Last update: Saturday 11 November 2006

The characters -- big, small, kind, evil and everyone in between -- who populated the world of DGSD.
With separate articles for key characters.

Note: Individuals who have no enduring significance -- such as low-level members of the various establishments featured in the story, deceased persons, etc -- are listed under their respective places of abode or organisations.

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Key Characters List



A'Bao 阿宝 - see Gan Baobao.

A'Bi 阿碧 - literally, 'Azure'. Had slim jade-like hands that looked translucent in the light that reflected off the waters of Lake Tai; also had a very sweet and clear voice that put listeners at an indescribably ease. About 16 to 17 years old. Had warmth and gentleness written all over her face, and elegance in the way she carried herself. Not as beautiful as Mu Wanqing, but did not pale in comparison to the 'perfect' beauty because of her facial features (contributing 80% of her overall beauty) and warmth/gentleness (another 12%). A maidservant who attended to her employer by playing the zither and the horizontal flute. Spoke in the Suzhou dialect (a variation of the Wu dialect), but attempted to make herself understood by using as much 'official dialect' (guan1 hua4 官话; basically, Mandarin as we know it today) as possible (Chapter 11).

Played two lines from a tune called 'Picking Mulberries' (Cai3 Sang1 Zi3 采桑子) on Cui Baiquan's abacus with much thought; sounded crisp and lively. Also turned Guo Yanzhi's soft/flexible whip into a musical instrument, playing a tune on it as if it were a lute (pi2 pa2 琵琶). Considered by Duan Yu to be innocent and affable. Turned red when A'Zhu -- disguised as Old Madame Murong -- teased her about thinking day and night about the young master of the family (i.e. Murong Fu) (Chapter 11).

Had a tiny black mole at the corner of her mouth; made her look coquettish when she smiled. Moved quickly when Jiumozhi began attacking her with the Sabre of the Glowing Flame, but did not know how else to respond to this skill that she could not see (Chapter 11).

Had a melonseed-shaped face (Chapter 11). Had some knowledge of martial arts. Murong Fu's trusted maidservant, along with A'Zhu; served Murong since she was a child (Chapter 12). Her fair skin, slender hand and clear voice gave her disguise of a middle-aged fisherwoman away at the Water Pavilion of Beautiful Listening (Chapter 13).

Auntie Yan 严妈妈 - see Places -> Highland Manor of Camellias.


Ba Tianshi 巴天石 - the Minister of Works in the Dali Government; thin and short man with dark skin. Very intelligent and capable man with an extremely high level of accomplishment in martial arts; qinggong was his best skill. Made many meritorious contributions to the reign of the Emperor Baoding. A teetotaller who did not drink a drop of wine; could eat eight large bowls of rice in a single meal. Set out to test his qinggong against that of Yun Zhonghe when they met for the first time at the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities. Considered the 'Third Brother' in the trio that consisted of himself, Hua Hegen and Fan Hua (Chapter 8).

Bamboo Punt-Pole (Zhu2 Gao1 Zi3 竹篙子) - a pole that is used to push a boat along in a river. Zhong Ling called the tall and skinny Yun Zhonghe a 'Bamboo Punt-Pole' (Chapter 9).

Benyin 本因 - the abbot of the Temple of the Celestial Dragon (Chapter 10). See Organisations -> Temple of the Celestial Dragon, The for more information on Benyin, as well as the other 'Ben' generation monks.


Cai Qingtu 蔡庆图 - see Lü Qingtu.

Chi'er 痴儿 - see Duan Yu.

Child-Crone of Mount Heaven, The (Tian1 Shan1 Tong2 Lao3 天山童姥) - the only person who could completely cure the illness wrought by the Talisman of Life and Death; would not spare Sikong Xuan if he defaulted on his assignment to take over The Boundless Sword (Chapter 1).

Crocodillian Deity of the Southern Seas, The (Nan2 Hai3 E4 Shen2 南海鳄神) - see Yue the Third.

Crown Prince Yanqing 延庆太子 - see Duan Yanqing.

Cui Baiquan 崔百泉 - true identity of treasury worker Mr Huo. Also known as the 'Golden Abacus' (Jin1 Suan4 Pan2 金算盘), and used such an instrument as a weapon. Had three ordinary abacus beads embedded in his chest 18 years earlier -- one on each nipple and the third right between them -- by a 40-year-old man whom his older brother-at-arms Ke Baisui later deduced to be Murong Bo. Attempts to remove the beads would induce bouts of unconsciousness lasting two shichen (4 hours) each; rainy days brought excruciating pain to the area around the beads. Changed his name and found shelter in Duan Zhengchun's household for fear that Murong Bo would have him killed. Drank copious amounts of alcohol to overcome the pain in his chest and the trauma in his mind. Knew how to express his gratitude; helped Duan Zhengchun to look for Zhong Ling before making the journey to Suzhou to seek redress for Ke Baisui's death (Chapter 9). Thin and short in build; looked like a pickpocket with tuberculosis. Told by Duan Yu to go and inform his father on his whereabouts, so that he could be rescued from Jiumozhi. In the 2nd edition, he was only told to flee. Unable to swim (Chapter 11).


Dao Baifeng 刀白凤 - Maiden name of the Sage of the Hollow Jade; of Baiyi 摆夷 descent (see Culture and Lifestyle -> Other). Considered her surname unusual. Used a soft/flexible whip as a weapon in her younger days. Affectionately addressed as 'Phoenix Dear' (Feng4 Huang2 Er 凤凰儿) by Duan Zhengchun. Mu Wanqing did not consider Dao Baifeng ruthless and evil because Dao did not show bitterness after Mu shot her with arrows at the Taoist Temple of the Hollow Jade and wounded her son Duan Yu at their home (Chapter 7). Hated Qin Hongmian (Chapter 8). Became angry at Duan Zhengchun for having yet another illegitimate daughter in Zhong Ling (Chapter 9).

Deng Baichuan 邓百川 - also known as 'Eldest Brother Deng' 邓大哥; reported by A'Zhu as having accompanied Murong Fu to Luoyang (Chapter 12).

Diabolical Man of Extreme Evil (Qiong2 Xiong1 Ji2 E4 穷凶极恶) - see Yun Zhonghe.

Ding Chunqiu 丁春秋 - Known to be an elderly man who apparently looked like the way a sage or deity was usually portrayed in paintings (Chapter 10).

Duan Lianyi 段廉义 - see Emperor Shangde, The.

Duan Yanqing 段延庆 - Initially thought to have died years ago; reappeared in Dali as the Stranger in Black and 'Lao Da' the leader of the Four Great Evils. Could not have been an impostor because he knew the internal energy techniques that were associated with the Single Finger of Positivity; hence could not have merely imitated some external moves that he had seen (Chapter 8).

The Crown Prince of Dali during the reign of the Emperor Shangde, Duan Lianyi. Thought to have been killed by Yang Yizhen during a coup in the Dali court. Considered by the Yellow-Browed Monk from the Temple of Flower Offerings as a formidable opponent who was neither self-important nor impatient; in addition, he remained calm regardless of the provocations received (Chapter 8).

