Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The Kungfu That Ruled The Night - Chapter 28

Chapter 28: Fulfilling the betrothal agreement

The trembling Prince Jin guessed that his life was about to end. In desperation, he cried out, "Wait! We can talk! I am willing to pay you a large sum of money if you will work with me! And when I become the new Emperor, you will have riches beyond your wildest dreams!"

Wen Yiji laughed, "I am not the least bit interested! Frankly, I would have left you alone. But no, you had to send assassins after me! How did you know that I was travelling south?"

"It's Red Wind's fault!" cried the prince. "It was he who said that you would be travelling down south in a carriage! If not for him, I would have left you alone!"

Wen Yiji turned his face towards the fallen Red Wind and asked, “Well, Red Wind. How did you know that I was travelling south?”

Red Wind answered, “On the night of the assassination attempt on the Emperor, I was staying in the Small Shibai Inn and you walked past me carrying a short bow. The waiter told me later that you had been making inquiries about the condition of the road down south and thus I concluded that you were travelling south. I had a room that had a window that looked out to the stable of the inn. That night, I could not sleep. So I opened the window and I saw you getting your carriage out of the stable. That attracted my attention because it was highly unusual for a carriage to travel at night. Much later, I learned that the Emperor was saved by a man called the One Eye Snake who carried a short bow. I then concluded that you must have been the One Eye Snake. By then, you had already left Shibai.”

“There is one other thing. I saw a man on horseback carrying a cage of birds,” said Wen Yiji. “Who was he?”

“He was the Birdman. His job was to locate you and then give us information on what you were doing by using homing pigeons,” answered Red Wind. “What happened to him?”

“He got killed by a vampire,” replied Wen Yiji. “Did he send you much information about me?”

“He gave us details about your carriage and your horses,” answered Red Wind. “Your carriage had a special design and was pulled by one horse. Another horse was tethered to the back of the carriage. The Birdman sent us a message that you defeated the Eighteen Immortals that Prince Jin had sent after you. After that, there were no more messages. I guess that you must have used the Birdman’s pigeons to track us here.”

“You guessed correctly,” noted Wen Yiji. “What is the name of this place.”

“It is called the Bamboo Villa.”

“Who owns it? Sun Cheong?”

“No,” replied Red Wind. “I think the Seventh Prince owns it.”

“Your swordplay is quite impressive and has better finesse than mine, but you do not have my raw strength and speed. Judging from your sword strokes, I would say that you are a decent man. Why do you work for Prince Jin?”

Red Wind let out a long breath before saying, “I owe him a debt of life. Some years ago, while my wife and I were travelling with my three sons, we were under attacked by a team of mad bandits. They killed my entire family. I was injured badly and still attempting to fight off the bandits. Prince Jin and his men happened along and they sent the bandits fleeing, thus saving my life. In the process, Prince Jin lost a bodyguard. Seeing that I had some kungfu, Prince Jin asked me to take the place of the dead bodyguard. Since I owed him my life, I agreed.”

“Prince Jin plotted to assassinate the Emperor! You are part of the team.”

“I am not aware of any plot to kill the Emperor! I will not knowingly do anything that will injure my Emperor,” protested Red Wind. “My job was solely to protect Prince Jin.”

“In that case, you have failed in your job!” noted Wen Yiji. He kicked the kneecap of Prince Jin suddenly.


Prince Jin fell to the ground, clutching his right kneecap in agony.

“I think I will break every bone in this useless animal before decapitating him!” said Wen Yiji nonchalantly.

“Wait!” yelled Red Wind, “Please do not kill the prince!”

“Do you think that I am in the mood to listen to you?” snarled Wen Yiji. “Be grateful that I have decided to spare you your life!”

“No, no!” said Red Wind. “You cannot kill the prince!”

“And why not?” asked Wen Yiji.

“Because I have lain with him and one night as a couple is a hundred nights of gratitude!”

“Wh....what?” roared Wen Yiji. “Like that also can?”

“Yes,” said Red Wind. “I judge that you are a fair man. In that case, you should also offer me the same terms that you offered Lady Phoenix!”

“If it is true, then I will let the prince go!” said Wen Yiji. “However, I do not believe that you have lain with the prince!”

Turning to Prince Jin, he asked, “Did Red Wind speak the truth?”

“Of course!” said Prince Jin desperately. “We are a couple!”

“According to Phoenix, his thing is much bigger than yours,” noted Wen Yiji. “If that is the case, then I am guessing that you must be his bitch. Tell me, are you his bitch?”

“Yes, yes! I am his bitch!” cried the prince.

“Say that again! And louder this time!” commanded Wen Yiji.

“I am his bitch!” yelled Prince Jin. He would say anything to save his own life.

Phoenix was disgusted by it and she turned her face away. She thought that a man should have dignity even in the face of death.

“Hahahahaha!” laughed Wen Yiji. “This is so funny! But somehow, I do not believe you two! However, I will give a chance to Red Wind to save the prince’s life!”

Wen Yiji walked up to Red Wind and instructed him to get up on his feet.

“Red Wind,” he said. “I am about to deliver a death dealing blow to Prince Jin. Will you be willing to take the blow on his behalf?”

“I owed a debt of life to the prince,” replied Red Wind. “I will take the blow!”

“You don’t have to do this,” remarked Wen Yiji. “I have already spared you your life. You should know that my power is immense. If you take this blow on the prince’s behalf, you will most probably die!”

Red Wind mulled this fact over before answering, “I am aware that your power is great and that you have defeated Chui La Pah, the Eighteen Immortals and Sun Cheong. However, a debt of life is still a debt of life. I will take the blow!”

“Good!” noted Wen Yiji. “You have principles. Do you have any last words to say to the prince before I deliver the blow?”

“Yes,” replied Red Wind. He turned towards Prince Jin and said, “Prince Jin. I owed you a debt of life once! Today, I will take a deadly blow on your behalf. Whether I live or die after this, I will consider that I have repaid you the debt in full!”

Wen Yiji turned towards the prince inquiringly.

“Take the blow!” yelled the prince. “Stop talking so much!”

Wen Yiji drew back his right hand. Then he took in his breath and gathered his energy before striking.


Red Wind flew across the room and landed in a crumpled heap on the floor. He lay still, very still.

Phoenix cried, “No! Red Wind, no!”
She ran across the room to his inert body.

Wen Yiji walked to Prince Jin and tapped him on the head. The prince fell unconscious. Wen Yiji searched his body and found some letters. He looked at them and grinned. Then he kept them.

As Phoenix tried to straighten up the body of Red Wind, she noticed that he was still breathing.

“Red Wind! You are alive!” she cried in surprise.

Red Wind turned weakly towards Wen Yiji and said hoarsely, “Thank you great swordsman, for showing great mercy under your hand! I know that you did not use your full strength!”

“If I am not mistaken, I have broken one of your ribs,” said Wen Yiji drily. “I have not paralyzed your kungfu, so you should recover in due time. You should take this opportunity to leave the prince. Soon, the Emperor’s men will catch up with him. Everybody who is associated with him will face the death penalty. It is to be expected that any disciple of the dead Chui La Pah will also be hunted down mercilessly. You two have only tonight to escape!”

Red Wind and Phoenix nodded.

“And another thing,” continued Wen Yiji. “You will forget that I ever existed. I have spared both of you. Do not attempt to come after me or I will be forced to kill you.”

Wen Yiji then left the hall. He went to the stable and painstakingly removed the booby traps targeting his carriage. He moved the sacks of bones of his family to the carriage. He then drove out his carriage out of the Bamboo Villa to the spot where Shi Mei was waiting anxiously for him.

“Brother Wen!” she greeted him. “Are you all right?”

“Of course!” he answered her cockily. “They did not give me any trouble. It was like a walk in the park!”

“Don’t tell me that you killed everybody in there,” she said.

“Almost everybody, I think,” he answered her. “Prince Jin was the one who sent the killers after us. He was in there, but I did not kill him.”

“You must have your reason. Was it because you experienced a sudden wave of merciful emotions?”

“Of course not!” he replied with a grin. “I am smart enough to know how royalty works. If I kill Prince Jin, the Emperor is bound to send investigators to track me down. If the Emperor kills Prince Jin, then there will be no consequences to bear!”

“I am not sure that I understand, but I am glad that you are back in one piece! Let me take a look at your injuries.”

She took his pulse and declared, “Slight internal injury, I think.”

“I hit Sun Cheong of the Buddha Palm and his internal energy sent me flying to the wall and I got banged out of shape,” he explained.

“No wonder you looked like something the dog dragged in.”

“If you think I look bad, you should have seen the wall!”

“Cocky as ever! Your confidence level does not seem to have been affected!” she said as she poked two needles in his back and twiddled them to rebalance his energy for faster healing.

“I recovered our stuff,” he said. “However, it seems like everybody knows that we are travelling south. To avoid further trouble, we will have to change our route. Also modify the design of this carriage.”

“There is nothing unusual about this carriage except that it has an odd contraption sticking out for you to mount a side umbrella in case it rains.” she noted.

“That is my special design, but it has to go,” he said regretfully. “And we will change the horse as well. After that, we will head for the east and attempt to cross the Yellow River further downriver.”

“What about the floods?” she inquired.

“I heard that the floods have subsided,” he replied. “We will have to try our luck. This is a route that people will not expect us to take. We will be less likely to be noticed. After we are on the south bank of the river, we will head to your fathers grave so that I can pay my respects."

“All right,” she nodded in agreement.

“There is one more thing that I have to do,” he said.

“What is that?” she asked.

“I have to pay one more visit to the Emperor!” he replied.

+ + + + + +

Later that night, a young eunuch was passing an internal courtyard in the Palace grounds when he was accosted by a lone masked figure.

“Hey, eunuch,” said Wen Yiji easily. “What is your name?”

