Ashes of Time | 1995
Ouyang Feng is a native of White Camel Mountain. Raised by his elder brother, Ouyang's ambition is to become a famous swordsman. But faced with a choice between the woman he loves and martial adventures, he chooses the latter. Frustrated, the woman marries his brother. After ten years, Ouyang, now cynical and materialistic, goes to the desert and opens an inn. He becomes an agent for killers, hiring young but penniless swordsmen to do the dirty work of others. Every year during the peach blossom season, Ouyang is visited by a close friend, Huang Yaoshi, who, like Ouyang, also has a sad love story to tell--he once had an unconsummated affair with the wife of his best friend at Peach Blossom Land. Others Ouyang comes into contact with include the schizophrenic Murong Yang/Murong Yin; a down-and-out swordsman with failing eyesight (who turns out to be Huang's best friend); an impoverished young girl who wants to avenge her brother's death; and Hong Qi, another aspiring swordsman, and his loyal wife.