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Lung Chang III - The Four Devils of Shandong (Wuxia)

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Lung Chang


Chapter III: The Four Devils of Shandong


A young girl walks on a dirt road in Shanxi. The girl is eighteen or nineteen years old with a tanned face and thick eyebrows, and wears a simple pale green gown. On her waist, a sword is hanging. She seems troubled and in deep thought. Suddenly, she hears shouts and the sound of swords. She walks towards the direction of the sound. To her surprise, she finds a handsome young man, wearing a white gown, fighting with three other men who, from their black gowns which have a yin yang symbol on the chest, seem to be members of the Qingcheng Sect. One of them shouts at the young man: "Lung Chang, you thought that a fake beard could hide your identity? Last year, we fought on a Martial Arts tournament and I would recognize you no matter what you wear!"


"Hahaha! Brother Li, you indeed have good memory. Bravo!"


Upon hearing Lung Chang's name, the girl's face becomes pale. Meanwhile, Li charges with his sword against Lung Chang, but when he pulls out his 'Deadly Jade Sword', Li leaps backwards. Li quickly recognizes the weapon and, knowing that if their two swords clash, his own blade will come off as worst, decides not to parry his enemy's strokes directly. The two men whirl round and round, and Li begins to sweat. However, he manages to secretly work a number of darts into his right palm and swaps his sword over to his left hand. The Qingcheng Sect is known for it's 'Snake throws Poison' dart throwing technique. Li, slashing out with a left handed stroke, simultaneously flings the darts at Lung Chang. Lung Chang manages to dodge both the blade and the darts, but he becomes more and more flustered by the onslaught. He sweeps his sword across at Li's waist. As the two sword's clash, Li's blade is snapped clean in two. Li throws all his remaining darts at Lung Chang, who somersaults and catches three of them at mid air. He then throws the darts at Li: one of them stabs him on his right eye and the other two on his stomach. Seeing their comrade wounded and bleeding, the other two Qingcheng disciples run away. Li, despite his wounds, also runs away.


Lung Chang, having defeated his enemies, walks away towards the nearest village, in order to buy some wine. Every man has his weakness. Others like women, others gambling. Lung Chang likes to drink wine. As he walks, he realizes that a young girl is following him, but he decides not to say anything and continues walking. However, she continues following him. Lung Chang turns round and smiles at the girl.


"Miss, forgive me for being blunt, but where are you heading to?"


"Lung Chang, I am going to take revenge!", she shouts harshly.


"Forgive me for having a bad memory, but we have never met, have we?"




"Then, why do you want to pick a fight with me?"


"I am Wu Lan, daughter of Wu Ma, brother of the deceased Chief of Huashan Sect, Master Wu Kang. You murdered my cousin, Wu Jing, and murdered my uncle and his entire family. I have been searching for you for almost a year."


"I guess that if I say that I did not commit any of those crimes, you will not believe me, right?"




"So, we will have to fight."


Lan pulls out her sword, a long and very sharp sword with some Chinese characters carved upon it. With her sword held high, she strikes out at Lung Chang. Lung Chang, not wishing to hurt the girl, deflects the blow with his white folding fan instead of using his sword. Nevertheless, Lan resumes her attack on Lung Chang, who dodges left and right. Lung Chang swings his fan wildly towards the young girl. The girl dodges the attack and counters by chopping at his shoulder with her sword, with the move known as 'Wild Wind Swift Sword (狂風快劍)'. Lung Chang blocks her sword with his fan, using all of his might and internal energy. Under the intense intense shock of the impact, Lan's arm goes numb and her sword falls from her hand.


"You! What are you going to do to me?", she asks. Lan had heard about Lung Chang raping girls. According to her father, Lung Chang had raped her cousin. So, Lan is quite scared and her face is as white as ashen.


"Nothing. You are not my type of girl, anyway. You are too tough for a lady."




