|Chun Sik Sik (Barbara Yung) and Li Sai Man (Michael Miu), artwork by Tomoyo262|
Below is the recap of the Foundation 1984 (决战玄武门) episodes 1-5. I’d like to thank the Kaypang Gallery for providing the Cantonese ver with excellent Indonesian subtitles for this series (the DVDs can be purchased here). You can also watch the Cantonese ver from Tudou. The spellings of the main characters are in Cantonese. Spellings of other characters in Mandarin pinyin. I sourced many spellings from the Wikipedia entry of Li Shimin and its associated links. Needless to say, the post contains spoilers, so you are forewarned...
Ep 1: Li Sai Man (Li Shimin, Michael Miu) and his third brother Li Yuan Chi (Li Yuanji, played by Ken Tong) were sent to Jiang Nan by Emperor Father to observe the daily life of the commoners. They met two Hao Tian Men (Wu Tien Mun) people and were impressed by the way the HTM sect/clan conducted themselves in upholding justice. The two princes then saw two HTM folks being attacked and murdered by someone. Sai Man (who used his secret identity Wen Ding Yuan) wanted to report the incident to HTM headquarters, but his Sam Gor (third brother) Yuan Chi (who used the false name Wen Ding Jiang) said they shouldn't intervene with the wuxia world, hence the brothers went to a brothel instead. There, while Sai Man enjoying the wine, Yuan Chi tried to flirt with a woman who was courted by Meng Qing Bing (Austin Wai). Sai Man reminded YC to behave. A fight broke outside between the HTM and the murderer (played by the guy who played as Yip Shing Lan in the Chor Lau Heung 1984 series). Meng Qing Bing intervened. Meanwhile, the HTM students accused the Crow sect as the culprit behind the HTM murder. The Hau Tian Men Master Ren (portrayed by the actor who played Sit Yi Yan in CLH'84) was angry that his students attacked the Crow sect without his approval. The Master then consulted some kung fu masters, including Meng Qing Bing and General Li Qing (or Li Jing), about the murder.
Later, the HTM opened their three-yearly enrolment. Sai Man wanted to enrol to know more about the sect, but Yuan Chi counselled against it. As the two princes left the HTM headquarters, Kong Fung (Jiang Feng, Felix Wong) came to enrol himself. He was followed by Chun Sik Sik (Qin Xi Xi, Barbara Yung), his childhood sweetheart. Kong Fung told Sik Sik to return to their village, despite the girl's perseverance in following him until Jiang Nan. Kong Fung managed to make Sik Sik promise to leave him after he entered HTM. However, he apparently had to pay enrolment fee of 5 Liang. Sik Sik gave him her entire savings of 2 Liang and helped Kong Fung selling his old dagger to no avail. Later that night, Meng Qing Bing dropped several silver taels at Kong Fung, hence KF had the money to enrol. He still had some money to buy buns, but he ate the buns himself and didn't share the buns with Sik Sik who was actually hungry.
In the morning, Kong Fung arrived at the HTM where new potential students has gathered. Li Sai Man was there too. Although the test was interrupted by Li Yi's appearance (the murderer), the test went on. Sai Man managed to get into the first round, but Kong Fung failed the second round. Sai Man felt sorry for KF and tried to console him by giving him tips to improve his martial arts. With Sai Man's tips, Kong Fung had the second trial and was accepted into Hao Tian Men. KF was very happy. At the inn, Sik Sik was happy too, but she was sad that she had to leave KF (who promised to seek for her after three years). KF walked with Sik Sik until the town border and let her return to the village after giving her an umbrella. As KF returned to town, he tried helping HTM capturing Li Yi but failed because a guy called Jiu Rang Ke (played by the actor who portrayed Sit Siu Yan) intervened. Jiu wanted Li Yi for he stole Jiu's martial guidebook. Li Yi was actually Li Qing's little brother, hence things started to be complicated here.
