You damned monster! How dare you hang the beautiful princess up high in front of the town gate! I, the brave knight, shall slay you with my mighty sword!
I unsheathe my precious sword from my waist, ready to thrust it right into the creature. Unexpectedly, it spins round and skillfully dodges my attack. A wave of its hand, and I am blown several yards away by the violent gust and blast it created. Of course a strong fellow like me won’t be scared! Yet, I pity the princess, fragile and weak, wavering in the gale. With her heart in her mouth, her shrieks of terror echo in the air.
I’m coming to save you, Princess!
I spare no effort to pick myself up and dash towards the beast once more. It changes its form into billows of smoke. Layer upon layer, it encircles around me, blocking my vision. I still vaguely remember my master’s words. The pinnacle of martial arts doesn’t lie within one’s form but one’s psyche. He reminded me not to be impetuous, such that my mind wouldn’t be disturbed by the illusions of my enemies. I immediately carry out his teaching, close my eyes, and listen closely to its every move.
Swish—Swoosh—It swoops past me. In the blink of an eye, it swerves from my left to my right, then bolts to my left again…
Swish— Swoosh— Swish— Swoosh—
Its cluttering gait is now all over the place. I can no longer capture its position.
Get a taste of your own medicine. My mind and swordsmanship have become one. Abandoning the standard attacking pattern I learnt from the swordsmanship manual, my body moves accordingly to my thoughts. Charge after charge, I attack the enemy. Every move I make encompasses the fury within me—dense as water, nimble as wind.
The huffing sound never stops. Some of it comes from the monster, while some of it comes from me…
Amongst the chaos, a horrid presence quietly creeps upon us. With a wave of its hand, it snatches away my trusty sword and uses it to strike my right arm.
‘The feather duster is used for dusting, not for playing!’
Panic instantly surges through me. I have no choice but to end our dual abruptly.
‘You took away your sister’s doll! Her eyes are almost swollen from crying!’
I undo the knots tied round the princess and return her to her owner as I am told.
‘Where is Dad’s Chinese martial arts novel ?’
I reluctantly take out the manual from my chest.
‘You little rascal! Last time, you pretended to be a zombie after you saw a zombie movie. Then this time, you pretend to be the “blind swordsman”after seeing the movie about him. What if next time you go and see the movies about gangsters? Huh? What are you going to do about it?’
As the saying goes, ‘all men are brothers’, do not speak ill of my brethren, I beg of you!
‘If you already know there’s a sandstorm coming today, don’t open the windows! Look at all the dust and sand that’s gotten into the house!’
Indeed. The terrifying presence is skilled enough to chase the spirit away with just a flick of the wrist.
‘Go study right now!’
Feeling dejected, I let out a sigh. I gaze out of the window and bid goodbye to my frenemy—the wind phantom unwillingly. After all the trouble, I leave and accept my fate as a humble scholar.