Friday, September 28, 2007


The Kungfu that ruled the night: Chapter 23

Chapter 23: The Eighteen Immortals

Prince Jin was furious by the way that things had turned out that evening. Instead of becoming the new emperor-to-be, he now had to fight to ensure his survival. One false step would be the end of him. However, the game was not over yet.

“Are there any loose ends that we have not thought of?” asked the Seventh Prince. “Any of your men still unaccounted for?”

“Just one,” answered Prince Jin. “One of my men, Red Wind, is staying at the Small Shibai Inn. He usually travels with me. If the Emperor’s troops find him, they will know that I am in Shibai.”

“We should go and get him,” remarked the Seventh Prince.

Prince Jin nodded. They hurried to the Small Shibai Inn and one of Prince Jin’s men was sent in to get Red Wind out. Red Wind was surprised to see Prince Jin waiting outside the inn in the shadows with a group pf people.

“What is happening?” asked Red Wind.

“Don’t ask questions! Just follow me!” snapped Prince Jin.

Together they made their way to the Bamboo Villa in the outskirts. Blackface hobbled along with his injured foot. His sliced off toe was still inside his shoe and he was trailing blood. Finally, it became too painful to walk and one of the men had to carry him.

At the Bamboo Villa, the Seventh Prince pointed to Master Sun Cheong and told everybody, “Ah Cheong is in charge of this Bamboo Villa. Should you have need of anything, please ask him.”

Blackface had been with Chui La Pah when the Flute Master defeated Sun Cheong. However, he now did not recognize the face of Sun Cheong because it had been scarred. Sun Cheong quickly allocated sleeping arrangements for everybody. Blackface had his foot looked at by someone in the villa. He had a shock on seeing his foot missing a big toe. He muttered curses as the foot was bandaged.

As the men were settling in, the Seventh Prince had a short conversation with Prince Jin and Phoenix in the hall. He told them, “Now, the only thing left to do is to find the One Eye Snake and get rid of him!”

“Who is this One Eye Snake?” asked Phoenix.

“We do not know,” replied the Seventh Prince. “Even the Emperor does not know. However, he appeared to know a lot about the affairs of Prince Jin. He told the Emperor that Prince Jin was involved with the assassination attempt and had help from inside the palace! Now the Emperor wishes to talk to him. General Foh has been given the task of finding him. We do not know how much that the One Eye Snake knows, but if he is found, then I bet that we will all be in big trouble!”

“It is of utmost importance that we kill off the One Eye Snake before he can be found by General Foh,” remarked Prince Jin.

“How are we going to kill him?” asked Phoenix. “If he can kill sifu, then he obviously has superior kungfu. Perhaps he can’t be killed!”

“There is no such thing as a man who cannot be killed,” remarked Prince Jin. “All I need to know is the location where he is and then I will arrange for him to be killed.”

“Who will you send after him?” asked Phoenix, mystified. “Who is good enough to do the job?”

“The Eighteen Immortals,” replied Prince Jin. “They can hunt down any man and get rid of him.”

“The Eighteen Immortals?” asked Phoenix in awe. “How are you going to hire them?”

She had heard of the legendary Eighteen Immortals. They were a much-feared shadowy group of vicious spearmen on horses. They seldom killed, but when they did, their prey was usually some top kungfu master that could not be killed by others. Once a kungfu master got on the hit list of the Eighteen Immortals, there would be no escape. The prey always ended up perforated and then dismembered. The Seventh Prince too, had heard of the Eighteen Immortals.

“I have heard that the Eighteen Immortals cannot be hired,” said the Seventh Prince. “They have no master. Nobody knows why they kill. But when they do, the result is already guaranteed.”

“They are already here, camped outside Shibai and ready to do my bidding,” said Prince Jin. “I have known them for a long time and they have promised to do one kill for me. Now all we need to know is how to find this elusive One Eye Snake!”

The Seventh Prince was surprised. Why would the shadowy Eighteen Immortals be camped outside Shibai? His uncle must have some unknown plans for them. Now, with the Flute Master gone, his uncle would use the Eighteen Immortals against the One Eye Snake.

“How are we going to find this One Eye Snake?” he asked. “If only we know what he looks like. The only thing that we know about him is that he has a short bow.”

“Short bow? Did you say that he has a short bow?” asked Phoenix.

“Yes,” said the young prince. “Have you seen one?”

“Yes,” she replied. “Two days ago, my sifu killed a young carriage driver who was travelling with a woman. We checked his carriage and found a short bow. But we left it alone.”

“If your sifu had already killed him, then he could not have been the One Eye Snake,” noted Prince Jin.

“That is true!” agreed Phoenix.

At that moment, Red Wind came into the hall. He looked at Phoenix and smiled.

Phoenix smiled back. “Brother Red Wind!” she called. “Have you seen anybody in town with a short bow?”

"Funny that you should ask,” he replied. “There was one such person staying at the Small Shibai Inn. He had a short bow. More suitable for a boy than a man. I saw him leaving the inn just before sundown and I assumed that he was going to do some night hunting.”

“Who was this man?” asked Prince Jin excitedly.

“I don’t know,” answered Red Wind. “Some small time travelling trader, perhaps.”

“Perhaps we can send some people to the Small Shibai Inn to see what kind of qualifications this person has,” suggested the Seventh Prince.

“I don’t think he is there anymore,” said Red Wind. “At the inn, my room had a window that opened out to the back where the horses were kept. I could not sleep, so I looked out of my window. I saw the man with the short bow in the moonlight hitching a horse to his carriage. It was strange that anybody would leave an inn at night. Even with the full moon, travelling would not be easy. That man must be crazy. Definitely crazy.”

"Goinng out to hunt just before sundown. Then leaving the inn in a hurry. That sounds like the man we are looking for!" cried Prince Jin excitedly. “Can you recognize his face if you see him again?”

“I never saw his face,” replied Red Wind. "I saw only his back the first time he walked past me with his short bow. The second time I saw him, it was night and the moonlight was not bright enough for me to see his face clearly. Anyway, it was not my business if he wanted to carry a short bow."

"You never saw his face? Oh no!" said Phoenix. "Do you know which direction he went?"

"Well, I commented about the short bow to the inn waiter and he told me that the man was asking about the road conditions to the south. So I guess he must be heading south," replied Red Wind. He enjoyed looking at Phoenix. She had nice curves. He gave her a broad smile.

Prince Jin noticed that Red Wind was paying close attention to Phoenix. He said coldly, "Don't you have something to do? Leave us."

Red Wind bowed and left.

"That man has served you for many years. Yet you don't appear to trust him, do you?" the Seventh Prince asked his uncle.

"No," replied Prince Jin. “Red Wind is useful in some ways. However, he sometimes asks too many questions."

“Why do you keep him around you then?” asked the younger prince. “Because of his fighting skills?”

“His fighting skills are good, but not good enough to take down a top kungfu master,” replied Prince Jin. “His specialty is in lightness kungfu. Thus he is able to get to places that some of my other men cannot. I use him to run errands for me mostly. He is quite reliable when used in that manner.”

Phoenix listened quietly at the side. She had been intimate with both Red Wind and Prince Jin and she mentally compared their vast difference in character.

The Seventh Prince then said, "Now that we know that the One Eye Snake is heading south in a carriage, he should be easy to find. There is only one road south from Shibai. A carriage will not be able to travel very fast. A team of fast riders should be able to catch up with our quarry before sundown tomorrow."

"You are right,” said Prince Jin. “I will send the Eighteen Immortals after him in the morning. There cannot be that many carriages travelling along the south road. But if for some reason, the man manages to elude the Eighteen Immortals, then I want to know about it fast. I need to have some means of communications set up along the route.”

“Pigeons,” remarked the Seventh Prince. “I have a roost of homing pigeons here. I will have a man follow the Eighteen Immortals with a cage of pigeons. Whether the Eighteen Immortals succeed or fail in their mission, a pigeon should bring the news to us.”

Prince Jin instantly became wary. His young nephew was much more prepared than he had anticipated. He would have to be careful, very careful. A wrong move would mean the end of his ambitions.

A swordsman was called to the presence of the Seventh Prince.

“This swordsman here is called the Birdman,” said the young prince to his uncle. “He will be responsible for sending news to us along the way. Please instruct him what to do.”

“Good,” said Prince Jin as he addressed the Birdman. “You will follow a group of spearmen south in the morning. Their job is to kill a man known as the One Eye Snake. Your job is to send news to us using your pigeons on whatever happened. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” replied the Birdman. “But what if the One Eye Snake kill your men?”

“Then you will follow the One Eye Snake to let us know the direction that he is heading,” answered Prince Jin. “Your job is only to observe from afar and send us news. You are to protect your homing pigeons and take no part in the fighting. Is that clear?”

“Yes,” replied the Birdman. “My job is only to observe and send news. I understand perfectly.”

“Good,” said Prince Jin. He dismissed the Birdman and then told the Seventh Prince. “We will get the One eye Snake before General Foh. If General Wan cannot find the disciples of Chui La Pah, General Tu cannot find me and General Foh cannot find the One Eye Snake, then the Emperor will not be able to do much to prevent us from carrying out the next stage of our plans.”

“Of course!” agreed the Seventh Prince. “But I must get back to the Summer Palace before I am missed.”

“Tell your mother to await my good news,” said Prince Jin.

+ + + + + +

Wen Yiji looked at the sleeping form of Shi Mei sleeping in the carriage. She was exhausted but not dehydrated. They had stopped the carriage about ten li from Shibai and parked the carriage beside a shallow stream. He decided that they would cross the stream only in the morning. During the carriage ride, they had exchanged stories on what had happened to them during the past few days.

Looking at her, Wen Yiji marveled at the manner that she had escaped from the dangers she had been in. Not many people would be able to escape from the Pool of the Devil fish. On top of that, she could have discovered the final resting place of the last of the mythical ten white beasts. It was an amazing story. He thought back at the time when he first met her near the Yellow River. A smile crept to his face as he remembered how she had poked the ass of his horse with three acupuncture needles.

“Zheng Shi Mei,” he murmured. “You are truly one of a kind!”

Quietly, he settled down cross-legged to do a spot of meditation.

In the morning, he woke up to find himself curled up against Shi Mei inside the carriage. Her hand was somewhere between his legs. Heck, he had forgotten that he should put on two pairs of underwear when Shi Mei was around. In her sleep, she moved her hands. He stiffened and remained unmoving.

Some time later, she got up, stretched herself and then realized where she was.

“Good morning, brother Wen,” she greeted as she turned around to look at him. She could not see him fully as he was half invisible.

“Good morning,” he responded. “Did you have a good sleep?”

“Yes,” she replied. “But I had the strangest dream. I dreamt that I was going to start training on my swordplay. So I tried to pull out a sword from the scabbard. I grabbed the handle of the sword and pulled at it, but try as I might, it would not come out from the scabbard.”

“Maybe it was not the handle of a sword that you were grabbing,” he suggested, glad that he was semi-invisible and so she could not see his morning erection.

