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Fists of Blood (Wuxia Novel)

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(This story is far larger than the others I have posted. That's why it is divided in parts. However, instead of a thread for each part, I will post all parts in this thread. About the story, it takes place during the Qing Dynasty, in Kangxi's reign. Kangxi was the grandfather of Emperor Qianlong, who was the protagonist in my "The Emperor and the Hero" story. The main themes are patriotism (Han Chinese versus Manchus), war, love and Kung Fu. I would like to note that the story, being a Wuxia one, shall include some supernatural elements, like Qinggong. I hope that you shall enjoy the story :D)


Fists of Blood




August 1677, Jiangxi Province, Nanchang


Almost 30 years have passed since 1644. In 1644, the Manchus, a barbarian tribe in Northern China, found the chance to invade Ming China. At that time, the Ming Empire was collapsing. The rebel leader Li Zicheng had been able to take over Beijing and the last Ming Emperor had committed suicide. Wu Sangui, Commander of the Shanhai Pass, one of the most important passes of the Great Wall, was going to surrender to Li and his newly founded Shun Dynasty, but Li took Chen Yuanyuan as his concubine. The problem with this was that Chen was the most beloved concubine of Wu. So, enraged at the loss of his beloved one, Wu opened the gates of the Great Wall to the Manchus. Under their leader, Dorgon, the Manchus crushed Li and in 1644 took over Beijing and established the Qing Dynasty.


However, not all Han Chinese accepted Manchu rule. Ming loyalist Zheng Chenggong resisted against all odds the Manchu conquest for more than 16 years. In his last campaign, he defeated Dutch forces in Taiwan and established this island as his base of operations for a reconquest of China. Although Zheng died before he could realize his dream of liberating China from the Manchu Barbarians, his son, Zheng Jing, led 30,000 Ming loyalist troops in 1676 in Fujian, Southern China. Of course, the Qing Emperor, Kangxi, could not accept this. So, he has send the elderly and respected Commander Jing to lead an expedition against the "Ming Rebels", as the Qing call the Ming loyalists.


Commander Jing is in command of 100,000 Qing troops, but he does not want to face Zheng unprepared. So, he has hired a local, Chiung Ki Mei, as his adviser. As he is now ready to begin his military campaign, he calls Mei and two other Generals to come to him. When Mei arrives at the Barracks where Commander Jing is waiting, he finds the old man sitting on a golden throne and overseeing at least 2,000 soldiers training in spear and swordplay. The other two Generals have already arrived. One of them is dressed with a red robe and the other with a black one.


Mei is 32 years old with long black hair, light scruffy beard and a handsome face. He is quite muscular and has a strong stature. He wears a long black tattered poncho, black clothes and a conical hat. Seeing that Mei has arrived, Jing gets up and goes on a walk, in front of the Qing soldiers who are training, with him and the other two Generals.


"So, do you think that this time I will be able to crush the rebels?" Commander Jing asks. "I have 100,000 troops, mostly well trained, while Zheng has only 30,000 soldiers. I am confident that we shall crush them! But, what do you think?"


"Sir!" the General in red, while laughing, says. "I am sure that you shall return in triumph! You shall crush this Zheng. You shall become the greatest Qing General ever!"


"I agree! I agree!" the General in black, also laughing, adds. The two Generals act more like good loyal dogs than anything else and they only know how to agree with everything their Commander says.


Jing then stares at Mei for a few seconds and shouts "Chiung Ki Mei!"


"Yes, my Lord." Mei replies.


"You were born here. You know the area well. What do you think? Is an army of 100,000 men strong enough? Do you think I will emerge victorious?"


Mei keeps walking silently for a few seconds. He then gives an answer that surprises everyone: "No!"


"Are you saying that Zheng has more men?" Jing, surprised, asks.


"No. Zheng has already troubles in Taiwan and has to face the Dutch fleet. So, he has not been able to reinforce his army yet."


"Then why you say that I cannot defeat him?!" Jing, angrily, asks, more in order to scold Mei than to get an answer. Jing's eyes show how furious he is at Mei's response. 'How can this boy think that I cannot defeat this Zheng bastard!' he thinks.