Duan Zhengchun 段正淳 - Duan Yu's father. Did not have any concubines; practised martial arts diligently on a daily basis. Lived in Dali City, but not with his wife (Chapter 2). Had a rectangular face that looked like the Chinese character "国", an impressive bearing, big eyes and thick eyebrows; considered rather fierce-looking and unlikeable by Mu Wanqing. Bore the title 'Prince of the Southern Garrison of Dali' (Da4 Li3 Zhen4 Nan2 Wang2 大理镇南王) and served as the 'Great General of National Security' (Bao3 Guo2 Da4 Jiang1 Jun1 保国大将军). Used his internal strength to treat the injury that Gao Shengtai suffered in his Du Channel (Chapter 6).

Taught the Guest of the Secluded Valley the Palm of the Five Nets Upon the Wispy Smoke; did the former wrong and thus promised to treat Mu Wanqing well to compensate for his past mistakes. Also promised to do his best to fulfil whatever wish that Mu had. Revealed that he was Mu's biological father, the result of a relationship with Qin Hongmian years ago. Wanted to spend his life with Qin Hongmian, but could not leave his position as the Prince of the Southern Garrison. Finally agreed after some persuasion, only to be stopped by Gan Baobao who thought that he would return to his former position after a few days with Qin. Felt that he would become an amorous ghost if he died beneath Qin's Sabres of Antagonism (Chapter 7).

Had a relationship with Gan Baobao in the past as well; began to respect Gan after she revealed the malicious vow that she had taken in her decision to care for her current husband, Zhong Wanchou, with all her heart (Chapter 7).

More than forty years old in age; had a large beard (Chapter 7). Remained deeply in love with Dao Baifeng, but found it difficult to forget the goodness of Qin Hongmian; ended up in an awkward position when Dao and Qin started to fight. Had the uncanny ability to turn the feuding Dao and Qin into helpers in his effort to find Duan Yu. Considered himself an amorous man who loved women, but not to the point of being unscrupulous and despicable in his relationships with them (Chapter 8).

Named by the Emperor Baoding as his successor, in an attempt to thwart the schemes of Duan Yanqing (Chapter 8). Realised that he was the biological father of Zhong Ling after reading the latter's birth details (Chapter 9).

Duan Zhengming 段正明 - see Emperor Baoding, The.


Elder Sister Goddess (Shen2 Xian1 Jie3 Jie 神仙姐姐) - see Objects -> White Jade Statue, The.

Emperor Baoding, The (Bao3 Ding4 Huang2 Di4 保定皇帝) - literally, the 'Emperor of Definite Protection'; the posthumous title for Duan Zhengming, the older brother of Duan Zhengchun and older paternal uncle of Duan Yu. Had a long beard and a handsome dignified face. The fourteenth ruler of Dali in a line established more than 150 years earlier by Duan Siping. Considered by Mu Wanqing as 'very kind' instead of 'very fierce and frightening'; amiable in disposition (Chapter 6). Considered by the Stranger in Black as a man whose benevolence, righteousness and morality belied the heartlessness and ingratitude that motivated his actions (Chapter 7).

Did not like his ministers and subordinates to kneel before him; preferred to treat them as friends and brothers. Initially did not believe the claims of the Stranger in Black about his (the Stranger's) true identity. Did not have any children; considered Duan Yu his heir, to both the throne and the family line. Considered by the Stranger in Black as a rebel and a thief who usurped the throne of Dali. Could not have the Stranger killed despite his malicious actions and threats because of who the Stranger claimed to be. Eventually believed the Stranger's claims after an exchange of several finger-based martial arts moves (Chapter 8).

A generous, benevolent and loving monarch whom his citizens adored. Felt that the throne of Dali should be returned to Crown Prince Yanqing (the Stranger in Black) because it belonged to him in the first place. Would walk around stroking his beard with his left hand and tapping his forehead with two fingers of his right whenever he was in deep thought (Chapter 8).

Fulfilled the request of the Yellow-Browed Monk from five years earlier to abolish taxes on salt in exchange for the monk's assistance in seeking Duan Yu's release from Duan Yanqing; ordered the expenses of the Imperial Palace to be reduced as much as possible to make up for the inevitable shortfall in national income after the abolishment of the salt-tax (Chapter 8).

Become a monk to learn the Phenomenal Swords of the Six Channels, so that he could do his part in protecting the Temple of the Celestial Dragon from the schemes of Jiumozhi. Known as Benchen after he was given the tonsure by Kurong; learnt the 'Guan Chong Sword of the Ring Finger' (Chapter 10).

Emperor Shangde, The (Shang4 De2 Huang2 Di4 上德皇帝) - literally, the 'Emperor of Greater Virtue'; killed by a treacherous official named Yang Yizhen in the fifth year of his reign. Had a son, whom the court addressed as 'Crown Prince Yanqing' (Chapter 8).

Empress of Dali - Considered by Mu Wanqing to be as beautiful as she had expected (Chapter 6, unnamed).

Evil Overflowing and Deserving of Damnation (E4 Guan4 Man3 Ying2 恶贯满盈) - leader of the Four Great Evils; initially known to Mu Wanqing as the Stranger in Black (Chapter 7). See Duan Yanqing.


Fan Hua 范骅 - Minister of War in the Dali Government. Considered the 'Second Brother' in the trio that consisted of himself, Hua Hegen and Ba Tianshi (Chapter 8).

Fat Old Woman (Pang4 Po2 Po2 胖婆婆) - see Places -> Highland Manor of Camellias -> Old Woman Ping.

Ferocious-Looking Evil Fiend (Xiong1 Shen2 E4 Sha4 凶神恶煞) - see Yue the Third.

Four Great Bodyguards of Dali, The (Da4 Li3 Si4 Da4 Hu4 Wei4 大理四大护卫) - the collective name for Zhu Wanli, Gu Ducheng, Fu Sigui and Zhu Danchen (Chapter 5).

Four Great Evils, The (Si4 Da4 E4 Ren2 四大恶人) - the collective name for four extremely evil people. Went to Dali at the invitation of Zhong Wanchou, to assist the latter in battle (Chapter 2). Consisted of:

  • Evil Overflowing and Deserving of Damnation (E4 Guan4 Man3 Ying2 恶贯满盈) - 'Lao Da', the First (Chapter 4), i.e. Duan Yanqing (Chapter 8).
  • No Evil Done That Would Be Stopped At (Wu2 E4 Bu4 Zuo4 无恶不作) - Ye the Second (Chapter 4).
  • Ferocious-Looking Evil Fiend (Xiong1 Shen2 E4 Sha4 凶神恶煞) - Yue the Third (Chapter 2, 4).
  • Diabolical Man of Extreme Evil (Qiong2 Xiong1 Ji2 E4 穷凶极恶) - Yun Zhonghe, the Fourth (Chapter 4)

The positions of the individual members of the Four Great Evils on their team hierarchy were determined by their martial arts ability and indicated by the position of the word 'Evil' (E4 恶) in their Chinese nicknames (Chapter 4).

According to Yun Zhonghe, the true reason for going to Dali lay in the deep conflict that 'Lao Da' the First had with the royal family of Dali (Chapter 4). The members of the gang had not seen one another for seven years prior to the Dali gathering (Chapter 5). Considered by Duan Yu to be 'better in character' because of their open and obvious wickedness, compared to Jiumozhi and his facade of 'holy monkhood' (Chapter 11).

