Chinese Paladin 3: Episodes 30-32

Episode 30

Off they go to see the baby.

And the story went something like this:

100 years ago when ChangQing was still Lin YePing, jealousy destroyed his marriage with ZiXuan. Days after she left him, she found out she was pregnant. But civil unrest got in the way and she was never given a chance to divulge the good news (even if she did, he might’ve thought the child was conceived with another man — in the heat of the moment). Then he came charging to her part of town in search for answers. Alas, he died and never learned about the baby.

Now that he has, he decides to sacrifice his child for mankind. After all, it is he who unleashed XieJianXian out in the world.

It’s a grand gesture alright but the more ChangQing looks at his baby daughter, the more reluctant he becomes. Then a storm breaks the flying boat, delaying ChangQing’s trip back to Mt. Shu.

But the folks at Mt. Shu can’t wait. They need the fifth and last elemental Pearl to help them safely retrieve Fei Peng’s sword from Suo Yao Towel. Of course you get the little bickering about who should risk whose life by going into the tower and naturally the hero of the show wins and sets out on the mission. (It was his sword anyway.)

The night before Jin Tian is to enter Suo Yao Towel, everyone is jumpy in anticipation for the big day. It is especially hard for LongKui, whose memory of losing her kin brother haunts her still.

The next day Jin Tian gets ready to enter the tower. XueJian insists on coming along, Jin Tian relents. Before entering the hellhole, Jin Tian and XueJian are given a bag of tools to ensure their safety return.

Although the lack of Water Pearl presents a large threat to the hero and shero’s lives, — they are, after all, isolated in a world of menace — Jin Tian is certain that ChangQing will eventually come around and make the “right” sacrifice. All he has to do is to hold off the attacks inside the tower for as long as he can and have faith.

They say their last goodbyes and enter the abyss.

On the flying boat, ChangQing is feeling conflicted. An extra day spent with his daughter has secured his bond with her. With each mile closer to Mt. Shu, his fear for the time of separation grows a fold. Then giving in to selfish intent, ChangQing creates another disturbance, hoping to delay the trip further.

Jin Tian and XueJian arrive at the eighth level of the Suo Yao Tower. They see no evil spirits nor demons but a trial of fresh blood leads them down to the next level.

Down they travel, bewildered by the outward peace.

Suddenly, a feeling hits Jin Tian. With the premonition comes flashing images: LongKui was here. She had entered the tower after her melt down, hoping to sweep the path before her brother sets foot. But the demons have pounced on her, hurt her, and dragged her to level two, where all are waiting for the chance to break free.

Episode 31

To get to the next level, Jin Tian and XueJian must first find a “key”. But there is nothing except for a wall full of words in front of them.

Out of desperation, they start feeling the walls for a hidden switch. Luckily, after only a few attempts of trial-and-error, they find it and move on to the next level — but what welcomes them is the first wave of attacks.

In the meantime, ChangQing has made up his mind. As much as it hurts, the sacrifice is inevitable.

Jin Tian and XueJian burn the attackers, find LongKui, save her, and head steadfast to the next level. They encounter a door keeper. The door keeper has been waiting for her lover for 300 years (he’s allegedly more handsome than Jin Tian). She opens the door for them, under the condition that they will return to tell her whether he is alive or dead.

The door opens to a foul-smelling blood fountain. Jin Tian uses one of his last weapons and drops the other in the fountain. Low on ammunition, they are captured and brought to the king of evil spirits, a childish fellow called Tian Yao Huang.

Jin Tian challenges Tian Yao Huang and gets beaten to a pulp, quite literally. While the battle drags on, ChangQing is heading back to Mt. Shu in full speed.

And…

The Water Pearl is extracted from the baby.

The five Elemental Pearls are gathered at last and sent to re-seal the tower.

Once the Elemental Pearls have sealed the tower, they scatter again.

Although the tower is sealed, Jin Tian, XueJian — who does nothing at all –, and LongKui are trapped in with Tian Yao Huang. The fight continues, sometimes with LongKui against Tian Yao Huang, sometimes with Jin Tian against him. When success seem a mile away, Jin Tian discovers Fei Peng’s Zhan Yao Sword. Retrieving the weapon, Jin Tian is able to defeat Tian Yao Huang and accomplish his mission.

ChangQing then shows up to lead the bunch out of the tower. Seeing the disheveled Jin Tian, he remembers the time when he was on the verge of death and JinTian carried him up the mountain. Using the same ploy to keep Jin Tian conscious, ChangQing asserts, “When you die, I will kill XueJian, kill your sister. I will burn Yong An pawnshop, I will destroy the relics… Don’t keep me from being a bad man, hurry up and die!” XueJian and LongKui chime in but Jin Tian cuts them off, “If you want to imitate me, at least do a good job of it. Now, will you please hurry up? I can’t hold on any longer.”

Episode 32

After a few days spent in coma, Jin Tian wakes up. Except for the fact that he’s all bandaged up, Jin Tian is fine. But ChangQing isn’t so lucky. The prospect of losing his daughter hit him hard. Luckily the five masters on Mt. Shu have considered the sacrifice and did what they can to sustain the baby’s life. But to help her grow, they need a Pearl that existed only in legend.

Any chance to save the baby is a chance worth taking. Therefore the bunch decide to embark on a journey in search for the legendary pearl.

With master QingWei’s help, they travel to a land by sea, where the legendary pearl is said to bury in the ocean. Amidst the travel, MaoMao gets distracted and lands on no man’s land. The explanation for such an arrangement is that by landing on the unknown place, MaoMao will escape the bleak fate that’s to befall on mankind — as a reward for his kindness. (It sounds more like a punishment. Consider this: he is completely, utterly alone. There is no one to talk to, no means to pass time, worse yet, I don’t see any food.)

To learn about the legendary pearl, we have to hear a tragic love story first.

The story is about an extraordinary young man named XiFeng. XiFeng was gifted with a beautiful voice and condemned with an ugly appearance. He didn’t mind how he looked because his music could bring peace and happiness to people. Then one day he found out that he could record his voice in sea shells.

He made many sea shells so that everyone can pick up a sea shell and listen to him sing. Slowly the sea shells started to flow upward and ended up in heaven. The goddess of river Shui Bi picked it up and was mesmerized by the voice of this stranger man. She descended to the mortal realm in search for the beautiful voice.

She found him eventually but the fear that his appearance might drive the goddess away kept him from her. He would leave a sea shell at her door every morning but when she came knocking, he would hide inside, too chicken to reveal himself.

Tormented by insecurity and a conflicting desire to be with Shui Bi, XiFeng made a pack with ChongLou the demon Lord. He sold his beautiful voice and 500 years of freedom for a normal visage.

The morning after the pack was made, Shui Bi opened door to a trial of seashells and followed them to the coast. There, she saw XiFeng for the first time. She asked him to sing for her, just her. He shook his head, he could sing no more. She didn’t press him and spent a wordless day with him. But soon, dusk set in and ChongLou came to claim his slave.

When Shui Bi woke up, XiFeng was gone. There, instead, was a letter. “500 years”, it promised, “I’ll come back for you in 500 years.”

Shui Bi waited and waited.

But 500 years past, XiFeng didn’t return. Slowly, she turned into a statue and sinked to the bottom of the ocean.

The legendary pearl is said to be with the statue, in the palace on the ocean floor. There is a time every year where a fish skeleton will raise to the surface of the ocean. Only people whose magic level is compatible with the skeleton will be able to command it and pave the way to the ocean palace.

Tonight, it surfaces…

I’m tired and still have exams to study for. So, let’s reserve the adventure for next time. 🙂

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