Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016) Script

It has been 18 years since the death of my beloved Li Mu Bai.

In that time, the followers of the Iron Way have become few and far between.

Warring clans now vie for power over the Martial World.

It is into this world that I hope to slip unnoticed...

like a forgotten ghost.


It is said that a scholar's name will last for five years beyond his passing... and a swordsman will be remembered for 20.

This is meant as praise...

but I believe it to be a curse.


Well, what have we here?

This girl claims she wants to join our ranks.

The guards found her at the temple gate.

What brings you here?

I seek Hades Dai of the West Lotus.

A man great enough to rule the Martial World.

And now you have found him. What would you ask of me?


Let her go!

Let her grow into someone worth killing.

Wei-Fang.

Show yourself!

Who are you?

Ask her.

Wei-Fang.

Who are you?

Bring me to Lord Dai and I will give him a prize greater than the one he sought.


Master Yu has arrived, sir.

Shu Lien.

You brighten a sad day.

I've ensured your old quarters were kept for you.

I knew you would come.

You were not the only one. I was attacked along the way.

Two dozen swordsmen slain since my father passed.

Hades Dai knows no fear to attack a warrior as great as you.

I'm sorry you were put at risk.

It is my duty to be here, to share your family's loss.

Our loss.

My father always regarded you as family.

It is not kept hidden.

In his last year, my father wanted it where he could see it.

It reminded him of more noble days.


It bears so many sorrows.

One above all.

Li Mu Bai.

I was his student when you were both here.

His death touched us all.

My father, he thought you would wed.

We could not.

I was promised to another.

It should be locked away.

A great lord has died, and you seek to use this time of chaos to emerge as the one true leader of the Martial World.

Do you read my mind? No. Your ambition.

This sword is great, but there is one greater.

The Green Destiny.

The Green Destiny was lost long years ago.

Not lost. Hidden.

Kept by the House of Te.

Am I to storm the home of the Emperor's brother?

Send instead a single drop of rain.

The boy... who crawled home from failure?

The fault is not Wei-Fang's alone.

His training is not complete.

To send him on this mission alone would be suicide.

Perhaps I can... He brought me to you.

Send the boy.

He and the sword are bound by fate.

I have seen it.


Who is that young lady?

I believe the daughter of an official.

Many have come to pay their respects.


Shh!


Thief! Thief in the house!

Who is this man?

I heard a disturbance.

He was trying to steal the sword.

I was trying to steal...?

We caught the thief.

He is more than a thief.

He is West Lotus. He attacked my carriage.

Take him to the Marshal. No. Keep him here.

Hades Dai would not assign this mission lightly.

If the boy has value to him, he may yet have value to us.

Very well.

Confine him and secure the compound.


What will happen to him? The boy?

Who are you?

I am called Snow Vase.

I came to pay my respects to Sir Te.

And your concern for the thief?

You mistake curiosity for concern.

Is it as powerful as they say?

In the right hand.


Teach me.

You have been well taught already.

I want to learn more.

I want to walk the path you followed.

I will serve you for life.

I don't need a servant, Snow Vase.

My life is solitude, and I return to it shortly.

If you seek a teacher, you must look elsewhere.


Did a night in the cold loosen your tongue?

Open this cage and I'll loosen your teeth.

That's enough!

What is your name? Wei-Fang.

So, Hades Dai wants the sword.

Let me leave with the sword now and you'll be spared.

Otherwise, this house will swim with blood.

Word must be sent to the Emperor.

There is war in the south.

I cannot trouble him with these underworld affairs.

The Emperor doesn't heed my words as he did my father's.

The sword must be removed from here at once.

It is safest here, Shu Lien.

Nothing is safe if West Lotus claims that sword.

It must be taken to Wudang Temple, high up in the mountains.

No. I made an oath to my father that I would guard and protect the Green Destiny within these walls.

Sir Te would understand.

You've earned your place in this house and much respect beyond.

Only from you, Shu Lien.

It was always that way.

Then listen to me now.

If Hades Dai comes here, he'll leave nothing standing.

No one alive. We have no choice.

The promise that I made my father is all I have to earn honor in this house.

It is worth my life, Shu Lien.

We must ask the guests to leave.

Will you stay? You always came to my father's aid and he to yours.

Will you help?

I will stay as long as I am needed.

I will bid the guests to leave.

Keep the girl who caught the thief.

She has asked me to teach her... but I suspect she can teach us.

We will need more arms.

