The Legendary Zhuge Liang - I
The Legendary Zhuge Liang - II
The Legendary Zhuge Liang - III
The Legendary Zhuge Liang - IV
The Legendary Zhuge Liang - V
The Legendary Zhuge Liang - VI
I hope that you will enjoy the story.
The Legendary Zhuge Liang - VII:
In the streets of Gong'an
Chan has at least managed to return to his usual carefree life. "No more politics and wars for me!"
he thinks as he walks in the streets of Gong'an. Chan is a man who prefers to enjoy life and have peace than trouble himself with wars over ideals that have no appeal to him. For him, and for many people, the Han Dynasty is already finished. So, why bother and fight for something that has no future?
Those are the thoughts of Chan as he walks. As he walks and thinks about what he will do next, he sees an old beggar surrounded by five men. Four of the five men are muscular and strong, while the fifth one, who seems to be the leader, is fat. The old beggar has a long black beard and hair. He wears teared clothes and he has no shoes. He eats a chicken drumstick.
The fat man approaches the old beggar and shouts "Hey, old man! You better get out of our way and give us this drumstick or we will have to offend you."
The old beggar yawns and continues to eat his meal. The fat man, furious, points at the old man and shouts at his men "Attack him!"
The first man tries to punch his fist on the old beggar, but he dodges the fist and kicks him on the stomach. As the man shouts in pain, the old beggar puts his chicken drumstick into the man's mouth.
the old beggar laughs. "Do you like the chicken?"
The second man tries to kick the beggar, but he grabs the man's leg and hits it on his right knee, breaking it. The third man pulls out a knife and tries to stab the beggar, but he dodges the knife and then kicks the man's stomach. The man lets his knife fall on the ground, because of the kick, and the beggar grabs the knife and stabs the man on the chest. The fourth man pulls out a long sword and tries to cut the beggar's legs, but the beggar jumps on the air, dodging the attack, and when he lands back to the ground, he counterattacks and cuts off the man's right hand, causing him to collapse and fall on the ground. Meanwhile, the first man, who has managed to get the chicken out of his mouth, tries to attack again the beggar, but Chan intervenes and kicks the man's face twelve times, breaking his nose and causing him to fall on the ground. The fat man, who had done nothing so far, seeing his men beaten, tries to flee, but Chan stops him.
"Hey, fat man!"
Chan says. "An apology would not hurt."
"How dare you intervene in my business?"
the fat man replies. He then tries to hit Chan, but Chan blocks the attack and then punches his left fist on the man's stomach. The fat man pees on his pants, bows before Chan and, crying, says "Please, let me go..."
Chan sighs, and the fat man runs away.
Chan then approaches the old beggar and asks "Are you alright?"
the old beggar replies. "I thank you for your help, but your Kung Fu sucks."
"Because you were able to defeat two thugs, you think that you are a Kung Fu master?"
the old beggar laughs.
"My Kung Fu is far better than yours!"
"Then let us have a duel."
"But you are an old man."
Chan decides to give to this arrogant beggar a good lesson. He tries to kicks the beggar's chest with his left leg, but the beggar retreats back, causing Chan to kick nothing more than thin air and fall on the ground. The beggar laughs at how Chan fell on the ground, but Chan quickly gets up. He tries to punch his fist on the beggar's face, but he blocks the attack with his right leg. Chan decides to attack with his fist again and so he charges at the old man, but he jumps on the air, causing Chan to fall on the ground once again. The beggar once again laughs, but Chan gets up again and tries to kick the old man once more, only to have his leg grabbed by the man.
"So, do you surrender or shall I break your leg?"
the old beggar asks.
"Please, sir, let me go!"
Chan, anxious and scared, answers.
The beggar indeed lets Chan's leg and leaves, but Chan tries to kick him on the back. The old beggar, however, dodges the attack and kicks Chan on the stomach. Chan, seeing how skilled the old man is, decides to bow before him and says "Please sir, accept me as your pupil! I will do whatever you say."
Before the old man can reply, Chan kowtows before him. The beggar, however, is not willing to have Chan as his student.
he says. "Leave. I do not take pupils."
Half an hour later
The old Beggar, tired from all this fighting, enters an inn and buys a jar of wine. As he leaves the shop, Chan appears almost out of nowhere and kowtows before him, saying "Please accept me as your pupil! Please accept me as your pupil! Please accept me as your pupil! Please accept me as your pupil!"
The old beggar, scared by the sudden appearance of Chan, lets the jar fall on the ground and break. "You idiot!"
he shouts, pointing at Chan. "Because of you, I wasted my wine!"
"Please accept me as your pupil. If you do not, I will kowtow until I die."
The beggar does not seem to care, but Chan kowtows again and again and hits his head on the floor. As Chan's head starts bleeding, the old beggar has no choice but to accept Chan as his student.
the old beggar sighs. "I will accept you as my student."
"Yes! Thank you teacher! Thank you teacher!"
"What is your name?"
"My name is So."
"I understand, teacher."
"And stop calling me teacher! Just call me Beggar So."
"Yes, teach-- I meant Beggar So."