Later, Li Sai Man visited General Li Jing and his wife (played by Lisa Lui Yau Wai, the actress who played as Li Mok Sau in the Return of Condor Heroes 1983). They talked about how the Emperor (Sai Man's father) used to trust General Li but not anymore. Sai Man also asked Gen Li to keep his Royal identity secret. General Li said that to him, now in Jiang Nan, the prince is just Yi Gor (the second Young Master). In HTM, Li Sai Man keep assisting Kong Fung improving his kung fu, such that KF saw Sai Man as his older brother (Li tai-ko/tai-gor). That night, as KF practiced his kungfu, Li Sai Man went to town to have a drink with his this brother Yuan Chi. They met Qing Bing again; YC gambled with QB and lost big time.
|The first time Sai Man met Sik Sik, ep 2 (artwork by Tomoyo262)|
Ep 2: Princess Lok Wan visited the Second Prince Li Yuan Chi in town. YC also received a report from Lok Wan's bodyguard that most Court officials had been bought into the First Prince (Li Jiancheng) camp. OMG, is this Bu Bu Jing Xin all over again?? Anyway, Lok Wan caused some havoc in HTM. She stole Kong Fu's bun (mantou) and trapped the second HTM disciple with a prostitute just to teach him a lesson (for saying that a woman couldn't watch the HTM student practicing). Her mischief caused her Yi Gor Li Sai Man being expelled from the sect. Sai Man was still cool about it although Lok Wan suggested that they asked Emperor Father to just send the Shaolin monks to beat the hell out of HTM. Li Sai Man kept reminding Lok Wan that he was in Jiang Nan to understand the life of a commoner. Later, Sai Man had to rescue his sister again from a foreign visitor who was rude to her (tho she was not without fault). He made a nice speech about a big country should have a big heart; this speech was heard by Miao Chen, a Shaolin monk who was impressed by Sai Man. Later, Monk Miao Chen met Sai Man again at General Li's mansion. The three of them had more bond as the monk was increasingly impressed with Sai Man's visions for the Tang Dynasty.
Meanwhile, Li Yi ganged up with the Crows to defeat Hao Tian Men with the book he stole from Jiu Rang Ke. Meanwhile, Kong Fung had to survive himself at HTM because Li Sai Man wasn't there anymore to protect him. To make things "worse" for him, Sik Sik came with food for KF. The pretty Sik Sik caused a fight between KF and his cohort, such that KF eventually was warned not to put love above his practice. Later in town, KF met Meng Qing Bing and thanked him again for the silver sycee he received from QB. KF thanked QB again and even fought Jiu Rang Ke who bugged QB. Jiu was impressed with KF's personality. He wanted KF to be his student, but KF refused, even though Jiu stole his money just to make KF come to find him. Jiu eventually went to HTM to find KF who still refused his offer. Jiu later saw Li Yi and chased him to the Li Mansion. Jiu met the lovely Madam Li and congratulated Li Qing for having such a pretty and astute wife.
In HTM, KF was undergoing his punishment but Sik Sik kept helping him by providing blanket etc. KF was allowed to join the internal tournament. The Crows barged in before the tournament began, but the four elders of HTM assisted HTM such that the Crows ran for dear life. The Four Elders then decided to create a new fighting style to help fortify HTM. Master Ren chose Kong Fung to accompany the Four Elders, which was actually an honour. But KF thought it was a punishment caused by Sik Sik's attention to him, hence he broke up with poor Sik Sik.
Sik Sik wandered around town and was almost abused by some random guys when Madam Li rescued her and brought her into the Li household. Sik Sik was still shocked that Kong Fung broke up with her that she didn't want to utter any words. Madam Li then let her stay in her household. Sik Sik stayed but she assigned herself to cleaning the mansion as a token of her gratitude. The next day, when Sik Sik was cleaning the floor, Li Sai Man came for a visit and almost tripped on her petite figure. Sai Man apologised but Sik Sik just ran away like a scared rabbit. Sai Man then had a discussion with Li Jing about the Four Elders, but the young prince's thoughts kept straying to the scared and timid girl he met just then. Oh my dear heart...
