Huang Yaoshi (黄药师) was one of the Original Five Greats of Wulin in the Condor Trilogy. Known as the Eastern Heretic, Huang Yaoshi is the father of Beggar Clan leader Huang Rong and father-in-law of Northern Hero Guo Jing.
Huang Yaoshi grew up in the Yunnan province. Several generations earlier, his family was banished to the province after his grandfather, a government official at the time, petitioned that the general Yue Fei was innocent. His grandfather was unsuccessful and was demoted and later beheaded for his continual support of Yue Fei.
Huang Yaoshi learned both literary and martial arts, studying literature under his father's tutelage. His martial arts teacher is unknown. He proved to be a polymath, gaining great knowledge of medicine and chemistry, martial arts, music and calligraphy, and making a deep study of the symbolism and application of the Five Elements and Eight Trigrams from the I-Ching. As he grew older, he felt that his family was wronged by the government, often arguing with his father over the belief to unconditionally love and protect one's emperor. In protest, he refused to participate in the provincial examinations, leading to his father disowning him. Starting from then he roamed the Central Plains, writing rebellious poems and texts on the walls of all government institutions, earning him the title of Heretic. The government sent out people to track him down, but in vain.
First Huashan Tournament
Years passed as Huang Yaoshi continued to hone and improve his martial arts. It was during this time that the Genuine Scriptures of Nine Yin (Jiu Yin Zhen Jing) appeared in the realm of martial arts. The manual was a compilation and unification of diverse schools of martial wisdom, and hotly contested and sought after by the wulin community at large--whoever learned and applied the skills therein would undoubtedly become supreme, with arts and skills none could surpass. In a relatively short number of years, about a hundred martial arts masters had died over this manual, murdering each other to get it or prevent its acquisition in an unending cycle of tragedy.
To prevent further chaos, Central Divinity Wang Chongyang decided to invite the most prominent and powerful martial arts masters of that time to settle this dispute about the manual and to name the top martial artist in the Wulin. Eastern Heretic Huang Yaoshi, along with Western Venom Ouyang Feng, Southern Emperor Duan Zhixing and Northern Beggar Hong Qigong were some of the skilled wulin invited. The duel was set to take place at Mount Hua. The duel would consist of a theoretical and a practical portion, and lasted for seven days and seven nights. The contest earned the five their titles and fame throughout the world of martial arts, and they were thereafter known as the Five Greats. In the end, Wang Chongyang was victorious through his superior neigong internal energy skills, with the other four being equal in power and only a slight grade below the Central Divinity.
They agreed to hold another tournament in twenty years to resettle pecking order.
Stone Slab Mystery Revealed
Some time passed after the Huashan Tournament. Huang Yaoshi would go visit Wang Chongyang at Mount Zhongnan. When he arrived, Wang Chongyang told him of the history between himself and Lin Chaoying, then asked Huang Yaoshi if he knew how it was possible that Lin Chaoying had written on a stone slab during their last encounter--a wager Wang had lost and therefore had taken up Taoism and reshaped Wang's life. Huang Yaoshi saw the slab and laughed, saying he had not mastered the technique of writing on stone and told Wang Chongyang he would return one month later with an answer.
A month later, Huang Yaoshi went back and together with Wang Chongyang, they went back to the slab. Huang Yaoshi stroked the slab a few times with a special rock and started to write another poem on the slab. Wang Chongyang was extremely surprised and touched the slab and found out that it was soft and realised that Lin Chaoying had smeared some kind of chemical to make the slab soft.
Peach Blossom Island Servants
During his travels, Huang Yaoshi recruited quite a few people to become servants at his home on Peach Blossom Island. All these servants happened to be deaf and mute, making people think Huang Yaoshi had maimed them in order to keep them silent. The truth, however was that all the servants Huang Yaoshi hired were already deaf-mutes and he only took them in due to them being ostracized by their own community. Wanting to maintain his reputation, Huang Yaoshi left the rumors of him poisoning his servants uncorrected.
As Huang Yaoshi wandered across the Central Plains, he would begin a search for disciples. While, the details of the findings of his disciples are vague, it is known that he had found his third disciple Mei Chaofeng after saving her from Mrs. Jiang of the Jiang Family, who was about to rip out Mei Chaofeng's eyes and buying Mei Chaofeng from the family. he would later take her back to Peach Blossom Island.
