A painting depicts numerous people and tells a story. A story about how it came to pass that a man of great wealth sought the love of a fair and comely maiden, but that the rich man himself was not a pleasure to the eyes, and nor was he good of heart or deed. The maiden told him “No. No you may not have me. I will find love with one who brings joy to mine own heart.” The rich man was not used to being denied, so he offered her wealth, but the maiden told him that he could not buy her, and that she would be won by he who is true. So the rich man pondered this dilemma. The man knew he was not true and knew that he bought no joy. But he was wealthy, and so with a chest of gold and precious things, he sought a Tongji, whose skills with magic were most revered. And soon, the maiden, utterly bewitched by the Tongji's enchantments, was in the rich man's arms.
The painting shows other images well – about how it came to pass that a young man was poor and sought great riches. And it came to pass that a woman sought to live in a place of great splendor. And it came to pass that a group of men, who by gathering so were called a Triad, sought greater power over other gatherings of similar men. And it came to pass that a woman grey of hair and stooped of shoulders sought to be young anew. And so all of these people, taking things of wealth with them, as little or as much as they had... sought the Dark Tongji who resided in their city.
Today in Hong Kong, civilians make their way down a busy street, bright signs hanging above them, while inside one of the buildings, an elderly woman sits at a counter. 'Hello' she calls out to the Scarlet Witch who walks over to her. 'Madam Lan?' the Scarlet Witch asks. 'Yes?' the old woman replies. The Scarlet Witch introduces herself as Wanda Maximoff and tells the old woman that she knew her daughter. Without looking up from what she is doing, Madam Lan declares that her daughter is dead. 'I know. I'm sorry' Wanda replies. Madam Lan states that her daughter was great, and Wanda agrees with her. Madam Lan asks Wanda what she wants then, if she is already aware that her daughter abides with her ancestors. Looking around the room, Wanda reminds Madam Lan that her daughter had a daughter, and that she hoped to speak with her, but she is having trouble locating her. Wanda adds that she hopes nothing untoward has become of Madam Lan's granddaughter. The old woman carries on with her business, before telling Wanda that her Cantonese is quite good, that she has all the nuances of Hong Kong pronunciation – not a hint of Guangdong.
'Actually, it's the hex I've cast allowing us to understand each other that's “quite good”...but no need for her to know that' Wanda thinks to herself as she thanks Madam Lan. 'It wasn't meant as a compliment' Madam Lan replies, looking up at Wanda for the first time. She explains that she was brought up to suspect any white person whose knowledge of their language is too perfect. Wanda asks why that is, to which Madam Lan tells her there is a saying: “Perfect here, imperfect there”. Wanda asks what that means, and Madam Lan tells her that when someone tries too hard in one area, look for the places they're not trying at all – therein lies the truth. 'That sounds like a familiar saying' Wanda smiles. 'Really? You may have it, if you like. I just made it up' Madam Lan smiles. The old woman turns to a table behind her desk and asks Wanda why she seeks her granddaughter, and whether it is to do with her mother's other life. 'Is it to do with magic... Scarlet Witch?' Madam Lan asks, surprising Wanda, who goes wide-eyed.
'Oh, you're surprised I recognized you? Did you know that there's this incredible new invention called the television? Why, it's only been around for sixty or seventy years' the old woman jokes as she picks up a pen and starts writing on a piece of paper. 'You're an Avenger, for God's sake. And you're wearing scarlet' Madam Lan points out.
She hands Wanda the piece of paper and tells her that if she wishes to speak to Alice about her mother, then she might be left wanting, but her location is on the paper, nevertheless. 'So she wants nothing to do with her mother's legacy?' Wanda asks, looking at the paper. Wanda adds that she may be able to relate to her, as she has recently learned she has something of a legacy with her mother, too. 'That's at least how she wants it to appear' Madam Lan explains. Wanda tells her that she doesn't understand. Madam Lan ignores that comment, and asks Wanda if she knew that Alice's father was white. Wanda tells her that she did, and adds that he was a policeman. Madam Lan remarks that Hong Kong will always be a place of two cultures, the Chinese and the British – East and West. She adds that the island has always been somewhat troubled because of it. 'My granddaughter is also of those two cultures, differing in only one way... she meets her troubles head on'.
Sham Shui Po District, down a deserted alleyway,:
Alice leaps behind a dumpster, dodging bullets as she fires two guns at the same time. She peers around the dumpster and shoots one of two men who rush towards her – and then the next one. Coming around the other side of the dumpster is a third man – Alice slams her gun into his face, while firing the other one around the side of the dumpster again.
