Hong Liwei was a low-rank eunuch of the Forbidden City who taught calligraphy to the Zhengde Emperor's concubines, and an informant and ally for the Chinese Brotherhood of Assassins living during the early 16th century.
In 1510, Hong Liwei was teaching calligraphy to the Zhengde Emperor's concubines, among his pupils was Shao Jun. Upon hearing a disturbance outside, Liwei gathered the girls and went to observe the commotion. The traitorous eunuch Liu Jin was being sentenced to lingchi ("death by a thousand cuts"). Liwei, the concubines, and many others witnessed his public torture.
Fond of the Assassin Shao Jun, he helped his former pupil and the Assassins during the Great Rites Controversy, but was caught by the Templar Wei Bin and sentenced to life imprisonment. Hong was then imprisoned by the Chinese Templars in the Maijishan Grottoes, the former headquarters of the Brotherhood turned into a secret prison.
In 1526, Shao Jun let herself be imprisoned in the grottoes to eliminate the Templar Gao Feng. After escaping captivity, she found Hong in his cell and assassinated the crossbowman who held his key. Jun then passed the key onto Hong, allowing him to escape.