Wang Yuyan (traditional Chinese: 王語嫣; simplified Chinese: 王语嫣; pinyin: Wáng Yǔyān; Jyutping: Wong4 Jyu5-jin1) is the daughter of Duan Zhengchun and Li Qingluo. She is described as a beautiful and flawless young maiden independent of all worldly traits. She has a crush on her cousin, Murong Fu. She memorises martial arts manuals in the hope of helping Murong Fu perfect his skills and hence win his affection, but he does not appreciate her help and treats her coldly. She is able to identify various types of martial arts simply by observation, even though she does not practise the skills in the manuals she read. Duan Yu falls in love with her on first sight due to her resemblance to "Fairy Sister", a statue of her grand-aunt he chanced upon. He starts following her everywhere she goes and incurs the annoyance of Murong Fu's followers. Although initially impassive towards Duan Yu, she slowly warms up to him after he saved her on a few occasions. After seeing how Murong Fu has become so obsessed with restoring his kingdom that he wants to compete for the hand-in-marriage of the Western Xia princess, she feels disappointed with him and attempts suicide but survives. Duan Yu confronts Murong Fu and tells him he will also fight for the princess's hand-in-marriage, so as to force Murong to return to Wang Yuyan. Murong Fu turns furious and knocks Duan Yu into a well. By then, Wang Yuyan realises that Murong Fu has become insane and she throws herself into the well to join Duan Yu. Wang and Duan survive the fall, confess their love to each other, and eventually leave safely. Wang Yuyan discovers later that she is Duan Zhengchun's daughter – effectively making her Duan Yu's half-sister – and feels heartbroken because she cannot be with Duan Yu anymore. Duan Yu later tells her that they can still be together because they are ultimately distant cousins since his biological father turns out to be Duan Yanqing instead of Duan Zhengchun.
A'zhu (Chinese: 阿朱; pinyin: Ā'zhū; Jyutping: Aa3-zyu1) is the elder daughter of Duan Zhengchun and Ruan Xingzhu. She is very skilled in the art of disguise and is initially a servant of the Murong family. She meets Duan Yu and helps him escape from Jiumozhi. She once disguised Duan Yu and herself as Murong Fu and Xiao Feng respectively, as part of a plan to save some members of the Beggars' Sect who were captured by Western Xia soldiers. She later disguises herself as a monk and infiltrates Shaolin to steal some martial arts manuals for Murong Fu. Xiao Feng witnesses the act and forces her to hide with him behind a giant statue. They are eventually discovered. In the ensuing fight, she is seriously injured by Xuanci, but Xiao Feng saves her and they escape. When inspecting her wounds, he finds out that she is a woman and uses his inner energy to preserve her life and cares for her while she is wounded. During this time, A'zhu develops romantic feelings for Xiao Feng. Xiao Feng brings her to Xue Muhua, the only person capable of healing her, and manages to convince him to do so. After her wounds are healed, A'zhu waits for Xiao Feng five days and five nights on the road and tells him her wish to accompany him forever. Xiao Feng is touched by her dedication and reciprocates her feelings for him. Although they experience a calm and peaceful life in the wilderness while travelling, Xiao is unable to let go of his desire to find out the identity of "Leading Big Brother", the person who killed his parents. They return to Song territory, where A'zhu volunteers to help Xiao trick Kang Min into revealing who "Leading Big Brother" is. However, Kang Min quickly sees through the disguise and misleads them into thinking that the "Leading Big Brother" is Duan Zhengchun. Xiao Feng challenges Duan Zhengchun to a duel. Before the duel, A'zhu finds out that she is actually Duan Zhengchun's daughter, and that her younger sister is A'zi. She disguises herself as Duan Zhengchun to prevent a conflict between her lover and father, and allows Xiao Feng to kill her. It is too late when Xiao realises his mistake. Before dying, A'zhu reveals the truth to Xiao and makes him promise her that he will take care of A'zi.
A'zi (Chinese: 阿紫; pinyin: Ā'zǐ; Jyutping: Aa3-zi2) is A'zhu's younger sister and a student of Ding Chunqiu. Much like everyone else in the Xingxiu Sect, she is sadistic and cruel, and takes pleasure in torturing and mutilating anyone who offends her. She is considered a traitor to the Xingxiu Sect because she stole the shenmu wangding (神木王鼎), a prized treasure of the sect, and fled with it. In the latest edition of the novel, her reason for doing so was because Ding Chunqiu noticed her growing beauty and started making inappropriate advances on her. You Tanzhi, who is also attracted by her beauty, willingly succumbs to her sadistic "games" to amuse her. He even offers his eyes to her after she is blinded by Ding Chunqiu. However, she has a crush on Xiao Feng and does not care about You Tanzhi. She often taunts Xiao Feng with her sister's dying words whenever he refuses to do anything for her. She becomes increasingly jealous of how irreplaceable her dead sister is in Xiao Feng's heart. When Xiao Feng refuses to help Yelü Hongji attack the Song Empire, the Liao emperor sends his concubine to approach A'zi and trick her into spiking Xiao Feng's wine with a "love potion". While escaping from Liao with A'zi, Xiao Feng is suddenly seized with fatigue because the "love potion" is actually a poison that will temporarily weaken him. While Xiao Feng is captured and imprisoned by Liao forces, A'zi manages to escape and seek help from Duan Yu and the others to save Xiao. Although Xiao Feng is rescued, he takes Yelü Hongji hostage, makes the Liao emperor swear never to wage war against the Song Empire for as long as he lives, and then commits suicide. A'zi realises that she cannot live without Xiao Feng and follows suit after he takes his own life.
