*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.
About 8 years later, Jun Wu Chou was still searching for his godson Si Ma Jun. Luck was not on his side, considering how he kept getting into traps that Qiu Dong Li created while hiding in his rat hole. Also, there was the whole idea with Yao San’s persistent in hiding from Jun after time and time.
Yao San was working in a wealthy family as a servant, trying to take care of Ah Jun whom was ten years old. Ah Jun grew up to be a very smart kid and was very caring toward his Uncle San. Because the many traps they fell into with using real names or relying on relatives since the very first day, Yao San had changed his surname to Liu (劉)–as also Ah Jun’s surname. So they were known as Liu San (劉三) and Liu Jun (劉俊) to the wealthy family whom they resided at and served under.
Aside from helping his Uncle San with the labor when Yao San fell ill one time, Ah Jun also continued to practice his family’s saber skills–to which Yao San managed to take the Si Ma’s Saber techniques manual with him upon his departure from the inn years ago. One day when Ah Jun was doing his cleaning duties, he spotted some suspicious activities within the household and went to snoop on them. He eavesdropped and heard about the family’s conflicts with Si Ma Xiao and Jun Wu Chou. (This family was actually the family that Si Ma Xiao went to that one night after the day duel and avenged Jun Wu Chou’s siblings’ deaths.) Ah Jun did not know of his real family background so he was just snooping with much curiosity. However, he was discovered later by the head servant. He was questioned by the head of the house (the old granny whom he thought was very nice since she had allowed Yao San some time off to rest while Ah Jun took over the house duties). Upon hearing that Ah Jun heard everything they talked about, including their plots against Jun Wu Chou, the granny immediately took it into her hands to eliminate Ah Jun to avoid the secrets from leaking out. Luckily, Ah Jun was able to fend himself off with his saber skills but he was no match for the granny. As he waited for his fate to be bestowed upon his shoulders, Jun Wu Chou arrived to save him from harm. (Since Jun had passed all the assassins that the granny stationed at various points to kill him.)
Jun Wu Chou tried to persuade the granny to end their grudge because Si Ma Xiao had already died ten years ago and how Jun himself had already let go of his hate toward the granny’s family. The granny did not hear of it but continued to battle with Jun. She was defeated by Jun and closed her eyes to accept her fate of death but Jun stopped and told her that he would not kill her. She realized how heroic Jun was and decided to let go of the whole matter also. After the granny and her grandkids left the scene, Jun then turned to Ah Jun and questioned his name to which he only introduced himself as ‘Ah Jun’ and mentioning about his ‘Uncle San’. Upon hearing those similarities in names, Jun went on to question Ah Jun about his Uncle San when he was distracted by some noises. He told Ah Jun to wait for him while he went and investigate the matter. Ah Jun was very fond of Jun at that point though he just met Jun but knew from Jun’s actions that Jun was a real hero–as he putted it. He waited patiently for Jun to come back but Yao San woke up at that time from his nightmare and went to check on Ah Jun. He heard from Ah Jun that Jun was there already and that Ah Jun was supposed to wait for Jun. Yao San–frightened upon hearing that Jun would be back–dragged Ah Jun away from the scene and said that they had to hide. Lucky for them that Qiu Dong Li was using the noise as the decoy to lure Jun away from the scene so he would be able to go after Yao San and Ah Jun. Yao San and Ah Jun hid in time and managed to escape from their fate. However, Yao San fled the house also so Jun was not able to find them again when he returned. Though Ah Jun was very admirable of Jun but he was also very obedient to his Uncle San so he had no choice but to follow Yao San once again.
Since Jun was not able to find Yao San and Ah Jun anywhere, he went back to ask the granny and asked about their identity. Through the granny’s description, he knew it was indeed Yao San, but it was too late. He once again missed his chance. (And at this point I wanted to strangle whoever wrote the script since Jun Wu Chou could not be so naive as to just leave the kid there and go check stuffs out, could he? Yes, it wasn’t safe to have Ah Jun tag along if there was danger, but he needed to rule out the possibility that someone could harm Ah Jun when Ah Jun was standing right there.)
