Once Wind and Cloud is Met, the Dragon Will Transform

(Volume 1, Issue 9)

Hong Ba announced Lip Fung as his third disciple and not taking "no" for an answer, charged up an inner force causing Lip Fung to kneel down before him and accept. Lip Fung's knee bones were already broken and meeting the force, he knelt without resistance but also without uttering a note of pain. Hong Ba orders his first disciple, Tuern Suern, to take Lip Fung back to rest at the Fung Wan Division.

Later, Hong Ba questions the returned Bo Ging Wan for the whereabouts of the Fire Kilin Sword and Snow Drinking Saber. An emotionally unstable Bo Ging Wan claims he doesn't remember and begs Hong Ba not to ask further. Not wanting to agitate Bo further, Hong Ba decides to let it go for now.

Meanwhile, Lip Fung is placed alone in a classier room ever since Hong Ba's declaration. As he's still worrying about his father, a young, sweet looking maid named Hung Ti enters and claims to be here to take care of Lip Fung. As Lip Fung replies that he doesn't need a maid, the door is pushed open and enters Bo Ging Wan who was ordered by Hong Ba to bring medication to heal Lip Fung's wounds. Lip Fung recognizes him and quickly asks about his father, Lip Ren Wong, and Du Shuay. Bo Ging Wan, who normally doesn't like to speak much and is a lone-wolf, ignores Lip Fung's questions and just continues applying medication. Lip Fung repeatedly asks, triggering Bo Ging Wan's memory of the Cloud Pass Cave's terrifying incidence. As if in a trance, Bo Ging Wan claims that they're all dead and suddenly provoked by Lip Fung's question of what's inside the cave, starts strangling Lip Fung.

Tuern Suern, who was called in by the worried Hung Ti, quickly stops the mad Bo Ging Wan with swift jabs at several acupuncture points in the back, knocking Bo unconscious. Lip Fung is released from the choke hold and narrowly escaped a brush with death. Tuern Suern comforts Lip Fung on his father's death, claiming that Hong Ba had only wanted to "borrow" the sword and saber to look at and felt guilty about the tragedy. As compensation, Hong Ba is willing to teach Lip Fung his martial skills, being that they are now his new family.

* * * * * * * *

Tin Ha Clan:
Tin Ha Clan was established for ten or so years but under the supervision of the talented Hong Ba, sprung up in the martial world as one of the top clans of the top five. The headquarters is founded at the spectacular Tin (Heavenly) Mountain and became somewhat of a legend in the martial world. Tin Ha "Number One Building" is situated at the summit of the mountain and is also the residence of Hong Ba where only a selected few privileged enough could enter.

Dok Gu Yi Fong, the qualified leader of Mo Suern City, is of course one of the guests at Number One Building. Dok Gu Yi Fong quizzically asks Hong Ba why he accepted Lip Fung as his third disciple in a such a hurry--did he really feel guilty about Lip Ren Wong's death? Hong Ba laughs, noting that if he did, he would have taken Du Long as disciple too. Leading Dok Gu into his sitting room, Hong Ba claims that he would understand everything once there. Do Gu Yi Fong sees two wall calligraphy paintings with the words "The golden fish will not be trapped by a pond. Once wind and cloud is met, the dragon will transform" and queries for the meaning.

Hong Ba explains that these were the words of the prophetic Mud Buddha and that once he meets Wind and Cloud, the fish--meaning himself--will transform into a dragon and fly out of the pond into the nine skies. Lip Fung (Wind) added with his second disciple, Bo Ging Wan (Cloud) is exactly as predicted and his days of dominance should be near. Do Gu Yi Fong congratulates Hong Ba out loud but secretly worries about Hong Ba's worldly ambition and his own decision to unite Mo Suern City under Tin Ha Clan. Also noting that the Hong Ba, who usually relies on his own abilities, would be so superstitious, Do Gu Yi Fong wonders whether the Mud Buddha is really that powerful to be able to see and change someone's fate?

* * * * * * * *

Six Years Later: (Hong Ba monologue summarized)
In a short few years, Tin Ha Clan has risen to become the martial world's top clan. Under Tin Ha, the most talented and highest form of power were all at Hong Ba's hands--there is nothing left in the world that would shaken or surprise Hong Ba anymore. Yet today, an incidence did cause Hong Ba to be shaken. At a table before him is a bloody head. The head belongs to the now dead Dok Gu Yi Fong of Mo Suern City but that is not what has shaken Hong Ba because Hong had planned to rid of him sooner or later--those who dare oppose him will meet the same fate. The cause of his disbelief is the person who is standing before him now, whose whole body is covered in blood with a steely gaze. Compared to Tuern Suern, he is not as strategically intelligent and compared to Bo Ging Wan, his days at Tin Ha Clan were still short and his martial arts are certainly not as strong. Even comparing ability to grasp and learn martial arts, his were not best but Dok Gu Yi Fong's head was cut off single-handedly by him--certainly something to be proud of. Yet that is not even the main cause of Hong Ba's shock. What shocks Hong Ba is his own underestimation of this third disciple of his, Lip Fung, who killed someone whose powers were ten times stronger than Lip Fung's. Hong Ba had clearly underestimated Lip Fung's potential, causing Hong Ba to newly re-access his student.

