I stumbled upon a remarkable fan-made MV that perfectly captures the essence of the beloved wuxia novel, “Fanatical.” Although I attempted to translate the lyrics into English, I must admit that they were lost in the complexity of the Chinese language. Nonetheless, I couldn’t resist sharing this gem with you because it beautifully encapsulates my favorite wuxia novel.

This blog post marks the 50th entry, and it’s high time that I provide a summary of this incredible book. Yes, my dear readers, I know I’m known for reading funny junk books, but “Fanatical” is a treasure I couldn’t keep to myself. I should have written this ages ago when I first translated some snippets, but I confess, I’ve been quite the slacker. So, let me apologize for any confusion caused by my previous posts, and with this summary, I hope to shed some light on those snippets. Fair warning, though: spoilers lay ahead, so proceed at your discretion.

The Dong Dynasty

The Dong Dynasty, consisting of seven states, has long relied on a sacred seal to exert its power. However, with the dynasty nearing its twilight years, incompetent and weak emperors have taken the throne, plunging the states into discontent and chaos. Add to that the disappearance of the seal, and you have a dynasty in shambles, mirroring the Era of Warring States in ancient Chinese history.

Bai Feng Xi and Hei Feng Xi

Bai Feng Xi, known as BFX, dons a simple white robe, reminiscent of the snowy moon. She’s praised for her unmatched grace, but she’s also wild and free-spirited, earning the respect of the martial arts world. On the other hand, Hei Feng Xi, or HFX, is his complete opposite, dressed in the darkness of the night sky. He’s honorable, kind, and admired by the martial arts community. Both are incredibly skilled in martial arts, and although their names may sound similar, they are written differently in Chinese. Destiny seems to bind them together.

They’ve known each other for a decade, engaging in constant teasing and playful banter. They assist and mock each other, their relationship always shrouded in ambiguity. They’re friends unlike any other, their camaraderie both endearing and perplexing. Bai Feng Xi affectionately calls Hei Feng Xi “black fox” because she knows the sly and ruthless man beneath the surface. She’s privy to his true nature, a privilege granted to her alone. And he, in turn, refers to her simply as “woman,” a gentle reminder of her gender as she defies societal expectations by indulging in her love for fighting, sleeping, and eating.

The Search for the Missing Seal

Both Bai Feng Xi and Hei Feng Xi find themselves entangled in a perilous quest to recover the missing seal, which leads them to encounter Hua Chun Ran (HCR). HCR, a noble princess known as the epitome of beauty and glamour, possesses an ambitious and calculating heart. Her father, the King, is keen on finding her a suitable husband, and she sets her sights on Hei Feng Xi. However, he has his own ulterior motives and warns Bai Feng Xi not to meddle in his affairs.

Ultimately, the seal ends up in the hands of Huang Chao (HC), a prince of exalted lineage. HC possesses unparalleled martial arts skills and an arrogant demeanor, making him ambitious and hungry for power. Although he proposes to Bai Feng Xi twice, she rejects him due to his inability to promise monogamy, despite his claims of loving only her. In his pursuit of dominion, HC also seeks to marry HCR, leveraging her kingdom’s alliance.

Unexpected Twists

As HCR is on the verge of announcing her marriage to Hei Feng Xi, he abruptly departs from the ceremonial event. In that very moment, he realizes that he loves Bai Feng Xi wholeheartedly and cannot bear to marry anyone else. With limited options and to spare herself further embarrassment, HCR chooses to marry HC instead. She may appear ambitious, but her true desire is to become a queen, regardless of who she marries. Sadly, her father’s plan to use HC to conquer the world backfires, resulting in the loss of his kingdom to his son-in-law. Oblivious to these events, Bai Feng Xi playfully taunts Hei Feng Xi about his failure to win HCR’s hand in marriage.

It’s revealed that Bai Feng Xi is, in fact, Princess Feng Xi Yun (FXY), a capable and intelligent woman who excels in poetry and has trained a formidable army for her state. Following her father’s demise, she reluctantly becomes the ruler of White Feng state, forsaking her previous life in the martial arts world. King Hua seizes this opportunity to attack and conquer her kingdom, but thanks to FXY’s military prowess and martial arts skills, she successfully defends her state against all odds. However, the war takes a toll on her, as HC belatedly comes to his father-in-law’s aid.

Similarly, Hei Feng Xi is Prince Feng Lan Xi (FLX), a reclusive and mysterious prince deeply loved by his subjects. FLX follows FXY to White Feng state, assisting her in fending off King Hua’s invasion. While FXY isn’t concerned about ruling the world herself, she wants her people to live in peace, free from the burdens of war. To achieve this, she forges an alliance with Black Feng state, supporting FLX’s quest for global domination. Their alliance is further solidified through a political marriage, their bond sealed by a rare orchid called “Lan Yin Bi Yue,” which FLX takes eight years to cultivate.