Fu Sigui 傅思归 - one of the 'Four Great Bodyguards' from the royal court of Dali; used a fringed staff of burnished copper as a weapon (Chapter 5).


Gan Baobao 甘宝宝 - a woman about with elegant facial features; 33 or 34 years old. Mother of Zhong Ling and wife of Zhong Wanchou. Became visibly shaken after hearing Duan Yu's surname; her mind began to wander as well during her conversation with Duan Yu. Skilled in martial arts; had not left the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities for ten years. Used a sword. Did not know how to cure anyone who was bitten by the Lightning Marten. Also known as the 'Pretty Yaksha' (Qiao4 Yao4 Cha1 俏药叉), a nickname that she considered rather unpleasant (Chapter 2) [Note: A Yaksha (Yao4 Cha1 药叉 or Ye4 Cha1 夜叉) is a malevolent spirit in Buddhism]. Younger sister-at-arms of the Guest of the Secluded Valley; younger uncle-at-arms of Mu Wanqing (Chapter 4) [Note: Gan Baobao was called the 'uncle'- instead of 'aunt'-at-arms of Mu Wanqing because the realm of pugilistic studies had traditionally been a patriarchal one].

A woman whom Duan Yu considered formidable despite her innocent demeanour, for she managed to get the Guest of the Secluded Valley and Mu Wanqing to go and kill two women without making things explicit; managed to keep her husband twirled around her little finger as well. In the 2nd edition, Gan Baobao was described as 'calculative and scheming' instead of 'formidable'; the part about her husband was not included (Chapter 4).

Had a soft spot for Duan Zhengchun; had to be warned by her older sister-at-arms Qin Hongmian not to fall for his charms. Took Duan Yu hostage and offered to release him if Duan Zhengchun would go to the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities with the decapitated head of Dao Baifeng. Threatened to commit suicide by biting her tongue if Duan Zhengchun, who had immobilised her earlier, tried to give her a kiss (Chapter 7).

Described her husband Zhong Wanchou as 'ugly, eccentric, as well as beneath Duan Zhengchun in martial arts, talent and wealth' yet she cared for Zhong with all her heart because Zhong did so too. Vowed to suffer destruction by the Heaven and the Earth, and gain no freedom from ten thousand calamities if she showed the slightest bit of unfaithfulness towards Zhong (Chapter 7). Swore an oath never to see Duan Zhengchun again (Chapter 8). Wrote with a slanted hand. Married Zhong Wanchou in the 6th lunar month during the year of Yi-Mao (乙卯年六月) and gave birth to Zhong Ling six months later (in the 12th lunar month) (Chapter 9, 3rd edition only). In the 2nd edition, the wedding was erroneously written as having taken place in the 5th lunar month during the year of Yi-Wei (乙未年五月), a whole 25 years before Zhong Ling's 2nd edition birth-year of Geng-Shen!

Only 17 years old when she became pregnant with Duan Zhengchun's daughter; found it even more difficult living with her father and stepmother who did not treat her well in the first place (Chapter 9).

Gao Shengtai 高升泰 - middle-aged man with a beard and a refined countenance (Chapter 5). Held the post of the Marquis of Shanchan (Shan4 Chan3 Hou2 善阐侯) in the Dali court. [Note: Shanchan is the old name for present-day Kunming in Yunnan]. Known as 'Uncle Gao' (Gao1 Shu4 Shu 高叔叔) to Duan Yu; went out in search of Duan after he heard that the Four Great Evils had arrived in Dali. Suffered internal injuries that prevented him from riding a horse at a high speed after Ye the Second attacked him when he was in the midst of a palm-based duel with Yue the Third; affected the Du Channel (Du1 Mai4 督脉) in his body (Chapter 6). Son of renowned Dali official Gao Zhisheng 高智升 (Chapter 8). Identified treasury worker Mr Huo as Cui Baiquan; came up with an explanation to preserve the dignity of Duan Zhengchun who knew nothing about Huo/Cui (Chapter 9).

Golden Abacus, The (Jin1 Suan4 Pan2 金算盘) - see Cui Baiquan.

Gongye Gan 公冶乾 - also known as 'Second Brother Gongye' 公冶二哥; reported by the maidservant Xiaoming as having met Mrs Wang and told her that Murong Fu was on his way to the Shaolin Temple (Chapter 12).

Granny Liang 梁阿婆 - old woman who went shopping for groceries and other necessities on behalf of the Guest of the Secluded Valley (Chapter 7).

Great Enlightened Lord of the Wheel (Da4 Lun2 Ming2 Wang2 大轮明王) - see Jiumozhi.

Great General of National Security, The (Bao3 Guo2 Da4 Jiang1 Jun1 保国大将军) - see Duan Zhengchun.

Gu Ducheng 古笃诚 - one of the 'Four Great Bodyguards' from the royal court of Dali; used a pair of short axes as weapons. Fought with Yun Zhonghe seven days prior to his (Gu's) appearance in the novel (Chapter 5).

Guest of the Secluded Valley, The (You1 Gu3 Ke4) - martial arts teacher of Mu Wanqing; told her that there were no men on earth who had a conscience, and that these men knew only to lie to women and harbour evil intentions in their hearts (Chapter 3, unnamed). Lived in the Secluded Valley (Chapter 4, identified). Apparently told Mu that the degree of a man's heartlessness corresponded directly to his wealth; the richer the man was, the more heartless he would be in casting women aside in his quest to marry one who had the appropriate social status (Chapter 6). Told Mu Wanqing to kill two people, Dao Baifeng and the woman Wang of Suzhou. Learnt the Palm of the Five Nets Upon the Wispy Smoke from Duan Zhengchun, but did not want to impart it to anyone else; often became agitated after practising the skill. Duan recognised the nickname 'Guest of the Secluded Valley' from a poem by the poet Du Fu 杜甫 that was entitled 'The Beauty' (Jia1 Ren2 佳人) (Chapter 7).

Lived with Mu Wanqing in a valley in the high mountains that was apparently known as 'The Secluded Valley'; did not leave the valley until they went in search of Dao Baifeng and the woman Wang of Suzhou. Did not want to see or meet with any men because she felt that they were all heartless and unfaithful. Obtained her groceries and other necessities through a Granny Liang who went shopping on her behalf (Chapter 7). See Qin Hongmian.

Guo Yanzhi 过彦之 - tall and well-built middle-aged man from the Pass of the Tiger's Enclosure in the Province of Henan; the eldest disciple of Ke Baisui. Also known as the 'Soul-Chasing Whip' (Zhui1 Hun2 Bian1 追魂鞭); written in Chapter 11 as the 'Soul-Chasing Hand' (Zhui1 Hun2 Shou3 追魂手). Went to the Residence of the Prince of the Southern Garrison in Dali City to look for his younger uncle-at-arms, Cui Baiquan (Chapter 9). Spoke with an accent from Zhongzhou 中州 in Henan. Told by Duan Yu to go and inform his father on his whereabouts, so that he could be rescued from Jiumozhi. In the 2nd edition, he was only told to flee. Unable to swim; concerned that A'Bi might drown Cui Baiquan and himself in Lake Tai (Chapter 11).


