"Yu Chang Jian" - The Fish Intestine Sword
In Chapter 4 of Gu Long's "Sentimental Swordsman, Ruthless Sword", a man dressed in green offered Li Xun Huan a short but shiny blade called the "Fish Intestine Sword" and declared that it had no equal in the world. Why was this so?
The story of the "Fish Intestine Sword" took place during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) in the State of Wu.
At that time, the State of Wu was ruled by a despotic king, King Liao, whom many believed would drive the country to ruin. Among these detractors was a nobleman named Gong Ziguang, who despised the king and his tyranny.
One day, Gong's henchman, Wu Zixu, approached him with an idea: "I know of a highly-skilled warrior, whom we can hire to kill the king. The warrior's name is Zhuan Zhu." Agreeing, Gong soon met with Zhuan and told him that he (the warrior) had to find out the king's likes and dislikes in order to be successful in the assassination.
By and by, Zhuan learnt that the king liked grilled fish, especially the one from Lake Tai. After three months of painstaking practice, he perfected the dish. It was time to put the final part of the assassination plan into motion.
Gong gave Zhuan a short and slender but extremely sharp sword and said, "Hide this blade in the gut of the fish until you have a chance to slay the king."
Subsequently, Gong invited King Liao of Wu to a banquet. When Zhuan, who was disguised as a chef, presented the grilled fish to the king, he was stopped by soldiers who searched his body for hidden weapons. He passed the security check, of course, and stepped towards his target.
Suddenly, he pulled the slender sword out of the fish and stabbed the king to death. Unfortunately, he was unable to escape from the king's soldiers, who overpowered him by sheer numbers and had him slaughtered.
As time went by, the slender sword that was used to kill the despotic King Liao of Wu came to be known as the "Fish Intestine Sword", or the Yu Chang Jian, because it was hidden in the gut of a fish.
On another front, the lethal move that Zhuan Zhu used in the assassination was passed down and eventually found its way into the swordplay techniques of the E-mei School as a stance called "Zhuan Zhu Slays Liao".
Reference: "Zhonghua Wushu de Gushi", translated by Laurel Teo.