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Synopsis

Over two thousand years ago in ancient China, a warlord had just unified the country – with the help of two brothers, Hsufu and Hsufei – establishing the Qin Dynasty and calling himself Qinshihuang, the First Emperor. Seeing Qinshihuang’s vanity and brutality, Hsufu used a deceit to make his way to the east, founding Japan and becoming the first emperor there. Hsufei continued to serve the country with loyalty, as an inspirational warrior as well as a minder of Qinshihuang. Ultimately, before his demise which he knew was inevitable, the First Emperor took Hsufei’s advice to preserve himself and his warriors in mausoleums, wishing that some days his empire would be revived. Hsufei, among thousands of his fellow men, stayed buried deep underneath the soil until 1978, when stone statues were discovered by archaeologists. In the form of a stone figurine, Hsufei was somehow removed to the residence of Deng Xiaoping, who had just been reinstated as a Communist Party leader to help lead the country after the death of Mao Zedong, the founder of the socialist new China. Hsufei, aided by a potion of immortality taken before his burial two thousand years ago, resurrected right before Deng’s eyes. It was the start of a mysterious voyage for both of them, at the critical transformation stages of the country, the journey ending in the midst of the turbulent events in the spring of 1989. In the course of Hsufei’s eventful second life, stories pertaining to fictitious and real characters were intertwined and unfolded, with Hsufei being in the central narrative and Deng the de facto protagonist, revealing the duo’s secret collaboration in countering, on the one hand, the Party left-wingers who opposed the opening up of China, and a driving force that strived for the overturn of the Communist regime, on the other. On fictional construction, these historical issues are raised and addressed: why Japan invaded China and brutalized Chinese people during World War II; how Deng came to devise the economic reforms and future paths of China when he took power in 1978; what prompted him to regain the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the British; and what happened that led to the June 4 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

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