“Oh, it was a sword handle all right. I pulled…then I pushed….then pulled….then pushed. My hand was like going up, down, up, down, up, down all the time. I must have been doing that for a hundred times but the handle remained stuck. So odd! I wonder what the dream meant!”

“It meant that a couple more pulls and a solution would have emerged spontaneously,” mumbled Wen Yiji, grinning naughtily in his shroud of invisibility.

“I have the feeling that the dream is related to something important,” she said. “Really important!”

“Never mind. Wait a while for me to find the acupuncture needles so that I can turn fully visible,” he said. He wanted to delay doing that as he wanted to wait for his erection to subside before turning visible.

“Okay,” she responded. “Brother Wen, can you concentrate on your ribs area on your right? Just under the second rib from the bottom, you should feel an energy that does not appear to move.”

Wen Yiji concentrated for a while and then he said, “Goodness, you are right! How do you know that?”

“Describe its shape to me, please.”

“It is round. I can feel it.”

“I would like you to mentally twist it,” she instructed.

“How?” he asked in puzzlement.

“Just mentally will it to turn as if you are actually turning it.”

Wen Yiji did as was told. Then he asked, “What is suppose to happen?”

“Did you do as I asked you to?”

“Yes I did.”

“Hmmmm…….now turn it the other way.”

“You mean as in the opposite direction?”

“Yes, done it.”

There was a silence as Shi Mei looked at where Wen Yiji’s torso was supposed to be.

“Are you sure that you are really twisting that ball of energy?” asked Shi Mei.

“Ball? What ball?” asked a perplexed Yiji. “It is more like round mushroom shape.”

“Mushroom shape?” asked Shi Mei. “Mushroom shape…mushroom shape…..the dream….there was a mushroom shape thing on top of the handle that I was trying to pull. Yes. Okay, brother Wen. I want you to mentally pull up that mushroom shape. Pull it upwards!”

There was a pause.

“Done that,” said Yiji. “Now do you mind telling me what it is all about?”

“In a moment,” said Shi Mei, still staring at the semi-invisible man. “Now let’s try pushing that energy downwards.”

Wen Yiji sighed but he did as Shi Mei instructed. He turned fully visible the next moment, much to his astonishment.

“Whoa!” he cried. “What happened?”

“It worked! Yes! Yes!” cried Shi Mei excitedly. “I knew the wierd dream must mean something!”

“I don’t understand! What did I do?” he asked.

“You have found a way to turn your visibility back on without using an acupuncture needle!” exclaimed Shi Mei excitedly. “Now try to become invisible again!”


“By mentally willing it upwards as if you are pulling on it.”

He did as instructed and immediately he turned semi-invisible again.

“Hey!” he exclaimed. “This thing works both ways! You are a genius!”

“I know! I know!” she beamed in uncharacteristic fashion. “Try it a few more times and see!”

Wen Yiji excitedly turned his visibility on and off several dozen times while Shi Mei watched. He was ecstatic. Finally, the curse of invisibility was possible to control!

Seeing how happy he was, Shi Mei felt contented.

“That mushroom of energy is like a switch. A push-pull switch. Push to ‘on’ your visibility. Pull to ‘off’,” she explained. “It’s an ON/OFF switch.”

“An ON/OFF switch!” he said excitedly. “I do not know what that term means, but it works! How did you know what to do?”

“The Ghost Ninja,” she explained. “While I was treating him for sleep disorder, I felt his energy pattern. I knew that it was somewhat different from the energy pattern of other people. It was while I was falling towards the Pool of the Devil fish that a flash came to me. He had a sphere-shaped still energy beneath the second rib. I sensed that it must somehow be connected to the ability to turn his visibility on and off. If he had a sphere of energy beneath the second rib, I reasoned that you would have one too!”

“But mine was mushroom shaped!”

“That is correct!” explained Shi Mei. “You had the ability to turn only half-invisible. So your energy pattern there would be a hemisphere instead of a full sphere! And a hemisphere is roughly the shape of a mushroom head! My initial idea was that you should try to twist that energy. When that twisting action did not work, I remembered the dream that I had when I was pulling at the sword handle. In my dream, I had felt a mushroom head at the top of the handle! A nice, big and round mushroom head! And my hand was going up and down. It suddenly occurred to me that perhaps an up-down action might do the trick! And it worked!”

Wen Yiji stared at Shi Mei in wonderment and uttered, “Wa lau eh! Like that also got! You are a genius!”

“Never underestimate the power of dreams!” she laughed happily. “I knew that dream meant something! It felt so real!”

Wen Yiji kept quiet. He did not trust himself to speak. His loins were on fire. If he did not marry her soon, he would erupt. Hurriedly, he got the carriage ready and they resumed their journey.

On passing through a small hamlet, they purchased some food for the journey. At midday, they pulled into the woods by the side of the road to have their lunch.

It was a leisurely lunch. The weather was good and the birds were singing. Nothing else mattered. Wen Yiji showed Shi Mei the flute that he had confiscated from the Flute Master.

“So this is the flute that can kill!” she exclaimed. “It looks quite ordinary.”

“Do not underestimate this flute,” said Wen Yiji. “In the right hands, it can kill. I almost died from it once.”

“If this flute is so powerful, then anyone who gets his hands on it will become a powerful person indeed.”

“That may not happen,” he explained. “The devil sounds that this flute produces will kill off the flute player himself.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because I tried playing it myself. I blew a note and then I almost fainted from the devilish sounds!”

“Yet the Flute Master could play it.”

“Yes, he must have some method to suppress the effects of the devilish sounds in his body.”

“You could be right,” Shi Mei nodded. “My theory is that….”

“Your theory will have to wait,” said Wen Yiji. “I need to go to the toilet immediately.”

Wen Yiji walked some distance and found a convenient tree. Standing behind the tree, he peed.


“This is as much nutrition as I can give you,” he told the tree. “Grow well!”

Just as he tied back his pants, he felt a vibration in the air.

“The flute! Some one is blowing the flute! Shi Mei!” he swore.

He rushed to his carriage. Some distance away, he saw Shi Mei lying on the ground.

“Shi Mei! Shi Mei!” he shouted as he sped to the girl. “Talk to me!”

“Stop shouting in my ear, brother Wen,” said Shi Mei weakly. “And you were right. This thing affects the flute player as well! I almost fainted.”

“What do you think you are doing?” he scolded. “This thing can kill you!”

“I wanted to experiment,” she gasped. “I wanted to know how it affects the human body. I think I know now how to block its effects!”

“Well, you are not experimenting any more!” he thundered. “I should destroy this flute!”

“No, wait!” she pleaded. “Don’t destroy it! Who knows if it will come in useful one day!”

“All right,” he growled. “But don’t go near it again!”

He looked around her. There were birds and squirrels that had crashed onto the ground because of the Sounds of Hell from the flute. He said, “I think you had an environmental impact on anything living within several steps.”

“Twelve,” she said. “The range was twelve steps. I know because a bird flew into range and started crashing down. It was as if it froze in mid-flight.”

Wen Yiji watched as the birds and the squirrels picked themselves up from the ground and went along their merry way. It was time that Yiji made a move as well. He tucked the flute in a corner of the carriage and then he resumed the journey with Shi Mei. Except for a slight woozy feeling, she was all right from the experiment.

Some distance behind the carriage, a group of men on horseback were riding fast. The Eighteen Immortals had been mobilized by Prince Jin in the morning. They rode hard and impatiently, raising a cloud of dust behind them. Riding behind them and breathing their dust was the Birdman with his cage of pigeons. He held the cage in one hand as he rode. He was unable to ride as fast as the Eighteen Immortals. Too high a speed would send the pigeons dashing against the walls of the cage resulting in the death of the birds. Thus, the Eighteen Immortals frequently had to stop to allow the Birdman to catch up. They did not like it one bit.

The Birdman stared at their backs and grumbled, “Look at them go. Like a pack of vicious wolves hungry for a kill! There is no necessity to go so fast just to chase after one stupid carriage! Ta ma de.”

Looking at them, he was chilled by their fluid movements. It was as if all eighteen of them moved as one and that they knew what each other was about to do. Master Sun Cheong had warned him not to get in the way of the Eighteen Immortals. He hoped that they would get to their quarry soon.

Meanwhile, the gap between Wen Yiji and his pursuers grew closer.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Mid autumn festival last night

Last night was the Mid Autumn festival. For some reason, my dog was happy. It ran round and round the garden, much to the amusement of Hot Babe. For one brief moment, I thought that it had too much mooncake.

Watching the lanterns last night under the full moon reminded me of the Swordsman Wu literature (Lantern Tales) that I wrote two years ago. Two years! Oh my… time flies! Since then, I haven’t really written much about cultural history. Never mind. If not for me, no one would know why we carry lanterns during the Mid Autumn Festival. Still, I don't think that the Chinese authorities will give me any credit for recording this piece of valuable history. But, it's okay. They don't know any better.

I have still some mooncake left in the fridge. I should finish it.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Random post

Today’s random topic is on bungee jumping.


‘Coz it’s a random topic.


‘Coz it doesn’t make sense.

A guy jumps off the high end and is jerked back and forth on a string. It sounds like something that your boss might do to you. Jerk you back and forth. Like a yo-yo.
And after that, you check to see if you shitted in your pants.

Stupid sport. At least with your boss, you got paid for getting jerked around. And you can take your revenge during work hours by fantasizing yourself screwing his ass, his wife, or his camel. Whichever looks the most appealing to you. But please spare me the lurid details.

My wuxia story chapters have been getting longer and longer. In the old days, when I wrote the Li Daifu story, I used to write roughly 5 pages per chapter. Today, I am using something like 12-15 pages. Chapter 22 was 16 pages and before that, Chapter 21 was 19 pages long. I knew there was a reason why my chapters were slowing down. I wasn’t writing slower. I was just writing more!


Thursday, September 20, 2007


The Kungfu That Ruled The Night - Chapter 22

Chapter 22: The night of the full moon

The Seventh Prince was hiding restlessly in his room when the music recitals started. Tension filled him to the brim and he wondered if Chui La Pah was really able to kill with his flute as Sun Cheong claimed. When he suddenly felt a slight unexplained vibration of evil in the air, he somehow sensed that it was the Flute Master's doing. He did not hear anything. He only experienced a sudden feeling of unease. As he was far out of range of the Devil Flute, he had nothing to worry about. Closing his eyes, he settled down in his hiding place to allow the Flute Master to kill his family off for him.

After a while, he heard people shouting in the distance. The evil vibration was no more.

"Everybody has already died!" he thought. "That must be the shouting of soldiers discovering the dead bodies. I am the new Emperor! Yes!"

He waited for a while, just in case the Flute Master was still around. Then, when he felt that it was safe to do so, he got out of the room and made his way to the courtyard cautiously.

A soldier hurried by and the prince stopped him.

"What is happening?" asked the prince.

