My attempt to bridge the four main MB wuxia stories together. It started at the end of Ep 20 of Fearless Duo when Lam Chor Yin accidentally broke the jar that contained Szeto Man Mo’s soul. The Foundation 1984, the Legend of Condor Heroes 1983, Chor Lau Heung 1984 and Fearless Duo 1984 and their characters are the properties of TVB Hong Kong. This fanfiction is dedicated to Michael Miu and Barbara Yung. Contains plentiful reincarnation viewpoints. Not everyone's cup of tea, but it works for me to mend my broken heart for what Li Sai Man did to Chun Sik Sik. Check this for the accompanying MV.
|The four Michael Miu/Barbara Yung wuxia that I string here|
On an autumn night, their reunion darkens all love scenes
Moments of their reunion surpass joy on earth
So sad to part each other
Eternal love shall withstand the time apart
The ceramic jar broke and the white butterfly escaped. Lam Chor Yin made a small, disappointed gasp as she saw the butterfly flying away out of sight. In panic, she scanned the room to find the butterfly's whereabouts to no avail. The Supreme Master, the person who opened the door and hence bumped into her and caused her to drop the jar, entered the hall to find the Young Madam Szeto looking around the room like a mad woman before finally slumping down on the floor and wallowing in sorrow. Despite his own heartbreak to learn that the butterfly that contained Szeto Man Mo's soul had escaped, Supreme Master did his best to console Chor Yin. They had to find the butterfly again soon if they want to successfully install Man Mo's soul back into his body, and he needed Chor Yin to pull herself together to speed up the search process.
The butterfly in question was actually still in the room, perched safely on a dark corner of the ceilings. He looked down with his faceted eyes to the crying girl. He knew what had happened, he knew the girl wanted to capture him as much as he wanted to return to her. However, his new insect body did not respond to his need. It neither flew away nor flew closer to the girl. It remained still there on the ceiling.
After several failed attempts to fly closer to the girl, Szeto Man Mo gave up. "Heaven is so unfair!!" He tried to scream out loud, but his butterfly body didn't have a vocal cord, hence Chor Yin couldn't hear him. He then switched to inner monologue. "Why can't we be together?? Why is it so difficult for us to just be together? What have we done wrong?! What have I done wrong? I know I treated Chor Yin badly the first few months of knowing her, but I repented and always tried to cherish her ever since. Why can't Heaven just give me the chance to be with her? To protect her? To love her? To keep my promise that I will love her forever?"
"Why is Heaven so unfair??"
"Actually, Heaven is pretty fair to everyone. You just don't know the mechanism yet."
Man Mo's butterfly eyes saw a small gecko crawled towards him. Since he couldn't say a word, he just wondered if the gecko actually talked to him.
"Yes, I did talk to you. I am talking to you."
Before Man Mo asked who the gecko was, he felt like something sucking his essence out of the butterfly. The next thing he knew was that he, or rather, his astral body, was hovering at the ceilings. Next to him, a white light formed into the astral body of an old, jovial man with long silver white beard.
"Thought I'd rather show myself as a human than a reptile. Though I can take any forms of course, including a cockroach," the jovial old man spoke with twinkles of humour in his old but clear grey eyes. "This way, we can talk better."
Man Mo blinked his astral eyes. "Who are you?" He could hear his own voice, albeit slightly echoed. He knew Chor Yin couldn't hear him though, for he looked down for a second to see if she reacted. His wife and his master still searched for his butterfly body without realising he was hovering above them in his astral body.
"It doesn't really matter who I am, Man Mo," the jovial old man spoke in riddles. "It matters more that you know who you are, who you were and who you aspire to be."
"Are you...Death?" Ignoring the old man's riddles, Man Mo tried a wild guess. "If you are, you're not as scary as I thought you'd be."
