(The Prequel) Chapter 26: Confrontation

Hi, everyone.  I’m back.  I haven’t posted for so long that the formatting has changed on Cloud Manor, and it took me a while to figure out how to post again.  Ha.  Anyway, what’s a wuxia story without a big, messy fight for the top position in wulin, right?  Well, here is the set up for the big fight.  Have fun reading, and please leave me some comments if you have time.  Thank you.  I appreciate the support.

Legendary Book of Sun-Moon Swordplay – The Prequel

Characters appearing in this chapter:
Wallace Chung Hon Leung 鍾漢良—Sit Chung Nam 薛钟南
Sun Fei Fei 孙菲菲—Fa Heung Yan a.k.a. Black Rose 花香燕
Wallace Huo Jian Hua 霍建華—Kuk Wai 曲偉
Chen Hao 陈好—Fa Heung Ling a.k.a. Poison Snake 花香伶
Lawrence Yan Chi Keung 甄志強—Ling Dong 凌東
Leader Luk Dai Yung of Heavenly Crane School 陆大勇

OUTSKIRTS OF NORTH STAR TOWN
CAVE

“Well, well,” the intruder purred.  “How cozy you two look!  Don’t you think so, dear husband?”  She sneered as her gloating eyes shifted toward the tall man standing beside her.

Yan jerked around and stared at the cave entrance.  “Who is…?”  She began, but her question trailed off as she recognized the two new arrivals.

Her elder sister, Poison Snake Fa Heung Ling, smirked at her. 

Standing stiffly next to her, Kuk Wai stared quietly straight ahead at her and Chung Nam.  His dark, intense eyes twitched once, the only sign of his deep anguish and shock.

For a long time, a pregnant silence fell upon the small shelter. 

Yan and Kuk Wai stared at each other.  Only a short distance separated the area where Yan was sitting and the cave entrance where Kuk Wai was standing, but the expanse seemed endless, uncrossable, hopeless.  Both seemed to want to say something, but in the end, neither spoke, for no words could ever express the feelings exploding through them at this moment.

As Yan and Kuk Wai locked eyes, Chung Nam watched them, his expression unfathomable.  Only his eyes, dark and silent, betrayed a flicker of emotion before that window to his soul closed off, and again, he looked calm and detached. 

Though Chung Nam remained sitting on the straw bed and had to stare up at the standing Ling and Kuk Wai, he somehow managed to appear lofty, like an arrogant deity glancing dispassionately down at the mere mortals.

Chung Nam’s lips twisted slightly, his tone icy.  “On such a cold night, I did not expect that pests would still be wandering around.”

“Sit Chung Nam, you…!”  Fa Heung Ling spat. 

However, she caught herself before she started swearing like a vulgar character.  Her eyes shifted toward Yan seated next to Chung Nam’s side, and her lips curved with ill intent.    

Fa Heung Ling sauntered into the cave, uninvited, her malicious smirk widening with every step.  “Long time no see, Little Sister.”

Yan’s eyes hardened as she stared back at Ling.  “Yes, it has been a while.  I’m sure Elder Sister hasn’t missed me one bit.”

Ling smiled cattily at her younger sister, as her eyes drifted toward the bare-chested Sit Chung Nam, sitting very close next to Yan on the straw bed.  “I’m sure you don’t need me to miss you, little Yan.”  Giving Chung Nam a long, suggestive ogle, she pursed her lips and blew him an air kiss, but addressed her words to Yan.  “I would think you would be too preoccupied with the deliciously dangerous wolf by your side to care about whether I miss you or not.” 

Without pause, Ling then immediately turned smugly toward Kuk Wai.  “You see, Husband,” she cooed, while deliberately sidling up closer toward him, looping her arms around his neck as she nuzzled her cheek against his chest.  “You were worried about my little sister for nothing.”  Gesturing toward Yan and Chung Nam, Ling continued derisively, “As you can see, Yan is perfectly capable of finding another boy toy to replace you.”

Ling sighed dramatically, her expression full of feigned sorrow.  “Husband, I’m afraid your perfect little angel is not as pure as you think she is.  Look how intimate she is with that bandit over there.”

