Set during the late Ming Dynasty (明朝), the Imperial Court had a group of elite Imperial Guards called the Jinyi Wei (錦衣衛 literally: Brocade-clad Guards). They are the government‘s secret enforcer and had the authority to persecute anyone deemed as the enemy of the Empire. They devoted their lives and lethal prowess to ensure peace and stability to the Emperor only. Jinyi Wei conducted their tasks or missions with deadly precision. Members of the Jinyi Wei were highly skilled warriors. They were consisted of abducted street orphans and trained in clandestine combat since childhood.
The commander of the Jinyi Wei, QingLong (Donnie Yen), was the most feared and had a superb martial art skill. He carried a titular exquisite weapon bestowed by the Emperor called the 14 Blades. This weapon was actually a wooden box roughly the size of a guitar case that housed 14 different steel blades. The first 8 blades were imprinted with the symbols of Sky, Earth, Rank, Law, Wisdom, Trust, Benevolence, and Bravery. These 8 blades were used for interrogation. The remainder 6 blades were used for execution. The first blade was designed to execute those who disobeyed the Imperial Court and the Emperor. The second blade was intended to kill those who interfered with the Imperial administration. The third blade was for corrupt Court officials who abused their positions. The fourth blade was designed for those who committed treason. The fifth blade was for Jinyi Wei guard who committed wrongdoing to his Jinyi Wei brothers. And the last one was called the Golden Sword. It was intended to kill oneself when the mission had failed.
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