Wai Shou

When he was fourteen years old, Wai Shou fought the seasoned warrior Lao Xiong, whose left arm was strong as a bear’s. It took Wai six hours and a quart of blood before he was able to beat Lao. As the older man was dying among the trampled wheat stems, Wai struck off his own left arm and replaced it with Lao’s, and a village girl named Lianmin covered the joint with limestone paste.

When he was sixteen Wai bested the bandit Li Yeying, even though Li’s right arm was swift as a nightjar. Wai replaced his right arm with Li’s and slunk into the forest to recover from his wounds.

When he was eighteen Wai was challenged by Li Tiaozao, who could leap like a flea and was believed to be untouchable. But even a flea eventually tires and Wai’s dagger pierced Li’s belly. With his last breath Li bequeathed Wai his legs, and Wai hired Old Mother Chen to bathe the fresh grafts in seawater.

When he was twenty Wai found the handsome Han Shuai in bed with his woman, and this is the reason Wai’s children all bear the surname Han.

Image CC-BY-NC-SA by Søren Holt

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