I will hire extra guards.

We need those who will do more than guard.

There are warriors who once stood against this type of injustice.

True followers will still answer the call.

The Iron Way is not legend... not yet.


I'm telling you, I'm good for it.

You are good for nothing.


We're good for your warrant.

I have 30 swords at 20 ounces of silver a head.

That's... six hundred ounces of silver... wasted.

Sir Te was honored by masters of pen and sword alike.

If his house has need, men of the Iron Way should heed for the honor of his cause, not promise of riches.

My friend is right.

This warrant is not for you.

And if I say it is?


Think about it.

They're not that fast.

Big words for a little man... all alone.

He's not alone.

I stand with him.

Flying Blade of Shantung, at your service.

As am I.

Thunder Fist Chan, famed in Zhejiang.

And I, Silver Dart Shi.

Famed in Fuzhou.

And I, Turtle Ma.

Famed in... this tavern.


Yahh!


Ahh!

Huh? Hm.

Huh?

Who are you?

I'm known as Silent Wolf.

We'll have to rebuild all the tables!

Who threatens the House of Te?

West Lotus.

I need swords to protect its walls.

Now you have four more.

To add to your army. How many, in your army?

Five. Hundred?

Five.

Well, better five that can fight than 500 that can run.

I need a drink.

On the house. Never come back.


Let the training begin.

Do not just watch with your eyes, listen with your mind.

Again.

Again.

Your curiosity with the boy...

I'm not curious.

Then what do I now mistake for curiosity?

Hopeless!

Irritation.

Must we train here? Yes.

True skill is not a blazing flame.


Again.

Too much blazing flame!

This does not concern you!

A thousand broken sticks and swords won't teach as much as the one that bends to your will.

Touch me, however you can. Or me!

Ignore him. Strike me.

The predictable attack has a predictable outcome.

Again.

Keep practicing.

Be unpredictable.

Light Body Skill.

Where did you learn that?

My teacher. She taught me.

So, your teacher was a woman.

What is her name?

You would not know it.

And why do you no longer study with her?

She died.

Years ago.

I see.

I will practice.

Your patience will be rewarded.

Perhaps you need a bigger hole.

Like your mouth, which is always open.

I could try that.

You could try...

Or you could let me go.

Let you go? So you can thieve again?

Bring your spoils to that monster Hades Dai?

Lord Dai is a great warrior.

Under his hand, the Martial World will be peaceful.

Your master is a murderer.


Ah, Thunder Fist Chan.

Things must be quite dire for you to pledge your sword for five measly taels of silver.

No gold convoys going out this season?

I was protecting that convoy from raiders, raiders that you hired out to.

How these southern boxers from Zhejiang retell history when it suits them.

You mock Zhejiang, do you?

Easy, boys. We have all been hired for the same cause.

But does anyone know what that is exactly?

All the wine we can drink?

I didn't hear that part, Ma.

It was implied.

I heard whispers that it's kept there.

In the House of Te.

The Green Destiny.

The blade was forged...

Forged with a technique that dates back to the Qin era.

A technique lost to history.

A blade that could carve through Damascus steel.

Nobody who was wielding the blade was ever defeated in a duel or battle.

Silent Wolf, is this true?

Are we being hired to guard a sword?

I wonder how he got his name.


I bid you welcome.


Excuse me.


Explain how a man returns from the dead.

We were to wed.

I mourned for you.

Shu Lien...

That name is not yours to speak.

I was dead before that duel.

Long before.

I did it for you and Li Mu Bai.

I knew you loved him, not me.

When Hades Dai and I fought on Vulture's Peak...

...I took the only path I could see.

Ahh!

Hades Dai left me for dead.

I made my way to the mountains, and chose a life of solitude.

Up there... I found what Mu Bai and I had strived for... detachment... enlightenment.

I stayed away because I knew that as long as I was alive, Mu Bai would not ask you to marry him.

Nor in your death.

Such was his honor.

You feigned your death for nothing.

It wasn't feigned.

It was deeply felt.

That was your choice, and you made it for all of us.

I have made peace with your passing, and so it will remain.

You are needed and you're here.

Your skill and courage are not forgotten.

All else is.

And you are?

Snow Vase.

Student of Master Yu Shu Lien.

I have not known her to take a student.

So you know her well.

Well enough.

How?

This is not the place for story.

Another time, then.

Your teacher...

is she content?

She's in mourning.

Of course.

I do not speak just of Sir Te.