“Huh?” uttered the surprised eunuch. “I am…..Eunuch Wee.”

“Well, Eunuch Wee,” said Wen Yiji. “Can you please go tell the Emperor that the One Eye Snake would like an audience with him here?”

“Who…..who….are you?” asked the young eunuch.

“I just told you,” replied Wen Yiji. “I am the One Eye Snake. I was the one who saved the Emperor’s life the other night. Can you go ask the Emperor if he can see me? Tell him that it is very important!”

“Wait…..wait here,” requested the eunuch. “I will go ask the Emperor!”

The eunuch fled. Unknown to him, he was being followed by an invisible Wen Yiji. The eunuch turned several corners before coming to the door of a huge room. He opened the door and entered.

In the room, the Emperor was holding a meeting with his generals, Wan, Tu and Foh.

“Generals Wan, Tu and Foh,” the Emperor was saying in displeasure. “We can’t find Prince Jin! We can’t find Blackface or any of Chui La Pah’s disciples! And we can’t find the One Eye Snake! It looks to me that we can’t find shit!”

The three generals hung their heads in shame.

Eunuch Wee approached the Emperor and bowed.

“Emperor,” Eunuch Wee said, “There is a masked man in the Chrysanthemum Courtyard. He said that he is the One Eye Snake. He wishes to see the Emperor.”

“The One Eye Snake?” asked a surprised Emperor. “General Foh has been looking high and low for him and he now turns up at the Chrysanthemum Courtyard?”

“Yes, Emperor,” said the eunuch. “He seeks an audience with you.”

“This is an opportunity!” declared General Foh. “We will trap him in the Chrysanthemum Courtyard. This time, even if he sprouts wings, he will find it difficult to fly away!”

“I did not say that we are going to trap him!” said the Emperor testily. “In case you have forgotten, he saved my life!”

“This man wears a mask in your presence, Majesty,” argued General Foh. “Who knows what his real motives are! As long as he is able to come and go in the palace, he is a threat! We need to unmask him!”

“If he is a threat, he would not have saved me!” said the Emperor.

“He may not be a threat now, but he can be a threat later,” countered General Foh. “We have to know who he is. I beg the Emperor to take this opportunity to unmask him. I can send the soldiers to surround the courtyard. It will be locked up so tight that no one will be able to leave.”

“Let us not be rash,” countered General Tu. “He just saved the Emperor’s life. If we force him into a tight corner, he will think that the Emperor is without gratitude.”

“The interests of the Emperor outweigh everything else!” insisted General Foh. “We need to act while he is still there!”

Finally the Emperor assented, “Okay, surround him, but do not hurt him. I just want to talk to him! I will request that he takes off his mask.”

Wen Yiji, crouching invisibly in the room, heard the whole conversation with disgust.

“Fed up!” he muttered. “I saved the Emperor and this is how I am getting repaid! I’ll teach that meddling general a lesson!”

Soldiers were swiftly dispatched to the Chrysanthemum Courtyard to surround it. Soon, it became apparent that there was nobody in the courtyard. The soldiers looked at each other stupidly.

Eunuch Wee, hurried down the corridor towards his quarters. Halfway, a voice stopped him.

“Eunuch Wee,” called out Wen Yiji. “Did you tell the Emperor that I wish to see him?”

Eunuch Wee stared at the masked figure before replying, “You! You were supposed to be waiting at the courtyard!”

“I know!” said Wen Yiji with a laugh. “But I needed to go to the toilet and I did not want to do it in the courtyard. It may cause uneven growth in the plants, you know? So I walked here and there and then I lost my way.”

“Let me guide you back to the courtyard,” suggested the eunuch.

“No need to trouble you,” said Wen Yiji. “I just wanted the Emperor to know three things. First, tell him that Prince Jin is hiding in a place called the Bamboo Villa outside the town, in the southeast sector. Second, he was carrying on his body these letters that were sent to him by Concubine Lin. Please hand the letters to the Emperor! Third, tell him not to trust General Foh. The man is too ugly to be honest!”

Wen Yiji handed over the letters that he had taking from the body of Prince Jin. Then he vanished.

The eunuch went to the Emperor and handed over the letters while saying, “Emperor, the One Eye Snake has left. He wanted you to know that Prince Jin is hiding in the Bamboo Villa outside the town, in the southeast sector. He asked me to give you these letters that were sent to Prince Jin by Concubine Lin.”

The Emperor read the letters and his face turned dark.

“There is one other thing,” said the young eunuch.

“What?” barked the Emperor.

“He said to tell you not to trust General Foh! The man is too ugly to be honest!”

The Emperor stared in front of him for a while. Then he sent word to General Foh to call off the men surrounding the Chrysanthemum Courtyard.

As a disappointed General Foh was going down the steps, an invisible leg reached out and tripped him. The general fell. He shot out his hands to break the fall, but an invisible hand banged down his head onto the hard stone steps and he lost all consciousness.

“The general has tripped!” a voice shouted. Several soldiers carried him up to the top of the steps and just as they were reaching the top, somebody gave a mighty shove and the general dropped and rolled down the steps.

“Oh, shit!” cried one of the soldiers who had been carrying the general. “Who was it who shoved? We dropped the general!”

As the unconscious general rolled down, an invisible fist hit him in several places and broke eight ribs. Wen Yiji, who was the hidden cause of the whole event, grinned wickedly. The general would take at least half a year to recover.

Quickly, Wen Yiji made his way to where he had left Shi Mei, and together they drove the carriage to the east. The moon was more than half full and there was just enough light to see the road.

+ + + + + +

At the Bamboo Villa, Phoenix had just finished putting both the injured Red Wind and the unconscious Prince Jin to bed. There were dead people strewn about everywhere and she left them where they were. She would leave at first light in the morning.

All of a sudden, she heard noises of men moving about outside the villa. She went to investigate and to her consternation, she discovered that soldiers had arrived and that they had the villa completely surrounded.

Quickly, she roused Red Wind from his sleep. “Red Wind,” she cried urgently. “Soldiers have arrived! If we do not escape now, we will be caught!”

“I am injured and will not be able to run,” he said. “You run!”

“Don’t talk garbage! I did not save your life in order for you to get arrested!”

“Phoenix,” he said. “You have saved my life and therefore you have my eternal gratitude. Now save yourself. You may be able to evade the soldiers in the dark. I’ll only be a hindrance to you!”

“We’ll use the tunnel!” she whispered urgently. Her keen ears had picked up the sound of soldiers opening the outer gate.

“Tunnel? What tunnel?” he asked.

“The secret tunnel out of here! Prince Jin showed it to me,” she replied hurriedly. “The Seventh Prince, who owns this place, had a secret tunnel dug in case of emergencies!”

With a sweep of her hands, she lifted him up bodily from the bed and then ran out of the room. She rushed him along a corridor to another room and then another. She opened a secret door, pushed Red Wind through it and then closed the secret door behind her. They were in some sort of tunnel. He held a lighted torch as she carried him bodily along all the way until the tunnel ended at a rock. She pushed aside the rock and they found themselves at the other opening of the tunnel. In the distance, they could hear the soldiers in the villa grounds arresting the kitchen staff and any servant still alive.

“There are usually a few horses kept here,” she said.

“Where?” he asked.

She pointed. Near the tunnel opening was a hut. They found three horses in there.

“I am indebted to you again,” he said. “Er…..are we in some sort of relationship?”

“I guess so,” she answered. “Although they say that a relationship based on lust is not a true relationship.”

“Actually, a relationship based on lust is the most exciting kind of relationship!” he laughed.

“You are a good man, Red Wind,” she smiled. “But I am not a good woman.”

“I am not interested in a good woman!” he said with a naughty grin. What he really wanted was a slut, he thought.

He grabbed her and kissed her full on the lips while his hands lowered down to fondle her ass. For a while, they locked lips. Then she pushed his hands away and exclaimed, “If you are well enough to do that, then you are well enough to ride!”

He laughed with her as she helped him up a horse. His chest hurt, but he managed to stay on the horse. Together they rode off in the night, leaving Prince Jin to his fate.

Prince Jin was still unconscious when General Tu found him. The soldiers had the errant prince brought to the Summer Palace. When he woke up the next day, he found that he was behind bars.

The Emperor spent the next few days questioning the few survivors from the Bamboo Villa. He learned how Prince Jin was invited by the Seventh Prince to stay at the place. Finally, he managed to piece together a credible story on what had transpired at the Bamboo Villa.

Some evenings later, Prince Jin and Concubine Lin were brought to the Emperors presence and forced to kneel.

“So,” remarked the Emperor. “You thought that you could have me killed!”

“I do not know what the Emperor is talking about,” remarked Concubine Lin.

“You need not attempt to deny,” said the Emperor. “I have here the letters that you wrote to Prince Jin detailing my movements. Also, I have already sent my soldiers to arrest the staff at the San Feng temple in the Imperial City. I am sure I can get somebody to testify that you two have been together there. In a bed in a secret room behind the altar!”

“How did you know……I am innocent!” cried Prince Jin, shocked that the Emperor has found out about his trysts with the concubine in the San Feng temple.

“Innocent?” asked the Emperor. “You killed off my sons one by one! And you sent some foreign assassins to kill the Fifth Prince. At a cost of four thousand two hundred taels of silver!”

“How could you have known that?” blurted Prince Jin.

“The Emperor knows all things,” said the Emperor. “It’s of no use to hide things from me. Both of you will be dealt with severely!”

“No!” cried Concubine Lin. “It is not my fault! Prince Jin seduced me!”

“What?” cried Prince Jin. “You did not say that when you were moaning under me!”

The Seventh Prince was then brought before the Emperor and made to kneel.