Mu Wanqing (Chinese: 木婉清; pinyin: Mù Wǎnqīng; Jyutping: Muk6 Jyun2-cing1) is the daughter of Duan Zhengchun and Qin Hongmian. She is forced to follow a rule established by her teacher: If any man sees her face, she must either marry or kill him. Because of this reason, she normally wears a mask or veil. She is pursued by Yue Laosan, who is angry that she killed his apprentice, who saw her face. Duan Yu gets involved in this matter, and she takes him along with her as she escapes. Despite her harsh treatment towards him, he tries to help her and she falls in love with him. When Yue Laosan catches up with them, she reveals her face to Duan Yu and forces him to either marry her or die with her. He chooses the former option. She leaves him in anguish after they are revealed to be actually half-siblings. She meets Duan Yanqing, who tricks her and Duan Yu into consuming aphrodisiac, because he wants them to commit incest and disgrace the Duan family. However, Duan Zhengchun's men dig a secret tunnel leading to the room where she is held captive, rescue her, and replace her with Zhong Ling. She appears again in a later chapter when the protagonists are in Western Xia.
Zhong Ling (traditional Chinese: 鍾靈; simplified Chinese: 钟灵; pinyin: Zhōng Líng; Jyutping: Zung1 Ling4) is the daughter of Duan Zhengchun and Gan Baobao. She meets Duan Yu while he is attempting to defuse a conflict between two rival sects. She is captured and held hostage by one of the sects' leaders after he is bitten by her pet, the Lightning Squirrel, whose bite is poisonous and fatal. She is rescued by Duan Yu and Mu Wanqing later. Although she is also in love with Duan Yu, she gives up after learning that he is her half-brother. She appears again in a later chapter to take care of Duan Yu after he is wounded by Jiumozhi.
Duan Zhengming (Chinese: 段正明; pinyin: Duàn Zhèngmíng; Jyutping: Dyun6 Zeng3-ming4) is the benevolent and wise monarch of Dali who is highly respected by his subjects and people. When Jiumozhi shows up at Heavenly Dragon Monastery to force its elders to give him the "Six Meridians Divine Sword" manual, he abdicates and becomes a monk at the monastery to help the elders deal with Jiumozhi. He is known as Benchen (traditional Chinese: 本塵; simplified Chinese: 本尘; pinyin: Běnchén; Jyutping: Bun2-can4) after becoming a monk.
Duan Zhengchun (Chinese: 段正淳; pinyin: Duàn Zhèngchún; Jyutping: Dyun6 Zeng3-seon4) is a prince of Dali and Duan Zhengming's younger brother. Notorious for his philandering ways, he conceives several illegitimate daughters with different women in his younger days. Ironically, three of his daughters become romantically involved with Duan Yu, whom he raises as his son without knowing that Duan Yu was actually conceived out of a past illicit affair between his wife, Dao Baifeng, and Duan Yanqing, his distant cousin and future nemesis. He succeeds his brother as the king of Dali after the latter abdicated and became a monk. While travelling around, he is confronted on different occasions by Duan Yanqing, who attempts to force him to hand over his throne. He commits suicide to join his lovers after they are killed by Murong Fu.
Gao Shengtai (Chinese: 高升泰; pinyin: Gāo Shēngtài; Jyutping: Go1 Sing1-taai3) is the Marquis of Shanchan and a formidable martial artist. He rules Dali as a regent after Duan Zhengchun's death before passing the reins of power to Duan Yu.
The Four Bodyguards (四大護衛) of Duan Zhengchun are four highly skilled martial artists who dedicate themselves to protecting the prince and his family. They usually disguise themselves and accompany Duan Zhengchun when he travels around. Duan Zhengchun regards them as his friends rather than subordinates. The four are:
Zhu Danchen (Chinese: 朱丹臣; pinyin: Zhū Dānchén; Jyutping: Zyu1 Daan1-san4) disguises himself as a scholar. Duan Yu regards him as a close friend because both of them have common interests in literature and poetry.
Zhong Wanchou (traditional Chinese: 鍾萬仇; simplified Chinese: 钟万仇; pinyin: Zhōng Wànchóu; Jyutping: Zung1 Maan6-sau4), nicknamed "Horse Deity" (馬王神), is the master of Wanjie Valley (萬劫谷) in Dali. He is Gan Baobao's husband and is extremely protective of his wife. He hates Duan Zhengchun because he believes that Duan seduced his wife. He even placed a sign at the valley's entrance which reads: Any person with the family name "Duan" who enters this valley shall be killed without exception (姓段者入此谷殺無赦).
Reverend Huangmei (traditional Chinese: 黃眉大師; simplified Chinese: 黄眉大师; pinyin: Huángméi Dàshī; Jyutping: Wong4-mei4 Daai6-si1) is the abbot of Nianhua Monastery (拈花寺) in Dali. He plays an important role in rescuing Duan Yu from Wanjie Valley by distracting Duan Yanqing in a game of weiqi while Duan Zhengchun's men dig an underground tunnel to the room where Duan Yu is held captive.
Murong Fu (traditional Chinese: 慕容復; simplified Chinese: 慕容复; pinyin: Mùróng Fù; Jyutping: Mou6-jung4 Fuk6), nicknamed "Southern Murong" (南慕容) by martial artists in the jianghu, is a descendant of the royal families of the Yan states (Southern Yan, Former Yan, Later Yan, etc.) in the Sixteen Kingdoms era. His father named him "Fu" (lit. "restore") to remind him to restore Yan. An egoistic, scheming and ruthless man, he resorts to all sorts of methods, including unscrupulous means, to revive his family's legacy and become the emperor. He is even willing to sever ties with his cousin Wang Yuyan, who has a crush on him, in order to realise his dream. He fails in his plan and becomes insane eventually. He is skilled in many forms of martial arts but specialises in none. His fighting style is described as "returning you with your own way" (以彼之道, 還之彼身) because he likes to use his opponents' signature moves against them.
Murong Bo (Chinese: 慕容博; pinyin: Mùróng Bó; Jyutping: Mou6-jung4 Bok3) is Murong Fu's father. He shared the same delusions of grandeur as his son and orchestrated the attack at Yanmen Pass that led to the death of Xiao Yuanshan's wife. He faked his own death, hid in Shaolin Monastery for many years, and secretly learnt skills from the manuals in the library. He is saved from death by the Sweeper Monk and decides to abandon his wild ambitions and become one of the Monk's apprentices.