Meanwhile, Li Yi and the Crows (including a new student of HTM who pretended to be a disciple but actually was a spy) concocted a plan to sabotage the Four Elders. Li Yi pretended that he regretted his actions and seek forgiveness. The Elders forgave him and accepted Li Yi back into the sect.
|LSM: "Do you like the music?" (Ep 3)|
Ep 3: Li Sai Man returned to the Li Mansion to, well, find Sik Sik, in addition to chat with Li Jing. He played flute for her and tried to converse with her but she fled again. Li Jing saw how intrigued Sai Man was, so he told the Second Prince how Sik Sik came to the household but never uttered a word. Sai Man wanted to cheer up Sik Sik, so he wore a theatrical mask to cheer her up. He also tried to guess her family name and, after a torrent of wild guesses, he guessed it correctly (Chun/Qin). Yet Sik Sik stayed silent. Sai Man tried again, saying that when a girl was as sad as her, it must be a matter of broken heart. Sik Sik ran into her room and was gently prodded by Zhang Hong Chen (Madam Li).
|Sai Man trying to cheer up Sik Sik, ep 3|
|Madame Li counselling Sik Sik, ep 3|
Sik Sik finally admitted that she was broken hearted because the man she loved dumped her. Madam Li correctly advised that Sik Sik only knew one guy for eight years (i.e. Kong Fung), hence she didn't know better. Madame Li also advised the innocent girl not to let her broken heart prevent her from recognising another love. With those words sinking in her heart, Sik Sik went to the garden to find Sai Man. She found the theatrical mask, and then the man himself. Li Sai Man told her not to fret for he just wanted to say that he never failed, but this time he did fail to make her happy. He then sincerely wished that someone else would make her happy, that he'd never bug her again. Afterwards, he left her alone, despite Sik Sik actually started to want to converse with him. OMDH (oh my dear heart)...
|Sai Man found Sik Sik again in the garden... (Ep 3)|
|He hoped one day another man would make her happy|
Then we have Meng Qing Bing reminiscing on his past, that his family was murdered by the current Emperor Gaozu (Li Yuan, father of Li Sai Man), and that he needed the new fighting style created by the Four Elders. At the One Thousand Leaves Village, Li Yi finally got the chance to poison the elders when Kong Fung had to escort the naughty Lok Wan downhill. They met Li Sai Man who was worried for the elders, hence they returned to check on them. The four elders were already poisoned and died; but Li Yi only managed to steal half the book. Sai Man tried to retrieve the lost half to no avail. Kong Fung was accused of helping Li Yi and was arrested. Later, Li Jing and Jiu Rang Ke retrieved half the book and gave it to Sai Man. Li Sai Man then returned the half book to HTM with the condition that Master Ren teach KF the new style.
|Sai Man jovially gave Sik Sik the mask, Ep 3|
Later as he returned to the Li Mansion, Sai Man saw Sik Sik holding the theatrical mask. Sik Sik said that she just found it (so she spoke to him for the first time!) and was going to give the mask to Sai Man. The infatuated prince told Sik Sik to just keep the mask with her. She timidly said thank you and smiled before she left. Sai Man was happy, but his happiness was short-lived because his assistant came to tell him that his men at the Court had been demoted. Li Sai Man returned to the palace to find almost all his men gone and Emperor Father (played by the actor who played as the Emperor in CLH 1984) refusing to see him under the pretext of being sick (but merry music could be heard from his quarters). Moreover, First and Second Princes blatantly ignoring Li Sai Man, despite Sai Man's status as the Crown Prince due to his service in installing the current Emperor and dethroning the last emperor of the Sui Dynasty.