"Because it is not a question of troops!" Mei replies. "The people are on Zheng's side. You will be going in a hostile country!"


"How dare you!!" Jing shouts.


"You should also know that his men are ready to battle even if the Marshall dies before the battle! The Han Chinese will never submit to the Manchu Barbarians!"


"What's that?! Lock him up!"


As more than twenty Qing spearmen rush against Mei, he quickly pulls out his sword, a long Dao, a single-edged sword of 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) in length, and points with it at the Commander's throat. The Commander shouts "Back off!!" and the troops obey.


"Why are you doing this?" Jing, who is so afraid that he is sweating, asks.


"Because I am with Marshall Zheng and I joined you only so I could kill you in front of all of your men!"


Mei then beheads the Commander and runs away. The two other Qing Generals shout "chase him!", but Mei runs really fast. He is able to get out of the Barracks and runs into a Bamboo Forest. More than 100 Qing soldiers follow him. When the Qing soldiers are about to enter the forest, the General in black shouts "Go and search in teams of 3 men each!"


The Bamboo forest does not allow all Qing soldiers to charge together against Mei, thus giving him the advantage on being able to fight small parts of the Qing force instead of the whole force. One of the Qing units of three men, that enters the Bamboo forest, heads to the north-western part of the forest. The green Bamboo trees are a magnificent and very beautiful sight to watch, but they do not allow the Qing soldiers to have good viewing range. So, the three Qing soldiers are walking almost blindly. Suddenly, they hear a sound of someone walking. They pull off their spears and await an enemy attack. After waiting for about thirty seconds, one of them says "It's nothing. This sound must have been from our comrades.". The other two Qing soldiers nod their heads in approval.


As they are about to move on, almost out of nowhere a shadow appears and impales one Qing soldier's chest and quickly beheads the other. Then, he is lost. The third Qing soldier of the team, the only one still alive, points at all directions with his spear. He is afraid. He is sweating and trembling in fear. He looks at all directions. Suddenly, Mei appears in front of him and with a fast move thrusts at the man's throat. The soldier's throat spurted blood. A few seconds later, he is dead. This Qing team is not the only one that is being wiped out. Soon, one after the other, almost all 100 Qing soldiers are killed.


At the same time, the two Qing Generals, who had been waiting outside the Bamboo forest, have gathered 300 more Qing soldiers and 70 archers. The archers are in position and ready to fire flaming arrows at the Bamboo forest, thus burning alive Mei. The two Generals do not seem to care much if some of their soldiers are also burned alive. Killing the rebel is more important to them.


Mei, who has killed all Qing soldiers, sees the archers who are ready to fire their arrows. So, he pulls out his crossbow and aims at the General in red. Although the distance is great, as the Qing General is waiting outside the forest while Mei is deep inside it, and this task seems impossible, Mei has been training in crossbowing since he was a small kid. So, while a difficult task, it is not impossible for him. He fires against the Qing general, hoping for the best, while also being ready to run away if he fails. But he does not fail. The Qing general is killed. Mei then aims at the General in black and kills him too. Seeing their Generals dead, the Qing soldiers retreat. So, Mei finds the chance to run away.


Three days later, Beijing, Forbidden City, Qing Imperial Palace, Emperor Kangxi's office


Eunuch Long enters the office of Emperor Kangxi, to inform him about the death of Commander Jing. Long is a middle-aged man and wears a Lanshan, a formal attire for men. It is wide sleeved, has black edges, and has a round collar secured with a button. A crossed-collar undergarment is worn beneath it. It also has side slits with side panels, to conceal the undergarment.


When Long enters the office, he finds the Emperor walking in circles while reading a book, which seems to be Sun Tzu's 'Art of War'. The entire room is made of gold and is decorated with the pictures of birds and animals. Even the floor is made of pure gold. The desk itself is all gilt and decorated with beautiful gems. The Emperor is no less impressive. A young man, only 23 years old, tall, slim, with aristocratic appearance, large bright eyes and a beautiful face. The front part of his hair is shaved and he has a ponytail. He wears the Yellow Imperial Robe, which covers his entire body. The yellow robe has a blue Dragon upon it, symbolizing the Emperor's power. Except for the Dragon, the robe is also decorated with tens of gems. The Emperor wears a red velvet cap with a finial on the top. The finial has countless pearls on it.