Bao Butong (Chinese: 包不同; pinyin: Bāo Bùtóng; Jyutping: Baau1 Bat1-tung4) is nicknamed "No, No" (非也非也) after his favourite catchphrase. He is notorious for disagreeing with people (usually starting the conversation with "No, no.") and challenging them to verbal fights. Murong Fu kills him to prove his loyalty to Duan Yanqing when he disapproves of Murong Fu becoming Duan Yanqing's godson.
A'bi (Chinese: 阿碧; pinyin: Ā'bì; Jyutping: Aa3-bik1) is a servant of the Murong family and Kang Guangling's apprentice. She and A'zhu helped Duan Yu escape from Jiumozhi. She is very loyal to Murong Fu and continues serving him even after he becomes insane.
Dao Baifeng (traditional Chinese: 刀白鳳; simplified Chinese: 刀白凤; pinyin: Dāo Báifèng; Jyutping: Dou1 Baak6-fung6) is a princess consort of Dali and Duan Zhengchun's formal spouse. She left her husband after discovering his extramarital relations and decided to have sex with an "inferior" man to make her husband angry. She had a one night stand with a filthy beggar, who was actually Duan Yanqing, and gave birth to Duan Yu later. She only reveals the truth to her son towards the end of the novel. In the latest edition of the novel, she points out to Duan Yu that he can marry all his cousins since the relations between him and them are so distant. She commits suicide soon after to join her dead husband.
Qin Hongmian (traditional Chinese: 秦紅棉; simplified Chinese: 秦红棉; pinyin: Qín Hóngmián; Jyutping: Ceon4 Hung4-min4) is nicknamed "Sura Dagger" (修羅刀). She left Duan Zhengchun in anger after learning of his illicit affairs with other women and called herself "Eerie Valley Dweller" (幽谷客). She raised their daughter, Mu Wanqing, as her apprentice without telling her the truth about her parents until Mu finds out by herself. As Mu Wanqing's teacher, she taught her daughter martial arts and sent her to kill Duan Zhengchun's mistresses and other illegitimate children. She is eventually slain by Murong Fu, who tried to use her as a hostage to force Duan Zhengchun to relinquish his throne to Duan Yanqing.
Gan Baobao (traditional Chinese: 甘寶寶; simplified Chinese: 甘宝宝; pinyin: Gān Bǎobǎo; Jyutping: Gam1 Bou2-bou2) is Zhong Wanchou's wife. Her daughter, Zhong Ling, whose father is Duan Zhengchun, was raised as Zhong Wanchou's child. Zhong Wanchou hates Duan Zhengchun and is extremely protective of his wife, but she still continues to meet Duan through the underground passage to her room. She is killed by Murong Fu.
Ruan Xingzhu (Chinese: 阮星竹; pinyin: Ruǎn Xīngzhú; Jyutping: Jyun2 Sing1-zuk1) is the mother of A'zhu and A'zi. As she bore her daughters out of wedlock, she decided to abandon them to protect Duan Zhengchun's reputation. Later, by chance, she is reunited with her daughters but only manages to identify A'zi; A'zhu is killed by Xiao Feng by mistake before she can acknowledge her parents. Ruan Xingzhu is killed by Murong Fu.
Li Qingluo (traditional Chinese: 李青蘿; simplified Chinese: 李青萝; pinyin: Lǐ Qīngluó; Jyutping: Lei5 Cing1-lo4), also known as Mrs Wang (Chinese: 王夫人; pinyin: Wáng Fūrén; Jyutping: Wong4 Fu1-jan4) after her marriage, is the mistress of Mantuo Manor (曼陀山莊) on an island in Lake Tai. She is the daughter of Wuyazi and Li Qiushui. She is Wang Yuyan's mother and Murong Fu's maternal aunt. After learning that Duan Zhengchun has cheated her feelings by having secret affairs with other women, she develops a hatred of men and sends her servants and mercenaries to kill every man who crosses her path. She prides herself on her island's tea flowers, and makes an exception to her intolerance of men by allowing Duan Yu to stay in her manor as a caretaker for her flowers. She collaborates with Murong Fu and Duan Yanqing in an attempt to scare Duan Zhengchun and take revenge on him for betraying her love. However, she soon realises how far Murong Fu is willing to go in order to force Duan Zhengchun to give up his throne when her nephew starts killing Duan's lovers one by one. Murong Fu soon points his sword at her after Duan expresses his love for her. In an attempt to save her, Duan lies to her that he hates her and will never love her because she caused his other lovers to die. Feeling despaired, she throws herself at Murong Fu's sword to end her life. Just before she dies, Duan regrets and tells her that he still loves her but it is too late.
Kang Min (Chinese: 康敏; pinyin: Kāng Mǐn; Jyutping: Hong1 Man5), also known as Mrs Ma (traditional Chinese: 馬夫人; simplified Chinese: 马夫人; pinyin: Mǎ Fūrén; Jyutping: Maa5 Fu1-jan4) after her marriage to Ma Dayuan, is a treacherous and vicious woman. She seduces Bai Shijing and murders her husband with his help. She attempts to seduce Qiao Feng because she admires him and wants to be the wife of the Beggars' Sect's chief, but Qiao rebuffs her. She holds a grudge against him for rejecting her and plots his downfall. She passes the letter with details about Qiao Feng's background to Quan Guanqing and instigates Quan to incite the Beggars' Sect's members to rebel against Qiao Feng. She later tricks Qiao Feng and A'zhu into believing that "Leading Big Brother" is Duan Zhengchun, and indirectly causes A'zhu's tragic death. Duan Zhengchun visits her later to find out why she directed Qiao Feng to kill him. She uses the opportunity to take revenge on Duan for betraying her love by torturing him after tricking him into consuming a potion that temporarily weakens him. Bai Shijing shows up a while later and wants to kill Duan to silence him, but is killed by a masked Xiao Yuanshan before he could do so. Duan Zhengchun is saved while Kang Min finds herself at the mercy of A'zi, who tortures and disfigures her in the name of avenging her dead sister. Kang Min dies of shock after seeing her reflection in a mirror.