Yao San–though still suffering through the fever–continued to drag Ah Jun forward. They traveled further and further into the woods and ended up lost. During nightfall, Yao San fainted and Ah Jun was left alone to run for help. He was finally received by a pair of mother and daughter upon hearing his outcry. (The mother’s surname was Guan – 關.) The mother knew about medicine so she was able to cure and tend to Yao San. Her daughter was actually around Ah Jun’s age–maybe just a year younger or so. While living at the house, Ah Jun and the little girl (Xiao Zhen – 小真) got along very well since she never had any friends before, considering where they resided at. Xiao Zhen later begged her mother to let Yao San and Ah Jun stay with them since they had nowhere to go anyway. Ms. Guan agreed, but Yao San wanted to leave since he did not want to bring trouble to them. After some more persuasion, Yao San finally agreed for Ah Jun to stay but he wanted to find some other place to work and stayed at since it would not draw attention to Ah Jun. Ms. Guan agreed and helped Yao San find a job in town through her good friend at an inn.
While that was going on, Jun Wu Chou came upon a group of people when he was on his way to search for Yao San and Ah Jun. They told him they would help him find his godson if he follow them. He agreed and went with them. They ended up in this secret hideout and these people were actually from a sect called ‘Tian Long’ (天龍 – Heavenly Dragon). They tested Jun with several trials–of which included martial arts and chess skills. (It was both testing his physical abilities and intelligence.) They soon realized he was very capable and presented a young kid to him. Jun knew right away that the kid was not Ah Jun. He turned to the Tian Long Sect members for an explanation and they told him that the kid was General Zhou’s nephew and that they were responsible for protecting him thus far. It was now Jun’s turn to do it since he was able to defeat them all. Jun suddenly remembered of what Si Ma Xiao told him and realized that he was able to fulfill Si Ma’s request–although it was more of their doing in trying to search for him than the other way around. Still, a promise was a promise.
After Jun accepted the others’ request of protecting the kid, the sect members revealed to him that the kid was actually a girl instead of a boy because they spread the rumors on purpose to distract the enemies. The girl’s name was Zhou Xiao Ya (周小雅). She was a bright kid although just barely ten. That night, she asked Jun if she could be his daughter because she had heard many stories of his heroic deeds. He agreed upon seeing how sincere she was. (The funniest thing when I was watching this part was I was thinking how he was searching for a little boy but now it turned out to be a little girl.) The next day, the Tian Long Sect members asked Jun to be their leader since they still have that position empty all the years after their past leader died. Jun turned it down, saying how he was not capable but the others insisted that he took it because he was able to defeat them all from the previous day’s tasks. Jun finally accepted after many more words of persuasion. However, he told them that he would only take it up temporarily and would step aside when they find someone from within the sect to replace him.
The story went back to focus on Ah Jun once again with his life at Ms. Guan’s house. Ah Jun continued to practice his saber skills and tried to help Ms. Guan as best as he could. They were living like a family under the same roof. Ah Jun was living almost like a normal kid. He treated Ms. Guan like his mother and Xiao Zhen like his little sister. Yao San visited them from time to time when he was able to ask for leave.
One day when Ah Jun was going into town to sell wine in Ms. Guan’s place since she was ill, he encountered a drunk man and saved him from being beaten to death. (He had stolen wine from some of the shop-owners therefore he was being chased down and attacked.) Ah Jun tried to shield the poor man from harm and stopped the fighting. He almost got hit but one of the shop-owners persuaded his friends to leave since he said Ah Jun was just a little kid. After they left, Ah Jun tended to the man. The drunk man was actually Ding Wu Jian. He was still a madman and heavily relied on wine to survive–or probably was still trying to drown away his sorrows and forget his past. Ah Jun finally helped Ding back to Ding’s home after giving him all of Ms. Guan’s wine. Ding actually lived in a small cave. Ah Jun pitied him greatly upon seeing the condition of Ding’s habitat. He asked Ding if Ding was just staying alone but Ding said that he was staying with Rou Rou. Ah Jun went on to ask where Rou Rou was and Ding told Ah Jun that Rou Rou went out for a bit. Afterward, Ding went to sleep after finishing the last of Ms. Guan’s wine as well.