“My seventh son,” intoned the father. “I am disappointed in your role in this whole obscene affair. Witnesses told me that on the night that the flute player almost killed me, you went to warn Prince Jin to hide in the Bamboo Villa. You were willing to let me die so that you could take over the throne! You are a disgrace to the royal family! That cannot go unpunished!”

“What are you going to do?” retorted the unrepentant son. “Kill me? Don’t forget that I am your only surviving son! If you have me killed, you will end your lineage as well!”

“That does not bother me,” said the Emperor. “I will just go and have another son.”

“Do not attempt to bluff me,” said the young prince. “It is a known fact in the palace that ever since you had the hunting accident a few years ago, you were not able to father any more children. Even your best daifus could not help you overcome your medical condition!”

“You are beyond all hope,” said the Emperor. “From now on, I will cease to treat you as a son!”

“Is that right?” sneered the young proud prince. “I am your only son now and you know it!”

The Emperor remained silent for a while. Then he gave a hand signal. A young man in resplendent clothes entered the hall. As he walked over to the Seventh Prince, the man greeted, “Hello, Seventh brother! I wish you would not refer to yourself as an only son!”

“The Fifth Prince!” gasped Prince Jin. All his efforts to stop the Fifth Prince had failed.

“Fifth brother!” whispered the Seventh Prince, scarcely able to believe his eyes. “Oh….shit!”

“I got here last night,” explained the Fifth Prince. “Many of my men have died at the hands of assassins. But the fates have been kind to me and I survived!”

The Emperor smiled grimly. Then he pronounced the judgment, “The Seventh Prince is of my blood, so I will not kill him. However, he will be kept a prisoner in a tiny cell in the basement inside the palace where he will live out the rest of his days in total darkness without any visitors. Prince Jin is my brother and of my father's blood. I will not kill him. For his role in this dastardly plot, he will be incarcerated in the Li-Khor prison. Royal Concubine Lin has betrayed the Emperor in the most heinous manner. By the rules of the Imperial Palace, such a concubine will be suffocated to death. However, I will spare her family and clan.”

On hearing the pronouncement, Royal Concubine Lin fainted.

The Emperor gathered his Generals and announced, “Tell the men to get ready. We are leaving the Summer Palace for the Imperial City tomorrow morning!”

+ + + + + +

Ten days later, the Emperor’s entourage reached the Imperial City. Prince Jin was immediately taken to Li-Khor prison by General Tu.

“Where is Warden Sai?” demanded General Tu.

“He went on leave,” answered Ah Chong the jailor, not daring to say that Warden Sai had disappeared a long time and that nobody knew where he was.

“Who is in charge here?” asked the general.

“Temporarily, I am,” said Ah Chong.

“I have a new prisoner for you,” said General Tu. “He is Prince Jin. The Emperor wants him to be kept in a cell of his own. Can you arrange it?”

“Of course,” replied Ah Chong.

Prince Jin was then led in chains to Ah Chong who took over the prisoner. Ah Chong led the prisoner to the new wing but one of the jailors told him, “There is no room here. We will have to put him up in a cell together with some other prisoners.”

“No,” said Ah Chong. “My orders are to put him in a cell of his own.”

“I heard that some prisoners just died in the old wing,” remarked an old jailor. “The cell will be empty. You can put him there.”

“All right,” said Ah Chong. “You can take him to the old wing.”

Ah Chong walked away. The old jailor then led Prince Jin to the old wing of the prison and handed him over to Lazy Snake, the young jailor there.

“Hey, Lazy Snake,” said the old jailor. “Ah Chong wants you to put this prisoner in a cell of his own.”

“I don’t have an empty cell,” grumbled Lazy Snake.

“Yes you have!” said the old jailor. “I know that some of your prisoners died last night. So you have space!”

“But I don’t think that the undertakers have finished clearing out the corpses yet!” said Lazy Snake.

“That is your problem!” said the old jailor. “I am leaving him here with you.”

With that, the old jailor left.

Lazy Snake stared angrily at Prince Jin and asked, “What is your name?”

“I am Prince Jin,” the prince replied.

“Oh yeah?” said a disbelieving Lazy Snake. “A real prince? Come with me, prince!”

The jailor opened the heavy wooden door that opened out to the old wing. Prince Jin was then led through the door, down a corridor to a cell where there were two dead bodies inside.

“That is your cell,” said the young jailor.

“There are two dead bodies in the cell!” said a shocked Prince Jin.

“So?” asked Lazy Snake. “If you do not disturb them, they will not disturb you!”

“I am not staying in there!” said Prince Jin.

“What….you think this is a five-star inn, issit? You think you can choose your own sleeping arrangement, issit?” snarled Lazy Snake. “This is a prison, in case you have not noticed!”

“I am still not staying in there!” insisted Prince Jin. “I am a prince and I demand treatment equal to my status!”

“All right!” said Lazy Snake. “I will temporarily put you in a cell with some other prisoners first until the corpses are cleared out.”

With that, the young jailor took Prince Jin to the next cell, which was the last cell there. He took his keys and opened the cell door before pushing Prince Jin inside. Then he locked back the cell door and walked away.

Prince Jin looked at his new surroundings. There were five tough-looking men inside.

“Who are you?” the prince asked.

“We are the Luan Luan Kan Gang!” a gruff voice answered. “And who are you?”

“I am Prince Jin!” replied the prince. “Clean a spot for me so that I can sit down!”

There was a sudden silence.

Finally, another voice spoke, “A prince? Ahhhh……delusions of grandeur!”

The gruff voice shouted, “Hey…..has anyone here ridden a prince before?”

Four voices answered, “No,”

“Do you want to?” asked the gruff voice.

Four voices answered, “Hell, yes!”

The five members of the Luan Luan Kan Gang grabbed hold of the prince. He tried to resist, but resistance was futile. They pulled down his pants forcefully and held him down as they rode him mercilessly one by one. Prince Jin screamed for the jailor, but Lazy Snake was attempting to sleep in his chair and was too lazy to come to investigate.

“Stupid idiot!” grumbled Lazy Snake on hearing the faint screams through the locked wooden door of the old wing. “Dunno kao peh kao bu for what? Disturb my sleep only!”

When the ordeal was finally over, Prince Jin sobbed. He was on his way to becoming the new Emperor, he thought. All his grand plans were dashed to hell because of one man. Only one man! And now, he was in a prison cell being treated as a bitch. He sobbed again.

One of the gang members said, "He is crying! We should console him!"

"You are right!" agreed a rough voice. "Once our depleted energy has recovered, we will definitely console him!"

+ + + + + +

Days later, in a little town south of the Yellow River, Wen Yiji and Zheng Shi Mei knelt before the grave of her father, Physician Zheng. Wen Yiji paid his respects to Physician Zheng with a tinge of sadness. He remembered the old man fondly. Everybody was dead from the two families except for Shi Mei, him and his younger sister in Tsinkiang.

"Shi Mei," said Wen Yiji. "There is a betrothal agreement between your family and mine. I am the only surviving son, so you will have to marry me. Did your father have a particular wedding date in mind?'

"No," replied Shi Mei. "He only said that a girl has to be married within one hundred days of her father’s death."

"How long ago was it since your father passed away?"

"It has been ninety-eight days now."

"In that case, we shall get married tonight!"

"Tonight? So fast? But I am not ready! We need to prepare the red cloth!"

"When is the earliest that we can prepare the red cloth?"

"Tomorrow morning, I guess."

"Then we will get married tomorrow afternoon!"

The following afternoon, they were married. Wen Yiji wasted no time in getting her into bed.

"Brother Wen," she asked. "Isn't this thing supposed to wait till night?"

"Why waste time?" he said. "Besides, once the bridal wine has been drunk, the bride is supposed to take off her clothes!"

"Are you sure?"


She smiled shyly and took off her clothes under the bedspread. Wen Yiji stripped off his clothes and joined her. She leaned against his chest, feeling comfort in his proximity. He looked down and saw her nipples. Gently, he cupped her bust and caressed the smooth firm flesh. She moaned and melted under his caresses. Then he felt her fingers exploring him below. A scientific hand wrapped her fingers around his manhood and explored every bulging vein. He grinned, pushed her flat down and then bent his head over her nipples, teasing them with his mouth. Halfway, the thought occurred to him that he was the lucky son of the Wen family who ended up marrying the talented good-looking daughter of Physician Zheng. Who would have thought that his fortune would be that good?

His hand caressed her bush and she spread out automatically. He could not wait any more. Positioning himself, he rammed his hardness into her, burying himself deep inside. She gave a little cry as her cherry popped.

“My husband….” she said with a quivering voice and trembling limbs.

“What is it, my wife?” he asked with concern.

“Nothing…… carry…..carry on,” she responded.

Slowly, he rocked her world. Her fingers clutched the muscles on his back and her moaning got louder and louder. Soon, he could not hold off the moment any longer and his seeds of passion erupted inside her, filling her completely. They held each other tenderly as they kissed.

“Husband,” she purred contentedly. “What are the duties of a good wife?”

“Well, everybody says that a wife should Work Intensively, Fuck Extensively,” replied Wen Yiji exhaustedly before he could stop himself. “Hence the term ‘wife’.”

“What?” she said. “I have to work?”

“It’s all right. I have servants,” he replied. “You can delegate all the work to the hired help. As for the other remaining duty……”

“That, I will do myself!” she said.

“That’s my girl!” he laughed.


Friday, November 23, 2007


The Kungfu That Ruled The Night - Chapter 27

Chapter 27: Size does matter

Just before nightfall, Wen Yiji headed to the back of the Bamboo Villa. He reasoned that his carriage was most probably kept in the stable which was usually located at the back of the premises. Seeing no one around, he slipped over the high wall and landed inside the villa grounds. There were sentries on duty, but crouching low on the ground and cloaked in invisibility, he was not detected. Quickly, he headed to the stable and a strange sight greeted him. Three men were beating up Ah Fatt who was blubbering noisily. Then, Wen Yiji saw his carriage. Four men were doing something to it.