She hesitated and then deliberately leered at the bare-chested Sit Chung Nam.  “Little Sister, I don’t blame you for changing your heart so quickly.  If I were in your position, I would eat him up, too.”  She winked licentiously at Chung Nam.   

At Ling’s insulting words, Sit Chung Nam narrowed his eyes, his expression stony.  Standing beside Ling, the quiet Kuk Wai’s visage also blackened considerably. 

However, before the two men could react to Ling’s affront, Yan hissed loudly, and as swift as the wind, she coiled the blanket securely around Chung Nam’s bare torso, as if he were the damsel-in-distress and she were the overprotective hero.  Then in one smooth move, she leapt up, and before anyone could guess her intention, she rushed up to Ling and slapped her older sister across the cheek. 

“Enough!”  Yan gritted her teeth, her back stiff. 

“You little brat!” Ling raged, her eyes burning with fire.  In a moment of shock, she forgot to retaliate with her Blood Shadow Palm and only managed to sputter, “You dare hit your elder sister?”

In the background, Kuk Wai remained quiet, even though a flicker of surprise briefly flashed across his eyes.  On the opposite side of the cave, Sit Chung Nam raised his eyebrow at the scene unfolding before him.  With an amused smile gracing his lips, Chung Nam leaned back against the cave wall, watching the unexpected drama with great interest.

“Oh, you actually remember that you’re my elder sister?”  Yan countered, just as angry.  “Our parents have already passed away.  As my elder sister, you are the only elder family member I have left in this world.  You should be protecting me, and yet, your actions are not befitting of an elder at all!”

Ling narrowed her eyes at Yan and leaned in closer, glowering threateningly at younger sister.  “You dare lecture me, you little pest?”

“I would rather be a pest than be a shameless hussy, like you!”  Yan threw the insult in Ling’s face, her finger jabbing Ling in the shoulder to emphasize each of her words.

“Did you just call me a hussy?”  Ling’s face turned a scary shade of red at the derogatory term.

“You deny that you are a strumpet?”  Yan challenged.  She pointed at the silent Kuk Wai standing near the cave entrance, her sharp eyes figuratively slicing Ling to pieces.  “You already have a good husband.  Why can’t you just treasure what you have?  Please show him some respect and stop making inappropriate remarks about other men!”     

Ling snorted incredulously at Yan’s accusations.  “I love your act, Little Sister.  So virtuous, so indignant for the two handsome men here!”  Mockingly, she reached forward and lovingly stroked Yan’s soft cheek.  “If I were a man, I would fall in love with you, too.” 

Standing stiffly, Yan swatted away Ling’s offensive hand, her expression frigid. 

Undeterred by Yan’s icy look, Ling smirked, allowing her hand to drop away from Yan’s face.

“And if I were a man, I would avoid you at all costs.”  Yan smiled coldly at her older sister.  “I used to idolize you, Elder Sister, and followed you everywhere, trying to imitate everything you did.  Now, I am glad we have gone our separate paths, for you are no longer the family I once knew.  You now disgust me.”

“You…!”  Ling bared her teeth.  “Who are you to judge me?  You don’t know what I have been through!” 

Livid, Ling suddenly raised her palm, as if to strike Yan.  As her palm approached dangerously close to Yan, a blur flashed forward.  Ling glanced up to see Sit Chung Nam somehow materialize beside her little sister.  He thrust his palm forward and intercepted her Blood Shadow Palm.  However, before her palm could touch his to transfer the Blood Shadow Palm poison, an impenetrable wall of qi radiated from Chung Nam’s palm and knocked Ling backward.

As Ling stumbled away from the wall of internal energy, she panicked briefly as realization hit her.  Sit Chung Nam had just avoided contact with her palm through his more superior qi.  If he continued to do this, he could wear down her strength even before she could manage to achieve contact to transfer the Blood Shadow Palm poison.  Ling knew that retreating would be the best plan of action, rather than take the risk of engaging in an internal energy struggle with Sit Chung Nam. 