In the end of his travels, Huang Yaoshi had six disciples:
Peach Blossom Island
Back at Peach Blossom Island, Huang Yaoshi trained and educated his six disciples. Several years passed and Mei Chaofeng grew, attracting the affections of her martial brothers. As the love between his disciples Mei Chaofeng and Chen Xuanfeng blossomed, his first disciple Qu Lingfeng found out and ended up in a fight against Chen Xuanfeng. When Huang Yaoshi found out the reasons for the fight, he disowned Qu Lingfeng and broke his legs. After these events, Huang Yaoshi no longer taught Mei Chaofeng or Chen Xuanfeng.
Soon after this, Huang Yaoshi left Peach Blossom Island and during his travels he met and married a beautiful and intelligent woman named Feng Heng.
Jiu Yin Zhen Jing
Zhou Botong, who was trying find a place to safely keep the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing following his elder martial brother Wang Chongyang's death, ran into the Huangs while travelling. Huang Yaoshi desperately wanted the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing. Feng Heng was extremely intelligent and blessed with a photographic memory. Using this to their advantage, the couple tricked Zhou Botong into allowing Heng to read it. After reading it, she lied and told Zhou Botong that he had been tricked as the manual was nothing more than a common book of superstitious rites and recited the first few pages as 'proof'. Not knowing of Heng's photographic memory, Zhou Botong got angry and was about to destroy it when he noticed a gleam in Huang Yaoshi's eyes and decided against it and left. Shortly later, Heng recopied the entire second volume of the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing for her husband.
Chen Xuanfeng and Mei Chaofeng eloped and stole their teacher's copy of the second volume of the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing.
At that time, Heng was well into her pregnancy with Huang's daughter, Huang Rong. Upon discovering the theft, she tried to rewrite the entire manual, but she could no longer recall it perfectly. She tried, forgoing sleep and wracking her brains to try to recreate the volume for his husband, and stress and effort of her attempts added to the strain of her pregnancy, killing her during labour.
Huang Yaoshi's grief drove him to near-insanity for a time. When his disciples Lu Chengfeng and Wu Gangfeng tried to console him, their clumsy condolences offended him. In anger, Huang Yaoshi broke their legs and disowned them. Huang Yaoshi's sixth and youngest disciple Feng Mofeng felt it was unfair and spoke against his master's overreaction. Huang Yaoshi became furious, broke one of his legs and disowned him as well.
Zhou Botong eventually realised that he had been tricked and traveled to Peach Blossom Island to demand an explanation and unintentionally intruded on Huang Yaoshi's sorrow. The grieving and guilt-ridden Huang irrationally blamed Zhou Botong for his wife's death, claiming that had he not allowed her to read the manual, she wouldn't have died from the strain of rewriting the manual a second time.
Zhou Botong was incensed and callously stated he had done Huang Yaoshi a favor by eliminating a distraction so he had more time to improve his skills. The two fought a bitter battle that ended with Zhou Botong's legs broken. The old man was forced to retreat to one of the island's most remote caves with his copy of the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing, which he promised to destroy if Yaoshi came into the cave. Huang Yaoshi swore he would attack Zhou Botong if he left that cave, and that he would take the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing were it left unguarded.
This was where Zhou Botong stayed for the next fifteen years, food delivered by Huang's servants, and Huang Yaoshi often lurked in the vicinity to torment him with his neigong-infused flute playing, which could stir emotions and memories. Despite their hostilities, Huang Yaoshi allowed two concessions: Food was delivered so Zhou wouldn't starve, and Huang wouldn't go into the cave to retrieve the manual when Zhou Botong left it to relieve himself, because that would be undignified and unsporting in their contest of wills. Botong, being the mischievous sort he was, would take advantage of this loophole to spend as long as two hours roaming the island for exercise and fresh air, once his legs healed.
