What if Chor Lau Heung was indeed hit with an extremely poisoned dart/batarang during his fight with the Bat Prince when the latter held Siu Ching hostage in exchange of Ting Fung? Extension of the temple scene at Ep 36. The New Adventures of Chor Lau Heung 1984 is the property of TVB Hong Kong, no copyright infringement intended. Click this to read this fan-fiction at my new Jianghu blog.
|Song Siu Ching (Barbara Yung) dressing Chor Lau Heung's (Michael Miu) wound, Ep 36|
"This is important, please do as I told you," said Chor Lau Heung after whispering his instructions to Song Siu Ching. The girl only needed a few seconds to decide that his suggestions were worth following. She nodded, collected her Jade Sword and implored that Chor tai-gor took care of himself; what with his new injury from the golden batarang. When he smiled and nodded, she smiled back and made to leave. She was just reaching the doorway of the abandoned temple when she heard a gasp behind her. Alarmed, she swiftly turned to see her Chor tai-gor holding his injured arm. His face was pale blue, as if he was asphyxiated. He dropped on his knees, choking his own neck and gasped for air before falling on the floor with a thud.
"Chor tai-gor!!!" Her heart stopped for a second, Siu Ching ran towards Lingering Fragrance who already laid face down on the floor, unconscious. As she feared, the golden batarang that the Bat Prince hit Lau Heung with was indeed poisonous. She turned him to lay supine to reduce breathing pressure on his chest before checking his pulses on both wrists. Very weak. She checked his neck carotid; the pulse was barely there. She looked at his lips, blue as if frozen. Cursing herself for not knowing enough medical knowledge in this type of situation, she shook Lau Heung's body several times, desperate to wake him up. He didn't budge. Tears welled on her eyes for a few seconds before streaming down her pale face. She wrecked her brain to think of what to do, any improvisation at all that wouldn't back-fire or worsen Chor Lau Heung's condition. She thought of the time he gave her chest pressure and mouth-to-mouth breathing to revive her when she drowned in the Bat Lake. She wasn't sure if chest pressure would be good, given that he was poisoned. Mouth-to-mouth breathing might work, though. She thus opened his mouth, pinched his nose and blew air into his lungs with her mouth. She was rather stunned to realise that his lips were cold, ice cold. Yet, she kept blowing into his mouth once more. She saw his chest expanding slightly, which meant that his airways weren't blocked at all. She blew air into his mouth several times, but since he didn't regain consciousness, she then stopped.
What should she do next?
Then she realised it: his cold lips. Did he faint because of hypothermia? As if to confirm her suspicion, Chor Lau Heung suddenly shivered heavily. Startled, she held his palms; they were ice cold. She rubbed her palms against his to heat them up. After a while, he still shivered, but it wasn't quite as intense as before.
Then she touched his forehead just to check. She frowned because Chor Lau Heung's forehead was hot. Even if he was getting warmer because of her hand-rubbing (she doubted that), she didn't think his body temperature would increase this much. She touched his injured arm and gasped when she realised his arm was also hot. So the poison made him feeling cold, yet parts of his body were heating up. Then it hit her: his lips weren't blue anymore. It was bright red. She touched his lips, and yes, it was hot as well. In fact, his whole body seemed to be burning from the inside now. How come the poison worked like this?
In despair, she watched Lingering Fragrance writhing in pain. He wasn't conscious yet, but he was tossing and turning in utter pain. She touched his forehead again; now it was burning hot. Her heart sank. Even without a good medical knowledge, she knew that with such a searing hot internal temperature like that, his internal organs wouldn't last long. What to do??
Siu Ching suddenly remembered a story that Ying Man Lei told her when he was bitten by a poisonous snake during one of his expeditions in the jungle. He had actually made new wounds on the poisoned area to discard the poisonous blood. It worked for him at that time, though his friends had to lend their chi to make him throw up the remaining poison. Would this strategy help?
Although the memory of her backfired heart pill was still fresh in mind, she decided to take the risk again. She had no pills to feed Chor tai-gor this time, which might be better actually. What she'd be doing was only applying a slice of fresh wound. Deciding that she had to lower his temperature both from inside and outside, she de-robed him until only his white inner garments remained. Then she also took his zhongyi (the upper part of his inner garments) and just left him with his trousers. She ran outside to check if there was water around. Lucky for her, the temple has a shallow well. She filled a tattered wooden bucket with water and soaked his clothes and her handkerchief. Returning inside, she then covered Lingering Fragrance's body with his wet outer robe and put her handkerchief over his forehead. Then she used her Jade Sword to slice his wound. Hot blood oozing from the new wound. She then massaged the muscles around the wound to facilitate more blood flow. She used his zhongyi to soak the blood, while kept pushing the hot blood to flow out of the wound, hoping that the poison hadn't dispersed too much into his system. She knew that Chor Lau Heung lose more blood because of this, but she thought it would be better than having his internal organs fried inside his own body. To compensate for the loss of liquid, she also force-fed him with water by holding his body to a half-sitting position to avoid him choking on water. She did struggle to hold his muscular frame, particularly because he kept tossing and turning due to the high fever.
