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Lung Chang IV - Meeting of the Orthodox Sects on Mt. Kunlun

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Lung Chang


Chapter IV: Meeting of the Orthodox Sects on Mt. Kunlun


The sun shines brightly on the clear blue morning sky on Mt. Kunlun. On the Great Hall of the Kunlun School, the Chiefs of Kunlun, Huashan, Wudang, Emei, Kongtong and Qingcheng Sects, as well as the Abbot of Shaolin, meet in order to discuss about how to deal with Lung Chang. All Chiefs are served tea while servants of the Kunlun School fan them with white folding fans. Piao Zhen, Chief of Kunlun Sect, sits on a simple wooden chair on the center of the Hall, in contrast with the other Chiefs who sit on lavishly decorated with gold chairs. All Chiefs, except for Priest Yue Li, Chief of Wudang Sect, and Abbot Yongyu of Shaolin, who wear their religious clothes, wear lavish gowns made of silk. Only Piao Zhen wears a simple black gown.


Piao Zhen smiles and sips his tea. He then says: "Honorable Chiefs of the Orthodox Martial Arts Sects, I welcome all of you to Mt. Kunlun and hope that this meeting shall solve the recent troubles of the Martial Arts World."


All Chiefs respectfully greet Piao Zhen and thank him for hosting the meeting, except for the Chief of Qingcheng Sect, the elderly Pan Tong, who just sighs. Because Piao Zhen is a relative young Chief, only in his late twenties, Pan Tong, who is in his early eighties, does not respect him much. Piao Zhen ignores Pan Tong's rudeness and continues his speech.


"Honorable Chiefs, although I am the youngest of all of you and the Kunlun Sect is not nearly as populous or powerful as your Sects, I took the initiative to host a meeting of the Orthodox Sects on Mt. Kunlun because the one who massacred the Guan and Jia families in Kaifeng was once a student of our school."


"At least you know your place!", Pan Tong shouts loudly. Piao Zhen, however, manages to stay calm and ignores him. He is not nicknamed 'Gentleman Swordsman' for nothing.


"I do not believe Lung Chang committed those massacres.", Priest Yue Li says. "I met him on Mt. Dragon and he proved to be a real gentleman and a chivalrous hero. Also, if he did commit the murders, why did he wrote his name on the Mansions of the Guan and Jia families?"


"Indeed.", adds Abbot Yongyu of Shaolin, an old man with long white beard, long eyebrows and prayer beads around his neck. "Only a lunatic would do that."


"But he is a lunatic.", replies Abbess Meijoui of Emei Sect, an old woman with long grey hair and wearing a grey Taoist robe. Abbess Meijoui is well known for her great martial arts and swordsmanship skills, as well as for her strict moral code. "His killing of Wu Jing last year was witnessed by many people. Also, it is well known that he is very proud. That's why he massacred Master Wu Kang and his entire family after being forced to apologize to them by his Master, the late Master Song Yan. He then murdered his own teacher and the proof for this is that Master Song Yan's last words were Lung Chang's name. He is an erratic man who enjoys gaining fame by massacring people. That's why he paints his name on the walls of the Mansions' of his victims."


The rest of the Chiefs applaud Abbess Meijoui and Yue Li and Abbot Yongyu realize that they cannot do anything to help Lung Chang. Although the evidence that Lung Chang's enemies have could not really be called and the most strong, there are nevertheless evidence, while Yue Li and Abbot Yongyu have no evidence of Lung Chang's innocence at all. And since they do not have any evidence, they have to accept the official position of the Orthodox Sects, that Lung Chang is a lunatic murderer.


Piao Zhen continues his speech: "Those massacres, and our inability to prevent them, show that there is something wrong with what we are doing. Lung Chang is only one person, but through so many centuries countless such evil people or even whole Sects appear that cause uproar in the Martial Arts World and do not allow peace and justice to exist. Killing Lung Chang could stop the problem for now, but sooner or later an other evil man or organization shall shake the Martial Arts World. The only way to stop this is for all Orthodox Martial Arts Sects to unite."


"Indeed!", Abbess Meijoui agrees. "We should unite in order to stop evil from spreading. Lung Chang is just the problem of those years. A few years later, someone else will appear and cause an uproar. If we unite, however, no evil men shall cause trouble in the Martial Arts World and even if they dare to, we shall be able to respond quickly and with overwhelming force."


"I agree!", Pan Tong states. Although he disregards Piao Zhen, he knows that what he said was logical. He also has the ambition of him becoming leader of the new Alliance. "United we are strong, divided we are weak! One arrow can easily be smashed. But many arrows together are impossible to be smashed."


Soon, all other Chiefs express their agreement, except for Yue Li and Abbot Yongyu, who do not like the idea of all Orthodox Martial Arts Sects being united under one man. So, when Piao Zhen asks Priest Yue Li for his opinion, he replies: "Our Sects have each a history of hundreds of years. Each Sect has it's own traditions and rules, so how can we possibly merge them and forget our traditions? And how can we trust one man to become leader of the entire Martial Arts World? I strongly disagree!"