"Oh, Prince!" said the soldier. "You are alive!"

"Of course I am alive! Now tell me what is going on!"

“Prince! There has been a terrible calamity at the Full Moon party! There was an assassin who came with a flute. Almost everybody there died! The only survivors were some concubines and eunuchs who were at the back row!”

“That's not a calamity," thought the prince to himself. "So I am the Emperor now! The first thing that I will do as the new Emperor is to legalize some banned substances! And I should start collecting my harem. Yes! No girls above the age of fifteen need apply!”

“The other princes all died!” said the soldier.

“I will arrange three days of mourning for them,” said the Seventh Prince.

“Many eunuchs died!”

“I will have the other eunuchs take over their duties.”

“Many of your father’s concubines died!”

“I will personally service those who are still alive.”

“Your father, the Emperor, was the target of the assassin.”

“I’ll better prepare a larger place to house all those concubines.”

“The assassin is dead.”

“I’ll arrange three days of mourning for him as well.”


“Oh, okay, thirty days of mourning.”

“For the assassin?”

“No, for my father. Didn’t you say that the Emperor was dead?”

“No, I said that the assassin is dead! The Emperor is now organizing the generals!” said the soldier.

“What? The Emperor is still alive?” asked the prince stupidly.

“Yes!” replied the soldier. “Isn’t that a relief?”

The prince was shocked for a moment. He was too stunned to offer a reply to the soldier. As the soldier rushed off, the raw truth hit the Seventh Prince that he was not the new Emperor. It was a moment before he could compose his thoughts. Then he hurried towards the pavilion where the Full Moon party was held. He had to pass through the great hall on his way. The hall was getting noisy by then as soldiers ran into the hall to try to get a glimpse of the dead Flute Master.

“Dead assassin! Shot in the ear!” shouted one soldier. "In one ear, out the other!"

The Seventh Prince paused in his steps, and then went to take a look. He was shocked at the sight of Chui La Pah, shot from ear to ear. There did not appear to be any wounds on the body as far as he could tell.

“Is this the assassin?” the prince asked a nearby soldier.

“Yes!” came the answer.

“Who shot him?” asked the prince.

“The One Eye Snake!” the soldier replied.

“The what?” roared a disbelieving prince.

“The One Eye Snake!” said the soldier again. “That is what everybody says!”

The Seventh Prince decided that he could not get any decent answers from lowly soldiers. He would have to ask somebody of higher rank. Suddenly, he though of his mother. Quickly he went out of the hall. Under the light of the full moon, he could see bodies on the ground. He ran around the bodies, wondering which one was that of his mother.

“Mother!” he yelled. “Mother!”

Kau peh kau bu for what? Come over here!” his mother called out. He turned and saw his mother talking quietly to a eunuch in a corner. The Seventh Prince joined them. Under the light of the full moon, he could see that the eunuch was one of his mother’s spies in the palace.

“Eunuch Chua. Tell my son what you have just told me,” requested Concubine Lin.

“The Emperor survived the assassination attempt because he was saved by a masked man called the One Eye Snake, who shot the flutist with an arrow,” said the eunuch in a whisper. “No one knows who this masked man was, but I think he had a short conversation with the Emperor. The masked man disappeared just before the generals from the garrison outside rushed to the hall on hearing sounds of eunuchs wailing. However, before the One Eye Snake left, he informed the Emperor that the assassination attempt had help from inside the palace!”

“No!” whispered the Seventh Prince in pretended shock. “Which lowly traitor could have helped the assassin?”

“We don’t know yet!” whispered back the eunuch. “But I was in the hall when Royal daifus came to help the Emperor back to his quarters to rest. Just before he left, he gave instructions to the generals who had rushed there. The Emperor instructed General Wan to go to the Green Gate Inn and arrest everybody there! The disciples of the flutist are hiding in that inn, it seems. General Tu was instructed to go and bring Prince Jin in for questioning!"

“Oh,” said the prince. “The Emperor suspects Prince Jin?”

“Yes,” replied Eunuch Chua. “The Emperor learned some very strange facts from the One Eye Snake. He wished to learn more, but unfortunately the masked man had already disappeared. The Emperor did not know the identity of this One Eye Snake. He only knew that the man carried a short bow and seemed to know a lot about the plot. The Emperor now has a great desire to talk with the One Eye Snake again, so he delegated the job of finding the unknown person to General Foh.”

“I see,” commented the prince. “And what is General Three doing?”

“There is no General Three,” replied the eunuch. “There are only Generals Wan, Tu and Foh. Not Wan, Tu, Three, Foh.”

“Will you stop asking stupid questions?” Concubine Lin admonished her son. She thanked the eunuch and sent him off.

When the eunuch had gone, the seventh Prince whispered to his mother, “This is bad! The Emperor suspects something!”

“What is so bad?" asked his mother. "You are alive, I am alive, the other princes are dead, Chui La Pah is dead and you are next in line to be emperor! This is good, very good!”

“Ya, hor! But if Prince Jin is arrested, he may finger us!”

"We will have to prevent that! Go to Prince Jin's mansion and tell him to leave quickly! Some of the ministers know that he has a mansion in Shibai. It is only a matter of time before General Tu finds the mansion. Get him safely to our Bamboo Villa. It is secluded. No one knows that it belongs to us. He'll be safe there."

"Yes, and we can have Sun Cheong kill him there!"

"No, we still need Prince Jin to kill off the missing Fifth Prince.”

“His man, Chui La Pah is dead. What can he possibly do now?”

“Prince Jin does not keep all his eggs in one basket. If he employed Chui La Pah, you can bet that he would have killers to take down Chui La Pah if the Flute Master turned disloyal to him. Do not underestimate your uncle! He uses different people for different jobs. Let's keep him alive until the Fifth Prince is killed.”

“Yes, mother.”

“Now that most of the princes are dead, Prince Jin will be tempted to kill you. Before you go to see him, you would be wise to get Master Sun Cheong to accompany you."

"Of course! General Wan is going to the Green Gate Inn. Should we do something about that?"

"No," replied Concubine Lin. "I think the Emperor got his information wrong. Chui La Pah stayed at the Red Lantern Inn, not the Green Gate Inn. Just concentrate on Prince Jin and get everybody to the Bamboo Villa."

"Yes, mother!" said the prince before hurrying off.

The Seventh Prince rode his horse hard and reached the Bamboo Villa at the outskirts of Shibai. He called Sun Cheong and briefed him very quickly on what had occurred at the Summer Palace. Together, they rode to Prince Jin's mansion.

+ + + + + +

Prince Jin was under Phoenix and groaning in pleasure. His eyes were closed and he thrusted upwards to meet each of Phoenix's downstroke. It was their second lovemaking for the day. The second time was even better than the first. Slow and unhurried, they concentrated on making the pleasure last.

A knock came on the door. He did not hear it but Phoenix did. Immediately, she thought that her sifu had returned. Swiftly, she lifted her body off him and his upstrokes were performed on empty air. He opened his eyes to find out why he was pumping the air above him.

“Hey!” he cried. “Where did the pussy go?”

“Someone is at the door!” she whispered.

The knocking came again, louder this time.

“Who the hell is it?” shouted Prince Jin in anger. If there was one thing that he did not like, it was shagus interruptus.

“Master,” a voice at the door shouted. “There are two men at the gate who wish to speak to you. I think one of them is the Seventh Prince! They say that the flute player is dead!”

“What?” gasped a stunned Phoenix.

“What?” gasped a stunned Prince Jin as well. In a rush, he jumped into his clothes and hurried out, leaving Phoenix still dressing.

The two men at the gate were invited in. Prince Jin recognized one of them as his nephew, the Seventh Prince. The other man had a scar on the face and did not look familiar.

“Good evening, uncle,” greeted the Seventh Prince.

“Good evening,” greeted back Prince Jin. “This is unexpected. May I ask what brings you here at this late hour?”

“I bring sad news to you, uncle,” answered the younger prince. “Your man, Chui La Pah is dead. He was supposed to be at the Full Moon party so that he could find out what the princes looked like. Those were your instructions, were they not?”

“Of course!” lied Prince Jin. “He was supposed to just look and do nothing else.”

“Well, he blew on his flute, and the next thing we knew, a lot of people had died, including my brothers.”

“Are you sure?” asked Prince Jin. “If that was true, you would have died as well!”

“Uncle, I was not at the party,” said the Seventh Prince. “I had a hunting accident this afternoon, so I was excused from attending.”

“Oh…..” muttered Prince Jin. “What about your mother?”

“She almost lost her life. Luckily she was not that near to Chiu La Pah when it happened.”

“And the Emperor?”

“Alive as well. His bodyguards rushed him to the hall. Chui La Pah followed and was then killed by an arrow to the head.”

“This sounds so unbelievable! You are not fooling with me, are you?”

“This is too serious a matter to fool with, uncle. The Emperor now knows that you are involved! He has sent men to bring you to him for interrogation. My mother sent me here to warn you to go into hiding while she figured out what to do.”

“You must be drunk. No one knows of my involvement!”

”I am not drunk, uncle. Chui La Pah was killed by a masked man called the One Eye Snake, who informed the Emperor that it was Prince Jin who conspired to have Chui La Pah play the flute at the Full Moon party. The Emperor is now organising the investigation. A team of men have been sent to the Green Gate Inn to bring in Chui La Pah’s disciples for questioning.”

“What masked man? What One Eye Snake? I have never heard of him, and he could not have known that I have anything to do with Chui La Pah being at the Full Moon party. Besides, Chui La Pah and his disciples were staying in the Red Lantern Inn. Not the Green Gate Inn! Your story does not ring true!”

“You think that I would want to come here at night if I did not think that we are in danger? The Emperor is now seeking to question anybody who has anything to do with Chui La Pah. My mother instructed me to get you and Chui La Pah’s disciples to somewhere safe. As long as the Emperor is unable to get a witness to question, we have nothing to fear! It will be the word of the masked man against us. And the good thing is, the Emperor does not even know the identity of the masked man!”

Prince Jin cursed inwardly at the way events had turned out. He was not sure if he could trust the words of the Seventh Prince. It could be a trap! However, he doubt if the Seventh Prince had the mental capacity to even conceive of a trap.

At that moment, Phoenix appeared. Prince Jin introduced her to the Seventh Prince.

“Phoenix,” said Prince Jin. “The Seventh Prince says that your sifu is dead!”

“Sifu dead?” cried Phoenix. “No! Please say that it is not true!”

“Yes, it is true, I am afraid,” said the Seventh Prince. “He played his flute and killed a lot of people in the Summer Palace. But he was killed by an arrow.”

“Did you see his body?” asked Phoenix, testing the prince. “Was it an arrow through the heart?”

“No, it was an arrow to the head,” explained the Seventh Prince. “It went inside one ear and came out of the other ear. There did not appear to be any other wounds on his body.”

“That sounds very far fetched,” remarked Prince Jin.

