Journey to the West

Wu Cheng−en

Table of Contents
Journey to the West............................................................................................................................................1 Wu Cheng−en..........................................................................................................................................1 Chapter 1..................................................................................................................................................3 Chapter 2................................................................................................................................................21 Chapter 3................................................................................................................................................35 Chapter 4................................................................................................................................................46 Chapter 5................................................................................................................................................62 Chapter 6................................................................................................................................................75 Chapter 7................................................................................................................................................86 Chapter 8................................................................................................................................................99 Chapter 9..............................................................................................................................................116 Chapter 10............................................................................................................................................126 Chapter 11............................................................................................................................................149 Chapter 12............................................................................................................................................167 Chapter 13............................................................................................................................................190 Chapter 14............................................................................................................................................203 Chapter 15............................................................................................................................................217 Chapter 16............................................................................................................................................229 Chapter 17............................................................................................................................................243 Chapter 18............................................................................................................................................262 Chapter 19............................................................................................................................................271 Chapter 20............................................................................................................................................287 Chapter 21............................................................................................................................................300 Chapter 22............................................................................................................................................315 Chapter 23............................................................................................................................................329 Chapter 24............................................................................................................................................343 Chapter 25............................................................................................................................................357 Chapter 26............................................................................................................................................368 Chapter 27............................................................................................................................................383 Chapter 28............................................................................................................................................394 Chapter 29............................................................................................................................................409 Chapter 30............................................................................................................................................421 Chapter 31............................................................................................................................................434 Chapter 32............................................................................................................................................446 Chapter 33............................................................................................................................................460 Chapter 34............................................................................................................................................473 Chapter 35............................................................................................................................................486 Chapter 36............................................................................................................................................499 Chapter 37............................................................................................................................................515 Chapter 38............................................................................................................................................528 Chapter 39............................................................................................................................................541 Chapter 40............................................................................................................................................554 Chapter 41............................................................................................................................................566 Chapter 42............................................................................................................................................581 Chapter 43............................................................................................................................................594 Chapter 44............................................................................................................................................609 Chapter 45............................................................................................................................................623 Chapter 46............................................................................................................................................636

Table of Contents
Journey to the West Chapter 47............................................................................................................................................649 48............................................................................................................................................664 49............................................................................................................................................678 50............................................................................................................................................693 51............................................................................................................................................705 52............................................................................................................................................719 53............................................................................................................................................734 54............................................................................................................................................749 55............................................................................................................................................762 56............................................................................................................................................776 57............................................................................................................................................790 58............................................................................................................................................800 59............................................................................................................................................810 60............................................................................................................................................824 61............................................................................................................................................839 62............................................................................................................................................854 63............................................................................................................................................868 64............................................................................................................................................881 65............................................................................................................................................897 66............................................................................................................................................911 67............................................................................................................................................926 68............................................................................................................................................940 69............................................................................................................................................954 70............................................................................................................................................967 71............................................................................................................................................983 72............................................................................................................................................998 73..........................................................................................................................................1015 74..........................................................................................................................................1030 75..........................................................................................................................................1042 76..........................................................................................................................................1059 77..........................................................................................................................................1071 78..........................................................................................................................................1084 79..........................................................................................................................................1097 80..........................................................................................................................................1110 81..........................................................................................................................................1125 82..........................................................................................................................................1143 83..........................................................................................................................................1159 84..........................................................................................................................................1171 85..........................................................................................................................................1184 86..........................................................................................................................................1200 87..........................................................................................................................................1215 88..........................................................................................................................................1229 89..........................................................................................................................................1241 90..........................................................................................................................................1252 91..........................................................................................................................................1264 92..........................................................................................................................................1281 93..........................................................................................................................................1293 Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter

Table of Contents
Journey to the West Chapter 94..........................................................................................................................................1304 Chapter 95..........................................................................................................................................1323 Chapter 96..........................................................................................................................................1336 Chapter 97..........................................................................................................................................1349 Chapter 98..........................................................................................................................................1363 Chapter 99..........................................................................................................................................1380 Chapter 100........................................................................................................................................1392

Journey to the West
Wu Cheng−en
This page formatted 2005 !a"#mas# $n!ine. http%&&'''.(!a"#mas#."om
Adapted from the WJF Jenner translation (Beijing, 1955) by Collinson Fair Copyright !""5, #il$ %agoda

& Chapter 1 ) Chapter 2 ) Chapter 3 ) Chapter 4 ) Chapter 5 ) Chapter 6 ) Chapter 7 ) Chapter 8 ) Chapter 9 ) Chapter 10 ) Chapter 11 ) Chapter 12 ) Chapter 13 ) Chapter 14 ) Chapter 15 ) Chapter 16 ) Chapter 17 ) Chapter 18 ) Chapter 19 ) Chapter 20 ) Chapter 21 ) Chapter 22 ) Chapter 23 ) Chapter 24 ) Chapter 25 ) Chapter 26 ) Chapter 27 ) Chapter 28 ) Chapter 29 ) Chapter 30 ) Chapter 31 ) Chapter 32 ) Chapter 33 ) Chapter 34 ) Chapter 35 ) Chapter 36 ) Chapter 37 ) Chapter 38

) Chapter 39 ) Chapter 40 ) Chapter 41 ) Chapter 42 ) Chapter 43 ) Chapter 44 ) Chapter 45 ) Chapter 46 ) Chapter 47 ) Chapter 48 ) Chapter 49 ) Chapter 50 ) Chapter 51 ) Chapter 52 ) Chapter 53 ) Chapter 54 ) Chapter 55 ) Chapter 56 ) Chapter 57 ) Chapter 58 ) Chapter 59 ) Chapter 60 ) Chapter 61 ) Chapter 62 ) Chapter 63 ) Chapter 64 ) Chapter 65 ) Chapter 66 ) Chapter 67 ) Chapter 68 ) Chapter 69 ) Chapter 70 ) Chapter 71 ) Chapter 72 ) Chapter 73 ) Chapter 74 ) Chapter 75 ) Chapter 76 ) Chapter 77 ) Chapter 78 ) Chapter 79 ) Chapter 80 ) Chapter 81 ) Chapter 82 ) Chapter 83 ) Chapter 84 ) Chapter 85 ) Chapter 86 ) Chapter 87 ) Chapter 88 ) Chapter 89

Chapter 90 Chapter 91 Chapter 92 Chapter 93 Chapter 94 Chapter 95 Chapter 96 Chapter 97 Chapter 98 Chapter 99 Chapter 100

Chapter 1
The *i+ine ,oot Con"ei+es and the -pring rea#s .orth /s the 0eart1s 2ature 3s Cu!ti+ated4 the 5reat Wa6 /rises efore Chaos 'as di+ided4 0ea+en and 7arth 'ere one8 /!! 'as a shape!ess (!ur4 and no men had appeared. $n"e 9an 5u destro6ed the 7normous :agueness The separation of "!ear and impure (egan.

;i+ing things ha+e a!'a6s tended to'ards humanit68 .rom their "reation a!! (eings impro+e. 3f 6ou 'ant to #no' a(out Creation and Time4 ,ead *iffi"u!ties ,eso!+ed on the <ourne6 to the West.

3n the arithmeti" of the uni+erse4 1294600 6ears ma#e one "6"!e. 7a"h "6"!e "an (e di+ided into t'e!+e phases% 34 334 3334 3:4 :4 :34 :334 :3334 3=4 =4 =3 and =334 the t'e!+e (ran"hes. 7a"h phase !asts 104800 6ears. 2o' 'ithin a sing!e da64 the positi+e (egins at the time 38 at 33 the "o"# "ro's8 at 333 it is not >uite !ight8 at 3: the sun rises8 : is after (rea#fast8 and at :3 one does (usiness. :33 is 'hen the sun rea"hes noon8 at :333 it is s!ipping to'ards the West8 3= is !ate afternoon8 the sun sets at =8 =3 is dus#8 and at =33 peop!e sett!e do'n for the night. 3f 6ou "ompare this 'ith the (ig num(ers4 then at the end of 9hase =3 0ea+en and 7arth 'ere sti!! one4 and no (eings had appeared. 54400 6ears !ater "ame the (eginning of 9hase =334 'hen a!! 'as dar#ness and there 'ere sti!! no peop!e or other "reatures8 for this reason it 'as "a!!ed Chaos. /nother 54400 6ears !ater 9hase =33 'as dra'ing to a "!ose and a ne' "6"!e 'as a(out to (egin. /s 9hase 3 of the ne' era approa"hed4 gradua!!6 there 'as !ight. /s -hao ?ong said4

@When 'inter rea"hes the mid−point of 9hase 3 The heart of 0ea+en does not mo+e. Where the 9ositi+e first appears 2othing has 6et "ome to !ife.@

/t this time4 0ea+en first had a foundation. 54400 6ears !ater4 in the midd!e of 9hase 34 the !ight and pure rose up'ards4 and sun4 moon4 stars4 and "onste!!ations 'ere "reated. These 'ere "a!!ed the .our 3mages. 0en"e the sa6ing that hea+en (egan in 3. /nother 54400 6ears !ater4 'hen 9hase 3 'as nearing its end and 9hase 33 'as imminent4 things gradua!!6 so!idified. /s the Book of Changes sa6s4 @5reat is the 9ositi+e8 far−rea"hing is the 2egati+eA /!! things are endo'ed and (orn in a""ordan"e 'ith 0ea+en.@ This 'as 'hen the earth (egan to "ongea!. /fter 54400 more 6ears "ame the height of 9hase 334 'hen the hea+6 and impure so!idified4 and 'ater4 fire4 mountains4 stone4 and 7arth "ame into (eing. These fi+e 'ere "a!!ed the .i+e Bo+ers. Therefore it is said that the 7arth 'as "reated in 9hase 33. /fter a further 54400 6ears4 at the end of 9hase 33 and the (eginning of the 9hase 3334 !i+ing (eings 'ere "reated. 3n the 'ords of the Book of the Calendar, "The essen"e of the s#6 "ame do'n and the essen"e of earth 'ent up. 0ea+en and 7arth interming!ed4 and a!! "reatures 'ere (orn.@ Then 0ea+en 'as (right and 7arth 'as fresh4 and the 9ositi+e interming!ed 'ith the 2egati+e. 54400 6ears !ater4 'hen 9hase 333 'as at its height4 men4 (irds and (easts 'ere "reated. Thus the Three 9o'ers−−0ea+en4 7arth and Ban−−no' had their set p!a"es. Therefore it is said that man 'as "reated in 9hase 333. Bo+ed (6 9an 5u1s "reation4 the Three 7mperors put the 'or!d in order and the .i+e ,u!ers !aid do'n the mora! "ode. The 'or!d 'as then di+ided into four great "ontinents% The 7astern Continent of -uperior od64 the Western Continent of Catt!e−gift4 the -outhern Continent of <am(u and the 2orthern Continent of Curu. This (oo# dea!s on!6 'ith the 7astern Continent of -uperior od6. e6ond the seas there is a "ountr6 "a!!ed /o!ai. This "ountr6 is neDt to an o"ean4 and in the midd!e of the o"ean is a famous is!and "a!!ed the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. This mountain is the an"estra! arter6 of the Ten Continents4 the origin of the Three 3s!ands8 it 'as formed 'hen the "!ear and impure 'ere separated and the 7normous :agueness 'as di+ided. 3t is a rea!!6 sp!endid mountain and there are some +erses to pro+e it%

3t sti!!s the o"ean 'ith its might4 3t a'es the Eade sea into "a!m. 3t sti!!s the o"ean 'ith its might% Tides 'ash its si!+er s!opes and fish s'im into its "a+es.

3t a'es the Eade sea into "a!m% /mid the sno'6 (rea#ers the sea−serpent rises from the deep. 3t rises high in the "orner of the 'or!d 'here .ire and Wood meet8

3ts summit to'ers a(o+e the 7astern -ea. ,ed "!iffs and strange ro"#s8 eet!ing "rags and Eagged pea#s. $n the red "!iffs phoeniDes sing in pairs8 ;one uni"orns !ie (efore the (eet!ing "rags. The "r6 of pheasants is heard upon the pea#s8 3n "a+es the dragons "ome and go.

There are deer of !ong !ife and magi" foDes in the 'oods8 Bira"u!ous (irds and (!a"# "ranes in the trees. There are f!o'ers of Eade and strange p!ants that 'ither not8 5reen pine and (!uish "6press e+er in !eaf4 Bagi" pea"hes a!'a6s in fruit. C!ouds gather round the ta!! (am(oo. The 'isteria gro's thi"# around the mountain (roo# /nd the (an#s around are ne'!6−"o!oured 'ith f!o'ers. 3t is the 0ea+en−supporting pi!!ar 'here a!! the ri+ers meet4 The 7arth1s root4 un"hanged through a m6riad aeons.

There 'as on"e a magi" stone on the top of this mountain 'hi"h 'as thirt6−siD feet fi+e in"hes high and t'ent6−four feet round. 3t 'as thirt6−siD feet fi+e in"hes high to "orrespond 'ith the 365 degrees of the hea+ens4 and t'ent6−four feet round to mat"h the t'ent6−four di+isions of the so!ar "a!endar. $n top of it 'ere nine apertures and eight ho!es4 for the 2ine 9a!a"es and the 7ight Trigrams. There 'ere no trees around it to gi+e shade4 (ut magi" fungus and or"hids "!ung to its sides. 7+er sin"e Creation (egan it had (een re"ei+ing the truth of 0ea+en4 the (eaut6 of 7arth4 the essen"e of the -un and the sp!endour of the Boon8 and as it had (een inf!uen"ed (6 them for so !ong it had mira"u!ous po'ers. 3t de+e!oped a magi" 'om(4 'hi"h (urst open one da6 to produ"e a stone egg a(out the siFe of a (a!!.

When the 'ind (!e' on this egg it turned into a stone mon#e64 "omp!ete 'ith the fi+e senses and four !im(s. When the stone mon#e6 had !earned to "ra'! and 'a!#4 he (o'ed to ea"h of the four >uarters. /s his e6es mo+ed4 t'o (eams of go!den !ight shot to'ards the 9o!e -tar pa!a"e and start!ed the -upreme 0ea+en!6 -age4 the 5reat!6 Compassionate <ade 7mperor of the /Fure :au!t of 0ea+en4 'ho 'as sitting surrounded (6 his immorta! ministers on his throne in the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist in the 5o!den−gated C!oud 9a!a"e. When he sa' the daFF!ing go!den !ight he ordered Thousand−mi!e 76e and Wind−a""ompan6ing 7ar to open the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en and ta#e a !oo#. The t'o offi"ers 'ent out through the gate in o(edien"e to the imperia! "ommand4 and 'hi!e one o(ser+ed 'hat 'as going on the other !istened "arefu!!6. -oon after'ards the6 reported (a"#% @3n o(edien"e to the 3mperia! Bandate 6our su(Ee"ts o(ser+ed and !istened to the sour"e of the go!den !ight. We found that at the edge of the "ountr6 of /o!ai4 'hi"h is 7ast of the o"ean (e!onging to the 7astern Continent of -uperior od64 there is an is!and "a!!ed the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. / magi" stone on the top of this mountain produ"ed a magi" egg4 and 'hen the 'ind (!e' on this egg it turned into a stone mon#e6 'hi"h (o'ed to ea"h of the four >uarters. When he mo+ed his e6es4 go!den !ight shot to'ards the 9o!e -tar 9a!a"e8 (ut no' that he is eating and drin#ing4 the go!den !ight is gradua!!6 d6ing.@ 3n his (ene+o!en"e and mer"6 the <ade 7mperor said4 @Creatures do'n (e!o' are (orn of the essen"e of hea+en and earth% there is nothing remar#a(!e a(out him.@ $n his mountain the mon#e6 'as soon a(!e to run and Eump4 feed from p!ants and trees4 drin# from (roo#s and springs4 pi"# mountain f!o'ers and !oo# for fruit. 0e made friends 'ith the 'o!+es4 'ent around 'ith the tigers and !eopards4 'as on good terms 'ith the deer4 and had the other mon#e6s and apes for re!ations. /t night he s!ept under the ro"#fa"es4 and he roamed around the pea#s and "a+es (6 da6. /s the sa6ing so right!6 goes4 @There is no "a!endar in the mountains4 and 'hen 'inter1s o+er 6ou don1t #no' the time of 6ear.@ $n hot mornings he and a!! the other mon#e6s 'ou!d p!a6 under the shade of some pines to a+oid the heat. <ust !oo# at them a!!%

C!im(ing trees4 pi"#ing f!o'ers4 !oo#ing for fruit8 Thro'ing pe!!ets4 p!a6ing #nu"#!e(ones8 ,unning round sand6 ho!!o's4 (ui!ding stone pagodas8 Chasing dragonf!ies and "at"hing !o"usts8 Worshipping the s#6 and +isiting odhisatt+as8 Tearing off "reepers and 'ea+ing stra' hats8 Cat"hing f!eas then popping them 'ith their teeth and fingers8 5rooming their "oats and sharpening their nai!s8 eating4 s"rat"hing4 pushing4 s>uashing4 tearing and tugging8 9!a6ing a!! o+er the p!a"e under the pine trees8 Washing themse!+es (eside the green stream.

/fter p!a6ing4 the mon#e6s 'ou!d go and (athe in the stream4 a mountain torrent that tum(!ed a!ong !i#e ro!!ing me!ons. There is an o!d sa6ing4 @ irds ha+e (ird !anguage and4 anima!s ha+e anima! ta!#.@ /!! the mon#e6s said to ea"h other4 @3 'onder 'here that 'ater "omes from. We1+e got nothing e!se to do toda64 so 'ou!dn1t it (e fun to go upstream and find its sour"eG@ With a shout the6 a!! ran off4 !eading their "hi!dren and "a!!ing to their (rothers. The6 "!im(ed up the mountain (eside the stream unti! the6 rea"hed its sour"e4 'here a 'aterfa!! "as"aded from a spring. The6 sa'

$ne 'hite rain(o' ar"hing4 / thousand strands of f!6ing sno'4 Hn(ro#en (6 the sea 'inds4 -ti!! there under the moon.

Co!d air di+ides the green6 "rags4 -p!ashes moisten the mountainside8 / no(!e 'aterfa!! "as"ades4 0anging suspended !i#e a "urtain.

The mon#e6s "!apped their hands and eDp!ained 'ith de!ight4 @What !o+e!6 'ater. 3t must go a!! the 'a6 to the (ottom of the mountain and Eoin the 'a+es of the sea.@ Then one mon#e6 made a suggestion% @3f an6one is "!e+er enough to go through the fa!!4 find the sour"e4 and "ome out in one pie"e4 !et1s ma#e him our #ing.@ When this "ha!!enge had (een shouted three times4 the stone mon#e6 !eapt out from the "ro'd and ans'ered at the top of his +oi"e4 @31!! go4 31!! go.@ -p!endid mon#e6A 3ndeed%

Toda6 he 'i!! ma#e his name8 Tomorro' his destin6 sha!! triumph. 0e is fated to !i+e here8 /s a Cing he 'i!! enter the 3mmorta!s1 pa!a"e.

Wat"h him as he shuts his e6es4 "rou"hes4 and springs4 !eaping straight into the 'aterfa!!. When he opened his e6es and raised his head to !oo# round4 he sa' neither 'ater nor 'a+es. / (ridge stood in front of him4 as !arge as !ife. 0e stopped4 "a!med himse!f4 too# a "!oser !oo#4 and sa' that the (ridge 'as made of iron. The 'ater that rushed under it poured out through a fissure in the ro"#s4 s"reening the gate'a6 to the (ridge. 0e started 'a!#ing to'ards the (ridge4 and as he !oo#ed he made out 'hat seemed to (e a house. 3t 'as a rea!!6 good p!a"e. 0e sa'%

7mera!d moss pi!ed up in heaps of (!ue4 White "!ouds !i#e drifting Eade4 Whi!e the !ight f!i"#ered among 'isps of "o!oured mist. / >uiet house 'ith pea"efu! 'indo's4

.!o'ers gro'ing on the smooth (en"h8 *ragon pear!s hanging in ni"hes4 7Doti" (!ooms a!! around. Tra"es of fire (eside the sto+e4 -"raps of food in the +esse!s (6 the ta(!e. /dora(!e stone "hairs and (eds4 7+en (etter stone p!ates and (o'!s.

$ne or t'o ta!! (am(oos4 Three or four sprigs of p!um (!ossom4 / fe' pines that a!'a6s attra"t rain4 /!! Eust !i#e a rea! home. 0e too# a good4 !ong !oo# and then s"ampered to the midd!e of the (ridge4 from 'here he noti"ed a stone ta(!et. $n the ta(!et had (een "ar+ed in (ig s>uare !etters% 0/99? ;/2* $. T07 B$H2T/32 $. .;$W7,- /2* .,H3T4 C/:7 07/:72 $. T07 W/T7, CH,T/32. The stone mon#e6 'as (eside himse!f 'ith g!ee. 0e rushed a'a64 shut his e6es4 "rou"hed4 and !eapt (a"# through the 'aterfa!!.

@We1re in !u"#4 'e1re in !u"#4@ he said 'ith a "hu"#!e. /!! the other mon#e6s "ro'ded round him as#ing4 @What1s it !i#e in thereG 0o' deep is the 'aterG@ @There1s no 'ater4 none at a!!4@ rep!ied the stone mon#e6. @There1s an iron (ridge4 and on the other side of the (ridge there1s a house that must ha+e (een made (6 0ea+en and 7arth.@ @0o' e+er "ou!d 6ou see a house thereG@ the other mon#e6s as#ed. The stone mon#e6 "hu"#!ed again. @The 'ater here "omes under the (ridge and through the ro"#s4 and it hides the gate'a6 to the (ridge from +ie'. There are f!o'ers and trees (6 the (ridge4 and a stone house too. 3nside the house are stone rooms4 a stone sto+e4 stone (o'!s4 stone p!ates4 stone (eds4 and e+en stone (en"hes. 3n the midd!e of it a!! is a ta(!et 'hi"h sa6s 10app6 ;and of the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit4 Ca+e 0ea+en of the Water Curtain1. 3t1s Eust the p!a"e for us to sett!e do'n in−−there1s room there for thousands. ;et1s a!! mo+e in4 then 'e 'on1t ha+e to put up 'ith an6 more nonsense from hea+en. 3n there

We "an hide there from the 'ind4 /nd she!ter from the rain4 With nothing to fear from frost and sno'4 /nd ne+er a rum(!e of thunder.

The "o!oured mists g!o' (right /nd the p!a"e sme!!s !u"#6. The pine and (am(oo 'i!! a!'a6s (e (eautifu!4 /nd rare f!o'ers (!ossom e+er6 da6.@

The other mon#e6s 'ere a!! so de!ighted to hear this that the6 said4 @?ou go first and ta#e us 'ith 6ou.@ The stone mon#e6 shut his e6es4 "rou"hed4 and !eapt in again4 shouting4 @.o!!o' me in4 fo!!o' me in.@ The (ra+er mon#e6s a!! Eumped through. The more timid ones peered for'ard4 shran# (a"#4 ru((ed their ears4 s"rat"hed their "hee#s4 shouted4 and 6e!!ed at the top of their +oi"es4 (efore going in4 a!! "!inging to ea"h other. /fter rushing a"ross the (ridge the6 a!! gra((ed p!ates and snat"hed (o'!s4 (agged sto+es and fought o+er (eds4 and mo+ed e+er6thing around. Bon#e6s are (orn naught6 and the6 "ou!d not #eep >uiet for a sing!e moment unti! the6 had 'orn themse!+es out mo+ing things around. The stone mon#e6 sat himse!f in the main seat and said4 @5ent!emen4 / man 'ho (rea#s his 'ord is 'orth!ess. <ust no' 6ou said that if an6one 'as "!e+er enough to "ome in here and get out again in one pie"e4 6ou1d ma#e him #ing. We!!4 then. 31+e "ome in and gone out4 and gone out and "ome in. 31+e found 6ou gent!emen a "a+e hea+en 'here 6ou "an s!eep in pea"e and a!! sett!e do'n to !i+e in (!iss. Wh6 ha+en1t 6ou made me #ingG@ $n hearing this a!! the mon#e6s (o'ed and prostrated themse!+es4 not daring to diso(e6.

The6 !ined up in groups in order of age and paid their homage as at "ourt4 a!! a""!aiming him as the @5reat Cing of a Thousand ?ears.@ The stone mon#e6 then too# the throne4 made the 'ord @stone@ ta(oo4 and "a!!ed himse!f 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing. There is a poem to pro+e it that goes%

/!! things are (orn from the Three positi+es8 The magi" stone 'as >ui"# 'ith the essen"e of sun and moon. /n egg 'as turned into a mon#e6 to "omp!ete the 5reat Wa68 0e 'as !ent a name so that the e!iDir 'ou!d (e "omp!ete. ;oo#ing inside he per"ei+es nothing (e"ause it has no form4 $utside he uses his inte!!igen"e to "reate +isi(!e things. Ben ha+e a!'a6s (een !i#e this% Those 'ho are "a!!ed #ings and sages do Eust as the6 'ish.

Ta#ing "ontro! of his host of mon#e6s4 apes4 gi((ons and others4 the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing di+ided them into ru!ers and su(Ee"ts4 assistants and offi"ers. 3n the morning the6 roamed the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit and in the e+ening the6 sett!ed do'n for the night in the Water Curtain Ca+e. The6 made a "ompa"t that the6 'ou!d not Eoin the ran#s of the (irds or go 'ith the running (easts. The6 had their o'n #ing4 and the6 thorough!6 enEo6ed themse!+es.

3n spring the6 pi"#ed f!o'ers for food and drin#4 3n summer the6 !i+ed off fruit. 3n autumn the6 gathered tares and "hestnuts4 The6 got through the 'inter on -o!omon1s−sea!.

The 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing1s inno"ent high spirits "ou!d not4 of "ourse4 !ast three or four hundred 6ears. $ne da6 he sudden!6 fe!t depressed during a (an>uet 'ith his mon#e6 host4 and he started to 'eep. The start!ed mon#e6s "ro'ded round4 (o'ed to him and as#ed4 @What1s the matter4 ?our BaEest6G@ @/!though 31m happ6 no'4@ the Bon#e6 Cing rep!ied4 @31m 'orried a(out the future. That1s 'hat1s getting me do'n.@ The other mon#e6s !aughed and said4 @?our BaEest6 is (eing greed6. We ha+e parties e+er6 da68 'e !i+e in a mountain paradise4 in an an"ient "a+e in a di+ine "ontinent. We are spared the ru!e of uni"orns4 the domination of phoeniDes4 and the restraints of human #ings. We are free to do Eust as 'e !i#e−−'e are infinite!6 !u"#6. Wh6 ma#e 6ourse!f misera(!e 'orr6ing a(out the futureG@

To this the Bon#e6 Cing rep!ied4 @?es4 'e don1t ha+e to su(mit to the !a's and regu!ations of human #ings4 and 'e don1t !i+e in terror of the po'er of (irds and (easts. ut the time 'i!! "ome 'hen 'e are o!d and 'ea#4 and the under'or!d is "ontro!!ed (6 the Cing of 0e!!. When the time "omes for us to die4 'e 'on1t (e a(!e to go on !i+ing among the !essed4 and our !i+es 'i!! ha+e (een in +ain.@ /!! the mon#e6s "o+ered their fa"es and 'ept as e+er6one of them thought a(out death. -udden!6 a gi((on Eumped out from their ran#s and shrie#ed in a pier"ing +oi"e4 @3f ?our BaEest6 is thin#ing so far ahead4 this is the (eginning of en!ightenment. 2o' of the .i+e Creatures4 there are on!6 three that do not "ome under the Eurisdi"tion of the Cing of 0e!!.@ @*o 6ou #no' 'hi"h the6 areG@ as#ed the Bon#e6 Cing. @?es4@ the ape rep!ied. @The6 are the uddhas4 the 3mmorta!s and the -ages. The6 are free from the Whee! of ,ein"arnation. The6 are not (orn and the6 do not die. The6 are as eterna! as 0ea+en and 7arth4 as the mountains and the ri+ers.@ @Where do the6 !i+eG@ the Bon#e6 Cing as#ed. @$n!6 in the human 'or!d4@ the ape rep!ied4 @in an"ient "a+es on magi" mountains.@ The Bon#e6 Cing 'as de!ighted to hear this. @3 sha!! !ea+e 6ou a!! tomorro'4@ he said4 @and go do'n the mountain. 3f 3 ha+e to4 31!! roam the "orners of the o"eans and go to the edge of the s#6 to find these three #inds of (eings and dis"o+er the se"ret of eterna! 6outh that 'i!! #eep us out of the "!ut"hes of the Cing of 0e!! for e+er.@ 5oodnessA e"ause of these 'ords he 'as to !earn ho' to (e free from the Whee! of ,ein"arnation and (e"ome the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en. /!! the mon#e6s "!apped 'ith appro+a! and said4 @5reatA 5reatA Tomorro' 'e1!! "!im( a!! o+er the mountain and get !ots of fruit to gi+e ?our BaEest6 a rea!!6 (ig (an>uet to send 6ou off.@ The neDt da6 the mon#e6s set out to pi"# magi" pea"hes4 gather rare fruits4 dig out 6ams4 and "ut -o!omon1s−sea!. Bagi" fungus and fragrant or"hid 'ere "o!!e"ted4 and e+er6thing 'as set on the stone (en"hes and the stone ta(!es4 'ith fair6 'ine and dishes. ?ou "ou!d see

5o!den pi!!s and pear! pe!!ets4 ursting red and p!ump 6e!!o'. The go!den pi!!s and pear! pe!!ets 'ere 'inter "herries4 (eautifu! and s'eet8 The (ursting red and p!ump 6e!!o' 'ere ripe p!ums4 tast6 and sharp. .resh4 s'eet−f!eshed !ongans 'ith thin s#ins. .ier6 !i"hees 'ith tin6 stones in a red sa"#. ran"h after (ran"h of "ra(−app!es4

?e!!o'−s#inned !o>uats 'ith their !ea+es on. ,a((it−head pears and "hi"#en−heart EuEu(es To >uen"h 6our thirst4 remo+e 6our "ares4 and so(er 6ou up. .ragrant pea"hes and tender apri"ots4 /s s'eet and !us"ious as Eade 'ine.

Crisp p!ums and ar(utus4 /s sharp as g!istening 6ogurt. ,ipe me!ons 'ith red "oats and (!a"# seeds4 ig4 four−se"tioned persimmons 'ith 6e!!o' s#ins. ursting pomegranates% Cinna(ar pips shining !i#e fire−"r6sta! pear!s. $pened 'ater−"hestnuts With firm round f!esh !i#e go!den agate. Wa!nuts and ging#o fruits to eat 'ith tea8 Co"onuts and grapes to ma#e into 'ine. *ishes !oaded 'ith pine "ones4 6e'−nuts4 fi!(erts4 and "ra(−app!es8 Tangerines4 sugar−"ane and oranges "o+ering the ta(!e. 0ot roast 6ams4 Tender (oi!ed -o!omon1s−sea!. 9ounded "hina−root and <o(1s tears. -immered in soup in a stone−pot. /!though 'e humans ha+e rare de!i"a"ies to eat4 We are no happier than those mon#e6s in the mountains.

The host of mon#e6s ushered the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing to the seat of honour and sat do'n (e!o' him a""ording to age. 7a"h of them too# it in turns to (ring him 'ine4 f!o'ers4 and fruit4 and the6 dran# hard for a 'ho!e da6. The neDt morning the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing got up ear!6 and ordered4 @Chi!dren4 tear do'n some o!d pines and ma#e me a raft. .ind a (am(oo po!e to punt 'ith and !oad it up 'ith fruit. 31m going.@ 0e 'ent a(oard the raft a!! (6 himse!f4 pushed off 'ith a!! his might4 and f!oated off to'ards the 'a+es of the o"ean. 0e intended to sai! 'ith the 'ind and "ross o+er to the -outhern <am(u Continent.

The hea+en−(orn mon#e64 'hose "ondu"t 'as so no(!e4 ;eft his is!and to drift 'ith hea+en1s 'inds. 0e sai!ed o"eans and seas to find the Wa6 of 3mmorta!it64 *eep!6 determined to do a great deed. The predestined one shou!d not ha+e +u!gar !ongings8 0e "an attain the prima! truth 'ithout "are or 'orr6. 0e is (ound to find a #indred spirit4 To eDp!ain the origins and the !a's of nature.

0e had "hosen Eust the right time for his Eourne6. /fter he (oarded his raft the -outheaster!6 'ind (!e' hard for da6s on end and (ore him to the 2orth'estern shore of the -outhern Continent. Testing the depth of the 'ater 'ith his po!e he found that it 'as sha!!o'4 so he a(andoned the raft and Eumped ashore. 0e sa' humans (6 the "oast4 fishing4 hunting geese4 gathering "!ams4 and eDtra"ting sa!t. 0e 'ent up to them4 !eaping around and ma#ing fa"es4 'hi"h so s"ared them that the6 dropped their (as#ets and nets and f!ed in a!! dire"tions as fast as the6 "ou!d. The Bon#e6 Cing gra((ed one of them 'ho 'as a poor runner4 stripped him of his "!othes4 and dressed himse!f in them !i#e a human. 0e s'aggered through the pro+in"es and prefe"tures4 !earning human (eha+ior and human spee"h in the mar#et p!a"es. Whether he 'as eating his (rea#fast or going to (ed at nigh he 'as a!'a6s as#ing a(out uddhas4 3mmorta!s and -ages4 and see#ing the se"ret of eterna! 6outh. 0e o(ser+ed that the peop!e of the 'or!d 'ere too "on"erned 'ith fame and fortune to (e interested in their fates.

When 'i!! the strugg!e for fame and fortune endG Toi!ing from morning ti!! night4 ne+er p!easing 6ourse!f. Those 'ho ride don#e6s !ong for sta!!ions4 The 9rime Binister a!'a6s 'ants to (e a prin"e. The6 on!6 'orr6 a(out ha+ing to stop 'or# to eat or dress8

The6 ne+er fear that the Cing of 0e!! 'i!! "ome to get them. When tr6ing to ensure their sons and grandsons inherit their 'ea!th and po'er4 The6 ha+e no time to stop and thin#.

/!though he as#ed a(out the 'a6 of the 3mmorta!s4 the Bon#e6 Cing 'as una(!e to meet one. 0e spent eight or nine 6ears in the -outhern <am(u Continent4 going through its great 'a!!s and +isiting its !itt!e "ounties. When he found that he had rea"hed the 5reat Western $"ean he thought that there must (e -ages and 3mmorta!s on the other side of it4 so he made himse!f another raft !i#e the !ast one4 and f!oated a"ross the Western $"ean unti! he "ame to the Western Continent of Catt!e−gift. 0e 'ent ashore and made eDtensi+e and !ength6 en>uiries unti! one da6 he "ame upon a high and (eautifu! mountain4 thi"#!6 forested on its !o'er s!opes. 2ot fearing 'o!+es4 and undaunted (6 tigers or !eopards4 he "!im(ed to the summit to see the +ie'. 3t 'as indeed a fine mountain%

/ thousand pea#s (randishing ha!(erds4 -"reens ten thousand measures ta!!. 3n the sun!ight the mountain haFe is !ight!6 tou"hed 'ith (!ue8 /fter the rain the (!a"# ro"#s !oo# "o!d!6 green. Withered "reepers "oi! round an"ient trees4 /nd the o!d ford mar#s the (ounds of the m6sterious. -trange f!o'ers and pre"ious p!ants4 .!ourishing in a!! four seasons4 ri+a!ing fair6!and. The near(6 "r6 of a hidden (ird4 The "!ear running of a spring. :a!!e6 upon +a!!e6 of mushroom and or"hid4 ;i"hen gro's a!! o+er the "!iffs. The range rises and dips in dragon−!i#e maEest6. -ure!6 there mush (e !oft6 hermits here.

/s he 'as !oo#ing at the +ie' the Bon#e6 Cing heard a human +oi"e "oming from the depths of the forest. 0e rushed into the trees4 and 'hen he "o"#ed his ear to !isten he heard a song%

@Wat"hing the "hess game 3 "ut through the rotten4 .e!!ing trees4 ding4 ding4 -tro!!ing at the edge of the "!oud and the mouth of the +a!!e64 3 se!! fire'ood to (u6 'ine4 Ca"#!ing 'ith !aughter and perfe"t!6 happ6. 3 pi!!o' m6se!f on a pine root4 !oo#ing up at the moon. When 3 'a#e up it is !ight. ,e"ogniFing the o!d forest 3 s"a!e "!iffs and "ross ridges4 Cutting do'n 'ithered "reepers 'ith m6 aDe.

When 31+e gathered a (as#etfu! 3 'a!# do'n to the mar#et 'ith a song4 /nd trade it for three pints of ri"e. 2o(od6 e!se "ompetes 'ith me4 -o pri"es are sta(!e. 3 don1t spe"u!ate or tr6 sharp pra"ti"e4 Cou!dn1t "are !ess 'hat peop!e thin# of me4 Ca!m!6 !engthening m6 da6s. The peop!e 3 meet /re Taoists and 3mmorta!s4 -itting >uiet!6 and eDpounding the ?e!!o' Court.@

The Bon#e6 Cing 'as o+erEo6ed to hear this4 and he said 'ith g!ee4 @-o this is 'here the 3mmorta!s ha+e (een hiding.@ 0e (ounded deeper into the 'oods for a "!oser !oo# and sa' that the singer 'as a 'ood"utter "utting fire'ood. 0e 'as 'earing the most unusua! "!othes%

$n his head he 'ore a hat Wo+en from the first s#in shed (6 ne' (am(oo shoots. The "!othes on his (od6 Were made of 6am from the 'i!d "otton−tree. The (e!t round his 'aist Was of si!# from an o!d si!#'orm. The stra' sanda!s under his feet 0ad straps torn from rotten sago trees. 3n his hand he he!d a stee! aDe $n his (a"# he "arried a hempen rope /t "!im(ing pines and fe!!ing dead trees4 Who 'as a mat"h for this 'ood"utterG

The Bon#e6 Cing 'ent "!oser and "a!!ed to him. @$!d 3mmorta!4 6our dis"ip!e greets 6ou.@ The 'ood"utter dropped his aDe in astonishment and turned round to sa64 @2o4 no. 3 don1t e+en ha+e enough to eat or drin#4 so ho' "an 3 possi(!6 !et 6ou "a!! me an 3mmorta!G@ @3f 6ou1re not an 3mmorta!4@ the Bon#e6 Cing said4 @'h6 do 6ou ta!# !i#e oneG@ @3 don1t ta!# !i#e an 3mmorta!4@ the 'ood"utter said. @/t the edge of the 'ood Eust no'4@ the Bon#e6 Cing rep!ied4 @3 heard 6ou sa64 1The peop!e 3 meet are Taoists and 3mmorta!s4 sitting >uiet!6 and eDpounding the Mantingfang.' The Mantingfang "ontains the truth a(out the Wa64 so if 6ou1re not an 3mmorta!4 'hat are 6ouG@ The 'ood"utter !aughed. @3t1s >uite true that the song is "a!!ed 1The .ragran"e of the Mantingfang,' and an 3mmorta! 'ho !i+es near m6 hut taught me it. 0e said he sa' ho' hard 3 had to 'or# and ho' 3 'as a!'a6s 'orried4 so he made me sing this song 'hen things 'ere getting me do'n. 3t !ightens m6 "ares and ma#es me forget m6 'eariness. 3 'as singing it Eust no' (e"ause 3 had some pro(!ems on m6 mind4 and 3 ne+er imagined that 6ou 'ou!d (e !istening.@ @3f 6ou1+e got an 3mmorta! for a neigh(our4 6ou ought to !earn from him ho' to "u!ti+ate 6our "ondu"t and get him to tea"h 6ou a re"ipe for eterna! 6outh.@

@31+e had a hard !ife4@ the 'ood"utter rep!ied. @B6 mother and father (rought me up ti!! 3 'as a(out eight4 and Eust 'hen 3 'as (eginning to #no' a(out !ife m6 father died. B6 mother remained a 'ido'4 and 3 had no (rothers or sisters. /s 3 'as the on!6 "hi!d 3 had to !oo# after m6 mother morning and night. 2o' she is o!d that 3 "an1t possi(!6 !ea+e her. $ur !and is so o+ergro'n that 3 "an1t gro' enough to feed and "!othe (oth of us4 so 3 ha+e to "ut a "oup!e of (und!es of fire'ood to se!! in the mar#et for a handfu! of "oppers to (u6 the fe' pints of ri"e that 3 "oo# for m6se!f and for m6 mother. That1s 'h6 3 "an1t "u!ti+ate m6 "ondu"t.@ @.rom 'hat 6ou sa64@ the Bon#e6 Cing rep!ied4 @6ou1re a fi!ia! son and a gent!eman−−6ou1re (ound to (e re'arded for it one da6. ut 31d (e gratefu! if 6ou "ou!d sho' me 'here that 3mmorta! !i+es4 so that 3 "an go and pa6 him m6 respe"ts.@ The 'ood"utter said4 @3t1s not far from here. This mountain is the -pirit To'er 0eart Bountain4 and in it there is the Ca+e of the -etting Boon and the Three -tars. 3n that "a+e !i+es an 3mmorta! "a!!ed the 9atriar"h -u(huti. 3 don1t #no' ho' man6 dis"ip!es he has trained−−there are thirt6 or fort6 of them "u!ti+ating their "ondu"t 'ith him at the moment. 3f 6ou ta#e that path -outh for t'o or three mi!es 6ou1!! rea"h his home.@ The Bon#e6 Cing tugged at the 'ood"utter and said4 @Ta#e me there4 7!der rother. 3f 3 get an6thing out of this4 3 'on1t forget 6our #indness.@ @?ou idiot4@ the 'ood"utter rep!ied4 @didn1t 6ou understand 'hat 3 to!d 6ou Eust no'G 3f 3 'ent 'ith 6ou 3 'ou!dn1t (e a(!e to earn m6 !i+ing4 and 'ho 'ou!d !oo# after m6 poor o!d mother thenG 31+e got to get on 'ith m6 'ood"utting. 5o (6 6ourse!f.@ /fter hearing this the Bon#e6 Cing had to ta#e his !ea+e. 0e "ame out of the forest and found the path4 'hi"h !ed up a mountain s!ope for t'o or three mi!es4 'hen he sa' the "a+e. 0e pu!!ed himse!f up to his fu!! height to ta#e a !oo#4 and it 'as a rea!!6 magnifi"ent p!a"e%

Bist6 "!ouds s"attered "o!ours4 -un and moon shimmered (right. / thousand an"ient "6presses4 Ten thousand !oft6 (am(oos. / thousand an"ient "6presses4 / soft green dra'ing the rain from the s#6. Ten thousand !oft6 (am(oos4 /nd a mist6 +a!!e6 is aFure (!ue. $utside the gate rare f!o'ers spread (ro"ade8 eside the (ridge 'afts the s"ent of Eade f!o'ers. ,o"#6 "rags Eut4 g!oss6 'ith green moss8

$n o+erhanging "!iffs (!ue !i"hen gro's. -ometimes the "a!! of the "rane is heard /nd often 6ou see the phoeniD soar. The "a!! of the "rane 7"hoes (e6ond the 2inth 0ea+en and the Bi!#6 Wa6. When the phoeniD soars4 The (ri!!ian"e of its 'ings "o!ours the "!ouds. !a"# apes and 'hite deer "an (e Eust made out8 5o!den !ions and Eade e!ephants prefer to #eep hidden. 3f 6ou !oo# "!ose!6 at this happ6 !and4 ?ou 'i!! see that it ri+a!s paradise.

0e sa' that the doors of the "a+e 'ere shut fast4 and that e+er6thing 'as sti!!4 'ith no signs of an6 peop!e. 0e turned round and noti"ed that there 'as a stone ta(!et a(out thirt6 feet high and eight feet 'ide at the top of the "!iff. $n it 'as "ar+ed in enormous !etters% -93,3T−T$W7, 07/,T B$H2T/324 C/:7 $. T07 -7TT325 B$$2 /2* T07 T0,77 -T/,-. The Bon#e6 Cing eD"!aimed 'ith de!ight4 @The peop!e here rea!!6 are honest. The mountain and the "a+e do eDist.@ 0e too# a good !ong !oo#4 (ut did not dare to #no"# on the door. 0e "!im(ed to the and of a pine (ran"h and ate some pine seeds to amuse himse!f. efore !ong the doors of the "a+e opened 'ith a "rea#4 and an immorta! (o6 "ame out. 3n the no(i!it6 of his (earing and the eD"eptiona! purit6 of his features he 'as "omp!ete!6 different from an ordinar6 (o6.

0is hair 'as (ound 'ith a pair of si!#en (ands4 0is f!o'ing go'n had t'o "apa"ious s!ee+es. 0is fa"e and (od6 'ere natura!!6 distinguished8 0is mind and appearan"e 'ere (oth empt6.

.or man6 6ears a guest (e6ond the 'or!d of things4 /n eterna! "hi!d amid the mountains4 Hntou"hed (6 an6 spe"# of dust4

0e !et the 6ears go tum(!ing (6.

When this (o6 had "ome out he shouted4 @Who1s ma#ing that ro' out hereG@ The Bon#e6 Cing s"ampered do'n the tree4 'ent up to him4 and said 'ith a (o'4 @3mmorta! "hi!d4 3 am a dis"ip!e 'ho has "ome to as# a(out the Wa6 and stud6 under the 3mmorta!. The !ast thing 31d do 'ou!d (e to ma#e a ro' hereG@ The (o6 !aughed. @-o 6ou1+e "ome to as# a(out the Wa64 ha+e 6ouG@ @?es4@ the Bon#e6 Cing rep!ied. @$ur master has Eust got up4@ the (o6 said4 @and has no' mounted the dais to eDpound the Wa6. efore he had started to eDp!ain a(out origins he to!d me to open the door. 0e said4 1There is someone outside 'ho 'ants to "u!ti+ate his "ondu"t. 5o and 'e!"ome him.1 3 suppose he must ha+e meant 6ou.@ @?es4 he meant me4@ the Bon#e6 Cing said 'ith a smi!e. @Come 'ith me4@ the (o6 said. The Bon#e6 Cing straightened his "!othes and fo!!o'ed the (o6 deep into the depths of the "a+e. 0e sa' maEesti" pa+i!ions and to'ers of red Eade4 pear! pa!a"es and gate'a6s of "o'r64 and "ount!ess rooms of si!en"e and se"!uded "e!!s !eading a!! the 'a6 to a Easper dais. 0e sa' the 9atriar"h -u(huti sitting on the dais and thirt6−siD minor 3mmorta!s standing (e!o' it.

/ go!den 3mmorta! of great en!ightenment4 free from fi!th4 -u(huti4 the mar+e! of the Western Wor!d. 2either d6ing nor (orn4 he pra"ti"es the trip!e meditation4 0is spirit and sou! entire!6 (ene+o!ent.

3n empt6 deta"hment he fo!!o's the "hanges8 0a+ing found his true nature he !ets it run free. /s eterna! as 0ea+en4 and maEesti" in (od64 The great tea"her of the ;a' is en!ightened through aeons.

/s soon as the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing sa' him he (o'ed !o' and #no"#ed his head on the ground (efore him man6 times4 sa6ing4 @Baster4 master4 6our dis"ip!e pa6s his deepest respe"ts.@

@Where are 6ou fromG@ the 9atriar"h as#ed. @?ou must te!! me 6our name and address (efore 6ou "an (e"ome m6 pupi!.@ @3 "ome from the Water Curtain Ca+e in the .!o'ers and .ruit Bountain in the !and of /o!ai in the 7astern Continent of -uperior od64@ rep!ied the Bon#e6 Cing. @Thro' him out4@ the 9atriar"h roared. @0e1s a !iar and a "heat4 and e+en if he tried "u!ti+ating his "ondu"t he 'ou!d get no'here.@ The Bon#e6 Cing desperate!6 #ept hitting his head on the ground and said4 @?our dis"ip!e spo#e the truth. 3 promise 3 'asn1t !6ing.@ The 9atriar"h as#ed4 @3f 6ou 'ere spea#ing the truth4 'h6 did 6ou sa6 that 6ou "ame from the 7astern Continent of -uperior od6G et'een here and the 7astern Continent there are t'o seas and the -outhern <am(u Continent4 so ho' "ou!d 6ou possi(!6 ha+e "ome here from thereG@ The Bon#e6 Cing4 sti!! #o'to'ing4 rep!ied4 @3 sai!ed a"ross seas and o"eans4 "rossed frontiers and 'andered through man6 "ountries for o+er ten 6ears (efore 3 arri+ed here.@ @-o 6ou "ame here (6 stages4@ the 9atriar"h remar#ed. @What is 6our surnameG@ @31m not sur!64@ the Bon#e6 Cing rep!ied. @3f peop!e "a!! me names it doesn1t (other me4 and if the6 hit me 3 don1t get angr6. 31m Eust po!ite to them and that1s that. 31+e ne+er (een sur!6.@ @3 didn1t as# if 6ou 'ere sur!6. 3 'anted to #no' the surname 6ou inherited from 6our parents.@ @3 didn1t ha+e an6 parents4@ the Bon#e6 Cing rep!ied. @3f 6ou had no parents4 did 6ou gro' on a treeG@ @3 gre' not on a tree (ut in a stone4@ the Bon#e6 Cing rep!ied. @/!! 3 remem(er is that there 'as a magi" stone on the top of the .!o'er and .ruit Bountain4 and that one 6ear the stone sp!it open and 3 'as (orn.@ Con"ea!ing his de!ight at searing this4 the 9atriar"h remar#ed4 @3n other 'ords4 6ou 'ere (orn of 0ea+en and 7arth. Wa!# around for a moment and !et me ha+e a !oo# at 6ou.@ The Bon#e6 Cing !eapt to his feet and sham(!ed round a "oup!e of times. The 9atriar"h smi!ed and said4 @Though 6ou ha+e rather a (ase sort of (od64 6ou !oo# !i#e one of the rhesus mon#e6s that eat pine seeds4 and 3 ought to gi+e 6ou a surname that fits 6our appearan"e and "a!! 6ou 0u I1Ba"a>ue1J. The e!ements that ma#e up the "hara"ter 0u are 1anima!41 1o!d1 and 1moon1. What is o!d is an"ient4 and the moon em(odies the 2egati+e prin"ip!e4 and 'hat is an"ient and 2egati+e "annot (e transformed. ut 3 thin# 3 'ou!d do mu"h (etter to "a!! 6ou -un I1Bon#e61J. /part from the 1anima!1 e!ement4 the "hara"ter -un has one part imp!6ing ma!e and one part suggesting a (a(64 'hi"h fits in 'ith m6 (asi" theories a(out "hi!dren. ?our surname 'i!! (e -un.@ When the Bon#e6 Cing heard this he #o'to'ed 'ith de!ight and said4 @5reatA 5reatA 2o' 3 ha+e a surname. 3 am eterna!!6 gratefu! to 6ou for 6our mer"6 and "ompassion4 master. 3 (eg 6ou to gi+e me a persona! name to go 'ith m6 ne' surname4 then it 'i!! (e mu"h easier to address me.@ @There are t'e!+e 'ords 'ithin m6 se"t4@ said the 9atriar"h4 @'hi"h 3 gi+e as names. ?ou (e!ong to the tenth generation of m6 dis"ip!es.@

@What are these t'e!+e 'ordsG@ as#ed the Bon#e6 Cing. @ road4 great4 'isdom4 inte!!igen"e4 true4 !i#eness4 nature4 sea4 (right4 a'a#ened4 "omp!ete and en!ightenment. 3f 'e 'or# out the generations of dis"ip!es4 then 6ou shou!d ha+e a name 'ith Wu I1/'a#ened1J in it. -o 'e "an gi+e 6ou the *harma−name -un Wu#ong4 'hi"h means 1Bon#e6 /'a#ened to 7mptiness1. Wi!! that doG@ @Bar+e!!ous4 mar+e!!ous4@ said the smi!ing Bon#e6 Cing. @.rom no' on m6 name 'i!! (e -un Wu#ong.@ 3ndeed%

When the 5reat :agueness 'as separated there 'ere no surnames8 To smash foo!ish emptiness he had to (e a'a#ened to emptiness.

3f 6ou 'ant to #no' 'hat su""ess he had in "u!ti+ating his "ondu"t4 6ou must !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment.

Chapter 2
0e e"omes /'are of the Wonderfu! Truth of 7n!ightenment 6 Ci!!ing the *emon 0e ,ea!iFes 0is -pirit−2ature The stor6 goes on to te!! ho' after (eing gi+en a name the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing Eumped for Eo6 and (o'ed to -u(huti to eDpress his than#s. The 9atriar"h then ordered the others to ta#e -un Wu#ong out through the dou(!e doors and tea"h him ho' to sprin#!e and s'eep the f!oor4 ans'er orders4 and deport himse!f proper!6. /!! the 3mmorta!s 'ent out in o(edien"e to this "ommand. When -un Wu#ong 'as outside the doors he (o'ed to a!! his spiritua! e!der (rothers and !aid out his (ed on the +erandah. The neDt morning and e+er6 fo!!o'ing da6 he studied !anguage and deportment under his spiritua! e!der (rothers4 eDpounded the s"riptures4 dis"ussed the Wa64 pra"ti"ed "a!!igraph64 and (urnt in"ense. When he had an6 spare time he 'ou!d s'eep the grounds4 dig the +egeta(!e pat"h4 gro' f!o'ers4 tend trees4 !oo# for #ind!ing4 !ight the fire4 "arr6 'ater4 and fet"h so6. 7+er6thing he needed 'as pro+ided. Thus siD or se+en 6ears s!ipped (6 in the "a+e 'ithout his noti"ing them. $ne da6 the 9atriar"h too# his seat on the dais4 "a!!ed a!! the 3mmorta!s together4 and (egan to eDp!ain the 5reat Wa6.

0ea+en!6 f!o'ers fe!! in profusion4 Whi!e go!den !otuses (urst forth from the earth. ri!!iant!6 he eDpounded the do"trine of the Three :ehi"!es4 -etting forth ten thousand *harmas in a!! their detai!s. /s he s!o'!6 'a+ed his 'his#4 Ee'e!s fe!! from his mouth4

7"hoing !i#e thunder and sha#ing the 2ine 0ea+ens. 2o' prea"hing the Wa64 2o' tea"hing meditation4 0e sho'ed that the Three e!iefs are (asi"a!!6 the same. 3n eDp!aining a sing!e 'ord he (rought one (a"# to the truth4 /nd taught the se"rets of a+oiding (irth and understanding one1s nature.

/s Bon#e6 sat at the side !istening to the eDposition he 'as so de!ighted that he tugged at his ear4 s"rat"hed his "hee# and smi!ed. 0e "ou!d not he!p 'a+ing his hands and stamping. When the 9atriar"h noti"ed this he said to Bon#e64 @Wh6 are 6ou !eaping around !i#e a madman in "!ass instead of !istening to the !essonG@ @?our dis"ip!e is !istening to the eDposition 'ith a!! his attention4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @(ut 6our mar+e!!ous 'ords made me so happ6 that 3 started Eumping around 'ithout rea!iFing 'hat 3 'as doing. 9!ease forgi+e me.@ To this the 9atriar"h rep!ied4 @3f 6ou rea!!6 understand m6 mar+e!!ous 'ords4 then ans'er this >uestion. 0o' !ong ha+e 6ou (een in m6 "a+eG@ @?ou dis"ip!e 'as (orn stupid4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @so 31+e no idea ho' !ong 31+e (een here. /!! 3 #no' is that 'hene+er the fire in the sto+e goes out 3 go to the other side of the mountain to "o!!e"t fire'ood and there 3 see a hi!! "o+ered 'ith fine pea"h trees. 31+e had se+en good feeds of pea"hes there.@ @That hi!! is "a!!ed Tender 9ea"h 0i!!. 3f 6ou ha+e eaten there se+en times 6ou must ha+e (een here se+en 6ears. What sort of Wa6 do 6ou 'ant to !earn from meG@ @That depends 'hat 6ou tea"h me4 master. /s !ong as there1s a 'hiff of Wa6 to it4 6our dis"ip!e 'i!! !earn it.@ @There are three hundred and siDt6 side−entran"es to the Wa64 and the6 a!! !ead to a True ,esu!t4@ the 9atriar"h said. @Whi"h (ran"h 'ou!d 6ou !i#e to stud6G@ @3 'i!! do 'hate+er 6ou thin# (est4 master4@ rep!ied Bon#e6. @What a(out tea"hing 6ou the Wa6 of Bagi" /rtsG@ @What does 1the Wa6 of Bagi" /rts1 meanG@ @Bagi" arts4@ the 9atriar"h rep!ied4 @in"!ude summoning 3mmorta!s4 using the magi" sand(oard4 and di+ining (6 mi!foi!. With them one "an !earn ho' to (ring on good fortune and a+ert disaster.@ @Can 6ou (e"ome immorta! this 'a6G@ as#ed Bon#e6. @2o4 "ertain!6 not4@ rep!ied the 9atriar"h. @2o. -han1t !earn it.@

@-ha!! 3 tea"h 6ou the Wa6 of -e"tsG@ the 9atriar"h as#ed. @What are the prin"ip!es of the -e"tsG@ said Bon#e6. @Within the (ran"h of -e"ts4 there is Confu"ianism4 uddhism4 Taoism4 the stud6 of the 2egati+e and 9ositi+e4 Bohism4 medi"ine4 reading s"riptures and "hanting the name of a uddha. ?ou "an a!so summon 3mmorta!s and -ages 'ith this (ran"h.@ @Can 6ou attain immorta!it6 that 'a6G@ as#ed Bon#e6. @To tr6 and attain immorta!it6 that 'a64@ the 9atriar"h rep!ied4 @is !i#e 1putting a pi!!ar in the 'a!!.1@ @Baster4@ Bon#e6 said4 @31m a simp!e "hap and 3 "an1t understand 6our te"hni"a! Eargon. What do 6ou mean (6 1putting a pi!!ar in the 'a!!G1@ @When a man (ui!ds a house and 'ants to ma#e it strong he puts a pi!!ar in the 'a!!. ut 'hen the da6 "omes for his mansion to "o!!apse the pi!!ar is (ound to rot.@ @.rom 'hat 6ou sa64@ Bon#e6 o(ser+ed4 @it1s not eterna!. 2o. -han1t !earn it.@ @-ha!! 3 tea"h 6ou the Wa6 of -i!en"eG@ the 9atriar"h then as#ed. @What True ,esu!t "an (e got from -i!en"eG@ said Bon#e6. @3t in+o!+es a(staining from grain4 preser+ing one1s essen"e4 si!en"e4 ina"tion4 meditation4 a(staining from spee"h4 eating +egetarian food4 performing "ertain eDer"ises 'hen as!eep or standing up4 going into tran"es4 and (eing 'a!!ed up in tota! iso!ation.@ @3s this a 'a6 of (e"oming immorta!G@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @3t1s !i#e (ui!ding the top of a #i!n 'ith sun−dried (ri"#s4@ the patriar"h rep!ied. @?ou do go on4 master4@ said -un Wu#ong. @31+e a!read6 to!d 6ou that 3 "an1t understand 6our te"hni"a! Eargon. What does 1(ui!ding the top of a #i!n 'ith sun−dried (ri"#s1 meanG@ @3f 6ou (ui!d the top of a #i!n 'ith sun−dried (ri"#s the6 ma6 ma#e it !oo# a!! right4 (ut if the6 ha+e not (een hardened 'ith fire and 'ater4 then the6 'i!! "rum(!e a'a6 in the first hea+6 rainstorm.@ @There1s nothing eterna! a(out that either4 then4@ rep!ied Bon#e6. @2o. -han1t !earn that.@ @-ha!! 3 tea"h 6ou the Wa6 of /"tion thenG@ the 9atriar"h as#ed. @What1s that !i#eG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @3t in+o!+es a"ting and doing4 eDtra"ting the 2egati+e and (ui!ding up the 9ositi+e4 dra'ing the (o' and !oading the "ross(o'4 ru((ing the na+e! to ma#e the su(t!e humors f!o'4 refining e!iDirs a""ording to formu!ae4 !ighting fires under "au!drons4 "onsuming 1,ed !ead41 purif6ing 1/utumn -tone41 and drin#ing 'omen1s mi!#.@ @Can doing things !i#e that ma#e me !i+e for e+erG@ Bon#e6 as#ed.

@To tr6 and attain immorta!it6 that 'a6 is !i#e 1!ifting the moon out of 'ater.1@ @What does 1!ifting the moon out of 'ater1 meanG@ @The moon is in the s#64@ the 9atriar"h rep!ied4 @and on!6 its ref!e"tion is in the 'ater. /!though 6ou "an see it there4 6ou 'i!! tr6 in +ain to !ift it out.@ @2o. -han1t !earn that4@ Bon#e6 eD"!aimed. When the 9atriar"h heard this he gasped and "!im(ed do'n from his dais. 9ointing at -un Wu#ong 'ith his "ane he said4 @?ou 'on1t stud6 this and 6ou 'on1t stud6 that4 so 'hat do 6ou 'ant4 6ou mon#e6G@ 0e 'ent up to Bon#e6 and hit him three times on the head4 then 'ent inside 'ith his hands (ehind his (a"# and shut the main door4 a(andoning them a!!. The "!ass 'as sho"#ed4 and the6 a!! (!amed -un Wu#ong. @?ou "hee#6 ape4 6ou1+e no idea ho' to (eha+e. The master 'as tea"hing 6ou the Wa64 so 'h6 did 6ou ha+e to argue 'ith him instead of !earning from himG 2o' 6ou1+e offended him 'e don1t #no' 'hen he1!! "ome out again.@ The6 'ere a!! +er6 angr6 'ith him and regarded him 'ith !oathing and "ontempt. ut -un Wu#ong 'as not (othered in the !east4 and his fa"e 'as "o+ered 'ith smi!es. The Bon#e6 Cing had understood the ridd!e4 and had the ans'er hidden a'a6 in his mind. -o he did not argue 'ith the others (ut (ore it a!! 'ithout a 'ord. When the 9atriar"h hit him three times he had (een te!!ing him to pa6 attention at the third 'at"h8 and 'hen he 'ent inside 'ith his hands (ehind his (a"# and shut the main door he had to!d the Bon#e6 Cing to go in through the (a"# door and (e taught the Wa6 in se"ret. The de!ighted -un Wu#ong spent the rest of that da6 'ith the others in front of the Three -tars Ca+e4 !oo#ing at the s#6 and impatient for night to "ome. /t dus# he 'ent to (ed !i#e a!! the others4 pretended to "!ose his e6es4 "ontro!!ed his (reathing4 and "a!med himse!f do'n. 2o(od6 (eats the 'at"hes or "a!!s out the hour in the mountains4 so he had no 'a6 of #no'ing the time eD"ept (6 regu!ating the (reath going in and out of his nose. When he re"#oned that it 'as a(out the third 'at"h he got up +er6 >uiet!64 dressed4 and s!ipped out through the front door a'a6 from the others. When he 'as outside he !oo#ed up and sa'

The moon 'as (right and "!ear and "o!d4 The +ast spa"e of the eight points 'as free from dust. *eep in the trees a (ird s!ept hidden4 Whi!e the 'ater f!o'ed from the spring.

.iref!ies s"attered their !ights /nd a !ine of geese 'as stret"hed a"ross the "!ouds. 3t 'as eDa"t!6 the third 'at"h4 The right time to as# a(out the Wa6.

Wat"h the Bon#e6 Cing as he fo!!o's the o!d path to the (a"# door4 'hi"h he found to (e aEar. @The 9atriar"h has !eft the door open4 so he rea!!6 intends to tea"h me the Wa64@ he eD"!aimed in de!ight. 0e tiptoed to'ard4 'ent in side'a6s through the door4 and 'a!#ed o+er to the 9atriar"h1s (ed4 'here he sa' the 9atriar"h s!eeping "ur!ed up4 fa"ing the inside of the room. 2ot daring to distur( him4 -un Wu#ong #ne!t in front of the (ed. efore !ong the 9atriar"h 'o#e up4 stret"hed out (oth his !egs4 and mum(!ed to himse!f%

@3t1s hard4 hard4 hard. The Wa6 is +er6 o(s"ure4 *on1t ma#e !ight of the 5o!d and the Cinna(ar. To tea"h mira"u!ous spe!!s to an6 (ut the 9erfe"t Ban4 3s to tire the +oi"e and dr6 the tongue in +ain.@

-un Wu#ong said in rep!64 @Baster4 6our dis"ip!e has (een #nee!ing here for a !ong time.@ When the 9atriar"h heard that it 'as -un Wu#ong 'ho 'as spea#ing he pu!!ed some "!othes on4 sat up "ross−!egged4 and shouted4 @3t1s that mon#e6. Wh6 ha+e 6ou "ome into m6 room instead of s!eeping out in frontG@ @Baster4 6ou to!d me pu(!i"!6 in front of the a!tar 6esterda6 that 6our dis"ip!e 'as to "ome in here through the (a"# gate at the third 'at"h as 6ou 'ere going to tea"h me the Wa6. That is 'h6 3 made so (o!d as to "ome to pa6 m6 respe"ts (eside m6 master1s (ed.@ The 9atriar"h 'as +er6 p!eased to hear this and said to himse!f4 @This 'ret"h 'as indeed (orn of 0ea+en and 7arth. $ther'ise he 'ou!dn1t ha+e (een a(!e to understand m6 "r6pti" message.@ -un Wu#ong said4 @There is no third pair of ears in this room8 6our dis"ip!e is the on!6 other person here. 3 hope4 master4 that in 6our great mer"6 6ou 'i!! tea"h me the Wa6 of 3mmorta!it6. 3f 6ou do4 31!! a!'a6s (e gratefu! to 6ou.@ @?ou are predestined4@ the 9atriar"h said4 @so 3 sha!! (e happ6 to te!! 6ou. -in"e 6ou understood m6 "r6pti" message4 "ome o+er here and !isten "arefu!!6 'hi!e 3 tea"h 6ou the mira"u!ous Wa6 of 3mmorta!it6.@ -un Wu#ong #o'to'ed 'ith gratitude and #ne!t (efore the (ed4 !istening 'ith a!! his attention. The 9atriar"h said%

@True spe!!s4 re+ea!ing se"rets and a!! po'erfu!4 /re the on!6 sure 'a6 of prote"ting one1s !ife. The6 a!! "ome from essen"e4 +apour4 and spirit4 Bust (e stored a'a6 se"ure!64 and ne+er (e di+u!ged.

Bust ne+er (e di+u!ged4 and (e stored in the (od64 Then the Wa6 3 tea"h 6ou 'i!! f!ourish of itse!f. Ban6 are the (enefits of !earning spe!!s% The6 gi+e prote"tion from e+i! desires and ma#e one pure.

Ba#e one pure 'ith a daFF!ing radian"e ;i#e a (right moon shining on a "inna(ar to'er. The moon "ontains a <ade ,a((it4 the sun a 5o!den Cro'4 The Tortoise and the -na#e are a!'a6s intert'ined.

/!'a6s intert'ined4 then !ife is firm4 /nd one "an p!ant go!den !otuses in fire. 5rasp a!! the .i+e 7!ements and turn them upside do'n4 /nd 'hen 6ou are su""essfu! 6ou "an (e"ome a uddha4 or an 3mmorta!.@

The 9atriar"h1s eDp!anation 'ent to the root of things4 and -un Wu#ong1s heart 'as fi!!ed 'ith (!iss as he "ommitted the spe!!s to memor6. 0e (o'ed to the 9atriar"h to eDpress his deep gratitude and 'ent out of the (a"# door to !oo#. 0e sa' that there 'as a tra"e of 'hite in the 7ast4 'hi!e the go!den !ight of the moon 'as shining in the West. 0e 'ent to the front door (6 the o!d path4 pushed it open gent!64 and 'ent in. 0e sat do'n 'here he had (een s!eeping ear!ier4 shoo# his (edding and said !oud!64 @3t1s da'n4 it1s da'n. 5et up.@ The others 'ere a!! as!eep4 una'are of -un Wu#ong1s good fortune. /t da6(rea# he got up and mudd!ed through the da64 'hi!e se"ret!6 #eeping to 'hat he had (een to!d. 3n the afternoon and e+ening he regu!ated his (reathing. /fter three 6ears had passed in this 'a6 the 9atriar"h on"e more sat on his !e"turing throne and eDpounded the *harma to the students. 0e re"ounted famous sa6ings and para(!es4 and dis"ussed eDterna! phenomena and eDterna! appearan"es. Without 'arning he as#ed4 @Where is -un Wu#ongG@ -un Wu#ong 'ent for'ard4 #ne!t do'n and rep!ied4 @?our dis"ip!e is present.@ @What Wa6 ha+e 6ou "u!ti+ated sin"e "oming hereG@

@?our dis"ip!e is no' fair!6 'e!! "on+ersant 'ith the *harma4@ -un Wu#ong rep!ied4 @and m6 -our"e is getting gradua!!6 stronger.@ @3f 6ou are "on+ersant 'ith the *harma and 6ou #no' a(out the -our"e4@ the 9atriar"h rep!ied4 @and if the spirit has a!read6 f!o'ed into 6ou4 then 6ou must (e'are of the 1Three *isasters.1@ -un Wu#ong thought for a !ong time4 then he said4 @9atriar"h4 6ou1re ta!#ing ru((ish. 3 ha+e often heard that the Wa6 is !oft6 and its po'er might64 that it is as eterna! as 0ea+en4 that it "an o+er"ome fire and 'ater4 and pre+ent a!! i!!nesses from arising4 so ho' "ou!d there (e @Three *isastersG1@ To this the 9atriar"h rep!ied4 @This is not the ordinar6 Wa6% it in+o!+es seiFing the +er6 "reation of 0ea+en and 7arth4 and en"roa"hing on the hidden 'or#ings of the sun and moon. $n"e the e!iDir is made4 de+i!s and spirits "annot to!erate it. /!though it 'i!! preser+e the 6outhfu!ness of 6our fa"e and pro!ong 6our !ife4 in fi+e hundred 6ears1 time 0ea+en 'i!! stri#e 6ou 'ith a thunder(o!t. ?ou must (e "!ear−sighted in nature and mind4 so that 6ou "an hide from it (efore it "omes. 3f 6ou su""eed in a+oiding it 6ou 'i!! !i+e as !ong as 0ea+en8 and if 6ou don1t4 it 'i!! #i!! 6ou. /nother fi+e hundred 6ears !ater 0ea+en 'i!! (urn 6ou 'ith fire. This fire 'i!! (e not hea+en!6 fire or ordinar6 fire (ut 1hidden fire1. 3t 'i!! (urn 6ou from the so!es of 6our feet to the "ro'n of 6our head8 6our fi+e +is"era 'i!! (e redu"ed to ashes4 6our four !im(s 'i!! (e destro6ed4 and a thousand 6ears of as"eti"ism 'i!! ha+e (een so mu"h 'asted time. ?et another fi+e hundred 6ears !ater a 'ind 'i!! (!o' at 6ou. 3t 'i!! not (e the 2orth4 -outh4 7ast4 or West 'ind4 nor 'i!! it (e a 'arm4 fragrant 'ind from the 2orth'est8 nor 'i!! it (e the #ind of 'ind that (!o's among f!o'ers4 'i!!o's4 pine4 and (am(oo. 3t 'i!! (e 'hat is "a!!ed a 1monster 'ind1. 3t 'i!! (!o' through the "ro'n of 6our head do'n into 6our siD entrai!s. 3t 'i!! go through the Cinna(ar .ie!d (e!o' 6our na+e! and penetrate 6our nine orifi"es. ?our f!esh and 6our (ones 'i!! (e destro6ed and 6our (od6 'i!! disintegrate. -o 6ou must a+oid a!! three of these disasters.@ When he heard this -un Wu#ong1s hair stood on end4 and he #o'to'ed 'ith the 'ords4 @3 imp!ore 6ou4 m6 !ord4 to sho' pit6 and tea"h me ho' to a+oid these three disasters. 3f 6ou do 3 'i!! (e gratefu! to 6ou for e+er.@ @That 'ou!d (e eas64@ the 9atriar"h rep!ied4 @(ut for the fa"t that 6ou are different from other peop!e−−'hi"h means that 3 "an1t.@ @3 ha+e a head that fa"es the s#6 and feet standing on earth4@ said -un Wu#ong. @3 ha+e nine orifi"es and four !im(s4 fi+e +is"era and siD entrai!s. 0o' am 3 different from an6one e!seG@ @/!though 6ou are >uite !i#e other peop!e4 6our "hee#s are too sma!!.@ 2o' the Bon#e6 had a funn6 fa"e4 'ith "hee#s that "a+ed in'ards and a sharp "hin. -un Wu#ong fe!t it 'ith his hand and rep!ied 'ith a !augh4 @Baster4 6ou didn1t ta#e e+er6thing into a""ount. /!though 31m a (it short of Ea'4 31+e got more de'!ap than other peop!e to ma#e up for it.@ @:er6 'e!! then4@ the 9atriar"h said4 @'hi"h 'ou!d 6ou prefer to !earn% the thirt6−siD hea+en!6 transformations or the se+ent6−t'o earth!6 onesG@ @?our dis"ip!e 'ants to get as mu"h out of it as he "an4 so 3 'ou!d !i#e to !earn the se+ent6−t'o earth!6 ones.@ @3f that1s 'hat 6ou 'ant4@ the 9atriar"h rep!ied4 @"ome here and 31!! tea"h 6ou the spe!!s.@ Thereupon he 'hispered into -un Wu#ong1s ear4 and 'ho #no's 'hat mira"u!ous spe!!s he taught himG The Bon#e6 Cing 'as the sort of person 'ho understands e+er6thing on"e he is to!d a tin6 part4 and he !earned the spe!!s on the spot. 0e pra"ti"ed and trained unti! he had mastered a!! se+ent6−t'o transformations. $ne da6 the 9atriar"h and a!! his dis"ip!es 'ere enEo6ing the sunset outside the Three -tars Ca+e.