Lung Chang ignores her and walks away, laughing. "I need some wine or I shall not survive the rest of the day.", Lung Chang thinks as he walks. After a few minutes, he arrives at a small village and goes to a small tavern, whose walls are earthen.


"Bring me some wine!", Lung Chang shouts at the innkeeper, a middle-aged fat man.


"Bring me some wine too!", a muscular man with a thick black beard and wearing Mongol clothes shouts.


"But...but...there is only one jar of wine, sirs."


Hearing this, both Lung Chang and the Mongol offer to pay double the price. They then offer to pay thrice the price. This goes on for some time, until the Mongol, out of patience, punches his fist on the wooden table he is sitting and breaks it. He then shouts: "We shall hold a Martial Arts content and the one who wins shall get the jar of wine!"


Lung Chang nods his head and says: "Good. Let us fight!"


The Mongol, seeing that Lung Chang is dressed more like a scholar than a pugilist, believes that it will be an easy fight. The two men take positions. The Mongol shouts: "Let's begin!". As he speaks those words, his left fist shots out and his right hand slices across towards Lung Chang's right shoulder. Then, in a flash, his left fist flips over and aims for the right shoulder while the right hand goes for the chest. Lung Chang retreats three paces and fends off the blows. Suddenly, Lung Chang steps forward and sweeps his left leg across at the Mongol, who jumps clear off the ground to avoid it and counters with a fist aimed at Lung Chang's face. Lung Chang avoids the fist and the two continue to fight for 60 more moves. Suddenly, Lung Chang strikes at the Mongol with both fists, one of which slams into his shoulder. The Mongol takes hold of Lung Chang's wrist and strikes out at his elbow in retaliation. With his free hand, Lung Chan swings at the Mongol's other shoulder and the two leap apart.


The Mongol had had the worst of the encounter. "Excellent Kung Fu!" he shouts. "You can have the wine."


"Thank you for being lenient with me. Your Kung Fu is marvelous."


Lung Chang takes the jar of wine from the innkeeper, opens it and smells it. "Good wine!", he exclaims and takes a large gulp. He then leaves the Tavern. As he is walking out of the village in a dirt road, he wonders what to do next. The bright sun is shining on the clear blue sky and a cool wind is blowing. On both sides of the dirt road, there are Peach Blossom Trees which give to the area an almost magical beauty.


He walks for some time and reaches a river. He sits alone on the ground and gazes at the panorama of water and mountains. In the dense forests of bamboo and trees that run along the hillsides, a myriad leaves glisten brightly. The air is moist and hazy. "With Guan Jong and his family all dead, there is no way I can clear my name.", he thinks and sighs. "I will never have peace. The massacres of the Guan and Jia families shall make all Orthodox Sects hunt me down. If only I could retire the Martial Arts World and live here, besides the river and the forests of bamboo and trees, a peaceful life! But, unless I manage to clear my name, I will not be able to realize this dream. But how can I clear my name? Damn those bastards who killed the Guans!"


Lung Chang takes another large gulp from the jar with the wine. Wine helps him forget his troubles. But, most of all, helps him forget the woman he loves: his former sister in arms and the daughter of his Teacher, Song Lihua. Lihua is, as her name means, beautiful and elegant, and no matter how hard Lung Chang tries, he cannot forget her. However, from the news he managed to learn, he knows that his former lover is engaged to his former brother in arms, Piao Zhen. Lung Chang knows that Piao Zhen is a chivalrous person with a strong sense of honor and justice, and so he is somewhat relieved to know that his beloved woman is with someone who is a true hero. It would be a lie to say that Lung Chang does not feel at all jealous, but he does not feel hatred for Piao Zhen. What he feels is mostly gratitude. If Lihua came with him, Lung Chang knows that she would never have a peaceful day. But as the fiancee of an honorable Chief, she will have peace and be respected.


As he is drinking his wine and thinking what to do next, he hears the cry of a woman and some laughs. He runs towards the direction of the sounds and, to his surprise, finds four men surrounding Wu Lan. The four men are a good two heads taller than most ordinary men and are heavily build.


