List of A Deadly Secret characters
- Di Yun (traditional Chinese: 狄雲; simplified Chinese: 狄云; Mandarin Pinyin: Dí Yún; Jyutping: Dik6 Wan4) is the protagonist of the novel. He is framed for larceny and wrongly imprisoned. He learns the 'Divine Light Skill' (神照功) from Ding Dian and escapes from prison to take his revenge and uncover the truth. He realises the dark side of human nature after witnessing how his teacher and other villains attempt to seize the prized Liancheng Swordplay manual by resorting to unscrupulous means. He remains true and loyal to himself and eventually his goodness is rewarded.
- Ding Dian (Chinese: 丁典; Mandarin Pinyin: Dīng Diǎn; Jyutping: Ding1 Din2) is Di Yun's fellow inmate in prison. He accuses Di Yun of being a spy and beats him up regularly. However, he is finally convinced that Di Yun is not a spy and befriends him after the latter attempts suicide. He gains the highly-sought Liancheng Swordplay manual from Mei Niansheng and becomes the target of several martial artists eyeing the prized book. He is poisoned and killed by Ling Tuisi.
- Qi Fang (Chinese: 戚芳; Mandarin Pinyin: Qī Fāng; Jyutping: Cik1 Fong1) is Qi Zhangfa's daughter and Di Yun's first love interest. She marries Wan Gui after giving up on Di Yun when she believes he is guilty. She is killed by her husband, who suspects her of infidelity.
- Shui Sheng (Chinese: 水笙; Mandarin Pinyin: Shuǐ Shēng; Jyutping: Seoi2 Sang1) is Shui Dai's daughter. She is taken hostage by Grandmaster Xuedao and brought to Sichuan. She is suspicious of Di Yun initially but falls in love with him gradually as she sees his kind nature. They are forced to separate after Hua Tiegan accuses her of sexual immorality in front of her fiance. She is reunited with Di Yun at the end of the novel.
- Qi Zhangfa / Qi Changfa (traditional Chinese: 戚長發; simplified Chinese: 戚长发; Mandarin Pinyin: Qī Zhǎngfā / Qī Chángfā; Jyutping: Cik1 Zoeng2-faat3 / Cik1 Coeng4-faat3) is Di Yun's martial arts teacher and Mei Niansheng's second student. He murders his teacher to seize the Liancheng Swordplay manual. He becomes insane after coming into contact with the cursed jewels.
- Wan Zhenshan (traditional Chinese: 萬震山; simplified Chinese: 万震山; Mandarin Pinyin: Wàn Zhènshān; Jyutping: Maan6 Zan3-saan1) is Mei Niansheng's eldest disciple. He murders his teacher to seize the Liancheng Swordplay manual, and discovers the secret of the book unexpectedly when his blood soaks through a book of Tang poetry. He is murdered in cold blood by Qi Zhangfa.
- Yan Daping (traditional Chinese: 言達平; simplified Chinese: 言达平; Mandarin Pinyin: Yán Dápíng; Jyutping: Jin4 Daat6-ping4) is Qi Zhangfa and Wan Zhenshan's junior and he collaborates with them to murder their teacher to seize the Liancheng Swordplay manual. He disguises himself as an old beggar and teaches Di Yun some swordplay techniques as part of a conspiracy to frame Di for larceny. He is murdered in cold blood by Qi Zhangfa.
Wan Zhenshan's associates
- Wan Gui (traditional Chinese: 萬圭; simplified Chinese: 万圭; Mandarin Pinyin: Wàn Guī; Jyutping: Maan6 Gwai1) is Wan Zhenshan's son. He lusts for Qi Fang and tricks her into believing that Di Yun is guilty while hypocritically playing the role of a good man by pretending to help Di. Qi Fang falls for his lies and gives up on Di Yun and marries him instead. He conspires with his father to seize the Liancheng Swordplay manual and kills his wife when she discovers their conspiracy. He becomes insane after coming into contact with the cursed jewels.
- Wan Zhenshan's disciples are attracted to Qi Fang and they devise a scheme to get rid of Di Yun to win her attention. They are:
- Lu Kun (traditional Chinese: 魯坤; simplified Chinese: 鲁坤; Mandarin Pinyin: Lǔ Kūn; Jyutping: Lou5 Kwan1)
- Zhou Yin (Chinese: 周圻; Mandarin Pinyin: Zhōu Yín; Jyutping: Zau1 Ngan4) is killed by Di Yun.
- Sun Jun (traditional Chinese: 孫均; simplified Chinese: 孙均; Mandarin Pinyin: Sūn Jūn; Jyutping: Syun1 Gwan1)
- Bu Yuan (Chinese: 卜垣; Mandarin Pinyin: Bǔ Yuán; Jyutping: Buk1 Wun4)
- Wu Kan (traditional Chinese: 吳坎; simplified Chinese: 吴坎; Mandarin Pinyin: Wú Kǎn; Jyutping: Ng4 Ham2) is killed by Wan Zhenshan.
- Feng Tan (traditional Chinese: 馮坦; simplified Chinese: 冯坦; Mandarin Pinyin: Féng Tǎn; Jyutping: Fung4 Taan2)
- Shen Cheng (Chinese: 沈城; Mandarin Pinyin: Shěn Chéng; Jyutping: Sam2 Sing4)
Blood Saber Sect
- Grandmaster Xuedao (Chinese: 血刀老祖; Mandarin Pinyin: Xuědāo Láozǔ; Jyutping: Hyut3-dou1 Lou5-zou2; literally "Blood Saber Elder") is the leader of the Blood Saber Sect (血刀門). He mistakes Di Yun for a grand-disciple and saves the latter from death and teaches him martial arts. Later, he discovers that Di Yun is an imposter and attempts to kill the latter but unexpectedly helps Di channel his inner energy cycle and dies at Di's hands instead.