He who Kills Others at Sight (Jian4 Ren2 Jiu4 Sha1 见人就杀) - see Zhong Wanchou.

Heyu 和誉 - the style (zi4 字) of Duan Yu.

Hua Hegen 华赫艮 - Minister of Education in the Dali Government. Considered the 'Eldest Brother' in the trio that consisted of himself, Fan Hua and Ba Tianshi. Originally named Hua A'gen 华阿根. A poor man by birth; made a living by raiding the tombs of the rich for treasures. Could tunnel into the tombs from a distance without being detected. Found a martial arts manual in a coffin once and succeeded in mastering a set of extremely formidable external pugilistic techniques. Entered the service of the Emperor Baoding and changed his unrefined name of 阿根 (meaning 'root') to the more elegant 赫艮 (meaning 'impressive [especially in military matters] and forthright'). Very few people knew about his past, besides Fan Hua and Ba Tianshi who went through life-and-death with him. Had not raided any tombs for the past twenty years; delighted that he would have the opportunity to dig a tunnel again (Chapter 8).

Carried out the rescue of Duan Yu by way of a tunnel under the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities all the way through to the stone hut (begun in Chapter 8, completed in Chapter 9); also involved 30 of his subordinates who were skilled in martial arts (Chapter 8).

Huo, Mr 霍先生 - a worker in the treasury of Duan Yu's family; skilled in chess (Chapter 2). Had reddish eyes as well as a pair of dried and yellow whiskers on his face. Spent his days in a semi-conscious drunken daze -- i.e. asleep but not really asleep, and awake but not really awake -- and loved gambling with the servants of the Duan residence. Held up by Duan Yu as his 'teacher with the weakest martial arts skills' in front Yue the Third (Chapter 6). Remained in the Duan residence for more than a decade despite his drunkenness and gambling because he handled the funds of treasury in a very prim and proper way (Chapter 9). See Cui Baiquan.


Ke Baisui 柯百岁 - leader of the School of the Crouching Ox; thought by his eldest disciple Guo Yanzhi to have been killed by the Murong Family of Suzhou. Known for killing his enemies with a single stroke of the soft/flexible whip upon the top of the head, smashing the skull with a burst of raw and solid power through a move called 'A Thousand Cracks Upon the Soul of Heaven' (Tian1 Ling2 Qian1 Lie4 天灵千裂). Died after being struck in the exact same way, but with a level of raw power far greater that what Ke himself could have achieved (Chapter 9). Wang Yuyan agreed to the possibility that Ke was killed by Murong Fu (Chapter 12).

Kurong 枯荣 - an elder at the Temple of the Celestial Dragon (Chapter 10). See Organisations -> Temple of the Celestial Dragon, The for more information on Kurong.


'Lao Da' 老大 - the term of address used by the other three members of the Four Great Evils for their leader; meant 'The Eldest' (Chapter 4). See Duan Yanqing.

Ling'er 灵儿 - see Zhong Ling.

Little Deity of Goblins, The (Xiao3 Sha4 Shen2 小煞神) - see Sun Sanba.

Lord of the Laws of Buddhism Who Protects the Country, The (Hu4 Guo2 Fa3 Wang2 护国法王) - see Jiumozhi.

Lü Qingtu 吕庆图 - a rich tyrant in Nanyang 南阳 who was killed along with everyone in his household (including servants) by Cui Baiquan 18 years earlier (Chapter 9, 3rd edition only). In the 2nd edition, this man was named Cai Qingtu.


Ma Wude 马五德 - elderly pugilist, as well as renowned tea merchant, from Pu'er (Pu3 Er3 普洱) in southern Yunnan (滇 Dian1 is an abbreviation for the province). Rich and generous man who enjoyed entertaining guests; gave sincere welcomes to down-and-out pugilists who sought him for help. Very good in interpersonal skills but only mediocre in martial arts. Took Duan Yu, whom he knew nothing about, to the swordplay competition of The Boundless Sword after the latter wandered into his home in search of a free meal (Chapter 1). Attended the 'Shaming of the Duan Zhengchun at the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities' (see Events). Stood as a modesty shield in front of the bare-chested Duan Yu as he walked out of the stone hut at the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities in an attempt to get into the good books of the Duan Family (Chapter 9).

Man of the Brush and the Inkstone, The (Bi3 Yan4 Sheng1 笔砚生) - see Zhu Danchen.

Marquis Gao (Gao1 Jun2 Hou2 高君侯) - see Gao Shengtai.

Marquis of Shanchan (Shan4 Chan3 Hou2 善阐侯) - see Gao Shengtai.

Minister of Education Hua (Hua2 Si1 Tu2 华司徒) - see Hua Hegen.

Minister of War Fan (Fan4 Si1 Ma3 范司马) - see Fan Hua.

Minister of Works Ba (Ba1 Si1 Kong1 巴司空) - see Ba Tianshi.

Murong Bo 慕容博 - a member of the Murong Family of Suzhou. Described by the Yellow-Browed Monk as a man whose martial arts abilities had and profound (his name, Bo 博, meant 'plentiful'); apparently well-versed in all the pugilistic techniques that were unique and consummate to the various schools and families in the martial arts circle. If he wanted to have someone killed, he would use the unique skill that had helped the victim to establish a name prior to his death; conversely, he would not kill anyone whose consummate skills he could not master. Known for the philosophy 'That Their Ways Be Bestowed Upon Them Too' (Yi3 Bi3 Zhi4 Dao4 Huan2 Shi1 Bi3 Shen1 以彼之道,还施彼身) (see Other Details) (Chapter 9).

Had apparently dug a hole on the left side of the Yellow-Browed Monk's chest as a 15- or 16-year-old, using the Finger of Buddha's Warrior Attendant or a similar technique. Had apparently caused three abacus beads to be embedded in the chest of Cui Baiquan as a 40-year-old, after Cui found him reading something that Duan Yu silently identified as the Graceful Steps Upon the Waves with an unnamed woman at the home of Lü Qingtu (Chapter 9).

Had, according to Jiumozhi, compiled three hand-written books that contained the keys to the 72 Consummate Pugilistic Techniques of Shaolin (Shao4 Lin2 Qi1 Shi2 Er4 Jue2 Ji4 少林七十二绝技), the methods through which they should be learnt, as well as the ways of responding to them in battle; a task that was considered 'inconceivable' by the monks of the Temple of the Celestial Dragon (Chapter 10).

Discovered by Cui Baiquan and Guo Yanzhi to have passed away for many years. Murong Bo's wife had passed away too (Chapter 11).


No Evil Done That Would Be Stopped At (Wu2 E4 Bu4 Zuo4 无恶不作) - see Ye the Second, Madam.


One who Wails in Mourning, The (Ku1 Sang1 De4 哭丧的) - see Ye the Second, Madam.

Old Gu 老顾 - the cook at A'Zhu's Water Pavilion of Beautiful Listening; male. Beaten by the hostile visitors to the pavilion; had a bruised left eye and a swollen cheek. Prepared food in a very unhygienic manner for these visitors when they forced him to cook for them; felt that bad people should eat food that was as dirty as possible. Promised A'Zhu that he would wash his hands clean when he cooked for her (Chapter 13).

