The Legend and the Hero

I never thought I watch it. So serious here. I actually followed the production of it somewhat when it first filmed. Because of how butchered it would turn out to be, I didn’t want to touch it. Yet I couldn’t believe years later, I was sitting around watching this with my mom. How was it? Well, it was a toss between half and half for the rest of us novel followers. But I think the positive side–the whole fighting and magic effects–won over all those sides, nonsense dramas. For those who do not know the actual legends, it’s going to be a REAL lost. But that’s how it is so there’s nothing new. As for me, I was sitting there rolling my eyes a lot at first, but soon, I totally didn’t want to care about some side made-up dramas anymore so I just paid extra attention during the battle parts. That helped A LOT with getting through 2 full series of it. Yeah, funny that they thought it needed a second season. One should be enough if they cut out all the extra, side dramas and focused on developing the essential parts of the novel. But it was all right, I wanted to watch it for some people. Not too much of a loss for me. But what totally ruined it for me was the lame ending.


  • Liu De Kai as Jiang Zi Ya. A good choice for Jiang Zi Ya actually. Having been a fan of him since the old days, I felt it was a suitable character for him. Yet thinking about the character Jiang Zi Ya, in general, made me want to laugh. Because he seemed so helpless at times, always needing rescuing from others. But according to the novel, some events did happen so I was fine with that. Yet I still have to say for a leader, he was quite weak (like said above) and didn’t keep me interested enough. I just know that he was essential to the story and that was it. And way down the road, he had gotten more and more passive (thank you scriptwriters–NOT) to the fact that he had to go and clean up the mess Ji Fa created more than focus on the battles.
  • Zhou Jie and Victor Huang as King Zhou Wu aka Ji Fa. I want to say that I’ve never been a fan of Zhou Jie, but actually watching this, he really won me over. It was just that I never got into him since the HZGG days AND possibly because of the weird Qing era hairstyle that I didn’t feel like paying attention to him. Though I know he could act. But this one, he was really charming and convincing. He made the character seemed powerful and intelligent. Not to mention there was a mixture of gentleness and playfulness added in at times as well. The script had helped also. Yet changing it to Victor for part 2 was just painful. I don’t know. Victor looked more like he belonged to the villain side more than this side. Then I suddenly pondered if Zhou Jie made a very good choice of not returning. Since though it was supposed to be a change of cast AND not character, they made it so that the character was SO unreasonable at times, especially how he was yelling at his siblings and being stubborn about love. It was like he was taking on his oldest brother’s personality or something (like from the first part how Bo Yi Kao kept caring about love, etc). Whoever the writers were made his character really inconsistent with part 1. In fact, it had gone from bad to worse, and worse to worser. Yeah, I know “worser” is not a word, but I’m exaggerating to make a point here. Seriously? Disobeying Jiang to go search for the jade pieces? Honestly? Yeah, yeah, people might be saying it was really touching how he cared for his girl, etc. BUT he was so into the whole thing that he disregarded the soldiers and what others were fighting hard for, etc. It seemed like he was not any better than the King of Shang Zhou. OR possibly he’s even worse. So why are all those people fighting for anyhow? Part 1, they exaggerated and made Ji Fa ending up with Bi Can’s daughter, but it wasn’t so unbearable since they only squeezed it in between some conflicts. Yet this one? Totally going from bad to worse. And it was not like I want to hate Victor either, but the script really wanted to kill him for it. At least it did for me. (It’s not like I’m against romance either since my blog is filled with dramas involving romances/soaps/whatever you call it. But this story wasn’t supposed to revolve around romance, honestly!)
  • Priscelia Chan as Zi Xian. Funny that they made her Bi Can’s daughter and even let her become Jiang Zi Ya’s disciple. However, I actually liked this addition to the story and felt that was kind of a riot at times. At least she was the strong character and NOT nagging type. She was quite brave and was able to contribute to the plot majorly without being too ‘in your face’ at times. Which was good for me.
  • Bonnie Xian as teenager Ne Zha. So cute and funny. I read some comments about the confusion of Ne Zha being a guy or a girl and I have to laugh. The majority of past adaptations cast a girl to portray the role. (NOT sure if it was due to some superstition or something, I don’t know. It just has been that way.) Ne Zha was just plain cool in here. Having Ne Zha appeared made the plot tenfold more interesting, aside from Huang Fei Hu already ruling the show in here.
    • Wu Lei as childhood Ne Zha. The kid was soooo cute! It didn’t matter if the role was supposed to be so mischievous but he was one cute kid. Good child actor also since he managed to exude the mischievousness to the max. Then the later parts with crying and all.