With that thought in mind, Ling started to turn to leave.  However, from the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of Yan, the ethereal, delicate beauty who had always evoked protective urges in those around her.  Her anger suddenly rose the more she thought of Yan’s good fortune and her own misfortune.  An uncontrollable rage blinded her mind suddenly, and instead of leaving as intended, she lunged toward Yan again. 

This time, before she even reached her little sister, a sword flashed forward and blocked her path.  Ling followed the blade to its owner and stared up at Kuk Wai’s disapproving eyes. 

“That’s enough, Ling.”  His face hostile, Kuk Wai gripped his weapon’s hilt tightly, as he tried to control his fury.  “You’ve said enough for one night.” 

Ling widened her eyes at her husband, and then she laughed bitterly.  “I should have known that you would side with Yan instead of with your own wife.” 

Kuk Wai did not bother to respond to Ling’s accusation.  “Just leave, Ling.”  He advised through gritted teeth. 

“What if I won’t?”  Ling advanced one step closer toward the sword pointed at her throat.  “If I insist on teaching Yan a lesson tonight, would you kill me?”  Keeping her eyes steadily on his, she took another step closer to the pointy tip of the blade.  “Do you even remember who is your wife?  I almost became the mother of your child!”

Kuk Wai did not withdraw his weapon despite Ling’s unrelenting approach, step by step, until the tip of his sword pricked the delicate skin of her neck.  He watched the thin trickle of blood snake its way down the slender column of her neck, his expression remaining stoic.

“I never wanted you or the child,” he retorted coldly.  “Now that the child has passed, you and I are no longer connected in any way.”

Ling gasped at his words.  “Kuk Wai!”  She clenched her teeth.  “How could you even make such comments so emotionlessly?  You’re even calling our baby ‘the child’ instead of ‘our child’ as if our baby was some demonic thing!”  Recalling the fragile life in her womb, the tiny life that had left as quickly as it had come, Ling closed her eyes briefly, her hand quivering slightly as it touched her abdomen. 

“How could I speak so dispassionately about the baby?”  Kuk Wai’s eyes flashed. 

Something inside his chest that had been suffocating him for so long was finally nearing eruption. 

“It is because I did not choose to be with you, nor did I choose to have a child with you.  I never had a choice in this matter.”  He answered his own question with clenched fists. 

The words coming from his throat sounded hoarse and tightly restrained, as if he was trying hard to keep himself from punching a hole in the cave wall. 

“If the baby had survived, then I would have been trapped in a lifetime of unhappiness with you.  If I said I would eventually learn to accept you and the baby, then I would be blatantly lying to you and to myself, because love cannot be forced.  Now that the baby has died, I cannot admit that I am relieved, because that would make me a monster.  I lose either way.  I am as much a victim in this situation as the child was.” 

As Kuk Wai uttered that last statement, his eyes seemed to glaze over, his mind numb.  His hand clenched around the sword hilt so tightly that his short fingernails cut into his palms, drawing blood, but he didn’t appear to notice.  For a long moment, a tense quietness ensued.  Then suddenly without warning, Kuk Wai whirled his head around and stared straight at Yan.

“I am a victim, too.”  He repeated quietly, his eyes never leaving Yan’s face.

In the background, Yan’s eyes connected with Kuk Wai’s for a brief moment.  Her hands shook imperceptibly.  As the tremor worsened, Chung Nam quickly wrapped one arm protectively around her shoulders, while he steadied her hands with his other hand. 

Chung Nam leaned down and whispered into her ear, “Yan Yan, it’s all right.  I’m here.  I’m here.”

Chung Nam’s deep voice calmed her, and Yan’s shaking lessened. 

“Stop staring at her.”  Ling’s icy voice broke through Kuk Wai’s tortured silence.  “To you, it has always been about Yan, but look how she has already abandoned you for another man.”  Ling jerked her hand toward Yan, who leaned safely within Chung Nam’s embrace. 

Kuk Wai turned to stare blankly at Ling, as if he had long forgotten about her presence, as if only Yan existed in his world. 

Ling looked at his empty glance and her heart ached.  “Kuk Wai, I can hear the pleading in your voice just now.  You are still hoping that she will return to your side, aren’t you?” 