Old Queer Ding (Ding1 Lao3 Guai4 丁老怪) - practitioner of the 'Great and Magical Energy-Dissolving Skill' from the Sea of Constellations (Chapter 9). See Ding Chunqiu.

Overlord of Stallions, The (Ma3 Wang2 Shen2 马王神) - see Zhong Wanchou.


Phoenix Dear (Feng4 Huang2 Er 凤凰儿) - the pet name used by Duan Zhengchun for his wife Dao Baifeng; a play on her name, which means 'White Phoenix' (Chapter 7). See Dao Baifeng.

Pretty Yaksha, The 俏药叉 - see Gan Baobao.

Prince of the Southern Garrison of Dali, The (Da4 Li3 Zhen4 Nan2 Wang2 大理镇南王) - see Duan Zhengchun.


Qiao Feng in the North, Murong in the South (Bei3 Qiao2 Feng1 Nan2 Mu4 Rong2 北乔峰南慕容) - collective name for Qiao Feng and Murong Fu (Chapter 9, no explanation).

Qin Hongmian 秦红绵 - also known as 'The Sabre of Antagonism' (Xiu1 Luo2 Dao1 修罗刀). According to the Sage of the Hollow Jade, Mu Wanqing bore a three-tenths resemblence to Qin and used her short arrows with a technique that was similar to Qin's as well (Chapter 6). True name of the Guest of the Secluded Valley; considered by Mu Wanqing as a rather beautiful name (Chapter 7).

Wanted Duan Zhengchun to leave Dao Baifeng and his position as the Prince of the Southern Garrison, so that he could live as a family with herself and Mu Wanqing. Terribly hot-tempered woman who hated Dao Baifeng to the bone. Her love for Duan Zhengchun did not fade at all even after being separated from him for eighteen years (Chapter 7).

Sought to release Duan Yu who had been imprisoned by Duan Yanqing; thwarted by Ye the Second (Chapter 8).

Qiushui- mei 秋水妹 - deduced by Duan Yu to be the female Sword Deity whose sword-wielding silhouette was seen on the Boundless Jade Wall years ago. Thought by Duan Yu to be the mother of Elder Sister Goddess, because he could not accept that the 'pure and virginal' Goddess could have given birth (Chapter 2).


Sabre of Antagonism, The (Xiu1 Luo2 Dao1 修罗刀) - see Qin Hongmian.

Sage of the Hollow Jade, The (Yu4 Xu1 San3 Ren2 玉虚散人) - Taoist priestess with refined and beautiful facial features; skilled in martial arts. Mother of Duan Yu; known as the 'Princess Consort' (Wang2 Fei1 王妃) to the Four Great Bodyguards of Dali and Marquis Gao Shengtai. Middle-aged, yet considered by Mu Wanqing to be as beautiful as the Boddhisatva Guanyin that was depicted in paintings. Initially refused to return to Dali, but finally relented to avoid putting the lives of the Bodyguards, Gao, Mu and her son in danger (Chapter 6). Had slim arms that appeared to glisten like jade, and a blood-red mole on the back of her left hand, near the wrist (Chapter 7). See Dao Baifeng.

Shanshan 山山 - see Zuo Shanshan.

Soul-Chasing Whip, The (Zhui1 Hun2 Bian1 追魂鞭) - see Guo Yanzhi.

Stockade-Leader Yao (Yao2 Zhai4 Zhu3 姚寨主) - see Organisations -> Qin Family Stockade, The -> Yao Bodang.

Stranger in Black (Qing1 Pao2 Ke4 青袍客) - old man with a long beard that reached down to his chest and a dark lacquer-like complexion. Appeared to have intermittent breathing and heartbeats; the skin on his cheeks alternated between being warm and being cold. Initially thought to be a ghost by Mu Wanqing. Spoke without moving his lips; used his stomach to create speech in a way that was similar to ventriloquism. Ate by using his fingers to hold his lips apart so that food could enter his mouth; swallowed the food without chewing. The muscles on his face were stiff; he could not close his eyelids or show any expressions on his face. Looked like a corpse at first glance. Used a pair of long thin crutches that were made of black iron; both his legs had been disabled for a long time. Each crutch was about 7 to 8 chi (2.33 to 2.67 metres) long, enabling the man (user) to take strides that were at least twice as long as usual. Knew of a different route into the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities (Chapter 7).

Had a grudge that was as deep as the oceans with Duan Zhengming and Duan Zhengchun. Laughed with sounds that came from his throat. Hated the ruling Duans so much that he wanted to strip the corpses of Duan Yu and Mu Wanqing naked, label them as 'the nephew and niece of Duan Zhengming; the son and daughter of Duan Zhengchun who were caught in an incesteous relationship' and display them in Dali City for three days before having them pickled with salt for further display in cities of Bianliang 汴梁, Luoyang 洛阳, Lin'an 临安 and Guangzhou 广州. Refused to tell Duan Yu the reason for his deep hatred for the Duans. Considered by Duan Yu to be more evil than Ye the Second and Yue the Third. Called himself the leader of the Four Great Evils, nicknamed 'Evil Overflowing and Deserving of Damnation' (Chapter 7).

Believed that the sins of the Emperor Baoding would deepen by another level if the latter killed him. Waited for a long time before he could seek revenge against the Duans, hence unwilling to give up easily. Wanted the Emperor Baoding to abdicate and become a monk at the Temple of the Celestial Dragon before he would release Duan Yu. The throne had to be given to the Stranger as well. Knowledge of the Single Finger of Positivity made the Stranger in Black a true descendent of the Duan family (Chapter 8). See Duan Yanqing.

Sun Sanba 孙三霸 - the beloved discipled of Yue the Third; also known as the 'Little Deity of Goblins' (Xiao3 Sha4 Shen2 小煞神). Killed by Mu Wanqing; but would not have died if he had achieved a mere tenth of the pugilistic accomplishments of Yue (Chapter 4).

Sword Deities (Jian4 Xian2 剑仙) - beings whose sword-wielding silhouettes were seen on the Boundless Jade Wall years ago by the teachers of Zuo Zimu and Xin Shuangqing; consisted of a male deity and a female one. Sightings often took place on moonlit nights; sometimes there was only one of them, sometimes both were seen together. The swordplay techniques of the deities were exquisite and never seen before by the teachers of Zuo and Xin. The deities were not regular in their appearances; sometimes they were seen every night, sometimes they were not seen for one or two months. Eventually determined by Duan Yu to be a man and a woman whose silhouettes were first cast on to the true (smaller) Boundless Jade Wall by the moon shining from the south-west, before the images were reflected on to the larger wall beside the waterfall (Chapter 2). See Wuyazi and Qiushui-mei.


Three Dukes of Dali (Da4 Li3 Guo2 San1 Gong1 大理国三公) - collective name for the Minister of War Fan Hua, the Minister of Education Hua Hegen and the Minister of Works Ba Tianshi (Chapter 8).


Wan'er 婉儿 - see Mu Wanqing.

Wang, Mrs 王夫人 - a woman whom Mu Wanqing called 'evil'; sent a gang of men and women to have Mu and her martial arts teacher captured (Chapter 3). Lived in a strange place with many small rivers and canals (Chapter 4). The wife of Murong Fu's deceased maternal uncle (jiu4 tai4 tai4 舅太太); quarrelled with Murong Fu's mother when she (the mother) was still alive. Described by A'Zhu as a very temperamental woman who did not allow strange men to visit her manor (Chapter 11). Had a very authoritarian voice (Chapter 12).

