This book by Qing Hong / Chin Hung is one of the best I have read. I don't know its original title, but in Indonesia it was published with the title 'Raja Silat'. I remembered there was a Shaw Brothers movie 'The Golden Knight' (1970) based on this book.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was written with much humour and the plot was more complicated that the movie version.
The central character was a handsome 20-year-old swordsman named Ie Lip Tong. He was very smart and romantic-or at least he thought he was. His father had been killed by leaders of the 5 main clans under a false accusation, so he tried to clean his fathers's good name and re-build his clan.
The story began with a new security bureau, Boan Chio Security in Tiang An. This security bureau did not escort goods, but solved mysteries. In the martial arts world at that time, the good guys was led by Hong-lay-sian-ong. If there was a problem between or among different clans, they had to go to Hong-lay-sian-ong and he would be the judge. Under Hong-lay-siang-ong, there was 12 emissaries who wore yellow robes as their identity. These 12 chosen swordsmen were more skillful fighters and smarter than others.
There had been mysterious murderer who targeted people from the 5 clans. Since they couldn’t catch the murderer, the people from 5 clans accused Ie Lip Tong, whose father had been killed by the leaders of the 5 clans. They couldn’t think of other suspect than Ie Lip Tong. Only Ie Lip Tong had a grudge on them. The 12 emissaries from Lu San (Mountain Lu) – the headquarters of Hong-lay-sian-ong – couldn’t find Ie Lip Tong, so Emissary No.8 went to Boan Chio Security to ask them to find Ie Lip Tong.
With much ease, the owner of Boan Chio Security found Ie Lip Tong. Swordsman no.8 brought the young man to Lu San for trial, but the people from the 5 clans wouldn’t believe that Ie Lip Tong was not the murderer. They sentenced him to death.
But as Ie Lip Tong was our main character, surely he wasn’t dead. He went out and found the real murderer and found a gang who flayed people and used the skin for disguise. He cleaned his name, twice, and his father’s name. He also became Emissary No.13.