Kangxi was enthroned at the age of seven, on 7 February 1661. For six years, actual power was held by four regents and his grandmother, the Grand Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang. Despite being very young, Kangxi is very mature. Even when he was a teenager, he spend most of his time in solving the Empire's issues.


When Long enters the room, he bows before the Emperor and shouts "Greetings, your Imperial Majesty!"


The Emperor ignores Long for a few minutes and continues reading his book and walking in circles. After four minutes, he puts down his book on the desk and approaches Long.


"Sorry for making you wait." the young Emperor says. All the time the Emperor had ignored him, Long had no choice but to bow and wait for the Emperor to allow him to rise. Long, being middle-aged, feels some pain in his back because of having to bow for so long.


"No, no, no. Your Imperial Majesty, I can wait for as long as you want."


"Then, wait here for five hours!"


Kangxi laughs loudly for a few seconds and then says "Do not worry, my friend. I was just joking. You can rise."


"Thank you, my Lord." Long says, relieved that he can rise.


"What news did you bring me?"




"Do you not know any other word?"




"For how long shall you repeat this?"




"Stop this 'I' or I shall cut off your tongue."


"I am sorry, my Lord. I...I just do not dare to say the news."


"Do not worry. I shall not behead you."


"Well, the news are...."


"The news are?"


Long sees that while Kangxi was a bit amused at first, now he is becoming furious, so he takes the decision to tell him the news, even though the Emperor could behead him, because Long was the one who proposed putting Jing in command of the army to be send against Zheng.


"My Emperor, Commander Jing has been assassinated, the army you send against the Ming rebels has no Commander, is demoralized and has retreated."


"What did you say?! What did you say!?" Kangxi, furious, shouts. He then punches his fist, with all of his power, on the gilt desk.


"A man named Chiung Ki Mei assassinated Commander Jing in front of all his men."


"Hahahaha!" Kangxi, not believing this, laughs. "This is impossible! But, nice joke. It made me laugh."


"It is true."


"Then, how were all those thousand Qing soldiers unable to catch him, dammit!?"


"They tried, but he killed more than 100 soldiers and two Generals."


"You are kidding me, right?"


"My Emperor, I never joke with your Imperial Highness."


Upon hearing this, Kangxi grabs the eunuch's throat with his right hand and chokes him. Long tries to say "ha...ha...have mercy.." and the Emperor stops choking him. Long, with great effort, tries to breath and a few second later he bows before Kangxi and says "Thank you for your mercy, all mighty Emperor!"


"Call immediately Yuan Fuchen!"


"I will sir!"


A few minutes later, a man dressed with a blue Taoist robe enters inside the office. His hair is long and uncombed. He is relative tall and muscular, but not too much. His skin has a dark complexion. His face is scarred with all kinds of weapons. That man is Yuan Fuchen. Once a Taoist Priest of the Wudang Sect, tempted by women and wealth, he broke the rules of Wudang, betrayed his teacher and his Sect and now works in the Imperial Court as an assassin.


"Greetings, your Imperial Majesty!" Fuchen says while bowing before the Emperor.


"Rise, my friend." Kangxi replies. "I have a mission for you. I want you to hunt down and kill a rebel called Chiung Ki Mei. With your martial arts, this should not be a problem, right?"


"Of course not, your Imperial Majesty." Fuchen laughs. "I have killed thousands of such rebels. This Mei is doomed!"


"Good. You can take as many Imperial Guards as you want. I just want this man dead!"


"I will need only 100 Imperial Guards!"


"Good! Excellent! However, if you fail me, I shall not spare you!"


"Yes, my Lord."

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Four days later, Tiger Village, Huang's Inn


Chiung Ki Mei, having escaped from the Qing army, begins his journey to get to the port city of Xiamen, in Southern China, which is under Marshall Zheng Jing's control. From there, he will go to Taiwan and personally report to the Marshall. However, going from Nanchang to Xiamen will be a very long and difficult journey. The Imperial Court will surely send assassins to capture, dead or alive, Mei.