One of the men by the carriage said in exasperation, "Will you stop beating him up? His crying is upsetting my concentration! We should have finished booby trapping this carriage a long time ago!"

"It is Ah Fatt's fault!" retorted one of the men doing the beating. "If he had not chased the pig too near to the carriage, then the pig would not have set off the booby trap! And then we would not have to reset the whole damn booby trap again!"

"Need you whack him so hard? He is blubbering like a little girl!"

"Hey, he was already blubbering like a little girl when your super efficicient booby trap killed his pig!"

"Well, stop thrashing him and come and lend us a hand. It is nightfall already and Master Sun's instructions were to get this thing ready before nightfall!"

Another voice commented, " I hope that you have set the trigger points higher this time. We don't want another pig to come and set off the thing!"

"Don't worry!" someone replied. "Anything below the height of a pig will not be able to trigger it off accidentally. But if a human attempts to enter the carriage, he will be perforated from all sides!"

"I don't see why we should booby trap this thing!" complained a voice. "There is nothing inside! Everything, including the bones, has already been moved to the Strongroom!"

"Stop complaining!" another voice hushed him up. "If Master Sun hears you complaining, your life will be shortened considerably! He has his plans on dealing with the One Eye Snake!"

The men worked silently. Then Wen Yiji spotted the dead pig. It had been skewered by arrows all over. There were so many arrows sticking from it that it looked like a huge porcupine. He suppressed the desire to laugh. This was no time to appreciate the humour of the situation.

The men finished their work and one of them said, "Get ready! Move away! I am going to release the safety catch!"

Then he pulled out a wooden rod from the side of a box which housed the contraption that was connected to the triggering points. Taking Ah Fatt and the dead pig along, the men carefully left the scene.

Wen Yiji waited awhile. He should make his way to the so-called Strongroom instead of hanging around the stable. However, he needed something from his carriage. When all was quiet, he carefully replaced the safety catch of the booby trap again. The booby trap had been deactivated, but he was taking no chances. For all he knew, there could be other triggering points that had no safety catch. He peered carefully around him to see any signs of trip wires or other triggering implements. He saw nothing that he had not already considered. Then he remembered that one of the men had said that anything below the height of a goat would not be able to trigger the booby trap accidentally. Silently, Wen Yiji got down and crawled carefully to his carriage, taking great care not to touch anything. When he reached the underside of the carriage, he opened the secret compartment underneath. Reaching in, he pulled out a sword that he had confiscated from the dead Kansai Killers a few months ago. It was one of the short swords, and therefore easier to hide when he was in the invisible state.

"I hope this sword will come in handy if I am dealing with Sun Cheong of the Buddha Palm," he thought. "It's blade is extremely sharp and can slice a man into two! When the power of the Buddha Palm meets cold steel, we will see which one is sharper!"

A bundle fell out of the compartment. Wen Yiji examined it and cried, "The bundle of smoke bombs! Let's see.....the yellow ones makes a loud noise and a flash....the red ones are poison gas bombs. Hmmmmph.......better take them also. They may come in useful!"

He closed back the secret compartment and left without triggering the booby trap. He moved silently, making his way past several sentries.

"Where should I go?" he muttered. "Which way is this so-called Strongroom?"

Quietly, he made his way to the inner courtyard. Standing in the middle of the courtyard, he looked at the rooms around him. It was already dark and there were only two lit lanterns in the courtyard. The rooms around the courtyard were all dark. All, except for one room. Its door was wide open and the inside was well lit.

Wen Yiji got nearer to the room. From where he was, he could see that his two bows were in the room, neatly placed against the sacks of bones that belonged to his dead family members.

"My parents' bones!" he muttered excitedly. "All placed neatly together with my short bow and long bow. In the only lighted up room around! This must be the Strongroom! And the door is wide open!"

Excitedly, he moved towards the room door. A slight sound from one of the rooms reminded him of the need for caution.

"This look too easy! It is like somebody is inviting me in to take my stuff!" he muttered to himself. "Where got so fat female pigeon jumping on the street one? Obviously, it is a trap!"

Wen Yiji then moved around the courtyard carefully trying to detect signs of life.

"The rooms near the Strongroom have men inside. And one of them has a wheezing problem!" he noted. He turned his head to another direction. "The rooms on the opposite side of the courtyard are also similarly occupied. I sense a strong sha qi in the air!"

He waited for a few moments, pondering his next step. Then he went to the two lit lanterns in the courtyard and blew them out one by one. The courtyard was shrouded in darkness.

"The lanterns in the courtyard has gone out," noted Prince Jin in one of the rooms. "Send someone to light them back."

A henchman was sent out to light back the lanterns. He held a candle in his hands and went out to the courtyard. Just as he was passing the Strongroom, an invisible hand reached out and poked his yue dao, thus immobilizing him. Then, invisible hands turned him to face the open door of the Strongroom. His yue dao was then freed, but at the same time, the henchman was shoved powerfully into the Strongroom. The poor guy came to a stop near the sacks of bones. Startled, the man turned round but could not see who it was who shoved him.

Wen Yiji was expecting waves of arrows and spears hurtling towards the man. However, nothing of the sort happened.

"No booby trap? Nothing? I can't believe it!" Wen Yiji muttered to himself. "In that case, I'll just go in and help myself to my stuff, then!"

Then the henchman noticed Sun Cheong standing quietly behind the door. "Somebody shoved me in here, Master Sun," he explained.

Sun Cheong silenced him with a wave of his hand. He had noticed two tracks of footsteps on the flour-covered floor, and one was made by an invisible being. "Get out of here," he instructed the henchman. "And tell the men to shoot at anyone who comes out the door!"

The henchman hurriedly walked out of the room and Sun Cheong immediately closed the door. He gathered his energy for a strike. Looking at the footsteps on the ground, he could guess Wen Yiji's position. However, he could not tell if Wen Yiji was carrying a weapon. No matter. His palm blast would take care of that.

Sun Cheong leapt forward and unleashed a palm blast just three steps away from Wen Yiji.

Wen Yiji was surprised to note that Sun Cheong had delivered a palm blast over his head. He remained still. In his crouching position, he thought furiously, “What the heck……how the hell did he know that I am here? Did he hear me breathe? I remember him saying once that the powers of his ears have no equal under Heaven! If I had been standing, instead of crouching, I would have caught his palm blast full force!”

Sun Cheong was puzzled. He knew that he had not managed to strike anybody. It was like hitting empty air. He had expected a body to be blasted towards the opposite wall. He looked around. Then he looked at the footprints again.

“The invisible intruder has got to be one step ahead of the last footprints. Did he leap away?” he asked himself. He got nearer to Wen Yiji who suddenly lashed out with the sword.


Sun Cheong heard the sword slicing through the air and he leaped away just in time. But not before the tip of the sword appeared magically out of thin air and nicked his knee. He turned in midair and delivered two palm blasts with both hands simultaneously towards where Wen Yiji had been crouching. However, Wen Yiji was in the process of leaping aside. The twin blasts missed him but the side stream of the blasts hit one leg and he was spun in midair by the immense force of the Buddha Palm energy. He landed hard on the floor some distance away. The sword dropped from his hands with a clatter on the ground. His palms swiped the floor and he uttered silently, “There’s flour on the floor. Why should there be flour on the floor? Oh….shit…..I am leaving marks all over the floor! So that was how he detected me!”

Sun Cheong rushed towards the fallen sword and then stared at the ground all around. He thought he knew where Wen Yiji had landed and delivered a palm blast. However, Wen Yiji was already on the move and no more there.

“I see that you have dropped your sword,” Sun Cheong called out. “That was certainly careless of you!”

“I know, I know,” drawled Wen Yiji from the other end of the room. “Accidents will happen. Hey, I nicked you in the knee, didn’t I? Tsk, tsk……you should be a bit more careful!”

Sun Cheong angrily brought is foot down on the fallen sword. The blade did not break, but it got bent.

“Who are you?” asked Sun Cheong. “Your voice sounds familiar. You are invisible. Yet you are not the Ghost Ninja.”

“Who I am is not important,” answered Wen Yiji. “You stole my carriage and my horse. You are nothing but a common thief.”

“You must be the one that they called the One Eye Snake,” retorted Sun Cheong. “And I did not steal your things. They were brought here to me.”

“That makes you a receiver of stolen goods,” said Wen Yiji sarcastically. “Still guilty as a thief!”

“Who is going to judge me? You? Do you know who I am?”

“You are Sun Cheong of the Buddha Palm. I think you must be somehow connected to the traitor Prince Jin.”

“That is where you are wrong! Prince Jin may be staying here, but I do not serve him!”

“I know. You serve Royal Concubine Lin who is in cahoots with Prince Jin to kill the Emperor! That makes you a traitor as well!”

“That is none of your business, One Eye Snake! You will not get out of this room alive!”

“Frankly, I am surprised by your presence here tonight. All these while, I thought that you were dead.”

“I know now where I have heard your voice before,” noted Sun Cheong. “That day, when I was battling with the Ghost Ninja, you were there. You were the carriage driver who gave him a lift!”

“You are correct,” said Wen Yiji. “You waylaid the Ghost Ninja and killed him in cold blood. Then you almost killed me. After that, you almost got killed by the Flute Master. In fact I thought you were dead!”

“Hahahahahah!” laughed Sun Cheong uproariously. “I was merely pretending to be dead! I fooled everybody, didn’t I?”

“You certainly did. I was under the impression that you were actually dead. So I gave you the scar on your face. I should have lopped off you head instead!”

“So! It was you who scarred my face!” snarled Sun Cheong. “Why did you do it? Why?”