Siu Ching worked round the clock for more than an hour. Every now and then she ran outside to soak the dried outer robe (Lau Heung's searing hot temperature made the clothes drying up quickly). When she realised that she needed more fabric to lower his temperature, she also took off and wet her outer robe, such that she was running around with only her inner garments. She also found a strong clay container, which she filled with water and placed on the floor by her patient.
After countless rounds of cold compress, facilitated drinks, and constant facilitated flow of the blood, Siu Ching started to feel Lau Heung's blood cooling down. Chor Lau Heung's temperature was still high, but it wasn't searing hot anymore. It now felt like a slightly higher-than-normal fever. Adding to her relief, rain started falling outside. It wasn't a pounding rain, but it certainly made the air cooler. Then she heard him sighing, as if a burden was released. She saw his fingers twitching slightly. She tentatively reached for his palms, cupping them with hers.
"Chor tai-gor...please wake up..."
She decided to change his cold compress. As she placed the cool damp handkerchief on his forehead, he slowly opened his eyes.
"Water..." was his request she barely could hear. Yet, she knew what he needed. She helped him half-sit and helped him drink more water.
"Siu Ching..." After swallowing more water, Lau Heung tried to whisper. "Thank you..."
Fresh tears of relief rolling on the girl's cheeks as she shushed him, asking him not to speak. Yet, ignoring her advice, he asked what happened with a hoarse voice. Wiping out her tears, she told him what happened. He nodded weakly and whispered his gratitude once more for her help. Then he asked her to help him sitting. She did. He then checked his wound. It was swollen, but it wasn't burning red anymore. But he still felt the fever inside as his body fought the poison.
"I have to push the poison out of my body," Lau Heung concluded in a whisper. "Please help me sit still..."
Then, he tried navigating his inner chi to push the poison out of his system. Yet, he doubled over coughing and gasping, not unlike when he had his chin unbalanced after the fight with Chuen Yung Yat Dim Hung. Panic stricken, Siu Ching jumped in front of Lau Heung's body to hold him.
"Chor tai-gor, what happened?!" Fear clutched her heart mercilessly as she remembered his near heart failure after her treating him with a wrong medicine. "Something wrong with your heart?"
Wearily and barely perceptible, he shook his head. "I just...don't have..." He gasped for air before resuming with difficulty, "...enough energy...to push the poison out..."
Siu Ching blinked several times before she properly digested what it meant. "You mean...you need someone to help you with his/her chi?" She hesitated before resuming, "I don't...know...I don't want my energy to backfire at you..."
Tiredly, he shook his head again. "That's not the risk, Siu Ching..." His words were mere whispers, such that Siu Ching had to lean so close to hear him. "Your chi won't backfire at me....but the heat from the poison might backfire at you..." As Siu Ching struggled to understand the ramifications, he further explained, "You might not be able to take it. It can burn your internal organs..."
Her face bleached as she realised what it meant. Her chi wasn't as strong as Chor Lau Heung's. If he almost couldn't take it, it's most likely that she would definitely not be able to take it. However...
"But I've driven out some of the poison," she argued as she looked alternatingly between Chor Lau Heung and the blood-soaked zhongyi on the floor. "Someone needs to help you, Chor tai-gor, and I'm the only person here who can help you. In fact, I'm the only companion you have here now, full stop." She looked at him in the eye. "Please let me help you."
Lingering Fragrance was too weak to make a counter argument, for that very moment, he felt his internal temperature rising again. When Siu Ching received his barely perceptible consent, she immediately positioned herself behind him. Sitting in a half-lotus position, she channeled her inner chi from her core until she felt it accumulating in her chest area and flowing into her hands. Then she touched Lau Heung's back with her palms. She felt her chi flowing from her palms into his body.
"Find a turbulence around my core...and try to guide it upwards..." Lau Heung whispered his guidance. She felt that she found that said turbulence. She focused her chi around the turbulence, trying to lift it upwards. Then it hit her.
The intense, searing heat. Without her doing the cold compress and pressing the wound to ooze out the poisoned blood, the dormant poison in Chor Lau Heung's body rebelled again. When it found a foreign energy coming into Lau Heung's body, it attached itself to that energy, attacking its source.
Siu Ching gasped. She realised the heat she felt was coming from the poison. She felt the intense searing heat attacking her body, her internal organs. She screamed, yet she managed to glue her palms on Lau Heung's back.
"Siu Ching!" Lingering Fragrance snapped his eyes open when he realised what happened. "Let it go!" He wanted to shake her hands off to cut off the connection, but it had to come from her. She was the one who should "shut the door close", not him, for if she didn't do that, a portion of the poison would remain with her. Realising that her hands were still glued on his back, he yelled again. "Stop it! Let it go!"
"NO!" was her desperate reply. "No way I let you do this alone!" Then she screamed again because of another heat attack from the poison.
"Siu Ching..." Chor Lau Heung's eyes became misty. "Please let go..."
"No, Chor tai-gor..." She gasped and hyperventilated. "It won't do...Just tell me how to defeat this energy..." She screamed again due to the painful heat, but she kept her palms attached to Lau Heung's back. Realising that it worried him if she screamed, she bit her lips to prevent her scream escaping.
