THE FOUR TRILGOY

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THE FOUR trilogy is Based on the famous novel Si Da Ming Bu (四大名捕; The Four Great Constables) by Wen Ruian. A story that has at his heart four constables that work together to solve cases and fight against evil. Before getting into the different movies I would like to do a character introduction:

Emotionless (無情 wu qing) Liu Yifei

Lost the use of her legs after an injury, with the powers of her mind she can levitate objects, use hidden weapons and read peoples mind.
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Cold Blood (冷血) Deng Chao
Was raised with wolves, can transform into a wolf, extreme sense of smell and outstanding martial arts.
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Iron Fist (鐵手) Colin Chou, Expert blacksmith, extremely strong fist and strong martial arts.
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Life Snatcher  追命 (Ronald Cheng) master thief, smart and fast.
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Zhuge Zhenwo (Anthony Wong) Leader of the divine constabulary.
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 Ji Yaohua, (Jiang Yiyan) Works for Department six, intelligent but always somewhere between good and bad.
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THE FOUR 1 (四大名捕1) 2012

Synopsis:
set in the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127) during the reign of Emperor Huizong (1100-1126). The “department six” has the responsibility for all criminal investigations in the imperial capital. When a counterfeit coin currency circulates the city, the department six investigates. When they find the suspect and the evidence, The divine constabulary, a secret service, takes both the evidence and the suspect. Department six, and especially Commandant Liu, is angry about it, they can do very little because the divine constabulary is commissioned by the emperor.
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Commandant Liu does not let it go, he lets Cold Blood (Deng Chao) infiltrate the divine constabulary to slowly try and bring it down. The Chief of the divine constabulary is suspicious of his reasons to join the agency, but lets him join anyway. And Cold blood gets into a difficult situation, when he finds himself taken into the family of the divine constabulary, his loyalties become more divided each day he continues on the mission. But will he really choose the divine constabulary’s side? Meanwhile, the real mastermind behind the counterfeit currency is planting spies everywhere, and a plan to destroy to kill the emperor comes closer. Only the four will be able to stop them, if it’s not too late.

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Personal Opinion: The moment I saw the opening shot I already knew this would be great movie, I felt it somehow, and yes I’ve been wrong with opening shots, but not this time. Still the Four is nothing new, it’s actually a wuxia classic, but with a fantasy twist. However the characters have been taken to a somewhat new level; With Cold Blood as a real part wolf convertible, Emotionless as a mind magician (and above that, it’s a female version) and iron fist with bad ass tattoos. Oh and well life snatcher, just like always.
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But the story is somewhat new, the main villain is somewhat original, although his idea of walking corpses had already been used in other the four adaptations. Ooh yeah I forgot to mention, unfortunately this movie has creepy corpses
although… they look quite cute BTS.
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Luckily we won’t see any corpses in part2 and 3, although a half tree human isn’t much better I guess. (spoiler An Shigeng comes back as a tree).

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You know, It wouldn’t surprise me If I would say Emotionless is my fav character of the movie. Just so cool, I think we need to see more of these kind of paranormal powers without the actual light effects. It’s more creepy without them (as if the movie isn’t creepy enough)

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Another thing, I know this is by no means a valid reason, but this movies was great because they are eating steaming food in almost every scene.
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And there is more steaming food in part 2, so why don’t we have a look at that.

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THE FOUR 2 (四大名捕2) 2013

Synopsis:
The second movie begins with the divine constabulary setting up camp in a forest. (a sort of wuxia picnic) Then suddenly Cold blood finds trails of blood, he follows the trail and runs ahead of the others, Life snatcher, Iron hands and Ji Yaohua follow him but when they arrive at the abandoned house they see Cold blood is shot by a cannon. And the man who fired the cannon turns out to be Zhuge Zhengwo…..??? He escapes and the department six and the divine constabulary investigate the house and discover the bloodshed of many people, the only survivor is Ouyang Da. Someone that disappeared from the pugilist world.

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Zhuge Zhengwo is puzzled and wants to investigate the case. And altough the sheriff agrees, Ji Yaohua and  the others in Department Six protest against it because there were several cases of massacres, each with the death of a man that was supposed to have died twelve years ago. And all tied with Zhuge Zhengwo! Connected through the Gang of Twelve, a gang that’s believed to have killed heartless family.

And it gets worse,  if you thought An Shigeng is dead, you couldn’t be more wrong, he’s back as a half tree, half human. His father, Lord An, has him restored in that state. And together they plan to usurp the throne. To plan a spy in department six, they kidnap Ji Yaohua and give her a poison that will require a monthly antidote.

Back at the Divine constabulary, Cold Blood questions Zhuge Zhengwo about the weapon he used to shoot him with, Zhuge admits he has used the weapon before, for it was the very same weapon he was gifted by the Emperor. But he refuses to tell anything about the Gang of Twelve, instead he says he will solve the case in two days. But before that day comes, the Sheriff King is found dead. The evidence is again, pointing to Zhuge Zhengwo.
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When one of the members of the gang of twelve turns up, they find him and Heartless kills him in a fight. They are promptly arrested by Ji Yaohua who has taken over Department Six… Cold Blood, Iron Hands and Life Snatcher are left for a difficult task, breaking into the extremely well guarded prison of the department six.

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Personal Opinion:

Wow, just simply wow because this movie made what in the first movie looked like an adventure classic into a mystery and a real drama, seriously the ending blew me away, unexpected turn of the plot, and I’m saying that while I’ve seen other adaptations of the four.
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But don’t get me wrong there is still a lot of adventure and fantasy epicness, with as sort of a high point; the twin effects. (No I don’t mean that movie with Jackie Chan) But the double effect was really executed very well in this movie. And if you don’t get what I mean why don’t I explain it to you, it turns out there is two Deng Chao’s, t wouldn’t it be nice if there were really two, he could make more movies that way. Anyway, one of them is the fake one, and you might have guessed it; magical transformation skill, something that has been done a lot in movies to make some kind of impossible plot twist. And if I haven’t introduced you to the expert in transformational magic : Liu Yan as Ru Yan (Lady Fog)
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although quite majestic looking, quite a villainous lady, stays on for part 3 also.  With more transformations, I’m afraid the four likes to confuse us quite a bit with all these face changers. And if were talking about villains, the unexpected comeback of  An Shigeng…  well it’s not exactly what I was hoping for and even worse, he also stays on for part 3. Oh and since I told you before, I think I owe you a picture of what a tree human looks like,
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Can’t believe this picture though, you would almost think it’s something really beautiful, the impossible love between a tree and a human. Haha no no, what am I saying ,seriously this movie is not like that.
And probably not that interesting, but here is some sort of clue how they turned him into a tree.

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Well, as my concluding point. The movie has become a dramatical masterpiece (well, almost), mainly because we get to know the truth about the family of Emotionless. And we get to know who killed them, and why.

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Without going too much into that, I’m try to have a spoiler free blog here, but I think at that point the movie got an entire new dimension! I did not see that coming! No no no. I think Liu Yifei’s acting was incredible, and everyone was great in the last scene actually. Just great. Even if you didn’t like part 1, you should give part 2 a try, and maybe even part 3, because wow… Well here it is actually:

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THE FOUR 3 (四大名捕3) 2014

Synopsis:
Emotionless, unable to forgive the past events stays with Jiao Niang (Tang Shui Mun). She even avoids Cold Blood, who had nothing to do with the death of her family. Cold Blood finds himself still entangled with Ji Yaohua, who is as we’ve seen in the previous movie a spy for Lord An.  Ji Yaohua releases Ruyan (Liu Yan) from prison, they both work for Lord An. Meanwhile the emperor (Alec Su) wants to visit his people in the city. Cold Blood And Ji Yaohua accompany him but they are too late, the emperor’s boat explodes. The emperor goes missing and the culprit was not found. The emperor’s uncle, the prince (Lee Chi Hung) is a suspect and is arrested. But it turns out that the emperor is not dead, he escapes to the divine constabulary but is captured by Emotionless. Emotionless is angry, the emperor was responsible for the death of her family, she considers the idea to avenge her parents, but cannot settle on a decision.

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But then a group of assassins attack the Inn, emotionless fights against them but they are too many. Luckily The divine constabulary comes to help. But then they also discover that Emotionless is hiding the emperor. They quickly release the emperor and decide to escort him back to general Di.

While they take great caution,Lord An discovers them. Then they see Ji Yaohua and discover that she betrayed them. Emotionless and the others are able to escape but Zhengwo fights Lord An and looses all his internal energy. Lord an also gives him Jiao Nang’s pendant, meaning that all the ones left at divine constabulary are dead.

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The survivors, Cold Blood, Emotionless, the Emperor and a few escorts find themselves injured, tired, and grieving. But there is still a battle to fight….

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Personal Opinion:
In my opinion the third movie was the absolute best of the whole trilogy, everything that was introduced in the first two movies was taken to more depth. Emotionless had emotion, Cold blood was warm, Life snatcher didn’t snatch and Iron hands had his hands turned soft (at least, for a moment).

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The fantasy style action didn’t disappoint either, with the addition of more explosions than previous movies, and the fast paced and 3d element weaponry, I was wide awake and eating chips faster than normal. And the burst of colourful qi coming of fists, swords and hidden weaponry was right before your eyes, as if it could hit you. Even the villains improved with the bad-ass Lord grandpa that scared me, damn it, with his qi absorbing magic. I’m happy we got rid of that guy eventually.

But I think the most important question that left us all at part 2 was, will Emotionless forgive the people that killed her family? It’s a question that stays throughout the whole movie and it’s what made this movie more interesting and captivating than the previous two. Especially with “the black inside white, white inside black” philosophy going on, yes I do have a thing for philosophy, but only if there are English subs…….

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Was there anything missing in the movie? Well, maybe the only thing I was missing in this movie is Emotionless levitating objects with her mind power, the flying darts out of her hair did compensate a lot but still the first movie had some really cool mind power going. 10 pionts for Zhuge’s fire tornado though, haven’t seen that one before. Also there was that moment when the four and the emperor become one big field of energy, that was awesome wow. You’re really dead when they come flying at you like that.

OOooh, and let’s not forget, Alec Su, a brilliant addition to the cast, seriously, the most unbelievable jet brilliant/comical emperor ever. Seriously can’t believe they made him the emperor, but what a great decision, If there is ever a part 4, I hope we see him again.

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Alec Su as Emperor Huizong of Song

Now as a last point I have to say, without spoiling too much, We don’t see what finally happened to An Shigeng, are they leaving something for a possible part 4? I do hope we get a part 4, but damn it I’m not looking forward to seeing An Shigeng doing his evil stuff again. But I’m worrying for nothing because I have not read any news about a possible part 4 so I’m afraid this will really be the last movie.

Ooh and I just want to say something about Ji Yaohua that I never thought I would say… But yes Ji Yaohua you are amazing, you were great… if you’ve seen part 3 you’ll know why I’m saying this.

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But please, do yourself a favour, marathon the entire trilogy.
Until part 4, hopefully..

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Historical movies from 1000 BC until 1900 AD

Chinese Historical movies from 1000 BC until 1900 AD (have only included the movies after 2000)
In Historical order:

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Sacrifice [2010] 607-581 BC
Based on the play  The Orphan of Zhao, a Chinese play from the Yuan era, written by the thirteenth-century dramatist Ji Junxiang (紀君祥). The movie is directed by Chen Kaige (The Promise), and stars Fan Bing Bing, Huang Xiaoming,

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CAST: 

  • Ge You as Cheng Ying
  • Wang Xueqi as Tu’an Gu
  • Zhang Fengyi as Gongsun Chujiu
  • Huang Xiaoming as Han Jue
  • Fan Bingbing as Lady Zhuang
  • Hai Qing as Cheng Ying’s wife
  • Vincent Zhao as Zhao Shuo

SYNOPSIS:
Set in the Jin state during the Spring and Autumn Period (a state under the Zhou Dynasty). The General Tu’an Gu secretly murders the Duke Of Jin and pushes the blame on the Zhao Family. He massacres the whole Zhao Clan consisting of 300 people Including general Zhan Shou. Zhan Shou’s wife, Lady Zhuang (the duke’s elder sister) sees that her husband died and immediately has to give birth (she was pregnant, bad timing omg). The physician Cheng Ying helps her to give birth. However Han Jue, one of the generals subordinates comes to take the child away.
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Lady Zhuang pleads for her child’s life, until she even takes her own life in exchange for her son’s survival (things are getting intense in this part of the movie). Han Jue, moved by what she did, does as she said and reports to the general that she’s already dead. Meanwhile the physician takes the child away. When the general discovers that Han Jue let the baby escape he gets slashed (that’s why he has the scar on his face).

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But that’s not the happy ending jet, Tu’an Gu issues an order to seal the gates and to gather all newborn babies in the city. Cheng Ying brings the baby Zhao Wu home, but his wife gives the child to the searching soldiers, claiming that Zhao Wu is her son (she has a real son also). But then Cheng Ying lies that the Zhao orphan has been taken out of the city by Gongsun Chujiu, at the place where his real son is hidden. Will they get their son back or will the Zhao orphan survive?

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Personal Opinion:
I avoided this movie for a long time since the title “sacrifice” and some of the posters suggested a very sinister dark movie. But that was very misleading indeed (although it did had some sinister parts), and what’s worse the title is actually  趙氏孤兒 Zhào Shì Gū Ér which means Zhao’s orphan, or “The Orphan of Zhao”.

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If you like movies about revenge, or better said “the perfect revenge” then maybe this is a thing for you. Personally I found it lacked a hero, someone that saved everyone, revenge is such a low moral subject. But then again, this is not a wuxia story about heroes but a play, a piece of theatre it shouldn’t be compared to anything wuxia. It did remind me of  “the banquet” in a good way, except for the fact that this is not a romance story in any way. Because hey, Huang Xiaoming and Fan Bing Bing looked handsome together but no. (save your ship for upcoming White Haired Witch Of Lunar Kingdom).