Shortly, Alice, who has short red hair, is speaking to an officer, while others lead the thugs she shot at away. 'Nicely done, Detective Gulliver. So does this mark the end of the “Lucky Few Triad”?' an officer asks. Alice points out that there are probably a few stragglers lurking off in the shadows, but that the Triad definitely got fewer, and a lot less lucky. 'You're not one for negotiations, are you, Alice?' the officer asks. Alice addresses him as Captain and points out that they had their chance to play nice, but that wasn't the game they had in mind. Looking down the alleyway, Alice sees the Scarlet Witch. 'Hold on, let me check something' Alice tells the Captain. 'To do with this case?' the Captain asks. 'I'll tell you when I know' Alice replies as she walks over to the Scarlet Witch.
'Wanda Maximoff' Alice calls out. 'I'm flattered you recognize me' Wanda replies. 'You're the Scarlet flipping Witch. Everyone knows who you are' Alice replies, smiling, adding that her grandmother called and told her that she was looking for her. 'Gum?' Alice asks, handing a stick to Wanda, who tells her 'No thank you'. Alice informs Wanda that her mother used to talk about her. 'Your mother would find the way you use your magical abilities strange, I'll say that' Wanda responds, adding that it takes an experienced eye to tell, but she knows Alice is using an extreme form of Daoist Charm Magic. 'Am I right? Your weapons are enchanted' Wanda declares. 'Yes. In a word, my guns are magic' Alice admits. 'My brass knuckles. Got a snub nose on an ankle holster and a knife sheathed in back as well. All of it magically enhanced. And no one knows, which is just how I like it' Alice responds. Alice informs Wanda that her father was a Hong Kong detective, killed by one of the Triads, while her mother was the city's magical heroine, the August Wu of the Coral Shore... murdered by a demonic entity. 'So you chose your father's life and keep your inherited powers a secret?' Wanda asks. 'In the down-low. That's right' Alice confirms.
Alice remembers her other as she declares that her mother was old school – flowing, bright magic, flying around – big display of hoopla, and a mask – even though she didn't try to hide her identity. 'And I think that's what got her killed' Alice reveals, informing Wanda that until she finds who murdered her mother – a demon is all she knows so far – she is going to downplay her powers. 'That way – hopefully – I'll find my mum's killer before it decides to come find me' Alice explains. 'So you're Detective Alice Gulliver to the world and secretly the August Wu of the -' Wanda begins, but Alice interrupts her, asking who has time for that mouthful. 'If you want to call me anything to do with hocus-pocus... I'm the Wu' Alice smiles.
Alice realizes that Wanda is not here for conversation, 'Although I wouldn't mind if you were' she tells her, before asking Wanda what she wants. Wanda tells Alice that she thought it polite to inform her that she is here in her city on a case. 'Consider me informed. And?' Alice asks. 'Honestly? What I'm up against... it's a two-witch job' Wanda smiles. Alice tells her that she is in, and Wanda asks her to step this way.
Soon, Wanda and Alice arrive at Kowloon Walled City Park. Wanda asks Alice if she knows the significance of this place. They look at a small hut built out over a large pond, as Alice tells Wanda that this is the site of the Kowloon Walled City until it was torn down in 1993. Wanda announces that this land is haunted with the dead from when that city stood here – all the murders that happened in the lawless place back then has left it with countless souls in torment. At that moment, an elderly figure opens his eyes. 'They are here' he declares. Wanda asks Alice what she knows about the Dark Tongji. Alice replies that the Dark Tongji is a warlock who practices evil magic and is the granter of wishes. She adds that he has never broken the law, nothing she can prove, anyway, so she has to leave him be.
The Dark Tongji sits on his throne and calls out to a man called Johnny. 'Yes? Yes, most revered Dark Tongji? How may your wishes be met?' Johnny asks as he rushes over to the Dark Tongji, who informs him that he fears they will soon have visitors. 'And if so, I would bid you welcome them ungraciously' the Dark Tongji tells Johnny, who asks how many men this will require. The Dark Tongji tells him that he expects he will require everyone. 'I have dealt with other threats in my long life...the English...the Japanese...and magical heroes, of course, like the Wu's, own mother and grandfather'. The Dark Tongji adds that he had hoped these bothersome occurences were at an end, but supposes that may never be. 'My Lord?' Johnny asks. 'nothing. I was musing our loud. Go about your task... as I, too, prepare' the Dark Tongji instructs Johnny, before he gets up from his throne.
Back in the Kowloon Walled City Park, Alice informs Wanda that she does cross paths with a triad the Dark Tongji is rumored to have a stake in – the Missing Sixes. She explains that they are magically powered, which is why she hasn't had more success, as she thinks he empowers them, controls and extorts from them, too – but she can't prove it. Wanda asks Alice if she has ever thought to ask the Dark Tongji where he gets his powers. 'The way I got mine, inherited them from someone in his family' Alice replies, adding that or he learned the arts, as witches do, many great ones, but since Wanda is asking her this here, she is guessing it is linked to this park somehow. Wanda explains that it is the ghosts of those murdered and earthbound – that the Dark Tongji draws his power from their pain. She tells Alice that recently she has felt their anguish, that it has become overwhelming. She remarks that it is magic at its sickest, and the ghosts drew her here so she might cleanse this place and send them on – but the Tongji will seek to prevent that, naturally, and to defeat him requires a witch equally seeped in Eastern magic as he. 'Ahh, and there it is. You need my mother's magic' Alice declares. 'Your mother? Alice, your mother's dead. It's you I need. Your magic. I need the Wu' Wanda responds, looking directly at Alice.