The 9atriar"h as#ed -un Wu#ong4 @0a+e 6ou su""eeded 6etG@ -un Wu#ong rep!ied4 @Than#s to 6our infinite mer"64 master4 6our dis"ip!e1s resu!ts ha+e (een perfe"t4 and 3 "an no' rise on the "!ouds and f!6.@ @;et me see 6ou tr6 a f!ight4@ the 9atriar"h said. -un Wu#ong used his s#i!! to perform a series of somersau!ts that "arried him fift6 or siDt6 feet into the air4 then 'a!#ed around on the "!ouds for a(out as !ong as it ta#es to eat a mea!. 0e "o+ered a(out a mi!e a!together (efore !anding in front of the 9atriar"h4 fo!ding his arms a"ross his "hest4 and sa6ing4 @Baster4 that1s f!6ing and soaring in the "!ouds.@ The 9atriar"h !aughed. @That1s not soaring on the "!ouds−−it1s Eust "!im(ing up them. There is an o!d sa6ing that 1an 3mmorta! +isits the 2orthern -ea in the morning and Cang'u in the e+ening1. ut to ta#e as !ong as 6ou did Eust to go a mi!e doesn1t "ount as "!im(ing on the "!ouds.@ @0o' "an it (e possi(!e to +isit the 2orthern -ea in the morning and Cang'u in the e+eningG@ -un Wu#ong as#ed. @/!! "!oud−soarers start off from the 2orthern -ea ear!6 in the morning4 +isit the 7astern4 Western and -outhern -eas4 and then "ome (a"# to Cang'u8 Cang'u is 'hat the 2orthern -ea is "a!!ed in the ;ing!ing !anguage. When 6ou "an go (e6ond a!! four seas in a sing!e da6 6ou "an regard 6ourse!f as a "!oud−soarer.@ @ ut that must (e +er6 diffi"u!t4@ -un Wu#ong o(ser+ed. @Where there1s a 'i!! there1s a 'a64@ the 9atriar"h rep!ied. @2othing (6 ha!+es4 master4@ rep!ied -un Wu#ong 'ith (o's and #o'to's4 @3 (eg of 6ou in 6our great mer"6 to tea"h me the art of "!oud−soaring. 3 promise that 3 'i!! a!'a6s (e gratefu!.@ @3mmorta!s ta#e off 'ith a stamp of their feet4@ said the 9atriar"h4 @(ut 6ou do it different!6−−Eust no' 3 sa' 6ou pu!! 6ourse!f up. /s that is the 'a6 6ou do it4 31!! sho' 6ou ho' to do it 6our o'n 'a6 and tea"h 6ou the 1somersau!t "!oud.1@ -un Wu#ong (o'ed again4 imp!oring him to do so4 and the 9atriar"h taught him the spe!!. @.or this #ind of "!oud4@ the 9atriar"h said4 @6ou ma#e the magi" (6 "!asping 6our hands in the spe"ia! 'a64 re"ite the 'ords of the spe!!4 "!en"h 6our fist4 sha#e 6ourse!f4 and Eump. With one somersau!t 6ou "an go siDt6 thousand mi!es.@ When the others heard this the6 a!! eD"!aimed 'ith a !augh. @;u"#6 o!d -un Wu#ong. With magi" !i#e this he "ou!d (e−a messenger de!i+ering offi"ia! !etters and reports4 and he1d ne+er go short of a mea!.@ When it 'as dar# the 9atriar"h and his pupi!s returned to the "a+e. That night -un Wu#ong mo+ed his spirit4 pra"ti"ed the te"hni>ue4 and mastered the "!oud somersau!t. .rom then on he 'as free from a!! restraint and he enEo6ed the de!ights of immorta!it64 drifting around as he p!eased. $n a da6 'hen spring 'as gi+ing 'a6 to summer4 and a!! the students had (een sitting under some pine trees !istening to !e"tures for a !ong time4 the6 said4 @-un Wu#ong4 in 'hat !ife did 6ou earn 6our present destin6G The other da6 our tea"her 'hispered to 6ou ho' to do the transformations to a+oid the Three *isasters. Can 6ou do them a!! 6etG@ @3t1s true4 (rothers4@ said -un Wu#ong 'ith a grin4 @3 "an do them a!!. 3n the first p!a"e4 it1s (e"ause our master taught me8 and in the se"ond p!a"e4 it1s (e"ause 3 pra"ti"ed them hard da6 and night.@

@This 'ou!d (e a good time for 6ou to gi+e us a demonstration.@ /t this suggestion -un Wu#ong (ra"ed his spirit to sho' off his s#i!!. @What1s it to (e4 (rothersG Te!! me 'hat 6ou1d !i#e me to turn m6se!f into.@ @Turn into a pine tree4@ the6 a!! said. -un Wu#ong "!en"hed his fist4 said the magi" 'ords4 shoo# himse!f4 and "hanged into a pine tree. 3t 'as tru!6

5reen and mist6 throughout the four seasons4 ,aising its upright (eaut6 to the "!ouds. 2ot in the !east !i#e a demon mon#e64 7+er6 in"h a tree that 'ithstands frost and sno'.

When the students sa' it the6 "!apped their hands and "hu"#!ed a!oud4 sa6ing4 @5ood o!d mon#e64 good o!d mon#e6.@ The6 did not rea!iFe that the ro' the6 'ere ma#ing had distur(ed the 9atriar"h4 'ho rushed out through the door4 dragging his sti"# (ehind him. @Who1s ma#ing a ro' out hereG@ he as#ed. The students hurried!6 pu!!ed themse!+es together4 straightened their "!othes and 'ent o+er to him. -un Wu#ong4 'ho had no' resumed his rea! appearan"e4 said from the forest4 @Baster4 'e 'ere ho!ding a dis"ussion here4 and there 'ere no outsiders ma#ing a din.@ @?e!!ing and shouting !i#e that4@ the 9atriar"h angri!6 roared4 @is no 'a6 for those "u!ti+ating their "ondu"t to (eha+e. 3f 6ou are "u!ti+ating 6our "ondu"t4 the su(t!e +apours es"ape 'hen 6ou open 6our mouth4 and 'hen 6ou 'ag 6our tongue4 trou(!e starts. What 'as a!! the !aughing and shouting a(out@ @<ust no' -un Wu#ong did a transformation for fun. We to!d him to turn himse!f into a pine tree4 and he did. We a!! praised and app!auded him4 'hi"h 'as 'h6 'e distur(ed 6ou 'ith the noise4 master. We (eg 6ou to forgi+e us.@ The 9atriar"h sent them a!! a'a6 eD"ept for -un Wu#ong4 to 'hom he said4 @Come here. 3s that a 'a6 to use 6our spiritG To "hange into a pine treeG 3s this a s#i!! 6ou shou!d (e sho'ing off in front of peop!eG 3f 6ou sa' some(od6 e!se doing that4 'ou!dn1t 6ou as# him to tea"h 6ouG 3f other peop!e see 6ou doing it4 the61re (ound to as# 6ou to tea"h them4 and if 6ou 'ant to #eep out of trou(!e 6ou1!! ha+e to do so8 other'ise the6 ma6 do 6ou harm4 and then 6our !ife 'i!! (e in danger.@ -un Wu#ong #o'to'ed and said4 @9!ease forgi+e me4 master.@ @3 shan1t punish 6ou4@ the 9atriar"h rep!ied4 @(ut 6ou1!! ha+e to go.@ -un Wu#ong1s e6es fi!!ed 'ith tears. @Baster4 'here am 3 to goG@

@5o (a"# to 'here 6ou "ame from.@ -un Wu#ong had a sudden a'a#ening4 and he said4 @3 "ame from the Water Curtain Ca+e on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit in the "ountr6 of /o!ai in the 7astern Continent of -uperior od6.@ @3f 6ou hurr6 (a"# there4@ the 9atriar"h rep!ied4 @6ou 'i!! (e a(!e to preser+e 6our !ife. 3f 6ou sta6 here it 'i!! (e a(so!ute!6 impossi(!e to do so.@ -un Wu#ong a""epted his punishment. @?es4 master4@ he said. @31+e (een a'a6 from home for t'ent6 6ears and 3 do miss the o!d da6s and m6 "hi!dren and grand"hi!dren. ut 'hen 3 remem(er that 3 ha+e not 6et repaid 6our enormous generosit6 to me4 3 "an1t (ring m6se!f to go.@ @What sort of #indness 'ou!d 6ou (e doing me if 6ou sta6edG 31!! (e happ6 enough if 6ou #eep me out of an6 disasters 6ou "ause.@ -eeing that there 'as nothing e!se for it4 -un Wu#ong (o'ed and too# !ea+e of him4 sa6ing good−(6e to a!! the other students. @2o' that 6ou1re going4@ the 9atriar"h said4 @31m sure that 6our !ife 'i!! not (e a good one. Whate+er disasters 6ou "ause and "rimes 6ou "ommit4 3 for(id 6ou under an6 "ir"umstan"es to "a!! 6ourse!f m6 dis"ip!e. 3f 6ou so mu"h as hint at it 31!! #no' at on"e4 and 31!! tear off 6our mon#e6 s#in4 "hop up 6our (ones4 and (anish 6our sou! to the 2inth *ar#ness. 3 'on1t !et 6ou out for ten thousand aeons.@ @3 promise ne+er to gi+e a'a6 a sing!e !etter of 6our name4@ said -un Wu#ong. @31!! Eust sa6 that 3 taught m6se!f.@ -un Wu#ong too# his !ea+e and 'ent a'a6. Ba#ing the spe!! (6 "!asping his fist he Eumped head o+er hee!s4 summoned a somersau!t "!oud4 and 'ent (a"# to the 7astern Continent. Within t'o hours he sa' the Water Curtain Ca+e on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. The 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing 'as so p!eased that he said to himse!f%

@When 3 !eft here m6 morta! f!esh and (ones 'ere hea+64 ut no' 3 ha+e the Wa6 m6 (od61s !ight. 2o one in the 'or!d has rea! determination4 To the firm 'i!!4 the hidden (e"omes "!ear.

When 3 !ast "rossed the seas the 'a+es got in m6 'a64 ut no' on m6 return the Eourne61s eas6. The parting 'ords sti!! e"ho in m6 ears8 When 'i!! 3 see The 7astern $"ean againG@

-un Wu#ong put a'a6 his "!oud and headed straight to the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. /s he fo!!o'ed the path there he heard the "a!! of the "ranes and the "ries of the apes. The "rane "a!!s e"hoed (e6ond the Bi!#6 Wa64 and the ape "ries 'ere patheti"a!!6 sad. -un Wu#ong shouted4 @Chi!dren4 31m (a"#.@ ig mon#e6s and !itt!e mon#e6s "ame (ounding in their thousands and tens of thousands from "a+es in the "!iffs4 from the grass and f!o'ers4 and do'n from the trees. The6 a!! "ro'ded round the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing4 #o'to'ed and said4 @?our BaEest64 6ou1re a "oo! one. 0o' "ou!d 6ou sta6 a'a6 for so !ong4 a(andoning us a!! hereG We1+e (een desperate for 6ou to "ome (a"#. / demon has (een mistreating us terri(!6. 0e1s o""upied our Water Curtain Ca+e4 and 'e1+e (een fighting for our !i+es 'ith him. ,e"ent!6 he1s (een stea!ing our things and "arr6ing off man6 of our 6oungsters. We1+e had to sta6 a'a#e a!! night to guard our fami!ies. Than# goodness 6ou1+e "ome (a"#A /nother 6ear 'ithout 6ou4 ?our BaEest64 and e+er6 one of us 'ou!d (e under his "ontro!4 "a+e and a!!.@ -un Wu#ong 'as furious4 @Who is this demonG What an outrageA Te!! me e+er6thing a(out him4 and then 31!! go and gi+e him 'hat1s "oming to him.@ The mon#e6 host #o'to'ed again and said4 @?our BaEest64 the 'ret"h "a!!s himse!f the *emon Cing of Confusion. 0e !i+es 2orth of here.@ @0o' far a'a6 is his !airG@ -un Wu#ong as#ed. @0e "omes and goes in "!oud and mist 'ith 'ind and rain4 or thunder and !ightning4 so 'e don1t #no' ho' far it is.@ @3f that1s ho' it is4@ -un Wu#ong rep!ied4 @then don1t 'orr6. <ust #eep 6ourse!+es amused 'hi!e 3 go and find him.@ The sp!endid Bon#e6 Cing Eumped up into the air4 and as he somersau!ted to'ards the 2orth he sa' a high and pre"ipitous mountain. 3t 'as a fine sight%

9erpendi"u!ar pea#s Eutting straight up4 *eep−sun# 'inding streams. The perpendi"u!ar pea#s Eutting straight up pier"ed the s#68 The deep−sun# 'inding streams !ed to the under'or!d. $n pairs of "!iffs the p!ants "ompete in strangeness8 7!se'here pine +ies in greenness 'ith (am(oo. To the !eft are do"i!e dragons4 To the right are tame tigers. 3ron oDen p!oughing are a "ommon sight4

5o!den "oins are a!'a6s so'n as seeds. 0idden (irds sing (eautifu!!64 ,ed phoeniDes stand in the sun. ,a"ing o+er stones4 the "!ear 'a+es T'ist and (end in a +i"ious torrent. Ban6 are the famous mountains in the 'or!d4 /nd man6 the f!o'ers that (!oom and 'ither on them. ut this s"ener6 is eterna!4 Hn"hanging through the four seasons. 3t is tru!6 the mountain from 'hi"h the Three Wor!ds spring4 The Ca+e in the e!!6 of the Water that nourishes the .i+e 7!ements.

/s the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing stood gaFing in si!en"e at this +ie'4 he heard +oi"es. When he 'ent do'n the mountainside to !oo# he found the Ca+e in the e!!6 of the Water fa"ing the "!iff. -e+era! minor demons 'ere dan"ing around in front of the "a+e doors4 and the6 ran a'a6 as soon as the6 sa' -un Wu#ong. @Wait a moment4@ -un Wu#ong said. @3 'ant 6ou to ta#e a message for me. 3 am the Cing of the Water Curtain Ca+e in the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit that !ies due -outh of here. 31+e "ome to find that *emon of Confusion of 6ours4 or 'hate+er he1s "a!!ed4 the one 'ho1s (een mistreating m6 "hi!dren and grand"hi!dren4 and ha+e it out 'ith him.@ The minor demons s"utt!ed into the "a+e and reported4 @/ disaster4 ?our BaEest6.@ @What do 6ou mean4 disasterG@ the demon #ing as#ed. @There1s a mon#e6 outside the "a+e4@ the minor demons reported4 @'ho sa6s that he1s the Cing of the Water Curtain Ca+e on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. 0e sa6s that 6ou ha+e (een (u!!6ing his "hi!dren and grand"hi!dren4 and that he1s "ome spe"ia!!6 to find 6ou to ha+e it out 'ith 6ou.@ The demon #ing !aughed. @Those mon#e6 de+i!s are a!'a6s going on a(out a #ing of theirs 'ho renoun"ed the 'or!d to "u!ti+ate his "ondu"t8 3 suppose it must (e him 'ho1s here no'. *id 6ou see ho' he 'as dressed or 'hat 'eapons he 'as "arr6ingG@ @0e hasn1t got an6 'eapons. 0e1s (areheaded4 and he1s 'earing a red go'n (e!ted 'ith a 6e!!o' si!# sash4 and a pair of (!a"# (oots. 0e isn1t dressed !i#e a mon#4 or a !a6man4 or an 3mmorta!. 0e1s (are−handed and empt6−fisted4 and he1s standing outside the doors 6e!!ing.@ @ ring me m6 armour and 'eapons4@ said the demon #ing 'hen he heard this. The minor demons produ"ed them at on"e4 and 'hen he had donned his armour he 'ent out of the door 'ith a!! the demons4 his s'ord in

his hand. @Who is the Cing of the Water Curtain Ca+eG@ he roared. -un Wu#ong too# a >ui"# !oo# at him and sa' that

$n his head he 'ore a dar# go!den he!met4 5!istening in the sun. $n his (od6 he 'ore a (!a"# si!# go'n4 .!apping in the (reeFe. e!o' that he 'ore (!a"# meta! armour4 5irt 'ith a !eather (e!t. $n his feet he 'ore patterned (oots4 /s sp!endid as a fie!d−marsha!1s. 0is 'aist 'as ten feet round4 /nd his height 'as thirt6 "u(its. 3n his hand he he!d a s'ord4 With g!eaming point and edge. 0e "a!!ed himse!f the *emon Cing of Confusion /nd his appearan"e 'as tru!6 daFF!ing.

@?ou inso!ent demon4@ shouted the Bon#e6 Cing. @?our e6es ma6 (e (ig (ut 6ou "an1t see 'ho 3 am.@ The demon #ing !aughed at him. @?ou don1t e+en stand four feet from the ground4 6ou1re sti!! in 6our t'enties4 and 6ou1+e got no 'eapon in 6our hand. What sort of mad "ourage ma#es 6ou "ha!!enge me to a fightG@ @?ou inso!ent demon4@ retorted -un Wu#ong4 @ho' (!ind 6ou are. ?ou ma6 thin# 31m sma!!4 (ut 3 "an gro' easi!6 enough. ?ou ma6 thin# 31m unarmed4 (ut 3 "ou!d pu!! the moon do'n from the s#6 'ith m6 t'o hands. *on1t 'orr64 o!d -un Wu#ong 'i!! so"# 6ou one.@ -un Wu#ong ga+e a Eump and !eapt into the air4 ta#ing a s'ing at his fa"e. The demon #ing put out his hand to stop him and said4 @;oo# ho' (ig 3 am4 6ou d'arf. 3f 6ou use 6our fists4 31!! use m6 s'ord. ut 31d on!6 ma#e m6se!f !oo# ridi"u!ous if 3 #i!!ed 6ou 'ith a s'ord. Wait ti!! 31+e put m6 s'ord do'n and then 31!! gi+e 6ou a disp!a6 of (oDing.@

@We!! said4@ eD"!aimed -un Wu#ong4 @spo#en !i#e a man. Come on then.@ The demon #ing dropped his guard to thro' a pun"h4 and -un Wu#ong rushed in to'ards him4 pun"hing and #i"#ing. When he spread out his hand it 'as enormous4 and 'hen he "!en"hed his fist it 'as +er6 hard. -un Wu#ong hit the demon #ing in the ri(s4 #i"#ed his (a"#side4 and smashed se+era! of his Eoints. The demon #ing seiFed his stee! s'ord that 'as as (ig as a p!an#4 and s'ung it at -un Wu#ong1s s#u!!. -un Wu#ong dodged the (!o'4 and the s'ord on!6 sp!it air. -eeing ho' ug!6 the demon #ing had turned4 -un Wu#ong used his magi" art of getting eDtra (odies. 0e pu!!ed out one of his hairs4 popped it in his mouth4 "he'ed it up4 and (!e' it out into the air4 shouting4 @ChangeA@ 3t turned into t'o or three hundred !itt!e mon#e6s4 'ho a!! "ro'ded round him. -un Wu#ong no' had an immorta! (od64 and there 'as no magi" transformation of 'hi"h he 'as not "apa(!e. -in"e he had fo!!o'ed the Wa6 he "ou!d "hange ea"h of the eight6−four thousand hairs on his (od6 into an6thing he 'anted. The !itt!e mon#e6s 'ere too >ui"# and nim(!e for s'ord or spear. ;oo# at them4 !eaping for'ards and Eumping (a"#'ards4 rushing up and surrounding the demon #ing4 gra((ing him4 seiFing him4 po#ing him in the (a"#side4 pu!!ing at his feet4 pun"hing him4 #i"#ing him4 tearing his hair out4 s"rat"hing at his e6es4 t'isting his nose4 a!! pi"#ing him up together and thro'ing him to the ground. The6 'ent on unti! the6 had (eaten him to a pu!p. -un Wu#ong snat"hed his s'ord from him4 to!d the !itt!e mon#e6s to get out of the 'a64 and (rought it do'n on the "ro'n of his head4 sp!itting it into t'o. Then he !ed his for"es "harging into the "a+e4 'here the6 eDterminated a!! the demons4 (ig and sma!!. 0e shoo# his hair and put it (a"# on his (od6. The mon#e6s 'ho did not go (a"# on his (od6 'ere the !itt!e mon#e6s the demon #ing had "arried off from the Water Curtain Ca+e. -un Wu#ong as#ed them ho' the6 had got there. There 'ere thirt6 of fort6 of them4 and the6 rep!ied 'ith tears in their e6es4 @3t 'as after ?our BaEest6 'ent off to (e"ome an 3mmorta!. 0e has (een fighting 'ith us for the !ast t'o 6ears. 0e (rought us a!! here (6 for"e. /!! the things here−−the stone (o'!s and p!ates−−'ere sto!en from our "a+e (6 that (east.@ @3f it1s our stuff4 ta#e it a!! out4@ said -un Wu#ong. 0e then set fire to the Ca+e in the e!!6 of the Water and (urnt it to a "inder. @Come (a"# 'ith me4@ he ordered the mon#e6s. @?our BaEest64@ the6 rep!ied4 @'hen 'e "ame here a!! 'e "ou!d hear 'as the 'ind ho'!ing in our ears as it (!e' us here4 so 'e don1t #no' the 'a6. 0o' are 'e e+er going to get (a"#G@ @There1s nothing at a!! to that spe!! he used4@ said -un Wu#ong. @3 "an do it too4 as no' 3 on!6 ha+e to #no' the sma!!est (it a(out something to understand it "omp!ete!6. -hut 6our e6es and don1t 'orr6.@ -p!endid Bon#e6 Cing. 0e re"ited a spe!!4 too# them riding on a hurri"ane4 then (rought the "!oud do'n to the ground. @$pen 6our e6es and !oo#4 "hi!dren4@ he shouted. /s soon as the mon#e6s1 feet tou"hed the ground the6 re"ogniFed their home. 3n their de!ight the6 a!! ran a!ong the fami!iar path to the "a+e4 and the mon#e6s 'ho had sta6ed in the "a+e a!! "ro'ded in as 'e!!. The6 di+ided themse!+es into age−groups and (o'ed in homage to the Bon#e6 Cing. Wine and food 'as !aid out to "e!e(rate4 and the6 as#ed him ho' he had defeated the demon #ing and sa+ed their "hi!dren. When -un Wu#ong had to!d them the 'ho!e stor6 the mon#e6s 'ere fu!! of admiration. @Where did 6ou !earn su"h arts4 ?our BaEest6G@ the6 as#ed insistent!6.

@When 3 !eft 6ou4@ -un Wu#ong rep!ied4 @3 fo!!o'ed the 'a+es and the "urrents4 and drifted a"ross the 7astern $"ean to the -outhern <am(u Continent. 0ere 3 taught m6se!f to ta#e human form and to 'ear these "!othes and (oots. 3 s'aggered around for eight or nine 6ears4 (ut 3 ne+er found the Wa64 so 3 sai!ed a"ross the Western $"ean to the Western Continent of Catt!e−gift. /fter !ong en>uiries 3 'as !u"#6 enough to meet a +enera(!e 3mmorta!4 'ho taught me the True ,esu!t4 'hi"h ma#es me as immorta! as hea+en4 and the great *harma 5ate to eterna! 6outh.@ The mon#e6s a!! "ongratu!ated him and eD"!aimed that his !i#e "ou!d not (e found in a (i!!ion 6ears. -un Wu#ong !aughed and said4 @Chi!dren4 'e shou!d "ongratu!ate ourse!+es on ha+ing a surname.@ @What is ?our BaEest61s surnameG@ the mon#e6 masses as#ed. @B6 surname is no' -un4 and m6 uddhist name is Wu#ong.@ The mon#e6s a!! "!apped their hands 'ith Eo6 and said4 @?our BaEest6 is $!d -un4 and 'e are -e"ond -un4 Third -un4 Thin -un4 ;itt!e -un−−a fami!6 of -uns4 a nation of -uns4 a den of -uns.@ The6 a!! offered $!d -un their respe"ts4 'ith (ig p!ates and sma!! (o'!s of "o"onut todd64 grape 'ine4 magi" f!o'ers4 and magi" fruit. The 'ho!e househo!d 'as happ6. B6 'ordA

6 uniting themse!+es 'ith a sing!e surname The6 are 'aiting to (e transferred to the ,egister of 3mmorta!s.

3f 6ou don1t #no' ho' this ended and 'ant to #no' a(out the rest of their !i+es there4 then !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment.

Chapter 3
The .our -eas and Thousand Bountains /!! -u(mit 3n the 2inth 0e!! the Tenth Categor6 3s -tru"# $ff the ,egister We ha+e re!ated ho' the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing returned home in g!or64 (ringing a !arge s'ord he had "aptured 'hen he #i!!ed the *emon Cing of Confusion. .rom then on the6 pra"ti"ed the mi!itar6 arts e+er6 da6. 0e as#ed the !itt!e mon#e6s to "ut do'n (am(oo to ma#e spears4 "ar+e s'ords out of 'ood4 and !earn to use (anners and 'hist!es. The6 !earned to ad+an"e and retreat4 and (ui!d a "amp 'ith a sto"#ade round it. The6 spent a !ot of time p!a6ing at this. $n"e -un Wu#ong 'as sitting in his seat of meditation 'hen he 'ondered% @What 'ou!d happen to us if our games 'ere ta#en for the rea! thingG What if it a!armed some human monar"h or ga+e offen"e to some #ing of (irds or (eastsG The6 might sa6 that 'e 'ere ha+ing mi!itar6 training for a re(e!!ion4 and atta"# us 'ith their armies. ?ou 'ou!d (e no mat"h for them 'ith 6our (am(oo spears and 'ooden s'ords. We must ha+e rea!!6 sharp s'ords and ha!(erds. What are 'e to do a(out itG@ When the mon#e6s heard this the6 a!! said 'ith a!arm4 @?our BaEest6 has great foresight4 (ut there1s no'here 'e "an get them.@ When it 'as the turn of four o!der mon#e6s to spea#−−t'o (are−(ottomed apes and t'o gi((ons−−the6 "ame for'ard and said4 @?our BaEest64 if 6ou 'ant sharp 'eapons the6 "an (e +er6 easi!6 o(tained.@

@0o' "ou!d it (e eas6G@ as#ed -un Wu#ong. @To the 7ast of our mountain4@ the6 rep!ied4 @there is a !a#e some se+ent6 mi!es 'ide that is the (oundar6 of the "ountr6 of /o!ai. That "ountr6 has a prin"e!6 "apita!4 and huge num(ers of so!diers and "i+i!ians !i+e in the "it6. 3t must ha+e 'or#shops for go!d4 si!+er4 (ronFe and iron. 3f 6ou 'ent there4 ?our BaEest64 6ou "ou!d either (u6 arms or get them made8 then 6ou "ou!d train us to use them in the defense of our mountain. This 'ou!d gi+e us !ong−term se"urit6.@ -un Wu#ong 'as de!ighted 'ith the suggestion. @Wait here 'hi!e 3 go there4@ he said. -p!endid Bon#e6 CingA 0e !eapt on to his somersau!t "!oud4 "rossed the se+ent6 mi!es of !a#e4 and sa' that on the other side there 'as indeed a "it6 'a!!4 a moat4 streets4 mar#ets4 ten thousand houses4 a thousand gates4 and peop!e "oming and going in the sun!ight. @There must (e read6−made 'eapons here4@ -un Wu#ong thought4 @and getting a fe' (6 magi" 'ou!d (e mu"h (etter than (u6ing them.@ -o he made a magi" 'ith his fist and said the 'ords of the spe!!4 su"#ed in some air from the -outheast4 and (!e' it hard out again. 3t turned into a terrif6ing ga!e "arr6ing sand and stones 'ith it.

Where the thunder"!ouds rise the e!ements are in "haos8 !a"# fogs thi"# 'ith dust "!oa# the earth in dar#ness. oi!ing ri+ers and seas terrif6 the "ra(s and fish8 /s trees are snapped off in mountain forests tigers and 'o!+es f!ee. 2o (usiness is done in an6 (ran"h of "ommer"e8 /nd no one is 'or#ing at an6 #ind of trade. 3n the pa!a"e the #ing has gone to his inner >uarters8 /nd the offi"ia!s in front of the steps ha+e returned to their offi"es. The thrones of prin"es are a!! (!o'n o+er8 To'ers of fi+e phoeniDes are sha#en to their foundations.

Where the storm (!e'4 the prin"e of /o!ai f!ed in terror4 and gates and doors 'ere shut in the streets and mar#ets. 2o(od6 dared to mo+e outside. -un Wu#ong !anded his "!oud and rushed straight through the gates of the pa!a"e to the arsena! and the mi!itar6 stores4 opened the doors4 and sa' "ount!ess 'eapons% s'ords4 pi#es4 sa(res4 ha!(erds4 (att!eaDes4 (i!!s4 s"imitars4 ma"es4 tridents4 "!u(s4 (o's4 "ross(o's4 for#s4 and spears 'ere a!! there.

/t the sight of them he said happi!64 @0o' man6 of these "ou!d 3 "arr6 (6 m6se!fG 31d (etter use the magi" for di+iding up m6 (od6.@ -p!endid Bon#e6 Cing. 0e p!u"#ed a hair from his (od64 "he'ed it up4 spat it out4 made the magi" 'ith his fist4 said the 'ords of the spe!!4 and shouted @ChangeA@ 3t turned into hundreds and thousands of !itt!e mon#e6s4 'ho rushed 'i!d!6 a(out gra((ing 'eapons. The strong ones too# siD or se+en ea"h and the 'ea#er ones t'o or three4 and (et'een them the6 remo+ed the !ot. 0e "!im(ed (a"# up on the "!ouds4 "a!!ed up a ga!e (6 magi"4 and too# a!! the !itt!e mon#e6s home 'ith him. The mon#e6s (ig and sma!! of the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit 'ere p!a6ing outside the gates of the "a+e 'hen the6 heard the 'ind. /t the sight of "ount!ess mon#e6 spirits f!6ing through the air the6 f!ed and hid. / moment !ater the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing !anded his "!oud4 put a'a6 his mists4 shoo# himse!f4 rep!a"ed his hair4 and thre' a!! the 'eapons into a pi!e (eside the mountain. @Chi!dren4@ he shouted4 @"ome and get 6our 'eapons.@ When the mon#e6 masses !oo#ed the6 sa' -un Wu#ong standing (6 himse!f on some !e+e! ground4 and the6 a!! rushed o+er to him to #o'to' and as#ed 'hat had happened. -un Wu#ong to!d them the 'ho!e stor6 of ho' he had raised the ga!e and ta#en the 'eapons. /fter a!! the mon#e6s had than#ed him the6 snat"hed sa(res4 gra((ed s'ords4 seiFed (att!eaDes4 fought for pi#es4 dre' (o's4 stret"hed "ross(o's4 shouted4 6e!!ed4 and so amused themse!+es for the rest of the da6. The neDt da6 the6 paraded as usua!. -un Wu#ong assem(!ed a!! the mon#e6 host4 and the6 num(ered o+er fort6−se+en thousand. This had a!armed a!! the strange (easts of the mountain−−'o!+es4 monsters4 tigers4 !eopards4 deer4 muntEa"s4 ri+er−deer4 foDes4 'i!d "ats4 (adgers4 ra""oons4 !ions4 e!ephants4 horses4 orangutans4 (ears4 stags4 'i!d (oar4 mountain "att!e4 ante!opes4 rhino"eroses4 !itt!e dogs4 huge dogs. The #ings of +arious #inds of monsters4 se+ent6−t'o in a!!4 a!! "ame to pa6 homage to the Bon#e6 Cing. The6 offered tri(ute e+er6 6ear and attended "ourt in ea"h of the four seasons. The6 a!so too# part in dri!! and paid their seasona! grain !e+ies. 7+er6thing 'as so order!6 that the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit 'as as se"ure as an iron (u"#et or a 'a!! of (ronFe. The #ings of the monsters sent gongs4 drums4 "o!oured f!ags4 he!mets4 and armour in great a(undan"e4 and e+er6 da6 there 'ere mi!itar6 eDer"ises. $ne da64 amid a!! this su""ess4 the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing sudden!6 said to the other mon#e6s4 @?ou are no' eDpert in the (o' and "ross(o'4 and high!6 s#i!!ed in other 'eapons8 (ut this s'ord of mine is too "!ums6 for m6 !i#ing. What sha!! 3 do a(out itG@ The four +eteran mon#e6s "ame for'ard and su(mitted a suggestion% @?our BaEest6 is an 3mmorta!4 so morta!s1 'eapons are not good enough for 6ou. We 'onder if ?our BaEest6 is a(!e to tra+e! under'ater.@ @-in"e hearing the Wa64@ -un Wu#ong rep!ied4 @3 ha+e mastered the se+ent6−t'o earth!6 transformations. B6 somersau!t "!oud has outstanding magi"a! po'ers. 3 #no' ho' to "on"ea! m6se!f and +anish. 3 "an ma#e spe!!s and end them. 3 "an rea"h the s#6 and find m6 'a6 into the earth. 3 "an tra+e! under the sun or moon 'ithout !ea+ing a shado' or go through meta! or stone free!6. 3 "an1t (e dro'ned (6 'ater or (urned (6 fire. There1s no'here 3 "annot go.@ @3f ?our BaEest6 has these magi"a! po'ers4 the stream under our iron (ridge !eads to the *ragon pa!a"e of the 7astern -ea. 3f 6ou are 'i!!ing to go do'n there4 go and find the *ragon Cing and as# him for 'hate+er 'eapon it is 6ou 'ant. Wou!dn1t that suit 6ouG@ @Wait ti!! 3 get (a"#4@ 'as -un Wu#ong1s de!ighted rep!6.

-p!endid Bon#e6 Cing. 0e !eapt to the end of the (ridge and made a spe!! 'ith his fist to 'ard off the 'ater. Then he di+ed into the 'a+es and sp!it the 'aters to ma#e 'a6 for himse!f ti!! he rea"hed the (ed of the 7astern -ea. $n his Eourne6 he sa' a 6a#sha demon 'ho 'as patro!!ing the sea. The 6a#sha (arred his 'a6 and as#ed4 @What sage or di+init6 are 6ou4 pushing the 'aters aside !i#e thatG 9!ease te!! me so that 3 "an ma#e a report and ha+e 6ou proper!6 re"ei+ed.@ @3 am the 0ea+en−(orn -age -un Wu#ong from the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit4 and 6our o!d *ragon Cing1s "!ose neigh(our. 0o' is it 6ou don1t #no' meG@ When the 6a#sha heard this he hurried (a"# to the "r6sta! pa!a"e and reported4 @?our BaEest64 -un Wu#ong4 the 0ea+en−(orn -age from the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit 'ho sa6s he is 6our neigh(our4 is "oming to 6our pa!a"e.@ /o 5uang4 the $!d *ragon Cing of the 7astern -ea4 !eapt to his feet and 'ent out to meet -un Wu#ong 'ith his dragon sons and grandsons4 his pra'n so!diers4 and his "ra( genera!s. @Come in4 eDa!ted 3mmorta!4@ he said4 ta#ing -un Wu#ong into the pa!a"e 'here the6 introdu"ed themse!+es4 seated him in the p!a"e of honour4 and offered him tea. Then the *ragon Cing as#ed him4 @7Da!ted 3mmorta!4 'hen did 6ou find the Wa64 and 'hat magi" arts did 6ou a">uireG@ @/fter m6 (irth4@ said -un Wu#ong4 @3 renoun"ed the 'or!d and "u!ti+ated m6 "ondu"t4 and thus o(tained an immorta! and indestru"ti(!e (od6. ,e"ent!6 3 ha+e trained m6 sons and grandsons to guard our "a+e4 (ut unfortunate!6 3 ha+e not 6et found m6 se!f a 'eapon. 3 ha+e !ong heard that m6 i!!ustrious neigh(our enEo6s the de!ights of a Eade pa!a"e 'ith gate−to'ers of "o'r64 and 3 'as sure that 6ou must ha+e some magi" 'eapons to spare4 so 3 ha+e "ome espe"ia!!6 to (eg one of 6ou.@ 2ot 'ishing to refuse this re>uest4 the *ragon Cing sent Commander 9er"h to fet"h a !arge s'ord and offer it to -un Wu#ong. @3 don1t #no' ho' to use a s'ord4@ said -un Wu#ong4 @so "ou!d 3 as# 6ou to gi+e me something e!seG@ The $!d *ragon Cing then sent Co!one! Ba"#ere! and 5uard Commander 7e! to fet"h a nine−pronged spear. -un Wu#ong !eapt do'n from his seat4 too# it4 tried it out4 then f!ung it do'n4 sa6ing4 @3t1s too !ight4 far too !ight8 and it doesn1t suit me. 3 (eg 6ou to gi+e me another.@ The *ragon Cing smi!ed as he said4 @7Da!ted 3mmorta!4 don1t 6ou see that this 'eighs three thousand siD hundred poundsG@ @3t doesn1t suit me4 it doesn1t suit me at a!!4@ protested -un Wu#ong. The *ragon Cing4 fee!ing frightened no'4 ordered 9ro+in"ia! Commander ream and 5arrison Commander Carp to (ring out a patterned hea+en!6 ha!(erd for 'arding off spe!!s that 'eighed se+en thousand t'o hundred pounds. /s soon as he sa' it -un Wu#ong (ounded for'ard to ta#e it. 0e tried a fe' postures and thrusts 'ith it then stu"# it in the ground (et'een them. @-ti!! too !ight4 far too !ight.@ The *ragon Cing4 no' rea!!6 terrified4 said4 @7Da!ted 3mmorta!4 that ha!(erd is the hea+iest 'eapon in m6 pa!a"e.@ @/s the o!d sa6ing goes4@ said -un Wu#ong 'ith a grin4 @12e+er thin# the dragon #ing has no treasures.1 0a+e another !oo#4 and if 6ou find an6thing satisf6ing 31!! gi+e 6ou a good pri"e for it.@

@3 rea!!6 ha+e nothing e!se4@ the *ragon Cing rep!ied. /s he 'as spea#ing4 his dragon 'ife and dragon daughters "ame in from the (a"# of the pa!a"e and said4 @?our BaEest64 (6 the !oo# of him this sage must (e rea!!6 some(od6. The pie"e of mira"u!ous iron that an"hors the Bi!#e6 Wa6 in p!a"e has (een shining 'ith a !o+e!6 ros6 g!o' for the !ast fe' da6s4 and "reating a most auspi"ious atmosphere. 9erhaps it has started to shine to greet this sage.@ @That pie"e of mira"u!ous iron is one of the nai!s that ?u the 5reat used to fiD the depths of ri+ers and seas 'hen he (rought the 'aters under "ontro!4@ said the *ragon Cing. @What use "ou!d it (eG@ @2e+er mind 'hether it1s usefu! or not4@ his 'ife rep!ied. @<ust gi+e it to him and !et him do 'ith it as he p!eases. /t !east 6ou1!! get him out of the pa!a"e.@ The *ragon Cing did as she suggested and des"ri(ed the pie"e of iron to -un Wu#ong4 'ho said4 @ ring it out and !et me see.@ @3t "an1t (e mo+ed. ?ou 'i!! ha+e to go and !oo# at it 6ourse!f4 eDa!ted 3mmorta!.@ @Where is itG Ta#e me there4@ said -un Wu#ong. The *ragon Cing too# him into the midd!e of the sea treasur64 'here a!! of a sudden the6 "ou!d see ten thousand ra6s of go!den !ight. 9ointing at it4 the *ragon Cing said4 @That1s it4 'here a!! the !ight is "oming from.@ -un Wu#ong hit"hed up his "!othes and 'ent to gi+e it a fee!. 0e found that it 'as an iron pi!!ar a(out as thi"# as a measure for a pe"# of grain and some t'ent6 feet !ong. -eiFing it 'ith (oth hands he said4 @3t1s too thi"# and too !ong. 3f it 'ere a (it shorter and thinner it 'ou!d do.@ /s soon as these 'ords 'ere out of his mouth this pre"ious pie"e of iron (e"ame se+era! feet shorter and a fe' in"hes thinner. -un Wu#ong tossed it in his hands4 remar#ing that it 'ou!d (e e+en (etter if it 'ere thinner sti!!. The pre"ious iron thereupon (e"ame e+en thinner. -un Wu#ong 'as ta#ing it out of the sea treasur6 to ha+e a !oo# at it 'hen he sa' that it had t'o go!d (ands round it4 'hi!e the midd!e part 'as made of (!a"# iron. There 'as a !ine of in!aid 'riting near the (ands 'hi"h said that it 'as the /-−?$H−W3;; C$;*− /2*7* CH*57;% W7350T 134500 9$H2*-. -un Wu#ong 'as de!ighted4 though he did not sho' it. @3 thin# that this !itt!e dar!ing 'i!! do 'hate+er 3 'ant.@ /s he 'a!#ed a!ong he 'eighed it in his hand and said ref!e"ti+e!64 @3f it 'ere e+en sma!!er sti!! it 'ou!d (e perfe"t.@ 6 the time he had ta#en it outside it 'as t'ent6 feet !ong and as thi"# as a ri"e (o'!. Wat"h him as he uses his magi"a! po'ers to tr6 a fe' routines 'ith it4 'hir!ing a!! round the "r6sta! pa!a"e. The $!d *ragon Cing 'as trem(!ing 'ith fright4 and the !itt!e dragons 'ere s"ared out of their 'its. Terrapins4 fresh'ater turt!es4 sea'ater turt!es and a!!igators dre' in their heads4 'hi!e fish4 shrimps4 !o(sters and giant turt!es hid their fa"es. 0o!ding his treasure in his hands4 -un Wu#ong sat do'n in the main ha!! of the pa!a"e of "r6sta! and said 'ith a smi!e to the *ragon Cing4 @Ban6 than#s4 'orth6 neigh(our4 for 6our great generosit6.@ The $!d *ragon Cing hum(!6 a"#no'!edged his than#s4 and -un Wu#ong 'ent on4 @This pie"e of iron 'i!! (e +er6 usefu!4 (ut there is one more thing 3 'ant to as#.@ @What might that (e4 eDa!ted 3mmorta!G@ as#ed the *ragon Cing.

@3f 3 hadn1t got this "udge!4 that 'ou!d (e the end of the matter4 (ut as 3 ha+e got it the pro(!em is that 3 don1t ha+e−the "!othes to go 'ith it. What are 'e to do a(out itG 3f 6ou ha+e an6 armour here4 31d (e most o(!iged if 6ou ga+e me a suit.@ The *ragon Cing said he had not an6. @1/ guest shou!d not ha+e to trou(!e t'o hosts41@ said -un Wu#ong. @3 'on1t !ea+e 'ithout one.@ @9!ease tr6 some other sea4 eDa!ted 3mmorta!−−6ou ma6 find one there.@ @13t1s (etter to sta6 in one house than to +isit three.1 3 (eg and imp!ore 6ou to gi+e me a suit.@ @3 rea!!6 don1t ha+e one4@ rep!ied the *ragon Cing. @3f 3 had 3 'ou!d present it to 6ou.@ @3f 6ou rea!!6 ha+en1t4 then 31!! tr6 this "udge! out on 6ou.@ @*on1t hit me4 eDa!ted 3mmorta!4 don1t hit me4@ p!eaded the *ragon Cing in terror. @;et me see 'hether m6 (rothers ha+e one that the6 "ou!d gi+e 6ou.@ @Where do 6our (rothers !i+eG@ @The6 are /o Kin4 the *ragon Cing of the -outhern -ea4 /o -hun4 the *ragon Cing of the 2orthern -ea4 and /o ,un4 the *ragon Cing of the -outhern -ea.@ @31m damned if 31m going there% as the sa6ing goes4 1T'o in the po"#et is (etter than three o'ing.1 -o (e a good "hap and gi+e me one.@ @There is no need for 6ou to go4 !oft6 3mmorta!4@ the *ragon Cing rep!ied4 @3 ha+e an iron drum and a (ronFe (e!!. 3n an emergen"6 'e stri#e them to (ring m6 (rothers here in an instant.@ @3n that "ase4@ said -un Wu#ong4 @hurr6 up and sound them.@ /nd indeed an a!!igator genera! stru"# the (e!! 'hi!e a terrapin marsha! (eat the drum. The sound of the (e!! and the drum start!ed the other three dragon #ings4 'ho had arri+ed and 'ere 'aiting together outside 'ithin the instant. $ne of them4 /o Kin4 said4 @7!der rother4 'hat1s upG Wh6 the drum and the (e!!G@ @3t hurts me to te!! 6ou4 (rother4@ the $!d *ragon Cing rep!ied. @There1s this so−"a!!ed hea+en−(orn sage from the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit 'ho "ame here this morning sa6ing that 3 'as his neigh(our4 then demanded a 'eapon. 3 offered him a stee!−pronged spear (ut he said it 'as too sma!!4 and a patterned ha!(erd that he said 'as too !ight. Then he pi"#ed up the mira"u!ous iron that fastens the Bi!#6 Wa6 and tried a fe' mo+ements 'ith it. 2o' he1s sitting in the pa!a"e and demanding a suit of armour4 (ut 'e ha+en1t got one. That1s 'h6 3 used the (e!! and the drum to "a!! 6ou here. ?ou three must ha+e some armour. 9!ease gi+e him a suit4 then 'e "an get rid of him.@ When /o Kin heard this he said in a fur64 @To arms4 (rothers. /rrest the "rimina!.@ @2oA 2oA 3t1s out of the >uestion4@ said the $!d *ragon Cing. @3f that iron "udge! of his gets 6ou 6ou1re done for4 if it hits 6ou die4 if it "omes "!ose 6our s#in is (ro#en4 and if it so mu"h as (rushes against 6ou 6our sine's are smashed.@ /o ,un4 the *ragon Cing of the Western -ea4 said4 @-e"ond (rother4 6ou must not atta"# him. 3nstead 'e shou!d put a suit of armour together for him4 then send him a'a6. We "an send a memoria! a(out it to 0ea+en4 then 0ea+en 'i!! of "ourse punish him.@

@?ou1re right4@ said /o -hun4 the *ragon Cing of the 2orthern -ea. @3 ha+e a pair of !otus−root "!oud−'a!#ing shoes.@ @31+e (rought a suit of go!den "hain mai!4@ said /o ,un4 the *ragon Cing of the Western -ea. @/nd 3 ha+e a phoeniD−'inged purp!e go!d he!met4@ added /o Kin4 the *ragon Cing of the -outhern -ea. The $!d *ragon Cing 'as +er6 p!eased4 and he (rought them into the pa!a"e to meet -un Wu#ong and present the e>uipment to him. -un Wu#ong put on the go!den he!met and the armour and the "!oud−'a!#ing shoes4 then "harged out4 'a+ing his "udge! and sa6ing to the dragons4 @B6 apo!ogies for distur(ing 6ou.@ The four *ragon Cings 'ere most indignant4 (ut 'e 'i!! not go into their dis"ussions on the protest the6 sent to 0ea+en. Wat"h the Bon#e6 Cing as he parts the 'aters and goes straight (a"# to the iron (ridge4 'here the four senior apes "an (e seen 'aiting for him at the head of the mon#e6 host. -un Wu#ong sudden!6 !eapt out of the 'a+es 'ithout a drop of 'ater on him and g!eaming 'ith go!d. /s he "ame a"ross the (ridge the mon#e6s 'ere so astonished that the6 fe!! to their #nees and said4 @0o' sp!endid 6ou !oo#4 ?our BaEest64 ho' sp!endid.@ -un Wu#ong4 his fa"e !it up 'ith 6outhfu! +igor4 "!im(ed up to his throne4 thrust his "udge! into the ground in their midst. The foo!ish mon#e6s a!! tried to gra( this treasure4 (ut it 'as as futi!e as a dragonf!6 tr6ing to sha#e an iron tree% the6 'ere una(!e to mo+e it in the s!ightest. iting their fingers and sti"#ing out their tongues the6 said4 @5randpa4 it1s so hea+64 ho' "an 6ou possi(!6 !ift itG@ -un Wu#ong 'ent o+er4 !ifted it 'ith one hand4 and !aughed as he said to them4 @7+er6thing has its rightfu! o'ner. This !itt!e treasure has (een !6ing in the sea treasur6 for goodness #no's ho' man6 thousands of 6ears4 (ut it Eust happened to start shining this 6ear. The *ragon Cing thought it 'as Eust a pie"e of ordinar6 iron4 and said it 'as the mira"u!ous treasure that ho!ds the (ed of the Bi!#6 Wa6 in p!a"e. 2one of his men "ou!d mo+e it4 so he had to as# me to go and fet"h it m6se!f. 3t 'as more than t'ent6 feet !ong then4 and as thi"# as a pe"#−measure. When 3 pi"#ed it up 3 fe!t that it 'as too (ig4 and it shran# ti!! it 'as se+era! times as sma!!. 3 to!d it to get e+en sma!!er4 and it did that too8 then 3 to!d it to get sma!!er sti!!4 and it got man6 times sma!!er again. 3 hurried out into the !ight of da6 to !oo# at it4 and 3 sa' that there 'as an ins"ription on it that read 1/-−?$H−W3;; 5$;*− /2*7* CH*57;% W7350T 134500 9$H2*-1. -tand aside4 and 31!! ma#e it "hange again.@ 0o!ding his treasure in his hand he said4 @-hrin#4 shrin#4 shrin#4@ and it (e"ame as sma!! as an em(roider6 need!e4 tin6 enough to (e hidden in his ear. @?our BaEest64@ the mon#e6s "ried out in astonishment4 @(ring it out and p!a6 'ith it again.@ -o the Bon#e6 Cing (rought it out of his ear again4 !aid it on the pa!m of his hand4 and said4 @5ro'4 gro'4 gro'.@ 3t (e"ame as thi"# as a pe"# again and t'ent6 feet !ong. 2o' that he 'as rea!!6 enEo6ing himse!f he (ounded o+er the (ridge and 'ent out of the "a+e. C!asping his treasure he used some of his hea+en and earth magi"4 (o'ed4 and shouted4 @5ro'.@ 0e (e"ame a hundred thousand feet ta!!8 his head 'as as (ig as a mountain4 his 'aist !i#e a range of hi!!s4 his e6es f!ashed !i#e !ightning4 his mouth seemed to (e a (o'! of (!ood4 and his teeth 'ere as s'ords and ha!(erds8 the "udge! in his hands rea"hed up to the Thirt6−third 0ea+en and do'n to the 7ighteenth 0e!!. The tigers4 !eopards and 'o!+es4 the (easts of the mountain4 and the se+ent6−t'o monster #ings a!! #o'to'ed and (o'ed in terror4 trem(!ing so mu"h that the6 'ent out of their minds. / moment !ater he re+erted to his proper siFe4 turned his treasure into an em(roider6 need!e4 hid it in his ear4 and 'ent (a"# to the "a+e. The pani"−stri"#en #ings of the monsters a!! "ame to offer their "ongratu!ations.

There 'as a great disp!a6 of (anners and drums4 and the air resounded to the sound of gongs and (e!!s. ,are de!i"a"ies 'ere set out in great >uantities4 "ups (rimmed 'ith "o"onut todd6 and the 'ine of the grape4 and the Bon#e6 Cing feasted and dran# 'ith his peop!e for a !ong time. Then training 'ent on as (efore. The Bon#e6 Cing named the four senior apes as his four -ta!'art 5enera!s% he named the t'o (are−(ottomed apes Barsha! Ba and Barsha! ;iu4 and "a!!ed the t'o gi((ons 5enera! eng and 5enera! a. 0e entrusted the sto"#ade4 >uestions of dis"ip!ine and re'ards to these four. Thus freed from "ares4 he mounted the "!ouds and rode the mists4 'andering round the four seas and enEo6ing the thousand mountains. 0e pra"ti"ed his martia! arts4 +isited man6 a hero4 used his magi"a! po'ers4 and made a 'ide and distinguished "ir"!e of friends. 0e met 'ith siD s'orn (rothers of his% the u!! *emon Cing4 the -a!amander *emon Cing4 the ,o" *emon Cing4 the Came! Cing4 the Ba"a>ue Cing4 and the ;ion Cing. With him in"!uded the6 made se+en. .or da6s on end the6 ta!#ed a(out po!iti"s and 'ar4 passed round the go(!et4 strummed4 sang4 piped4 dan"ed4 'ent off on da6s out together4 and enEo6ed themse!+es in e+er6 possi(!e 'a6. / Eourne6 of thousands of mi!es seemed to them to (e no more than a 'a!# in the "ourt6ard. 3t "ou!d (e said that the6 tra+e!ed a thousand mi!es in the time it ta#es to nod one1s head4 and "o+ered three hundred 'ith a t'ist of the 'aist. $ne da6 he instru"ted his four -ta!'art 5enera!s to arrange a feast for the siD other #ings. $Den and horses 'ere s!aughtered4 sa"rifi"es 'ere made to 0ea+en and 7arth4 and the assem(!ed monsters dan"ed4 sang4 and dran# themse!+es (!otto. When he had seen the siD #ings out and tipped his senior and Eunior offi"ia!s -un Wu#ong !a6 himse!f do'n under the shade of the pines (eside the (ridge and 'as as!eep in an instant. The four -ta!'art 5enera!s made the others stand round and guard him4 and the6 a!! #ept their +oi"es do'n. 3n his s!eep the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing sa' t'o men approa"h him 'ith a pie"e of paper in their hands on 'hi"h 'as 'ritten @-un Wu#ong.@ Without a!!o'ing an6 eDp!anations the6 tied up his sou! and dragged it staggering a!ong ti!! the6 rea"hed a "it6 'a!!. The Bon#e6 Cing4 'ho 'as gradua!!6 re"o+ering from his drun#en stupor4 !oo#ed up and sa' an iron p!ate on the 'a!! on 'hi"h 'as ins"ri(ed W$,;* $. */,C27-- in !arge !etters. 3n a f!ash of rea!iFation he said4 @The Wor!d of *ar#ness is 'here Cing ?ama !i+es. Wh6 ha+e 3 "ome hereG@ @?our !ife in the 'or!d a(o+e is due to end no'4@ his es"orts said4 @and 'e 'ere ordered to fet"h 6ou.@ To this the Bon#e6 Cing rep!ied4 @3 ha+e gone (e6ond the Three Wor!ds4 and 3 am no !onger su(Ee"t to the .i+e 7!ements. 3 don1t "ome under Cing ?ama1s Eurisdi"tion. 0o' dare 6ou gra( me4 6ou idiotsG@ ut the fet"hers of the dead Eust 'ent on tugging at him4 determined to drag him inside. The Bon#e6 Cing !ost his temper4 pu!!ed his treasure out of his ear4 and ga+e it a sha#e. 3t (e"ame as thi"# as a ri"e (o'!. 3t on!6 too# a s!ight mo+ement of his arm to smash the t'o fet"hers of the dead to pu!p. 0e untied his (onds4 !oosed his hands4 and "harged into the "it6 'hir!ing his "udge!4 so terrif6ing the oD−headed and horse−fa"ed de+i!s that the6 f!ed in a!! dire"tions for "o+er. /!! the de+i! so!diers rushed to the -en!uo 9a!a"e and reported4 @?our BaEest64 disaster4 disasterA / hair6−fa"ed thunder−god is atta"#ing us out there.@ -tri"#en (6 pani"4 the Ten Cings 'ho sit in the ten pa!a"es4 Eudging the "rimina! "ases of the dead4 hurried!6 straightened their "!othing and 'ent out to !oo#. When the6 sa' his fero"ious eDpression the6 !ined up in order and shouted at the tops of their +oi"es4 @9!ease te!! us 6our name4 eDa!ted 3mmorta!.@

@3f 6ou don1t #no' 'ho 3 am4@ rep!ied the Bon#e6 Cing4 @then 'h6 did 6ou send men to (ring me hereG@ @We 'ou!dn1t dare do su"h a thing. The messengers must ha+e made a mista#e.@ @3 am -un Wu#ong4 the 0ea+en−(orn sage of the Water Curtain Ca+e on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. What are 6our postsG@ @We are the ten #ings.@ @Te!! me 6our names at on"e if 6ou don1t 'ant a (ashing.@ To this the ten #ings rep!ied4 @We are the Cing of Kinguang4 the Cing of ChuEiang4 Cing -ongdi4 Cing Wuguan4 Cing ?ama4 Cing 3mpartia!4 the Cing of Bount Tai4 the Betropo!itan Cing4 the Cing of ian"heng4 and the Cing of the 7+er−turning Whee!.@ To this -un Wu#ong rep!ied4 @?ou are a!! #ings4 and ha+e esoteri" understanding4 so 'h6 don1t 6ou #no' an6 (etterG 34 -un Wu#ong4 ha+e "u!ti+ated the Wa6 of 3mmorta!it6 and 'i!! !i+e as !ong as 0ea+en. 31+e soared (e6ond the Three Wor!ds and !eapt outside the .i+e 7!ements4 so 'h6 did 6ou send 6our men to get meG@ @9!ease don1t (e angr64 !oft6 3mmorta!4@ the ten #ings said. @Ban6 peop!e in the 'or!d share the same name4 so perhaps the fet"hers of the dead 'ent to the 'rong p!a"e.@ @2onsense4 nonsense. /s the sa6ing goes4 1The magistrate ma6 (e 'rong and the sergeant ma6 (e 'rong4 (ut the man 'ho "omes to get 6ou is ne+er 'rong.1 5o and get the ,egister of ;ife and *eath for me to see.@ The Ten Cings in+ited him to "ome into the pa!a"e and !oo# through it. -un Wu#ong 'ent into the -en!uo 9a!a"e 'ith his "!u( in his hand4 and sat do'n in the midd!e of the ha!! fa"ing -outh. The Ten Cings then ordered the presiding Eudge to fet"h the register4 and the Eudge hastened to his offi"e and (rought out fi+e or siD do"uments and ten registers. 0e !oo#ed through them a!! one (6 one4 (ut "ou!d not find -un Wu#ong1s name in the se"tions de+oted to hair!ess "reatures4 hair6 "reatures4 feathered "reatures4 inse"ts4 or s"a!6 "reatures. Then he !oo#ed through the mon#e6 se"tion. 2o' a!though mon#e6s !oo#ed !i#e men4 the6 'ere not entered under the humans8 a!though the6 'ere !i#e the hair!ess "reatures4 the6 did not !i+e 'ithin their (oundaries8 a!though the6 'ere !i#e running anima!s4 the6 'ere not under the Eurisdi"tion of the uni"orn8 and a!though the6 'ere !i#e (irds4 the6 'ere not ru!ed (6 the phoeniD. There 'as another register4 and -un Wu#ong !oo#ed through this one himse!f. Hnder @-ou! 2o. 1350@ 'as the name of -un Wu#ong4 the 0ea+en−(orn stone mon#e64 'ho 'as destined to !i+e to the age of 342 and die a good death. @3 'on1t 'rite do'n an6 num(er of 6ears4@ said -un Wu#ong. @31!! Eust erase m6 name and (e done 'ith it. ring me a (rush.@ The Eudge hasti!6 handed him a (rush and thi"#4 (!a"# in#. -un Wu#ong too# the register4 "rossed out a!! the names in the mon#e6 se"tion4 and thre' it on the f!oor 'ith the 'ords4 @The a""ount1s "!osed. That1s an end of it. We 'on1t "ome under 6our "ontro! an6 !onger.@ Then he "udge!ed his 'a6 out of the Wor!d of *ar#ness. The Ten Cings dared not go near him4 and the6 a!! 'ent to the /Fure C!oud 9a!a"e to (o' in homage to the odhisatt+a Csitigar(ha and dis"uss the report the6 'ou!d send up to 0ea+en. ut 'e 'i!! not go into this. /fter "harging out through the "it6 'a!! the Bon#e6 Cing tripped o+er a "!ump of grass4 tried to regain his (a!an"e4 and 'o#e up 'ith a start. 3t had a!! (een a dream. /s he stret"hed himse!f he heard his four -ta!'art 5enera!s and the other mon#e6s sa6ing4 @?our BaEest64 time to 'a#e up. ?ou dran# too mu"h and s!ept a!! night.@

@2e+er mind a(out m6 s!eeping. 3 dreamt that t'o men "ame for me. The6 dragged me to the "it6−'a!! of the Wor!d of *ar#ness4 'here 3 "ame round. 3 sho'ed them m6 magi" po'ers and 'ent 6e!!ing a!! the 'a6 to the -en!uo 9a!a"e4 'here 3 had an argument 'ith those Ten Cings and !oo#ed through the ,egister of ;ife and *eath of us. Where+er there 'as mention of 6our names in the register4 3 "rossed them out. We 'on1t "ome under the Eurisdi"tion of those idiots an6 more.@ /!! the mon#e6s #o'to'ed to him in gratitude. The reason 'h6 from that time on so man6 mountain mon#e6s ha+e ne+er gro'n o!d is that their names are not on the (oo#s of the offi"ia!s of the Hnder'or!d. When the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing had finished te!!ing his stor64 the four -ta!'art 5enera!s informed the other monster #ings4 'ho a!! "ame to offer their fe!i"itations. / fe' da6s !ater his siD s'orn (rothers a!so "ame to "ongratu!ate him4 and a!! 'ere de!ighted to hear ho' he had stru"# the names off the (oo#s. We 'i!! not des"ri(e the dai!6 feasts that fo!!o'ed. 3nstead 'e 'i!! des"ri(e ho' one da6 the -upreme 0ea+en!6 -age4 the 5reat!6 Compassionate <ade 7mperor of the /Fure :au!t of 0ea+en4 'as sitting on his throne in the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist in the 5o!den−gated C!oud 9a!a"e4 surrounded (6 his immorta! "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s at morning "ourt4 'hen the 3mmorta! Kiu 0ongEi reported4 @?our BaEest64 /o 5uang4 the *ragon Cing of the 7astern -ea4 has presented a memoria! outside the 0a!! of Hni+ersa! rightness4 and is a'aiting a summons from 6our 3mperia! BaEest6.@ The <ade 7mperor ordered that he (e "a!!ed in4 and the *ragon Cing "ame to the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist. When he had done o(eisan"e an immorta! page "ame from the side to ta#e his memoria!. The <ade 7mperor read it through. 3t ran%

?our -u(Ee"t /o 5uang4 the 0um(!e *ragon of the 7astern -ea of the 7astern Continent of -uperior od6 in the 2ether Water6 ,egions ,eports to the <ade 7mperor of the /Fure :au!t of 0ea+en

,e"ent!6 one -un Wu#ong4 an immorta! fiend (orn on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit no' !i+ing in the Water Curtain Ca+e4 (u!!ied this hum(!e dragon and o""upied m6 'ater6 house (6 for"e. 0e demanded a 'eapon (6 disp!a6ing magi"a! pro'ess8 he insisted on ha+ing armour (6 sho'ing off his e+i! po'ers. 0e terrified the 'ater6 tri(e and made the tortoises and a!!igators f!ee in terror. The dragon of the -outhern -ea trem(!ed4 the dragon of the Western -ea 'as made misera(!e4 the dragon of the 2orthern -ea had to hang his head and "ome in su(mission4 and 34 6our su(Ee"t /o 5uang4 hum(!ed m6se!f (efore him. We had to present him 'ith a mira"u!ous iron "udge!4 a go!den phoeniD−'inged he!met4 a suit of "hain mai!4 and a pair of "!oud−'a!#ing shoes8 and 'e es"orted him out po!ite!6. 0e "ontinued to sho' off his martia! arts and magi" po'ers4 and a!! he had to sa6 for himse!f 'as4 @B6 apo!ogies for distur(ing 6ou.@ There is tru!6 no mat"h for him4 and he is un"ontro!!a(!e. ?our su(Ee"t no' presents this memoria!4 and respe"tfu!!6 a'aits 6our sage de"ision. 3 hum(!6 (eg that hea+en!6 so!diers (e sent to arrest this e+i! demon4 so that the sea and the mountains ma6 (e at pea"e4 and the o"ean ma6 enEo6 tran>ui!!it6.

When the <ade 7mperor had read this through he ordered4 @;et the *ragon 5od return to the -ea8 'e sha!! send genera!s to arrest the demon.@ The $!d *ragon Cing (o'ed ti!! his head tou"hed the f!oor and too# his !ea+e. Then the :enera(!e 3mmorta! 5e4 a hea+en!6 tea"her4 reported4 @?our BaEest64 the Cing of Kinguang4 one of the ministers of the Hnder'or!d4 has "ome 'ith a memoria! from the odhisatt+a Csitigar(ha.@ / Eade gir! messenger too# the memoria!4 'hi"h the <ade 7mperor read through. 3t ran%

The regions of dar#ness are the negati+e part of the 7arth. 0ea+en "ontains gods 'hi!e the 7arth has de+i!s8 9ositi+e and 2egati+e are in a "onstant "6"!e. irds and (easts are (orn and die8 ma!e and fema!e a!ternate. ;ife is "reated and "hange ta#es p!a"e8 ma!e and fema!e are "on"ei+ed and (orn8 this is the order of nature4 and it "annot (e "hanged. 2o' the e+i! spirit4 the 0ea+en−(orn mon#e6 of the Water Curtain Ca+e on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit4 is present!6 gi+ing fu!! rein to his 'i"#ed nature4 "ommitting murders4 and refusing to su(mit to dis"ip!ine. 0e #i!!ed the de+i! messengers of the 2inth 0e!! 'ith his magi"4 and he terrified the Ten ene+o!ent Cings of the Hnder'or!d 'ith his po'er. 0e made an uproar in the -en!uo 9a!a"e and "rossed some names out (6 for"e. 0e has made the ra"e of mon#e6s "omp!ete!6 un"ontro!!a(!e4 and gi+en eterna! !ife to the ma"a>ues. 0e has annu!!ed the !a' of transmigration and (rought them (e6ond (irth and death. 34 impo+erished mon# that 3 am4 importune the might of 0ea+en (6 presenting this memoria!. 3 prostrate m6se!f to (eg that 0ea+en!6 so!diers (e despat"hed to su(due this fiend4 (ring the positi+e and 2egati+e (a"# into order4 and gi+e !asting se"urit6 to the Hnder'or!d.

When the <ade 7mperor had read this through he ordered4 @;et the ;ord of *ar#ness return to the Hnder'or!d. We sha!! send genera!s to arrest the demon.@ The Cing of Kinguang then (o'ed ti!! his head tou"hed the f!oor and too# his !ea+e. 0is Ce!estia! BaEest6 then as#ed a!! his "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s4 @When 'as this mon#e6 demon (ornG What is his origin4 that he shou!d ha+e su"h po'ersG@ efore he had finished spea#ing4 Thousand−mi!e 76e and Wind−a""ompan6ing 7ar "ame for'ard from the ran#s of offi"ia!s and said4 @This demon mon#e6 is the stone mon#e6 'ho 'as (orn of hea+en three hundred 6ears ago. /t the time no(od6 paid an6 attention to him4 and 'e do not #no' 'here he refined himse!f and (e"ame an 3mmorta! in re"ent 6ears4 so that he has (een a(!e to ma#e the tigers and dragons su(mit to him and to stri#e his name off the register of the dead.@ @Whi"h di+ine genera! sha!! (e sent do'n to "apture himG@ as#ed the <ade 7mperor4 and (efore he had finished spea#ing the 5reat White 9!anet stepped for'ard4 (o'ed do'n4 and su(mitted4 @/!! (eings in the upper 'or!ds that ha+e nine apertures "an (e"ome 3mmorta!s. This mon#e6 has a (od6 that 'as "reated (6 0ea+en and 7arth and "on"ei+ed (6 the sun and moon. 0is head tou"hes the6 s#6 and his feet stand on the earth8 he drin#s the de' and eats the mist. 0o' does he differ from humans4 if he has su""eeded in "u!ti+ating the 'a6 of immorta!it6 and "an su(due dragons and tigersG 3 (eg ?our BaEest6 to remem(er 6our !ife−gi+ing mer"6 and hand do'n a sage edi"t of amnest6 and en!istment4 summoning him to this upper 'or!d and ins"ri(ing his name on the !ist of offi"eho!ders4 thus #eeping him here under "ontro!. 3f he o(e6s ?our BaEest61s hea+en!6 "ommands4 he "an !ater (e promoted8 and if he diso(e6s4 he "an (e arrested. This 'i!! (oth a+oid mi!itar6 operations and (e a 'a6 of 'inning o+er an 3mmorta!.@ The <ade 7mperor4 de!ighted 'ith the suggestion4 ordered that it shou!d (e put into effe"t. 0e to!d the Wen>u -tar $ffi"er to "ompose the edi"t4 and "ommanded the 5reat White p!anet to persuade the mon#e6 to a""ept the amnest6.

The 5reat White 9!anet !eft 0ea+en (6 the -outhern 5ate4 and (rought his propitious "!oud do'n (6 the Water Curtain Ca+e4 'here he said to the !itt!e mon#e6s4 @3 am an en+o6 from 0ea+en4 and 3 am "arr6ing a di+ine edi"t in+iting 6our great #ing to the upper 'or!d. 5o and te!! him at on"e.@ The !itt!e mon#e6s outside "on+e6ed the message (6 re!a6s into the depths of the "a+e% @?our BaEest64 there1s an o!d man outside "arr6ing a do"ument on his (a"#. 0e sa6s he1s an en+o6 from 0ea+en 'ith an in+itation for 6ou.@ The 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing 'as de!ighted. 0e said4 @31d (een thin#ing of going up to 0ea+en to ha+e a !oo# round for the past "oup!e of da6s4 and no' a hea+en!6 en+o6 has "ome to in+ite me.@ @/s# him in at on"e4@ he shouted4 hasti!6 straightening his "!othes and going out to meet the en+o6. The 9!anet "ame straight in4 stood fa"ing the -outh4 and said4 @3 am the 5reat White 9!anet of the West4 and 3 ha+e "ome do'n to earth 'ith an 7di"t of /mnest6 and en!istment from the <ade 7mperor to in+ite 6ou to 0ea+en to (e gi+en offi"e as an 3mmorta!.@ @3 am +er6 gratefu! to 6ou4 +enera(!e 9!anet4 for "ondes"ending to "ome here4@ rep!ied -un Wu#ong 'ith a smi!e8 then he to!d his su(Ee"ts to prepare a feast to entertain the +isitor. @31m afraid 3 "an1t de!a64@ rep!ied the 9!anet4 @as 3 am "arr6ing a di+ine edi"t4 so ma6 3 as# ?our BaEest6 to "ome (a"# 'ith me no'G We "an ta!# at !eisure after 6our g!orious e!e+ation.@ @Than# 6ou for "oming4@ said -un Wu#ong. @31m sorr6 6ou "ou!dn1t ta#e some refreshments (efore !ea+ing.@ Then he "a!!ed for his four -ta!'art 5enera!s and ordered them4 @5i+e m6 sons and grandsons a thorough training. When 31+e had a !oo# round in 0ea+en4 31!! ta#e 6ou a!! to !i+e 'ith me up there.@ The four -ta!'art 5enera!s a""epted their orders4 and the Bon#e6 Cing made his "!oud "arr6 him up a(o+e the "!ouds. 0e 'as

,aised to a high−ran#ing hea+en!6 offi"e4 ;isted among the "ourtiers in the "!ouds.

3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hat offi"e he 'as gi+en4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment.

Chapter 4
*issatisfied at eing /ppointed 9rote"tor of the 0orses 2ot Content 'ith the Tit!e of 7>ua! of 0ea+en The 5reat White 9!anet !eft the depths of the "a+e 'ith the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing4 and the6 as"ended together on their "!ouds. /s -un Wu#ong1s somersau!t "!oud 'as eD"eptiona!!6 fast he rea"hed the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en first4 !ea+ing the 5reat White p!anet far (ehind. <ust as he 'as putting a'a6 his "!oud to go in4 his 'a6 'as (arred (6 the 0ea+en!6 5uardian :irudha#a and his po'erfu! hea+en!6 so!diers ;iu4 5ou4 i4 *eng4 =in4 Lhang4 and Tao4 'ho (!o"#ed the gate of 0ea+en 'ith their spears and s'ords and refused to !et him in.

@This o!d 5reat White p!anet is a tri"#ster4@ said -un Wu#ong. @0e in+ited me here4 so he has no (usiness to ha+e me #ept out 'ith spears and s'ords.@ <ust as he 'as #i"#ing up a ro' the 9!anet sudden!6 arri+ed. -un Wu#ong f!ung his a""usation at him% @Wh6 did 6ou p!a6 this tri"# on me4 6ou o!d fog6G ?ou to!d me 6ou "ame 'ith an 7di"t of /mnest6 from the <ade 7mperor to in+ite me here4 so 'h6 did 6ou arrange for these peop!e not to !et me in through the gate of 0ea+enG@ The 5reat White 9!anet !aughed. @*on1t (e angr64 ?our BaEest6. ?ou1+e ne+er (een here (efore4 6our name is not on the (oo#s here4 and the hea+en!6 so!diers ha+e ne+er met 6ou. $f "ourse the6 "ou!d not !et 6ou in Eust for the as#ing. ut 'hen 6ou1+e seen 0is Ce!estia! BaEest6 and (een gi+en offi"e among the 3mmorta!s4 6ou 'i!! (e a(!e to "ome and go as 6ou 'ish4 and no(od6 'i!! tr6 to stop 6ou.@ @ e that as it ma64@ said -un Wu#ong4 @31m not going in.@ The 5reat White 9!anet 'ou!d not !et him go and as#ed him to go in 'ith him in spite of it a!!. /s the6 approa"hed the gate4 the 9!anet shouted4 @0ea+en!6 offi"ers of the gates of 0ea+en4 sergeants and so!diers4 !et us in. This is an 3mmorta! from the !o'er 'or!d4 and 3 am "arr6ing an edi"t from the <ade 7mperor summoning him here.@ $n!6 then did the 0ea+en!6 Cing LengFhang and his so!diers 'ithdra' their arms and stand (a"#. 2o' the Bon#e6 Cing (egan to trust the 5reat White 9!anet. 0e 'a!#ed s!o'!6 in 'ith him and !oo#ed at the +ie'. Tru!6 it 'as his

.irst as"ent to the upper 'or!d4 -udden entr6 into paradise. Ten thousand (eams of go!den !ight shone 'ith a reddish g!o'8 / thousand strands of propitious +apour puffed out purp!e mist. -ee the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en4 *eep green4 Cr6sta!!ine4 -himmering (right4 -tudded 'ith Ee'e!s. $n either side stood s"ores of hea+en!6 marsha!s4 Ta!! as the roof(eams4 neDt to the pi!!ars4 0o!ding meta!−tipped (o's and (anners. /!! around stood gods in go!den armour4

randishing their "!u(s and ha!(erds4 Wie!ding their "ut!asses and s'ords. The outside 'as remar#a(!e enough4 ut the inside astonished him. 0ere 'ere se+era! might6 pi!!ars4 ,ound 'hi"h "oi!ed ta'n6−(earded dragons4 their go!d s"a!es g!eaming in the sun. There 'ere !ong (ridges4 Where strutted phoeniDes4 (ri!!iant of p!umage and 'ith (right red "rests. / ros6 g!o' shone 'ith hea+en!6 !ight8 Thi"# green mists o(s"ured the 9o!e -tar. 3n this hea+en there are thirt6−three hea+en!6 pa!a"es% The 9a!a"e of C!ouds *ispersed4 the :aisra+ana 9a!a"e4 the pa!a"e of .i+e ;ores4 the -un 9a!a"e4 the 9a!a"e of .!o'er6 !iss4 7+er6 pa!a"e had go!den anima!s on its roof. Then there 'ere se+ent6−t'o pre"ious ha!!s% The 0a!! of Borning /udien"e4 the 0a!! of ,ising into -pa"e4 the 9re"ious ;ight 0a!!4 the 0a!! of the 0ea+en!6 Cings4 the 0a!! of the Baster of Bira"!es4 <ade uni"orns on e+er6 "o!umn. $n the Terra"e of the -tar of ;onge+it6 5re' f!o'ers that ne+er 'ither. eside the -to+e for *e"o"ting 7!iDir4 Were her(s that sta6 green for e+er. 3n front of the .a"ing the -age pa+i!ion Crimson gauFe "!othes 5!ittered !i#e stars8 ;otus hats -hone 'ith go!d and Eade.

