Chor Lau Heung


Reviewed by: sukting

August 16, 2005

Rating: three-point-five

How long
66 episodes or 30 VCDs

Foreword
Being an avid reader of Gu Long's works, I don't mind it. I watched it when I was very young and had little recollections of it. It is regarded as an old time classic, which deserves the reputation. Cheng Siu Chau really makes the fragrance thief, Chor Lau Hueng come alive! With a strong cast that provides spectacular acting, what can go wrong? I bought the 3 sets of VCDs at a sale of S$75. Just to share with others who did not manage to get it. I list the casts' names in detail because without them, the serial will not be a success.

Main Cast:

Males:

1. Chor Lau Heung (also known as the fragrance thief) - Cheng Siu Chau
He is the famous fragrant thief who has the wits and the looks. He is also highly skilled and sociable. He is involved with many women. They do not mind him stealing things from them to catch a glimpse of him. Before he leaves, he will leave a fragrance bottle. However, I don't think he is so weak in love. It is touching to see how sad he is reminded of Wai San but pinning over Yung Yung's death is too extreme. Cheng is the best choice for this role - his significant height, elegance and mannerism makes this role unforgettable. Who can forget the cute way he touches his nose too?

2. Hu Tiet Far (also known as the flowery butterfly) - Ng Mun Tat
He is Chor's best friend and alcoholic best mate. He is loyal to friends. But his weakness for wine often gets him into trouble. Ng is quite convincing in the role too.

3. Gei Bing Yan (also known as the seagull) - Ha Yu
Hu often refers him to a piece of wood but he is loyal to friends too. He is wise but can be too proud at times. But I dislike the starting of him to get defeated by small fries. Excuse me - he has 2 BIG rings as weapons, unlike the other two who has nothing! This doesn't make sense.

4. Mou Far (nicknamed the wonderful monk) - Kwan Chung
A major nemesis. You will love him as Chor's top exponent in wits. Arrogant, self-centred, power hungry and ruthless, he can do anything to achieve success. Kinship

5. Chung Yuen Tat Diem Hung - Wong Shu Tong
He is a ruthless killer but it is unexpected that he becomes the 3 men's close friend. His cold heart also melts because of Mou Yung. I like this role too - he is so COOL - reminding me of Sai Moon Chui Suet in Lok Siu Fung. After killing someone, he leaves a drip of blood on the neck. He also keeps his promise - after being paid, he will kill the person.

Females:

6. So Yung Yung - Chiu Ngar Chi
Initially loses to Wai San although she is one of Chor's '€˜sisters'. She is a mistress of disguise and is a healer. Slowly, she wins his heart.

7. Lee Hung Jau - Ko Miu See
She is one of Chor's '€˜sisters'. She has a good memory in knowing the different pugilists' history and names of skills. I wonder why she isn't highly skilled herself since she knows so much?

8. Sung Tiem Yee - Liu On Lai
She is one of Chor's '€˜sisters'. Her cooking is superb which even impresses Shek. Chor even wishes that he can become a woman for once after knowing it.

9. Ko Ngar Nam - Cheng Hor Wai
She has a thang for Hu. But it can be too much for us to tolerate to see her running after him so many times.

10. Hak Chang Chu - Ou Yeung Pui Shan
She is the desert king's daughter who is unreasonable but resourceful. She falls for Gei eventually.

1. The bloodshed (10 vcds)

Guest Stars (Some of them will appear in Part 2 or 3 so I make an introduction to all here.)

1. Sum Wai San - Wong Ming Kuen
She is pretty, intelligent and also highly skilled. No wonder Chor loves her at first sight. This character is not in the novel at all. I presume the producer wants Wong to be present so as to be Chor's advisor and love companion. However, this weakens Chor's ability to solve problems as presented in the serial because it shows that he needs her to remind him of the clues. Wong gives a delightful performance as always.

2. Nam Gong Ling - Wong Ying Choy
He is so pitiful to be Mou Far's pawn in this conspiracy. He is initially filial to Yam and Chau. But after knowing his parentage, he changes completely. It is sad that he dies without knowing why. Ying Choy never disappoints me in '€˜Luk Siu Fung' - so is he in here.

3. Chau Ling Suk - Lui Sui Yung (ex-Miss Hong Kong 1977 1st runner up, as Ou Yeung Ching in the 70s '€˜Luk Siu Fung'
She was so beautiful to attract 4 men in her younger days. Being forced by Shek to ruin her looks, she gives each of them a last portrait of her to remind them of her forever. And sure indeed, 3 of them chose to remain single all their lives. Yam looks beyond her beauty to discover her inner beauty. She is also witty - Chor is right to say that her hint of words to him helps to save herself from being killed.

4. Lang Chau Wan - Kam Hing Hin
He can be considered Chor's new friend or foe. He is righteous but succumbs to pressure into believing that Chor has a part in the killings. He still lacks trust in him. Being a man who wants '€˜face', he actually wants to harm him. Sigh - Chor has misplaced his trust in this friend - just like how he trusts Mou Far.

5. Tien Fung Sap Sei Long - Tam Chuen Hing
He is the ill-fated brothers' father. He might be losing the will to survive but he plans the best for his sons. Unfortunately, they have Lee Kei's blood in them to be ruthless to have sad endings in the end.

6. Siu Pan - Kam Kok Wai
An expert in the desert and a sweet talker. Chor enjoys listening to his stories to kill time.

7. Shek To - Kwok Fung
He is an expert in the desert. He refuses to submit to Shek although she eyes his good looks. As a result, she tortures him to cause him to be handicapped. He escapes from her and becomes Chang Chu's servant.

8. Bak - Kong Yee
Being dispelled from the beggar sect, he hates Ling and schemes to take over his place.

9. Dok Duk Hang - Kwan Kin
The beggar sect's senior who is highly skilled but enjoys freedom so he gives up the leader post to Yam. Knowing that he stubbornly believes that Ling is perfect, Gei and the rest keep the truth from him.

10. Yam Sin - Cheng Lai Fong
She is the second princess of the Holy Water Palace. She thinks very highly of herself and her first duel with Chor makes her realize that there is always someone superior in the pugilistic world.

11. Sister Ping - Lo Lan
She is Yung Yung's aunt who is a Holy Water Palace member. She cares for her niece and is angry to see Chor with Wai San. Still, she helps them out of danger and enlists Yung Yung's help when she is troubled.

12. Lam Ping - Lau Ngar Lai
She is an icy member of Holy Water Palace. She is so arrogant to go on Chor's ship without his permission but I really laugh when Chor comments that she is vain to send her fuming with rage. She is also unreasonable to allow Chor a month to clear his innocence but confronts him before the deadline.

13. Gong Nam Yin - Wong Hung Sau
A vicious member of Holy Water Palace. It seems that all from there are devoid of feelings. She even takes matters into her own hands to lure Gun Ying away from home. She is also a scheming person to lure Yam Gei to kill all her trusted followers one by one. It is rare to see her as a villain so don't miss it!

14. Ko Gun Ying - Kwan Hoi San
The youngest son of Tai Kwan. He avoids seeing his mother to practice his skills in his little hut. Still, Ngar Nam is close to this uncle. He is too ashamed to return home.

15. Ko Tai Kwan - Ou Yong Yuk
The matriarch of the Ko family. She hates her youngest son and locks him up for 15 years because of his misdeed. She is very strict although she is doting to Ngar Nam.

16. Abbot Tien Fung - Lok Kung
He is Mou Far's master who likes drinking tea. He is forgiving to Mou Far. But surprise, surprise, he has a past that shocks Chor. I wonder how Mou Far gets to know his secret, though.

17. Tien Pang Chi - Leung Siu Chau
He is Hoi Nam's sect elder. Don't be mistaken. He isn't really Chor's friend. In fact, he suspects Chor for killing his senior. There are lots of misunderstandings between the two.

18. Ko Gun Chung - Bak Mun Piew
Tai Kuan's eldest son who is influential in the capital.

19. Ko Gun Yong - Ho Pik Kin
Tai Kuan's second son who is Ngar Nam's father.

20. Yam Chi - Chan Yim Wan
He is the beggar sect leader but he chooses the wrong person to be his foster son and his successor. His patience and love for Ling Suk goes beyond the looks for her inner beauty so he marries her in the end.

Story

A few top pugilistic leaders are dead and Chor suspects that they are not killing each other. One of them is Zha Muk Hup - a famous pugilist staying in the desert. Although he wears Chinese clothes, he discloses his identity by wearing the thick boots and a camel ornament. Chor frowns when Hung Jau discovers that they are being poisoned to death by the holy water. A Holy Water Palace member, Lam Ping gives Chor a month to prove his innocence that he doesn't steal the water.

Mou Far makes a loud presence by playing the zither on a boat. He gets on Chor's ship to cook a vegetarian meal for all. Ngar Lam is impressed with his cooking and requests him to cook for Tai Kwan. He agrees on one condition - that is Chor must steal his master's Buddhist beads. If Chor loses, he will have to give up his treasure map that causes much bloodshed. Yung Yung is upset that Chor only treats her like a younger sister when he consoles her as she recalls her father's death. Yung Yung decides to ask her aunt who is a Holy Water Palace member to find out who can get the Holy Water out from there.

This scene shows Chor's wits well. Mou Far arranges his 18 Arhat seniors to surround the beads in the hall. He places the real ones on the kitchen ceiling. Upon seeing how hesitant the monks are, Chor quickly gets the beads from the kitchen. But Mou Far laughs and says the real one is in the hall. He has tricked his seniors in believing him. But Chor says that he wins - he knows that Mou Far will do that so he has already made the switch right after he leaves. So what he gets from the kitchen is still the real one. Geez - I applaud at this arrangement although it is not written in the novel. It depicts their wisdom.

It is Tai Kwan's birthday and she is unhappy to see her 3rd son, Gun Ying greeting her unwillingly. She has locked him in a hut for 15 years. Suddenly, Nam Yin appears with a small shiny sword ornament in her hand and a coffin. Upon seeing it, Gun Ying leaves with her. Seeing her so conceited, Tai Guan gives her a slap when Ngar Nam can't beat her. This is an eye-opening experience.

Hu gets drunk and Ngar Nam displays her swordsplay accordingly to Kei's playing of the flute. Hu then claims that he will marry Ngar Nam and she is delighted. Upon being reminded of his promise the next day, he gets alarmed and flees from the ship! She is humiliated and chases after him from then.

Chor acts as Cheung Siu Lam to check on the case. He discovers that the victims get a letter and those who keep the letters are killed mysteriously by a ninja. One pugilistic expert is a well-known womanizer but is still single in his 50s. Chor wonders why and finds a woman's portrait in his room. He immediately paints another copy. He finds a love letter by Ling Suk in another pugilist expert's room. He is puzzled as this expert is a Taoist priest and he must have loved her very much. His junior, Tien Pang Chi demands Chor to hand his senior over but Chor wants to have more time to investigate the case.

Tien Sing clan's leader is missing mysteriously and his junior, Wai San comes to look for him with her juniors. She suspects Lang's senior of doing it but Lang claims his innocence as his leader is also missing. In fact, he gets so angry that he captures her but Chor explains the incident. He suspects someone being the mastermind trying to kill all pugilistic experts.

Chor is attracted to her and Wai San sees through his disguise as Zhang should be more businesslike. Hung is at an inn and Hu is annoyed when Hung rejects his drink offer. Hung is a killer and has no friends at all. Chor's cover is later blown when he smiles at Hung even after 100 strokes of exchange. Hung is armed with a sword aiming to take Chor's life while Chor avoids tactfully. Chor frowns when Hung still insists of sparing with him. He wants to treat Hung as his friend but Hung insists that he has none.

Someone plays the zither and Hung suddenly goes berserk. Chor immobilizes him and meets Mou Far with Wai San. Mou Far sees through his cover too. Chor sighs and removes the beard. What is the point of keeping it when all know it is him? Wai San is stunned to see his dashing appearance. Mou Far throws his zither into the river upon hearing Hung's name. He feels that even mentioning his name has stained his blood and he also washes his hands in the river!

Hung leaves. He isn't insistent now as he knows he is not Chor's match and he slowly becomes his friend. Wai San is attracted to Chor when he dresses in his own clothes again. Both go to see Lang. Actually TVB should not cut this part - I remembered Lang was too stunned to see him. Chor claimed that he wanted to look younger so he had a disguise. Lang complained that he attracted too much attention as he looked too handsome. He should have kept to his old disguise. Chor nearly laughed till his stomach burst in secret.

Wai San decides to be the bait to pretend to know the letters' contents but Chor advises against it. He doesn't wish her to risk her life. Ngar Nam happens to meet Chor and the others. She runs after Nam Yan but she doesn't tell her where GunYing is. Gei comes to meet Chor and thinking that a spy is outside the room, Wai San spars with him. She loses and nearly trips but Chor holds her in his arms.

Wai San looks at Chor's painting and claims to see the same one in her senior's room. Chor starts to smell a fish. Wai San and Gei are shocked to find the artist blind. After he draws 4 portraits of the woman, Chau Ling Suk blinds him. He recalls her saying that someone is more cruel to her so she wants to give the paintings to the 4 men who love her so they can remember her forever. They go to a nunnery to meet Chau's friend, a nun but the nun claims that she is dead.