“No,” said Phoenix in shock. “That was one of the few ways by which my sifu could be killed. My dead husband once told me a secret. He told me that my sifu’s skin was so thick that no arrow could penetrate it. The Seventh Prince could be speaking the truth.”

“The Emperor is now seeking to question the disciples of Chui La Pah,” said the Seventh Prince. “He has dispatched a team of men to the Green Gate Inn. My mother and uncle both told me that Chui La Pah was staying at the Red Lantern Inn. We will have to go to the Red Lantern Inn and get the disciples out of there.”

“Oh no!” cried Phoenix. “My senior brothers, Whiteface and Blackface are staying at the Green Gate Inn!”

“What?” roared Prince Jin. “You all stayed in different inns?”

“Yes, we did!” answered Phoenix.

Prince Jin was stunned into silence for a while. He was now convinced that the Seventh Prince was not bluffing. The situation was bad, really bad. He was supposed to be the new Emperor. Now, he had to fight for survival.

Finally, he said, “We cannot allow any among us to fall into the hands of the Emperor. We will go to the Green Gate Inn and quickly get your senior brothers out of there!”

“And after that, you cannot come back here anymore,” added the Seventh Prince. “Uncle, it is best that the Emperor does not know that you are in Shibai. My mother thinks that some of the ministers may know about this place you have here. It will be a matter of time before the Emperor finds out. Then he will surely send a team of men here to search the place upside down. I have a villa on the outskirts that no one knows of. You can use it as a safe house for the moment.”

Prince Jin nodded. He would need to kill just three more people to become the next Emperor: the Seventh Prince, the Fifth Price and the Emperor. He would have to come up with fresh plans. Meanwhile, he would have to stay out of the Emperor’s clutches. He was a prince. Even his brother, the Emperor, would not move aggressively against him without material proof or human witnesses. It irked him that he needed the help of the Seventh Prince in the mean time.

+ + + + + +

Shi Mei had wandered into Shibai just before nightfall. She was tired and hungry and her horse could use some rest. She checked her finances. There were only a few small pieces of silver sewn in the folds of her clothes. These were her emergency funds. They would not be enough if she had to take a long journey. She did not know where to go or what to do next.

The first two inns that she went to, she discovered that the prices of food and a room were too much for what she could afford. In the darkness, she led her horse in search of a cheaper place to stay. Finally, she gave up.

“It is too dark to go around searching for a cheap place to stay. Looks like I will have to stay at whatever is available,” she thought to herself.

A light on the street beckoned to her. It was an inn that did not look very big. She led her horse there and tethered it outside. Entering the inn, she asked for some food. She decided that she would ask if they had a bed that she could use only after she had eaten. Sometimes, a small inn proprietor would let customers sleep in the kitchen for free.

The food came and she ate. She was hungry and had to resist the temptation to wolf down the food all at once.

Suddenly two men appeared before her. One of them spoke, “This must be the girl that we saw the other day!”

“No, brother Whiteface,” said the other man. “It is not the same girl. This one has slightly bigger breasts!”

“Are you sure, brother Blackface?” asked Whiteface. “They look the same size to me!”

Shi Mei looked up and was shocked to see both Whiteface and Blackface leering at her. She recognized them as the ones who threw her into the pool of the Devil Fish. Coldly, she stared back at them.

“It is the same girl!” declared Whiteface. “I recognize the clothes she was wearing!”

Shi Mei regained her composure and said, “Excuse me……have we met before? I am trying to eat here. Do you mind not blocking the view?”

“Why have you not died yet?” asked Whiteface.

“I do not know what you are talking about,” said Shi Mei, pretending not to know them. “And another thing….I do not talk to strangers.”

“How is it that you are here at the Green Gate Inn of Shibai?” asked Whiteface.

“I am here because I was supposed to meet my sister in this town,” replied Shi Mei. “Not that it is any of your business!”

“Does you sister look like you?” asked Blackface.

“Of course!” she answered. “She is my twin sister.”

“Ahhhh……” said Blackface. “That explains it. Well, I wish to inform you that your twin sister will not be joining you.”

“Why?” asked Shi Mei innocently. “Did something happen to her?”

Whiteface rebuked Blackface, “Shut up! Don’t simply anyhow say things!”

Blackface ignored him and asked Shi Mei, “Miss, I think it will be better if you join me for a meal so that we can get to know each other better.”

“Listen,” said Shi Mei. “I am not that kind of girl.”

“Of course not,” said Blackface. “I am not implying that you are very cheap or anything like that! I am willing to pay good money for a good time.”

“No! Now leave me alone!” said Shi Mei.

“I still think that she is the same girl,” said Whiteface to Blackface. “We will hold her until sifu gets here. Then we will let sifu decide what to do with her.”

“What for?” asked Blackface. “I can decide what to do with her!”

“I am the senior brother here!” said Whiteface. “In sifu’s absence, I decide!”

“You think you are very big, is it?” asked Blackface. He hated to be lorded over by his senior brother.

“Are you going to hold her or not?” demanded an exasperated Whiteface.

“Of course!” answered Blackface. That was something that he had been itching to do. He shot out his hand and grabbed Shi Mei by the arm and pulled her to her feet.

“Let me go!” she yelled.

Two drunks who were imbibing wine at the table at the far end of the dining hall got up. One of them shouted, “Hey, you! Let the girl go! Broad daylight also you do this sort of thing! No shame, arh, you?”

“Mind your own business!” Whiteface shouted back.

Shi Mei screamed, but her scream was cut off by Blackface’s left hand clamped over her mouth.

“Scream one more time and you will find this in your ribs,” warned Blackface. He held a dagger with his right hand. Shi Mei looked downwards. The tip of the dagger was resting against her ribs.

The drunken man shouted again, “Let the girl go! Or you will feel the taste of my Chao Shibai kungfu!”

“What Chao Shibai kungfu?” Whiteface wanted to know.

“The superior kungfu of the venerable Chao family of Shibai!” answered the drunk as he took a fighting stance. He could hardly stand and his wavering stance looked like drunken kungfu.

“Well, Mr Chao,” said Whiteface. “You will be wise to stay out of my affairs……if you wish to continue living!”

“My name is not Mr Chao….hic…..I never said that I was Mr Chao,” said the drunk. “Simply, simply call……you must be slightly obtuse!”

“When you said that you use the kungfu of the Chao family of Shibai, I assume that your name is Chao!” retorted Whiteface.

“You should not assume…..hic…..because when you assume, you make an ass out of you and the Shibai Cave Monster,” said the drunk.

“What has this to do with the Shibai Cave Monster? Stupid drunk!” swore Whiteface.

“You wouldn’t understand even if we explain it to you for a month!” retorted the other drunk. “You are slightly obtuse, remember?”

Whiteface was enraged. “You will remember this day as a day of pain!” he shouted at the drunkards.

He walked towards the two drunks with every intention of kicking their teeth in. The workers of the inn sensed trouble and they went to look for weapons.

At that moment, Wen Yiji arrived at the Green Gate Inn. He wanted to just go in, kill Chui La Pah’s disciples and get out quickly before the Emperor’s soldiers arrived. He was about to enter the inn when he saw what was happening inside. Quickly, he backed out again. He had noticed that Blackface was holding some unknown girl hostage, and he had heard Whiteface threatening the two drunks. The girl looked somewhat familiar, but Blackface had his left hand clamped over her mouth so he was unable to see her face.

“It looks like a hostage situation!” he fumed. “Chui La Pah’s disciples are up to no good again! I cannot wait all night for them to resolve this. Soldiers may be coming soon and that could complicate matters. Looks like I will have to resolve this situation immediately. Let’s see……the first rule to resolve a hostage situation is to remove the hostage. Should not be a problem.”

Switching to invisibility mode, he leapt into the inn, flipped into the air and landed in a crouching position just in front of Blackface. Blackface heard something landing in front of him but was not sure if he was hearing correctly.

Whiteface was getting ready to give the two drunks a beating of their lives.

One of the drunks took up a kungfu stance and shouted, “Behold the Chao Shibai kungfu! Wee wung wung……..wee wung wung ….. wee wung wung …..

Wen Yiji reached out suddenly and gripped the right hand of Blackface that was holding a dagger to Shi Mei’s ribs. He pulled the hand away and twisted it with a sudden powerful jerk thus breaking Blackface’s wrist in the process. Wen Yiji snatched the dagger away and then plunged it downwards to the right foot of Blackface. The dagger penetrated the shoe and sliced away the big toe inside.

“Ooooowwww……” howled Blackface.

With a quick movement, Wen Yiji withdrew the dagger, turned his body and threw the dagger at the ass of Whiteface. The dagger flew true, but Whiteface was alert. He sensed a projectile heading towards his ass from behind. He swung his ass out of the way just in time. The flying dagger flew passed him and landed on the wooden wall noisily.

Wee wung wung…..wee wung wung……” chanted the drunk incessantly, still in his Chao Shibai kungfu stance.

“Who threw that dagger?” demanded Whiteface in fury as he turned around. He saw Blackface clutching his broken wrist with his other hand. He looked at Shi Mei.

“Who threw that dagger?” Whiteface repeated.

Shi Mei impulsively pointed her finger at Blackface. The whole action had happened so fast that she was not sure what had actually took place. Then she realized that Blackface was no more holding on to her. She took the opportunity to move away from her captor.

“Oh, no, you are not escaping!” shouted Whiteface to Shi Mei. He leapt up high with lightness kungfu towards her. However, Wen Yiji stood up suddenly and reached out to grab one of Whiteface’s ankles as he was flying overhead.

Wen Yiji pulled downwards and Whiteface was sent crashing down hard on one of the tables.


Whiteface felt his breath knocked out of him.

Wee wung wung…….wee wung wung….” continued the chanting of one of the drunks.

Still holding onto Whiteface’s ankle with a viselike grip, Wen Yiji swung the body in the air around him as if he was swinging a hammer. Whiteface knew that he was being held by some powerful force. He kicked out instinctively with his free leg but he only managed to kick empty air.


Wen Yiji brought the body hammering down hard on the edge of another table. The blow broke the table into two. This time, Whiteface felt several of his bones breaking.

Wen Yiji was not through with Whiteface yet. He intended to break every bone on Whiteface’s body. Swinging the body round and round, he used it to break the tables in the inn.






Blackface stared in shock at what was happening to Whiteface. It looked like his senior brother was crashing into tables randomly. There was a flash of what looked like a pair of legs in between the tables but he could not be sure. Something was not right and he was not going to hang around to find out what it was. He leapt out of the window and made his escape. The workers of the inn hid themselves when they saw the strange manner by which Whiteface kept crashing into the tables.

Wee wung wung…….wee wung wung….” chanted the drunk with gusto.

"Hey!" cried the other drunk. "Your Chao Shibai kungfu is really great! Hic! It is beating the crap out of him by remote control! Hic! However, I think you had better stop before you kill him with your wee wung wung!"

"All right!” replied the Chao Shibai kungfu exponent. “We Chao Shibai kungfu people don't want to take unfair advantage on those who cannot fight!”