When he continued to ignore her, Ling snapped.  “Well, let me do you a favor tonight, Husband.  I’m going to get rid of my little fox spirit sister right now and free you from her spell.”

Without warning, Ling raised her palm, launching the opening sequence of her Blood Shadow Palm.  A red glowing palm illuminated the dark interior of the cave.  Immediately, Chung Nam raised his palm in preparation, as he pushed Yan behind him. 

However, before Ling could approach Yan, Kuk Wai sent his sword flying through the air, forcing Ling back.  The weapon whirled rapidly and encircled Ling, hovering dangerously close to her head.  Ling heard the barely imperceptible whisper of the blade in the air, and a touch of cold brushed fleetingly against her cheek.  Then the sword traveled in a tight arc and returned to its owner.  Kuk Wai retrieved his weapon, and with one smooth flick, sheathed the sword.

A few paces away, Ling watched in disbelief as a small lock of her hair drifted to the ground.  Raising her hand up to touch the spot where the lock of hair once was, she twisted her lips bitterly.

“So this is how it is, huh?”  She chuckled mirthlessly.  “Should I consider my severed lock of hair a warning from you?”

“Yes,” Kuk Wai answered succinctly.  “The last time, I could not protect Yan from you.  As a result, you destroyed all her internal energy, and she nearly died at your hands.  This time, if you try to harm her again, the consequences will be more serious than a severed lock of hair.”

Ling flattened her lips, her heart raging.  She wanted to charge forward and tear off Yan’s head.  How come Yan had two handsome men protecting her, coddling her, while she had none?  Hadn’t she suffered enough?  Didn’t she deserve some compensation for her past pain?  However, she wisely reigned in her temper.  If she attacked now, she would have to battle against both Sit Chung Nam and Kuk Wai.  Even against Sit Chung Nam alone, she had no confidence that she would emerge victorious.  Now with Kuk Wai openly choosing to side with Yan, she would definitely lose.              

Sending Sit Chung Nam and Kuk Wai a pitying glance, Ling curved her lips into a feral grin.  “You two handsome men think you know Yan, but you don’t know her as well as I do.”  Leaning forward slightly, she whispered throatily, “Be careful of her.”

With those words of warning, she somersaulted out of the cave entrance, the thick curtain of snow outside quickly engulfing her figure, leaving only her malicious, mocking laugh echoing in the night. 

“Be careful of Yan.  Ha ha ha!”

MOUNT HEAVENLY CRANE
HEAVENLY CRANE SCHOOL 

Leader Luk Dai Yung of Heavenly Crane School stared at the dishes of hot, steamy food on his table.  He should be hungry in the presence of such a delicious meal, but he only felt nauseous as his stomach churned with anxiety.  With his hand clutching over his abdomen to calm his nerves, he glanced toward the wall with the hidden compartment, which Heavenly Crane School’s poison proof gloves had been stored in.

Just thinking of Sit Chung Nam and those gloves worsened his nausea.  Leader Luk started to hyperventilate, beads of sweat rolling down his back.  Shakily, he lifted his teacup and gulped down the hot liquid, not even noticing the burning of his throat. 

He shouldn’t have listened to that person, he fretted.  He shouldn’t have laced Heavenly Crane School’s gloves with the poison that person had given him.  He shouldn’t have presented the poisoned gloves to Sit Chung Nam.  That person knew that Sit Chung Nam was a lethal thorn in the eyes of the orthodox schools.  Even more embarrassing, he, Luk Dai Yung, the distinguished leader of a revered orthodox school, was like a prisoner on his own territory, all thanks to Sit Chung Nam’s Floating Cloud Sect members now stationed on Mount Heavenly Crane.  Nobody, not even he, dared to offend those impudent Floating Cloud Sect bandits for fear of slighting their bandit leader.    

That person knew that even he, the esteemed and supposedly fearless Luk Dai Yung, was actually a cowardly fool afraid of dying at Sit Chung Nam’s hand, and yet couldn’t stomach the deep shame of being under the bandit leader’s thumb.  From the time he could remember, he had been groomed to become the leader of Heavenly Crane School.  He took his coveted position seriously and with great pride, and for more than forty years, he had led his Heavenly Crane School well.  His students revered him; the other orthodox school leaders respected him. 