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Also, the fact that’s based on this very old play, a story that’s been told hundreds of times does make it special. It’s a classic, and I must and will respect that.

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Confucius
[2010] 505-479 BC starring Chow Yun-fat as Confucius

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CAST:

  • Chow Yun-fat as Confuciusor Kong Qui
  • Zhou Xun as Nanzi,
  • Xu Huanshan as Laozi,
  • Yao Lu as Duke Lu Dinggong,
  • Ma Jingwu as Duke Jing of Qi.
  • Bi Yanjun as Duke Ling of Wei
  • Wang Huichun as Li Chu,
  • Li Huan as Kuai Kui,

SYNOPSIS:
The Movie begins with the Philosopher Confucius thinking back about the past. We see him back in his younger years, when he was still serving the Lu State as a Minister for Law. Then one day a servant boy comes hiding in his house, the other servants and slaves were killed for Lord Ji Yiru burial, he was the only one to escape. The Ji Family will want the boy back. But Kong Qiu (confucius) says that the boy will stay here with them.
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At court, Kong Qiu urges to end the ritual burying of servants with their deceased master. Kong Qiu bring the escaped boy to court. He pleads for his life, but Gongshan Niu insists that it was Lord Ji Yiru Pingzi’s dying wish. However says Kong Qiu: the general Gonghan Niu was very close to the Lord and maybe he should accompany him in death as well. The court laughs and the boy gets released.

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Meanwhile at the dukedom of Qi they are dreaming of conquering Lu. Their plan is to suggest an alliance with Lu but then take the Duke of Lu hostage and make Lu submit to Qi. Kong Qiu suspects that they might Launce an attack and tries to get 500 war chariots, but he fails because Gongshan refused to give them the chariots.
The Duke and Kong Qiu go to the alliance meeting and as they feared, the Minister Li threatens Kong Qiu and the Duke of Lu saying that, while pointing at their army, they have no way to leave. But then, Kong Qiu shoots an arrow in the air and says 500 chariots ready to do battle with Qi. They see birds flying from behind the mountains and the Qi army quickly retreats. But it weren’t 500 chariots that scared the army away, it were a hundred ox carts that scared off the Qi army.

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Back home, Confucius becomes Acting Minister of the Interior in the Lu Court. The power in the Kingdom of Lu has devolved to three aristocratic clans, known as ‘The Three Noble Families’:  the Jishi, Shushi and Mengshi clans.” Confucius wants to end their power and suggests to tear down their walls surrounding the three families. However, the tearing down of the walls create chaos, the families rebel against the duke and meanwhile the Qi army is attacking Lu. The Duke of Qi sends girls and horses as a gift in exchange for the  dismissal of Kong Qiu.

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With two horses and a cart Kong Qiu goes into exile. He wonders around the world and visits the Kingdom of Wei briefly. The King offers him to have his own academy, but also says that his soldiers must be trained because Wei is surrounded by enemies on all sides. Kong Qiu says he has little experience in military matters.
At least His royal consort Nanzi must talk to him, he cannot refuse that. They talk and She even wants to become his student. But Kong Qiu suggests she would be better study with one of his disciples from Wei.
She wants to meet him again, but Kong Qiu Leaves Wei knowing Wei will be in chaos soon.
Kong Qiu goes further and wonders around the world with his disciples.

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personal opnion: A highly bibliographical movie is a thing on it’s own. This is not your typical adventure movie (thank god it’s not a typical adventure movie), still with actors like Zhou Xun and Chow Yun-fat it can’t possible be a bad movie, and it wasn’t. The thing I liked is that “Confucius” was shown to be a normal man, someone we can relate to. And Chow Yun-fat was a good Confucius, he has this joyfully peaceful expression that I have never seen with any other actor.

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Little Big Soldier
[2010] 475-221 BC an action-comedy film set in the Warring States period, about a war between the Liang and Wei states. Written and Produced By Jackie Chan. A movie according to JC was stuck in development for 20 years.

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CAST:

  • Jackie Chan as Big Soldier
  • Leehom Wang as Little General
  • Yu Rongguang as Deputy General Yu
  • Ken Lo as Guard Yong
  • Lin Peng as Singer
  • Steve Yoo as Prince Wen

SYNOPSIS:
During The Warring states period, millions of lives perished, chaos everywhere. Ruthless warlords waged battles to satiate their endless aggression. The Battle between Liang and Wei resulted in an endless war and bloodshed. Eventually only two men were left alive. One of them was a foot soldier from Wei (Jackie Chan) that was an expert at playing dead, and the other was a general from Wei (Leehom Wang) that got wounded. The foot soldier decides to take the general captive and take him to the Liang warlord and will be rewarded with a pardon from the army.
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His dream is to retire, have a piece of land, a field of canola flowers and further his family line.
But the longer the journey takes the more complicated and chaotic it becomes. Once the general starts regaining his strength he starts fighting back.
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And then there is a tribal army that likes to make things difficult for them.

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Above that there is the general’s young brother organized a search to find the general.
But the more obstacles the two soldiers encounter the more they find themselves wanting peace, something that has become their highest ideal .  littlebigsoldierjackiechan

Personal Opinion: No doubt the most fun movie on the list, and for once it’s like JC is not really the hero in this movie. But actually he is because he wants peace before anything else which the movie made sure was far more important than being some war hero.
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Still there was quite a bit of action in this movie, but not war battles or anything like that. And this movie is not about war. There are countless war movies (many included on this list) that see war as some sort of entertainment. But not this movie. It had a lot of comedy also which is quite unique for a historical movie. And there is Leehom Wang, the pop-star that was an unexpectedly good sidekick. Overall a good movie, one of JC few ancient movies, but just as good as any of his modern ones.

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A Battle of Wits [2006] 375-369 BC set in the reign of King Lie of Zhou

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CAST:

  • Andy Lau as Ge Li, the Mohist who leads the defence of Liang.
  • Fan Bingbing as Yiyue, a Liang cavalry commander.
  • Wang Zhiwen as the King of Liang
  • Nicky Wu as Zituan, the chief of Liang’s archers.
  • Choi Siwon as Liang Shi, the Prince of Liang.

SYNOPSIS:
During the warring states period, 370 BC. The Zhao State is going to invade the Yan state. On the border of the two states is Liang. The City state is grave danger of being conquered also. A mohist (followers of the philosopher Mozi) called Ge Li comes to the aid of Liang. The king was already considering to surrender but Ge Li warns him for the consequences (slavery). And he also points out that they will not proceed their attack if they fail because the main target is the Yan state. The King is in doubt but puts him in command anyway.
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He wins the first battle with various tricks, they even kill the general. It makes him a hero among the people. He also wins the heart of Yiyue (Fan Bing Bing). She’s a female cavalry commander but Ge Li does not want to accept her feelings.
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But the Zhao army returns to attack, and his method of working made some Liang generals turn against him.
Will Liang be strong enough to keep off the invaders?

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Personal Opinion:
Andy Lau for me was always be the Hong Kong Police action star (infernal affairs is probably to blame for this) , but this movie showed him as an ancient warrior, a strategist. His principles is what made me feel empathy for him, because he would help any country that was in threat of invasion. No matter who the enemy was, or which city he had to defend, he did it to help the people. They even asked him if he would help the enemy if it was at risk of invasion, and he said e definitely would.
His short hair though, almost made me think he was a monk (well he was a mohist), anyway he did a good job.

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Only down side is that I still lie awake thinking about Fan Bing Bing in this movie, especially with that thing about the ending. (am I saying too much)

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The Warring States [2011] ca. 316 BC set in the Warring States period (475-221 BC), loosely based on the rivalry between Sun Bin (d. 316 BC) and Pang Juan (d. 342 BC)

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CAST:

  • Sun Honglei as Sun Bin
  • Jing Tian as Tian Xi
  • Francis Ng as Pang Juan
  • Kim Hee-sun as Pang Fei

SYNOPOSIS
In the Middle of China’s warring states period, around 355 BC. The world is in chaos, wars everywhere, good strategists are precious and rare. Sun Bin (Sun Honglei) is one of the students of Gui Guzi, a famous strategist. Sun Bin is recruited by the Wei army to take the border city.

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Sun Bin ponders about the attack and finally comes up with a brilliant plan using an eclipse. The plan is successful and the Qi army is defeated. The daughter of Jiang Wu, the Qi army general, is impressed by his strategy. Tian Xi (Jing Tian) lets people kidnap him and bring him to her. Sun Bin is terrified at first but when he sees how beautiful and spirited she is he immediately falls in love with her.

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After so much fighting the different kingdoms finally get together to make peace. Sun Bin gets to meet the Wei army general, Pang Juan (Francis Ng) an old friend and also a student from Gui Guzi. Juan’s sister is the princess of Wei (Kim-Hee-seon).

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Pang Juan is stricken with jealously, and wants to wage more wars, he tricks Sun Bin to come to him and tries to uncover his secret strategies. This to o the point that he’s imprisoned and tortured.  The Qin kingdom is in immediate danger and only the Tian Xi can save him.
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Personal Opinion
This movie surprised me, it was brilliant in many ways. It showed both the strategic brilliance of Sun Bin and the madness that every war has at it’s heart. Bitter sweet, both a comedy and a tragedy, beyond my expectation, recommended. I think what moved me most was the interaction between Sun Bin and Tian Xi, there was something adorably childish about them. A touching movie in a lot of ways.

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麦田
Wheat
[2009] 260 BC the story of women left behind when their husbands went to war during the Battle of Changping

CAST:

  • Fan Bingbing as Li
  • Huang Jue as Xia
  • Du Jiayi as Zhe

SYNOPSIS:
In the Zhao state, Lady Li (fan Bing Bing) is married to Lord Ju Cong (Wang Xue Qi). But soon after Lord Ju and the rest of the village men have to fight in the battlefield against Qin. Lady Li and the woman are left alone to tend for themselves and to harvest the wheat.
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Meanwhile in Qin two soldier are sick of fighting the endless war against Zhao, one of them is elite warrior So Xia (Huang Jue) and the other is the easily sacred Zhe (Du Jia Yi). They escape and while being chased they fall from a cliff. They survive and are found by Zhao women from a village nearby. There are no men in the Zhao village because they have all gone out to war (finding men was like finding water in the desert for those women). Instead of telling the truth (that they are Qin soldiers) the two guys decide to say that they are Zhao soldiers and say that Zhao has won the war. Will they be able to fool the women? And what will happen when the Zhao soldiers return, will the Zhao soldiers even return?

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Personal Opinion:
The title of this movie suggests a very unusual movie (or should I say weird). The movie is not really as weird though. It’s just another war movie like most on this list however it differs in a very important way: it has not one single war battle. It’s still a painful movie about the suffering of war but without actually seeing any war battles which makes it very unique.

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The Emperor and the Assassin
[1998] 227 BC based on the assassination attempt by Jing Ke on Qin Shi Huang

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Hero [2002]
227 BC starring Jet Li, set in the 3rd century BC and partly based on the story of Jing Ke

This one of the best movies in the history of film-making, absolutely inexplicably good. However I already reviewed this movie here , but just to hammer it down some more: you must watch it no matter what.

MOVIES SET IN THE Han dynasty 206 BC – 220 AD

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White Vengeance
[2011] 206-202 BC loosely based on the Feast at Hong Gate and events in the Chu–Han Contention

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CAST:

  • Leon Lai as Liu Bang
  • Feng Shaofeng as Xiang Yu
  • Liu Yifei as Consort Yu
  • Zhang Hanyu as Zhang Liang
  • Anthony Wong as Fan Zeng
  • Jordan Chan as Fan Kuai
  • Andy On as Han Xin

SYNOPSIS:
When the Qin Dynasty falls on 206 BC rebels from all parts of the country rose and the world turned into chaos. The two sworn brothers Xiang Yu (Feng Shaofeng) and Liu Bang (Leon Lai) are the leaders of the rebels. They both serve King Huai of Chu, the king decides to make whoever enters Guanzhong first lord of Qin. Xiang Yu trusts Liu Bang and fights against the main Qin army and above that he sends his beloved Yu Ji (Liu Yifei) to him. But Liu Bang is not trustworthy, he takes Yu Ji and invades Guanzhong. Xiang Yu wins the battle but when he discovers that Liu Bang has taken Guanzhong, he’s furious. He plans a banquet at Hong Men to assassinate him. Liu Bang goes to the banquet, his mastermind Zhang Liang (Zhang Hanyu) and Xiang Yu’s mastermind Fan Zeng (Anthony Wong) play a dangerous game of chess. But only one can win the battle, only one that can take the crown.

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Pesonal Opinion:
Good looking actors, enough action to keep me awake, really nothing wrong with it. The only down side was that I already knew everything that would happen in the movie since I’ve read about that piece of history quite a lot. But even then I found it wasn’t too predictable. I did feel myself having trouble choosing sides between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu, they both didn’t seem like people I would want to be real friends with (look at what happened to Liu Bang’s friends). But at least Liu Yifei made it very much worth watching , it did make me a little sad T_T… thumbs up, but a bleeding one.

