pieces. Yap Chong comes as he hears the noise. Yap Chong’s followers suspect that they could have escaped to Bien Far’s temple hideout. If not, Bien Far could not have escaped so fast the last time. The three people can’t tell what is in the box. It is transparent and soft.

Bien Far takes it out - the smell is weird – he could have smelt it somewhere. He recalls that it is from Bing’s room. Yuk Lau has told them that they will know it sooner or later. Now, they have to wait for Yuk Lau to tell them the secret. They return to the million flower valley while the men discuss what they should go there too as it isn’t easy to penetrate. They have not been there before but are confident to get in. Yap Chong insists of braving danger with them.

Seeing that he is a true friend, Yuk Lau discloses the men’s identities to them. Yuk Lau gets Shing Yee to remove his mask. Yap Chong laughs – he already feels strange where Yuk Lau gets such a good helper. He touches the mask – it is so fine that he can’t distinguish it from real. Yuk Lau admits that it is made from Mou Sheung manual but Bien Far is superior. (The novel’s version – the poor old man is so confused when he sees 2 Shing Yees. Luckily he notices that the real one has sharper eyes to tell the difference before Fei Yu removes his mask.)

If Chong San is Yin, then Yuk Lau is the loser as he can’t tell it too. Yap Chong still thinks that he is better than Bien Far as Bien Far has not seen through Shing Yee’s disguise too. But now if Mou Sheung manual lands in Bien Far’s hands, he will be a top expert.

Yuk Lau is sure that he only gets half of the secret. But Yan Chong is afraid that Bien Far has known the next half of the secret so they must seek them out. Yan Chong assures that they will not harm Bing. Yuk Lau sighs – he will not worry that much if she is Bing. Bing has returned to the palace as the person is Choi Wan. Yap Lau laughs – so what he can’t figure out earlier is clear to him now.

(I find the novel’s arrangement more logical. Yuk Lau will never dare to land Princess Choi Wan in danger as she is from the loyalty family. Getting FeiYin to help is more acceptable. Bing still stays with the men but she has worn Fei Yin’s mask to prevent landing her into trouble since Fei Yin disguises as Bing now.)

All hope that Choi Wan should be able to escape since her ‘heng gong’ is good. But they should not delay for too long and must get ready to attack million flower valley next morning. Gu Fong knows that she is trapped by the two forces so Chong San is willing to sacrifice himself to deal with Yap Chong. She declines him to do that as she can’t afford to lose again as she lost once. So she must use her wits this time.

The four men arrive at the entrance of million flower valley with Yap Chong’s followers. (At last, Shing Yee shows his face!) The killers are ready for them so they have a fierce battle. Yap Chong’s side wins and Bien Far is still examining the thing. The men enter the valley in vain as they keep going in circles in the forest. Yap Chong has sensed it to be a trap.

Bien Far uses a knife to cut a piece of the thing. It is like white jelly and places it into a small pan. He adds water to it but it does not melt. The men look at a map – Yap Chong recalls where Yin disappears when he tries to capture him last time. Is there something special with this river? Yan Chong can’t get deep under water because of the corals. Shing Yee suggests moving back there. Maybe there is a water tunnel that brings him in but they can’t bring too many men in to alarm the villains.

Yap Chong needs Fei Yu to get his followers to guard the forest. Gu Fong will never expect them to have a backup plan to be attacked from both sides. Bien Far tries boiling the thing and recalls how he smells it. Now the thing melts into a sticky liquid that looks like glue. The three men enter the valley on a boat. Bien Far discovers the secret and tests on a servant. He applies the thing on the man’s face and another layer is formed. Bien Far removes it from his face and grins wickedly.

Some black clothed man attack Shing Yee once he is on land. They must find the exit fast. Bien Far puts the mask on his face and affirms the use of it. ‘Bing’ doesn’t talk and refuses to eat. Bien Far is glad that Gu Fong isn’t harmed by her. Although he isn’t sure of the material, he is sure that the smell that night comes from her face then. ‘Bing’ replies – does he think that she is vicious? She reveals that he has seen her before. He finally remembers that she is Choi Wan.

Choi Wan takes off the mask and escapes when the two men try to get her. She is now in the garden and the three trap her. Choi Wan believes that Shing Yee will be here for her soon before she gets too exhausted to get caught by them. Gu Fong laughs to say that Choi Wan overestimates Shing Yee. Choi Wan then reveals that the person is not him and who knows if these two are also imposters? Gu Fong is enraged. Choi Wan doubts they will dare to kill a princess.

