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One night in Beijing

(2007-10-20 16:44:06)
分类: 武侠情怀
 Chapter One

Evening, gloomy woods in Beijing suburb:

The edge of saber sliced sharply through thin air, leaving a deep elongated wound across the man’s neck. His face began to spasm uncontrollably; the quintessence of his life suddenly began pouring out into the void. Death approached, cold, fast, and merciless.
"Geez... one after another... they threw their worthless lives to bar my way!" the killer lifted his head and shot a glance at the silver moon, "yet I have no time to waste, must keep going!"

In a sense, this is not merely about pursuing, this is attrition -- the best hunters were never the fastest hunters;   tactics and prudence far outweigh speed and brute strength, especially while pursuing a dangerous monstrosity capable of   retaliating with unimaginable determination when cornered. Pursue and wait, until the monster became enervated from
despair, hopeless from fear, then the time of harvesting life had arrived. Jun Bieli used to be the best "hunter" who comprehended the rule of killing well... But now, he is being hunted...

Chapter Two   

If there exists something more dreadful than the perpetual darkness that enshrouds the forest like the mighty hands of Yama himself, an impenetrable veil ensconcing all things sinister to be unleashed upon his clan, it must be the thought of a well-executed ambush commanded by the most feared warrior in the known world: a man with a reputation to loot, to kill, to plunder, a conqueror of the entire continent, a harbinger of death, the herald for doomsday to exterminate man like puny ants via fire and steel! It is from him that Jun Bieli must escape, against him Jun Bieli must confront.

Jun Bieli frowned, his brow covered in perspiration even on this bleak night. He did not expect the enemy to be so determined in hunting for his head. He knew there would be danger on his way to Beijing. He did not expect the danger to be Bai Yulou and 3000 talents of gold reward to whoever could kill Jun Bielu. Even Jun Bielu is unable to hold his ground against powerful warriors throughout the continent. “I must move to open ground”, thought Jun Bieli, “staying in these cursed woods would be the end of me!”

Moonlight is a double-edged sword. It can help Jun Bieli seek out the road out of these woods; it may also aid Bai Yulou to find him.

Jun Bieli took a deep breath and took several steps backward, landing only on his footprints, before jumping onto a massive rock covered in lichen. This simple tactic may confuse and delay the pursuers as they ponder over the bizarrely-disappearing track.   No doubt Bai Yulou is an intelligent man, but his goons are far stupider.

Relieved and with a glimmer of hope rising in his heart, Jun Bieli leaped onto a tree nearby, moving from branch to branch, towards the nearing yet distant horizon.

Danger did not pass. It wasn’t long before Bai Yulou’s shadow caught up with Jun Bieli again. Worse yet, Bai Yulou was waiting for him, in person.

“Jun Bieli, come with me or stay in this forest for eternity!” a ghostly figure emerged from the dense foliage, clad in silver white, the subdued voice matching well with the otherworldly apparitions around him.   Jun Bieli’s spine tingled, disbelieving the fact that the enemy is in front instead of behind him.

The best hunters were never the fastest hunters, sighed Jun Bieli. Everything hitherto this final showdown had been a setup to exhaust him, sapping his strength, preparing himself to become that cut piece of meat on the plate.

“A warrior knows no fear, “ Jun Bieli replied tersely. “No one can prevent me from rescuing my master, not even a demon like you!”

“Hahaha!” Cackled Bai Yulou, as if Jun Bieli just uttered the most incredulous remark in the world. “I have thousands of men laying in wait around this forest. I am the best spear wielder in all China. Not even the Mu Ren and his daughter Mu Xiaotong could block my charge. How far can you run from our combined strength?”

Chapter Three

“To hell with you!”   Jun Bieli charged, sword in hand, dicing upward along Bai Yulou’s shoulder, the silver hue of moonlight reflected on Jun Bieli’s polished blade. Jun Bieli is aiming to kill, knowing that many more enemies wait nearby.

Bai Yulou was not at all surprised by Jun Bieli’s attack. He unleashed the full power of his spear, advancing rather than retreating, weaving an intricate web of mist and shadow in front of him. To Jun Bieli, Bai Yulou’s moving spear tip is like the shining constellations on a moonless night, like blossoming lilies in the vivacious spring, beatific and breathtaking.

Bai Yulou’s spear had daunted countless heroes cower. It is not Bai Yulou’s lethality that took away these heroes courage. Bai Yulou only attacks, for he has nothing to defend for.

Bai Yulou’s opponents never attacked, for they have nothing to live for against his dazzling and overpower display.But not Jun Bieli.

Jun Bieli let out a furious roar, scattering sleeping birds in the near vicinity. He ignored Bai Yulou’s spear and continued the fateful saber arc towards Bai Yulou’s throat.
Bai Yulou’s could not believe what had just transpired.   Jun Bieli is much stronger than expected. What now?

From the depth of the woods, an arrow cut through the musky odor of decadent forest, through the all-encompassing darkness, and through the battleground where two great warriors remain locked in combat.  

"Bloody hell!" Bai Yulou screamed, eyes wide in disbelief and confusion. His heart was pierced by an iron-tipped arrow, an appropriate end for a cruel tyrant and monstrosity who sacrificed his own conscience to Yama to dominate China.

“Bieli,   I have come to aid you!” Jin Se smiled, resplendent beyond imagination, wavy hair flowing against the cold zephyr.

Bai Yulou would remember this scene for the rest of his life, of how Jin Se stood in the wind, like a marble statue, or a goddess too pure and
pulchritudinous to be gazed upon by plain men like him from this world.

Chapter Four

Beijing, near dawn:

Master is a toothless old man, grey hair lazily draping over his broad shoulders. Time has left many scars on his body; thousands of wrinkles betray his age. But not his eyes!   From those eyes shone wisdom and determination unscathed by the sand of time, eyes as bright as sunlight revealing all that is hidden, eyes possessed only by the greatest warriors who have lived on this earth.

A firm and persistent warrior stood reverently beside him, accompanied by a beauty in splendid attire.

"Time tries all..." an old voice broke out, "But, I cannot leave here. This place has always been the center stage throughout my life. The dreams I have always followed… the friends I have lost… I shall never forget them."

"But master! No dynasty lasts forever. No one can block the wheel of history. You have always been a candle of Ming -- brightening the dynasty and consuming yourself. "    Warrior said in pain, "But how could one candle illuminate the entire pavilion? All things eventually came to an end, including your obligation to the decaying Ming dynasty..."

“That is easier said than done. I should have foreseen today. The emperor is dim-witted but cautious, as soon as I were to leave Beijing, mercenaries would appear...”

"Promises don't come easy. Ten years ago I pledged to you my life and honor, until death does us apart! I will not forsake that pledge!"

"But Master! You bring only the light of hope!"

Two voices interrupted the scholar. When the scholar turned around, he found his two disciples remaining on their knees!

The scholar lost himself in deep thought for a long time and finally raised his head, eyes filled with determination.

"Dust to dust, ash to ash. Everything turns grey in ashes of Time. Only memory will remain, only memory will remain..." Leaning back and laughing bitterly... with the song farther and farther... the sight of a straight back disappearing into autumn wind...  Still, there were two guardians defending their master, vowing to protect him until their last breathes. They found themselves in each other's embrace. They shall not separate in life and death; they shall face the eternal sleep together.

(Jun Bieli PK Mu Xiaotong)





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