Recognising that Uncle Tau Kwok Kau was the key to securing his position, Li Sai Man tried to court Lady Tau Chiu Yi, the daughter of his influential uncle. Princess Tau (played by the actress who played as Sung Tim Yi in CLH 1984) definitely was in Sai Man's camp. Disappointed that Sai Man was getting the upper hand, the 3rs Prince Li Yuan Chi concocted a plan to kill Emperor's favourite concubine by strangling her with Sai Man's belt. Emperor was of course disappointed but Li Sai Man correctly pointed out that he would not leave his belt as evidence had he killed the concubine. Although the Emperor stopped the investigation, Sai Man had fell out of grace in front of Chiu Yi. Jesus... Only the third episode and it's already complicated like this!!
Back with HTM, Kong Fung saved Master Ren during one of his trainings, hence he became the Master's favourite. After his trainings, KF at times wondered if it was a mistake to let go Sik Sik? At that time, the girl in question was holding the mask Sai Man gave her. Madam Li caught her off guard and told the red-faced village girl that Sai Man would come to visit Li Mansion soon.
|Li Sai Man having a drink with Kong Fung, Ep 4|
Ep 4: Meng Qing Bing tried to assassinate Emperor Li Yuan but failed. He still managed to escape though. The 1st and 3rd Princes whispered nonsenses to the Emperor such that Li Sai Man was sent to Jiang Nan. However, Sai Man had to stay put at the palace until the coronation of the 1st Prince as the Crown Prince. Sai Man was disappointed because he was the one who assisted Emperor Father in becoming the current ruler. Sai Man still swallowed his disappointment and went to Jiang Nan. Pretending that he couldn't care less about the Court, he met Kong Fung in town and dragged him to drink and have fun. They met Qing Bing in the brothel and, though QB now realised that Sai Man was the 2nd Prince, QB still played it cool. He even asked if Sai Man was at the coronation and witnessed the assassination attempt, for QB wanted to win the price. Later, Sai Man talked with Li Jing about the plan to support an underdog sect to win the annual wuxia competition. If they can promote this sect, the sect would basically become LSM/LJ's organisation.
|Madame Li match-making Sik Sik and Sai Man, Ep 4|
While at the Mansion, Sai Man started to court Sik Sik as well. Madam Li supported the relationship and played the part in the couple's first outing. However, since Sai Man was always followed by the 1st Prince's assistant, Sai Man decided to water down his character and visited gambling house and brothel instead. His stalker started to think that LSM had changed into a careless person. However, the plan went south because Sik Sik did not sympathise with Sai Man being a gambler and a womaniser. Sai Man wanted nothing more than explaining to Sik Sik that he was actually not like that; that he didn't like gambling and womanising either. However, since they were followed, Sai Man had to pretend that he was a careless and inconsiderate person (reminding me of Szeto Man Mo a bit, before he realised he couldn't live without Lam Chor Yin). Sik Sik was disappointed and wanted to leave Sai Man during their first outing. She also cried because she was disappointed about Sai Man's unexpected "character". Sai Man was sad to see her cry such that he wiped her tears. When she was about to leave, Sai Man held her hand firmly and told her that, in the future, he wouldn't do anything that Sik Sik didn't like. Pacified, Sik Sik smiled.
|Sai Man trying to tell Sik Sik that he was not an inconsiderate person, Ep 4|
|He turned her and saw her tears...|
|and he was heart-broken for that|
|"Silly girl..." he said as he wiped her tears...|
|LSM: "I will no longer do things you don't like."|
|Sai Man finally pacified Sik Sik; folks thought them as husband and wife, Ep 4|
The next few days, Sai Man and Sik Sik had some dates and got to know each other better. The soundtrack for their outing was lovely; I hope I can find it at YouTube one day to post here. Edit 23 Nov'15: I actually uploaded it to
Meanwhile, Li Jing and Sai Man played their cards such that Meng Qing Bing killed the elder of the Iron Sword Clan, paving the pathway to the first disciple of the sect to be the Iron Sword. However, this person was just a puppet, for Sai Man, Li Jing and Qing Bing held his strings. QB was later sent to the wuxia competition with the sole purpose of defeating Hao Tian Men. To ensure his victory, Li Jing channelled his inner power to QB, which made Sai Man kowtowed in front of the General.