Whiteface lay unmoving on the floor and Wen Yiji turned his attention towards Blackface. However, Blackface was gone.

“Fairy Magic!” gasped Shi Mei when she saw the pair of legs without a body. Wen Yiji turned towards her voice and he had a shock. He leapt up to the table nearest to her, crouched on top of it and took a better look.

“Shi Mei?” he asked softly.

“Brother Wen?” she asked back. “You are alive!”

“Yes! Tell me that you are truly alive!”

“I am truly alive, but I can’t see you!”

“There are people here. Let’s go outside!”

With great excitement, they went out of the inn. Once outside, Wen Yiji turned visible and held her. In the light of the full moon, she hugged him back.

“I thought I would never see you again,” he whispered. “The past two days have been the most painful days of my life!”

“I knew you did not fall into the pool, brother Wen. I kept myself alive in the hope that we could meet again in this life. The stars have been kind to me!”

“Shi Mei,” he whispered.

She nuzzled in his body, contented to know that he was near.

The sound of dogs barking put Wen Yiji on alert again.

“Shit! They are here already!” he breathed.

“Who?” she asked.

“Soldiers! They are here to arrest everybody in this inn. We had better move! I’ll explain later!”

“My horse! Let’s get my horse first!” said Shi Mei. Quickly, she untied her horse and climbed on top. Wen Yiji climbed in after her. As they rode away, he removed the needle from his collar bone area and turned semi invisible. Shi Mei was within his envelop of invisibility, so her body could not be seen as well.

General Wan, who was leading the soldiers, saw a riderless horse coming out of the gates of the Green Gate Inn. The horse looked like there were human legs pasted to its sides.He thought about giving chase, but decided against it. He had an important job to do and he was not going to be distracted by some strange looking riderless horse galloping away in the night. Quickly, he had his men surround the Green Gate Inn.

Wen Yiji navigated the horse towards the Small Shibai Inn where he was staying. Shi Mei’s ass was nestled against his crotch and he felt himself getting hard. The movement of the horse made him rock his crotch against Shi Mei’s ass in a dry humping fashion. Shi Mei felt his hardness and she smiled in the night. She was a daifu’s daughter, so she knew what the hardness was.

“Shi Mei,” he breathed into her ear. “We will have to leave town tonight! There was a failed assassination attempt on the Emperor just now. By morning, the whole place will be crawling with soldiers!”

“Oh, okay, brother Wen,” she replied, feeling his hardness banging into her ass again as she spoke.

On reaching the Small Shibai Inn, Wen Yiji entered his room through the window and took all his stuff to the carriage. Then he hitched his horse to his carriage. Shi Mei’s horse was tethered to the back of the carriage by a length of rope. Together, they made their way quietly out of town. They could hear dogs barking away and so they knew that there must be a lot of men moving about in the night.

As they were leaving, a window in the inn closed. Red Wind had not been able to sleep. He wondered why the dogs were noisier than usual. And he wondered why anyone would want to leave the inn when it was not yet daylight. It was none of his business, so he settled down in his bed again.

By the time Prince Jin and his men reached the Green Gate Inn, they found that General Wan’s soldiers had already sewn up the place. Keeping to the shadows some distance away, Prince Jin observed the happenings at the inn.

“I hope that my two senior brothers managed to get out!” said Phoenix.

A voice nearby said, “I managed to get out, but Whiteface is still in there!”

“Who is that?” asked Phoenix, looking for the man whose voice she heard.

“It is I, Blackface,” answered Blackface, emerging from the shadows. “Whiteface got into a fight with some people and he got beaten up by some wee wung wung kungfu!”

“Brother Blackface,” cried Phoenix. “Sifu is dead!”

“What?” cried Blackface. “What happened?”

“The Seventh Prince said that sifu went to the Summer Palace and killed off a lot of people. He was then killed by an arrow. Now the Emperor is looking for the disciples of Chi La Pah! We have to hide!”

“Do you think that we can get Whiteface out?” asked Prince Jin. “If he falls into the hands of the Emperor, he will tell the Emperor everything he knows about our operation and also how to find the rest of you! Then all of you will not be safe!”

“General Wan’s men are reputed to be good fighters,” remarked the Seventh Prince. “It will not be easy to rescue Whiteface.”

“Then we will have to kill Whiteface to prevent him from talking!” said Prince Jin.

Phoenix kept quiet. With her sifu dead, Whiteface would become the next chief of the Green Scorpion Sect. She did not relish the idea of marrying Whiteface.

Blackface too, kept quiet. With Whiteface dead, he would become the next chief of the Green Scorpion Sect. Then he would marry Phoenix.

“Silence means consent,” remarked Prince Jin. He then gave an order to his men.

In the Green Gate Inn, everyone in there from the proprietor to the drunks, were tied with their hands behind them. They would be marched to the Summer Palace for questioning.

“You better let us go or I will use my Chao Shibai kungfu against all of you!” threatened the drunk.

General Wan slapped the drunk across the face. “That is for using rude language in my presence!” he admonished. “I have spent a few years in the Fujian Province and I know what that means!”

The drunk started his “wee wung wung” chanting again but was rudely cut off when the soldiers gagged him forcefully.

The general examined the body of the inert Whiteface. He was amazed at how someone could have so many broken bones in the body and still not die. Broken bones or not, orders were orders and Whiteface would be brought to the Emperor for questioning as well.

“You are more dead than alive. Are you the disciple of Chui La Pah?” asked General Wan.

Whiteface stared back at him impassively. His whole body was a sea of pain, but he understood what the general was saying. He was not going to answer a single word. He did not know why he was being taken prisoner, but he was sure that he would be rescued.

Whiteface could not walk, so his body was strapped onto the back of a horse. As a soldier was leading the horse slowly away from the inn, three arrows came out of nowhere and slammed into the body of Whiteface. As the arrows pierced his body, Whiteface knew that he was not being rescued. He cursed mentally at all and sundry as he died.


Thursday, September 13, 2007



This is just a quick note to say that the next chapter of that illogical character, Wen Yiji, will be late. I ran out of ink and paper. Knowing how much I love you guys, I’ll just bite my finger and do the writing with blood.

That solves the ink part.

As for paper, a friend told me that he will fax some over.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Cannot use the word “Indon”

Monday’s one-star paper printed:
Envoy: Stop stereotyping Indonesian workers
Zainal Abidin urged Malaysians to erase from their vocabulary the term “Indon” used to refer to the Indonesians.
The Indonesians, he said, felt trongly about the word as to them it was a degrading term.
“The Information Department and Wisma Putra have already instructed the media to stop using the word to refer to Indonesians, but it is still largely used by the general public.”

Allright… we should not use the word “Indon”.
Coz it’s a four letter word. Okay, five. Let’s not forget that the Indons can count. Ooooops, I mean Indonesian, not Indon.
See? I’m a one-man learning organization…….I can make adjustments!

Today’s one-star paper printed:
Go for Indon partnerships, Malaysian plantation investors advised

That five letter word again. Print today, forget tomorrow.


Friday, September 07, 2007


3 sentences on counting

There is no doubt some logical explanation on how I seem to have overshot my expressed target of 20 chapters for the wuxia story.

There are 3 kinds of people: those who can count and those who can't.

And for those of us who can count......well......we only have ten fingers and two hands and that only allows us to count up to 12.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007


The Kungfu That Ruled The Night - Chapter 21

Chapter 21: Killing me softly with his song

Wen Yiji entered the town of Shibai in the early afternoon. He guided to carriage to a familiar side of town looking for a suitable place to stay. He wanted somewhere obscure so as not to attract attention. He had stayed at the Small Shibai Inn the last time that he was here. It had been a long time ago, during his Imperial Guard days. The Small shibai Inn had a larger rival up the road, the Large Shibai Inn. There was intense rivalry between the two.

The Large Shibai Inn had a sign that said, “Come to the Large Shibai. Large enough to fit everybody!”

In response, the Small Shibai Inn had a sign that said, “Come to Small Shibai. Small enough to experience that feeling of closeness!”

Wen Yiji preferred the Small Shibai because the service was more to his liking. Without much effort, he located the Small Shibai Inn and then took an upstairs room. He was tired after all that travelling and he needed to sleep. After moving his stuff to his room, he gave the waiter instructions to wake him up before sundown.

“Remember, you have make sure that I wake up!” he told the waiter.

The waiter nodded. Wen Yiji promptly went to sleep.

+ + + + + +

While Blackface and Whiteface stayed at the Green Gate Inn, Phoenix and Chui La Pah stayed at the Red Lantern Inn at the next road. Chui Lah Pah had a good reason not to allow his two male disciples to stay at the same inn as Phoenix. He did not want then to fight over her when they had such important matters at hand.

In the mid afternoon, he went with Phoenix to a quiet mansion in Shibai that was owned by Prince Jin. Phoenix had been serving as the messenger between Prince Jin and Concubine Lin. Prince Jin was quite happy with her. More than that, he wanted to bed her. If only he did not have such important things to organize.

At the mansion, the Flute Master awaited some last minute instructions from Prince Jin.

“Chui La Pah,” said Prince Jin. “I want everything to go as planned tonight. Remember that every one must die!”

“Of course, Master.”

“If for some reason the Emperor is not present during the music recitals, then I want you to abort. No sense in killing everybody without killing off the Emperor. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I understand,” replied Chui La Pah. “Let’s hope that nothing goes wrong.”

“If for some reason something does go wrong, I will need to keep communications lines open between me and Concubine Lin. It would be better for Phoenix stay close by.”

“That is true. She can carry messages between you two with less suspicion. Is there a room here that she can stay?”

“The rooms here are all full up, but that is not a problem. I can have my man, Red Wind, vacate his room and go to stay at one of the Shibai inns. Phoenix can have his room.”

Red Wind was summoned. “Pack your stuff,” ordered Prince Jin. “I want you to stay at an inn tonight and await further instructions.”

“Of course,” replied Red Wind. He looked at Phoenix and wondered when he would have a chance to get her naked again. Phoenix looked at him knowingly. She remembered how big he was. Red Wind went to his room, got his stuff and left.

A thought occurred to Chui La Pah just as he was leaving.

“Master, once I blow my Devil Flute, even Concubine Lin will lose her life. Do you realize that?” asked the Flute Master.

“I would rather that she not be harmed. She can still be useful to me. But if it cannot be helped, then it cannot be helped. She is expendable,” answered Prince Jin. “Her son, the Seventh Prince, has to die together with all the other princes and the Emperor. Once your job is done, get out of there!”

“There will be turmoil in the Summer Palace after tonight.”

“I will turn up at tomorrow morning to take charge of the funeral arrangements. After that I will take charge of the country! You will be well rewarded after that!”

“Thank you, Master!” replied a happy Chui La Pah. Visions of immense power filled his ambitious mind. He had great plans for his future. Happily, he went back to his hotel to prepare for the evening.

