Sunday, 20 August 2017

Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea part 2

Since Chor Lau-heung is apparently a controlled drinker, I now feel that
this gorgeous art by Xuedaixun is appropriate here

Continuing on last week's summary of "Fluttering Fragrance on the Bloody Sea" (Chapters 1-3), here I post the summary of Ch 4-7. This Chor Lau-heung story from Ku Lung was written in 16 chapters, so I should be able to cover all chapters in four posts. From Chapter 7, each chapter seems to be quite long, hence it does take me a while to read and summarise each chapter.

Chapter 4 (CLH taking a fake ID)

The Sin-cui-kiong swordswoman confirmed that the dead female was not part of her school. Also, a young woman in her school committed suicide after getting pregnant, just after the famous poison disappeared from her school. The woman (who finally revealed that her name was Kiong Lam-yan) gave Chor Lau-heung one month to find the thief and the murderer.

Not one to shy away from misteries, CLH accepted the challenge. However, he still had time to day-dream about Miss Kiong’s pretty face, such that Li Hung-chao commented that he “won’t find her beautiful anymore when she shoves her sword on your throat next month!”

CLH gleefully replied that Miss Kiong used no sword as a weapon, to which Hung-chao riposted as she battered her eyelids, “Ah, so she used a kitchen knife, eh?”

I find CLH-LHC interactions in the earlier episodes of Chor Lau-heung 1984 are in line those depicted here.

Chor tai-gor asked Yung-yung to meet her aunt in Sin-cui-kiong. He also asked her to provide him with a good fake identity (based on real people), preferably a very rich guy who had no problem spending money. He would like to investigate Kilam where Cu-soa-bun was located, for Sebun Jian (one of the victims) hailed from that school. CLH chose Kilam because it was the closet city to where he was now. The headquarters of the other schools (Hay Lam Sect, Thian-sing Sect and the Western Desert) were too far away for convenience.

CLH went into a room inside the boat where Yung-yung stored her costumes and data of hundreds of fake identities. The room was hexagonal; mirrors and wooden shelves adorned its six walls. First, CLH considered the identity of a banker and read the banker’s habits:

“Always takes off the shoes upon passing wet pot holes; always try to use other people’s umbrella when it rains; he smells like he never takes a shower.”

Without even finishing the dossier, CLH closed the book and swore off, “I’d rather die than disguising myself as this guy!”

So he chose Thio Siau-lim, a rich drug store owner who liked to gamble and drink, as well having a penchant on pretty women. Sounds like himself.

Chapter 5 (CLH investigating Kilam)

As Thio Siau-lim (might be Cheung Siu-lin in Cantonese?), Chor Lau-heung entered the gambling place in Kilam City. He lost big time, but the operator (Leng Chiu-hun from Cu-soa-bun) found out that “Mr Thio” actually won, but he pretended to lose. Getting Leng’s attention, “Mr Thio” admitted that he actually wanted to talk to Senior Sebun Jian about a job that would generate a profit of 3 million taels of silver (!). Let's remember again that Sebun Jian was one of the victims CLH found a few days ago, thus Leng Chiu-hun was Sebun Jian's student.

Leng admitted that his teacher was out of town, but Master Sebun left after receiving a letter, currently kept by one Mr Nyo Siong. Attracted by the 3 million taels profit, Leng took Mr Thio to see Nyo Siong. However, as they arrived at the latter’s house, they found that he had been ruthlessly murdered, his limbs scattered around the room and the garden, his belongings scattered everywhere. The letter that Sebun Jian received earlier had vanished. Leng immediately attributed the murder and robbery to the “Five Devils Distributing Bodies”. Although Leng originally suspected Thio for wrongdoings, Thio convinced Leng to inspect his teacher’s room. Nothing was found in Sebun Jian’s room except for a half-body painting of a very gorgeous woman.

Thio Siau-lim (aka Chor Lau-heung) later returned to his hotel; Leng placed eight guards outside the hotel to prevent him getting away (Leng still wanted the 3 million tael job). That night, a black-clad woman entered Chor tai-gor’s room through a hole she made in the roof. The woman carried a sabre called Liu-yap to; she seemed to be in search for something.