In Hau Tian Men, Kong Fung tried to practice but Lok Wan kept bugging him. Master Ren was still happy that KF had a good progress. KF then met Sai Man at the river. Sai Man was excited for he was about to meet Sik Sik there and he'd like to introduce Sik Sik to Kong Fung. KF was very surprised to see that Sik Sik was now dating Sai Man, but he still had time to make an excuse to leave before Sik Sik saw him.
|Kong Fung finally met Sik Sik with Sai Man, Ep 4|
Later, the mellow KF drank with QB. QB advises KF to just tell the girl (whoever she was) that he still cared for her. KF then went to Li Mansion to return Sik Sik's umbrella. Outside the mansion, the three lovers met, making Sik Sik and KF wrong-footed but Sai Man was still in the dark about their past.
|The worried Sai Man realised Sik Sik was actually not sick, Ep 5|
Ep 5: Sik Sik told Madam Li that she met KF and wasn't sure what to do with her heart. Sik Sik decided that she shouldn't meet Sai Man for a while; Madam Li understood. She used the pretext that Sik Sik was sick, hence the girl couldn't see Sai Man. However, Sai Man saw through the deception and asked if Sik Sik had another love. Sik Sik didn't say anything, which kind of answered his question. Sai Man left Sik Sik in anger. Madam Li asked Sik Sik where her heart actually belonged to, but even Sik Sik had no answer. Later, Sik Sik went to see KF but when she saw him, she ran away in the rain. She hid and was bitten by a snake. KF rescued her, and remembered her promise that she'd wait for him. KF then returned the unconscious Sik Sik to the Li.
Later, Madam Li lied to Sik Sik that the poison would kill her the day after. Sik Sik said that she wanted to see Sai Man before she died, making Madam Li and herself realised that Sik Sik was no longer confused with her heart. Sik Sik later embroidered a handkerchief for Sai Man. As she was about to give him the dragon-embossed handkerchief, Lok Wan blurted out that the claws should be five, instead of 3 (not sure when Lok Wan was introduced to Sik Sik, though, they seemed to have known each other for quite some time, and that Lok Wan knew Sik Sik was dating her 2nd brother). Sik Sik later realised that she'd been dating the 2nd Prince. She happily greeted the still sulking Sai Man. However, instead of being happy that she gave him a handkerchief, Sai Man accused her of breaking up with her old love just after she learned that he (Sai Man) was the 2nd Prince. Offended, Sik Sik left Sai Man and the Li Mansion. Even though Sai Man did seek for her later, it was too late for Sik Sik already left.
|Sai Man accusing Sik Sik for choosing him because he was a prince, Ep 5|
Meanwhile, 3rd Prince sniffed Li Sai Man's plan with the wuxia world. The 3rd Prince then concocted a plan to rule Hau Tian Men by eradicating the first disciple, yet to no avail due to KF interfering. At HTM, as he progresses with his practice, KF got closer with Lok Wan. At QB camp, he was attacked by 3rd Prince's goons, but he survived the attack. Li Yuanji later offered QB the chance to join his camp. QB eventually agreed to betray Sai Man because Yuanji had indeed a larger supporter (i.e. The first Prince).
Lok Wan and Kong Fung investigated Ma Guang (the Crow spy who pretended to be a HTM student) and eventually got KF's name cleared. To celebrate, Lok Wan cooked for KF. Being a good brother, Sai Man asked what KF thought of Lok Wan. KF asked him not to talk about it and asked about Miss Chun instead. Sai Man became pensive and told KF that Sik Sik had left to a place he knew not where. Sai Man also asked KF not to prod about her again. The girl in question actually was contemplating to be a nun, but the two nuns she sought audience with advised her to do some meditation first before cutting her hair, for she clearly still had worldly attachments and businesses to finish first.
Li Sai Man's men came from the capital and reported Li Yuanji's moves to Sai Man. QB came and told Sai Man that victory would be theirs soon.