  • Han Dong as Er Lang Shen Yang Jian. OMG, so handsome and so cool in here! He didn’t appear until like more than the last half of the first part. But made up for all the made-up lame plots/episode fillers previously. It was like he saved the show for me in a lot of ways. Glad they made his character cool like it was supposed to be in the novel and didn’t reduce him to some nonsense character. Then he got to do lots of cool stuff too in part 2. I was so glad they didn’t replace the cast OR I would’ve stopped watching, same with how it was with Ne Zha. Then somehow, they just ended up pushing his character aside along the way, which I don’t mind as much as long as there were other characters involved and they kept the plot going at the right pace with some of the battles. And yeah, having him being in charge of the food supplies was important since no one could snatch it from him, etc. However, what I do mind was that they not only dragged the plot out to the point of unbearable with some of the love stuff (that didn’t even exist in the novel) but also dragged him in as part of the stupid conspiracy while the other gods and goddesses and other deities were helping with that one big battle. (What the hell? I couldn’t blame him since the plot was that way BUT the plot was just pathetic trying to use his skills like that–and at such a hectic time where more pressing matters needed attention toward.)
  • Tay Ping Hui and Ix Shen as Huang Fei Hu. Okay, I like Ix Shen. He looked very cool in Angel Lover. But this one? Tay Ping Hui hands down. He looked so powerful as the general. I got used to Ix later on but it still didn’t feel right. I think it was because of Tay Ping Hui as Huang Fei Hu that I stuck around that long or hung on long enough for some other key characters to appear. And indeed, Ix’s portrayal did grow on me later since they managed to keep his character consistent even with the change in cast. The most powerful scene must be his death. YET I felt it was for a really stupid reason. It was because he wanted to see the stupid ghost.
  • Zhang Bo Jun as Li Jing. When he first appeared, I felt like he didn’t suit the role at all. It might have to do with the fact that Huang Fei Hu was so tall and overpowering others around him. Yet I later got used to him. This story made him less cruel (as it appeared at first) regarding destroying Ne Zha’s shrine, etc. They tried to cut back on that, which was funny how their priorities were. I didn’t want to drag the whole matter out anyway, but it seemed I rather see it focus on relevant matters than other side stuff.
  • Wang Hai Di and Ding Ting as Jin Zha. Ne Zha’s oldest brother. Didn’t notice much since there were too many characters but good enough for me.
  • Steve Ma and Ray Lui as King Shang Zhou. Seriously? I have to say that Ray Lui rules! Yeah, people might be saying how they made Steve Ma more handsome and possibly more appealing in many ways to watch. However, the character was not supposed to be handsome. I felt like the image they created for Ray was more suitable. Not to mention how Ray looked fiercer and powerful. Not saying I hate Steve Ma since I really like both actors, and think they’re good looking in their own way. Just that Steve leaned on the side of looking like some lovesick dude, almost as bad as Bo Yi Kao, not really exuding the cruel king image as much. Though if Steve wanted, he was able to achieve the “fierce” look at some parts. They tried to let others pity Steve or something. ‘Cause it seemed like they were saying ‘poor, rich king’ kind of idea. Though people leaning on ‘love’ stuff would root for him because of what he did for love, like the other goddess said, he doesn’t care for his people at all.
  • Fan Bing Bing and Ruby Lin as Su Da Ji. Um…have to say FBB was more convincing with taking the role of a fox. She exuded the cruel side and somewhat of the struggle between the fox and the real Su Da Ji really well. Plus, she was willing to go all out on the whole ‘seduction’ scenes so I guess that worked for her. Ruby tried to be super mischievous and was really cunning at times. Yet she was just too cute to be an evil fox demon, lol. I had fun watching her but I felt it was funnier than anything. And Ruby was so reserved in her outfits so she had become a cute little fox instead.
  • Miao Hai Zhong/ Miao Hao Jun as Shen Gong Bao. I swear he was like the master/pro of PR back then in the days. If not, how could he persuade them and/or recruit all of those people to die for him? He was sure slick. Yet he seemed to get away with it every time. (It reminds me of a certain someone in modern days.)
  • Du Zhi Guo as Su Hu. Su Da Ji’s father. SAD, tragic moments, especially how he was torn in between saving other people and sacrificing his daughter. Then knowing that it was some demon possessing his daughter–and that his daughter had to die later as well, etc.
  • Lou Qi as Wu Ji. Jiang Zi Ya’s disciple. One of the actual disciples in the novel. Had fun watching him and how he got a good amount of screen time, but it collapsed later when they made way for the soap of other stuff. Yeah, I’m rolling my eyes again.
  • Qi Fang as Deng Chan Yu. OMG, one of the feisty and funny girls in here that actually existed in the novel. I loved watching her scenes and her constant bicker with her shorty husband, lol. Her death was actually the most tragic or seemed that way and it got me actually almost tearing up, unlike some of the senseless scenes in here. All the flashbacks and the background music were all it needed to capture their moments.
  • Mi Zi An as Princess Long Ji. Cute and another character actually from the novel. Except they did change some details regarding her. She should appear more, not some senseless characters.