The old man chuckled. "Ah, poor Death, always being misunderstood..." He caressed his long white beard in a way only old Chinese men knew how to. "But that is beside the point, as I said. You pretty much said that Heaven prevented you from keeping your promise to love and protect Chor Yin. Am I correct?"
Baffled, Man Mo nodded. "Pretty much so."
"What if I said that you'd kept your promise enough that you actually had no more debts to Chor Yin? And that before you move on, perhaps it's good to know the reasons of your convoluted love story?"
Man Mo became more bewildered. "I didn't realise that I owed Chor Yin any debts, other than my promise to love and protect her."
"Szeto Man Mo might not promise her more than that. But Li Sai Man did, and he failed. And it was his karmic debt that kept Man Mo in this karmic circle with Chor Yin."
It didn't make sense. Man Mo never knew anyone called Li Sai Man. "What are you babbling about, old man?!"
"Ha! I like you! You don't remember this, but six centuries ago, I picked you up after your death, and you were much less cheerful than this. I actually thought I was attending my own funeral back then!"
Man Mo shook his head, confused. "Who is Li Sai Man?"
"Who was Li Sai Man, not is. Idiot. Never learned about history, have you?" For a moment, the old jovial man started to look like Supreme Master when he was annoyed. "Tang Dynasty? The second emperor? Ring a bell??"
"Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty? What do I have to do with him?!"
"Haiyaaah! You're such an idiot! Your previous reincarnation as Chor Lau Heung was much smarter than this! Where did that brain go? Oh yeah, being cremated..."
"Chor Lau Heung?? Wasn't he the King of Thieves from the Ming Dynasty?" This conversation started to sound not funny for Man Mo. Not that being dead and couldn't return to his wife was funny anyway.
"You'll get more confused if I mention your older name, Yeung Hong..." The old man suddenly looked pensive. "I think it actually helps you better if I just show you what happened in the past..."
Somehow, A Man had an inkling of what would happen next. "Will I freak out to see what you'll show me?"
The unnamed old man looked deep into Man Mo's astral eyes. "You might. But it will also make you understand things better."
Man Mo nodded. It can't get worse than being dead and hovering above his lively wife without her knowing his existence. "Fine. Just show me what you've got."
The silver bearded old man solemnly nodded as he waved his left hand. The grey hall where his human body laid shimmered and disappeared. In exchange, Man Mo found himself on a beautiful cliff above the sea. The rain had just stopped and, despite being in his astral body instead of his human body, Man Mo felt that the air must be so fresh and invigorating. He saw two figures on the cliff edge; a handsome man and a gorgeous, lovely woman. They were sitting on a rock as the rain stopped. Man Mo seemed to recognise them but he had no time to search his recollection. The woman disentangled herself from the man's embrace. She walked to the cliff and shook her umbrella. Listening to the crashing waves below, she smiled. She then looked up to see the rainbow forming at the horizon. With childlike excitement, she turned to inform her lover about the rainbow. Yet, as she called his name, she gasped. Man Mo gasped too, for the man just stabbed the woman with a knife. The man's expression was void, empty, yet painful at the same time. Confused, the woman looked into her lover's eyes as she slid down into the warmth of death. The man himself stood still with knife dripping with his lover's blood. He looked at the rainbow arching graciously at the horizon, but his eyes were empty. His soul was gone as he killed the love of his life.
"Do you know who he is?" The old man suddenly appeared next to Man Mo. Without turning to see the old man, Man Mo nodded. He heard the name uttered by the lovely lady clear enough to know. "Sai Man. Li Sai Man. The second emperor of the Tang Dynasty."
The old man nodded in sorrow. "He wasn't the emperor yet here; he was still the Second Prince. The lady was, is still, the love of his life. Chun Sik Sik. He killed her for the throne. Not as simple as it looked, this circumstances, for Sai Man was indeed a much better ruler than his brothers. But he still made a terrible decision that day, of which repercussion rippled through time until now."