Wore a light yellow satin dress and accessories that looked very similar to that of the White Jade Statue (see Objects) when Duan Yu first saw her; also looked like the statue, except that she was a mature woman under the age of 40 instead of the 18- or 19-year-old that the statue depicted. On closer look, she was not as beautiful as the statue, with only a 50-60% resemblence. Loved camellias very much, but they tended to wither within 6-12 months under her care. Did not know how to grow camellias well; also unable to differentiate one variety of camellia from another. Knew martial arts; became greatly offended when Duan Yu unwittingly mentioned that a woman who fought with others would not have much 'beauty' left to speak about (Chapter 12).

Her husband, Mr Wang, was the younger brother of Murong Fu's late mother (Chapter 12).

Quarrelled with Mrs Murong (Murong Fu's mother) because Mrs Murong felt that she (Mrs Wang) killed people on a whim, offending the government authorities and making enemies with members of the martial arts circle. Thought poorly of the Murong Family's plans to restore the Yan Kingdom with the help of outstanding men under the sun. Had apparently been accused of an extra-marital affair by Mrs Murong, according to Auntie Yan (Chapter 12).

11 murongwang

Went to extremes in her treatment of people (Chapter 12):

  • Someone who stared at her (like Duan Yu) was considered rude, and therefore, should have his legs chopped off, his eyes gouged out and his tongue cut off.
  • Someone from Yunnan whose Song-territory hometown was within 500 li (250 km) of Dali (like Tang from The Boundless Sword/Cave) was considered a native of Dali, and therefore, should be buried alive and used as fertiliser for the plants in the vicinity.
  • Someone who had an extra-marital affair (like the son of the government official from Bianliang 汴梁) was forced to kill his lawful wife and marry his mistress according to the full and complete customs of marriage that prevailed at that time. If he was unwilling to do so, he would be buried alive.
  • Someone who came from Dali and had the surname 'Duan' deserved to die more than any of the above.

Wuyazi 无崖子 - carved many lines of text from the philosoper Zhuangzi for his Qiushui- mei on the wall of the room of the White Jade Statue; deduced by Duan Yu to be the male Sword Deity whose sword-wielding silhouette was seen on the Boundless Jade Wall years ago. Thought by Duan Yu to be the father of Elder Sister Goddess instead of her husband, because he could not accept that the 'pure and virginal' Goddess could have given birth. In the 2nd edition, Wuyazi was erroneously named as Xiaoyaozi 逍遥子 (Chapter 2).

Wuye 五叶 - literally, 'Five Leaves'; abbot of the Temple of Bodily Discipline in Luliang Province, Dali. Known to be of venerable age and eminent virtue; also highly knowledgeable in many matters including those of the martial arts circle (Chapter 9).


Xin Shuangqing 辛双清 - middle-aged Taoist priestess about forty years old; 'Shuangqing' was her Taoist given name that meant 'Double Clarity'. Leader of the western faction of The Boundless Sword; younger sister-at-arms of Zuo Zimu (Chapter 1). Appointed as the new leader of The Boundless Cave by Holy Emissary Fu after The Boundless Sword became a vassal entity of the Palace of the Gifted Vulture (Chapter 5). Attended the 'Shaming of the Duan Zhengchun at the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities' (see Events) (Chapter 9).

Xuanci 玄慈 - literally, 'Profound Benevolence'; abbot of the Shaolin Temple and leader of the Shaolin School (Chapter 9).


Yan'er 嫣儿 - see Wang Yuyan.

Yang Yizhen 杨义贞 - a treacherous official that killed the Emperor Shangde in a great and sudden upheaval in the court of Dali. Killed after Duan Shouhui, the nephew of the deceased emperor, sought the assistance of the eminent monks from the Temple of the Celestial Dragon and the loyal minister Gao Shengtai to have the him brought to justice (Chapter 8).

Ye the Second, Madam 叶二娘 - known to Yue the Third as 'The One who Wails in Mourning' (Ku1 Sang1 De4 哭丧的). About forty years old, with long hair and an elegant face that was marked with three long and red scratches that stretched from the lower eyelid to the chin on each of her cheeks. Still appeared attractive instead of frightening. Had a smile that was filled with misery and grief so boundless that it could bring tears to the eyes of anyone who saw it (Chapter 4).

Also known as 'No Evil Done That Would Not Be Stopped At' (Wu2 E4 Bu4 Zuo4 无恶不作), the second member of the 'Four Great Evils'. Willing to fight Yue the Third whenever he wanted, to put him in his place as the third member of their gang. Could coax an infant with so much love and kindness that she did not seem to fit Yue's accusation as someone who 'toyed a child to death a day'. Her true actions were later described by Yue as follows: She would snatch an infant from its parents each day, and toy with it until it was half-dead and barely alive, before leaving it in a strange family so that its own parents would suffer in anxiety as they looked for it in vain. Mu Wanqing found this evil act so baseless and unreasonable that it was enough to secure Ye's position as the second in the hierarchy of the gang; hence, Yue would always remain the third. In the 2nd edition, Ye simply had the infant killed at the end of the day, an act that Mu Wanqing found disgusting and wicked enough to secure Ye's place in the hierarchy (Chapter 4).

Purportedly spent the seven years between the last and current meeting of the Four Great Evils practising internal strength techniques to the detriment of her skills in weaponry and external techniques. Would not release even the child of the emperor once the child had been taken. Took bits of gold and silver jewellery from the children that she captured and used these objects as projectiles (Chapter 5).

In the 2nd edition, Duan Yu called Ye an 'eater of children', but this was rewritten in the 3rd edition as a person who 'teased children' (Chapter 7).

Yellow-Browed Monk, The (Huang2 Mei2 He2 Shang4 黄眉和尚) - a tall and well-built but elderly monk with a face full of wrinkles; lived in the Temple of Flower Offerings outside Dali City. Had a pair of long burnt-yellow eyebrows that hung down the sides of his face. Had two middle-aged disciples who were also monks. Aged 69. Broke the last toe on his right foot so that he could make the first move against Duan Yanqing in a game of chess (see Culture and Lifestyle -> Amusements for the Cultured Person). Made a request for the abolishment of taxes on salt from the Dali Government five years earlier; fulfilled by the Emperor Baoding in exchange for assistance in securing Duan Yu's release from Duan Yanqing. Did not mind losing his life in a confrontation with Duan Yanqing, but felt that he would be doing Baoding wrong if he died without first accomplishing his end of the deal (Chapter 8). Had a level of intelligence and martial arts that was admired by the Emperor Baoding (Chapter 9).

Felt more fear thinking and talking about the Murong philosophy of 'That Their Ways be Bestowed Upon Them Too' (see Other Details) than facing Duan Yanqing in a duel. Met a 15- or 16-year-old boy surnamed Murong at the Post of the Black Leopard 青豹岗 while on his way to Shandong 45 years earlier [43 years in the 2nd edition]; the boy had enough strength in his (the boy's) execution of the Finger of Buddha's Warrior Attendant to create a cun-deep (3.33 centimetres) hole on the left side of the monk's chest where his heart was supposed to be. Survived simply because the monk's heart was located on the right side of his chest, a rarity that he called 'none in ten thousand' (Chapter 9).