“I thought that you and the Ghost Ninja were both already dead, so I wanted to make sure that he looked better than you in hell. So that you could not compete with him for women in hell. They say that hell is full of bad women. And you know what they say about women. When they are good, they are good. When they are bad, they are really good."

"What? I looked like this because of you!"

"Stop complaining. It is an improvement over your previous looks. Did you like the scar? I started out by simply cutting your face randomly, but then my creative juices took over and I tried to make the scar looked like a fish. A burping fish. Funny, isn’t it?”

“Funny? You think this is funny? I will make sure that you die. Slowly! Was it you who gave me the limp as well?”

“Oh…..that….” said Wen Yiji easily. “I wanted to make sure that you would not be able to chase the Ghost Ninja around in hell. How was I to know that you did not die?”

“You are going to hell!” screamed Sun Cheong. “Today, I will settle all accounts with you!”

“I guess you did not like what I did to your mouth either, did you?”

“Did to my mouth? What did you do to my mouth?”

“Don’t you remember anything?”

“I remembered waking up and finding that my mouth tasted funny.”

“Oh….that must be the horse shit that I crammed in your mouth. I used a stick to compact it inside. Klook Klook Klook Klook Klook......and it was all compacted! I bet it took you a month to wash it out.”

“You mangy dog!” shouted Sun Cheong. “I will carve you out slowly!”

“Who? You?” drawled Wen Yiji sarcastically. “I saw the Flute Master beat the crap out of you! Today, it will be my turn to do it, I guess. I am already thinking of the things that I can stuff in your useless mouth! Have you tried dog shit yet?”

The enraged Sun Cheong sent a palm blast in his direction. Wen Yij leaped off diagonally. He managed to avoid the palm blast but bumped his head against the low ceiling.

“Damn this maggot infested ceiling!” he swore as he fell to the ground. “Which idiot built the ceiling this low? He should have his contractor license revoked!”

Sun Cheong had leapt towards the sound where Wen Yiji had fallen and struck hard with a Buddha Palm.


The palm thundered into the floor and left the mark of his palm there. Mercifully, Wen Yiji had managed to move his body sideways to avoid the blow. He rolled away and flipped in time to parry another of Sun Cheong’s Buddha Palm. Sun Cheong hit out wildly. He was confident that Wen Yiji was not carrying any weapon. All he needed was to land a blow on his invisible opponent and the One Eye Snake would be history. But fighting with an invisible man was not easy. Occasionally, his blows got parried, but most of the time, he struck empty air.

For Wen Yiji, fighting from a crouching position was not easy either. He knew that sooner or later, Sun Cheong would figure out that he was crouching, and that would make things a lot more difficult.

“Why don’t you stand and fight like a man?” Sun Cheong jeered. "Afraid to match iron palms with me? Are you a chicken?"

“You are trying to get me to talk in order to reveal my position,” said Wen Yiji sagely. “The flour on the ground is now so full of footprints everywhere that you cannot tell where I am anymore if I keep silent.”

“If that is the case, why then do you answer?” asked Sun Cheong.

“That is because I can throw my voice,” lied Wen Yiji. “I can project my voice to somewhere else and then make you think that I am here but I am actually not here!”

"well, are you here or not?"

"I am not sure. Sometims i throw my voice so well that I even fool myself. So when I think I am here, I am actually not here. And when I think I am not here, I am also not here!"

“You are bluffing!”

“Am I?”

“There is one thing that I do not understand,” said Sun Cheong.

“One thing?” retorted Wen Yiji. “Don’t flatter yourself. Actually, there are a million things you do not understand.”

Sun Cheong ignored the jibe and asked, “When did the Ghost Ninja teach you the art of invisibility? I have known him a long time and I know that he did not believe in taking a disciple.”

“If you must know, he begged me to become his disciple,” answered Wen Yiji. “He said that I was the best thing to come his way since garupa head steamed with ginger. You wouldn’t understand. That makes it a million and one things you don’t understand.”

“What’s so good about garupa head steamed with ginger?”

“You have to add in a little rice wine. Then it tastes like heaven.”

“Oh……rice wine.....hey, you think that you have a smart mouth, don’t you? Unfortunately for you, I know the limitations of invisibility. Your world turns dark and you will not see very well. I will blow out the candles one by one until the light level is so low and you will not be able to see at all. Invisibility is stupid. I can’t understand why anyone would bother to learn it.”

“A million and two!”

“For someone who is about to die, you certainly are cheeky. Why you are like that, I don’t under…….”

“A million and three!”

“I did not complete my sentence!”

“Ooooops……sorry!” Wen Yiji apologized. “My mind works too fast sometimes. You must excuse me. It is very difficult for me to hold a decent conversation with slow thinkers.”

Sun Cheong had enough of talking. With a sweep of his powerful hand, all the candles in the room had their lights blown out. All, except one. The room turned darker for Wen Yiji. However, he always had to ability to see with low light from young, so he could still find his way around.

“Poor you!” Sun Cheong jeered. “You won’t be able to see now, can you? You are like a blind man now. Sooner or later, you will make a mistake and then I will kill you!”

Then he advanced on Wen Yiji while palm blasting every direction where he thought his opponent was standing.

Wen Yiji waited till he was near enough and then he unleashed a Dark Fire Iron Palm that struck the side of Sun Cheongs body.


The next moment, both Sun Cheong and Wen Yiji were thrown apart. Wen Yiji hit the wall of the room while Sun Cheong fell to the ground.

“Hahahahahaha!” laughed Sun Cheong as he picked himself up unhurt. “Didn’t you know that if you hit my body with an iron palm, my Buddha Palm stance will use my body to hit your palm as well? It is like hitting an explosion! Hahahahaha! You dumb cockroach!”

Wen Yiji winced with pain. Sun Cheong listened carefully for the sound of Wen Yiji breathing hard. The enclosed room magnified every sound. Then he moved towards Wen Yiji who had no choice but to retreat. Learning from painful experience, Wen Yiji knew that he could not hope to defeat Sun Cheong through raw power. If he were to win, it would have to be by some other method. He took a coin from his body and threw it against the wall. The coin rebounded from the wall and then fell down on the floor noisily. Under cover of the noise, Wen Yiji tried to move around Sun Cheong in an attempt to reach the door.

“Oh no, you don’t!” hissed Sun Cheong as his keen ears picked up the sound of Wen Yiji’s movements. He rushed for the door as well while saying, “You will not escape me so easily!”

Standing with his back against the door, Sun Cheong blocked the exit. Suddenly a dark shape hurtled towards him and hit the ground near his feet. There was a thunderous flash followed by heavy smoke; Wen Yiji had thrown a smoke bomb explosive. Sun Cheong leapt aside momentarily. Then he went back to the door again.

“Sun Cheong,” Wen Yiji called out. “If you do not move away from the door, this thing that I am throwing will sear your soul with its Superior No-comparison Pik Lik Life Sapping Breath. It’s very powerful! You will shit without stopping until you shit out your brains!”

"Do you take me for a fool? This room is not very big. If this thing gives out poisonous fumes, you will also get poisoned! Would you poison yourself in order to poison me? I think not!” said Sun Cheong with a sneer. “I have been to the Eastern Islands and I know that these things are used by ninjas to create a smoky diversion in order to escape from their pursuers. They are harmless! All sound and fury, signifying nothing!”

“Oh yeah?” noted Wen Yiji. “Just for that remark, I will throw two this time! Don’t say that I did not warn you!”

He threw two; one yellow smoke bomb explosive and one red poison gas bomb. This time, the contemptuous Sun Cheong did not even bother to move from his spot by the door. However, he kicked the more visibly impressive yellow bomb towards the sound of Wen Yiji’s voice. The red poison gas bomb lay by the door and its odorless poisonous gas spread out to fill the whole room. Wen Yiji tried not to breathe in too deeply. He had tied a piece of cloth to the lower half of his face. The dark energy of his Poison Field Inner Stance was already working to separate out the poison. As long as he did not use more than one third of his strength, his Poison Field Inner Stance kungfu would be able to keep the effect of the poison under control.

The poison started to take effect on Sun Cheong. His head grew dizzy.

“Pai……I got poisoned already!” he muttered. Quickly, he tried to use his inner energy to clear his head. Focus. He had to focus. In time, he would be able to expel the poison.

“You used…..poison!” he gasped.

“What if I did,” retorted Wen Yiji.

“We will both……die here!” gasped Sun Cheong, sinking to his knees.

"Do you have any last words, Sun Cheong?" asked Wen Yiji. "Or are you pretending to die again?"

“I am not……pretending. Poison is….real!” said Sun Cheong.

Wen Yiji waited for a while. Then Sun Cheong toppled over and lay on the ground.

“This is….the end,” gasped Sun Cheong with difficulty. “Before I die, I need……to tell you…….about Ghost Ninja.”

Wen Yiji could not hear him, so he walked over to Sun Cheong, not even bothering to crouch down.

Sun Cheong stared up at the half-visible Wen Yiji and mouthed, “You……only half visible! How?”

“I only got half the Invisibility Manual,” Wen Yiji answered him. “So I could only become half-invisible.”

“There is……one thing…… you need……. to know,” gasped Sun Cheong. He was near enough to reach out to touch Wen Yiji if he so wished.

“What is it?” asked Wen Yiji kindly.

“Remember I said……that I am not pretending…..to die?” Sun Cheong gasped.

“Yes?” responded Wen Yiji.

“Well……I lied!” said Sun Cheong sharply as he struck out with a Buddha Palm at the nearby Wen Yiji.


The next moment, Sun Cheongs right hand fell to the ground, sliced neatly away from the body at the elbow. As he stared stupidly at his fallen hand, a blade plunged into his chest before being withdrawn. Blood spurted out from his elbow and from his chest.

