DIFFERENT REASONS FROM DIFFERENT MASTERS
The next morning, a few of Ngow Fa Kow’s students arrived at Siew Heng District, which is a big district in Guangdong Province. They reached Lu Yin Pou’s house and told him how their sifu was killed by Wu Wei Thien and asked Lu Yin Pou to avenge their sifu’s death.
Lu Yin Pou cried and was furious. “Even if you didn’t mention it, I would avenge the death of my sidai (i.e. younger kungfu brother). Tomorrow we’ll go to Guangzhou and take the heart of Wu Wei Thien to sacrifice to my sidai Fa Kow”
Arriving at Guangzhou, they first went to Kam Loon Thong, the association of the cloth-making workers, where Lu Yin Pou was received with great honour.
“Where can I find Wu Wei Thien?” Lu Yin Pou asked angrily.
Pak On Fook came forward to reply, “This small person is at the West Zen Temple.”
Lu Yin Pou was in haste to avenge his sidai’s death. “Please, elder, lead the way for me to meet him.”
When they arrived at West Zen Temple, they wanted to rush in, but they were met by a monk on duty who asked, “Generous donors, is there any special occasion generous donors come to this humble temple?”
(“Generous doners” was a term used by monks for members of the public, as temples depended on donations from the public).
Lu Yin Pou barked, “What generous donors and non generous donors? I come for Wu Wei Thien. Quickly go in and tell him to meet me.” He was furious like a hungry tiger.
Seeing his fiercely look, the monk quickly went in to inform Sam Tuck.
Wu Wei Thien was not in the temple at that time. Sam Tuck and the others went out to meet them. They clasped their hands in greetings and asked for the intruder’s name.
“I am the siheng (elder kungfu brother) of Ngow Fa Kow. Today I want to meet Wu Wei Thien to let my sidai Fa Kow to release his breath (to avenge his death). Who’s Wu Wei Thein. Quickly come and meet me.”
Cheah Fook came forward, smiled and presented a greeting. “Sifu Lu, you don’t have to be full of energy. This time Wei Thien and cloth-making workers have grudges is because of him taking revenge for murdering his father and causing his mother’s death. Such deep vengeance and big hatred, who does not want to take revenge?
(“Sifu” means kungfu teacher. Cheah Fook used the term “Sifu Lu” because of courtesy. “Full of energy” here means very angry.)
“But the cloth-making workers were full of tricks,” Cheah Fook continued. “They knew that they were no match against Wei Thien. So with a lot of money they bribed Fa Kow to help them. Fa Kow loved money. He did not care about being of the same kungfu root, and asked Wei Thien for a lei-tai match. On the lei-tai, Wei Thien again and again persuade Fa Kow not to be used by others, but Fa Kow did not listen. In such a situation, Wei Thien could not avoid going round (i.e. engaging in the lei-tai match) with him.
“Regarding Fa Kow’s death, it was really the result of martial ability. It was not using any evil tricks or secret deception to kill him. Wei Thien’s words and actions are glorious and clear, and are evident among gods and ghosts. According to reasons, there is nothing to say about revenge. Sifu Lu is more intelligent than other people. The reasons behind all these are not difficult to understand.”
Lu Yin Pou coldly smiled. “Flowery speech and miraculous words, how can that bluffs me? I just want to ask you in return. You have been long at the Shaolin Monastery. Leaving aside Chee Seen Sipak (i.e. the elder kungfu brother of one’s sifu, or teacher), certainly you have heard that my sifu (i.e. kungfu teacher) Foong Tuo Tuck is the sidai (i.e. younger kungfu brother) of your sifu. They came from the same root, and their relationship was like hands and legs (i.e. very intimate).
“Fa Kow is your kungfu brother. There is a colloquial saying that ‘even hitting a dog, we must see the face of the owner’. How could Wu Wei Thien cover his heart to deliver his poison hand and killed Fa Kow? Hence, my coming to avenge his death, how can you say that it is unwarranted?”
Cheah Fook replied, “Sifu Lu’s words are incorrect. Under fists and kicks, life and death are unavoidable. Now Fa Kow was killed because of Wei Thien, and Sifu Lu came for revenge. Reversely, if Wei Thien were killed by Fa Kow, would we invite the Venerable Chee Seen to go to Sisook Foong Tuo Tuck’s house to take revenge?”
(“Sisook” means the younger kungfu brother of one’s teacher.)
Cheak Fooks spoke with good reasons. Lu Yin Pou felt that he was correct, and could not reply immediately. After a long sigh, he replied.
“What you have said is very reasonable. Fa Kow loved money, that I know. But now he is dead, who in the same kungfu family would not go to pay respect. If Wu Wei Thien could go to his tablet and apologize by knocking his head on the ground, this case will be settled. What do you think?”
The people thought that knocking one’s head before a tablet was nothing serious. Wu Wei Thien would not refuse. So they nodded their head to agree.
They invited Lu Yin Pou, Cheong Harng Ming, Pak On Fook and others into the temple to rest, and immediately told someone to ask Wu Wei Thien to return to the temple.
Soon Wu Wei Thien returned and sat besides Leong Zong. Leong Zong, Cheah Fook and the others told him about Lu Yin Pou’s request.
After listening, Wu Wei Thein silently felt bitterness in his heart. He thought to himself, “Besides kneeling before one’s father, mother and sifu, how can he kneel before others as if it is ordinary. Moreover, he has to kneel before the tablet of a despicable little person. If he does so, he would be corrupted for life. How could he continue living? His body may be alive, but his reputation dead, carrying on living would not have any meaning. This Lu Yin Pou is not a strange creature with four horns on his head, why should I be afraid of him. Didn’t his sidai (i.e. younger kungfu brother) die in my hands?”
He just lowered his head and did not reply.
Cheong Harng Ming, Pak On Fook and the others were worried that Lu Yin Pou would make peace with Wu Wei Thien, and thus the issue would then end.
A trick arose in the heart of Pak On Fook. He said, “According to customs, you should also wear the clothes of mourning!”
Before he could continue, Wu Wei Thien rose and said loudly, “I, Wu Wei Thien, is a Shaoin disciple. How could I kneel down and knock my heard on the ground for him. Today’s affairs, whatever you want to do is up to you. I, Wu Wei Thien, do not care.”
Lu Yin Pou was enraged. “Such an uncouth person. Now I’ll take your dog’s life.” He moved forward and struck Wu Wei Thien. Wu Wei Thien warded off the strike.
The Venerable Sam Tuck was concerned that the two would fight in the temple. He rushed forward and stood in between them. “This is a sacred place of the Buddha, not for fighting. If you want to fight, go to another place.”
Wong Kiew Kit,
11th January 2018, Sungai Petani