Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Sentimental Swordsman and the Ruthless Sword - Gu Long

Also known as Little Li's Flying Dagger, this book (first published in 1970) was very much different than The Remarkable Twins. The dialogues in this book were not many, which was actually understandable, because the lead characters (Li Sun-hoan and A Fei) didn't talk as much as the lead character in The Remarkable Twins, Siau-hi-ji.

The story was serene and sad - with snow as background; those who have read it must know why it's
called The Sentimental Swordsman. Li Sun-hoan was very sentimental indeed.

One drop of indigo stains the whole cauldron of milk. One ill behaviour may cause others to forget the kindness we've done. However, in this story it was the opposite: Li Sun-hoan never forgot that his sworn brother, Liong Siau-hun, had saved his life once, although after that Liong Siau-hun wanted to harm him many times. Liong Siau-hun went as far as conspired with kim-ci-pang to eliminate him.

Li Sun-hoan had once been a very happy guy: educated, rich, famous, respected, and had a beautiful fiancĂ©e, Lim Si-im, who had loved him very much. Then Liong Siau-hun saw her and fell in love with her. Li Sun-hoan left Lim Si-im, gave her  his house and fortune; and disappeared. Ten years later, Li Sun-hoan injured her only son without knowing his identity; so he visited his old house and triggered a tragedy to happen.

Li Sun-hoan was very famous then. Everybody knew that if he moved his hand, his dagger never missed its target. It was ranked no.3 in the Book of Weapons. Another important character in this book was his friend, who was only known by the name of A Fei, a young lonely man, who fell in love with the wrong woman - who tortured his soul for two years. A Fei had an ordinary steel sword, which looked like a toy; but in his hand it became a deadly weapon.

Like in The Remarkable Twins, the bad guys were the respected swordsmen, those who hid behind their good names. For the best evil men were those who could do bad things but none realized about them. Li Sun-hoan was accused to be an evil robber and rapist - whose real face was unknown - by the respected swordsmen. How could he prove that he was innocent?

Between this book and The Remarkable Twins, the latter is my personal favourite. When I read The Remarkable Twins, I almost couldn't put it down. If The Remarkable Twins makes you laugh and cry, Little Li's Flying Dagger makes you reflect on your life.

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