“There is also one thing you need to know,” drawled Wen Yiji. “While the smoke bombs were taking up your attention, I picked up my sword again! The blade was bent a bit, but I bent it back straight! You could only see my legs and was not aware that I was holding a sword in my hand. Let me tell you that this is a very specially crafted blade. Imported one! Very sharp! This was why I kept it all this time.”

Urnnnnghhh!” Sun Cheong grunted. “Impossible! You couldn’t be that fast!”

“I wasn’t that fast,” explained Wen Yiji. “But you were slow. The poison had slowed you down. And I knew a bit of the Ghost Ninja’s Water Spider technique to move quickly out of the way of your Iron Palm. The kungfu of the Ghost Ninja defeated you eventually.”

“No……” cried Sun Cheong as he struggled to a sitting position.

With a sudden motion, Wen Yiji plunged the sword in the neck of weakened Sun Cheong. Then he applied a sawing motion. Sun Cheong reached up with his left hand to grab hold of the blade to prevent the sawing. Wen Yiji attempted to saw, but Sun Cheong held on. Blood flowed down from the neck. In time, with much loss of blood, Sun Cheong became too weak to thwart Wen Yiji.

“This is for the Ghost Ninja,” whispered Wen Yiji as he continued sawing. Moments later, the head fell from the shoulders onto the ground. Sun Cheong flopped to the ground and remained unmoving.

“Something tells me that you are not pretending to be dead this time,” remarked Wen Yiji.

He stretched himself and then sat down next to the wall to concentrate. In time, the air became more breathable but the poison from the red poison bomb was still in his body. He waited for the Poison Field Inner Stance to do its work. After a while, he stood up and urinated against the wall to get the poison out of his system.

There were sounds outside the Strongroom. He knew that there would be a hot reception for him the moment he opened the door. Carefully, he went through the sacks of bones of his family members. Everything was intact. Then he inspected the two bows. They were not damaged in any way. The only things missing were his arrows. He examined the room. There was no way out except through the door. He would have to fight his way out. That should not be a big problem now that Sun Cheong was dead. However, he did not want his departed parents’ bones to get damaged in the fighting. One by one, he moved the sacks to the side of the room.

Outside the Strongroom, the archers had taken their positions. Red Wind approached one of the archers and asked, “Are you really going to shoot anyone who comes out of the room?”

“Yes,” the archer responded. “Those were our orders.”

“What if Master Sun comes out of the door?”

“We will also shoot!”

“You will kill Master Sun!”

“No we won’t! He will avoid our arrows!”

“How can he?” asked Red Wind.

“He is Master Sun Cheong of the Buddha Palm. He can avoid our arrows. If the One Eye Snake is in there, then Master Sun will not want us to hesitate in shooting as that would give the intruder a chance to get away. Our instructions were to shoot first and ask questions later.”

Red Wind digested this information. He had no idea that Master Sun was the same famed Sun Cheong of the Buddha Palm. Yet at the same time, he had heard that the famed Sun Cheong had been killed by the Flute Master.

“Damn!” he uttered as he walked away. “I don’t know what is true or false in the martial underworld anymore!”

Moments later the door of the Strongroom opened wide. The archers sent a volley of arrows through the door.


Standing safely behind the door, Wen Yiji noted, “These archers are good! Their arrows are delivered in a single volley and not as a mishmash of shots!”

He closed the door again. Then he went over to the opposite side of the room where the arrows had landed and started picking them up. “Now I have arrows!” he chuckled gleefully. “Showtime!”

After slinging the short bow over his body, he went over to where the body of Sun Cheong was. He picked up the body and put the head atop the neck. The head fell off. Taking two arrows, Wen Yiji skewered the head to the body. This time the head remained fixed and did not fall off. He opened the door again.


Another volley of arrows shot through the door. Wen Yiji then lifted up Sun Cheong’s dead body and held it in front of him. He marched out of the door using the dead body as a shield.

Thud! Thud! Thud!

Three arrows slammed into the dead body.

“Wait!” someone shouted. “It is Master Sun! I think we just killed him!”

Wen Yiji dropped the body and leapt skywards. Shrouded in invisibility, he made his way to the roof, unslung his bow and started shooting. One by one, the archers fell, shot either in the head or in the back. They did not know where the arrows came from.

“Run!” whispered Red Wind urgently to Prince Jin as he sized up the situation. His job was to protect the prince at all costs. Prince Jin, Red Wind, Blackface and Lady Phoenix ran to the big hall. Behind them, their men were dropping like flies as Wen Yiji went on a shooting spree. When he ran out of arrows, he merely picked up a fresh quiver of arrows from a dead fighter. Soon, all was quiet.

In the big hall, Prince Jin screamed, “Lock the door!”

Obediently, Red Wind locked the door and barred it with a stout wooden bar.

“What are we dealing with?” asked Phoenix.

“I don’t know,” answered Blackface. “But we ought to be safe here!”

“I wish you wouldn’t say things like that!” said Wen Yiji as he turned visible in the hall. “It gives me the urge to prove your wrong!”

They turned to stare at him. His face was still covered up by the cloth face mask and so they could not see his face.

“How did you get in here?” stuttered Prince Jin. “And who are you?”

“I am the one you have been trying to kill,” replied Wen Yiji. “First you employed the Eighteen Immortals to kill me. Then you tried to use a vampire. And then Sun Cheong tried to kill me. After that, there was this team of dead archers. All this ends tonight after I kill you, Prince Jin.”

“You know who I am?” asked Prince Jin in surprise.

“Of course!” answered Wen Yiji. “You are the Prince Jin who is banging Royal Concubine Lin and conspiring with her to kill off the Emperor so that her son can become the next Emperor! You are a traitor!”

“You have no proof of that!” cried the prince. “Kill him, Red Wind!”

Red Wind attacked. He was fast, but not quite as fast as Wen Yiji. Swinging his sword, Red Wind delivered stroke after stroke in an exquisite display of fast swordsmanship. Blackface joined him while Phoenix stayed back to protect Prince Jin.


Wen Yiji’s superior blade chopped Red Wind’s blade into two. Then he kicked Red Wind powerfully in the stomach and the fighter fell. Wen Yiji turned in time to block Blackface’s sword slash. A Dark Fire Iron Palm to the chest sent Blackface flying. Blackface hit the wall and crumpled down to the ground, still alive but badly hurt.

Wen Yiji went over to fallen Red Wind and lifted up his sword to cut off Red Wind’s head.

“Stop!” cried Phoenix. “You cannot kill this man!”

“And why not?” asked Wen Yiji.

“Because you owe me a favour!” she cried.

“Since when did I ever owe you a favour?” he asked in surprise.

“You are the carriage driver whom we attacked at the Pool of the Devil fish!” she said. “I recognize your carriage.”

“Yes, I remember you,” said Wen Yiji.

“After you and your lady were sent into the pool, my martial brothers, Whiteface and Blackface, wanted to throw your bags of bones into the pool as well. I stopped them!”

“Why did you do that?”

“I thought that those bones must have belonged to your family, and that you must have been planning to rebury them elsewhere. The dead should be respected. Thus I prevented Whiteface and Blackface from throwing the bones to the Devil fish!”

Wen Yiji mulled over this bit of information. Then he said, “You are right. I do owe you a favour. For that, I will spare your life. As for this man, he attacked me and so I have to kill him!”

Again, he lifted up the sword to cut off Red Wind’s head.

“Wait!” Phoenix cried. “You can’t kill this man!”

“And why not?” Wen Yiji asked. “I have already spared you your life. This man’s fate is none of your business.”

Phoenix stared steadily at Wen Yiji and said clearly, “I have lain with this man, Red Wind, and they say that one night as a couple is a hundred days of gratitude. I wish to plead for his life!”

“Damn!” said Wen Yiji. “I will not cause you a life of sorrow by robbing you of your man. All right. I will spare him. But I will paralyze his kungfu afterwards!”

“Thank you!” said a grateful Phoenix.

Wen Yiji turned to the hapless Blackface. He lifted up his sword in readiness to take off the head. Blackface stared at him helplessly.

“Wait!” shouted Phoenix. “You can’t kill that man also!”

“And why not?” Wen Yiji asked.

“I have also lain with him, and they say that one night as a couple is a hundred days of gratitude,” she explained. “I wish also to plead for his life.”

“You have lain with more than one man?” asked a surprised Wen Yiji.

“Yes!” she answered.

“I am sorry!” said Wen Yiji. “Our tradition only allows one man per woman. Thus, I can spare only one man! Choose among the both of them whom you wish to have me spare.”

“I am unable to choose!” cried Phoenix.

“In that case, I will kill both of them!”

“Wait!” Phoenix said. She hesitated for a moment before pointing to Red Wind and replying, “I choose him!”

The injured Red Wind heaved a sigh of relief. Blackface, however, was enraged.

“You chose him over me?” he shouted angrily to Lady Phoenix. “But we are members of the same Green Scorpion Sect. Red Wind is an outsider! What does he have that I don’t?”

“I’m sorry, brother Blackface,” she said. “But to me, size does matter!”

Red Wind beamed triumphantly.

Wen Yiji turned to Blackface and snarled, “You had a hand in pushing my woman into he Pool of the Devil fish! Not only that, several nights ago you tried to molest her at the Green Gate Inn! Consider yourself lucky that I am giving you a quick death!”

The next moment, Wen Yiji slashed downwards with his sharp blade and Blackface’s head toppled to the ground.

Wen Yiji looked at Prince Jin. It was his turn. Swinging his sword, he walked over to the terrified prince.

“It’s your turn to die, prince,” he said emotionally.

“Wait! Wait!” cried the prince. “I have also lain with Lady Phoenix! And one night as a couple is a hundred days of gratitude! You can’t kill me!”