Nine days after the assassination of Commander Jing and his escape, Mei stops at Huang's Inn in Tiger Village, in order to get some rest. When he enters the small wooden inn, he finds it full of people, mainly farmers who want to take a break from their work and the sons of the rich landlords, who do not know anything other than drinking in the inns. Mei finds a table in the western corner of the inn and soon the waiter arrives. The waiter is a slim man with long wind blown black hair. He is about 20 years old. He is a bit short and while slim, he is not muscular at all. He wears a white shirt, black trousers and black cotton shoes.


"What do you want, sir?" the waiter, smiling, politely asks.


"Bring me some rice, some stir fried vegetables and a bit of wine!" Mei replies.


As the waiter is ready to tell the innkeeper to prepare the dishes, an other costumer shouts "Kid, come here!". The man calling the waiter is in his 40's and seems to be rich.


"I am coming." the waiter replies.


"Kid, come here!"


"I am coming."


"Kid, did you hear me? Come here!"


"I heard you. You did not heard me."


"What? Did you said anything?"


"I am coming."




"I am coming!!"




"I am coming!!!" the waiter, quite angry, shouts.


"No need to shout like that!" the man protests. "I am not deaf! I can hear."


"That's right." the waiter sighs.


A few seconds later, after telling Mei's order to the innkeeper, he goes to serve the man.


"What shall I bring to you, sir?" the waiter, smiling, asks.


"What did you say? I did not hear?"


"There we go again!" the waiter sighs. He then repeats his question "What shall I bring to you, sir?"




"I said: What shall I bring to you, sir?!"


"I cannot hear what you say, but I want some wine."


"It's coming."




"Nothing, nothing."


As the waiter is ready to go and tell the innkeeper the man's order, an other man, in his late 20's, calls the waiter. That man is an illiterate farmer who found a treasure in his farm and now that he is rich, he pretends to be someone.


"Hey, poor boy!" the man, laughing, says. "Come here!"


"Yes, sir. What do you want?"


"What quality food do you have? I am rich and I should eat food that is eaten by the rich."


"Do you want a bowl of Fujian thick soup?"


"I do not know what this soup is, but it sounds too common for a rich man like me to eat!"


"Do you want some beef noodle soup?"


"Bah! That is too common."


"Do you want some pan-fried water chestnut cake?"


"You know what, bring me some steamed buns!"


"Quality food!" the waiter sighs.


"Cheng!" innkeeper Huang shouts at the waiter.


"What is it?"


"Serve Young Master Kang!"


Kang is the son of Bao, the richest landlord in the area. Because of this, everyone treats Kang as if he were the Emperor. Everything he drinks or eats is for free. Kang always spends almost his whole day on inns and whorehouses. When Cheng comes to Kang's table, he sees the young man, in his mid-twenties, drinking some wine with some friends while a very beautiful female artisan sings. Kang is dressed with a brown silk robe that is decorated with gems.


"Hey, Cheng!" Kang, laughing and kissing the artisan, shouts. "This beautiful lady here asked me if I know any Kung Fu. I told her that I know, but she does not believe me."


Cheng quickly understands why Kang wants him and so he tries to persuade the artisan that Kang really knows Kung Fu. "My lady." Cheng, laughing in order to hide how nervous he is, says. "Young Master Kang is the best Kung Fu master in the area! He is a real Grandmaster! His Kung Fu is amazing!"


"O really?" the artisan, laughing, replies. "Then, I want to see Kang fighting with you, so I can witness his awesome Kung Fu."


"Well, eee.......eee......his Kung....Sorry, I have to serve some customers!"


"Wait!" Kang shouts, as he gets up. "This lady wants to see us fighting. We cannot be rude to a lady and refuse, right?"


'We can, we can.' Cheng thinks, but he can only reply "Alright."


Kang kicks twice Cheng's stomach. Cheng vomits some blood and falls on the ground. Cheng, knowing how hard he shall be beaten, pretends to be unconscious. Kang, understanding this, grabs a chair and throws it at Cheng. Seeing this, the young man stops pretending and quickly gets up, in order to avoid being hit by the chair. Kang, then, starts chasing Cheng and tries to kick him, breaking at least ten tables in the process. After chasing him for a few minutes, Kang eventually traps Cheng and punches twice his fists in the waiter's face, breaking his nose.