"Since Priest Yue Li disagreed, I, Abbot Yongyu of Shaolin, because of the long standing friendship between Shaolin and Wudang, cannot agree."


"Very well.", Piao Zhen replies. "However, I would like to ask all Chiefs to stay here in Mt. Kunlun, so we can meet five days later. Merging the Orthodox Sects is an important issue which cannot be decided in just a few minutes. So, in those days, everyone please think about and make a wise decision."


Many hours later, in the night, Priest Yue Li argues in his room with his brother in arms, Zhang Yude. Although Zhang Yude is a senior of Yue Li, their teacher made Yue Li instead of him Chief of Wudang and this makes Zhang Yude very jealous. However, this is not the reason why they are arguing. The reason is that Zhang Yude is a firm believer of Piao Zhen's proposition and wants the Orthodox Sects to unite.


"Chief!", Zhang shouts, "You should agree to Piao Zhen's proposal. For centuries, the reason the Orthodox Sects have been unable to prevent evil men from doing harm is their disunity. This is a chance to unite and achieve ever lasting peace in the Martial Arts World. How can you refuse it?!"


"Brother Yude, each Sect has a history of hundreds of years. Each Sect has it's own traditions and laws. I am not against closer cooperation between the Orthodox Sects, but we cannot just merge all Sects."


"In my opinion, you are only interested in keeping your position as Chief!"


Zhang Yude storms out of the room. He then walks alone on a cliff on Mt. Kunlun and gazes at the bright moon. The moon and the stars on the night sky remind him certain lyrics of Cao Cao's 'Short Song Style' poem:


"Bright is the moon's spark, when can I pick it apart?" and "Stars around the moons are few, southward the crows flew."


He sighs as he remembers the day when his teacher gave the 'Seal of Command' to Yue Li instead of him. "Yue Li was my junior, but he became leader of the Sect! It is so unfair. Teacher was biased and a fool.", Zhang Yude thinks. Anger, jealously and hatred flare up within Zhang Yude all at once. "Instead of giving to me the 'Seal of Command', he gave it to that idiot! And now, this stupid and muddle-headed idiot gets on the way of bringing peace to the Martial Arts World! Thanks to his persistence in maintaining his position as Chief, the Orthodox Sects shall never be united!"


All the anger and jealously of Zhang Yude comes spilling out. He pulls out his sword, a long, elegant and thin blade, roars and practices the 'Divine Gate Thirteen Swords (神門十三劍)' swordplay with immense fury and hatred.


Suddenly, he hears the sound of steps. He turns round and sees an old man, who has long white hair and beard, and wears a brown gown. Zhang Yude had not seen him before on the Mt. and he does not look like a Kunlun student, so who could he be?


"Who are you?", he politely asks the old man.


The man just laughs for a few second and then replies: "I am an elder of Wudang Sect."


"That's impossible! I've never seen you and neither teacher nor any other elder of Wudang ever mentioned anything about you."


"Ai-ya! So, they forgot about me so quickly?". The old man remains silent for a few seconds before speaking again: "Your teacher must have told you of a man called Sun Shiyi, right?"


"Eee......yes, I remember teacher mentioning that man once. He said that Sun Shiyi was his brother in arms. He fell in love with a young and very beautiful woman and she liked him too. But because the woman was the daughter of a high ranking Official and she was very beautiful, she became a concubine of the Taichang Emperor, father of the current Emperor, Emperor Chongzhen. Sun Shiyi went crazy when he learned this and no one knows what happened to him."


"Good. It seems that my brother in arms had not forgotten about me."


Zhang Yude laughs. "Do you expect me to believe that you are Sun Shiyi?"


"Let us have a fight and I will prove to you that I really am Sun Shiyi!"


"I accept your challenge!"


The old man pulls out a narrow, double-edged Jian Sword with a thin blade and a tassel attached to the pommel. He sweeps his sword across with almost superhuman speed. Zhang Yude ducks down to avoid it, then counters with a thrust from his sword. The two fight round and round. Zhang Yude, seeing that his opponent's swordsmanship is even greater than that of his own master and knowing that he will never be able to defeat him, concentrates instead on trying to tire the old man out. But his Internal Energy is profound and, as time passes, Zhang Yude cannot discern the slightest slowing of the old man's actions. Instead, his sword seems to whirl and dance with ever increasing speed. Finally, the old man's sword clashes with Zhang Yude's sword, a 'clang' is heard and Zhang Yude's sword snaps clean in two.


"Now, do you believe me?", the old man asks.


Zhang Yude bows before him and says: "Greetings Elder Sun! Forgive me for my rudeness."


"My brother in arms was muddle-headed."


"Why do you say so?"


"Because instead of making Chief of Wudang a great and able man like you, he gave the 'Seal of Command' to that idiot Yue Li."