Died along the way or didn’t appear much or just plain didn’t have anything to contribute to the plot in general

  • Tang Guo Qiang as Yuan Shi Tian Zun. One of the most powerful gods. I cannot believe they dragged him into one of the most stupid moments of the plot too. Probably just to say, “One of the powerful gods said it too so it must be right” kind of thing.
  • Wu Ma as Shang Rong. The late actor took this very righteous role and he totally nailed it. It was super frustrating to see him die and like that, but that was what happened.
  • Guo Kai Min as Bi Gan. Poor guy. Yet it had to be that way, considering how his nephew was already WAY beyond help, even before Da Ji came into the picture.
  • Jin Qiao Qiao as Empress Jiang. She was a brave queen yet couldn’t escape either. Loved her as the elegant and graceful empress. Too bad with her fate.
  • Xu Huan Shan as Wen Tai Shi. For some weird reason, I just plain don’t like him. Well, it was obvious since he was on the other side. Yet I swear he was not that likable even if he tried to use his power against the king and made him obey, etc. He was so oblivious to stuff at times, especially with the rant of how Huang Fei Hu betrayed them. (The guy’s wife and sister DIED, what else did the old man need as proof?) So he was actually one of those elders that I didn’t care for.
  • Eddie Kwan as Bo Yi Kao. I swear they made him so weak and so wishy-washy in here that it wasn’t even funny. I usually felt sad or pissed off when they kill him off in some of the other versions. But this one, I was just glad. Yeah, heartless, but the character got ruined because of other made-up catalysts.
  • Liu Tao as Moon Fairy. I enjoyed her scenes in here, however little it was. She wasn’t supposed to be in the story anyway, but they made it dramatic with the other couple so whatever. But she sure exuded the fairy-like look.
    • Fan Bing Bing as Moon Fairy. Seriously? What a way to try and come back to the show. And that was my reaction when I saw her name in the cast list. But my reaction when the scenes came around involving the Moon Fairy was “What?” Because of the somewhat blurry effects so I can’t really see if it was her. But it was strange making Ji Fa seeing that she resembled Su Da Ji.
  • Wang Li Ke as Zi Yu. Seriously? Why did they create her character except for episode fillers and another distraction to the overall theme? I swear I couldn’t even like her at all. From the start, she was just boring, but I accepted that they wanted to waste time. Then she just went from boring to annoying several episodes later, with her whole tantrums and demanding Ji Fa personally go fetch her. Really? Oh, not to mention her rudeness to Lei Zhen Zi later during their first encounter. What the hell was that? And she became even more useless and annoying as time went by. I never imagined I would say “useless” for any character, BUT she sure pushed past that breach. (Since I don’t like to think of it that way, even at times when characters aren’t my favorites but they could be there for a short time, etc.) What was the point of making her running off, going through some painful trials, committing suicide, and then try to revive her? What? Waste of time. I do get all the reasons for her character and personality and all the pain she went through BUT again, in such a story, why were the scriptwriters torturing us with the soap-ville stuff? It was like trying to raise her character up yet failed since they did give her a lot of credit for stuff throughout. It was like the world revolved around her BUT not really. I’m probably considered heartless by now but I’m the rare few that felt so strongly against her. (Or possibly the only one feeling that way.) As for Wang Li Ke, I looked up some of her pictures outside and I swear she looks better in real life. (And people think I was attacking WLK? NO, I was talking about the character.) What really irked me though was how they were on this journey to purify her before resurrecting her again, as if saying she was somehow “dirty” because she got raped. Yes, I was really pissed off at the scriptwriters for making it seemed that way. I didn’t like her character but didn’t like how they implied that people who weren’t obedient would eventually get raped or killed, etc. Sure, it was during a turbulent time and so chaotic, considering how they were at war, etc. But that was soooo wrong to make it that way. Yet, why should I be surprised, right?

Couples/Friendships/Bonds/Whatever else:

  • Zhou Jie and Priscelia Chan as a couple. Cute couple! I liked how they were somewhat of a bickering couple. Very subtle at times and it was enough to the story, NOT too lame and draggy like how some of the other parts in here were. So I didn’t mind if they exaggerated the thing about the two characters getting together, etc.
  • Ray Lui and Ruby Lin. Thanks to my sister, I suddenly remember that they had collaborated in this old ATV series where he was Zhao Chao and she was Princess Fei Feng. They didn’t end up together since he didn’t like her and she was later married to someone else. But it was really funny seeing them together like this and this time as a couple. Sometimes I enjoy their scenes (though there were indeed cruel and ‘shaking head’ parts but that was somewhat going along with the story) more than others. Then it got WAY more dramatic so I was like “ugh” as well.
  • How the disciples of various characters were fighting at times. OR more like they were competing to see who got there first or completed a certain task first. That was hilarious and I loved those parts. It was actually funny, unlike some parts they tried too hard.

Interestingly Funny or more like “What?”:

Some of them were actually funny of how they made up stuff AND others were just worth some head shaking or eye-rolling moments.