After her sifu had left, Phoenix was not surprised to hear Prince Jin say, “Lady Phoenix, I am very tense, waiting for the action to happen.”

She was an astute lady, so she asked, “And so you had me move here so that I can help you to release your tension?”

“You are a very smart woman!” remarked the prince. “You will go far!”

Smiling, she allowed him to lead her to his bedroom. She had never been pounded by a prince before. Besides, she could do with some tension releasing exercises herself.

+ + + + + +

At the Summer Palace, the Seventh Prince came back from the hunt in a carriage. He had been thrown from his horse according to several witnesses. In truth, he had deliberately jumped from his galloping horse. He faked a chest injury and refused to get up and thus had to be carried into the palace. With his head all bruised up, he asked the Emperor to excuse him from the Full Moon party. The request was granted.

Concubine Lin then asked to be excused from the Full Moon party so that she could also take care of her son. The request was denied.

“You are not a daifu,” said the Emperor to her. “You are unable to help my son. You will only be in the way. I want all the concubines to be present!”

She pleaded, but he was adamant. Finally, she used her fallback plan.

“Can I ask the Emperor if I can sit at the back row then?” she asked.

“You are the mother of a prince,” said the Emperor. “You should sit at the front row. Why would you want to sit at the back with all the junior concubines?”

“My stomach has been giving me problems lately,” she replied. “I break wind every now and again. If I do it at the Full Moon party, then I may destroy the atmosphere of everyone. That would be so embarrassing. Let me sit at the back near the corner so that I will not disturb the evening’s performances!”

“All right then,” agreed the Emperor. “You can sit at the back, but I want to see you there!”

Concubine Lin thanked the Emperor. It was not a very good plan. But it was better than nothing. She would have to depend on her ear plugs to save her life.

She met with her son later and they discussed the matter privately.

“Once Chui La Pah has killed off everybody, you will be the most obvious target!” she told her son.

“We will send word to Prince Jin that I am hiding at the Bamboo Villa. They will surely go there to kill me. Then, Master Sun Cheong and his archers will take care of them!”

“Good!” said his mother. “The game has started. We will see who wins the throne!”

+ + + + + +

Chui La Pah was already at the western gate long before sundown. He decided to be early because he could not stand waiting around at the inn where he was staying and doing nothing. As he waited at the gate, his mind idly replayed the scene where he had killed Eunuch Kong. It was a good clean kill, but yet something bothered him. The carriage driver and the girl had appeared out of nowhere to complicate things, but no matter, he had taken care of them as well.

Suddenly, he had a jolt in his memory.

"Oh my God! I remember now where I had seen the carriage driver and the girl!" he said to himself. "They were on the same boat as the Ghost Ninja! And that carriage was the same carriage I saw at the place where Sun Cheong killed the Ghost Ninja! What is their connection with the Ghost Ninja, I wonder."

He thought about the matter further before exclaiming, "Damn! I wish I had questioned those two before having them killed! Damn! Damn! Damn!"

Just before sundown, an eunuch came to the western gate and asked him, "Are you Master Chui La Pah?"

The Flute Master bowed and replied, "I am."

"I am Eunuch Lam. Follow me, please," beckoned the eunuch.

+ + + + + +

At the Small Shibai Inn, Wen Yiji was woken up by the waiter banging on his door.

"It is almost sundown, master!" cried the waiter.

Quick as a flash, Wen Yiji got out of bed. He felt much refreshed from his sleep. Grabbing his short bow and arrows, he hurried out of the inn.

As luck would have it, Red Wind was asking for a room at the Small Shibai Inn at that moment. Wen Yiji walked past him with just a cursory glance.

Red Wind noticed Wen Yiji's short bow and remarked to himself, "That bow looks shorter than normal. More suitable for a boy than a man. Why would any one wish to carry such a short bow? The arrows will not fly the distance!"

He stared at Wen Yiji's retreating back.

Then he turned to the waiter to ask, “Where is that man going with the bow and arrows at this hour? Hunting night owls?”

“I don’t know sir,” replied the waiter.

+ + + + + +

At the Summer Palace, Chui La Pah was taken to the waiting area of the musicians. All the other musicians were already gathered there.

"You are the warm-up act for the other musicians," said Eunuch Lam. "So, you will go out first. We will allow you the time to play just one song. Once you have finished playing, you will have to leave."

"All right," murmured the Flute Master. He hated the fact that he was only the warm-up act and not the main draw. But never mind; once he had finished, there would not be a main draw.

The eunuch led him to the centre of the open space in front of a hall where the royal audience was already gathered and waiting. Chui La Pah noted that the Emperror was there in the front row. Chui La Pah knew what each and every prince looked like. All the princes were there. All except the Seventh Prince. Where was he? He scanned the crowd and spotted Concubine Lin at the last row.

The Flute Master thought, "Maybe the Seventh Prince is late. I will play a song using a normal flute first. If he still does not appear by the time that I finish the song, I will have to use my Devil Flute and kill off everybody first. Then, I'll kill him on another occasion!"

Eunuch Lam made his announcement, "For our first act, a local musician, Master Chui La Pah, will be playing a flute. The song he will be playing is entitled 'Killing me softly with his song'."

"I know that song!" whispered the concubine seated next to Royal Concubine Lin. "It goes like this......I heard he sang a good song......I heard he had a style......And so I came to see him, to listen for a while.........And there he was, this young boy.........a stranger to my arse.........."

"Hush!" whispered Royal Concubine Lin tensely. "Will you just shut up and listen!"

Royal Concubine Lin kept her ear plugs one in each hand. She covered her ears and surreptitiously inseted the ear plugs. Her hair covered her ears and no one noticed a thing.

Chui La Pah played the song beautifully that even the Emperor was impressed.

"Good!" shouted the Emperor. "Very good!"

Royal Concubine Lin did not know why everything appeared to be normal. She was expecting people around her to die like flies. As she was using earplugs, she did not hear the Flute Master’s rendition of “Killing me softly with his song”.

The Seventh Prince had still not appeared. The Flute Master decided that he could wait no longer. He kept his normal flute and then took out his Devil Flute. Royal Concubine Lin noticed the change in flutes and had an inkling that something drastic was about to happen. She braced herself.

Taking a deep breath, the Flute Master blew a long note on the Devil Flute. Many in the audience were frozen stiff into a state of pain by the Sounds of Hell emanating from the flute. Like wooden dolls, they toppled over to the ground.

Shrouded in invisibility, Wen Yiji had just crossed the outer wall of the Summer Palace. He had still to get over the inner wall to where the Full Moon party was being held. He felt his body bathed by a evil vibration in the night air and he mumbled, "Shit! It's already started!"

The slight air vibration was not enough to hurt him yet as he was not within range of the Devil Flute. As fast as he could, he put on his ear plugs and nose plugs.

“Opening my mouth to breathe will allow those evil sounds to enter me. I will have to fight with one breath!” he noted grimly. “Either that or move out of range to breathe and shoot from there! However, I suspect that the Flute Master may be able to evade a long range arrow.”

He got up and ran towards the inner palace wall and made a giant leap upwards to the top of the wall. A soldier noticed a pair of legs running by in the night. Instead of raising the alarm, he turned and looked the other way. The summer palace was empty for most of the year, and was known to be haunted. The poor soldier was alarmed that he had the misfortune to see a torsoless body moving about.

Eunuch Lam had been standing nearest to the Flute Master and got the worst of the Sounds of Hell. His head felt like exploding as note after note from the Devil Flute hit him mercilessly. The poor eunuch screamed, “It’s the flute! It’s the fucking flute!”

It was the first time that Eunuch Lam had ever uttered an obscenity. It was the last time that he would utter anything.

The Emperor’s bodyguards had greater inner energy than everybody else and were therefore not immediately immobilized by the Devil Flute. Two of them helped the Emperor to his feet and attempted to get him away to safety. Another six drew their swords and rushed at the Flute Master. However, the Sounds of Hell had slowed them down considerably and they were like drunken chickens trying to kill a dangerous tiger. The Flute Master kept on playing his weird music without missing a note even as he sidestepped the flashing blades of the bodyguards. One by one, they fell down quivering uncontrollably, victims of the devilish sounds.

Among the audience was an eunuch whom the palace staff called the Useless One. He was an old eunuch who was half-blind, deaf, and was constantly having a head cold. With his deafness and stuffy nose, he was the least affected by the Sounds of Hell. He was not sure what was happening but he was savvy enough to know that some great catastrophe had befallen the Emperor. He saw the Emperors bodyguards attacking the Flute Master who played on unconcernedly. Grabbing a fallen spear, the Useless One joined in the attack on Chui La Pah.

From high up the wall, Wen Yiji could see a lot of people fallen on the ground and Chui La Pah was being attacked by a lone eunuch with a spear. Wen Yiji was not within effective range of the Devil Flute yet. He sent an arrow flying to the Flute Master. Just as he expected, the Flute Master evaded the arrow even while blowing on his flute.

Chui La Pah looked up at the wall to see where the arrow had come from. Under the full moonlight, he could see no one. A movement from a spear made him turn his attention to the deaf eunuch. The spear of the eunuch had poked him in the thigh causing no damage, as it could not penetrate the skin. However, the spear tip tore the fabric of his clothes. The Flute Master thought that the eunuch was a minor irritation, refusing to die when all others had fallen. However, he was not going to be distracted from blowing his Devil Flute. Just a few more notes and everything would be over.

“I will have to shoot from a closer distance!” thought Wen Yiji. Leaping off the wall into the air towards his quarry and fitting an arrow to his bow at the same time, Wen Yiji waited till he was within ten steps of the Flute Master before releasing the arrow. It was a powerful shot. The arrow sped towards its target with a force that would kill a buffalo. In amazement, Wen Yiji watched as his arrow bounced off the back of the Flute Master.

“Shit of a dog! He must be wearing metal armour beneath those clothes!” he breathed. “I will have to shoot at a place that is exposed!”

Although the arrow could not penetrate the skin of the Flute Master, it nevertheless deflected his attention away from the task at hand. Chui La Pah half turned his body to look behind him and at that moment, a wild swing of the spear from the deaf eunuch knocked the Devil Flute out of his hands. There was a sudden respite from the Sounds of Hell.

Seeing that the Flute Master was not blowing on his Devil Flute, Wen Yiji took the opportunity to breathe through his mouth. He fitted another arrow to his bow and leapt upwards over the Flute Master who attempting to recover his dropped flute. Aiming from the night sky downwards, he sent an arrow towards the Flute Master. The arrow crashed against the head of the flutist and promptly bounced off.

Aiyakkkkk!” shouted the Flute Master involuntarily. The arrow had left his hair in a mess. He looked skywards for the unseen bowman.

A shocked Wen Yiji exclaimed, “That is not possible! No head can be that hard!”

A thought occurred to him.

“Knife spear no enter! That was what Eunuch Kong meant when he said “…..knife spear no….” The Flute Master must have somehow mastered the mythical Golden Armour technique!” breathed Wen Yiji with great alarm.