Zhang Yude cannot hide his happiness upon hearing those words. Maybe Elder Sun can help him become Chief, he thinks.


"Elder Sun, I need your help. Yue Li refuses to accept the merge of all Orthodox Sects and this will prevent the Martial Arts World from having peace and stability. Also, evil people like Lung Chang will be able to continue their massacres. Please, change his mind."


"You are right. But Yue Li will never listen to anyone. There is only one way to make sure that the Orthodox Sects merge."


"What is it?"


"To kill Yue Li!"


"Kill....kill....kill Yue Li?"


"It is the only way to make sure that the Martial Arts World has peace."


"But....how should I kill him? My skills are not good enough."


"Take this."


Sun Shiyi gives Zhang Yude a red pill and a jar of wine.


"I...will poison him?"


"Yes. Before you go and see Yue Li, swallow the red pill. This will make sure that the poison will not affect you."


"Thanks for your help, Elder."


Zhang Yude swallows the pill and runs back to the Kunlun School. He knocks the door of Yue Li's room. Yue Li opens the door and warmly says: "Brother Yude, come inside."


When Zhang Yude enters the room, he bows before Yue Li and, with tears in his eyes, shouts: "I have unjustly insulted you! Chief, please punish me!!"


Yue Li, smiling, helps Zhang Yude gets up and says "Since you know your mistake, there is no need for me to punish you."


"Chief, I have bought some wine. Would you like to taste it?"


Zhang Yude takes a large gulp from the jar with the wine and remarks "Excellent wine!"


Yue Li, who likes good wine, takes the jar from Zhang Yude's hands and drinks it.


"Quite good wine indeed!", he says. He had more than a week to drink wine.


Suddenly, Yue Li feels a pain on his stomach and vomits blood. As Yue Li shouts in pain, Zhang Yude pulls out a dagger and stabs thrice Yue Li's chest before Yue Li kicks him on the stomach. Yue Li tries to grab his sword but, as he is dizzy, he he is not able to do so. Instead, he moves left and right and cannot stand on his feet. Zhang Yude, fearing that his assassination attempt will fail and that he will surely die, attacks again, this time with immense hatred and stabs more than twenty times Yue Li's stomach to make sure that he is dead. He then calms down and realizes that his arch-enemy is finally dead and laughs hysterically.


As he is laughing, he realizes something that makes him desperate again: the other students of Wudang will inquire how Yue Li died. Even without close examination, just by looking at Yue Li's body, one can come to the concussion that he got stabbed to death. And of course, sooner or later, Zhang Yude will be suspected. So, he must find a way to prevent this. He thinks for a few seconds, and then an idea comes: he will throw one of the candles of the room onto the floor, starting a fire. Everyone will think that the fire was started by an accident and that Yue Li did not manage to get out in time and got burned alive. So, he lights a candle and throws it on the wooden floor of the room. Zhang Yude runs out and soon the flames engulf much of the Western Section of the Kunlun School. Only after two hours are the pugilists of the Orthodox Sects able to put down the fire. In total, twenty people were burned to death.


The next day, the Wudang students find the burned body of their Chief, which is barely recognizable, and they bury him. They then elect Zhang Yude as the new Chief of Wudang. Four days later, the Chiefs of the Orthodox Sects meet again on the Great Hall of the Kunlun School.


"Honorable Chiefs!", Piao Zhen says. "I hope that in those five days you had, you have thought about my proposal. So, do you agree to the merger?"


"I agree!", Zhang Yude shouts.


"Me too!", Abbess Meijoui of Emei Sect adds.


"I also agree.", Abbot Yongyu says, sighing. He knows that it is of no use to try and oppose alone the merger.


All other Chiefs follow suit. Piao Zhen cannot hide how relieved he is that everyone agreed. "So, how shall we choose the leader of the Alliance?", he asks. "I say that we hold a Martial Arts Tournament in four months and the victor shall become leader of the Orthodox Sects. Also, I propose that we hold the tournament on Shaolin, if Abbot Yongyu agrees, as all Martial Arts originate from Shaolin."


"It will be my honor to host such an event.", Abbot Yongyu replies.


The other Chiefs agree to Piao Zhen's proposal. So, the meeting of the Orthodox Martial Arts Sects on Mt. Kunlun ends with a historic decision: for the first time in the history of the Martial Arts World, all Orthodox Sects shall merge. The same night, Sun Shiyi gallops away from Mt. Kunlun with his strong and tall white horse. "My dear Shunu, I will take revenge for you!", he thinks. "That bastard Taichang Emperor snatched you away from me. He made you his concubine and forced you to sleep with him and give him a son, the current Emperor Chongzhen. But your heart remained loyal to me. So, he had you executed. But now, I shall take revenge for you. Although Taichang died before I could take revenge, I shall avenge you by bringing down the Ming Empire. In four months, the Martial Arts World will come under Manchu control. And then, the Manchu Armies shall conquer the Ming Empire and I will have avenged you!!"

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