  • Bo Yi Kao and Su Da Ji were engaged before Da Ji was forced into going into the palace. Really? When did that happen? Not only that was outrageous with their supposed relationship along with how they were somehow linked to the Zhou side, but it led to some really draggy subplots later, like for Bo Yi Kao’s focus on love only, not caring for other stuff. Well, he did pull himself out of it when he realized it was going to harm his family BUT still, unnecessary plots.
  • One of the two guys by King Shang Zhou’s side is actually Su Hu’s cousin. Really? When did that happen? And here we go again with them linking together different characters.
  • Ne Zha’s mother was actually Huang Fei Hu’s sister. REALLY? So they wanted to connect the loyal/good people together. But seriously? Like who would believe that one? I actually let it slide since I was laughing the whole time, but still. It seemed like they were eager to link different characters in here.
  • The exaggerated love between King Shang Zhou and Daji. Or more like with the fox-spirit. Like seriously? That went on and on for the majority of the first part, which I was fine with since it didn’t last long. Yet it just kept dragging on with how the fox spirit had fallen for the king for real and even wanted to help him keep his dynasty. Really? And what was more was using reasons or excuses for the king’s behaviors at times throughout the story, like in part one with him not really doing it on purpose for causing the death of Huang Fei Hu’s wife. Really?
  • Princess Long Ji is actually the late King Zhou Wen’s adopted daughter. WOW, really? Yeah, I’m saying “really” A LOT. But it’s that outrageous with how they try to connect different stories together.
  • Anything having to do with Zi Yu and Ji Fa for that matter. (Part 2 for Ji Fa since I liked him in part 1.) AND yes, I have to pick on them again. But since the storyline kept emphasizing their relationship, I think it’s fair game. Again, what the hell was that? Episode fillers and waste of time. I’m talking about characters and plot surrounding them, NOT the actor and actress SO don’t jump in trying to say I’m just hating them or jealous with them or something along those lines. And by the time I got to almost the end (since I was still hanging on for some characters), it got from worser to worsest. Because not only were the story-line draggy and pointless, it dragged Yang Jian into their stupid conspiracy, which made him miss the last battle between the disciples of the gods and all. Then making it seem like some epic romance by dragging one of the higher gods in by praising their so-called love story.
  • Lei Zhen Zi was made into a senseless character. I didn’t remember much from the first part except he was cool enough. Yet again like characters in the 2nd part, he was reduced to some senseless role. Like he would go around and try to search for one of Ji Fa’s chicks like that. There’s a war going on! His mission (according to his master) was to go help Jiang Zi Ya fight in the battles, NOT go search for Ji Fa’s chick. Then eventually, I give up on his character altogether, especially with how he blamed Ne Zha for Zi Yu’s death. Like really? It was a slap in the face to be called stealing someone’s woman when Ne Zha was outside. Of course, Ne Zha had to go confront Zi Yu and asked what the hell was going on.
  • The King of Shang Zhou went to Heaven to suck Ji Fa’s energy out of the star that represented Ji Fa? Really? Who thought of this one? Another episode filler?
  • The monkey/ape who fought with Yang Jian near the end will turn into Sun Wu Kong in the future. What? Um, like really? I laughed harder than the rest of the made-up stuff. It was actually funny and interesting how they tried to link both stories together. But seriously? I couldn’t stop laughing until the next day. The characters from both works were linked later because the ones who fought against each other in this part will eventually become gods/goddesses or fairies of different sorts. But trying to link Sun Wu Kong in because that one ape also knew the same skills as Yang Jian? LOL!
  • Jiang Zi Ya reserved a spot for himself YET gave it to Huang Fei Hu later. The BIGGEST what in here. Like seriously? Jiang wasn’t supposed to be one of them since it wasn’t his fate. Huang Fei Hu was already secured for that one spot, to begin with. There was no “dividing the pig” after the battle, seriously. AND having that part with Jiang arguing with his late ex-wife was also QUITE stupid and off.

Other Topics:

  • “Can it get any worse than this?” is like a dare to the production team. YES, it’s true for part 2 mostly BUT every time I utter that phrase out loud, the answer delivered somewhere several scenes later or several episodes later seemed to say, “Challenged accepted.” I’m so serious.
  • Part 2? Like seriously? I meant okay, I know some of the details for part 2 were what happened in the novel, more or less. But did they have to split it? I think if they cut out all the nonsense crap and the exaggerated love stories (on both sides actually), they could fit it into 40 eps or so.
  • What could have been focused on? There were a lot of interesting stories in the novel and could have been focused on instead of some made-up senseless stuff that couldn’t match up to it. In fact, I’m tempted to go read the novel again and extract stuff from it that was more relevant. (My first read was somewhat unsuccessful because of some side stuff so I didn’t finish exactly but knew some of the things were irrelevant.)

What was good about it?

Yes, Apparently I’m saving this topic for last because I rather end it with a positive note (or whatever is left of it that I could find).