But now… 

Now he was nothing more than an aging idiot compared to Sit Chung Nam, a coward who couldn’t even stand up to a bandit leader decades his junior.  He had to even fear that bandit leader’s sect members.  Worst of all, he had to rely on Sit Chung Nam to help him rid of his own Heavenly Crane School’s disgruntled and vengeful former disciples.  Were his disciples laughing at him behind his back right now?  What face did he have left in wulin? 

Therefore, that person had persuaded him to poison the Heavenly Crane School’s gloves before presenting them to Sit Chung Nam that day.  That person had guaranteed that the poison would definitely kill Sit Chung Nam.  With the Floating Cloud Sect Leader dead, the bandits could easily be purged from his Mount Heavenly Crane and order could be restored.  Hence, in a moment of weakness, he had agreed. 

Unfortunately, ever since he had given Sit Chung Nam the poisoned gloves, he couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t rest in peace.  Something deep in his heart told him that Sit Chung Nam would not die so easily, and if he survived the poisoning, he would be back to seek revenge. 

Every shadow spooked him.  Every creak made his heart lurch.  Everywhere he looked, he saw Sit Chung Nam lurking about, his eyes dispassionate, as he stood there staring…  Staring…    

Thinking of his situation, Leader Luk’s heart pounded even harder.        

Just at that moment, a shadowy figure flashed across his window.  Leader Luk blinked.

Sit Chung Nam!  He was finally here to kill him and massacre his Heavenly Crane School!

The shadow knocked on the door, freaking Leader Luk out.  He leapt up from his chair and stumbled backward, tripping on one of the table legs, rattling the dishes.  As bowls and plates crashed to the floor, the shadow knocked again, this time more urgently. 

Leader Luk gasped out loud and scurried even further away from the door. 

“Ah!”  He shrieked, his eyes focused fearfully at the shadow behind the door.  “It wasn’t my idea to poison you!” 

The shadow paused and then quickly pushed open the door with a bang.

“Teacher!”  Ling Dong rushed in, his brows furrowed with concern.  “What is wrong?  What poison?”

The clashing of the door against the wall jerked Leader Luk out of his dazed state.  He blinked, releasing a shaky breath as he realized his eldest disciple stood before him, not Sit Chung Nam.

“Nothing,” Leader Luk shook his head quickly, coming to his senses.

With weak legs, he stumbled over to a chair and collapsed into it.  Beside him, Ling Dong observed him with a puzzled, worried expression.

“Teacher,” Ling Dong peered at Leader Luk, “you look ashen.  Are you all right?” 

When Leader Luk swiped at the beads of sweat dotting his forehead but remained silent, Ling Dong placed his hands together in an apologetic gesture.

“Forgive this disciple for being inappropriately curious, but Teacher has been very preoccupied lately, staying in your chambers for several days without stepping out.”  Ling Dong lowered his head, knowing his next words may be too disrespectful.  “Ever since the Floating Cloud Sect members moved into our Heavenly Crane School, they have been obnoxious and outright contemptuous to you and to all the fellow disciples.  Yet, Teacher tolerates their impudence and just sits in your chamber, allowing those bandits to terrorize us.” 

At Ling Dong’s words, Leader Luk jerked his head up and blinked, bewildered, at his student.      

Seeing Leader Luk’s empty stare, Ling Dong sighed and leaned down closer to observe his teacher.  “Teacher, we have to do something about Sit Chung Nam and his Floating Cloud Sect!  We initially aligned ourselves with him, thinking he could help us defeat the Thousand Snake Black Rose Clan.  However, our disciples continue to die at the hand of the Blood Shadow Palm, and Sit Chung Nam has yet to lift a finger to help us destroy the Thousand Snake Black Rose Clan.  At first, I showed Sit Chung Nam the painting of Black Rose, thinking he would be tempted enough to rip apart the Thousand Snake Black Rose Clan to possess her.  Unfortunately, it appears that she is now accompanying him willingly.  Our disciples have spotted the two roaming happily around wulin, and she does not look like his hostage.  The leaders of the Floating Cloud Sect and the Thousand Snake Black Rose Clan have united, and the bandit leader we have sent to destroy the demonic clan will now only stand by Black Rose and her clan’s side.”