Chong San has killed the royalty before and doesn’t mind adding another. Gu Fong is mad that she gets tricked again. He will chop off her right leg so that she can’t get away. Chong San gets his chained saber out so Choi Wan recognizes it. So he is really Yin and Yap Chong has suspected him all along. This thing will be the evidence to prove his identity. Too bad he isn’t here yet to see it.

The two spar and are at par. (No wonder she carves a name for herself in the pugilistic world.) Gu Fong urges Bien Far to help. (This woman is really lazy and I have not seen her lift a finger even once.) Shing Yee comes on time to rescue her. The three finally recognize Shing Yee. Yuk Lau also notices that Bien Far has discovered Mou Sheung manual’s secret. Shing Yee confesses that he has deceived them for a long time as Yuk Lau’s follower.

Yuk Lau wants Gu Fong to return to the imperial court with him. Yap Chong recognises the chained saber so Yin admits his identity. Yap Chong claims that he has brought enough men to flatten the ground here. Gu Fong takes the responsibility alone to exchange the lives of her family clan’s lives and Yuk Lau admires her guts. Yap Chong only wants to kill Yin.

The two men fight and Bien Far urges Gu Fong to escape to make a comeback. Shing Yee stops Bien Far from helping Yin. Yin sees Gu Fong for the last time before he gets killed. Gu Fong wants Bien Far to kill Yap Chong for her as she grieves and gets away. Choi Wan chases after her. The three men face him and he sneers at them for being cowards if this news gets around. So Bien Far and Yap Chong face each other.

The two men stand aside to watch. Yap Chong uses needles from his windpipe but Bien Far throws back to strike him at his forehead to kill him. Yuk Lau holds him in his arms while Shing Yee attacks Bien Far. His sword pierces his palm before piercing his chest. Shing Yee rushes back to Yuk Lau’s side but Yuk Lau shakes his head.

Choi Wan runs back to tell that Gu Fong wants to meet them. (This part is unexplainable as Gu Fong could have killed Choi Wan or use her as a hostage since she is unhurt. The novel has Shing Yee hurting Gu Fong’s leg so she staggers back to her study with the men coming after her.)

All meet in the chamber where she keeps the treasures. Why is she still here? Shing Yee knows that she can’t accept failure and can’t continue living. Gu Fong sighs – only Yin and Shing Yee understand her. She is contented to die but Yuk Lau confesses that he loses as he never thinks of the red blossom thief to be a woman. Gu Fong sighs – she has no life to stay in his residence although she wins.

Although Shing Yee wins, he has to return all the treasures to the owners so he doesn’t gain anything. She wants to know what Mou Sheung manual is. It tells of the thing in the box but Yuk Lau replies that the material is still unnamed. Before her death, she requests to be buried with Yin. Yuk Lau nods his head. Yuk Lau sighs – she dies for her family trying to restore its glory.

Choi Wan wishes Shing Yee to return to the capital with her or else she will tag along with him. Shing Yee feels tired of roaming the pugilistic world for so many years. If there is a place for him to stay, he will go. She is delighted but all will be sure she will curse him later. They have not taken the jade ornament back so he asks her to take it. (My neighbour and I burst out laughing – who expects Shing Yee to trick a girl?)

Turning to Yuk Lau when she gets away, Shing Yee entrusts him to settle everything. (He knows that Choi Wan likes him so he must get away fast. Yuk Lau feels bad for troubling him because of Bing but he doesn’t mind it. Shing Yee leaves hastily or it will be hard for him to do so if Choi Wan comes. Choi Wan is definitely furious to know that she is being tricked when she returns. Yuk Lau tells her not to look for him anymore. Just like what Fong tells Ling in ‘the white spider’.

(The novel doesn’t have the character Choi Wan. Yin Fei is the one impersonating as Bing. Gu Fong jumps to her death down a cliff after knowing that she has failed. Bing and Fei Yin weep for her as they feel sorry for her. Bing is very kind and can forgive her over the kidnap case. )

Introduction on main characters – this special list has only 2 as guest stars make up the bulk

1. Sum Shing Yee – Tsui Siu Keung
Shing Yee is famous to defeat top pugilists from age 18. It has trained him to be alert, learn things fast and also analyse matters critically. Thus he can also defeat those who are stronger than him. Of course, he himself is considered a genius so he is considered a powerful pugilist at his prime age of 26. (But in the later part of the serial, he has a moustache since he is in his 30s.)

Shing Yee is willing to let Chau Ngor happy although he is in agony and badly tormented. But his enemy doubts his intentions to want to harm him instead. Unlike other swordsmen, he doesn’t have a cover for his sword. He only ties the sword at his waist. After discarding his Suen Yu killer identity, he doesn’t use his silver sword anymore and replaces it with an ordinary sword.