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The Last Supper [2012] 206-202 BC based on events in the Chu–Han Contention

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CAST:

  • Daniel Wu as Xiang Yu
  • Chang Chen as Han Xin
  • Qin Lan as Lü Zhi
  • Sha Yi as Xiao He
  • Nie Yuan as Xiang Zhuang
  • Huo Siyan as Concubine Qi
  • He Dujuan as Consort Yu
  • Tao Zeru as Fan Zeng
  • Li Qi as Xiang Bo

SYNPOSIS:
It begins with the old emperor, Liu Bang,  being sick and having flashbacks. His sickness is also mentally and he’s being paranoid, he things everyone is trying to kill him. We see how Liu Bang was once a normal man, but how he then joined the rebels and the Qin Dynasty finally fell. But Liu Bang was the first to take the capital, and entered the palace. This making Xiang Yu furious, Liu Bang was thus invited to the Feast at Hong Gate to assassinate him. But the assassination fails and Xiang Yu lets him go, he even gave him the Guanzhong area, and made him “king of Han” . But that was his greatest mistake, Liu Bang rebels and defeats Xiang Yu with his army. But even after defeating all his enemies, Liu Bang is in doubt, after many years he distrusts everyone, a sickness that he might not be able to conquer.
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Personal Opinion: This is a very dark, psychological, philosophical sort of movie, just like the cover. And it did not surpass the 2011 White vengeance in any way. The most surprising thing about this movie is that it had not one single fight scene, no instead they had a sort of dancing with sword scene. This movie was apparently not meant to be an adventure movie, it was purely about Liu Bang’s thoughts and actually about how villainous Liu Bang (and his wife) actually was, especially in his last years.

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Red Cliff II

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Red Cliff [2008] winter of AD 208-209 epic war film based on the Battle of Red Cliffs

CAST:

  • Tony Leung as Zhou Yu
  • Takeshi Kaneshiro as Zhuge Liang
  • Lin Chi-ling as Xiaoqiao
  • Zhang Fengyi as Cao Cao
  • Chang Chen as Sun Quan
  • Zhao Wei as Sun Shangxiang
  • Hu Jun as Zhao Yun

Part I
Han Dynasty, 208, chancellor Cao Cao seeks the approval of the emperor to eliminate the southern warlords. The emperor is still young and even though he disagrees with Cao Cao he still lets him go on the campaign.
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The Battle of Changban: Liu Bei’s civilian exodus gets attacked buy Cao’s cavalry. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei fight bravely to defend the escaping civilians. Another warrior Zhao Yun is fighting to get Liu Bei’s entrapped family to safety.
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Zhuge Liang (Takeshi Kaneshiro), Liu Bei’s advisor, goes to Jiangdon to try and form an alliance with Sun Quan. The alliance could help to deal with Cao Cao’s invasion. Sun Quan’s viceroy Zhou Yu and his sister Sun Shangxiang try to convince him to agree to the alliance. Finally Sun Quan agrees and the two forces call for a meeting to plan how to defend against Cao Cao.
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Zhuge Liang Suggests to use the bagua formation. Sun Shangxiang leads a cavalry to lure them into the trap.
They win the battle, but Cao Cao proceeds with his main army. Zhuge Liang secretly sends Sun Shangxiang to infiltrate and spy in the enemies camp.

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PART II
Cao Cao’s army is seized with plague and typhoid fever. They send a floating raft with corpses, people that died from the plague, to the camp of his enemies. And therefore the alliance  army gets hit by the plague also. It affects the morale and Liu Bei leaves with his forces. Zhuge Liang stays behind to assist Sun Quan.
Zhuge Liang plans a brilliant strategy to produce 100,000 arrows.

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Meanwhile Cao Cao sends Jiang Gan to persuade Zhou Yu to surrender to Cao. But Zhou does net let himself be persuaded and with a little trick he makes Jiang believe that Cai Mao and Zhang Yun (two important navy officers) are going to kill Cao. Cao Cao falls for the trick and executes Cai Mao and Zhang Yun.
But the battle is only just beginning, Cao Cao has an army of 800,000 ( Zhou Yu estimated 230,000) but the alliance only consisted of approximately 50,000. How are they ever going to win the battle at red cliff?

Personal Opinion:
This movie is one of the best on this list. I’m always cautious about a war epic  since I’m not a big fan of endless slaughter battlefields but this movie had more to offer than that . It’s more about the underdog fighting against the leading forces than anything else. A movie for rebels, and being a rebel it was a movie for myself indeed. And apart from rebel stuff there was this brilliant strategy, and no doubt Zhuge Liang was my absolute favourite character. There was an almost magical aspect about him, he outsmarts everyone and seems to have magical powers to influence wind and rain, and with Takeshi playing it an absolute joy to watch.  The fact that it’s a 2 part movie adds to the awesomeness of this whole red cliff epic, be sure to get yourself the uncut version, you must not miss one single minute.

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The Lost Bladesman [2011] AD 219 a Hong Kong film loosely based on the story of Guan Yu (d. 219) in the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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CAST:

  • Donnie Yen as Guan Yu,
  • Jiang Wen as Cao Cao
  • Alex Fong as Liu Bei
  • Chin Siu-ho as Yan Liang
  • Betty Sun as Qilan
  • Andy On as Kong Xiu

SYNOPSIS:
Cao Cao attends Guan Yu’s (Donnie Yen) funeral (Guan Yu died, quite a spoiler).
20 years earlier, Guan Yu gets seperated from his sworn brother Liu Bei. Bevause he had to wait for news of Liu Bei he served Cao Cao for the time being. In the battle of Baima, Guan Yu kills general Yan Liang and ends the siege. Cao Cao suggests to the emperor to promote Guan Yu to a higher rank.

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Guan Yu receives news that Liu Bei is with Yuan Shao.
Liu Bei’s concubine Qilan and his other family are staying with Guan Yu and He quickly negotiates with Cao Cao to release the family and send them to Liu Bei. Cao Cao accepts but lets Qilan remain. He knows that Guan Yu has long had feelings for Qilan but he never reveals it. Cao Cao tries to take advantage of it (to trick him) and puts aphrodisiac in his food, but Guan Yu is able to resist the poison. Guan Yu and Qilan quickly leave Cao Cao.

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But Guan Yu gets attacked on his way, numerous people are trying to kill him. Who is behind it? Will They ever reach Liu Bei safely?

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Personal Opinion: Highly underrated Donnie Yen Movie!! Absolutely spectacular fighting scenes, there was fighting on horseback in a small corridor, smashing walls, Figthing whole armies alone and more good stuff. It has all the action you would want from a Donnie Yen movie.

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And actually there is something about Donnie Yen’s ancient movies that is off the chart (14 blades was very much like this one), always good. Only the romantic storyline felt like it was one big nightmare for Guan Yu and a bit painful for us to watch at least. Good though, very good movie.

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Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon [2008] AD 229 a Hong Kong film about Zhao Yun, loosely based on parts of the novel Romance of Three Kingdoms

CAST:

  • Sammo Hung as Luo Ping’an
  • Vanness Wu as Guan Xing
  • Andy On as Deng Zhi
  • Ti Lung as Guan Yu,
  • Elliot Ngok as Liu Bei
  • Pu Cunxin as Zhuge Liang

SYNOPSIS:  Zhao Zilong (Andy Lau) enlists in the army of Liu Bei. He becomes good friends with Lu Ping’an (Sammo Hung) a soldier from the same home town. Suddenly, Zhuge Liang comes to pay a visit to the army. He suggests they attack Cao Cao’s army at night, during the upcoming storm. They follow his advice and sneak up to the enemies camp. Zhao Zilong has his first victory.

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But later, Liu Bei has to retreat to Phoenix Heights since Cao Cao’s army is too powerful. However, his family gets separated from him during the chaos. Luo was ordered to bring them back safely but he fails. Zhang Fei wants to kill him but Zhao Zilong fights him instead. Liu Bei is impressed with Zhao’s skill and tells them to stop fighting.

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Zhao offers to search for his family. He finds the only surviving family member, Liu Bei’s son, and tries to escape with him. But he gest surrounded by Cao Cao’s men. He fights his way through and almost kills Cao Cao but changes his mind and escapes.

When he returns to Changshan he’s received as a hero, and also wins the heart of a shadow puppet show performer.
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Liu Bei becomes emperor of Shu and Zhao becomes one of the five tiger generals. Alongside him are Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Ma Chao and Huang Zhong. After countless battles they all die except for Zhilong.
When Liu Bei dies also and the new ruler Liu Shan comes to power, Zhang suggest to launch a campaign against Wei and restore the Han Dynasty. He wants to go himself and has Guan Xing and Zhang Bao with him. Luo Ping’an ( also wants to join him and for the sake of their brotherhood he agrees.

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By this time Zhang is 71, it will be his last battle. On the enemy side we have Cao Ying, Cao Cao’s granddaughter. When Zhao encounters the Wei general he finds himself being trapped, a spy is amongst them. How will they defeat the Wei army?

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Personal opinion: Andy Lau proves himself to be quite a historical figure in this, I found this to be his most convincing historical movie so far (I’m really starting to see him as historical guy after both A battle of Wits and this). It had some very meaningful thoughts also. At the beginning of the movie Luo Ping’an gives Zhilong a map, and he tells them that when they make a circle on the map and conquer everything along it the world will finally be in peace. Back at Phoenix Heights Zhilong argues that even though he conquered all the things along the circle on the map, there was still no peace. The movie did make you question the avail of conquering, something other movies fail to mention.
Overall it was enjoyable, and slighly thought provoking (don’t expect too much).

ooh and last but not least. I couldn’t help but finding Maggie Q as Cao Ying amazing as a villain.

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An Empress and the Warriors
[2008] 304 to 439 set in the Yan state during the sixteen kingdoms period (probably :/).
CAST:

  • Donnie Yen as Murong Xuehu
  • Kelly Chen as Yan Fei’er
  • Leon Lai as Duan Lanquan
  • Guo Xiaodong as Yan Huba

SYNOPSIS:
China is divided into a great number of rival kingdoms, and most importantly the state of Zhao and the state of Yan. Zhao is endlessly attacking Yan, a state founded by the Murong tribe (ethnic Xianbei tribe who are a Mongolic people from the time of Tanshihuai). When the King of Yan dies, his daughter, princess Fei’er,

 

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becomes the new ruler. This with the help of general Murong Xuehu (Donnie Yen), someone that has long had feelings for her. Soon after she takes the throne, Yan Huba, a nephew from the king plans to take the throne. He sends men to assassinate the princess, but they fail.

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She’s however badly hurt and becomes unconscious, a herbal doctor named Duan Lanquan helps her to recover. He takes her to his gigantic shelter that he built himself. But the recovery is slow and they slowly fall in love with each other.

But Zhao is still a threat to the country, and Huba is still planning to take the throne.
Will she reclaim the throne, will she leave Duan Lanquan or will she help Murong Xuehu?

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Personal Opinion:
Beautiful movie, everything was balanced, action, romance, they didn’t exaggerate any of it. And if you liked the action choreography, there is a reason why it´s so good: it was by action choreographer Ching Siu-tung (Hero, House of Flying Daggers). I’m sure Donnie Yen was much to be responsible for that also, there is not one movie with him that doesn’t have well executed action scenes, it comes natural with him. And also there is basically not one movie with him that doesn’t have great action (oh well there was that one romance movie).  Kelly Chen was not a bad female lead either, very nice. I think this movie comes very close to a “must see”  one.

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Mulan [2009] ca. AD 386-534 based on the legend of Hua Mulan
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CAST:

  • Zhao Wei as Hua Mulan
  • Chen Kun as Wentai
  • Hu Jun as Mendu
  • Jaycee Chan as Fei Xiaohu

SYNOPISIS:
450 A.D. The Rouran tribes are trying to invade the country. Men from all parts of the country are drafted, the old soldier Hua Hu insists on going to war again. But his daughter, Mulan (Zhao Wei), prevents it by disguising herself as a boy and stealing his armor and weapon. She enters the army in her father’s place.

 

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She undergoes intense military training but thanks to her skills she proves to be courageous. And she has to support of Wentai (Chen Kun), the battalion’s Sub Commander, who becomes a good friend.

房祖名(左)飾演費小虎與花木蘭是好朋友

One day someone loses a jade pendant, a strip search is ordered. Mulan is terrified and admits that she stole the pendant (she didn’t steal it though).

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When she’s put in prison she tells Wentai that’s she actually a woman. He promises to tell no one and when the Rourans attack he releases her from jail. Mulan fights bravely and she’s promoted to sub-commander.

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At the Rouran tribes the prince Mudan murders his father to take the throne.
The Rouran’s fight Mulan’s troops again but they get injured by arrow fire, but then a dust storm appears and everyone on the battlefield looses conciousness. When they wake up Mulan sees Wentai and she orders to retreat back in the canyon.
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But there is no way out, they are trapped in the canyon, Mulan prepares the army to fight to their death. But Wentai (7th Prince of Wei) tries to prevent it by offering himself as a prisoner in exchange for the freedom of Mulan and her troops. Mudan agrees and takes him prisoner.

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Mulan is left alone and has to come up with a way to save Wentai, will she save him? Will they finally defeat the Rouran tribes?
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Personal Opinion:
This a real movie, the real life of a soldier, a woman fighting for her country. And war is nothing romantic, they made that clear in the movie. On the other hand it showed friendship, the friendship between brothers, and between lovers, it was all mixed up in a very good way.
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But I think the Best thing to say about this movie is just to say the last sentence in the movie:
“Someone once said, go too far from home and you will lose your roots. Kill too many people, and you will forget yourself. If you die in battle, your life will sink into the ground like rain and vanish without a trace. If at that time, you fall in love with someone, hope with blossom again from the earth and embrace life passionately. Thank you, Wentai.

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Warriors of Heaven and Earth
[2003] AD 700 an action-adventure film set in Xinjiang

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CAST:

  • Jiang Wen as Lieutenant Li
  • Kiichi Nakai as Emissary Lai Xi
  • Wang Xueqi as Master An
  • Zhao Wei as Wen Zhu

SYNOPSIS:
Set During the Tang Dynasty in the year 700. Lieutenant Li (Jiang Wen) refuses to kill prisoners, he’s therefore expelled and becomes a fugitive. When he travels through the Gobi Desert,  Li is busy searching a caravan to help him bring a Buddhist monk to the capital. But then Lai Xi, a Japanese Emissary, is ordered by the emperor himself to hunt down Li. Alongside him is his daughter

 

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But when Lai Xi discovers that it’s a relic they are protecting, he immediately sees the importance of Li’s mission. He has a change of heart and decides to join him and they agree to fight each other after the mission is finished. Their greatest enemy they face is Master An, the overlord who is hired by he Göktürk Khan. He wants the relic the monk is carrying. Will they defeat Master An and his army? Will they bring the relic back home?