The "Four Evils" (天下四惡 / 四大惡人) are a group of four eccentric martial artists notorious for committing heinous crimes. Their nicknames are Chinese idioms used to describe evil persons. The four are ranked in order of seniority:
Duan Yanqing (traditional Chinese: 段延慶; simplified Chinese: 段延庆; pinyin: Duàn Yánqìng; Jyutping: Dyun6 Jin4-hing3), nicknamed "Overflowing with Evil" (惡貫滿盈), is a distant relative of Duan Zhengming and Duan Zhengchun, and a former crown prince of Dali. Duan Zhengming became the new king upon the death of Duan Yanqing's father because Duan Yanqing was nowhere to be found at the time. Feeling resentful that his right to being the ruler was taken from him, Duan Yanqing attempts to seize back the throne by threatening and harming Duan Zhengchun and Duan Yu on different occasions. Although he appears to be a crippled old man on crutches, his inner energy and mastery of the Duan family's signature skill, "Yiyang Finger" (一陽指), are extremely powerful. He has the ability to channel his inner energy to his abdomen and speak without using his vocal cords. He gives up on his quest to reclaim the throne and becomes a recluse when he realises that his biological son, Duan Yu, will eventually succeed Duan Zhengchun as the king of Dali.
Ye Erniang (traditional Chinese: 葉二娘; simplified Chinese: 叶二娘; pinyin: Yè Èrniáng; Jyutping: Jip6 Ji6-noeng4) is nicknamed "No Evil Left Undone" (無惡不作; i.e. commits all evils). She had a secret romance with Xuanci and bore him a son, who was taken away from her by a masked attacker. She suffers from an emotional breakdown and resorts to kidnapping other people's babies and treating them as her own before killing them. (In the latest edition of the novel, she leaves the babies at strangers' homes after playing with them.) At the wulin gathering at Shaolin, she recognises Xuzhu as her son after seeing the joss stick burn marks on his back and reunites with him. She dies together with Xuanci after he publicly confesses his affair with her.
Yue Laosan (Chinese: 岳老三; pinyin: Yuè Lǎosān; Jyutping: Ngok6 Lou5-saam1), nicknamed "Ferocious Deity and Evil Devil" (凶神惡煞), is also known as the "Crocodile Deity of the Southern Sea" (traditional Chinese: 南海鱷神; simplified Chinese: 南海鳄神; pinyin: Nánhǎi È Shén; Jyutping: Naam4-hoi2 Ngok6 San4). He is the most comical character in the novel because of his repeated (but unsuccessful) attempts to make Duan Yu his apprentice, which concluded with him being outsmarted by Duan Yu and becoming Duan's apprentice (in name) instead. He often bickers with Ye Erniang and claims that he should be ranked second among the Four Evils, but concedes to her upon her death. Armed with a pair of giant scissors, he often threatens to kill people by breaking their necks. He is killed by Duan Yanqing while trying to save Duan Yu.
Yun Zhonghe (traditional Chinese: 雲中鶴; simplified Chinese: 云中鹤; pinyin: Yún Zhōnghè; Jyutping: Wan4 Zung1-hok6), nicknamed "Thoroughly Cruel, Utterly Evil" (窮凶極惡), is a lecherous fiend who preys on young women. He is armed with an iron staff and relies on his formidable prowess in qinggong to pursue his targets and flee from danger. He is viciously killed by Duan Yu when he attempts to make sexual advances on Wang Yuyan after the deaths of Duan Zhengchun and his lovers.
Xuanci (Chinese: 玄慈; pinyin: Xuáncí; Jyutping: Jyun4-ci4) is the abbot of Shaolin. He had a secret romance with Ye Erniang, who bore him a son without his knowledge. Their child was taken away by a masked attacker and left in the garden of Shaolin. The monks found the baby, decided to raise him as one of them, and named him "Xuzhu". Xuanci is actually the mysterious "Leading Big Brother" (帶頭大哥) who led the attack on Xiao Yuanshan's family at Yanmen Pass several years ago, because he was provided with misleading information by Murong Bo. Towards the end of the novel, he publicly confesses his affair with Ye Erniang and dies in peace after accepting punishment for his misconduct.
The Sweeper Monk (traditional Chinese: 掃地僧; simplified Chinese: 扫地僧; pinyin: Sǎodì Sēng; Jyutping: Sou2-dei6 Sang1) is a nameless monk of unknown origin in charge of maintaining the library of Shaolin. He defeats Xiao Yuanshan and Murong Bo and puts them to sleep while clearing their minds of their delusional ambitions. When the two of them recover from their trance, they are very grateful to him and become his apprentices. The Monk's prowess in inner energy and martial arts is so powerful that even Xiao Feng's "Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms" has almost no effect on him.
Xuanbei (Chinese: 玄悲; pinyin: Xuánbēi; Jyutping: Jyun4-bei1) was murdered by Murong Bo. Murong Fu was suspected of being the killer.
Xuanji (Chinese: 玄寂; pinyin: Xuánjì; Jyutping: Jyun4-zik6) is the head of the Discipline Hall. He specialises in using the palm skill "Once Clap, Two Scatters" (一拍兩散). He succeeds Xuanci as the abbot of Shaolin.
Xuandu (Chinese: 玄渡; pinyin: Xuándù; Jyutping: Jyun4-dou6) once disguised himself and sparred with Xiao Feng to find out if he was the one who killed Xuanku. He specialises in using the finger skill "Flower Pinching Finger" (拈花指). He is defeated by Jiumozhi when the latter comes to challenge Shaolin.