Chor makes a count - all 4 ex-lovers get her letter and are killed. What has happened? When he learns that they go by carriage to the nunnery, he shakes his head. The carriage is there to bring them to the wrong place and wrong person. He knows from the other nuns that the real nunnery is elsewhere so he disappears fast without a trace. Wai San wants to follow but Gei says no one can catch up with Chor. Chor is disappointed when the nun is insane and killed by a masked man. The nun only manages to say the word '€˜Mou' and dies. He later spars with a man who uses the whip but the man walks away after losing.

Gei is amused that Wai San is distracted when playing chess with him. Chor will be fine and she should not worry for him. Chor is impressed with the young man. He guesses that he is not from China since he is so good with the whip. Wai San cites that he is lucky not to meet a female otherwise he will fall for her. He claims he is afraid of meeting a strong opponent or pretty women. Wai San declares that she will follow him everywhere. He jokes - he will fight with an expert while she will get afraid of pretty women.

Gun Ying persuades Ngar Nam to master her skills for 5 years to be successful in life. He is too ashamed to face return home. Nam Yin blocks him and demands him to return to Holy Water Palace with her. He sees through her ploy as she is only using Yam Gei to lure him to follow her. Yam Kei will not want others to know anything about him. Nam Yin gets angry and injures him.(I wonder how as he is supposedly to be highly skilled. And why TVB wants to cut the story between him and Yam Kei - there is not explanation. )

The lady is at Lang's brothel, slapping others with the whip. Chor only realizes now that he has fought with a woman. Wai San jokes that Chor can display his charm and he smiles forcefully. Gei is attracted by her. You will laugh - the lady wants the prostitutes to keep her company. Lang tries to dissuade her but she claims that no one can stop her and that also includes gambling.

The lady gambles with Lang. Chor wonders why Wai San is concerned over her now as she seems hostile to her earlier. Lang throws 3 dices and gets 3. The lady knocks all 3 into the wall on top of another to get one. Gei finds her unreasonable and spars with her. Chor stops them upon seeing the camel ornament on her. He bets with her and he gets zero by turning the 3 dices into powder after knocking them together.

Chor asks her questions but this cunning lady says that Chor only says that he will ask after winning but he doesn't say that she must reply him! The 4 are amused by her twist of words - Gei also wonders why they meet people behaving like Hung. The lady gets anxious when Chor knows that her father gets to the Central Plains after getting a letter. Chor doesn't reply to her. They spar and suddenly the lady slashes Chor on his hand. Wai San breaks her whip into two and the lady leaves angrily. Gei runs after her - Wai San and Chor are amused that he is interested in her.

Gei shows her that Chor gets hit while trying to save her from poisonous needles. The lady returns to express her gratitude and arranges to meet Chor at a hill. Wai San coaxes Gei to meet her earlier to express his feelings for her. Chor is sleeping and Hung steals his clothes. I really laugh at this - Hung throws the clothes back at Chor as he never spars with someone who is undressed. He still wants to spar with Chor but Chor gets out of the window. The lady doesn't wish to see Gei or Wai San.

At this time, the 2 experts arrive. Hung gets hold of the letter that she is about to give Chor and insists that Chor spars with him. The letter turns to ashes in the air after Chor breaks Hung's sword into two. Hung regrets his action upon seeing how eager he wants to read it. Chor still tries to be cheerful in front of Wai San, hinting that he likes women to be able to cook and brew wine. The best is to be gentle and pretty too. He then hugs her waist to make her lean close to him. I am impressed on how natural Cheng makes it to be and how Wang coordinates with him.

The lady keeps looking for the beggar sect members to stir up trouble. Bak hypothesize her and captures her. She is in a trace and reveals that her name is Chang Chu. Gei is worried when she even attacks him but he can't save her. Chor asks Ling for his help. Bak wants to seize Ling's future beggar sect leader position and commands Chang Chu to attack him at the previous sect leaders' tomb. Ling's foster father and master Yam Chi dies recently and he is going to be the next sect leader.

Although Chang Chu attacks Ling and he knows that might be unintentional, it still offends him upon knowing how she treats his fellows so he insists of getting her. Chor manages to save Chang Chu and regains her senses. Tiem Yee and Hong Jau are with Tiet Far to meet Chor. Wai San is jealous to see they so close to Chor but are relieved when he claims them as his younger sisters. They deny seeing Chang Chu after hiding her. Ling is alert to thrust his little swords at the bed upon seeing the shoes but no one is there.

Bak abducts Chang Chu. Chor, Hung and Gei give chase. Gei takes care of her while Chor spars with Bak. The portrait falls out from Chor's clothes and Bak recognizes the woman as Yam'€˜s wife. Hong Jau says the name should be another. Chor guesses Chau changes her name so that she will not upset her ex-lovers.
Ling is angry that his fellows give him the wrong details. Although Chor is his friend, he detects a change in him. Ling captures Chang Chu and Gei is injured while trying to save her. (Stupid arrangement to let him lose to unranked beggars! I close my eyes in shame!) Knowing that Bak is around, Chor tell Tiem Yee and Hong Jau to return to the ship. Tiet Far is amused to see how obedient they are to him.

Chor hides at the beggar sect's headquarters, thinking of a way to save Chang Chu. He never expects Hung to save this '€˜letter' for him. He nearly faints when Chang Chu cites that she has never read the letter. She is amused to see him so nervous over a piece of paper and assures him that she has heard her father reading it. It is from '€˜Suk', citing that she wishes him to help her as she is in a sticky situation. She suspects that the beggar sect has something to do with her father's disappearance and that is why she pesters them.

Gei is relieved to see her back. Both are finally interested in each other. Chor will be away for days to check on the death of the previous beggar sect leader, Yam Chi's death and the disappearance of his wife. He tells Wai San to wait for Yung Yung. She feels a pang of jealousy as Yung Yung is well reputed to be gentle and pretty. Chor gives her his flower essence bottle to appease her.

He persuades Ling to bring him to Chau as he is afraid that Bak might force her to pass the sect leader position to him. Both meet Bak and Bak knocks out Ling cold with his poison fumes from his pole. The fumes don't work on Chor as he can't breathe because of a nose problem and he breathes with his skin. Wai San spars with Bak. She is curious to know Chau's story so she tells Gei and Hu to meet Yung Yung. Chor spars with Tien Fung Sap Sei Long who stops them from meeting Chau. He suspects him to be an imposter as he should not know him because both have not seen each other before.

Chor and Wai San are disappointed that Chau covers her face with a veil although they desire to admire her beauty. She denies writing the letters and cites that Yam is sick for a long time. Before his sudden death, he doesn't get to see many people. Chor frowns upon knowing that Yam's body is cremated. He knows that Chau isn't an imposter - if not, people will not prevent them from looking for her.

Yung Yung is pursued by imposters who claim to be Chor's friends. Chor will not trust anyone except his friends to get her even though he is busy. She falls into the river. Gei and Hu are upset over the death. Chor returns and is puzzled that Gei blows a sad tune. Chor is heartbrokened upon knowing it and drinks on a boat with an old man. He protests that he never knows what sadness is but there are tears in his eyes. The old man suddenly says that '€˜he' is contented that he is so sentimental.

Chor gets so happy that the '€˜fisherman' on board is Yung Yung that he carries her. The '€˜blood' comes from the rouge that Yung Yung buys for Hong Jau. She tells him that her aunt is clear that no one can enter the palace even with disguise. The others say that they might need to address Wai San as Mrs Chor but Yung Yung isn't happy. Chor ponders Chau's words - how can Yam be not guarded so it's impossible for many not to see him for the last time. Moreover, he is sick for a long time so his death isn't sudden.

Mou Far comes to remind him of their chess date with Ling. Chor knows they want to delay him so Gei goes on his behalf to entertain them. Chor comes in time to save Chau from Bak and returns the ashes to Chau. Cheng is agile - in fact many fighting scenes to make an honourable Chor. Chau thanks him but he says that her words save herself. If not for her giving hints, he will not have come. Who is she afraid of?

He is shocked to know it is Ling. Yam is under his control for 3 years. Ling's natural father, Tien Fung Sap Sei Long is killed after a duel with Yam. Before that, he has sparred with someone and sustains serious injuries. He entrusts Ling to him before his death. Yam is remorseful and treats him well but Ling still seeks revenge. Ling poisons Yam and Chau to make them lose their skills. Ling even wants her to write to her ex-lovers so that she can get money for him to spend.

Chau has no choice but she is as puzzled as Chor as to why they are killed before Ling gets the money. Chor requests to see her face but is shocked to see her disfigured. She is forced by the ruthless Shek Gun Yam to do it because Shek will be the no. 1 beauty after that. If not, she will lose her life. She blinds the artist so that he will not get to see how ugly she becomes. Yam treats her well so she marries him. After this, she kills herself to join Yam. Chor is very upset over it.

Ling kidnaps Yung Yung and Hung forces him to release her. All are angry when Gei lets him go. He trusts that Ling will not kill her. Ling gets someone to pass Yung Yung's essence bottle to Doi. Chang Chu and Gei spar with him as she thinks he has Yung Yung. Doi is impressed. In the past, he deliberately lost to Yam so that he gets the sect leader post and he can wander the plains. He sings Ling's praises and all are disgusted. They are about to tell the truth but Gei agrees with Doi! Gei knows that Doi will not believe that Ling has become a brat.

Yung Yung presses a beggar to buy her rouge and this lures Wai San to save her. But both are being captured again. The masked man wants Ling to kill Chor. Chor returns to get attacked by poisonous needles. He avoids them tactfully. Ling poisons his pot of tea and is delighted when Chor '€˜dies'. Chor suddenly stands up and is bitter over his change. Chor uses his left hand to lift the pot unlike others so he is alert when the position is changed. Ling flees in vain from him.

Chor turns serious and wants him to resign and retreat for 20 years to stop him from seeking revenge. He promises to seal his secret and lets him go in exchange. Ling refuses but hopes he keeps his promise after his death. Chor is puzzled that no one wants to kill him as yet. The rest are back on time and are fed up that Chor lets him go. All attend his ceremony and shake their heads upon hearing his words.

Chor defeats him after saving the two women. Ling agrees to bring him to the mastermind and gets Chor to eat with him. Chor doesn't even touch anything but is alarmed to see Ling being poisoned to death by the Holy Water in the wine. Ling doesn't believe that his sibling can do this to him. Before dying, he wishes Chor to keep his secret. Chor deduces that someone wants to silence both of them. He returns to the rest with the sad news. They forsee more trouble for him as many see both men leaving together.

Doi demands an explanation from Chor when the Holy Palace tells him to approach Chor. He agrees to give him time to investigate the case. Chang Chu gets captured by the Hoi Nam sect as their Taoist priest leader is dead. Yung Yung is upset to see Chor with Wai San. Chor thinks that she is in love with another guy and consoles her. He is alarmed to know that he is the one and tries evading the issue.

Hu and Gei confront Tien Pang Chi and are alarmed to see Chang Chu poisoned with needles. Gei recalls what has happened in the gambling den when someone tries to harm her and brings her to Yung Yung. They meet her servants on the way. Yung Yung analyses that Chang Chu can only be cured with purple cactus juice in the desert so she needs to return home. Gei discovers how important she is to him and returns with her. Chor sends Yung Yung off when she decides to return to the ship.

Hu agrees to be the pugilists' hostage so that Wai San can find out Ling's identity with Chor for 7 days. Wai San and Chor learn from an expert, Zhang that Tien Fung leaves his elder daughter with him before the duel. But he has 12 sons to feed so he gives her away. His friend claims that she was taken away by Holy Water Palace when she was ten. They guess that Ling's sister might be Yam Gei. (This plot is stupid - how can she be so old???) They come to an inn and meet an old green-shirted nun.

Yam Gei's younger sister, Yam Sin comes with Lam Ping but they refuse to let them out. The couple meets Yung Yung's aunt, Sister Ping who is a nun. She ponders over the age - the female is 40 years old but she has no records. It is with her senior, the older nun. She helps them out. The two discuss how to lure the old nun out so Chor can look through the records. Wai San laughs upon seeing Chor so frightened of an old nun. Chor lures her out and Wai San discovers that the last page is torn. Yam Sin tries in vain to stop them.

The old nun tells her and Lam Ping someone lures her out on the earlier night but she can see nothing. Yam Sin decides to report this to Yam Kei. Wai San finds it fishy - normally a man should be overjoyed to have a daughter after having 12 sons. Why give her away? They find that he has not even seen Tien Fung before. Someone threatens him to lie. Chor deduces he is Ling's elder brother and he is younger than claimed.

Wai San thinks the expert that Tien Fung spars must be more highly skilled than Yam. Chor returns and is locked by the pugilists. He refuses to divulge Chau's secret on the letters. Hu is alarmed that Chor is going to be given to Lam Ping after he is maimed in his skills to be a cripple. Wai San has a nightmare and looks fondly at his fragrance bottle. Chor is in tears upon hearing Hu reciting Wai San's letter requesting the pugilists for a few more days to find the truth. He tells Hu to take care of Wai San because he is afraid that she might do something silly. He even tells Hu to consider Ngar Nam and stop loitering in loneliness.