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Zhao Wei being the most awesome actress in the movie.

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Personal Opinion:
I love desert movies (I’m not being sarcastic). It’s the sand the thirst (oh yes I got thirsty from this one) and the adventure (risk of getting cooked by the sun) of the desert that is like no other environment. And there are sandstorms in deserts, and there was one in this movie, but don’t get the idea it was like you may have seen in Flying swords of dragon gate. A note for the girls though, this movie is thirsty in one other aspect, the most handsome guy you’ll see is this movie
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extra points for the very elegant villain though

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I did end up wanting more desert movies, The desert genre seems underrated to some point. But please get some young looking guys in the next movie, talking about that. This movie lacked what next movie had too much (or is that impossible):

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Saving General Yang
[2013] AD 980s a Hong Kong film about the Generals of the Yang Family legends
The sixth son,
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CAST:

  • Adam Cheng as Yang Linggong
  • Xu Fan as She Taijun
  • Ekin Cheng as Yang Yan Ping
  • Yu Bo as Yang Erlang
  • Vic Chou as Yang Sanlang
  • Li Chen as Yang Silang
  • Raymond Lam as Yang Wulang
  • Wu Chun as Yang Yanzhao
  • Fu Xinbo as Yang Yansi
  • Ady An as Princess Chai

SYNOPSIS
Norhtern Song Dynasty, Ad 986.
General Yang Ye (Adam Cheng) is sent out on a mission with Lord Pan Renmei (Leung Kar-yan) to defend the country against from the Khitan army. General Yang is ordered to lead the vanguard, but once the Khitan army arrives Pan retreats leaving General Yang on his own. The general falls in a deadly trap. He’s Stranded and with little prospect, as his only option he seeks refuge in the Twin Wolves Mountain, trying to survive for a little time longer. He’s surrounded and kept as a hostage by the Khitan army as revenge for a past massacre led by Yang Ye. Especially because the father of commander Yeluv Yuan (Shao Bing), was killed by Yang Ye.
When the general’s wife, Saihua (Xu Fan) discovers what happened she consults a prophet, the prophet showed her a piece of paper that contained the words: “Seven depart, only six return.”

When Yang Ye’s son’s hear of Lord Pan’s betrayal, they make a plan to help General Yang. Led by his first son Yang Yan Ping (Ekin Chen) they set out to save their father. They have to face an army of thousands, and find a way to make it home, and bring father back home. Will the prophecy be true, will only six return?

Characters: To break it down a little bit more (so many characters), I’m going to list all the son’s.

Ekin Cheng as Yang Yan Ping – Yang’s first son

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Yu Bo as Yang Erlang – Yang’s second son
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Vic Chou as Yang Sanlang – Yang’s third son
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Li Chen as Yang Silang – Yang’s fourth son
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Raymond Lam as Yang Wulang – Yang’s fifth son

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Wu Chun as Yang Yanzhao – Yang’s sixth son

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Fu Xinbo as Yang Yansi – Yang’s seventh son

And not one of the son’s but equally important: Ady An as Princess Chai
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Personal Opinion: This movie is very high on my favourites list, it’s non-stop action and even though it looks like another war-epic (this list is booming with war epics) it’s actually really about family (I’m not kidding). They fight for their family, brothers that die for each other, fathers that die for their sons, sons that die for their fathers. If you feel like your family needs some bonding, maybe you could watch this movie together. But I haven’t tried it though, so good luck with that.

Make way for the next movie, for the Yang girls!

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Legendary Amazons [2011] AD 1030s about the Genearals of the Yang Family legends

CAST:

  • Richie Jen as Yang Zongbao
  • Cecilia Cheung as Mu Guiying
  • Cheng Pei-pei as She Saihua
  • Liu Xiaoqing as Chai Qingyun
  • Ge Chunyan as Zhou Yunjing
  • Oshima Yukari as Zou Lanxiu
  • Li Jing as Geng Jinhua
  • Jin Qiaoqiao as Dong Yue’e
  • Yang Zitong as Meng Jinbang
  • Kathy Chow as Ma Saiying
  • Yu Na as Huyan Chijin
  • Chen Zihan as Yang Yanqi
  • Liu Dong as Yang Yanying
  • Xiao Mingyu as Yang Wenguang
  • Zhou Xiaofei as Yang Paifeng

SYNOPSIS:
11th Century, during the reign of Song Dynasty Emperor Renzong. The emperor is weak and the government is corrupt, there is constant war at the borders. Western Xia is trying to invade the Song dynasty.
Things get even worse when the last man from the Yang clan, Yang Zongbao, dies in battle after being betrayed by his rival Imperial Tutor Pan. Yang’s wife, Mu Guiying, leads all the Yang clan widdows to battle to continue the legacy of the Yang Clan.

Character breakdown:

Cecilia Cheung as Mu Guiying
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Chen Zihan as Yang Yanqi
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Kathy Chow as Ma Saiying
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Cheng Pei-pei as She Saihua
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Liu Xiaoqing as Chai Qingyun
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Liu Dong as Yang Yanying

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Yu Na as Huyan Chijin
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Personal Opinion: It’s incredible how this movie is like the complete female version of Saving General Yang. And I definitely admit that it’s a brilliant idea to have the widows of the Yang Clan fight the last battle.
Overall it was just a decent movie, it even included a 30 min fight scene which is pretty long for any movie. The only way to make a movie better than both saving general yang and legendary Amazons is to combine the two stories, to have a normal balance in girls and guys.

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The Warlords [2007] AD 1850–1864 set in the Qing Dynasty during the Taiping Rebellion The Empress Dowager 1975 AD 1835-1908 a Hong Kong film about Empress Dowager Cixi Li Lianying:

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CAST:

  • Jet Li as Pang Qingyun
  • Andy Lau as Zhao Erhu
  • Takeshi Kaneshiro as Jiang Wuyang
  • Xu Jinglei as Liansheng

SYNOPSIS:
Qingyun (Jet Li) is the only survivor of his Qing army. His rival general Ho withheld reinforces and let him and his army to die. Thanks to a girl, Liangsheng, he recovers his health. Later, Qingyun travels further he joins a bandit village. The two leaders of the bandits are Wuyang (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and Erhu (Andy Lau) . He discovers that Liansheng is actually Erhu’s wife. When a Taiping convoy crosses the mountains, Qingyun and the bandits rob them from their supplies. But it’s only for a short while because the Qing army attacks the village and steals the supplies.
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Left with little options they decide to form an army and fight for Qing so they’ll be able to feed their families. The three men Wuyang, Erhu and Qingyun become sworn brothers. The first battle that they fight is a success, and they get promoted quickly. But with every battle, the brothers start growing apart and selfish desires and start growing. Will their brotherly bond survive?
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 Personal Opinion: With a cast like this you would expect it to be incredible. However, I found it was too disturbing and violent, it had little to do with martial arts. Maybe it was the intention to make this a realistic war movie and yeah “war sucks”. Next movie is like the complete opposite:

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(If you’re trying to figure out the cover: I like the Spanish version best)
Fearless
[2006] AD 1868–1910 a biographical film about late Qing Dynasty martial artist Huo Yuanjia

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CAST:

  • Jet Li as Huo Yuanjia
  • Dong Yong as Nong Jinsun
  • Nakamura Shidō II as Anno Tanaka
  • Collin Chou as Huo Endi
  • Betty Sun as Yueci,

SYNOPSIS
Immediately in the beginning we have Huo Yuanjia fighting a British boxer, a Belgian lancer and a Spanish fencer. He wins from all of them. But there is still the Japanese fighter, Anno Tanaka left. Before he begins fighting him we are taken back to the past, to his father Huo Endi that teaches martial arts. Huo Yuanjia is still a small boy and because he has asthma he’s forbidden to learn martial arts.
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One day he sees his father in a match against a martial artist called Zhao. Zhao wins dishonourably and while his father has peace with it, he wants to regain the family honour. He secretly learns martial arts and soon becomes famous in Tianjin. With it comes arrogance and ruthlessness. That even though his father taught him to be strictly against doing any serious physical harm. When a martial artist called Qin Lei comes into town, there is an immediate conflict. Qin Lei injures on of Huo’s followers and because of that he confronts him on his birthday party. He kills Qin but meanwhile Qin’s godson seeks revenge and kills Huo’s mother and Daughter. In total fury Huo kills the godson. But then he learns the truth, that hid was his follower that provoked Qin….
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In total desperation Huo flees and wonders without destination. In complete depression he nearly drowns in the river. Granny Sun finds him and takes him to the village. Her blind daughter Yueci helps him discover. Slowly Huo begins to learn the meaning of kindness and mercy. His last fight is not for personal gain, but to protect the reputation of Chinese martial arts.

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Personal Opinion: This is my favorite Jet Li movie, mostly because this story was based on a real story. And you can feel that. And this is the only movie on this list that teaches us about the value of mercy and kindness. Something that as the movie was making clear is of much greater value than honour or pride. It takes real courage to loose. And it’s not like they want to say martial arts is something evil, in the contrary, they focus on the real art, and it’s an absolute spectacle. This movie was really trying to show us the difference between violence and martial arts, two worlds that are as apart as heaven and hell.

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The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake [2011] AD 1875-1907 a biographical film about revolutionary Qiu Jin

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CAST:

  • Huang Yi as Qiu Jin
  • Kevin Cheng
  • Pat Ha
  • Dennis To as Xu Xilin
  • Anthony Wong
  • Lam Suet
  • Hung Yan-yan

SYNOPSIS
When Qiu Jin (Huang Yi) grows up she resisted to have her feet bound. Instead she learns martial arts, horse riding and literature from her brother and father. She’s also talented in poetry and in her poems she expresses her sorrow about the repression of women. Qiu Jin marries, but she doesn’t let it prevent her from finding and meeting other people that want to join the rebellion. And after having an argument with her husband she decides to go to Japan. In Japan she studies and meets a lot of nationalists that will help her. When she returns to China she becomes Xu Xilin’s lieutenant where she assists with training of the secret revolutionaries at the Datong school . Xu Xilin assassinates the governor,  and soon the government forces will storm the Datong school.

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Personal Opinion: If you have revolutionary blood running through you (I do, I can’t help it), you might as well watch this movie.  Another good thing, I didn’t expect this movie to have any great martial arts, but it did and it was brilliant! And I believe this movie was historically quite accurate, to illustrate here’s a picture of Qiu Jin in real life.
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And here is Qiu Jin (Huang Yi) in the movie
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Amazing right!! It’s historical accuracy and martial arts makes it definitely worthwhile movie.

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Bodyguards and Assassins [2009] AD 1911 a Hong Kong film set in British colonial Hong Kong near the end of the Qing Dynasty. The events in the film led to the Wuchang Uprising

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CAST:

  • Zhang Hanyu as Sun Wen
  • Tony Leung Ka-fai as Chen Shaobai
  • Wang Xueqi as Li Yutang
  • Fan Bingbing as Yueru
  • Wang Po-chieh as Li Chongguang
  • Leon Lai as Liu Yubai
  • Nicholas Tse as Deng Sidi

SYNOPSIS:
1905, Sun Wen (Zhang Hanyu) is planning to go to Hong Kong to discuss revolution plans with his fellow Tongmenghui members. Knowing this could let to an uprising, The Empress Dowager Cixi sends assassins to kill him. Another revolutionary, Chen Shaobai (Tony Leung Ka-fai) arrives in Hong Kong before Sun’s arrival. Chen Shaobai is there to aks Li Yutang, a businessman, fro money. After Liu Yutang’s newspaper agency is closed by the British authorities Li Yutang gives his full support to the revolutionaries. Li rallies bodyguards for Sun Wen when he arrives.

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His bodyguards include Li’s son Li Chongguang (Wang Po-chieh ), highly skilled beggar Liu Yubai (Leon Lai), the rickshaw puller Deng Sidi (Nicholas Tse), Wang Fuming (Megke Bateer) an giant outcast monk with immense strength, the gambling addicted Shen Chongyang (Donnie Yen) that joins the bodyguards because Yueru (Fan Bing Bing) persuaded him, Yan Xiaoguo (Hu Jun) and Highly skilled Fang Hong (Li Yuchun) that joined the bodyguards after her father, Fang Tian, got killed. Will the bodyguards be enough to protect Sun Wen?

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Personal Opinion
: A lot of the characters in the movie are fictional however Sun Wen, Chen Shaobai and Yeung Ku-wan, are based on real historical figures. So this is definitely a historically inspired and its not difficult to imagine this could have happened. But the fictional characters are actually most interesting, like for example Shen Chongyang (Donnie Yen) and Yueru (Fan Bing Bing), heartbreaking at some point. And Deng Sidi (Nicholas Tse), a very innocent character that I’ve never seen from Nicholas Tse before. But more than anything it was the revolutionary spirit that made this movie.

Yes, the revolution is kept alive, with this awesome movie.

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And this was the last historical movie from this list, if there are any good historical movies I’ve missed. Let me know!

Review: The Myth (2010)

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THE MYTH 2010

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The Myth, the tv series adaptation based on the Jackie Chan movie with the same title. And the tv series is even Produced by Jackie Chan himself. It had a budget of 6.4 million dollars (thanks to Jackie Chan probably). The series explores time travel even further than the movie did, it also has extensive character development and many new and awesome characters and story-lines. I’m telling you before the review even started: it’s awesome.