- Baoxiang (traditional Chinese: 寶象; simplified Chinese: 宝象; Mandarin Pinyin: Bǎoxiàng; Jyutping: Bou2-zoeng6) is one of Xuedao's students. He is involved in a fight with Ding Dian in prison but manages to escape. Later, he meets Di Yun by chance in a temple and attempts to kill the latter for food. He is outwitted and poisoned to death by Di.
- Xuedao's disciples Shanyong (Chinese: 善勇; Mandarin Pinyin: Shànyǒng; Jyutping: Sin6-jung5) and Shengdi (traditional Chinese: 勝諦; simplified Chinese: 胜谛; Mandarin Pinyin: Shèngdì; Jyutping: Sing3-dai3) are killed by Ding Dian in a fight in prison while trying to force him to reveal the whereabouts of the Liancheng Swordplay manual.
The "Luohua Liushui" (Chinese: 落花流水; Mandarin Pinyin: Luòhuā Líushuǐ; Jyutping: Lok6 Faa1 Lau4 Seoi2; literally "falling petals and flowing water") is a group of four martial artists from orthodox sects. They track Grandmaster Xuedao and Di Yun to Tibet to rescue Shui Sheng, who has been taken hostage by Xuedao.
- Lu Tianshu (traditional Chinese: 陸天抒; simplified Chinese: 陆天抒; Mandarin Pinyin: Lù Tiānshū; Jyutping: Luk6 Tin1-syu1) is the oldest in the group. He is killed by Xuedao while trapped in the snow. His corpse is later eaten by Hua Tiegan.
- Hua Tiegan (traditional Chinese: 花鐵杆; simplified Chinese: 花铁杆; Mandarin Pinyin: Huā Tiěgān; Jyutping: Faa1 Tit3-gon1) is the most scheming and treacherous of the four. He reveals his true colours after Xuedao is killed by Di Yun. He resorts to cannibalism and sustains himself by eating the flesh of his fallen mates. After managing to escape from the snowy valley, he accuses Shui Sheng and Di Yun of sexual immorality in front of Shui's fiance, causing them to be separated. He becomes insane after coming into contact with the cursed jewels.
- Liu Chengfeng (traditional Chinese: 劉乘風; simplified Chinese: 刘乘风; Mandarin Pinyin: Líu Chéngfēng; Jyutping: Lau4 Sing4-fung1) is killed by Hua Tiegan unintentionally during a duel with Xuedao. His corpse is later eaten by Hua.
- Mei Niansheng (Chinese: 梅念笙; Mandarin Pinyin: Méi Niànshēng; Jyutping: Mui4 Nim6-sang1) was the martial arts teacher of Qi Zhangfa, Wan Zhenshan and Yan Daping. He was murdered by them in their attempt to seize his Liancheng Swordplay manual. He passed the book to Ding Dian before his death.
- "Kongxincai" (Chinese: 空心菜; Mandarin Pinyin: Kōngxīncài; Jyutping: Hung1-sam1-coi3), literally "hollow hearted vegetable" (the common Chinese term for water spinach), is the nickname of Wan Gui and Qi Fang's daughter, whose real name is not mentioned in the novel. She is raised by Di Yun and Shui Sheng after her mother dies.
- Wang Xiaofeng (traditional Chinese: 汪嘯風; simplified Chinese: 汪啸风; Mandarin Pinyin: Wāng Xiàofēng; Jyutping: Wong1 Siu3-fung1) is Shui Sheng's cousin and one of the "Twin Sword Heroes" (鈴劍雙俠). He attempts to save Shui Sheng from Grandmaster Xuedao but fails. He becomes insane after coming in contact with the cursed jewels.
- Ling Tuisi (Chinese: 凌退思; Mandarin Pinyin: Líng Tuìsī; Jyutping: Ling4 Teoi3-si1) is a cruel and sadistic magistrate from Jingzhou. He smears poison over his daughter's coffin to lure Ding Dian into a trap and capture him to claim the reward. He becomes insane after coming in contact with the cursed jewels.
- Ling Shuanghua (traditional Chinese: 凌霜華; simplified Chinese: 凌霜华; Mandarin Pinyin: Líng Shuānghuá; Jyutping: Ling4 Soeng1-waa4) was Ling Tuisi's daughter and Ding Dian's lover. She was buried alive by her father to prevent her from meeting Ding Dian.
- Juyou (Chinese: 菊友; Mandarin Pinyin: Júyǒu; Jyutping: Guk1-jau5) was Ling Shuanghua's maid. She was murdered by Ling Tuisi after Ling suspected her of revealing information about his daughter to Ding Dian.
- Lü Tong (traditional Chinese: 呂通; simplified Chinese: 吕通; Mandarin Pinyin: Lǚ Tōng; Jyutping: Leoi5 Tung1) is a bandit chief from the Taihang Mountains.
- Taohong (traditional Chinese: 桃紅; simplified Chinese: 桃红; Mandarin Pinyin: Táohóng; Jyutping: Tou4-hung4) is Wan Zhenshan's concubine. Wan Zhenshan forces her to frame Di Yun for attempting to rape her. Before leaving the Wan family for good, she told Qi Fang the truth about Di Yun and her husband.
- Ma Daming (traditional Chinese: 馬大鳴; simplified Chinese: 马大鸣; Mandarin Pinyin: Mǎ Dàmíng; Jyutping: Maa5 Daai6-ming4) was a member of the Ten Thousand Victories Saber Sect (萬勝刀門). He was killed by Ding Dian.
- Geng Tianba (Chinese: 耿天霸; Mandarin Pinyin: Gěng Tiānbà; Jyutping: Gang2 Tin1-baa3) was a martial artist killed by Ding Dian.