  • Effects. Seriously, loved the effects and it was really suitable for these types of stories.
  • Ne Zha. YES, the cute kid actor and eventually the actress who portrayed the character. Plus all the cool stuff Ne Zha got, later on, weapon wise and the skills acquired.
  • Yang Jian. NO, Yang Jian’s NOT supposed to be under command of that Ji Fa. Since Ji Fa wasn’t that bossy in the novel. Besides, Yang Jian only listened to his master, who they merged it in and gave a lot of credit to that one god, BUT he wasn’t supposed to be Yang Jian’s master in the novel. And when he was sent down to help Jiang, he only listened to Jiang, NOT some idiot. Aside from that, Han Dong is now my favorite Yang Jian. So handsome, so cool, and all. YET they ruined him near the end. BUT I guess it wasn’t his fault.
  • Huang Fei Hu, mostly Tay Ping Hui, but yeah. Loved the character overall and he was the sole reason I stuck around for more than the first half of the story (like stated before) and managed to hang on.
  • Ji Fa–BUT only the first part. YES, I have to say it again, Zhou Jie made a very wise decision for not coming back.
  • Zi Xian. Priscelia made it very cute and likable at times, but she was also a very strong and admirable person.
  • Deng Chan Yu and her shorty husband. Favorite couple in part 2 since they were sooooo funny. Too bad they had to die tragically as well.

Recommended? After all my rants, it’s more like from the side of the minority who couldn’t stand it anymore. But for people who enjoy it or like the cast, go ahead. I actually don’t think it’s worth it and if possible, just fast forward or search around for scenes that you might enjoy and watch. ‘Cause I swear I wasted like millions of brain cells watching it. (My fault actually, but since my mom wanted to watch and I somehow was just sitting there, I might as well.) But one thing’s for sure, I will try to avoid this producer and director’s works for the future JUST to eliminate another mistake I might make.

Gu Jian En Chou Ji 1984: Part II

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

Go here for part 1.

About eight 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 persistence in hiding from Jun time after time.

Yao San was working at a wealthy resident as a servant, trying to take care of Ah Jun who 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 put 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 fond of Jun, 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 stuff 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. 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 stay 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 followed 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 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 a 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 further. 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 learn 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.

Gu Jian En Chou Ji 1984: Part I

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

I recently re-watched this series after haven’t watched it for over ten years now and I must say it was an interesting journey because I watched it with much more observation this time around.

The story was about the five families assigned to guard a certain treasure that was hidden for emergency crisis, such as the fund for war against the Mongolians. The five families were Jun, Qiu, Si Ma, and two of the other ones. Of the five families, the Jun family kept the map while the Qiu kept the little knife that was supposed to be the key to reading the map. Without both items, one or the other was useless by itself.

In the process of guarding the treasure, conflicts arose within the five men representing the five families–as it was expected when treasures were involved. Somehow, they all died because of those conflicts. Out of the five families, the Qiu’s son, Qiu Dong Li (秋東籬 – portrayed by Steve Ma Jing Tao) had already betrayed his own country by serving under the Mongolians. He also caused a misunderstanding between the Jun and Si Ma families by spreading the rumors that Si Ma Xiao (司馬嘯 – portrayed by Chen Xing) had killed Jun Wu Chou (君無愁 – portrayed by Liu De Kai)’s father. Qiu intended for both Si Ma and Jun to fight to death, eliminating his ultimate threats so it was easier to manipulate the rest of the jianghu world in following the Mongolians.

Upon hearing that Si Ma Xiao was present at this one inn, Jun Wu Chou came to challenge Si Ma to a duel. They did not have to fight if it wasn’t for Qiu’s scheme again by swapping the letters Si Ma sent to Jun to explain of his reasons and to dispel the rumors. Si Ma was not a coward but it was because he suddenly feared of losing his family after his wife just gave birth.

Seeing that it was unavoidable, Si Ma took up the challenge and fought with Jun for five days. Within those five days, they became the best of friends and even ended up becoming sworn brothers in the end. They even had an agreement if one died, the other would carry out some unfinished business for him. Si Ma wanted Jun to promise that Jun would take care of his wife and son if he were to die. He also made Jun promised to take over the duty of taking care of General Zhou (周)’s nephew–to which he was supposed to find. Jun’s unfinished business was finding the enemy who had killed his brother and sisters and avenged their deaths. (This was actually carried out by Si Ma one of the nights after the day’s duel. He actually used very fast horses for the journey and was able to come back the next morning and in time for the next duel.)

On the fifth day of the duel, Si Ma and Jun swapped their saber and sword–respectively–to change their methods since they wanted to seek feedback on their learned skills from one another from the past four days. After a few more rounds of fighting, it was apparent that Si Ma had mastered Jun’s swords skills–though he had used less force or Jun would have lost his left hand already. Jun’s admittance of defeat and admiration for Si Ma’s skills was short lived since they returned to the subject of Jun’s father’s death. Si Ma then found out that the letter he sent to Jun did not come through. Si Ma asked Jun about the letter but Jun denied having received it. However, that was also cut short because Si Ma soon felt the poison seeping in and died instantly. Jun checked Si Ma’s saber again to find poison on it as well as on Si Ma’s wound. Jun then turned to Qiu Dong Li and his men to demand an explanation for the incident. Qiu denied and even swore that he had nothing to do with it. He insisted on investigating the matter for Jun–just to escape from Jun’s grasp.