"Hey, do you need some help?", Lung Chang asks Lan and smiles.


"No!", she shouts, despite the helpless situation she is in.


"Well, then I shall take my leave."


As Lung Chang walks away, Lan cries "Come back! Help me!"


"So, you need my help?"






One of the four men, seeing Lung Chang approaching, shouts "We are the Four Devils of Shandong!" and grasps the trunk of a tree in his arms and after a few rigorous tugs, pulls the entire tree bodily out of the ground and throws it away.


"Ai-ya! You are really the famous Four Devils of Shandong?", Lung Chang, laughing, asks. "It is my honor to be able to meet with four so famous villains."


"Since you know who we are, why don't you let us alone?"


"I will let you alone, if you let that girl go."


"You must have a death wish!"


Two of the 'Devils', Devil Three and Devil Four, charge at Lung Chang with a blood curdling roar of rage. Chang skips nimbly around behind Devil Three and shoves him at Devil Four. The two men smash into each other, topple to the ground and lose their consciousness. Lung Chang cannot help but laugh at them. He collapses into a ball and rolls and laughs hysterically on the ground. Devil Two comes in front of Lung Chang, but he continues laughing until Devil Two is within arm's reach, then he topples him over backwards with a push, grabs him by the leg and hurls him away. Devil One, the eldest and most powerful of the gang, roars and kicks out with his right leg, but Lung Chang grabs him by the trousers and shirt, lifts him up and with a hefty kick sends him flying through the air.


Lung Chang smiles. "You have three seconds to leave", he says.


The Four Devils would run away even if Lung Chang had not told them to do so. Despite their injuries, they run with almost superhuman speed. From this, Lung Chang comes to the conclusion that it is true that fear makes you do things you would normally be unable to do.


Before he could turn round and ask Lan if she is alright, she had already pulled out her sword and struck out at him. Lung Chang swings round to counter the stroke. The two of them fight for five more moves, before Lung Chang can seal her Vital Points* with a swift move, thus temporary paralyzing her.


"Let me free!", Lan cries.


"You know, you really need to learn some manners. I saved you and you attacked me. Only if you say that you are sorry shall I unseal your Vital Points."


"I shall never say sorry to you. You murdered my uncle and his entire family. I shall take revenge."


"Then I should leave."


Lung Chang walks away and after a few minutes, he picks some small stones from the ground and sends them flying towards Lan, unsealing her Vital Points.


The same night, on a cliff on a mountain, a man wearing a large cape with the collar turned up and a black garb and an other man, who seems to be very old, has long white hair and beard and wears a grey gown, meet under the bright moon.


"You have done well in creating trouble in the Martial Arts World", the old man says with a deep voice. "How did you managed to make your story about the massacres so believable?"


"It is all thanks to our friend, Lung Chang. I had long planned to massacre some important in the Martial Arts World families in order to create an uproar, but with Lung Chang creating trouble in the Guan Mansion, the whole thing became far more believable."


"Hahaha! It seems that I was right when I advised you not to murder Lung Chang. He is the perfect scapegoat for our massacres. If you also follow my advises on what to do during the meeting of the Orthodox Martial Arts Sects on Mt. Kunlun, you shall become the leader of the Martial Arts World."


"Of course I shall follow your advice. I shall use the massacres of the Guan and Jia families to push for the merge of all Orthodox Martial Arts Sects. And, of course, the leader shall be me."


"Good. Very good. If all goes well, you shall be handsomely rewarded by his Highness."


The old man walks away and rides a strong and tall white horse that is waiting for him. As he gallops, he laughs and thinks: "The first step for a Manchu conquest of the Ming Empire shall be soon completed. The Martial Arts World shall be under Manchu control."


* Vital Points = According to traditional Chinese medical science, a body has several Vital Points, and if you hit them in a certain way, it can paralyze you, cause you death or make you stronger or stop the flaw of (poisonous) blood.

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