The Golden Armour kungfu was the holy grail of most kungfu fighters as the martial technique would render them almost impossible to kill. The revelation caused him to pause momentarily, unsure how to shoot next.

The Flute Master rubbed his head. He looked around him in puzzlement. All he could see was the Useless One who was still attacking him with the spear. He had retrieved his Devil Flute from the ground but did not put it to his lips. He decided to kill off the tiresome eunuch who did not seem as affected by the Sounds of Hell as the rest.

As the Useless One thrusted the spear in his direction for the umpteenth time, the Flute Master swerved to avoid it and then with a raw power worthy of a kungfu master, he delivered an iron palm blow on the chest of the deaf eunuch. The eunuch flew through the air and landed some distance away. There was no more movement from the Useless One after that.

Wen Yiji thought quickly, “I remember that I have heard it mentioned before that even with the Golden Armour kungfu, the martial artist would still have vulnerable points like the eyes and goodness-knows-where! If he opens his mouth wide, maybe I can shoot an arrow down his throat!”

However, the Flute Master showed no sign of opening his mouth wide. He placed the Devil Flute to his lips and prepared to blow again. At that moment, Wen Yiji released the arrow, his fourth one, and the target was one of the eyes of the Flute Master.

The arrow covered the short distance between Wen Yiji and Chui La Pah. The Flute Master was alert and he detected an arrow coming at him out of nowhere. He blinked. The eyelid fell over the eye just in time to foil the speeding arrow. The arrow hit the skin of the eyelid and bounced right off.

“Shit!” thought Wen Yiji furiously. “Even the eye is impervious to my arrow!”

Chui La Pah was astonished that an arrow could have appeared out of thin air. A sudden thought struck him. “The Ghost Ninja!” he swore. “Only he could do a thing like that! But it cannot be! The Ghost Ninja is dead…..I saw the body!”

Quick as a flash, the Flute Master picked up a fallen spear. Twirling it above his head, he threw the spinning spear at the spot where the arrow had come from, hoping to hit something unseen. The swirling spear spun in the air towards where Wen Yiji was crouching. However, Wen Yi had already moved away from that spot.

The move was not lost on Wen Yiji. "He's suspecting the presence of an invisible being, or he would not throw the spear like that!" he thought. “He just wanted to see if he could hit something!”

Wen Yiji wondered if it was possible to kill the Flute Master. His arrows seemed so impotent to the Flute Master’s Golden Armour kungfu. He wondered what next to do. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw that the two bodyguards had taken advantage of the lull in the devilish sounds to get the Emperor into the hall. One of them bore the Emperor on his back.

“Chui La Pah will surely chase after the Emperor!” Wen Yiji guessed. “I’ll have to get to the hall first if I am to prevent the Emperor’s assassination!”

Using lightness kungfu, Wen Yiji leapt into the air. Chui La Pah turned his body. His ears had caught the sound of movement. He sensed the presence of another kungfu martial artiste, but did not know where he was.

The two bodyguards got the Emperor through the doorway of the hall.

“Carry the Emperor away to safety first!” cried one of the guards to the other. “I’ll close the doors!”

The guard swung the heavy doors to close it. Wen Yiji leapt through the doorway invisibly over the head of the guard just before the doors closed. He landed inside the hall in a crouching position and watched the guard trying to bar the door shut.


The doors were thrown wide open by a powerful blow from the Flute Master just before the guard could place the wooden bar in place. The poor guard flew backwards and crashed his head against a pillar.

Wen Yiji fitted and arrow to his bow and waited.

The Flute Master walked in, blowing his Devil Flute. The second guard, who was carrying the Emperor, collapsed and the Emperor dropped to the floor.

“What do I do? Where do I shoot?” asked Wen Yiji furiously to himself. “The Golden Armour technique makes the skin unbreakable! There has to be a weak point somewhere! Where is the skin thinnest?”

The Flute Master surveyed the inside of the hall as he continued with his flute playing. Both the emperor and the second guard were clamping their hands over their ears, vainly trying to shut out the evil sounds of destruction.

“The nutsack!” thought Wen Yiji. “The skin over the balls is the most stretchable! The testicles could possibly be his weakest point! Maybe I should aim for them before my breath runs out!”

He continued holding his breath, drew back his bow and waited. He was all that was between the Flute Master and the Emperor. Step by step, the Flute Master came nearer, still blowing away on his death-dealing Devil Flute.

Ten steps.…..nine.…..eight……seven…...six……

The Flute Master was getting nearer. His balls were at the eye level of Wen Yiji in his crouching position. However, it was difficult to estimate the position of the balls under those clothes. Wen Yiji aimed for the left ball. It would be lower than the right and therefore, easier to hit. He would shoot when his quarry was two steps away or before his breath ran out.

…..five steps…...four…….three……

The Flute Master paused. Some instinct told him that there was danger ahead.

Wen Yiji did not wait anymore. He had to shoot, and then quickly get out of range of the Devil Flute to breathe. Three steps was not as near as he would have like. He duckwalked forward one step and released the arrow.


The aim was good.


The arrow bounced off the skin of the left ball and clattered to the ground.

“Shit!” muttered Wen Yiji.

Then he noticed that the Flute Master clutching the left ball in agony with his left hand. The skin was indeed highly stretchable in that spot. Instead of immediately deflecting the arrow, the skin had stretched under the impact of the arrow until the left testicle was squashed by the arrowhead. It was like being hit with a blunt instrument in the family jewel. Chui La Pah winced in agony. His flute playing had stopped.

“Aha!” cried Wen Yiji silently. “If the left ball can feel pain, so too, can the right ball!”

He took the opportunity to breathe a gulp of air. Then, quickly, he fitted another arrow to his bow and shifted himself to find another position to inflict pain.

The fingers of the Flute Master’s left hand pressed against his left testicle in an attempt to alleviate the pain. Wen Yiji thought he detected the hint of a slight bulge. He shot again. The arrow flew in between the thumb and forefinger of the Flute Master to hit the right ball. Once again, the arrow clattered to the ground, unable to penetrate the skin of the Flute Master. And once again, the nutsack skin stretched to allow the arrowhead to squash the ball underneath. The effect of having both balls squashed in their skin by speeding arrows was too painful to bear. Tears appeared in the eyes of Chui La Pah. In his moment of great pain, he dropped his flute as he bent over. The flute hit the ground and rolled away from him

Quick as a flash, Wen Yiji shot out his hand and scooped up the flute. He leapt away triumphantly with his prize before Chui La Pah could react. Moving quickly around the Flute Master, he kept the flute safely within his clothes.

Bent over and clutching his balls in both hands, the Flute Master waited for the moment of intense pain to pass.

With the Devil Flute no more in action, Wen Yiji was no more afraid of the Sounds of Hell. He removed his uncomfortable ear plugs and nose plugs.

Seeing the Flute Master bent over, Wen Yiji crouched down behind his quarry. He had discovered another spot not protected by the Golden Armour kungfu and it was an opportunity not to be missed. He aimed and shot the arrow at close quarters. The arrow sped from the bow and flew straight up the asshole of bending Chui La Pah. It powered its way up the colon. Chui La Pah clenched his ass tightly in a reflex action. His ass gripped the arrow tightly, preventing further advance. But a quarter of the arrow was already inside the body. The other three quarters protruded out obscenely from the anus.

“Say..…Master Chui!” said Wen Yiji conversationally. “In case you did not know, your asshole is trying to swallow an arrow!”

“You!” gasped Chui La Pah with a great effort. “Who are you?”

“I am the one you tried to kill the other day,” Wen Yiji reminded him. “At the Pool of the Devil fish.”

“The carriage driver!” gasped Chui La Pah. “Where are you? Why can’t I see you?”

“I am very handsome. If you want to see me, you have to pay me a large amount of money.”

The Flute Master thought fast. If he could get away, he would get a good daifu to help him get the arrow out. It was a dangerous situation, but not impossible to recover from. The Emperor! If he could get to the Emperor and hold him hostage, he would be able to get out of the situation.

“If you are a man, show yourself!” he challenged Wen Yiji. “Why hide in the night like a frightened mouse?”

Poking himself in the collar bone area with an acupuncture needle, Wen Yiji became visible. He stood up from his couching position, wearing a piece of cloth that covered his face from the nose downwards. Then he walked forward to stand in front of the Flute Master.

“Wearing a mask?” asked Chui La Pah with a sneer. “Scared to show your face?”

“I have already said that I am very handsome. If you want to see my face, you must be prepared to pay!” replied Wen Yiji. He wore a mask because he did not want the Emperor to see his face.

“Forget it!” said the Flute Master. “I have already seen your face! How is it that you were able to counter the effects of my Devil Flute?”

“I would explain it to you, but you would not be able to understand,” replied Wen Yiji. Actually, he did not want to explain that he simply wore some ear and nose plugs. However, he still remembered Shi Mei’s theories. “The way I countered it is very scientific. I employed the Theory of Relativity that makes the light travel faster than sound. And the speed of light is absolute so it will never slow down. Never!”

The mere mention of Shi Mei’s theories brought a feeling of sadness to Wen Yiji. He missed the girl. It was true that she sprouted scientific nonsense, but he loved to hear them all the same. The girl was unique, one of a kind. The sort of girl who would make a difference to the world, his world. He truly missed her. His eyes grew misty.

Chui La Pah said, “Frankly speaking, I have no idea what you are talking about!”

“See? I told you that you would not be able to understand, didn’t I?” snarled Wen Yiji. “Frankly speaking, you have shit for brains!”

“You have the same abilities as the Ghost Ninja. What is your connection with him?”

“I hardly knew him,” replied Wen Yiji. “I merely gave him a lift. You were chasing him at the Yellow River, weren’t you? You shot arrows at the boat I was travelling on. That wasn’t nice! You know what I do not like about you? You are too willing to kill indiscriminately. You know another thing that I do not like about you? Your monkey butt face! It gives me great pleasure to defeat you today!”

“No! I cannot be defeated! I have no equal under Heaven!” said the Flute Master, conveniently forgetting the fact that he had an arrow sitting inside his asshole.

“No equal under Heaven?” laughed Wen Yiji mirthlessly. “Truly, you think the world about yourself! You really must enjoy blowing your own trumpet, Chui La Pah!”

“What I do is none of your business!”

“That was what I thought, initially. But then, you tried to kill me! You threw the woman I was to marry into the pool to feed the Devil fish! A quick death is not what you deserve! When I am finished with you, I will go and entertain your nasty disciples. They are not where you think they are!”

“They are not at the Green Gate Inn?” asked the Flute Master in surprise.

“Actually, I have no idea where they are!” remarked Wen Yiji. “Thanks for telling me that they are at the Green Gate Inn! I will go and make their miserable lives an agony after this! You will find out the painful way just how good I can be with a bow and arrows!”

“Wait! If you are a real man, then you should fight me like a real man!” said the Flute Master.

“I am fighting you like a real man, you fatherless moron!”

