Friday, September 19, 2008

Zhong Ling

Zhong Ling is a fictional character from the Jinyong ''wuxia'' novel Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils . She is the illegitimate sixteen-year old daughter of Duan Zhengchun and Gan Baobao . Her surname is Zhong because at first, it was assumed by everyone that she was the daughter of Zhong Wanchou , Gan Baobao's husband.

Zhong Ling is depicted as a naive, innocent and lovable young woman, and is probably the most innocent of Duan Zhenchun's various illegitimate daughters. However, she demonstrates quite a shrewd understanding of ''jianghu'', and is probably less naive than Duan Yu. She owns an animal called 闪电貂, or ''Lightning Diao'', which can move as fast as lighting and has a poisonous bite. This is attributed to the fact that Zhong Ling feeds her pet a large quantity of poisonous snakes.

Zhong Ling is the first of many female character Duan Yu encounters in his travels. She was promised a place as one of Duan Yu's concubine by Duan Zhengchun when he found Duan Yu carrying a scantily-clad Zhong Ling in his arms . Later, when Zhong Ling found out that Duan Yu was actually her supposed half-brother, she was quite sad but soon got over it as her "love" for Duan Yu was not very deep, unlike that of her half-sister, Mu Wanqing. Throughout the novel, Zhong Ling is quite confused about her own feelings towards Duan Yu.


Xuzhu is a fictional character in ''Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils'', a wuxia novel written by Jinyong.

Xu Zhu is a monk. By accident, he solved the "Unsolvable Game" and inherited the power of the Xiaoyao Sect Grandmaster in order to defeat Ding Chunqiu , a traitor and a murderer. His powers were further augmented when he came into contact with the Tian Shan Tong Lao.

He became sworn brothers with Duan Yu and Qiao Feng.

Later, he was found to be the captured son of Ye Er Niang and the abbot of the Shaolin temple, who was also the ''Leading Brother'' ,having attacked Qiao Feng's biological parents and also killed his mother. Xu Zhu, for learning the martial arts of another sect and violating the monk's protocol multiple times, was expelled from the Shaolin Temple, much to his sadness. He did, however, found romance with the Princess of Xi Xia.

Wang Yuyan

Wang Yuyan is a fictional character in Jinyong's novel, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils. Her mother is Madam Wang, her father is Duan Zhengchun and she is the cousin of Murong Fu, who is the descendant of a dethroned emperor and overthrown dynasty.

Wang Yuyan is an ethereal-looking beauty of about sixteen years old. She is truly sweet and innocent, and detests the violence associated with martial arts. However, she is infatuated with her cousin, Murong Fu, who is an avid martial arts learner, so in order to please him, she reads and memorises the martial arts manuals hidden in her house.

Wang Yuyan first meets Duan Yu when he blunders into the garden of her house accidentally. Duan Yu is captivated by her beauty, so similar to that of the jade statue he found in a cave. Duan Yu is subsequently captured and made to be a servant by Madam Wang. Duan Yu then learns of Wang Yuyan's infatuation for her cousin, who is currently heading to fight Beggars' Sect because of misunderstandings. On witnessing her worry for Murong Fu, Duan Yu took it upon himself to solve her problems. He escapes with Wang Yuyan and becomes more and more mesmerized by her beauty.

Her past was largely unknown until the end, where it was revealed that she was the granddaughter of the Tian Shan Tong Lao's younger apprentice sister and Wu Ya Zi, the Xiaoyao Sect Grandmaster.

In the end, Murong Fu becomes so obsessed with regaining his empire that he decides to give up Wang Yuyan to try to woo the Princess of Xi Xia. Wang Yuyan then realises that only Duan Yu, who is willing to sacrifice his life for her, will treasure her and give her happiness. The book ends with her and Duan Yu together, with Murong Fu becoming mad in the end.

In the third edition of the book, Wang Yuyan returns to Murong Fu, and Duan Yu weds Mu Nanqing.

Qiao Feng

Qiao Feng is a fictional character in ''Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils'', a wuxia novel written by Jinyong.

Known as the "Northern Qiao Feng", Qiao Feng is one of the two ''Wulin'' legendary heroes and a powerful martial artist; born of descent but was taken in by the Han swordsmen who killed his parents. At first, he used his adopted parents' surname but later reverted to his real one. Discovering Xiao is his original family name, he later assumes the name "Xiao Feng" .

Initially the leader of the Beggars' Sect, he was exiled after a controversy had revealed his true ethnic identity. At varying times in the story he meets Duan Yu and Xu Zhu, with whom he became sworn brothers. After being wrongly accused of killing his foster parents, his master , and several other characters, he left the Song territory and by coincidence becomes the friend and sworn brother of the Khitan emperor.

The murders were actually committed by Qiao Feng's father Xiao Yuanshan , whom everyone thought to be deceased by committing suicide after his wife or Qiao Feng's mother, was killed. He resided within the Shaolin temple for 30 years, learning every art he could find. Qiao Feng eventually stopped a war between Song and Liao, but committed suicide when he believe he had betrayed his own country by forcing the Khitan emperor to withdraw troops and not attack the Song.

The novel mentions that Qiao Feng is a master of the , the trademark martial art of the heroes of Legend of the Condor Heroes, Guo Jing and his master, Hong Qigong.