Chongyang Temple, headquarters of the Great Tao Sect
Meanwhile, in Chongyang Temple, the great Taoist Master and Abbot of the Chongyang Temple Fong Yuen has called his two best students, Yao Jing and Liao Xiang, to meet him in order to give them a mission. The Great Tao Sect is the largest Taoist Sect in all of China and thousands of Taoist Priests follow the orders of the Abbot Fong Yuen. The Great Tao Sect is respected by all Warlords, as it takes no sides and it is apolitical. Also, many of the Taoist Priests are Kung Fu experts. So, not even Cao Cao dares to mess with them.
Yao Jing and Liao Xiang enter their teacher's room and bow before him. Jing is a tall muscular young man, in his early twenties, with long black hair and a fair and handsome face. Xiang is a man in his late 30's with a scruffy black beard and a face that is neither ugly nor handsome, but more like something between those two. Xiang is an alcoholic, but he is also very ambitious and loves money. He is also a very able speaker. Jing is better than Xiang in both Kung Fu, character and appearance, so Fong Yuen wants Jing to be his heir for the position of the Abbot of the Chongyang Temple. For this reason, Xiang holds a grudge against both his teacher and Jing.
Fong Yuen, with hate in his eyes, says. "Zhuge Liang has not only killed the Five Taoist Killers, but he has also killed other two Taoist disciples, Ma and Mo! I cannot accept this insult! So, I want you to go to Gong'an and assassinate Zhuge Liang. I do not care how, but I want him dead! Zhuge Liang has to die! I hate him! I hate him! I hate him!"
both Jing and Xiang reply with once voice. Then, they leave their teacher's room to prepare for their mission. Will Zhuge Liang be able to survive the two best Kung Fu Taoist experts?
Outside of Gong'an, in a small countryside house
After walking for a few hours, So and Chan arrive to a small wooden house in the countryside, that seems abandoned and ready to collapse. Outside of the house, Chan sees several wooden poles, as well as many wooden dummies, which have three arms and one leg that represent an opponent's body in various positions and the lines of force the body can give out.
"Here you will train!"
"Yes, Beggar So."
Beggar So then goes into the house and after a few minutes, he returns with a large wooden pot.
"Chan, in order to learn Kung Fu, you must suffer."
"I am not afraid!"
"Good. Do you see this?"
So asks, pointing at the pot. "It has boiled water in it. Put your hands into the pot."
Chan indeed puts his hands on the water. The water is so hot that his hands start to bleed. After ten minutes, So lets Chan take his hands out of the water.
"Now, you will have to practice your fists."
So says. "You will punch your fists on those wooden poles."
So points at the numerous wooden poles.
Chan follows his teacher's orders and goes to the wooden poles. As he punches his fist on the first pole, his hand almost breaks, as it was already injured and bleeding because of the boiled water. However, So does not allow his pupil to rest.
"You will either break twenty poles or punch them for two days! Either way, you will become stronger and you will be able to break your opponents bones with just once punch."
"Yes, Beggar So!"
Late in the night, outside of the Chongyang Temple
Meanwhile, late in the night, Xiang sneaks out of the Chongyang Temple. After a few minutes of walking, he finds the man he wants to meet. The man that Xiang wants to meet is dressed with a black cloak that conceals his identity. He is guarded by five soldiers. Xiang bows before the man.
"Your excellency, Master Gongjin (courtesy name of Zhou Yu)!"
Xiang says while bowing.
"I am no excellency."
Zhou Yu replies. "I am just the Grand Commander. The excellency is my Lord, Sun Quan."
"But you have the loyalty of the army, the love of the people and the support of the Ministers. And the one who has those three traits is the one who is really the Master of a country. Sun Quan has the title of the Lord of the Southland. However, real power lies not in the title, but in the one who can wield it."
"Ha! You are good in flattery."
"If I wasn't, I would have been killed many times."
"So, what plans does your Master has?"
"He has send us to kill Zhuge Liang. I know your hate for this man, so I will do my best to kill him."
"However, I have even better news. Even if I fail to kill Zhuge Liang, I have conceived a plan which shall make the Great Tao Sect obey your commands!"
"Good! Good! Excellent!"
"I must leave now. In a few days, I will inform you if my plan was a success. And if this plan is a success, all Taoist Priests all over China shall work for the good of the Southland!"
"Thank you for your help."
"It is only natural that I help the ones who will unify China. Cao Cao has had his power crushed in Red Cliffs. Liu Bei does not have the numbers to unify China. Only you and your Lord, Sun Quan, have both the numbers and the momentum to unify China and restore law and order to the realm."
Two days later, Beggar So's house
Chan, following his teacher's order, punches his fists again and again on the wooden poles for two days. He eats only some grass and drinks as little water as possible. His hands have almost broken and all of his body is bleeding and sweat. When Beggar So arrives in the house and sees that Chan actually followed his order, he is very happy and delighted. Although Chan has not managed to break even one pole, he has been practicing constantly for two days, showing how resolved he is. Beggar So, appreciating the loyalty and resolve of Chan, approaches him and says "Men like you are hard to be found. You are really worthy to be my student. Go and rest now and come again tomorrow."
Chan, with tears in his eyes, replies.