Man Mo studied the face of Sik Sik for a while before returning his attention to the slumped shoulders of Li Sai Man. He then whispered, "Li Sai Man was me in my previous life. And..." He turned to face the old man, "- Chor Yin is Sik Sik reincarnated."
The old man confirmed Man Mo's conclusion. He then pointed out to an astral body just hovering above Sik Sik. "The soul that was Sik Sik is now, understandably confused and angry."
"What happened then?" Man Mo asked out of curiosity. The old man didn't say anything. Instead, he waved his hand and the scenery changed. They were now on a beautiful meadow. Man Mo saw an old man kneeling in front of a tomb. Despite it being simple, the tomb was evidently properly maintained. Man Mo recognised the man as the much older version of Li Sai Man. He looked grand but tired. His eyes were empty despite tears streamed down his face.
"I will die soon, Sik Sik," Sai Man whispered. "Will I see you up there? Will you turn me down for what I've done to you? Will they put me in hell for what I've done to you?" The old man swallowed. "I still wish I didn't have to do what I did... I'm such a wretched soul...If I have to experience a similar death with yours to pay my debt to you, I will do that in a heartbeat. Anything that will cleanse my bloody hands and wretched soul..."
Sai Man didn't realise, but an astral body actually appeared next to him that time. Sik Sik, looking sad, angry, disappointed yet also still in love. Sik Sik shook her head and shimmered away.
Man Mo looked at the old man. "He still loves her."
"Always," the old man replied sadly. "Li Sai Man built the foundation of a strong, prosperous dynasty after her death, but he was actually already died that day." He turned to face Man Mo. "I assume you now want to know what happens next?"
"Does it have anything to do with Chor Lau Heung?"
"That is later. Now, we will meet Yeung Hong and Wong Yung." The old man waved to change the scenery around him. It wasn't just one scenery that he showed Man Mo this time though; it was several scenes in medley. The setting was late Song Dynasty. Man Mo saw a young, talented but arrogant Jurchen prince who looked like Sai Man. Yeung Hong. Then Man Mo saw Yeung Hong meeting a lively, determined girl who was the carbon copy of Sik Sik in appearance, yet her polar opposite in character. This girl, Wong Yung, rekindled her love with Kwok Ching, the reincarnation of Kong Fung, Sik Sik's Tang Dynasty lover. Wong Yung also decidedly considered Yeung Hong an abomination despite his gorgeous appearance. Man Mo saw it clearly how the smart and skilled girl despised Yeung Hong. Yet, although Yeung Hong loved Muk Lim Chi his wife very much, he actually also admired Wong Yung, at least in the first place. The admiration alternated with frustration and hatred for her utter dislike of him, such that eventually, through so many conflicts, escalated in him stabbing Wong Yung, not unlike Li Sai Man stabbing Chun Sik Sik. However, Yeung Hong's attack backfired and he was killed by his own poisoned sword. As he left his body, Yeung Hong regretted his misdeeds. He also saw Wong Yung as Sik Sik reincarnated and finally understood the bitter enmity between him and the warrior lady. He sighed and wished he could have cherished his friendship with Wong Yung, just the way he should have cherished his love with Sik Sik.
Szeto Man Mo looked at the old man next to him. "This is just too depressing", he said. "Will it never get better?"