Hidden Depths

Beneath FLX’s graceful and elegant fa├žade lies a cunning and calculating man. Unlike HC, he conceals his ambition, strategically plotting his path without dirtying his hands with unnecessary bloodshed. Growing up in a complex environment, FLX has faced countless challenges. His mother’s death, caused by the current queen and condoned by his own father, led his siblings to try and eliminate him. But FLX’s intelligence and wisdom enable him to rise to the throne after his father’s demise.

However, it becomes evident that two rulers cannot peacefully share power, leading to difficulties within their alliance. Mutual suspicion and mistrust prevent FXY and FLX from openly expressing their feelings and discussing their problems. Their relationship is further strained when FLX hesitates to send reinforcements promptly, resulting in the death of two of FXY’s beloved generals. Despite her deep sorrow, she conceals her tears and personal emotions, striving to maintain the army’s morale and help FLX achieve his goal of conquering the world for the sake of their people.

The Final Showdown

With FXY’s assistance, FLX successfully conquers other states, obtaining half of the world. On the other side, HC, now the king, controls the remaining half. They are evenly matched, locked in a battle for supremacy. To secure victory and break the deadlock, FXY infiltrates the enemy camp. Sensing an opportunity, HC unleashes all his might, gravely injuring her with an arrow. It’s a jarring realization that the man who professed his love for her would go to such lengths to fulfill his ambition.

Ordinarily, FXY would survive such a life-threatening wound, but constant warfare weakens her body considerably. In a desperate bid to save her, FLX harnesses a ancient martial arts technique that can revive someone on the brink of death. Although he succeeds, the cost is great. He ages thirty years in an instant, his skin wrinkled and his hair turning white overnight. Fortunately, this transformation is reversible, and he regains his health and youthful appearance. Together, they decide to abandon everything and wander the martial arts world, embracing a peaceful and carefree existence. In the end, FLX chooses his love for FXY over the allure of ruling the world, while HC gains dominion but a loveless and lonely life.

Fan-Made MVs

To enhance your visual experience while reading this summary, I’ve handpicked four fan-made MVs that beautifully complement the story. The songs are enchanting, and these MVs capture the essence of the characters and their journey. While my summary merely scratches the surface of this epic book, these visuals will immerse you further in the captivating world of “Fanatical.”

  • One of the best fan-made MVs with Chinese dubbing: Watch here
  • An animated version of the fan-made MV: Watch here
  • A fan-made MV exclusively focusing on the male and female leads: Watch here
  • A fan-made MV featuring numerous characters: Watch here

Short Review

“Fanatical” is a masterful blend of wuxia and imperial worlds, surpassing the typical palace intrigues and revenge-driven plots. It delves into grander themes such as the futility of war, sacrificing personal desires for the greater good, trust, friendship, and true love. The female lead, Bai Feng Xi, is a force to be reckoned with, sharing the spotlight equally with the male lead. She’s not a damsel in distress or a mere ornament; she’s Huang Rong-like in her strength and personality. As a ruler, she exhibits compassion, intelligence, and selflessness towards her subjects. Even in the chaos of war, she accidentally kills someone she cares about, highlighting the sacrifices she makes for her kingdom.

The male lead, Hei Feng Xi, possesses his fair share of flaws but is an endearing character with a hint of darkness. He’s sarcastically witty and ruthless toward his enemies, proclaiming himself not a hero but a king. To survive in a complex world and claim the throne, he cannot afford to be weak or merciful. Yet, he’s willing to sacrifice everything, including his own life and ambition, for Bai Feng Xi’s sake. It’s a rarity in ancient literature to find a male lead who puts love before power.

Admittedly, the book has its flaws. The ensemble cast of intriguing characters could have been given more depth and development, as they left me wanting to know more about them. Their multitude confused me to the point that I needed to create a character chart. Additionally, my limited Chinese language abilities prevented me from fully appreciating the poetry and ancient words used throughout the novel. Therefore, I regret to inform you that I won’t be able to translate it for you, unless you wish to witness my untimely demise. Some readers may find the novel verbose, slow-paced, or even boring. It demands time, patience, and contemplation to fully grasp and appreciate its intricacies. Additionally, some lament the lack of substantial interaction and romance between the two leads, considering that the novel also delves into the conflicts between states.

As for why this extraordinary book hasn’t been adapted into a drama yet, it’s anyone’s guess. Perhaps the battle scenes would be too costly to recreate, or maybe they just haven’t found actors who can do justice to the characters. On second thought, perhaps it’s best to leave this masterpiece as a book, safeguarded from potential butchery on the screen. After all, I can always satisfy my cravings by listening repeatedly to the wonderful audio book. However, if a drama were successfully executed, it could bring this captivating story to a wider audience, even those who don’t understand Chinese.

So, my dear friends, allow me to present to you this epic wuxia love story, “Fanatical.” It’s a tale of entangled love and hate, weaving together the destinies of remarkable characters. I hope you enjoy this journey as much as I did.

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