The day comes when all demand Chor to be killed. He refuses to kneel in front of the altar because he is innocent. He does it with style to kick a man on the face when he forces him! Doi is about to maim him when Wai San arrives. Chor gets nervous and tells her to leave but she reveals Ling's secret and cites him silly for bearing the unnecessary torture. She is about to reveal the identity but gets killed. It is too late when Chor rushes to her side. Lang and Doi fail to capture the assassin.

Chor grieves over her death and breaks the chains on him angrily. Wai San leaves a letter, hinting that the word '€˜Mou' that the nun revealed the last time might be '€˜non' and not '€˜pugilistic' as they have thought earlier. So Monk Tien Fung might be in danger and Mou Far is the killer. She asks him to forgive her foolish act as she has no other ways to save him. Chor is in tears. (This arrangement is stupid as this shows how clever she is and how stupid he is!) Lam Ping and her juniors corner him as they think he is escaping but he is furious because the last day is the next day and yet they pester him.

Gei returns with Chang Chu. Although she is unwell, she claims that he isn't Chor's only friend. He puts his cloak on her when she feels cold and he is touched. Gei sees Chor and helps him - he jokes - why does he attract so many maidens but still stops them so that he can reach Shaolin on time. Upon learning that Mou Far is brewing tea for Monk Tien Fung, Chor vanishes into air into the room and the reporting monk is impressed with his skills.

Mou Far is going to give the tea to the monk when Chor fouls his plan. Chor refuses to drink and brews tea from his own tea bag. He claims his skill to be as good as Mou Far. Mou Far bites his teeth in fury secretly and pours away the whole pot of tea. Chor comments that he should not have wasted such valuable water away. He doesn't say tea as he knows that Holy Water is in it.

Abbot Tien Fung admits that Tien Fung did spar with him before Yam. 25 years ago, the entire Wong San clan was eliminated by Wah San 4 experts. Only a woman, Lee Kei escaped to Japan to marry Tien Fung. After giving birth to 2 sons, she leaves. She kills the 3 experts and suddenly goes missing. Tien Fung loses will to live and deliberately loses to him. He leaves the elder son to take care before looking for Yam.

Monk Tien Fung praises Chor for his tea brewing skills after tasting it. Chor asks Mou Far sadly - why the best friends turn out to be enemies? Mou Far never cherishes what is present and victory is what it matters to him. He admits to all killings. Chor adds he is unable to kill Monk Tien Fung but Mou Far cites before he comes, he might have killed him. Mou Far knows Ling is his brother since 7 years old. Chor thinks he has no confidence to kill him so he kills Ling. Mou Far denies - he doesn't add poison to Chor's tea to leave evidence. Mou Far claims he is too smart - Chor realizes why he can get into Holy Water Palace.

A monk is not considered a real man to the maidens there. With his looks and intelligence, who can lose to him? Mou Far learns the samurai's skills from his father's secret manual. His father is ambitious - he wants both sons to the best sects so that they can be Number 1 to rule the world. Chor reminds him that he has no future now. Mou Far reminds him too that Chor has not killed anyone. Chor adds that he is going to take Mou Far to apologsie to the victims' close ones.

Here comes the final showdown. Lightning strikes and both spar with each other. I must admit that that is the main reason why I am very biased to love old period dramas. The two leads really handle the stunts and gestures with grace in this very engaging duel. Both hit each other with their palms without weapons in their hands. Mou Far uses Shaolin skills to defend himself. Suddenly, Mou Far disappears and reappears again with a Samurai sword in his hands and fights like a ninja. He keeps on doing vanishing acts.

But'€¦..this can't blind Chor's eyes. When he reappears again and looks out for Chor, Chor's voice suddenly sounds from his back - he is now waiting to see what he can do! He is about to capture him when Mou Far sits down and claims that only Chor can pass the verdict on him. A stream of blood flows out of his mouth and Chor is shocked to know that he kills himself. He kneels beside him in despair.

2. Mystery in the desert (10 VCDs)

Guest Stars: some will appear in Part 3 too

1. Shek Gun Yan - Leung San
She is Mou Far and Ling's mother. She is vain to think that she is the prettiest of all. Being ruthless and highly skilled, she will disfigure anyone who is prettier than her. Yet she dresses like the goddess of mercy. Her surname suggests that she is a heartless person. It is a delight to see Chor sparing with her in skills and wits. But the producer should add one exciting line here - Chor rejects her advances because she reminds him how old she is because she is Mou Far's mother - that means Shek is also old enough to be his mother!

2. Kut Mou Yung - So Hing Yin
She is Shek's second disciple. She is disfigured by Shek and wears a veil. She is very faithful to Shek and is very cold but upon knowing Hung, she changes. He is the cause of her going against Shek.

3. Lau Mou Mei - Lee See Kei
She is Shek's first disciple. She is sick of the killing life and thus flees to marry Yuk Hon. But she has to go through a lot of obstacles before they can be together.

4. Fung Fei Yin - Yeung Pan Pan
She is Shek's youngest disciple. Being arrogant and also rebellious, she often goes against Shek's wishes to challenge Chor. She is as ruthless as Shek too. But you will laugh - she keeps on saying she will kill Chor next time but she often fails. She is one of the rare ones who doesn't fall for him but likes to spar with him.

5. Cheung Sun Hung - Lee Kit Ying
She is Shek's disciple arranged to be Guk Hin's wife. She is only Shek's pawn to monitor his movements.

6. Princess Pei Pa - Sum Sum
She is Lou Lan's second princess and knows martial arts. She is pretty and intelligent. Knowing that her father is in danger, she braves through a lot of risks to get the '€˜joy' star for him to retrieve his throne.

7. King Lou Lan - Cheung Ying Choy
A spineless and useless ruler who is too eager to return to power. He doesn't select his followers properly and nearly gets killed most of the time.

8. Ng Guk Hin - Cheung Hau Mou
What a good choice. This man already looks hateful from the start. He has another identity which surprises you unless you have read the novel.

9. Empress Lou Lan - Ng Mei Yee
Gentle and beautiful, she is often sickly. But the lust in her eyes betrays her - too bad only Chor can detect the change but not the others.

10. Monkey Sun - Lam Wai Tu
He is Chor's benefactor in a way. Although he loses to Chor, he is grateful to him for sparing his life. he warns Chor of danger to save his life.

11. Lee Yuk Hon - Cheung Chong
He is the only son of the famous sword family. However, he is bent to be with the woman he loves to gives up his status. I don't blame Mou Mei for mistaking him to be a lecherous man because he follows her around. Moreover, he has a moustache that makes him look like one.

12. Lee Gun Yu - Shek Kin
He is Yuk Hon's father who has a lot of experience in life. He doubts Mou Mei's identity right from the start so he is against them to be together.

13. Taoist Siu Heung - Ko Kong
He is so funny in here to be defiant and stubborn when disturbed by Chor but all will be surprised by his real identity. He is only staying in the desert to look for his senior's disciple.

14. General Mun - Chan Yau Hau
Shek's taste in this serial in choosing lovers is weird indeed. I understand that the king will worth her efforts but although this old man is a general, he is Mou Far's sidekick. Doesn't this waste her time? Is she that desperate for a lover???

15. The Green Beard - Tsui Kwai Lam
He is Chang Chu's capable subordinate in war strategies. He is initially sent to kill the king by Mou Far to earn a living when Chang Chu is away. But if not for him, the king will not restore his power.

Story

Lam Ping doesn't believe that Chor is innocent and insists of bringing Mou Far's body back. Chor discovers that the body is missing. Chor gives Wai San a grand burial. It is very sad to see him setting the tombstone, acknowledging her as his wife. He hugs the tombstone and weeps. He returns and is alarmed to learn from Yung Yung that Tiem Yee and Hung Jau are kidnapped by Shek. Chor goes alone first while Yung Yung will follow Hu.

Yung Yung shakes her head upon seeing Hu eating recklessly. Yung Yung is amused that he patronises an inn and is smitten with an average looking woman. Fei Yin mistakens Hu as Chor. Hu willingly plays along with her by touching his nose. Yung Yung and Hu try to help Pei Pa when many try to seize '€˜his' cart. But '€˜he' doesn't trust them. Gei pretends to be disabled to reject the present king's offer for a post. Chang Chu uses her whip to drive the messengers away. Yung Yung and Hu are curious to see Pei Pa in Gei's home.

Hu guesses from Fei Yin's skills that she is Shek's disciple after sparing with her a few times. Chang Chu whips another messenger when he raises the marriage proposal on the king's behalf. Hu wonders why Yung Yung doesn't cure Gei. Yung Yung sees through Gei's pretence and explains to Hu. Mou Yung warns Hu not to get involved in the search for the '€˜joy' star. She sees through his disguise because Chor isn't supposed to smell of liquor.

Chang Chu's followers, Shek To and Siu Pan are on the desert. Gei explains to his friends that Lou Lan emperor is driven out of his palace and his vicious brother is taking over. Hu tries to stop Fei Yin and Pei Pa from fighting and both fall under a cliff. Yung Yung joins them. They are trapped by the evil sect. They win 3 matches before they can exit. (A very redundant story that involves the plot from Gu Long's novels '€˜the 3rd master's sword' and also '€˜god of sabre'. It wasted 2 vcds and my $! It only gives screen time to Chong Mun Ching and ex-golden horse best actor award winner, Eddie for their love story.)

Pei Pa wears back her maiden clothes and Hu is attracted. Fei Yin refuses to listen to Mou Yung. The trio meets Siu Pan and Sek To. Hu want to eat a fruit. Yung Yung stops him because they are poisoned. They can be poisonous but can also be used as medicine so she keeps some. Their water supply is poisoned. Mou Yung wants Fei Yin to return to Chi Juk Palace. Fei Yin's job is to find the joy star while Mou Yung's task is to kill Princess Pei Pa. The group is puzzled to see an escort agency's men and killing each other. Yung Yung suspects that they are poisoned. Hu wonders why they keep shouting for the joy star.

When burying the corpses, Hu comments that one man's shoulder is extremely hard. Fei Yin threatens to poison the well and wants them to give her the joy star. Yung Yung wants her to give her some time to get it upon pondering Hu's words. They return to see the man's shoulder's cut and makes Pei Pa hand in the star to Fei Yin reluctantly. Pei Pa has not wanted to give in because it concerns her father's future and her people's lives. This arrangement is stupid - how can Fei Yin not poison the well when all walk away?

They are alarmed to see Fei Yin's men killing each other. Upon seeing a stone Guanyin statue, Shek To becomes mad. Hu takes a long time to calm him down. When they return to the house, the corpses and the statue are missing. Yung Yung analyses that Shek impersonates as the statue and moves them away. Hu is amazed that it also takes Yung Yung to see through it.

Shek leaves a note, saying that she prepares a medical soup for them. Hu believes that it is poisonous but he is puzzled that a dog is alright after eating part of it. Siu Pan is about to eat it but Chor uses his finger skill to stop him on time. Siu Pan is angry that he shows off his skill to impress Pei Pa but later kneels to him upon Chor tests with a needle to discover that it is really poisoned.

He analyses that the soup is initially alright but the poison is in the dog's mouth. Pei Pa is attracted to his wits and appearance. Chor is amused when Hu tells her that he is dirty and ugly and she is very puzzled when Yung Yung pins for him. Chor eyes Hu but Hu still laughs heartedly. Pei Pa holds Chor's hand to walk out and Yung Yung is unhappy.

They reach a mansion and meets Gei and Chang Chu. Gei brings them to see the king. Gei's father was a former official so he decides to help him. Pei Pa appears in a princess dress and Hu realizes why Gei knows so many secrets. Luckily he doesn't bully her. Yung Yung is concerned over Chor. Hu walks away with his wine to give them a quiet moment. Chor admits sleeping less but he is still alert. Yung Yung leans on his shoulder but he quickly retreats. Yung Yung is upset he still misses Wai San.

Chor and Gei meet pugilists in the hall. You will laugh when a small fry tries to challenge Chor for his wine. Chor is so disgusted that he replies that he likes to drink '€˜offered' wine and not '€˜punished' wine. Within a stroke, the man is knocked out! The king wants Chor to get the joy star from Lou Lan. The one Fei Yin has taken is a fake. The real one is still with his man, Eunuch Lau. It has a treasure map that can help him to restore his glory. The king has send 14 men but none return.

Chor is initially unwilling to go but agrees upon knowing that Shek is there. Gei offers to go with Chor but he wants Gei to protect the king. Chor decides to keep the news from the rest since he doesn't wish to be the 15th killed. Gei and Chang Chu lure the killers away. They realize that Chor is right to know that there is a spy among them all along. Siu Pan becomes Chor's companion to lead the way.

He hints to Chor that Pei Pa likes him but Chor laughs it off. Hu, Yung Yung and Pei Pa follow suit after hearing the news. Chor doesn't get to meet the king's man but is confronted by killers. Chor picks a bamboo from the ground and chases them away. He recognizes one person's skills - commenting that Shaolin's skills are incredible. He uses his finger skill to defeat him.