The old man smiled solemnly. "It will get better...eventually." He waved his left hand, the sceneries shimmered again and solidified into a new scene. This time, Man Mo saw another guy who looked like him, but thinner and looked sickly. It was in the mid Yuan Dynasty. Jing Hung, a sickly, asthmatic young man, was born to a clever but poor scholar and a lovely, gentle wife. Despite being poor, because their small village was close to a Buddhist monastery, Jing Hung's father was able to give him regular access to the monastery's library in exchange of some labour works. Of course the monks paid the young man to clean up their monastery, but it was just a merger pay. The young man didn't mind though, for he could read many manuscripts in the library before or after work. He learned a lot. About human greed, human needs, and human potentials to do great things. He learned about kings and emperors of the past, including that of Emperor Taizong, aka Li Sai Man. He learned about the Emperor killing his two brothers, and whether or not Li Sai Man was better than the brothers, the young man couldn't help wondering whether the throne was important enough for that action. He secretly learned about the Yuan invasions and the corrupt Song rulers who gave ways to the Mongol annexation. He learned that greed was the base of all these sufferings. Jing Hung also read poetries, painted some lovely artworks, and joined the monks in chanting the sutras. In short, he was a gentle, non-violent scholar. He was originally disappointed that his body was often sick, for he had always wanted to learn kungfu to help the poor and the oppressed. He was healthy enough to do chores, but not to learn kungfu. But later he was grateful that he was sick, because he then was able to learn so much.
Jing Hung's eagerness to learn and his affinity to non-violence attracted Master Blue Sky, the head monk. He thought that the young man would be an excellent monk one day. Yet, something in the young man made Master Blue Sky thought that Jing Hung might not be born to be a monk. He still grew fond of the young man though. At times, the head monk would ask Jing Hung to accompany him to pilgrimage around the country.
One day, as they arrived at their last stop before a pilgrimage, Master Blue Sky's decision to bring Jing Hung along turned out to be a predestined decision. They had broken their journey at a simple inn for an overnight. Jing Hung had made sure that the head monk had went into his room before he retired to bed. As he walked past the corridor towards his room, he saw a young lady walking across his corridor towards another direction. Accompanied by an older lady who seemed to be her chaperone or relative, the girl happened to look at him. He stopped on his track, mesmerised by her look. Although she was definitely beautiful, she wasn't the prettiest girl he'd ever seen, for during his few journeys with Master Blue Sky, he'd seen more beautiful girls before. Not that they paid attention to him; his pale asthmatic complexion didn't really appeal to any ladies until they talked to him and found intelligence beneath the sickly pale complexion. However, there was something with the girl with big eyes and cute rabbitteeth that captured his attention. The girl also stopped on her track when she saw him. She recovered first though. She blushed before saying good night and resuming her journey to her quarter, followed by the old lady.
Jing Hung also returned to his own room to sleep. Yet, he couldn't sleep. He never allowed himself to think of a girl before, but somehow he couldn't wipe the girl's face off his mind. Her pink, blushing cheeks danced in his mind for a good hour. He eventually fell asleep, dreaming of the girl he just met. In his dream, the girl walked under a beautiful rainbow using an umbrella. It was a strange dream, for he knew that scene to be one of his favourite artworks he painted after a meditation session. Jing Hung suddenly woke up with a start due to some commotions around him. He rose and tried to breath but he couldn't breathe properly. He realised he was experiencing an asthma attack. He wasn't panic, because the head monk had taught him some meditation techniques to overcome his asthma attacks. But why did he have it now? He had been quite healthy the last few months. Was he over exerting himself today? Then, the corner of his eyes captured some dancing lights outside his room. He rose, opened the door and realised that the inn was on fire! No wonder he had an asthmatic attack, for the corridor was full of smoke.
Despite his breathing difficulty, the first thing Jing Hung did was running towards the head monk's room. Master Blue Sky was alright, he was running towards Jing Hung instead, asking if the young man was fine. Before Jing Hung could reply, he heard cries for help at the corridor across theirs. His pale face blanched when he realised it was the ladiesquarters, and the girl he met that night had slept there. He looked at the head monk for a second before dashing off to the next corridor. The rooms along that corridor were on fire; entering that area was near-suicidal. He hesitated for a few seconds before returning to his room, grabbing the blanket inside and then running to a small pond nearby. He jumped into the pond to wet his clothes, his handkerchief and the blanket, then he ran back to the corridor. Armed with a thick, dripping wet blanket and the wet handkerchief tied around his face, he barged into the nearest room. He found three girls there, too panicked to run outside. He screamed at them, ordering them to leave, but when they didn't budge, he had to drag them outside one by one. He even covered the wet blanket on one of the girls who was too scared to even stand straight. He pushed her outside just in time, for the room just crumbled in fire.