15 Years on Peach Blossom Island
After these events, Huang Yaoshi vowed to stay on his island until either he managed to learn the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing martial arts, using his own intelligence to deduce the gaps left by his incomplete copy, or he wrested Zhou Botong's copy away from him. On the island, he raised and educated his daughter, Huang Rong. He doted on her, and taught her martial as well as literary arts. Rong found the art, history, and culinary skills she learned more interesting than fighting, but she became a competent martial artist in her own right even with her lackadaisical approach to training. Despite her isolation, her father's tutelage made Huang Rong very knowledgeable about the outside world, including the names and reputations of various notable wulin.
When Huang Rong was about sixteen, she found the cave where Zhou Botong was imprisoned, and began regularly visiting him. Entertained and charmed by the old man, she brought him extra food and news of the wider world. When Huang Yaoshi found out, they had an unprecedented violent argument, and an upset Huang Rong ran away from home to protest her father and cause him grief.
After several months with no word from Rong, Huang Yaoshi's concern for her led him to break his vow and he left the island in order to find her.
Huang Yaoshi finally found Huang Rong at the home of his former disciple Lu Chengfeng. Here he put on a stern face and brusque manner but his actions showed his feelings better: he forgave his student and gave him the manual to the Leaf Sweeping Whirlwind Leg, a training regimen a remorseful Huang Yaoshi had developed to allow his former students to regain the use of their legs with several years of work. Huang Yaoshi also granted Lu Chengfeng permission to train his son in the Peach Blossom Island Martial Arts.
Mei Chaofeng, who was also there, begged for forgiveness. Huang Yaoshi told her that he would forgive for if she managed to do three things. First she would have to regain the copy of the Jiu Yin manual she had lost, and kill all who had read it. Then she would need to find all her crippled martial brothers and bring them to Cloud Manor for the healing of their legs. Third, she would have to nullify the martial arts she learned without permission.
Knowing that Hong Qigong's disciple Guo Jing had defeated his disciple Mei Chaofeng with the 18 Dragon Subduing Palms, Huang Yaoshi challenged Guo Jing to a fight. Guo Jing was reluctant to fight and was nearly killed by Huang Yaoshi. He had only stopped when Huang Rong threatened him that he would never see her again if he killed Guo Jing. Huang Rong then ran off and Huang Yaoshi left to look for her again.
During his search for Huang Rong, Huang Yaoshi would encounter Mei Chaofeng being trapped in a cave by OuYang Ke. Huang Yaoshi's flute, with which he could focus and attack neigong, would subdue OuYang Ke's concubines and snakes. Ouyang Ke managed to escape, but this was enough to save Mei Chaofeng.
Back at Peach Blossom Island
Huang Yaoshi returned to Peach Blossom Island. Shortly thereafter, Huang Rong returned to Peach Blossom Island, bringing her beloved Guo Jing with her. Guo Jing was there to ask for Huang Rong's hand in marriage. After a small accident that separated him from Huang Rong, Guo Jing got lost on the island, which had been sculpted into an elaborate and beautiful garden-maze by Huang Yaoshi. He stumbled across Zhou Botong right as the old man was on the verging of cracking under Yaoshi's soul-tearing flute music, and strengthened the old man's resolve. The young man and the old man spent many days together, and Huang Yaoshi was content to leave them alone so Guo would not be in Rong's company, and largely ignored them (an oversight he would later have cause to regret). Eventually Guo Jing parted ways with Botong and made his way back to the island's inhabited parts to continue his courtship.
However, Ouyang Ke had come to the island for the same purpose, with his uncle Western Poison Ouyang Feng there to advocate for him; Northern Beggar Hong Qigong arrived at the same time to speak up for his apprentice Guo Jing's suit of Rong. Huang Yaoshi held the slow-minded, stolid Guo Jing in contempt, but as a show of impartiality before his peers he decided to hold a competition to decide which suitor would marry Huang Rong, and slanted the contests in favor of the clever, well-educated Ouyang Ke.
To the surprise of everyone, Guo Jing won the competition three-out-of-three. He showed greater martial prowess than Ouyang Ke (who had quite recently been his superior). He perceived and combated subtleties in Huang Yaoshi's neigong-attacking music (even though he couldn't precisely name what he was noticing). Furthermore, he had memorized the whole of the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing during several days in the company of Zhou Botong, keeper of the manual, making a contest to recite more of it correctly after a single reading moot (even though Zhou hadn't told him he was learning the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing). Huang Yaoshi was so stunned by the dense Guo Jing's flawless recitation that he saw it as nothing less than his wife's spirit showing her favor and approval by coming to Guo's aid.