Xuanshi (Chinese: 玄石; pinyin: Xuánshí; Jyutping: Jyun4-sek6) secretly followed Xiao Feng to find out if he was really the one who murdered Xu Chongxiao and the others. He is killed by Liao warriors while saving Xiao Feng from captivity.
Xuantong (Chinese: 玄痛; pinyin: Xuántòng; Jyutping: Jyun4-tung3) is injured by You Tanzhi's icy venom skill. While recovering, he suddenly attains enlightenment and dies.
Xuancheng (Chinese: 玄澄; pinyin: Xuánchéng; Jyutping: Jyun4-cing4) specialises in 13 of Shaolin's 72 most powerful skills. However, due to his obsession to master all the 72 skills, he practises martial arts excessively and ends up injuring himself and becoming permanently disabled. After this experience, he realises his past folly and devotes the rest of his life to studying Buddhism.
Xuanku (Chinese: 玄苦; pinyin: Xuánkǔ; Jyutping: Jyun4-fu2) is Xiao Feng's mentor. He is mortally wounded by Xiao Yuanshan, who disguised himself as Xiao Feng. When Xiao Feng comes to visit him, he mistakenly accuses his apprentice of attacking him and then dies from his injuries.
Ma Dayuan (traditional Chinese: 馬大元; simplified Chinese: 马大元; pinyin: Mǎ Dàyuán; Jyutping: Maa5 Daai6-jyun4) is the deputy chief of the sect. A righteous and humble man, he is respected by his fellows. He holds the sealed letter containing details about Qiao Feng's origin but has never opened it. His wife, Kang Min, seduces Bai Shijing and instigates Bai to murder her husband. Bai uses Ma's signature move "Throat Locking Grapple" (鎖喉擒拿手) to kill him and attempts to push the blame to Murong Fu because the manner of killing clearly fits Murong's "returning you with your own way" style.
Wang Jiantong (traditional Chinese: 汪劍通; simplified Chinese: 汪剑通; pinyin: Wāng Jiàntōng; Jyutping: Wong1 Gim3-tung1), nicknamed "Sword Beard" (劍髯), was Qiao Feng's predecessor as the chief of the sect. He was involved in the attack on Xiao Yuanshan's family. He held a letter from the "Leading Big Brother" containing details about Qiao Feng's origin and sealed it and passed it to Ma Dayuan before his death. He also gave instructions that the letter can only be opened in the presence of the sect's elders if Ma dies under suspicious circumstances. He died of natural causes before the events of the novel take place.
The Four Senior Elders are incited by Quan Guanqing to rebel against Qiao Feng and remove him from his position as chief. Their plan fails but Qiao Feng pardons them on account of their past contributions to the sect. They are:
Bai Shijing (traditional Chinese: 白世鏡; simplified Chinese: 白世镜; pinyin: Bái Shìjìng; Jyutping: Baak6 Sai3-geng3) is the elder in charge of maintaining discipline in the sect. He is seduced by Kang Min and instigated by her to murder Ma Dayuan. Later, just as he is about to kill Duan Zhengchun (who has been poisoned by Kang Min), a masked Xiao Yuanshan suddenly shows up and kills him.
Quan Guanqing (Chinese: 全冠清; pinyin: Quán Guànqīng; Jyutping: Cyun4 Gun3-cing1), nicknamed "All Rounded Scholar" (十方秀才), is the branch leader of the Dazhi Branch (大智分舵). He was seduced by Kang Min and instigated by her to incite his fellows to rebel against Qiao Feng. Later, he meets Zhuang Juxian (You Tanzhi) and manipulates him to be a puppet chief of the Beggars' Sect. He attempts to escape after You Tanzhi meets his downfall at the wulin gathering at Shaolin, but the Beggars' Sect's elders track him down and kill him.
Xu Chongxiao (traditional Chinese: 徐沖霄; simplified Chinese: 徐冲霄; pinyin: Xú Chōngxiāo; Jyutping: Ceoi4 Cung1-siu1) is a retired elder of the sect who appears at the meeting in Apricot Forest to affirm that the contents of the letter about Qiao Feng's origin are genuine. He was murdered by a masked assailant (later revealed to be Xiao Yuanshan) just before Qiao Feng comes to ask him about the true identity of the "Leading Big Brother". Qiao Feng was accused of being the murderer.
Wuyazi (traditional Chinese: 無崖子; simplified Chinese: 无崖子; pinyin: Wúyázǐ; Jyutping: Mou4-ngaai4-zi2) is the leader of the Carefree Sect (逍遙派). He was ambushed and thrown off a cliff by his apprentice, Ding Chunqiu, who betrayed him. He has incredible inner energy but is unable to take revenge on Ding because he was crippled by the fall. When Xuzhu meets him after breaking his weiqi formation by luck, he is already in his 90s and has been waiting all these years for a potential successor. Before dying, he transfers his 70 years worth of inner energy to Xuzhu and names him the new leader of the Carefree Sect. He also gives Xuzhu a painting of a woman (Li Qiushui's sister) who looks like Wang Yuyan and tells Xuzhu to look for her.
Li Qiushui (Chinese: 李秋水; pinyin: Lǐ Qiūshuǐ; Jyutping: Lei5 Cau1-seoi2) is Wuyazi's junior and the love rival of Tianshan Tonglao. Wuyazi cohabited with her for some time in a cave at Limitless Mountain and conceived a daughter, Li Qingluo, with her. However, his true love was actually Li Qiushui's younger sister, who is identical to Li in appearance, so he started neglecting Li. Li Qiushui eventually became a concubine of Western Xia's ruler and rose to the position of Imperial Consort Dowager after her husband's death. She is already in her late 80s when the events of the novel take place. She dies together with Tianshan Tonglao in the aftermath of their final showdown when they finally realise that Wuyazi loves neither of them.