Yet, he knew she almost couldn't take it. The tears that welled on his eyes now rolled down his cheeks as he implored, "Siu Ching... Please let go...it's not worth it..."
Siu Ching shook her head. "No way it's not worth it! You know what you mean to me...Just... Tell me how to handle this..."
"Just... tell me..." Another heat wave hit her. She doubled over, writhing in pain, but she kept gluing her palms.
Realising he wouldn't win against that stubborn girl, he relented. Guiding her was the only way out of this. Hence, calming himself and despite his wrenching heart to learn she was in pain because of him, he nodded and whispered his guidance. "Expand, Siu Ching. Expand your chi and envelope that energy with yours. Focus on something vibrant, something that gives you more energy. Focus, and then push back."
Something vibrant... Something that lifted her spirit...
At first, she couldn't relate to anything vibrant due to the searing hot pain. Tears spilled from her eyes, yet they immediately evaporated due to her rising body temperature. The poison was attacking her mercilessly.
The poison... Which Chor Lau Heung got because he tried to protect her. Because he loved her, despite never saying those words. Because the possibility of her being hurt also hurt him so.
Then it dawned on her, amidst the pain, that she had to focus on their love to get that vibrant feeling, vibrant energy. She inhaled and recalled the first moment she met him, trying to take back the wine glass he'd taken from her. She remembered the moment he saw her again at the Sword Villa, how his eyes were lit when he saw her entering the hall. She remembered the countless times he saved her. Their chess games. His smiles. His laughters. His intelligence. The way he always lifted her spirit whenever he was around.
She remembered her love for him. And, realising again how many times he put his life at risk for her, she realised again that he did love her too. She focused on this beautiful love between them.
And her heart felt warm. Not an intense heat of poison. A warmth of love. A glowing warmth of love. She breathed in and out, expanding this love such that it overflowed out of her heart, spilling over in a golden light of loving warmth. Then, without even guiding it, this golden light flowed through her entire body, entering the boundaries between her palms and Chor Lau Heung's back, an area where the poisonous energy, or turbulence as Chor tai-gor called it, was trying to barge in. The golden light expanded, enveloping this turbulence, pushing it back into Chor's system. Then, once the turbulence was back inside Chor's chi channels, she sent it upwards towards his mouth. She sensed another warm glowing chi in the channel. Chor's internal chi was fighting back, side by side with her chi. She breathed in, expanding her golden light again, and gave the final push to eject the turbulence out of his body.
And that was it. He coughed violently, expelling black intense blood from his mouth. They made it. The poison was out of his body. He breathed in and out for a few times, feeling fresh chi circulating in his body, before slowly turning to see Siu Ching drenched in sweat and blood. She just coughed blood as well, ejecting her own blood poisoned during the heat attack. She smiled at him and slumped down into his embrace.
"Siu Ching...Siu Ching, you silly girl...why did you do that..." Chor Lau Heung embraced her weak body, rocking her as if rocking a baby while caressing her hair possessively. "Silly girl...you almost died for me..."
"You almost died for me too..." She whispered back with eyes half-closed. "Chor tai-gor, I'm so tired... Is that okay if I sleep now?"
Despite his own fatigue, Lingering Fragrance intently studied the girl's complexion. She still looked pale, but some colours started to return to her face. He checked her pulse and concluded, to the best of his knowledge, that her pulse was returning to normal. Her body temperature was also returning to normal. He then nodded. He gave her water to drink before de-robing her blood-stained zhongyi gently and covering her with her black outer robe (which was already dry by now). He then laid her on a cleaner corner of the temple. She fell asleep immediately. He then drank plenty of water, wiped the blood on his own body, and wore his outer robe before laying next to Siu Ching to give her warmth. He knew that an immediate visit to Dr Cheong was still an imperative course of action, but he'd wait until he had restored his energy in the morning. He'd take Siu Ching with him and reassessed the situation in Yunnan once the girl's health was also restored. For now, the fact that he could lay down next to her, both safe and sound, was a heart-warming fact that carried him to sleep.
When the worried Kaypang leader Mr Siu found them just after sunrise, he saw the two lovebirds sleeping in each other's embrace. Although upon a close inspection he realised the likelihood of them having saved each other from a peril, he nevertheless felt like he had intruded on something very personal between them. Smiling, Mr Siu covered Chor Lau Heung and Song Siu Ching with a blanket and went outside to make breakfast for them later. The Bats and the Duke might be difficult to defeat, but this couple always managed to make him believe that hope did exist and that love was worth fighting for.
I don't know what the bat-shaped weapon the Bat Prince threw at CLH was called, but since it was bat-shaped, I just called it a "batarang", obviously a nod to the Batman legend. I assume continuity between the "Escape from the Bat Palace" and this story, hence the CPR reference. Also, to read more about the taxonomy of the Han Chinese clothing, Google "Hanfu" or "Hanfu rennaisance". It's an interesting subject. I'm all for it, as long as it goes deeper into the spiritual meaning and also still respects the traditions and cultures of other ethnic minorities in China.