Chor sees Siu Pan having Hu's little jade Buddha. He is amused that he asks Hu for it when he is drunk because he knows Hu likes it too much to part with it. Shek's disciple, Cheung Sun Hung passes a message to Guk Hin. Why does he kill Lau to get the joy star without telling her? Guk Hin is displeased but gives up reluctantly. Chor talks with Siu Pan and it suddenly strikes him - can the person be Mou Far?

Chor sneaks into Guk Hin's mansion and is discovered. He recognizes him as one of the killers earlier on because he has a jade ring on his thumb. Guk Hin denies knowing Mou Far. Cheung Sun Hung is unhappy that Guk Hin only marries her according to his mother's wishes. He laughs bitterly - his mother only trusts and loves herself. Guk Hin is now the prime minister and accuses Chor and Siu Pan of being rebels. He catches Siu Pan and in his haste, he drops the jade Buddha. Ngar Nam happens to sees the waiter with it.

Upon knowing that Hu is going to be executed, she goes there to get caught. Chor is unable to stop her on time so he walks away. He rushes to the prison cell but Siui Pan and Ngar Nam are taken away by Fei Yin. She becomes cocky in front of Taoist Siu Heung but is defeated. Knowing that he is arrogant, she provokes him by saying that he is afraid of Shek. He accepts her as his disciple. She also tricks him into believing that the poisoned Tiem Yee and Hung Jau are her juniors so he accepts them as his disciples too.

Chor spars with Fei Yin to save the women. She pretends to be injured so that her new '€˜master' can help her. This is the highlight of the serial - Taoist Siu Heung brags that he can defeat Chor in 100 strokes. But'€¦'€¦even after changing swords twice, he still can't beat him! Chor plays with him in amusement - he is aged but still has such a fiery temper. Chor points out his weakness that he can attack earlier so he admits defeat unwillingly. Chor is later alarmed that Fei Yin brings away the two during the commotion.

Chor is disappointed and sits on the floor but still has the mood to tease Taoist Siu Heung that he is so easily tricked by a woman. He jumps when Taoist Siu Heung says he is Shek's henchman as told by Fei Yin. But knowing that he is the present king's man, he is overjoyed and goes with him to the palace openly. But alas, they are late. The king is killed by Guk Hin.

Chor then rushes to save Siu Pan and Ngar Nam. Cheung Sun Hung tries to stop him. Chor frowns - why must he always meet women? You will laugh again - the woman ends up falling into this arms and he carries her! She gets so soft and stops fighting against him! Chor teases Ngar Nam for wanting to find Hu. Meanwhile, the trio manages to save the two from Fei Yin. Yung Yung doesn't have the antidote to cure her sisters. The inn keeper is a robber and they are trapped.

Chor manages to save them and all are amused to see Ngar Nam running after Hu. Shek To comes to meet his mistress. The king doesn't trust anyone after seeing that Chang Chu doesn't run after his assassins. Chang Chu is so angry for being wronged that she whips Gei before leaving. Gei runs after her and offers to leave with her. She is touched and hugs him. Upon seeing Shek To looking at them, she avoids him.

She is relieved that he can't hear what they are saying. I can't help being amused - we know that Kwok Fung is Pui Shan's husband in real life. He must have good self-control upon seeing another actor hugging his wife! Chang Chu reveals to Gei that the assassins are her father's ex-followers. They confess to her that they have to follow Shek's orders because times are hard and she hasn't returned.

All admire the empress's beauty but Chor finds it fishy. Pei Pa kills the assassins who try to kill the king with her Pipa as a weapon. Pei Pa is later held hostage by the small fry who challenges Chor earlier. His accomplice, Monkey Sun kills him upon seeing Chor. He is defeated thrice by Chor and owes him his life.

The king's brother brings 2 fighters to see the king. Hu defeats them after claiming that he learns wrestling since 7 years old. Pei Pa suspects her uncle to be a fraud but Chor can't see through any disguise. She finds this '€˜uncle' having the profile to memorize. But she tears her hair when her father doesn't believe her and even reveals to her '€˜uncle' that the joy star is in the cave. Her '€˜uncle' laughs upon getting it but the gang surrounds him later. The king has seen through his disguise although he has not met his brother for 16 years. He may have imitated his mannerisms but not his loyalty airs.

He doesn't reveal earlier because he wants to lure Shek out but she doesn't appear at all. The king's brother is killed and his face is taken as a mask. No wonder Chor finds no flaw. Chor wins but all of them are killed. All have a celebration and Hu dances with Pei Pa. His friends are appalled when he says that he is going to marry her and they shake their heads. Ngar Nam is very annoyed and Yung Yung consoles her.

Hu gets worried initially but is overjoyed when the king means it by proposing the marriage. He has wanted to spite Ngar Nam initially but likes Pei Pa now. Chor nearly laughs till his stomach bursts when Hu cites that he does it for them so they can leave and the king can't pester them anymore. Ngar Nam is furious and returns to Wah San to master her skills. Hu starts to miss her. Pei Pa wonders why Chor ignores her upon seeing her. She leans close to him and makes him uneasy since she is going to marry Hu. Monkey Sun alerts Chor to be wary of a top expert. He wonders who the person is.

The rebel troops are coming and Gei persuades Chang Chu to get her men to protect the king. Chor jokingly urges Hu to learn army strategies now - if not, how can he help to lead the soldiers in future? The troops move slowly because Chang Chu's men are too powerful. Who isn't afraid of the desert king's men? Pei Pa chides Chang Chu's father to be a cow with no brains while Chang Chu comments that the king is only capable of fleeing. Chang Chu threatens to leave with her troops to see how the king can cope with it.

Later, they discover that the enemy troops only want the king to be back. Yung Yung worries for her sisters in Shek's hands but Chor knows that they are safe. Hu asks them to attend his wedding. He will make sure that his wife leaves with them later. Guk Hin wants the old king back because he knows the people miss him. Pei Pa declares her love for Chor. She will keep him in Lou Lan so that other women will pin for him till death. Chang Chu is angry that her troops are forbidden into the city when the king returns because the leader, General Mun says that her father is a robber.

Gei and Chor leave with them but promise to attend the wedding. The king and Pei Pa return to be surrounded by Guk Hin's men. Hu is seriously injured but Chor saves him. You will laugh when Chor comments that it is hard for Hu to be the consort. Yung Yung takes care of Hu. Chor suspects but never expects them to be captured by so many men. He has been tailing Hu all along to protect him. Hu jumps - how can he leave him to fight alone? He replies that he enjoys watching since he likes fighting so much!

If not, Hu might blame him or beat him for not giving him a chance to show off. Hu is angry but is so delighted when he passes him a bottle of wine that he forgoes the herbal soup! Siu Pan informs them that many people are killed. Chor knows that Lou Lan people are kind by nature and will never think of such a wicked idea. Chor suspects that they know Guk Hin although he is in disguise. The men are in disguise to visit an inn and are dismayed that all inns stop selling meat or wine to sell vegetarian food instead.

He recalls who does the best vegetarian food - Mou Far with Gei. They sneak into General Mun's mansion. Suddenly, a white veiled maiden appears. She is Shek and spars with them. Her veil is removed slightly. They flee and she recognizes Chor by his finger skill. She slaps General Mun for having other women and is annoyed to know that it is Guk Hin's idea. She reveals that Guk Hin is her son and General Mun is shocked. Shek knows that Guk Hin wants the joy star. Sure enough, the one that Cheung Sun Hung gives her is a fake. She wonders why she doesn't report to her.

The three men are troubled. Chor never loses out in his finger skill. Why doesn't Shek kill him? Hu jokes that she is attracted by Chor's looks. Gei analyses that she might have something more important to look into or she is afraid of losing. The king tells Guk Hin that Hu is his son-in-law when he wants to marry Pei Pa. Guk Hin surrounds the three at the inn and Chor suddenly address him as '€˜master'. Mou Far is stunned that he recognises him. The flaw is not his disguise but his taste in food.

Guk Hin admits to be Mou Far. They are forced to stay in the palace. Hu is about to drink the wine but Chor reminds him to be careful of the Holy water. Still, he can't be bothered. He pretends to be drunk and notices the palace is heavily guarded. Chang Chu forces General Mun to draw the palace map. How smart Chor and Gei are! Chor tells Siu Pan to wait at the palace gate for them while Gei notices that General Mun is the most unwilling party in the rebellion so he tells her to approach him.

Chor tells Chang Chu to attack the palace at 4 in the morning. Chang Chu may be willful but she is the desert king's daughter so she will not do things recklessly. They have a meal together. He comments - if there's holy water, the taste will not go wrong. Chor is unlucky to be framed. Mou Far promises to explain to Yam Gei some other time. Mou Far jokes that the vegetarian dishes without the holy water will have a light taste. You will laugh - Pei Pa asks what it is. Chor jokes that it makes one delighted easily and she wants to taste it if she has the chance!

Hu says that Gu Hin has a lot so she can ask from him! Mou Far is embarrassed and adds that he has finished it. Shek comes to see Mou Far - sigh - only now does he remove his disguise! She asks why he kills her men. He replies he only has his father in his eyes. He can never forget how she abandons them. Shek is angry that Tien Fung refuses to teach her skills. If she doesn't learn, she can't seek revenge. Mou Far blames her for causing Tien Fung's death and he never forgives her. He only wishes to fulfill Tien Fung's wish to be no. 1 in the pugilistic world.

Shek leaves, laughing because she knows Chor's helpers are coming and she is going to benefit most from this attack. Mou Far is annoyed that the palace is surrounded and the king is saved. His plan fails because he is too conceited. He faces the three men. Chor doesn't kill but the other two will. Mou Far escapes and Chang Chu saves all. She is rude to the king - commenting that she saves him because of Chor. She even gets Siu Pan to save his other family members too. The king is grateful and promises to make her a general.

Chor finds it unbelievable that the king wants the wedding to be held the next day. Hu is flattered now. The men joke that Pei Pa might stop him from drinking at inns and hit him with her Pipa when this happens! They describe him to be trapped in a lion's cage all his life. Shek gets news from Mou Yung and is stunned too. She sneaks into the palace. Chor and Gei sense something amiss and do not let down their guard.

During the wedding ceremony, the king gives Chor an egg on a knife from a chicken. This signifies that he will be the next one to get married. Chor discovers the tip of the knife is black but eats the egg. He has secretly changed it while Gei retrieves a letter from the chicken. It is written that the person will not strike on a joyous occasion and will come for the king's head the next day.

Chor passes Gei a wine bottle to warm himself as he guards outside. No one will know that they brave the cold wind at night for Hu but this doesn't matter to them since they are close to him. Even Gei is angered and eager to capture Shek since the lucky egg becomes unlucky. Chor knows that the king will not dare to pass the egg to him if he poisons it. Gei also questions the chef too and trusts him. Chor knows that he must have used tactics to force the truth out of the chef. He coaxes him to rest. Gei has guarded the first half of the night so he should take over the second half.

Chang Chu knows about Yung Yung's worry over the egg issue. She consoles her - Chor might not love her now and treats her as a younger sister but they can still build up their relationship. She blushes when Yung Yung asks her when she is going to marry Gei. Chor drinks to warm himself but is still wary of his surrounding. He is shocked to see Pei Pa coming out to keep him company. He tells her to return to the nuptial chamber but she laughs, saying that she will be chased out. There is not only a Lou Lan Princess - the bride is her elder sister. Chor rushes to tell Gei the news.

They are puzzled - since Hu isn't completely drunk this time, why doesn't he get angry? Yet, they can't go into the nuptial chamber to ask him. Monkey Sun wants Gei to warn Chor about the top expert. The proud Gei decides to meet the expert on his own although Monkey Sun tries to dissuade him. The next day, Hu tells Chor happily that his wife is ten times prettier than Pei Pa. Chor is uneasy when Hu drags him to see her. Hu laughs that he will mind if the person is any other man but not Chor since he is his best friend.

They are alarmed to see a dead woman in bed. Chor is shocked when Hu insists that she is not his bride. The king demands to know why Hu kills her although she is ugly. Hu denies killing her. Chor asks the king whether she is really the first princess - the king gets furious - how can he not recognize his own daughter? Chor is speechless but stops Tiet Far from leaving. He asks for 3 days to find the truth. Chor is sure that the deceased is the princess. She is too ugly so the king keeps it from Hu till his marriage day.

Chor also notices that the corpse's blood is not on the bed but on the blanket. That means that she is under the bed when Hu is with his '€˜wife' sleeping on top of it. Hu shivers at his claim. Chor can only think that the person is Shek as only she can attract him to cause him to be distracted. (The 3 have seen Shek when they spar together earlier - unless Hu has such a poor memory!)

Chang Chu is worried when Gei doesn't return - did he discover the killer? Chor looks for him. Hung and Gei spar despite knowing that they are Chor's friends to see who is better. (In the novel, they never meet each other so they put up a vigorous fight. This is stupid again - both can be arrogant but they will not risk their lives in danger to allow enemies to attack them anytime.) Hu is angry to be shadowed by the king's man and beats him up. He will not leave as promised. Hung loses because he kills a poisonous spider.

