Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lady Siang's Sword - Gu Long

First published in 1960, this book was one of Khu Lung's early works. The plot was very interesting and I plan to re-read this sometime in the future. Siu Tok, a high-skilled swordsman, was actually not a bad man; but because of his strange nature, people misunderstood him and believed that his character was bad. Ten people known as 'jit-kiam-sam-pian' [it means seven of them carried swords and three carried flogs/whips] surrounded him when he was alone. When they confronted him for his sins, Siu Tok stayed silent, believing that he had done what was right.

They eventually could kill Siu Tok because he had been paralyzed from waist below, due to Mao Kau's trick. Mao Kau was one of the 10 people. Siu Tok had fallen in love with his sister and Mao Kau used her to harm Siu Tok. Several people from 'jit-kiam-sam-pian' also wanted to kill Siu Tok because they wanted to cover their own crimes. They hated him so much that they ruined his dead body.

Mao Kau's sister regretted what she had done to Siu Tok and she went away. At that time she was pregnant with Siu Tok's baby. She went to a mysterious island inhabited by high-skilled kungfu masters. It can be predicted that Siu Tok's kid would avenge his father's terrible death.

Years passed and appeared this handsome young man who claimed that he came from a rich family and wanted to see the world. Easy to guess that this was Siu Tok's son. He looked like someone who never learned martial arts, but actually it was because he had already perfected his skill, so he was very dangerous, that was, of course, to his enemies. He was also very clever and smart and already had schemes how to deal with his enemies. At this time, Mao Kau had a high position in the martial world and was very respected.

As this story was written by Khu Lung, things didn't go well as planned. Siu Su (it's Siu Tok's son's name) was very smart, but he had lived in a deserted island all his life so he lacked experience. Although he was only appeared for a couple of months in martial art world, it turned out his enemies were not merely those who had killed his father. His life was in great danger when his real identity had been exposed.

To get to his main enemy Mao Kau, Siu Su used Mao Kau's daughter, Mao Bun-ki. Using his handsome face, soon Mao Bun-ki was crazy about Siu Su. Mao Bun-ki had a sworn sister, Buyung Siok-sing. Knew that Siu Su only played with Mao Bun-ki's feeling, Buyung Siok-sing captured Siu Su and took him to look for Mao Bun-ki. It was a pity that during this capture, the author didn't put more effort to tell what had happened [but he did a good job years later in 'The Remarkable Twins'], the next thing we knew, when Siu Su and Buyung Siok-sing appeared again, they were attracted to each other. Mao Bun-ki found out about how Siu Su and Buyung Siok-sing had betrayed her love and she went crazy. She ruined her own beautiful face.

Like The Count of Monte Cristo, Siu Su found a hidden treasure and used it to finance his schemes. This story ended with a happy ending, at least for Siu Su and Buyung Siok-sing, with forgiveness for both sides... quite a rare thing in the martial art world, where men should take revenge for their father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, grandmother, grandfather, student, uncle, friend ... or anyone who has any relation to them.

The title means the unique sword used by Mao Bun-ki. It was a magnetic sword and used by high-skilled Mao Bun-ki, it could beat any sword... except swords not made of steel. I think it was a 'bad' title, for Mao Bun-ki's sword was not major issue in this story.

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