The Red Leaf Verses was written by Dugu Hong 獨孤紅 and published by Da Mei Publishing in 1977. It was later reprinted in 1980 (3 Vols.) by Hanlin Publishing.
This book is a typical Dugu Hong “gifted scholars and beautiful ladies” 才子佳人 wuxia novels. Set during the early Yuan dynasty, the story revolves around Wei Zhiyuan’s intimate lover Xie Lanxin suffering some misfortune because of her beauty and being sent off out of the country, leaving them separated by huge distances. Later, Wei Zhiyuan’s foster son completes his training and descends the mountain, vowing to find the one responsible for those events and get revenge on behalf of his adopted father. But the novel never really touches upon real history, so it can’t be called a historical wuxia novel like his other novel Swordsman 《劍客》.
The novel’s title, The Red Leaf Verses, has a rich literary quality, yet the novel narrates the struggle for some purple palm leaves, not red leaves, and there are no poems, so the title does not describe the content.
The Chinese edition gave this brief synopsis:
The first years of the Yuan dynasty, the imperial court’s hired thug “Powder Scholar” Bai Yutang relies on his invincible “Savage Palm” to do evil, oppress the masses, and harm the martial grove. In order to conquer the Savage Palm, and avenge his adopted father, “Paragon of Sword and Palm” Wei Mulan undergoes numerous trials and hardships, penetrates into dangerous areas, searching all over for a lost Indian treasure: twin purple palmyra leaves on which are written a peerless martial arts manual, the only thing that defeat the Savage Palm. Government officials, the martial fraternity, from the Central Plains, from regions beyond the Great Wall, from India–martial arts experts from all these places set out vying for it, thus launching a breathtaking desperate life-and-death struggle.