A master of long-sword fighting techniques, Wang loses an arm in the early innings. (It is hacked off by the woman he loves.) In order to exact payback, he has to master the unfamiliar short-sword style, using the stump of his symbolically shattered blade. Meanwhile, enemies of the long-sword school have invented a sneaky "sword-clamp" device and deploy it against the good guys. Issues of fighting style and discipline are central; one technique trumps another, and the hero triumphs because, driven by rage, he practices more obsessively than his foes.