Su Xinghe (traditional Chinese: 蘇星河; simplified Chinese: 苏星河; pinyin: Sū Xīnghé; Jyutping: Sou1 Sing1-ho4), nicknamed "Deaf Mute Old Man" (聾啞老人) and "Intelligent Gentleman" (聰辯先生), is Wuyazi's eldest apprentice. He indulged in various types of arts and neglected his martial arts practice. He saved Wuyazi after the latter was thrown off a cliff by Ding Chunqiu. He pretended to be mute and deaf and founded the Deaf Mute Sect later and accepted the "Eight Friends of Hangu" as his students. He dies after being poisoned by Ding Chunqiu.
The "Eight Friends of Hangu" (函谷八友) are Su Xinghe's students. They live near Hangu Pass. They are:
Tianshan Tonglao (Chinese: 天山童姥; pinyin: Tiānshān Tónglǎo; Jyutping: Tin1-saan1 Tung4-lou5; literally: "Child Old Woman of Mount Heaven") is Wuyazi's senior and the ruler of Lingjiu Palace (靈鷲宮) on Mount Heaven. She mastered a powerful skill that increased her powers but one of its side effects is that she will maintain her present body size regardless of age. She is already in her 90s when the events of the novel take place, but since she started practising the skill in her childhood, her body is that of a child's, hence her name. She used the "Life and Death Talisman" to poison many smaller martial arts sects and force them to submit to her. If they followed her orders, she would periodically give them an antidote to temporarily ease their suffering; if they did not, they would suffer painful deaths. She generally treated them very harshly. The sects cannot tolerate her cruelty and eventually decide to rebel against her. When the rebellion occurred, she is in a temporary state of weakness and is kidnapped from the palace by one of the rebels, Wu Laoda, who does not recognise her. Xuzhu saves and protects her from the rebels and Li Qiushui. In return, she offers to teach him martial arts but he declines because he sees himself as a Shaolin monk. In order to force Xuzhu to break the Buddhist code of conduct so that he can no longer be a monk, she captures Princess Yinchuan, tricks her and Xuzhu into consuming aphrodisiac, and lets them make love. Xuzhu is unable to restrain himself and eventually breaks his code and accepts Tianshan Tonglao's tutelage in martial arts. Tianshan Tonglao dies from exhaustion after her final fight with Li Qiushui.
Ding Chunqiu (Chinese: 丁春秋; pinyin: Dīng Chūnqiū; Jyutping: Ding1 Ceon1-cau1), nicknamed "Old Freak of Xingxiu" (星宿老怪), is Wuyazi's former apprentice. He attempted to murder his master by ambushing him and throwing him off a cliff. He founded the Xingxiu Sect (星宿派), which specialises in toxicology and poison-based martial arts. The Xingxiu Sect becomes notorious throughout the wulin because of the wicked deeds of Ding and his followers. Ding is eventually defeated by Xuzhu at the wulin gathering at Shaolin and implanted with the "Life and Death Talisman" (生死符). Xuzhu decides to spare Ding's life in spite of the heinous crimes Ding had committed, so he suggests to the Shaolin monks to imprison Ding in Shaolin and try to reform him. If Ding behaves well, Xuzhu will give him the antidote to temporarily ease the agony caused by the "Life and Death Talisman".
Yelü Hongji (Chinese: 耶律洪基; pinyin: Yēlǜ Hóngjī; Jyutping: Je4-leot6 Hung4-gei1) is the ambitious emperor of Liao. He once led a raid on the Jurchen tribes but was defeated and captured by Xiao Feng, who spared his life. They become sworn brothers later. Xiao Feng helps him suppress the rebellion started by Yelü Nielugu and Yelü Chongyuan. In return, he gives Yelü Nielugu's princely title and estate to Xiao Feng. Towards the end of the novel, he plans to attack the Song Empire and wants Xiao Feng to lead his army, but Xiao refuses. In the last chapter, Xiao Feng takes him hostage and forces him to promise that he will never allow any Liao soldier to cross the border and attack the Song Empire for as long as he lives.
Yelü Nielugu (traditional Chinese: 耶律涅魯古; simplified Chinese: 耶律涅鲁古; pinyin: Yēlǜ Nièlǔgǔ; Jyutping: Je4-leot6 Nip6-lou5-gu2) is Yelü Chongyuan's son and the "Great Prince of the South Palace" (南院大王) of the Liao Empire. He rebels against Yelü Hongji to help his father seize the throne but is defeated and slain by Xiao Feng. Yelü Hongji then gives Nielugu's title and estate to Xiao Feng.
Yelü Chongyuan (Chinese: 耶律重元; pinyin: Yēlǜ Chóngyuán; Jyutping: Je4-leot6 Cung4-jyun4) is an uncle of Yelü Hongji and a Liao general. He is instigated by his son, Yelü Nielugu, to rebel against Yelü Hongji but the revolt is suppressed. He commits suicide after his defeat.
Noble Consort Mu (traditional Chinese: 穆貴妃; simplified Chinese: 穆贵妃; pinyin: Mù Guìfēi; Jyutping: Muk6 Gwai3-fei1) is Yelü Hongji's favourite concubine. She tricks A'zi into spiking Xiao Feng's drink with a "love potion", which is actually a drug that will cause Xiao to be temporarily weakened.
Princess Yinchuan (traditional Chinese: 銀川公主; simplified Chinese: 银川公主; pinyin: Yínchuān Gōngzhǔ; Jyutping: Ngan4-cyun1 Gung1-zyu2) is a Western Xia princess. Her personal name is not mentioned in the earlier versions of the novel; in the latest revision, her name is Li Qinglu (Chinese: 李清露; pinyin: Lǐ Qīnglù; Jyutping: Lei5 Cing1-lou6). She is abducted by Tianshan Tonglao, who makes her consume aphrodisiac and brings her to the ice cellar every night to make love with Xuzhu. This is all part of Tianshan Tonglao's attempt to force Xuzhu to break the Buddhist code of conduct and make him agree to learn martial arts from her. Princess Yinchuan has never seen Xuzhu's appearance because they had sex in the dark, and she only knows him as her "dream lover". In a later chapter, she asks her father to invite martial artists from throughout the jianghu to participate in a contest to win her hand-in-marriage, in the hope that her "dream lover" will show up. Her wish is fulfilled when Xuzhu joins the contest and provides the correct answers to her questions. She recognises him as her "dream lover" and marries him.