Yet, as he thought the danger was over, another cry was heard in the room a few doors away. That room was about to be engulfed by the fire from the other rooms. Jing Hung's heart beat stopped for a second as he recognised the voice. He only heard the voice once as the owner of the voice bid him good night, but he knew it was her. He saw the old woman he saw earlier standing outside the burning room, crying for her niece. Ignoring the profuse gratitude expressed by the three girls, he ran towards the next room. He didn't have his blanket with him, so he just kicked the door open with his foot despite the heat. He saw the girl who bade him goodnight pinned down under a failing beam. Apparently, the fire ate the roof first such that it freed one of the loose beams. The falling beam just pinned the girl's left leg, but it was obvious that she couldn't free herself from underneath it. The girl looked up when she heard the door being kicked. When she saw Jing Hung, recognition sparked in her eyes. She begged for his help. The young man himself didn't know where he got the courage from, but once he saw her pinned down like that, despite the fire around, he just dashed towards her and tried to lift the beam. Together, Jing Hung and the girl tried to free her left leg from the beam: she wriggled and he lifted the beam. It wasn't a difficult task actually, despite Jing Hung's thin figure. However, despite the wet handkerchief tied around his face, the smoke in the room impeded his breathing. He gasped several times before finally freed the girl. He dragged her up and was about to push her outside when he doubled over, coughing and hyperventilating. Realising that her saviour had breathing problem, the girl stopped and tried to help him instead.
"Come on, young master, let's go!" She screamed on top of her lungs. Jing Hung gasped and tried to get up. He collapsed again, gasping and holding his lungs. "You...go ahead..." He whispered in between his difficult breathing. "Go...save yourself..." The girl shook her head vehemently and, despite her limping leg, dragged him up. Yet, smoke weakened her as well, such that she didn't have the strength to drag her saviour outside. Jing Hung saw determination in the girl's eyes and realised that she'd just stay there with him until he escaped. He wanted too, but couldn't. He simply couldn't breathe. Realising that he had to do something to make her leave, he pushed her. At that time, the ceilings crumbled down. He pushed her just in time avoid the debris from above crushing her. Alive, she staggered just over the infernal perimeter. Yet, as she turned towards her rescuer, she knew she lost him. The last thing they experienced together was a locking gaze between them as Jing Hungsmiled, being grateful that she was alive, and peacefully exhaled his last breath. His asthma attack saved him from the bodily pain he'd have to experience as burning beams crushed down his thin, sickly body.
Despite witnessing the peace on Jing Hung's face as he left his body, the girl herself became near catatonic. She would have run towards Jing Hung's crushed body had Master Blue Sky not prevented her just in time.
"He's gone, Miss! He's gone! You need to leave! Let him go!" Master Blue Sky had to practically drag the girl outside the burning room, just in time to avoid the total collapse of the roof section. Assisted by some inn servants and the girl's aunt, the head monk still had to drag the girl outside the inn, for the girl just stood outside the burning room in trance.