Ling Dong paused, frowning at his own words.  He tightened his grip on Leader Luk’s arm, shaking the older man urgently.

“Teacher!”  Ling Dong raised his voice, his frustrations showing.  “Teacher, do you hear me!  We can’t trust Sit Chung Nam, nor can we rely on his help any longer.  We may have unintentionally helped strengthen the Thousand Snake Black Rose Clan.  With Sit Chung Nam on its side, the clan’s power will surge.”

When Leader Luk remained silent and dazed, Ling Dong leapt up and dragged his teacher up with him.  “What is going on, Teacher?!”

With a shudder, Leader Luk jerked out of his reverie.  “Dong, I think the Thousand Snake Black Rose Clan is the least of our worries right now.” 

Puzzled, Ling Dong wrinkled his brows.  “What do you mean, Teacher?  Just a couple of weeks ago, ten of our disciples have died from the Blood Shadow Palm.”

“Ten disciples are nothing compared to annihilation of our entire school.”  Leader Luk whispered.

“Annihilation of our entire school?”  Ling Dong shook his head in confusion.  “What do you mean, Teacher?  So far, the Thousand Snake Black Rose Clan has not specifically targeted our school, but just the orthodox schools and clans generally.”

“I’m not referring to the Thousand Snake Black Rose Clan.  We have a bigger problem – Sit Chung Nam.  He has always settled his scores mercilessly.”  Leader Luk sighed.  “Remember the poison proof gloves I gave to Sit Chung Nam a while ago?” 

“Yes…,” Ling Dong answered uncertainly, “the fake, useless pair…”

“Well, it’s not only useless and phony, it’s also poisonous.”  The elder man confessed to his student.  “I sprinkled poison on it before giving it to Sit Chung Nam.”

Ling Dong froze in surprise for a second after hearing this.  “What?  Poison?  Why?  What poison did you add?”

Leader Luk shook his head and laughed in self-deprecation.  “I don’t even know what poison I added.  After you and I had discussed that we should give the fake gloves to Sit Chung Nam as he had requested, you left my chambers.  Briefly after that, a black-robed person suddenly appeared and handed me a bottle of poison, telling me to poison Sit Chung Nam.”

“Who is this person?”  Ling Dong stared at his teacher in disbelief.

“I don’t even know!”  Leader Luk hit his palm against his own forehead with frustration.  “The person’s face was covered with a dark veil.”

“Teacher, you didn’t even know this person’s identity and yet you listened to him?”  The younger man gaped incredulously. 

“He goaded me, taunted me, belittled me.”  Leader Luk slammed his fist onto the table top.  “He said I was a spineless wimp, a coward who couldn’t even protect my own school and students.  I had to rely on Sit Chung Nam, a notorious bandit and a man decades my junior, to defend Heavenly Crane School from exiled former disciples and from the threat of the Blood Shadow Palm.”  Clenching his teeth, he seethed.  “This person laughed and told me that I might as well resign from my position as Heavenly Crane School Leader and go lick Sit Chung Nam’s boots.  He said if I had any bravery left in me, I should rid myself of that pest, Sit Chung Nam.  Then he handed me the perfect solution.  It didn’t matter how I killed Sit Chung Nam, whether through a duel or by poisoning him, I would be able to stand tall and proud again.” 

Leader Luk suddenly stopped confessing to dart frantic eyes at his eldest disciple.  “Dong, I was not thinking clearly, and I succumbed to that person’s jeers.  I sprinkled the poison onto the gloves, hoping the poison would kill Sit Chung Nam.  Unfortunately, your junior martial brothers have recently reported back that they have seen Sit Chung Nam around wulin, appearing healthy and fine.” 