The Finger of Buddha's Warrior Attendant that the Yellow-Browed Monk learnt was an original technique that came directly from the Lower Dharma Hall of Putian in Fujian 福建蒲田达摩下院. He had achieved 26-27% of the full strength of the technique at most at the point of his encounter with the teenaged boy (Chapter 9).

Left the territory of the Song Administration and moved to Dali after his chest-wound was healed; scarred physically and emotionally for life. Became a monk several years later. Subsequently admitted to being unsure of the technique that the teenager used, because it appeared to be the Finger of Buddha's Warrior Attendant but seemed to have been executed differently (Chapter 9).

Returned to the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities to piece together the broken hornfels chessboard and analyse the game that he had played with Duan Yanqing, in order to find out why he had won (Chapter 9).

Yue the Third 岳老三 - had always had an explosive temper and a rather unpredictable mental disposition (Chapter 2). Could roar until the cliffs around him seemed to rattle and shake; the roar itself was also sustained for a long time. Could leap up the sheer slopes of a cliff as if he was walking on level ground; moved more nimbly than an ape. Had a fearsome countenance. Also known as the 'Crocodillian Deity of the Southern Seas' (Nan2 Hai3 E4 Shen2 南海鳄神). Had an unusually big head, a wide rectangular mouth with many sharp white teeth, a pair of very small and round eyes that looked like beans, and a bulbous upturned nose. Medium in build, with a stocky torso and spindly legs. Had a beard that stood on end like the bristles of a steel brush, and long fingers that looked like the claws of a chicken. Wore a knee-length robe that was made of expensive brocade and a pair of trousers that was coarse and dirty (Chapter 4).

Sought Mu Wanqing because she killed his beloved disciple, Sun Sanba. Preferred to break a person's neck with a single twist than to sever his nerves and shatter his bones, because the breaking of the neck ensured that the person would be killed. Could shatter a large rock with a single strike of the palm and send bits of rock flying in all directions. Had only one rule to govern his actions, i.e. he would not kill anyone who could not retaliate in kind; all other acts, including the most evil ones, were permissible. If he broke the rule, he would become a 'son of a turtle' and a 'bastard' (Chapter 4).

Felt that Duan Yu was very similar to him in terms of a protruding skull at the back of the head; hence wanted to take him as a disciple. Would rape and kill women as he fancied. Urinated as he pleased, much to Mu Wanqing's disgust. Did not want to reveal his given name because he thought it sounded unpleasant; called his own father vulgarities because of it. Also known as the 'Ferocious-Looking Evil Fiend' (Xiong1 Shen2 E4 Sha4 凶神恶煞), the third member of the 'Four Great Evils'. Would kill even an infant that irritated him with its cries (Chapter 4).

Had a hoarse voice and a bald pate. Became the 'disciple' of Duan Yu after losing a bet that required him to defeat Duan within three moves (Chapter 6). Feared his 'Lao Da', the First Evil, the most (Chapter 8). Found the thought of being placed lower than Yun Zhonghe in the ranks of the Four Great Evils worse than having his head chopped off (Chapter 9).

Yun Zhonghe 云中鹤 - the fourth member of the 'Four Great Evils' that went by the nickname 'Diabolical Man of Extreme Evil' (Qiong2 Xiong1 Ji2 E4 穷凶极恶); his own name meant 'Crane Among the Clouds'. Highly skilled in ginggong; hence, could rely on it for escape when overwhelmed by enemies. Lusted after women as if they were his own dear life. Spoke with a voice that alternated between being high-pitched and hoarse. Considered by both Ye the Second and Yue the Third as one who 'liked to blow his own trumpet'. So tall and thin that he looked just like a bamboo pole (Chapter 4). Declared in front of all and sundry at the 'Shaming of the Duan Family at the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities' (see Events) that he wanted to kill Zhong Wanchou so that he could take possession of the latter's wife and valley (Chapter 9).

Called a 'Bamboo Punt-Pole' (Zhu2 Gao1 Zi3 竹篙子) by Zhong Ling. Afraid of being tickled in the armpits, especially around the Ji Quan acupoint where his point of weakness was. In the 2nd edition, the point of weakness was located at the Tian Quan acupoint in the same area of the body (Chapter 9).


Zhong Ling 钟灵 - girl with a round face, big eyes and a dimpled smile that made her look as pretty as a flower; had a very vivacious disposition. Sixteen years old; unafraid of playing with poisonous snakes. Strong enough to pull Duan Yu up to the crossbeam (where she was seated) with a satin belt. A native of the Yunnan region; was taught martial arts by her mother (Chapter 1). Had facial features that resembled her mother's. Born during the Chou hour (1.00 a.m. to 3.00 a.m.) on the 5th day of the 12th lunar month in the year of Yi-Mao (乙卯年十二月初五丑时). In the 2nd edition, she was born in the year of Geng-Shen (庚申年) instead (see Culture and Lifestyle -> Time Designations) (Chapter 2). Found favour with Mu Wanqing, but their friendship had been too short to be considered deep (Chapter 3). Very frightened of the Stranger in Black (Chapter 8).

Abducted by Hua Hegen after Hua dug a tunnel to Zhong Wanchou's room by mistake (Chapter 8), and swapped with Mu Wanqing at the stone hut. Slapped so hard by Zhong Wanchou for being 'shameless' (i.e. staying alone in the stone hut with Duan Yu, and being found dressed in very little clothing) that her left cheek became swollen and red. 'Rescued' from Zhong Wanchou's sabre by Yun Zhonghe who wanted her for his own. Referred to by Duan Yu as his 'wife', in an attempt to get Yue the Third to rescue her from Yun Zhonghe (Chapter 9).

Born six months after her mother Gan Baobao married Zhong Wanchou; not Zhong's biological daughter. Turned out to be the biological daughter of Duan Zhengchun instead (Chapter 9).

Initially rescued from Yun Zhonghe by Zhong Wanchou when Yun was accosted by Yue the Third; fled on her own when Yue began fighting with Zhong instead. Pursued by Yun all the way back to the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities (Chapter 9).

Zhong Wanchou 钟万仇 - Zhong Ling's father; could cure anyone who was bitten by the Lightning Marten with a specially-formulated antidote and his unique internal strength. Would not take a single step out of the valley in which he and his family lived; would also kill anyone who took a single step into the valley (Chapter 1, unnamed). Described by his wife Gan Baobao as a man with 'the most suspicious mind'. Extremely thin and tall; had large fan-like hands that were marked with knotted blue veins. Had a very long horse-like face, with his eyes positioned high up on the face and his big bulbous nose so low that it appeared squeezed together with his mouth. Was not afraid of Yue the Third, despite the latter's ferocity. Had his unsightly appearance attributed by Duan Yu to his name 'Wanchou' which meant 'Ten Thousand Incidences of Hatred and Enmity'. Could hold Duan Yu by the scruff of his neck and lift him until his feet left the ground (Chapter 2, named).