Chapter 6 (in which CLH met someone who would become his good friend)

CLH pretended to just stirred from his sleep when he saw the thief. Unexpectedly, the woman took off her clothes and joined CLH under his blanket (CLH happened to be naked!). The woman tried to arouse CLH as she asked what he actually wanted from Mr Leng, but CLH immobilised her easily. Since the (naked) woman didn’t want to admit anything, CLH (as Mr Thio) gave her (still naked) to Leng’s eight guards standing outside.

Realising that the woman must be from the Thian-sing Sect, CLH got dressed, went out of his room from the room and used his gin-kang (gravity-defying skill) to roof-hop the city until he reached Thian-sing pang’s building. A man was asking if “Sister Sim” had returned, CLH threw the sabre to the ground and declared that Miss Sim was already captured by “our school”. He then left, chased by a green-sword-wielding fighter. The fighter attacked CLH with a “Taking the Soul without a Trace” style, revealing that he was It-tiam Ang, “A Red Dot from the Mainland”. He tried to kill CLH with at least 14 strikes, but he never succeeded. As he and CLH were engaged in a deadly conversation of why CLH never killed, the pupils of Thian-sing-pang came and told the killer to just kill the intruder, for that was why the school hired him. Vexed, It-tiam Ang killed the nosy student with but a strike. The student died with but a dot of blood on his throat.

 This It-tiam Ang is none other than our Fell Cut, Yat Dim-hung! His official name was indeed 中原一點紅, a.k.a. One Red Dot in the Central Plains. Jung Yuen Yat Dim-hung.

True to his nature, as he was offended, Fell Cut just left the rooftop. CLH didn’t want to waste time and flew away as well.  He returned to Cu-soa bun to interrogate the Sim girl. (During the interrogation, we also learned that Chor tai-gor liked to touch his own nose from time to time, just like our Michael in CLH 1984). Sim San-koh finally admitted that she wanted to know if Leng Chiu-hun’s school had anything to do with her first senior brother (Cou Yu-cin) missing. Intrigued, Thio Siau-lim (CLH) asked if Teacher Cou had received a letter before leaving; Miss Sim confirmed. The letter was now at her senior’s, Song Kang.

Chapter 7  (in chasing a killer)

Soon after, Song Kang and his crew came to release Sim San-koh. Fell Cut also came, but he was nonchalant and cold as usual. Leng Chiu-hun used Sim as the human shield to demand that Song Kang and his school would never enter Kilam again. Song Kang agreed, but he also instructed Fell Cut to kill Leng. Fell Cut refused because he wanted a fair fight with Leng. When Song Kang asked Fell Cut to kill CLH (in his identity as Thio), Fell Cut returned the silver he got from SK, stated that he (Fell Cut) could kill anyone but that guy, and left. CLH later asked Song Kang about the content of the letter from his senior. Song Kang said he’d burned the letter, but he still remembered its content. Yet, before he said anything, someone already killed him. CLH leapt to the sky to pursue the killer until he arrived at Lake Tay-bing, a very famous lake outside Kilam. The murderer escaped by blasting a purple smoke that temporarily slowed down CLH’s movements. From the killer’s “Jinsut” (vanishing skill), CLH later wondered if the murderer was from Japan.

A second later, Fell Cut appeared to challenge Chor tai-gor. Our tai-gor refused because he didn’t want any bloodshed. Failed to coerce CLH, Fell Cut attempted to kill himself. CLH had no chance but to fight, trying to dismantle Yat Dim-hung’s own sword so that the latter didn’t commit suicide. In the midst of the fight, a powerful zither melody was heard. The zither melody was so powerful that it controlled Fell Cut’s mind such that he stopped trying to commit suicide. Instead, he relaunched his attack at CLH. Fell Cut under the hypnosis was a much more dangerous Fell Cut, thus in despair CLH dived into the lake to escape him.


Now we know how Chor tai-gor met Yat Dim-hung! How exciting! On the other hand, I was surprised by Gu Long's graphic descriptions of nakedness in this story. I don't think Jin Yong went that far... 

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