<ade hairpins and pear!−se'n shoes4 5o!den sea!s on purp!e "ords. /s the go!den (e!! to!!ed4 The three "!asses of di+inities approa"hed the steps and su(mitted memoria!s. /s the hea+en!6 drum 'as (eaten4 Ten thousand sage #ings attended the <ade 7mperor. Then the6 entered the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist4 Where Eade doors 'ere studded 'ith go!d4 /nd phoeniDes dan"ed (efore the "rimson gates. Winding ar"ades4 7+er6'here "ar+ed in open'or#8 ;a6er on ;a6er of ea+es4 With dragons and phoeniDes soaring. $n top 'as a maEesti"a!!6 purp!e4 right4 9erfe"t!6 round4 /nd daFF!ing 5o!den gourd−shaped finia!8 e!o'4 fans hung from the hands of hea+en!6 "onsorts4 Whi!e Eade maidens proffered magi" "!othes. .ero"ious The hea+en!6 genera!s guarding the "ourt8 BaEesti" The immorta! offi"ia!s prote"ting the throne. 3n the midd!e 'ere set Cr6sta! dishes .i!!ed to o+erf!o'ing 'ith 5reat Bonad 9i!!s8

/gate Ears 3n 'hi"h stood t'isted "ora! trees. /!! the 'onderfu! things in 0ea+en 'ere there4 2one of 'hi"h are seen on 7arth% 5o!den gates4 si!+er "hariots4 and a purp!e pa!a"e8 9re"ious p!ants4 Eade f!o'ers4 and Easper peta!s. The Eade hares of the prin"es at "ourt ran past the a!ter8 The go!den roo#s of the sages present f!e' do'n !o'. The Bon#e6 Cing 'as fated to "ome to 0ea+en4 ,ather than (e su!!ied (6 the morta! 'or!d.

The 5reat White 9!anet !ed the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing to the outside of the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist. 0e 'ent straight in to the imperia! presen"e 'ithout 'aiting to (e summoned4 and did o(eisan"e to the throne. -un Wu#ong stood (o!t upright (eside him4 not (othering 'ith an6 "ourt eti>uette4 (ut Eust "on"entrating on !istening to the 5reat White 9!anet ma#e his report to the <ade 7mperor% @3n o(edien"e to the *i+ine 7di"t4 6our su(Ee"t has (rought the demon 3mmorta! here.@ The <ade 7mperor !o'ered his "urtain and as#ed4 @/nd 'hi"h of 6ou is the demon 3mmorta!G@ @Be4@ rep!ied -un Wu#ong4 on!6 no' ma#ing a s!ight (o'. The fa"es of the offi"ia!s 'ent 'hite 'ith horror as the6 eD"!aimed4 @What a sa+age mon#e6A 0e has the impuden"e to ans'er 1Be41 and 'ithout e+en prostrating himse!f firstA 0e must dieA@ 3n rep!6 to this the <ade 7mperor announ"ed4 @-un Wu#ong is a demon 3mmorta! of the !o'er 'or!d 'ho has on!6 Eust o(tained human form4 so he is not a">uainted 'ith "ourt pro"edure. We sha!! forgi+e him this time.@ @We than# 6ou for 6our mer"64@ said the immorta! ministers. $n!6 then did -un Wu#ong eDpress his respe"t (6 (o'ing !o' and "hanting @na−a−a'@ at the top of his +oi"e. The <ade 7mperor ordered his immorta! "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s to find a +a"an"6 in some department for -un Wu#ong. The -tar ;ord Wu>u stepped for'ard form the side and reported4 @There are no +a"an"ies in an6 of the pa!a"es4 ha!!s4 and departments of 0ea+en eD"ept for a superintendent in the 3mperia! -ta(!es.@ @Then ma#e him 9rote"tor of the 0orses4@ ordered the <ade 7mperor. /!! the ministers than#ed him for his mer"64 apart from -un Wu#ong4 'ho Eust eDpressed his respe"t 'ith a !oud @na−a−a'.@ The <ade 7mperor then to!d the Wood 9!anet to ta#e him to the 3mperia! -ta(!es.

The Wood 9!anet a""ompanied the de!ighted Bon#e6 Cing to his post and then 'ent (a"# to the pa!a"e. The Bon#e6 Cing then "a!!ed together the deput6 and the assistant superintendent4 the (oo#−#eeper4 the grooms4 and a!! the other offi"ia!s4 high and !o'4 to find out a(out the duties of his department. 0e found that he had to !oo# after a thousand hea+en!6 horses%

Chestnuts and sta!!ions4 Courser and "hargers% *ragon and 9urp!e -'a!!o'4 9egasus and -ushun4 <ueti and -i!+er4 ?aoniao and .!6ing ?e!!o'4 Taotu and .eathers4 ,ed 0are and .aster Than ;ight4 *aFF!er and 0oriFon4 Bist−soarer and :i"tor68 Wind−"haser and Bat"h!ess4 .!6ing Wing and 5a!!oping Bist4 ;aF6 Whir!'ind and ,ed ;ightning4 ronFe Cup and *rifting C!oud4 -#e'(a!d and Tiger−-tripe4 *ustfree and 9urp!e -"a!es4 The .our .erghana -teeds4 The 7ight Chargers and 2ine 5a!!opers4 Coursers that "an "o+er three hundred mi!es−− /!! these fine horses 'ere 2eighing in the 'ind4 "hasing the !ightning4 might6 in spirit8 9a'ing the mist4 "!im(ing the "!ouds4 great in their strength.

The Bon#e6 Cing !oo#ed through the register and "ounted the horses. 3n the sta(!es the (oo#−#eeper 'as responsi(!e for ordering the fodder4 the head groom 'as in "harge of "urr6ing the horses4 "hopping up and "oo#ing the fodder4 and gi+ing them 'ater8 the deput6 superintendent and his assistant he!ped to o+ersee the 'or#. The 9rote"tor of the 0orses !oo#ed after his "harges4 s!eeping neither (6 da6 nor (6 night. 3t is true that he foo!ed around (6 da64 (ut at night he !oo#ed after the anima!s 'ith great di!igen"e4 'a#ing them up and ma#ing them eat 'hene+er the6 fe!! as!eep4 and !eading those sti!! on their feet to the trough. /t the sight of him the hea+en!6 horses 'ou!d pri"# up their ears and pa' the ground4 and the6 (e"ame fat and p!ump. Thus more than ha!f a month s!ipped (6. $n one morning that 'as a ho!ida6 a!! the offi"ia!s of the sta(!es he!d a feast (oth to 'e!"ome and "ongratu!ate the 9rote"tor of the 0orses. 3n the midd!e of the part6 the Bon#e6 Cing sudden!6 put do'n his "up and as#ed4 @What sort of offi"e is this 19rote"tor of the 0orsesG1@ @What the name suggests4 that1s a!!.@ @Whi"h offi"ia! grading does it "arr6G@ @Hn"!assified.@ @What does 1un"!assified1 meanG@ @ ottom grade4@ the others rep!ied4 going on to eDp!ain4 @3t is a +er6 !o' and unimportant offi"e4 and a!! 6ou "an do in it is !oo# after the horses. 7+en someone 'ho 'or#s as "ons"ientious!6 as ?our 0onour and gets the horses so fat 'i!! get no more re'ard than someone sa6ing 1good18 and if an6thing goes at a!! 'rong 6ou 'i!! (e he!d responsi(!e4 and if the !osses are serious 6ou 'i!! (e fined and punished.@ The Bon#e6 Cing f!ared up on hearing this4 gnashed his teeth4 and said in a great rage4 @0o' dare the6 treat me 'ith su"h "ontemptG $n the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit 3 am a #ing and a patriar"h. 0o' dare he tri"# me into "oming here to feed his horses for himG 3t1s a !o' Eo( for 6oungsters4 not for me. 3 'on1t do it4 3 'on1t. 31m going (a"#.@ 0e pushed the ta(!e o+er 'ith a "rash4 too# his treasure out of his ear4 and shoo# it. 3t (e"ame as thi"# as a ri"e (o'!4 and he (randished it as he "harged out of the 3mperia! -ta(!es to the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en. /s the "e!estia! guards #ne' that his name 'as on the register of immorta! offi"ia!s the6 did not dare to (!o"# his path4 (ut !et him out through the gate. 0e des"ended (6 "!oud and 'as (a"# on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit in an instant. -eeing the four -ta!'art 5enera!s and a!! the #ings of the monsters dri!!ing their troops there he shouted in a shri!! +oi"e4 @Chi!dren4 31m (a"#.@ The mon#e6s a!! (o'ed to him4 too# him into the heart of the "a+e4 and as#ed him to sit on his throne4 'hi!e the6 prepared a (an>uet to 'e!"ome him (a"#. @Congratu!ations4 ?our BaEest64@ the6 a!! said. @/fter o+er a doFen 6ears up there 6ou must (e "oming (a"# in g!or6 and triumph.@ @What do 6ou mean4 o+er a doFen 6earsG@ as#ed the Bon#e6 Cing. @31+e on!6 (een a'a6 for a fortnight or so.@ @?our BaEest6 "an1t ha+e noti"ed the time passing in hea+en. / da6 in hea+en !asts as !ong as a 6ear on earth. Ba6 'e as# 'hat offi"e 6ou he!dG@

@3t hurts me to te!! 6ou4@ rep!ied the Bon#e6 Cing 'ith a 'a+e of his hand. @3 fee! thorough!6 humi!iated. That <ade 7mperor doesn1t #no' ho' to use a good man. / man !i#e me−−19rote"tor of the 0orses1. That meant 3 had to feed his anima!s for him and 'asn1t e+en gi+en an offi"ia! grading. 3 didn1t #no' this at first4 so 3 foo!ed around in the 3mperia! -ta(!es unti! toda64 'hen 3 found out from m6 "o!!eagues ho' !o' the Eo( 'as. 3 'as so angr6 that 3 pushed the ta(!e o+er and >uit the Eo(. That1s 'h6 31+e "ome (a"#.@ @Kuite right too4@ the other mon#e6s said. @?our BaEest6 "an (e #ing in our "a+e paradise and enEo6 as mu"h honour and p!easure as 6ou !i#e4 so 'h6 go and (e his groomG@ Then the6 ga+e orders for 'ine to (e (rought at on"e to "heer their #ing up. /s the6 'ere drin#ing someone "ame in to report4 @?our BaEest64 there are t'o -ing!e−horned *e+i! Cings outside 'ho 'ant to see 6ou.@ @/s# them in4@ said the Bon#e6 Cing4 and the t'o forma!!6−dressed de+i! #ings hurried into the "a+e and prostrated themse!+es. @Wh6 ha+e 6ou "ome to see meG@ as#ed the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing 8 and the6 rep!ied4 @We ha+e !ong heard that ?our BaEest6 is !oo#ing for men of ta!ent4 (ut 'e 'ere una(!e to see 6ou (efore. 2o' that ?our BaEest6 has (een gi+en hea+en!6 offi"e and "ome (a"# in triumph4 'e 'ou!d !i#e to offer 6ou this 6e!!o' ro(e as a to#en of our "ongratu!ations. We a!so hope that 6ou 'i!! not reEe"t us a!though 'e are !o' and 'orth!ess4 (ut 'i!! a""ept our hum(!e ser+i"es.@ /n eDu!tant Bon#e6 Cing put on the 6e!!o' ro(e and his happ6 su(Ee"ts (o'ed to him in order of pre"eden"e. The t'o de+i! #ings 'ere appointed Commanders of the :an4 and 'hen the6 had than#ed the Bon#e6 Cing for this the6 as#ed4 @What offi"e did ?our BaEest6 ho!d 'hi!e 6ou 'ere a!! that time in 0ea+enG@ @The <ade 7mperor has no respe"t for ta!ent4@ rep!ied the Bon#e6 Cing. @0e made me something "a!!ed 19rote"tor of the 0orses.1@ @?our BaEest6 has su"h mira"u!ous po'ers% 6ou shou!d ne+er ha+e (een feeding his horses for him. ?ou shou!d ha+e (een made a 15reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en41 shou!dn1t 6ouG@ The Bon#e6 Cing 'as (eside himse!f 'ith de!ight at this suggestion4 and he #ept sa6ing ho' sp!endid it 'as. @5et me a (anner made at on"e 'ith the 'ords 15reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en1 in (ig !etters on it4 and put up a po!e to hang it from4@ he ordered his four -ta!'art 5enera!s. @.rom no' on 3 am to (e "a!!ed 15reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en41 not 1?our BaEest61 or 1Cing1. 9ass this order on to a!! the other #ings of the monsters.@ We 'i!! !ea+e him at this point.

When the <ade 7mperor he!d his morning "ourt the neDt da6 the 0ea+en!6 Tea"her Lhang !ed the deput6 and assistant superintendents of the 3mperia! -ta(!es to the +ermi!ion steps4 (o'ed !o'4 and reported4 @?our BaEest64 -un Wu#ong4 the ne' 9rote"tor of the 0orses4 !eft 0ea+en 6esterda6 (e"ause he thought his offi"e 'as too hum(!e.@ <ust as he 'as spea#ing the 0ea+en!6 5uardian :irudha#a "ame from the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en 'ith his hea+en!6 so!diers and reported4 @The 9rote"tor of the 0orses has gone out through the gate. We do not #no' 'h6.@ $n hearing this the <ade 7mperor "ommanded4 @;et the t'o di+ine offi"ia!s return to their posts8 'e sha!! send hea+en!6 so!diers to "apture this de+i!.@

The pagoda−(earing 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i <ing and 9rin"e 2eFha stepped for'ard from the ran#s of those attending the audien"e4 and the6 memoria!iFed4 @?our 3mperia! BaEest64 'e (eg 6ou to "ommand us4 6our in"ompetent ser+ants4 to su(due this fiend.@ The 7mperor 'as de!ighted 'ith this suggestion4 and he appointed the 9agoda−(earing 0ea+en!6 Cing as *emon >ue!!ing 0igh Barsha!4 and 9rin"e 2eFha as 5reat 5od of the -eas. 0e to!d them to ta#e their for"es do'n to the !o'er 'or!d at on"e. 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i and 2eFha #o'to'ed4 too# their !ea+e4 'ent straight (a"# to their o'n pa!a"e4 and assem(!ed their troops4 "ommanders and offi"ers. The6 put the Bight6 Bira"!e 5od in "harge of the +anguard4 and 5enera! .ish(e!!6 in "ommand of the rear4 'hi!e 5enera! ?a#sa 'as made adEutant. Within an instant the6 'ere outside the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en4 and the6 'ent straight to the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. The6 "hose a pie"e of !e+e! and open ground on 'hi"h to "onstru"t a fortified "amp4 and ordered the Bight6 Bira"!e 5od to issue the "ha!!enge to (att!e. $n re"ei+ing this order the Bight6 Bira"!e 5od tied on his armour firm!6 and 'ent to the Water Curtain Ca+e4 ho!ding his f!o'er−spreading (att!e−aDe. When he got there he sa' huge num(ers of de+i!s−−'o!+es4 tigers and !eopards− −'ie!ding spears4 (randishing s'ords4 !eaping around4 fighting ea"h other4 and ma#ing a great noise outside the !itt!e entran"e to the "a+e. @/""ursed (easts4@ shouted the Bight6 Bira"!e 5od4 @te!! the 9rote"tor of the 0orses at on"e that 3 am a hea+en!6 genera! "ome on the orders of the <ade 7mperor to su(due him. 3f 6ou ma#e him "ome out and surrender immediate!6 it 'i!! sa+e the !ot of 6ou from (eing 'iped out.@ The de+i!s 'ent rushing into the "a+e and reported4 @*isaster4 disaster.@ @What disasterG@ the Bon#e6 Cing as#ed. @There1s a hea+en!6 genera! outside 'ho sa6s he1s "ome on the orders of the <ade 7mperor to su(due 6ou. 3f 6ou go out and surrender immediate!64 he sa6s he1!! spare our !i+es.@ @.et"h me m6 armour4@ said the Bon#e6 Cing. 0e then donned his go!den he!met4 tied on his go!den armour4 put on his "!oud−'a!#ing shoes4 and too# his /s−?ou−Wi!! go!d−(anded "udge! in his hand. 0e !ed his troops out of the "a+e and dre' them up in (att!e arra6. The Bight6 Bira"!e 5od gaFed 'ide−e6ed at the eD"e!!ent Bon#e6 Cing%

$n his (od6 'as g!eaming go!den armour4 $n his head a daFF!ing go!den he!met4 3n his hand a go!d−(anded "!u(4 $n his feet a pair of "!oud−'a!#ing shoes to mat"h. 0is de+i! e6es shone !i#e stars4 0is ears 'ere !ong and hard. 0is sturd6 frame "ou!d (e transformed at 'i!!4 0is +oi"e rang "!ear!6 as a (e!!. The sharp−mouthed 0orse 9rote"tor 'ith protruding teeth Wanted to (e"ome a -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en.

The Bight6 Bira"!e 5od shouted in a harsh +oi"e4 @3nso!ent apeA *on1t 6ou re"ogniFe meG@ The 5reat -age -un Wu#ong rep!ied at on"e4 @31+e ne+er met 6ou (efore. 0o' shou!d 3 #no' 'hi"h 'ret"hed !itt!e deit6 6ou areG Te!! me 6our name at on"e.@ @31!! get 6ou4 6ou "on"eited (a(oon. -o 6ou don1t #no' 'ho 3 amG 3 am the 0ea+en!6 5enera! Bight6 Bira"!e4 the "ommander of the +anguard for 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i4 the 9agoda−(earer. 3 ha+e "ome here on the orders of the <ade 7mperor to a""ept 6our surrender. Ta#e off 6our armour at on"e and su(mit to the mer"6 of 0ea+en4 or 31!! 'ipe out e+er6 anima! on the mountain. /nd if 6ou so mu"h as hint at a refusa!4 31!! smash 6ou to po'der.@ @-top ta!#ing so (ig4 6ou !ous6 god4@ retorted the furious Bon#e6 Cing4 @and gi+e that !ong tongue of 6ours a rest. 31d Eust !o+e to #i!! 6ou 'ith this "udge! of mine4 (ut if 3 did there1d (e no one to de!i+er m6 message for me4 so 31!! spare 6our !ife. 0urr6 (a"# to 0ea+en and te!! that <ade 7mperor that he doesn1t #no' ho' to use a good man. Wh6 did he ma#e me 'aste m6 infinite po'ers on feeding his horses for himG Ta#e a !oo# at 'hat1s 'ritten on m6 standard. 3f he1s 'i!!ing to gi+e me this tit!e offi"ia!!64 31!! "a!! off m6 troops and !et 0ea+en and 7arth "ontinue in pea"e8 (ut if he refuses 31m "oming up to the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist to #no"# him off his dragon throne.@ When the Bight6 Bira"!e 5od heard this he !oo#ed hard and sa' that a ta!! po!e had (een p!anted outside the entran"e to the "a+e4 on 'hi"h hung a (anner reading 5,7/T -/57 7KH/;325 07/:72. @0eh4 heh4 heh4@ he mo"#ed4 @6ou ignorant ape. What shame!ess effronter64 to 'ant to (e a 15reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+enA1 Ta#e thatA@ 0e s'ung 'ith his (att!e−aDe at the Bon#e6 Cing 'ho4 >uite unf!ustered4 parried 'ith his go!d (anded "udge!. 3t 'as a fine (att!e%

The "udge! 'as "a!!ed /s−?ou−Wi!!4 The aDe 'as named .!o'er -preader. /s soon as the t'o met4 ?ou "ou!d not te!! 'hi"h 'as (etter% /De and "!u( ;o"#ed together. $ne 'as "on"ea!ing his magi" po'ers4 $ne 'as a (ig−mouthed (oaster. The6 used their magi" To (reathe out "!oud and mist8

When the6 opened their hands The6 s"attered sand and dust. The hea+en!6 genera! 'as a master of magi"8 7nd!ess 'ere the "hanges the Bon#e6 Cing "ou!d ma#e. When the "udge! 'as raised it 'as !i#e a dragon p!a6ing in the 'ater8 /s the aDe "ame do'n it 'as a phoeniD among the f!o'ers. /!though the fame of Bira"!e 'as #no'n throughout the 'or!d4 0is s#i!! 'as no mat"h for his enem6. 3f the 5reat -age !ight!6 t'ir!ed his "!u(4 / mere tou"h 'ou!d para!6Fe.

The Bight6 Bira"!e 5od 'as no mat"h for his opponent. 0e hastened to (!o"# the Bon#e6 Cing1s first (!o' 'ith his aDe4 'hi"h (ro#e in t'o 'ith a "run"h. 0e f!ed for his !ife as fast as he "ou!d4 and the Bon#e6 Cing said mo"#ing!64 @?ou (ag of pus4 31!! spare 6ou this time. 0urr6 (a"# 'ith m6 message4 and !oo# sharp a(out it.@ The Bight6 Bira"!e 5od returned to his "amp4 'ent straight to the 9agoda−(earing 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i <ing4 #ne!t (efore him4 and said 'ith an a'#'ard !augh4 @The 9rote"tor of the 0orses has rea!!6 tremendous magi" po'ers. 3 'as no mat"h for him. 0e (eat me4 and no' 3 ha+e "ome to ta#e m6 punishment.@ @This foo! has ruined our mora!e4@ eDp!oded the 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i in a fur6. @Ta#e him a'a64 and off 'ith his head.@ 9rin"e 2eFha4 'ho 'as standing to one side4 stepped for'ard4 (o'ed4 and said4 @*o not (e angr64 ?our BaEest6. .orgi+e the Bight6 Bira"!e 5od4 and !et me go and do (att!e8 then 'e1!! see 'ho1s (oss.@ The hea+en!6 #ing a""epted his ad+i"e4 and to!d Bight6 Bira"!e 5od to go (a"# and !oo# after the "amp 'hi!e he a'aited his punishment. When he had put on his armour and he!met4 9rin"e 2eFha "harged straight out of the "amp to the Water Curtain Ca+e. -un Wu#ong4 'ho 'as Eust going to pu!! (a"# his troops4 sa' the fero"it6 of his ons!aught. What a fine prin"e he 'as%

0is hair in tufts (are!6 "o+ers his s"a!p4 0is "!oa# not o+er his shou!ders. 0o' stri#ing his inte!!igen"e4

0o' e!egant his air. 3ndeed he is the s"ion of a uni"orn in 0ea+en8 3n truth he is a phoeniD 3mmorta! from the "!ouds. The seed of dragons is different from the "ommon herd8 This fine 6outh is not at a!! !i#e morta!s. With him he "arries siD di+ine 'eapons8 7nd!ess his transformations as he soars through the air. 2o' he has re"ei+ed an edi"t from the <ade 7mperor1s mouth4 Ba#ing him Commander of the Three Temp!es of the Basses.

-un Wu#ong 'ent up to him and as#ed4 @Whose !itt!e (o6 are 6ou thenG What do 6ou mean4 "harging up to m6 doorG@ @-tin#ing mon#e6 fiend4@ shouted 9rin"e 2eFha4 @don1t 6ou #no' 'ho 3 amG 3 am 2eFha4 the third son of the pagoda−(earing 0ea+en!6 Cing4 and 3 ha+e (een "ommanded (6 the <ade 7mperor to "ome here and arrest 6ou.@ @?ou do ta!# (ig4 don1t 6ou4 !itt!e prin"e4@ said -un Wu#ong4 !aughing at him. @ ut as 6ou1+e sti!! got a!! 6our mi!# teeth and are sti!! 'et (ehind the ears 31!! spare 6our !ife and 3 'on1t hit 6ou. *o 6ou see 'hat it sa6s on m6 standardG 5o and te!! the <ade 7mperor that if he gi+es me that tit!e 31!! "a!! off m6 armies and su(mit to him on"e more. ut if he doesn1t do 'hat 3 'ant him to4 31!! sure!6 atta"# the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist.@ 2eFha !oo#ed up and sa' the 'ords @5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en.@ @?ou 'i"#ed mon#e6A 0o' dare 6ou gi+e 6ourse!f a tit!e !i#e that4 'hate+er 6our magi" po'ers ma6 (eA *on1t 'orr64 a!! 6ou1re getting is m6 s'ord.@ @5i+e me a fe' s'ipes4 then4@ rep!ied -un Wu#ong4 @3 'on1t mo+e.@ @Change4@ 6e!!ed 2eFha in a passion4 and at on"e he had three heads and siD arms4 'hi"h made him !oo# most fero"ious. 3n his hands he he!d siD 'eapons4 a demon−(eheading s'ord4 a demon−ha"#ing "ut!ass4 a demon−(inding rope4 a demon−>ue!!ing pest!e4 an em(roidered (a!!4 and a fire−'hee!−−and 'ie!ding a!! these he rushed straight at -un Wu#ong. /t the sight of him -un Wu#ong eD"!aimed 'ith astonishment4 @We!!4 m6 (o64 6ou "ertain!6 #no' a tri"# or t'o. ut Eust (eha+e 6ourse!f and 'at"h 'hat 3 "an do.@ $ur dear 5reat -age shouted @Change4@ and he too had three heads and siD arms. 0e shoo# his go!d−(anded "udge!4 and it turned into three "udge!s4 'hi"h he gripped 'ith his siD hands to 'ard off 2eFha1s (!o's. 3t 'as a great fight4 and it made the earth sha#e and the mountains trem(!e%

-iD−armed 9rin"e 2eFha 0ea+en−(orn Bon#e6 Cing% We!!−mat"hed opponents4 oth in the same "!ass. $ne sent do'n to the !o'er 'or!d on a mission4 The other priding himse!f as a fighting (u!!. .ast mo+es the point of the demon−(eheading s'ord4 /nd e+i! spirits fear the demon−ha"#ing "ut!ass4 The demon−(inding rope f!ies !i#e a dragon4 Whi!e the demon−>ue!!ing pest!e has the head of a 'o!f4 The fire−'hee! f!ashes 'ith !ightning4 /nd the em(roidered (a!! shoots e+er6'here. The 5reat -age1s three /s−?ou−Wi!! "udge!s !o"# and parr6 'ith "onsummate s#i!!. Though man6 hard−fought rounds pro+e in"on"!usi+e4 The prin"e refuses to "a!! the (att!e off8 Ba#ing his siD 'eapons mu!tip!6 in num(er4 0e thro's them in their mi!!ions at the Bon#e6 Cing1s head4 ut the Bon#e6 Cing4 fear!ess4 roars 'ith !aughter /s his iron "!u(s 'hir! and thin# for themse!+es. $ne (e"omes a thousand8 one thousand4 ten8 Their 'i!d dan"e fi!!s the s#6 as if 'ith dragons. /!! the demon #ings shut their gates in terror8 7+er6 go(!in on the mountain finds some p!a"e to hide. C!oud−(!a"#4 the anger of the hea+en!6 troops8 Whist!ing !i#e the 'ind4 the go!d−(anded "udge!s.

$n the one side4 The (!ood−"urd!ing 'ar−"ries of the hea+en!6 host. $n the other4 The spine−"hi!!ing (anners of the mon#e6 fiends. oth parties are e>ua! in fighting "ourage8 2either "ou!d (e said to (e the 'inner.

9rin"e 2eFha and -un Wu#ong (oth used their di+ine po'ers to the fu!! as the6 fought thirt6 rounds. When the siD 'eapons of the prin"e turned into thousands and tens of thousands4 so did -un Wu#ong1s go!d−(anded "udge!. The air 'as fi!!ed as if 'ith drops of rain or shooting stars4 and there 'as no 'a6 of te!!ing 'ho 'as 'inning. /s -un Wu#ong 'as deft of hand and >ui"# of e6e4 he p!u"#ed one of the hairs from his (od6 in the midst of the fra6 and shouted @ChangeA@ 3t "hanged into his o'n dou(!e to mis!ead 2eFha 'hi!e his rea! se!f !eapt round ti!! he 'as (ehind 2eFha and stru"# at his !eft shou!der. 2eFha 'as in the midd!e of performing a spe!! 'hen he heard the 'hist!e of the "udge! through the air and t'isted a'a6 as fast as he "ou!d. ut he 'as una(!e to a+oid the (!o' and had to f!ee 'ounded. 0e (rought his magi" to an end4 put his siD 'eapons a'a64 re+erted to his true appearan"e4 and a(andoned the fie!d of (att!e in defeat. This had a!! (een o(ser+ed (6 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i4 'ho 'as on the point of sending reinfor"ements 'hen his son appeared (efore him and reported in fear and trem(!ing4 @.ather4 the 9rote"tor of the 0orses is +er6 po'erfu!. B6 magi" 'as out"!assed and he has 'ounded me in the shou!der.@ The "o!or drained from the fa"e of the horror−stru"# 0ea+en!6 Cing as he said4 @3f the "reature has magi" po'ers !i#e that4 ho' are 'e going to defeat himG@ @$utside the gates of the "a+e4@ the prin"e 'ent on to report4 @there is a (anner on a po!e that reads 15reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en1. 0e (ragged that if the <ade 7mperor ga+e him this tit!e he 'ou!d "a!! e+er6thing off8 other'ise he said he 'ou!d atta"# the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist.@ @3n that "ase4@ said the 0ea+en!6 Cing4 @'e1!! disengage no'4 go (a"# to 0ea+en4 and re>uest that more hea+en!6 troops (e sent to "apture this 'ret"h. There is p!ent6 of time.@ The prin"e4 in pain and una(!e to go on fighting4 'ent (a"# to 0ea+en 'ith the 0ea+en!6 Cing and put in this re>uest4 (ut of that no more for the moment. Wat"h as the Bon#e6 Cing returns to the mountain in triumph to re"ei+e the "ongratu!ations of the se+ent6−t'o #ings of the monsters and his siD s'orn (rothers. There 'as great drin#ing and singing in the "a+e paradise. -un Wu#ong said to his siD s'orn (rothers4 @/s 31+e "a!!ed m6se!f 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en4 6ou "an a!! "a!! 6ourse!+es great sages too.@ @0onora(!e (rother4 6ou1re right4@ roared the u!! *emon Cing. @3 sha!! "a!! m6se!f the 5reat -age Bat"hing 0ea+en.@ @31!! (e the 5reat -age $+erturning the -ea4@ said the -a!amander *emon Cing. @31!! (e the 5reat -age Thro'ing 0ea+en into Confusion4@ said the ,o" *emon Cing.

@31!! (e the 5reat -age Who Bo+es Bountains4@ said the Came! *emon Cing. @31!! (e the 5reat -age Who Tra+e!s 'ith the Wind4@ said the Ba"a>ue Cing. @/nd 31!! (e the 5reat -age Who *ri+es /'a6 5ods4@ said the ;ion Cing. The se+en great sages then did Eust as the6 p!eased and ga+e themse!+es the tit!es the6 "hose4 and after enEo6ing themse!+es a!! da6 the6 'ent home. 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i and 9rin"e 2eFha !ed their for"es straight to the 9a!a"e of Bira"u!ous Bist and made this re>uest% @We4 6our su(Ee"ts4 too# our for"es do'n to the !o'er 'or!d4 under 6our *i+ine 7di"t4 to su(due the immorta! fiend -un Wu#ong. ut to our surprise 'e found that his magi"a! po'ers 'ere too far−rea"hing for us to (e a(!e to defeat him. We therefore hope that ?our 3mperia! BaEest6 'i!! send more troops to eDterminate him.@ @0o' "ou!d a mere mon#e6 go(!in ha+e su"h great po'ers that 6ou a"tua!!6 need more troopsG@ as#ed the <ade 7mperor. 9rin"e 2eFha then "ame for'ard and memoria!iFed4 @We (eg ?our BaEest6 to spare us the deaths 'e deser+e. That mon#e6 fiend has an iron "udge! that he used to defeat the Bight6 Bira"!e 5od and 'ounded me on the shou!der. 0e has set a (anner up outside the entran"e to his "a+e that reads 15reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en41 and he sa6s that if 6ou gi+e him this offi"e he 'i!! stop fighting and su(mit8 other'ise he 'i!! atta"# the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist.@ When the <ade 7mperor heard this he as#ed in horror4 @0o' dare that mon#e6 fiend ta!# so 'i!d!6G -end a!! the genera!s to eDe"ute him at on"e.@ /s he spo#e the 5reat White 9!anet stepped for'ard from the ran#s of offi"ia!s. @That mon#e6 fiend #no's ho' to ta!#4@ he suggested4 @(ut he has no idea a(out rea! po'er. 3f more so!diers 'ere sent to fight him4 the6 might not (e a(!e to o+er"ome him at on"e and their energies 'ou!d (e 'asted. ut if ?our 3mperia! BaEest6 'ere to sho' 6our great mer"64 6ou "ou!d send do'n a pa"ifi"ator6 amnest6 and !et him (e a 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en. 3t 'ou!d on!6 (e an empt6 tit!e that he 'as gi+en4 Eust an honorar6 appointment.@ @What do 6ou mean (6 an honorar6 appointmentG@ as#ed the <ade 7mperor. @0e 'ou!d (e "a!!ed a 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en4 (ut he 'ou!d not (e gi+en an6 responsi(i!it6 or paid an6 sa!ar6. 0e 'ou!d (e #ept (et'een 0ea+en and 7arth4 'here his e+i! nature 'ou!d (e under "ontro! and he 'ou!d (e #ept from 'i"#edness. Thus 0ea+en and 7arth "an (e at pea"e4 'hi!e sea and s#6 enEo6 tran>ui!!it6.@ The <ade 7mperor appro+ed this suggestion and ordered that a ne' edi"t shou!d (e issued for the 5reat White 9!anet to de!i+er. The 5reat White 9!anet !eft on"e more through the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en and 'ent straight to ha+e a !oo# at the Water Curtain Ca+e on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. 3t 'as >uite different from (efore. There 'as an a'e−inspiring and spine−"hi!!ing atmosphere4 and e+er6 #ind of fiend 'as present. The6 'ere roaring and !eaping around 'ith their s'ords4 spears4 "ut!asses and sta+es. /s soon as the6 sa' the 5reat White 9!anet the6 a!! 'ent for him. @Wi!! 6our "ommander p!ease "ome for'ard4@ said the 9!anet. @3 'ou!d trou(!e 6ou to inform 6our 5reat -age that 3 am a hea+en!6 en+o6 sent (6 the <ade 7mperor4 and 3 am "arr6ing a di+ine edi"t 'ith an in+itation for him.@

The fiends rushed in to report4 @There1s an o!d man outside 'ho sa6s he1s "ome from 0ea+en 'ith an edi"t of in+itation for 6ou.@ When -un Wu#ong heard this he said4 @31m g!ad he1s "ome. 3 eDpe"t he1s that 5reat White 9!anet 'ho "ame (efore. /!though 3 'asn1t gi+en a de"ent Eo( !ast time 3 'ent to 0ea+en4 3 did get up there and !earn m6 'a6 around. 3f it1s him again4 his intentions must (e good.@ 0e to!d his "ommanders to put on a (ig disp!a6 of (anners and drums and to turn out a guard of honour to 'e!"ome him. Then the 5reat -age4 'earing his he!met4 his 6e!!o' ro(e o+er his armour4 and his "!oud−'a!#ing shoes4 hurried out of the "a+e at the head of his mon#e6 host4 (o'ed in greeting4 and shouted in a !oud +oi"e4 @9!ease "ome in4 +enera(!e 9!anet. .orgi+e me for not (eing here to 'e!"ome 6ou.@ The 9!anet 'a!#ed straight into the "a+e4 stood fa"ing the -outh and said4 @5reat -age4 'hen 6ou !eft the 3mperia! -ta(!es (e"ause 6ou found the post too hum(!e4 the offi"ia!s of that department natura!!6 reported the matter to the <ade 7mperor. The <ade 7mperor de"reed that a!! offi"ia!s ha+e to 'or# their 'a6 up from the (ottom4 and as#ed 'h6 6ou o(Ee"ted to its (eing hum(!e. /fter this 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i too# 2eFha do'n to the !o'er 'or!d to do (att!e 'ith 6ou. ?our di+ine po'ers4 5reat -age4 'ere more than the6 eDpe"ted4 and the6 suffered defeat. $n their return to 0ea+en the6 reported that 6ou had set up a (anner and 'anted to (e a 15reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en1. /!! the genera!s 'anted to punish 6ou8 (ut 34 5reat -age4 ran the ris# of punishment (6 suggesting that the armies shou!d not (e "a!!ed out4 and that ?our BaEest6 shou!d (e gi+en a post instead. The <ade 7mperor appro+ed m6 memoria!4 and that is 'h6 3 ha+e "ome here to in+ite 6ou.@ @3 am most gratefu! for this honour after the trou(!e 3 "aused 6ou ear!ier4@ rep!ied -un Wu#ong4 @(ut 3 am not sure 'hether there is su"h a tit!e as 15reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en1 in the upper 'or!d.@ @/fter o(taining imperia! appro+a! for this tit!e4@ said the 9!anet4 @3 "ame do'n (earing a de"ree. 3f an6thing goes 'rong4 31!! (ear the responsi(i!it6.@ / high!6 de!ighted -un Wu#ong tried his hardest to persuade the 9!anet to sta6 to a (an>uet4 (ut 'ithout su""ess4 so he 'ent 'ith him (6 propitious "!oud to the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en. The hea+en!6 genera!s and so!diers a!! greeted them 'ith respe"tfu!!6 fo!ded arms4 and the6 'ent straight to the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist. The 5reat White 9!anet did o(eisan"e and said4 @3n o(edien"e to the imperia! edi"t 6our su(Ee"t has summoned -un Wu#ong4 the 9rote"tor of the 0orses4 and he is present.@ @;et -un Wu#ong "ome for'ard4@ said the <ade 7mperor. @We do no' pro"!aim 6ou 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en. ?our ran# is no' +er6 high. ;et there (e no more mis"hief from 6ou.@ The mon#e6 simp!6 "hanted @na−a−a'@ to eDpress his than#s to the 7mperor. The <ade 7mperor then ordered the t'o offi"ia!s in "harge of pu(!i" 'or#s4 Lhang and ;u4 to (ui!d a residen"e for the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en to the !eft of the 9ea"h $r"hard. 3n the residen"e there 'ere to (e t'o offi"es% a Tran>ui!!it6 $ffi"e and a Ca!m *i+init6 $ffi"e. oth these offi"es 'ere to ha+e immorta! "!er#s and senior and Eunior assistants. 0e then to!d the -tar ;ords of the Conste!!ation .i+e to es"ort -un Wu#ong to his post4 and in addition ga+e him t'o (ott!es of imperia! 'ine and ten go!den f!o'ers4 and admonished him to sett!e do'n and #eep out of mis"hief. The Bon#e6 Cing a""epted the order and 'ent that same da6 'ith the -tar ;ords of the Conste!!ation .i+e to his residen"e4 'here he opened the (ott!es of 'ine and drained them dr6 'ith the he!p of a!! present. 0e then sa' the star offi"ia!s off and returned to his o'n pa!a"e. .rom then on he !i+ed in happiness and "ontent4 and enEo6ed untramme!!ed p!easure in the 9a!a"e. Tru!64

0is immorta! name 'as for e+er ins"ri(ed in the register of eterna! !ife4 To (e transmitted for ten thousand ages4 free of the 'hee! of re(irth.

3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hat happened neDt4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment.

Chapter 5
/fter Chaos /mong the 9ea"hes the 5reat -age -tea!s the 9i!!s 3n the ,e+o!t /gainst 0ea+en the 5ods Capture the *emons The stor6 goes on to re!ate that the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en4 a mere mon#e6 de+i! after a!!4 'as >uite satisfied that his name 'as on the register of offi"e 'ithout "aring a(out the grading of his Eo( and his o'n ran#4 or the siFe of his sa!ar6. The immorta! "!er#s in the t'o offi"es in his residen"e 'ere in "onstant attendan"e on him4 he had three mea!s a da6 and a (ed to s!eep on at night4 and he !i+ed a free and eas6 !ife 'ithout 'orries. 3n his spare time he 'ou!d +isit the other pa!a"es4 get together 'ith his o!d friends4 and ma#e ne' ones. When he sa' the Three 9ure $nes4 he 'ou!d address them as @+enera(!e4@ and 'hen he met the .our 7mperors he "a!!ed them @?our BaEest6.@ 0e 'as on fraterna! terms 'ith the 2ine right -hiners4 the 5enera!s of the .i+e ,egions4 the T'ent6−7ight Conste!!ations4 the .our 5reat 0ea+en!6 Cings4 the 5ods of the T'e!+e ran"hes4 the .i+e /n"ients of the .i+e ,egions4 the star ministers of the 'ho!e s#64 and the "ount!ess gods of the Bi!#6 Wa6. Toda6 he 'ou!d 'ander 7ast4 and tomorro' he 'ou!d go West4 "oming and going (6 "!oud4 and ne+er sta6ing an6'here for !ong. When the <ade 7mperor 'as ho!ding his morning "ourt one da6 the 3mmorta! =u of <ing6ang "ame for'ard from the (od6 of offi"ia!s4 #o'to'ed4 and suggested4 @The 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en is spending his time in id!e tra+e!4 and is ma#ing the a">uaintan"e of a!! the stars in the s#64 "a!!ing them a!! his friends irrespe"ti+e of their ran#. 3t 'ou!d (e as 'e!! to gi+e him some responsi(i!it64 and pre+ent his id!eness !eading to trou(!e !ater on.@ The <ade 7mperor1s response to this suggestion 'as to send for the Bon#e6 Cing at on"e. 0e "ame in a "heerfu! mood and as#ed4 @What promotion and re'ard ha+e 6ou summoned me here to re"ei+e4 ?our BaEest6G@ @-eeing that 6ou are id!e and ha+e nothing to do4@ rep!ied the <ade 7mperor4 @'e are gi+ing 6ou a Eo(. ?ou are to administer the 9ea"h $r"hard4 and 6ou 'i!! gi+e it 6our attention da6 and night.@ The 5reat -age 'as o+erEo6ed4 and after eDpressing his than#s and "hanting @na−a−a'@ he 'ithdre'. 3n his eagerness to (e at 'or# he 'ent straight to the 9ea"h $r"hard to ha+e a !oo# round. When he got there he 'as stopped (6 a !o"a! tute!ar6 god 'ho as#ed him4 @Where are 6ou going4 5reat -ageG@ @31+e (een put in "harge of the 9ea"h $r"hard (6 the <ade 7mperor4 and 31+e "ome to inspe"t it.@ The !o"a! god hastened to greet him forma!!64 and he "a!!ed the men 'ho 'eeded4 (rought 'ater4 !oo#ed after the trees4 and s'ept the grounds to "ome and #o'to' to the 5reat -age. When -un Wu#ong 'as ta#en inside this is 'hat he sa'%

Charming4

7+er6 tree. Charming and !uDuriant the fu!! (!ossom8 7+er6 tree 'eighed do'n 'ith fruit. The fruit−!aden (ran"hes (end !i#e "arding−(o's8 The (!ossoming trees are "o+ered 'ith po'der and rouge. /!'a6s (!ossoming4 a!'a6s in fruit4 the6 are ripe for a thousand 6ears8 The6 #no' no summer or 'inter4 (ut !inger for e+er. The ear!6 ripeners ;oo# red−fa"ed and tips68 The ones sti!! gro'ing /re green in sta!# and s#in. When the de' forms4 their f!esh has a tou"h of (!ue4 Whi!e the sun pi"#s out their +ermi!ion (eaut6. e!o' the trees eDoti" f!o'ers gro'4 right and unfading throughout the 6ear. $n either side stand to'ers and pa+i!ions4 /nd a rain(o' a!'a6s ar"hes the s#6. These are not the "ommon (reeds of the *ar# 7arth Capita!4 ut are tended (6 the Kueen Bother of the <ade 9oo!.

/fter ta#ing a good !oo# at this the 5reat -age as#ed the !o"a! god4 @0o' man6 of these trees are thereG@ @Three thousand siD hundred a!! together4@ the !o"a! god rep!ied. @The ones gro'ing at the front ha+e tin6 (!ossoms and sma!! fruits4 and the6 ripen e+er6 three thousand 6ears. /n6one 'ho eats them (e"omes an 3mmorta! and understands the Wa64 and his (od6 (e"omes (oth !ight and strong. The t'e!+e hundred in the midd!e ha+e mu!tip!e (!ossoms and s'eet fruits4 and ripen e+er6 siD thousand 6ears8 'hoe+er eats them "an f!6 and enEo6 eterna! 6outh. The (a"# t'e!+e hundred are strea#ed 'ith purp!e and ha+e pa!e 6e!!o' stones. The6 ripen on"e e+er6 nine thousand 6ears4 and an6one 'ho eats them (e"omes as eterna! as 0ea+en and 7arth4 as !ong−!i+ed as the -un and Boon.@ The 5reat -age 'as (eside himse!f 'ith Eo6 on !earning this4 and that da6 he "he"#ed the num(er of the trees and !oo#ed o+er the (ui!dings in the or"hard (efore going (a"# to his residen"e. .rom then on he 'ent to admire them e+er6 three or four da6s. 0e dropped his friends4 and made no more p!easure Eaunts.

$ne da6 he noti"ed that the pea"hes near the end of the (ran"hes of one o!d tree 'ere a!! (ut ripe4 and he fe!t !i#e tr6ing one8 (ut as the !o"a! god4 the 'or#men4 and the immorta! "!er#s from his residen"e 'ere "!ose on his hee!s it 'as impossi(!e. -udden!6 he had an idea4 and he said4 @5o and 'ait for me outside the gates 'hi!e 3 ta#e a nap in this summer−house.@ /!! the 3mmorta!s thereupon 'ithdre'4 and the Bon#e6 Cing too# off his offi"ia! hat and "!othes4 "!im(ed one of the (igger trees4 and "hose some !arge4 ripe pea"hes. When he had pi"#ed a good num(er he sat at his ease in the (ran"hes and ate his fi!! of them4 then Eumped do'n from the tree4 pinned on his hat4 put on his "!othes4 and shouted for a!! his attendants to go (a"# to his residen"e 'ith him. T'o or three da6s !ater he thought of another tri"# to stea! some more pea"hes4 and he ate his fi!! of them. $ne da6 the Kueen Bother arranged a (an>uet4 opening man6 pre"ious pa+i!ions for a feast of pea"hes (6 the <ade 9oo!. -he sent the ,ed .air64 the !ue .air64 the White .air64 the !a"# .air64 the 9urp!e .air64 the ?e!!o' .air64 and the 5reen .air6 to the 9ea"h $r"hard 'ith their (as#ets to pi"# pea"hes for the feast. The se+en fairies 'ent straight to the or"hard gates4 the 'or#men of the or"hard and the immorta! superintendents of the t'o offi"es of the 7>ua!ing 0ea+en ,esiden"e 'ere guarding the gate. The fairies 'ent up to them and said4 @We ha+e "ome on the orders of the Kueen Bother to pi"# pea"hes for a feast.@ @Wait a moment p!ease4 3mmorta! eauties4@ said the !o"a! god. @Things are different this 6ear. The <ade 7mperor has appointed the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en to (e the guardian of this or"hard4 and 'e must as# him (efore 'e "an open the or"hard to 6ou.@ @Where is the 5reat -ageG@ the fairies as#ed4 and the !o"a! god rep!ied4 @3nside the or"hard. /s he 'as fee!ing tired he is ha+ing a nap (6 himse!f in a summerhouse.@ @3n that "ase4 p!ease find him 'ithout de!a64@ re>uested the fairies4 and the !o"a! god too# them into the or"hard. ut a!! the6 "ou!d find of him in the summerhouse 'ere his hat and "!othes. The6 had no idea 'here he "ou!d ha+e gone4 and !oo#ed e+er6'here 'ithout su""ess. The 5reat -age had in fa"t made himse!f on!6 t'o in"hes !ong after eating some of the pea"hes for fun4 and he 'as s!eeping under a !arge !eaf at the top of one of the (ig trees. @We ha+e "ome (6 de"ree4 and 'e "an1t go (a"# empt6−handed4 a!though the 5reat -age is no'here to (e found4@ said the fairies. $ne of the immorta! superintendents 'ho 'as standing near(6 rep!ied4 @/s 6ou 3mmorta! eauties ha+e "ome (6 order of the Kueen Bother4 'e must not de!a6 6ou. $ur 5reat -age is a!'a6s 'andering off4 so 3 eDpe"t that he has gone a'a6 to +isit some of his friends. ?ou had (etter pi"# the pea"hes8 it 'i!! (e a!! right if 'e inform him.@ The fairies did as he suggested and 'ent into the or"hard to pi"# pea"hes. .irst the6 fi!!ed t'o (as#ets from the trees in front4 and then the6 pi"#ed three (as#etfu!s from the trees in the midd!e8 (ut 'hen the6 "ame to the trees at the (a"#4 the6 sa' that pea"hes and (!ossoms 'ere fe' and far (et'een. $n!6 a fe' unripe fruits 'ith furr6 sta!#s and green s#ins 'ere !eft. /!! the ripe ones had (een eaten up (6 the Bon#e6 Cing. The se+en fairies !oo#ed e+er6'here4 (ut a!! the6 "ou!d see 'as a sing!e red and 'hite pea"h on a -outhern (ran"h. The !ue .air6 pu!!ed the (ran"h do'n4 the ,ed .air6 pi"#ed the pea"h4 and then the6 !et the (ran"h go again. This 'o#e up the 5reat -age4 'ho had "hanged himse!f into this pea"h to ta#e a nap on this (ran"h.

0e resumed his o'n form4 too# his go!d−(anded "udge! from his ear4 shoo# it ti!! it 'as as thi"# as a ri"e(o'!4 and shouted at them4 @Where are 6ou from4 6ou thie+ing fiendsG@ The se+en fairies fe!! on their #nees in "onfusion. @9!ease don1t (e angr6 'ith us4 5reat -age. We1re not fiends (ut se+en fairies sent (6 0er BaEest6 the Kueen Bother of the West to pi"# pea"hes of immorta!it6 and open the pre"ious ha!!s here for a .east of 9ea"hes. When 'e arri+ed here 'e sa' the !o"a! god and other deities of the p!a"e4 (ut 'e "ou!d not find 6ou4 5reat -age. We "ou!d not de!a6 "arr6ing out the Kueen Bother1s orders4 so 'e 'ent ahead and pi"#ed the pea"hes 'ithout 'aiting for 6ou4 5reat -age. We +er6 mu"h hope that 6ou 'i!! forgi+e us.@ These 'ords turned the 5reat -age1s (ad mood into a good one4 and he said4 @9!ease rise4 .air6 eauties. Who is the Kueen Bother in+iting to this feastG@ @There are o!d ru!es a(out 'ho attends% The uddha of the Western 0ea+en4 odhisatt+as4 ho!6 mon#s4 /rhats4 the 5uan6in of the -outh 9o!e4 the Ber"ifu! and -age 7mperor of the 7ast4 the :enera(!e 3mmorta!s of the Ten Continents and the Three 3s!ands4 the B6sti" *i+init6 of the 2orth 9o!e4 and the 5reat ?e!!o'−horned 3mmorta! of the ?e!!o' 9o!e at the Centre. These ma#e up the .i+e :enera(!e $nes of the .i+e ,egions. There 'i!! a!so (e the -tar ;ords of the .i+e Conste!!ation8 the Three 9ure $nes4 the .our 7mperors and the 0ea+en!6 3mmorta! of the 5reat Bonad from the 7ight 0igh Ca+es8 the <ade 7mperor4 the immorta!s of the 2ine Bounds4 and the gods of the -eas and Bountains and the ,u!er of the 2ether Wor!d from the 7ight ;o'er Ca+es8 and the terrestria! deities. /!! the maEor and minor gods of a!! the ha!!s and pa!a"es 'i!! "ome to the .east of 9ea"hes.@ @Wi!! 3 (e in+itedG@ as#ed the 5reat -age 'ith an ingratiating smi!e. @2ot as far as 'e1+e heard4@ the fairies rep!ied. @31m the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en4 so 'h6 shou!dn1t 3 (e as#edG@ said the 5reat -age. @That 'as 'hat happened (efore% 'e don1t #no' a(out this time4@ the fairies rep!ied. @?ou1re right4@ he said. @<ust 'ait here 'hi!e 3 go and find out 'hether 31m in+ited.@ -p!endid 5reat -age. Ba#ing a magi" 'ith his hands as he spo#e the 'ords of the spe!!4 he said to the fairies4 @-ta6 'here 6ou areA -ta6 'here 6ou areA@ /s this 'as an immo(i!iFing spe!!4 the se+en fairies 'ere !eft standing in a daFe under the pea"h tree 'ith their e6es 'ide open as the 5reat -age !eapt out of the or"hard on a somersau!t "!oud and headed for the <ade 9oo!. /s he tra+e!ed he sa' that

The s#6 shimmered 'ith auspi"ious !ight /s "!ouds of man6 "o!ours streamed a"ross it. The 'hite stor#1s "r6 made the hea+ens sha#e8 / thousand !ea+es gre' on the purp!e asphode!. /mid it a!! an 3mmorta! appeared4 Carr6ing himse!f 'ith hea+en−sent e!egan"e4

/s he dan"ed on the rain(o'4 "!oa#ed (6 the Bi!#6 Wa64 With a ta!isman at his 'aist to 'ard off (irth and death. 0is name 'as are−.oot 3mmorta!4 /nd he 'as going to the feast of !onge+it6−gi+ing pea"hes.

/s the are−foot 3mmorta! sa' him4 the 5reat -age !o'ered his head and thought of a p!an (6 'hi"h to tri"# the 3mmorta! and get to the (an>uet himse!f. @Where are 6ou going4 re+erend sirG@ he as#ed8 and the 3mmorta! rep!ied4 @31m going to the 9ea"h an>uet (6 the in+itation of the Kueen Bother.@ @There is something 6ou do not #no'4 +enera(!e sir4@ said the 5reat -age. @/s m6 somersau!t "!oud is so fast4 the <ade 7mperor has sent me e+er6'here to te!! a!! 6ou gent!emen to go to the 0a!! of Hni+ersa! rightness for a "eremon6 (efore going on to the (an>uet.@ /s the 3mmorta! 'as an open and upright man4 he too# this !ie for the truth4 (ut 'ondered4 @The than#sgi+ing "eremon6 is usua!!6 he!d (6 the <ade 9oo!4 so 'h6 are 'e ha+ing the "eremon6 in the 0a!! of Hni+ersa! rightness (efore going to the <ade 9oo! for the (an>uetG@ 2e+erthe!ess4 he turned his propitious "!oud around and 'ent to the 0a!! of Hni+ersa! rightness. /s the 5reat -age rode his "!oud he said a spe!!4 shoo# himse!f4 too# the form of the are−foot 3mmorta!4 and hurried to the <ade 9oo!. 0e rea"hed the pa+i!ion there a moment !ater4 stopped his "!oud4 and 'ent >uiet!6 inside. 0e sa'

.a(u!ous perfumes "oi!ing4 / "onfusion of auspi"ious "!ouds8 The Eade to'er set 'ith "o!or4 The pre"ious pa+i!ions s"attering mists8 The phoeniD soars ti!! a!most !ost to +ie'4 /nd Ee'e!ed f!o'ers seem to rise and fa!!. /(o+e a nine−phoeniD s"reen / rain(o' stoo! of the eight pre"ious things4 / "o!oured go!den ta(!e4 5reen Eade (o'!s 'ith a thousand f!o'ers.

$n the ta(!e 'ere dragon !i+ers and marro' of phoeniD (one4 ears1 pa's and apes1 !ips−− / hundred different dishes4 and a!! of them good8 ,are fruits and fine de!i"a"ies4 e+er6 one uni>ue.

7+er6thing 'as neat!6 set out4 (ut no 3mmorta!s had 6et arri+ed. The 5reat -age had not finished !oo#ing 'hen he sme!t 'ine8 and as he 'hir!ed round he sa' under a porti"o to the right se+era! immorta! offi"ia!s in "harge of (re'ing !i>uor 'ith some 'or#men 'ho stirred the !ees4 a num(er of no+i"es 'ho "arried 'ater and some (o6s 'ho !oo#ed after the fires. The6 'ere 'ashing the +ats and s"ru((ing the pots4 ha+ing made Eade !i>uor and a fragrant fermentation of the !ees. The 5reat -age "ou!d not stop himse!f from droo!ing4 and he !onged to drin# some4 (ut unfortunate!6 a!! those peop!e 'ere there. -o he performed a spe!! (6 pu!!ing se+era! hairs from his (od64 "he'ing them up4 spitting them up4 sa6ing the magi" 'ords4 and shouting @Change@8 'hereupon the hairs turned into s!eep inse"ts4 'hi"h f!e' into the fa"es of a!! the !i>uor−ma#ers. Wat"h them as their hands go !imp4 their heads droop4 their e6es "!ose4 and the6 drop their s6m(o!s of offi"e and a!! fa!! as!eep. Whereupon the 5reat -age gra((ed the rare de!i"a"ies and eDoti" foods4 then 'ent under the porti"o and dran# from the +ats and pots unti! he 'as "omp!ete!6 drun#. $n!6 then did he thin#4 @This 'on1t do at a!!. When the guests "ome for the (an>uet the61!! (e furious 'ith me4 and 31!! (e for it if 31m "aught. 31d (etter get (a"# to the ,esiden"e as soon as 3 "an and s!eep it off.@ $ur dear 5reat -age staggered and s'a6ed4 "harging a(out a!! o+er the p!a"e under the inf!uen"e of the !i>uor4 and going the 'rong 'a6. 0e arri+ed not at the 7>ua!ing 0ea+en ,esiden"e (ut at the Tushita 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e. /s soon as he sa' this he so(ered up and said to himse!f4 @The Tushita 9a!a"e is the highest of the thirt6−three hea+ens4 'here ;ord ;ao Li of the 5reat Bonad reigns. 0o'e+er did 3 get hereG 2e+er mind4 31+e a!'a6s 'anted to see that o!d "hap4 and 31+e ne+er managed to "ome here (efore. 3 might as 'e!! go and ha+e a !oo# at him no' that 31m passing this 'a6.@ 0e straightened his "!othes and rushed in4 (ut did not see ;ord ;ao Li. There 'as no sign of an6one. This 'as (e"ause ;ao Li and the /n"ient uddha *ipam#ara 'ere eDpounding the Wa6 from a red dais in a trip!e−storied pa+i!ion4 and a!! the immorta! (o6s4 genera!s4 offi"ia!s and pett6 fun"tionaries 'ere standing to right and !eft !istening to the !e"ture. The 5reat -age 'ent straight to the room in 'hi"h the e!iDir 'as #ept4 and a!though he "ou!d not find ;ao Li there he sa' that there 'as a sma!! fire in the sto+e (eside the range o+er 'hi"h pi!!s 'ere made. $n either side of the sto+e 'ere fi+e gourds4 fu!! of go!den pi!!s of refined e!iDir. @This is the 3mmorta!s1 greatest treasure4@ he eD"!aimed in de!ight. @31+e 'anted to refine some of these go!den pi!!s to sa+e peop!e 'ith e+er sin"e 3 understood the Wa6 and mastered the prin"ip!e of the "orresponden"e of the 7soteri" and 7Doteri"4 (ut 31+e ne+er had time to "ome here. Toda6 31m in !u"#−−31+e found them. /s ;ao Li isn1t here 31!! tr6 a fe'.@ 0e emptied the gourds of their "ontents and ate up a!! the pi!!s as if he 'ere eating fried (eans. efore !ong he 'as fu!! of pi!!s and >uite so(er. @This is terri(!e4@ he thought4 @this is a "o!ossa! disaster. 3f the <ade 7mperor is sho"#ed (6 this4 31m done for. 3 must get out of here. 31d (e mu"h (etter off as a #ing in the !o'er 'or!d.@ 0e rushed out of the Tushita 9a!a"e4 a+oiding his usua! route. Hsing a spe!! to ma#e himse!f in+isi(!e4 he !eft (6 the West 5ate of 0ea+en4 and 'ent straight do'n to the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit (6 "!oud. When he got there he sa' f!ags4 (anners4 spears and ha!(erds g!eaming in the sun% the four -ta!'art 5enera!s and the se+ent6−t'o #ings of the monsters 'ere ho!ding mi!itar6 eDer"ises.

@Chi!dren4 31m (a"#4@ shouted the 5reat -age in a !oud +oi"e4 and a!! the fiends dropped their 'eapons and fe!! to their #nees. @?ou don1t "are4 do 6ou4 5reat -ageG@ the6 said. @3t1s (een so !ong sin"e 6ou !eft us4 and 6ou ne+er "ame (a"# to see us.@ @3 ha+en1t (een !ong4 3 ha+en1t (een !ong4@ protested the 5reat -age4 and as the6 ta!#ed the6 'a!#ed into the innermost part of the "a+e. When the four -ta!'art 5enera!1s had tidied the p!a"e up and made him sit do'n4 the6 #o'to'ed to him and as#ed4 @What offi"e did 6ou ho!d4 5reat -age4 during 6our "entur6 and more in 0ea+enG@ The 5reat -age !aughed and said4 @/s far as 3 "an remem(er it 'as on!6 siD months4 so 'h6 do 6ou sa6 it 'as o+er a "entur6G@ @/ da6 in 0ea+en is the same as a 6ear on earth4@ the -ta!'art 5enera!s rep!ied. @3 'as !u"#6 this time4@ said the 5reat -age. @The <ade 7mperor too# a !i#ing to me and enno(!ed me as the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en. 0e had an 7>ua!ing 0ea+en ,esiden"e (ui!t for me4 "omp!ete 'ith a Tran>ui!!it6 $ffi"e and a Ca!m *i+init6 $ffi"e 'ith 3mmorta! fun"tionaries4 attendants and guards. ;ater on4 'hen he sa' that 3 had nothing to do4 he put me in "harge of the 9ea"h $r"hard. ,e"ent!6 the Kueen Bother 5oddess ga+e a 9ea"h an>uet4 (ut she didn1t in+ite me. 3nstead of 'aiting for an in+itation4 3 'ent to the <ade 9oo! and sto!e a!! the immorta! food and drin#. 3 staggered a'a6 from the <ade 9oo! and (!undered into ;ord ;ao Li1s pa!a"e4 and there 3 ate up his fi+e gourds of pi!!s of immorta!it6. Then 3 got out through the hea+en!6 gates and "ame here (e"ause 3 'as s"ared that the <ade 7mperor 'as going to punish me.@ /!! the fiends 'ere de!ighted 'ith 'hat the6 heard4 and the6 !aid on !i>uor and fruit 'ith 'hi"h to 'e!"ome him (a"#. The6 fi!!ed a stone (o'! 'ith "o"onut todd6 and handed it to him4 (ut 'hen he tasted it the 5reat -age grima"ed and said4 @3t1s a'fu!4 it1s a'fu!.@ T'o of his -ta!'art 5enera!s4 eng and a4 eDp!ained4 @?ou don1t find "o"onut todd6 +er6 tast6 (e"ause 6ou ha+e drun# immorta! !i>uor and eaten immorta! food in the hea+en!6 pa!a"e4 5reat -age. ut as the sa6ing goes4 1-'eet or not4 it1s 'ater from home.1@ To this the 5reat -age rep!ied4 @/nd a!! of 6ou4 'hether re!ated to me or not4 are from m6 home. When 3 'as enEo6ing m6se!f (eside the <ade 9oo! toda6 3 sa' Ears and Ears of Eade !i>uor under a porti"o there. /s none of 6ou ha+e e+er tasted it 31!! go and pin"h 6ou a fe' Ears8 then 6ou "an ea"h ha+e a !itt!e drin#4 and !i+e for e+er.@ /!! the mon#e6s 'ere (eside themse!+es 'ith g!ee. The 5reat -age then 'ent out of the "a+e4 turned a somersau!t4 made himse!f in+isi(!e4 and 'ent straight to the 9ea"h an>uet. /s he 'ent through the gates of the <ade 9oo! he sa' that the men 'ho made the 'ine4 stirred the !ees4 "arried the 'ater4 and !oo#ed after the fire 'ere sti!! snoring a'a6. 0e tu"#ed t'o (ig Ears of 'ine under his arms4 too# t'o more in his hands4 then turned his "!oud round and 'ent (a"# to ha+e a feast of immorta! 'ine 'ith the mon#e6 masses in the "a+e. The6 a!! dran# se+era! "ups and 'ere +er6 happ64 (ut 'e 'i!! not go into this. The stor6 returns to the se+en fairies4 'ho 'ere on!6 a(!e to free themse!+es a 'ho!e da6 after -un Wu#ong had immo(i!iFed them 'ith his magi". The6 pi"#ed up their (as#ets and 'ent (a"# to report to the Kueen Bother that the6 'ere !ate (e"ause the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en had he!d them there (6 magi".

@0o' man6 pea"hes did 6ou pi"#G@ the Kueen Bother as#ed. @T'o (as#ets of !itt!e ones and three (as#ets of medium ones. ut 'hen 'e got to the (a"# 'e "ou!d not find a sing!e (ig one8 'e thin# that the6 'ere a!! eaten (6 the 5reat -age. Whi!e 'e 'ere !oo#ing for some the 5reat -age sudden!6 appeared4 and he (eat and tortured us to ma#e us te!! him 'ho had (een in+ited to the (an>uet. /fter 'e had to!d him he immo(i!iFed us there4 and 'e don1t #no' 'here he 'ent. We on!6 "ame round and freed ourse!+es a moment ago.@ $n hearing this the Kueen Bother 'ent to see the <ade 7mperor and ga+e him a fu!! a""ount of 'hat had happened. efore she had finished4 the !i>uor−ma#ers arri+ed 'ith their immorta! offi"ia!s to report that an un#no'n person had thro'n the 5rand 9ea"h an>uet into "onfusion and sto!en the Eade !i>uor as 'e!! as the pre"ious de!i"a"ies of a hundred f!a+ors. Then "ame .our 0ea+en!6 Tea"hers to announ"e that the -upreme 9atriar"h of the Wa64 ;ao Li4 had arri+ed. The <ade 7mperor 'ent out 'ith the Kueen Bother to meet him4 and after doing o(eisan"e ;ao Li said4 @3 had refined some 5o!den 9i!!s of the 2ine Transformations in m6 pa!a"e for a .east of 7!iDir 9i!!s 'ith ?our BaEest64 (ut a thief has sto!en them. This is 'hat 3 ha+e "ome to report to ?our BaEest6.@ This ne's made the <ade 7mperor trem(!e 'ith fear. 2ot !ong after'ards the immorta! administrators from the 7>ua!ing 0ea+en ,esiden"e "ame to #o'to' and report% @The 5reat -age -un Wu#ong a(andoned his post and 'ent 'andering off 6esterda6. 0e has not "ome (a"# 6et and 'e do not #no' 'here he has gone.@ The <ade 7mperor4 no' more suspi"ious than e+er4 then sa' the are−.oot 3mmorta! (o' his head to the ground. @?our su(Ee"t 'as going to the (an>uet on a summons from the Kueen Bother4@ he reported4 @'hen 3 happened to meet the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en. 0e to!d me4 $ ;ord of Ten Thousand ?ears4 that 6ou had issued a de"ree ordering him to te!! a!! the rest of us to go to the 0a!! of Hni+ersa! rightness for a "eremon6 (efore going to the (an>uet. ?our su(Ee"t 'ent (a"# to the 0a!! of Hni+ersa! rightness as he had to!d me to4 (ut as 3 did not see the 3mperia! *ragon and 9hoeniD Chariot outside 3 hurried here to a'ait orders.@ @This 'ret"h has the impuden"e to in+ent fraudu!ent de"rees and de"ei+e eminent ministers4@ eD"!aimed the <ade 7mperor 'ith anger and astonishment. @The Bira"u!ous 3n+estigator is to find out at on"e 'hat he has (een up to.@ The Bira"u!ous 3n+estigator !eft the pa!a"e in o(edien"e to the edi"t4 and (6 ma#ing thorough en>uiries he found out a!! the detai!s of 'hat had happened. @The 're"#er of the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e 'as -un Wu#ong4@ he reported4 and he 'ent on to gi+e a fu!! a""ount. The <ade 7mperor 'as furious!6 angr64 and he ordered the .our 5reat 0ea+en!6 Cings a!ong 'ith 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i and 9rin"e 2eFha to mo(i!iFe the T'ent6−eight Conste!!ations4 the 2ine right -hiners4 the T'e!+e 5ods of the T'e!+e ran"hes4 the ,e+ea!ers of the Truth of the .i+e ,egions4 the .our *ut6 5ods4 the Conste!!ations of the 7ast and West4 the 5ods of the 2orth and -outh4 the *eities of the .i+e Bountains and the .our ,i+ers4 the star ministers of a!! 0ea+en4 and a tota! of a hundred thousand hea+en!6 so!diers. The6 'ere to des"end to the !o'er 'or!d 'ith eighteen hea+en−and−earth nets4 surround the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit4 and "apture that 'ret"h for punishment. The gods "a!!ed out their troops at on"e4 and !eft the hea+en!6 pa!a"e.

/ gust6 sandstorm (!otted out the hea+ens4

9urp!e fog thre' the earth into dar#ness. <ust (e"ause the mon#e6 fiend offended the -upreme 7mperor 0ea+en!6 hosts 'ere sent do'n to the morta! dust. The .our 5reat 0ea+en!6 Cings4 The ,e+ea!ers of the Truth of the .i+e ,egions. The .our 5reat 0ea+en!6 Cings he!d the supreme "ommand4 /nd the ,e+ea!ers "ontro!!ed the so!diers1 mo+ements. ;i the 9agoda Carrier "ommanded the "entra! "orps4 2eFha the dead!6 !ed the +an. The star ,ahu ordered the !eading rands4 /nd the star Cetu to'ered (ehind. The -un re+ea!ed his di+init64 /nd radian"e shone from the Boon. The stars of the .i+e 7!ements 'ere might6 in +a!our4 /nd the 2ine right -hiners 'ere fond of (att!e. The stars of the ran"hes Li4 Wu4 Bao and ?ou4 Were a!! great hea+en!6 'arriors. The .i+e 9!agues and the .i+e Bountains 'ere dra'n up on the 7ast and West4 Whi!e the -iD *ing and -iD <ia mar"hed to right and !eft. The *ragon 5ods of the .our ,i+ers stood a(o+e and (e!o'4 /nd the T'ent6−eight Conste!!ations 'ere dra'n up in serried ran#s% 0orn4 5u!!et4 ase4 and Cham(er 'ere the offi"ers "ommanding4 -trider4 0ar+ester4 -toma"h4 and Bane 'hee!ed and soared8 *ipper4 $D4 Woman4 arrens4 ,oof4 0ouse4 and Wa!!4 0eart4 Tai!4 and Winno'er−−a!! a(!e stars−− We!!4 5host4 Wi!!o'4 -pread4 Whig and /D!etree

Wie!ded their s'ords and spears4 sho'ed forth their po'er4 0a!ted their "!ouds and des"ended in mists to the morta! 'or!d4 9it"hing "amp (efore the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit.

There is a poem that runs%

Ban6 the transformations of the hea+en−(orn Bon#e6 Cing 0app6 in his !air after stea!ing the pi!!s and 'ine. <ust (e"ause he 're"#ed the (an>uet of pea"hes4 / hundred thousand hea+en!6 troops no' spread their nets.

0ea+en!6 Cing ;i ga+e the order for the hea+en!6 so!diers to pit"h "amp and thro' a 'atertight "ordon round the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. /(o+e and (e!o' the6 spread eighteen hea+en−and−earth nets4 and the 2ine right -hiners 'ere sent out to start the (att!e. The6 too# their so!diers to the outside of the "a+e4 'here the6 sa' the mon#e6s4 (ig and sma!!4 !eaping and foo!ing around. The star offi"ers shouted in harsh +oi"es4 @;itt!e go(!ins4 'here1s that 5reat -age of 6oursG We are gods4 sent from the upper 'or!d to su(due 6our mutinous 5reat -age. Te!! him to surrender at on"e−−−and if there1s so mu"h as a hint of a 1no1 from him4 'e 'i!! eDterminate e+er6 !ast one of 6ou.@ The !itt!e mon#e6s 'ent rushing in to report4 @5reat -age4 a disaster4 a disaster. There are nine e+i! gods outside 'ho sa6 the61+e (een sent from the upper 'or!d to su(due 6ou.@ The 5reat -age4 'ho 'as Eust then sharing the immorta! !i>uor 'ith the se+ent6−t'o #ings of the monsters and his four -ta!'art 5enera!s4 paid no attention to the report4 sa6ing%

@Toda6 'e ha+e 'ine so toda6 'e "e!e(rate% To he!! 'ith 'hat1s happening outside the gate.@

ut (efore the 'ords 'ere out of his mouth another group of !itt!e de+i!s "ame in. @Those nine e+i! gods are using fou! and pro+o"ati+e !anguage to "ha!!enge us to fight4@ the6 announ"ed. @2e+er mind them4@ said the 5reat -age 'ith a !augh.