The next day
After resting for a day, Chan goes again to his teacher's home. There, he sees Beggar So waiting for him.
So says. "Go and break twenty poles!"
"You have to believe that you can do it, otherwise you will never do it!"
Chan goes to the wooden poles. He punches his right fist on the first one and, suddenly, the wooden pole breaks. Chan then goes on, to his surprise, to break with ease all of the twenty wooden poles. Not believing that he had managed to do this, he asks Beggar So how this happened.
"So, how did I managed to break those poles with such ease?"
"Your constant training for two days strengthened your fists."
So replies. "Also, the boiled water in which you put your hands had some rare herbs that help accelerate the progress of your training. So, your two days of training, thanks to those herbs, had the same results as if you had trained constantly for five years. I had not told you about it, because I wanted to test your character. As you see, the one who has resolve and can suffer will be benefited greatly."
"Thank you, So!"
"Now, train for three hours in the wooden dummies while I prepare something else for you."
Three hours later
Indeed, Chan trains in the wooden dummies for three hours. Once he finishes, Beggar So calls him.
So says. "You go and break twenty wooden poles again!"
Chan punches his fist on the first pole, but, to his surprise, the pole is oiled and so his hand glides instead of hitting the pole.
Beggar So shouts "You will punch those poles until you either break them or break your hands!"
So, Chan, for five days and nights, with almost no rest, punches his fists on the wooden poles. His resolve not to disappoint his teacher is unheard of. Such resolve is very rare. In the sixth day, although his hands are bleeding and broken, he manages to break the twenty wooden poles. When Beggar So sees this, he is very impressed. "This man will become the Greatest Martial Artist of all time if he lives to my age."
Chan, with a smile in his face, bows before his teacher and says "I have broken all twenty poles."
"Good! Now, I will teach you how to fly kick your opponent."
Beggar So throws a bamboo stick on the air and, before it falls on the ground, he jumps on the air and breaks it with a strong flying kick that shows his agility and prowess.
"Do the same!"
So shouts and throws a bamboo stick on the air.
Chan tries to jump and kick the bamboo stick, but the only thing he manages is to fall on the ground.
So shouts and throws again a bamboo stick on the air.
This is repeated without stop for two days and nights. Chan fails to break even one bamboo stick. But in the third day, he manages to break them all. One after the other, the bamboo sticks are fly kicked and are broken, as Chan jumps on extraordinary, for most humans, heights.
So says. "Now, you will train your internal strength."
"You must empty your mind from all thoughts and repeat the Ancient scripts that I read."
So and Chan meditate for three whole days. So reads lines from Ancient Martial Arts manuals that originate from the Spring and Autumn Period. Chan empties his mind and repeats those lines, strengthening his internal strength. Chan is able to "suck" the knowledge of the Ancient Kung Fu masters quickly and with ease, and manages to increase profoundly his internal strength.
The next day
When Chan arrives to his teacher's house, he sees, except for his teacher, also an other beggar. This beggar is young, with long black hair, a handsome face and wears, like So, teared clothes.
"This is my other student, Kuang."
So says while pointing at the young beggar. "He will help you in your training. Although your strength, both external and internal, is profound now, your techniques are still lacking. And without techniques, you will not be able to achieve anything. Now, train!"
Kuang approaches Chan and says "Brother, I will show you the Ku Wai Zheng Fung technique. In order to do this, I will have to offend you, so please forgive me."
"It is my honor to learn from you."
Kuang takes a defensive posture and waits for Chan to attack him. Chan charges at the man, but Kuang jumps on the air, lands behind Chan and kicks him with his right leg on the back.
"This is Ku!"
Before Chan can react, Kuang grabs his head from the hair and hits it on his left knee, causing Chan's face to bleed.
"This is Wai!"
Kuang then punches his fists twenty times on Chan's face. The fists of Kuang move like a chain, are coordinated and come one after the other. Chan's nose is broken and is bleeding.
"This is Zheng!"
Kuang then turns around and kicks Chan's chest with a powerful back kick.
"That is Fung!"
So then approaches Chan and says "Rest for a few minutes and then go to the wooden dummies and train using the Ku Wai Zheng Fung technique."
Six days later
After six days of training, Chan has mastered the Ku Wai Zheng Fung technique and is ready to go through his teacher's final test. Beggar So orders him once again to break the twenty wooden poles, which are again oiled. Chan in the first five wooden poles uses Ku. He jumps on the air, lands behind each pole and breaks it with a powerful kick. He then uses Wai against the other five poles. He uses his knees to break the wooden poles. Once he has broken ten of the twenty poles using Ku and Wai, So throws on the air forty bamboo sticks, one after the other. Chan jumps on the air and fly kicks and breaks all of them. He then uses Zheng to break other five poles. He punches his fists on the poles and breaks them. For the final five poles, Chan uses Fung. He back kicks and breaks each one of the poles. Now, having destroyed all twenty wooden poles, Chan repeats from memory all Ancient Martial Arts manuals that he had learned from So. Once he finishes this task, So congratulates his pupil: "Good! If you continue training like this, you will soon become one of the greatest Kung Fu masters in all of China."