A few hours later, the fire was finally put out. The early morning birds saw some young ladies carefully raked through what was left of the burned ladies section to find Jing Hung's remains. Apparently, he was the only victim of the fire. It would have been four victims, said the inn manager forlornly, had the brave young man not saved the four girls. To the four girls though, Jing Hung wasn't a victim. He was their hero. Assisted by Master Blue Sky, they finally found the remains of his body. Pure dust. His body had become pure, white ashes. Even his bones were almost perfectly burned to dust. Master Blue Sky had only seen such ashes during perfectly done cremations, accompanied by strings of holy chants. As he helped the girls gather Jing Hung's ashes, Master Blue Sky realised that the young man lived to rescue the girls. Particularly the last girl who was now tearfully begging Master Blue Sky to allow her to return Jing Hung's ashes to his parents. Realising that Jing Hung might have some karmic bond with that girl (who later introduced herself as Yin Ling), Master Blue Sky escorted her and the other three girls to the young man's village. Later, as they conducted a simple ceremony in the village to honour Jing Hung, Master Blue Sky saw the young man's astral body appearing next to Yin Ling, the girl he had rescued with his life. The old monk heard him saying, "I'm so grateful I was given the chance to repay you. From now on, may Heaven be kind enough to let me be born to protect you, to cherish you. Live a good life, Sik Sik. Live a happy life." Jing Hung's astral body then turned to Master Blue Sky and smiled. He thanked him for the sutras, poems and knowledge the old monk had imparted on him and then shimmered away.
Szeto Man Mo witnessed the whole scene. He saw how Yin Ling tearfully apologised to Jing Hung's mother. The middle age woman smiled despite her pain. She knew it wasn't the girl's fault that the inn was on fire that night. She then gave her son's favourite painting to Yin Ling for keepsake. It was the painting of a beautiful lady with an umbrella, walking under a beautiful rainbow. Yin Ling studied the painting, cried again, and promised to take care of the painting. She and her aunt then returned to her own village. A few years later, Yin Ling (who Man Mo now recognised as Sik Sik and Wong Yung reincarnated) met another young man. They fell in love and got married. During the wedding ceremony Man Mo once again saw his old self's astral body appeared, smiling to the blissfully unaware newlyweds. Jing Hung’s astral body said, "Take care of her for me, Kong Fung..." and left for good. The last scenes Man Mo saw for this period was the couple often visiting Jing Hung's grave and named their son after him. Then his surroundings became silver white again.
"Do I still need to see something else?" Man Mo whispered to the jovial old man he knew was still standing next to him. The jovial old man smiled and patted his shoulder. "Yes. But don't worry. It's getting much better after this. You see, it wasn't by chance that Heaven gave Jing Hung a sickly body. He'd not been able to sit down and learn the wisdom had he been healthy. You used your time as Jing Hung to rescue Yin Ling, or the reincarnation of Sik Sik,heroically, despite not knowing her. Yin Ling herself, as she died of an old age, finally recognised her karmic connection with you. She forgave you. She was thankful for your help. She was actually also hoping that she could be reborn as your lover again for the next life. And thus, now we meet Chor Lau Heung and Song Siu Ching."
The jovial old man waved his hand again. To Man Mo's relief, it was mostly happy scenes that he saw this time. He saw himself as Chor Lau Heung, a healthy, strong, skilful warrior with a sharp wit and good heart. He saw him meeting Song Siu Ching, Yin Ling’s reincarnation. Chor Lau Heung was instantly drawn to her. Siu Ching herself, although she originally thought of him as a shallow man who thought too highly of himself, later fell head over heel for him. Their love story bloomed beautifully. He'd read her thoughts as she read his. He'd risk his life to protect her from danger. She'd laugh and smile at his wits and only wished to be with him.
Chor Lau Heung had four other women flocking around him; three adopted sisters and another girl who obviously saw him as her saviour despite his relaxed attitude to her. So Yung Yung and Li Hung Chao, two of his adopted sisters, were actually the reincarnations of two women Jing Hung saved during the fire. The third sister Sung Tim Yi was the reincarnation of Tau Chiu Yi, a woman who had an unrequited feeling to Li Sai Man, who could only love Sik Sik. Sai Man cared for Chiu Yi though, and his promise to take care of her was the cause of her being reborn as one of his adopted sisters. The last woman Wah Jan Jan was the reincarnation of the woman Jing Hung rescued with his wet blanket. However, despite the presence of these women, Song Siu Ching was the only woman Chor Lau Heung loved as a man.