@With +erse and 'ine 'e1re happ6 toda68 Who "ares 'hen fame 'i!! "ome our 'a6G@

ut (efore these 'ords 'ere out of his mouth 6et another group of de+i!s "ame rushing in. @-ir4 those nine e+i! gods ha+e smashed the gates and are "harging in.@ @The stin#ing godsA@ eDp!oded the 5reat -age4 @What ner+eA 3 ne+er 'anted a fight 'ith them4 so 'h6 shou!d the6 "ome here to push us aroundG@ 0e thereupon ordered the $ne−horned Bonster Cing to !ead the se+ent6−t'o monster #ings into (att!e 'hi!e he fo!!o'ed them 'ith the four -ta!'art 5enera!s. The monster #ing hasti!6 assem(!ed the de+i! so!diers and sa!!ied forth to meet the enem6. The6 'ere a!! stopped (6 a "harge (6 the 2ine right -hiners4 'ho he!d the head of the iron (ridge so that no one "ou!d enter or !ea+e. *uring the tumu!t the 5reat -age "ame on the s"ene4 and shouting @Ba#e 'a6A@ he raised his iron "udge!4 shoo# it ti!! it 'as as thi"# as a (o'! and t'e!+e feet !ong4 and stru"# and parried as he "ame "harging out. The 2ine right -hiners4 'ho 'ere no mat"h for him4 fe!! (a"#. @?ou re"#!ess 9rote"tor of the 0orses4@ the6 shouted 'hen the6 'ere (a"# in the safet6 of their o'n position. @?ou ha+e "ommitted the most terri(!e "rimes. ?ou sto!e the pea"hes and the 'ine4 're"#ed the 9ea"h an>uet4 and pi!fered the immorta!it6 pi!!s of ;ord ;ao Li. $n top of a!! this 6ou (rought some of the immorta! !i>uor 6ou sto!e (a"# here. *on1t 6ou rea!iFe that 6ou ha+e pi!ed "rime upon "rimeG@ The 5reat -age !aughed. @3t1s true4 it1s true4@ he said4 @(ut 'hat are 6ou going to do a(out itG@ @3n o(edien"e to a go!den edi"t of the <ade 7mperor4@ the 2ine right -hiners rep!ied4 @'e ha+e !ed out troops here to su(due 6ou. -u(mit at on"e4 or e!se a!! these "reatures of 6ours 'i!! ha+e to pa6 'ith their !i+es. 3f 6ou refuse4 'e sha!! tramp!e this mountain f!at and turn 6our "a+e upside−do'n.@ @?ou hair6 gods4@ roared the 5reat -age in a fur64 @'hat magi" po'ers ha+e 6ou got to !et 6ou ta!# so (igG C!ear off4 or 31!! gi+e 6ou a taste of m6 "udge!.@ The 2ine right -hiners did a 'ar−dan"e together4 'hi"h did not frighten the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing in the !east. 0e 'hir!ed his go!d−(anded "udge!4 parr6ing to right and !eft4 and fought the 2ine right -hiners ti!! their mus"!es 'ere 'ea# and their strength 'as gone8 then ea"h of them (ro#e ran#s and f!ed4 dragging their 'eapons (ehind them. The6 rushed to the "ommand post of the "entra! "orps and reported to the 9agoda− earing 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i that the Bon#e6 Cing 'as so fero"ious that the6 had f!ed from the (att!efie!d4 una(!e to defeat him. 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i then sent the .our 0ea+en!6 Cings and the T'ent6−eight Conste!!ations into (att!e. The 5reat -age4 not at a!! frightened at this4 ordered the $ne−horned *emon Cing4 the se+ent6−t'o #ings of the monsters4 and the four -ta!'art 5enera!s to dra' up their !ine of (att!e outside the gates of the "a+e. The ensuing me!ee 'as rea!!6 terrif6ing.

0o'!ing 'inds4 *ar#4 sinister "!ouds. $n one side f!ags and standards "o!orfu!!6 f!6ing4 $n the other side the g!eam of spears and ha!(erds.

,ound he!mets shine4 ;a6ered armour g!eams. The shining round he!mets ref!e"t the sun4 ;i#e si!+er (ou!ders rea"hing to the s#68 5!eaming !a6ers of armour are (ui!t into a 'a!! ;i#e a mountain of i"e 'eighing do'n the earth. ;ong−hand!ed s'ords .!ash through the "!ouds !i#e !ightning8 9aper−'hite spears 9ier"e mists and fogs8 0ea+en−shaped ha!(erds4 Tiger−e6e "hains4 rist!ing !i#e a fie!d of hemp8 ronFe s'ords4 /nd four−(rightness spears *ra'n up !i#e a dense forest. o's and "ross(o's4 eag!e−feathered arro's4 -hort "!u(s and sna#6 spears to terrif6 the sou!. Wie!ding his sing!e /s−?ou−Wi!! "udge!4 The 5reat -age fights against the hea+en!6 gods. -u"h is the s!aughter that no (ird f!ies o+er it8 /nd tigers and 'o!+es f!ee in terror. The s'ir!ing stones and "!ouds of sand ma#e e+er6thing dar#4 The dirt and the dust (!ot out the hea+ens. The "!ash of arms start!es the uni+erse /s the (att!e stri#es a'e into gods and demons.

The (att!e started in the morning and 'ent on ti!! the sun set (ehind the mountains in the West. 6 then the $ne−horned *emon Cing and the se+ent6−t'o #ings of the monsters had a!! (een "aptured (6 the hea+en!6 hosts. $n!6 the four -ta!'art 5enera!s and the mon#e6s had got a'a64 and the6 'ere no' hiding in the innermost re"esses of the Water Curtain Ca+e. The 5reat -age1s so!itar6 "udge! had fought off the .our 0ea+en!6 Cings4 ;i the 9agoda−(earer and 9rin"e 2eFha4 'ho 'ere a!! in the s#6. /fter the (att!e had gone on for a !ong time the 5reat -age sa' that night 'as dra'ing on4 so he p!u"#ed out one of his hairs4 mun"hed it up4 spat out the pie"es and shouted4 @ChangeA@ The6 "hanged into thousands of 5reat -ages4 a!! 'ith go!d−(anded "udge!s4 'ho for"ed 9rin"e 2eFha and the fi+e 0ea+en!6 Cings to 'ithdra'. /fter 'inning this +i"tor6 the 5reat -age put (a"# his hair and hurried (a"# to the "a+e4 'here the four -ta!'art 5enera!s at on"e !ed the mon#e6s out to #o'to' at the head of the iron (ridge to 'e!"ome him (a"#. The6 so((ed three times and then !aughed three times. @Wh6 are 6ou !aughing and "r6ing at the sight of meG@ the 5reat -age as#ed. @When 'e !ed a!! the "ommanders into (att!e against the hea+en!6 #ings this morning4@ rep!ied the -ta!'art 5enera!s4 @the se+ent6−t'o #ings of the monsters and the $ne−horned *emon Cing 'ere a!! "aptured (6 the gods4 and 'e had to f!ee for our !i+es. That is 'h6 'e "ried. We !aughed (e"ause 6ou4 5reat -age4 ha+e "ome (a"# +i"torious and unharmed.@ To this the 5reat -age rep!ied4 @:i"tor6 and defeat are a!! the so!dier1s !ot. /s the an"ients said4 1To #i!! ten thousand of the enem6 6ou must !ose three thousand of 6our o'n.1 /n6ho'4 the offi"ers of ours 'ho 'ere "aptured 'ere a!! tigers4 !eopards4 'o!+es4 (adgers4 ri+er−deer4 foDes4 and ra""oon−dogs. 2ot one of our o'n #ind 'as e+en 'ounded4 so there1s no need for us to (e (othered a(out it. ut a!though 3 for"ed the enem6 to 'ithdra' (6 di+iding up m6 (od6 through magi"4 the61re sti!! en"amped at the foot of our mountain4 so 'e1!! ha+e to remain on our guard. Bean'hi!e 'e must eat a good mea! and get a good night1s s!eep to (ui!d up our energ6. Tomorro' morning 31!! use po'erfu! magi" to "apture those hea+en!6 genera!s and a+enge our peop!e.@ /fter the four -ta!'art 5enera!s and the other mon#e6 "ommanders had drun# se+era! "ups of "o"onut todd64 the6 'ent to (ed 'ith their 'orries "a!med. When the four 0ea+en!6 Cings had 'ithdra'n their troops and ended the (att!e4 those 'ho had distinguished themse!+es reported 'hat the6 had done. -ome had "aptured tigers and !eopards4 some !ions and e!ephants4 and others 'o!+es and ra""oon−dogs4 (ut not one sing!e mon#e6 go(!in had (een ta#en. Then the6 (ui!t a might6 sto"#ade around their "amp. Commanders 'ho had distinguished themse!+es 'ee re'arded4 and the so!diers 'ho made up the hea+en−and−earth nets 'ere ordered to surround the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit4 ho!ding (e!!s and shouting4 read6 for a great (att!e the neDt da6. 7+er6 man heard the orders4 and the6 'ere stri"t!6 o(e6ed. 3ndeed%

/ 'i"#ed mon#e6 made "haos4 sho"#ing hea+en and earth4 -o the6 spread their nets and 'at"hed (6 night and da6.

;isten to the neDt insta!!ment to hear ho' he 'as dea!t 'ith the fo!!o'ing morning.

Chapter 6
5uan6in Comes to the .east and /s#s the ,eason Wh6 The ;itt!e -age Hses 0is Bight to -u(due the 5reat -age We sha!! !ea+e for the moment the 0ea+en!6 5enera!s ma#ing their en"ir"!ement and the sound!6 s!eeping 5reat -age. The stor6 goes on to te!! ho' the Compassionate and Ber"ifu! Bira"u!ous -a+ior from -uffering4 the odhisatt+a 5uan6in of Bount 9otara#a in the -outhern -ea4 ha+ing (een in+ited (6 the Kueen Bother to the 9ea"h an>uet4 'ent to the pre"ious pa+i!ions at the <ade 9oo! 'ith her great dis"ip!e 0uian the 2o+i"e. -he found the p!a"e deserted and the (an>uet ruined. The fe' 3mmorta!s present 'ere not sitting at their p!a"es (ut ho!ding "onfused dis"ussions. When greetings 'ere o+er the 3mmorta!s ga+e the odhisatt+a an a""ount of 'hat had happened. @3f there is to (e no (an>uet and no drin#ing4@ said the odhisatt+a4 @6ou had (etter a!! "ome 'ith me to the <ade 7mperor.@ The 3mmorta!s 'ere de!ighted to fo!!o' her4 and 'hen the6 arri+ed (efore the 0a!! of Hni+ersa! rightness the .our 0ea+en!6 Tea"hers4 the are−.oot 3mmorta! and man6 others 'ere a!! there to greet the odhisatt+a. The6 to!d her that the <ade 7mperor had sent hea+en!6 armies to "apture the demon4 (ut the6 had not 6et returned. @3 'ish to see the <ade 7mperor4@ said the odhisatt+a4 @so ma6 3 trou(!e 6ou to inform him on m6 (eha!fG@ The hea+en!6 tea"her Kui 0ongEi then 'ent to the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist4 and the odhisatt+a 'as in+ited in. -he found that ;ord ;ao Li 'as there in the p!a"e of honour4 and that the Kueen Bother 'as (ehind him. The odhisatt+a 'ent in at the head of the others4 and 'hen she had done o(eisan"e to the <ade 7mperor she greeted ;ao Li and the Kueen Bother. /fter the6 had a!! sat do'n she as#ed 'hat had happened at the 9ea"h an>uet. @The (an>uet is he!d e+er6 6ear4 and it is norma!!6 a +er6 happ6 o""asion4@ the <ade 7mperor rep!ied4 @(ut this 6ear that mon#e6 fiend 're"#ed it4 so that 6our in+itation 'as 'orth nothing.@ @Where does this mon#e6 fiend "ome fromG@ as#ed the odhisatt+a. @0e 'as (orn from a stone egg on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit in the !and of /o!ai in the 7astern Continent of -uperior od64@ the <ade 7mperor ans'ered. @When he 'as (orn go!den (eams f!ashed from his e6es that rea"hed to the star pa!a"e. /t first 'e paid no attention to him4 (ut !ater on he (e"ame a spirit4 su(duing dragons and tigers4 and erasing his o'n name from the registers of death. The *ragon Cings and Cing ?ama of the under'or!d informed us of this in memoria!s4 and 'e 'anted to "apture him4 (ut the -tar of ;onge+it6 memoria!iFed that in the Three Wor!ds a!! (eings 'ith nine orifi"es "an (e"ome 3mmorta!s. We therefore eDtended edu"ation to the 'orth6 (6 summoning him to the upper 'or!d and appointing him 9rote"tor of the 0orses in the 3mperia! -ta(!e. ut this 'as not good enough for the s"oundre!4 'ho re(e!!ed against 0ea+en. We sent 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i and 9rin"e 2eFha to a""ept his surrender4 eDtended him an amnest64 and summoned him (a"# to the upper 'or!d. We made him a 15reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en41 though this "arried no sa!ar6. /s he had nothing to do he 'ou!d go 'andering a!! o+er the p!a"e4 and for fear that this might !ead to trou(!e 'e had him !oo# after the 9ea"h $r"hard. $n"e again he f!outed the !a' (6 stea!ing and eating e+er6 sing!e one of the (ig pea"hes from the o!d trees. When the (an>uet 'as to (e he!d he 'as not in+ited as his position 'as pure!6 an honorar6 one8 so he p!a6ed a tri"# on the are−foot 3mmorta!4 'ent to the (an>uet !oo#ing !i#e him4 ate a!! the immorta! de!i"a"ies4 and dran# a!! the immorta! !i>uor. $n top of this he sto!e ;ord ;ao Li1s pi!!s of immorta!it6 and some imperia! !i>uor4 'hi"h he too# to his mountain for the mon#e6s to enEo6. This made us +er6 angr6 so 'e sent a hundred thousand hea+en!6 troops to spread hea+en−and−earth nets and su(due him. ut 'e ha+e re"ei+ed no reports toda64 so 'e do not #no' 'hether 'e ha+e (een +i"torious.@

When the odhisatt+a heard this she said to 0uian the 2o+i"e4 @0urr6 do'n from 0ea+en to the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit and find out a(out the mi!itar6 situation. 3f 6ou meet 'ith an6 opposition 6ou ma6 do 6our (it to he!p4 (ut the important thing is to (ring an a""urate report (a"#.@ 0uian the 2o+i"e straightened his ro(es4 too# his iron staff4 !eft the pa!a"e (6 "!oud4 and 'ent straight to the mountain. 0e sa' that 'ith the !a6er upon !a6er of hea+en−and−earth nets4 and the men ho!ding (e!!s and shouting pass'ords at the gates of the "amp4 the "ordon round the mountain 'as 'atertight. 0uian stopped and "a!!ed4 @0ea+en!6 so!diers at the gates of the "amp4 3 'ou!d trou(!e 6ou to report that 34 Bo#sa4 the se"ond son of 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i4 a!so #no'n as 0uian4 the senior dis"ip!e of 5uan6in of the -outhern -ea4 ha+e "ome to as# a(out the mi!itar6 situation.@ Then the di+ine so!diers of the .i+e Bountains inside the "amp 'ent in through the gates of the head>uarters4 'here the ,at4 the Co"#4 the 0orse and the 0are stars reported the ne's to the "ommander of the "entra! "orps. 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i sent a f!ag of "ommand 'ith the order that the hea+en−and−earth nets 'ere to (e opened to !et 0uian in. The 7ast 'as Eust (eginning to gro' !ight as 0uian fo!!o'ed the f!ag in and (o'ed to 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i and the four other hea+en!6 #ings. @Where ha+e 6ou "ome from4 m6 sonG@ as#ed 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i. @?our stupid son a""ompanied the odhisatt+a to the 9ea"h an>uet4 and 'hen she found the (an>uet deserted and no(od6 at the <ade 9oo!4 she too# me and the other 3mmorta!s to see the <ade 7mperor. The <ade 7mperor to!d her that 6ou4 father4 and the other #ings had gone do'n to the !o'er 'or!d to "apture this mon#e6 fiend. /s the <ade 7mperor has re"ei+ed no ne's a!! da6 on the out"ome of the (att!e4 the odhisatt+a sent me here to find out 'hat has happened.@ @We arri+ed here and en"amped 6esterda64@ 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i rep!ied4 @then sent the 2ine right -hiners to "ha!!enge the enem6 to (att!e4 (ut that 'ret"h used su"h tremendous magi" po'ers that the 2ine right -hiners a!! "ame (a"# defeated. Then 'e !ed out o'n so!diers into a"tion4 and the 'ret"h a!so dre' up his !ine of (att!e. $ur hundred thousand hea+en!6 so!diers fought an inde"isi+e engagements 'ith him ti!! dus# 'hen he used a spe!! to di+ide up his (od6 and for"e us (a"#. When 'e 'ithdre' our for"es and he!d an in+estigation4 'e found that 'e had on!6 "aptured 'o!+es4 tigers4 !eopards4 and so on4 and had not e+en ta#en ha!f a mon#e6 fiend. We ha+e not 6et gi+en (att!e toda6.@ efore he had finished spea#ing someone appeared outside the gates of the head>uarters to report that the 5reat -age 'as outside at the head of a "ro'd of mon#e6 spirits4 "!amoring for (att!e. The four other 0ea+en!6 Cings4 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i4 and 9rin"e 2eFha 'ere a!! for "ommitting their for"es4 (ut Bo#sa said4 @.ather4 'hen 6our stupid son 'as instru"ted (6 the odhisatt+a to "ome here and find out the ne's4 3 'as a!so to!d that if there 'as a (att!e 3 "ou!d do m6 (it to he!p. Ba6 3 p!ease go and see 'hat sort of a 15reat -age1 he is4 unta!ented though 3 amG@ @B6 (o64@ said 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i4 @6ou ha+e (een "u!ti+ating 6our "ondu"t 'ith the odhisatt+a for some 6ears no' so 3 suppose that 6ou must ha+e a">uired some magi" po'ers4 (ut do (e +er6 "arefu!.@ The sp!endid 9rin"e Bo#sa hit"hed up his em(roidered ro(es and "harged out through the gates of the head>uarters 'a+ing his iron staff 'ith (oth hands. @Whi"h of 6ou is the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+enG@ he shouted. @3 am4@ ans'ered the 5reat -age4 (randishing his /s−?ou−Wi!! "udge!. @ ut 'ho do 6ou thin# 6ou are4 as#ing a >uestion !i#e thatG@

@3 am 9rin"e Bo#sa4 the se"ond son of 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i4 and 3 am no' a dis"ip!e and a guard (efore the throne of the odhisatt+a 5uan6in. B6 uddhist name is 0uian.@ @Wh6 ha+e 6ou "ome here to see me instead of sta6ing in the -outhern -ea and "u!ti+ating 6our "ondu"tG@ as#ed the 5reat -age4 and Bo#sa rep!ied4 @B6 tea"her sent me here to find out a(out the mi!itar6 situation4 (ut no' that 31+e seen 6our sa+ager6 31+e "ome to "apture 6ou.@ @?ou ta!# (ig4 don1t 6ou4@ said the 5reat -age. @We!! then4 don1t go a'a64 tr6 a taste of m6 "udge!.@ Bo#sa4 not in the !east frightened4 stru"# at him 'ith his iron staff. 3t 'as a fine fight the6 fought4 ha!f−'a6 up the mountainside outside the gates of the head>uarters.

The sta+es 'ere mat"hed4 (ut made of different iron8 The 'eapons "!ashed4 (ut their masters 'ere not the same. $ne 'as a 'a6'ard 3mmorta! #no'n as the 5reat -age4 The other a true dragon dis"ip!e of 5uan6in. The "ast−iron staff4 (eaten 'ith a thousand hammers4 0ad (een forged (6 the art of the *ing and the <ia. The /s−?ou−Wi!! "udge! on"e an"hored the Bi!#6 Wa6% /s the Treasure -ti!!ing the -ea its magi" po'er 'as great. When the t'o met the6 'ere 'e!! mat"hed indeed. /nd the6 parried and !unged at ea"h other 'ithout end. The sinister "udge!4 3nfinite!6 murderous4 Cou!d 'hir! round 6our 'aist as >ui"# as the 'ind4 The spear−"at"hing staff4 2e+er 6ie!ding an opening4 Was irresisti(!e4 parr6ing to right and !eft. $n the one side the f!ags and (anners f!64 $n the other the "ame! drums ro!!. Ten thousand hea+en!6 genera!s in mu!tip!e en"ir"!ement8 / "a+e of mon#e6 de+i!s dense!6 pa"#ed together.

Bonstrous fogs and e+i! "!ouds "o+er the earth4 Whi!e the smo#e of dead!6 (att!e rises to the s#6. ?esterda61s fighting 'as (ad enough8 Toda61s strugg!e is e+en 'orse. The admira(!e s#i!!s of the Bon#e6 Cing 9ut Bo#sa to f!ight4 utter!6 defeated.

/fter the6 had fought some fift6 or siDt6 rounds4 0uian1s arm and shou!ders 'ere num(ed and a"hing4 and he "ou!d resist the 5reat -age no !onger. Wa+ing his staff in a feint4 he turned a'a6 and ran. The 5reat -age then 'ithdre' his mon#e6 so!diers and en"amped outside the gates of the "a+e. The (ig and !itt!e hea+en!6 so!diers at the gates of the other "amp re"ei+ed 0uian and !et him go straight to the head>uarters4 'here he gasped and panted for (reath as he said to the .our 0ea+en!6 Cings4 ;i the 9agoda−(earer4 and his (rother 9rin"e 2eFha4 @What a 5reat -ageA What a 5reat -ageA 0is magi" po'ers are too mu"h for me. 0e (eat me.@ -tart!ed (6 this ne's4 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i had a re>uest for reinfor"ements 'ritten and sent the -trong−arm *e+i! Cing and 9rin"e Bo#sa up to 0ea+en to su(mit. 2ot daring to 'aste a moment4 the t'o messengers rushed out through the hea+en−and−earth nets and mounted their propitious "!ouds. / moment !ater the6 arri+ed outside the 0a!! of Hni+ersa! rightness4 'here the6 greeted the .our 0ea+en!6 Tea"hers4 'ho !ed them to the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist and handed up their memoria!. 9rin"e Bo#sa4 or 0uian4 did homage to the odhisatt+a4 'ho as#ed him 'hat he had found out. @/s 6ou instru"ted me4 3 'ent to the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit4@ reported 0uian4 @as#ed them to open the gates of the hea+en−and−earth net4 sa' m6 father4 and to!d him of the orders 6ou had gi+en me. 0is BaEest6 m6 father said that the6 fought against the Bon#e6 Cing 6esterda6 (ut did not "apture a sing!e mon#e6 spirit−−on!6 tigers4 !eopards4 !ions4 e!ephants and so on. Whi!e he 'as te!!ing me this the Bon#e6 Cing demanded (att!e again4 so 6our dis"ip!e fought some fift6 or siDt6 rounds against him 'ith m6 iron staff4 (ut 3 'as no mat"h for him. 0e (eat me4 and dro+e me (a"# to the "amp. This is 'h6 m6 father has sent me and the -trong−arm *e+i! Cing up to 0ea+en to as# for reinfor"ements.@ The odhisatt+a !o'ered her head in deep thought. The <ade 7mperor opened the memoria! and sa' that it "ontained a re>uest for he!p. @This into!era(!e mon#e6 spirit has enough tri"#s to fight off a hundred thousand hea+en!6 so!diers4@ he o(ser+ed 'ith a smi!e. @0ea+en!6 Cing ;i has as#ed for reinfor"ements. Whi"h hea+en!6 so!diers shou!d 3 send himG@ efore the 'ords 'ere out of his mouth4 5uan6in put her hands together and said4 @*o not 'orr64 ?ou BaEest6. 3 "an re"ommend a god to "apture this mon#e6.@ @Whi"h godG@ the <ade 7mperor as#ed4 and the odhisatt+a rep!ied4 @?our BaEest61s nephe'4 the 3!!ustrious -age and True ;ord 7r!ang4 'ho is no' !i+ing at 5uanEiang#ou in 5uanFhou4 enEo6ing the in"ense that the !o'er (eings (urn to him. 3n the past he eDterminated the -iD ogies. 0e has the rothers of 9!um 0i!! and the t'e!+e hundred stra'−headed gods4 and his magi"a! po'ers are enormous. 0e 'i!! agree to (e sent though he 'ou!d not o(e6 a summons to "ome here4 so ?our BaEest6 might !i#e to issue a de"ree ordering him to ta#e his troops to the res"ue.@ The <ade 7mperor then issued su"h a de"ree and sent the -trong−arm *e+i! Cing to de!i+er it.

The de+i! #ing too# the de"ree4 mounted his "!oud4 and 'ent straight to 5uanEiang#ou. 0e rea"hed the temp!e of the True ;ord 'ithin an hour. When the demon Eudges guarding the gates 'ent in to report that there 'as an en+o6 from hea+en standing outside 'ith an imperia! de"ree4 7r!ang 'ent 'ith the (rothers to re"ei+e the de"ree outside the gates4 and in"ense 'as (urned as he read.

The 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en4 the mon#e6 fiend of the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit4 has re(e!!ed. e"ause he sto!e pea"hes4 'ine and pi!!s 'hi!e in 0ea+en and 're"#ed the 9ea"h an>uet4 'e ha+e despat"hed a hundred thousand hea+en!6 so!diers and eighteen hea+en−and−earth nets to surround the mountain and for"e him to su(mit4 (ut 'e ha+e not 6et su""eeded. We do no' therefore espe"ia!!6 appoint our 'orth6 nephe' and his s'orn (rothers to go to the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit and gi+e their he!p in e!iminating him. When 6ou su""eed4 !arge re'ards and high offi"e sha!! (e 6ours.

7r!ang 'as de!ighted. 0e to!d the en+o6 from 0ea+en to go (a"# and report that the 'ou!d (e putting his s'ord to the 7mperor1s ser+i"e. We need not des"ri(e ho' the de+i! #ing reported (a"# to 0ea+en. The True ;ord 7r!ang "a!!ed the siD s'orn (rothers of 9!um 0i!!−−Barsha!s Cang4 Lhang4 ?ao4 and ;i4 and 5enera!s Kuo -hen and Lhi <ian−−together (efore the ha!!. @The <ade 7mperor has Eust ordered us to the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit to su(due a mon#e6 fiend4@ he said. @?ou are a!! "oming 'ith me.@ The (rothers 'ere a!! eager to go4 and mustering their di+ine troops the6 un!eashed a ga!e 'ind. 3n an instant the6 had "rossed the 7astern $"ean4 riding eag!es and !eading dogs4 pu!!ing their (o's and dra'ing their "ross(o's4 and had rea"hed the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. .inding that the man6 !a6ers of hea+en−earth nets 'ere impenetra(!e4 7r!ang shouted4 @;isten4 a!! 6ou genera!s in "harge of the hea+en−and−earth nets. 3 am the True ;ord and the 3!!ustrious -age 7r!ang4 and 3 ha+e (een sent here (6 the <ade 7mperor to "apture the mon#e6 fiend. $pen the gates of the "amp and !et me in at on"e.@ 7a"h !ine of gods forming the nets !et them through4 and the four other 0ea+en!6 Cings and 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i a!! "ame to 'e!"ome him outside the head>uarters. When the introdu"tions 'ere o+er he as#ed ho' the fighting had gone4 and the 0ea+en!6 Cings ga+e him a fu!! a""ount of 'hat had happened. @2o' that 34 the ;itt!e -age4 ha+e "ome here 3 sha!! ha+e to mat"h a fe' transformations 'ith him4@ said 7r!ang 'ith a smi!e. @3 hope that a!! 6ou gent!emen 'i!! maintain a "!ose "ordon 'ith 6our hea+en−and−earth nets4 (ut don1t s"reen off the top of the mountain8 then 31!! (e a(!e to fight him. 3f he (eats me 3 shan1t need the he!p of 6ou gent!emen4 as 3 ha+e m6 (rothers to support me8 and if 3 (eat him 3 'on1t ha+e to trou(!e 6ou to tie him up as m6 (rothers "an do it. 3 'ou!d Eust !i#e to as# 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i to stand in the s#6 and operate this fiend−dete"ting mirror. 31m 'orried that if he1s (eaten he ma6 go and hide some'here4 so 6ou 'i!! ha+e to gi+e me a "!ear +ie' of him and not !et him get a'a6.@ The 0ea+en!6 Cings sta6ed in the four >uarters4 and a!! the hea+en!6 so!diers 'ere dra'n up in their (att!e positions. The True ;ord 7r!ang 'ent out at the head of the four marsha!s and the t'o genera!s−−ma#ing se+en s'orn (rothers 'ith himse!f in"!uded−−to "ha!!enge the enem6 to (att!e8 and he ordered his other offi"ers to defend the "amp firm!6 and #eep the eag!es and dogs under "ontro!. /!! the stra'−headed gods a"#no'!edged the order. 7r!ang then 'ent to the outside of the Water Curtain Ca+e4 'here he sa' the mon#e6 hordes neat!6 dra'n up in a "oi!ed−dragon (att!e !ine8 in the midd!e of the "entra! "orps stood a po!e 'ith a (anner on it reading @5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en.@

@What (usiness has that !oathsome fiend to "a!! himse!f the e>ua! of 0ea+enG@ 7r!ang as#ed8 and the siD s'orn (rothers of 9!um 0i!! rep!ied4 @-top admiring him and "ha!!enge him to (att!e.@ When the Eunior mon#e6s at the gate of their "amp sa' the True ;ord 7r!ang the6 rushed (a"# to report4 'hereupon the Bon#e6 Cing too# his go!d−(anded "udge!4 adEusted his go!den armour4 put on his "!oud−'a!#ing shoes4 fe!t his go!den he!met4 and !eapt out through the gates of the "amp. 0e sa' at first sight ho' "oo! and remar#a(!e 7r!ang !oo#ed4 and ho' e!egant!6 he 'as dressed. 3ndeed%

0is (earing 'as refined4 his +isage no(!e4 0is ears hung do'n to his shou!ders4 and his e6es shone. The hat on his head had three pea#s and phoeniDes f!6ing4 /nd his ro(e 'as of a pa!e goose−6e!!o'. 0is (oots 'ere !ined 'ith "!oth of go!d8 dragons "oi!ed round his so"#s8 0is Eade (e!t 'as de"orated 'ith the eight Ee'e!s4 /t his 'aist 'as a (o'4 "ur+ed !i#e the moon4 3n his hand a dou(!e−edged trident. 0is aDe had sp!it open 9ea"h Bountain 'hen he res"ued his mother4 0is (o' had #i!!ed the t'in phoeniDes of Long!uo. Widespread 'as his fame for #i!!ing the 7ight ogies4 /nd he had (e"ome one of 9!um 0i!!1s se+en sages. 0is heart 'as too !oft6 to a"#no'!edge his re!ati+es in 0ea+en8 3n his pride he 'ent (a"# to (e a god at 5uanEiang. 0e 'as the Ber"ifu! and Bira"u!ous -age of the red "it64 7r!ang4 'hose transformations 'ere num(er!ess.

When the 5reat -age sa' him he !aughed 'ith de!ight4 raised his go!d−(anded "udge!4 and shouted4 @Where are 6ou from4 !itt!e genera!4 that 6ou ha+e the auda"it6 to "ha!!enge meG@ @?ou must (e (!ind4 6ou 'ret"h4 if 6ou "an1t re"ogniFe me. 3 am the nephe' of the <ade 7mperor4 and m6 tit!e is Ber"ifu! and Bira"u!ous Cing 7r!ang. 3 am here on imperia! orders to arrest 6ou4 9rote"tor of the 0orses4 6ou re(e! against 0ea+en4 6ou re"#!ess (a(oon.@

@2o' 3 remem(er 'ho 6ou are4@ rep!ied the 5reat -age. @-ome 6ears ago the <ade 7mperor1s 6ounger sister 'anted to (e morta! and "ame do'n to the !o'er 'or!d4 'here she married a Br. ?ang and ga+e (irth to a son4 'ho sp!it the 9ea"h Bountain open 'ith his aDe. 3s that 'ho 6ou areG 3 shou!d rea!!6 f!ing 6ou a fe' "urses4 (ut 31+e got no >uarre! 'ith 6ou8 and it 'ou!d (e a pit6 to #i!! 6ou (6 hitting 6ou 'ith m6 "udge!. -o 'h6 don1t 6ou hurr6 (a"#4 6oung sir4 and te!! those four 0ea+en!6 Cings of 6ours to "ome outG@ When the True ;ord 7r!ang heard this he (urst out angri!64 @*amned mon#e6A Where are 6our mannersG Tr6 this (!ade of mineA@ The 5reat -age dodged the (!o' and instant!6 raised his go!d−(anded "!u( to hit (a"#. There 'as a fine (att!e (et'een the t'o of them%

The Ber"ifu! 5od 7r!ang4 The 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en% $ne is the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing4 the proud de"ei+er of his enemies8 The other a true pi!!ar4 the un#no'n su(duer. When the t'o met The6 'ere (oth in a fighting mood. 0e 'ho had no respe"t (efore Toda6 !earned a sense of proportion. The iron staff ra"ed 'ith the f!6ing dragons4 The di+ine "udge! seemed !i#e a dan"ing phoeniD. 9arr6ing to the !eft4 thrusting to the right4 /d+an"ing to meet a (!o'4 f!ashing (ehind. The (rothers of 9!um 0i!! add to one side1s might4 Whi!e the other has the four -ta!'art 5enera!s to transmit orders. /s the f!ags 'a+e and the drums ro!! ea"h side is as one8 att!e−"ries and gongs raise e+er6one1s mora!e. The t'o stee! (!ades ea"h 'at"h for their "han"e4 ut neither !ea+es an opening as the6 "ome and go. The go!d−(anded "udge!4 the treasure from the sea4 Can f!6 and transform itse!f to 'in the +i"tor6.

/ moment1s de!a6 and !ife is !ost8 / sing!e mista#e 'i!! (e the !ast.

/fter 7r!ang and the 5reat -age had fought o+er three hundred rounds the out"ome of the fight 'as sti!! unde"ided. 7r!ang (ra"ed4 himse!f4 and 'ith a sha#e (e"ame ten thousand fathoms ta!!8 in his hands his t'o−(!aded trident !oo#ed !i#e the pea#s of Bount 0ua. 0is fa"e 'as (!a"#4 his fangs 'ere !ong4 and his hair 'as (right red% he !oo#ed fero"ious!6 e+i!. 0e ha"#ed at the 5reat -age1s head. The 5reat -age4 a!so resorting to magi"4 ga+e himse!f a (od6 as (ig as 7r!ang1s and a fa"e as frightening8 and he raised his /s−?ou−Wi!! go!d−(anded "udge!4 'hi"h 'as no' !i#e the pi!!ar of 0ea+en on the summit of the Cun!un Bountain4 to 'ard off 7r!ang1s (!o'. This redu"ed the t'o ape fie!d marsha!s Ba and ;iu to su"h trem(!ing terror that the6 "ou!d no !onger 'a+e their (anners4 'hi!e the gi((on genera!s -eng and a 'ere too s"ared to use their s'ords. $n the other side Cang4 Lhang4 ?ao4 ;i4 5uo -hen and Lhi <ian thre' the stra'−headed gods into an assau!t on the Water Curtain Ca+e4 'ith the dogs and eag!es un!eashed and their (o's and "ross(o's dra'n. This atta"# put the four mon#e6 genera!s to f!ight4 and t'o or three thousand de+i!s 'ere "aptured. The mon#e6s thre' a'a6 their spears4 tore off their armour4 a(andoned their s'ords and ha!(erds4 and f!ed s"reaming. -ome 'ent up the mountain and some returned to the "a+e4 !i#e roosting (irds frightened (6 an o'!4 or stars s"attered a"ross the s#6. That is a!! 'e ha+e to sa6 a(out the s'orn (rothers1 +i"tor6. The stor6 goes on to te!! ho' the True ;ord 7r!ang and the 5reat -age4 ha+ing turned themse!+es into figures on the s"a!e of 0ea+en and 7arth4 'ere !o"#ed in (att!e 'hen the 5reat -age 'as sudden!6 appa!!ed to noti"e that the mon#e6 fiends in his "amp had s"attered in terror. 9utting off his magi" appearan"e he (ro#e a'a6 and f!ed4 his "udge! in his hand. -eeing him go4 the True ;ord 7r!ang hurried after him 'ith !ong strides. @Where are 6ou goingG@ he as#ed. @3f 6ou surrender at on"e4 6our !ife 'i!! (e spared.@ The 5reat -age4 'ho had no heart !eft for the fight4 'as running as fast as he "ou!d. /s he approa"hed the mouth of the "a+e he "ame up against Barsha!s Cang4 Lhang4 ?ao and ;i4 as 'e!! as 5enera!s 5uo -hen and Lhi <ian4 (!o"#ing his 'a6 at the head of their armies. @Where are 6ou going4 damned mon#e6G@ the6 as#ed4 and the 5reat -age hasti!6 s>ueeFed his go!d−(anded "udge! ti!! it 'as the siFe of an em(roider6 need!e and hid it in his ear. Then he shoo# himse!f4 turned into a sparro'4 f!e' up into a tree4 and per"hed on one of its (ran"hes. The siD s'orn (rothers !oo#ed for him +er6 hard (ut "ou!d find him no'here4 so the6 a!! shouted in unison4 @The mon#e6 fiend has es"aped4 the mon#e6 fiend has es"aped.@ /s the6 'ere shouting the True ;ord 7r!ang arri+ed and as#ed them4 @ rothers4 'here had 6ou "hased him to 'hen he disappearedG@ @We had him surrounded here Eust no'4 (ut he +anished.@ 7r!ang opened his phoeniD e6es ti!! the6 'ere >uite round and !oo#ed a(out him. 0e sa' that the 5reat -age had "hanged himse!f into a sparro' and 'as per"hing on a (ran"h8 so he put off his magi"a! appearan"e4 thre' do'n his di+ine trident4 and too# the pe!!et (o' from his 'aist. Then he shoo# himse!f4 "hanged into a #ite4 spread his 'ings4 and s'ooped in to atta"#. /s soon as the 5reat -age sa' this he too# off and turned himse!f into a (ig "ormorant4 soaring up into the s#6. 7r!ang sa' him4 and 'ith a >ui"# sha#e of his feathers and a t'ist of his (od6 he transformed himse!f into a "rane and pier"ed the "!ouds as he tried to "at"h him. The 5reat -age !anded on a mountain stream and4 "hanging into a fish4 p!unged into the 'ater. 7r!ang4 'ho had pursued him to the (an# of the stream4 "ou!d see no tra"e of him.

@That ma"a>ue must ha+e gone into the 'ater and "hanged himse!f into some #ind of fish or shrimp4@ he thought. @31!! transform m6se!f again4 then 31!! get him.@ 0e turned into a fish−ha'# and soared a(o+e the !o'er rea"hes of the stream and the first 'a+es of the sea. 0e 'aited there for a time. Bean'hi!e the 5reat -age4 'ho 'as in the form of a fish4 s'am 'ith the stream unti! he noti"ed a (ird f!6ing a(o+e him. 3t 'as >uite !i#e a (!ue #ite4 eD"ept that its feathers 'ere not (!ue8 it 'as >uite !i#e an egret4 (ut it had no "rest on its head8 and it 'as >uite !i#e a stor#4 (ut its !egs 'ere not red. @That must (e 'hat 7r!ang turned himse!f into 'hi!e 'aiting for me4@ he thought4 turned round >ui"#!64 and 'ent a'a6. @The fish 'ho turned round4@ thought 7r!ang 'hen he sa' this4 @is !i#e a "arp (ut its tai! isn1t red8 it1s !i#e a mandarin fish4 (ut 3 "an1t see the pattern on its s"a!es8 it1s !i#e a sna#ehead4 (ut 'ithout a star on its head8 and !i#e a (ream4 (ut it has no need!es on its gi!!s. Wh6 did it turn round the moment it sa' meG 3t must (e that mon#e6 transformed.@ 0e s'ooped do'n and snapped at the 5reat -age 'ith his (ea#. The 5reat -age !eapt out of the 'ater4 turned into a 'ater−sna#e4 s'am to the (an#4 and s!id into the grass. .ai!ing to "at"h the fish in his (ea#4 7r!ang sa' a sna#e Eump out of the 'ater and rea!iFed it 'as the 5reat -age. 0e "hanged himse!f at on"e into a red−"rested gre6 "rane4 and stret"hed out his !ong (ea# that 'as !i#e a pair of pointed pin"ers to eat up the 'ater−sna#e. The sna#e ga+e a Eump and (e"ame a (ustard standing stiff!6 on a smart'eed−"o+ered (an#. When 7r!ang sa' that he had turned himse!f into so !o' a "reature−−for the (ustard is the !o'est and !e'dest of (irds4 not "aring 'hether it mates 'ith phoeniD4 eag!e or "ro'−−he #ept his distan"e4 re+erted to his o'n (od64 'ent a'a6 to fet"h and !oad his pe!!et (o'4 and #no"#ed him f!6ing 'ith a sing!e shot. The 5reat -age seiFed the "han"e as he ro!!ed do'n the pre"ipi"e to "rou"h there and turn himse!f into a temp!e to a !o"a! god. 0e opened his mouth 'ide to !oo# !i#e the entran"e to the temp!e and turned his teeth into the doors8 he made his tongue into a statue of a god and his e6es into 'indo's and !atti"e. 0e "ou!d not tu"# his tai! a'a64 so he stu"# it up (ehind him as a f!agpo!e. When 7r!ang "ame to the foot of the pre"ipi"e he "ou!d not see the (ustard he had shot o+er4 and anDious!6 opening his phoeniD e6es he !oo#ed "arefu!!6 around and sa' a temp!e 'ith its f!agpo!e at the (a"#. @3t must (e that mon#e6 o+er there4@ he o(ser+ed 'ith a smi!e. @0e1s tr6ing to foo! me again. 31+e seen temp!es (efore4 (ut ne+er one 'ith the f!agpo!e at the (a"#. 31m sure it is that (east up to his tri"#s again. 3f he1d managed to !ure me in4 he1d ha+e (een a(!e to get me 'ith a sing!e (ite. $f "ourse 3 'on1t go in. 31!! smash his 'indo's in 'ith m6 fist4 then 31!! #i"# his door do'n.@ @:i"ious4 rea!!6 +i"ious4@ thought the 5reat -age 'ith horror 'hen he heard him sa6 this. @Those doors are m6 teeth4 and the 'indo's are m6 e6es8 and if he smashes m6 teeth and (ashes in m6 e6es4 'hat sort of a state 'i!! that !ea+e me inG@ With a tiger !eap he disappeared into the s#6. The True ;ord 7r!ang rushed around 'i!d!64 (ut he "ou!d on!6 see his siD s'orn (rothers4 'ho "ro'ded round him and as#ed4 @7!der (rother4 did 6ou "at"h the 5reat -ageG@ @That mon#e6 turned himse!f into a temp!e to foo! me4@ he rep!ied 'ith a !augh. @<ust 'hen 3 'as going to smash his 'indo's and #i"# in his door he ga+e a Eump and +anished 'ithout a tra"e. -trange4 +er6 strange.@ The6 'ere a!! astonished4 and though the6 !oo#ed a!! around the6 "ou!d see no sign of him. @ rothers4 6ou patro! this area 'hi!e 3 go to !oo# for him a(o+e4@ said 7r!ang4 and 'ith a >ui"# Eump he 'as riding a "!oud in mid−air. When he sa' 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i ho!ding high the fiend−dete"ting mirror and standing 'ith 2eFha at the edge of a "!oud4 the True ;ord as#ed4 @?our 0ea+en!6 BaEest64 ha+e 6ou seen that Bon#e6 CingG@

@0e hasn1t "ome up here−−31+e (een #eeping a !oo#out for him 'ith this mirror4@ the 0ea+en!6 Cing rep!ied. The True ;ord 7r!ang then to!d him ho' he had used transformations and magi" to "apture the mon#e6 hordes. @0e "hanged into a temp!e4@ 7r!ang 'ent on4 @(ut got a'a6 Eust 'hen 3 'as going to hit him.@ $n hearing this4 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i turned the fiend−dete"ting mirror in a!! four dire"tions4 then said 'ith a !augh4 @0urr6 a'a64 True ;ord4 hurr6 a'a6. The mon#e6 made himse!f in+isi(!e to get through the en"ir"!ement4 and he1s gone to 6our p!a"e4 5uanEiang#ou.@ 7r!ang too# his di+ine trident and returned to 5uanEiang#ou in pursuit. The 5reat -age had a!read6 arri+ed there4 "hanged himse!f into the !i#eness of the god 7r!ang 'ith a sha#e of his (od64 put a'a6 his "!oud4 and gone into the temp!e. The demon Eudges did not rea!iFe 'ho he rea!!6 'as4 so the6 a!! #o'to'ed to 'e!"ome him. 0e too# his seat in the midd!e of the temp!e4 and inspe"ted the offerings% the (eef4 mutton and por# presented (6 one ;i 0u4 the eD−+oto promised (6 a Lhang ;ong4 the !etter from a Lhao <ia as#ing for a son4 and one Kian ing1s pra6er for re"o+er6 from i!!ness. /s he 'as !oo#ing round it 'as announ"ed that another ;ord 7r!ang had arri+ed. /!! the demon Eudges hurried to !oo#4 and the6 'ere a!! astonished. The True ;ord 7r!ang as#ed4 @0as a so−"a!!ed 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en (een hereG@ @We ha+en1t seen an6 5reat -ages4@ the6 rep!ied4 @on!6 another god 'ho1s !oo#ing around inside.@ The True ;ord rushed in through the gates4 and as soon as the 5reat -age sa' him he re+erted to his o'n appearan"e and said4 @There1s no point in shouting4 sir. This temp!e1s mine no'.@ The True ;ord raised his dou(!e−(!aded trident and s'ung at the Bon#e6 Cing1s head4 (ut the Bon#e6 Cing dodged the (!o' (6 magi"4 too# his em(roider6 need!e4 shoo# it ti!! it 'as as thi"# as a (o'!4 and rushed for'ard to meet the atta"#. -houting and 6e!!ing4 the6 fought their 'a6 out through the gates4 and 'ent on fighting through the mists and "!ouds a!! the 'a6 (a"# to the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. The .our 0ea+en!6 Cings and a!! their so!diers 'ere so a!armed that the6 #ept an e+en tighter guard. Barsha!s Cang and Lhang and the others "ame to meet the True ;ord4 and "om(ined their efforts to surround the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing. ut of this no more for no'. /fter the -trong−arm *emon Cing had sent the True ;ord 7r!ang and his siD s'orn (rothers 'ith their troops to "apture the fiend4 he had gone (a"# to 0ea+en to report. 0e found the <ade 7mperor4 the odhisatt+a 5uan6in4 the Kueen Bother and a!! his immorta! ministers in "onferen"e. @/!though 7r!ang has Eoined the fight4 'e ha+e had no reports on it a!! da64@ the <ade 7mperor said. 5uan6in put her hands together and rep!ied4 @Ba6 3 suggest that ?our BaEest6 go out through the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en 'ith ;ord ;ao Li to see for 6ourse!f 'hat is happening.@ @/ good idea4@ said the 7mperor4 and he 'ent (6 "hariot 'ith ;ao Li4 the Kueen Bother4 and a!! the immorta! ministers to the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en. 0ere the6 'ere met (6 a num(er of hea+en!6 so!diers and strongmen. When the gates 'ere opened and the6 !oo#ed into the distan"e the6 sa' that the hea+en!6 hosts 'ere spread a!! around in a net8 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i and 2eFha 'ere standing in mid−air 'ith the fiend−dete"ting mirror4 and 7r!ang 'as strugg!ing 'ith the 5reat -age 'ithin the en"ir"!ing ring. The odhisatt+a addressed ;ao Li and as#ed4 @What do 6ou thin# of the god 7r!ang 3 re"ommendedG 0e rea!!6 does ha+e di+ine po'ers. 0e1s Eust got that 5reat -age "ornered4 and a!! he has to do no' is to "at"h him. 3f 3 gi+e him a !itt!e he!p no' he 'i!! "ertain!6 (e a(!e to do it.@

@What 'eapon 'ou!d 6ou use4 odhisatt+aG 0o' "ou!d 6ou he!p himG@ ;ao Li as#ed. @31!! drop that pure +ase of 'i!!o' t'igs on the mon#e61s head. 7+en if it doesn1t #i!! him it 'i!! #no"# him off (a!an"e and ena(!e the ;itt!e -age to "at"h him.@ @That +ase of 6ours is made of por"e!ain4@ ;ao Li rep!ied4 @and if 6ou hit the target that 'i!! (e fine. ut if it 'ere to miss his head and smash into his iron "!u(4 it 'ou!d (e shattered. <ust ho!d 6our hand 'hi!e 3 gi+e him a !itt!e he!p.@ @What sort of 'eapon do 6ou ha+eG@ the odhisatt+a as#ed4 and ;ord ;ao Li rep!ied4 @31+e got one a!! right.@ 0e pu!!ed up his s!ee+e and too# a (ra"e!et off his right arm. @This 'eapon4@ he said4 @is made of tempered stee! to 'hi"h 3 ha+e added the magi" e!iDir. 3t preser+es m6 mira"u!ous essen"e4 "an transform itse!f4 is proof against fire and 'ater4 and "an snare an6thing. $ne of its names is *iamond <ade and the other is *iamond 2oose. When 3 'ent out through the 0an 9ass some 6ears ago to turn into a foreigner and (e"ome a uddha4 3 ha+e a great dea! to than# it for. 3t1s the (est prote"tion at an6 time. <ust 'at"h 'hi!e 3 thro' it do'n and hit him.@ /s soon as he had finished spea#ing he thre' it do'n from outside the hea+en!6 gate4 and it fe!! into the "amp on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit4 hitting the Bon#e6 Cing neat!6 on the head. The Bon#e6 Cing 'as too preo""upied 'ith fighting the se+en sages to noti"e this 'eapon fa!!ing on him from hea+en4 and 'hen it stru"# him on the forehead he !ost his (a!an"e and stum(!ed4 then pi"#ed himse!f up and started to run. The s!im dog of the god 7r!ang "aught him up and (it him in the "a!f4 (ringing him do'n again. /s he !a6 on the ground he "ursed at the dog. @?ou don1t (other 6our o'n master4 damn 6ou8 'h6 pi"# on me to (iteG@ 0e ro!!ed o+er and tried unsu""essfu!!6 to get up4 (ut the se+en sages a!! he!d him do'n4 roped him up4 and put a si"#!e−shaped (!ade round his "o!!ar−(one to pre+ent him from ma#ing an6 more transformations. ;ord ;ao Li then re"o+ered his *iamond <ade and in+ited the <ade 7mperor4 5uan6in4 the Kueen Bother4 and a!! the immorta! ministers to return to the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist. *o'n (e!o'4 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i and the four other 0ea+en!6 Cings assem(!ed their troops and pu!!ed up the sto"#ade. The6 'ent o+er to "ongratu!ate the ;itt!e -age and said4 @3t 'as a!! than#s to 6ou4 ;itt!e -age.@ @2o4 it 'as than#s to the great (!essings of 0is Ce!estia! BaEest6 and the might of a!! the gods−−it 'as nothing 3 did4@ rep!ied the ;itt!e -age. @2o time to ta!# no'4 e!der (rother4@ said the four marsha!s Cang4 Lhang4 ?ao4 and ;i. @;et1s ta#e this 'ret"h up to 0ea+en to see the <ade 7mperor and as# 'hat is to (e done 'ith him.@ @Worth6 (rothers4@ 7r!ang rep!ied4 @6ou ne+er re"ei+ed an6 hea+en!6 "ommission4 so it 'ou!d not (e right for 6ou to see the <ade 7mperor. The hea+en!6 so!diers "an es"ort him 'hi!e 3 go up there 'ith the 0ea+en!6 Cings to report (a"#. ?ou shou!d "om( this mountain 'ith 6our troops4 and 'hen 6ou1+e finished go (a"# to 5uanEiang#ou. When 31+e as#ed for our re'ards4 31!! "ome (a"# and 'e "an "e!e(rate together.@ The four marsha!s and the t'o genera!s a""epted their orders4 and the rest mounted their "!ouds and 'ent to 0ea+en triumphant!6 singing +i"tor6 songs. efore !ong the6 'ere outside the 0a!! of Hni+ersa! rightness. The hea+en!6 tea"hers reported to the throne that the .our 5reat 0ea+en!6 Cings and the rest of them had "aptured the mon#e6 de+i!4 the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en4 and 'ere no' 'aiting to (e summoned. The <ade 7mperor then issued an edi"t ordering the -trong−arm *emon Cing and the hea+en!6 so!diers to mar"h him to the *emon−(eheading To'er4 'here the 'ret"h 'as to ha+e his (od6 "hopped to min"emeat. 5oodnessA

The (u!!6 and "heat no' meets 'ith a (itter punishment4 The heroi" spirit must no' "ome to an end.

3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hat happened to the Bon#e6 Cing1s !ife4 then !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment.

Chapter 7
The 5reat -age 7s"apes from the 7ight Trigrams .urna"e The Bind−/pe 3s .iDed eneath .i+e 7!ements Bountain Wea!th and honour4 g!or6 and fame4 /re predetermined (6 fate% 2o one shou!d a"t against "ons"ien"e to "o+et an6 of them. .ar−going and deep /re the good resu!ts of true en!ightenment and !o6a!t6. 0ea+en punishes a!! 'i!d and 'i"#ed deeds 3f not at on"e then !ater on. /s# the ;ord of the 7ast the reason 'h6 *isasters no' stri#e him. 3t is (e"ause his am(ition 'as high4 his p!ans far−rea"hing4 0e did not respe"t authorit64 and he smashed "on+ention.

The stor6 goes on to te!! ho' the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en 'as es"orted (6 the hosts of hea+en!6 so!diers to the *emon−(eheading To'er and tied to the *emon−su(duing 9i!!ar. The6 ha"#ed at him 'ith sa(res4 s!i"ed at him 'ith aDes4 !unged at him 'ith spears and "ut at him 'ith s'ords4 (ut the6 'ere una(!e to inf!i"t a sing!e 'ound on him. The -outhern *ipper angri!6 ordered a!! the gods of the *epartment of .ire to set him a!ight and (urn him up4 (ut he 'ou!d not ignite. 0e to!d the gods of the *epartment of Thunder to nai! sp!inters of thunder into him4 (ut ho'e+er hard the6 tried the6 "ou!d not harm a hair of his (od6. The -trong−arm *emon Cing and the rest of them then reported this to the throne. @?our BaEest64@ the6 said4 @this 5reat -age has !earned some'here or other ho' to prote"t himse!f (6 magi".

/!though 6our su(Ee"ts ha+e ha"#ed at him 'ith sa(res4 s!i"ed at him 'ith aDes4 stru"# at him 'ith thunder and tried to (urn him 'ith fire4 'e ha+e not (een a(!e to harm a hair of his (od6. What are 'e to doG@ @0o' "an 'e dea! 'ith a 'ret"h !i#e thisG@ the <ade 7mperor as#ed4 and the ;ord ;ao Li rep!ied to this in a memoria!% @That mon#e6 has eaten the pea"hes of immorta!it64 drun# the imperia! !i>uor4 and sto!en the pi!!s of e!iDir. 0e s'a!!o'ed those fi+e gourds of pi!!s of mine4 fresh ones and mature ones a!i#e. 2o' 'e ha+e used the fire of samadhi on him4 'hi"h has tempered his (od6 and made it a diamond one that "annot (e harmed. The (est "ourse 'ou!d (e to !et me ta#e him and put him in m6 7ight Trigrams .urna"e4 'here 3 "an refine out m6 e!iDir 'ith the "i+i! and martia! fire and redu"e him to ashes at the same time. The <ade 7mperor then ordered the -iD *ings and the -iD <ias to untie him and hand him o+er to the ;ord ;ao Li4 'ho too# him a'a6 in o(edien"e to the imperia! de"ree. /t the same time the <ade 7mperor summoned the 3!!ustrious -age 7r!ang to his presen"e and re'arded him 'ith a hundred go!den f!o'ers4 a hundred Ears of imperia! !i>uor4 a hundred pi!!s of e!iDir4 rare Ee'e!s4 !ustrous pear!s4 (ro"ade4 em(roider64 and other gifts to share 'ith his s'orn (rothers. The True ;ord 7r!ang than#ed him for his (ount6 and returned to 5uanEiang#ou. When he rea"hed the Tushita 9a!a"e4 ;ord ;ao Li had the 5reat -age untied4 too# the hoo# from his "o!!ar−(one4 pushed him into the 7ight Trigrams .urna"e4 and ordered the priests in "harge of it and the fire−(o6s to fan the fire up to refine him. 2o' this furna"e 'as made up of the 7ight Trigrams−− Qian, Kan, Gen, Zhen, Sun, Li, Kun, and Dui− −so he s>ueeFed himse!f into the @9a!a"e of Sun," as Sun 'as the 'ind4 and 'here there 'as 'ind there "ou!d (e no fire. /!! that happened 'as that the 'ind stirred up the smo#e4 'hi"h made (oth his e6es red and !eft him some'hat (!ind 'ith the i!!ness "a!!ed @fire e6es 'ith go!den pupi!s.@ Time soon passed4 and 'ithout him rea!iFing it the se+en times se+en4 or fort6−nine4 da6s had passed4 and ;ord ;ao Li1s fire had rea"hed the re>uired temperature and (urned for !ong enough. $ne da6 the furna"e 'as opened for the e!iDir to (e ta#en out. The 5reat -age4 'ho 'as shie!ding his e6es 'ith (oth hands and 'iping a'a6 his tears4 heard a noise at the top of the furna"e. 0e !oo#ed hard and sa' da6!ight8 and4 una(!e to stand (eing in there a moment !onger4 !eapt out of the furna"e4 #i"#ed it o+er 'ith a "rash4 and 'as off. 3n the ensuing "haos the fire−(o6s4 the #eepers of the furna"e4 the *ings and the <ias a!! tried to gra( him4 (ut he #no"#ed them a!! do'n. 0e 'as !i#e a 'hite−(ro'ed tiger gone (erser#4 a sing!e−horned dragon ra+ing mad. ;ord ;ao Li rushed up to seiFe him4 (ut 'as thro'n head o+er hee!s as the 5reat -age freed himse!f. 0e too# the /s−?ou−Wi!! "udge! from his ear4 and shoo# it in the 'ind ti!! it 'as thi"# as a (o'!4 and on"e more "reated tota! "haos in the 9a!a"e of 0ea+en4 not "aring in the !east 'hat he did. 0e !aid a(out him to su"h effe"t that the 2ine right -hiners shut their 'indo's and doors4 and not a sign 'as to (e seen of the .our 0ea+en!6 Cings. Bar+e!!ous mon#e6 spiritA /s the poem has it4

0is primordia! (od6 mat"hes an ear!ier hea+en4 Comp!ete!6 natura! throughout ten thousand ages8 :ast and passi+e4 (!ended 'ith the 5reat Bonad8 /!'a6s immo(i!e4 #no'n as the 9rime B6ster6. /fter so mu"h refining in the furna"e he is not !ead or mer"ur68

0a+ing !i+ed !ong outside the ordinar6 he is a natura! 3mmorta!. 0is "hanges are ineDhausti(!e4 and sti!! he has more4 -o sa6 nothing a(out the Three ,efuges or .i+e /(stentions.

/nother poem sa6s%

/ sing!e point of magi" !ight "an fi!! the 'ho!e of spa"e8 ;i#e'ise that staff of his% ;onger or shorter4 depending on his needs4 Hpright or horiFonta!4 it "an shrin# or gro'.

?et another poem runs%

To the ape1s immorta! (od6 is mat"hed a human mind% That the mind is an ape is deep!6 meaningfu!. 3t 'as >uite true that the 5reat -age e>ua!ed 0ea+en% The appointment as 9rote"tor of the 0orse sho'ed no dis"ernment.

0orse and ape together ma#e mind and thought8 ind them tight!6 together4 and do not see# e!se'here. When a!! phenomena are redu"ed to truth the6 fo!!o' a sing!e pattern8 ;i#e the Tathagatha rea"hing nir+ana under the t'o trees.

This time the Bon#e6 Cing made no distin"tions (et'een high and hum(!e as he !aid a(out him to 7ast and West 'ith his iron "!u(. 2ot a sing!e god opposed him. 0e fought his 'a6 into the 0a!! of Hni+ersa! rightness outside the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist4 'here the Cing!6 -pirit $ffi"er4 the !ieutenant of the 0e!pfu! -age and True ;ord4 fortunate!6 'as on dut6. When he sa' the 5reat -age "harging around he too# up his go!den ma"e and 'ent for'ard to resist him.

@Where are 6ou going4 damned mon#e6G@ he as#ed. @3f 6ou go 'i!d 6ou1!! ha+e me to dea! 'ith.@ The 5reat -age 'as not in a position to argue 'ith him4 so he raised his "udge! to stri#e him. The -pirit $ffi"er !ifted his ma"e and ad+an"ed to meet him. 3t 'as a fine fight%

5reat 'as the fame of the (ra+e and !o6a! offi"er4 7+i! the name of the re(e! 'ho (u!!ied 0ea+en. The !o' one and the good one 'ere 'e!! mat"hed8 :a!iant heroes fighting ea"h other. :i"ious the iron "udge!4 Kui"# the go!den ma"e. oth 'ere straight4 mer"i!ess4 and terri(!e. $ne of them is a deit6 formed from the 5reat Bonad1s thunder8 The other is the mon#e6 spirit4 the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en. With go!den ma"e or iron "udge! ea"h is a master8 oth are 'eapons from the pa!a"es of the gods. Toda6 the6 sho' their might in the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist4 / 'onderfu! disp!a6 of "ourage and s#i!!. $ne in his fo!!6 'anting to "apture the 9a!a"e of the *ipper and the u!!4 The other eDerting a!! his strength to support the 'or!d of the gods. The fight is too hard to a!!o' the use of magi"4 /s ma"e and "udge! strugg!e 'ithout resu!t.

/s the6 fought together 'ithout either of them emerging as +i"tor4 the True ;ord sent an offi"er 'ith a message to the Thunder 9a!a"e ordering the thirt6−siD thunder genera!s to surround the 5reat -age. /!though the6 a!! fought 'ith the utmost fero"it64 the 5reat -age 'as not in the !east frightened4 and parried and (!o"#ed to !eft and right 'ith his /s−?ou−Wi!! "udge!4 resisting his opponents in front and (ehind. efore !ong he found that the pressure 'as too great from the sa(res4 spears4 s'ords4 ha!(erds4 "!u(s4 ma"es4 "!a's−and−ropes4 hammer4 po!e−aDes4 (att!e−aDes4 gra(s4 pennoned hoo#s4 and moon−shaped (i!!s of the thunder genera!s8 so he shoo# himse!f and gre' three heads and siD arms. Then he shoo# his /s−?ou−Wi!! "udge! and "hanged it into three "udge!s4 and 'ie!ding the three "udge!s in his siD hands he f!e' round and round inside the en"ir"!ement !i#e a spinning 'hee!. 2one of the thunder genera!s "ou!d get an6'here near

him. 3ndeed4

9erfe"t!6 round4 5!eaming (right4 0o' "an men !earn to !i+e for e+erG 0e "an enter fire 'ithout (eing (urned4 /nd go in the 'ater (ut not (e dro'ned. 0e is as (right as a Bani pear!4 -'ords and spears "annot harm him. 0e is "apa(!e of good4 /nd "apa(!e of e+i!% When fa"ed 'ith the "hoi"e (et'een good and e+i! he might do either. 3f he is good he (e"omes a uddha or an 3mmorta!4 3f (ad4 he gro's fur and horns. With his (ound!ess transformations he 're"#ed the 0ea+en!6 pa!a"e4 2or "an thunder genera!s and di+ine troops ta#e him.

/!though the gods had the 5reat -age "ornered4 the6 'ere una(!e to get near him. The noise of the shouting and the fighting had a!read6 a!armed the <ade 7mperor4 'ho ordered the Bira"!e $ffi"ia! ?ou6i to go to the West 'ith the 0e!pfu! -age and True ;ord and as# the uddha to su(due him. When these t'o sages re"ei+ed the order the6 'ent to the 'onderfu! !and of the Bira"u!ous Bountain4 'here the6 offered their greetings to the .our :aErapanis and 7ight odhisatt+as (efore the Thunder Bonaster6 and as#ed them to pass on their massage. The gods 'ent to the foot of the !otus seat to inform the Tathagata4 'ho in+ited the t'o sages to his presen"e. When the sages had performed the threefo!d o(eisan"e to the uddha the6 stood in attendan"e (e!o' the throne. @Wh6 has the <ade 7mperor trou(!ed 6ou t'o sages to "ome hereG@ as#ed the uddha. @/ mon#e64@ the6 reported4 @'ho 'as (orn on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit4 has used his magi" po'ers to unite a!! the mon#e6s and thro' the 'or!d into "onfusion. The <ade 7mperor sent do'n an edi"t of amnest6 and appointed him 9rote"tor of the 0orses4 (ut this 'as not good enough for him4 so he !eft 0ea+en again. When hea+en!6 Cing ;i and 9rin"e 2eFha 'ere unsu""essfu! in their attempt to "apture him the <ade 7mperor sent do'n another amnest6 'ith his appointment as a 15reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en1. /t first this appointment 'as pure!6 nomina!4 (ut !ater he 'as to!d to !oo# after the 9ea"h $r"hard. ut he sto!e the pea"hes and then 'ent to the <ade 9oo! 'here he sto!e the de!i"a"ies and the !i>uor and 're"#ed the (an>uet. 3n his drun#enness he staggered into the Tushita 9a!a"e4 sto!e ;ord ;ao Li1s pi!!s of immorta!it64 and !eft 0ea+en again. The <ade 7mperor sent a hundred thousand hea+en!6 troops4 (ut the6 'ere sti!! una(!e to su(due him. Then 5uan6in re"ommended the True ;ord 7r!ang and his s'orn (rothers to go after the mon#e64 and he used man6 a transformation unti! he 'as fina!!6 a(!e to "apture the mon#e6 after the ;ord ;ao Li hit him 'ith his *iamond <ade. The mon#e6 'as then ta#en to the imperia! presen"e4 and the order for his eDe"ution 'as gi+en. ut a!though he 'as ha"#ed at 'ith sa(res4 "hopped at 'ith aDes4 (urned 'ith fire4 and stru"# 'ith thunder4 none of this did him an6 damage8 so ;ord ;ao Li re>uested permission to ta#e him a'a6 and refine him 'ith fire. ut 'hen the "au!dron 'as opened after fort6−nine da6s he Eumped out of the 7ight Trigrams .urna"e4 routed the hea+en!6 troops4 and 'ent straight to the 0a!! of Hni+ersa! rightness in front of the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist. 0ere he has (een stopped and engaged in fier"e "om(at (6 the Cing!6 -pirit $ffi"er4 the !ieutenant of the 0e!pfu! -age and True ;ord 7r!ang4 thunder genera!s ha+e (een sent there to en"ir"!e him8 (ut no one has (een a(!e to get "!ose to him. 3n this "risis the <ade 7mperor ma#es a spe"ia! appea! to 6ou4 the Tathagata4 to sa+e his throne.@

$n hearing this the Tathagata said to the assem(!ed odhisatt+as4 @?ou sta6 here >uiet!6 in this dharma ha!! and (eha+e 6ourse!+es in 6our seats of meditation 'hi!e 3 go to dea! 'ith the demon and sa+e the throne.@ Te!!ing the :enera(!e /nanda and the :enera(!e Cas6apa to a""ompan6 him4 the Tathagata !eft the Thunder Bonaster6 and 'ent straight to the gate of the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist4 'here his ears 'ere sha#en (6 the sound of shouting as the thirt6−siD thunder genera!s surrounded the 5reat -age. The uddha issued a de"ree that ran% @Te!! the thunder genera!s to stop fighting4 open up their "amp4 and "a!! on that 5reat -age to "ome out4 so that 3 ma6 as# him 'hat di+ine po'ers he has.@ The genera!s then 'ithdre'4 'hereupon the 5reat -age put a'a6 his magi" appearan"e and "ame for'ard in his o'n (od6. 0e 'as in a raging temper as he as#ed4 @Where are 6ou fromG ?ou are a good man. ?ou1+e got ner+e4 stopping the fighting and >uestioning meA@ @3 am the :enera(!e -a#6amuni from the Western ;and of 9erfe"t !iss4@ rep!ied the uddha 'ith a smi!e. @3 ha+e heard of 6our 'i!d and (oorish (eha+ior4 and of 6our repeated re(e!!ions against 0ea+en4 and 3 'ou!d !i#e to #no' 'here 6ou 'ere (orn4 'hen 6ou found the Wa64 and 'h6 6ou ha+e (een so fero"ious.@ @3 am4@ the 5reat -age said4

@/ mira"!e−'or#ing 3mmorta! (orn of 0ea+en and 7arth4 /n o!d ape from the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit. B6 home is in the Water Curtain Ca+e4 3 sought friends and tea"hers4 and (e"ame a'are of the 5reat B6ster6.

@3 ha+e pra"ti"ed man6 a method for o(taining eterna! !ife4 3nfinite are the transformations 3 ha+e !earned.

That is 'h6 3 found the morta! 'or!d too "ramped4 /nd de"ided to !i+e in the <ade 0ea+en.

@2one "an reign fore+er in the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist8 Cings throughout histor6 ha+e had to pass on their po'er. The strong shou!d (e honoured−−he shou!d gi+e 'a6 to me% This is the on!6 reason 3 'age m6 heroi" fight.@

The uddha !aughed mo"#ing!6. @?ou 'ret"hA ?ou are on!6 a mon#e6 spirit and 6ou ha+e the effronter6 to 'ant to gra( the throne of the <ade 7mperor. 0e has trained himse!f sin"e "hi!dhood4 and suffered hardship for one thousand4 se+en hundred and fift6 #a!pas. 7a"h #a!pa is 1294600 6ears4 so 6ou "an 'or# out for 6ourse!f ho' !ong it has ta#en him to (e a(!e to enEo6 this great and infinite Wa6. ut 6ou are a (east 'ho has on!6 Eust (e"ome a man for the first time. 0o' dare 6ou ta!# so (igG ?ou1re not human4 not e+en humanA 31!! shorten 6our !ife−span. /""ept m6 tea"hing at on"e and stop ta!#ing su"h nonsenseA $ther'ise 6ou1!! (e in for trou(!e and 6our !ife 'i!! +er6 short!6 (e o+er8 and that 'i!! (e so mu"h the 'orse for 6our origina! form too.@ @/!though he has trained himse!f for a !ong time4 e+er sin"e he 'as a "hi!d4 he sti!! has no right to o""up6 this p!a"e for e+er4@ the 5reat -age said. @/s the sa6ing goes4 17mperors are made (6 turn8 neDt 6ear it ma6 (e me.1 3f he "an (e persuaded to mo+e out and ma#e 0ea+en o+er to me4 that1!! (e fine. ut if he doesn1t a(di"ate in m6 fa+our 31!! most "ertain!6 ma#e things hot for him4 and he1!! ne+er #no' pea"e and >uiet again.@ @What ha+e 6ou got4 (esides immorta!it6 and the a(i!it6 to transform 6ourse!f4 that gi+es 6ou the ner+e to tr6 to seiFe the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"eG@ the uddha as#ed. @3 "an do man6 tri"#s indeed4@ the 5reat -age rep!ied. @3 "an perform se+ent6−t'o transformations4 and 3 "an preser+e m6 6outh for ten thousand #a!pas. 3 "an ride a somersau!t "!oud that ta#es me thirt6−siD thousand mi!es at a sing!e Eump. -o 'h6 shou!dn1t 3 sit on the throne of 0ea+enG@ @31!! ha+e a 'ager 'ith 6ou then4@ said the uddha. @3f 6ou1re "!e+er enough to get out of m6 right hand 'ith a sing!e somersau!t4 6ou 'i!! (e the 'inner4 and there 'i!! (e no more need for 'eapons or fighting% 3 sha!! in+ite the <ade 7mperor to "ome and !i+e in the West and a(di"ate the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e to 6ou. ut if 6ou "an1t get out of the pa!m of m6 hand 6ou 'i!! ha+e to go do'n to the 'or!d (e!o' as a de+i! and train 6ourse!f for se+era! more #a!pas (efore "oming to argue a(out it again.@ When he heard this offer the 5reat -age smi!ed to himse!f and thought4 @This uddha is a "omp!ete idiot. 3 "an "o+er thirt6−siD thousand mi!es 'ith a somersau!t4 so ho' "ou!d 3 fai! to Eump out of the pa!m of his hand4 'hi"h is !ess than a foot a"rossG@ With this in his mind he as#ed eager!64 @*o 6ou guarantee that 6ourse!fG@

@?es4 6es4@ the uddha rep!ied4 and he stret"hed out his right hand4 'hi"h seemed to (e a(out the siFe of a !otus !eaf. 9utting a'a6 his /s−?ou−Wi!! "udge!4 the 5reat -age summoned up a!! his di+ine po'ers4 Eumped into the pa!m of the uddha1s hand4 and said4 @31m off.@ Wat"h him as he goes !i#e a strea# of !ight and disappears "omp!ete!6. The uddha4 'ho 'as 'at"hing him 'ith his 'ise e6es4 sa' the Bon#e6 Cing 'hir!ing for'ard !i#e a 'indmi!! and not stopping unti! he sa' fi+e f!esh−pin# pi!!ars topped (6 dar# +apours. @This is the end of the road4@ he said4 @so no' 31!! go (a"#. The uddha 'i!! (e 'itness4 and the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist 'i!! (e mine.@ Then he thought again4 @Wait a moment. 31!! !ea+e m6 mar# here to pro+e m6 "ase 'hen 3 ta!# to the uddha.@ 0e pu!!ed out a hair4 (reathed on it 'ith his magi" (reath4 and shouted @Change.@ 3t turned into a 'riting (rush dipped in in#4 and 'ith it he 'rote T07 5,7/T -/57 7KH/;325 07/:72 W/- 07,7 in (ig !etters on the midd!e pi!!ar. When that 'as done he put the hair (a"# on4 and4 not standing on his dignit64 made a poo! of mon#e6 piss at the foot of the pi!!ar. Then he turned his somersau!t round and 'ent (a"# to 'here he had started from. @3 'ent4 and no' 31m (a"#. Te!! the <ade 7mperor to hand the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e o+er to me4@ he said4 standing in the uddha1s pa!m. @31+e got 6ou4 6ou piss−spirit of a mon#e64@ roared the uddha at him. @?ou ne+er !eft the pa!m of m6 hand.@ @?ou1re 'rong there4@ the 5reat -age rep!ied. @3 'ent to the farthest point of 0ea+en4 'here 3 sa' fi+e f!esh−pin# pi!!ars topped (6 dar# +apours. 3 !eft m6 mar# there% do 6ou dare "ome and see it 'ith meG@ @There1s no need to go. <ust !oo# do'n.@ The 5reat -age !oo#ed do'n 'ith his fire e6es 'ith go!den pupi!s to see the 'ords @The 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en Was 0ere@ 'ritten on the midd!e finger of the uddha1s right hand. The stin# of mon#e6−piss rose from the fo!d at the (ottom of the finger. @What a thing to happen4@ eD"!aimed the 5reat -age in astonishment. @3 'rote this on one of the pi!!ars supporting the s#64 so ho' "an it (e on his finger no'G 0e must ha+e used di+ination to #no' 'hat 3 'as going to do. 3 don1t (e!ie+e it. 3 refuse to (e!ie+e itA 31!! go there and "ome (a"# again.@ The dear 5reat -age hurried!6 (ra"ed himse!f to Eump4 (ut the uddha turned his hand o+er and pushed the Bon#e6 Cing out through the Western 5ate of 0ea+en. 0e turned his fi+e fingers into a mountain "hain (e!onging to the e!ements Beta!4 Wood4 Water4 .ire4 and 7arth4 renamed them the .i+e 7!ements Bountain4 and gent!6 he!d him do'n. /!! the thunder gods and the dis"ip!es /nanda and Cas6apa put their hands together to praise the uddha% @Wonderfu!4 'onderfu!4

/n egg !earned to (e a man4 Cu!ti+ated his "ondu"t4 and a"hie+ed the Wa6. 0ea+en had (een undistur(ed for the thousand #a!pas4 Hnti! one da6 the spirits and gods 'ere s"attered.