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Jackie Chan, Hu Ge and Chang Shih

History of the Qin Dynasty SPOILERS

with historical series I found it helped a lot to learn a little history background. But beware you could best skip this if you don’t like spoilers!!!! The series takes place in the Qin dynasty and as you may well know In 221 BC, the Qin state unified China. Movies like Hero 2002 are about that time in history. (review here) But the Qin dynasty lasted only 16 year! Rebellions erupted consecutively all around China. The most powerful rebel force was the one from Chu Kingdom under the command of Xiang Yu. And becoming important also is the rebel force Liu Bang with his peasant army.
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At the battle of Juju a collation army led by Xiang Yu defeat the Qin forces and it becomes the end of the Qin dynasty. However it’s not Xiang Yu who takes the capital but Liu Bang’s army that occupies the Qin capital Xianyang and forces the abdication of the second Qin emperor.  After the feast at Hong Gate Xiang Yu strikes back and occupies the capital. He then divides the former Qin empire in to eighteen kingdoms. He makes Liu Bang King of Han, promotes King Huai II of Chu to “Emperor Yi of Chu” and he moves the emperor to Chen County. However the emperor was merely a puppet ruler, the power of Chu was in the hands of Xiang Yu.What follows is what historians call the “War between Chu and Han” a four year power struggle between them.Finally the Han army besieged the Chu army in Gaixia and trapped at Wujiang River he died. Liu Bang establishes the Han dynasty and becomes the Emperor of China.A movie that covers the exact same period and exact same characters is “White Vengeance” with Liu Yifei and Feng Shaofeng.

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SYNOPSIS:
The series begins with Yi Xiao Chuan, a freelance photographer. One day he finds a mysterious tiger pendant (bad guys dropped it while fighting over it), he takes it home to study it. Yi Xiao Chuan also happens to be the perfect boyfriend that has loads of girls running after him. When his very cool auto-mechanic girlfriend ,Gao Lan, discovers that he’s often flirting with other girls she becomes very angry. Yi Xiao Chuan escapes from his furious girlfriend as fast as possible and escapes to an excavation site where his father and brother work. His father and his brother are Archaeologists, and are in charge of the excavation.  Unfortunately for Yi Xiao Chuan his girlfriends brother, Gao Yao, is the chef at the excavation site. Gao Yao hears about the two breaking up and tries to beat him up when he’s in his car (temperamental family).  Meanwhile a bunch of bandits steal a mystical antique container that was recently dug out. Yi Xiao Chuan immediately chases the thief while Gao Yao is still on the roof of the car trying to beat him up.

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Good thing that after a fight, Yi Xiao Chuan gets the antique container back. Strangely he notices that his pendant fits exactly in the container, once the two things are put together Yi Xiao Chuan and Gao Yao get transported to the Qin Dynasty. Odly he doesn’t realize he’s in the Qin Dyansty and things they are filming some sort of historical series (not a bad thought) . It’s when people try to kill him he realizes something is not right.

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time travel gets Yi Xiao Chuan in very awkward situations

But once he realizes he’s actually in the Qin dyansty, he has luck on his side.  He becomes sworn brothers with Xiang Yu and learns martial arts from him and his uncle. As you might now Xiang Yu was one of the important generals in the rebellion against Qin!
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After learning a lot of martial arts and studying all kinds of things he decides he wants to go home because he feels homesick. (he’s in the Qin dynasty after all!!!) Once away, he meets the two sisters Lü Zhi (Chen Zhi Han) and Lü Su (Jin Sha) who where being robbed (he fortunately saved them). Both of the girls desperately fall in love with him, something he got quite used to in the modern world already.

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Lü Zhi (Chen Zhi Han)

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Lü Su (Jin Sha)

If he didn’t have enough luck, he meets Liu Bang and when he remembers from history that Liu Bang will actually become the founder of Han he quickly becomes sworn brothers with him (even records that with his phone). Liu Bang isn’t a powerful man at that time though, even though he’s ambitious he’s lazy and uses tricky methods to get what he wants. Yi Xiao Chuan even has to motivate him at some point to lead an army. ! 😄

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Liu Bang (Li Yixiang)

Yi Xiao Chuan also meets Gao Yao again, they don’t have much time to celebrate though because Liu Bang trades them and they become slaves. Gao Yao is forced to become an eunuch and had to endure all sorts of torture. But fortunately he has the chance to becomee a high-ranking official because he wins the favour of the emperor with his cooking skills. Later his name is changed to Zhao Gao. Sadly, Zhao Gao was a corrupt eneuch, the hardship he had to endured turned him evil.

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Zhao Gao (Chang Shih)

Xiao Chuan often tries to get him back on the right path leading to  these kinds of conflicts.
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When Yi Xiao Chuan is sent away as a slave, he has to work on the great wall. It’s there that he finally meets the beautiful Tu An princess, Yu Shu (Bai Bing). The main love interest for Yi Xiao Chuan, forget about the other girls. This is also the moment we see Jackie Chan’s movie “The Myth” coming into play since from now on it follows the story of the princess (Yu Shu) and the general (Yi Xiao Chuan).

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Yu Shu (Bai Bing)

The slaves (Yi Xiao Chuan included) are given to her as a present. To make it even worse, the slaves are given as feed to a tigers as some sort of sacrifice to the gods (Tu An seriously wtf). The Princess refuses to do this, but General Jin, a general of Tu’an, gives orders to do it anyway. Luckily for her and us and Yi Xiao Chuan, he manages to scare the tiger away with his magical pendant that gives him so much power that he can scream so hard (lion roar skill sort of) that everything blows away and the tiger literally runs away.
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Later, Yu Shu feels pity for the slaves and wants to set them free. But it’s not so easy, they are caught. But the slaves are given a chance to fight themselves free and while doing that Xiao Chuan and Yu Shu find themselves having feelings for each other (lol  how did you guys meet? Well she fed me to the lion and then…) . But their happiness wasn’t for long, Yu Shu is sent away to the Qin palace to become the emperors concubine.  The marriage is to ensure peace between the countries. General Meng Tian from Qin is sent to take her away but a group of rebels take the princess away from him. One of the rebels is Yi Xiao Chuan. He fights against Meng Tian but carelessly they all fall from a cliff. Both Yi Xiao Chuan and Meng Tian become injured. Quite awkwardly Yu Shu has to keep them apart from fighting each other. Things take a turn when Yu Shu says she wants to become  the emperors concubine (even though she loves Yi Xiao Chuan). Things get even more complicated when Meng Tian mistakes Yi Xiao Chuan for his younger brother because of the tattoo his tiger pendant left on his skin. The tiger is a symbol from the Meng clan.

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General Meng Tian (Allen Ting)

Left with a broken heart Xiao Chuan becomes a drunk fortunately for him he meets a brilliant doctor that teaches him the art of drunken martial arts (just like in Jackie Chan’s drunken master!!!) He finally gets his life together and he even becomes a Qin general and acknowledges the name General Meng Yi.  in the palace he meets Xiao Yu who as we know from history will become Xiang Yu’s consort lover Yu.

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Xiao Yu (Zhang Meng) and Xiang Yu (Tan Kai)

Soon the Qin Dyanasty will fall and the world will be in chaos, Yi Xiao Chuan finds himself in the middle of it, Will Yi Xiao Chuan ever get back home, back to the 21 century?

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Liu Bang (Li Yixiang) and Lü Zhi (Chen Zihan)

There is also a whole second storyline takes place in modern time. The people that are left in the 21 century are Xiao Chuan’s father, mother, brother and his girlfriend, Gao Lan. They work closely together to open the treasure box which they believe will be the key to finding Yi Xiao Chuan. They try to follow clues from the box’s engravings and a map, they discover that they need five locks to open the box. Each of the locks is hidden at a secret place, once started on the treasure hunt they soon find themselves faced with a mysterious enemy. And even this, While trying to uncover the secrets Gao Lan and Yi Dauchan find themselves having feelings for each other. If you’re the shipping kind of person (I’m sure some of you girls are) than yep, there is a lot to ship in this series.

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Yi Dachuan (Ren Quan) and Gao Lan (Zhang Meng)

But the closer they get to finding Yi Xiao Chuan the more difficult the truth gets…. Will they ever get back??

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Yi Xiao Chuan (Hu Ge), Gao Lan (Zhang Meng) and Yi Dachuan (Ren Quan)

My thoughts:
The contrast between the modern world and the ancient is very strong, therefore I feel this is a perfect series for people who don’t like or never watched any wuxia or ancient series before. On the other hand it’s also a good series for people that don’t watch modern series (like myself). They change from ancient to modern on a perfect rate, preventing us to get bored and being able to appreciate both. The overlap between the two gives funny things like mobile phones in the Qin Dynasty. The Phone actually plays a big part because it’s used by Yi Xiao Chuan and Yu SHu to record videos for each other (since they can’t be together T_T).

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Also, I even enjoyed some of the modern parts best, especially because Gao Lan is my favourite character in this : D
She’s temperamental, beautiful and very cool. Like here:

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Her ancient character, Gao Lan, was very different. Not surprisingly in love with Yi Xiao Chuan and even Gao Yao’s adopted sister (he obviously recognized his sister in her). She’s a lot less temperamental though, more lady like, stylish ancient girl.
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Gao Lan (Zhang Meng)

And maybe not as important but she has this cool MV
(HAS MAJOR SPOILERS!)

THE MYTH 神話 MV Chuanyue (穿越; Time Travel) performed by Zhang Meng 張萌 and Wang Haixiang

I have to say a word or two about Chen Zihan you might know her from The Return of the condor heroes as Guo Fu. Well I gotta tell you she isn’t much better as Lü Zhi in this series, maybe a little but there are still scenes like this one
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and spying like this
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or this
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It’s not as if she hates Yi Xiao Chuan though, but yeah that’s exactly her problem… people turn evil when they love someone too much?  Hell yeah some do. It seems a very accurate though because I read on a very trustworthy website (wikipedia lol) accounts that the real Lü Zhi was feared her for her ruthlessness. It seemed she put to death concubine Qi (one of Liu Bang’s late consorts ) and had the son of concubine Qi poised. Her son fell sick afterwards, shocked by his mother’s cruelty. We didn’t see any of that in the series but it does explain a lot about why they made her character a bit cruel.

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Lu Su (Jin Sha)

Her little sister, Lu Su though, is really a memorable character, I think this song explains quite a lot (I’m keeping silent because I’ve spoiled enough).
I’m going to put some lyrics with it, so sing along or read along or just scroll down.
CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS!

Xingyue Shenhua (星月神話; Myth of the Stars and Moon) performed by Jin Sha

The most beautiful scene in my life
wo de yi sheng zui mei hao de chang jing
我的一生最美好的场景
Was when I met you
jiu shi yu jian ni
就是遇见你
In the midst of a crowd, silently looking at you
zai ren hai mang mang zhong jing jing ning wang zhe ni
在人海茫茫中静静宁望着你
Strange,yet also familiar
mo sheng you shu/shou xi
陌生又熟悉

Despite breathing in air from the same sky
jin guan hu xi zhe tong yi tian kong de qi xi
尽管呼吸着同一天空的气息
I am not able to embrace you
que wu fa yong bao dao ni
却无法拥抱到你
If time, identity and name were changed
ru guo zhuan huan le shi kong shen fen he xing ming
如果转换了时空身份和姓名
I hope I will still remember your eyes
dan yuan ren de ni yan jing
但愿认得你眼睛

MODERNMYTH

Where will you be in a thousand years time?
qian nian zhi hou de ni hui zai na li
千年之后的你会在哪里
What would the scenery look like around you?
shen bian you zen yang feng jing
身边有怎样风景
Our story does not count as beautiful
wo men de gu shi bing bu suan mei li
我们的故事并不算美丽
Yet it is unforgettable
que ru ci nan yi wang ji
却如此难以忘记

Despite breathing in air from the same sky
jin guan hu xi zhe tong yi tian kong de qi xi
尽管呼吸着同一天空的气息
I am not able to embrace you
que wu fa yong bao dao ni
却无法拥抱到你
If time, identity and name were changed
ru guo zhuan huan le shi kong shen fen he xing ming
如果转换了时空身份和姓名
I hope I will still remember your eyes
dan yuan ren de ni yan jing
但愿认得你眼睛

YUSHUXIACHAUN

Where will you be in a thousand years time?
qian nian zhi hou de ni hui zai na li
千年之后的你会在哪里
What would the scenery look like around you?
shen bian you zen yang feng jing
身边有怎样风景
Our story does not count as beautiful
wo men de gu shi bing bu suan mei li
我们的故事并不算美丽
Yet it is unforgettable
que ru ci nan yi wang ji
却如此难以忘记

If we had bravely remained together
ru guo dang chu yong gan di zai yi qi
如果当初勇敢地在一起
Would there be a different ending today?
hui bu hui bu tong jie ju
会不会不同结局
Would you also have lots of words to say to me
ni hui bu hui ye you qian yan wan yu
你会不会也有千言万语
That were silently buried in your dreams
mai zai chen mo de meng li
埋在沉默的梦里

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So overall this series was amazing, In a lot of ways it surpassed the Jackie Chan movie, watch both the movie and the series and you’ll having everything you ever asked for (only slightly exaggerating). And If you’ve never seen a historical/wuxia series then I recommend you to try this one.

Some new cards with this series!!

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Last but not least, I came across this interview with Hu Ge that is definitely worth sharing:

Hu Ge Debunks The Myths

SOURCE: http://movies.insing.com/feature/hu-ge-debunks-the-myths/id-48651800

Your television serial The Myth was adapted from Jackie Chan’s 2005 movie of the same title. Have you seen that movie? How different is the TV series from the original movie?

Of course I’ve seen it! I thought Jackie Chan was most dashing in the movie. The biggest difference between the two is the concept of time travel. In the movie, modern-day Jackie is no longer General Meng Yi of the Qin dynasty but his reincarnation. However, in the TV series, Xiao Chuan and Meng Yi are the same person. Although the time spans across a thousand years, the television production enriched the story and made it more complete. We were able to explore the romantic relationship between Meng Yi and Yu Shu, as well as detailing how Xiao Chuan became a real man with a sense of responsibility. You can also see the development of friendship, love as well as the impact of changes in history.
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You’ve been in a lot of martial arts movies. What fresh insights did you get out of The Myth?