Helian Tieshu (traditional Chinese: 赫連鐵樹; simplified Chinese: 赫连铁树; pinyin: Hèlián Tiěshù; Jyutping: Hak1-lin4 Tit3-syu6) is a Western Xia general. He is in charge of First Class Hall (一品堂), an organisation established by the Western Xia government to recruit martial artists from all over the jianghu to serve as mercenaries.
Jiumozhi (traditional Chinese: 鳩摩智; simplified Chinese: 鸠摩智; pinyin: Jiūmózhì; Jyutping: Kau2-mo1-zi3), nicknamed "Dalun Mingwang" (大輪明王; lit. "Great Wheel Guardian King"), is an adviser to the Tibetan ruler and a reputable monk from Dalun Monastery (大輪寺) in the Daxue Mountains. He is well versed in Buddhism and martial arts, but does not follow the Buddhist code of conduct – the "sins" he committed include his obsession to become the most powerful martial artist in the wulin. He attempts to take the "Six Meridians Divine Sword" manual from Heavenly Dragon Monastery, but the book is destroyed by Kurong. When he learns that Duan Yu has memorised the book, he kidnaps him and tries to con or intimidate him to write the manual from memory, but Duan escapes with the help of A'zhu and A'bi. Towards the end of the novel, he almost dies from an imbalance of inner energy due to compulsive training, but Duan Yu saves his life by draining away the energy. He feels grateful to Duan Yu despite losing everything he had built up through years of practice, and repents after seeing how his delusional dream had caused him to stray from the path of goodness.
You Tanzhi (Chinese: 游坦之; pinyin: Yóu Tǎnzhī; Jyutping: Jau4 Taan2-zi1) is the heir to the Heroes' Gathering Manor (聚賢莊; Ju Xian Zhuang) run by his father and uncle. The manor hosts a meeting for Han Chinese martial artists to discuss plans to deal with Qiao Feng, who is seen as a threat to the wulin after he is suspected of committing a series of murders. Qiao Feng shows up at the meeting and fights with many martial artists. The You brothers lose to Qiao Feng and commit suicide in shame. You Tanzhi becomes a pauper and orphan overnight, and he bears a grudge against Qiao Feng for his plight. He is captured by Liao soldiers at the border and sold into slavery. He meets Xiao Feng again later and attempts to kill him but fails. Xiao Feng lets him go, but A'zi captures him after he is released. While A'zi tortures him for her sadistic amusement, he is so entranced by her beauty that he develops a crush on her and willingly succumbs to her and becomes her source of entertainment. A'zi forces You Tanzhi to have an iron mask welded onto his head to conceal his identity, resulting in his face becoming marred and disfigured. A'zi nicknames him "Iron Clown" (鐵丑). Later, she forces him to let poisonous creatures bite him, as part of her plan to learn the Xingxiu's Sect's most powerful skill. She leaves him to die after he is paralysed by the bites but he finds the Yijin Jing by chance and uses the techniques in the manual to purge the poison from his body. He returns to A'zi and repeats the bizarre ritual with her numerous times. He is eventually bitten by the Icy Worm, an extremely rare and poisonous insect, and ends up mastering a powerful skill which allows him to project streams of energy containing icy venom. After A'zi is blinded by Ding Chunqiu, You Tanzhi saves her and promises her he will always take care of her. She does not recognise him, and he lies to her that his name is Zhuang Juxian (traditional Chinese: 莊聚賢; simplified Chinese: 庄聚贤; pinyin: Zhuāng Jùxián; Jyutping: Zong1 Zeoi6-jin4; a new name he thought of by rearranging the three Chinese characters that make up the name of his old home). Later, he meets Quan Guanqing, who helps him remove the iron mask and manipulates him into becoming the new chief of the Beggars' Sect. Under Quan's influence, he challenges the Shaolin Sect for supremacy under the pretext of calling for a wulin gathering at Shaolin Monastery. At Shaolin, You Tanzhi sees A'zi being held hostage by Ding Chunqiu, who threatens to kill her if You Tanzhi does not kneel down and call him "Master". You Tanzhi, in his capacity as the Beggars' Sect's chief, agrees to Ding's demands in front of everyone present. After Ding Chunqiu's defeat, You Tanzhi is denounced as a traitor of the Beggars' Sect and becomes an outcast of the wulin. In spite of these setbacks, he is still unwilling to give up on A'zi and follows her everywhere. He even offers his eyes to her to help her regain her sense of sight after she is blinded by Ding Chunqiu, in the hope of winning some love and sympathy from her, but she despises him even more. He follows suit after A'zi commits suicide to join Xiao Feng.
You Ji (Chinese: 游骥; pinyin: Yóu Jì; Jyutping: Jau4 Kei3) and You Ju (traditional Chinese: 游駒; simplified Chinese: 游驹; pinyin: Yóu Jū; Jyutping: Jau4 Keoi1) are the brothers who run the Heroes' Gathering Manor. You Ji is You Tanzhi's father while You Ju is You Tanzhi's uncle. Along with Xue Muhua, they host a wulin meeting at the manor to discuss plans to deal with Qiao Feng. Qiao Feng shows up at the manor to find Xue Muhua to heal A'zhu. The martial artists confront him and the situation escalates into a battle after Qiao Feng toasts to break ties with some of his old friends and acquaintances. The You brothers lose to Qiao Feng and commit suicide in shame after their weapons (also their family heirlooms) are shattered.