Gei doesn't want to accept a favour from him and wants to give himself a cut. (In the novel, Gei attends to his wound and both reconcile. I don't think a martial arts expert should be so petty.) Chor stops Gei from hurting himself. Hung is confused - doesn't Chor ask Hung to kill the king? Someone tells him about it, reminding him that Chor spares his life in the duel. Those who know the secret - Wai San and Mou Far are dead. That leaves Hu so he believes the man. Chor is glad that Hung knows him well.

Hung gets the two to pretend to be his prisoners to meet his '€˜hirer' in an inn. Mou Yung kills the other men but claims that she hasn't mastered till Hung's level. Hung praises her - only those who know how to use swords will praise the experts. The three are trapped in a cold cave. Mou Yung knows that Chor can endure longer than the other two. If she can't recognize Chor by his fragrance, something is wrong with her nose. Chor is surprised that she knows his personality well. The 2 sit to preserve their warmth.

Shek wants 5 million taels of gold for the joy star. The king gets the empress to persuade Hu to be the messenger. He agrees to help upon seeing her weak look. On the way, he is poisoned by the soldiers by drinking their wine and is nearly killed. Mou Mei saves him and deems him useless. He is surprised that she still gives him the jewel and not kill him when he is defenceless.

The two men can't withstand the cold. They see a crack want to combine strength to break a big hole. I sigh - they could have discovered earlier according to their wits - stupid arrangement again. Before this, attackers come at their weakest moment as they have wasted their strength. They get into a passage. Chor notes that there is water here, unlike other places with ice. They get into a place full of fires. Mou Yung has tricked them - no one can stand hot and cold in a short period. Chor is not exceptional and faints with them.

Hu sees a bundle with Chor's fragrance bottle and Gei's knife. Why did they leave them here - are they in danger? Pei Pa helps him as she finally knows that he is innocent. Hu is annoyed - can't she says less or play music from her Pipa? She laments there is no one to appreciate. Can't he be her confidante since they nearly get married? But he knows she loves Chor and all women will choose him. He isn't jealous of it.

The three men are weak and on their way to see Shek. They see some lunatics sweeping the grass and they will do anything for Shek. Chor wonders what changes them. Gei replies - if she is not ruthless, she isn't Shek. Chor sees pretty flowers and the two suddenly laugh hysterically. They are locked in a cell and Chor is dismayed that they are normally calm but lose their senses now. They must be poppy flowers. They mistaken Chor as Shek and spar with him. Chor has the 2 poisonous fruit that Yung Yung gives him for protection. He makes them swallow them and they recover but feel tired.

Shek exclaims that he is clever to use poison to encounter poison. Mou Yung gives the 3 food. Chor and Gei eat heartedly - there is no need to poison them as they can just starve them. Hung refuses to eat. He only lives to kill. Mou Yung asks if there is anyone he doesn't wish to kill. His answer - the 2 men and someone who speaks to him more than 10 sentences. She senses a change - so she is grateful to him then.

Hung suddenly eats and the guys wonder who changes him. Shek is impressed with Chor's wits - she is reluctant to let her top enemy die. Mou Mei is back, just in time for the antidote. Shek trusts her the most. Mou Yung is disfigured, Fei Yin is often beaten while Mou Mei is fed with poison since young. So she needs the antidote every 15 days. Tiem Yee and Hung Ja come to see the men.

Because of Tiem Yee's good culinary skills, Shek allows them to move around. They are cured but Chor is troubled. How to leave when the 2 men lose their skills? The women steal the antidote from Shek's room and Shek laughs at their stupidity. The men are fed with poison instead and they have a fever. Hung Jau should have learned from Chor that she will not put such an important object in an obvious place.

Shek's disciple who is tricked by Tiem Yee to leave Shek's room loses to Mou Yung and gets killed. Shek is angry that she takes so long to kill because she hesitates and her skills have improved so Chor is attracted. She is offended when Mou Yung keeps saying that she is old. Mou Yung cuts off her arm to show her loyalty. Hung is angry with Shek and Shek marvels that a man of few words suddenly talks so much. Shek is right - a killer will have medicine with him and he bandages her wound.

Hung is remorseful to show her concern in front of Shek. He doesn't hide feelings to care or hate anyone. Mou Yung avoids his stares. Mou Far tries to kill the king but Mou Mei stops him. Shek wants Chor to see her. Her dressing is not as a pugilist but an elegant lady. Chor knows she lets him off a few times because she likes him. He pushes her aside. Shek chides him stupid but he smiles. No one can reject her but he doesn't want to be one of the sweepers.

When she sees a special man, she wants to control him. When they give in, she feels that they are too cheap and wants them to be her slave. She keeps looking for men to satisfy her crave. But she can't find anymore. He wants to know if anyone else rejects her. There was one who becomes deaf and dumb. Chor recalls Shek To who gets away to have his own soul. Chor knows that he can't escape but she will not bear to torture him. She is irritated and tells him to leave.

Hung asks why he is out for so long although the two don't fight. Chor replies he should know Shek well. Gei adds no wonder Chor looks delighted on his return. Chor wants him to stop joking. If so, he should have lots of women around him. Gei grumbles as Chor still thinks the number is not enough but is surprised that Chor can be '€˜insensitive' for once!

Shek wants Mou Mei to return to China. Mou Mei is angry that Yuk Hon books the whole inn. Both are later attracted to each other. Upon knowing that he comes from the sword family, she feels belittled by her background and doesn't tell him as he finds her skills special and asks about her master. She suddenly feels faint when she is defending from attackers and he helps her. He wishes to marry her but Gun Yu rejects as he is suspicious of her. They still get married on the 15th day but she flees to return to the desert for her antidote. Yuk Hon is devastated but will not give up looking for her.

Hu and Pei Pa are tired. Chor isn't desperate as the others are not trapped. Hung is anxious - does Shek make Mou Yung's life difficult? She doesn't hate Shek. Mou Mei is angry to know what has happened to Mou Yung and chides her for being over submissive. Shek's jealousy is unending and they can only leave to escape the torture. Shek warns Mou Mei that she knows what happens.

Mou Mei can leave but she isn't going to give her the antidote. The 2 men are amused to see Hung being formal to Mou Yung. Mou Yung knows Mou Mei's story and both women tell Fei Yin off when she shows off her dagger skills. Taoist Siu Heung and Shek To are surrounded by killers so Hu and Pei Pa help them. He is Shek To's elder and has been looking for him for a long time. Shek To's real identity is Wong Po Ko - his senior's first outstanding disciple who is missing for long.

Shek learns skills secretly but manages to use Wong San's skills to defeat Ko. When he refuses to submit to her, she ties him under the sun to disfigure him and leave him handicapped. The 4 decide to risk their lives since Ko knows where Shek stays. Gei jokingly tells Hung to sleep as Mou Yung will not come after dinner. Chor signals him not to remind Hung to get worried. Mou Mei sneaks into Shek's room but she can't find the antidote. Fei Yin discovers her and wants to tell the others.

3. The final duel (10 vcds)

Introduction on characters

1. Ding Tiet Gon - Chan Hung Liet
He is Chor's senior and of course, he is a thief like him. However, he is not that carefree as him to be a fugitive on the run for loving the wrong woman. Unlike Chor who is born in a rich family, he is poor and fends on his own for survival. Initially, he steals like Chor to help the poor but now he steals for himself.

2. Yam Kei - Lui Yau Wai
The first princess of the Holy Water Palace. She never trusts anyone but she ends up trusting the wrong person. She hates men because Gun Ying leaves her. Actually the vcds should retain the part on how Chor and Yam Kei spar with each other.

3. Sum Wai Lum - Hon Mah Lei
She is Wai San's younger sister. She lacks experience and believes all Mou Far's lies totally. All will curse at her for being so stupid. Her mannerisms resemble Wai San and this blinds Chor's mind to treat her the same way as Wai San. His attentiveness wins her heart but she can be so irritating to pester him continuously. No wonder Chor's friends are unhappy with her.

4. Yeung Ngan - Chan Yuk Lin
Yam Kei's loyal follower but this brings her to nowhere when being framed. She is one of the rare Holy Water Palace member who is kind and softhearted. But she tends to stick to the rules. Rare to see her first started out as a minor role for her '€˜rehearsal' of Siu Long Nui.

5. Ling Yuet Ngor - Yu Yee Har (she passed away due to cancer)
She is Tiet Gon's greedy wife who betrays him on their wedding day to control the gold that he steals for t heir marriage. Serves her right for being killed in the end.

6. Fei Ying - Chan Pak Cheung (Wong Hung Sau's real life husband)
A dedicated constable who spares no clues to hunt down criminals. But unlike other cool constables in other serials, this character makes me shake my head. He makes a loud presence but he can be so stupid. He is so stubborn - Yung Yung warns him not to sneak into the Holy Water Palace for his own good but he is so stupid to believe Nam Yin's lies to pay for the price with his life. But knowing that Hung Sau isn't acting now and is his wife in real life, fans will not mind seeing more of them together although they are enemies in here. It is also rare to see him playing a serious role so don't miss it!

7. Suet Yee - Leung Bik Ling
Nam Yin's follower who obeys her blindly to produce the Holy Water but is killed by her to take the rap.

8. Sister Chu - Yu Mok Lin
Nam Yin's follower who whips Tiem Yee and others when they work too slow to produce the Holy Water.

Story - the Holy Water Palace tragedy and Mou Far's framing on Char has nothing to do with Gu Long. It is the producer's imagination. Only the part on Mou Far's Diary is truthful to the novel.

Mou Yung manages to stop her. Shek allows the men to walk around in limited areas. Chor teases Gei to stop following them. Later, the two walk in another direction to find the route out in vain. They see Fei Yin and Chor frowns. Her skills are vicious but she lacks inexperience. She should be fine in 10 years' time. Hung goes to a garden with Mou Yung. Mou Yung was an orphan and her name before being disfigured is Mou Yik - which is no memory. Hung wants to see how she looks and promises not to laugh at her but she has low self esteem. If he leaves, he doesn't know when to see her again so he wants to remember. But to her - what is worth remembering? It doesn't matter to him as she is nice.

They can't be friends now since the men are her prisoners. He is a killer and his life can end anytime. He doesn't know why he wants to look at the flowers tonight - maybe he wants to be an ordinary person. I don't know why the vcd version doesn't show Mou Yung's face. I remembered her removing the veil and Hung still doesn't mind it to say that she is still beautiful to him. The 2 men wait for him in the cell - Gei laughs - it seems that Hung enjoys himself so much to return. They say nothing when he sleeps unhappily.

Cheung Sun Hung returns. Mou Yung tells the men that she is uneasy about it. She decides that Mou Mei should leave with the men. Shek is wicked - she feeds Mou Mei medicine so that she gets the attacks anytime. Mou Yung feels chilly and decides to save the men. She gets the medicine for the men. At first, Hung refuses to eat as he knows that she will not leave but he gives in as not to implicate the rest. They enter a secret passage. Fei Yin is there to stop them. What a wonderful scene - Hung sees that Chor is unable to kill and gets impatient. He grabs Mou Mei's sword and after a few exchanges, he kills her with a drip of blood at the neck. That is a cool scene!

Mou Yung wants Mou Mei to lead them out by another way as this passage is blocked. They see Cheung Sun Hung with the other disciples. The women stand to watch the men do all the fighting. Chor defeats her but Gei is harsher - to hit her in the stomach. Hu thinks that Shek's disciples are coming out. Without thinking, he uses Taoist Siu Heung's sword. Hung blocks Mou Yung and loses his right arm.

Chor stops Hu from chopping off his own arm to repay Hung. Hung doesn't blame him - he kills too many. Taoist Siu Heung and Shek To tell Chor that they are returning to the Central Plains. Chor knows that they are looking for Shek to settle their scores so he leaves them. Hung decides not to join them to go Lou Lan as he gets paid to kill the king. Mou Yung and Mou Mei leave with him. Mou Mei requests them to bring her to see Yuk Hon before she dies. They should not cut this part on their marriage to confuse the viewers.

Cheung Sun Hung begs Shek to save her after telling her what has happened. She is dying but Shek is ruthless to give her a fatal kick as she '€˜neglects' her duties. The king gives the jewel to Hu for safekeeping and wants him to attack General Mun. Chor decides to look for Mou Far as he knows that he will not give up easily. Hung Jau and Tiem Yee pester Pei Pa to bring them around her house to stop her from pestering Chor. Hu wants to follow Chor but finally decides to stay to protect the king.

The following scene shows how conceited Mou Far is. He plays chess with himself. General Mun finds it odd - the winner and loser is still himself. Mou Far's reply - he is playing with his left hand against the right hand. He will not know who wins but if his opponent is General Mun, he will definitely win. General Mun tells him to blame his mother for tailing him and Mou Far knows that his wife will not say anything nice about him in front of Shek. But still, Shek will not kill her children.

He laughs proudly, if General Mun wants to play with him, he needs to go and practice for 10 to 20 years. Chor comes - is he qualified then? Mou Far turns pale when he loses to him in the chess game - in an instance which happens so fast! But he isn't leaving with him to see the '€˜commoners'. Chor runs after him in vain - I can't believe that this monk can still be so conceited at this critical moment. The empress wants Hu to tell her the jewel secret and he promises to ask the king.