Hated Duan Zhengchun to the bone, so much so that he broke the backs and legs of two chairs by punching each chair only once, and created a hole in the wooden wall of his home with a single kick. Was not afraid of being unable to defeat Duan Zhengchun in a fight; was actually more afraid of Duan discovering the whereabouts of Gan Baobao. Called himself a 'ghastly coward' because of this (Chapter 2).

Also known as 'He who Kills Others at Sight' (Jian4 Ren2 Jiu4 Sha1 见人就杀), a man who roamed the length and breadth of the realm of the rivers and lakes before retreating into the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities ten years ago. In the 2nd edition, his nickname was 'The Overlord of Stallions' (Ma3 Wang2 Shen2 马王神) (Chapter 2).

Felt more happy than he could have imagined when he heard his wife Gan Baobao asserting her faithfulness to him (Zhong) in front of Duan Zhengchun (Chapter 7). Invited men from the realm of the rivers and lakes in Dali and the Central Region to bear witness to the incestuous relationship that he had planned for Duan Yu and Mu Wanqing; hence resulting in an opportunity to destroy the reputation of the Duan royalty (Chapter 8).

Became so infuriated by Duan Zhengchun's sarcastic remarks about taking Zhong Ling as a concubine for Duan Yu that he unsheathed his sabre to have Zhong Ling killed. Changed his mind about killing Zhong Ling after Yun Zhonghe took the girl away; set off in pursuit of Yun in order to rescue his daughter instead (Chapter 9).

Zhong Wanxin 钟万幸 - the name that Duan Yu felt should serve Zhong Wanchou better, because 'Wanxin' meant 'Ten Thousand Incidences of Good Fortune' (Chapter 2). See Zhong Wanchou.

Zhu 祝 - old man with a headful of grey hair and a grey beard; apparently not a servant of the woman Wang from Suzhou but had somehow joined the gang that was sent to capture Mu Wanqing. Became so shaken by the relevation of his identity that he dropped his sword and stumbled out of Mu's home, only to be killed by one of Old Woman Ping's short sabres (Chapter 3).

Zhu Baokun 诸保昆 - assistant and younger brother-at-arms of Sima Lin, but appeared to be a few years older in age. Had a pock-marked face; wore a white turban in addition to white robes. Joined the School of the Green City as a man who was already skilled in martial arts. Hated having his pock-marked face laughed at. Felt comforted after Wang Yuyan talked about how common it was for a man to suffer bodily injuries in the martial arts circle, and how a man should be valued first by his character, second by his abilities and third by his education and martial arts skills; a man's physical appearance had nothing to do with his value. Had prepared 12 steel needles to hit Yao Bodang with, but stopped at only one; did not want Sima Lin to know about his ability to use the Heart-Restoring Needles of the Lord of Heaven. Almost killed Wang Yuyan for coming close to unveiling his secret; but let her off with a warning instead because of her beauty and earlier kindness towards him (Chapter 13).

A scion of the well-established Zhu Family from the Guan District 灌县 in western Sichuan 川西; considered by the Taoist Dulingzi from the School of the Immortals' Abode to be a good candidate for pugilistic studies because of his bone-structure. Became Dulingzi's disciple after the former pretended to rescue his family from a band of fake pirates. Became one of the most notable pugilists of the School of the Immortals' Abode after 10 years under Dulingzi's tutelage; went on to become Dulingzi's agent in the School of the Green City as a disciple of Sima Wei. Did not pick up any Shandong dialect because Dulingzi communicated through gestures and writing (Chapter 13).

Treated his teacher and peers at the School of the Green City very well under Dulingzi's instructions; bought expensive gifts for them during festivals. Learnt all the consummate techniques of the School of the Green City in 7-8 years. Unwilling to kill Sima Wei or his family because of the former treated him as a beloved disciple; wanted to wait until Sima Wei had passed away before moving to wipe the School of the Green City out. Did not care much for Sima Lin. Told Dulingzi that he could not leave or act as instructed because he had supposedly not finished learning the Rumble of Thunder. Had been present at a gathering in Chengdu 成都 with Sima Lin and two other pugilists from the School of the Green City when Sima Wei was killed at Baidi City; had not managed to share any of the martial arts techniques that he had learnt at the School of the Green City with his teacher/peers at the School of the Immortals' Abode at that point in time (Chapter 13).

Insisted at the Water Pavilion of Beautiful Listening that he did not kill Sima Wei. Realised how fair and just Sima Wei had been in teaching him martial arts; knew exactly what Sima Lin, Jiang and Meng would use when they attacked him. Hence, also felt grateful to Sima Wei (Chapter 13).

Zhu Danchen 朱丹臣 - one of the 'Four Great Bodyguards' from the royal court of Dali; used a pair of judges' brushes as weapons. His name, 'Danchen', meant 'loyal subordinate' (Chapter 5). Known to Duan Yu as 'Fourth Elder Brother Zhu' (Zhu1 Si4 Ge1 朱四哥); also considered by Duan as his best friend. Both learned in literature and skilled in martial arts. Concerned that Duan Yu might be ruined because of a beautiful woman; pre-empted Duan's reluctance about returning home by inviting Mu Wanqing to go along. Quoted poems to remind Duan not to break his word about going home (Chapter 6). Nicknamed the 'Man of the Brush and the Inkstone' (Bi3 Yan4 Sheng1 笔砚生). Identified by Wang Yuyan as a disciple of the Taoist Temple of the Three Reasons, which in turn was an off-shoot of the Kunlun School. Skilled in the use of the Cool and Refreshing Folding Fan Technique for sealing acupoints; had better techniques in the use of the judges' brush as a weapon than the fan. Would have expressed his full admiration for Wang Yuyan if he had heard her identifying his martial arts lineage in such detail (Chapter 12).

Zhu Wanli 诸万里 - one of the 'Four Great Bodyguards' from the royal court of Dali; about 30 years old. Used an iron pole with a thin, long and flexible cable attached to one end as a weapon. Fought with Yun Zhonghe seven days prior to his (Zhu's) appearance in the novel (Chapter 5).

Zuo Shanshan 左山山 - male child about three to four years old. Had red lips and fair skin; looked very adorable. Snatched by Ye the Second from his father, Zuo Zimu. Rescued and handed back to his father by Marquis Gao (Chapter 5).

Zuo Zimu 左子穆 - middle-aged man who was more than fifty years old; had a long beard. Leader of the eastern faction of The Boundless Sword. Older brother-at-arms of Xin Shuangqing. Could use a sword with wind-like speed (Chapter 1). Took his disciples to the Boundless Jade Wall once every five days in an on-going attempt to uncover its secret (Chapter 2). Offered to find Ye the Second three or four other children to secure the release of his son, whom Ye had abducted; Ye wanted him to find eight children instead, to which he agreed. Considered by Zhu Wanli as a 'despicable man' because of this and the attempt to gouge Mu Wanqing's eyes out (Chapter 5). Attended the 'Shaming of the Duan Zhengchun at the Valley of Ten Thousand Calamities' (see Events) (Chapter 9).


Key Characters List


In Chinese: 阿朱.

Duan Yu

In Chinese: 段誉.


In Chinese: 鸠摩智.

Mu Wanqing

In Chinese: 木婉清.

Murong Fu

In Chinese: 慕容复.

Wang Yuyan

In Chinese: 王语嫣.