Monday, September 21, 2015

Pedang Kiri Pedang Kanan

Published in 1977, it is not clear who the author of this book.

Sau Cing-in, the leader of Pak-cay (pak=north), invented an unbeatable swordplay called Siang-liu-kiam-hoat. He showed the swordplay to 3 other leaders, each from Tang-wan (tang=east), Se-koan (se=west) and Lam-han (lam=south). Sau Cing-in never went home after the meeting.

Months later, the martial arts world heard about the unbeatable Siang-liu-kiam-hoat. A team led by a Bu-tong priest tried to find Sau Cing-in, dead or alive; but those people who went looking for him also never returned.

Seven years later, Soat Ciau-hoa and her boyfriend, Tio Tai-peng, found the missing people on top of snowy Ki-lian mountain. The missing people had been all dead and it looked like they killed each other in their greed to get the swordplay manual. The dead Bu-tong priest carried a rare red pearl which could repel cold. Tio Tai-peng agreed that the red pearl should be kept by Soat Siau-hoa. Inside a cave, Soat Ciau-hoa found Sau Sing-in's dead body with the manual. Tio Tai-peng didn't want to share the manual with her, so he grabbed the manual from her and cut off her left hand. Soat Ciau-hoa, in return, made Tio Tai-peng lost his right hand. She also told him that they should go separate ways and that she was pregnant with his kid, but he would never see the kid.

Tio Tai-peng never knew that the swordplay manual consisted of 2 books. Siang-liu-kiam-hoat should be played with two swords: one with left hand, and one with right hand. Luckily he got the left-hand swordplay manual, on the other hand, Soat Ciau-hoa got right-hand-manual.

Fifteen years later, Tio Tai-peng met a servant boy named Soat Peng-say who had a red pearl. He thought the boy was his son. The family name was correct anyway. He took the boy to his home and taught him the left hand swordplay. Although the boy never knew his real father, he also didn't believe that Tio Tai-peng was his father because when he asked Tio Tai-peng to guess his mother's name, the answer was wrong. Soat Peng-say told his teacher that his mother had been dead when he was 10. This caused a misunderstanding because Soat Peng-say's mother was not Soat Siau-hoa. Tio Tai-peng thought Soat Siau-hoa had been dead and that he would never see her again. He wanted to tell her that he had regretted for cutting off her left hand.

Five years later, Soat Peng-say had finished the lesson and returned to his employer. Actually he was the employer's mother's grandson. That same night, someone saw how he played the left-hand-swordplay and kidnapped him with his cousin Cin Yak-leng who was with him in the garden. The kidnapper worked for Sau Cing-in. As Sau Cing-in had never been found, when she saw Soat Peng-say played the left-hand swordplay, she thought she had found a clue. The mistress of Pak-cay told Soat Peng-say the story of Siang-liu-kiam-hoat and asked his help to find Sau Cing-in. Soat Peng-say agreed to help because he didn't believe his teacher killed Sau Cing-in in order to get the swordplay manual.

Meanwhile, the young lord from Tang-wan kidnapped Cin Yak-leng, thought that she was the mistress of Pak-cay. The Tang-wan's young lord wanted to marry the mistress of Pak-cay, who was actually his own sister. In his way to rescue his beloved Cin Yak-leng, Soat Peng-say met Soat Koh, a swordswoman who could play the right-hand-swordplay from Siang-liu-kiam-hoat. Easy to guess that Soat Koh was Tio Tai-peng's real daughter.

If the left-hand or right-hand swordplay was played alone, it was like any ordinary swordplay. But if Soat Peng-say and Soat Koh worked together, the teamwork became unbeatable. However, they hardly worked together. Soat Peng-say even decided to learn the right-hand swordplay so he could use both swords himself.

In his journey, Soat Peng-say would find his real father and changed his name to Sau Peng-say.

Apart from the swordplay which used two swords, there was also a song called Siau-go-yan-he which should be played with a flute and a zither. If played by a flute or zither alone, near the end of the song, the player would suffer a grave inner wound and spit blood. The song, played individually, could make its audience morose; but played in a duet, it was a happy song. If the players were both male, they would have eternal friendship; if played by a couple, they would love each other until the end of the world. The song also could make its audience stunned, which was very dangerous if it was played during a fight.

The book was quite enjoyable to read, although there were minor annoying things. Soat Koh left Sau Peng-say after knowing that he was only after her right-hand swordplay (though it was not the case); but she returned to help him at a critical moment and taught him the right-hand swordplay after all. Tonghong Kui-le, the daughter of Mokau-leader [Mokau was considered a devil sect] who played the zither to accompany Sau Peng-say's flute, did not win Sau Peng-say's love; even though the duet supposed to make them eternal lov3rs. Sau Peng-say's hatred was very strong, though, as Tonghong Kui-le's father killed his father and all his students.

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