@The re(e! against 0ea+en4 'anting high position4 3nsu!ted 3mmorta!s4 sto!e the pi!!s4 and destro6ed mora!it6.

Toda6 his terri(!e sins are (eing punished4 Who #no's 'hen he 'i!! (e a(!e to rise againG@

When he had e!iminated the mon#e6 fiend the uddha to!d /nanda and Cas6apa to return 'ith him to the Western paradise. /t that moment Tian 9eng and Tian ?ou hurried out of the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist to sa64 @We (eg the Tathagata to 'ait a moment as the <ade 7mperor1s "hariot is "oming.@ The uddha turned round and !oo#ed up4 and an instant !ater he sa' an eight−sp!endour imperia! "hariot and a nine−shining Ee'e!ed "anop6 appear to the sound of strange and eD>uisite musi"4 and the "hanting of "ount!ess sa"red +erses. 9re"ious f!o'ers 'ere s"attered and in"ense 'as (urned. The <ade 7mperor 'ent straight up to the uddha and said4 @We are deep!6 inde(ted to the great uddha1s po'ers for 'iping out the demon4 and 'e hope that the Tathagata 'i!! spend a da6 here so that 'e ma6 in+ite a!! the 3mmorta!s to a feast of than#sgi+ing.@ The uddha did not dare refuse4 so putting his hands together he rep!ied4 @This o!d mon# on!6 "ame here in o(edien"e to ?our Ce!estia! BaEest61s "ommand. What magi" po'ers "an 3 pretend toG This 'as a!! due to the 'onderfu! good fortune of ?our Ce!estia! BaEest6 and the other gods. 0o' "ou!d 3 possi(!6 a!!o' 6ou to than# meG@ The <ade 7mperor then ordered a!! the gods of the *epartment of Thunder to sp!it up and in+ite the Three 9ure $nes4 the .our 7mperors4 the .i+e /n"ients4 the -iD -uperintendents4 the -e+en Bain -tars4 the 7ight 9oints of the Compass4 the 2ine right -hiners4 the Ten Chiefs4 the Thousand 3mmorta!s4 and the Ten Thousand -ages to a (an>uet to than# the uddha for his mer"6. Then he ordered the .our 5reat 0ea+en!6 Tea"hers and the 2ine 0ea+en!6 Baidens to open the go!den gates of the Eade "apita!4 and 9a!a"e of the 5reat B6ster64 and the Tong ?ang <ade 9a!a"e4 in+ite the Tathagata to ta#e his seat on the Throne of the -e+en 9re"ious Things4 arrange the p!a"es for a!! the different groups of guests4 and set out the dragon !i+er4 phoeniD (one−marro'4 Eade !i>uor4 and magi" pea"hes. efore !ong the $rigina! Ce!estia! <ade 9ure $ne4 the 0igh Ce!estia! 9re"ious 9ure $ne4 the 0ea+en!6 Ce!estia! 9ure $ne of the Wa64 the True ;ords of the .i+e 0umors4 the -tar ;ords of the .i+e Conste!!ations4 the Three $ffi"ers4 the .our -ages4 the ;eft /ssistant4 the ,ight -upport4 the 0ea+en!6 Cings4 2eFha4 and the 'ho!e of spa"e responded to the in+itations that had (een sent out magi"a!!6. Their standards and "anopies "ame t'o (6 t'o as the6 (rought shining pear!s4 rare Ee'e!s4 fruit of !onge+it64 and eDoti" f!o'ers4 and presented them to the uddha 'ith (o's. @We than# the Tathagata for su(duing the mon#e6 fiend 'ith his infinite po'ers. 0is Ce!estia! BaEest6 has as#ed us a!! to "ome to his (an>uet to eDpress our than#s. We (eg the Tathagata to gi+e this (an>uet a tit!e.@ The uddha a""epted this "ommission and said4 @-in"e 6ou 'ant a name for it4 'e "ou!d "a!! it the 1 an>uet to Ce!e(rate 9ea"e in 0ea+en.1@ @-p!endid4 1 an>uet to Ce!e(rate 9ea"e in 0ea+en41 sp!endid4@ eD"!aimed a!! the 3mmorta!s 'ith one +oi"e4 and then the6 a!! sat do'n in their p!a"es4 put f!o'ers in their hair4 and p!a6ed the !6re. 3t 'as indeed a sp!endid (an>uet4 and here are some +erses to pro+e it%

The an>uet to Ce!e(rate 9ea"e in 0ea+en far surpasses The an>uet of 9ea"hes that the mon#e6 're"#ed. ,adian"e shines from dragon f!ags and imperia! "hariots8 /uspi"ious +apours f!oat a(o+e streamers and s6m(o!s of offi"e.

Be!odious the fair6 musi" and m6sterious songs8 ;oud sound the tones of phoeniD f!ute and pipe of Eade The rarest of perfumes 'aft around the 3mmorta!s4 assem(!ed "a!m in the s#6. To "ongratu!ate the "ourt on 9a"if6ing the Hni+erse.

When the 3mmorta!s 'ere a!! enEo6ing the feast the Kueen Bother and a group of fairies4 immorta! (eauties4 and houris4 f!oated through the air as the6 dan"ed to'ards the uddha4 and after pa6ing her respe"ts the Kueen Bother said4 @B6 9ea"h an>uet 'as ruined (6 that mon#e6 fiend4 and this an>uet to Ce!e(rate 9ea"e in 0ea+en is (eing gi+en (e"ause the Tathagata has used his great po'ers to "hain do'n the e+i! mon#e6. 0a+ing nothing e!se 'ith 'hi"h to eDpress m6 gratitude4 3 ha+e pi"#ed a num(er of pea"hes of immorta!it6 'ith m6 o'n pure hands as an offering.@ The6 'ere

0a!f red4 ha!f green4 s'eet−sme!!ing (eauties 5ro'ing e+er6 ten thousand 6ears from immorta! roots. The pea"hes of Wu!ing6uan seem !augha(!e% 0o' "an the6 "ompare 'ith those of 0ea+enG

9urp!e−+eined and tender4 rare e+en in the s#64 ?e!!o'−stoned4 and mat"h!ess on earth for their s'eetness. The6 are a(!e to adapt the (od6 and ma#e it !i+e for e+er8 Those !u"#6 enough to eat them are no ordinar6 (eings.

The uddha put his hands together to than# the Kueen Bother4 'ho instru"ted the fairies and houris to sing and dan"e again4 and their performan"e met 'ith the praises of the 'ho!e assem(!6. 3ndeed%

Bist6 hea+en!6 in"ense fi!!ed the room8 / "haos of hea+en!6 peta!s and f!o'ers. 5reat is the sp!endour of the Eade "it6 and go!den gates4 9ri"e!ess the strange treasures and rare Ee'e!s.

T'o (6 t'o4 "oe+a! 'ith 0ea+en4 9air (6 pair4 out!i+ing ten thousand #a!pas% 7+en if !and and sea "hanged p!a"es The6 'ou!d not (e astonished or a!armed.

-oon after the Kueen Bother had ordered the fairies and houris to sing and dan"e4 and 'hen 'ine "ups and "hopsti"#s 'ere 'ea+ing to and fro4 sudden!6

/ strange s"ent rea"hed their noses4 -tart!ing the stars and "onste!!ations in the ha!!. 3mmorta!s and the uddha put do'n their "ups4 7a"h of them raising their heads to !oo#.

/n o!d man appeared in the midd!e of the Bi!#6 Wa6 0o!ding a sa"red mushroom. 0is gourd "ontains ten−thousand−6ear e!iDir. $n the sa"red ro!!s his name is 'ritten 7terna! ;ife.

3n his "a+e 0ea+en and 7arth are free.

3n his (ott!e -un and Boon 'ere "reated. /s he 'anders around the .our -eas in pure id!eness Ta#ing his ease in the Ten Continents4 enEo6ing the (ust!e.

When he 'ent to 9ea"h an>uets he often got drun# ut 'hen he "ame round4 the moon 'as as (right as e+er. / !ong head4 (ig ears and a short (od64 Cno'n as ;onge+it6 from the -outhern 9o!e.

The -tar of ;onge+it6 had arri+ed. When he had made his greetings to the <ade 7mperor and the uddha he made a spee"h of than#s. @When 3 heard that the mon#e6 fiend had (een ta#en (6 the ;ord ;ao Li to his Tushita pa!a"e to (e refined 3 thought that this 'as (ound to restore pea"e4@ he said4 @and 3 ne+er eDpe"ted he 'ou!d re(e! again. 0appi!6 the demon 'as >ue!!ed (6 the Tathagata4 and so 'hen 3 heard that this feast 'as (eing gi+en to than# him 3 "ame at on"e. /s 3 ha+e nothing e!se to offer 3 ha+e (rought 'ith me purp!e magi" mushrooms4 Easper her(s4 greenish Eade !otus−root4 and go!den pi!!s of immorta!it6% these 3 hum(!6 present.@ The poem sa6s

$ffering the Eade !outs−root and go!den pi!!s to -a#6amuni4 To gi+e him as man6 6ears as the grains of sand of the 5anges. 9ea"e and eterna! Eo6 de"orate the Three :ehi"!es8 9rosperit6 and eterna! !ife ma#e the nine grades of immorta!s g!orious.

Within the gate of 2o−9henomena the true ;a' ru!es8 /(o+e the 0ea+en of 2othingness is his immorta! home. 0ea+en and 7arth (oth "a!! him their an"estor4 0is go!den (od6 pro+ides (!essings and !ong !ife.

The uddha happi!6 a""epted his than#s4 and after the -tar of ;onge+it6 had ta#en his p!a"e the 'ine−"ups started to "ir"u!ate on"e more. Then the are−foot 3mmorta! appeared4 #o'to'ed to the <ade 7mperor4 and than#ed the uddha.

@3 am deep!6 gratefu! to 6ou for su(duing the mon#e6 fiend 'ith 6our di+ine po'ers. /s 3 ha+e nothing e!se 'ith 'hi"h to eDpress m6 respe"t4 3 offer 6ou t'o magi" pears and a num(er of fire−dates.@

-'eet are the are−foot 3mmorta!1s pears and dates4 /nd !ong 'i!! (e the !ife of the uddha to 'hom the6 are offered. The !otus seat of the se+en treasures is as firm as a mountain4 0is thousand−go!den−f!o'er throne is as gorgeous as (ro"ade.

Coe+a! 'ith 0ea+en and 7arth−−this is no !ie8 3t is true that his (!essings are greater than a f!ood. 0is Western 9aradise of !eisure and (!iss Tru!6 pro+ides a!! the !ong !ife and (!essings one "ou!d hope.

The uddha than#ed him too4 and te!!ing /nanda and Cas6apa to "o!!e"t together a!! the offerings he 'ent o+er to the <ade 7mperor to than# him for the (an>uet. When a!! the guests 'ere thorough!6 drun# the Bira"u!ous 9atro!!ing $ffi"er reported that the 5reat -age had po#ed his head out. @3t doesn1t matter4@ the uddha said4 produ"ing from his s!ee+e a strip of paper on 'hi"h 'ere 'ritten the go!den 'ords ! !ani "ad!e hu!. 0e ga+e this pie"e of paper to /nanda and to!d him to sti"# it on the summit of the mountains. The :enera(!e /nanda too# it through the gates of 0ea+en and pasted it firm!6 to a s>uare (ou!der on the top of the .i+e 7!ements Bountain. When this 'as done the mountain san# roots and Eoined up a!! its seams. The Bon#e6 Cing 'as sti!! a(!e to (reathe and he "ou!d sti!! sti"# his hands out and mo+e them. /nanda 'ent (a"# to 0ea+en and reported that he had pasted the paper in p!a"e. The uddha then too# his !ea+e of the <ade 7mperor and a!! the other deities. When he and his t'o dis"ip!es had gone out through the gates of 0ea+en his mer"ifu! heart mo+ed him to "hant a spe!! ordering a !o"a! tute!ar6 god and the ,e+ea!ers of the Truth of the .i+e ,egions to !i+e on the mountain and #eep guard o+er him. When he 'as hungr6 the6 'ere to feed him iron pe!!ets4 and 'hen he 'as thirst6 the6 'ere to gi+e him mo!ten "opper to drin#. When the time of his punishment 'as o+er4 someone 'ou!d "ome and res"ue him. 3ndeed%

The mon#e6 fiend 'as (o!d enough to re(e! against 0ea+en4 ut 'as su(dued (6 the Tathagata1s hand.

0e endures the months and 6ears4 drin#ing mo!ten "opper for his thirst4 /nd (!unts his hunger on iron pe!!ets4 ser+ing his time.

-uffering the (!o's of 0ea+en4 he undergoes torment4 ?et e+en in the (!ea#est time a happ6 fate a'aits. 3f some hero is read6 to strugg!e for him4 $ne 6ear he 'i!! go to the West in the ser+i"e of the uddha.

/nother poem goes%

0is great po'er gre' as he hum(!ed the might64 0e used his 'i"#ed ta!ents to su(due tigers and dragons. 0e sto!e the pea"hes and 'ine as he 'andered round 0ea+en4 Was gra"ious!6 gi+en offi"e in the <ade Capita!.

When his 'i"#edness 'ent too far his (od6 suffered4 ut his roots of goodness 'ere not se+ered4 and his (reath sti!! rose. 0e 'i!! es"ape from the hand of the uddha4 /nd 'ait ti!! the Tang produ"es a saint!6 mon#.

3t 6ou don1t #no' in 'hat month of 'hat 6ear his sufferings ended4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment.

Chapter 8
$ur uddha Creates the -"riptures and 9asses on 9erfe"t !iss 5uan6in $(e6s a *e"ree and 5oes to Chang1an 3f 6ou tr6 to as# a(out the dh6ana

$r in+estigate the innumera(!e ?ou 'i!! 'aste 6our !ife and a"hie+e nothing. 9o!ishing (ri"#s to ma#e mirrors4 $r pi!ing up sno' to turn it into grain−− 0o'e+er man6 6ears ha+e 6ou 'asted !i#e thatG / hair "an "ontain an o"ean4 / mustard−seed "an ho!d a mountain4 /nd the go!den Cas6apa on!6 smi!es. When 6ou are a'a#ened 6ou 'i!! surpass the Ten -tages and the Three :ehi"!es4 /nd stop the four #inds of (irth and the siD t6pes of rein"arnation. Who has e+er heard4 (efore the "!iff of thoughts eDtinguished4 Hnder the tree that has no shado'4 The sound of the "u"#oo in a spring da'nG The path (6 the Cao -tream is dangerous4 The :u!ture 9ea# is high in the "!ouds% 0ere the +oi"e of the an"ients 'as a m6ster6. $n a "!iff ten thousand feet high .i+e−!ea+ed !otuses (!oom /s s"ent "oi!s round the shutters of the o!d pa!a"e. /t that time ?our #no'!edge smashes a!! the "urrents of thought8 The *ragon Cing and the Three Treasures "an (e seen.

This !6ri" poem is set to the tune Su #u Man. $ur stor6 goes on to ho' our uddha4 the Tathagata4 !eft the <ade 7mperor and 'ent (a"# to the Thunder Bonaster64 'here he sa' the three thousand uddhas4 fi+e hundred /rhats4 eight great :aErapanis and "ount!ess odhisatt+as standing under the pairs of sa!a trees at the foot of the :u!ture 9ea#4 a!! ho!ding (anners4 "anopies4 Ee'e!s and magi"a! f!o'ers. The Tathagata (rought his propitious "!oud to a ha!t and addressed them thus% @With m6 deep insight

3 sur+e6ed the Three Wor!ds. The origin of nature 3s u!timate!6 emptiness4 ;i#e the great +oid4 Containing nothing at a!!.

The su(Ee"tion of this e+i! mon#e6 Was a m6ster6 (e6ond understanding. 3t is "a!!ed the (eginning of !ife and death% -u"h is the appearan"e of things.

When he had spo#en a sa"red !ight fi!!ed the s#6 'ith fort6−t'o rain(o's that !in#ed 2orth and -outh together. /!! 'ho sa' them (o'ed4 and a moment !ater the uddha gathered together some fe!i"itous "!oud and "!im(ed to the supreme ;otus Throne4 'here he seated himse!f in maEest6. Then the three thousand uddhas4 the fi+e hundred /rhats4 the eight :aErapanis and the four odhisatt+as "ame for'ard to (o' to him 'ith their hands together and as#4 @Who 'as it 'ho 're"#ed the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e and ruined the 9ea"h an>uetG@ @The 'ret"h 'as a mon#e6 fiend (orn on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit4@ the uddha rep!ied4 @'hose to'ering "rimes 'ou!d (eggar des"ription. 2one of the hea+en!6 genera!s 'ere a(!e to su(due him4 and 'hen ;ord ;ao Li refined him 'ith fire after 7r!ang had "aptured him4 he 'as unharmed. When 3 'ent there he 'as in the midd!e of the thunder genera!s4 gi+ing a great disp!a6 of his martia! pro'ess and his spirit. 3 stopped the fighting and as#ed him 'hat it 'as a!! a(out. 0e said that he had di+ine po'ers4 'as a(!e to do transformations4 and "ou!d ride a somersau!t "!oud for thirt6−siD thousand mi!es at a sing!e Eump. 3 made a 'ager 'ith him that he "ou!d not Eump out of m6 hand4 then gra((ed him4 turned m6 fingers into the .i+e 7!ements Bountain4 and sea!ed him under it. The <ade 7mperor opened 'ide the go!den gates of the <ade 9a!a"e4 and in+ited me to (e the guest of honour at a an>uet to Ce!e(rate 9ea"e in 0ea+en he ga+e to than# me. /fter that 3 too# m6 !ea+e of him and "ame (a"# here.@ The6 'ere a!! de!ighted (6 the ne's and the6 "ongratu!ated him effusi+e!64 after 'hi"h the6 'ithdre' group (6 group4 ea"h to go a(out his duties as a!! reEoi"ed in the di+ine truth. 3ndeed%

9ropitious +apours fi!!ed 9aradise4

,ain(o's surround the :enera(!e $ne. The Western 9aradise4 #no'n as the (est4 3s ru!ed (6 the dharma Cing of non−phenomenon. !a"# apes are a!'a6s offering fruit4 *eer ho!d f!o'ers in their mouths8 !ue phoeniDes dan"e4 Co!oured (irds "a!!8 -a"red turt!es offer !ong !ife4 3mmorta! "ranes present magi" mushrooms. 0ere the6 pea"efu!!6 enEo6 the 9ure ;and of the <eta+ana 9ar#4 The infinite rea!ms of the *ragon 9a!a"e. 7+er6 da6 f!o'ers (!oom4 .ruit is a!'a6s ripe. Through pra"ti"ing si!en"e the6 return to the truth4 /"hie+ing rea!it6 (6 "ontemp!ation. There is no (irth nor death8 The6 neither 'aD nor 'ane. Bists fo!!o' them as the6 "ome and go8 Hntou"hed (6 heat or "o!d4 the6 do not noti"e the 6ears.

$ne da64 as the uddha d'e!t in the Thunder Bonaster6 on the :u!ture 9ea#4 he "a!!ed together a!! the other uddhas4 /rhats4 guardian deities4 odhisatt+as4 :aErapanis4 mon#s and nuns and said4 @/s 'e are (e6ond time4 3 don1t #no' ho' !ong it has (een sin"e the "raft6 ape 'as su(dued and 0ea+en pa"ified4 (ut (6 earth!6 re"#oning it must (e a(out fi+e hundred 6ears. /s toda6 is a fine ear!6 autumn da6 and 3 ha+e a pre"ious (o'! fi!!ed 'ith a hundred #inds of rare f!o'ers and a thousand +arieties of eDoti" fruit4 'hat 'ou!d 6ou sa6 to our ha+ing an H!!am(ana .eastG@ The6 a!! put their hands together and performed the re+eren"e of going round him three times in a""eptan"e. The uddha then ordered /nanda to ho!d the (o'! of f!o'ers and fruit 'hi!e Cas6apa !aid them out. The hosts 'ere mo+ed to gratitude4 'hi"h the6 eDpressed in +erse. The poem on happiness 'ent%

The -tar of 0appiness shines (right (efore the :enera(!e $ne8 5ifts of happiness spread 'ide and deep4 e+er ri"her. .ortune is (ound!ess and !asts as !ong as the 7arth8 / happ6 fate has the !u"# to (e !in#ed 'ith 0ea+en. .ie!ds of happiness are 'ide!6 so'n and f!ourish e+er6 6ear8 The sea of happiness is might6 and deep4 ne+er "hanging. 0appiness fi!!s 0ea+en and 7arth4 !ea+ing !ega"ies of happiness 0appiness gro's (e6ond measure4 eterna!!6 "omp!ete.

The poem on offi"ia! ran# 'ent%

With ran# as high as a mountain4 "o!oured phoeniDes "a!!8 With ran# e+er in"reasing4 'e praise the e+ening star. -a!ar6 raised to ten thousand (ushe!s4 and a hea!th6 (od68 -a!ar6 raised to a thousand tons4 and the 'or!d at pea"e. ,an# and sa!ar6 e>ua!ing 0ea+en4 and eterna! too8 ,an# and fame as great as the sea4 and e+en "!earer. ,an# and fa+our "ontinuing for e+er4 great!6 to (e admired8 ,an# and no(i!it6 'ithout (ounds4 !i#e ten thousand #ingdoms.

The poem on !onge+it6 'ent%

The -tar of ;onge+it6 shines to'ards the uddha8 The g!ories of the !and of !onge+it6 start from here. .ruits of !onge+it6 fi!! the (o'!s4 g!o'ing 'ith good omen8

;onge+it61s f!o'ers are ne'!6 p!u"#ed and p!a"ed on the !otus throne. 9oems of !onge+it64 pure and e!egant4 fu!! of rare "on"eits4 -ongs of !onge+it6 sung 'ith eD>uisite ta!ent. ;ife as !ong as sun and moon4 ;ife that 'i!! out!ast (oth mountains and seas.

When the odhisatt+as had presented a!! the poems the6 as#ed the uddha to eDpound the fundamenta!s to them. Then the Tathagata opened his eD"e!!ent mouth and eDpounded the great ;a' and retri(ution. 0e spo#e a(out the 'onderfu! s"riptures of the Three :ehi"!es and the theor6 of the .i+e /ggregates as "ontained in the Suranga!a−sutra$ the deities and nagas gathered round4 and f!o'ers "ame raining do'n in profusion. 3ndeed%

The meditating heart shines !i#e the moon in a thousand ri+ers8 The true nature em(ra"es ten thousand mi!es of s#6.

When the uddha had finished his sermon he said to the host4 @3 ha+e o(ser+ed that the mora!it6 of the !i+ing "reatures of the four "ontinents +aries. 3n the 7astern Continent of -uperior od6 the6 'orship 0ea+en and 7arth4 their minds are !i+er6 and the6 are e+en−tempered. 3n the 2orthern Curu Continent the6 are gi+en to #i!!ing !i+ing things4 (ut the6 on!6 do it to feed themse!+es8 the6 are stupid and !aF6 (6 nature4 (ut the6 do not tramp!e mu"h on others. $ur Western Continent of Catt!e−gift has peop!e 'ho neither "o+et nor #i!!. The6 nourish the +ita! essen"e and su(merge the spirit8 and a!though the6 produ"e no saints of the highest order4 the6 a!! !i+e to a ripe o!d age. ut in the -outhern <am(u Continent the6 are greed6 and !e"herous and de!ight in the sufferings of others8 the6 go in for a great dea! of #i!!ing and >uarre!!ing. That "ontinent "an 'ith truth (e "a!!ed a +i"ious fie!d of tongues and mouths4 an e+i! sea of disputation. 3 no' ha+e Three -tores of True -"riptures 'ith 'hi"h the6 "an (e persuaded to (e good.@ $n hearing this4 a!! the odhisatt+as put their hands together in su(mission4 then 'ent for'ard to as#4 @What Three -tores of True -"riptures does the Tathagata ha+eG@ @3 ha+e one store of the :ina6a4 the !a'4 'hi"h is a(out 0ea+en8 one of -astras4 eDpositions 'hi"h are "on"erned 'ith 7arth8 and one of -utras4 or s"riptures4 'hi"h sa+e ghosts. The Three -tores "onsist of fifteen thousand one hundred and fort6−four s"ro!!s in thirt6−fi+e "!asses. The6 are the s"riptures for "u!ti+ating the truth4 and the gate to rea! goodness. 3 'ant to send them to the 7astern !ands (e"ause it is into!era(!e that the (eings of that >uarter shou!d a!! (e su"h stupid 'ret"hes 'ho s!ander and defame the true 'ord4 do not understand the gist of m6 ;a'4 and ha+e !apsed from the orthodoD ?oga"ara -e"t. 0o' am 3 to find one 'ith the magi" po'ers to go to the 7ast4 "hoose a 'orth6 (e!ie+er and (id him ma#e the arduous "rossing of a thousand mountain and ten thousand ri+ers in sear"h of the s"riptures unti! he fina!!6 "omes to this a(ode of mine to re"ei+e themG When he does "ome the6 'i!! (e sent to the 7ast for e+er to "on+ert a!! !i+ing (eings4 'hi"h 'i!! (e a (!essing as (ig as a mountain4 a "ause for "ongratu!ation as deep as the sea. 3s an6one 'i!!ing to go and find himG@

The odhisatt+a 5uan6in 'ent up to the !otus throne4 and after going round the uddha three times (6 'a6 of sa!utation she said4 @?our unta!ented dis"ip!e 'ishes to go to the 7ast to find a man to "ome and fet"h the s"riptures.@ /!! present raised their heads to !oo# at the odhisatt+a%

0er understanding fi!!ing out the four +irtues4 Wisdom fi!!ing her go!den (od6. .rom her ne"#!a"e hang pear!s and Eade4 0er (ra"e!et is made of Ee'e!s. 0er hair is (!a"# "!ouds s#i!!fu!!6 pi!ed !i#e "oi!ing dragons8 0er em(roidered gird!e !ight!6 s'a6s4 a phoeniD 'ing. -eagreen Eade (uttons4 / go'n of 'hite si!# gauFe4 athed 'ith sa"red !ight8 ro"ade s#irts4 / gird!e of go!d4 -hie!ded (6 propitious +apours. 76e(ro's !i#e "res"ent moons4 76es !i#e a pair of stars. / Eade fa"e fu!! of hea+en!6 happiness4 -"ar!et !ips ma#ing a tou"h of red. 0er pure (ott!e of s'eet de' is e+er fu!!4 The 'i!!o' t'igs in it are a!'a6s green. -he de!i+ers from the eight disasters4 -a+es a!! !i+ing (eings4 5reat is her "ompassion. -he sta6s on Bount Tai4 ;i+es in the -outhern -ea4

,es"ues the suffering 'hen she (ears their "ries4 2e+er fai!ing to ans'er e+er6 "a!!4 3nfinite!6 di+ine and mira"u!ous. 0er or"hid heart admires the purp!e (am(oo8 0er or"hid nature !o+es the fragrant "reeper. -he is the mer"ifu! ru!er of 9otara#a 3s!and4 The !i+ing 5uan6in of the Tide Ca+e.

The uddha 'as +er6 p!eased to see her. @2o one (ut the +enera(!e 5uan6in4 'hose di+ine po'ers are so great4 'i!! do for this mission4@ he said. @What instru"tions ha+e 6ou for 6our dis"ip!e as she goes to the 7astG@ 5uan6in as#ed. @?ou must 'at"h the route a!! the 'a64@ said the uddha. @?ou ma6 not go +ia the Bi!#6 Wa64 (ut if ne"essar6 6ou ma6 ha+e a !itt!e "!oud or mist. /s 6ou "ross mountains and ri+ers 6ou must note the distan"es "arefu!!6 to ena(!e 6ou to gi+e fu!! instru"tions to the man 'ho 'i!! "ome to fet"h the s"riptures. ut that true (e!ie+er 'i!!4 31m afraid4 ha+e a diffi"u!t Eourne64 so 3 sha!! gi+e 6ou fi+e treasures for him.@ The uddha ordered /nanda and Cas6apa to (ring out a (ro"ade "asso"# and a nine−ringed mon#1s staff. @5i+e this "asso"# and staff to him 'ho 'i!! "ome to fet"h the s"riptures% the6 are for him to use. 3f he is determined to "ome here4 he "an a+oid the Whee! of ,ein"arnation (6 'earing this "asso"#4 and he 'i!! (e free from e+i! if he "arries this staff.@ The odhisatt+a (o'ed and too# them. The uddha then produ"ed three (ands. @These pre"ious things are "a!!ed 1tight (ands41@ he to!d the odhisatt+a as he handed them to her. @/!though a!! three of them !oo# the same4 the6 ha+e different uses. 3 a!so ha+e three and−Tightening -pe!!s. 3f 6ou meet an6 de+i!s 'ith great magi" po'ers on 6our Eourne6 6ou shou!d persuade them to reform and (e"ome the dis"ip!es of the pi!grim 'ho 'i!! "ome to fet"h the s"riptures. 3f the6 do not do is the6 are to!d these (ands shou!d (e put on their heads4 'here the6 'i!! of themse!+es ta#e root in the f!esh. 3f the appropriate spe!! for ea"h one is re"ited the +i"tim1s e6es 'i!! (u!ge4 his head 'i!! a"he4 and his forehead 'i!! sp!it open. 0e 'i!! thus (e "ertain!6 indu"ed to adopt our re!igion.@ When he finished spea#ing the odhisatt+a (o'ed eager!6 and 'ithdre'. -he to!d 0uian the 2o+i"e to a""ompan6 her4 and he too# his iron staff 'eighing a thousand pounds 'ith him so that he "ou!d as a demon−>ue!!ing strongman for the odhisatt+a. The odhisatt+a 'rapped the "asso"# up in a (und!e and ga+e it to him to "arr6. -he then put the go!den (ands a'a6 safe!6 and 'ent do'n the :u!ture 9ea# 'ith the staff in her hand. This Eourne6 'as to ha+e "onse>uen"es%

The uddha1s dis"ip!e "omes (a"# to his origina! +o'8

The :enera(!e 5o!den Ci"ada is dressed in sanda!'ood.

When the odhisatt+a rea"hed the foot of the mountain the 5o!d−headed 3mmorta! of the <ade Truth Temp!e stopped her at the temp!e gate and in+ited her to ta#e some tea. ut she dared not stop for !ong4 and so she said4 @3 ha+e (een gi+en a sa"red "ommand (6 the Tathagata to go to the 7ast and find a man 'ho 'i!! "ome to fet"h the s"riptures.@ @When 'i!! he arri+eG@ the 3mmorta! as#ed. @3t is not definite4@ the odhisatt+a rep!ied4 @(ut he 'i!! pro(a(!6 rea"h here in t'o or three 6ears1 time.@ -he too# her !ea+e of the 3mmorta! and as she tra+e!ed amid "!oud and mist she estimated the distan"es. There are some +erses to pro+e it%

-he "ared nothing of the Eourne6 of ten thousand mi!es to find him4 ut 'orried a(out finding the right man. ;oo#ing for the man seemed to (e +er6 "han"64 ut ho' "an it (e a mere "oin"iden"eG

$ne 'ho tea"hes the Wa6 for the 'rong moti+es 'i!! distort it8 0e 'ho eDp!ains it 'ithout faith 'i!! prea"h in +ain. Whoe+er 'i!! tr6 and #no' it 'ith his 'ho!e (eing4 3s (ound to ha+e a future ahead of him.

/s the tea"her and her dis"ip!e 'ere on their Eourne6 the6 sudden!6 noti"ed a thousand mi!es of 'ea# 'ater4 'hi"h 'as the ,i+er of .!o'ing -ands. @*is"ip!e4@ said the odhisatt+a4 @this 'i!! (e hard to "ross for the man 'ho 'i!! "ome to fet"h the s"riptures4 as he 'i!! (e of impure (one and morta! f!esh. 0o' 'i!! he do itG@ @Tea"her4 ho' 'ide does the ri+er !oo# to 6ouG@ as#ed 0uian. The odhisatt+a stopped her "!oud to in+estigate. -he sa'%

<oining up 'ith the deserts to the 7ast4 ,ea"hing the foreign #ingdoms in the West4

Wuge in the -outh The Tatars in the 2orth. 3t 'as a(out three hundred mi!es a"ross4 /nd three mi!!ion mi!es !ong. /s the 'aters f!o'ed it 'as !i#e the earth turning o+er4 The 'a+es 'ere !i#e rearing mountains. road and (ound!ess4 :ast and might6% .rom three mi!es1 distan"e the might6 f!ood is heard. 3mmorta!s1 rafts do not rea"h here4 ;otus !ea+es "annot f!oat on it. The sun s!ants through 'ithered p!ants and (athes the "roo#ed shore8 ro'n "!ouds (!o"# its !ight and dar#en the !ong (an#. 0o' "ou!d mer"hants pass this 'a6G 0as a fisherman e+er moored hereG 2o geese a!ight on the sand(an#s4 ut apes "r6 on the distant shore. 3ts "o!or "omes from (ountifu! red smart'eed4 Whi!e de!i"ate 'hite du"#'eed drifts together.

/s the odhisatt+a 'as sur+e6ing the s"ene she heard a sp!ash and sa' a hideous ogre !eap out of the 'a+es. 0e 'as

2ot rea!!6 (!ue4 2ot rea!!6 (!a"#4 With an e+i! fa"e8

2either ta!!4 2or short4 are !egs and a mus"u!ar (od6. 0is e6es f!ashed ;i#e a pair of tortoise−she!! !anterns8 The "omers of his mouth 'ere as sinister /s a (ut"her1s "au!dron. 9rotruding fangs !i#e s'ords4 ,ed hair4 matted and un#empt. 0e roared !i#e a "!ap of thunder4 /nd ran a"ross the 'a+es 'ith the speed of 'ind.

This ogre "!im(ed up the (an# 'ith a po!e in his hands to "at"h the odhisatt+a4 (ut 'as stopped (6 0uian1s staff. @*on1t run a'a64@ 0uian shouted as the ogre ad+an"ed to'ards him. The (att!e that ensued (et'een them 'as >uite terrif6ing%

Bo#sa 'ith his iron "!u(4 Hsing his di+ine po'ers to prote"t the odhisatt+a8 The ogre 'ith his demon−>ue!!ing po!e *isp!a6ing his +a!our for a!! (e 'as 'orth. / pair of si!+er dragons dan"ing (6 the ri+er8 T'o ho!6 mon#s in (att!e on the (an#. The one used his s#i!! to "ontro! the ,i+er of .!o'ing -ands The other had distinguished himse!f in prote"ting 5uan6in. The one "ou!d ma#e the 'a+es !eap and ro!!4 The other "ou!d (reathe out fogs and ga!es.

When the 'a+es !eapt and ro!!ed4 0ea+en and 7arth 'ere dar#ened8 3n the fogs and ga!es4 sun and moon 'ere dimmed. The demon−>ue!!ing po!e Was !i#e a 'hite tiger "oming do'n from the mountain8 The iron "!u( Was !i#e a "rou"hing 6e!!o' dragon. When one goes into a"tion 3t (eats the undergro'th to start the sna#es8 When the other !ashes out4 3t parts the pines to f!ush the sparro'ha'#s. The6 fight ti!! the s#6 goes dar# /nd the stars t'in#!e. Then the mist rises4 /nd earth and s#6 are dim. The one has !ong (een unri+a!!ed in the Wea# Waters8 The other has a!'a6s (een the hero of :u!ture 9ea#.

When the pair of them had fought se+era! doFen rounds in"on"!usi+e!6 the ogre (!o"#ed his opponent1s iron staff and as#ed4 @Where are 6ou from4 mon#4 that 6ou dare to ta#e me onG@ @3 am 9rin"e Bo#sa4 the se"ond son of the 9agoda−(earing 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i4@ the other rep!ied. @3 am a!so 0uian the 2o+i"e. 3 am no' prote"ting m6 tea"her on her Eourne6 to the 7ast to find the man 'ho 'i!! fet"h the s"riptures. Whi"h monster are 6ouG 0o' dare 6ou stand in our 'a6G@ The ogre then rea!iFed 'ho he 'as. @3 remem(er4@ he said4 @6ou used to "u!ti+ate 6our "ondu"t 'ith 5uan6in of the -outhern -ea in the 9urp!e am(oo 5ro+e. Wh6 ha+e 6ou "ome hereG@ @Can1t 6ou see m6 tea"her standing there on the (an#G@ When the ogre heard this he "hanted @na−a−a'@ se+era! times to sho' his respe"t4 'ithdre' his po!e and !et Bo#sa seiFe it. Then he (o'ed to 5uan6in and said4 @.orgi+e me4 odhisatt+a4 and !isten to 'hat 3 ha+e to te!! 6ou. 3 am not a demon4 (ut the Curtain ,aising 5enera! 'ho used to stand in attendan"e (6 the imperia! "hariot in the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist. <ust (e"ause 3 a""identa!!6 smashed a "r6sta! dish at a 9ea"h an>uet the <ade 7mperor had me gi+en eight hundred stro#es of the rod4 eDi!ed me to the !o'er 'or!d4 and made me !oo# !i#e this. /nd on top of it a!! e+er6 se+en da6s he sends a f!6ing s'ord here to sta( m6 "hest o+er a hundred times (efore it goes (a"# again. 3t1s agon6. 3 get so un(eara(!6 "o!d and hungr6 that 3 ha+e to emerge from the 'a+es e+er6 t'o or three da6s to de+our a tra+e!er. 3 ne+er thought that in m6 ignoran"e 3 'ou!d insu!t the mer"ifu! odhisatt+a toda6.@

@?ou 'ere eDi!ed here for a "rime against 0ea+en4 (ut no' 6ou are deepening 6our gui!t (6 harming !i+ing (eings. 3 am no' going to the 7ast on the uddha1s orders to find the man 'ho 'i!! fet"h the s"riptures. Wh6 don1t 6ou (e"ome one of us and ensure 6ourse!f good retri(ution in future (6 a""ompan6ing the pi!grim as a dis"ip!e and as"ending to the Western 0ea+en to pa6 homage to the uddha and see# the s"ripturesG 3 'i!! see to it that the f!6ing s'ord stops "oming to pier"e 6ou4 and 'hen 6ou are su""essfu! 6ou 'i!! (e forgi+en 6our "rimes and 6our o!d Eo( 'i!! (e gi+en (a"# to 6ou. What do 6ou thin# of thatG@ @3 am 'i!!ing to return to the truth4@ the ogre rep!ied4 then 'ent "!oser as he "ontinued4 @ odhisatt+a4 3 ha+e !ost "ount of the num(er of peop!e 3 ha+e eaten here4 and 3 ha+e e+en de+oured some pi!grims 'ho 'ere tr6ing to fet"h s"riptures. 3 thro' the heads of a!! m6 +i"tims into the ri+er4 and the6 a!! sin# to the (ottom as not e+en goose−do'n 'i!! f!oat on this 'ater. ut the s#e!etons of those nine pi!grims f!oated and 'ou!d not sin#. 3 'as so impressed (6 this that 3 threaded them together 'ith rope and p!a6 'ith them in m6 spare time. ut 3 am afraid that the man 'ho is to fet"h the s"riptures ma6 not get this far4 'hi"h 'ou!d 're"# m6 future.@ @$f "ourse he1!! get here4@ the odhisatt+a rep!ied. @?ou shou!d hang those s#e!etons from 6our head and 'ait for him. The6 'i!! "ome in usefu!.@ @3n that "ase4@ the ogre said4 @3 sha!! a'ait 6our instru"tions.@ The odhisatt+a then !aid her hands on his head and administered the monasti" ru!es to him4 "hose for him the surname -ha I@-and@J and ga+e him the uddhist name of WuEing I@/'a#ened to 9urit6@J. Then he entered mon#ish !ife and too# the odhisatt+a a"ross the ri+er. 0e 'ashed his heart4 "!eansed his thoughts4 and stopped #i!!ing !i+ing "reatures. /!! he did no' 'as to 'ait for the pi!grim 'ho 'ou!d "ome to fet"h the s"riptures. /fter !ea+ing him the odhisatt+a and 0uian hurried on to'ards the 7ast. When the6 had (een tra+e!!ing for a !ong time the6 sa' a high mountain +ei!ed 'ith an e+i! mist4 and the6 'ere una(!e to "!im( it on foot. <ust 'hen the6 'ere intending to "ross the mountain (6 "!oud4 a ga!e 'ind (!e' up and a monster sudden!6 appeared. 0e too 'as +er6 mena"ing to (eho!d%

0is entrai!s hung from his mouth4 ro!!ed up and #notted8 0is ears 'ere !i#e rush fans4 his e6es shone go!d. 0is teeth 'ere sharp as stee! fi!es4 /nd 'hen he opened his mouth it 'as !i#e a (raFier. 0is go!den he!met 'as tied firm!6 round his "hee#s8 0is armour4 (ound 'ith a si!#en sash4 'as a p6thon1s s!oughed−off s#in. 3n his hands he he!d a nai!ed ra#e !i#e a dragon1s "!a'4 /t his 'aist hung a "ur+ed (o' the shape of a ha!f−moon.

0is martia! might o+era'ed the ?ear 9!anet8 0is o+er'eening spirit threatened the hea+en!6 gods.

0e rushed upon them4 and 'ithout a se"ond thought smote at the odhisatt+a 'ith his ra#e. Bo#sa the 2o+i"e parried his (!o'4 and shouted at the top of his +oi"e4 @,emem(er 6our manners4 damned monster4 and 'at"h out for m6 staff.@ @Bon#4@ the other rep!ied4 @6ou don1t #no' ho' to #eep 6ourse!f in one pie"e. Bind m6 ra#eA@ /t the foot of the mountain the pair of them rushed upon ea"h other as the6 strugg!ed for suprema"6. 3t 'as a fine (att!e%

The fier"e and murderous ogre8 0uian4 imposing and a(!e. The iron staff "ou!d pu!+eriFe the heart8 The ra#e stru"# at the fa"e. The dust thro'n up dar#ened 0ea+en and 7arth8 The f!6ing sand and stones start!ed gods and ghou!s. The nine−toothed ra#e 5!eamed and f!ashed /s its pair of rings resounded8 The !one staff Was ominous!6 (!a"# /s it 'hir!ed in its o'ner1s hands. $ne 'as the heir of a 0ea+en!6 Cing4 $ne defended the ;a' on 9otara#a 3s!and. The other 'as an e+i! fiend in a mountain "a+e. 3n their (att!e for master64 2one #ne' 'ho the 'inner 'ou!d (e.

<ust 'hen the fight 'as getting rea!!6 good4 5uan6in thre' do'n a !otus f!o'er from mid−air to separate the t'o 'eapons. The monster4 sho"#ed at the sight of it4 as#ed4 @Where are 6ou from4 mon#G 0o' dare 6ou tr6 to foo! me 'ith a 1f!o'er in front of the e6esG1@ @31!! get 6ou4 6ou stin#ing4 f!esh−e6ed morta!4@ rep!ied Bo#sa. @3 am a dis"ip!e of the odhisatt+a of the -outhern -ea4 and this !otus 'as thro'n do'n (6 her. *on1t 6ou #no' thatG@ @ 6 the odhisatt+a of the -outhern -ea do 6ou mean 5uan6in Who 7!iminates the Three Ca!amities and -a+es from the 7ight *isastersG@ the monster as#ed. @Who e!se "ou!d 3 meanG@ retorted Bo#sa. The monster thre' do'n his ra#e4 (o'ed to him4 and as#ed4 @Where is the odhisatt+a4 e!der (rotherG Ba6 3 trou(!e 6ou to introdu"e meG@ Bo#sa !oo#ed up and pointed. @There she is4@ he said. The monster #o'to'ed to her and shouted in a shri!! +oi"e4 @.orgi+e me4 odhisatt+a4 forgi+e me.@ 5uan6in (rought her "!oud do'n to earth4 'ent o+er to him and as#ed4 @/re 6ou a 'i!d (oar (e"ome a de+i! or a pig turned monsterG 0o' dare 6ou (!o"# m6 'a6G@ @31m neither a 'i!d (oar nor a pig4@ the monster rep!ied. @3 used to (e Barsha! Tian 9eng in the Bi!#6 Wa6. e"ause 3 too# some 'ine to sedu"e the moon maiden4 the <ade 7mperor senten"ed me to t'o thousand hammer (!o's and eDi!e in the morta! 'or!d. B6 spirit had to find a 'om( to o""up64 (ut 3 !ost m6 'a6 and entered the 'om( of a so'. That1s 'h6 3 !oo# !i#e this. 3 ate up m6 so' mother4 dro+e a!! the other pigs a'a64 and seiFed this mountain4 'here 3 #eep m6se!f (6 eating peop!e. 3 ne+er meant to offend 6ou4 odhisatt+a. -a+e me4 sa+e me4 3 (eg 6ou.@ @What is this mountain "a!!edG@ the odhisatt+a as#ed. @3t1s "a!!ed the Bount of !essing4 and the "a+e in it is "a!!ed the C!oud 9ath'a6 Ca+e. -e"ond -ister ;uan4 'ho used to !i+e there4 sa' that 3 #ne' ho' to fight and as#ed me to (e the head of her househo!d as her hus(and4 (ut she died 'ithin a 6ear and a!! her propert6 (e"ame mine. /s the da6s !engthened into 6ears 3 found that 3 had no 'a6 of supporting m6se!f4 so 3 had to eat peop!e to #eep m6se!f going as 3 had done (efore. .orgi+e me m6 sins4 3 (eg of 6ou4 odhisatt+a.@ @There is an o!d sa6ing4@ the odhisatt+a rep!ied4 @that goes4 13f 6ou 'ant to ha+e a future4 don1t do an6thing 'ith no future in itG1 ?ou (ro#e the !a' in the upper 'or!d4 and sin"e then 6our +i"ious nature has not (een reformed. ?ou ha+e further sinned (6 ta#ing !ife4 so this sure!6 means that 6ou 'i!! (e dou(!6 punished.@ @.utureA@ said the monster angri!6. @/""ording to 6ou 3 shou!d ha+e !i+ed on airA /s the sa6ing goes4 1 6 the go+ernment1s !a' 6ou1re (eaten to death4 and (6 the uddha1s !a' 6ou star+e to death.1 C!ear offA C!ear offA 3f 6ou don1t 31!! "apture this pi!grim and eat this p!ump and tender o!d 'oman. 3 don1t gi+e a hoot if it1s dou(!e sinning4 trip!e sinning4 or sinning a thousand or ten thousand times o+er.@ @13f a man 'ishes to (e good4 0ea+en 'i!! "ertain!6 a!!o' him to (e41@ said the odhisatt+a. @3f 6ou are prepared to su(mit to the truth4 there are of "ourse4 'a6s to feed 6ourse!f. There are the fi+e #inds of food−grains4 and the6 are suffi"ient to assuage hunger4 so 'h6 eat peop!e to #eep a!i+eG@ When the monster heard these 'ords it 'as as if he a'o#e from a dream4 and he said to the odhisatt+a4 @3 'ou!d !o+e to reform4 (ut isn1t it true that 1a sinner against 0ea+en has no'here to pra6 toG1@ @31m going to the 7ast on the orders of the uddha to find the man 'ho 'i!! fet"h the s"riptures4@ she rep!ied. @?ou "an (e a dis"ip!e of his and ma#e this Eourne6 to the Western 0ea+en8 thus 6ou 'i!! gain merit and atone for 6our "rimes4 and 3 'i!! see to it that 6ou are freed from disaster.@

@31!! go 'ith him4 31!! go 'ith him4@ the monster said o+er and o+er again. The odhisatt+a then !aid her hands on his head and he a""epted the monasti" ru!es. -he ga+e him the surname Lhu I@9ig@J (e"ause of his appearan"e4 and ga+e him the uddhist name Lhu Wuneng I@9ig /'a#ened to 9o'er@J. -he ordered him to adhere to the truth and eat on!6 +egetarian food4 "utting out the fi+e pungent +egeta(!es as 'e!! as the three for(idden things8 'i!d goose4 dog and fish. 0e 'as no' to 'ait sing!e−minded!6 for the pi!grim 'ho 'ou!d "ome to fet"h the s"riptures. The odhisatt+a and Bo#sa then too# their !ea+e of the 9ig /'a#ened to 9o'er and "ontinued on their 'a6 (6 !o'−a!titude "!oud. /s the6 'ere tra+e!!ing a!ong the6 heard a Eade dragon "a!! to them in mid−air. @Whi"h dragon are 6ouG@ the hereG@ odhisatt+a as#ed as she 'ent up to him. @/nd 'h6 are 6ou undergoing punishment

@3 am the son of /o ,un4 the *ragon Cing of the Western -ea. e"ause 3 (urnt up the (right pear!s in the pa!a"e4 m6 father reported me to the "ourt of 0ea+en as a re(e!. The <ade 7mperor had me hung up in mid−air and gi+en three hundred stro#es4 and 3 am to (e eDe"uted an6 da6 no'. 3 (eg 6ou to sa+e me4 odhisatt+a.@ When she heard his p!ea the odhisatt+a 'ent in through the -outhern 5ates of 0ea+en 'ith Bo#sa. 0ere the6 'ere met (6 the 0ea+en!6 Tea"hers Kiu and Lhang4 'ho as#ed them4 @Where are 6ou goingG@ @3 'ou!d !i#e an audien"e 'ith the <ade 7mperor.@ The t'o 0ea+en!6 Tea"hers hurried in to announ"e her4 and the <ade 7mperor "ame out of his pa!a"e to re"ei+e her. The odhisatt+a 'ent for'ard to greet him and said4 @$n m6 'a6 to the 7ast on the orders of the uddha to find the man to fet"h the s"riptures4 3 met a 'i"#ed dragon suspended in mid−air.. 3 ha+e "ome here espe"ia!!6 to as# 6ou to spare his !ife and gi+e him to me so that 3 "an tea"h him to ser+e the pi!grim 'ith his !egs.@ $n hearing this the <ade 7mperor issued a de"ree pardoning him4 and he sent a hea+en!6 genera! to re!ease him and gi+e him to the odhisatt+a. The odhisatt+a than#ed him for his generosit6 and !eft. The 6oung dragon #o'to'ed to sho' ho' gratefu! he 'as for ha+ing his !ife spared4 and he o(edient!6 did 'hat the odhisatt+a to!d him to. -he too# him to a deep ra+ine4 'here he 'as to 'ait unti! the pi!grim "ame. When that happened he 'as to turn into a 'hite horse and a"hie+e merit (6 going to the Western 0ea+en. $n re"ei+ing his orders the 6oung dragon hid himse!f. The odhisatt+a !ed Bo#sa the 2o+i"e a"ross this mountain4 and the6 hurried on to'ards the 7ast. efore the6 had gone mu"h further the6 sudden!6 sa' ten thousand (eams of go!den !ight and a thousand 'isps of propitious +apour. @Tea"her4@ said Bo#sa4 @the p!a"e 'here a!! the !ight is "oming from is the .i+e 7!ements Bountain4 'here the Tathagata1s restri"tion order is posted.@ @This must (e "ause that 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en 'ho 're"#ed the 9ea"h an>uet and thre' the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e into "haos is imprisoned there.@ @That1s right4@ Bo#sa rep!ied4 and tea"her and pupi! "!im(ed the mountain together to !oo# at the paper. $n it 'ere 'ritten the true 'ords ! !ani "ad!e %u!, and 'hen the odhisatt+a sa' them she sighed deep!6 and "omposed a poem that 'ent%

@9it6 the e+i! mon#e6 'ho did not o(e6 the !ord 3n his arrogan"e he sho'ed off his +a!our in the o!d da6s4

3n his fo!!6 he 're"#ed the 9ea"h an>uet4 /nd he had the effronter6 to sin in the Tushita 9a!a"e.

3n the arm6 of a hundred thousand there 'as none to mat"h him8 0is might 'as fe!t a(o+e the ninefo!d hea+ens. ut no' he has (een "aught (6 our Tathagata4 the uddha% Wi!! he e+er (e a(!e to un!eash his ta!ents and 'in more g!or6G@

The "on+ersation (et'een tea"her and dis"ip!e had distur(ed the 5reat -age4 'ho shouted from under the roots of the mountain4 @Who1s that up thereG@ When she heard this the odhisatt+a hurried do'n the mountain to +isit him. /t the foot of the mountainside the !o"a! gods4 the mountain gods and the hea+en!6 genera!s 'ho 'ere guarding the 5reat -age a!! (o'ed to the odhisatt+a in greeting and too# her to the 5reat -age. -he sa' that he 'as pressed do'n inside a stone (oD4 so that he "ou!d spea# (ut "ou!d not mo+e his (od6. @Bon#e64@ the odhisatt+a said4 @do 6ou #no' 'ho 3 amG@ The 5reat -age opened 'ide his fier6 e6es 'ith their go!den pupi!s4 nodded his head and shouted at the top of his +oi"e4 @$f "ourse 3 re"ogniFe 6ou. ?ou4 than# goodness4 are the /!!−Compassionate. /!!−Ber"ifu! *e!i+erer from -uffering4 the odhisatt+a 5uan6in from 9otara#a 3s!and in the -outhern -ea. ?ou1re a +er6 'e!"ome +isitor. 7+er6 da6 here seems !i#e a 6ear4 and no(od6 3 #no' has e+er "ome to see me. Where ha+e 6ou "ome fromG@ @3 ha+e re"ei+ed a mandate from the uddha to go to the 7ast and find the man 'ho 'i!! fet"h the s"riptures4@ she rep!ied4 @and as 3 'as passing this 'a6 3 de"ided to "ome o+er and see 6ou.@ @The uddha foo!ed me and "rushed me under this mountain−−3 ha+en1t (een a(!e to stret"h m6se!f for fi+e hundred 6ears. 3 desperate!6 hope that 6ou 'i!! (e o(!iging enough to res"ue me4 odhisatt+a.@ @?ou 'ret"h4@ she rep!ied4 @6ou ha+e su"h an appa!!ing "rimina! re"ord that 31m afraid 6ou1d on!6 ma#e more trou(!e if 3 got 6ou out.@ @3 ha+e a!read6 repented4@ he said4 @and hope that 6ou 'i!! sho' me the road 3 shou!d fo!!o'. 3 'ant to "u!ti+ate m6 "ondu"t.@ 3ndeed%

When an idea is (orn in a man1s mind 3t is #no'n throughout 0ea+en and 7arth. 3f good and e+i! are not re'arded and punished The 'or!d is (ound to go to the (ad.

The odhisatt+a 'as de!ighted to hear 'hat he had to sa6. @The sa"red s"riptures sa64@ she rep!ied4 1@3f one1s 'ords are good4 the6 'i!! meet 'ith a response from e+en a thousand mi!es a'a68 if the6 are (ad4 the6 'i!! (e opposed from the same distan"e.1 3f this is 6our state of mind4 then 'ait 'hi!e 3 go to the 7ast to find the man 'ho 'i!! fet"h the s"riptures8 31!! te!! him to res"ue 6ou. ?ou "an (e his dis"ip!e4 o(ser+e and upho!d the faith4 enter our uddha1s re!igion4 and "u!ti+ate good retri(ution for 6ourse!f in the future. What do 6ou sa6 to thatG@ @31!! go4 31!! go4@ the 5reat -age repeated o+er and o+er again. @/s 6ou ha+e reformed4@ she said4 @31!! gi+e 6ou a uddhist name.@ @31+e a!read6 got a name. 3t1s -un Wu#ong.@ The odhisatt+a4 +er6 p!eased4 said4 @3 made t'o "on+erts ear!ier4 and their names (oth "ontained Wu I1/'a#ened1J. There1s no need to gi+e 6ou an6 further instru"tions4 so 31!! (e off.@ The 5reat -age4 no' a'are of his o'n uddha−nature4 'as "on+erted to the uddha1s re!igion8 and the odhisatt+a de+oted!6 "ontinued her sear"h for a saint!6 mon#. /fter !ea+ing that p!a"e she and 0uian "arried straight on to the 7ast4 and (efore !ong the6 rea"hed Chang1an4 the "apita! of the 5reat Tang. 9utting a'a6 their mists and "!ouds4 tea"her and pupi! turned themse!+es into a pair of s"a((6 itinerant mon#s and 'ent inside the "it6 of Chang1an. 3t 'as a!read6 dar#4 and (eside the great mar#et street the6 sa' a shrine to a !o"a! tute!ar6 god and 'ent in. The !o"a! god 'as thro'n into "onfusion at the sight of them4 and the de+i! so!diers >ua#ed 'ith terror8 the6 #ne' that she 'as a odhisatt+a4 and #o'to'ed to her in greeting. The !o"a! god then s"urried off to te!! the Cit6 5od4 the ;ord of the /!ter4 and the gods of a!! the other shrines in Chang1an. When the6 #ne' that the odhisatt+a had "ome the6 a!! 'ent to report to her and said4 @ odhisatt+a4 p!ease forgi+e us for our "rime in (eing !ate to 'e!"ome 6ou.@ @?ou mustn1t !et a 'hisper of this get out4@ she said. @3 ha+e "ome here on a de"ree from the uddha to find someone to fet"h the s"riptures. 3 sha!! (e (orro'ing 6our temp!e for a fe' da6s 'hi!e 3 find this true mon#4 and then 3 sha!! go (a"#.@ /!! the gods returned to their o'n shrines4 and the6 too# the !o"a! god to sta6 in the temp!e of the Cit6 5od. Tea"her and dis"ip!e disguised their true appearan"es. 3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hom the6 found to fet"h the s"riptures4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment.

Chapter 9
Chen 5uangrui Comes to 5rief on 0is Wa6 to 0is 9ost The Bon# of the ,i+er Current /+enges 0is 9arents The stor6 goes on to te!! that Chang1an "it6 in the great !and of -haanDi had (een a p!a"e 'here emperors and #ings had made their "apita!s for generation after generation. 7+er sin"e the Lhou4 Kin and 0an d6nasties4 the Three 9refe"tures had (een as ri"h as (ro"ade4 and the eight ri+ers had f!o'ed round its 'a!!s. 3t 'as indeed a famous "ountr6. /t that time 7mperor TaiFong of the 5reat Tang 'as on the throne. 0e had "hanged the name of the reign−period to Zhenguan, and had (een reigning for thirteen 6ears. The 6ear 'as &i si and the 'or!d 'as at pea"e8 tri(ute 'as (eing sent in from the eight dire"tions4 and a!! 'ithin the four seas a"#no'!edged themse!+es as su(Ee"ts. $ne da6 TaiFong too# his seat on the throne and assem(!ed a!! his mi!itar6 and "i+i!ian offi"ia!s. When the6 had finished ma#ing their greetings4 the minister Wei Lheng "ame for'ard from the ran#s of offi"ia!s and memoria!iFed4 @/s the 'or!d is no' at pea"e and the eight dire"tions are "a!m4 an eDamination shou!d (e he!d in a""ordan"e 'ith the pra"ti"e of the an"ients. Thus 'e "ou!d re"ruit 'ise s"ho!ars and se!e"t men of ta!ent to he!p 'ith our "i+i!iFing mission.@

@The suggestion of our 'ise minister is right4@ said the 7mperor4 and noti"es in+iting 'orth6 men to "ompete in the eDaminations 'ere posted throughout the empire. /!! the Confu"ian s"ho!ars on the "i+i! or mi!itar6 ro!!s in e+er6 prefe"ture4 distri"t and "ount6 'ho had distinguished themse!+es in the three−stage eDaminations for their understanding of !iterature 'ere to go to Chang1an for a fina! test. When this noti"e rea"hed the distri"t of 0aiFhou it 'as seen (6 a man "a!!ed Chen 74 'hose "ourtes6 name 'as 5uangrui. 0e returned home and said to Badame Lhang4 his mother4 @The "ourt has issued a 6e!!o' noti"e sa6ing that the Chan"e!!er6 'i!! (e opened for an eDamination to se!e"t men of 'isdom and ta!ent. ?our "hi!d 'ants to go and ta#e part. 3f 3 am gi+en an offi"ia! post it 'i!! (ring me fame and ma#e our fami!6 i!!ustrious8 m6 'ife 'i!! (e gi+en a tit!e4 m6 sons 'i!! (e gi+en preferentia! treatment8 and it 'i!! (ring g!or6 to our house. -u"h is m6 am(ition8 and 3 ha+e "ome to te!! 6ou4 mother4 that 3 am going.@ @?ou are a s"ho!ar4 m6 son4@ his mother rep!ied4 @and it is right that 1one 'ho studies 'hen 6oung shou!d tra+e! 'hen gro'n up1. ut do ta#e "are on the Eourne6 to the eDaminations4 and if 6ou are gi+en offi"e4 "ome (a"# home as soon as 6ou "an.@ Chen 5uangrui then ordered his ser+ants to get his !uggage together4 too# his !ea+e of his mother4 and started off on his Eourne6. When he rea"hed Chang1an the eDamination grounds 'ere open and he 'ent in. 0a+ing (een su""essfu! in this eDamination4 he 'ent to the pa!a"e for the three >uestions test. The Tang 7mperor persona!!6 a'arded him the first p!a"e4 and he 'as paraded round the streets on horse(a"# for three da6s. 3t happened that Eust 'hen the pro"ession 'as passing the gate'a6 of the minister ?in Caishan4 the minister1s unmarried daughter Wen>iao4 'hose other name 'as Ban−tang−>iao I eaut6 Throughout the 0a!!J4 'as ma#ing de"orations for the house and thro'ing an em(roidered (a!! to see 'ho her future hus(and 'ou!d (e. When Chen 5uangrui passed (e!o' she sa' at on"e that he 'as eD"eptiona!!6 handsome4 and she #ne' that he had "ome first in the re"ent eDaminations. -he 'as thorough!6 ta#en 'ith him4 and 'hen she dropped her em(roidered (a!! it !anded s>uare!6 on his (!a"# hat. To the sound of pipes and f!utes a doFen or so maidser+ants and ser+ing 'omen hurried do'nstairs to ta#e ho!d of the head of Chen 5uangrui1s horse and in+ite him into the minister1s mansion to marr6 his daughter. The minister and his 'ife "ame into the main ha!!4 and 'hen the6 had "a!!ed for a master of "eremonies the6 married their daughter to 5uangrui. When (ride and groom had (o'ed to 0ea+en4 7arth and ea"h other the6 (oth (o'ed to the (ride1s father and mother. The minister ordered a (an>uet4 and there 'as a night of drin#ing and "e!e(ration. The (ride and groom 'ent hand in hand into the (rida! "ham(er. /t the third >uarter of the fifth 'at"h the neDt morning 7mperor TaiFong too# his throne in the 5o!den Chariot 0a!!4 and the "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s "ame to "ourt. @What offi"e shou!d Chen 5uangrui 'ho "ame top in the eDaminations (e gi+enG@ the 7mperor as#ed4 and the minister Wei Lheng rep!ied4 @?our su(Ee"t has gone through the !ist of the prefe"tures and "ommanderies4 and found that the distri"t of <iangFhou needs a prefe"t. 3 (eg ?our BaEest6 to gi+e him this offi"e.@ The 7mperor therefore appointed him prefe"t of <iangFhou and ordered him to pa"# his (e!ongings and set off as he had to (e there (6 a set date. Chen 5uangrui than#ed the 7mperor for his gra"e and 'ithdre'. 0e 'ent (a"# to the minister1s mansion and "onsu!ted his 'ife4 then he too# his !ea+e of his parents−in−!a' and set off together 'ith her for his post in <iangFhou. 3t 'as !ate spring as the6 !eft Chang1an at the start of their Eourne6. Warm (reeFes 'ere "oaDing the 'i!!o's into green4 and !ight rain 'as tou"hing the (!ossoms 'ith red. Chen 5uangrui 'as a(!e to "a!! at his o'n home on the 'a64 so he and his (ride "ou!d pa6 their respe"ts to his mother4 Badame Lhang. @Congratu!ations4 m6 son4@ she said. @/nd 6ou ha+e (rought a (ride (a"# 'ith 6ou too.@

@Than#s to m6 mother1s (!essings4 6our son 'as p!a"ed first in the eDaminations4@ he rep!ied4 @and gi+en a parade through the streets on 0is BaEest61s orders. /s 3 'as passing the gate'a6 of minister ?in1s residen"e4 3 happened to (e hit (6 an em(roidered (a!!4 and the minister 'as #ind enough to gi+e me his daughter1s hand. The "ourt has appointed me prefe"t of <iangFhou4 so 3 ha+e "ome to fet"h 6ou4 mother4 and ta#e 6ou 'ith me to m6 post.@ Badame Lhang 'as o+erEo6ed4 and she pa"#ed her !uggage and tra+e!ed 'ith them. $ne night4 after the6 had (een on the road for se+era! da6s4 the6 put up at the ;iu the -e"ond1s Ten Thousand .!o'ers 3nn4 'here Badame Lhang 'as sudden!6 ta#en i!!. @/s 31m not fee!ing 'e!!4@ she said to her son4 @31d (etter sta6 in this inn for a "oup!e of da6s to get o+er it (efore going on.@ Chen 5uangrui a""epted her suggestion. The neDt morning he sa' a man se!!ing a go!den−"o!oured "arp in front of the inn and (rought it from him for a string of "opper "oins4 intending to ha+e it !ight!6 fried for his mother. Then he noti"ed it (!in#ing. @3t1s said that if a fish or a sna#e (!in#s it is no ordinar6 "reature4@ he thought. 0e as#ed the fisherman 'here he had "aught it. @3n the 0ongEiang ,i+er4 fi+e mi!es from the prefe"tura! "apita!4@ the fisherman rep!ied. Chen 5uangrui had the fish ta#en (a"# to the 0ongEiang ,i+er to (e re!eased there4 then 'ent (a"# to the inn to te!! his mother a(out 'hat had happened. @3t is good to re!ease !i+ing things4@ his mother said4 @and 3 am +er6 p!eased.@ Then Chen 5uangrui said4 @We ha+e (een at this inn for three da6s4 and the time !imit set for me is a tight one4 so 3 must (e on m6 'a6 tomorro' morning. /re 6ou 'e!! enough 6et4 motherG@ @31m sti!! poor!64@ his mother rep!ied4 @and it1s so hot to tra+e! no' that 31m afraid it might ma#e me serious!6 i!!. ?ou had (etter ta#e a "oup!e of rooms for me and !ea+e me some mone68 31!! sta6 here for the time (eing. ?ou t'o "an go on ahead to 6our post. Come (a"# to fet"h me in the autumn 'hen it1s "oo!er.@ 0a+ing dis"ussed it 'ith his 'ife he rented a 'ing for her and ga+e her some mone64 then the6 too# their !ea+e of her and set off. 3t 'as a hard Eourne64 setting off e+er6 da6 at da'n and not stopping ti!! nightfa!!4 and (efore the6 rea!iFed it the6 rea"hed the ford o+er the 0ongEiang 7stuar6. The6 sa' t'o (oatmen4 ;iu 0ong and ;i iao4 punt their ferr6 to the (an# for them. This 'as the disaster4 these 'ere the enemies4 that Chen 5uangrui had (een fated to meet e+er sin"e (efore he 'as (orn. 0e to!d his ser+ant to put the !uggage on (oard4 'hi!e he and his 'ife "!im(ed sedate!6 into the (oat. ;iu 0ong stared at Biss ?in4 and sa' that her fa"e 'as !i#e a fu!! moon4 her e6es !i#e autumn 'a+es4 her tin6 mouth !i#e a "herr64 and her 'aist as supp!e as a 'i!!o'8 her "harms 'ou!d ha+e made fishes sin# and 'i!d geese fa!! from the s#64 and her (eaut6 put moon and f!o'ers to shame. 7+i! thoughts surged up in him4 and he "onspired 'ith ;i iao to punt the (oat to a mist6 and deserted p!a"e and 'ait ti!! the midd!e of the night4 'hen the6 #i!!ed first the ser+ant and then Chen 5uangrui. The6 pushed (oth the "orpses into the ri+er and 'ent a'a6. When the 6oung !ad6 sa' her hus(and #i!!ed she tried to f!ing herse!f into the 'ater4 (ut ;iu 0ong put his arms round her and said4 @3f 6ou "ome 'ith me4 6ou1!! (e a!! right8 (ut if 6ou don1t4 31!! "ut 6ou in ha!f.@ Hna(!e to thin# of an6 other 'a6 out4 the 6oung !ad6 had to agree to sta6 'ith ;iu 0ong for the time (eing at !east. The murderer too# the (oat a"ross to the -outhern (an# and ga+e it to ;i iao. Then he dressed up in Chen 5uangrui1s "!othes and4 armed 'ith the dead man1s "redentia!s4 'ent 'ith the 6oung !ad6 to ta#e up his post in <iangFhou. The "orpse of the murdered ser+ant f!oated 'ith the "urrent4 (ut Chen 5uangrui1s (od6 san# straight to the (ottom and did not mo+e. / patro!!ing 6a#sha demon stationed at the 0ongEiang 7stuar6 sa' him and rushed straight (a"# to the dragon pa!a"e to report. 0e arri+ed Eust as the dragon #ing 'as entering the throne−ha!!.