You move as quietly as ever.

Not so quiet that you will not hear.

You have taken a student.

Yes.

They are connected somehow, she and that boy.

He roars, but I feel a gentle soul may sleep within.

And your student? I am not certain.

I see darkness in her eyes.

She could be an even greater threat.

To us... or those we guard against?

Time will tell.

Her teacher may have been Han Mei, the renegade swordswoman from Willow Valley.

She's gone many years.

So she taught Snow Vase quite young.

Too young.


Mm!

Miss Snow Vase?

Raise a cup with us. Yes, come in.

Come on, Snow.

Mm-hm. To Sir Te and to his House.

They say a woman who can hold her wine is a woman a man will want to hold.

Who says that? I do.

We drink to remember, but it seems you drink to forget.

How do you take the measure of a man?

Which part of a man?

Ma, behave.

I said nothing.

The wine was asking.

Ask your heart.

I do. My head answers.

Mm!

The greatest battle of them all.

And you are hardly the only who fights it here.

Where is Silent Wolf?

He guards with Thunder Fist.

So Master Yu, what is she like?

Pierce its heart.

True skill is a key in the moon.

Listen... with your nose.

A predictable attack has a predictable...

Mm.

You asked to be taught.

And clearly, there is much you need to learn.

How long, teacher?

Until the shadow moves from here to there.

Twice.


You learn quickly.

That's good.

Snow Vase. How do you know her?

I do not.

Then her interest in you?

Your master believes you have interest in me. True?

Talk to me. I am bored.

Lonely. Neither is my problem.

But what if you are their solution? Stop talking.

A single smile and you have my word. I will fall silent.

How can you fall silent and yet give a word?

How can you hold so much wine and not smile?


This is territory allied to the Red Desert clan.

We have cut off their supply.

Come the New Moon, West Lotus will own this entire territory.

But this is merely Lingbao.

Not Peking.

Mantis will go where an army cannot.

While you soldiers will gather at the Twin Rivers and prepare for war against all rival clans in the Martial World.

I will succeed where Wei-Fang did not.

What do you see now, prophet?

I see nothing, but I hear word.

Just as you heard word that Wei-Fang would succeed in his raid?

Give another false prophecy, you'll not only have no eyes, you'll have no tongue.

But then you wouldn't know of the honored guest who now resides at the House of Te.

One thought long dead has returned.

Thunder Fist will guard the south gate.

Turtle Ma, we are vulnerable here.


Guard!


They've come for me.

I've come for you.

They leave destruction, death in their wake.

Do you still stand with them?

Do you still stand with them?


Look out.

Where's the sword?

He does not know.

The sword is in the east courtyard.

Once I hold the blade, you will be the first to fall.

You will not find it there, nor take it from here.

Master Yu!

Let him go.

Release him.

Give it to me now or he dies!

The House of Te will fall.

As will the followers of the Iron Way.

Who are you?

My parents were slain by the sword you hold.

On clear nights, I still hear them calling to me from the other world.

One word... vengeance.


Such a pity to die for a fee.

Not for gold, it's for the Iron Way.

My brother died for the Iron Way. It was worthless.

You should have found yourself a better cause, as I did.

Shi! No! Get away from her!


Turtle Ma...

Famed in the tavern of the river and lakes.

Silver Dart Shi. Famed in Fuzhou.

And now I mourn the death of Sir Te Zhao, the son of the man who was like a father to me.

All this for a sword.

Code, duty, honor.

Excuses for bloodshed, all of them.

That is why I left it behind.

I was content.

Above it all.

And now a kite laments its return.

I will take the sword and leave.

No. They watch the roads.

It is safer here.

But I do not feel it.

Not when vengeance chokes the air.

You saved my life.

I spoke before I thought.

Your words came from the heart.


Your mother... tell me of her.

Why? What was she like?

I have no mother.

I was raised by Iron Crow of West Lotus.

He taught me everything I know, as your teacher taught you.

You learn fast.

Knowledge is in your blood.

Again.

He gave me a sense of purpose.


Your mother was a concubine.

Or so you've been told.

How do you... I know your past.

Who told you this?

A swordswoman of great renown.

Your real mother was known as Han Mei.

A woman who had felt and brought immeasurable pain.

In her womb, she carried you, the legacy from her last night with the man she loved.

Great is the joy of a child, greater still, the value of a boy.

While she slept, a concubine who had given birth to a daughter there days before... switched her worthless girl for you...

hoping it would please her master if she presented him with a son.

