The Confessions of a Singaporean Gangster in London – Chapter 26 “倚天屠龙记 –The Story of Heavenly Sword & Dragon Sabre.”
Posted by inspir3d on February 19, 2005
This story takes place about three thousand years ago in ancient China – the exact time doesn’t really matter – all you as the reader need to know is, if it wasn’t important to the main story, I wouldn’t even have bothered with this fairy tale.So make sure you read it carefully, because if you miss one small part, the next chapter would hardly make any sense.
The gangster world in China town like the rest of the Tongs* in the major cities of the world are all bound together by a common heritage.
Like the Freemasons or the Mickey Mouse club, each has their respective paraphernalia to make sense of who they are in relation to the world.
To the Mason, the divider and set square inversed represents the power of knowledge, to the Mickey Mouse member, the ubiquitous Mickey head gear represents all the magic associated with this rodent. And to a China town gangster, common cutlery such as chopsticks, teacups, plates and even a teapot forms all their elements of the so called universe, they all call the order of heaven and earth – for example, if a lower ranking gangster seeks an audience before an elder, he always assumes the seat to the East – similarly, even something as innocent as a the spout of the tea pot in the Tong world can be transformed into a diplomatic tool to obliquely insult or reprimand by simply directing it at a person on a table – an inverted tea cup is a declaration of the end of all hostilities – a cup filled to the brim and presented with two hands with the head lowered is a sign of redemption – a pair of chopstick placed in a crossed fashion, symbolizes a truce – a bowl broken filled with rice means one of us have to leave town – a chair placed side ways speaks of a fallen one whose spirit is greatly missed – a fish turned over before one side is finished implies abundance and it is needless to continue fighting – a teacup filled three times with one hand placed on the heart speaks of friendship – a meal that goes untouched says the reverse – and of course when only one chopstick is broken on the table and placed like a joss in a bowl of rice – it simply means the accounts have to be squared and someone on the table will have to die and neither heaven or earth can interfere with this divine order.
(Tongs: Cantonese reference to triads)
Do you now understand how complicated and mind boggling the Tong world is to a simple Singaporean boy who was once born and raised in Siglap!
Now you understand what I mean. Allow me Yu Huan Guan who was once a Singaporean gangster in London to share with you the yarn of:
Many centuries ago there lived in the ancient capital of Xian a certain swordsman by the name of Yi Tian – Heavenly Sword who roamed the lands in search of a worthy opponent who he found in a warrior of equal standing by the name of Long Ji – Dragon Sabre.
Every year, these two warriors met beneath the falls to cross swords – and every year the result was the same, a draw, since both were equally skillful and strong in their swordsmanship – on one occasion during a duel, Heavenly sword pierced through Dragon Sabre’s armor wounding him, but just before he fell, Dragon Sabre’s sword pierced Heavenly Sword squarely breaching his armor – only for these two great warriors to fall from the sky (those days all swordsmen could fly as they had mastered the art of Hein Sian Lou (anti – gravity) – into a very deep pit.
In this pit, the fighting continued – by sun down after no victor or loser emerged – both men found themselves completely exhausted and tired, only to lean against each other –till a sort of conversation emerged – when Heavenly Sword mentioned how he had some magical tea leaves – if only he had some fire wood to make a brew – they would be able to leap out of this miserable pit and continue fighting to finish what they started off – to which Dragon sabre replied, he had arrows, which could be broken to make a fire – so after both warriors agreed that one should supply the tea leaves and the other the fire – both of these men prepared and drank the brew – hardly had they finished – they leapt out of the pit – realizing, their desire to fight each other had altogether diminished completely –because they were after all magical tea leafs one of them said, brewed with the pure flame of broken arrows.
So these two swordsmen made peace and embraced – and from time to time – when one came across the other in the mountains – both of them who were once bitter enemies, would sit together drinking tea made from the pure fire of broken arrows.
From time to time during those moments when they sat together recounting the past, each would say to other,
“Let neither heaven or earth come between what we have agreed upon.”
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