A wisp of smoke rose through a chimney; noises of forging sounded from a small house. A man concentrated on bladesmithing; he examined the sword closely, put it into the furnace until orange red and struck with a hammer. The man kept on repeating the steps for unknown times; then he smiled eventually, and placed the sword into the cold water. As soon as the water contacted the burning sword, the house was immediately shrouded in the steam.
At the moment, an exquisite lady walked to the man. “Working that early in the morning already? You’re ruining my sleep! Gan Jiang, you should have married the sword instead of me.”
“Are you jealous of a sword?” Gan Jiang took it out of the water and gave to her. “Try it out!” Then, the lady went outside, wielding the sword. Sometimes she leapt into the air; and sometimes she thrust towards the ground.
The lady stopped with a frown. “The edge is too light but the tip is too heavy. Is it not finished?” She handed it back to Gan Jiang. “You know best, swordswoman Mo Ye! This sword still needs a little polish before it’s done, but I haven’t figured out what to refine yet. Anyways, I guarantee that once the sword is made, it’s gonna be the finest in the world,” Gan Jiang responded with a smile. Mo Ye agreed, for she knew best that Gan Jiang’s swords were all extraordinary. This one was no exception.
While the couple was discussing, a troop came suddenly. The man escorted by the soldiers dismounted from a horse as soon as he saw Gan Jiang and Mo Ye. With his attire and the flag holding by the soldier, Gan Jiang and Mo Ye believed that he must be the king of an adjacent country. The king invaded other countries frequently in order to expand its territory, resulting in massive casualties. Even with much hatred, they also treated him with good manners to avoid any trouble.
“Are you Gan Jiang, the famous bladesmith,” the king asked.
“Yes, I’m. How may I help, your majesty?”
“I need you to forge a unique sword just for me, a sword that can manifest my supremacy!”
“Humph! I can’t help you. Please seek another bladesmith.” Gan Jiang answered bluntly.
“How dare you!” His insult embarrassed the king who had never been rejected by anyone before. Then, he commanded, “soldiers! Take all the swords in the house!” Startled, Gan Jiang and Mo Ye did not expect this coming. They rushed into the house to stop the soldiers from taking the swords away. Mo Ye picked up the hammer to fight against them. Despite her superior skill, she was outnumbered and it was more than she could manage alone. As the soldiers were about to hit her, Gan Jiang took the attack for her!
“Gan Jiang!” Dropping the hammer, she caught the falling Gan Jiang. He was pierced by a spear, coughing blood. Soon, his breath slowed down to stop with his eyes still open, gazing at that murderer, the king. Holding her husband crying, the helpless Mo Ye could only let the king take all the swords. In the blink of an eye, the house was left nothing but that unfinished sword, the pale Gan Jiang and the sorrow-stricken Mo Ye.
Heartbroken, Mo Ye cremated Gan Jiang on the hay. After the body was burnt, his ashes were carried to the forge by the breeze. Mo Ye went inside and saw the furnace is kindling suddenly. That unfinished sword, together with Gan Jiang’s ashes, were taken into the furnace by the wind.
Then, Mo Ye heard a whisper to her ears. “Pull it out…” She walked to the fire, pulled it out of the furnace just as Gan Jiang did and cooled in water...The sword was perfectly symmetrical; the razor-sharp edge could easily cut a wound. It was a masterpiece.
“Give it to me!” A bunch of soldiers were pointing spears at her! The king left a squad of soldiers before he left, just in case of any sword they had missed out.
Mo Ye decided to protect the last sword left by her husband whatever it took, fight with the enemies. This sword was light as a feather, but sharp enough to cut through the weapons, shields and armors of the soldiers. Unable to believe their own eyes, the other soldiers fled in a panic immediately.
“This sword will be named after our name——Gan Jiang-Mo Ye. May the spirit of us last into the sword for eternity.” Mo Ye made a vow, with an unshakable determination to overthrow the tyranny and revenge her dead husband.