Jun did not have any more time to argue with Qiu since he was brought back to tending to Si Ma’s wife. She requested to go back to her room before coming back to discuss some matters with Jun. She knew that Jun was not to be blamed since the poison was actually on her husband’s saber. After repeating of Jun’s promise about taking care of their son–Jun (俊 – which means handsome), Si Ma’s wife committed suicide with Jun’s sword–which was still laying by her husband’s body all the while. Jun was too late to stop her since she had slashed her throat. However, Jun did discover that his sword also had poison on it.

Jun rushed upstairs to find Si Ma’s son whom Si Ma’s wife had placed in her room earlier to discover that the room was empty. What happened was one of the waiters from the inn named Yao San (姚三) had carried the baby away since he found out about Si Ma’s death. (Si Ma Xiao had helped him and his family paid off some debt so he was very grateful of Si Ma and was willing to repay one day.) Though he was the one who saw the greedy medic sprayed poison onto the sword and saber the previous night, he still blamed the whole incident on Jun because if Jun had not demanded a duel, the whole incident would not happen. Jun rushed downstairs to find Qiu and his men still around. Qiu had set up a scapegoat to take the fall for the one who schemed against Si Ma and Jun. Jun did not any time to waste since he wanted to find Si Ma’s son immediately, so he rushed off after having found out that Qiu had killed the scapegoat already. (Qiu had faked the other man’s death to convince Jun and told the man to go into hiding for a while.)

While Jun was on his way to find Si Ma Jun (司馬俊) and the waiter–Yao San, he encountered many of the hitmen sent by Qiu to get rid of both Jun and the baby–to avoid troubles in the future. Jun only vaguely suspected Qiu since he knew that Qiu was a despicable type–and was jealous of Si Ma’s skills, but did not think that Qiu was already working for the Mongolians.

Anyway, Jun and Qiu’s men continued to chase after Yao San and the baby Si Ma Jun. Time after time, Jun or someone would appear to rescue Yao San and Si Ma Jun in time. Yao San’s father was killed by Qiu’s men since he did not open his mouth to expose his son’s whereabouts. Yao San’s sister was soon killed as well since she was trying to protect Yao San and Si Ma Jun–by using herself as a decoy. Yao San also lost a hand and was forced to jump off the cliff by Qiu’s men. (Jun was not around to save Yao San from the cliff incident because he was stopped by another swordsman who heard of Jun’s skills and wanted to challenge him to a duel–which caused a delay for Jun to come in time.)

After having learned that Yao San and Si Ma Jun had encountered their worst fate, Jun returned to where the swordsman was and carried out his promise with the swordsman. Jun did not forget to inform the swordsman of Yao San and Si Ma Jun’s fate either–which the swordsman was full of remorse but was not able to do anything else to mend the situation. (The swordsman was known as Ou Yang Bu Sai.) Jun and Ou Yang found a place where they had their duel–to which Ou Yang lost. He was shattered because he did not believe he would lose to Jun just like that. He left and was not seen for the time being.

Jun continued on his journey in an attempt to find Yao San and Si Ma Jun again–though the chances were slim. He got himself tangled into some conflicts because he rescued a young woman named Yun Yun (雲芸 – portrayed by Chi Qiu Mei). Her father was killed because he did not give in to the enemies’ request of handing over his famous sabers. Jun and Yun Yun traveled through the night and ended up at a lake. Jun then handed the sabers back to Yun Yun since it was her father’s. However, she tossed them down the lake after an outburst, claiming that it had caused her father’s death, therefore, she did not want to keep it. She then apologized for her outburst and gave Jun a souvenir since he had saved her. She also made a request that he shall accompany her back to her hometown since she wanted to bring her father’s ashes back there. She stopped herself and said she was too demanding since he had already helped her so much. He stopped her in her tracks and agreed to accompany her on the way.

Along the way, they were stopped various times and were told that they should follow another path instead. The order was issued by a young master by the name of Nan Gong Sheng (南宮胜). After many battles between Nan Gong’s men, Yun Yun was abducted and Jun was on the journey to find her once again. As time passed, many pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place.

Ou Yang’s identity was also revealed and the reason behind his wanting to have a duel with Jun was uncovered. He wanted to be the best swordsman in the world. But moreover, he wanted to prove to his soulmate, Shan Shan (珊珊), that he was the best. Ou Yang was devasted of the defeat and was using wine as a release for his failure. Shan Shan soon pulled him out of it by her encouraging words. He soon discovered a new way to win Jun–through Shan Shan’s dance movements, so he was on his way to find Jun once again. To Ou Yang’s disappointment, he lost again to Jun a second time and sulked his sorrows over wine once again. Shan Shan once again rescued him with her encouragements–and then more of scolding. Ou Yang and Shan Shan soon joined forces with Jun to help Jun in solving the mystery surrounding Jun. (Shan Shan also wanted to solve the mystery of her father’s death.)