* * * * * * * *

Another Six Years Later: (In Clear Sea's deep forests:)
A grandfather carrying some tree branches on his shoulders is walking in the forest with his granddaughter. The small granddaughter queries why today the normally peopled forest is suddenly without a single person and that she gets the feeling of many eyes watching her. The grandfather hushes her and hurries along. In the midst of the forest, they see a bonfire and an eerie-looking figure sitting next to it with a large three-legged caldron. The person is Dragon Sleeve (Long Zhao), the head of five students in "Swift Meaning Clan". A look of fear or shock passes through the grandfather's face and grabbing his granddaughter's hand, runs. Within a few steps, a man dragging the hand of a woman is seen advancing. The man is known as "Kongnam's Fist Hero", Fok Yin Tiet.

Fok Yin Tiet bargains with Dragon Sleeve, 125,00 taels (gold currency used in ancient China) plus his beloved wife for the Fire Monkey inside the caldron. Dragon Sleeve mocks that the woman is a lowly prostitute, almost worthless and a threatening view of his "Dragon Sleeve Sword" is seen from his arm. Fok Yin Tiet angrily asks how much his "Yin Tiet Fist" would be worth and charges up for a challenge. Dragon Sleeve stands up to meet the attack, revealing a very tall height of almost seven feet. He easily evades the fist attacks of Fok Yin Tiet and taunts his fists as useless. As they are fighting, a "Phoenix Dance Arrow" is drawn and pointed in Dragon Sleeve's direction in the midst of trees above the whole time--it's purposes unknown.

Fok Yin Tiet falls under Dragon Sleeve's blade. Dragon Sleeve's sneers that "Yin Tiet Fist" can't even compare to Tin Ha Clan's "Tin Suern (Heavenly Frost) Fist" used by Tuern Suern as he sees the advancement of Tuern Suern and his wife, Hung Ti. Dragon Sleeve scoffs that the famous Tuern Suern would also be interested in the Fire Monkey. Tuern Suern claims that a saying goes in the martial world--to see the Mud Buddha who has the ability to change one's fate, one must first obtain the Fire Monkey.

It turns out that there are a group of people hidden above the trees all around the forest, awaiting their chance to grab the Fire Monkey. Seeing that Tin Ha Clan is also interested in it, a feeling of fear and worry washed over them. The grandfather from before is seen running with his grandchild and two men jump out to block their path. One who's dressed in a yellow robe notes that the Mud Buddha is a masking genius and can change the looks of his face to escape detection. He orders the other man to check the whether the grandfather is not really the Mud Buddha in disguise. As the other man is about to comply, a draft of wind blows and a figure lands on top of the tree branches above the grandfather's shoulders. The yellow-robed man looks in fear and tells his follower to run instead.

The person came like a gust of wind and even the "Phoenix Dance Arrow" that had been watching high from above did not know when he came. The arrow is pulled tautly and pointed at the newcomer. Though it felt weightless when the person landed above the branches, the grandfather fell down in shock. Many pairs of eyes turned to look at the person who is Lip Fung, famous for his "(Fung Sun) Wind God Kicks". He lands gracefully on one leg on top of the caldron before Dragon Sleeve. Tuern Suern urges everyone to give up the Fire Monkey--that while the Mud Buddha can change someone's fate, by clashing against Tin Ha Clan for the Fire Monkey and making enemies with Tin Ha, even the Mud Buddha can't save them.

Years ago, Hong Ba had founded the Tin Ha Clan and established its position with three special skills: "Heavenly Frost Fist", "(Pai Wan) Sweeping Cloud Palm", and the "Wind God Kicks". These were separately taught to his three students who each are head of a division in Tin Ha Clan. Tuern Suern (Suern=Frost) of Heavenly Frost Division, Bo Ging Wan of Flying Cloud (Fei Wan) Division, and Lip Fung of Wind God Division are the three students who each specialize in a skill (Notice that the names of the skills all contain one same character as the name of the person who learned it--is it fate?).

Tuern Suern is the earliest student and is also the most trusted and loved student of Hong Ba. The affairs of Tin Ha Clan are mostly settled by him and a lot of administrative power is in his hands. It is also because of it that Tuern Suern is not as well-known in the martial world. The names of Bo Ging Wan and Lip Fung happen to be more notorious as they are out more on missions in the martial world. With the appearance of Lip Fung also here to acquire the Fire Monkey, the hopes of prospective captors are all instantly dashed.

Dragon Sleeve claims with contempt that just because Tin Ha Clan's name is prominent, that doesn't mean it can "cover the world with one hand" (chinese proverb: overpower/rule over everyone). Noting that Lip Fung's Wind God Kicks are known for it's speed, Dragon Sleeve declares that if Lip Fung can best the top five of his "Swift Meaning Clan", the Fire Monkey would be handed over. As he is speaking, the other four of the top five are seen surrounding Lip Fung at each corner.

Special clips from the comic translated and rendered by SPCNET. Click on the images below:

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