Grasping Ling Dong’s arm tightly, Leader Luk gulped.  “If Sit Chung Nam doesn’t die, he will come back and finish us all off.  Mount Heavenly Crane will be submerged under a sea of blood.”  He laughed mirthlessly.  “I, Luk Dai Yung, the forty-ninth leader of Heavenly Crane School, will be the one to bring about destruction to our school.  I have failed our school’s ancestors.  Dong, I don’t know what to do!”

Ling Dong remained silent for a long moment.  Finally, he spoke calmly and clearly, “All right.  All right, what is done cannot be changed.  We should focus on how to defend ourselves when Sit Chung Nam comes.” 

He paused and thought for another moment before speaking, “Teacher, I think we should call together the other three major orthodox clans and schools and the thirty-six minor clans for a wulin heroes gathering to properly elect a wulin chancellor.  We cannot defeat Sit Chung Nam alone, especially if our suspicions are correct, and he has now aligned himself with Black Rose of the Thousand Snake Black Rose Clan.”

“Elect a wulin chancellor?”  Leader Luk frowned skeptically.  “All the orthodox clans and schools have always maintained their own sovereignty.  I fear that no one will agree to this plan.”

“We must convince them.”  Ling Dong reasoned.  “We will tell the other schools and clans that it is to everyone’s advantage to select a leader.  Right now, we are like a handful of loose pebbles, harmless and without direction.  However, if we band together, we can form a formidable wall of stone against our enemies.”

“But I don’t wish to bow down to another clan or school’s leadership.”  Leader Luk shook his head with reservation.

“Then we make sure Teacher will become Wulin Chancellor!”  Ling Dong stated firmly.  “The other schools and clans will surely suggest holding a martial arts competition to determine the leader.  Our Heavenly Crane School martial arts is one of the strongest among the orthodox schools and clans in wulin.  I have confidence that we can emerge as the victor.”

When Leader Luk continued to frown with concern, Ling Dong insisted, “There is no other way, Teacher.  If we hope to defend ourselves against the Floating Cloud Sect and the Thousand Snake Black Rose Clan, then we need the backing of a united wulin.”

Hearing his eldest disciple’s rationale, Leader Luk slowly nodded his head.  “All right, prepare to send out invitations to the other orthodox schools and clans for a wulin heroes gathering.  However, do so quietly, so that the Floating Cloud Sect members currently living on Mount Heavenly Crane do not become suspicious.”

Ling Dong bowed, “Yes, Teacher.”

Chapters in the Prequel:

Chapter 25: I Will Dance for You When We Meet Again
Chapter 24: Bath
Chapter 23: Two Swords, One Book
Chapter 22: Fiery Sparks Amidst Chilling Cold
Chapter 21: To Earn a Beauty’s Embrace
Chapter 20: One Step Behind
Chapter 19: Legendary Swords, Heavenly Weapons
Chapter 18: Heavenly Crane School’s Secret
Chapter 17:  White Flag
Chapter 16:  Beneath the Cliff
Chapter 15:  Ghosts and Illusions
Chapter 14:  Birthday Stones
Chapter 13: Waiting for Love
Chapter 12: Miss Me?
Chapter 11: Dark Night, Part II
Chapter 10: Dark Night, Part I
Chapter 9: Ambush
Chapter 8: Stranger in the Bamboo Hat
Chapter 7: Falling in Love
Chapter 6: Charmed
Chapter 5: Unlikely Hero
Chapter 4: The Alliance
Chapter 3: Chung Nam Shadowless Swords
Chapter 2: Fairy Dust
Chapter 1: Bandits!
Prologue

 

About Melanie

Please read my stories, Sun-Moon Swordplay and Sun-Moon Swordplay Prequel, hosted at Cloud Manor. https://cloudmanor.wordpress.com/ Thank you.

11 thoughts on “(The Prequel) Chapter 26: Confrontation

  1. Girl!! It’s been a longtime. Haha
    We understand there r more important things going on in your life. Glad u r back with a new chapter. Can’t wait to read it. Lol

    • Hi Joanne! Are you a new reader? 🙂 Thank you for reading. Chapter 27 should be up either late this Sunday (USA time) or early next week, depending on how much time I have over the weekend to edit. Again, thanks for reading, and please let me know if you have any thoughts on the story that you want to discuss.

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