Innkeeper Huang runs towards Cheng and, furious, says "You idiot! You have broken my inn! You know, you will have to pay the damage from your wage! Not only the broken tables and chairs and the customers that fled. You will also have to pay for the costumers that won't come, thanks to you! Because, twelve people fled the inn. Each one of those would have said to at least 10 of their friends how good our inn is. Then, those people would come here. 10 * 12, 120 costumers. So, I lost 120 costumers! And then, those 120 costumers would have told 10 of their friends each how good our inn is, and those would come here! 10 * 120, 1,200 costumers. Then, those would have told other 10 of their friends each about our inn and so on. So, thanks to you, 1,000,000 costumers will not come to my inn. You know what this means?"


"What?" Cheng, confused both because of how hard he was beaten and because of his employer's rant, asks.


"You will have to work 120 years, without being paid, for me!"


"Huang!" Kang shouts. "Shall I continue to kick his ass?"


"Of course, dear Young Master! Kick his ass hard!"


Kang back kicks three times Cheng's chest. He then punches his right elbow in the man's face. Cheng tries to flee and Kang chases him and throws chairs at the unfortunate waiter. For each chair thrown, Huang adds 20 more years to the 120 years Cheng will have to work without payment.


All the while, Mei drinks his wine, eats his dishes and laughs. 'It is quite funny.' Mei thinks. 'But, I will have to help him.'


"Stop this!" Mei shouts as he punches his right fist upon his wooden table, breaking it.


One of Kang's friends, a tall and very muscular bald man, pulls out his long Sword and approaches Mei. He then shouts "Do you think that you are a tough guy?!"


Mei pulls out his Dao Sword and calmly replies "No. I do not think that I am a tough guy. I am a tough guy."


The man charges with his sword against Mei, but before he can even reach him, Mei's sword flickers and stabs his wrist. The man charges again. Mei stands still and doesn't even move his feet. When the man's sword slices down towards his opponent's head, Mei, with a swift move, flickers his sword again and stabs the man's chest. The man falls on the ground, still alive but seriously injured.


The beautiful artisan claps and laughs and, pointing at Mei, says "Kang, why do you not let this kid alone and battle this guy?"


"I would. But I am bored with all this fighting." Kang explains.


"Do not tell me you are afraid of this......guy?"


"Of course not!"


Kang charges against Mei, but Mei fly kicks him in the chest, pushing him back against a table. Kang loses his consciousness and Mei leaves.


Five hours later, in a dirt road


Mei walks alone in a dirt road in the countryside of the Jiangxi Province. He has left Tiger Village and he is about to reach Ji Lang Village. Suddenly, he sees a man running towards him. That man is Cheng, the waiter. Soon, Cheng reaches Mei. After taking a few breaths, he kowtows before Mei and says "Please accept me as your student! Please accept me as your student! Please accept me as your student!"


"I do not take students."


"Please! If you do not accept me, I will keep following you."


"Follow me, if you can!"


Mei starts running as fast as he can and Cheng, barely able to breath, tries to follow him.


Ji Lang Village, Wu's inn


Mei enters Wu's inn. The innkeeper, an elderly man, greets him quite warmly, mainly because his inn seems to have no other costumers.


"Come in! Come in, dear costumer! What do you want?"


"A room to stay."


Mei senses that someone is following him. And indeed someone follows him. Cheng enters the inn, bows before Mei and says "Please accept me as your student!"


"O no!" Mei sighs. "Leave or I shall get angry!"


"Please, sir!"




Wu, the innkeeper, pushes Cheng out of the inn, despite his protest at this. He then goes back to serving Mei.


"Let me lead you to your room." Wu says.


Beijing, Forbidden City, Qing Imperial Palace, Emperor Kangxi's office


The young Emperor Kangxi sits on his golden office and is served tea by a beautiful concubine, when Eunuch Long enters the office, bows before the Emperor and says "Greetings, your Imperial Majesty!"


"Rise!" Kangxi orders.


"Your Imperial Majesty, I have news about the rebellion of Wu Sangui."


