Huang Yaoshi

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Huang Yaoshi
Created by Jin Yong
Appearances The Legend of the Condor Heroes,
The Return of the Condor Heroes
Personal information
Nickname(s) "Eastern Heretic" (東邪)
Alias(es) "Old Evil Huang" (黃老邪)
Gender Male
Spouse(s) Feng Heng
Children Huang Rong
Affiliations
Organisations Peach Blossom Island
Students Official students:
Chen Xuanfeng,
Mei Chaofeng,
Qu Lingfeng,
Lu Chengfeng,
Wu Mianfeng,
Feng Mofeng,
Cheng Ying
Unofficial students:
Guo Jing,
Yang Guo
Skills and abilities
Qinggong Holy Turtle Steps
Neigong Nine Yin Manual skills
Unarmed combat skills Jade Waves Palm,
Complex Five Turns,
Fallen Hero Divine Sword Palm,
Air Slicing Palm,
Finger Flicking Skill
Armed combat skills Jade Flute Swordplay,
Jade Leaking Silver Pushing Sword,
Three Fork and Three Palm Styles
Weapons Bone Penetrating Needle,
Jade Flute
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Huang.
Huang Yaoshi
Traditional Chinese 黃藥師
Simplified Chinese 黄药师

Huang Yaoshi is a fictional character who appears in the wuxia novel The Legend of the Condor Heroes and its sequel The Return of the Condor Heroes, both written by Jin Yong (Louis Cha). Huang is one of the Five Greats of the wulin (martial artists' community) during the Song dynasty, alongside Wang Chongyang, Hong Qigong, Ouyang Feng and Duan Zhixing. He is nicknamed "Eastern Heretic" (東邪) for being an unorthodox radical who behaves as he wishes without showing any regard for formalities or moral ethics.[SheDiao Ch.10] He loathes the dogma of traditional rites in Chinese society and admires only genuine honour and pure love.[SheDiao Ch.10] As such, he is often regarded by his contemporaries as a cultural heretic.[SheDiao Ch.10] His nickname may be translated to "Eastern Evil" as the character Xie (邪) in his nickname also refers to "evil" and "unorthodoxy" in jianghu terminology.

Background[edit]

Huang is a loner who harbours unorthodox and heretical views on traditional Chinese rites and social norms. He is the master of Peach Blossom Island. Apart from being a formidable martial artist, Huang is also versed in other fields such as military strategy, music and divination. Huang's eccentric personality causes him to be feared and shunned by others.

Huang is married to Feng Heng and has six students. He has scores of servants on his island, who are deaf and mute. Rumours in the jianghu say that Huang had intentionally disabled them, but in fact, they were already mute and deaf before they became his servants. Huang recruited them as his servants to relieve them from the social stigma of their impairments so that they can enjoy a better life on his island. However, he does not wish to promote an image of himself as a kind and compassionate person so he spread those negative rumours about himself. Only his family and friends would know about the truth of Huang's character.

Acquiring the Nine Yin Manual[edit]

Shortly after his marriage to Feng Heng, Huang met Wang Chongyang's junior Zhou Botong. He learnt from Zhou that Wang had died and Zhou had inherited the Nine Yin Manual. Huang wanted the book for himself and tricked Zhou into allowing his wife to read it. Zhou agreed and let Feng read the second volume of the manual. Feng had eidetic memory and she memorised all she has read. She lied to Zhou that the manual is fake and that it was actually a copy of a book of childish rites she had memorised by heart. She recited the first few verses of the manual verbatim to Zhou, who believed her and destroyed the book in anger. After Zhou left, Feng wrote a copy of the manual from memory for her husband.

Loss of loved ones[edit]

Two of Huang's disciples, Chen Xuanfeng and Mei Chaofeng, fell in love and were afraid of informing their teacher of their wedding plans as they were unsure whether their teacher would give them his blessings or violently object. They eloped and fled from the island, taking along their teacher's Nine Yin Manual with them.

In the same year, Feng Heng was pregnant with Huang Rong. When she learnt that the copy she wrote had been stolen, she attempted to write another from memory for her husband. However, the stress was too much for her to bear, and she died shortly after giving birth to Huang Rong. Huang Yaoshi was deeply tramautised by the loss of his wife and was driven to near-insanity. He vented his anger on his remaining four students (Qu Lingfeng, Lu Chengfeng, Wu Mianfeng and Feng Mofeng) by breaking their legs and banishing them from his island.

Huang later regrets bitterly for inflicting such a heavy punishment on his innocent disciples. He sets off to find his daughter, who has left home after quarreling with her father. He meets Mei Chaofeng at Guiyun Manor on Lake Tai, where Lu Chengfeng has settled after leaving the island. Huang agrees that Mei has been duly punished since she has lost her sense of sight and her husband. He forgives Mei and asks her to find his other students and bring them back to the manor so he can heal their legs. However, Huang never saw his other disciples again: Chen Xuanfeng was killed by Guo Jing; Qu Lingfeng was killed by Shi Yanming; Wu Mianfeng died of illness; Feng Mofeng has become a blacksmith and is killed by Jinlun Guoshi in the sequel. Huang later accepts Lu Chengfeng's son Lu Guanying and Qu Lingfeng's daughter Shagu as his grand-disciples.

