General Huo Da: [kneeling down] 19th Princess Hong-e.
General Shi Yan-sheng: [kneeling down] Shi Yan-sheng, General of the Crown Prince Jian-cheng, attends Your Highness.
Princess Hong-e: What was that?
General Shi Yan-sheng: Shi Yan-sheng, general of the Crown Prince...
Princess Hong-e: Forget it. Come drink with me.
[a servant brings them a drink]
General Huo Da: I thank Your Highness.
General Shi Yan-sheng: I have duties to guard His Highness. I can't drink.
Princess Hong-e: Fate makes us meet, never mind. Drink.
Princess Hóngè: Pick up the petals. Don't leave a single piece!
General Shi Yan-sheng: I must go to the Palace to see His Majesty.
Princess Hóngè: You've hurt this flower. It aches... Doesn't your heart ache?
General Shi Yan-sheng: He who trusts not my innocence, come cut my head!
General Shi Yan-sheng: The Master Abbot sent you?
Child Monk: [nods head] Your roots of wisdom are slight, your sins serious. In this life you're unlikely to attain the highest wisdom. I'll show you the way. Success or failure is in your hands. Observe the prohibitions, be ascetic, work hard for progress in the next life. Then you can see the light of Buddha after centuries.
Soldier: You... you've been a monk for long?
Child Monk: Ten years.
General Shi Yan-sheng: How old are you?
Child Monk: Ten.
General Shi Yan-sheng: Your parents sent you here?
Child Monk: No parents. Empty of all burden.
Fat Soldier: My tummy is empty. How about supper?
Child Monk: You've had it!
Fat Soldier: I haven't!
Child Monk: Monks have one meal a day. No eating after midday.
General Shi Yan-sheng: Heaven and Earth are cruel, sacrificing all creation.
General Shi Yan-sheng: Everyone is having a good time.
Princess Hong-e: Yeah. My brother, whose hands have his brother's blood, is now Emperor. Peace reigns. The people all call him a good monarch.
General Shi Yan-sheng: And the Crown Prince's followers?
Princess Hong-e: Those who rebelled were betrayed, beheaded. Of those who surrendered, many became Generalissimos, singing praises of my brother the Emperor. Huo Da is a grade one Generalissimo. His troops defeated the Eastern Turks. Great exploits, great fame.
General Shi Yan-sheng: This world... is not the world I still long for in my dreams...
Princess Hóngè: Beauty is transient. Remember how I look now... Remember well.
The Abbot: [after Shi Yan-sheng finished shaving his head] Feels so good! Just like what man and woman do together.
Shi Yan-sheng: [says the evening prayer]
The Abbot: So noisy! Even the birds can't sleep! Didn't you want peace?
Shi Yan-sheng: I want to say the evening prayers.
The Abbot: Go sleep in your room!
Shi Yan-sheng: I can't sleep, my heart's not at peace.
The Abbot: Go find something to eat!
Shi Yan-sheng: Not hungry.
The Abbot: You don't eat, tummy's empty, heart's not!
Shi Yan-sheng: Got it! I've got it... Starved to death, I'm the same as the others. Fundamentally, all are the same. Fighting in battles, killing countless people. Did I have innate mercy? Xuan Wu Gate, was it for righteousness?
[points at his heart]
Shi Yan-sheng: He'd thought about titles and fame! He wanted to be grade one generalissimo! Leading armies of millions, acquiring great fame, betraying his lord! This heart, same as those curs. Base, black, filthy, cold-blooded!
[voluntarily bangs repeatedly his head against the wall]
The Abbot: Careful!
Shi Yan-sheng: This vile skin bag of a body! What use is it?
[bangs more violently his head]
The Abbot: I've yet to dwell herein.
Shi Yan-sheng: Can't calm down... Can't forget... Can't...
The Abbot: If you're 100 years old like me, you will forget even if you don't want to.
The Abbot: Here is here, there is there. Why use your heart to think?
Qing-shou: [kneeling] My worldly name is Qing-shou. My late husband was General Zhang Jin. He led an attack on Eastern Turks. Was ambushed, alas. Died on reaching home. His family is Buddhist. Long connected with your temple. Hope he could be cremated here.
The Abbot: Our temple's dilapidated, unfit for funerals.
Qing-shou: It's my late husband's last wish.
The Abbot: There's no extra hands. Madam, please rise.
Qing-shou: [stays knelt]
The Abbot: I, Madam... I'm 100 years old. I've forgotten the "Great Deliverance Chant".
The Abbot: How do you know her heart? Do you know your heart?
Qing-shou: You're not a monk... You've caressed me...
Shi Yan-sheng: You're Hong-e.
Qing-shou: I'm just a widow...
[caresses his body]
Qing-shou: Your body's like a general. A general who's cut thousands of heads...
Princess Hong-e: Take me with you. I only trust my first sight, trust my heart's pounding. I don't think I'll live very long. I can't bear to be 30, I'll kill myself. So have no fear. "For life" is not that long.
Emissary: By the Grace of Heaven, the Emperor so decrees: Emperor rules with sincerity and faith. He thirsts for talents. Now orders Jing-yi to return to the Palace, to be promoted to grade one Generalissimo, his late father posthumously made Generalissimo, his late mother a Noble Lady. By Imperial order, 1st month, 1st year of Emperor Shi-min's reign.
Shi Yan-sheng: This armour doesn't keep warm, hampers farm work. It's useless.
General Huo Da: Come, fight... Fight with me... Every fight I fight you to the death. In every dream I chop your head off!