Yung Yung worries that Chor might meet a mishap since he is out for too long so she is delighted over his return. Yung Yung gets so excited that she goes to see him at the bottom of the hill and nearly gets tripped. He is concerned on how she loses so much weight in a few days - is she sick?

She denies and analyses that Shek may be more skilful but Mou Far is more cunning than her. It strikes Chor - Mou Far will look for Shek when he has nowhere to go. He wants to go to Chi Juk Palace alone but Yung Yung insists on following. Pei Pa is furious that they leave without visiting her. All attack General Mun and Gei kills him after discovering him in the storeroom instead of his room.

Mou Far is with Shek. She blames him for ruining her whole plan but Lou Lan is under the king's control again. He calls her mother so she tells him to go to Chi Juk Palace. He kills Taoist Siu Heung and Shek To using his ninja skills. Chor is late to stop him and sneers at him for being a dog. The men spar and Mou Far disappears among the fumes again. Upon returning, he jumps upon seeing Yung Yung with a jade piece.

Gei jokes with Hu - he must be feeling heavy to bring 2 baggage - Hung Jau and Tiem Yee home. The king tells Hu to keep the joy star as a present - he has plenty of them. The legend is untrue to save his own life. Pei Pa is angry that he keeps it from her. The empress comes and removes her mask. Hu turns pale to see his '€˜wife'. The men lose to them but Chor returns on time. He recognizes the jade piece belonging to the empress so he returns to save them. He leaves with Shek, holding a sword.

Yung Yung is shocked to see the fragrance bottle and a blooded handprint with the others at Chi Juk Palace. She wants to wait for Chor but she cries, thinking that he is dead. Shek is waiting to kill Chor, appearing as a ninja. But he uses his wits to defeat her and she kills herself. Luckily he has a pair of sharp ears although she is highly skilled. All are delighted over his return. Shek can't accept failure and wants to be on the upper ground. He can't believe that he wins too.

Chor guesses wrongly that Yung Yung is covering his eyes. He is alarmed that Pei Pa wants to marry him even after he comes up with lots of excuses - likes freedom, doesn't know palace rules, etc. He flees early the next day. Gei sends them off and Chang Chu can't help feeling worried too - can Hu take care of the 2 women? They are relieved that he is fine with it.

Mou Far is with an old masked woman. He has no way to win Chor but the masked woman wants to make use of Wai San's younger sister and ancient tomb sect member, Wai Lam. (The producer must have borrowed the idea from '€˜Return of Condo Heroes'.) Wai Lam's master leaves her a box to open if he doesn't return from the duel. She is devastated and believes it when the old woman forges the finger skill to kill him. The note in the box wants her to look for Wai San.

Mou Far uses a lot of money to buy a valuable painting to tear it as his fingers stain it. He blows the flute in the snow and teaches Wai Lam how to enjoy herself. (Sad to disappoint fans as there is zero romantic element as they treat each other as friends.) He buys over killers to demolish the whole '€˜Tin Sing' sect. He bribes one last person to say that Chor kills Wai San because she rejects him. Wai Lam overhears someone saying that Chor is innocent but they admit that Chor bribes them to say that. (This makes me laugh at how gullible Wai Lam is to believe whatever Mou Far says.) She decides to trap Chor in the tomb to kill him.

All are back on the ship. Hu is drunk and comments that Yung Yung can't hold liquor against Wai San. This pricks Chor's heart and he is in a daze. He recalls happy moments with Wai San. He is about to sleep when he discovers Wai San's necklace on his bed. He suddenly sees her outside and chases out. When drunk, Hu blames himself for Wai San's death. He vows to find Mou Far for revenge. They console Yung Yung - why must Hu mentions Wai San to upset Chor?

After saying this, Tiem Yee is frightened to see her '€˜ghost'. She tells Chor and he shows them the necklace. Yung Yung is crushed that he can't forget her for so long. Chor takes it out again on the deck. He then sees her dress on his chair. He pleads with her to come and see him. Is she angry with him - does she bear not to see him? Tiem Yee is scared to see the '€˜ghost' again.

Chor is delighted when she appears with her back facing him. But he is alert upon seeing Wai Lam's face. She strikes him but he immobilizes her to put her on the chair. I shake my head at this. Mou Far should give her a mask so that she can kill Chor in one stroke when he is totally distracted. The way that Chor carries her is funny too - he pulls her so close to him as if they are having an intimate moment! Hu is angry - don't think that he can't punish a woman!

All are puzzled when she insists that Chor kills Wai San. Hu wants her to ask others. If Chor kills Wai San, will Wai Lam be sitting and talking to him? He looks at Wai Lam in a daze because she behaves like Wai San. He even tells Yung Yung to give up her room as Wai Lam is unused to sleep with others. How unfair can he be! Yung Yung even knows that he will not bring her to the beggar sect with them too.

The beggar sect clears his innocence. He wishes to visit the tomb with Wai Lam to see how Wai San spent her childhood there. Upon entering, she locks the place so that both will die together. She attacks Chor but he avoids sparing with her. The tomb nearly collapses and she hurts her leg. Chor wants to check her injury but she thinks he is the one to harm her. She even throws his medicine away. Chor shakes his head - he doesn't even know this place. How can he remove the food and water from there to kill himself?

They avoid the poisonous fumes and arrows. He also uses his wits to solve a '€˜bak gua' mystery for the way out. Before leaving, he is distracted by the grass grasshoppers that Wai San makes for Wai Lam. She is already so capable when young. He keeps one and is amused that she analyses facts like Wai San. He knows only Mou Far wants him dead. He will not let him off easily if not for his promise for not killing anyone as Mou Far kills Wai San. Wai Lam finds it unbelievable as Mou Far is refined.

She understands how desperate he was to see Wai San dying in front of him - the grasshopper in his hand tells her the answer. She discovers that he is really nice. He claims that he isn't perfect as he steals to help the poor. He finds her really simple-minded. Her gestures resemble Wai San. Every time, he asks Wai San to make a guess, she will get the answer correct. Chor brings Wai Lam to the first place he meets Wai San and recalls how she clears his innocence to lose her life.

Wai Lam also knows him through a misunderstanding. They can't find anything on her for remembrance. Hu is so drunk that he can't tell Hung Jau or Tiem Yee apart. Mou Far comes on board and claims to kill Chor. Now the womanizer needs some people to keep him company in death. Hu is too drunk in his room although the women hide together with him.

He decides to wait for them to come out - to let them have a feeling of waiting for death. He will play hide and seek with them for a while since he doesn't want to kill now. He gets Tiem Yee and touches her soft hair and face. He is about to kill her when Chor uses his finger skill to dispose his knife. Wai Lam finally sees through Mou Far's true colours. Chor lets Mou Far off since he releases Tiem Yee. Hu blames himself for his negligence again. Tiem Yee lets Wai Lam cook for them.

Chor decides to let her stay with him and even goes personally to choose a suitable room for her. Hu notices that he himself seldom clear his own room - how he changes so much! The men frown at Wai Lam's poor cooking - Hu even pities her poor master for enduring over 10 years! Chor cooks to let her try his skills. Tiem Yee knows Yung Yung is unhappy over it. Yung Yung might be oversensitive. Chor has never done this for any of them but he is doing all these for Wai Lam.

She feels that Chor is treating Wai Lam the same way he treats Wai San. Yung Yung knows that he will not tell the truth and she is afraid of hearing the truth too. The masked woman knows what happens Mou Far gets more and more interested to compete with an outstanding opponent. But she replies that she isn't so eager - she only wants Chor dead. Yam Gei is easier to deal with. Nam Yin is doing well now.

TVB makes a wrong choice to delete Mou Mei's story. Remember that she is poisoned? Mou Far can cure her but wants Chor's head. After many attempts, Mou Far is disappointed with the failures. Chor and Hu visits her and Yuk Hon. Hu opens a box and laughs to himself that the rain needles shouldn't be poisoned and is alarmed to find his hand black. At this instance, Chor suddenly develops a fever and has to be kept in bed. He is in critical condition as he has never been sick before.

Later at night, Chor manages to subdue killers as he feigns to be ill. When this ploy fails, Yuk Hon tricks his father's friends to have a duel with Chor. He sends letters to them. The men attack Chor but Gun Yu, who has a stroke earlier on, is so angry with his son that he reveals the truth.

Chor deals with Yam Kei to get the antidote to cure her if I am not mistaken. At first, she nearly '€˜drowns' as she is unlike him who can breathe under water due to his nose ailment. He manages t o defend 10 of her blows so she lets him leave. SC informs me that Shek doesn't feed Mou Mei any poison. It is just psychological that she thinks she is poisoned. She doesn't believe it and Chor has to get Yung Yung to '€˜cure' her. And sad again - this set of vcds don't show at all!

TVB should not cut the following part to show how ruthless and scheming Nam Yin is. Thanks to Thuy for telling me the details. Yam Gei prohibits disciples to make contacts with me. Violators are punished by not being able to speak for the rest of their lives. Nam Yin flatters Nam Sin for being more capable than her elder sister so she should take over her place. That is why she plans a rebellion.

Nam Sin also discovers that Yam Gei has a man. Yet Nam Yin notifies Yam Gei so Yam Gei kills Yam Sin before she can show others that Gam Gei meets her lover, Gun Ying at a secret place in the holy palace. Thus the palace owner does meet with men and is a big rule breaker herself. So her plan is to show up with other girls to catch her right on the spot.

Nam Yan represents Yam Gei to tell others to reflect on rules. She implies Sister Ping isn't good in choosing the members of old age. Sister Ping knows she wants to replace her so she refuses to leave.

Yung Yung rejects Chor's invitation to go for an outing with Wai Lam. She gets Sister Ping's letter and leaves without telling him. Tiem Yee follows Yung Yung. Both are suspicious that the Holy Water Palace recruits women to work - this has not happened before. Yung Yung challenges Tiem Yee to join them. When Tiem Yee gets timid, she tells her not to be over dependent on Chor. Tiem Yee wonders why she and Chor talk in the same tone and takes up the challenge.

Sister Ping knows Yam Sin's death is caused by Nam Yin. Nam Yin even says bad things about her and wants her to guard the Holy Water. This causes her unable to sleep well and she needs Yung Yung to find evidence for her. The Holy Water Palace members eye Tiem Yee closely during the selection and this makes her uncomfortable. Yam Gei accepts Yung Yung into the palace. Even though Nam Yin reveals that she is Chor's '€˜sister', she still keeps her because Yung Yung describes Chor as a womanizer. Yam Gei agrees that all men are unreliable and she has no feud with Chor. She also trusts Sister Ping and wonders why Nam Yin is nervous as keeping a new disciple is common.

Yung Yung asks Sister Ping about the workers. Sister Ping knows nothing about it. Suet Yee eyes Tiem Yee suspiciously when she walks around at night and refuses to sleep. She informs Nam Yin about it and she decides to kill all when the job is done. Sister Chu wants all workers to put a drop of water into the wine bottles. Tiem Yee wonders if it is the Holy Water.

Fei Ying checks the case of the mysterious deaths of the pugilistic families. He suspects them to be killed by the Holy Water and decides to confront Yam Gei. Yam Gei praises Yung Yung's cooking which she learns from Tiem Yee and wants to know her motive. It is not easy to please her but she will teach her skills if she is in a good mood. Yam Gei doesn't know why she is moody but Yung Yung cheers her up so she gives her a ring. Nam Yin is jealous over it. She is sarcastic to say that the young and the old know flattery. Yung Yung discovers that some women are killed and manages to save Tiem Yee. They still can't tell Yam Gei what has happened. Nam Yin knows that her plot is being uncovered so she puts all the blame on Suet Yee and kills her in front of all before she can talk.

Yung Yung wants Fei Ying to leave but he insists of checking on the case. Nam Yin hides aside to see that he is no match for Yung Yung's skills when he can't catch up with her. She can also tell that he is attracted by her so she will help her to get into the palace. He can attack Yam Gei at her neck as the weakest point to capture her. She will put a red cloth outside a room so that he can seek the person for help. This is a rare moment to see this couple in real life to act together and also as enemies so all should not miss it! I laugh when Fei Ying requests to see Yung Yung again - how he can manage to say that in front of his wife???

Soon, Fei Ying discovers that he is tricked and flees into Yung Yung's room. This is such a disgrace to the constable profession when he pleads Yung Yung or help - simply no dignity at all! Blame it on the story writer. Ngan and Nam Yin want to check the room but Yam Gei stops them as Yung Yung helps her before. But because Tiem Yee smiles twice unnecessarily, Yam Gei gets suspicious so Fei Ying owns up. Yam Gei locks both up in the dungeon and forbids the other two women to walk out of the room.