Wen Yiji looked at Phoenix and asked, “Is that true?”

Phoenix nodded her head.

“Well, you certainly live a busy life! However, the same ruling goes,” remarked Wen Yiji. “I can spare only one man. Who will it be? Red Wind or Prince Jin?”

Phoenix looked uncomfortable. Finally, she turned to Prince Jin and said, “I am sorry, prince. But size does matter!”

“What?” cried a shocked Prince Jin. “You mean his one is bigger than mine?”

Phoenix nodded. “Much bigger,” she mumbled.

“You heard the lady!” smiled Wen Yiji, appreciating the humour of the unusual situation. “Prepare to meet your fate, you unworthy prince!”

Prince Jin trembled in terror and shitted in his pants as Wen Yiji approached. Phoenix looked at the prince in pity, but there was nothing she could do. Red Wind mouthed a "thank you" in Phoenix's direction. He would have to thank her properly later. He would impress into her at great length the depth of his gratitude.


Monday, November 19, 2007


My preference: Broom over boot

I am in favour of the giving brooms to underperforming government councils and my views are backed by solid scientific evidence.

The latest internationally-conducted study shows that by giving errant councils a broom, cleaniness in the council offices will vastly improved. Our findings left us a bit overawed by the magnitude of this discovery. It's a bit like discovering that there is life on earth.

(Well, I know that you know that there is life on earth. But you did not know that until we discovered that, did you? Let's move on.)

I mean, if you put a broom in a government council office, sooner or later, some overpaid employee would start to wonder whether there was any entertainment value in it. Hey, he is human, so he can't spent the 9-to-5 period getting paid and doing nothing. I mean, he's got to be entertained. So, before you can even beg for service, the see-view servant will start horsing around with the broom and in the process, the dirt gets swept left, right and centre. What a brilliant concept! It's a refreshing change. Instead of seeing rubbish everywhere, you now see it only at the left, right and centre. It makes me seriously feel like visiting a local council or two when I have absolutely nothing to do.


Maybe there is some truth after all in the old adage, "A broom in the hand is worth two in the bush."

And we have yet to mention the effect this would have on the broom industry. It's time the broom manufacturers get some much-needed help from us ever since they took a beating from the manufacturers of vacuum cleaners.

Lately, I hear that the broom awards are going to be withdrawn. Damn! There's dirty shit afoot. I bet the vacuum cleaner makers have something to do with this. You heard me. Bring back the brooms!


Monday, November 12, 2007


The Kungfu That Ruled The Night - Chapter 26

Chapter 26: The journey back to Shibai

Wen Yiji sat outside the temple and took in the morning rays of the rising sun. The truth was that, he was feeling like shit. The close proximity with the vampire all night had denigrated his life force.

“You should sleep in the sun for a while, brother Wen,” advised Shi Mei. “You looked rather pale.”

“You go to sleep,” said Wen Yiji. “You were up all night as well.”

“Yes,” she replied. “But you were breathing close to the vampire and that must have sapped your life force considerably. I don’t like the colour of your face.”

“Too bad. I was born with this face.”

“That is not what I meant. You really need to rest so that your life force can be rejuvenated. Otherwise you will fall unconscious later.”

“I am too hyped up to sleep,” he declared.

“That can be easily cured,” she said as she poked him with two acupuncture needles.”

He turned halfway and said, “I did not say that you…. can….. poke…….meeeeeeee…...”

With that, he fell into deep slumber. While he slept, Shi Mei felt his pulse and then proceeded to poke him in several parts of his body, attempting to get the yang energy to flow. She worked efficiently and rapidly. When Yiji awoke, the sun was high up in the sky.

"You poked me!" he said to Shi Mei accusingly.

"Yes I did!" she responded. "You needed to be poked!"

“Dammit, Shi Mei!” he said. “You can’t go around poking people all the time! How would you like it if I poked you instead?”

“All right, I’m sorry!” said Shi Mei. “If it will make you feel better, you can poke me back later.”

Wen Yiji eyed her. He would like to poke her later. But he would not be using a needle. He felt his pants tightened and was glad that he was wearing two pairs of underwear. Shi Mei sensed his thoughts. She blushed.

"Where is the damn vampire?" asked Wen Yiji.

"It is standing next to the western wall," she answered. "It must be sleeping. My father told me once that vampires sleep in a standing position facing the wall."

"Time we get rid of it!" he declared.

Wen Yiji walked to the door of the hall and looked inside. The vampire was indeed standing by the wall, facing it. Wen Yiji squinted up at the sky. The sun was searing and powerful. It was the perfect time to destroy the creature.

He looked around him and picked up a wooden pole from the ground. With a slight smile, he leapt up to the roof in one single leap. Then, he ran up and down the roof while using the pole to sweep away the roof tiles away like a typhoon. The tiles flew away under his onslaught and in no time at all, the roof was cleared. Bright sunlight flooded the entire prayer hall.

Wen Yiji peered down from the rafters into the hall but the vampire was nowhere to be seen.

"Where is that vile creature?" he shouted out.

"Lying under the table," answered Shi Mei, peering into the hall from the doorway. "I think it is using the table as some sort of cover from the burning sun."

Wen Yiji jumped down from the roof to the hall below him. He approached the table with his wooden pole nonchalently. Squatting down, he took one final look at the vampire hiding under the shadow of the table. He wondered if the vampire knew that the end had come for it. The vampire turned its head to glare at him in hatred. It knew all right. But there was nothing it could do. The creature of the night was helpless in the day.

With a quick motion, Wen Yiji flicked the entire table upwards and away with the pole. For a brief moment, the strong sunlight bore into the King of vampires mercilessly. The creature started charring immediately. It glowed brightly like a huge ember and angrily hopped towards Wen Yiji who retreated a few steps. The burning vampire started breaking up into flaming bits and in less time than it it took for one breath, the fearsome King of vampires disintegrated into a pile of ash.

Shi Mei entered the hall and took one look at the ashes.

"Let's leave," suggested Wen Yiji.

"Good idea," agreed Shi Mei. "Please remind me to make a note that vampires are highly combustible."

They made their way to where they had parked their carriage the previous night.

"Hey, our carriage has disappeared!" cried Wen Yiji. "And judging from the wheel marks on the ground, someone has driven it away!"

"You are right!" exclaimed Shi Mei. "I thought I heard our horse calling while we were busy battling the vampire last night! That must be when our carriage got stolen!"

"My parents' bones are in the carriage!" cried Wen Yiji. "I've got to get them back!"

"Oh, no! But why would anyone take the carriage?"

"I do not know," replied Wen Yiji. "The happenings of the past two days are forming a pattern. Someone obviously wanted me dead. The man with the birds must have something to do with it. I bet that whoever wanted me dead must be in Shibai."

"How can you be that certain?"

"Call it a wild hunch. The Eighteen Immortals asked if I was the One Eye Snake. I used that term only in Shibai. So obviously I am being hunted by someone in Shibai. Also, the wheel tracks of our carriage appear to be heading back to where we came from!"

"What do we do now?" asked Shi Mei.

"We go back to Shibai and hunt down our carriage. Come, let us see if there are horses in the temple stables."

They managed to get two horses from the stables and so they led the two horses out to the road. As they were passing the prayer hall, Wen Yiji spotted the Birdman's cage of homing pigeons near the door. Without hesitation, he grabbed the cage and took it along.

"These birds may come in useful," he told Shi Mei.

"You want to barbeque them?" she asked.

"No," he replied.

They followed the wheel tracks on horseback as best as they could. True enough, the wheel tracks led them north towards Shibai. Wen Yiji and Shi Mei rode fast, hoping to catch up with the carriage. At times when they lost sight of the wheel tracks, they merely rode on towards Shibai. The rain came but they rode on. It was only a slight drizzle, but it was enough to wash off the wheel tracks in the road.

That night, they spent the night in a wayside inn of a little village. Two of the pigeons had died.

The next morning, they headed towards Shibai again. Towards late afternoon, they approached the outskirts of Shibai.

"How will we know where to look, brother Wen?" asked an exhaused Shi Mei. "There are so many wheel tracks here that we will not be able to locate the tracks of you carraige."

"The birds will tell us," replied Yiji. "If my guess is correct, their roost is in Shibai. I will release a bird and then try to follow it."

"Only two birds are left alive," noted Shi Mei. "The others are asleep. Or dead."

Wen Yiji peered at the cage. Most of the birds had not survived the hard riding. Only two birds were still moving.

"Two little dickie birds sitting on the wall. One named Peter, the other named Paul," he intoned.

"What's that?" she asked.

"Uh....nothing. it's some silly poem that my ex-cellmate Amos used to recite. I remember that it used to drive me nuts!"

They rode out to some high ground and Wen Yiji took out one of the surviving pigeons from the cage. He released a pigeon.

"Fly away, Peter," he muttered.

The bird circled them for a few moments before flying away in a straight line.

"Looks like it is heading for the southeastern side of Shibai," he noted. "Towards the outskirts."

Shi Mei nodded in agreement. After a while, they lost sight of the bird.

"Somewhere there is a roost of homing pigeons and I bet our carriage is there as well," he said. "Let's make our way there. We have one more bird to help pinpoint the location."

At the Bamboo Villa, the plump disciple of the Ghost Master had just arrived with Wen Yiji's carriage. He was greeted by Blackface who knew him.

"Where is your sifu, the Ghost Master?" asked Blackface.

"He will be along shortly," answered the plump disciple. "He asked me to deliver the horse and carriage first because the carriage is travelling slower than him. I think sifu should arrive by tonight."

"Did you complete your mission?" asked Blackface. "Is the One Eye Snake dead?"

"I think so," replied the plump man. "We lured him into a hall with the King of Vampires and locked the door from outside. Nobody can survive that creature!"