Seeing that it was getting late, Ah Jun wanted to leave. However, he decided to wait for Rou Rou to come back before departing since Ding looked very pitiful. While waiting, Ah Jun cleaned up Ding’s cave and also managed to sneak in some saber practice using a small stick in place of saber. At sunset, Ding finally woke up and was very much sane. He saw Ah Jun practicing the saber skills and recognized that of Si Ma’s saber skills. He then asked Ah Jun of his identity and Ah Jun told him the truth that Ah Jun himself knew of. Ding told Ah Jun to attack him. At first, Ah Jun was reluctant considering how he witnessed Ding’s weak state several hours ago. However, he agreed after seeing how persistent Ding was. Ding easily pushed Ah Jun aside with several attacks. He was able to recognized of Ah Jun’s potential in martial arts but knew that Ah Jun lacked in the inner energy big time. He asked Ah Jun if Ah Jun wanted to learn from him. Ah Jun–though young–was able to recognize of Ding’s capabilities too, especially witnessing Ding’s skills of diving from his saber skills. Ah Jun agreed so Ding was somewhat happy that he was able to find a person to pass his skills to. He then told Ah Jun to come back the next day with another bottle of wine and he would teach Ah Jun more of his skills. Ah Jun told him that he wanted to wait for Rou Rou to come back before leaving. Upon hearing Rou Rou, Ding went mad again. He was able to restrain himself and told Ah Jun to come back tomorrow with the wine bottle. Ah Jun had no choice but to obey.
When Ah Jun arrived home–aka Ms. Guan’s house, it was getting quite dark already. He was questioned by Ms. Guan of possible troubles but he hid the information about running into Ding since he had promised Ding not to tell. Ms. Guan knew Ah Jun was hiding something from her but did not question him any longer. She told him to go outside and eat dinner with Xiao Zhen while she rested. So it went on several days with Ah Jun continuing to bring wine for Ding and learned skills from Ding. Though he felt guilty about taking Ms. Guan’s wine, but he had promised himself to pay her back later with his hard work. Ms. Guan finally recovered and followed Ah Jun one day when he was going to Ding’s cave. While Ding was lecturing to Ah Jun about a new skill, he sensed someone’s presence and rushed out of his cave to confront the eavesdropper. Ah Jun ran out in time to see it was Ms. Guan and told Ding to let her go. Ah Jun continued to explain that it was her wine that Ding was drinking and she was the one taking care of Ah Jun all along. Ding questioned Ah Jun about keeping promises because he thought Ah Jun had spilled the beans. However, Ms. Guan spoke up to clarify that she was following Ah Jun and that Ah Jun never let anything slipped. Ding believed her and released her from his grasp. It was then that Ding told Ms. Guan of his and Ah Jun’s agreement with martial arts in exchange for wine. Ms. Guan was glad that he was teaching Ah Jun yet was worried at the same time since Ding had his moments of madness if he was not drinking. There was also the whole idea of him drinking too much that it could lead to his doom. She went to confide with Yao San since it concerned Ah Jun after all. Yao San trusted her judgments and agreed with Ah Jun learning from Ding. When he asked Ms. Guan of Ah Jun’s master’s name, he wondered silently if it was fate leading to that turn of events. He also worried about the future when Ah Jun would one day meet Jun Wu Chou once again–though he really wanted for Ah Jun to have the capability to avenge Si Ma Xiao’s death.
Ah Jun continued to learn from Ding from then on without anyone spying on them or other underlying secrets. Learning from Ding became a routine of Ah Jun’s life. He was a smart kid so he was able to master Ding’s skills rapidly. More time passed as Ding continued to sharpen up Ah Jun’s skills with mastering the skills of Si Ma’s saber, Jun’s family’s swords, and also his own survival techniques that he once taught Jun Wu Chou.