Huang Yaoshi's attitude towards Guo Jing temporarily shifted towards approval and affection, but that ended when Zhou Botong, tired of his imprisonment and confident in his ability to defend himself against Yaoshi with techniques he'd polished with Guo's help, left his cave and revealed to Huang that Guo Jing had unknowingly had the second volume of the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing and had memorized both volumes. Huang Yaoshi acted out in anger, with both of them destroying their copies of the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing.
Zhou Botong added fuel to the fire when he lied and said that Guo Jing had known the truth of the manual all along, creating a huge misunderstanding between Huang Yaoshi and Guo Jing. Huang Yaoshi stormed off with Huang Rong.
Guo Jing, Hong Qigong, and Zhou Botong then left the island on a ship. Unknown to all of them, the ship was deliberately designed to fall apart in rough seas--Huang Yaoshi had long planned to commit suicide once he was assured of his daughter's permanent safety and well-being, and had built the boat specially for this purpose. He intended to one day sail out in the fragile ship with his wife's remains and drown in the most dignified way to join his wife in death. Zhou Botong childishly insisted on taking the beautiful vessel to leave the island. Huang Yaoshi was still angry with both Guo Jing and Zhou Botong, and gave them permission to take it--knowing it would sink under them once they hit deep water and withholding any warning about their danger.
During his search he arrived at Ox Village, where he would encounter the Seven Masters of Quanzhen, who had been lied to by Qiu Qianzhang, the twin brother of Qiu Qianren, who said Huang Yaoshi had killed their martial uncle Zhou Botong. Attacking Huang Yaoshi with the Big Dipper Formation, Ouyang Feng and Mei Chaofeng would later enter the battle to assist Huang Yaoshi. Ouyang Feng managed to hit Tan Chuduan with a fatal blow. When Ouyang Feng attempted to strike Huang Yaoshi, Mei Chaofeng got in the way of the blow, sacrificing herself to save her master. In the last moments of her life, Mei Chaofeng was finally forgiven by her master.
The Quanzhen masters left and Huang Yaoshi would finally find his daughter and Guo Jing at Ox Village. Here Huang Yaoshi would find the home of his dead disciple Qu Lingfeng, who had left Huang Yaoshi many treasures. Huang Yaoshi decided to take Qu Lingfeng's daughter Sha Gu with him.
When Guo Jing and Huang Rong returned to Peach Blossom Island they found Five of the Seven Freaks of Jiangnan, Guo Jing's masters, dead. Believing Huang Yaoshi was responsible, Guo Jing swore revenge.
Huang Yaoshi would return to the island to find out what had happened, he was not responsible and had in fact left the island when he saw the Seven Freaks of Jiangnan arriving.
Duel with Quanzhen
The Masters of Quanzhen, believing that it was in fact Huang Yaoshi that struck the fatal blow to Tan Chuduan in their previous battle, challenged him to a battle at the second floor of a restaurant.
In order to use the Big Dipper Formation, the Quanzhen masters used their disciple Yin Zhiping to fill the seventh spot. Early in the battle, Yin Zhiping is eliminated and the far more formidable Guo Jing, who had previously learned the formation, took his place.
Mid-way through the battle, Ouyang Feng and the Jin army attempted to ambush the martial artists, leading to a battle to escape with all parties involved.
All of them managed to escape safely.
Second Huashan Tournament
About one year later, the second Huashan tournament began. To prevent her father and master from fighting each other and possibly seriously injuring one another, Huang Rong suggested they both fight Guo Jing for 300 strokes. Huang Yaoshi went first, he didn't want to seriously injure Guo Jing so he didn't use full power until the last few strokes. He didn't manage to defeat Guo Jing under 300 strokes and watched on as Hong Qigong failed to do so as well.
Then a crazed Ouyang Feng appeared and promptly defeated both Greats and wandered off trying to figure out his identity.