The love story between Chor Lau Heung and Song Siu Ching would have been easy had it not due to their pre-born wishes. After Yin Ling died, she learned about her past as Chun Sik Sik and her star-crossed love with Li Sai Man. She thus wanted to be born as a royalty so that her lover didn't have to go through the pain of choosing between her and the throne (albeit for the good of the people). Yet, Jing Hung recognised greed as his main downfall in the past, hence he wished to be born as a man free from such attachments this time. As Chor Lau Heung, of course he didn't remember his past, that he once killed the only woman he loved for the throne (despite him proving himself to be an excellent ruler afterwards). He could only explain his aversion towards a Royal life becausehe just didn't like to be tied up to such a burdensome life. He could never live as a royalty. Hence, he was utterly dismayed as he later realised that Siu Ching was a princess. Somehow he felt that it wouldn't be possible for them to be together. Chor Lau Heung didn't realise this, but it was his subconscious memories as Li Sai Man that made him despisethe idea of a Royal life.
As their love story progressed, Siu Ching promised Lingering Fragrance that she'd give up her rank to be with him, to live a carefree life with him. Lau Heung was of course elated, for Siu Chingwas the only woman he wanted to marry. Yet, when Siu Ching eventually forgot her promise to give up her rank for him, he chose to leave her with a heart break. It took Siu Ching some thoughts to realise that she could not live without him either. When Szeto Man Mo saw her galloping towards Chor Lau Heung's Fragrant Boat and made it in time just before the boat sailed away, he was so happy for the couple. For Li Sai Man and Chun Sik Sik. For himself and Lam Chor Yin.
"Thank Heaven they were together now," Man Mo said to the celestial old man. "But why couldn't I be with Chor Yin now?"
"Because of your promise just after you died this time." The celestial old man waved his hand for the last time to reveal a very old and frail Siu Ching kneeling down in front of Chor Lau Heung's grave. The old warrior just died a few days beforehand, and his astral body once again appeared next to his lover. He regretted that he made Siu Ching cried again. He felt guilty that she'd sleep alone for the next few years without him hugging her. He felt guilty that he couldn't keep his promise to protect her forever. Although Siu Ching actually died a few days afterwards, that guilt was already printed inside Chor Lau Heung's consciousness, which did not die despite his body's demise.
"I don't get it," Szeto Man Mo said as he watched his old Chor Lau Heung astral body finally welcoming Siu Ching as she died a few days later. "What's the lesson again this time? It's not greed this time. Chor Lau Heung had almost zero greed."
The jovial old man turned to face him. "The lesson is Guilt. Not greed. You have let go of greed. Yet, despite Sik Sik already forgiving you before she was reborn as Siu Ching, you still haven't forgiven yourself." The old man placed his wrinkled hands on Man Mo's strong astral shoulders. "Szeto Man Mo, you must forgive yourself. You need to forgive Li Sai Man and Yeung Hong. You need to let them go. Only then you can return to Chor Yin as a renewed person. As someone who had made peace with his past. Thus, you can return to her to love her because you do love her. To protect her because you do cherish her. Not because of your guilt, not because you hurt her in the past."
"Is it true that Sik Sik has forgiven me?" Man Mo looked down to see Chor Yin finally slumping down on the cold floor. The spirited girl folded her knees and cried earnestly despite Supreme Master's supreme efforts to console her.
"Remember that Chor Yin died a few weeks back?" When Man Mo nodded without disconnecting his gaze at Chor Yin, the old man resumed. "When she hovered around, I showed her these scenes. I asked her if she truly has forgiven you, for only then she could make a conscious choice to be with you again. She said she had forgiven you before she became Siu Ching. Her life as Song Siu Ching made her realise the strength ofyour love for her. Chor Lau Heung's adamant refusal to join the Royal ranks had shown her that you had learned your lesson. As Siu Ching died, learning all these again, she made a conscious decision to be with you again. You were her love, you are always her love, and she has forgiven you. She couldn’t remember it now because she had been too long outside her body... but deep within her essence, she had forgiven you.”