In the past, martial arts movies have never explored time travelling. Xiao Chuan is from the 21st century, born in the 80s, and so he has a lot of modern ideas, mannerisms and speaking lines even though he’s travelled back to ancient times. This makes him a little awkward and out-of-place in the Qin dynasty. On the other hand, he also understands history from a modern man’s perspective. And so, the thought of changing history through one person’s efforts surfaces. Therein lies the drama.

How did you manage the two different roles? When Xiao Chuan travels 2000 years back to Qin dynasty, did his personality change?

The two characters are actually the same person – Xiao Chuan in present day and General Meng Yi in ancient times. One wears modern clothes while the other wears period costumes. When a modern man travels back to an ancient world, he has to adapt and blend into the society. In the process, Xiao Chuan matures a lot. He used to be a playboy but learned to be faithful and monogamous to only one woman. He didn’t used to be responsible but had to lead a whole army as a general. All these, are really the works of history and fate, pushing a person to fulfil his destiny.

Is there anything in common between you and the character?

I can always find a little of me in every role. The only difference is, Xiao Chuan puts romantic love as his top priority in the later part of the series. I am probably more sensible in this area.

You’ve worked with Bai Bing both in The Myth and Bitter Coffee as a couple. How was it like working with her? Better rapport after two productions?

Bai Bing’s personality is exactly like her name – pure and intelligent. In The Myth, we both fell for each other. But in Bitter Coffee, I was secretly in love with her and pursued her fervently. We are great friends. I didn’t tell her I was in The Myth while we were shooting Bitter Coffee. So when she came on the set, she was fairly surprised and asked me, “What are you doing here?”

Love plays a big role in The Myth. Which do you long for – the modern-day or the ancient-time kind of love?

I believe in love-at-first-sight. I like the kind of love where we both share a lot in common. Perhaps I am more inclined towards the ancient-time.

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You had to fight a tiger in one episode. Was it scary shooting that scene?

I was terrified! When I saw that it was a real tiger, I kept thinking about what to do and where to escape if something went wrong during the shoot. When the camera started rolling, I knew there was no way out despite of all those plans. It was so frightening that my knees kept trembling. That’s real fear! Luckily, the tiger was quite obedient to the animal keeper. I still feel shaken every time I recall shooting that scene.

What do you think is the biggest attraction of The Myth? Why would the audience like it?

The script is really well written and the director is very thoughtful. Everyone contributed their best efforts during filming. A TV series of such high quality ought to be appreciated by the audience.

Jackie Chan and Kim Hee Sun sang the theme song in the original movie. You and Bai Bing re-interpreted the same duet Beautiful Myth and made it really popular. How do you feel about the song?

The song is probably one of the top hits in recent years. We were really excited about singing the duet. The lyrics were re-written a little bit to fit the TV series better. When we first sang it, we had not even started filming. Later, we made special arrangements to re-record the song in a studio. As we sang, my mind was filled with vivid images of our filming days. It was a wonderful feeling.

What was the hardest part of filming this TV series? What kind of satisfaction did you get out of it?

The long hours and extended filming period was the most difficult part. Still, being able to fully flesh out the character Xiao Chuan gave me more satisfaction that any hardship was worth it.
YUSHU

and here is every important character again!

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Yi Xiao Chuan (Hu Ge)

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Michelle Bai as Yushu

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Chang Shih as Gao Yao

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Tan Kai as Xiang Yu

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Ma Wenlong as Fusu, the Qin crown prince

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Yizhen as General Jin, a general of Tu’an

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Zang Jinsheng as Qin Shi Huang, the emperor of the Qin Dynasty.

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Zhang Meng as Xiaoyue

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Allen Ting as Meng Tian, a Qin general

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Li Yixiang as Liu Bang

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Chen Zihan as Lü Zhi, Liu Bang’s wife.

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Yang Shutian as Cui Wenzi, an eccentric physician.

And everyone together in one big chart ( I did just some approximate translation, if it’s not good I apologize )
Click on the image for higher resolution!

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Until next review, bye!

doggie

Condor Heroes Trilogy Family Tree

I hope this family tree will help to have an overview of the complex story of the Legend and Return of the Condor Heroes. The idea to make this started with the fact that I realized that the “Yellow Dress Maiden” (Liu Shishi) is actually a descendant from Mu Nianci (Liu Shishi)!

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Both families together :
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Sadly Xiaolongnü’s parents and Mu Nianci’s parents are unknown.

Liebster Award!

Thanks to Jacqueline  I’m nominated for the Liebster award!

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Questions from Jacqueline:

1.What are your hobbies besides watching dramas.
Playing guitar both classical and flamenco, travelling, exploring, survival, cooking and going to the beach.
2. What’s your major?
Haven’t decided on that.
3. What’s your favorite drink?
Natural sparkling water fresh from a mountain spring.
4. Who’s your favorite onscreen couple?
Yang Guo (Huang Xiaoming) and Xiaolognü (Liu Yifei) from The Return of the Condor Heroes 2006
5. Who influenced you to blog?
wuxiaedge.com
6. Describes your personality?
an unusual combination of silent introvert and outgoing drunk. I’m also proud and don’t trust people easily not because I don’t want to but because I can’t.
7. How many languages do you speak?
Spanish, Dutch and English and I’m Learning Mandarin.
8. How long do you think you will stay blogging?
Until the FBI takes this blog down.
9. Who’s your favorite actor and actress?
Normally I would say Hu Ge and Liu Shishi, I like Nicholas Tse and Fan Bingbing a lot also though.
10. What are your pet peeves?
I eat pizza when I should eat healthy, I watch movies and series all day without stopping, my room is a mess.

My questions!

1. Favorite Weapon:

2. Most funny drama series moment you can remember:

3. Most complicated drama you ever saw:

4. Your role Model:

5. Favorite conspiracy theory (can be anything that you think is secretly happening) :

6, Who would you cosplay:

7. Two actors that would have to collaborate in a drama:

8. Cpop, Kpop, or Classical music?

9. Reincarnation or vanishing in thin air?

10. A poem, give me a poem.

I’m tagging

plublomssompetals.wordpress.com

mydramatea.wordpress.com

ancientswordlegends.wordpress.com

shikidrama.wordpress.com

dramatictealeaves.wordpress.com

Official Rules:
1. Each nominee link back the person who nominated them.
2. Answer 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
3. Nominate 5 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

Best Adaption of a Novel

Week 4: Best Adaption of a Novel (One Year Challenge)

I’m just going to illustrate this question by taking a part of the Return of The Condor Heroes Novel and illustrate it with pictures from the 2006 adaptation.  If you haven’t seen or read Return of The Condor Heroes this might be a bit confusing, I apologize for that. But anyway, Enjoy!

thereturnofthecondorheroeshuangxiamingliuyifei99

Divine Eagle, Gallant Knights p 174

Li Mochou and Xiao Longnu fought for another ten moves, Li Mochou’s fly whisk flipped up
wrapping around her left silk belt and said, “Apprentice sister, take a look at my skills.” She
dispersed her chi into her weapon and the belt was cut into two pieces. In normal duels with
weapons, it was difficult for one person’s weapon to shatter the enemy’s weapon. The fly whisk
and the silk belts were extremely soft objects, she had just used her fly whisk to split the belt in
half, and this was ten times more difficult than using a sword to shatter another sword. Li
Mochou demonstrated her skills and her face swelled with pride.
Xiao Longnu didn’t react, and said, “How good are your skills?” Her half belt shot out and
wrapped itself around the thread end of the fly whisk, the belt in her right hand shot out and
tangled the handle, one pulled to the left and one to the right, and the fly whisk snapped in half.
In terms of power, this move was lower than when Li Mochou had snapped the belt in half, but it
was extremely fast and the technique of dispersing her chi into the belts was exquisite, Li
Mochou’s move cannot compare with Xiao Longnu in this department. She was slightly alarmed
and threw down her weapon; she snatched the belts, gradually forcing Xiao Longnu back.

CAVE3 CAVE4 CAVE5 CAVE6 CAVE7 CAVE8

Another ten moves passed and Xiao Longnu was forced to the eastern wall, and saw that she had nowhere else to go. She suddenly touched the wall and called out, “Guo’Er, escape quickly!” A ‘ka’ sound was heard as an exit appeared in the northwest corner. Li Mochou was shocked and quickly turned around, wanting to stop Yang Guo. Xiao Longnu
threw down her belts and threw out two palms with the intent to kill. Li Mochou had to turn around to block it. Xiao Longnu shouted, “Guo’Er, why aren’t you leaving?”

CAVE2  CAVE16

Yang Guo looked at Xiao Longnu and saw that there was no over turning of this decision and shouted, “Gu Gu, I’m going now!” He quickly threw out three stances, the sword tip pointing towards Hong Lingbo. Hong Lingbo had seen Yang Guo’s sword stances were weak, but of a sudden it had strengthened so much, she could only jump back from the danger. Yang Guo darted out of the door, he turned around, wanting to look at Xiao Longnu for one last time. Xiao Longnu and her apprentice sister were fighting bare handed, after practicing the “Jade Heart Manual” her variation of stances had greatly increased, although she was seriously wounded, she managed to hold her own after tens of moves. She saw the image of Yang Guo’s back at the door, and thought how they would never meet each other again, her chest heated up, her eyes ached, wanting to cry. She has never shown her true emotions before; today she wanted to cry twice. She was frightened.

When clashing palms with a highly skilled fighter, how can one allow oneself to be slow? Li Mochou saw Xiao Longnu standing there and took the opportunity to advance; she grabbed her wrist and sealed the ‘Returning Orthodox’ (hui zong) pressure point, and hooked out a leg. Xiao Longnu wasn’t able to stand upright and fell onto the floor.

Yang Guo turned his head around, only to see Xiao Longnu hooked onto the floor by her
apprentice sister. He then saw Li Mochou was about to harm his master, blood rushed through his chest and he called out, “Don’t harm my master!” He darted back into the room, then leapt over to her and grabbed Li Mochou by the waist. This move didn’t belong to the stances of any school or sect; it was just an urgent reaction from Yang Guo in this dangerous situation. Li Mochou was preoccupied with wanting to pick up Xiao Longnu, and wasn’t prepared for Yang Guo coming back and grabbing her, for the time being she wasn’t able to escape. She was ruthless and violent, not restrained by the practice of religion like she should be, but she guarded her body like a treasure. After spending many years wandering the world of Jianghu, she was still a virgin, and now suddenly she was held tightly by Yang Guo. All she felt now was the warmth of a man spreading from her back into her heart, her heart stirred, her whole body softened, her face was red, and there was no strength in her hands. Xiao Longnu took the chance to unblock her pressure point, but Hong Lingbo was now pointing her sword towards Yang Guo’s back. Xiao Longnu was looking up from the ground, when she saw the sword coming she rolled to the left, and moved Yang Guo and Li Mochou at the same time, Hong Lingbo’s sword pierced thin air. Xiao Longnu leapt up and shouted, “Guo’Er, get out quickly!”

Yang Guo held tightly onto Li Mochou’s waist and called out, “Gu Gu, get out quickly, I’m holding her down, she won’t be able to move.” During this time, Li Mochou’s head was filled with thoughts, she knew that this was a urgent situation where there is only a hair separating life and death, but being held by Yang Guo caused her heart to be enchanted, and didn’t think of escaping. Xiao Longnu was curious and wondered, “With my apprentice sister’s martial arts, how could she be held down by Guo’Er, not moving an inch? Could it be that her pressure points have been blocked?”

She saw that Hong Lingbo’s left hand was about to try to pierce Yang Guo again, so she stretched out two fingers and pushed the flat side of the sword in her right hand, the sword leaped up, heading for the sword in Hong Lingbo’s left hand. A clashing sound, Hong Lingbo’s hands became numb, the handles of the swords dropped on the floor. She jumped back in shock. When the swords clashed, sparks flew, it was during this time when Li Mochou noticed that Xiao Longnu had looked at her strangely; she couldn’t stop from being furious and shouted, “Little punk, do you want to die?” She generated chi into her arms and escaped from Yang Guo’s hold, she leapt up and was about to throw out a palm towards Xiao Longnu.

Xiao Longnu was busy concentrating on Yang Guo’s movements when she suddenly felt Li
Mochou’s palm arriving, there was no time to use stances to neutralize the palm, she could only
return a palm to block, but she felt her apprentice sister’s profound internal energy, she felt pain
in her chest. She saw Yang Guo had picked himself up, and was coming to help her, she shouted,
“Guo’Er, you aren’t going to listen to me, are you?” Yang Guo said, “I’ll listen to whatever you say, but I won’t listen to what you are saying now. Gu Gu, I’ll follow you in life and death.” Xiao Longnu heard his sincerity in his words, and was touched again, she saw that Li Mochou was about to throw out another palm, she knew right now that with her serious internal injuries, she would not be able to take this palm, so she ducked and darted to the side and picked up Yang Guo, and hurried out of the room through the stone door. Li Mochou followed the blur, and
stretched out her hand to grab her back and shouted, “Don’t go!”

Xiao Longnu waved her hand back, ten or so “Jade Bee Needles” were shot back. Li Mochou
suddenly smelled the sweet scent of honey, and knew that this projectile was lethal. She was
startled and quickly bent back, she knocked into Hong Lingbo and both of them dropped onto the
floor. They heard extremely quiet ‘ding’ ‘ding’ ‘ding’ sounds, as the needles struck the wall, then they heard two ‘zha’ ‘zha’ sounds, it was Xiao Longnu who had taken Yang Guo out of the room,
turned the switch, and closed the door.