As Wanda raises her hands overhead, Alice asks her if she at least has a plan. 'Yes' Wanda replies, announcing that the Tongji abides right here, around them, over them, in this spot, and yet in his own separate dimension. Wanda tells Alice that the first step is that she casts this hex for them to enter that dimension – and then Alice defeats him. They are easily transported to the Dark Tongji's dimension, where triad members rush towards them. 'So what do you do while I'm busy “defeating”?' Alice asks. Wanda tells her that his triad seeks to greet them for one thing, so she will greet them right back and free the ghosts as best she can. Wanda casts a hex towards the triad members, knocking them all aside, while telling Alice to honor her mother and father both, and to go get the bad guy. 'Hell of a plan' Alice replies as she wanders off, and finds the throne where the Dark Tongji sits.
'Come, Miss Gulliver. The Wu. Come sit by me. Let's talk through what I know is but a misunderstanding' the Tongji calls out to her. 'Sit and chat? I don't see that happening' Alice replies, informing the Dark Tongji that right now Wanda Maximoff is trying to remove his link to the ghosts that he holds captive. 'She grants them peace. I end your reign' Alice warns the Dark Tongji, who replies 'Bah. What foolishness. She will not defeat me'. 'Oh yeah? I wouldn't be so sure' Alice tells the Dark Tongji as Wanda continues to cast her hex power at the attacking triad members. 'Very well. The tedious dance of magical strife' the Dark Tongji mutters as he uses some sort of dragon effect, which knocks Alice backwards. 'Little witch. “The Wu”. You are not your mother, I will say that' the Dark Tongji declares, before revealing that he knew Alice's mother, and her killer, too. The Dark Tongji tells Alice that if she wants to know who killed her mother, then to lay down those ridiculous pistols and he will tell her.
Alice tells the Dark Tongji that she will find her mother's killer without his help. 'Idiot' the Dark Tongji replies. 'No need to be rude about it' Alice exclaims as she starts to fire her pistols, but the Dark Tongji blocks the bullets with mystical shields. 'Nothing. No power to your magic at all' the Dark Tongji tells her, announcing that he has been the Dark Tongji for a century – that he is an oak, while Alice is just a sapling, her magic is nothing. Wanda overhears this and tells Alice not to listen to him, not to believe him. 'Believe in yourself!' Wanda urges her as she continues to use her hexes against the triad. Alice tells Wanda not to worry and assures hher that she has this. 'In fact, the next bullet I fire will be my most bewitched ever' Alice boasts. 'Let's see how your magical defenses fare against it, “Mighty Oak”!' Alice tells the Dark Tongji as she fires the bullet. 'Heh! Patheti -' the Dark Tongji begins, launching a shield – but the bullet passes through the shield, and strikes the Dark Tongji square in the chest. 'Oh. It's not -' the Dark Tongji utters, before slumping backwards in his chair.
Alice walks over to the fallen Dark Tongji: 'Just a bullet. Sometimes witchcraft is witchcraft. And sometimes... it's trickery' Alice declares. At the same time, Wanda has defeated the triad, and the ghosts rise above her. 'With the Tongji dead I didn't even need to cast my hex. The spirits are free, Alice, you did it. You did it all' Wanda declares, while telling the spirits to go.
Later, Wanda and Alice walk down a street, and Wanda tells Alice that she supposes it doesn't matter, as it is done now, but she wishes that Alice hadn't killed the Dark Tongji. 'Yeah, well, you weren't the one fighting him' Alice points out. Wanda tells Alice that she accepts the different way she does things. 'So I suppose it ended the way it had to... with a bullet' Wanda adds. Alice smiles at Wanda and explains that the Tongji was prepared for magic, and truthfully, she didn't think she had the power to defeat him spell for spell – but he wasn't expecting a simple slug. Alice informs Wanda that it was something she said earlier that gave her the idea – how she should honor her mother and her father. 'It was the kind of sneaky thing my dad would have pulled' Alice reveals.
Alice then tells Wanda that it made her realize that she needs to train, though – get her spells and powers stronger. Wanda asks Alice if she is more readily accepting of her mother's lineage. Rubbing the back of her neck, Alice tells her 'Maybe. Check back with me'. Alice narrows her eyes, before asking Wanda if she wants to grab a drink. 'We can discuss... how I do things differently'. Wanda informs Alice that she doesn't drink, so Alice asks 'How about tea?' and tells Wanda that she knows an amazing tea house. 'Oh. Now tea, I do' Wanda replies, as they walk side by side. 'Nice to meet you, Wanda' Alice remarks. 'Nice to meet you, Alice' Wanda replies.