@-omeone has murdered a !earned gent!eman at the 0ongEiang 7stuar64 and thro'n the (od6 into the (ed of the ri+er4@ he reported. The dragon #ing had the (od6 (rought in and !aid in front of him. /fter eDamining it "arefu!!6 he said4 @This is the (enefa"tor 'ho sa+ed m6 !ife% 'h6 has he (een murderedG /s the sa6ing goes4 1/!'a6s repa6 a #indness1. 3 must sa+e his !ife toda6 to repa6 him for the fa+our he did me in the past.@ 0e 'rote a memorandum and sent a 6a#sha 'ith it to the "it6 god and !o"a! god of 0ongFhou as#ing for the s"ho!ar1s sou! so that he "ou!d sa+e his !ife. The "it6 god and the !o"a! god to!d a Eunior de+i! to gi+e Chen 5uangrui1s sou! to the 6a#sha4 'ho too# it (a"# to the pa!a"e of "r6sta! and reported to the dragon #ing. @What is 6our name4 s"ho!arG@ as#ed the dragon #ing. @Where are 6ou fromG What (rought 6ou here4 and 'h6 'ere 6ou #i!!edG@ Chen 5uangrui (o'ed to him and rep!ied4 @B6 name is Chen 7 and m6 "ourtes6 name is 5uangrui. 3 "ome from 0ongnong Count6 in 0aiFhou 9refe"ture. 3 'as gi+en first p!a"e in the re"ent eDaminations4 and 'as on m6 'a6 'ith m6 'ife to ta#e up m6 post as prefe"t of <iangFhou 'hen 'e (oarded a ferr6 at the (an# of this ri+er. The (oatman ;iu 0ong !usted after m6 'ife4 so he #i!!ed me and thre' me o+er(oard. 3 (eg 6ou to sa+e me4 ?our BaEest6.@ @-o that1s ho' things stand4@ said the dragon #ing. @3 am the go!den "arp 6ou re!eased. ?ou sa+ed me then4 so 3 must he!p 6ou no' that 6ou are in trou(!e.@ 0e had 5uangrui1s (od6 p!a"ed (eside a 'a!! and put a @.a"e 9reser+ing 9ear!@ in its mouth to stop it from de"omposing so that the sou! "ou!d (e returned to it in future for him to o(tain his re+enge. @/s 6ou are no' a true sou!4 6ou sha!! sta6 in m6 pa!a"e for the time (eing as a "ommander4@ the dragon #ing added. Chen 5uangrui #o'to'ed in than#s4 and the dragon #ing ga+e a (an>uet to 'e!"ome him. Biss ?in1s hatred for the +i!!ainous ;iu 0ong 'as su"h that she 'ished she "ou!d eat his f!esh and spread his f!a6ed hide on her (ed4 (ut as she 'as pregnant and the "hi!d had not 6et (een (orn she had to for"e herse!f to go 'ith him. 3n the t'in#!ing of an e6e the6 rea"hed <iangFhou. The "!er#s and "onsta(!es a!! turned out to 'e!"ome him4 and the su(ordinate offi"ia!s in the prefe"ture ga+e a (an>uet for him in the main ha!! of his offi"e. @2o' that 34 6our student4 ha+e "ome here4 3 sha!! (e entire!6 dependent on the support of a!! 6ou gent!emen4@ said ;iu 0ong. @?our honour is a great genius4@ the offi"ia!s rep!ied4 @and 6ou 'i!! natura!!6 treat the peop!e as 6our o'n "hi!dren4 thus "utting do'n !itigation and ma#ing punishment unne"essar6. We 'i!! a!! (e a(!e to re!6 on 6ou−−6our eD"essi+e modest6 is un"a!!ed for.@ When the (an>uet 'as o+er the6 a!! 'ent a'a6. Time f!e' (6. $ne da64 'hen ;iu 0ong 'as far a'a6 on offi"ia! (usiness4 the 6oung !ad6 'as in a summerhouse in the offi"ia! residen"e sighing sad!6 as she thought of her mother−in−!a' and her hus(and. -udden!6 she fe!t 'ea# and her (e!!6 started to a"he. -he fe!! to the ground un"ons"ious4 and (efore she #ne' it she ga+e (irth to a son. -he heard a +oi"e in her ear sa6ing4 @Ban−tang−>iao4 6ou must do as 3 te!! 6ou. 3 am the ;ord of the -outhern 9o!e -tar4 and 3 ha+e "ome to gi+e 6ou this son on the orders of the odhisatt+a 5uan6in. $ne da6 he 'i!! (e eDtraordinari!6 famous. When the +i!!ainous ;iu "omes (a"# he 'i!! "ertain!6 'ant to #i!! this (o64 so 6ou must !oo# after him 'ith great "are. ?our hus(and has (een res"ued (6 the dragon #ing8 one da6 6ou 'i!! (e reunited 'ith him and 6our son4 and 6our sufferings 'i!! (e at an end. ,emem(er m6 'ords. Wa#e up4 'a#e upA@ When the 6oung !ad6 "ame to she remem(ered e+er6 'ord he had spo#en4 (ut as she 'rapped the (a(6 tight in s'add!ing "!othes4 she "ou!d not thin# 'hat to do. When ;iu 0ong "ame (a"# he 'anted to dro'n the "hi!d the moment he sa' him4 (ut the 6oung !ad6 said4 @3t1s a!read6 dar#% 'e "an thro' him in the ri+er tomorro'.@

.ortunate!6 ;iu 0ong had to go a !ong 'a6 a'a6 on urgent (usiness the neDt da6. @3f 3 'ait ti!! that +i!!ain returns m6 son 'i!! (e #i!!ed4@ thought the 6oung !ad64 @so the (est thing 'ou!d (e to a(andon him in the ri+er as soon as possi(!e and !et fate determine 'hether he is to !i+e or do die. 3f 0ea+en is mer"ifu! someone 'i!! res"ue the (o6 and (ring him up4 and 'e sha!! (e reunited one da6.@ Then4 'orr6ing that she might not (e a(!e to re"ogniFe him4 she (it open her finger and 'rote a !etter in (!ood gi+ing a fu!! a""ount of his parentage and (a"#ground. Then she (it off the !itt!e toe of the "hi!d1s !eft foot to (e an identif6ing mar#4 'rapped him up in one of her o'n shifts4 and "arried him out of the offi"ia! residen"e 'hen no(od6 'as !oo#ing. ;u"#i!6 the residen"e 'as not far from the ri+er (an#. When she rea"hed it she 'ept for a 'hi!e and 'as Eust going to thro' him in 'hen she noti"ed a (oard f!oating (eside the (an#. The 6oung !ad6 (o'ed to 0ea+en in her gratitude and tied the "hi!d to the (oard 'ith her sash4 p!a"ing the (!ood !etter neDt to his "hest. Then she pushed him out into the stream to go 'here he 'ou!d and returned to the 6amen in tears. The (o6 f!oated do'nstream on the p!an# unti! he "ame to a stop under the <inshan Temp!e. The a((ot of this temp!e 'as a mon# "a!!ed .aming 'ho (6 "u!ti+ating the Truth and (eing a'a#ened to the Wa6 had found the se"ret of a+oiding re(irth. /s he 'as sitting at his meditation he heard a (a(6 "r6ing4 and he hurried anDious!6 do'n to the ri+erside to !oo#. 0e sa' a (a(6 !6ing on a (oard (eside the (an#4 and got him out of the 'ater as >ui"#!6 as he "ou!d. When he read the !etter 'ritten in (!ood that 'as on the (a(61s "hest he #ne' 'h6 he 'as there. 0e ga+e the "hi!d the mi!#−name <iang!iu4 @,i+er Current4@ and arranged for him to (e fostered. The !etter in (!ood he put a'a6 in a +er6 safe p!a"e. Time passed !i#e an arro'4 and the da6s and months mo+ed as fast as a shutt!e. When <iang!iu rea"hed the age of se+enteen the a((ot to!d him to ha+e his head tonsured and enter the re!igious !ife. 5i+ing him the uddhist name =uanFang he !aid his hands upon his head and instru"ted him to o(ser+e the monasti" dis"ip!ine. =uanFang 'as determined to "u!ti+ate the Wa6. $ne da6 in !ate spring the 'ho!e "ommunit6 gathered under the shade of some pine trees to eDpound the s"riptures4 meditate and dis"uss the inner m6steries. / (i(u!ous4 meat−eating mon# 'ho had (een "onfounded in a disputation (6 =uanFang !ost his temper and started to a(use him% @?ou anima!4 6ou don1t #no' 6our o'n surname or 'ho 6our parents 'ere. *on1t tr6 an6 of 6our "!e+er tri"#s here.@ -tung (6 this a(use4 =uanFang 'ent into the temp!e and #ne!t (efore his tea"her 'ith tears streaming from his e6es. @/!! men 'ho are (orn (et'een 0ea+en and 7arth4 and 'ho are endo'ed 'ith the 9ositi+e4 the 2egati+e4 and the .i+e 7!ements−−a!! are (egotten (6 a father and reared (6 a mother4@ he said. @0o' "an there (e an6 man a!i+e 'ho ne+er had father and motherG@ 0e (egged o+er and o+er again to #no' his parents1 names. @3f 6ou rea!!6 'ish to find out a(out 6our father and mother4 "ome 'ith me into m6 "e!!4@ said the a((ot4 and the6 'ent there together. The a((ot !ifted do'n a !itt!e (oD from on top of a massi+e (eam4 opened it4 too# out a !etter 'ritten in (!ood and a shift4 and ga+e them to =uanFang4 'ho unfo!ded the !etter and read it. /t !ast he !earned a(out his parents and the 'rongs the6 had suffered. When he had read it he "o!!apsed4 'eeping and "r6ing out4 @0o' "an 3 (e a man if 3 don1t a+enge m6 father and motherG .or se+enteen 6ears 3 ha+en1t #no'n m6 o'n parents4 (ut no' 3 #no' that 3 ha+e a mother. 3 'ou!d not (e a!i+e toda64 tea"her4 had 6ou not res"ued me and (rought me up. 9!ease a!!o' me to go and see m6 mother4 then 3 'i!! put an in"ense−(urner on m6 head and re(ui!d the temp!e to repa6 the great #indness 6ou ha+e sho'n me.@ @3f 6ou 'ant to go and !oo# for 6our mother 6ou had (etter ta#e the !etter 'ritten in (!ood and the shift 'ith 6ou. 3f 6ou go to the pri+ate residen"e of the prefe"t of <iangFhou 6ou 'i!! (e a(!e to see 6our mother.@

=uanFang did as his tea"her had said and 'ent to <iangFhou as a mendi"ant mon#. 3t happened that ;iu 0ong 'as a'a6 on (usiness4 and as 0ea+en had arranged for mother and son to meet4 =uanFang 'ent straight to the gate'a6 of the residen"e to (eg for a!ms. Biss ?in had dreamt the pre+ious night of the moon (eing e"!ipsed and then "oming (a"# to its fu!! roundness. @3 ha+e ne+er heard from m6 mother−in−!a'4@ she thought4 @and m6 hus(and 'as murdered (6 that e+i! man. B6 son 'as a(andoned on the ri+er4 and if he 'as res"ued and (rought up4 he 'ou!d (e se+enteen no'. Who #no's4 perhaps 0ea+en is going to ma#e us meet toda6.@ /s she 'as deep in her ref!e"tions she heard someone "hanting s"riptures and "a!!ing for a!ms in front of her home4 so she thought she 'ou!d go out and as# him 'here he had "ome from4 and he rep!ied4 @3 am a dis"ip!e of /((ot .aming of the <inshan Temp!e.@ @/ dis"ip!e of /((ot .aming of the <inshan Temp!e4 are 6ouG@ she said. -he as#ed him in and ga+e him a +egetarian mea! 'hi!e o(ser+ing "!ose!6 the 'a6 he mo+ed and ta!#ed. 0e seemed +er6 mu"h !i#e her hus(and4 so she sent the ser+ants a'a6 and as#ed4 @Te!! me4 6oung tea"her4 ha+e 6ou (een a mon# sin"e "hi!dhood or did 6ou (e"ome one !ater in !ifeG What is 6our nameG *o 6ou ha+e a mother and fatherG@ @3 did not (e"ome a mon# 'hen 3 'as a "hi!d nor 'hen 3 'as o!der4@ he rep!ied. @3 must te!! 6ou that 3 (ear a hatred as deep as the sea (e"ause of a terri(!e 'rong. B6 father 'as murdered and m6 mother "arried off (6 an e+i! man. The /((ot .aming4 m6 tea"her4 to!d me to "ome and find m6 mother in the residen"e of the prefe"t of <iangFhou.@ @What is 6our mother1s nameG@ she as#ed. @B6 mother1s name is ?in Wen>iao4@ he rep!ied. @B6 father 'as "a!!ed Chen 5uangrui. B6 mi!#−name 'as <iang!iu4 and m6 uddhist name is =uanFang.@ @3 am ?in Wen>iao4@ she said4 then added4 @0a+e 6ou an6 proofG@ When he !earned that she 'as his mother4 =uanFang fe!! to his #nees and 'ept a!oud. @Bother4@ he said4 @if 6ou don1t (e!ie+e me4 then !oo# at this e+iden"e−−the (!ood !etter and the shift.@ /s soon as she sa' that the6 'ere the rea! ones4 she and her son em(ra"ed ea"h other and 'ept. Then she said4 @5o a'a6 at on"e.@ @3 "an1t possi(!6 !ea+e 6ou4 mother4 on the +er6 da6 31+e seen 6ou after se+enteen 6ears of not e+en #no'ing 'ho m6 parents 'ere4@ he said. @B6 "hi!d4 6ou must go a'a6 as fast as 6ou "an4@ she rep!ied. @The e+i! ;iu 'i!! "ertain!6 #i!! 6ou if he "omes (a"#. Tomorro' 31!! pretend to (e i!! and sa6 that 3 on"e made a +o' to donate a hundred pairs of mon#s1 shoes. 31!! "ome to 6our temp!e to fu!fi! the +o'4 and 31!! ta!# to 6ou then.@ =uanFang o(edient!6 (o'ed to her and !eft. 2o' that she had seen her son Biss ?in 'as (oth anDious and happ6. $ne da6 she said that she 'as i!!4 and she !a6 in her (ed refusing food and tea. When ;iu 0ong "ame (a"# and as#ed 'hat 'as the matter she said4 @When 3 'as 6oung 3 on"e +o'ed that 3 'ou!d donate a hundred pairs of mon#s1 shoes. .i+e da6s ago 3 dreamt that a mon# "ame 'ith a sharp s'ord in his hand to demand the shoes4 and sin"e then 3 ha+en1t (een fee!ing 'e!!.@

@That1s easi!6 done4@ said ;iu 0ong. @Wh6 didn1t 6ou mention it (eforeG@ 0e too# his p!a"e in the offi"ia! ha!! and ga+e instru"tions to 6amen assistants Wang and ;i that e+er6 househo!d !i+ing in the "it6 of <iangFhou 'as to ma#e a pair

of mon#1s shoes and hand them in 'ithin fi+e da6s. When the "ommon peop!e had handed a!! the shoes in4 Biss ?in said to ;iu 0ong4 @2o' that the shoes ha+e (een made4 'hat temp!es are there here to 'hi"h 3 "an ta#e them to fu!fi! m6 +o'G@ @3n <iangFhou 'e ha+e the <inshan Temp!e and the <iaoshan Temp!e8 6ou "an go to 'hi"he+er of them 6ou prefer4@ rep!ied ;iu 0ong. @31+e !ong heard that the <inshan Temp!e is a good one4 so 31!! go there4@ she said. ;iu 0ong to!d the 6amen assistants Wang and ;i to arrange a (oat. Biss ?in 'ent a(oard 'ith a trusted ser+ant4 the (oatman pushed off4 and the6 headed for the <inshan Temp!e. $n his return to the temp!e =uanFang ga+e /((ot .aming a fu!! a""ount of 'hat had happened. The a((ot 'as de!ighted. The neDt da6 a maid arri+ed at the temp!e to sa6 that her mistress 'as "oining to repa6 a +o'4 and a!! the mon#s "ame out to 'e!"ome her. When Biss ?in "ame into the temp!e she pra6ed to the odhisatt+a4 offered a ri"h mea! to the mon#s 'ith a donation of mone6 to ea"h of them4 and to!d her maid to put the shoes and the summer so"#s into the offertor6 tra6. -he then 'ent into the uddha−ha!! and 'orshipped 'ith great de+otion. When she to!d him to4 /((ot .aming 'ent a'a6 to distri(ute the gifts to the mon#s. =uanFang sa' that a!! the other mon#s had gone and that there 'as no(od6 e!se in the uddha−ha!!4 so he 'ent up to his mother and #ne!t do'n. -he to!d him to ta#e off his shoes and so"#s and sa' that one toe 'as indeed missing from his !eft foot. The pair of them hugged ea"h other and "ried again4 then the6 (o'ed to the a((ot to than# him for his #indness in (ringing the (o6 up. @31m 'orried that the +i!!ain ma6 get to #no' of 6our reunion4@ said the a((ot4 @so 6ou had (etter go (a"# as >ui"#!6 as 6ou "an to a+oid trou(!e.@ @B6 son4@ said Biss ?in4 @3 sha!! gi+e 6ou a sanda!'ood (ra"e!et. ?ou must go to a p!a"e "a!!ed the Ten Thousand .!o'ers 3nn to the 2orth'est of 0ongFhou4 'hi"h is a(out fi+e hundred mi!es from here4 'here 'e !eft Badame Lhang4 6our paterna! grandmother. 3 sha!! a!so 'rite 6ou a !etter that 6ou must ta#e to the house of the minister ?in Caishan 'hi"h !ies to the !eft of the pa!a"e inside the "apita! "it6 of the Tang 7mperor. 0e is m6 father. 5i+e him this !etter and as# him to su(mit a memoria! to the Tang 7mperor as#ing him to send horse and foot to "apture or #i!! that (andit. Then 6our father 'i!! (e a+enged and 6our mother 'i!! (e res"ued. 3 must sta6 no !onger as 3 am afraid that e+i! man ma6 (e suspi"ious if 3 am !ate (a"#.@ -he !eft the temp!e and 'ent (a"# in her (oat. =uanFang returned to the temp!e in tears and to!d the a((ot that he 'as !ea+ing at on"e for 0ongFhou. When he rea"hed the Ten Thousand .!o'ers 3nn he said to the inn#eeper ;iu the -e"ond4 @0o' is the mother of 9refe"t Chen of <iangFhou 'ho is sta6ing in 6our innG@ @-he used to sta6 here4@ rep!ied the inn#eeper. @-he 'ent (!ind4 and as she didn1t pa6 an6 rent for three or four 6ears4 she no' !i+es in a ruined ti!e−#i!n near the -outhern gate and (egs in the streets e+er6 da6 to #eep herse!f a!i+e. That offi"ia! 'ent a'a6 a +er6 !ong time ago and she hasn1t heard from him to this da64 though 3 don1t #no' 'h6.@ $n !earning this he as#ed the 'a6 to the ruined ti!e−#i!n at the -outhern gate and found his grandmother. @?ou sound !i#e m6 son Chen 5uangrui4@ said his grandmother. @31m not Chen 5uangrui4 31m his son. B6 mother is Biss ?in Wen>iao.@

@Wh6 ha+e 6our father and mother not "omeG@ she as#ed8 and he rep!ied4 @B6 father 'as murdered (6 a (rigand and m6 mother 'as for"ed to (e"ome his 'ife. 3 ha+e a !etter here and a sanda!'ood (ra"e!et from m6 mother.@ 0is grandmother too# the !etter and the (ra"e!et4 and so((ed a!oud. @B6 son "ame here for the sa#e of fame and g!or6. 3 thought that he had forgotten a!! fee!ings of de"en"6 and gratitude8 it ne+er o""urred to me that he might ha+e (een murdered. What a (!essing that 0ea+en in its mer"6 did not "ut short m6 son1s !ine4 so that 3 no' ha+e a grandson to "ome and find me.@ @0o' did 6ou go (!ind4 grann6G@ as#ed =uanFang. @3 'as a!'a6s thin#ing of 6our father and !onging for him to "ome (a"# e+er6 da64@ she said4 @(ut as he ne+er did 3 'ept so mu"h thatA !ost the sight of (oth m6 e6es.@ =uanFang fe!! to his #nees and pra6ed to 0ea+en. @/!though 3 am se+enteen4@ he said4 @3 ha+e (een una(!e to a+enge m6 parents. Toda6 3 ha+e "ome on m6 mother1s orders and found m6 grandmother8 if 0ea+en is at a!! mo+ed (6 m6 sin"erit64 ma6 m6 grann61s e6es see again.@ When he had pra6ed4 he !i"#ed her e6es 'ith the tip of his tongue. The !i"#ing soon opened them4 and the6 "ou!d see on"e more. 0is grandmother !oo#ed at the !itt!e mon# 'ith a miDture of Eo6 and sadness and said4 @?ou rea!!6 are m6 grandson−−6ou1re the +er6 image of m6 son 5uangrui.@ =uanFang too# her out of the #i!n and reinsta!!ed her in ;iu the -e"ond1s inn4 'here he rented a room for her4 ga+e her some mone6 to !i+e on4 and to!d her that he 'ou!d (e (a"# 'ithin a month. Ta#ing his !ea+e of his grandmother4 he 'ent straight on to the "apita!4 'here he found Binister ?in1s house in the 7astern /+enue of the imperia! "it6. @3 am a re!ation of the minister1s4@ he said to the gate−#eeper4 @and 3 'ou!d !i#e to see him.@ When the gate−#eeper reported this to the minister4 he said4 @3 am no re!ation of an6 mon#.@ ut his 'ife said4 @3 had a dream !ast night that our daughter Ban−tang−>iao "ame home8 perhaps he has a !etter from our son−in−!a'.@ The minister had the 6oung mon# (rought into the main ha!!4 and 'hen the mon# sa' the minister and his 'ife he 'ept and (o'ed to the f!oor (efore them4 then too# an en+e!ope out of his (osom and handed it to the minister. The minister opened the !etter and read it through4 then 'ai!ed a!oud. @What1s the matter4 m6 !ordG@ as#ed his 'ife4 and the minister rep!ied4 @This mon# is our grandson. $ur son−in−!a' Chen 5uangrui 'as murdered (6 a (rigand4 'ho for"ed Ban−tang−>iao to (e"ome his 'ife.@ 0is 'ife too (egan to 'eep (itter!6 'hen she heard this ne's. @Tr6 not to upset 6ourse!f4 'ife4@ said the minister. @3 sha!! as# our so+ereign at "ourt tomorro' morning to (e a!!o'ed to !ead an arm6 m6se!f. 3 sha!! "ertain!6 a+enge our son−in−!a'.@ The minister 'ent to "ourt the neDt da6 and 'rote in a memoria! to the Tang 7mperor% @?our su(Ee"t1s son−in−!a'4 the top graduate Chen 5uangrui4 'as murdered (6 the (oatman ;iu 0ong 'hi!e going 'ith his fami!6 to ta#e up his offi"e in <iangFhou4 and m6 daughter 'as for"ed to (e"ome his 'ife. This ;iu 0ong has usurped offi"e for man6 6ears (6 mas>uerading as m6 son−in−!a'. This "onstitutes treason. 3 (eg ?our BaEest6 to dispat"h horse and foot at on"e to destro6 this re(e!!ious (rigand.@ The Tang 7mperor 'as so angr6 'hen he read this that he ordered Binister ?in to set off at the head of siDt6 thousand men of the 3mperia! 5uard. The minister !eft the "ourt 'ith the de"ree and 'ent to the parade ground to muster the so!diers (efore setting out for <iangFhou. 6 setting out at da'n e+er6 da6 and not

stopping ti!! night4 the6 tra+e!ed as fast as a shooting star or a f!6ing (ird4 and (efore the6 rea!iFed it the6 had rea"hed <iangFhou4 'here Binister ?in1s arm6 "amped on the 2orthern (an#. That night he sent a messenger 'ith a go!d−ins"ri(ed ta(!et to summon the deput6 prefe"t and distri"t Eudge of <iangFhou. Binister Tin eDp!ained the situation to them and to!d them to "a!! out their troops to he!p him. The6 "rossed the ri+er together4 and surrounded ;iu 0ong1s 6amen (efore da'n. ;iu 0ong4 'ho 'as sti!! in his dreams4 heard the sound of "annon and the (eating of drums and gongs8 'hen the so!diers rushed his residen"e he 'as he!p!ess and soon "aptured. The minister ordered that ;iu 0ong and his gang shou!d (e tied up and ta#en to the eDe"ution ground4 'hi!e the arm6 'as to en"amp outside the "it6 'a!!s.

The minister 'ent into the main ha!! of the 6amen and as#ed his daughter to "ome out and see him. 0is daughter4 'ho had (een !onging to go out4 fe!t too ashamed to fa"e her father and so 'as on the point of hanging herse!f. When =uanFang !earned of this he 'ent as fast as he "ou!d to sa+e her4 fe!! on his #nees4 and said4 @?our son and m6 grandfather ha+e "ome here 'ith an arm6 to a+enge m6 father. That (rigand has (een arrested4 so there is no need at a!! for 6ou to #i!! 6ourse!f. 3f 6ou die mother4 3 'on1t (e a(!e to sta6 a!i+e.@ The minister too "ame into the residen"e to ta!# her out of it. @The6 sa6 that a 'oman shou!d on!6 ha+e one hus(and in her !ife4@ she said to them. @3 'as (itter!6 grie+ed at the death of m6 hus(and at that (rigand1s hands4 and "ou!d not (ear the disgra"e of marr6ing his murderer8 (ut as 3 'as "arr6ing m6 hus(and1s "hi!d 3 had to s'a!!o' the shame of sta6ing a!i+e. 2o'4 than# goodness4 m6 son has gro'n up and m6 father has (rought an arm6 to a+enge m6 hus(and (ut ho' "ou!d 3 ha+e the fa"e to see 6ou. The on!6 'a6 3 "an ma#e up for it to m6 hus(and is to #i!! m6se!f.@ @B6 "hi!d4@ said the minister4 @this 'as not a "ase of a(andoning mora!it6 for the sa#e of materia! gain. ?ou a"ted under duress4 and did nothing to (e ashamed of.@ .ather and daughter then em(ra"ed ea"h other and 'ept4 'hi!e =uanFang so((ed too. @There is no need for the t'o of 6ou to (e so distressed4@ said the minister4 'iping a'a6 his tears. @Toda6 3 ha+e "aptured our enem64 that re(e!4 and no' 3 must dea! 'ith him.@ 0e got up and 'ent to the eDe"ution ground. /s it happened4 the assistant prefe"t of <iangFhou had sent "onsta(!es to arrest the other pirate4 ;i iao4 and the6 (rought him in. The minister 'as +er6 p!eased4 and he ordered that ;iu 0ong and ;i iao 'ere to (e put under a "!ose guard. The6 'ere ea"h gi+en a hundred stro#es of the hea+6 po!e4 and statements 'ere ta#en from them a(out ho' and 'h6 the6 had "ommitted the 'i"#ed murder of Chen 5uangrui. Then ;i iao 'as nai!ed on a 'ooden don#e6 and pushed to the mar#et−p!a"e4 'here he 'as s!i"ed into a thousand pie"es4 after 'hi"h his head 'as hung up on pu(!i" disp!a6. ;iu 0ong 'as ta#en to the 0ongEiang 7stuar6 'here he had murdered Chen 5uangrui. The minister4 his daughter and =uanFang 'ent to the ri+erside4 'here the6 made offerings and !i(ations to the emptiness and "ut out ;iu 0ong1s heart and !i+er 'hi!e he 'as sti!! a!i+e to sa"rifi"e to Chen 5uangrui. The6 a!so (urnt a funerar6 address. The (itter !amentations of the three of them start!ed the under'ater pa!a"e. / patro!!ing 6a#sha demon handed the funerar6 address to the dragon #ing. When he had read it4 the dragon #ing sent Barsha! Turt!e to as# Chen 5uangrui to "ome and see him. @Congratu!ations4 sir4 "ongratu!ations4@ said the dragon #ing. @?our !ad64 6our son and 6our father−in−!a' are a!! sa"rifi"ing to 6ou on the (an#. 3 sha!! no' return 6our sou! to 6ou and gi+e 6ou an /s−?ou−Wi!! pear!4 t'o ro!!ing pear!s4 ten pie"es of mermaid si!#4 and a (e!t of Eade studded 'ith pear!s. Toda6 6ou 'i!! (e reunited 'ith 6ou 'ife4 6our son and 6our mother.@ Chen 5uangrui (o'ed to him o+er and o+er again to eDpress his gratitude. The dragon #ing then to!d a 6a#sha to ta#e Chen 5uangrui1s (od6 out to the estuar64 'here he 'as to return the sou! to it8 and the 6a#sha o(edient!6 'ent off.

When she had 'ai!ed for her hus(and and sa"rifi"ed to him4 Biss Tin tried to Eump into the 'ater to dro'n herse!f4 (ut 'ith a desperate effort =uanFang managed to #eep ho!d of her. <ust at this tense moment the6 sa' a "orpse f!oating to'ards the (an#. Biss ?in4 rushing for'ard to see 'ho it 'as4 re"ogniFed it as that of her hus(and and started a great 'ai!ing. 7+er6one e!se had no' "ome up to !oo#4 and the6 sa' Chen 5uangrui open his fist and stret"h his foot as his (od6 gradua!!6 (egan to mo+e. -udden!6 he sat up4 to their great astonishment. 0e opened his e6es4 and the first thing he sa' 'as his 'ife4 his father−in−!a' and the 6oung mon# a!! 'eeping (eside him. @What are 6ou a!! doing hereG@ he as#ed. @/fter 6ou 'ere #i!!ed 3 ga+e (irth to this son4@ rep!ied his 'ife4 @and (6 a pie"e of good fortune he 'as (rought up (6 the a((ot of the <inshan Temp!e. When he "ame to find me 3 sent him to see m6 father8 and 'hen m6 father #ne' 'hat had happened he su(mitted a memoria! at "ourt and (rought an arm6 here to arrest 6our murderer4 'hose heart and !i+er 'e ha+e Eust p!u"#ed from his !i+ing (od6 to sa"rifi"e to 6ou. ut ho' is it that 6our sou! has (een returned to 6ou4 hus(andG@ @3t is a!! (e"ause 'e (ought and re!eased that go!den "arp 'hen 'e 'ere sta6ing at the Ten Thousand .!o'ers 3nn% the "arp4 it turned out4 'as the !o"a! dragon #ing. When that treasonous murderer pushed me into the 'ater 3 'as res"ued (6 the dragon #ing4 'ho has gi+en me (a"# m6 sou! and presented me 'ith a!! the treasures 3 ha+e on me. 3 ne+er had an6 idea that 6ou had (orne this son4 or that m6 father−in−!a' had a+enged me. $ur sorro's are no' at an end. This is a +er6 happ6 moment indeed.@ When the other offi"ia!s heard 'hat had happened the6 a!! "ame to offer their "ongratu!ations4 and the minister ga+e a (an>uet to than# a!! his su(ordinates. The arm6 set off on its return Eourne6 that same da6. When the6 rea"hed the Ten Thousand .!o'ers 3nn the minister ordered them to en"amp 'hi!e 5uangrui and =uanFang 'ent to the inn to find the o!d !ad6. The night (efore she had dreamt of a 'ithered tree (!ossoming again 'hi!e magpies made a "!amorous din (ehind the (ui!ding. @9erhaps m6 grandson has "ome4@ she thought4 and 'hi!e the 'ords 'ere sti!! in her mind she sa' 5uangrui and his son at the gate of the inn. @3sn1t this m6 grandmotherG@ said the !itt!e mon#8 and the moment 5uangrui sa' his aged mother he #o'to'ed to her. Bother and son em(ra"ed in tears8 then he to!d her a!! a(out 'hat had happened. The inn#eeper1s a""ount 'as presented and sett!ed4 and then the6 set off for the "apita!. When the6 rea"hed the minister1s residen"e4 5uangrui4 his 'ife4 his mother and =uanFang a!! 'ent in to see the minister1s 'ife4 'ho 'as o+er"ome 'ith Eo6 and to!d the ser+ants to !a6 on a !arge (an>uet to "e!e(rate. @We "an "a!! toda61s (an>uet a 1reunion (an>uet41@ said the minister4 and the 'ho!e househo!d 'as indeed happ6. When the Tang 7mperor entered the throne ha!! ear!6 the neDt morning4 Binister ?in stepped for'ard and su(mitted a memoria! gi+ing a detai!ed a""ount of 'hat had happened4 and re"ommending Chen 5uangrui as a man 'hose ta!ents "ou!d (e put to great use. The Tang 7mperor appro+ed the memoria! and ordered that Chen 5uangrui shou!d (e appointed a -"ho!ar in order to ta#e part in administration at "ourt. /s =uanFang had de"ided to fo!!o' the "ontemp!ati+e !ife he 'as sent to "u!ti+ate his "ondu"t in the 0ongfu Temp!e. ;ater on Biss ?in fina!!6 ended her !ife in a >uiet and honora(!e 'a64 and =uanFang 'ent (a"# to the <inshan Temp!e to report to /((ot .aming. 3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hat happened after'ards4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment.

Chapter 10 With a -tupid 9!an the *ragon Cing rea#s the ;a's of 0ea+en Binister Wei -ends a ;etter to an $ffi"er of 0e!! We sha!! not dis"uss ho' Chen 5uangrui performed his duties or =uanFang "u!ti+ated his "ondu"t8 instead 'e sha!! ta!# a(out t'o 'ise men 'ho !i+ed (eside the (an#s of the ,i+er <ing outside the "it6 of Chang1an. $ne 'as an o!d fisherman "a!!ed Lhang -hao and the other 'as a 'ood"utter "a!!ed ;i *ing. The6 'ere (oth ad+an"ed s"ho!ars 'ho had ne+er ta#en the offi"ia! eDamination4 !ettered men of the mountains. $ne da64 'hen ;i *ing had so!d his !oad of fire'ood and Lhang -hao had so!d his (as#etfu! of "arp in Chang1an "it64 the6 'ent into a ta+ern4 dran# ti!! the6 'ere ha!f tips64 and stro!!ed s!o'!6 home a!ong the (an#s of the <ing4 ea"h ho!ding a (ott!e in his hand. @ rother ;i4@ said Lhang -hao4 @it seems to me that peop!e 'ho strugg!e for fame #i!! themse!+es for it8 those 'ho "ompete for profit die for it8 those 'ho a""ept honors s!eep 'ith a tiger in their arms8 and those 'ho re"ei+e imperia! fa+ours 'a!# around 'ith sna#es in their s!ee+es. Ta#ing a!! in a!!4 'e are mu"h (etter off !i+ing free among our "!ear 'aters and (!ue hi!!s% 'e de!ight in our po+ert6 and fo!!o' our destinies.@ @?ou are right4 rother Lhang4@ said ;i *ing4 @(ut 6our "!ear 'aters ha+e nothing on m6 (!ue hi!!s.@ @?our (!ue hi!!s are not a pat"h on m6 "!ear 'aters4@ retorted Lhang -hao4 @and here is a !6ri" to the tune of 'he Butterfl( Lo)es the *lo+ers to pro+e it%

The s#iff is tin6 amid the mist6 eDpanse of 'a+es8 Ca!m!6 3 !ean against the sing!e sai!4 ;istening to the +oi"e of =ishi the (eaut6. B6 thoughts and mind are "!eared8 3 ha+e no 'ea!th or fame /s 3 to6 'ith the 'ater'eed and the rushes.

@To "ount a fe' gu!!s ma#es the Eourne6 happ6. 3n the reed6 (end4 under the 'i!!o' (an#4 B6 'ife and "hi!dren smi!e 'ith me. The moment 3 fa!! as!eep4 'ind and 'a+es are >uiet8 2o g!or64 no disgra"e4 and not a sing!e 'orr6.@

@?our "!ear 'aters are no mat"h for m6 (!ue hi!!s4@ said ;i *ing4 @and there is another !6ri" to the same tune to pro+e it. 3t goes%

The "!oud6 'oods are "o+ered 'ith pine (!ossom. 0ushA 0ear the orio!e sing4 /s if it p!a6ed a pipe 'ith its "unning tongue. With tou"hes of red and amp!e green the spring is 'arm8 -udden!6 the summer1s here as the seasons turn.

@When autumn "omes the !oo# of things is "hanged8 The s"ented "hr6santhemum 3s enough for m6 p!easure. -oon the "rue! 'inter p!u"#s a!! off. 3 am free through four seasons4 at no(od61s (e"# and "a!!.@

@?ou don1t enEo6 the good things in 6our (!ue hi!!s that 3 do on m6 "!ear 'aters4@ rep!ied the fisherman4 @and 3 "an pro+e it 'ith another !6ri" to the tune of 'he ,artridge -ea)en.

3n this magi" !and 'e !i+e off the "!oud6 'aters8 With a s'eep of the oar the (oat (e"omes a home. We "ut open the !i+e fish and fr6 the green turt!e /s steam "oi!s from the purp!e "ra( and the red shrimps (u((!e. 5reen reed shoots4 -prouts of 'ater−!i!ies4 etter sti!!4 'ater "hestnuts and the gorgon fruit4 *e!i"ate !outs roots and seeds4 tender "e!er64 /rro'head4 reed−hearts and (ird−g!or6 (!ossom.@

@?our "!ear 'aters "annot "ompare 'ith m6 (!ue hi!!s 'hen it "omes to the good things the6 pro+ide4@ said the 'ood"utter4 and 3 "an "ite another !6ri" to the tune 'he ,artridge -ea)en as e+iden"e%

Bight6 "rags and to'ering pea#s rea"h to the s#68 / grass hut or a that"hed "ottage is m6 home. 9i"#!ed "hi"#en and du"# are (etter than turt!es or "ra(s4 ,oe(u"#4 (oar4 +enison4 and hare (eat fish and shrimps. The !ea+es of the tree of hea+en4 ?e!!o' "hina(err6 sprouts4 /nd4 e+en (etter4 (am(oo shoots and 'i!d tea4 9urp!e p!ums and red pea"hes4 ripe gages4 and apri"ots4 -'eet pears4 sharp EuEu(es4 and osmanthus (!ossom.@

@?our (!ue hi!!s are rea!!6 nothing on m6 "!ear 'aters4@ rep!ied the fisherman4 @and there is another !6ri" to the tune -ea)enl( /!!ortal.

3n m6 !itt!e (oat 3 "an sta6 'here 3 !i#e4 0a+ing no fear of the man6 mist6 'a+es. *rop the hoo#4 "ast 'ide the net4 to "at"h fresh fish% 7+en 'ithout fat or sau"e4 The6 taste de!i"ious /s the 'ho!e fami!6 eats its mea! together.

@When there are fish to spare 3 se!! them in Chang1an mar#et To (u6 good !i>uor and get a !itt!e drun#. Co+ered 'ith m6 grass "!oa# 3 s!eep on the autumn ri+er4

-noring sound!6 Without a "are4 2ot gi+ing a damn for honour and g!or6.@

@?our "!ear 'aters sti!! aren1t as good as m6 (!ue mountains4@ "ame (a"# the 'ood"utter4 @and 3 too ha+e a -ea)enl( /!!ortal !6ri" to pro+e it%

Where 3 (ui!d a !itt!e that"hed hut under the hi!! The (am(oo4 or"hid4 p!um4 and pine are 'onderfu!. /s 3 "ross forests and mountains to !oo# for dr6 fire'ood 2o(od6 as#s a'#'ard >uestions4 /nd 3 "an se!! /s mu"h or as !itt!e as the 'or!d 'ants. 3 spend the mone6 on 'ine and 31m happ64 Content 'ith m6 earthen'are (o'! and "hina Eug. When 31+e drun# m6se!f (!otto 3 !ie in the shade of the pine. 2o 'orries4 2o (oo#s to (a!an"e8 What do 3 "are a(out su""ess or fai!ureG@

@ rother ;i4@ said the fisherman4 @6ou don1t ma#e as eas6 a !i+ing in the hi!!s as 3 do on the 'ater4 and 3 "an pro+e it 'ith a !6ri" to the tune 'he Moon on the #est 0i)er.

The smart'eed1s f!o'ers are pi"#ed out (6 the moon Whi!e the tang!ed !ea+es of rushes s'a6 in the 'ind. C!ear and distant the aFure s#64 empt6 the Chu ri+er% -tir up the 'ater4 and the stars dan"e.

ig fish s'im into the net in shoa!s8 ;itt!e ones s'a!!o' the hoo#s in s'arms8 oi!ed or fried the6 taste 'onderfu!−− 3 !augh at the roaring ri+er and !a#e.@

@ rother Lhang4@ rep!ied the 'ood"utter4 @the !i+ing 3 ma#e in the hi!!s is mu"h easier than 6ours on the 'ater4 and 3 "an pro+e it 'ith another Moon on the #est 0i)er !6ri"%

Withered and !eaf!ess rattan fi!!s the paths4 $!d (am(oo 'ith (ro#en tips "o+ers the hi!!side. Where +ines and "reepers tang!e and "!im( 3 pu!! some off to tie m6 (und!es. 7!ms and 'i!!o's ho!!o' 'ith de"a64 9ines and "edars "ra"#ed (6 the 'ind−− 3 sta"# them up against the 'inter "o!d4 /nd 'hether the61re so!d for 'ine or mone6 is up to me.@

@/!though 6ou don1t do too (ad!6 in 6our hi!!s4 6our !ife is not as e!egant as mine on the 'ater4@ said the fisherman4 @as 3 "an sho' 'ith some !ines to the tune 'he /!!ortal %( the 0i)er.

/s the tide turns m6 so!itar6 (oat departs8 3 sing in the night4 resting from the oars. .rom under a stra' "ape the 'aning moon is pea"efu!. The s!eeping gu!!s are not distur(ed /s the "!ouds part at the end of the s#6. Tired4 3 !ie on the is!e of rushes 'ith nothing to do4 /nd 'hen the sun is high 31m !6ing there sti!!.

3 arrange e+er6thing to suit m6se!f% 0o' "an the "ourt offi"ia! "ompare 'ith m6 ease /s he 'aits in the "o!d for an audien"e at da'nG@

@?our !ife on the 'ater ma6 (e e!egant4 (ut it1s nothing "ompared 'ith mine4@ rep!ied the 'ood"utter4 @and 3 ha+e some !ines to the same tune to demonstrate the point%

$n an autumn da6 3 "arr6 m6 aDe a!ong the green6 path ringing the !oad (a"# in the "oo! of e+ening4 9utting 'i!d f!o'ers in m6 hair4 Eust to (e different4 3 push aside the "!ouds to find m6 'a6 home4 /nd the moon is up 'hen 3 te!! them to open the door. ,usti" 'ife and inno"ent son greet me 'ith smi!es4 /nd 3 re"!ine on m6 (ed of grass and 'ooden pi!!o'. -teamed mi!!et and pear are spread (efore me4 Whi!e the ne' 'ine is 'arm in the pot% This is rea!!6 "i+i!iFed.@

@/!! this is a(out our !i+ing and the 'a6s 'e pro+ide for ourse!+es4@ said the fisherman. @3 "an pro+e to 6ou that 6our !eisure is no'here near as good as mine 'ith a poem that goes%

3d!6 3 'at"h the 'hite "ranes as the6 "ross the s#68 /s 3 Boor the (oat at the ri+er1s (an#4 a (!ue door gi+es me shade. ;eaning on the sai! 3 tea"h m6 son to t'ist a fishing !ine4 When ro'ing1s done 3 dr6 the nets out 'ith m6 'ife. / sett!ed nature "an rea!!6 #no' the "a!m of the 'a+es8 / sti!! (od6 fee!s the !ightness of the (reeFe. /!'a6s to 'ear a green stra' "ape and a (!ue stra' hat

3s (etter than the purp!e ro(es of the "ourt.@

@?our !eisure doesn1t "ome up to mine4@ rep!ied the 'ood"utter4 @as this poem 3 sha!! no' re"ite demonstrates%

With a !aF6 e6e on the 'hite "!ouds in the distan"e4 3 sit a!one in a that"hed (ut4 then "!ose the (am(oo door. When there1s nothing to do 3 tea"h m6 son to read8 -ometimes a +isitor "omes and 'e p!a6 a game of "hess. When 31m happ6 3 ta#e m6 sti"# and 'a!# singing a!ong the paths4 $r "arr6 m6 !ute up the emera!d hi!!s. 5rass shoes 'ith hempen thongs4 a "!oa# of "oarsest "!oth4 / mind re!aDed% (etter than 'earing si!#.@

@;i *ing4@ said the other4 @ho' tru!6 it "an (e said of us that 1(6 re"iting some +erses 'e (e"ome "!ose friends% What need for go!den 'ine"ups and a sanda!'ood ta(!eG1 ut there is nothing remar#a(!e in Eust re"iting +erses8 'hat 'ou!d 6ou sa6 if 'e made "oup!ets in 'hi"h 'e ea"h "ontri(uted a !ine a(out our !i+es as fisherman and 'ood"utterG@ @ rother Lhang4@ said ;i *ing4 @that is an eD"e!!ent suggestion. 9!ease (e the one to start.@ 0ere are their "oup!ets%

B6 (oat is moored in the green 'aters amid the mist6 'a+es8 B6 home is in the 'i!ds4 deep in the mountains. 0o' 'e!! 3 !i#e the s'o!!en stream under the (ridge in spring8 B6 de!ight is a mountain pea# s'athed in "!ouds at da'n. *ragon−siFed fresh "arp "oo#ed at an6 time8 *r64 rotten4 fire'ood a!'a6s #eeps one 'arm. / fu!! arra6 of hoo#s and nets to support m6 o!d age8 Carr6ing 'ood and ma#ing t'ine 'i!! #eep me ti!! 3 die.

;6ing (a"# in a tin6 (oat 'at"hing the f!6ing geese8 ,e"!ining (eside the grass6 path and hearing the 'i!d s'ans "a!!. 3 ha+e no sta!! in the mar#etp!a"e of tongues8 31+e !eft no tra"e in the sea of disputation. The nets hung to dr6 (eside the (roo# are !i#e (ro"ade8 /n aDe 'e!! honed on ro"# is sharper than a spear. Hnder the shining autumn moon 3 often fish a!one8 3 meet no(od6 on the so!itar6 mountain in spring. 3 trade m6 surp!us fish for 'ine and drin# it 'ith m6 'ife8 When 31+e 'ood to spare 3 (u6 a (ott!e and share it 'ith m6 sons. -inging and musing to m6se!f 31m as 'i!d as 3 "are to (e8 ;ong songs4 !ong sighs4 3 "an !et m6se!f (e "raF6. 3 in+ite m6 (rothers and "ousins and fe!!o' (oatmen8 ;eading m6 friends (6 the hand 3 meet the o!d man of the 'i!ds. /s 'e p!a6 guess−fingers the "ups f!6 fast8 When 'e ma#e ridd!es the go(!ets s!o'!6 "ir"u!ate. -aute or (oi!ed "ra( is a de!ight e+er6 morning8 9!ent6 of fried du"# and "hi"#en "oo#ed in ashes e+er6 da6. /s m6 simp!e 'ife (re's tea4 m6 spirits are untramme!!ed8 Whi!e m6 mountain spouse "oo#s supper4 m6 mind is at ease. /t the "oming of da'n 3 'ash m6 sti"# in the ripp!es8 When the sun rises 3 "arr6 fire'ood a"ross the road. /fter the rain 3 put on m6 "!oa# to "at"h !i+e "arp8 3 'ie!d m6 aDe (efore the 'ind to fe!! a 'ithered pine. 3 "o+er m6 tra"#s and hide from the 'or!d4 a"ting the im(e"i!e8 3 "hange m6 name and pretend to (e deaf and dum(.

@ rother ;i4@ said Lhang -hao. @3 unfair!6 too# the first !ines Eust no'4 so no' it1s 6our turn to "ompose the first !ines 'hi!e 3 fo!!o' 6ou.@ Thus the6 "ontinued%

The man of the mountains a"ting mad under 'ind and moon8 The haught6 and un'anted dotard of the ri+er. With his share of id!eness4 and a(!e to (e >uite free8 2o sound from his +oi"e as he re+e!s in his pea"e. $n moon!it nights he s!eeps se"ure in a "ottage of that"h8 0e !ight!6 "o+ers himse!f at dus# 'ith "!othes of reed. 0is passion spent4 he (efriends the pine and the p!um8 0e is happ6 to (e the "ompanion of "ormorant and gu!!. .ame and profit "ount for nothing in his mind8 0is ears ha+e ne+er heard the "!ash of arms. $ne is a!'a6s pouring out fresh ri"e−'ine4 The other has 'i!d +egeta(!e soup 'ith e+er6 mea!. $ne ma#es a !i+ing 'ith t'o (und!es of fire'ood8 The other supports himse!f 'ith rod and !ine. $ne id!6 te!!s his inno"ent son to sharpen the aDe of stee!8 The other >uiet!6 (ids his s!o'−'itted "hi!d to mend the nets. 3n spring one !i#es to see the 'i!!o's turning green8 When the seasons "hange the other enEo6s the rushes1 (!ue. /+oiding the summer heat4 one trims the ne' (am(oo8 The other gathers 'ater−"hestnuts on "oo! <u!6 e+enings. When frost (egins4 p!ump "hi"#ens are #i!!ed ea"h da68 3n mid−autumn the "ra(s are at their (est and a!'a6s in the pot.

When the sun rises in 'inter4 the one is sti!! as!eep8 The other #eeps "oo! in the dog da6s of summer. Throughout the 6ear one does as he p!eases in the hi!!s8 3n a!! four seasons the other is happ6 on the !a#e. 6 gathering fire'ood 6ou "an (e"ome an 3mmorta!8 There is nothing 'or!d!6 a(out fishing. -'eet sme!! the 'i!d f!o'ers gro'ing outside m6 door8 -mooth are the green 'a+es !apping at m6 (oat. / "ontented man ne+er spea#s of high honors8 / sett!ed nature is stronger than a "it6 'a!!. 0igher than a "it6 'a!! for resisting enem6 armies8 Bore i!!ustrious than ho!ding high offi"e and !istening to imperia! de"rees. Those 'ho are happ6 'ith mountains and ri+ers are fe' indeed8 Than# 0ea+en4 than# 7arth4 and than# the spirits.

When the t'o of them had re"ited their +erses and mat"hed "oup!ets the6 "ame to the p!a"e 'here their 'a6s parted and (o'ed to ea"h other to ta#e their !ea+e. @ rother ;i4@ said Lhang -hao4 @!oo# after 6ourse!f on 6our 'a6 home and #eep a sharp !oo#−out for tigers up in the hi!!s. 3f 6ou met 'ith an a""ident then 1an o!d friend 'ou!d (e missing on the road tomorro'.1@ This made ;i *ing angr6. @?ou s"oundre!4@ he said4 @31m 6our friend8 31d die for 6ou. 0o' "ou!d 6ou put su"h a "urse on meG 3f 31m #i!!ed (6 a tiger4 6ou1!! (e "apsiFed (6 a 'a+e.@ @31!! ne+er (e "apsiFedA@ retorted Lhang -hao. @13n nature there are uneDpe"ted storms and in !ife unpredi"ta(!e +i"issitudes41@ >uoted ;i *ing4 @so ho' "an 6ou (e sure 6ou1!! ne+er ha+e an a""identG@ @ rother Lhang4@ rep!ied the fisherman4 @despite 'hat 6ou Eust said4 it1s 6our !ife that1s inse"ure4 'hereas m6 !ife is "ertain% 31m sure that 3 shan1t ha+e an a""ident.@ @?our !ife on the 'ater is +er6 dangerous and inse"ure4@ said the 'ood"utter4 @so ho' "an 6ou (e so "ertainG@ @There1s something 6ou don1t #no'4@ said Lhang -hao. @7+er6 da6 3 gi+e a go!den "arp to a fortune−te!!er on the West 5ate -treet in Chang1an4 and he passes a s!ip into m6 s!ee+e te!!ing me 31!! "at"h something e+er6 time pro+ided 3 go to the right p!a"e. 3 'ent to (u6 a fore"ast from him toda64 and he to!d me that if 3 "ast m6 nets to the 7ast of the (end in the <ing ,i+er and !o'ered m6 !ines on the Western (an#4 3 'ou!d (e (ound to get a fu!! !oad of fish and shrimps to ta#e home. Tomorro' 3 sha!! go into to'n to se!! them to (u6 'ine4 and 'e "an "ontinue our ta!# then4 (rother.@ With this the6 parted.

0o' true it is that if 6ou ta!# on the road there 'i!! (e someone !istening in the grass. / patro!!ing 6a#sha from the <ing ,i+er 9a!a"e o+erheard Lhang -hao1s remar# a(out a!'a6s "at"hing fish and rushed straight (a"# to the pa!a"e of "r6sta! to ma#e an urgent report of disaster to the dragon #ing. @What disasterG@ as#ed the dragon #ing4 and the 6a#sha rep!ied4 @?our su(Ee"t 'as patro!!ing in the 'ater (6 the ri+er1s edge 'hen 3 heard a fisherman and a 'ood"utter ta!#ing. <ust 'hen the6 'ere parting the6 sounded +er6 dangerous. The fisherman said that there is a soothsa6er on West 5ate -treet in Chang1an "it6 'hose predi"tions are +er6 a""urate. The fisherman gi+es him a go!den "arp e+er6 da64 and he hands the fisherman a s!ip sa6ing that he1!! "at"h fish at e+er6 attempt. 3f his "a!"u!ations are so a""urate4 'on1t a!! 'e 'ater fo!# (e 'iped outG -ha!! 'e fortif6 the 'ater pa!a"e4 or sha!! 'e ma#e some !eaping 'a+es to strengthen ?our BaEest61s prestigeG@ The dragon #ing seiFed his s'ord in a great rage4 intending to go straight to Chang1an "it6 and destro6 this fortune−te!!er4 (ut then his dragon sons and grandsons4 shrimp offi"ia!s4 "ra( so!diers4 shad genera!s4 mandarin−fish ministers4 and "arp premier su(mitted a Eoint memoria! that read% @We (eg ?our BaEest6 not to a"t in anger. /s the sa6ing goes4 1'ords o+erheard are not to (e trusted.1 3f ?our BaEest6 'ere to go no' 6ou 'ou!d ha+e to (e a""ompanied (6 "!ouds and he!ped (6 rain8 and if this frightens the "ommon peop!e of Chang1an4 0ea+en ma6 ta#e offen"e. ?our BaEest6 is "apa(!e of ma#ing a!! sorts of transformations4 and of appearing and +anishing uneDpe"ted!68 so 6ou shou!d "hange into a s"ho!ar for this +isit to Chang1an. 3f 6ou find that it is true4 6ou 'i!! (e a(!e to punish him at 6our !eisure8 and if it turns out to (e fa!se4 6ou 'i!! a+oid #i!!ing an inno"ent man.@ Ta#ing their ad+i"e4 the dragon #ing put aside his s'ord4 and 'ithout raising "!ouds or rain he "!im(ed out on the (a"#4 shoo# himse!f4 and turned into a s"ho!ar dressed in 'hite. 0e 'as

0andsome and no(!e4 To'ering into the "!ouds. 0is step 'as state!6 /nd he o(ser+ed the ru!es of "ondu"t. 3n his spee"h he sho'ed his respe"t for Confu"ius and Ben"ius4 0is manners 'ere those of the *u#e of Lhou and Cing Wen. 0e 'ore a go'n of Eade−green si!#4 / "!oth 'rapped "asua!!6 round his head.

$n"e on the road he strode straight to West 5ate -treet in Chang1an "it64 'here he sa' a "ro'd of peop!e pushing and shouting. $ne of them 'as pro"!aiming grandi!o>uent!64 @0e 'ho 'as (orn under the *ragon 'i!! "!ash 'ith the one 'ho (e!ongs to the Tiger. /!though the "6"!i"a! "hara"ters are supposed to (e in "on"ordan"e4 31m afraid that the ?ear 9!anet ma6 (e offended (6 the -un.@ /s soon as he heard this the dragon #ing #ne' that this 'as the p!a"e 'here fortunes 'ere to!d4 so he pushed through the "ro'ds to !oo# inside. 0e sa'%

.our 'a!!s "o+ered 'ith pear!s4 / room fu!! of si!#en em(roideries4 3n"ense e+er rising from a (urner4 C!ear 'ater in a por"e!ain pot. $n either side 'ere paintings (6 Wang Wei8 0igh a(o+e the seat hung a pi"ture of the *e+i! :a!!e6 0ermit. /n in#stone from *uanDi Count64 @5o!den smo#e@ in#4 $n 'hi"h !eant a !arge (rush of finest hairs8 / forest of fier6 pear!s4 The predi"tion of 5uo 9u4 /s he di!igent!6 "ompared them to the Tai Lheng =in <ing. 0e 'as deep!6 +ersed in the siD !ines of the diagrams4 / great eDpert on the 7ight Trigrams. 0e understood the prin"ip!es of 0ea+en and 7arth4 /nd sa' into the fee!ings of gods and de+i!s. 0e #ne' a!! a(out the "6"!i"a! num(ers4 /nd had a "!ear pi"ture of the "onste!!ations. 0e sa' the e+ents of the future4 The e+ents of the past4 /s if in a mirror. Whi"h house 'ou!d rise4 Whi"h house 'ou!d fa!!4

0e "ou!d te!! 'ith di+ine per"eption. 0e #ne' 'hen good and (ad 'as "oming4 Cou!d predi"t death and sur+i+a!. 0is 'ords hastened 'ind and rain8 When he 'ie!ded his 'riting−(rush4 gods and de+i!s trem(!ed. 0is name 'as 'ritten on a sign(oard% Baster of *i+ination ?uan -hou"heng.

Who 'as heG 0e 'as ?uan -hou"heng4 the un"!e of ?uan Tiangang the 3mperia! /stro!oger. 0e 'as famous throughout the "ountr64 and the !eading mem(er of his profession in Chang1an. The dragon #ing 'ent in to see him4 and 'hen the6 had greeted ea"h other he as#ed the dragon #ing to sit do'n4 'hi!e a ser+ant (rought tea. @What ha+e 6ou "ome to as# a(out4 sirG@ as#ed the soothsa6er4 and the dragon #ing rep!ied4 @3 (eg 6ou to un"o+er the se"rets of the s#6 for me.@ The soothsa6er passed him a s!ip of paper from his s!ee+e and said4 @C!ouds o(s"ure the mountain pea#4 mist "o+ers the tree tops. 3f there is to (e rain4 it 'i!! "ertain!6 "ome tomorro'.@ @When 'i!! it rain tomorro'4@ as#ed the dragon #ing4 @and ho' man6 in"hes of rain 'i!! fa!!G@ @Tomorro' the "!ouds 'i!! gather at mid−morning8 !ate in the morning there 'i!! (e thunder8 at noon it 'i!! start to rain8 and in the ear!6 afternoon the rain 'i!! finish4 after 3 feet 3.48 in"hes ha+e fa!!en4@ rep!ied the soothsa6er. @3 trust that 6ou are not foo!ing4@ said the dragon #ing. @3f it rains tomorro' at the time and to the depth 6ou ha+e predi"ted 3 sha!! pa6 6ou a fee of fift6 pie"es of go!d. 3f it does not rain4 or if it does not rain at the time and to the depth 6ou sa6 it 'i!!4 then 31m te!!ing 6ou straight that 31!! smash up 6our shopfront4 tear do'n 6our sign and run 6ou out of Chang1an so that 6ou 'on1t (e a(!e to de"ei+e the peop!e a moment !onger.@ @That is entire!6 up to 6ou4@ rep!ied the other "heerfu!!6. @We sha!! meet again tomorro' after the rain.@ The dragon #ing too# his !ea+e and 'ent (a"# to his 'ater6 pa!a"e from Chang1an. The greater and !esser 'ater spirits greeted him 'ith the >uestion4 @0o' did ?our BaEest61s +isit to the soothsa6er goG@ @3t 'as a!! right4@ he rep!ied4 @(ut he 'as a smooth−tongued fortune−te!!er. When 3 as#ed him 'hen it 'ou!d rain4 he said tomorro'. When 3 as#ed 'hat time of da6 it 'ou!d (e and ho' mu"h 'ou!d fa!!4 he said that at mid−morning the "!ouds 'ou!d gather4 !ate in the morning it 'ou!d thunder4 at noon it 'ou!d start to rain4 and ear!6 in the afternoon it 'ou!d stop raining. 0e a!so said that 3 feet 3.48 in"hes of rain 'ou!d fa!!. 3 made a 'ager 'ith him that if his predi"tion turned out to (e true4 31d gi+e him fift6 oun"es of go!d8 (ut if he got it at a!! 'rong4 31d smash up his shopfront id dri+e him out4 so that he 'ou!dn1t (e a(!e to de"ei+e the pu(!i" an6 !onger. The 'ater6 tri(e !aughed and said4 @?our BaEest6 is the 5enera! -uperintendent of the 7ight ,i+ers and the 5reat *ragon 5od of the ,ain4 so on!6 6ou "an #no' 'hether there 'i!! (e rain. 0o' dare he ta!# su"h nonsenseG That fortune−te!!er is (ound to !ose4 a(so!ute!6 (ound to.@

<ust as a!! the dragon sons and grandsons 'ere !aughing and ta!#ing a(out this 'ith the fish ministers and "ra( so!diers a shout 'as heard from the s#6% @*ragon Cing of the <ing ,i+er4 prepare to re"ei+e an 3mperia! *e"ree.@ The6 a!! !oo#ed up and sa' a 'arrior in go!den "!othes "oming to'ards the 'ater6 pa!a"e 'ith a de"ree from the <ade 7mperor in his hands. This a!armed the dragon #ing4 'ho straightened his "!othes4 stood up so!emn!64 (urnt in"ense and re"ei+ed the de"ree. The go!d−"!ad 'arrior returned to the s#6. 5i+ing than#s for the imperia! gra"e the dragon #ing opened the !etter and read%

@We order the -uperintendent of the 7ight ,i+ers to tra+e! 'ith thunder and !ightning and su""or the "it6 of Chang1an 'ith rain.@

The time and the amount on the de"ree 'ere eDa"t!6 the same as those foreto!d (6 the soothsa6er4 'hi"h so start!ed the dragon #ing that he passed out. When he "ame round a moment !ater he said to the 'ater6 tri(e4 @0o' "an there (e a man of su"h po'ers in the morta! 'or!dG 0e is rea!!6 someone 'ho #no's e+er6thing a(out 0ea+en and 7arth−−31m (ound to (e (eaten (6 him.@ @?our BaEest6 shou!d not 'orr64@ su(mitted 5enera! -had in a memoria!. @There 'i!! (e no diffi"u!t6 a(out (eating him. ?our su(Ee"t has a hum(!e p!an that 3 "an guarantee 'i!! shut that s"oundre!1s mouth.@ When the dragon #ing as#ed 'hat the p!an 'as4 the genera! rep!ied4 @Ba#e it rain at the 'rong time and not >uite enough4 so that his predi"tions are 'rong4 and then 6ou 'i!! sure!6 (eat him. There 'i!! (e nothing to stop 6ou smashing his sign to smithereens and running him out of to'n.@ The dragon #ing a""epted his ad+i"e and stopped 'orr6ing. The neDt da6 he ordered :is"ount Wind4 *u#e Thunder4 the C!oud ?outh and Bother ;ightning to go to the s#6 a(o+e the "it6 of Chang1an. 0e 'aited ti!! !ate in the morning (efore spreading the "!ouds4 un!eashed the thunder at noon4 started the rain in the ear!6 afternoon4 and stopped it in the !ate afternoon4 'hen on!6 three feet and 0.4 in"hes had fa!!en. 0e had thus "hanged the times (6 t'o hours and redu"ed the amount of rain (6 .08 in"hes. /fter the rain he dismissed his genera!s and his hosts and put a'a6 his "!ouds8 then he "hanged (a"# into a 'hite−"!ad s"ho!ar and "harged into ?uan -hou"heng1s fortune−te!!ing sta!! on West 5ate -treet. Without e+en as#ing for an eDp!anation he smashed up ?uan1s sign4 his (rush4 his in#stone4 and e+er6thing e!se4 'hi!e the fortune−te!!er remained "a!m!6 in his "hair 'ithout mo+ing. The dragon #ing (randished the door in the air4 read6 to hit him 'ith it4 and (egan to pour a(use on him% @?ou e+i! man4 'ith a!! 6our re"#!ess ta!# a(out (!essings and disasters8 6ou stin#ing de"ei+er of the masses. ?our predi"tions are fa!se4 and 6ou ta!# nonsense. ?ou got the time and the amount of toda61s rain >uite 'rong4 (ut 6ou sti!! sit there so high and might6. 5et out at on"e if 6ou 'ant me to spare 6our !ife.@ ?uan -hou"heng4 'ho 'as as "a!m and unfrightened as e+er4 !oo#ed up to the s#6 'ith a mo"#ing smi!e. @31m not afraid4@ he said4 @31m not afraid. 31+e "ommitted no "apita! offen"e4 (ut 3 fear that 6ou ha+e. ?ou ma6 (e a(!e to foo! other peop!e4 (ut 6ou "an1t foo! me. 3 #no' 'ho 6ou are. ?ou1re no s"ho!ar8 6ou1re the *ragon Cing of the ,i+er <ing. ?ou f!outed a de"ree of the <ade 7mperor (6 "hanging the time of the rain and "utting do'n the amount4 'hi"h is a "rime against the !a's of 0ea+en. 31m afraid that 6ou1re for the eDe"utioner1s (!ade on the *ragon−s!i"ing -"affo!d. /re 6ou going to #eep up that a(use of meG@ $n hearing this the dragon #ing trem(!ed from fear and his hair stood on end. *ropping the door at on"e he straightened his "!othes and made gestures of su(mission4 #nee!ing to the soothsa6er and sa6ing4 @9!ease do not (e angr6 'ith me4 sir8 3 'as on!6 Eo#ing. 3 ne+er thought that it 'ou!d (e ta#en serious!6. Whate+er am 3 to do if 3 ha+e (ro#en the !a's of 0ea+enG 3 (eg 6ou to sa+e me4 sir. 3f 6ou don1t 3 sha!! haunt 6ou after m6

death.@ @3 "an1t sa+e 6ou4@ rep!ied ?uan -hou"heng4 @(ut 3 "an suggest one 'a6 (6 'hi"h 6ou ma6 (e a(!e to sa+e 6our s#in.@ @3 (eg 6ou to te!! me4@ imp!ored the dragon #ing. @Tomorro' afternoon at ha!f past one 6ou 'i!! ha+e to go to the offi"e of the offi"ia! in "harge of personne!4 Wei Lheng4 to (e (eheaded. 3f 6ou 'ant to sta6 a!i+e 6ou must report at on"e to the present Tang 7mperor4 TaiFong4 as Wei Lheng is a minister of his8 and if 6ou "an get him to spea# for 6ou4 6ou 'i!! (e a!! right.@ The dragon #ing too# his !ea+e of the soothsa6er 'ith tears in his e6es and 'ent a'a6. The sun 'as setting in the West4 and the moon and stars 'ere "oming out. /s "!ouds sett!e round the mountains the "ro's f!6 (a"# to roost4 The tra+e!ers on !ong Eourne6s find inns for the night. The returning geese s!eep on a sand(an# (6 the ford4 /s the Bi!#6 Wa6 appears. Whi!e the hours push on / !amp in the !one!6 +i!!age (urns 'ith (are!6 a f!ame. 9ure is the monaster6 as the reed smo#e "ur!s in the (reeFe8 Ben disappear in the (utterf!6 dream. /s the moon sin#s4 f!o'er shado's "!im( the rai!s4 The stars are a Eum(!e of !ight. The hours are "a!!ed4 The night is a!read6 ha!f 'a6 through.

The *ragon Cing of the ,i+er <ing did not return to his 'ater6 pa!a"e (ut sta6ed in the s#6 unti! the sma!! hours of the morning4 'hen he put a'a6 his "!oud and his mist horn4 and 'ent straight to the gate of the 3mperia! 9a!a"e. /t this +er6 moment the Tang 7mperor dreamt that he 'ent out of the pa!a"e gate to stro!! among the f!o'ers in the moon!ight. The dragon #ing at on"e too# human form4 'ent up to him and #ne!t and (o'ed (efore him4 "r6ing4 @-a+e me4 ?our BaEest64 sa+e me.@ @Who are 6ou4 that 'e shou!d sa+e 6ouG@ as#ed TaiFong. @?our BaEest6 is a true dragon4@ rep!ied the dragon #ing4 @and 3 am a 'i"#ed dragon. /s 3 ha+e offended against the !a's of 0ea+en4 3 am due to (e (eheaded (6 ?our BaEest61s i!!ustrious minister Wei Lheng4 the offi"ia! in "harge of personne!4 so 3 ha+e "ome to (eg 6ou to sa+e me.@

@3f 6ou are supposed to (e (eheaded (6 Wei Lheng4 'e "an sa+e 6ou4 so set 6our mind at rest and go a!ong no'4@ said the Tang 7mperor. The dragon #ing4 'ho 'as eDtreme!6 happ64 #o'to'ed in than#s and 'ent a'a6. TaiFong remem(ered his dream 'hen he 'o#e up. 3t 'as no' ha!f past four in the morning4 so TaiFong he!d "ourt (efore the assem(!ed "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s.

Bist 'reathed the pa!a"e gates4 3n"ense rose to the dragon to'ers. 3n the shimmering !ight the si!#en s"reen mo+es4 /s the "!ouds sha#e the imperia! g!or6 spreads. Bonar"h and su(Ee"t as faithfu! as ?ao and -hun4 3mposing musi" and ritua! ri+a!ing Lhou and 0an. 9ages ho!d !anterns4 9a!a"e 'omen ho!d fans4 3n (ri!!iant pairs. 9heasant s"reens4 Hni"orn ha!!s4 -himmering e+er6'here. /s the "a!! @;ong ;i+e the 7mperor@ goes up4 The 7mpress is 'ished a thousand autumns. When the ,od of -i!en"e des"ends three times4 The uniformed offi"ia!s (o' to the emperor. The (right!6 "o!oured pa!a"e f!o'ers ha+e a hea+en!6 s"ent8 The de!i"ate 'i!!o's on the (an# sing ro6a! songs. 9ear! "urtains4 <ade "urtains4 /re hung high from go!den hoo#s8

*ragon and phoeniD fans4 ;ands"ape fans4 ,est (6 the ro6a! "hariot. 7!egant are the "i+i! offi"ia!s4 :igorous the genera!s. 6 the 3mperia! Wa6 high and !o' are di+ided8 The6 stand (6 ran# (eneath the pa!a"e steps. The ministers 'ith their purp!e "orded sea!s ride three e!ephants. Ba6 the 7mperor !i+e as !ong as 0ea+en and 7arthA

When the offi"ia!s had a!! done homage the6 di+ided into their groups. The Tang 7mperor !oo#ed at them one (6 one 'ith his dragon and phoeniD e6es. /mong the "i+i! offi"ia!s he o(ser+ed .ang =uan!ing4 *u ,uhui4 =u -hiEi4 =u <ingFong4 Wang 5ui and others8 and among the mi!itar6 offi"ers he sa' Ba -an(ao4 *uan LhiDian4 ?in Caishan4 Cheng ?aoEin4 ;iu 0ongEi4 0u <ingde4 and Kin -hu(ao among others. 7+er6 one of them 'as standing there so!emn!6 and 'ith dignit64 (ut he "ou!d not see Binister Wei Lheng among them. 0e summoned =u -hiEi into the pa!a"e ha!! and said to him4 @We had a strange dream !ast night in 'hi"h a man "ame and (o'ed to us4 "!aiming that he 'as the *ragon Cing of the ,i+er <ing. 0e had (ro#en the !a's of 0ea+en4 and 'as due to (e (eheaded (6 the offi"ia! in the personne! department4 Wei Lheng. 0e (egged us to sa+e him4 and 'e agreed. Wh6 is it that the on!6 offi"ia! missing at "ourt toda6 is Wei LhengG@ @3f this dream is true4@ rep!ied =u -hiEi4 @Wei Lheng must (e summoned to the pa!a"e4 and ?our BaEest6 must not !et him out of doors. $n"e toda6 is o+er the *ragon Cing 'i!! (e sa+ed.@ The Tang 7mperor 'as o+erEo6ed and he sent a persona! aide 'ith a de"ree summoning Wei Lheng to "ourt. That night the minister Wei Lheng had (een reading the stars in his residen"e and 'as Eust (urning some pre"ious in"ense 'hen he heard a "rane "a!!ing in the s#6. 3t 'as a messenger from 0ea+en 'ith a de"ree from the <ade 7mperor ordering him to (ehead the *ragon Cing of the ,i+er <ing in a dream at ha!f past one the fo!!o'ing afternoon. The minister than#ed 0ea+en for its gra"e4 fasted and (athed himse!f4 tried out the s'ord of his 'isdom4 and eDer"ised his sou!. This 'as 'h6 he did not go to "ourt. When the imperia! aide "ame 'ith a summons he 'as frightened and nonp!ussed8 (ut he did not dare to de!a6 in o(e6ing an order from his monar"h4 so he hurried!6 tidied his "!othes4 tightened his (e!t4 and 'ent to the pa!a"e 'ith the summons in his hands. 0e #o'to'ed to the 7mperor and admitted his fau!t. @We forgi+e 6ou4@ said the 7mperor. The offi"ia!s had not 6et 'ithdra'n4 so the 7mperor no' ordered the "urtains to (e !o'ered and dismissed them. The on!6 one of them he #ept (ehind 'as Wei Lheng4 'hom he ordered to mount the go!den "hariot and "ome to his pri+ate >uarters 'ith him4 'here the6 dis"ussed the po!i"ies to (ring pea"e and sta(i!it6 to the "ountr6. /t a(out noon he ordered the pa!a"e !adies to (ring a !arge +ei1i "hess set and said4 @We sha!! no' ha+e a game of "hess.@ The 3mperia! "on"u(ines (rought in a "hess (oard and set it on the 7mperor1s ta(!e.

Than#ing the Tang 7mperor for his gra"e4 Wei Lheng started to p!a6 'ith him. /s ea"h mo+ed in turn the6 (ui!t up their !ines of (att!e. 3t 'as Eust as the Chess Classi2 sa6s%

The Wa6 of "hess% The (est p!a"e is the midd!e of the (oard4 The 'orst is the side4 /nd the "omers are neither good nor (ad. This is the eterna! !a' of "hess. The !a' sa6s% @3t is (etter to !ose a pie"e Than to !ose the initiati+e. When 6ou are stru"# on the !eft4 !oo# to the right4 When atta"#ed in the rear4 #eep an e6e on 6our front. -ometimes the !eader is rea!!6 (ehind4 -ometimes the !aggard is rea!!6 ahead. 3f 6ou ha+e t'o 1!i+e1 areas do not !et them (e se+ered8 3f 6ou "an sur+i+e as 6ou are4 do not !in# up. *o not spread 6ourse!f out too thin!64 *o not "ro'd 6our pie"es too "!ose!6. ,ather than (eing niggard!6 'ith 6our pie"es4 ;ose them and 'in the game. ,ather than mo+ing for no reason4 3t is (etter to strengthen 6our position. When he has man6 and 6ou ha+e fe'4 Con"entrate on sur+i+a!8 When 6ou ha+e man6 and he has fe'4

7Dtend 6our positions. The one 'ho is good at 'inning does not ha+e to strugg!e8 The one 'ho dra's up a good position does not ha+e to fight8 The one 'ho fights 'e!! does not !ose8 The one 'ho !oses 'e!! is not thro'n into "onfusion. $pen 6our game 'ith "on+entiona! gam(its4 /nd end (6 'inning 'ith surprise atta"#s. When the enem6 strengthens himse!f for no apparent reason4 0e is p!anning to atta"# and "ut 6ou off. When he a(andons sma!! areas and does not res"ue them 0is am(itions are great. The man 'ho p!a"es his pie"es at random 0as no p!ans8 The man 'ho responds 'ithout thin#ing 3s heading for defeat. The oo# of -ongs sa6s% @ e "autious and "arefu! /s if 6ou 'ere 'a!#ing on the edge of a pre"ipi"e.1 This is 'hat it means.@

There is a poem that goes%

The (oard is the 7arth4 the "hessmen 0ea+en4 The "o!ours4 9ositi+e and 2egati+e4 When 6ou rea"h that su(t!e state 'hen a!! the "hanges (e"ome "!ear4 ?ou "an !augh and (rag a(out the "hess−p!a6ing 3mmorta!s.

/s so+ereign and minister p!a6ed their game of "hess it 'as ha!f past one. /!though the game 'as not o+er4 Wei Lheng s!umped do'n (eside the ta(!e and started to snore4 fast as!eep. @Worth6 Binister4@ said TaiFong 'ith a smi!e4 @6ou ha+e eDhausted 6our mind in strengthening the "ountr6 and tired 6ourse!f out (ui!ding the empire8 that is 'h6 6ou ha+e fa!!en as!eep 'ithout rea!iFing it.@ The 7mperor said no more and !et him s!eep. 2ot !ong after'ards Wei Lheng 'o#e up4 prostrated himse!f on the f!oor4 and said4 @?our su(Ee"t deser+es ten thousand deaths. 3 fe!! as!eep 'ithout #no'ing 'hat 3 'as doing4 and 3 (eg ?our BaEest6 to forgi+e 6our su(Ee"t1s "rimina! dis"ourtes6 to his so+ereign.@ @What "rimina! dis"ourtes6 ha+e 6ou "ommittedG@ the 7mperor as#ed. @,ise4 and ta#e the 9ie"es off the (oard so that 'e ma6 start again.@ Wei Lheng than#ed him for his gra"e4 and 'as Eust ta#ing the pie"es in his hand 'hen he heard shouting outside the pa!a"e gates. Kin -hu(ao4 =u Baogong and some others (rought in a dragon1s head dripping 'ith (!ood4 thre' it to the f!oor in front of the 7mperor4 and reported4 @?our BaEest64

-eas ha+e gone sha!!o' and ri+ers ha+e run dr64 ut su"h a sight as this 'as ne+er seen (6 human e6e.@

The 7mperor and Wei Lheng rose to their feet and as#ed 'here it had "ome from. @This dragon1s head fe!! from a "!oud at the "rossroads at the end of the Thousand ?ard 9orti"o4 and 6our hum(!e su(Ee"ts dared not fai! to report it4@ said Kin -hu(ao and =u Baogong. @What does this meanG@ the Tang 7mperor as#ed Wei Lheng in astonishment. @?our su(Ee"t (eheaded it in a dream Eust no'4@ rep!ied Wei Lheng4 #o'to'ing. @ ut 3 ne+er sa' 6ou mo+e 6our hand or (od6 'hen 6ou 'ere doFing4@ said the sho"#ed 7mperor4 @and 6ou had no s'ord4 so ho' "ou!d 6ou ha+e (eheaded itG@ @B6 !ord4@ rep!ied Wei Lheng4 @6our su(Ee"t

Was (odi!6 in 6our presen"e4 ut far a'a6 in m6 dream. 3 'as (odi!6 in 6our presen"e rea"hing the end of a game. When 3 shut m6 e6es and fe!t dro's68 3 'ent far a'a6 in m6 dream4 riding a magi" "!oud4 ursting 'ith energ6.