Shan Zheng (traditional Chinese: 單正; simplified Chinese: 单正; pinyin: Shàn Zhèng; Jyutping: Sin4 Zeng3), nicknamed "Stern Faced Judge" (鐵面判官), is a reputable martial artist from Mount Tai. He appears at the Beggars' Sect meeting in Apricot Forest and is one of the few who know the "Leading Big Brother"'s true identity. He and his family are killed in a fire set by Xiao Yuanshan. Xiao Feng is blamed for their deaths until the truth is revealed.
Shan Zheng's five sons are collectively known as the "Five Heroes of Mount Tai". Shan Boshan and Shan Zhongshan are killed by Xiao Feng at Heroes' Gathering Manor while the rest die in the fire set by Xiao Yuanshan.
Zhao Qiansun (traditional Chinese: 趙錢孫; simplified Chinese: 赵钱孙; pinyin: Zhào Qiánsūn; Jyutping: Ziu6 Cin4-syun1) is a cowardly martial artist who was involved in the attack on Xiao Yuanshan's family. He is Tan Po's senior and has a crush on her since more than 30 years ago. He continues to meet Tan Po behind her husband's back to reminisce their good old days. He is killed by Xiao Yuanshan. Qiao Feng is accused of being the murderer until the truth is revealed. The three Chinese characters that make up his name are incidentally the first three surnames in the Hundred Family Surnames.
The Heavenly Dragon Monastery (天龍寺) is a Buddhist monastery located in Dali. Some of the monks are former members of Dali's royal family.
Kurong (traditional Chinese: 枯榮; simplified Chinese: 枯荣; pinyin: Kūróng; Jyutping: Fu1-wing4) is Duan Yanqing's uncle and the most senior monk in the monastery. He lets Duan Yu read the "Six Meridians Divine Sword" manual and memorise it before destroying the book to prevent Jiumozhi from obtaining it.
Benyin (Chinese: 本因; pinyin: Běnyīn; Jyutping: Bun2-jan1) is Duan Zhengming's uncle and the monastery's abbot.
The Lords of the 36 Caves and 72 Islands (三十六洞洞主、七十二島島主) are a loose assembly of martial artists who were implanted with the "Life and Death Talisman", a deadly poison, and forced into submission by Tianshan Tonglao. If they followed her orders, she would periodically give them an antidote to temporarily ease their suffering. They eventually decide to rebel against Lingjiu Palace when they could no longer stand Tianshan Tonglao's cruelty. The Lords include:
Sangtugong (Chinese: 桑土公; pinyin: Sāngtǔgōng; Jyutping: Song1-tou2-gung1) is the lord of Bilin Cave (碧磷洞) in Sichuan. He is killed by Xuzhu and Tianshan Tonglao.
Madam Li (Chinese: 黎夫人; pinyin: Lí Fūrén; Jyutping: Lai4 Fu1-jan4) is the lord of Yehua Island (椰花島) in the southern sea.
Wu Laoda (traditional Chinese: 烏老大; simplified Chinese: 乌老大; pinyin: Wū Lǎodà; Jyutping: Wu1 Lou5-daai6; literally: "Boss Wu") is a martial artist who broke into Lingjiu Palace. He chanced upon Tianshan Tonglao, who was in a temporary state of weakness, mistook her for a palace maid, and captured her.
Taoist Buping (Chinese: 不平道人; pinyin: Bùpíng Dàorén; Jyutping: Bat1-ping4 Dou3-jan4) is nicknamed "Dragon King" (蛟王). He is killed by Xuzhu.
Ke Baisui (traditional Chinese: 柯百歲; simplified Chinese: 柯百岁; pinyin: Kē Bǎisuì; Jyutping: O1 Baak3-seoi3) is the chief of the Funiu Sect (伏牛派). He is murdered by an unknown assailant (later revealed to be Murong Bo), who used his signature martial arts technique to kill him. Murong Fu was suspected of being the murderer.
Cui Baiquan (Chinese: 崔百泉; pinyin: Cuī Bǎiquán; Jyutping: Ceoi1 Baak3-cyun4), nicknamed "Golden Abacus" (金算盤), is Ke Baisui's junior. In the past, he offended the Murong family and was forced to take shelter in Dali, where he assumes a new identity as an accountant in Duan Zhengchun's residence. He spends most of his time drinking and gambling. Duan Yu befriends him through their common interest in weiqi.
Guo Yanzhi (traditional Chinese: 過彥之; simplified Chinese: 过彦之; pinyin: Guò Yànzhī; Jyutping: Gwo3 Jin6-zi1), nicknamed "Soul Chasing Whip" (追魂鞭), is Ke Baisui's apprentice. He travels to Dali to seek Cui Baiquan's help in hunting down the person who murdered his master.
Xiao Yuanshan (traditional Chinese: 蕭遠山; simplified Chinese: 萧远山; pinyin: Xiāo Yuǎnshān; Jyutping: Siu1 Jyun5-saan1) is Xiao Feng's father. 30 years ago, he and his family were attacked by a group of masked assailants at Yanmen Pass and his wife was killed. He attempted suicide by jumping off a cliff but survived. He remains in hiding in Shaolin's library while secretly plotting revenge on Xuanci, whom he has identified as the attackers' leader. He is enlightened by the Sweeper Monk, who puts him to sleep and clears his mind of thoughts of vengeance. He feels grateful and decides to become the Monk's apprentice.
Reverend Zhiguang (traditional Chinese: 智光大師; simplified Chinese: 智光大师; pinyin: Zhìguāng Dàshī; Jyutping: Zi3-gwong1 Daai6-si1) is a reputable monk from Mount Tiantai who was involved in the attack on Xiao Yuanshan's family. He was present at the Beggars' Sect meeting in Apricot Forest. He commits suicide after declining to tell Qiao Feng the identity of the "Leading Big Brother".
Qiao Sanhuai (traditional Chinese: 喬三槐; simplified Chinese: 乔三槐; pinyin: Qiáo Sānhuái; Jyutping: Kiu4 Saam1-waai4) is Xiao Feng's adoptive father. He is killed along with his wife by Xiao Yuanshan for not telling their adoptive son about his true parentage.