Shing Yee wins hearts of women easily. From Yin Fei, Ling to Choi Wan. Shing Yee has thought that he will never love again after Chau Ngor’s betrayal. But he is slowly drawn to Yin Fei. Still, he tries to avoid getting too close to her as he feels that he isn’t good enough for her. However, he is saddened as her hatred for him is greater than love.

Shing Yee in the novel is reputed to wear only white clothes. ATV is generous to Siu Keung to offer him a wide wardrobe of different coloured clothes. He is brilliant as Shing Yee – in looks, acting and agility. He is so swift and accurate with the sword. It is hard to manage sentimental and fighting scenes but he strikes a balance to do well in both areas. To me, this character is more successful than Swordsman Wan.

2. Bu Yin Fei – Ma Mun Yee
She becomes part of the 13 killer gang because of her obsession for Chin Kum. But she hardly kills people as she is kind at heart. As her name suggests, her ‘heng gong’ is splendid so she runs away fast or can tail someone ahead. Even Shing Yee confesses that he isn’t her match when coming to this.

She is stunningly attractive in ‘Reincarnated’ but she looks like a beggar in here. Who gets her to wear a few pieces of rag?! Yes! Rags with silk threads to tie around her legs to match with a pair of sandals even though she has a cloak. She should exchange her dressing with Siu Ling. Her white clothes bring out her elegance but her looks are ordinary. If Yin Fei makes the switch, she will be stunningly beautiful. Mun Yee’s acting is also natural – youthful and also totally at ease in using the bells. She must have practiced very hard for her role.

Songs

The theme song is by the late Cheung Kok Wing. It is a true classic. It portrays Shing Yee’s swordsman’s airs to stun the whole pugilistic world. Kok Wing’s voice was a bit raw then but he was still good. It’s said that the cast sang this song when invited to nightclubs as they became famous. The subtheme song is ‘Madam Sheung See’ by Lai Ying Hong. She is a newcomer and this song is in her debut album. It is also another sad song. She sings for ‘Reincarnated’ after that.

Other versions

There is a 1983 movie version by Dik Lung. There is also a 1984 Taiwan version by Zhang Zhen Huan which I have not watched before. One fan told me that it is also quite truthful to the novel.

Conclusion

I have read the novel that comes in 23 stories. I can’t describe my joy to know that the dvd version is finally out as I watched this drama a long time ago. It is definitely a masterpiece. All Mou Hap fans need to keep this as one of their library collection as Ching Siu Tung served as the action director. It shows how a kungfu drama should be shot. Sometimes, I suspect myself after watching this one to become overly demanding on other works. Many hardly match up to half of its standard although it is almost 30 years old!

The novel is overly sadistic on how Shing Yee is betrayed by his friends continuously for almost every segment. This drama offers more insight and differences. Shing Yee might seem to be invincible because of his capability. He doesn’t lose any match from the beginning to the end – which is just like the novel. But it is not because he is a level ahead of others but because he is a killer for 5 years. He doesn’t win through luck but through his experience and wise judgment.

The setting is traditional but yet complements well with the mysterious music. I have no complains about seeing the nice and natural scenery. Many slow motion scenes are tastefully done in the bamboo forests, on beaches or beside lakes. The fighting scenes are excellent! Never have I enjoyed myself so much seeing so many weapons – spears, poles, bells, swords, cloth, darts, daggers, sabers. Each person has a distinctive identity to use the different weapon. Simply stunning!

It is sequential, simple and has a lot of suspense as Shing Yee checks on so many cases. Although it is like Luk Siu Fung to have some similar faces for some segments, it is fine as they play different roles with differing personalities.

If Cheng Siu Chau is considered to be the 70s swordsman for TVB, Siu Keung is undeniably the 70s swordsman for ATV. He has the physique, youth and also the looks. A definite yes to all Mou Hap fans – it is a must-watch drama and you will regret if you miss it. It should not stop at 16 – I am puzzled – why ATV did not try to shoot more stories? I really crave for more after that.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : ***** (Scale of 5) (Even with a cast of unknowns, they do a good job.)

On story : **** (Scale of 5) (If not for the producer to make the changes, it could have a complete score.)

On song : **** (Scale of 5) (another unforgettable classic which is fondly recalled by fans.)

On fighting scenes : ***** (Scale of 5) (I forgot to include a rating for ‘Reincarnated’. It will be 4.5* for it. This drama deserves a perfect score as the strokes are swift and performed wonderfully although the moves are basic as it involves more danger and we can admire the moves clearly.)


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