Phoenix stared at the carriage. Then she went inside and saw the sacks of bones. When she exited the carriage, she was ashen faced.

"What's the matter?" asked Blackface quietly to her..

"This is the same carriage that we stopped at the Pool of the devil fish!" she whispered to Blackface. "We sent the driver and the girl into the pool They should have been eatedn up by the Devil fish!"

"Oh shit! I forgot!" exclaimed Blackface. "The girl is not dead. I saw her the night Whiteface died!"


"I meant to tell you but it slipped my mind with all the excitement!"

"Oh, damn! If the carriage driver is One Eye Snake, then he must be looking for revenge for what we did to him!" deduced Phoenix. "This has nothing to do with Prince Jin!"

"Hush!" said Blackface. "Let us keep this to ourselves!"

Phoenix nodded her head.

"What is inside the carriage?" asked Prince Jin when he arrived.

"Two bows, one long and one short," replied the plump disciple of the Ghost Master.

"A short bow? That is our man!" cried the pleased Prince Jin.

"There is also a lot of human bones inside," commented the disciple.

"Human bones?" asked Prince Jin. "Why would there be human bones?"

"He must be a mao shan man," explained the plump disciple. "My sifu, the Ghost Master, use a lot of human bones to summon the spirits. These are all supernatural stuff. Very supernatural stuff. You wouldn't understand."

"What I can or cannot understand is not for you to judge!" said the prince angrily.

Sun Cheong eyed the carriage for a long time. He, too, had seen the carriage before; on the day when he killed the Ghost Ninja.

"Something strange is going on," he muttered quietly to himself. "The Ghost Ninja arrived on this carriage with a stranger. I remembered killing the Ghost Ninja. I remembered delivering a powerful blow to the carriage driver. Then the Flute Master arrived and I had to feigned death. When I awoke, everybody was gone. Did the Ghost Ninja really die or did he feigned death like I did? If so, is this One Eye Snake the same person as the invisible Ghost Ninja? This is getting complexed, ta ma de!"

"What are you muttering about, Master Sun?" inquired Prince Jin.

"Nothing, prince," answered Sun Cheong. "I have a most strange feeling about this One Eye Snake!"

"Never mind your strange feeling! It is good that the One Eye Snake is now dead. We will wait for the arrival of the Ghost Master to fill us with the details," suggested Prince Jin.

Sun Cheong ordered the carriage to be taken to the stables. He then instructed all his staff to report any out of ordinary happenings to him, no matter how small. The staff was obedient. One by one they came to him to report any unusual incident.

"Master Sun," said an old gardener. "The stable hand, Ah Fatt, is fondling the goat."

"So?" asked Sun Cheong. "He always fondles the goat. Why are you telling me this?"

"You asked me to report any out of ordinary happenings to you, no matter how small."

"What is so out of ordinary about that?" asked Sun Cheong.

"Ah Fatt usually fondles the front of the goat. Now he is fondling the ass!"

Sun Cheong dismissed him and sighed.

Soon, another servant appeared before him and complained, "Old humsup Ah Fatt is fondling an animal! It is not normal."

"I know, I know!" said Sun Cheong. "He is fondling the goat again!"

"No, no, no!" said the servant. "He is fondling the pig this time! That is why it is out of the ordinary!"

"Oh, alright! Now get back to work!" snarled an exasperated Sun Cheong.

Some time later, the kitchen boy ran to him and yelled, "Master Sun! I have come to report something out of the ordinary!"

"What is it?" asked Sun Cheong.

"One of the Birdman's pigeons has returned!" yelled the boy. "It just flew into the coop!"

"Good!" said Sun Cheong. "Give me the message from the pigeon."

"There was no message attached to the pigeon," said the kitchen boy.

"What?" yelled Sun Cheong. "No message?"

"None!" replied the boy.

Sun Cheong was instantly on the alert. He knew that the Birdman would not send a pigeon without a message. Something was definitely not right!

"This is really out of the ordinary!" he said slowly.

"No, no, no!" said the boy. "This is nothing! What I am about to tell you is really out of the ordinary!"

"What?" inquired Sun Cheong.

"Ah Fatt is now fondling the pigeon!" said the boy with a triumphant tone.

"Get out of here!" yelled Sun Cheong angrily. He would have to thrash the humsap Ah Fatt later, but in the meantime, there were important matters to attend to.

Quickly, he brought the news to Prince Jin and the others.

"Maybe the bird escaped from the cage and then flew here," suggested Red Wind. "Such things have been known to happen."

"Or maybe there was a message but it was lost in midflight," suggested Prince Jin.

Sun Cheong kept quiet. He was not afraid of the One Eye Snake. However, the whole affair with the One Eye Snake was beginning to get complicated. For all he knew, the Birdman could be dead.

Meanwhile, Wen Yiji had reached the southeastern outskirts of Shibai. The area was dotted with farmhouses and private villas.

"This is the place where we lost sight of the bird. The pigeon coop could be somewhere near," he told Shi Mei.

"We have still one more pigeon. It will have to count," said Shi Mei.

Wen Yiji nodded. Then he took the cage and sped up a tall tree.

"Fly away Paul," he muttered as he released the last pigeon. The bird circled around and then headed towards some trees. Wen Yiji made a giant leap upwards with lightness kungfu. High up in the air, he saw the pigeon swoop over the trees towards a rooftop near a bamboo grove. Then he started dropping, but he had seen enough.

"Come, Shi Mei," he called out. "I saw the bird flying towards a villa near a bamboo grove over there."

"I don't see any villas," she said.

"It's hidden by a group of trees," he told her. "We can't see it from here, but I am sure that I can find it. It is not far."

"What are our plans, brother Wen?" she asked.

"I will go into the villa and bashed every head until I get back the bones of my family," he replied. "And after that, I will bash their heads again. Once I have finished, I will let you perform the bashing if you like."

"No, thank you."

"Hey, you need the practice. It is not often that you can get some heads to bash!"

At the Bamboo Villa, a servant brought news to Sun Cheong while he was talking with Red Wind, "Master Sun! Master Sun! Another pigeon has returned!"

"What? So soon?" asked a surprised Sun Cheong. "Was there a message?"

"No," replied the servant.

Red Wind thought furiously. Then he cried out, "Shit! The One Eye Snake is here! He is using the pigeons to locate this villa!"

"How do you know?" asked Sun Cheong.

"Because that is what I would do!" replied Red Wind. "If the Ghost Master had managed to eliminate the One Eye Snake, we would have gotten word by pigeon post yesterday! The fact that we did not receive any word up to now meant that something had gone wrong! My opinion is that the One Eye Snake has killed both the Ghost Master and the Birdman!"

"Why would the One Eye Snake come here?" asked Sun Cheong. "He was travelling south!"

"Because we have taken something away from him!" replied Red Wind. "His horse and carriage, his bows and his bones!"

Sun Cheong froze for a while. Then he quickly summoned his archers and gave them their instructions, "I want the bones and the bows from the carriage moved to the Strongroom! Then I want the carriage booby trapped! We will lay a trap for the One Eye Snake tonight!"

The Strongroom was a solidly built room with no windows and had only a door at one end. Its width was only sixteen steps wide and the ceiling was low. A top kungfu fighter would find it difficult to manouvre around Sun Cheong in that room.

"What are we dealing with, Master Sun Cheong?" asked one of the archers.

"We are dealing with someone who will be difficult to see at night," answered Sun Cheong. "But once we get him into the Strongroom, he will not be able to escape my Buddha Palm! No one can!"

An invisible face at the outer walls of the villa peered into the villa grounds. Moments later, as Sun Cheong was waking through the villa grounds, he thought that he felt someone staring at him. He turned his head but could see no one.

Wen Yiji dropped down to the ground outside the villa and then ran to where Shi Mei was hidden.

"This battle is going to be tougher than I expected," he told her.

"Why?" she asked.

"I saw my old nemesis, Sun Cheong of the Buddha Palm!" he sighed. "I thought he was dead! But it looks like he is still alive! His face is all scarred but I can still recognised him, because it was I who gave him the special fish-shaped facial scars!"

"You can't take him?" asked Shi Mei.

"I fought with him once and lost," he replied. "Then the Flute Master battled with him and I guess that Sun Cheong lost. I found his lifeless body on the ground and thought that he was dead. If I had known that he was still alive, I would have killed him!"

"Do you need me to go in with the Devil flute?" she asked.

"No," he said. "Sun Cheong will be able to withstand your flute blowing. You are not able to play the flute with the same power as the Flute Master. I have seen him fight with the Flute Master. He has great internal control and only the Flute Master could find a vulnerable spot. You will have to stay out of this fight!"

"How are you going to rescue your family's bones out then?"

"Relax," said Wen Yiji confidently. "I do not think that Sun Cheong knows that I can turn invisible at night. I will use this to defeat him. As soon as it gets dark, I will enter the villa grounds."

In the Bamboo Villa, two men brought in some sacks of flour into the Strongroom.

"Spread the flour evenly on the floor," Sun Cheong commanded.

"Why do we need to do this?" asked one of the men.

Sun Cheong silenced him angrily with a glance. When the men had completed their job and left, Sun Cheong answered the question to an empty room, "So that if I am dealing with an invisible enemy, I will still be able to see the footsteps walking on the flour-covered ground!"


Saturday, November 03, 2007


Two little dickie birds

While waiting for the next chapter of Wen Yiji, let's immerse ourselves in something intellectual and read some cultural poetry instead.

"Two little dickie birds
Sitting on the wall
One named Peter
The other named Paul
Fly away Peter
Fly away Paul
Come back Peter
Come back Paul

Then came two horny birds
Naked on the wall
One gripped Peter
The other gripped Paul
One squeezed the head
The other squeezed the ball
Stop cumming, Peter
Stop screaming, Paul."


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