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The Legend of the Chivalrous

Based on an exciting chapter from "The Water Margin," a masterpiece novel in Chinese literature, "Pan Jinlian" is a famous Kunqu play that tells the dark tale of love, lust and murder. Pan Jinlian, the young, sensual and beautiful heroine of the play, is married off to Wu Da, a dwarf who ekes out a living selling pancakes, by the order and arrangement of her spiteful master after she has turned him down in his proposition of carnal pleasure. Thus unhappily married, Pan spends her days lamenting her misfortunes. One day, the younger brother of Wu Da, Wu Er, comes into town as a triumphant hero, after fighting with his bare hands and killing a tiger in the nearby mountain. Pan finds herself hopelessly attracted to the handsome and virile brother-in-law. At the first chance of their being together alone, she makes amorous advances toward Wu Er. A righteous and loyal practitioner of Confucianism, Wu Er flatly turns her down. Utterly vilified, Pan sinks into a deeper depression. Late, through a venal, vulgar and wicked old busybody and matchmaker, Mama Wang, Pan meets a notorious rone named Ximen Qing. The two start a wildly passionate affair. The tragic ending of the play has Pan and Ximen plot and murder Wu Da, whose death is eventually avenged by Wu Er, who in turn kills Pan and Ximen.

Tiao Lan (First Encounter)

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Pan is in a deeper depression, when a notorious rake named Ximen Qing walks by her house one day. Whether by accident or by designs of the gods, they meet, and it's love at the first sight. A mutual acquaintance of theirs, Mama Wang - a venal, vulgar and wicked old busybody and matchmaker, happens to pass by at that moment. Promised by Ximen a handsome reward for fixing him up with Pan for a sexual union, the old woman is only too willing to serve as the arranger in this seedy matter of the flesh.

Cai Yi (The Seduction)

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As arranged, Ximen visits Mama Wang when Pan "happens" to be making dresses at Wang's. To get herself out of the way, Wang finds an excuse to leave the house. Being left alone, with nothing there to stop them, Ximen and Pan start their affair.

 
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