Long is referring to the revolt of the Three Feudatories, instigated by Wu Sangui in 1673 under the banner of "overthrowing Qing and restoring Ming" (反清復明). Wu's forces captured Hunan and Sichuan provinces. Geng Jingzhong, ally of Wu, followed suit in Fujian. At the same time, Sun Yanling and Wang Fuchen also rose in revolt in Guangxi and Shaanxi provinces. Marshall Zheng Jing's invasion of Fujian with 30,000 troops is also to aid Wu Sangui. Almost all Qing attempts to crush the revolt were met with disaster, with the latest being the assassination of Commander Jing by Mei and the subsequent retreat of Qing forces, which has allowed Marshall Zheng to stabilize his control in Fujian.


"What news?" Kangxi sighs, knowing that he shall be disappointed. He has been fighting against Wu Sangui since August 1673 and now it is the August of 1677 and he has still been unable to make any progress.


"Marshall Zheng's army in Fujian has been reinforced with 20,000 more men. Wu Sangui has crushed Commander Taijoi's army of 40,000 men with just 10,000 men and now his control of Hunan is more stable than ever. Wu says that he will soon reach Beijing and shall restore the Ming Dynasty."


"What a joke! This Wu bastard first betrayed his country because of a concubine and opened the Great Wall to my ancestors and now he is portraying himself as a patriot! The only one of the rebels who is a real patriot is Marshall Zheng."


"He has the same opinion as you, sir, that's why Zheng, while claiming that he helps Wu, essentially fights his own war. He does not believe that Wu really wants to restore the Ming Dynasty."


"Anyway, appoint Shang Zhixin commander of 60,000 soldiers and send him against Wu."


"But, sir, Shang Zhixin has defected already once to the rebels, and I am sure that he shall defect again if it is in his interests to do so."


"I know. I know. I know....." Kangxi sighs. "But he is the only one competent enough to at least stop Wu's advance. Our Qing Empire is collapsing. Almost the whole of South China has fallen to the hands of Ming rebels. Why do I have to undertake such a grand task as restoring Qing rule in China in such a young age? Why? Why?"


"My lord, I am sure that with your skills, you shall be able to crush the rebels."


"Anyway, has Yuan Fuchen found this rebel Mei?"


"Not yet, sir. But I am sure that he will not fail you."


"Good. Once this rebel is dead, I shall launch a new campaign against Zheng. Once Zheng is forced back to Taiwan, I shall then be able to concentrate all of my troops against Wu. And then, this bastard will be doomed! The Ming rebels shall be wiped out!!"


The next day, Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou


Shang Zhixin is sitting on his office, which is a bit small. The desk and the whole room is made of wood. Shang does not like too much luxury. He is a middle-aged calculating person, who has defected once to the Ming rebels and twice to the Qing, with a black mustache and eyes like that of a phoenix. Shang wears a full-cut black robe with a square, depicting a tiger (the symbol of Qing military offices), stretching from side to side, completely covering his chest and back. He also wears a black fur hat.


A man wearing the same robe as Shang, only that it is red and it depicts a Crane (symbol of Qing civilian officers) instead of a Tiger, enters the office.


"Greetings, Lord Shang." the man says.


Shang understands that the man is an Imperial Envoy, so he quickly leaves his desk and bows before the man.


"You are to receive an Imperial Decree." the man informs.


"Long live, His Imperial Majesty, long live! Long live, His Imperial Majesty, long live! Long live, His Imperial Majesty, long live! Long live, long live, long live!" Shang shouts.


"His Imperial Majesty, the Son of Heaven Emperor Kangxi, thus decrees: You are to lead 60,000 elite troops against the despicable traitor Wu Sangui."


"Long live, His Imperial Majesty, long live! Long live, His Imperial Majesty, long live! Long live, His Imperial Majesty, long live! Long live, long live, long live! I shall accept the Imperial Decree."


"Congratulations, Lord Shang. However, let me inform you that the Emperor shall not accept any failure. And I would also like to advise you not to defect again. Just a personal advise, because I heard that if you defect again, your entire family shall be buried alive."


"I do not dare to side with the despicable rebels. I only recognize the Emperor as my Lord."


"Good! I shall leave now."

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