Fei Ying is remorseful for causing trouble. Tiem Yee writes to Chor for help. How vicious Nam Yin is - she poisons Fei Ying to attack Yung Yung. Yung Yung is nearly strangled to death and pierces his neck with her hairpin to stop him. Nam Yin deceives Yam Kei into believing that Sister Ping is a spy from a rival sect. She wants Yam Kei to kill Ngan and Sister Ping. Mou Far is bringing 10 ninjas to attack. Nam Yin is shocked to know that Chor is coming but Mou Far declares that he will deal with him. She laughs - this is not the first time they cross swords and Mou Far loses each time.

Chor dreams of Yung Yung and wonders how she is. This scares Wai Lam when he suddenly wakes up to give her a shock when she is about to cover him with a blanket. Yung Yung changes Fei Ying's impression of Chor as a thief in vain and gets angry. To him, a thief remains a thief regardless of any good intentions. But upon knowing that she likes Chor, he decides to let him off. (This scene really raises all the goose pimples in me because a man declaring his feelings is perfectly fine but not for a woman in the ancient era.)

Nam Yin lures Ngan to open a box of needles and Ngan is shocked to be framed to be the spy, wanting to kill Yam Gei. Yam Gei is so furious that she strangles her to death. Mou Far gathers his 6 men to kill the green sleeved nun. Nam Yin lures Sister Ping to write a letter of confession by holding Tiem Yee hostage but she switches the contents. The 6 ninjas get killed by Chor and Wai Lam. Yam Gei kills Sister Ping and locks Tiem Yee with Yung Yung. Yung Yung is upset that her only kin is dead.

Yam Gei recalls the past of how she kills her close ones and Nam Yin stabs her in the stomach when she is being caught unaware. Mou Far and his 4 ninjas come to her aid but Yam Gei manages to kill the ninjas. Nam Yin confesses framing all so Yam Gei destroys the whole palace in despair before dying. If I remember correctly, there is be a part where Yam Gei meets Gun Ying to talk about the old times but why the vcds leave this out?? But I can't recall what happens after that - can someone let me know?

Nam Yin decides to see Yung Yung dead before her own eyes so she goes to the dungeon despite Mou Far's warnings. She doesn't know that all manage to unlock their handcuffs and she is attacked. However, she is still capable to strangle Fei Ying with a chain before trying to strangle Yung Yung with the same chain after that. My friend can joke - how can Hung Sau be so harsh to her husband? Fei Ying pulls her legs to try to stop her. So the three are in a very awkward position.

Tiem Yee is very timid and closes her eyes as she stabs Nam Yin on the back with a sword when Yung Yung wants her to kill Nam Yin. You will be so frustrated with her for wasting time to walk so slowly and be so hesitant to strike at her! Nam Yin never expects to be killed by Tiem Yee because she can't move at all and dies. Before Fei Ying's death, he wants Yung Yung to return his protection vest to his mother and requests to call Yung Yung by her name.

Chor is alarmed to know that the whole palace has collapsed and insists of saving Yung Yung even though Wai Lam stops him. She is unhappy to see Chor hugging the two women. Chor manages to coax Tiem Yee who is frightened of the killing to treat the whole thing as a dream. At first, he blames himself for coming late but is glad that she is grown up to protect and take care of herself. But she still requests him not to leave her even though she is mature now.

Chor sees that Yung Yung walks fast ahead so he tells Tiem Yee to keep Wai Lam company. But the two women don't know what to say to each other. Yung Yung tells Chor to go to Wai Lam when she nearly trips and Wai Lam gives Chor a flower. Upon seeing this, Yung Yung finds Fei Ying's mother with Tiem Yee to return the vest to her. Both do not know how to break the news to her.

She leaves a letter and Chor is unhappy but decides not to look for her. Wai Lam wonders if Chor will treat her so well if not for her being Wai San's sister. Chor knows that Wai Lam needs time to get along with others since she grows up in the tomb. She gives in and returns to the ship with him. The masked woman is pleased that Yam Gei is dead but unhappy that Chor is still alive. Mou Far wakes up with a start - he is fleeing away from Chor - no one will know that he hides in a brothel!

(Lots of housekeeping matters by Chor and his friends as related below that wasted my $ and also 2 discs!) Yung Yung pretends to be Chor to get caught while stealing an official's jade dragon. Mou Far comes to kill '€˜him' but gets caught in the net. His ninja skills can't save him. The masked woman comes to save him from being sent to the capital because he still has use to her. The two women return to the ship to tell the men the news. Hung Jau returns to her hometown to take care of her sick uncle. Chor knows that Wai Lam dislikes Hu but urges her to accept his friends but she doesn't want to force herself.

She is happy when Chor goes out with her and tags him to go out with her early the next day. Tiem Yee doesn't like this. Hu is offended when Wai Lam comments that he only knows how to drink although she has no ill intentions. She picks some stones back but Chor throws some to the sea as he doesn't want conflict between her and other friends. Hu wishes him to witness the empress dowager's birthday celebration but Chor declines. He is too tired after traveling these years. Hu notices that Chor has changed.

'€˜Chor' poisons the Japanese ambassador and steals the golden bangle meant for the empress dowager. He is actually Mou Far in disguise to trick the man. Wai Lam draws on the stones to give Chor but he leaves them on the deck. Tiem Yee is angry that Wai Lam criticizes her cooking (This doesn't make sense as Wai Lam herself is a terrible cook.) She throws the stones into the sea, thinking that they are useless. Wai Lam is angry - not with her but with Chor for misplacing them. Chor coaxes her and goes out with her.

Yung Yung is so badly affected that she nearly faints. Hu holds on to her and wants her to cry to release her emotions. Tiem Yee scolds Wai Lam for shadowing Chor and she cries. She doesn't want to endure like Yung Yung. She points out that Chor has spent too much time on Wai Lam and neglects them.Chor slaps her and is remorseful Tiem Yee cries as Chor has never even scolded her. Hu wants Chor to settle this himself. Chor assures Tiem Yee that he hasn't changed and he treats both as his younger sisters.

Wai Lam reads Hung Jau's scroll of the secret martial skills manuals out of boredom. Chor notices that she avoids him lately. Hu pulls Chor to go to the city with him but he wants to rest. He knows that Wai Lam is quiet and will not go to crowded places. To his surprise, Wai Lam agrees to go with Hu! Hu drinks in an inn while Wai Lam walks around. An old man gives her the golden bangle, saying that it isn't costly. Stupid of her - Mou Far is only with a moustache. How can she not recognize him?? The ambassador stares at her and Hu defends her. Chor is worried when only Hu is back. He saves her with his finger skill but is wounded on his waist by the man's samurai sword. Wai Lam manages to save him using the bangle.

She blames herself for his ordeal and insists of taking care of him for the night, rejecting Yung Yung's offer. Tiem Yee consoles her. Chor wakes to find Wai Lam sleeping beside him and puts his cloak on her to see Yung Yung weeping on the deck. He has been to her room and knows that she doesn't sleep as her blanket is untouched. They sit and chat together. If she doesn't like them to be close, he can keep a distance from her. Yung Yung forbids him as Wai Lam has no kin left. He is touched that she is so considerate and hugs her. Wai Lam sees this and decides to return to the tomb.

Yung Yung sees Chor accompanying her back so she gives him medicine since he hasn't fully recovered. Chor is alarmed to know that he is a wanted man for stealing the bangle. He looks for his friend, Monk But Hing and is alarmed that he attacks him. He denies asking him to translate Mou Far diary which is written in Hindi.(See how stupid the producer is - how can Mou Far be knowing Hindi - he should write in Japanese instead!) The person is an imposter as Chor is in the Holy Water Palace then.

The monk is suddenly killed and wants Chor to keep his book. Chor learns a little Hindi from him and promises to show this to the world. Later, we will know that this brings him trouble as all think that he has Mou Far Diary. Two men come after Chor and his wound hurts him while fighting with them. He learns from Wai Lam on who gives her the bangle and knows it is Mou Far's ploy. Chor can't protect Wai Lam now and gets her into trouble. She refuses to listen to him and wants to look after him.

Soon, they are attacked by another masked man but Lang kills him for them. Chor is surprised to see that the killer is a reputed Taoist priest and his skills reduce because he uses another weapon to attack Chor to hide his identity. Lang teases Chor for having affinity with the Sum sisters but Chor declares that she is only like his younger sister. Wai Lam is curious that Lang locks a mad woman (camero appearance by King Doi Yan - the actress as Lee Lok Wan, Lee Sai Mun's sister in '€˜The Foundation') in his dungeon.

The next day, Chor doesn't wake up and Lang analyses that he is seriously injured so his blood blocks his acupoints. He wants Wai Lam to wait outside and he will treat him. He gets the book but Chor grabs it back. He wonders - why is Lang after it too? The mad woman kills herself after mumbling Mou Far's name. Lang admits that she is his wife-to-be and Mou Far forsakes her after raping her. That is why she becomes mad. He blames Chor for making the dairy known to the world.

It writes on the adultery incidents between the honourable sect members and Mou Far is also arrogant to add on names of the women who are involved with him in the book. But Hung's disciple translates it out of curiosity and reveals in front of Ngor Mei members that their sect Leader, Abbess Jing Yam's is involved with a monk. She kills herself in disgrace. Her junior and others decide to keep it a secret.

Lang claims his wife is too proud to let others know but Wai Lam knows that he is the one instead since she is mad and he is despicable to want to kill his friend over it. He feels shameful over the deed. Chor frowns - Mou Far must be the imposter to know him so well. Wai Lam tells him to be more selective in friends. She grows up with only her master and things don't turn out complicated. Chor has too many friends but close ones are hard to come by.

She wants him to go to the tomb with her but he declines to stay there for the rest of his life. A masked man attacks Chor or the diary and this time round, Chor isn't his match and vomits blood. Chor is alarmed that he is Abbot Tien Fung. He realises that he is Jing Yam's lover. He is about to kill both of them to seal the secret when Wai Lam sneers at him. Feeling remorseful, he leaves after attaining enlightenment.

'€˜Chor' says that the new Ngor Mei leader isn't fit for the post. He talks about Jing Yam's death and even reveals that Tien Pang Chi's junior, a Taoist priest is Mou Far's lover. She kills herself in shame. Abbot Tien Fung wants him to spare others. '€˜Chor' laughs uneasily when the monk looks at him and leaves quickly. Tien Pang Chi is angered that Chor disgraces her in front of so many people. Chor feels the pain in his waist again as he walks too much. He doesn't feel safe letting Wai Lam returning to the ship alone to inform the others while he can rest temporarily in the tomb.

They are being attacked by the 9 sects and seeing that Chor is seriously injured, Wai Lam grabs the scroll from him. Now she knows how these reputed people behave and jumps over the cliff. Chor leaps after her after knowing this. Lang guesses that he will be dead although he is highly skilled. (This sure reminds me of '€˜Return of Condo Heroes' where Kwok Heung jumps after Yeung Guo too.)

Chor reaches the bottom and finds Wai Lam. (Another loophole - I thought he is more seriously injured than her???) She has fainted and hurt her leg so he rests her head on his lap. She closes her eyes and wishes him to kiss her but he calls her Wai San instead. She lies that she is happy that he still remembers her sister despite her disappointment. '€˜Chor' appears again and kills Tien Pang Chi with his Samurai sword. (Sigh - stupid man - the skills used is a giveaway clue.)He later cleans the blood away with a cloth.

Hu reports that Chor wants to kill others to revenge for Wai Lam's death. His sisters don't believe it as he has never killed anyone. Hu is also puzzled as he doesn't react that way over Wai San's death too. They leave the ship and see '€˜Chor'. He is about to kiss Yung Yung after tricking her that he has sent Wai Lam back to the tomb when she slaps him. He may have imitated Chor's mannerism well but he can't change his nose. He should not have leaned towards her as Chor uses his skin to breathe.

Still Mou Far subdues her and is about to rape her when Hu saves her on time. They know Chor must have fallen down the cliff because he will stop Mou Far from committing the killings. '€˜Chor' wants to kill Lang with his samurai sword when Yung Yung throws poisonous water on the mask. Mou Far is calm, citing it is fair for him to seek revenge but is alarmed that if he doesn't remove it, his skin will rot. Mou Far quickly disposes it and flees. Yung Yung examines it - no wonder all Chor's friends are deceived because the mask is well-made. She only uses ordinary water earlier on to make him discard it.

Lang and the mask become the real evidence to Abbot Tien Fung. Wai Lam asks Chor if he will love her without knowing Wai San or Yung Yung. He avoids answering although she pleads to stay with him forever. Mou Far tries escaping from the pugilists but is stabbed in the waist. The masked woman finds him fleeing like a dog when he begs for her help since he is no longer a lion. She never expects the 9 sects to combine forces to deal with him. Since he doesn't discuss with her and thinks so highly of herself, he deserves such an ending and she should concentrate to master her skills so as not to end up like him.

Outstanding performance from Kwan Chung for acting an underdog here. Mou Far becomes mad and doesn't trust anyone. He even snatches food from the beggars and recalls his bitter defeat for nearly becoming Lou Lan's king. He still thinks he belongs to the highest rank and kills the beggars for belonging to the low status. Hu and Yung Yung manage to find the cave but the two have left. Chor and Wai Lam see Mou Far hanging himself on a tree.