That dragon Was on the *ragon−s!i"ing -"affo!d Where he had (een tied (6 the offi"ers and so!diers of 0ea+en. Then 6our minister said4 1?ou ha+e (ro#en the !a's of 0ea+en4 /nd deser+e the death pena!t6. 3 (ear a hea+en!6 mandate To (ehead 6ou.1 When the dragon heard he 'as (itter!6 grie+ed8 ?our su(Ee"t marsha!!ed his spirits. When the dragon heard he 'as (itter!6 grie+ed4 9u!!ed in his "!a's4 !aid do'n his s"a!es and g!ad!6 prepared to die. ?our su(Ee"t marsha!!ed his spirits4 0it"hed up his "!othes4 stepped for'ard and raised the (!ade. With a sni"# the s'ord "ame do'n4 /nd the dragon1s head fe!! into the +oid.@

7mperor TaiFong1s fee!ings on hearing this 'ere miDed. $n the one hand he 'as happ64 (e"ause he 'as proud of ha+ing so good a minister as Wei Lheng8 for 'ith a hero !i#e that in his "ourt he needed to ha+e no 'orries a(out the safet6 of the empire. $n the other hand he 'as distressed4 (e"ause a!though he had promised in his dream to sa+e the dragon4 it had (een eDe"uted. 0e had no "hoi"e (ut to pu!! himse!f together and order Kin -hu(ao to hang the dragon1s head up in the mar#et p!a"e as a 'arning to the "ommon peop!e of Chang1an. 0e a!so re'arded Wei Lheng4 and then a!! the offi"ia!s dispersed. When he returned to the pa!a"e that e+ening4 the 7mperor 'as depressed as he remem(ered ho' the dragon had 'ept so (itter!6 in his dream4 (egging to (e sa+ed. ?et the dragon had (een una(!e to a+oid its doom. /fter (rooding o+er this for a !ong time he fe!t more and more eDhausted and uneas6. 3n the se"ond 'at"h of the night he heard so((ing outside the pa!a"e gates4 'hi"h made him more frightened than e+er. /s he !a6 in a fitfu! s!eep4 the dragon #ing of the ,i+er <ing reappeared4 this time ho!ding a head dripping 'ith (!ood in his hands. @7mperor TaiFong of the Tang4@ he shouted4 @gi+e me (a"# m6 !ife4 gi+e me (a"# m6 !ife. ;ast night 6ou 'ere fu!! of promises to sa+e me4 so 'h6 did 6ou dou(!e−"ross me 6esterda6 and order Wei Lheng4 the offi"ia! in "harge of personne!4 to (ehead meG Come out4 "ome out4 and 'e sha!! go to the Cing of 0e!!1s p!a"e to ha+e this out.@ 0e pu!!ed at the 7mperor1s "!othes and 'ou!d not stop shouting. TaiFong "ou!d find nothing to sa64 and strugg!ed so hard to get a'a6 that he 'as pouring 'ith s'eat. <ust at this most a'#'ard moment he sa' fragrant "!ouds and "o!oured mists to the -outh. / fema!e 3mmorta! "ame for'ard and 'a+ed a 'i!!o' t'ig4 at 'hi"h the head!ess dragon 'ent off to the 2orth'est4 'eeping pitifu!!6. This 3mmorta! 'as the odhisatt+a 5uan6in4 'ho had "ome to the 7ast in o(edien"e to the uddha1s de"ree to find the man to fet"h the s"riptures. -he 'as no' sta6ing in the temp!e of the tute!ar6 god of Chang1an4 and 'hen she heard the de+i!ish ho'!ing she "ame to "hase a'a6 the 'i"#ed dragon. The dragon then 'ent do'n to 0e!! to su(mit a fu!! report.

When TaiFong 'o#e up he shouted4 @/ ghost4 a ghostA@ The empresses of the three pa!a"es4 the imperia! "onsorts and "on"u(ines of the siD "ompounds4 the attendants and the eunu"hs 'ere a!! so terrified (6 this that the6 !a6 a'a#e trem(!ing for the rest of the night. efore !ong it 'as ha!f past four4 and a!! the mi!itar6 and "i+i! offi"ia!s 'ere 'aiting for the morning "ourt outside the pa!a"e gates. When da'n "ame and the 7mperor had sti!! not "ome to "ourt the6 'ere so frightened that the6 did not #no' 'hat to do. 3t 'as not ti!! the sun 'as high in the s#6 that a de"ree 'as (rought out that read4 @/s our mind is not at ease a!! the offi"ia!s are eD"used "ourt.@ -iD or se+en da6s >ui"#!6 passed4 and a!! the offi"ia!s 'ere so anDious that the6 'ished the6 "ou!d rush to the pa!a"e gates to see the 7mperor and as# after his hea!th4 (ut a!! that happened 'as that the 7mpress issued a de"ree summoning the ro6a! do"tors to the pa!a"e to administer medi"ine. Cro'ds of offi"ia!s gathered at the pa!a"e gates 'aiting for ne's4 and 'hen the do"tors "ame out a !itt!e !ater the6 as#ed 'hat the matter 'as. @0is BaEest61s pu!se in not as it shou!d (e% it is (oth faint and fast. 0e murmurs de!irious!6 a(out ha+ing seen a ghost. 0is pu!se stops e+er6 ten (eats. 0is fi+e +is"era !a"# a!! spirit4 and 3 am afraid that the 'orst must (e eDpe"ted 'ithin se+en da6s.@ The offi"ia!s 'ent pa!e from sho"#. /mid a!! the pani" it 'as !earned that TaiFong had sent for =u Baogong4 the *u#e 9rote"tor Kin -hu(ao4 and ;ord ?u"hi <ingde. When the three !ords re"ei+ed the de"ree the6 hurried to the !o'er stor6 of the side pa!a"e. When the6 had (o'ed to him4 a serious−fa"ed TaiFong spo#e for"efu!!6 to them. @3!!ustrious ministers4@ he said4 @'e started to "ommand troops at the age of nineteen4 and had man6 hard 6ears of fighting from then on4 "on>uering the 2orth and the -outh4 defending in the 7ast4 and 'iping out our enemies in the West8 (ut ne+er on"e did 'e see an6thing sinister or e+i!. ?et no' 'e are seeing ghosts.@ @?our BaEest6 has founded an empire and s!aughtered men (e6ond num(er4 so 'h6 shou!d 6ou (e s"ared of ghostsG@ as#ed ;ord ?u"hi. @?ou don1t (e!ie+e us4@ the 7mperor rep!ied4 @(ut outside our (edroom door at night (ri"#s and ti!es f!6 a(out and the ghosts and demons ho'!. 3t is rea!!6 terri(!e. *a6time is passa(!e4 (ut the nights are un(eara(!e.@ @*on1t 'orr64 ?our BaEest64@ said Kin -hu(ao. @Tonight 3 and ?u"hi <ingde sha!! guard the pa!a"e doors to see 'hether there are an6 ghosts or not.@ TaiFong agreed to his suggestion4 and after than#ing him for his #indness =u Baogong and the other t'o genera!s 'ithdre'. That e+ening the t'o of them put on their e>uipment and too# up their positions outside the pa!a"e gates in fu!! armour and he!met4 'ith go!den ma"es and (att!e−aDes in their hands. ;oo# ho' these sp!endid genera!s 'ere dressed%

$n their heads 'ere go!den he!mets (right4 $n their (odies 'as armour !i#e dragon s"a!es.

Bagi" "!ouds g!isten in front of their 0eart−prote"ting Birrors8 Their !ion "oats are tight!6 (u"#!ed. .resh are the "o!ours of their em(roidered (e!ts. $ne !oo#s up to the s#6 'ith his phoeniD e6es4 and the stars trem(!e8 The other1s e6es f!ash !ightning and dim the moon!ight. These true heroes and distinguished ministers Wi!! (e "a!!ed gate−prote"tors for a thousand 6ears /nd ser+e as door−gods for ten thousand ages.

The t'o genera!s stood (eside the doors ti!! deep into the night4 and not a sing!e demon did the6 see. That night TaiFong s!ept pea"efu!!6 in the pa!a"e and nothing happened. When morning "ame he "a!!ed the t'o genera!s in and ga+e them ri"h re'ards. @We had not (een a(!e to s!eep for se+era! da6s sin"e 'e fe!! i!!4@ he said4 @(ut !ast night 'as +er6 pea"efu!4 than#s to the a'esome might of 6ou t'o genera!s. 9!ease go and rest no' so that 6ou "an guard us again tonight.@ The t'o genera!s than#ed him and !eft. .or the neDt t'o or three nights the6 stood guard and a!! 'as >uiet8 (ut the 7mperor ate !ess and !ess as his i!!ness too# a turn for the 'orse. 2ot 'ishing to put the t'o genera!s to an6 more trou(!e4 he summoned them to the pa!a"e 'ith *u ,uhui and .ang =uan!ing. These 'ere the instru"tions he ga+e them% @/!though 'e ha+e enEo6ed pea"e for the !ast t'o da6s4 'e are unhapp6 a(out the night−!ong ordea!s 'e ha+e imposed on 5enera!s Kin and ?u"hi. We therefore 'ish to "ommission t'o s#i!!ed painters to ma#e faithfu! portraits of the t'o genera!s to paste on the doors so that the6 ma6 (e sa+ed trou(!e. What do 6ou thin#G@ 3n o(edien"e to the imperia! de"ree the offi"ia!s "hose t'o men 'ho "ou!d dra' a good !i#eness4 and the t'o genera!s 'ore their armour as (efore 'hi!e the6 'ere painted. Then the pi"tures 'ere stu"# on the doors4 and there 'as no trou(!e that night. The neDt t'o or three da6s 'ere pea"efu! too (ut then the 7mperor heard (ri"#s and ti!es (anging and "rashing on"e again at the 0ou Lai 5ate. 0e summoned his offi"ia!s at da'n and said4 @There has4 than# goodness4 (een no trou(!e at the front gates for se+era! da6s no'4 (ut there 'ere noises at the (a"# gates !ast night that pra"ti"a!!6 s"ared me to death.@ =u Baogong 'ent for'ard and su(mitted this suggestion% @When there 'as trou(!e at the front gates ?u"hi <ingde and Kin -hu(ao prote"ted ?our BaEest6. 2o' there is trou(!e at the (a"# gates Wei Lheng shou!d (e ordered to stand guard.@ TaiFong appro+ed his suggestion4 and ordered Wei Lheng to stand guard at the (a"# gates that night. Wei Lheng re"ei+ed the edi"t4 and that night he put on his (est "!othes4 (e!ted himse!f tight!64 and too# up his +igi! outside the 0ou Lai 5ate. 0e 'as a true hero. 0e 'ore

/ (!a"# (and of si!# around his forehead4 / (ro"ade go'n !oose!6 (e!ted 'ith Eade.

0is hood and (i!!o'ing s!ee+es "aught the frost and de'4 /nd he !oo#ed more fero"ious than the ghost−>ue!!ers -henshu and ?u! ti. $n his feet he 'ore (!a"# (oots for motion!ess mo+ement8 3n his hand he 'ie!ded a #een−edged (!ade 'ith great fero"it6. 0e !oo#ed around 'ith g!aring e6es% What e+i! spirit 'ou!d ha+e dared approa"hG

2o de+i!s 'ere seen a!! night4 (ut a!though nothing happened at the front or (a"# gates the 7mperor1s "ondition sti!! deteriorated. $ne da6 the 7mpress *o'ager issued an edi"t summoning the offi"ia!s to dis"uss funera! arrangements. TaiFong sent for =u Baogong and ga+e him orders a(out affairs of state4 instru"ting him to !oo# after the heir to the throne in the 'a6 that ;iu ei4 the ru!er of -hu4 had instru"ted Lhuge ;iang. When he had finished spea#ing he 'as (athed and put into "!ean "!othes. /!! he had to do no' 'as to 'ait for the end. Then in rushed Wei Lheng4 'ho gra((ed ho!d of his dragon ro(es and said4 @*o not 'orr64 ?our BaEest6. 3 "an ensure ?our BaEest6 !ong !ife.@ @The disease has rea"hed m6 heart4@ rep!ied the 7mperor4 @and m6 !ife 'i!! end at an6 moment no'4 so ho' "an 6ou sa+e itG@ @?our su(Ee"t has a !etter here4@ said Wei Lheng4 @that 3 am offering to ?our BaEest6 to ta#e 'ith 6ou to the under'or!d and gi+e to Cui <ue4 the Eudge of .engdu.@ @Who is this Cui <ueG@ as#ed the 7mperor. @0e 'as one of the offi"ers of ?our BaEest61s eDa!ted prede"essor. .rom (eing magistrate of CiFhou he 'as promoted to (e +i"e−president of the Binistr6 of ,ites. When he 'as a!i+e he and 3 'ere "!ose friends. 2o' that he is dead he is in "harge of the ,egisters of irth and *eath in the under'or!d as Eudge of .engdu4 and he often "omes to see me in m6 dreams. 3f 6ou ta#e this !etter 'ith 6ou on 6our Eourne6 and gi+e it to him4 he is (ound to a!!o' ?our BaEest6 to "ome (a"# out of "onsideration for 6our hum(!e su(Ee"t. 3 "an guarantee that ?our BaEest61s sou! 'i!! return to the sun!ight4 and the dragon "ountenan"e 'i!! "ertain!6 return to the imperia! "apita!.@ TaiFong too# the !etter and put it in his s!ee+e4 then he shut his e6es in death. The empresses4 "onsorts and imperia! "on"u(ines of the three pa!a"es and the siD "ompounds4 the pa!a"e ser+ants4 the heir to the throne4 and the "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s a!! grie+ed and dressed in mourning. The imperia! "offin !a6 in state in the White Tiger 0a!!. 3f 6ou don1t #no' ho' TaiFong "ame (a"# to !ife4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt "hapter. Chapter 11 /fter Touring the Hnder'or!d4 TaiFong ,eturns to ;ife. 6 9resenting a 9ump#in ;iu Kuan Continues 0is Barriage

/ hundred 6ears f!o' (6 !i#e 'ater8 / !ifetime1s "areer is no more than a (u((!e4 The fa"e that 6esterda6 'as the "o!or of pea"h−(!ossom Toda6 is edged 'ith sno'. When the 'hite ants1 !ine of (att!e "o!!apses4 a!! is i!!usion8 @,epent4 repent4@ is the "u"#oo1s urgent "a!!. 0e 'ho does good in se"ret "an a!'a6s pro!ong his !ife8 0ea+en !oo#s after the one 'ho as#s no pit6.

TaiFong 'as in a daFe as his sou! 'ent straight to the To'er of .i+e 9hoeniDes4 in front of 'hi"h he sa' the horsemen of the 3mperia! 5uard 'ho in+ited him out hunting 'ith them. TaiFong 'as g!ad to go and the6 'ent off into the distan"e8 (ut after the6 had (een going for some time he found himse!f 'a!#ing a!one in a 'aste!and% the horsemen had a!! disappeared. <ust as he 'as dis"o+ering to his a!arm that he "ou!d not find his 'a6 a man appeared not far a'a64 shouting. @5reat Tang 7mperor4 "ome here4 "ome here.@ $n hearing this TaiFong !oo#ed up and sa' him%

/ (!a"# si!# tur(an4 / rhino"eros−horn (e!t. The (!a"# si!# tur(an has ta(s (!o'ing in the (reeFe8 The rhino"eros−horn (e!t has go!den mountings. 3n his hands an i+or6 ta(!et4 g!o'ing auspi"ious!68 0is thin si!# go'n "on"ea!s his di+ine !ight. 0e 'ears a pair of (oots 'ith 'hitened so!es /s he "!im(s the "!ouds and grasps the mist4 0o!ding to his "hest the ,egisters of ;ife and *eath4 2oting do'n the >ui"# and the dead. 0is tang!ed hair (!o's a(out his ears8 0is 'his#ers dan"e and f!6 (eside his "hee#s.

$n"e he used to (e a Tang minister ut no' he Eudges "ases for the Cing of 0e!!.

When TaiFong 'ent up to him4 he fe!! on his #nees (eside the path and said4 @?our BaEest64 p!ease forgi+e 6our su(Ee"t for his "rime of fai!ing to "ome far enough to meet 6ou.@ @Who are 6ouG@ as#ed the 7mperor4 @and 'h6 ha+e 6ou "ome to meet meG@ @/ fortnight ago 6our hum(!e ser+ant heard the *ragon Cing of the ,i+er <ing (ringing a "ase against ?our BaEest6 in the -en!uo 9a!a"e (e"ause he 'as eDe"uted despite 6our promise to sa+e him4@ rep!ied the other. @The Cing of Kinguang of the .irst 9a!a"e sent de+i! messengers 'ith an urgent summons to ?our BaEest6 to (e present 'hen the "ase is heard (et'een the Three $rders% the 0uman $rder4 the Hnder'or!d $rder and the Water $rder. When 3 heard this 3 "ame here to meet ?our BaEest6. 3 arri+ed !ate4 so 3 (eg for forgi+eness.@ @What is 6our name and positionG@ as#ed TaiFong. @When 6our hum(!e ser+ant 'as a!i+e 3 used to ser+e 0is ;ate BaEest6. 3 'as magistrate of CiFhou4 and !ater made +i"e−president of the Binistr6 of ,ites. B6 name is Cui <ue. 3 ha+e no' (een gi+en offi"e in the under'or!d as the Eudge in "harge of "ases at .engdu.@ TaiFong4 great!6 de!ighted to !earn this4 'ent up to him and supported him 'ith his imperia! hands as he said4 @-ir4 6ou ha+e made a !ong and eDhausting Eourne6. Wei Lheng4 our minister4 ga+e us a !etter for 6ou8 ho' !u"#6 that 'e ha+e met.@ The Eudge than#ed him and as#ed 'here the !etter 'as. TaiFong produ"ed it from his s!ee+e and handed it o+er to Cui <ue4 'ho re"ei+ed it 'ith a (o'. When he opened it he sa' that it read as fo!!o's%

?our 7D"e!!en"64 Betropo!itan <udge4 and :enera(!e 7!der rother Cui4 ,emem(ering our former friendship8 3 sti!! see and hear 6ou as if 6ou 'ere a!i+e8 (ut man6 6ears ha+e no' f!o'n (6 sin"e 3 !ast re"ei+ed 6our pure instru"tion. $n feast da6s 3 set out some +egetarian dishes as a sa"rifi"e to 6ou4 (ut 3 ha+e (een una(!e to di+ine 'hether the6 are enEo6ed (6 6ou. /s 3 ha+e the good fortune not to ha+e (een a(andoned (6 6ou and 6ou ha+e appeared to me in dreams4 3 no' #no' that m6 great e!der (rother has risen high. ut4 a!as4 there is a great gap (et'een the 'or!ds of dar#ness and of !ight4 and 'e are una(!e to meet ea"h other as 'e are ea"h at different ends of the uni+erse. /s the Cu!tured 7mperor TaiFong has re"ent!6 passed a'a6 of a sudden i!!ness it seems !i#e!6 that his "ase 'i!! (e dis"ussed (6 the Three $rders4 so that he is (ound to meet 6ou4 e!der (rother. 3 (esee"h 6ou to remem(er the friendship of the da6s 'hen 6ou 'ere a!i+e and gi+e 0is BaEest6 su"h assistan"e as 'i!! ena(!e him to return to the sun!ight. This 'ou!d (e a great fa+our4 and 3 sha!! 'rite again to than# 6ou. 3 "annot go into a!! the detai!s of the "ase here. ?our 6ounger (rother #o'to's to 6ou. With affe"tion4 Wei Lheng.

The Eudge 'as +er6 p!eased 'hen he had read the !etter. @3 #no' a(out ho' the offi"ia! Wei of the personne! department (eheaded the dragon in a dream the other da64@ he said4 @and this ne's fi!!ed me 'ith great admiration. 0e has a!'a6s !oo#ed after m6 sons and grandsons4 and no' that 3 ha+e a !etter from him4 ?our BaEest6 need ha+e no 'orries. ?our hum(!e ser+ant "an underta#e to es"ort ?our BaEest6 (a"# to the !ight4 'here 6ou 'i!! on"e more as"end the throne.@ TaiFong than#ed him. /s the6 'ere ta!#ing a pair of ser+ant (o6s in (!a"# appeared4 "arr6ing (anners and a pre"ious "anop6. @/n in+itation from Cing ?ama4@ the6 shouted. TaiFong and <udge Cui 'ent a!ong 'ith them. / "it6 'a!! appeared in front of them4 and a(o+e its gates hung a !arge ta(!et on 'hi"h 'as 'ritten *7:3; 5/T7 $. T07 W$,;* $. */,C27-- in huge !etters of go!d. The t'o !i"tors 'a+ed their (anners and !ed TaiFong into the "it6 and a!ong its streets. eside the road he sa' his father and prede"essor ;i ?uan4 as 'e!! as his dead (rothers <ain"heng and ?uanEi4 'ho 'ent up to him and said4 @-himin1s here4 -himin1s here4@ using his persona! name. The6 gra((ed and hit him4 demanding their !i+es (a"#8 and as TaiFong "ou!d not a+oid them the6 he!d him fast unti! <udge Cui ordered a (!ue−fa"ed de+i! 'ith terri(!e fangs to dri+e them a'a6. $n!6 then 'as TaiFong a(!e to es"ape from their "!ut"hes. /fter another mi!e or so he sa' a green−ti!ed to'er rising maEesti"a!!6 (efore him.

/ m6riad "o!oured +ei!s of haFe drifting a(out it4 / thousand 'isps of red mist dim!6 appearing. The f!6ing ea+es had monsters at their ends4 The mat"hing ti!es of the fi+e roofs 'ere g!eaming (right. ,o's of go!den studs 'ere dri+en into the doors4 / !ength of 'hitest Eade 'as p!a"ed a"ross ea"h thresho!d. When the 'indo's fa"ed the !ight the6 g!o'ed !i#e the da'n8 ,ed !ightning f!ashed from the !atti"e and the (!inds. The to'er soared into the aFure s#6 Whi!e porti"os !ed to sumptuous "ourt6ards. 3n"ense from (raFiers shaped !i#e (easts perfumed the ro6a! ro(es8 The !ight from !anterns of purp!e gauFe 'as thro'n on pa!a"e fans. To the !eft a ro' of fero"ious (u!!−headed demons8 To the right 'ere terri(!e horse−fa"ed de+i!s. Those 'ho es"orted the spirits of the dead had go!den ta(!ets8

Those 'ho summoned sou!s 'ore 'hite sa"#"!oth. This p!a"e 'as "a!!ed the assem(!6 of the under'or!d4 The 9a!a"e of ?ama4 Cing of 0e!!.

/s TaiFong gaFed at it from the outside4 Eade ornaments "ou!d (e heard tin#!ing as the6 s'ung from the (e!ts of offi"ia!s4 and rare perfumes "ou!d (e sme!t. 3n front 'ere t'o pairs of attendants ho!ding !anterns4 and (ehind them the ten generations of #ings of the under'or!d "ame do'n the steps. The ten #ings 'ere the Cing of Kinguang4 the Cing of ChuEiang4 Cing -ongdi4 Cing Wuguan4 Cing ?ama4 Cing 3mpartia!4 Cing of Bount Tai4 the Betropo!itan Cing4 the Cing of ian"heng4 and the Cing of the 7+er−turning Whee!. The6 "ame out of the -en!uo 9a!a"e and (o'ed to TaiFong in greeting. TaiFong fe!t too hum(!e to go for'ard. @?our BaEest6 is a monar"h in the 'or!d of !ight4 (ut 'e are on!6 #ings in the 'or!d of dar#ness. 3t is therefore on!6 right that 'e shou!d do this4 so 'h6 this eD"essi+e modest6G@ @We ha+e offended against ?our BaEesties4@ rep!ied TaiFong4 @so ho' "an 'e +enture to ta!# in terms of !ight and dar#ness4 or men and ghostsG@ /fter mu"h 6ie!ding TaiFong 'ent into the -en!uo 9a!a"e4 and 'hen the6 had finished (o'ing to ea"h other the6 sat do'n as hosts and guest. / moment !ater the Cing of Kinguang "!asped his hands together and said4 @Wh6 is it that the ghost dragon of the ,i+er <ing has (rought a "ase against ?our BaEest64 sa6ing that he 'as eDe"uted despite 6our promise to sa+e himG@ @3 had a dream that an o!d dragon "ame to as# me to sa+e him4@ rep!ied TaiFong4 @and 3 did in fa"t promise that he 'ou!d "ome to no harm8 (ut as it turned out his "rime 'as a "apita! one4 for 'hi"h he 'as due to (e (eheaded (6 the minister in the personne! department4 Wei Lheng. We summoned Wei Lheng to "ome and p!a6 "hess in the pa!a"e4 and 3 ne+er #ne' that he had (eheaded the dragon in a dream. This happened (e"ause that offi"er "an "ome and go mira"u!ous!64 and a!so (e"ause the dragon #ing had "ommitted a "rime for 'hi"h he deser+ed to die. We 'ere in no 'a6 to (!ame for his death.@ When the Ten Cings heard his statement the6 (o'ed and rep!ied4 @7+en (efore that dragon 'as (orn it 'as 'ritten in the registers of the -outhern 9o!e -tar that he 'as destined to die at the hands of a personne! minister4 as 'e ha+e !ong (een a'are. ut (e"ause he has (een arguing a(out the matter 'e had to send for ?our BaEest6. When the "ase has (een argued (et'een the three orders 'e sha!! send him to the ,e+o!+ing 9ra6er−'hee! for rein"arnation. We hope that ?our BaEest6 'i!! forgi+e us for for"ing 6ou to attend.@ Then the6 ordered the Eudge in "harge of the ,egisters of irth and *eath to fet"h them at on"e to see ho' !ong 0is BaEest6 'as due to !i+e. <udge Cui hurried to his offi"e and too# do'n the genera! register of the !engths of the reigns 0ea+en had a!!o'ed to the #ings of a!! the "ountries of the earth. /s he 'as !oo#ing through it he sa' to his horror that 7mperor TaiFong of the 5reat Tang in the -outhern <am(u Continent 'as due to die in 6ear 13 of his reign. 0e hurried!6 seiFed a !arge (rush soa#ed in in#4 "hanged 13 into 334 then he handed the register up. The Ten Cings started at the (eginning and read it through unti! the6 sa' that TaiFong 'as due to reign for thirt6−three 6ears. @0o' !ong has ?our BaEest6 (een on the throneG@ as#ed the sho"#ed #ings of he!!. @3t is no' thirteen 6ears sin"e m6 a""ession4@ TaiFong rep!ied.

@Then there is no need for ?our BaEest6 to 'orr64@ said Cing ?ama. @?ou ha+e t'ent6 6ears of !ife ahead of 6ou. 2o' that 6ou ha+e ans'ered these "harges satisfa"tori!64 'i!! 6ou p!ease return to the Wor!d of ;ight.@ $n hearing this TaiFong (o'ed and than#ed the Ten Cings4 'ho then ordered Eudge Cui and marsha! Lhu to return TaiFong his sou!. /s he 'as !ea+ing the -en!uo 9a!a"e TaiFong raised his hand in sa!utation and as#ed the Ten Cings a(out the prospe"ts for a!! the mem(ers of his fami!6 in his pa!a"e. @5ood4@ the6 rep!ied4 @eD"ept that ?our BaEest61s 6ounger sister does not seem to (e going to !i+e mu"h !onger.@ TaiFong (o'ed on"e more to eDpress his than#s. @When 'e return to the da6!ight 'e sha!! ha+e nothing 'ith 'hi"h to sho' our gratitude eD"ept for fruit and me!ons.@ @We ha+e gourds4 7astern me!ons and Western me!ons4 or 'ater−me!ons4 here4 (ut no pump#ins4 no -outhern me!ons4@ said the Ten Cings. @When 'e return to the 'or!d of the !i+ing 'e sha!! send some4@ rep!ied TaiFong4 and 'ith that the6 raised their "!asped hands to ea"h other4 (o'ed4 and parted. The marsha!4 'ith a sou!−guiding f!ag in his hand4 !ed the 'a64 and <udge Cui fo!!o'ed 'ith TaiFong as the6 !eft the offi"e of dar#ness. TaiFong !oo#ed up and sa' that the6 'ere not going the same 'a6 as the6 had "ome. @0a+e 'e ta#en the 'rong roadG@ he as#ed the Eudge4 'ho rep!ied4 @2o. 3n the under'or!d 6ou "an on!6 go8 6ou "an ne+er "ome (a"#. We are no' ta#ing ?our BaEest6 out through the ,e+o!+ing 9ra6er−'hee!8 thus 6ou 'i!! (e a(!e to tour the under'or!d on 6our 'a6 (a"# to !ife.@ TaiFong had no "hoi"e (ut to fo!!o' them as the6 !ed the 'a6. /fter a mi!e or t'o he sa' a high mountain 'rapped in dar# "!ouds do'n to its foot4 'hi!e a (!a"# mist (!otted out the s#6. @What1s that mountain o+er there4 Br. CuiG@ he as#ed8 and the Eudge rep!ied4 @That is the *ar# Bountain of the under'or!d.@ @0o'e+er sha!! 'e "ross itG@ TaiFong as#ed in terror. @0a+e no fears4 ?our BaEest68 6our su(Ee"ts 'i!! !ead the 'a64@ ans'ered the Eudge. TaiFong fo!!o'ed them shi+ering and trem(!ing4 and 'hen the6 had "!im(ed the mountain he !oo#ed around him. 0e sa' that it 'as

<agged4 9re"ipitous4 0igh as the -i"huan ranges4 ;oft6 as ;ushan. 3t is not a famous pea# of the 'or!d of !ight4 ut a "rag of the under'or!d.

$gres hidden in the "!umps of thorns4 7+i! monsters !ur# (ehind the "!iffs. ?our ears hear no "a!!s of anima!s or (irds4 The e6es "an on!6 see fiends. / dar# 'ind ho'!s4 /s (!a"# fog spreads. The dar# 'ind that ho'!s 3s the smo#e (reathed from the mouths of magi" so!diers8 The spreading (!a"# fog 3s the +apour (e!"hed out (6 hidden tro!!s. Where+er 6ou !oo# the prospe"t is appa!!ing8 /!! 6ou "an see to !eft or right is un(rid!ed e+i!. To (e sure4 there are hi!!s4 9ea#s4 ,anges4 Ca+es4 /nd gu!!ies. ut no grass gro's on the hi!!s4 There is no s#6 for the pea#s to tou"h. 2o tra+e!ers "ross the ranges4 The "a+es ho!d no "!ouds4 2o 'ater runs in the gu!!ies. efore the "!iffs there are on!6 go(!ins4 e!o' the ranges are tro!!s. -a+age ghosts she!ter in the "a+es4 7+i! spirits hide in the gu!!ies.

/!! around the mountain $D−headed and horse−fa"ed demons ho'! and roar8 0a!f hidden from +ie'4 0ungr6 ghosts and desperate spirits so( to ea"h other. The Eudge 'ho "!aims men1s !i+es Cannot 'ait to de!i+er the !etter8 The marsha! 'ho "hases sou!s4 -houts and roars as he hastens a!ong 'ith his do"uments. The s'ift−footed ones -'ir! a!ong !i#e a tornado8 The "at"hers of sou!s -tand as thi"# as "!ouds.

Than#s entire!6 to the prote"tion of the Eudge4 TaiFong "rossed the *ar# Bountain. /s the6 "ontinued on their 'a6 the6 'ent past +er6 man6 "ourts4 and from ea"h of them piteous sounds assai!ed his ear4 'hi!e the e+i! ghou!s there stru"# terror into his heart. @What p!a"e is thisG@ as#ed TaiFong. @3t is the eighteen !a6ers of he!! that !ie (ehind the *ar# Bountain4@ the Eudge rep!ied. @What are the eighteen !a6ersG@ as#ed TaiFong. @;isten and 3 'i!! te!! 6ou4@ the Eudge rep!ied.

@The 0anging−(6−the−-ine's 0e!!4 the 0e!! of 3nEusti"e4 and the 0e!! of the 9it of .ire. ;one!iness and deso!ation4 Biser6 and suffering. /!! those here "ommitted the thousand !o'er sins4 /nd 'ere sent here for punishment after death.

The .engdu 0e!!4 the Tongue−eDtra"tion 0e!!4 the .!a6ing 0e!!% 0o'!ing and 'ai!ing4 Terri(!e anguish. The6 offended against 0ea+en (6 not (eing !o6a! or fi!ia!8 The6 ha+e uddha−mouths (ut sna#e hearts4 so fe!! do'n here. The 5rinding 0e!!4 the 9ounding 0e!!4 the 0e!! of *ra'ing and Kuartering. -#in and f!esh ripped and torn4 ;ips ru((ed a'a6 ti!! the teeth sho'. 3n the (!indness of their hearts the6 did e+i! things8 .or a!! their fine 'ords the6 harmed others in se"ret. The 3"e 0e!!4 the -#in−shedding 0e!!4 the *isem(o'e!ing 0e!!. .i!th6 fa"es and matted hair4 .ro'ning foreheads and sad e6es. The6 a!! used fa!se measures to "heat the foo!ish4 Thus pi!ing up disasters for themse!+es. The $i!−"au!dron 0e!!4 the 0e!! of !a"#ness4 the 0e!! of the Bountain of Cni+es. -hi+ering and trem(!ing4 3n terri(!e agon68 e"ause the6 used +io!en"e against the good The6 "o'er and hun"h their shou!ders in their suffering. The 0e!! of the 9oo! of !ood4 the /+i"hi 0e!!4 the 0e!! of the -tee!6ard eam4 Where s#in is pu!!ed a'a6 from the (one4 /rms are (ro#en and tendons "ut. e"ause the6 #i!!ed for gain4 ut"hering !i+ing "reatures4 The6 fe!! into these torments that 'i!! not end in a thousand 6ears8

The6 'i!! a!'a6s !ie here4 ne+er to es"ape. 7+er6 one of them is tight!6 (ound4 Cnotted and roped. ,ed−fa"ed demons4 /nd (!a"#−fa"ed demons4 /re sent 'ith their !ong ha!(erds and short s'ords. $D−headed fiends. /nd horse−fa"ed fiends4 With iron "!u(s and (raFen hammers4 eat them ti!! their 'in"ing fa"es f!o' 'ith (!ood4 /s the6 "a!! on 0ea+en and 7arth and get no ans'er. ;et no man a!i+e ha+e an6 i!!usions% The de+i!s "arr6 out their orders and re!ease no(od6. 5ood and e+i! 'i!! a!'a6s (e re'arded% 3t is on!6 a >uestion of time.@

efore the6 had gone mu"h further a group of de+i! so!diers ho!ding (anners #ne!t do'n (eside the road and said4 @The Commissioners of the ridges 'e!"ome 6ou.@ The <udge shouted to them that the6 'ere to rise and !ed TaiFong a"ross a go!den (ridge. TaiFong sa' that there 'as a si!+er (ridge (eside it o+er 'hi"h some !o6a!4 fi!ia!4 'orth64 Eust4 and upright peop!e 'ere passing4 !ed (6 (anners. There 'as a third (ridge on the other side 'ith an i"6 'ind roaring a"ross it and 'a+es of (!ood (oi!ing (e!o' amid un(ro#en ho'!s and 'ai!s. @What is that (ridge "a!!edG@ TaiFong as#ed4 and the <udge rep!ied4 @?our BaEest64 that is "a!!ed the ridge of 9unishment4 and 6ou must te!! peop!e a(out it 'hen 6ou return to the 'or!d of the !i+ing. e!o' the (ridge there are

/ narro'4 pre"ipitous path $+er a might64 rushing ri+er. 3t is !i#e a strip of "!oth a"ross the ?angtse4

$r a fier6 pit rising up to 0ea+en. The i"6 +apours freeFe one to the (one8 2auseating sten"hes assai! the nostri!s. There is no (oat to ferr6 6ou /"ross the "rashing 'a+es. /!! 'ho appear are sinfu! ghosts With (are feet and matted hair. The (ridge is man6 mi!es !ong /nd on!6 three fingers 'ide8 The drop is a hundred feet4 The 'aters are infinite!6 deeper. /(o+e there are no rai!ings for support4 Whi!e tro!!s snat"h their +i"tims from (e!o'. 3n "angues and (onds The6 are dri+en a!ong the dangerous path (6 the ,i+er of 9unishment. -ee the fero"it6 of the di+ine genera!s (6 the (ridge8 Wat"h ho' the ghosts of the 'i"#ed suffer in the ri+er. $n the (ran"hing trees 0ang si!#en "!othes in (!ue4 red4 6e!!o' and purp!e8 3n front of the pre"ipi"e ->uat !e'd and shame!ess 'omen 'ho s'ore at their parents−in−!a'. Copper sna#es and iron dogs feast on them at 'i!!4 /s the6 "onstant!6 fa!! in the ri+er4 ne+er to es"ape.

There is a poem that goes%

/s ghosts 'ai! and spirits ho'! The 'a+es of (!ood to'er high. Count!ess ghou!s 'ith heads of (u!!s and horses 5uard the (ridge 'ith great fero"it6. The "ommissioners of the (ridges had gone a'a6 'hi!e he 'as spea#ing. TaiFong1s heart 'as on"e more fi!!ed 'ith horror4 and he nodded his head and sighed si!ent!6 in his distress4 then fo!!o'ed the Eudge and the Barsha!. efore !ong the6 "rossed the e+i! ,i+er of 9unishment and passed the terrors of the o'! of !ood. Then the6 "ame to the Cit6 of the HnEust!6 -!ain. /mid the hu((u(4 shouts of @;i -himin1s here4 ;i -himin1s here4@ "ou!d (e made out4 to the terror of TaiFong. 0e sa' that his 'a6 'as (!o"#ed (6 a "ro'd of maimed and head!ess spe"tres. @5i+e us (a"# our !i+es4@ the6 'ere a!! shouting4 @gi+e us (a"# our !i+es.@ The pani"−stri"#en TaiFong tried to hide4 6e!!ing4 @0e!p4 <udge Cui4 he!p4 he!p.@ @?our BaEest64@ the Eudge rep!ied4 @these are the ghosts of the #ings and "hieftains of the siDt6−four groups of re(e!s and the se+ent6−t'o troops of (andits. The6 'ere a!! #i!!ed unEust!64 and no(od6 has gi+en them a home or !oo#ed after them. The6 "annot get themse!+es re(orn as the6 ha+e no mone6 for the Eourne64 so the6 are a!! un"ared−for "o!d and hungr6 ghosts. 3f ?our BaEest6 is a(!e to gi+e them some mone6 3 "an sa+e 6ou.@ @3 "ame here empt6−handed4@ TaiFong rep!ied4 @so 'here "ou!d 3 possi(!6 get an6 mone6G@ @?our BaEest64@ the Eudge rep!ied4 @there is a man in the 'or!d of !ight 'ho deposited a "ertain amount of mone6 in the under'or!d. 3f ?our BaEest6 is prepared to sign an 3.$.H.4 3 'i!! endorse it4 and 'e "an (orro' his store of mone6 to distri(ute among these hungr6 ghosts8 then 'e 'i!! (e a(!e to "ontinue on our 'a64@ @Who is this manG@ as#ed TaiFong. @0e is a man of Caifeng in 0enan4@ the Eudge rep!ied4 @and his name is =iang ;iang. 0e has thirteen hoards of go!d and si!+er do'n here4 and if ?our BaEest6 (orro's them4 a!! 6ou ha+e to do is repa6 them 'hen 6ou return to the 'or!d of !ight.@ TaiFong 'as +er6 p!eased4 and on!6 too eager to (orro' one. 0e signed an 3.$.H. at on"e and ga+e it to the Eudge4 then (orro'ed a store4 'hi"h he ga+e to the marsha! to hand out. @?ou are to share out this go!d and si!+er and !et 6our ;ord of the 5reat Tang past4@ said the Eudge. @/s it is too ear!6 in his !ife4 3 am under orders from the ten #ings to return his sou! and te!! him to ho!d a 5reat Bass 'hen he is (a"# in the 'or!d of !ight to ena(!e a!! of 6ou to (e re(orn4 so don1t (e ma#ing an6 more trou(!e.@ When the ghosts heard 'hat he had to sa6 and 'ere gi+en the go!d and si!+er the6 a!! 'ithdre'4 murmuring their o(edient assent. The Eudge then to!d the marsha! to 'a+e his sou!−!eading f!ag4 and TaiFong 'as ta#en out of the Cit6 of the HnEust!6 -!ain and f!oated a!ong the high'a6 to the da6!ight. /fter the6 had (een going for a !ong time the6 rea"hed the Whee! of the -iD 9aths of eing. -ome peop!e 'ere soaring in the "!ouds4 'earing "!oa#s of ros6 mist. $thers 'ere (eing gi+en offi"e 'ith go!den insignia to hang from their 'aists. Bon#s and nuns4 "!erg6 and !a6 peop!e4 (easts of the fie!d and (irds of the air4 ghosts and de+i!s−−a!! 'ere pouring under the 'hee! and ea"h 'as going a!ong his a!!otted path. @What1s a!! this a(outG@ as#ed the Tang 7mperor.

@?our BaEest6 is a man of deep understanding4@ the Eudge rep!ied. @?ou must (e sure to remem(er a!! this and te!! the !i+ing a(out it. 3t is "a!!ed the Whee! of the -iD 9aths of eing. Those 'ho ha+e done good deeds rise on the 9ath of the 3mmorta!s8 those 'ho ha+e (een !o6a! are re(orn on the 9ath of 0onour8 those 'ho ha+e done their dut6 to their parents !ead their neDt !ife on the 9ath of 0appiness8 those 'ho ha+e (een Eust return to !ife on the 9ath of Ban8 those 'ho ha+e a""umu!ated merit are re(orn on the 9ath of Wea!th8 and the e+i!doers fa!! do'n into the 9ath of *e+i!s.@ $n hearing this the Tang 7mperor nodded and said 'ith a sigh%

@7D"e!!ent4 tru!6 eD"e!!ent4 The +irtuous "ome to no harm. The good heart is a!'a6s mindfu!4 The 'a6 of goodness a!'a6s !ies open. @*o not a!!o' e+i! thoughts to arise8 Thus 6ou 'i!! a+oid a!! trou(!e. -a6 not that there is no retri(ution8 Whether 6ou (e"ome a god or a ghost is a!! determined.

The Eudge too# TaiFong straight to the 5ate of ,e(irth on the 9ath of 0onour4 (o'ed to him and said4 @?our BaEest64 this is the 'a6 out4 'here 3 sha!! ha+e to ta#e m6 !ea+e and go (a"#. Barsha! Lhu 'i!! es"ort 6ou for the neDt stage of 6our Eourne6.@ @3 ha+e made 6ou "ome an a'fu!!6 !ong 'a64 sir4@ said the Tang 7mperor as he than#ed him. @When ?our BaEest6 returns to the 'or!d of the !i+ing 6ou a(so!ute!6 must ho!d a 5reat Bass to ena(!e those for!orn ghosts to (e re(orn4@ rep!ied the Eudge. @*on1t on an6 a""ount forget4 as there "an on!6 (e pea"e on 7arth if there are no +engean"e−see#ing ghosts in the under'or!d. 7+er6 sing!e 'rong 'i!! ha+e to (e "orre"ted. Tea"h a!! peop!e to (e good4 and then 6ou 'i!! (e a(!e to assure the "ontinuit6 of 6our !ine and the eterna! se"urit6 of 6our empire.@ The Tang 7mperor agreed to ea"h of his proposa!s and too# !ea+e of him4 then 'ent through the gates 'ith Barsha! Lhu. -eeing a fine horse standing read6 and sadd!ed inside the gates4 the marsha! as#ed TaiFong to mount it 'ith the he!p of his assistants. The horse 'as as s'ift as an arro'4 and it 'as soon at the (an#s of the ,i+er Wei4 'here a pair of go!den "arp "ou!d (e seen sporting in the 'ater. TaiFong4 "apti+ated at the sight4 pu!!ed in his horse1s reins and gaFed at them. @?our BaEest64@ the marsha! said4 @p!ease #eep mo+ing. We ha+e to enter the "it6 ear!6.@ ut a!! the Tang 7mperor 'anted to do 'as to !oo#. /s he 'ou!d not mo+e on the marsha! gra((ed him (6 the feet and shouted4 @5et mo+ing. What are 6ou 'aiting forG@ as he pushed him off his horse and into the ,i+er Wei 'ith a sp!ash. TaiFong 'as no' free of the under'or!d and (a"# in the 'or!d of the !i+ing.

The "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s of the Tang "ourt4 =u Baogong4 Kin -hu(ao4 ?u"hi <ingde4 *uan LhiDian4 Ba -an(ao4 Cheng ?aoEin4 5ao -hi!ian4 ;i -hiEi4 .ang =uan!ing4 *u ,uhui4 =iao ?u4 .u ?i4 Lhang *ao6uan4 Lhang -hiheng4 Wang 5ui and the others4 as 'e!! as the empresses4 imperia! "onsorts and "on"u(ines4 and pages 'ere a!! in the White Tiger 0a!!. The6 'ere dis"ussing 'hether to issue an edi"t of mourning to inform the 'or!d so that the heir "ou!d (e put on the throne. Wei Lheng 'as sa6ing4 @5ent!emen4 stop this dis"ussion. We must not do that. 3f the "ountr6 is a!armed4 an6thing might happen. 3f 'e 'ait for another da6 our master is (ound to "ome (a"# to !ife.@ =u <ingFong stepped for'ard from the !o'er ran#s and protested4 @Binister Wei is ta!#ing nonsense. /s the o!d sa6ing goes4 1sp!it 'ater "an1t (e pi"#ed up and the dead "an1t "ome (a"# to !ife.1 What (usiness ha+e 6ou to (e spreading "onfusion 'ith these ground!ess "!aimsG@ @Br. =u4@ Wei Lheng rep!ied4 @3 "an sa6 truthfu!!6 that 3 ha+e (een gi+en instru"tion in the magi" arts sin"e "hi!dhood and m6 predi"tions are eDtreme!6 a""urate. 3 "an assure 6ou that 3 ha+e sa+ed 0is BaEest6 from death.@ /s the6 'ere arguing the6 heard !oud shouts of @?ou1re dro'ning me4 6ou1re dro'ning me4@ "oming from the "offin. The "i+i! offi"ia!s and the genera!s 'ere stru"# 'ith terror8 the empresses and "onsorts shi+ered. 7+er6 one of them had

/ fa"e as 6e!!o' as a mu!(err6−!eaf after autumn4 / 'aist as 'ea# as a 'i!!o' sap!ing (efore spring. The heir 'ent 'ea# at the #nees4 /s he stood in fu!! mourning4 una(!e to ho!d up his staff8 The attendants1 sou!s f!e' a'a6% 0o' 'ou!d it do for them to (e 'earing mourning hats and "!othesG The "onsorts and "on"u(ines "o!!apsed4 The pa!a"e (eauties had to !ie do'n. When the "onsorts and "on"u(ines "o!!apsed4 3t 'as !i#e a ga!e (!o'ing do'n 'ithered !otuses. When the pa!a"e (eauties !a6 do'n 3t 'as !i#e a rainstorm (eating 6oung !otuses do'n. /!! the ministers 'ere terrified /nd their !im(s 'ent num(8 The6 shi+ered and shoo#4

-tru"# dum( and stupid. The White Tiger 0a!! 'as !i#e a (ridge "o!!apsing4 /nd the "onfusion round the "offin Was !i#e a temp!e fa!!ing do'n.

/!! the pa!a"e 'omen f!ed4 as not one of them dared to approa"h the imperia! "offin. ;u"#i!6 the upright =u Baogong4 the trust6 Wei Lheng4 the (ra+e Kin -hu(ao4 and the fero"ious ?u"hi <ingde 'ent for'ard to put their hands on the "offin and shouted4 @What is it that 'orries ?our BaEest6 and ma#es 6ou spea# to usG Te!! us4 and do not haunt us and s"are the ro6a! fami!6.@ @0is BaEest6 is not haunting us4@ Wei Lheng said. @0is BaEest6 has "ome (a"# to !ife. ring too!s at on"e.@ The6 opened the "offin and found TaiFong sitting up inside and sti!! shouting4 @?ou1re dro'ning me. -a+e me4 someone.@ =u Baogong and the others he!ped him to his feet and said4 @There is nothing to fear as 6ou "ome round4 ?our BaEest6. We are a!! here to prote"t 6ou.@ The Tang 7mperor then opened his e6es and said4 @We ha+e (een ha+ing an a'fu! time% after es"aping from the e+i! demons of the under'or!d4 'e 'ere dro'ned.@ @,e!aD4 ?our BaEest64 there is nothing to fear. 0o' "ou!d 6ou ha+e dro'nedG@ the ministers said. @We 'ere riding a!ong the (an#s of the ,i+er Wei and 'at"hing to fishes p!a6ing 'hen that de"eitfu! Barsha! Lhu pushed us off the horse and made us fa!! into the ri+er4 'here 'e a!! (ut dro'ned.@ @?our BaEest6 sti!! has something of the ghost a(out 6ou4@ said Wei Lheng4 and he ordered the 3mperia! Bedi"a! /"adem6 to send medi"ina! potions to sett!e the spirit and "a!m the sou! at on"e8 he a!so sent for some thin grue!. /fter one or t'o doses of the medi"ine the 7mperor returned to norma! and regained fu!! "ons"iousness. The Tang 7mperor had (een dead for three da6s and nights (efore returning to ru!e the 'or!d of the !i+ing on"e more. There is a poem to pro+e it%

-in"e an"ient times there ha+e (een "hanges of po'er8 *6nasties ha+e a!'a6s 'aDed and 'aned. What deed of the #ings of o!d "ou!d "ompare With the 7mperor of Tang returning to !ifeG

/s it 'as e+ening (6 then the ministers as#ed the 7mperor to go to (ed4 and the6 a!! dispersed. The neDt da6 the6 a!! too# off their mourning garments and put "o!orfu! "!othes (a"# on. Wearing red ro(es and (!a"# hats4 and 'ith their go!den sea!s of offi"e hanging from purp!e ri((ons at their 'aists4 the6 stood outside the gates of the "ourt a'aiting the summons. /s for TaiFong4 after ta#ing the medi"ine to sett!e his spirit and "a!m his sou! and drin#ing some thin grue! he 'as he!ped to his (edroom (6 his ministers. 0e s!ept sound!6 a!! night4 (ui!ding up his energies4 and at da'n he rose. -ee ho' he 'as arra6ed as he summoned up his authorit6%

$n his head a hat that thrust into the s#68 $n his (od6 a dar# 6e!!o' ro(e 5irt 'ith a (e!t of ;antian Eade8 $n his feet a pair of -hoes of -u""ess. The dignit6 of his (earing -urpasses a!! others at "ourt. 0is a'esome maEest6 3s toda6 restored. What a pea"efu! and 'ise 5reat Tang 7mperor4 The #ing named ;i 'ho "an die and rise again.

The Tang 7mperor entered the throne ha!!4 and 'hen the t'o groups of "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s had finished a""!aiming him the6 di+ided into se"tions a""ording to their ran#s. When the6 heard the de"ree4 @;et a!! those 'ith (usiness step for'ard from their se"tions and su(mit memoria!s4 and !et those 'ith no (usiness retire4@ =u Baogong4 Wei Lheng4 Wang 5ui4 *u ,uhui4 .ang =uan!ing4 ?uan Tiangang4 ;i Chunfeng4 =u <ingFong and others stepped for'ard on the 7astern side8 and on the Western side ?in Caishan4 ;iu 0ongEi4 Ba -an(ao4 *uan LhiDian4 Cheng ?aoEin4 Kin -hu(ao4 ?u"hi <ingde4 =ue ,engui and others stepped for'ard a!so. The6 ad+an"ed together4 (o'ed !o' (efore the 'hite Eade steps4 and as#ed in a memoria!4 @Wh6 did it ta#e ?our BaEest6 so !ong to a'a#e from 6our dream the other da6G@ To this TaiFong rep!ied4 @The other da6 'e too# Wei Lheng1s !etter and fe!t our sou! !ea+ing the pa!a"e. The horsemen of the 3mperia! 5uard as#ed us to go hunting 'ith them4 and as 'e 'ere going a!ong the men and their horses a!! +anished. 0is ;ate BaEest6 and our dead (rothers appeared and started to shout at us in a >uarre!some 'a6. Things 'ere getting +er6 a'#'ard 'hen 'e sa' a man in a (!a"# hat and go'n 'ho turned out to (e the Eudge Cui <ue. When he had shouted at m6 dead (rothers and dri+en them a'a6 'e ga+e him Wei Lheng1s !etter. /s he 'as reading it some ser+ants in (!a"# ho!ding (anners !ed us in and too# us to the -en!uo 9a!a"e4 'here the Ten Cings of 0e!! 'ere a!! sitting. The6 said that the dragon of the ,i+er <ing had fa!se!6 a""used us of de!i(erate!6 #i!!ing him after 'e had promised to sa+e him4 so 'e ga+e them a fu!! a""ount of 'hat 'e to!d 6ou a(out (efore. The6 said that the "ase had no' (een sett!ed (et'een the three orders4 and ordered that the ,egisters of irth and *eath (e (rought at on"e so that the6 "ou!d see ho' !ong 'e 'ere due to !i+e. <udge Cui handed up the register4 and the6 sa' in it that 'e 'ere due to reign for thirt6−three 6ears4 'hi"h meant that 'e had another t'ent6 6ears of !ife in front of us. The6 to!d Barsha! Lhu and <udge Cui to es"ort us (a"#. We too# our !ea+e of the Ten Cings and promised to send them some pump#ins and fruit as a mar# of our than#s. /fter !ea+ing the -en!uo 9a!a"e 'e sa' in the under'or!d ho' the dis!o6a!4 the unfi!ia!4 those 'ho do not o(ser+e the ru!es of propriet64 'asters of foodgrains4 (u!!ies4 "heats4 those 'ho use fa!se measures4 adu!terers4 ro((ers4 h6po"rites4 de"ei+ers4 de(au"hees4 s'ind!ers and the !i#e undergo the agonies of (eing ground4 (urnt4 pounded and s!i"ed4 and suffer the torments of (eing fried4 (oi!ed4 hung in mid−air4 and s#inned. There 'ere tens of thousands of them4 far more than our e6es

"ou!d ta#e in. Then 'e 'ent through the Cit6 of the HnEust!6 -!ain 'here there 'ere "ount!ess ghosts of the 'rong!6 #i!!ed4 and a!! of them4 the "hieftains of the siDt6−four groups of re(e!s and the spirits of the se+ent6−t'o (ands of re(e!s4 (!o"#ing our 'a6. ;u"#i!6 <udge Cui a"ted as our guarantor and !ent us one of the hoards of go!d and si!+er of a Br. =iang of 0enan4 'ith 'hi"h 'e 'ere a(!e to (u6 them off and "ontinue on our 'a6. <udge Cui to!d us that 'hen 'e returned to the 'or!d of the !i+ing 'e had an ines"apa(!e o(!igation to ho!d a 5reat Bass to ena(!e a!! those for!orn ghosts to (e re(orn4 and 'ith these instru"tions he too# his !ea+e. When 3 "ame out under the Whee! of the -iD 9aths of eing Barsha! Lhu in+ited us to mount a horse. This horse seemed to f!6 to the (an#s of the ,i+er Wei4 'here 3 sa' a pair of fish sporting in the 'ater. <ust as 'e 'ere enEo6ing this sight the marsha! gra((ed our !egs and tipped us into the 'ater4 and 'ith that 'e returned to !ife.@

When the ministers had heard this the6 a!! "ongratu!ated him and the6 "ompi!ed a re"ord of it8 and a!! the prefe"tures and "ounties of the empire sent in memoria!s of fe!i"itation. TaiFong issued a de"ree of amnest6 for a!! the "on+i"ted "rimina!s in the empire and ordered in>uiries into the "ases of a!! those he!d in Eai! on serious "harges. The inspe"tors su(mitted to the throne the names of more than four hundred "rimina!s 'ho had (een senten"ed (6 the Binistr6 of 9unishments to (eheading or strangu!ation4 and TaiFong ga+e them a sta6 of eDe"ution4 a!!o'ing them to go home to see their fami!ies and gi+e their propert6 to their re!ations8 on the same da6 the fo!!o'ing 6ear the6 'ere to report to the authorities for their senten"es to (e "arried out. The "rimina!s than#ed him for his mer"6 and 'ithdre'. 0e a!so issued a noti"e a(out "harit6 for orphans and re!eased three thousand 'omen of a!! ages from the pa!a"e to (e married to mem(ers of the arm6. .rom then on a!! 'as 'e!! 'ithin and 'ithout the pa!a"e. There is a poem to pro+e it%

:ast is the mer"6 of the great Tang 7mperor8 0e surpasses ?ao and -hun in ma#ing the peop!e prosper. .our hundred "ondemned men a!! !eft their prisons4 Three thousand mistreated 'omen 'ere re!eased from the pa!a"e. /!! the offi"ia!s of the empire pro"!aim the monar"h1s !ong !ife8 The ministers at "ourt "ongratu!ate the 5reat *ragon. 0ea+en responds to the thoughts of the good heart4 3ts (!essing 'i!! prote"t his se+enteen su""essors.

When he had re!eased the 'omen from the pa!a"e and !et the "ondemned men out of prison he issued a noti"e that 'as posted throughout the empire. 3t read%

@5reat are 0ea+en and 7arth8

-un and Boon shine "!ear!6. /!though the uni+erse is +ast4 7arth and s#6 ha+e no room for e+i! p!ots.

3f 6ou use 6our 'its and s#i!! to "heat peop!e4 ?ou 'i!! get retri(ution in this !ife8 3f 6ou are good at gi+ing and as# for !itt!e4 ?ou are sure to find a re'ard (efore 6our future !ife.

/ thousand "unning p!ans Cannot "ompare 'ith !i+ing a""ording to one1s !ot8 Ten thousand #inds of ro((ers /re no mat"h for those 'ho !i+e fruga!!6 and a""ept their fate.

3f 6ou are good and mer"ifu! in thought and deed4 What need is there to (other to read the s"ripturesG 3f 6our mind is fu!! of ma!i"e to'ards others4 To read the 'ho!e of the uddha1s "anon 'ou!d (e a 'aste of time.@

.rom then on e+er6one in the "ountr6 did good deeds. /nother noti"e 'as issued "a!!ing for a 'orth6 man to ta#e pump#ins to the under'or!d4 and at the same time ?u"hi <ingde4 the *u#e of 74 'as sent to Caifeng in 0enan to +isit =iang ;iang and pa6 him (a"# a hoard of Ee'e!s and a hoard of go!d and si!+er. -ome da6s after the noti"e had (een issued a 'orth6 man "a!!ed ;iu Kuan from <unFhou "ame for'ard to de!i+er the pump#ins. 0e "ame from a fami!6 'orth ten thousand strings of "ash. When his 'ife ;i Cui!ian had ta#en a go!d pin from her hair to gi+e as an offering to a mon# at the gate4 ;iu Kuan had "ursed her for (eing a !oose 'ife 'ho 'ou!d not sta6 in the 'omen1s >uarters. ;i Cui!ian4 (itter!6 resenting this4 had hanged herse!f4 !ea+ing a !itt!e (o6 and gir! 'ho had (een "r6ing night and da6 e+er sin"e. ;iu Kuan4 una(!e to (ear it an6 !onger4 'anted on!6 to end his o'n !ife and a(andon his fami!6 and his "hi!dren. .or this reason he had +o!unteered to de!i+er the pump#ins in death and "ame to the Tang 7mperor 'ith the imperia! noti"e in his hand. The 7mperor ordered him to go to the 5o!den 9a+i!ion4 'here he 'as to put a pair of pump#ins on his head and some go!d in his s!ee+e and drin# poison.

;iu Kuan dran# the poison and died. 3n an instant his sou! appeared at the *e+i! 5ate 'ith the pump#ins on his head. The demon offi"er at the gate as#ed4 @Who are 6ou4 and ho' did 6ou "ome hereG@ @3 ha+e "ome on the orders of 7mperor TaiFong of the 5reat Tang to present some pump#ins to the Ten Cings of 0e!!.@ The offi"er 'as on!6 too p!eased to !et him in4 and he 'ent straight to the -en!uo 9a!a"e4 and 'hen he 'as gi+en audien"e 'ith the Cings of 0e!! he presented the pump#ins to them and said4 @3 ha+e (rought these pump#ins a great distan"e in o(edien"e to the de"ree of the Tang 7mperor4 'ho 'ishes to than# ?our BaEesties for their great mer"6 to him.@ @0o' sp!endid of the Tang 7mperor to (e as good as his 'ord4@ eD"!aimed the ten de!ighted #ings as the6 a""epted the pump#ins. Then the6 as#ed him 'hat he 'as "a!!ed and 'here he 'as from. @3 am a "ommoner of the "it6 of <unFhou4@ he rep!ied4 @and m6 name is ;iu Kuan. /s m6 'ife Biss ;i hanged herse!f and !eft a (o6 and a gir! 'ith no(od6 to !oo# after them 3 'anted to a(andon m6 fami!6 and "hi!dren (6 gi+ing m6 !ife for m6 "ountr64 so 3 (rought this offering of pump#ins on (eha!f of m6 so+ereign4 'ho 'anted to than# ?our BaEesties for 6our great mer"6.@ $n hearing this the Ten Cings ordered a sear"h for ;iu Kuan1s 'ife4 Biss ;i. The de+i! messengers soon (rought her to the -en!uo 9a!a"e4 outside 'hi"h ;iu Kuan 'as reunited 'ith her. The6 than#ed the Ten Cings for their #indness and to!d them a(out the harsh 'ords that had (een spo#en. $n "onsu!ting the ,egisters of irth and *eath4 the #ings found that the6 'ere fated to (e"ome 3mmorta!s4 so the6 ordered demon offi"ers to ta#e them (a"# at on"e. The demon offi"ers4 ho'e+er4 as#ed in a report4 @/s ;i Cui!ian has (een dead for some time her (od6 has perished4 so 'hat is her sou! to (e atta"hed toG@ @;i ?u6ing4 the sister of the Tang 7mperor4 is due to die a sudden death toda64@ said the Cings of 0e!!4 @so 'e "an (orro' her (od6 to put ;i Cui!ian1s sou! (a"# into.@ $n re"ei+ing this order the demon offi"ers too# ;iu Kuan and his 'ife out of the under'or!d to (e (rought (a"# to !ife. 3f 6ou don1t #no' ho' the6 returned to !ife4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment. Chapter 12 The Tang 7mperor Ceeps .aith and 0o!ds a 5reat Bass 5uan6in /ppears to the ,ein"arnated 5o!den Ci"ada When the de+i! offi"ers !eft the under'or!d 'ith ;iu Kuan and his 'ife4 a dar# and 'hir!ing 'ind (!e' them straight to the great "apita! Chang1an4 'here ;iu Kuan1s sou! 'as sent to the 5o!den 9a+i!ion and ;i Cui!ian1s to an inner "ourt6ard of the pa!a"e4 'here 9rin"ess ?u6ing "ou!d (e seen 'a!#ing s!o'ing (eside some moss under the shade of some (!ossoming trees. -udden!6 the de+i! offi"ers stru"# her fu!! in the "hest and #no"#ed her o+er8 the6 snat"hed the sou! from her !i+ing (od6 and put ;i Cui!ian1s sou! into the (od6 in its p!a"e. With that the6 returned to the under'or!d. When the pa!a"e ser+ing−'omen sa' her drop dead the6 rushed to the throne ha!! to report to the three empresses that 0er ,o6a! 0ighness the 9rin"ess had dropped dead. The sho"#ed empresses passed the ne's on to TaiFong 'ho sighed and said4 @We "an 'e!! (e!ie+e it. When 'e as#ed the Ten ;ords of 0e!! if 6oung and o!d in our pa!a"e 'ou!d a!! (e 'e!!4 the6 rep!ied that the6 'ou!d a!! (e 'e!! eD"ept that our 6ounger sister 'as going to die sudden!6. 0o' true that 'as.@ 0e and e+er6one e!se in the pa!a"e 'ent 'ith great sorro' to !oo# at her !6ing under the trees4 on!6 to see that she 'as (reathing +er6 !ight!6.

@*on1t 'ai!4@ the Tang 7mperor said4 @don1t 'ai!8 it might a!arm her.@ Then he raised her head 'ith his o'n hand and said4 @Wa#e up4 sister4 'a#e up.@ /!! of a sudden the prin"ess sat up and "a!!ed out4 @*on1t go so fast4 hus(and. Wait for me.@ @-ister4 'e1re 'aiting for 6ou here4@ said the 7mperor. The prin"ess !ifted her head4 opened her e6es4 and !oo#ed at him. @Who are 6ouG@ she as#ed. @0o' dare 6ou put 6our hands on usG@ @3t1s 6our august (rother4 ro6a! sister4@ rep!ied TaiFong. @31+e got nothing to do 'ith august (rothers and ro6a! sisters4@ said the prin"ess. @B6 maiden name is ;i4 and m6 fu!! name is ;i Cui!ian. B6 hus(and is ;iu Kuan4 and 'e (oth "ome from <unFhou. When 3 ga+e a go!d hairpin to a mon# at the gate three months ago m6 hus(and said harsh 'ords to me a(out !ea+ing the 'omen1s >uarters and not (eha+ing as a good 'ife shou!d. 3t made me so angr6 and upset that 3 hanged m6se!f from a (eam 'ith a 'hite si!# sash4 !ea+ing a (o6 and a gir! 'ho "ried a!! night and a!! da6. /s m6 hus(and 'as "ommissioned (6 the Tang 7mperor to go to he under'or!d to de!i+er some pump#ins4 the Cings of 0e!! too# pit6 on us and !et the t'o of us "ome (a"# to !ife. 0e 'ent ahead4 (ut 3 !agged (ehind. When 3 tried to "at"h him up 3 tripped. ?ou are a!! >uite shame!ess to (e mau!ing me !i#e this. 3 don1t e+en #no' 6our names.@ @We thin# that 0er ,o6a! 0ighness is de!irious after passing out 'hen she fe!!4@ said TaiFong to the pa!a"e 'omen. 0e sent an order to the Bedi"a! /"adem6 for some medi"ina! potions4 and he!ped ?u6ing into the pa!a"e. When the Tang 7mperor 'as (a"# in his throne−ha!!4 one of his aides "ame rushing in to report4 @?our BaEest64 ;iu Kuan4 the man 'ho de!i+ered the pump#ins4 is a'aiting 6our summons outside the pa!a"e gates.@ The start!ed TaiFong immediate!6 sent for ;iu Kuan4 'ho prostrated himse!f (efore the +ermi!ion steps of the throne. @What happened 'hen 6ou presented the pump#insG@ as#ed the Tang 7mperor. @?our su(Ee"t 'ent straight to the *e+i! 5ate 'ith the pump#ins on m6 head. 3 'as ta#en to the -en!uo 9a!a"e 'here 3 sa' the Ten Cings of 0e!!4 to 'hom 3 presented the pump#ins4 eDp!aining ho' +er6 gratefu! m6 emperor 'as. The Cings of 0e!! 'ere +er6 p!eased. The6 (o'ed in ?our BaEest61s honour and said4 10o' sp!endid of the Tang 7mperor to (e as good as his 'ord.1@ @What did 6ou see in the under'or!dG@ as#ed the 7mperor. @3 did not go +er6 far there so 3 did not see mu"h. ut 'hen the #ings as#ed me 'here 3 'as from and 'hat 3 'as "a!!ed4 3 to!d them a!! a(out ho' 3 had +o!unteered to !ea+e m6 fami!6 and m6 "hi!dren to de!i+er the pump#ins (e"ause m6 'ife had hanged herse!f. The6 immediate!6 ordered demon offi"ers to (ring m6 'ife4 and 'e 'ere reunited outside the -en!uo 9a!a"e. Bean'hi!e the6 inspe"ted the ,egisters of irths and *eaths and sa' that m6 'ife and 3 'ere (oth due to (e"ome 3mmorta!s4 so the6 sent de+i! offi"ers to (ring us (a"#. 3 'ent ahead 'ith m6 'ife fo!!o'ing (ehind4 and a!though 3 'as fortunate enough to "ome (a"# to !ife4 3 don1t #no' 'here her sou! has (een put.@ @What did the Cings of 0e!! sa6 to 6ou a(out 6our 'ifeG@ as#ed the astonished 7mperor. @The6 didn1t sa6 an6thing4@ rep!ied ;iu Kuan4 @(ut 3 heard a demon offi"er sa64 1/s ;i Cui!ian has (een dead

for some time her (od6 has de"omposed.1 To this the Cings of 0e!! said4 1;i ?u6ing of the Tang house is due to die toda64 so 'e "an (orro' her (od6 to put ;i Cui!ian1s sou! (a"# into.1 /s 3 don1t #no' 'here this Tang house is or 'here she !i+es4 3 ha+en1t (een a(!e to go and !oo# for her 6et.@

The Tang 7mperor4 'ho 'as no' +er6 p!eased4 said to his offi"ia!s4 @When 'e 'ere !ea+ing the Cings of 0e!!4 'e as#ed them a(out our fami!6. The6 said a!! its mem(ers 'ou!d (e 'e!! eD"ept for m6 sister. -he "o!!apsed and died under the shade of some (!ossoming trees4 and 'hen 'e hurried o+er to support her she "ame to4 shouting 1*on1t go so fast4 hus(and. Wait for me.1 We thought at the time that she 'as Eust ta!#ing de!irious!6 after passing out4 (ut 'hen 'e as#ed her to te!! us more her stor6 ta!!ied pre"ise!6 'ith ;iu Kuan1s.@ @3f 0er ,o6a! 0ighness died sudden!6 and "ame to short!6 after'ards ta!#ing !i#e this4 then it means that ;iu Kuan1s 'ife must ha+e (orro'ed her (od6 to "ome (a"# to !ife4@ said Wei Lheng. @Things !i#e this do happen. The prin"ess shou!d (e as#ed to "ome out so that 'e "an hear 'hat she sa6s.@ @We ha+e Eust ordered the 3mperia! Bedi"a! /"adem6 to send some medi"ine4 so 'e don1t #no' 'hether it 'i!! (e possi(!e4@ said the Tang 7mperor4 'ho then sent a "onsort into the pa!a"e to as# her to "ome out. The prin"ess4 mean'hi!e4 'as shouting 'i!d!6 inside the pa!a"e4 @31m ta#ing none of 6our medi"ine. This isn1t m6 home. B6 home is a simp!e ti!ed house4 not !i#e this Eaundi"ed4 6e!!o' p!a"e 'ith its f!ash6 doors. ;et me out4 !et me out.@ .our of fi+e 'omen offi"ia!s and t'o or three eunu"hs appeared 'hi!e she 'as shouting and he!ped her go straight to the throne ha!!4 'here the Tang 7mperor as#ed4 @Wou!d 6ou re"ogniFe 6our hus(and if 6ou sa' himG@ @What a thing to as#A We1+e (een married sin"e 'e 'ere "hi!dren4 and 31+e gi+en him a son and a daughter4 so of "ourse 31d re"ogniFe him.@ The 7mperor to!d his attendants to he!p her do'n and she 'ent do'n from the throne ha!!. /s soon as she sa' ;iu Kuan in front of the 'hite Eade steps she seiFed ho!d of him. @0us(andA@ she eD"!aimed4 @'here did 6ou goG Wh6 didn1t 6ou 'ait for meG 3 tripped o+er4 and a!! these shame!ess peop!e surrounded me and shouted at me. Wasn1t that sho"#ingG@ /!though ;iu Kuan "ou!d hear that it 'as his 'ife ta!#ing4 she !oo#ed !i#e some(od6 e!se4 so he did not dare to re"ogniFe her as his 'ife. @3ndeed4@ said the 7mperor4

@-ometimes mountains "o!!apse and the earth 6a'ns open4 ut fe' men 'i!! shorten their !i+es to die for another.@

/s he 'as a good and 'ise monar"h he ga+e a!! of the prin"ess1 dressing−"ases4 "!othes and Ee'e!r6 to ;iu Kuan as if the6 'ere a do'r64 presented him 'ith an edi"t freeing him from !a(or ser+i"e for !ife4 and to!d him to ta#e the prin"ess home 'ith him. 0us(and and 'ife than#ed him (efore the steps and returned home +er6 happi!6. There is a poem to pro+e it%

;ife and death are pre−ordained8 -ome ha+e man6 6ears4 others fe'.

When ;iu Kuan "ame (a"# to the !ight after ta#ing the pump#ins4 ;i Cui!ian returned to !ife in a (orro'ed (od6.