Mu Wanqing

Mu Wanqing is a fictional character in Jinyong's ''wuxia'' novel ''Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils''. She is the daughter and disciple of Qin Hongmian, who has the alias of "You Gu Ke". She is eighteen years old when the story starts, the eldest of Duan Zhengchun's illegitimate daughters. Dressed in black, she always wears a veil over her face at the command of her mother to deter lascivious eyes. She is to either marry or kill the first male who sets eyes on her face, which turns out to be Duan Yu.

Mu Wanqing is a wild beauty who grew up in the wilderness and has no knowledge of affairs of the world. She has a weird, fiery temper and an immense dislike for males which was instilled in her by her mother. She knows a small amount of martial arts , and is especially skilled in the shooting of darts. She has a thoroughbred horse, called Black Rose, which caused her first meeting with her once lover and then supposed elder half-brother, Duan Yu. Duan Yu had agreed to marry her until they found out that they were siblings, which broke her heart.

In the end, it is revealed that Duan Yu was not the son of Duan Zhengchun, but the son of Duan Yanqing. The story ends with Duan Yu being able to marry Wang Yuyan, who is also the daughter of Duan Zhengchun, and raises the possibility of Duan Yu marrying two of his other supposed half-sisters, Mu Wanqing and Zhong Ling, of whom he was fond of. In the 2003 version of Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils it is hinted that Duan Yu did marry Zhong Ling and Mu Wanqing as Mu Wanqing's hairstyle changes at the end .

By the Third Edition, Duan Yu realizes Mu Wanqing loved him the most so made her his Imperial Consort.

Duan Zhengchun

Duan Zhengchun was the king of the Kingdom of Dali between 1096 and 1108. He was the younger brother of king Duan Zhengming, and the first ruling king of the Later Dali Kingdom.

In 1094, the puppet king Duan Zhengming was forced by Gao Shengtai to abdicate and become a monk. Gao Shengtai then crowned himself. However, after two years of reign, Gao Shengtai died in 1096 and made a will to return the throne to the Duan family. Duan Zhengchun was crowned the King in 1096.

Duan Zhengchun abdicated and became a monk in 1108. He was succeeded by his son Duan Yu.

Duan Zhengchun in fiction

Duan Zhengchun is a character in the Jin Yong wuxia novel ''Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils''. He is the younger brother of the Emperor of , Duan Zhengming, and the next in throne since his brother is going to retirement becoming a monk. He is famed as a notorious womanizer and has five known illegitimate daughters, Zhong Ling, Mu Wanqing, A Zi, A Zhu, and Wang Yuyan. Ironically, his only legitimate child, Duan Yu, turns out not fathered by him because his wife, furious at his promiscuous extramarital love life, cheated on him with his later nemesis Duan Yanqing .

Duan Yu

Duan Yu was the king of the Kingdom of Dali between 1108 and 1147. He was the longest ruling King of the Dali Kingdom.

Following a family tradition, Duan Heyu's father Duan Zhengchun abdicated and became a monk in 1108. Duan Heyu succeeded him as the King of Dali and renamed himself Duan Zhengyan.

Duan Zhengyan abdicated and became a monk in 1147. He was succeeded by his son Duan Zhengxing.

Duan Yu in fiction

Duan Yu is a fictional character in ''Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils'', a wuxia novel by Jinyong. He is one of three main characters in the novel, along with Qiao Feng and . The trio's individual yet intertwining stories constituted the fabric of the novel.

Duan Yu is a prince of , the son of Duan Zhengchun , the heir to the Dali throne, and Dao Baifeng . Duan Yu was a pacifist by nature. Despite the long tradition of practicing martial arts in his family, notably the coveted Yi Yang Finger technique, he refused to learn it due to his influence by Buddhism and his disdain for fighting and killing. When his father tried to force him, he resorted to running away from the royal courts and began his solo adventures.

It was rather ironic that, given this context, Duan Yu would acquire three supreme martial art skills, almost completely by accident:
* ''Ling Bo Wei Bu'' , a powerful qinggong, the skill of rapid movement and manoeuvres, enables him to escape from enemies.
* ''Bei Ming Shen Gong'' , which enables him to absorb an opponent's inner energy, or Qi, rendering them powerless. Duan Yu however did not learn this skill in its entirety, thus unable to execute it at will.
* ''Liu Mai Shen Jian'' , which allows him to materialize his energy into the shape of a sword blade, channel it through six veins in his hand, and discharge it through his fingers with devastating effect. Once again, Duan Dynasty does not have full mastery over the skill until the advanced stages of the story. This is arguably the most powerful martial art in all of Jinyong's novels.
* Duan Yu is also immune to poison: by complete accident, he swallowed the ''Zhu Ha'' , which instead of killing him, provided him with poison-repelling powers.

His father, Duan Zhengchun, was a notorious libertine who had affairs with several women who - much to Duan Yu's dismay - were revealed to be the birth mothers of several of his own love interests. Despite encountering numerous potentials, Duan Yu has only one true object of affection: Wang Yuyan , the cousin of Murong Fu , who became an enemy of Duan Yu's. Wang was initially infatuated with Murong and found Duan irritating; however Duan's perseverance won her over. However he was devastated to find that Wang was also fathered by Duan Zhengchun.

Yet, in an ironic turn of events, it was revealed in the end that his true father is Duan Yanqing , a deposed crown prince of Dali who sought to kill Duan Zhengchun. Duan Yu reluctantly accepted the truth.

Duan Yu became sworn brothers with and Qiao Feng, a relationship that is crucial to the novel. Duan Yu became the emperor of Dali at the end of the novel.