He is still breathing weakly and Wai Lam can't bring herself to kill him. Chor even want to use his inner strength to save him but he dies instantly. Chor then discovers that this person doesn't know any skill and is Mou Far's substitute. Lang and Tien Fung apologise to Chor. If not for Chor's kindness, all will think that he is dead. Mou Far goes to the brothel but imagines the prostitutes to be Yam Sin, Shek and Lang's wife. Doi, Lang, Abbot Tien Fung, Chor and Wai Lam surround him. Chor pities him and requests to let him off but Doi refuses. Wai Lam kills Mou Far. Chor hands over Mou Far Diary to Abbot Tien Fung.

Chor leaves Wai Lam at the tomb and returns to the ship. He suspects that there is a mastermind who controls Hung and Yung Yung. Yung Yung manages to get away from the evil sect but refuses to give Chor any clue. Although Chor's skills aren't very good, he uses his wits to defeat Yam Gei and Shek who are more highly skilled. But Yung Yung thinks that this mastermind is more formidable so she will not reveal anything. Chor wants his friend to check out but they are killed by the masked woman.

Yung Yung gives in and brings them to the meeting place. The 3 are confused to get to the Ko household backyard to see Ngar Nam there. Chor forbids Hu to ask Tai Kuan questions as someone might want to mislead them there. Tai Kuan needs 10 more days to master the skills and decides to delay Chor by helping his senior, Tiet Gon out of jail. Tiet Gon escapes to meet his wife Suk Ngor although she betrays him for money to land him in jail. He is bitter when she gets killers and kills her.

Tiet Gon avoids meeting Chor and Chor is troubled when he thinks he as a fugitive is unfit to be seen with a swordsman. Chor recalls how he masters his finger skill under him. He refuses to steal the gold meant for the drought victims with him for his marriage 12 years ago and offers to borrow money from his father. Tiet Gon declines and breaks ties with Chor. Tiet Gon is approached by Tai Kuan to smuggle gold again meant for the famine victims. She wants Chor to stop him to give her time to master the skill to conquer the whole world. Chor is troubled upon knowing the plan.

Yung Yung tells Hu about Chor's dilemma but he thinks Chor is stupid to care for personal ties to affect the victims. Hu kills his senior, a rapist and cried for 3 days but he doesn't regret it. So he knows how he feels but Chor feels guilty for stopping Tiet Gon the first time and he can't bring himself to stop the second time. Without Tien Gon, there is no Chor. Yung Yung dissuades Hu to help too as he is Chor's friend and he might cause another misunderstanding.

But on the way to look for Hung to ask about the mastermind, Chor changes his mind and stops Tiet Gon. The two fight and Tiet Gon is on the upper hand. Chor's sword accidentally strikes Tiet Gon in the stomach and Yung Yung stabs Tiet Gon from the back upon seeing Chor in danger after Tiet Gon hurts his arm. Yung Yung dies, citing that she will do anything for him. Both are buried and Tiem Yee comes to get alarmed to see Chor becoming a drunkard.

Later, Chor wants her to get him new clothing - to dress nicely to kill himself in front to Tiet Gon. (When I am watching this part, I nearly curse the producer for being so stupid, illogical, crazy and ridiculous to think of such an idea!) Hu tells Wai Lam about it and they manage to stop him on time. Hu finds the prison guard who witnesses that Tiet Gon's internal injury is too serious and during the duel, it worsens and he dies. Otherwise, he will have avoided Yung Yung's blow. Chor decides to retire for good.

Hu finally knows that the mastermind is Tai Kuan and she kills many - Lang, Abbot Tien Fung and Doi. Doi even mumbles Chor's name before his death. He nearly bursts when Chor still tells Wai Lam to fish with him. Wai Lam knows Tai Kuan's next target is Chor but he says that he will give her his life. Ngar Nam brings this news because she is too ashamed by Tai Kuan's deed. She finally knows why she hates Gun Ying. This uncle often goes against her - just like Ngar Nam. Ngar Nam decides to stay with them.

Tai Kuan's messenger sends Chor an embroidery box and Hu finds it a disgrace. (So am I - I don't like my hero to get humiliated by the producer.) Hu throws it front of him and that also adds him on. He challenges Tai Kuan but she spares him, letting Gun Ying save him. All despise Chor and wakes up his senses. Chor and Hu practice skills together but this waist wound still hurts him. He has rested for too long. Ngar Nam is torn as she might lose her grandmother but Wai Lam thinks it is the best way.

Mou Mei comes and Yuk Hon is taking care of Gun Yu now. Mou Yung and Hung come too. Hung msut come as he is under her control for too long. They bring Chor out to the woods to practice skills. They assure him that he will win but he is unsure. Hu hits a palm print on a tree and Chor aims using his finger skill to strike the '€˜eyes' but he knows that his skills have weakened although he looks successful.

Hung knows that the sword strength has weakened because he is a swordsman. Mou Mei discusses with him and Mou Yung. It is not just the physical wound but also the matters of the heart that affects him. But if they don't confront Tai Kuan the next day, they will not have any fighting spirit anymore. Hung decides to go earlier than Chor to spar with Tai Kuan to weaken her inner strength. Ngar Nam doesn't even know her grandmother's weakest point.

Hu finds Chor unable to sleep - why is he so nervous since he is so experienced? Chor knows that his chance is slim. Shek can't even hold out Tai Kuan's 50 strokes. He watches the sunrise for the last day. He gives his first wine bottle and also the first money sachet that he steals to both Hu and Wai Lam. Hung is so daring - he sneaks into the Ko mansion and kills Tai Kuan's 2 sons with one stroke - at the neck again. I can't believe that their skills can be so bad! He tells Tai Kuan that he not only betrays her but also kills them. Mou Yung and Mouo Mei assist him.

Chor knows that they go before him'€¦'€¦but he can still WALK with the others!!!! Isn't he supposed to use his qinggong to hurry to the site to save them??? The three are defeated and of course, Hung and Mou Yung lose out although they use their combined swords that they invented. Gun Ying comes too.

The final showdown is still spectacular. Chor is being hit a few times and Gu Ying sacrifices himself. Chor blinds Tai Kuan with his finger skill. Hu, Hung and Wai Lam pierce their swords into her body. Chor recalls his duels with Ling, Shek, Mou Far and the Japanese ambassador. Chor doesn't want to visit the ship or the tomb. He tells Wai Lam that he doesn't wish to get involved in relationships and she understands. He is glad that she grows up. Ngar Nam tails Hu and Tiem Yee to the ship. Chor decides to wander the world and before that, he visits the graves.

Most favourite character
Who else but Chor? He is loyal to friends, devoted to love, a caring brother and also forgiving to enemies. What's more when he is highly skilled, wise and dashing too?

Most hated character
Chor's no. 1 enemy, Mou Far. He is arrogant and vicious. Yet he can still maintain his dignity and aloofness even when he is on the run as a fugitive from Chor. I have to admire him for that!

Songs
The main theme is the same as the serial title. The subtheme is '€˜Lau Heung's hatred/regret'. Both songs become classics sung by Cheng Siu Chau himself. No one will doubt his marvelous singing ability. He is one of the rare artistes who can sing and also act well. I bought his karaoke vcd at S$9 at a sale. They are also written by Mr Wong Jim and Mr Khoo Kar Fai.

To tell the truth, I had mixed feelings when watching the theme song trailer after Mr Wong's demise. It had a line '€˜I wander the thousand mountains on my own so don't bother to send me off.' This is so true in his real life when he was suddenly cremated and few friends were notified of his low-profile funeral. Even Mr Khoo didn't make it back on time although he had booked the tickets to return from Canada.

What is different from the novel

Wai San and Wai Lam never appear in the novel. This is only to convince all on how dedicated Chor is to one single woman. I don't think that he loves Yung Yung at all, only treating her like a sister.

Chang Chu is supposed to disguise as a man for a longer time in black. Chor sees anger, happiness and also hatred in her eyes but can't help being fascinated. He laments that the eyes should be on a woman's face. Chor wants her to get Yung Yung but Yung Yung is '€˜killed' by poisonous darts when she rushes close to her. Chor is so mortified that he nearly crushes her shoulder bone in anxiety! When affirmed that the darts really hit Yung Yung, he rushes there to find the whole place clean. He gets so distraught that he sits still on the floor. I am not that happy with Cheng's presentation as he could have looked sadder than this.

Later, Chang Chu brings Yung Yung home under Chor's request. She not only makes friends with the three. She also gets them to leave the ship together. Chor is alarmed as they have never left the ship and at least one of them will stay on board. He looks around in vain and only discovers sand on his chair with a black pearl. It has a note '€˜Chor gets my horse on land while I get his beauties by sea'.

He seeks help from Gei and Hu. They meet Chang Chu's men on the way. They are puzzled when they maintain that they treat the three women as guests and not hostages. Chor nearly faints upon hearing that their '€˜prince' gets along so well with his sisters that '€˜he' sleeps with them on the same bed daily. The other two men keep rubbing their noses, exclaiming that this '€˜prince' has such a huge appetite. Pei Pa is the only calm person - to ask if '€˜he' is a woman. She has guessed that Chang Chu loves him but can't find a reason to see him again so she tricks him. Chor is embarrassed and also amused to get tricked.

Chang Chu is supposedly to fall for Chor in the novel but this serial makes her like Gei instead. Gei in the novel has 2 wives. Chang Chu is very powerful being the desert king's heir. She also controls her men well. Shek will not dare to confront with her personally as her father's men are all over the desert. The part on Shek controlling her men is unconvincing.

Chor knows Mou Far's disguise when Pei Pa reminds him that the duel between Hung and him might be unknown to others but to all involved as witnesses. Because he is Chor, maybe the dead may come alive. Chor is usually calm and not easily excited but he jumps at her statement. This reminds him of Mou Far. The producer gives a lame excuse of making Mou Far reverting to his old ways of being a vegetarian. I don't see why he still sticks to the rules since he is married!

Mou Far is killed by Mou Mei before Chor wants to take him back to the Central Plains. But the producer is reluctant to let Chor lose a top opponent so he survives till the end. However, I welcome this change!

The whole Holy Water Palace rebellion is not in the book but Hung Sau's fans will not mind seeing her as a lead in here and it is rare to see her as a villain. Moreover she looks extremely icy and beautiful too!

Mou Mei kills herself, thinking that she is poisoned by Shek and Yuk Hon becomes mad. In the serial, both are still together.

Yam Kei's lover is a man dressed like a woman who looks like Nam Yin. They have a daughter but she kills herself after pregnant with Mou Far's child.

Interesting scenes

Chor with his male friends - it shows the loyalty among them. They can be serious but also crack jokes too.

Chor's dealing with all the women - sweet, gentle and can be funny at times. Top with Ming Kuen.

All the fighting scenes - extremely cool when Chor and Mou Far are around. They tell us what it makes to be a top pugilist - with grace, looks and style.

Mou Far stressing how '€˜pure' and different he is from the commoners. He has the despised look at others - as if they can never win him. He has inherited Shek's genes to fall in love with himself.

Funny to see how Leung Kit Wah, Wong Chiu See and Chan Mun Yee first started out. They can be the Holy Water Palace members, Chi Chuek Palace followers or later as prostitutes in the brothel. I also see how Tong Chun Yip and Liu Kai Chi (Chan Mun Yee's real life husband) as extras too. Interesting!

How the Holy Water Palace is being decorated - you can see the fish moving in the fish tank or entrapment which is extraordinary. To depict the water concept, they place dry ice everywhere for the misty feel and also the caves are specially designed as rooms. I am utterly impressed.

Conclusion

My first reaction when watching the discs - why is the story so slow? I crave it to be fast - as '€˜Lok Siu Fung' but what a disappointment! Blame it on the producer to cook up his own story. I am not happy on how the story is twisted to let Chor be a person succumbing to failure and becoming solemn. It is nonsensical, irrelevant and stupid! How can they belittle and weaken my favourite hero?? When I look at the storywriter's list - Wong Ching has a part in it with his father! No wonder he screws up Ren Xian Qi's version as well. As if he isn't satisfied and wants more damage done!

Chor is cheerful and will never admit defeat to setbacks. To cut those exciting and relevant parts but to maintain the boring parts as the vcd version is another big mistake. For the missing or broken links, I try so hard to recall the scenes but to no avail. Why doesn't TVB do a proper job? Hopefully, others who have watched this serial in detail can enlighten me.

What is supposedly to be exciting has zero suspense if not for the excellent acting from the cast. It isn't so bad if he follows strictly accordingly to the novel. Moreover, his 3 sisters should appear all the time. How can the producer kill one and let one not appearing again?

But a classic is forever a classic. The turning of events faced by Mou Far is a good change. The cast do so well that the characters are fondly remembered by fans all these years. The women fit the book well - Shek and Yam Gei really walk out of the novel into the serial with the others although they are supporting roles. They wear out the elegance in the silk costumes, unlike the rough material we see in recent dramas.

Sukting's ratings:

On acting: **** (Scale of 5)

On story: *** (Scale of 5) (I have wished to give 3.5 stars but the ending is too much for me to stomach. As a loyal Gu Long fan, I can never accept it.)

On songs: *****(Scale of 5) (the greatest of all time!)


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