Nan Gong Sheng’s identity was also elaborated. He was actually working under Yun Yun to create a trap for Jun. Apparently, Yun Yun’s real name was Xiao Yu. She was under the commander of her father to get rid of Jun. (Yes, she was on the Mongolian side.) To everyone’s surprise, Nan Gong soon found out that Jun was a very righteous man and a noble swordsman. He began to feel conflicted time after time when he was plotting against Jun. He finally broke away from Xiao Yu’s grasp after learning that she had many pursuers who were willing to die for her–like himself. Unwilling to be made a fool of and feeling the loyalty to Jun’s friendship, Nan Gong finally chose to help Jun uncover the truth behind Xiao Yu’s plot.

Another unexpected thing happened since Xiao Yu found herself falling for Jun and did not want to kill him anymore. She ended up wanting to recruit him to join the Mongolians instead. Jun denied her request and even turned down her love for him. Yes, he was reminded of his past lover Rou Rou (柔柔 – portrayed by Wu Feng) when he first met her and seeing her kindness as Yun Yun, but he was not blinded by it that he would betray his country. Xiao Yu, feeling both frustrated and humiliated, sent out the order to make Jun suffer. She captured him many times–mostly using underhand tricks but he soon escaped because he had learned how to survive through different skills that he was taught.

After many failed attempts to kill Jun, Xiao Yu finally joined forces with Qiu Dong Li (who had been hiding in the dark the whole time to observe the scenes between Jun and Xiao Yu hoping to reap without taking any actions). They both thought up of various traps to capture and kill Jun. Qiu resorted to using his old trick of trying to frame Jun for robbery and murder, getting him in trouble with one of the most powerful clans of the jianghu world. However, with the help of Ou Yang, Nan Gong, Shan Shan, and Miss Tang (whom Jun met along the way when Qiu and Xiao Yu were creating misunderstandings between her family and Jun earlier but was cleared of already), Jun was able to clear his name. Xiao Yu threw in a final blow at Jun by bringing out Jun’s brother Ding Wu Jian (丁無劍 – portrayed by Long Guan Wu) after realizing that the plan of framing Jun had failed, causing Jun to be shocked of his appearance since Jun believed that Ding had died already. Jun called out “Da Ge” (大哥 – Eldest Brother) upon seeing Ding but Ding told him that, “I’m not your brother.” Jun insisted that Ding was and that Ding will always be his brother. They exchanged a few words before Ding requested a duel between the two. Jun was not able to turn down the request since Xiao Yu had poisoned everyone present and said that if Jun did not agree to the duel, everyone would die. Jun had no choice but to agree.

The conflict between Ding and Jun was due to their parents’ generation. Ding and Jun were actually cousins more than brothers, but they lived under the same household hence the whole ‘brothers’ thing. Ding’s father eloped with one of the housemaids because the other Jun elders did not approve of such relationship (due to high-low class differences between the two). Ding’s father–aka Jun’s uncle–was considered dead to the family after the incident. However, Ding’s mother brought him back to the Jun household after Ding’s father’s death. Ding’s mother was also very ill at that time and only wanted someone to take care of Ding. The elders of the Jun family did not care to acknowledge her words and told her that Ding did not belong there, saying how they would not know if the kid was really a ‘Jun’ or not. Ding’s mother begged them to take Ding in and that Ding could take her surname instead. After saying those words, Ding’s mother committed suicide. The Jun elders finally fulfilled Ding’s mother’s request and took Ding in. That was how Ding was not a ‘Jun’ although his father was. Having witnessed his mother’s tragic death at such a young age, Ding kept to himself and did not care to acknowledge the others during his stay. Although the young Wu Chou was very friendly and kind toward Ding time after time, Ding did not open up to him at all. Things changed when Rou Rou came into the picture since her nice and kind nature had affected Ding, making him more alert to his surroundings. The three became the best of friends. Ding even taught Jun some of the most fierce techniques of learning different martial art skills as well as survival instincts. He also taught Jun the swords techniques he discovered that was used to defeat the Jun family’s swords techniques. Although Jun was very smart, he was not as good as Ding.