“Then let us fight in unarmed combat! Without weapons! Put down your bow and arrows! You are not that scared, are you?”

“Fine!” agreed Wen Yiji. “Unarmed combat it shall be then!”

Wen Yiji put down his bow and arrows on the floor. Chui La Pah was estimating the distance that he would have to cover to reach the Emperor. Wen Yiji was between him and his target If he could immobilize the archer by hitting him on a yuedao point, then he could get the upper hand in the situation and also recover his flute. He hit some yuedao points on his abdomen to numb out the pain of the arrow in his ass. Then he got ready to do battle.

Both men took up their kungfu stances. Yiji attacked with a combination of punches. The Flute Master was surprisingly fast. He blocked all the punches and delivered several strikes of his own. However, Yiji swerved left and right and Chui La Pah was not able to hit any of Yiji’s yuedao points. Wen Yiji had not fully recovered from his injuries. He was, therefore, slower than usual. However, Chui La Pah, with an arrow in his ass, was not very fast either.

Step by step, Chui La Pah tried to move towards the Emperor. Somehow, Wen Yiji sensed his intention while they were trading blows. As Chui La Pah swirled to avoid Wen Yiji’s leg sweep, the arrow in his butt almost hit Wen Yiji. Wen Yij reached out to grab the arrow. He gave a slight tug. The arrow that was one quarter buried in the asshole became only one-fifth buried. The reverse movement of the barb of the arrowhead tore the colon inside the Flute Master. The Flute Master made a noise like cockerel. It sounded weird. Wen Yiji, however, did not release his grip on the arrow.

“Why are you holding on to that arrow?” demanded the Flute Master. “We agreed to unarmed combat!”

“I was not using a weapon!” retorted Wen Yiji. “But you tried to hit me with the arrow attached to your ass! That’s not fair! It is only right that I pull it out!”

“No!” screamed Chui La Pah. “You cannot pull out the arrow just like that! The arrowhead is barbed!”

“You don’t like me pulling out the arrow?” asked Wen Yiji.

“No, I don’t!” yelled the flute Master emphatically.

“Fine!” Wen Yiji yelled back. “I’ll just push it back in!”

“No!” screamed the Flute Master. He was too late. Wen Yiji had already shoved in the arrow.

“Oooooooops!” cried Wen Yiji as he removed his hand from the arrow. “The arrow has gone in more than before! I only gave it a slight shove but it went in halfway into your ass! Not my fault! I did not expect that the passage would be so smooth! Have you been practicing shoving things into your asshole lately? Such as a carrot? Or a radish? Maybe a brinjal?”

The Flute Master was in too much pain to reply. He would have to hit the yuedao points in his upper abdomen when he was more composed. But at the moment, he was trying hard not to scream.

Wen Yiji continued, “Or did you practised with a bitter gourd? No? A loofah gourd perhaps?”

Chui La Pah screamed curses at Wen Yiji. He knew that his stomach had already been pierced through by the arrow. The possibility entered his mind that he would not be able to extract the arrow even with the best daifu in the land. After mouthing off a string of obscenities, he ended with, “You are donkey shit!”

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me!” retorted Wen Yiji. “And why were you complaining? I pull out a bit, you complain! Push in a bit, you also complain! I say…….you are so difficult to satisfy!”

“You are the vomit of a cat!” screamed the Flute Master.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me! If I were you, I would not sit down. That could send the arrow all the way up through your asshole to your throat. The arrow is long enough, believe me!”

“You are so ugly……..that if you talk to a snake, it will die!”

“Sticks and stones may…….damn…...that hurts!”

“Your mother…….has…….a moustache!”

“Leave my dead mother out of this, you inbred!” said Wen Yiji angrily

“Your mother……..was so dirty that…………”


Chui La Pah did not get to finish what he wanted to say. With the power of the Dark Fire Iron Palm, Wen Yiji had struck him hard. The body of the Chui La Pah flew through the air and hit a pillar. The body slid down the pillar and landed on the floor in a sitting position. The arrow in the ass was pushed by the impact all the way through the chest up to the throat.

Wen Yiji approached the prone Chui La Pah and crouched down.

“I did warn you against sitting down on that arrow!” he said easily. “The arrow tip is probably at your throat by now! This is the end of your long and evil journey, You did not think that it would end this way, did you?”

The Flute Master could only glare back with eyes full of hatred. Talking was almost impossible.

Wen Yiji searched his body. He found nothing.

“Damn!” he muttered. “Since I now inherit your Devil Flute, there should at least be a manual to go with it!”

“All…….manuals…….in…….head……” gasped the dying Chui La Pah.

Wen Yiji took out the Devil Flute and hit the head of Chui La Pah.

Tonk! Tonk! Tonk! Tonk! Tonk! Tonk!

“Nope, nothing there!” he declared. “The head sounds empty to me!”


“No, they won’t!” declared Wen Yiji. “I will be going to the Green Gate Inn to kill them after this!”

“I…..have……others…….” gasped Chui La Pah after a struggle.

“Oh, you must mean the idiots at the Casino Royal?” said Wen Yiji breezily. “Your disciple, Ah Long, didn’t die by accident you know? I killed him and then burned all the promissory notes owed by the clients. Then I set the place on fire. I guess you did not know.”

Chui La Pah made a gagging sound. His life was ebbing away.

Wen Yiji had originally wanted to tear Chui La Pah to pieces in the same manner that the Devil fish would tear apart their victims. He had wanted Chui La Pah to suffer for a long time before dying. However, seeing the dying man before him, he changed his mind.

Sighing, he kept the Devil Flute and then collected his bow and arrows. He selected an arrow with the thinnest arrowhead. Then, from where he was, he aimed unhurriedly and shot. The arrow flew straight into the right ear of the Flute Master, emerged out the left ear and then got stuck.

Wen Yiji approached the body of the Flute Master and surveyed his handiwork. The end of the arrow was sticking out from the right ear and the head of the arrow was sticking out from the left ear. Chui La Pah had the arrow from ear to ear. It was a gruesome sight. But the Flute Master was no more.

Wen Yiji noticed that the Emperor was attempting to sit up. He walked over to the Emperor. Out of a force of habit from his old days as an Imperial Guard, he knelt down.

“Are you all right, Emperor?” he inquired.

“Yes,” replied the Emperor weakly. “Thank you for saving my life.”

“It’s nothing,” Wen Yiji said.

“May I ask who you are and why this man was trying to kill me?” asked the Emperor.

Wen Yiji did not entirely trust the Emperor. “I am the One Eye Snake,” he replied through his mask. “The man who was trying to kill you was called Chui La Pah.. It was Prince Jin and your Royal Concubine Lin who together conspired to have Chui La Pah play the flute at your Full Moon party.”

“Prince Jin!” exclaimed the Emperor. “And Royal Concubine Lin? Which Royal Concubine Lin?”

“The one with the big tits.”

“There are many that fit the description here. Frankly, I do not know how many concubines I have. Why would any of my concubines consort with my brother?”

“That, I do not know. I only know that they meet in the San Feng Temple in the Imperial City to be intimate with each other.”

“What?” gasped the astonished Emperor. “Being intimate in a temple? Are you certain of your facts?”

“Your precious concubine went to the San Feng temple half a month ago and had her soldiers chased away all the other worshippers. Then she barred the door form inside. Prince Jin was already in a secret room behind the altar waiting for her. The room has a huge bed inside.”

“This is an outrage! My brother and my concubine! How long has this been going on?”

“I do not know. Chui La Pah serves Prince Jin. He killed off Eunuch Kong because your eunuch refused to allow him to play at your music event. I think he wanted to kill off the whole royal family.”

“But why?”

“If I were to guess, I would say that there is a plot to crown a new Emperor. Prince Jin also hired some foreign assassins to kill off the Fifth Prince. At a cost of four thousand and two hundred taels of silver.”

“How do you know all this?”

“By accident. Believe me, I would rather not know all this.”

The Emperor frowned. Finally he said, “This is a matter of grave importance. I will reward you well for saving my life.”

“No, Emperor,” replied Wen Yiji. “I do not wish for a reward from you. If you are a good Emperor, your citizens will stand by you in times of crisis. If you are a bad Emperor, no one can help you.”

The Emperor sensed that Wen Yiji was not only unafraid of him, but also did not like him. “Do you think I am a bad Emperor?” he asked.

“Let’s just say that you have lots of room for improvement!” replied Wen Yiji.

“How dare you imply that my rule is bad!”

“And another thing… don’t take criticism very well!”

“Oh!” gasped the Emperor. “I’m sorry. Am I really that bad?”

“Some of your ministers are corrupt. There is a General Shin selling state secrets to settle gambling debts. A few of your princes go around fooling with other peoples daughters. You stay in your palace all day and listen to reports that tell you that everything is all right. The Yellow River has flooded the plains and you are here listening to music. Tell me, Emperor, do you think that you a good Emperor?”

The Emperor was stung into silence.

Wen Yiji got up to go.

“Wait!” cried the Emperor. “Is my fifth son dead?”

“I do not know,” replied Wen Yiji. “He managed to elude the foreign assassins. But no one knows if he is still alive.”

With that Wen Yiji leapt into the darkness and pulled out the needle at his collar bone area. Shrouded in invisibility, he did not leave immediately. Instead, he waited around to see what the Emperor would do.

A young boyish eunuch, bleeding from the nose, stumbled in through the door and knelt down in front of the Emperor.

“Emperor,” he cried. “You are all right! The gods smiled on you!”

“What is the status outside,” asked the Emperor weakly.

“Many of the men out there have died,” replied the eunuch.

“What?” cried the Emperor. “Are there any survivors?”

“Emperor,” said the eunuch in sorrow. “The only survivors are those who were behind the back row. Those seated in front are all dead! Including the royal princes!”

“My children!” cried the Emperor. “Not my children!”

“What do we do, Emperor?” asked the young eunuch.

“Gather my Palace Guards. I want to have Prince Jin brought to me for questioning! Where is Eunuch Lam? He was in charge of tonight’s affair.”

“Eunuch Lam is dead,” replied the young boyish eunuch.

“How many Royal Concubine Lins do we have?”

“I do not know, Emperor. The list of concubines is kept by the senior eunuchs.”

“I want that list. Wait a minute……the Green Gate Inn! I heard the assassin say that he had disciples staying at the Green Gate Inn! I want a team of men to go to the Green Gate Inn and bring me every person there for interrogation. I must get to the bottom of this conspiracy!”

Wen Yiji had heard enough. “I have better get to the Green Gate Inn first if I wish to kill the Flute Master’s disciples!” he muttered. “Before the Emperor gets his hands on them!”

More men were entering the hall. He got out of the hall to the open space outside where the Flute Master had wreaked most of his havoc. There, he saw the injured trying to pick themselves up. He looked up at the night sky where the moon was full and round. Even with the death of the Flute Master, he sensed that his fighting days could be far from over. Hurriedly, he left the Summer Palace.


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