Ou-yang Feng (Leslie Cheung) lives in the middle of a desert, where he acts as a middle man to various swordsmen in ancient China. One of those swordsmen is Huang Yao-shi (Tony Leung), who has found some magic wine that causes one to forget the past. At another time, Huang met Mu-rong Yin (Brigette Lin) and under the influence of drink, promised to marry Mu-rong's sister Mu-rong Yang. Huang jilts her, and Mu-rong Yin hires Ou-yang to kill Huang. But then Mu-rong Yang hires Ou-yang to protect Huang. This is awkward, because Mu-rong Yang and Mu-rong Yin are in reality the same person. Other unrelated plot lines careen about. Among them is Ou-yang's continuing efforts to destroy a band of horse thieves. Oy-yang recruits another swordsman (Tony Leung, but the other one), a man who is going blind and wants to get home to see his wife before his sight goes completely. The swordsman is killed. Ou-yang then meets another swordsman (Jackie Cheung) who doesn't like wearing shoes. Oy-yang sends this man after the horse thieves, with better results. We then find out what a man must give up to follow the martial path.