End of Chapter 6.
Divine Eagle, Gallant Knights 177
Chapter 7 – Chongyang’s Markings

Translated by Noodles

thereturnofthecondorheroeshuangxiamingliuyifei97

Yang Guo and Xiao Longnu rushed through the passages of the tomb, and hurriedly exited the
tomb; Yang Guo was delighted and took some deep breaths under the starlight. He said, “Gu Gu,
I’ll lower the ‘Dragon Snapping Stone’ and trap the two evil women in the tomb.” As he said this
he searched around for the switch to the booby trap. Xiao Longnu shook her head and said, “Wait, let me return inside first. My master instructed me to guard the tomb, and mustn’t allow it to fall into other people hands.” Yang Guo said, “If we block the door, they won’t be able to live.” Xiao Longnu said, “If that happens, I won’t be able to return to the tomb. I will never dare to disobey my master. Not like you!” She stared at him.

Yang Guo’s blood rose through his chest, he held her arm and said, “Gu Gu, I’ll listen to you orders.” Xiao Longnu resisted her feelings, she was afraid of getting emotional, she didn’t dare to say another word and pulled his hand off, she entered the tomb and said, “Lower the stone!” She kept her back to him, she was afraid she was going to change her mind so she didn’t look at him again. Yang Guo made up his mind, he breathed in deeply, his chest was filled with the fragrance of flowers and grasses, he looked up and saw the sky filled with stars, glittering continuously, and thought, “This is the last time I’ll be able to look at stars.” He quickly went to the left of the tomb’s monument, and followed the instructions of Xiao Longnu, he used his internal energy to shift a stone, behind it was a round stone, he held the round stone and pulled out. The stone revealed a hole, sand started to pour out, and the two large stones above the tomb’s door descended slowly down.

CAVE9 CAVE10

The two stones weighed over ten tonnes, years ago when Wang Chongyang was designing the
tomb; he had used the combined strength of hundreds to complete it. Now the tomb was being
sealed, even if Li Mochou, Xiao Longnu and Hong Lingbo’s skills were higher, they will not be
able to escape from the tomb. Xiao Longnu heard the sound of the stones descending; she
couldn’t hold back her tears and turned around. Yang Guo waited for the stone to be two feet
away from the ground and then suddenly used a stance “The Jade Girl’s Dive” (yu nuu tou suo),
his body like an arrow darting through the space. Xiao Longnu gave out an alarmed call, Yang Guo got up, smiled and said, “Gu Gu, you can’t send me out anymore.” As he finished, heavy loud sounds were heard, the two large stones had reached the ground.

Xiao Longnu’s tears and emotions reached their peak, her face looked as if she was going to faint
again, she leaned against the stone wall out of breath, after a while she said, “Fine, we’ll die
together.” She held Yang Guo’s hand and went back into the heart of the tomb.
Li Mochou and her disciple were searching around for the switch everywhere; they didn’t have
the slightest clue and were getting anxious, when the two suddenly appeared. They couldn’t help
from being pleased. Li Mochou’s body immediately darted behind the two, blocking their path of
escape. Xiao Longnu coldly said, “Apprentice sister, I’ll take you to a place.”

Li Mochou didn’t reply and thought, “There are traps everywhere in the tomb, don’t listen to her.
If she’s up to something then I won’t be able to guard against it.”
Xiao Longnu said, “I’m taking you to see Master’s tomb, if you don’t want to, fine.”
Li Mochou said, “There is no need to use Master’s name to lie to me.” Xiao Longnu chuckled
and didn’t reply, and walked out of the door. Li Mochou felt that her words seemed like an order,
it sounded like no one can disobey, and so the two of them followed, taking care in every step,
not daring to be careless. Xiao Longnu held Yang Guo’s hand and led the way, she wasn’t afraid
of being ambushed by Li Mochou, and led the two to the coffin room.
Li Mochou had never been here; she remembered the teachings of her master and felt slightly
touched; but then she thought of how her Master was biased and her emotions immediately
changed to anger. She didn’t kowtow to her Master’s coffin and said, “Our master disciple
relationship has long been cut; why have you brought me here?” Xiao Longnu calmly said, “There are two empty coffins, one for me and one for you. I’ll let you pick, which one do you want?” She pointed to the two coffins.

Li Mochou was alarmed and shouted, “You dare to make fun of me?” As she finished she threw out a palm towards Xiao Longnu’s chest. She didn’t know that Xiao Longnu would ignore the palm when she saw it coming. Li Mochou was alarmed and thought, “This palm will kill you.” The palm was inches away from Xiao Longnu’s chest, when she took the palm back. Xiao Longnu said calmly, “Apprentice sister, the tomb’s ‘Dragon Snapping Stones’ have been activated!”

Li Mochou’s face immediately turned white, although she didn’t know much about the tomb’s
booby traps, she knew that the ‘Dragon Snapping Stones’ were the tomb’s most powerful and last line of defense. Years ago her master had come up against a strong enemy, she almost activated the ‘Dragon Snapping Stones’, blocking the enemy outside, but eventually she was able to hurt the enemy with the “Soul Freezing Silver Needles” and “Jade Bee Needles”. She would never have guessed that her apprentice sister would trap herself in the tomb, alarmed and frightened, her voice quavered, “You have another way out, don’t you?” Xiao Longnu calmly said, “When the ‘Dragon Snapping Stones’ are set, there is no other way out of the tomb, don’t you know this?”

Li Mochou clutched Xiao Longnu’s dress and said, “You lie!”
Xiao Longnu didn’t move and said, “The “Jade Heart Manual” that master left is over there, if
you want to take a look, go ahead. Guo’er and I are here; if you want to kill us, go ahead. But if
you want to leave the tomb alive, then I’m afraid it won’t be possible!”
Li Mochou’s hand gradually loosened, and she stood still. She saw that Xiao Longnu had a
carefree air, and knew that she wasn’t lying and said, “Fine, I’ll kill you two first!” She threw out
a palm at Xiao Longnu. Yang Guo quickly moved in front of Xiao Longnu’s body, shielding her
and called out, “Kill me first!”

Li Mochou’s palm became heavy, when the palm reached Xiao Longnu she wasn’t able to exert
its power, she looked at Yang Guo with hate and said, “The way you are protecting her, you are
willing to die for her, aren’t you?”
Yang Guo calmly said, “That’s correct!”

Li Mochou’s left hand darted out and took the sword from his waist, and pointed it at his throat
and said, “I am only going to kill one person. Tell me, is it going to be you or her?” Yang Guo
didn’t reply, he only looked at Xiao Longnu and smiled. The two of them had already forgotten
about life and death; they didn’t care who Li Mochou was going to kill. Li Mochou sighed and said, “Apprentice sister, your oath has been released, and you can leave the mountain now.” Years ago, the ancient Tomb’s founder Lin Chaoying recollected her feelings for Wang Chongyang, and was unable to forget him in the end. A broken hearted Lin Chaoying made a rule, those who wanted to be her heir will first have to swear an oath that they will live in the tomb forever, never to leave Mount Zhongnan; but if there was a man who was willing to die for
them, then the oath will be released. But the man must not know this oath. Lin Chaoying was
positive that there wasn’t a man on earth who treated love above all else. The hero Wang
Chongyang had become a Taoist, for her there wouldn’t be a man who would die willingly for
their loved one. If there was such a man, her descendants will not leave the mountain in vain. Li
Mochou entered the sect before Xiao Longnu, but because she didn’t take the oath, Xiao Longnu
became the heir.
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Li Mochou saw that Yang Guo was sincere towards Xiao Longnu, and couldn’t help becoming
envious. She became angry again as she remembered how Lu Zhanyuan rejected her, she
frowned as she called out, “Apprentice sister, you are very lucky.” She thrust the sword towards
Yang Guo’s throat. Xiao Longnu saw that she was really going to kill him, now that the time had
come, she wasn’t able to stop herself from saving him. She waved her left hand; more than ten
“Jade Bee Needles” were thrown out.

Li Mochou quickly leapt back to avoid the poisonous needles. Xiao Longnu took Yang Guo’s
hand and darted to the door, she turned around and said, “Apprentice sister, it doesn’t matter
whether my oath has been released or not, our four lives will perish in the tomb. I don’t want to
see your faces, just go and die on your own.” She extended her hand to a switch and activated it,
the stone door descended, separating the four again.

Xiao Longnu was emotional; it was hard for her to walk. Yang Guo took her to Grandma Sun’s
room to rest, and took out two jars of Jade Bee honey; he fed her a bottle and drank one himself.
Xiao Longnu quietly sighed and said, “Guo’er, why were you willing to die for me?”
Yang Guo said, “On this earth, only you treat me well, why should I be afraid to die for you?”
Xiao Longnu didn’t say anything. Half an hour later she said, “If I’d known earlier, then there
was no need for us to return to the tomb and die with them. But if we didn’t return, I wouldn’t
have known that you were willingly to die for me; my oath would not have been released.”
Yang Guo said, “Why don’t we try to find a way to get out of here?”

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Xiao Longnu said, “You know about the tomb, so you should know that that there is no way out
for us.” Yang Guo sighed. Xiao Longnu said, “You regret it, don’t you?”
Yang Guo said, “No, now I’m with you, outside, there’s no one that loves me.”
Xiao Longnu had not allowed him to say ‘you care about me’ in the past, and Yang Guo never
mentioned it again; but now she’s had a change of heart, when she heard this she couldn’t help
but feel touched, and asked, “So why did you sigh?”

Yang Guo said, “I was thinking that if we left the mountain, there are countless fun things to do,
and with you by my side, life would be immensely enjoyable.” Xiao Longnu had grown up in the tomb, her heart has always been as cold as ice, her master and Grandma Sun never mentioned the matters of the outside world, so of course she never thought about it. Now Yang Guo mentioned it, she felt her emotions soar, but felt blood rising up into her chest, and tried to circulate her chi to counter it, however she wasn’t able to make herself calm, and was frightened. She has never experienced this in her life, and knew that after recovering from her injury, she will not be able to recover her internal energy. She didn’t know that this method of suppressing her emotions was against the natural flow of things, being loveless doesn’t mean you will be able to do this, only by applying chi strictly can one succeed.

She was now past twenty, in her time of danger, a young man was willing to die for her, and she didn’t want to reveal her true feelings and wanted to guard against injuring herself further. She tried to suppress her thoughts. She sat on the bed and meditated for a while, but became impatient, and got off the bed and walked around, she was becoming bored. Her steps became quicker and she was dashing around the room. Yang Guo saw that her cheeks were red, and she seemed emotional, he had never seen her like this before, and he was startled. After walking around for a while she sat down heavily on the bed, and looked at Yang Guo, and saw a concerned expression on his face
and thought, “Right now I am about to die, so is he. Why should we distinguish ourselves as
master and disciple, auntie and nephew? If he comes and hugs me, I won’t push him away, and
will allow him to hold me tightly.”

Yang Guo saw that she had tears in her eyes, she was gasping for breath and assumed that she
was having a reaction to her injury again and quickly said, “Gu Gu, are you okay?”
Xiao Longnu softly said, “Guo’er, come here.” Yang Guo went over to the bedside and Xiao Longnu grasped his hand and lightly brushed her face with it and quietly said, “Guo’er, do you love me?” Yang Guo felt her face was as hot as a fire; he was frightened and quivered, “Does your chest hurt?” Xiao Longnu smiled and said, “No, my heart feels extremely comfortable. Guo’er, I’m going to die soon, tell me, do you love me very much?”
Yang Guo said, “Of course, on this earth, you are my only loved one.”

CONDORTOMB CONDORTOMB6 CONDORTOMB3 CONDORTOMB4CONDORTOMB5 CONDORTOMB2

The wind is here, the rain is here.
How did they find out?
I can’t hear, I can’t hear,
your voice is too soft.
The wind has stopped,
the rain has stopped.

Xiao Longnu said, “If another girl treats you the way I treat you, would you treat them like you
treat me?” Yang Guo said, “Whoever treats me well, I’ll treat them well back.” When he said this he felt the hand that Xiao Longnu held him with quivered, and immediately turned cold as ice, he raised his head and saw that her red face had now turned pale and white, as she was normally.
Yang Guo was alarmed and said, “What did I say wrong?”
Xiao Longnu said, “If you are going to love other girls then its better that you don’t love me.”
Yang Guo smiled and said, “We’ll die in a few days, when will I be able to love other girls?
Could it be that I’m going to treat Li Mochou and her disciple well?” Xiao Longnu smiled captivatingly and said, “I’m really stupid. But I want to hear you swear an oath with you own mouth.” Yang Guo said, “Swear what?”
Xiao Longnu said, “I want you to say, from now on you will only have me in your heart, if there is another girl, I will be allowed to kill you.” Yang Guo smiled and said, “It goes without saying, I will never do this, if I actually did something wrong and don’t listen to you, then I deserve to die.” He then swore, “Disciple Yang Guo, I will only have Gu Gu in my heart in my lifetime, if my heart changes, there will be no need for Gu Gu to kill me, when I see her face I will kill myself.” Xiao Longnu was delighted and said, “Very good, I can relax now.” She held his hand tightly, not letting go. Yang Guo felt warmth returning to her hands.