The bond between Ding, Jun, and Rou Rou ended the day Ding learned that Jun and Rou Rou were getting married soon. One day when some people came to cause trouble for the Jun family, Ding jumped out to rescue Jun and also used that opportunity to challenge Jun to a duel. Ding stated that he was more capable than Jun of leading the Jun family, but the underlying reason was because of Rou Rou–and probably something he wanted to do for his mom. After Ding left, Jun and Rou Rou tried to think up of a way to stop the duel from happening. Rou Rou was very smart and had seen through Ding’s real reason for the duel. She told Jun to meet her in her room the next day since she had a plan. Jun asked of her plan but was told to wait for the following day. Jun had no choice but to do just that. The next day when Jun came, Jun only spotted the letter Rou Rou left behind for him, stating that she had left with Ding to an unknown place to live together. Jun was heartbroken and used wine to erase his misery but failed. Soon, the Jun family met with more troubles so the elders of the Jun family told Jun to put aside his love problems and focus on their family crisis. Jun woke up from his trance and concentrated in mastering his skills and continued to lead the Jun family. He later heard of the rumor that Ding killed Rou Rou somehow and had also died afterward.

The mystery of how Ding was still alive was solved through Ding’s conversation with Xiao Yu. Apparently, the real reason why Rou Rou ran off with Ding was because she wanted to save Jun, knowing that Jun was not a match of Ding’s if they were to go forth with the duel. She wanted to prevent the tragic event from happening. Ding and Rou Rou lived quite happily at a small hut in the woods for the first several years but Ding later discovered of Rou Rou’s distant behaviors. He soon found out that Rou Rou was missing Jun and the real reason of her running off with him. He used wine to erase his sorrows but failed (like every single guy in this series who attempted to erase their sorrows with wine). Rou Rou questioned Ding of his behavior and tried to stop him from drinking. However, Ding turned mad and confronted Rou Rou of the real reason why she was willing to live with him. He threatened to go find Jun and carry out his words of dueling with Jun. However, Rou Rou tried to stop him and told him that he was drunk and was not himself. Both because he was mad and because he was very drunk, he pulled out his sword and killed Rou Rou, which he soon realized and regretted. It was too late since she died that night. Before she died, Rou Rou made Ding promise her not to harm Jun. Ding went mad afterward and left the place after burying Rou Rou. He was later rescued by Xiao Yu’s father when he was injured at one time and vowed his loyalty to Xiao Yu’s father. He also became Xiao Yu’s master from that point on.

Xiao Yu held the final piece of the puzzle that many, especially Jun, wanted to know of the outcome. She was reconsidering over her behaviors toward Jun and found it ironic that she was stuck in between her master and Jun–like how Rou Rou was stuck in between them when she was still alive. She felt that the duel was unavoidable–though she was the one who wanted it to be that way so she could get rid of Jun. However, after hearing the story of how Rou Rou had sacrificed for Jun, Xiao Yu was having second thoughts about the whole matter. She knew it was too late to stop Ding so she went to Jun and persuaded him to leave so he did not have to fight Ding. Jun denied her request because he had to save all the people who were poisoned.

In an attempt to stop the duel from happening, Ou Yang and Nan Gong tried to sneak into Xiao Yu’s place to find the remedy to the poison. They were stopped by Ding and had to flee the scene. (Ding had no intention of killing them anyway.)

The day of the duel finally arrived and Jun met Ding at the location at the exact time. Their duel became intense after several strikes because Ding was eager to get it over with. Ding finally used his fiercest technique toward Jun–to which Xiao Yu jumped in and received the stab. The scene of Xiao Yu jumping in to shield Jun from harm reminded Ding of how Rou Rou had sacrificed for Jun, causing him to go mad once again. He ran off yelling out that he had killed Rou Rou while Jun tended to Xiao Yu. Xiao Yu took the last few minutes of her life to tell Jun about Rou Rou’s sacrifice for Jun, clearing up Jun’s misunderstandings of Rou Rou and Ding. She told Jun that she wanted to be remembered just like Rou Rou.

Qiu benefited the most with Xiao Yu’s death since the Mongolian leader whom he served under–aka Xiao Yu’s father–had to rely on him since Xiao Yu was dead.

After they cured the ones who were poisoned, Jun and his friends parted ways. Jun said that he would once again go search for Yao San and Si Ma Jun since he learned that both were still alive. (It was because of Qiu’s carelessness in trying to create a realistic story when setting up a trap one time that he disclosed too much information, causing Jun and the others to be suspicious that it was true of the matter.) Miss Tang (who preferred to be called Xiao Jin Dao – 小金刀 or Little Golden Saber) wanted to follow Jun on the journey. Jun agreed upon seeing how persistent she was in helping him. Ou Yang and Shan Shan were heading back home to settle down but told Jun that if he ever needed them, they would appear within a blink of an eye to help him. Nan Gong said he would go back to his house and gather up his men to join forces with General Chang (常). Each with a different goal in mind, they separated.

Along the way, Jun and Xiao Jin Dao had to fight off Qiu Dong Li’s men once again. Yao San was on the run once again upon hearing of Jun’s presence drawing near. Xiao Jin Dao soon left Jun since she no longer wanted to follow him, knowing that her love will never be reciprocated. (She just hoped that one day she will be remembered and that was good enough.) She wished him luck, knowing he was more than capable of taking care of himself with his skills.

Go here for part 2.