After Guo Jing and Huang Rong got married, they lived at Peach Blossom Island with Huang Yaoshi. Guo Jing's master Ke Zhen'E also moved in. However, Huang Yaoshi couldn't stand him and left Peach Blossom Island.
One day during his travels, he encountered a woman attacking and trying to catch two little girls. The woman, Li Mochou struck at them and Huang Yaoshi entered the battle, managing to save one of the girls. This girl was Cheng Ying, who would become Huang Yaoshi's disciple.
After Cheng Ying reunited with her cousin Lu Wushuang and encountered Yang Guo, Li Mochou would attack them, to get the Manual of Five Venoms back from Lu Wushuang and the Jade Maiden Heart Manual from Yang Guo. Yang Guo would get injured, however Huang Yaoshi arrived to save his disciple and companions. After using his internal power to heal Yang Guo, he would befriend the young man because he liked his rebellious personality.
Huang Yaoshi would teach the young man Peach Blossom Island martial arts during their brief encounter before they parted ways.
Yang Guo and Huang Yaoshi would run into each other once more sixteen years later at his granddaughter Guo Xiang's sixteenth birthday. The two would wander off and have a friendly sparring match by using palm winds to push around Mongolian Martial Artists. Huang Yaoshi was surprised at the power of Yang Guo and praised his Melancholy Palms as being at the same level as Guo Jing's 18 Dragon Subduing Palms. Yang Guo then mentioned the Celestial Nun of the South Sea to Huang Yaoshi. Not knowing the lie Huang Rong had told Yang Guo to keep him from dying sixteen years earlier, Huang Yaoshi inadvertently revealed that it was a lie, causing Yang Guo to run off.
Huang Yaoshi would have a brief encounter with Jinlun Guoshi, and later with the other Greats, Yi Deng and Zhou Botong, subdued him. Jinlun Guoshi, however, managed to escape and kidnap Huang Yaoshi's granddaughter Guo Xiang.
Battle at Xiangyang
In an attempt to save his granddaughter, who was tied to a burning tower, Huang Yaoshi developed a battle strategy to attack the Mongols. However, even with the combined forces of himself, Yi Deng, Zhou Botong, and Guo Jing, they couldn't manage to reach Guo Xiang. Yang Guo however, entered late in the battle, surprising his foes and managing to reach the burning tower. There, he defeated Jinlun Guoshi and rescued Guo Xiang.
With the battle concluded, East Heretic Huang Yaoshi, Guo Jing, Huang Rong, South Emperor Yi Deng, Old Mischief Zhou Botong, Yang Guo, Xiaolongnu, and others went to Mount Hua to visit the graves of West Poison Ouyang Feng and North Beggar Hong Qigong, who had died years earlier. It was there that the new Five Greats were named. Huang Yaoshi kept his spot as the East Heretic, while Guo Jing took the spot of North Hero, Yang Guo took the spot of West Passionate, Zhou Botong took the position of Central Mischief, and Yi Deng was renamed South Monk.
It is unknown who his martial arts teacher was, therefore his early arts are unknown. Huang Yaoshi, however was the founder of all the Peach Blossom Island martial arts.
Peach Blossom Falling Leaves Palm--His default style and the one taught to his disciples and daughter, this is a very graceful and elegant style he came up with after watching how peach blossoms fell and drifted in the air. It centers around elaborate feints and drifting movements until the user strikes--sometimes as many as seven or eight feints before the true attack comes.
Leaf Sweeping Whirlwind Leg--An regimen of theraputic exercise and disciplined training of one's neigong, aimed at letting someone with damaged legs regain their mobility. It won't completely undo the effects of old damage, and their legs will not be strong enough for true combat, but it'll let them regain enough balance and strength to walk around unassisted. Huang Yaoshi developed it to share with his former disciples, whose legs he'd broken and disabled when he cast them out.
Jade Flute Sword,
Divine Finger Flick--Huang Yaoshi's most refined kung fu. He uses his fingers to propel small projectiles with enormous power and accuracy--marbles strike with the force to crush small rocks, and needles can be launched with enough precision to hit someone's pressure points. He can even use it to launch stealth attacks, shooting needles from a hand hidden in a sleeve, piercing the cloth of his sleeve with no problem.