Conflict with Zhou Botong[edit]

Zhou Botong realised that he had been tricked by Huang and he returned to Peach Blossom Island to demand an explanation from Huang. Huang was still embattled by the loss of his wife and Zhou's arrival merely fuelled the anger and frustration in him. He blamed Zhou for his wife's death. Zhou retorted angrily as he had also suffered in a similar experience with Liu Ying. Huang and Zhou started fighting but neither of them was able to defeat his opponent. Huang imprisoned Zhou on his island by sealing all possible exit routes. Zhou roamed the island and settled in a cave for the next 15 years. During that period of time, Huang and Zhou taunted each other to fight and Huang occupied himself with his conflict with Zhou. Their feud is only resolved when Guo Jing visits the island and meets Zhou.

Guo Jing and Huang Rong's marriage[edit]

Huang is very protective of his daughter and loves her with his life as she reminds him of his deceased wife. He imparts all his skills to her since she was a child and hoped to groom her to become his successor. When his daughter reaches adolescence, he decides to find a suitable husband for her. Ouyang Feng visits Peach Blossom Island with his nephew Ouyang Ke to propose a marriage between Ouyang Ke and Huang Rong. Huang Yaoshi favours Ouyang Ke and wants the latter to be his son-in-law. At the same time, Guo Jing also visits the island and his teacher Hong Qigong arrives as well. Hong nominates his student to be Huang Yaoshi's son-in-law. Huang met Guo earlier at Guiyun Manor and he wants to kill Guo to avenge Chen Xuanfeng.

To make the competition for his daughter's hand-in-marriage fair, Huang sets a series of three tests for the two contestants: Guo Jing and Ouyang Ke. The first obstacle is a test of martial arts. Ouyang Feng spars with Guo while Hong Qigong fights Ouyang Ke. Guo wins the first bout but loses to Ouyang in the subsequent round, which involves appreciation of a piece of music played by Huang. The last assessment is a test of memory, in which Huang produces an incomplete copy of the Nine Yin Manual, without identifying the book, and asks the two contestants to memorise the text and recite to him later. Guo read the manual before so he recites fluently and defeats Ouyang.

Huang does not initially agree to Guo's marriage with his daughter as he dislikes Guo, who is slow in learning and appears dumb. However, Huang eventually gives them his blessings when he sees that they truly love each other.

Role in the sequel[edit]

Huang makes several brief appearances in the sequel. He rescues Cheng Ying from Li Mochou and accepts the child as his student. He develops a special bond with Yang Guo as both of them share the same distaste for ethics and societal laws of their time, and he teaches Yang two of his celebrated skills. Huang also participates in the defence of the city of Xiangyang from Mongol invaders. At the end of the novel, Huang retains his original title as "Eastern Heretic" of the new "Five Greats" on Mount Hua, alongside Zhou Botong, Yang Guo, Guo Jing and Yideng.

Martial arts and skills[edit]

Apart from physical skills and martial arts, Huang is also versed in literature, mathematics, divination, medicine, and other arts. He imparts his knowledge to his daughter and students.

Unarmed combat styles[edit]

  • 'Jade Waves Palm' (碧波掌法) is one of the fundamentals of Huang's martial arts.
  • 'Complex Five Turns' (奇門五轉) is a type of palm technique based on the Qi Men Dun Jia.
  • 'Holy Turtle Steps' (靈鰲步)
  • 'Falling Flower Divine Sword Palm' (落英神劍掌) is known as 'Falling Peach Flower Palm' (桃華落英掌) in earlier editions of the novel. The two skills below are usually combined with this palm technique.
    • 'Whirlwind Leaves Sweeping Leg' (旋風掃葉腿) is a kicking movement.
    • 'Orchid Acupuncture Point Brushing Hand' (蘭花拂穴手) is an acupuncture point sealing technique.
  • 'Finger Flicking Skill' (彈指神通) is a technique involving the channeling of a great amount of inner energy into a single finger and releasing it with a precise amount of control. It can be used to propel objects with both force and accuracy.

Armed combat styles[edit]

  • 'Jade Flute Swordplay' (玉簫劍法) is a swordplay technique primarily focused on attacking an opponent's acupuncture points
  • 'Jade Leaking Silver Pushing Sword' (玉漏催銀劍) is a swordplay technique.
  • 'Three Fork and Three Palm Styles' (三招火叉、三招掌法) is a six styles skill involving the use of the cha (a larger version of the sai resembling a fork). The moves are simple in nature and require great strength. Huang creates this skill and teaches Shagu for self-defence.

Others[edit]

  • Song of the Sea and Waves (碧海潮生曲) is a xiao piece whose tune has hypnotic effects on people. The melody can put a person into a trance and the person feels like he is floating in the ocean. Huang channels some of his inner energy into the tune when playing the piece and this increases its power. Huang plays this piece several times to hypnotise Zhou Botong and make him reproduce a copy of the Nine Yin Manual. He also plays it during the second test for Guo Jing and Ouyang Ke.

Inventory[edit]

  • The Bone Penetrating Needle (附骨针) is a needle with slow acting poison applied at the tip. Upon contact with the skin, it will penetrate the flesh and lodge itself into the victim's bone. The victim will suffer in agony for a year before eventually dying.
  • The Soft Porcupine Armour (软猬甲) is a special lightweight armour with spikes on it that will protect the wearer from all kinds of metal weapons. This armour was originally intended as a gift for Zhou Botong but Huang passed it to his daughter eventually. The armour later saves Huang Rong's life when Yang Kang attempts to kill her.

References[edit]

  • (Chinese) 黄药师:操演怪癖的剑术 - extract about Huang Yaoshi from Rankings of Characters in Jin Yong's Works (金庸人物排行榜) by Tan Xianmao (覃贤茂)