"Chor Yin..." Man Mo still couldn't tear his gaze away from the crying Chor Yin. "I want to be with her again." He turned towards the old celestial man and grabbed the latter's arms. "Old man, please, whoever you are, help me to return to Chor Yin!"
The old man smiled and shook his head. "I can't help you, Man Mo..." Before the impatient young man protested, the old man added, "Only you can help yourself. And that is achieved by forgiving and letting go of your past." He tilted his white haired head slightly. Man Mo turnedto see Li Sai Man and Yeung Hong, basically his former selves, appearing before him. Both warriors looked in peace with themselves.
"Yeung Hong and I have forgiven ourselves, Man Mo," said Li Sai Man with his trademark streak of royalty watered down bygrace and acceptance. "But you need to forgive us too. You need to forgive and let go of your past."
"Doesn't mean that you condoned what we had done," added Yeung Hong. "Forgiveness means you acknowledge your past mistakes and, without denying the impacts of your past to yourself and others, without making any excuses, choose to learn the lessons and move beyond it. You choose to move on."
Sai Man extended his hand to the silent Man Mo. Yeung Hong followed suit. "Please forgive us."
It took Man Mo a while before he nodded and received the extended hands. He wrapped the two strong hands with his own and said, "I forgive you." He squeezed those hands. "I forgive myself."
Li Sai Man and Yeung Hong smiled. "Take care of our Chor Yin then."
Man Mo watched as the two warriors disappeared. No, not disappeared. They shimmered into silver fluid lights and entered his own astral body. Next, he felt that he was sucked into the body of the white butterfly again. When he heard the celestial old man laughed and said, "Fly towards her!", he tentatively tried to move his wings. They moved. He flew down towards the crying Chor Yin. He fluttered his excited wings in front of her as she opened her eyes and gasped. She immediately searched for a new jar; Supreme Master’s shaking hands gave her the new jar she needed. Man Mo smiled inwardly. Unlike a few minutes ago (was it only a few minutes that all those four dynasties revelation took place?), he could control his butterfly body now. He wouldn't want to fly away anyway, and now he had the ability to hover still in front of his wife. Very carefully, his beautiful wife caught his butterfly self and placed it inside the new jar. Supreme Master then did his thingamajig that enabled Man Mo to fuse back with his dead body.
It took him a while to get his bearing, but finally Szeto Man Mo was able to breath with his own human body. After a few hours of being dead, he finally inhaled his first breath and opened his eyes. He saw his lovely wife crying her happy tears just inches from him; his teacher melting in the background. He remembered the lessons he had learned over the four dynasties. He was grateful for the opportunity to cherish his life and love with Chor Yin...Sik Sik...Wong Yung...and Siu Ching once again. With the help of Supreme Master, he sat on the bed. He thanked the tearful masterfor saving his life. Then, as the tactful old master excused himself on the premise of tidying up, Szeto Man Mo turned to face Lam Chor Yin. His wife Chor Yin, currently dressed like a mad woman with two large red dots on her cheeks. Yet, Man Mo felt like he never saw her more beautiful before.
"Chor Yin...I've missed you..."
As he kissed her crying self, and as he felt her kissing him back, he thanked Heaven for the opportunity to forgive and let go.
This fanfiction is heavily-loaded with reincarnation theories (which I believe and subscribe to), hence I understand if it’s too “out of the world” to many readers. I got the idea when i realised that, if I string the Foundation, the Legend of Condor Heroes, Chor Lau Heung and Fearless Duo according to timeline, there is a logical explanation of the lovers’ dynamics. At least, logical from the reincarnation/karmic point of view. I just had to create a story to bridge Yeung Hong’s story to Chor Lau Heung’s, and that’s where Jing Hung (which I think means ‘clean emptiness’) came into the story. Hope you like my attempt to bridge the four main MB stories together.