SWEAR SWEAR2

Xiao Longnu said, “Guo’er, I haven’t been kind.”
Yang Guo quickly said, “No, you have always been kind.”
Xiao Longnu shook her head and said, “I treated you terribly before, at first I kicked you out of
the tomb, it was lucky that Grandma Sun made me promise to take care of you. If I didn’t turn
you away, Grandma Sun would not have died!” When she said this, she couldn’t stop tears
flowing from her eyes. She had begun to practice martial arts at the age of five, and had never
cried since; now she cried heavily, she was in a disturbed state of mind, her bones and joints
made cracking noises, and she felt her internal energy draining away from her.
Yang Guo was alarmed and said, “Gu Gu, what’s happening? How are you feeling?”
Just as he said this, two ‘zha’ ‘zha’ noises were heard from behind and the stone door opened, Li
Mochou and Hong Lingbo entered. Once the ‘Dragon Snapping Stone’ had been set, Li Mochou
thought they were going to die anyway so there wasn’t any need to be wary of the tomb’s booby
traps, and boldly dashed throughout the tomb. She managed to go through some rooms before
finally arriving at Grandma Sun’s room. She knew she must have had extraordinary luck, she
managed to avoid the booby traps but she didn’t know that the tomb’s booby traps were actually
designed to repel Jin soldiers, once the large heavy stones had been set, someone must activate

the traps to ambush the enemy. Xiao Longnu didn’t do this, and so the tomb’s booby traps were
not armed. Yang Guo immediately darted across, and blocked Xiao Longnu.
Li Mochou said, “Move out of the way, I have something to say to your master.”
Yang Guo was afraid that she was going to harm his master and didn’t dare to move and said,
“Just say it there.”Li Mochou stared at him for a while and sighed, and said, “There are very few men like you left in this world.” Xiao Longnu got up and asked, “Apprentice sister, is it good or bad that you have described him this way?” Li Mochou said, “Apprentice sister, you have never left the mountain, you don’t know how evil people’s hearts can be. Someone who views love and passion as deeply as him, it would be difficult to find another under heaven’s skies.” She has been hurt by love, her anger and fury was great, and she killed many men in the world who were loving and passionate. Xiao Longnu was extremely pleased and quietly said, “If that is true, then having him die with me won’t make my life be without purpose.”

Li Mochou said, “Apprentice sister, who exactly is that person to you? You want to marry him?”
Xiao Longnu said, “No, he is my disciple. He said I treat him extremely well. But whether I have
been kind or not, I don’t know.”

Li Mochou was puzzled, she shook her head and said, “Apprentice sister; let me see your arm.” She stretched out her left hand and grasped Xiao Longnu’s arm, she lifted her right arm’s sleeve and saw on her white skin a red dot, it was the ‘shou gong sha’ (virginity dot) left by her master. Li Mochou was secretly respectful, “The two of them having a relationship like this in the tomb yet they’ve kept respect, she is still a pure and untouched virgin.” She then rolled up her sleeve, a ‘shou gong sha’ was on her arm, the sight of two white arms next two each other was captivating. She had no alternative but to be chaste; however her apprentice sister has a lover who was willing to die for her, fortunate and unfortunate. The two women were very different, she couldn’t stop herself from sighing, and let go of Xiao Longnu’s hand. Xiao Longnu said, “What have you got to say to me?”

Li Mochou had originally wanted to insult her, saying that she seduced men and had brought the sect to shame, and thereby anger her into revealing the way out of the tomb. But right now she had nothing to say. After a while, she had another idea, and said, “Apprentice sister, I have come to apologize to you.” Xiao Longnu was shocked by this, she knew that her apprentice sister was a very proud woman, never has she lowered her head to anyone, she didn’t know what she wanted. So she calmly replied, “You live your life, and I live mine, we go our own ways, there is no need to apologize for anything.”

Li Mochou said, “Apprentice sister listen to me, in my entire life, the happiest time was when I had a lover. There’s an old saying ‘It’s easy to get money and treasures, but it’s difficult to find a lover’. There is no need to talk about sister’s bitter life. That young man treats you well, you do not lack anything.”

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Xiao Longnu smiled and said, “Yes, I am very happy. I know that he will never forget about me.”
Li Mochou’s heart ached and said, “You should leave the mountain and enjoy life. It’s a beautiful
world; the two of you together will have boundless pleasures.”
Xiao Longnu raised her head and quietly said, “Yes, it’s just a pity that it is too late now.”
Li Mochou said, “Why?” Xiao Longnu said, “The ‘Dragon Snapping Stones’ has been set, even if our Master was resurrected, will we not be able to get out of here.”
Li Mochou quietly breathed out, blowing through her lips and thought, “you had hoped to take
advantage of Xiao Longnu’s will to live, and rely on her familiarity with the tomb to find a way
out; but in the end it was useless”, she became angry and her urge to kill suddenly emerged, her
hand twisted slightly and she raised a palm towards Xiao Longnu’s head.
Yang Guo was at the side listening to the two of them talking when he suddenly saw Li Mochou
attack, alarmed, he automatically lowered his body and threw out two palms, called out, and
unleashed the “Toad Stance” that Ouyang Feng had taught him. This was the kung fu he learned
when he was younger, but since he lived in the tomb he did not practice it. But it was etched in
his mind, at the most dangerous times he would use it without thinking. Li Mochou’s palm had
yet to be unleashed, when she suddenly felt an extremely powerful wind pushing her from the
side, she quickly sent the palm out to block the attack. Yang Guo had practiced martial arts in the
tomb for two years, his internal energy had improved, though it was different to the internal energy of the “Toad Stance”, the power behind the push was still great, a thudding sound was made as he sent Li Mochou across the room, and she crashed into the wall causing pain in her back. Li Mochou was angry and she wiped her palms, in the middle of a battle she fell into someone’s trap. Xiao Longnu knew that Yang Guo’s last attack was a lucky hit, if her apprentice sister used her most refined “Divine Serpent Palm”, Yang Guo and she would not be able to hold her off. She grabbed Yang Guo’s arm and dashed towards the door.

Li Mochou sent out a palm, she didn’t guess that while her palm was in midair she would be
struck across the left cheek. Although it didn’t hurt the sound was crisp, she heard Xiao Longnu
call out, “You want to learn the skills of the “Jade Heart Manual”; well here it is!” Li Mochou
was struck on the right cheek and she was also startled by what she said. She knew that the “Jade
Heart Manual” was extremely powerful, and now she saw Xiao Longnu’s palm was extremely swift and quick, the variations mysterious, it was undoubtedly from their sect’s skills. But she couldn’t see through it or understand the essence of the palm, but knew that the skills just used belonged to the “Jade Heart Manual”. She immediately became frightened, and stared as her apprentice sister took Yang Guo’s hand and exited the room, shutting the door. She felt her cheek and thought, “At least she held back, if she used all her strength behind the palms, wouldn’t I have died?” She didn’t know that Xiao Longnu had yet to complete this kung fu, although the palm stances were refined, the power in them would not hurt anyone. Yang Guo saw his master strike Li Mochou’s cheek and was delighted and said, “Gu Gu, Li Mochou would definitely not be able to beat the manual’s skills” before he finished he saw Xiao Longnu shaking and she wasn’t able to control it, alarmed, he called out, “Gu Gu, how are you…you” and Xiao Longnu shivered and said, “I’m… I’m cold.”

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Although the attacks she used were light, she still had to use her internal energy. She had yet to
recover her internal energy; this injury was serious. She has always practiced on the Chilled Jade
Bed, her foundation was of this nature, now the strength to oppose was gone; an extreme cold
penetrated her and her teeth chattered incessantly.

Yang Guo was alarmed and called out, “What should I do?” In this urgent situation he held Xiao
Longnu tightly, using his body heat to counter the cold, but after a while he felt she was
becoming colder, he himself gradually could not endure it for much longer. Xiao Longnu felt her internal energy dripping away, and said, “Guo’er, I won’t make it, take me to the room with the stone coffins.” Yang Guo was distressed and couldn’t say anything, but he thought about how they only had a few days to live anyway, it would be just the same if he died with her now so he quickly replied, “Fine.” He carried her to the room and then placed her on one of the lids and lit a candle. In candlelight, and with the backdrop of the stone coffins, Xiao Longnu appeared even weaker. Xiao Longnu said, “Push one of the lids open and place me in the coffin.”
Yang Guo said, “Alright!”

Xiao Longnu couldn’t hear any sadness in his voice and was slightly surprised. Yang Guo pushed
open one of the stone lids and placed her inside the coffin, and then leaped inside, lying together
face to face with her. The two of them together in the coffin didn’t allow much space to move. Xiao Longnu was happy and also puzzled, she asked, “What are you doing?” Yang Guo said, “Of course I’m going to follow you. I’ll let the other two sleep in the other coffin.”Xiao Longnu gave a deep sigh, she was feeling calm and relaxed, her body’s coldness wasn’t as severe as before. She turned her eyes on Yang Guo and saw his eyes looking at her. Her dress was on top of Yang Guo, she wished that Yang Guo would put his arms around her, but she saw his arms were straight; they were placed in his lap as they should be, afraid that he was going to touch her. Xiao Longnu was slightly embarrassed, her face turned red, she turned her face away not daring to look at Yang Guo; her mind was enchanted for half an hour when she suddenly saw that something was written on the coffin lid. She looked closely and indeed there were some words: “The art of the Jade Heart Manual wants to overcome Quanzhen’s. But Chongyang, in his life, was inferior no one.”

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The words were written in heavy ink, the words refined and their form large. The lid was only half open yet it was very clear. Xiao Longnu gave an ‘hmm’ sound and said, “What does this mean?” Yang Guo followed her eyes and saw the words; he pondered and said, “It’s written by Wang Chongyang?” Xiao Longnu said, “It looks like it was written by him. He is saying that our “Jade Heart Manual” is superior to Quanzhen’s kung fu, but he is saying that he is not weaker than our Ancestor Grandma, isn’t that it?” Yang Guo laughed and said, “That old Taoist is bullshitting.”
Xiao Longnu looked at the words again, and saw that after them, there were many small words, because the words were small and they were lower down on the lid, Xiao Longnu couldn’t make it out and said, “Guo’er, get out.” Yang Guo shook his head and said, “I won’t leave.” Xiao Longnu smiled and said, “Just get out for a second and you can come back to be with me later.” Yang Guo climbed out of the coffin.

Xiao Longnu sat up, and got Yang Guo to lower the candle, and then turned her body around to read the small words. She looked at the words and read each one, after she finished two passages she felt that she had no strength left and the candle fell onto her chest. Yang Guo’s hand quickly darted in and pulled her out of the stone coffin and asked, “What is it? What does the writing say?” Xiao Longnu regained her composure and then sighed again, and said,“After Ancestor Grandma died, Wang Chongyang returned to the tomb.” Yang Guo asked, “Why did he come back?” Xiao Longnu said, “He came back to pay his respects to our ancestor. He saw that the “Jade Heart Manual” martial art skills left on the ceiling of the training room had defeated all the skills of the Quanzhen sect. The writing left on the lid says that the martial arts that our ancestor defeated were Quanzhen’s basic and coarse skills, but compared with the most advanced skills of Quanzhen, the skills of the “Jade Heart Manual” could not defeat them? Yang Guo gave an ‘humph’ sound and said, “Ancestor Grandma is dead, he could say whatever he wants.” Xiao Longnu said, “He also said that in another room he has the techniques to defeat the “Jade Heart Manual”, if her descendants were fated to, they will know it when they see it.” Yang Guo was curious and said, “Gu Gu. Let’s go take a look.”

Xiao Longnu said, “Wang Chongyang stated that the room is below this one. I have lived here for a lifetime and didn’t know that such a room exists.” Yang Guo begged, “Gu Gu, let’s think of a way to get there.” Xiao Longnu wasn’t strict with him anymore, although she was tired, she let him have his way and smiled, and said, “OK!” They looked all around the room, and in the end they came back to the coffin they had just rested in and she said, “This stone coffin was left by Wang Chongyang. The base opens.” Yang Guo was delighted and said, “Ah, I know, it’s the way to that room.” He leapt into the coffin and searched around; true enough, he found a hollow for a hand, he pulled up strongly, but nothing happened.

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Xiao Longnu said, “First turn to the left and then pull up.”
Yang Guo followed the instructions, a ‘ka’ sound was heard as a stone panel on the base of the
coffin responded to the switch; he was delighted and called out, “Let’s go!”
Xiao Longnu said, “There’s no need to rush, let the old air rush out first and then we can go.”
Yang Guo was sitting restlessly, after a while he said, “Gu Gu, can we go now?”
Xiao Longnu sighed and said, “With your impatient character, it must have been hard for you
living with me for the last few years.” She slowly got up, and picked up a candle, and went down
into the coffin with Yang Guo, below it was a series of stone steps that formed a short
passageway, after a few turns they did indeed arrived at a stone chamber.

The room was empty, and both of them looked up at the ceiling, it was covered with carvings and
symbols; on the far right were written the words “Nine Yin Manual”. The two of them didn’t know the “Nine Yin Manual” was martial arts at its highest level; they looked at it for a while and felt that it was hard to explain. Xiao Longnu said, “Even if that kung fu is unbeatable, it is of no use to us.” Yang Guo sighed and was about to lower his head when something got his eye in the southwestern corner, a picture, it had nothing to do with martial arts, he looked closer and saw it looked like a map and asked, “What’s that?” Xiao Longnu followed his finger and stared at it for a while, her body was like a corpse, not moving an inch. After a long while, she was still like statue, lost in thought as she examined the map closely. Yang Guo was frightened and tugged her sleeve, and asked, “Gu Gu, what is it?” Xiao Longnu gave a moan, and suddenly fell into his chest and started crying. Yang Guo softly said, “Your body hurts again, isn’t it?” Xiao Longnu said, “No, it’s not that.” After half an hour she said, “We can escape from here.”

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Yang Guo was delighted and leapt up, and called out, “Really?” Xiao Longnu nodded her head and quietly said, “That map reveals the secret passage out of here.” She was familiar with the layout of the tomb, one look and she understood the map. Yang Guo was ecstatic and said, “That’s great! Why are you crying?” Xiao Longnu contained her tears and smiled, and said, “I never used to fear death, I was going to live in the tomb forever, die early, die late, what difference would it make? However in the last few days I’ve felt the urge to go and see the outside world. Guo’er, I’m afraid and happy.” Yang Guo tugged her hand and said, “Gu Gu, when we go outside together, I’ll pick flowers for you to wear, and I’ll catch crickets for you to play with, okay?”

I think I made my point clear, Return of the Condor Heroes is a wonderful novel and the 2006 adaptation is amazing. ……………¤ º° ¤`•. ¸. •´ ¤ °º