My Father As Strong As the Tiger

(Volume 1, Issue 5)

In the northern snow mountain region, Lip Fung (Fung = Wind) chases after his father, Lip Ren Wong, epithet, "The Wild Saber of the North" (*martial artists were given titles by others in the martial world usually as a tribute to their skills). After Lip Fung's mother had abandoned his father for another man, Lip Ren Wong's emotional state had turned into one of unpredictable hysteria. Running into the snow valley, Lip Fung senses in the air an aura of blood and a threat to kill--he figures his father must be at the cave up ahead!

To Lip Fung's surprise, a huge mountain tiger instead steps out of the cave entrance, its two menacing eyes targeted upon Lip Fung. Without any fear whatsoever, Lip Fung makes direct eye contact with the tiger. Even the huge tiger has to admire this boldness and holds its claws. Suddenly from above the cave, Lip Ren Wong leaps off a cliff--diverting Lip Fung's attention--and the tiger too leaps toward Lip Fung in attack. Lip Fung easily dodges to the side, and cries out a warning to the tiger. However, the tiger's head is immediately sliced off with Lip Ren Wong's blade--their family heirloom, the Snow-Drinking Saber. Red hot red tiger blood splashes across Lip Fung's face and spills on the white snow. In an almost childish naivete, Lip Fung apologizes to the tiger for not being able to save its life.

Turning his head, Lip Fung watches his father raise the hacked tiger head to drink its blood. Lip Ren Wong angrily questions him why he dodged away before--was he afraid of the tiger? In simple honesty, Fung replies that he was not afraid--he knew the tiger could not withstand his father. What made him involuntarily dodge was the power emitting from that saber thrust which was as powerful as a tiger. Quite pleased with the comparison, Lip Ren Wong broke out in laughter, his anger gone.

The northern winds began to blow furiously and Lip Fung could not help shivering from the chill. Grabbing a handful of blood-covered snow, his father orders him to eat it, in which he refuses. Angry again, Lip Ren Wong grabs him by the hair and forces the snow into his mouth, claiming that the blood can warm him up and make him even stronger than the tiger. Leaping up in the air, Lip Ren Wong dices Lip Fung's tunic into shreds without harming him whatsoever with the saber, displaying a spectacular skill. At the same time, three baby tigers came out of the cave and surrounds their dead mother tiger. Ready to kill them too--"to root out the grass" (a Chinese proverb)-- Lip Ren Wong was suddenly attacked with a snowball. When he turns to see his attackee, Lip Fung has already moved in front of the baby tigers to block them from harm. To his father's surprise, Lip Fung had learned by himself a lightweight martial skill (from all that chasing) and could even walk on the snow now without leaving any footprints!

Lip Fung pleads his father to let the baby tigers go. Instead, Lip Ren Wong kicks him aside and kills the tigers in the same manner. Tears roll down from Lip Fung's eyes as he watches the butchering from the ground. Time passes and he is soon covered almost completely with fallen snow while Lip Ren Wong sits near a bonfire with no apparent concern, roasting tiger meat. Lip Ren Wong calls out to Fung that he must get up for himself, that no one else can help him. Slowly, Lip Fung rises out of the snow and walks over to the bonfire, attempting to warm himself up. His father passes him some tiger meat and wordlessly, Lip Fung took it and bit hungrily into it. Pleased, Lip Ren Wong laughed and claimed that he (Lip Fung) finally understood the concept of the strong eating the weak. In response, Lip Fung answers that Lip RenWong is wrong! He knows he has to stay alive because he has to defeat Lip Ren Wong one day -- to stop him from his senseless killing! Even more pleased with this stubborn rebuke, Lip Ren Wong laughed, saying something like, "That's my boy!"

Du Long:

Back in the Tang Dynasty, in a place where three rivers meet, where the tidal waves are so fierce that it is virtually impossible to navigate, and where ships will surely sink, the people of the locale had erected a huge statue of Buddha as a prayer for protection. The name chosen for this was the "Lu Shan's" (*name of the mountain) Big Buddha.

Three times each day, a small boy, Du Long, would with a bucket, measure the water level of river. This day was no different as Du Long checks the water level and is pleased to note that it has risen. A small incident with the local boys taunting Du Long reveals that despite his young age, his martial skills are not weak and that he is without a mother. At around this time, Lip Ren Wong and Lip Fung are aboard a small boat, fighting against the wild currents near Lu Shan and land safely. As soon as Du Long sees the saber carried by Lip Ren Wong he greets them and discloses that his father is waiting for Lip and takes off to show the way. Attempting to show off a little, Du Long leaps up the Buddha statue swiftly only to find that Lip Ren Wong had already surpassed him above. Before this, Lip Ren Wong had handed the Snow-Drinking saber to Lip Fung to carry while he goes to meet Du Long's father, Du Shuay - epithet, "The Lion Sword of the South". (*A little background from the novel, Du Shuay had challenged Lip Ren Wong to a dual once before but Lip refused to fight because at that time he had retired from the martial world for the sake of his wife and son). Du Shuay's nerves are stimulated as he sees Lip Ren Wong, a long-awaited opponent, and he speaks to some unknown "Fire Friend" inside the house.

Simultaneously, Lip Fung is down at the foot of the Buddha statue contemplating in worry why his father let him carry the Snow-Drinking - the saber that had never once left his father's hands before. A group of bigger local bullies show up to settle the score and mistook Lip Fung for Du Long. They are about to attack Lip Fung when Du Long comes charging back down from the statue, claiming that he's the one they want.

Special clips from the comic translated and rendered by SPCNET. Please note that these are NOT the official translations (if any exist) of the comics but are a little fun that I'm having with Photoshop. Click on the images below:

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