When Han Mei realized what had been done... she meant to abandon the girl.

But her heart refused.

She tried to wash from her skin the blood she had shed.

But your mother could not be rid of the pain she had caused in her life.

She raised me as her own.

Trained me in the Iron Way.

The woman... My mother...

Did she look for me?

Every minute of every day she searched.

She learned the concubine had given you to West Lotus to save her own life.

She challenged Hades Dai for your freedom.


She showed me your birthmark and said, "You must find him.

If he is a good man, stand beside him.

If he has become a poison dragon... kill him."

Your mother, my teacher... died trying to find you.

That is our story, yours and mine.

Wait.

Come back!

This is for Shi!

And this is for Ma!

Stop!

He is one of them! She's right!

This is not our way.

If you're going to fight, fight like men.


Enough!

Someone taught you well.

Not well enough.

Teacher?

Come in.

You're leaving.

The sword cannot be kept here.

Where are you taking it?

I would not burden you with that knowledge. Too many will hunt it.

Can I go with you? No.

I must make this journey alone.

What about Silent Wolf?

Will he go?

Why should he?

I see the way you are together.

Is it that you don't trust him anymore?

You speak of trust?

You, whose teacher who was Han Mei.

You always knew?

She learned her skills at Wudang.

Then chose to use them for her own gain as an outlaw on the run.

You think I wouldn't see her shadow on your sword?

I wanted to save you from her fate.

You know nothing of her fate.

Her life was lost to that butcher, Hades Dai.

I sought the sword and your teachings to avenge her.

Do not carry vengeance in your heart, Snow...

You tell me to let go of my past.

Silent Wolf waits for you and yet you do nothing.

So much for your legendary courage.

My path is set.

You are still young.

Yours is not.

I know what I must do.


Silver Dart Shi.

She had more courage than any one of us.

Turtle Ma.

I never thought I'd be saying this, but I'm going to miss him.

Pour him a double.

You know, at the Battle of Sichuan, I did hire out to those raiders.

But only because I thought that they were doing the right thing.

I know that.

Always did.

And you hired out to that gold convoy for the same reason.

The Iron Way... some of us never stop living by it.

Even if it meant dying by it.

I came here to pay my respects to Sir Te.

And now...

I mourn for his son.

Tonight... I leave with the sword.

And Silent Wolf?

Will you speak with him?

I'll guard the sword.

You betrayed Hades Dai, boy.

Is she worth your life?

And that of your teacher?

Bring Hades Dai the sword or your Master, Iron Crow, dies.

Even now, he rides to meet you and secure the sword.


Go!

I cannot leave without the sword. You know this.

You will be killed if you take it. I will be killed if I don't.

Then go!

Far from here, far from West Lotus Temple.

I fulfilled my promise to your mother.

Now you must promise me to never return.

I promise.


I never saw him.

Felt a hand on my arm, then I could not move.

What happened? The sword.

The boy escaped and stole it.


You hold your life in your hand. Think of that.

It is not my life I hold this for.


Go! Take the sword and save yourself.

Protect the sword with your life!

Teacher!

Go!


Be still. I am all right.

Let me stop the bleeding.

Shu Lien...

I have failed you again.

You made your choice all those years ago. Now I will make my choice.

To live the Iron Way, may be to die for it.

I would rather face an army by your side... than to live another day without you.


Your prophecy is proven.

Your teacher would be proud.

And my mother as well.


How does a man I once killed return to challenge me?

Yah!


Come with me into the dark, Shu Lien.


We will have our vengeance on you.

Now you will join your beloved, Li Mu Bai.


No... no.


Ha!


We don't hold this sword.

This sword holds us.


No. I can't lose you.

No.

You must fight.

Stay with us.

It is said that a swordsman's name will last for twenty years beyond his passing.

But I believe that some names will live forever.

Flying Blade of Shantung.

At your service.

Thunder Fist Chan, famed in Zhejiang.

Silver Dart Shi. Famed in Fuzhou.

Turtle Ma. Famed in... this tavern.

I am Yu Shu Lien, famed in Peking.

He is Meng Si Zhao.

Known as Silent Wolf in the west.

He is Wei-Fang, who found his way back through the dark.

She is Snow Vase, the warrior who fulfilled her vow... and brought redemption to the woman who raised her in the Iron Way.

We take the sword to Wudang Mountain where it will be safe.

Code, duty, honor, I believe there are things worth fighting for.