/fter !ea+ing the 7mperor the pair 'ent straight (a"# to the "it6 of <unFhou4 'here the6 found that their househo!d and their "hi!dren 'ere a!! 'e!!. There is no need to go into ho' the t'o of them pu(!i"iFed their +irtue re'arded. The stor6 turns to ;ord ?u"hi4 'ho 'ent to Caifeng in 0enan 'ith a hoard of go!d and si!+er for =iang ;iang4 'ho made a !i+ing (6 se!!ing 'ater and dea!ing in (!a"# pots and earthen'are +esse!s 'ith his 'ife4 'hose maiden name 'as Lhang4 at the gate of their house. When the6 made some mone6 the6 'ere "ontent to #eep enough for their dai!6 eDpenses4 gi+ing the rest as a!ms to mon#s or using it to (u6 paper ingots of go!d and si!+er4 'hi"h the6 assigned to +arious hoards in the under'or!d and (urnt. That 'as 'h6 the6 'ere no' to (e so 'e!! re'arded. /!though he 'as on!6 a pious pauper in this 'or!d4 he o'ned mountains of Eade and go!d in the other one. When ;ord ?u"hi (rought them the go!d and si!+er4 Br. and Brs. =iang 'ere terrified out of their 'its. /part from his !ordship there 'ere a!so offi"ia!s from the !o"a! go+ernment offi"e4 and horses and "arriages 'ere pa"#ed tight outside their hum(!e "ottage. The t'o of them fe!! to their #nees dum(founded and (egan to #o'to'. @9!ease rise4@ said ;ord ?u"hi. @/!though 3 am mere!6 an imperia! "ommissioner4 3 (ring go!d and si!+er from 0is BaEest6 to return to 6ou.@ -hi+ering and sha#ing =iang ;iang rep!ied4 @31+e !ent out no si!+er or go!d4 so ho' "ou!d 3 dare to a""ept this m6sterious 'ea!thG@ @3 #no' that 6our are a poor man4@ said ;ord ?u"hi4 @(ut 6ou ha+e gi+en mon#s e+er6thing the6 need and (ought paper ingots of go!d and si!+er 'hi"h 6ou ha+e assigned to the under'or!d and (urnt4 thus a""umu!ating !arge sums of mone6 do'n there. When 0is BaEest6 the 7mperor TaiFong 'as dead for three da6s (efore returning to !ife he (orro'ed one of 6our hoards of go!d and si!+er do'n there4 'hi"h he is no' repa6ing to 6ou in fu!!. 9!ease "he"# it through so that 3 "an go (a"# and report that 3 ha+e "arried out m6 instru"tions.@ =iang ;iang and his 'ife Eust 'ent on (o'ing to 0ea+en and refused to ta#e the go!d and si!+er. @3f hum(!e fo!# !i#e ourse!+es too# a!! this go!d and si!+er it1d soon (e the death of us. /!though 'e ha+e (urned some paper and assigned it to +arious stores4 it 'as a se"ret. /n6ho'4 'hat proof is there that 0is BaEest6−−ma6 he !i+e for ten thousand 6ears−−(orro'ed go!d and si!+er do'n thereG We refuse to a""ept it.@ @The 7mperor said that <udge Cui 'as his guarantor 'hen he (orro'ed 6our mone64 and this "an (e +erified4 so p!ease a""ept it4@ rep!ied ;ord ?u"hi. @3 'ou!d sooner die than do so4@ said =iang ;iang. -eeing ho' earnest!6 he refused ;ord ?u"hi had to send a man (a"# 'ith a detai!ed report to the throne. $n reading this report that =iang ;iang had refused to a""ept the go!d and si!+er4 TaiFong said4 @0e rea!!6 is a pious o!d fe!!o'.@ 0e sent orders to ?u"hi <ingde that he 'as to (ui!d a temp!e in his name4 ere"t a shrine to him4 and in+ite mon#s to do good deeds on his (eha!f% this 'ou!d (e as good as pa6ing him (a"# the go!d and si!+er. $n the da6 this de"ree rea"hed him ?u"hi <ingde turned to'ards the pa!a"e to than# the 7mperor4 and read it a!oud for a!! to hear. Then he (ought fift6 mu of !and at a p!a"e inside the "it6 that 'ou!d not (e in the 'a6 from either the "i+i! or the mi!itar6 point of +ie'4 and here 'or# 'as (egun on a monaster6 to (e "a!!ed The 3mperia!!6 .ounded =iang Kuo Bonaster6. To its !eft 'as ere"ted a shrine to Br. and Brs. =iang

'ith an ins"ri(ed ta(!et that read @ ui!t under the super+ision of ;ord ?u"hi.@ This is the present 5reat =iang 5uo Bonaster6.

When he 'as informed that 'or# had (een "omp!eted TaiFong 'as +er6 p!eased4 and assem(!ing the mu!titude of offi"ia!s he issued a noti"e summoning mon#s to "ome and ho!d a 5reat Bass for the re(irth of those !one!6 sou!s in the under'or!d. /s the noti"e tra+e!ed throughout the empire the !o"a! offi"ia!s e+er6'here re"ommended ho!6 and +enera(!e mon#s to go to Chang1an for the ser+i"e. 6 the end of the month man6 mon#s had arri+ed in Chang1an from a!! o+er the empire. The 7mperor issued a de"ree ordering .u ?i4 the *eput6 /nna!ist4 to se!e"t some +enera(!e mon#s to perform uddhist "eremonies. $n hearing this "ommand .u ?i sent up a memoria! re>uesting a (an on the (ui!ding of pagodas and sa6ing that there 'as no uddha. 3t read%

6 the ;a' of the West there are no distin"tions (et'een ru!er and su(Ee"t or (et'een father and son8 the Three 9aths and the -iD ,oads are used to de"ei+e the foo!ish8 past sins are "hased a'a6 to fi!"h future (!essings8 and -ans#rit pra6ers are re"ited in attempts to a+oid retri(ution. 2o' (irth4 death and the !ength of !ife are in fa"t de"ided (6 nature8 and punishments4 +irtue4 po'er and (!essings "ome from the !ord of men. ut these da6s +u!gar (e!ie+ers distort the truth and sa6 that the6 a!! "ome from uddha. 3n the time of the .i+e 7mperors and Three Cings of anti>uit6 this uddha did not eDist4 6et ru!ers 'ere en!ightened4 su(Ee"ts 'ere !o6a!4 and prosperit6 !asted for man6 a !ong 6ear. When foreign gods 'ere first esta(!ished in the time of 7mperor Bing of the 0an *6nast64 sramanas from the West (egan to propagate their re!igion. This is in rea!it6 a foreign en"roa"hment on China4 and it does not merit (e!ief.

When he had heard this read to him TaiFong tossed it to his other offi"ia!s for de(ate. The minister =iao ?u stepped for'ard from the ran#s4 #o'to'ed and said4 @The uddha1s !a' has f!ourished for se+era! d6nasties4 and (6 spreading good and pre+enting e+i! it gi+es unseen he!p to the state8 there is no reason 'h6 it 'ou!d (e a(o!ished. uddha 'as a sage. Those 'ho den6 sages are !a'!ess. 3 re>uest that he (e se+ere!6 punished.@ .u ?i argued 'ith =iao ?u4 pointing out that "orre"t (eha+ior 'as deri+ed from ser+ing one1s parents and one1s so+ereign4 'hereas the uddha turned his (a"# on his parents4 resisting the -on of 0ea+en a!though he 'as (ut a "ommoner4 and re(e!!ing against his mother and father 'ith the (od6 that the6 ga+e him. =iao ?u had not (een (orn in an empt6 mu!(err6 tree4 (ut he honoured a re!igion that denied fathers8 this indeed pro+ed that he 'ho had no sense of fi!ia! piet6 denied his father. /!! =iao ?u did 'as to put his hands together and sa64 @0e!! must ha+e (een made for men su"h as him.@ TaiFong sent for the 0igh Cham(er!ain Lhang *ao6uan and the 0ead of the -e"retariat Lhang -hiheng to as# them ho' effe"ti+e!6 uddhist ritua! o(tained (!essings. @The uddha d'e!!s in purit64 (ene+o!en"e and mer"64@ the t'o offi"ers rep!ied4 @and the True ,esu!t is uddha−emptiness. 7mperor Wu of the 2orthern Lhou *6nast6 p!a"ed the Three Tea"hings in an order. The Chan Baster *ahui 'rote a poem in praise of the distant and m6sterious. 3f the masses support mon#s4 an6thing "an happen. The .i+e 9atriar"hs "ame do'n to their mothers1 'om(s4 and odhidharma appeared. .rom remotest anti>uit6 e+er6one has said that the Three Tea"hings are high!6 +enera(!e and "annot (e destro6ed or a(o!ished. We hum(!6 (eg ?our BaEest6 to gi+e us his per"epti+e ru!ing.@ @?our su(mission ma#es sense4@ said the de!ighted TaiFong. @3f an6one e!se ma#es further "omments4 he 'i!! (e punished.@ 0e then ordered Wei Lheng4 =iao ?u and Lhang *ao6uan to in+ite a!! the mon#s and se!e"t one of great +irtue to (e Baster of Ceremonies. The6 a!! (o'ed to than# him and 'ithdre'. .rom then on there 'as a ne' !a'% an6one 'ho inEured a mon# or s!andered the uddha 'ou!d !ose his arm.

The neDt da6 the three "ourt offi"ia!s assem(!ed a!! the mon#s at the a!tar among ri+ers and hi!!s4 and the6 'ent through them a!! one (6 one. .rom among them the6 "hose a +enera(!e and +irtuous mon#. *o 6ou #no' 'ho he 'asG

.u!!6 +ersed in the (asi" m6ster64 his tit!e 'as 5o!den Ci"ada8 ut (e"ause he did not 'ant to hear the uddha prea"h 0e transferred to the morta! 'or!d to suffer torment4 Was (orn among the "ommon morta!s to fa!! into the net. .rom the moment he entered the 'om( he met 'ith e+i!4 efore he !eft it he en"ountered a gang of +i!!ains. 0is father 'as Top 5raduate Chen from 0aiFhou4 0is grandfather a senior imperia! "ommander. 0is (irth offended the meteor that dropped into the 'ater4 0e drifted 'ith the "urrent and fo!!o'ed the 'a+es. <inshan 3s!and had a great destin6% The a((ot Kian1an (rought him up. $n!6 at se+enteen did he meet his mother4 /nd go to the "apita! to find his grandfather. Commander ?in Caishan4 raising a great arm64 Wiped out and punished the (andits at 0ongFhou. 5raduate Chen 5uangrui es"aped from the hea+en!6 net4 /nd father and son 'ere happi!6 reunited. /""epting the in+itation he re"ei+es on"e more the monar"h1s gra"e4 /nd his fame is spread as he "!im(s the !oft6 to'er. ,efusing to ta#e offi"e he 'ants to (e a mon#4 -o as sramana of the 0ongfu Temp!e he !earns a(out the Wa64 The "hi!d of an an"ient uddha 'ho used to (e "a!!ed <iang!iu4

/nd too# the dharma−name of Chen =uanFang.

That da6 the ,e+erend =uanFang 'as "hosen from among a!! the mon#s. 0e had (een a mon# from infan"64 and e+er sin"e (irth he had eaten +egetarian food and o(ser+ed the prohi(itions. 0is materna! grandfather 'as an imperia! "ommander4 ?in Caishan. 0is father Chen 5uangrui had "ome top in the 9a!a"e 7Damination and had (een appointed a grand se"retar6 in the 3mperia! ;i(rar6. =uanFang4 ho'e+er4 had no interest in honour and g!or64 and his on!6 Eo6 'as to "u!ti+ate 2ir+ana. 3n+estigation re+ea!ed that his origins 'ere good and his +irtue great8 of the thousand sutras and ten thousand ho!6 (oo#s there 'as not a sing!e one that he did not #no'8 he "ou!d sing e+er6 uddhist "hant and #ne' a!! the re!igious musi". The three offi"ia!s too# him to the imperia! presen"e4 'here the6 dan"ed and stirred up the dust. When the6 had (o'ed the6 reported4 @?our su(Ee"t =iao ?u and the rest of us ha+e "hosen a +enera(!e mon# "a!!ed Chen =uanFang in o(edien"e to the imperia! de"ree.@ $n hearing his name TaiFong thought deep!6 for a !ong time and then as#ed4 @3s that the =uanFang 'ho is the son of 5rand -e"retar6 Chen 5uangruiG@ @?our su(Ee"t is he4@ rep!ied =uanFang 'ith a #o'to'. @Then 6ou 'ere indeed 'e!! "hosen4@ said the 7mperor 'ith satisfa"tion. @?ou are indeed a mon# of +irtuous "ondu"t of a mind de+oted to meditation. 3 gi+e 6ou the offi"es of ;eft Contro!!er of the C!erg64 ,ight Contro!!er of the C!erg64 and 0ierar"h of the 7mpire.@ =uanFang #o'to'ed to eDpress his than#s and a""epted the appointments. The 7mperor then ga+e him a mu!ti"o!ored go!den "asso"# and a :airo"ana miter4 te!!ing him to (e sure he "ons"ientious!6 "ontinued to +isit en!ightened mon#s4 and gi+ing him the position at the top of the hierar"h6. 0e ga+e him a de"ree in 'riting ordering him to go to the 0uasheng Temp!e to pi"# a propitious da6 and hour on 'hi"h to (egin the re"itations of the s"riptures. =uanFang (o'ed4 too# the de"ree4 and 'ent to the 0uasheng Temp!e 'here he assem(!ed man6 mon#s4 had meditation (en"hes made4 prepared for the mass4 and "hose the musi". 0e se!e"ted a tota! of t'e!+e hundred high and hum(!e mon#s of en!ightenment4 'ho he di+ided into an upper4 a midd!e and a !o'er ha!!. /!! the ho!6 o(Ee"ts 'ere neat!6 arranged (efore a!! the uddhas. The third da6 of the ninth month of that 6ear 'as "hosen an auspi"ious da6 on 'hi"h to start the se+en times se+en da6s of the 5reat ;and and Water Bass. This 'as a!! reported to the throne4 and at the appointed time TaiFong4 the high "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s4 and the ro6a! fami!6 'ent to the ser+i"e to (urn in"ense and !isten to the prea"hing. There is a poem to pro+e it that goes%

/t the dragon assem(!6 in the thirteenth 6ear of Lhen 5uan The 7mperor "a!!ed a great meeting to ta!# a(out the s"riptures. /t the assem(!6 the6 (egan to eDpound the unfathoma(!e !a'4 Whi!e "!ouds g!o'ed a(o+e the great shrine. The 7mperor in his gra"e orders the (ui!ding of a temp!e8 The 5o!den Ci"ada sheds his s#in to edif6 the West.

0e spreads the ne's that re'ards for goodness sa+e from i!!4 9rea"hing the do"trine of the three uddhas of past and future.

3n the 6ear Eisi4 the thirteenth of Zhen Guan, on the da6 EiaDu4 the third of the ninth month4 the 0ierar"h Chen =uanFang assem(!ed t'e!+e hundred +enera(!e mon#s at the 0uasheng Temp!e in the "it6 of Chang1an for a "hanting of a!! the ho!6 s"riptures. /fter morning "ourt 'as o+er the 7mperor !eft the throne ha!! in his dragon and phoeniD "hariot at the head of a host of "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s and 'ent to the temp!e to (urn in"ense. What did the imperia! "hariot !oo# !i#eG 3ndeed

9ropitious +apours fi!!ed the s#6 That shone 'ith ten thousand (eams of sa"red !ight. / me!!o' (reeFe (!e' soft!64 The sun!ight 'as strange!6 (eautifu!. / thousand offi"ia!s 'ith Eade at their (e!ts 'a!#ed in due order. The (anners of the fi+e guards are dra'n up on either side. 0o!ding go!den gourds4 Wie!ding (att!e−aDes4 The6 stand in pairs8 ;amps of purp!e gauFe4 3mperia! "ensers4 Ba#e maEesti" "!ouds. *ragons f!6 and phoeniDes dan"e4 $spre6s and eag!es soar. True is the en!ightened -on of 0ea+en4 5ood are his Eust and !o6a! ministers. This age of prosperit6 surpasses the time of -hun and ?u8 The eterna! pea"e he has gi+en outdoes that of ?ao and Tang. Hnder a paraso! 'ith "ur+ed hand!e

The dragon ro(e s'eeps in4 *aFF!ing (right. 3nter!o"#ing Eade rings4 Co!oured phoeniD fans4 -himmer 'ith a magi" g!o'. 9ear! "ro'ns and (e!ts of Eade4 5o!d sea!s on purp!e "ords. / thousand regiments of so!diers prote"t the imperia! "hariot4 T'o !ines of genera!s "arr6 the ro6a! "hair. athed and re+erent4 the 7mperor "omes to 'orship the uddha4 -u(mitting to the True /"hie+ement as he Eo6fu!!6 (urns in"ense.

When the "arriage of the Tang 7mperor rea"hed the temp!e4 orders 'ere gi+en to stop the musi" as he des"ended from the +ehi"!e and 'ent at the head of his offi"ia!s to (o' to the uddha and (urn in"ense. When he had done this three times he !oo#ed up and sa' 'hat a magnifi"ent assem(!6 it 'as%

*an"ing (anners4 .!6ing "anopies. When the (anners dan"ed The s#6 shoo# 'ith the "!ouds of si!#8 When the "anopies f!e' The sun g!eamed as the red !ightning f!ashed. 9erfe"t the image of the statue of the 0onoured $ne4 Bight6 the grandeur of the /rhats1 "ountenan"es. Bagi" f!o'ers in a +ase4 Censers (urning sanda!'ood and !a#a. /s the fair6 f!o'ers stand in +ases

Trees !i#e (ro"ade fi!! the temp!e 'ith their (rightness. /s the "ensers (urn sanda!'ood and !a#a C!ouds of in"ense rise to the aFure hea+en. .resh fruit of the season is pi!ed in +ermi!ion dishes4 7Doti" s'eets are heaped on the si!#−"o+ered ta(!es. -erried ran#s of ho!6 mon#s intone the surras To sa+e a(andoned sou!s from suffering.

TaiFong and his "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s a!! (urned in"ense4 (o'ed to the go!den (od6 of the ;ord uddha4 and paid their respe"ts to the /rhats. The 0ierar"h Chen =uanFang then !ed a!! the mon#s to (o' to the 7mperor4 and 'hen this 'as o+er the6 di+ided into their groups and 'ent to their meditation p!a"es 'hi!e the 0ierar"h sho'ed the 7mperor the noti"e a(out the de!i+er6 of the !one!6 ghosts. 3t read%

@B6sterious is the u!timate +irtue4 and the -e"t of Beditation !eads to 2ir+ana. The purit6 of the truth is a!!−#no'ing8 it per+ades the Three ,egions of the uni+erse. Through its "ount!ess "hanges it "ontro!s the 2egati+e and 9ositi+e8 un(ounded are the em(odiments of the eterna! rea!it6. 3n "onsidering those for!orn ghosts one shou!d (e deep!6 distressed. /t the sa"red "ommand of TaiFong 'e ha+e assem(!ed some "hosen mon#s for meditation and prea"hing. 0e has opened 'ide the gates of en!ightenment and ro'ed far the (oat of mer"64 sa+ing a!! the (eings in the sea of suffering4 and de!i+ering those 'ho had !ong (een aff!i"ted (6 the siD 'a6s of eDisten"e. The6 'i!! (e !ed (a"# to the right road and re+e! in the great "haos8 in a"tion and in passi+it6 the6 'i!! (e at one 'ith prima! simp!i"it6. .or this 'onderfu! "ause the6 are in+ited to see the purp!e gates of the pure "apita!4 and through our assem(!6 the6 'i!! es"ape from the "onfines of 0e!! to "!im( to the Wor!d of !iss and (e free4 'andering as the6 p!ease in the 9aradise of the West. /s the poem goes%

/ (urner of in"ense of !onge+it64 / fe' spe!!s to a"hie+e re(irth. The infinite ;a' is pro"!aimed4 The (ound!ess mer"6 of 0ea+en is sho'n. When sins are a!! 'ashed a'a64 The neg!e"ted sou!s !ea+e 0e!!. We pra6 to prote"t our "ountr68 Ba6 it sta6 at pea"e and (e (!essed.@

When he had read this the Tang 7mperor1s heart 'as fi!!ed 'ith happiness and he said to the mon#s4 @0o!d firm to 6our sin"erit6 and ne+er a!!o' 6ourse!+es a moment1s s!a"#ness in the ser+i"e of the uddha. ;ater on4 'hen the /ssem(!6 is o+er4 6ou 'i!! (e (!essed and 'e sha!! ri"h!6 re'ard 6ou. ?ou sha!! "ertain!6 not ha+e !a(ored in +ain.@ The t'e!+e hundred mon#s a!! #o'to'ed to than# him. When the three +egetarian mea!s for the da6 'ere o+er the Tang 7mperor 'ent (a"# to the pa!a"e. 0e 'as in+ited to "ome (a"# to the 5rand /ssem(!6 to (urn in"ense on"e more on the se+enth da6. /s e+ening 'as no' dra'ing in a!! the offi"ia!s 'ent a'a6. 3t 'as a fine e+ening%

/ !ight g!o' suffused the (ound!ess s#68 / fe' "ro's 'ere !ate in finding their roosts. ;amps 'ere !it throughout the "it6 as a!! fe!! sti!!8 3t 'as Eust the hour for the mon#s to enter the tran"e.

We 'i!! omit a des"ription of the night or of ho' the mon#s intoned the s"riptures 'hen their master too# his seat again the neDt morning. The odhisatt+a 5uan6in from 9otara#a 3s!and in the -outhern -ea had (een !ong in Chang1an4 !oo#ing on the uddha1s orders for the man to fet"h the s"riptures4 (ut she had not 6et found an6one rea!!6 +irtuous. Then she heard that TaiFong 'as propagating the True /"hie+ement and se!e"ting +enera(!e mon#s for a 5rand /ssem(!64 and 'hen she sa' that the Baster of Ceremonies 'as the mon# <iang!iu 'ho 'as rea!!6 a uddha1s son "ame do'n from the rea!ms of supreme (!iss4 an e!der 'hom she herse!f had !ed into his earth!6 mother1s 'om(4 she 'as +er6 p!eased. -he too# her dis"ip!e Bo#sa and the treasures that the uddha had gi+en her out on the street to offer them for sa!e. *o 6ou #no' 'hat these treasures 'ereG There 'as a pre"ious (ro"ade "asso"# and−a monasti" staff 'ith nine rings. -he a!so had those three go!den (ands4 (ut she put them a'a6 safe!6 for future use8 she 'as on!6 se!!ing the "asso"# and the staff. There 'as a mon# in Chang1an "it6 too stupid to (e "hosen for the ser+i"e (ut 'ho nonethe!ess had some i!!−gotten (an#notes. When he sa' the (a!d4 s"a((64 (arefoot figure 'earing a tattered ro(e−−the form the odhisatt+a had ta#en−−offering the "asso"# of daFF!ing (eaut6 for sa!e he 'ent up and as#ed4 @0o' mu"h d16ou 'ant for that "asso"#4 -"a((6G@ @The pri"e of the "asso"# is fi+e thousand oun"es of si!+er and the staff t'o thousand4@ rep!ied the odhisatt+a. The stupid mon# roared 'ith !aughter. @?ou must (e a nut"ase4 -"a((64 or e!se a dope. Those t'o !ous6 things 'ou!dn1t (e 'orth that mu"h un!ess the6 ga+e 6ou immorta!it6 and turned 6ou into a uddha. 2o dea!. Ta#e1em a'a6.@ 2ot (othering to argue4 the odhisatt+a 'a!#ed on 'ith Bo#sa. /fter the6 had (een going for >uite a !ong time the6 found themse!+es in front of the *onghua 5ate of the pa!a"e4 'here the minister =iao ?u happened to (e returning home from morning "ourt. 3gnoring the "ro'd of !i"tors 'ho 'ere shouting to e+er6one to get out of the 'a64 the odhisatt+a "a!m!6 'ent into the midd!e of the road 'ith the "asso"# in her hands and headed straight for the minister. When the minister reined in his horse to !oo# he sa' the "asso"# g!eaming

ri"h!6 and sent an attendant to as# its pri"e.

@3 'ant fi+e thousand oun"es of si!+er for the "asso"# and t'o thousand for the staff4@ said the odhisatt+a. @What1s so good a(out the "asso"# to ma#e it 'orth that mu"hG@ as#ed =iao ?u. @$n the one hand it is good and on the other it isn1t4@ rep!ied the odhisatt+a. @$n the one hand it has a pri"e and on the other it hasn1t.@ @What1s good a(out it and 'hat isn1tG@ as#ed the minister. @Whoe+er 'ears this "asso"# of mine 'i!! not sin# into the mire4 'i!! not fa!! into 0e!!4 'i!! not (e ensnared (6 e+i! and 'i!! not meet disaster from tiger or 'o!f% these are its good points. ut as for a stupid mon# 'ho is greed6 and de(au"hed4 'ho ta#es de!ight in the sufferings of others4 does not eat +egetarian food4 and (rea#s the monasti" (ans8 or a "ommon !a6man 'ho harms the s"riptures and s!anders the uddha−−su"h peop!e ha+e great diffi"u!t6 e+en in seeing this "asso"# of mine% that is its disad+antage.@ @What did 6ou mean (6 sa6ing that it (oth has a pri"e and hasn1t got oneG@ as#ed the minister4 "ontinuing his >uestions. @/n6one 'ho doesn1t o(e6 the uddha1s ;a' or honour the Three Treasures (ut sti!! insists on (u6ing the "asso"# and the staff 'i!! ha+e to pa6 se+en thousand oun"es for them% in that "ase the6 ha+e a pri"e. ut if an6one 'ho honors the Three Treasures4 ta#es p!easure in goodness4 and (e!ie+es in our uddha4 'ants to ha+e them4 then 31!! gi+e him the "asso"# and staff as a gift. 3n that "ase the6 ha+e no pri"e.@ =iao ?u1s "hee#s "o!oured4 sho'ing that he 'as a good man4 and he dismounted to greet the odhisatt+a. @7!der of the 5reat ;a'4@ he said4 @forgi+e me. $ur 5reat Tang 7mperor is a true !o+er of goodness4 and e+er6 one of the "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s in his "ourt a"ts pious!6. This "asso"# 'ou!d (e Eust right for the 0ierar"h4 Baster Chen =uanFang4 to 'ear in the 5reat ;and and Water Bass that is no' (eing "ondu"ted. ?ou and 3 sha!! go into the pa!a"e to see 0is BaEest6.@ The odhisatt+a g!ad!6 fo!!o'ed him as he turned around and 'ent straight in through the *onghua 5ate. The eunu"hs reported their arri+a!4 and the6 'ere summoned to the throne ha!!. =iao ?u !ed the t'o s"a((6 mon#s in4 and the6 stood (eneath the steps of the throne. @What ha+e 6ou "ome to report4 =iao ?uG@ the 7mperor as#ed. =iao ?u prostrated himse!f in front of the steps and rep!ied4 @When 6our su(Ee"t 'ent out through the *onghua 5ate 3 met t'o mon#s 'ho 'ere se!!ing a "asso"# and a staff. 3t o""urred to me that this "asso"# 'ou!d (e suita(!e for Baster =uanFang to 'ear. -o 3 ha+e (rought the mon#s for an audien"e 'ith ?our BaEest6.@ The de!ighted TaiFong as#ed ho' mu"h the "asso"# "ost. -ti!! standing (eneath the steps4 and not ma#ing an6 gestures of "ourtes64 the odhisatt+a and Bo#sa rep!ied4 @The "asso"# "osts fi+e thousand oun"es of si!+er4 and the staff t'o thousand.@ @What ad+antages does the "asso"# ha+e to ma#e it 'orth so mu"hG@ the 7mperor as#ed. To this the odhisatt+a rep!ied%

@This "asso"#

0as a strand of dragon "ape4 To sa+e from (eing eaten (6 the ,o"4 /nd a thread of a stor# Ea"#et4 To de!i+er from morta!it6 and !ead to sainthood. When one sits Ten thousand spirits "ome to pa6 homage8 3n a!! 6our a"tions The -e+en uddhas 'i!! (e 'ith 6ou.

@This "asso"# is made of si!# ree!ed from giant i"e−'orms4 T'isted into 6arn (6 s#i!fu! "raftsmen4 Wo+en (6 fair6 (eauties4 .inished (6 goddesses. The strips of "!oth are Eoined 'ith em(roidered seams4 7a"h pie"e thi"# 'ith (ro"ade. The open'or# de"oration has a f!o'er pattern -himmering 'ith "o!or4 shining 'ith Ee'e!ed (eaut6. The 'earer of the "asso"# is 'reathed in red mist4 /nd 'hen it is ta#en off4 "o!oured "!ouds f!6. 3ts prima! !ight s!ipped out through the Three 5ates of 0ea+en4 The magi" +apour arose (efore the .i+e -a"red 9ea#s. 3t is em(roidered 'ith !a6er upon !a6er of passion−f!o'ers4 /nd g!eams 'ith pear!s that shine !i#e stars. /t the four "orners are night−shining pear!s4 -et at the top is an emera!d. /!though it does not "omp!ete!6 i!!uminate the $rigina! od6

3t shines 'ith the !ight of the 7ight Treasures.

@This "asso"# 3s norma!!6 #ept fo!ded4 /nd 'i!! on!6 (e 'orn (6 a sage. When #ept fo!ded4 / rain(o' shines through its thousand !a6ers of 'rapping8 When it is 'orn (6 a sage4 3t 'i!! astonish the hea+en!6 spirits and s"are a!! demons. $n top is an as−6ou−'ish pear!4 / Bani 9ear!4 / dust−repe!!ing pear!4 /nd a 'ind−"a!ming pear!8 There is a!so red agate4 9urp!e "ora!4 2ight−shining pear!s4 /nd re!i"s of the uddha. The6 stea! the 'hite of the moon4 ,i+a! the sun in redness. Their magi" essen"e fi!!s the s#64 Their auspi"ious !ight honors the sage. Their magi" essen"e fi!!s the s#64 -hining through the gates of 0ea+en8 Their auspi"ious !ight honors the sage4 3!!uminating the 'ho!e 'or!d. -hining on mountains and ri+ers4

The essen"e frightens tigers and !eopards8 3!!uminating o"eans and is!ands4 The !ight start!es fishes and dragons. /t the side are t'o ro's of go!d−p!ated hoo#s4 /t the ne"# are !oops of 'hitest Eade.@

There is a poem that goes%

@5reat are the Three <e'e!s4 and honoured (e the Wa68 The .our Cinds of ;ife and -iD 9aths are a!! eDp!ained. Whoe+er #no's and tea"hes the !a' of Ban and 0ea+en4 Can pass on the !amp of 'isdom 'hen he sees his origina! nature. 3t prote"ts the (od6 and ma#es it a 'or!d of go!d4 ;ea+es (od6 and mind pure as an i"e−fi!!ed Ear of Eade. 7+er sin"e uddha made his "asso"# 2o one 'i!! e+er dare to end the priesthood.@

When the Tang 7mperor heard these 'ords spo#en in his throne ha!! he 'as fi!!ed 'ith Eo64 and he as#ed another >uestion% @Bon#4 'hat is so 'onderfu! a(out 6our nine−ringed staffG@

@This staff of mine4@ the odhisatt+a rep!ied4 @is%

/ nine−ringed iron staff in!aid 'ith "opper4 / nine−se"tioned 3mmorta!1s "ane to preser+e eterna! 6outh. 0e!d in 6our hand it1s as !ight as a (one4 /s 6ou go do'n the mountain it (rings 'hite "!ouds.

The .ifth 9atriar"h too# it through the gates of 0ea+en8 When ;o u sear"hed for his mother he used it to smash the gates of 7arth. Hntou"hed (6 the fi!th of morta! dust4 3t g!ad!6 a""ompanies the god!6 mon# as he "!im(s the Eade mountain.@

The Tang 7mperor then ordered that the "asso"# (e unfo!ded. $n eDamining it from top to (ottom he sa' that it 'as indeed a fine arti"!e.

@7!der of the 5reat ;a'4@ he said4 @3 te!! 6ou truthfu!!6 that 3 am no' propagating the good 'ord and 'ide!6 so'ing seeds of (!essing. /t this moment man6 mon#s are assem(!ed at the 0uasheng Bonaster6 for re"itation of the surras. /mong them is one mon# of outstanding +irtue 'hose uddha−name is =uanFang4 and 'e 'ish to (u6 those t'o treasures of 6ours to gi+e him. -o 'hat is 6our pri"eG@ The odhisatt+a and Bo#sa put their hands together4 intoned the name of the uddha4 and (o'ed do'n. @3f he rea!!6 is a +irtuous mon#4@ she said4 @3 sha!! gi+e them to him4 and 3 refuse to a""ept an6 mone6 for them.@ With that she turned and !eft. The 7mperor immediate!6 to!d =iao ?u to stop her as he rose to his feet and "a!!ed out4 @?ou to!d us that 6ou 'anted fi+e thousand oun"es for the "asso"# and t'o thousand for the staff4 (ut no' that 'e ha+e said 'e sha!! (u6 them4 6ou refuse to ta#e an6 mone6. /re 6ou going to sa6 that 3 a(used m6 po'er to seiFe 6our thingsG We 'ou!d ne+er dream of it. We sha!! pa6 the pri"e 6ou as#ed4 and 'i!! ta#e no refusa!.@ ,aising her hand the odhisatt+a said4 @3 made a +o' that 3 'ou!d gi+e them free to an6one 'ho honoured the Three Treasures4 de!ighted in goodness4 and (e!ie+ed in our uddha. 2o' 3 ha+e seen that ?our BaEest6 is a good and +irtuous respe"ter of our uddhist faith4 and ha+e heard that there is a mon# of +irtuous "ondu"t 'ho prea"hes the 5reat ;a'4 it is on!6 right that 3 shou!d offer them to him8 3 don1t 'ant an6 mone6 for them. 3 am !ea+ing the things here. 5ood−(6e.@ The Tang 7mperor 'as +er6 p!eased 'ith the mon#1s sin"erit64 and ordered that a !arge +egetarian (an>uet (e gi+en to than# him in the 3mperia! Cit"hen. This the odhisatt+a refused to a""ept and 'ent airi!6 off. There is no need to des"ri(e ho' she returned to her hide−out in the !o"a! god1s temp!e. TaiFong arranged for a "ourt to (e he!d at midda6 and sent Wei Lheng 'ith a de"ree summoning =uanFang to attend. 0e found the monasti" offi"ia! assem(!ing the mon#s as he "!im(ed the rostrum for the "hanting of surras and gathas. The moment he heard the de"ree he "ame do'n from the rostrum4 tidied his "!othes4 and 'ent 'ith Wei Lheng to the imperia! presen"e. @Hp ti!! no' 'e ha+e had nothing suita(!e 'ith 'hi"h to than# 6ou4 ?our 5ra"e4 for 6our efforts in a">uiring merit. This morning =iao ?u met t'o mon#s 'ho ha+e +o'ed to gi+e 6ou a pre"ious (ro"ade "asso"# and a nine−ringed mon#1s staff. We ha+e therefore sent for 6ou4 Baster4 to "ome and re"ei+e them4@ said the 7mperor. =uanFang #o'to'ed in than#s. @3f 6ou do not reEe"t it4 ?our 5ra"e4 !et us see 'hat it !oo#s !i#e on 6ou.@ =uanFang shoo# it open4 draped it a"ross his shou!ders4 too# the staff in his hand4 and stood respe"tfu!!6 (efore the steps of the throne. The monar"h and a!! his ministers 'ere o+erEo6ed. 0e tru!6 'as a son of the Tathagata. ;oo# at him%

0o' e!egant his imposing features8 0is uddha−+estments fit as if the6 had (een made for him. The g!o' radiating from them fi!!s 0ea+en and 7arth4 Whi!e the "o!ours "r6sta!!iFe in the s#6.

,o's of g!eaming pear!s a(o+e and (e!o'4 ;a6ers of go!den threads Eoining front and (a"#. / hood edged 'ith (ro"ade4 7m(roidered 'ith ten thousand strange designs.

9atterns of the 7ight Treasures ho!d the threads of the (uttons4 Whi!e the go!den "o!!ar is fastened 'ith "at"hes of +e!+et. The uddha−0ea+ens are set out in order of eminen"e4 Whi!e to !eft and right are the high and hum(!e stars.

5reat is the destin6 of =uanFang Baster of the ;a'4 Who is 'orth6 to a""ept this gift at present. 0e is Eust !i#e a !i+ing /rhat4 7D"e!!ing the 7n!ightened $ne of the West.

$n the mon#ish staff the nine rings "!in#4 /nd ri"h!6 g!o's the :airo"ana miter. 0o' true that (e is a uddha1s son8 3t is no !ie that he has surpassed en!ightenment.

/!! the "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s "ried out 'ith admiration4 and the 7mperor 'as de!ighted. Te!!ing the Baster of the ;a' to put the "asso"# on proper!6 and ta#e the staff4 he granted him t'o (ands of "eremonia! attendants and had a host of offi"ia!s see him out of the pa!a"e and 'a!# 'ith him to his monaster6. 3t 'as Eust !i#e the pro"ession for a top graduate in the pa!a"e eDamination. =uanFang (o'ed on"e more to than# the 7mperor and then set out4 striding maEesti"a!!6 a!ong the high'a6. /!! the tra+e!!ing mer"hants4 the shop−#eepers4 the fashiona(!e 6oung men4 the professiona! s"ri(es4 the men and 'omen4 6oung and o!d4 in the "it6 of Chang1an fought to get a !oo# at him and praise him. @What a sp!endid Baster of the ;a'4@ the6 said. @0e1s an /rhat "ome do'n to earth4 a !i+ing odhisatt+a "ome to see us morta!s.@ =uanFang 'ent straight to his monaster64 'here a!! the mon#s !eft their p!a"es of meditation to 'e!"ome him. When the6 sa' the "asso"# he 'as 'earing and the staff in his hand the6 a!! said that Cing Csitigar(ha had "ome4 did homage to him4 and stood in attendan"e to right and !eft. /s"ending the main ha!!4 =uanFang (urned in"ense and 'orshipped uddha4 and 'hen he had gi+en an a""ount of the 7mperor1s grade the6 a!! returned to their seats for meditation. 2o(od6 noti"ed that the red 'hee! of the sun 'as no' sin#ing in the West.

/s the sun sin#s4 p!ants and trees are +ei!ed in mist Whi!e the "apita! e"hoes to the (e!! and drum. /fter three "himes of the (e!! no(od6 mo+es% The streets throughout the "it6 are sti!!.

The monaster6 g!eams 'ith the !ight of its !amps8 The +i!!age is !one!6 and si!ent. The Chan mon#s enter the tran"e and repair damaged sutras. / good 'a6 to purif6 onese!f of e+i! and nourish the true nature.

Time passed in the snap of a finger4 and it 'as time for the spe"ia! assem(!6 on the se+enth da64 so =uanFang 'rote a memoria! in+iting the Tang 7mperor to "ome and (urn in"ense. 0is reputation for piet6 had no' spread throughout the empire. TaiFong therefore !ed a !arge num(er of "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s and his empresses4 "onsorts and their fami!ies to the monaster6 in a pro"ession of "arriages to the temp!e ear!6 that morning. 7+er6one in the "it64 'hether 6oung or o!d4 hum(!e or might64 'ent to the temp!e to hear the prea"hing. The odhisatt+a said to Bo#sa4 @Toda6 is a spe"ia! da6 of the 5reat Bass of ;and and Water4 'hi"h 'i!! go on from this first se+enth da6 to the se+enth se+enth da64 as is proper. ?ou and 3 are going to ming!e 'ith the "ro'ds for three reasons% to see the ser+i"e4 to see the 5o!den Ci"ada enEo6ing the (!essing of 'earing our treasure4 and to hear 'hat (ran"h of the s"riptures he prea"hes on.@ The pair of them 'ent to the temp!e. The6 'ere fated to meet their o!d a">uaintan"e4 Eust as the Wisdom returned to its o'n prea"hing p!a"e. When the6 'ent inside the monaster6 the6 sa' that this great and hea+en!6 d6nast6 surpassed an6 other in

the 'or!d8 'hi!e the <eta+ana Bonaster6 and -ra+ana 'ere no mat"h for this temp!e. -a"red musi" sounded "!ear a(o+e the shouting of uddha names. When the odhisatt+a approa"hed the prea"hing dais she sa' in =uanFang the !i#eness of the 'ise 5o!den Ci"ada. /s the poem goes%

9ure in e+er6 image4 free of e+er6 spe"# of dirt4 The great =uanFang sat on his !oft6 dais. The !one!6 sou!s 'ho ha+e (een de!i+ered "ome in se"ret4 Whi!e the 'e!!−(orn arri+e to hear the !a'.

5reat is his 'isdom in "hoosing suita(!e methods8 /!! his !ife he has opened the doors of the s"riptures. /s the6 'at"h him prea"h the infinite ;a'4 The ears of 6oung and o!d a!i#e are fi!!ed 'ith Eo6.

/s 5uan6in 'ent to the temp!e prea"hing ha!! -he met an o!d a">uaintan"e 'ho 'as no "ommon morta!. 0e spo#e a(out e+er6 "urrent matter4 /nd mentioned the a"hie+ements of man6 a morta! era.

The "!ouds of the *harma sett!e o+er e+er6 mountain4 The net of the tea"hing spreads right a"ross the s#6. 3f one "ounts the num(er of pious thoughts among humans The6 are as p!entifu! as raindrops on red (!ossom.

$n his dais the Baster of the ;a' read through the Sutra to Gi)e Life and Deli)er the Dead, dis"ussed the -ea)enl( Char! to ,rote2t the Countr( and prea"hed on the 34hortation to Culti)ate Merit. The odhisatt+a 'ent up to the dais4 hit it4 and shouted out at the top of her +oi"e4 @Wh6 are 6ou on!6 ta!#ing a(out the do"trine of the ;itt!e :ehi"!e4 mon#G Can 6ou prea"h a(out the 5reat :ehi"!eG@

$n hearing these >uestions a de!ighted =uanFang !eapt do'n from the prea"hing dais4 (o'ed to the odhisatt+a4 and said4 @:enera(!e tea"her4 6our dis"ip!e has sinned grie+ous!6 in fai!ing to re"ogniFe 6ou. We mon#s 'ho stand (efore 6ou on!6 prea"h the !a' of the ;itt!e :ehi"!e4 and 'e #no' nothing of the do"trine of the 5reat :ehi"!e.@ @That do"trine of the ;itt!e :ehi"!e of 6ours 'i!! ne+er (ring the dead to re(irth8 it1s on!6 good enough for a +u!gar sort of en!ightenment. 2o' 3 ha+e the Three -tores of the uddha1s ;a' of the 5reat :ehi"!e that 'i!! raise the dead up to 0ea+en4 de!i+er sufferers from their torments4 and free sou!s from the eterna! "oming and going.@ /s the odhisatt+a 'as ta!#ing4 the Baster of 3n"ense4 an offi"ia! 'ho patro!!ed the temp!e4 made an urgent report to the Tang 7mperor that Eust 'hen the Baster of the ;a' 'as in the midd!e of prea"hing the 'onderfu! ;a' a pair of s"a((6 itinerant mon#s had dragged him do'n and 'ere engaging him in 'i!d argument. The 7mperor ordered them to (e arrested and (rought (efore him4 and a "ro'd of men hust!ed the t'o of them into the rear ha!! of the monaster6. When the6 sa' TaiFong the6 neither raised their hands in greeting nor (o'ed4 (ut !oo#ed him in the e6e and said4 @What does ?our BaEest6 'ant to as# us a(out.@ ,e"ogniFing them4 the 7mperor as#ed4 @/re 6ou not the mon# 'ho ga+e us the "asso"#G@ @That1s right4@ rep!ied the odhisatt+a. @3f 6ou "ame here to !isten to the prea"hing 6ou shou!d (e satisfied 'ith getting something to eat4@ said TaiFong. @Wh6 did 6ou start ranting at the Baster of the ;a'4 distur(ing the s"ripture ha!! and interfering 'ith our ser+i"e to the uddhaG@ @That master of 6ours 'as on!6 tea"hing the do"trine of the ;itt!e :ehi"!e4 'hi"h 'i!! ne+er send the dead up to 0ea+en4@ rep!ied the odhisatt+a. @3 ha+e the Three -tores of the uddha1s ;a' of the 5reat :ehi"!e4 'hi"h "an sa+e the dead4 de!i+er from suffering4 and ensure that the (od6 'i!! !i+e for e+er 'ithout "oming to harm.@ -ho'ing no signs of anger4 TaiFong earnest!6 as#ed 'here the uddha1s ;a' of the 5reat :ehi"!e 'as. @3t is in the Thunder Bonaster6 in the !and of 3ndia in the West4 'here our uddha !i+es4@ the odhisatt+a rep!ied4 @and it "an untie the #nots of a!! inEusti"e and sa+e the inno"ent from disaster.@ @Can 6ou remem(er itG@ the 7mperor as#ed4 and the odhisatt+a ans'ered @?es.@ TaiFong then ga+e orders that this Baster of the ;a' 'as to (e ta#en to the dais and in+ited to prea"h. The odhisatt+a and Bo#sa f!e' up to the dais4 then soared into the s#6 on magi" "!ouds. -he appeared in her o'n form as the de!i+erer from suffering4 ho!ding a t'ig of 'i!!o' in a +ase4 and Bo#sa stood (eside her as 0uian4 ho!ding a sti"# and (rist!ing 'ith energ6. The Tang 7mperor 'as so happ6 that he (o'ed to 0ea+en4 'hi!e his "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s a!! fe!! to their #nees and (urned in"ense. 7+er6one in the temp!e−−mon#s4 nuns4 "!eri"s4 !a6 peop!e4 s"ho!ars4 'or#men and mer"hants−−a!! (o'ed do'n and pra6ed4 @5ood odhisatt+a4 good odhisatt+a.@ There is a des"ription of her appearan"e%

The sa"red radian"e shines around her4 The ho!6 !ight prote"ts her *harma (od6.

3n the g!or6 of the highest 0ea+en /ppears a fema!e 3mmorta!. The odhisatt+a Wore on her head Bar+e!!ous pear! tasse!s With go!den "!asps4 -et 'ith tur>uoise4 /nd g!eaming go!den. -he 'ore on her (od6 / p!ain (!ue ro(e 'ith f!6ing phoeniDes4 9a!e−"o!oured4 9atterned 'ith running 'ater4 $n 'hi"h "ur!ed go!den dragons. efore her (reast hung / moon−(right4 Wind−dan"ing4 9ear!−en"rusted4 <ade−set "ir"!et fu!! of fragran"e. /round her 'aist 'as / s#irt of em(roider6 and (ro"ade from the <ade 9oo! Bade from the si!# of i"e−si!#'orms4 With go!den seams4 That rode on "o!oured "!ouds. efore her 'ent / 'hite and 6e!!o' red−(ea#ed parrot4 To f!6 a"ross the 7astern $"ean4

/nd a!! o+er the 'or!d 3n gratitude and dut6. The +ase she he!d ga+e gra"e and sa!+ation4 /nd in the +ase 'as a sprig of Weeping 'i!!o' to s'eep a'a6 the fog4 -"attering 'ater on the hea+ens4 C!eansing a!! e+i!. ,ings of Eade !ooped o+er (ro"ade (uttons /nd her go!den−!otus feet 'ere "on"ea!ed. -he 'as a(!e to +isit the three hea+ens4 .or she 'as 5uan6in4 the res"uer from suffering.

TaiFong 'as so entran"ed that he forgot a!! a(out his empire8 the ministers and genera!s 'ere so "apti+ated that the6 forgot a!! a(out "ourt eti>uette8 and the masses a!! intoned4 @5!or6 (e to the odhisatt+a 5uan6in.@ TaiFong ordered that a s#i!!ed painter 'as to ma#e a true !i#eness of the odhisatt+a4 and no sooner had the 'ords !eft his mouth than the (ri!!iant and en!ightened portra6er of gods and 3mmorta!s4 Wu *aoFi4 'as "hosen. 0e 'as the man 'ho !ater did the pi"tures of distinguished ministers in the C!oud−pier"ing 9a+i!ion. Wie!ding his mira"u!ous (rush4 he painted a true !i#eness on the spot. The odhisatt+a1s magi" "!oud s!o'!6 faded into the distan"e4 and a moment !ater the go!den !ight "ou!d (e seen no more. /!! that 'as +isi(!e 'as a note drifting do'n from the s#6 on 'hi"h "ou!d (e read the fo!!o'ing (rief address in +erse%

@5reetings to the !ord of the 5reat Tang. 3n the West are mira"u!ous s"riptures. /!though the road is siDt6 thousand mi!es !ong4 The 5reat :ehi"!e 'i!! offer its he!p. When these s"riptures are (rought (a"# to 6our "ountr6 The6 'i!! sa+e de+i!s and de!i+er the masses. 3f an6one is 'i!!ing to go for them4 0is re'ard 'i!! (e a go!den (od6.@

When he had read these !ines TaiFong issued an order to the assem(!6 of mon#s% @-uspend this ser+i"e unti! 'e ha+e sent someone to fet"h the s"riptures of the 5reat :ehi"!e4 and then 6ou sha!! on"e more stri+e sin"ere!6 to a"hie+e good retri(ution.@ The mon#s a!! o(e6ed his instru"tions. The 7mperor then as#ed those present in the monaster64 @Who is 'i!!ing to a""ept our "ommission to go to the Western 0ea+en to +isit the uddha and fet"h the s"ripturesG@ efore he had finished his >uestion4 the Baster of the ;a' "ame for'ard4 (o'ed !o' in greeting4 and said4 @/!though 3 am !a"#ing in a(i!it64 3 'ou!d !i#e to offer m6 hum(!e efforts to fet"h the true s"riptures for ?our BaEest6 and thus ensure the eterna! se"urit6 of 6our empire.@ The Tang 7mperor4 'ho 'as o+erEo6ed to hear this4 'ent for'ard to raise him to his feet. @Baster4@ he said4 @if 6ou are prepared to eDert 6our !o6a!t6 and 'isdom to the fu!!4 not fearing the !ength of the Eourne6 or the ri+ers and mountains 6ou 'i!! ha+e to "ross4 3 sha!! ma#e 6ou m6 o'n s'orn (rother.@ =uanFang #o'to'ed to than# him. /s the Tang 7mperor 'as indeed a man of 'isdom and +irtue he 'ent to a p!a"e (efore the uddha in the monaster6 'here he (o'ed to =uanFang four times4 "a!!ing him @6ounger (rother@ and @ho!6 mon#.@ =uanFang than#ed him effusi+e!6. @?our BaEest64@ he said4 @3 ha+e no +irtue or ta!ent that fits me for the sa"red honour of (eing treated as 6our #insman. $n this Eourne6 3 sha!! gi+e m6 a!! and go straight to the Western 0ea+en. 3f 3 fai! to rea"h there or to o(tain the true s"riptures4 then 3 sha!! not return to this "ountr6 e+en in death4 and sha!! fa!! for eternit6 into 0e!!.@ 0e (urned in"ense in front of the uddha to mar# this +o'. The happ6 7mperor ordered his "hariot to ta#e him (a"# to the pa!a"e8 !ater on an auspi"ious da6 'ou!d (e "hosen on 'hi"h =uanFang 'ou!d (e gi+en a passport and set out. With that he returned and e+er6one dispersed. =uanFang 'ent (a"# to the 0ongfu Bonaster64 'here the man6 mon#s and his fe' persona! dis"ip!es had a!read6 heard that he 'as going to fet"h the s"riptures. The6 "ame to as# if it 'as true that he had +o'ed to go to the Western 0ea+en. $n (eing to!d (6 =uanFang that it 'as indeed true4 his pupi!s said4 @Tea"her4 'e ha+e heard that the Eourne6 to the Western 0ea+en is a !ong one4 and that there are man6 tigers4 !eopards4 fiends4 and demons on the 'a6. We are afraid that 6ou ma6 !ose 6ou !ife and ne+er "ome (a"#.@ @3 ha+e s'orn a great +o' that 3 sha!! fa!! into 0e!! for eternit6 if 3 do not get the true s"riptures4@ rep!ied =uanFang. @ esides4 as 3 ha+e (een so fa+ored (6 0is BaEest64 3 sha!! ha+e to sho' m6 !o6a!t6 to the utmost if 3 am to repa6 the "ountr6 for his honour. ut it 'i!! (e a Eourne6 into the un#no'n4 and there is no sa6ing 'hat m6 fate 'i!! (e. B6 pupi!s4@ he 'ent on to sa64 @t'o or three 6ears after 3 set out4 or it ma6 (e as mu"h as siD or se+en4 that pine tree inside the monaster6 gate 'i!! turn to the 7ast4 'hi"h 'i!! mean that 3 am "oming (a"#. 3f it does not4 6ou "an (e sure that 3 'i!! not return.@ /!! his dis"ip!es "ommitted his 'ords most "arefu!!6 to memor6. /t "ourt the neDt morning TaiFong assem(!ed his "i+i! and mi!itar6 offi"ia!s and 'rote out the do"ument =uanFang 'ou!d need to fet"h the s"riptures4 stamping it 'ith the imperia! sea! that ga+e the right to tra+e! free!6. When an imperia! astro!oger reported that this da6 'as under an auspi"ious star for setting out on a !ong Eourne64 the Tang 7mperor 'as de!ighted. / eunu"h offi"ia! "ame in to report4 @The 3mperia! ?ounger rother4 the Baster of the ;a'4 a'aits a summons outside the pa!a"e doors.@ Ca!!ing him into the throne ha!!4 TaiFang said4 @ rother4 toda6 is a !u"#6 one for starting on a Eourne64 and here is the pass that 'i!! !et 6ou through the "he"#points. 3 am a!so gi+ing 6ou a go!den (o'! 'ith 'hi"h 6ou ma6 (eg for food on 6our Eourne64 in addition to "hoosing t'o eDperien"ed tra+e!ers to a""ompan6 6ou and presenting 6ou 'ith a horse to "arr6 6ou on 6our !ong Eourne6. ?ou ma6 no' set out.@ =uanFang4 'ho 'as +er6 happ6 to hear this4 than#ed the 7mperor and too# the presents. 0e 'as no' more eager than e+er to (e off. TaiFong and a host of offi"ia!s 'ent (6 "arriage to a""ompan6 him to the "he"#point. When the6 got there the6 found that the mon#s of the 0ongfu Bonaster6 and =uanFang1s o'n dis"ip!es 'ere 'aiting outside 'ith his summer and 'inter "!othing. /s soon as he sa' this the Tang 7mperor ordered that it (e pa"#ed and horses (e pro+ided4

then to!d an offi"ia! to pour out some 'ine. ,aising his "up he as#ed4 @ rother4 'hat is 6our "ourtes6 nameG@

@/s 3 am not of the 'or!d4 3 do not ha+e one4@ rep!ied =uanFang. @The odhisatt+a said 6esterda6 that there are Three -tores 5son 6ang7 of s"riptures in the Western 0ea+en. ?ou4 (rother4 shou!d ta#e a "ourtes6 name from this. What a(out -anFangG@ Than#ing the 7mperor for his #indness4 he a""epted the "up of 'ine 'ith the 'ords4 @?our BaEest64 !i>uor is the first of the things from 'hi"h a mon# must a(stain4 and so 3 ha+e ne+er drun# it.@ @Toda61s Eourne6 is eD"eptiona!4@ TaiFong rep!ied4 @and (esides4 this is a nona!"oho!i" 'ine4 so 6ou shou!d drin# this "up and !et us fee! that 'e ha+e seen 6ou off proper!6.@ Hna(!e to refuse an6 !onger4 -anFang too# the 'ine4 and 'as on the point of drin#ing it 'hen he sa' TaiFong (end do'n4 ta#e a pin"h of dust in his fingers4 and f!i"# it into his "up. -eeing -anFang1s in"omprehension4 TaiFong !aughed and said4 @*ear (rother4 'hen 'i!! 6ou return from this Eourne6 to the Western 0ea+enG@ @3 sha!! (e (a"# in this "ountr6 'ithin three 6ears4@ -anFang rep!ied. @The da6s and 6ears 'i!! (e !ong4 the mountains 'i!! (e high4 and the road 'i!! !ead 6ou far a'a64@ said TaiFong4 @so 6ou shou!d drin# this 'ine to sho' that 6ou ha+e more !o+e for a pin"h of dust from home than fir thousands of oun"es of foreign go!d.@ $n!6 then did -anFang understand the signifi"an"e of the pin"h of dust4 and than#ing the 7mperor on"e more he drained the "up4 too# his !ea+e of him4 and 'ent out through the "he"#point. The 7mperor 'ent (a"# to the pa!a"e. 3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hat happened on the Eourne64 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment. Chapter 13 0e .a!!s into the Tiger1s *en and 3s -a+ed (6 the 9!anet :enus $n *ou(!e−.or#ed 9ea# o>in 7ntertains the 9riest The 5reat Tang 7mperor issued an edi"t -ending -anFang to !earn the *h6ana tea"hings. With firmness and patien"e he see#s the dragon1s !air4 *etermined to "arr6 on ti!! he "!im(s the :u!ture 9ea#.

$n his !ong Eourne6 he 'i!! +isit man6 a "ountr68 Thousands of "!oud−"apped mountains !ie (efore him. 2o' he !ea+es the 7mperor and sets out for the West C!ea+ing to the faith4 and a'are of the 5reat :oid.

3t has (een to!d a!read6 ho' -anFang 'as seen off at the "he"#point outside Chang1an (6 the Tang 7mperor and a host of offi"ia!s on the t'e!fth da6 of the ninth month in the thirteenth 6ear of Zhen Guan. .or t'o da6s his horse1s hoofs 'ere ne+er sti!!4 and he soon rea"hed the .a Ben Bonaster64 'here the a((ot "ame out to meet him at the head of fi+e hundred and more mon#s dra'n up in t'o !ines. Ta#ing -anFang inside4 he greeted him4 offered him tea4 and then ga+e him a monasti" mea!. 6 the time the mea! 'as o+er night had fa!!en.

/s it approa"hed the Bi!#6 Wa64 The moon 'as free from an6 dust. The 'i!d goose "a!!ed to the distant tra+e!er4 Whi!e 'ashing−(oards "ou!d (e heard (6 neigh(ors.

,oosting (irds per"h in the 'ithered trees8 The dh6ana mon#s "hant -ans#rit musi". $n their seats 'ith hasso"#s of rushes The6 sit unti! the midd!e of the night.

3n the !amp!ight the mon#s 'ere dis"ussing the true tea"hings of the uddhist faith and the reasons for going to the Western 0ea+en to fet"h the s"riptures. -ome said that there 'ou!d (e 'ide ri+ers and high mountains to "ross4 some that there 'ou!d (e man6 a tiger and !eopard a!ong the 'a64 some that the !oft6 ranges and "!iffs 'ou!d (e hard to "ross4 and some that there 'ou!d (e e+i! demons and fou! fiends diffi"u!t to su(due. -anFang #ept his !ips sea!ed8 he said nothing4 on!6 pointing to his heart and nodding o""asiona!!6. The mon#s4 una(!e to understand 'hat he meant4 put their hands together and as#ed4 @Wh6 do 6ou point to 6our heart and nod 6our head4 BasterG@ @When the heart and mind !i+e4@ -anFang rep!ied4 @e+er6 #ind of e+i! !i+es8 (ut 'hen the6 are eDtinguished4 e+i! is eDtinguished too. 3 made a great +o' to the uddha in the 0uasheng Bonaster6 that if 3 fai!ed to a"hie+e this mission it 'ou!d not (e for !a"# of tr6ing. 3 am determined to rea"h the Western 0ea+en4 'here 3 ma6 see the uddha and as# for the s"riptures4 so that the Whee! of the ;a' ma6 re+o!+e4 and our sage 7mperor enEo6 eterna! se"urit6.@ $n hearing his 'ords the mon#s a!! eDpressed their admiration4 sa6ing as if 'ith one +oi"e4 @What a !o6a! and (ra+e 0ierar"h.@ With praises sti!! on their !ips the6 in+ited the Baster to go to (ed and 'ished him a pea"efu! night1s s!eep.

efore !ong the (am(oo "!appers 'ere sounding for the setting moon4 'hi!e the "o"#s greeted the da'n 'ith their "ro'ing. The mon#s a!! got up and prepared tea and (rea#fast. -anFang put on his "asso"# and 'ent to 'orship the uddha in the main ha!!. @?our dis"ip!e Chen -anFang4@ he said4 @is going to the Western 0ea+en to fet"h the s"riptures4 (ut m6 f!esh!6 e6e is too dim to see the true image of the !i+ing uddha. 3 no' +o' that 'hene+er 3 "ome a"ross a temp!e on m6 Eourne6 3 sha!! (urn in"ense8 'hene+er 3 see a uddha1s image 3 sha!! 'orship it8 and 'hene+er 3 pass a stupa 3 sha!! s'eep it. B6 on!6 'ish is that uddha in his mer"6 'i!! soon appear to me in his go!den (od6 and gi+e me the true s"riptures to ta#e (a"# and propagate in the !and of the 7ast.@ When he had pra6ed he 'ent (a"# to the a((ot1s room for (rea#fast. /fter (rea#fast his t'o attendants sadd!ed the horse and set off at a good pa"e. /t the gate of the monaster6 -anFang too# his !ea+e of the mon#s4 'ho 'ere so un'i!!ing to (e parted from him that the6 a""ompanied him for some three mi!es (efore turning (a"# 'ith tears in their e6es4 'hi!e -anFang "arried on West'ards. 3t 'as autumn 'eather%

;eaf!ess the +i!!age trees4 and fa!!en the reed f!o'ers8 The red !ea+es had dropped from map!e and 'i!!o'. The 'a6 'as fogg6 and damp4 and fe' 'ere the friends that he met. eautifu! the 6e!!o' "hr6santhemums4 *e!i"ate the mountain spurs8 -ad to see the !otus 'ithered no' the 'ater 'as "o!d.

White du"#'eed and red smart'eed 'ere turned to sno' (6 the frost. -o!itar6 du"#s "oming do'n from the "!ouds4 dropping from the s#64 Where pa!e and 'isp6 "!ouds 'ere s"udding. The s'a!!o's had departed4 The migrant geese 'ere here4 /nd their hon#ing shattered the night.

When the master and his attendants had (een tra+e!!ing for se+era! da6s the6 rea"hed the "it6 of 5ongFhou4 'here a!! the !o"a! offi"ia!s 'ere 'aiting to greet them and ta#e them into the "it6. /fter a night1s rest the6 set out again the neDt morning. The6 ate 'hen the6 'ere hungr6 and dran# 'hen the6 'ere thirst64 tra+e!!ing (6 da6 and stopping at night. T'o or three da6s !ater the6 rea"hed the garrison "it6 of 0eFhou4 'hi"h 'as on the frontier of the 5reat Tang 7mpire. The garrison "ommander and the !o"a! uddhist mon#s and priests had a!! heard that the Baster of the ;a'4 the 3mperia! ?ounger rother4 'as going to the West on 0is BaEest61s orders to see the uddha4 so the6 'ere a!! +er6 respe"tfu!. The *ire"tor of Bon#s too# him into the "it64 pro+ided him 'ith a!! he needed4 and in+ited him spend the night in the .u6uan Bonaster6. /!! the

mon#s of the monaster6 "ame to pa6 their respe"ts to him4 and 'hen he had finished the mea! the6 prepared for him he to!d his attendants to gi+e the horse a good feed as the6 'ou!d (e setting out (efore da'n. /s soon as the "o"#s started to "ro' he "a!!ed for his attendants4 thus distur(ing the mon#s4 'ho (rought him tea and food. When he had eaten he "rossed the frontier.

3n his impatien"e -anFang had got up too soon. /s it 'as !ate autumn the "o"#s had "ro'ed +er6 ear!64 and it 'as sti!! on!6 a(out t'o in the morning. The three of them−−four4 in"!uding the horse−−"o+ered a(out a doFen mi!es through the frost4 finding their 'a6 (6 the !ight of the moon4 unti! the6 sa' a !arge mountain in front of them. The6 had to push the undergro'th aside as the6 !oo#ed for their 'a64 and the going 'as indes"ri(a(!6 rough and diffi"u!t. <ust 'hen the6 'ere 'ondering 'hether the6 'ere !ost4 a!! three of them and the horse stum(!ed and fe!! into a pit. -anFang 'as thro'n into a pani"4 and his attendants 'ere trem(!ing 'ith fear4 'hen to add their terror the6 heard roars "oming from further inside and !oud shouts of4 @5et1emA 5et1emA@ With a fero"ious (!ast of 'ind a "ro'd of fift6 or siDt6 fiends fe!! upon them and dragged them out. When the shi+ering and sha#ing Baster of the ;a' too# a stea!th6 !oo# he sa' a thorough!6 e+i! demon #ing sitting a(o+e them. Tru!6 he 'as

Bight6 of stature4 .ero"ious of fa"e. 0is e6es f!ashed !i#e !ightning4 0is thunderous +oi"e shoo# the four >uarters.

9rotruding4 sa'−edged teeth8 ared fangs !i#e "hise!s. 0is (od6 'as "!ad in (ro"ade4 /nd his (a"# 'as "o+ered 'ith its patterns.

/ (eard of stee! "on"ea!ing his fa"e4 0oo#ed "!a's sharp as frost% The 'hite−(ro'ed #ing of the -outhern mountain4 .eared (6 the ?e!!o' ;ord of the 7astern -ea.

The sight of him frightened -anFang out of his 'its and made his t'o attendants fee! their (ones turn to Ee!!6 and their mus"!es go num(. When the demon #ing roared out an order to tie them up the fiends (ound them 'ith rope. 0e 'as Eust on the point of de+ouring them 'hen a great noise 'as heard outside and the arri+a! of Bountain ;ord ear and 0ermit $D 'as announ"ed. -anFang !oo#ed up and sa' that one of them 'as a dar# fe!!o'. Can 6ou imagine 'hat he !oo#ed !i#eG

/ hero of great "ourage4 ;ight and strong in (od64 9o'erfu! in "rossing ri+ers4 -ho'ing his a'esome might as he runs through the 'oods. /!'a6s (!essed 'ith !u"#6 dreams4 0e no' re+ea!ed his uni>ue +a!our. 0e "ou!d uproot and snap a green tree4 /nd 'hen he !eft "o!d he "ou!d "hange the 'eather. C!ear!6 he sho's his mira"u!ous po'ers4 .or 'hi"h he is #no'n as the Bountain ;ord.

ehind him -anFang sa' a fat man. *o 6ou #no' 'hat he !oo#ed !i#eG

/ hat 'ith t'o to'ering horns4 0is shou!ders s>uare!6 set. 0e !i#ed to 'ear du!!−"o!oured "!othes4 /nd his pa"e 'as a!'a6s s!uggish. 0is ma!e an"estors 'ere "a!!ed u!!8 0is mother 'as #no'n as Co'4 /s he "ou!d 'or# for farmers4 0is name 'as 0ermit $D.

When these t'o "ame s'aggering in4 the demon #ing rushed out to greet them. @5enera! ?in4@ said Bountain ;ord ear4 @3 must "ongratu!ate 6ou% 6ou1re a!'a6s so su""essfu!.@ @5enera! ?in4@ said 0ermit $D4 @m6 fe!i"itations on (eing e+er−+i"torious.@ @0o' ha+e things (een 'ith 6ou t'o gent!emen re"ent!6G@ as#ed the demon #ing. @Bu"h as usua!4@ rep!ied Bountain ;ord. @3 get (64@ ans'ered the 0ermit. These pre!iminaries o+er4 the three of them sat do'n to !augh and Eo#e together. -anFang1s t'o attendants mean'hi!e 'ere ho'!ing pitifu!!6 in their (onds. @0o' did those three get hereG@ as#ed the dar# fe!!o'. @The6 de!i+ered themse!+es to the front door4@ the demon #ing rep!ied. @Wi!! 6ou (e ser+ing them to 6our friendsG@ as#ed the 0ermit 'ith a smi!e. @3 shou!d (e honoured to4@ ans'ered the demon #ing. @We 'on1t need them a!!4@ remar#ed the Bountain ;ord. @We "ou!d eat t'o and #eep the third.@ With a @na−a−a'@ of o(edien"e the demon #ing to!d his ser+ants to "ut open the t'o attendants4 s"oop their hearts out4 and "hop their (odies into min"e. 0e presented the heads4 hearts4 and !i+ers to his t'o guests4 eating the !im(s himse!f and di+iding the rest of the f!esh and (ones among the fiends. /!! that "ou!d (e heard 'as a "run"hing and a mun"hing that sounded Eust !i#e tigers de+ouring !am(s4 and in a fe' moments it had a!! (een eaten up. -anFang 'as a!most dead 'ith fright4 6et this 'as on!6 his first tri(u!ation4 "oming so soon after !ea+ing Chang1an. 3n his despair he noti"ed that the 7ast 'as (eginning to gro' !ight4 and 'hen da'n (ro#e the t'o monsters !eft4 sa6ing4 @We ha+e (een handsome!6 entertained toda64 and 'e sha!! repa6 6our hospita!it6 in fu!! another da6.@ With that the6 (oth rushed out. / moment !ater the red sun rose high in the s#64 (ut -anFang 'as too (efudd!ed to #no' 'here he 'as. <ust 'hen a!! seemed !ost4 an o!d man appeared4 'a!#ing to'ards him 'ith the he!p of a sti"#. 0e "ame up to -anFang4 (ro#e a!! his (onds 'ith a 'a+e of his hand4 and re+i+ed him (6 (!o'ing into his fa"e. -anFang fe!! to his #nees and (o'ed !o' to him4 sa6ing4 @Than# 6ou4 +enera(!e an"ient4 for sa+ing m6 hum(!e !ife.@ The o!d man returned his (o' and said4 @5et up. 0a+e 6ou !ost an6thingG@ @B6 attendants ha+e (een eaten (6 monsters4 and 3 don1t #no' 'here m6 (aggage or m6 horse is4@ rep!ied -anFang. The o!d man pointed 'ith his sti"# and as#ed4 @3sn1t that a horse 'ith t'o (aggage−ro!!s o+er thereG@ When -anFang turned round he sa' that his things had not (een !ost after a!!4 'hi"h some'hat re!ie+ed his anDiet6. @:enera(!e sir4@ he as#ed4 @What is this p!a"e4 and ho' did 6ou get hereG@ @This is the *ou(!e .or#ed Bountain4 'here tigers and !eopards ma#e their dens. 0o' did 6ou fa!! in hereG@

@3 "rossed the frontier at the garrison "it6 of 0eFhou at "o"#"ro'4 not rea!iFing that 3 had got up too ear!64@ rep!ied -anFang. @<ust as 'e 'ere ma#ing our 'a6 through frost and de' 'e sudden!6 fe!! into this pit. / dreadfu!!6 fero"ious demon #ing appeared and had me and m6 attendants tied up. Then a dar# fe!!o' "a!!ed Bountain ;ord ear and a fat one "a!!ed 0ermit $D "ame in4 and the6 addressed the demon #ing as 5enera! ?in. The three of them ate up m6 t'o attendants4 and their part6 on!6 ended at da'n. 3 "annot imagine 'h6 3 shou!d ha+e (een fated 'ith the good fortune of 6ou "oming to res"ue me4 +enera(!e sir.@ @The 0ermit is a 'i!d (u!! spirit4 the Bountain ;ord is a (ear spirit4 and 5enera! ?in is a tiger spirit4@ the o!d man rep!ied. @The fiends 'ho ser+e him are mountain spirits4 tree de+i!s4 monsters4 and 'o!+es. The reason the6 did not eat 6ou 'as (e"ause 6our fundamenta! nature is en!ightened. Come 'ith me and 31!! sho' 6ou the 'a6.@ $+er"ome 'ith gratitude4 -anFang put the pa"#s on his horse and !ed it (6 the (rid!e as he fo!!o'ed the o!d man out of the pit and on to the main road. T6ing the horse to a (ush (eside the road4 he turned round to (o' !o' to the o!d man and than# him4 (ut the o!d man "hanged into a puff of 'ind and rose into the s#6 on the (a"# of a red−"rested 'hite "rane. /!! that "ou!d (e seen 'as a pie"e of paper drifting do'n in the 'ind 'ith four !ines of +erse 'ritten on it%

@3 am the 9!anet :enus of the Western 0ea+en4 Who "ame to sa+e 6our !ife. 3n the Eourne6 ahead 6ou 'i!! ha+e di+ine dis"ip!es% *o not in 6our trou(!es fee! angr6 'ith the s"riptures.@

When he had read this -anFang 'orshipped 0ea+en and said4 @Ban6 than#s4 9!anet4 for de!i+ering me from this danger.@ This done4 he "ontinued on his diffi"u!t Eourne64 fee!ing +er6 !one!6 as he !ed his horse a!ong. $n this mountain there 'ere

Co!d rains and 'inds ho'!ing in the trees4 -treams sp!ashing noisi!6 do'n gu!!ies4 .ragrant 'i!d f!o'ers4 -"reens of ro"#s and (ou!ders. *eer and ape made rau"ous ho'!s4 ,oe(u"# and muntEa" ran in herds. Ban6 'ere the songs of (irds. ut there 'as no tra"e of man. The a((ot

Was trem(!ing and uneas68 0is horse Cou!d (are!6 !ift its hoofs.

-anFang did not spare himse!f as he pressed ahead amid the mountain pea#s. 0e had (een going for man6 hours 'ithout seeing an6 sign of a human house8 he 'as hungr6 and finding the going hea+6. <ust at this "riti"a! moment he sa' in front of him a pair of fero"ious tigers roaring4 'hi!e t'o !ong sna#es 'ere "oi!ed up (ehind him. To his !eft 'ere +enomous repti!es4 and to his right 'ere terri(!e monsters. eing (6 himse!f and una(!e to thin# of a 'a6 out4 -anFang prepared to a(andon his mind and (od6 and !et 0ea+en do as it 'ou!d. esides4 the horse1s (a"# 'as no' so tired and its !egs so (ent that it fe!! to its #nees on the ground and "o!!apsed. -anFang "ou!d not mo+e it4 either (6 (!o's or (6 dragging at its (rid!e. The poor Baster of the ;a'4 'ho had no'here to she!ter4 'as fee!ing thorough!6 'ret"hed4 "on+in"ed that nothing "ou!d sa+e him from death. ut 'hen his trou(!es 'ere at their 'orst someone "ame to his res"ue. <ust 'hen a!! seemed !ost he sa' the +enomous repti!es and the e+i! monsters f!ee4 'hi!e the tigers and the sna#es hid themse!+es. -anFang !oo#ed up and sa' a man "oming a"ross the hi!!side 'ith a stee! trident in his hand and (o' and arro's at his 'aist. <ust !oo# and see 'hat a fine "hap he 'as%

$n his head / !eopard s#in hat 'ith artemisia patterns% $n his (od6 / "oat of 'oo!!en "!oth. ,ound his 'aist 'as tied a !ion (e!t4 $n his feet a pair of deers#in (oots. 0is e6es 'ere as round as an e+i! spirit1s8 0is "ur!6 (eard 'as !i#e the e+i! god of the moon1s. .rom his 'aist hung a (o' 'ith poisoned arro's4 /nd in his hand 'as a stee!−tipped trident. The thunder of his +oi"e 'ou!d ma#e a 'i!d (east trem(!e4 /nd his fero"it6 terrified the pheasants.

-eeing him approa"h4 -anFang #ne!t do'n (eside the path4 put his hands together4 and shouted at the top of his +oi"e4 @-pare me4 (andit #ing4 spare me.@ The man 'ent o+er to him4 put do'n his trident4 and raised him to his feet. @*on1t (e frightened4 +enera(!e mon#4@ he said4 @31m not a (ad man8 31m a hunter 'ho !i+es in these mountains. B6 name is ;iu o>in and 3 am #no'n as the 'arden of the mountain. 3 "ame a!ong here (e"ause 3 'anted a "oup!e of anima!s for the pot. 3 ne+er eDpe"ted to meet 6ou here−−3 must ha+e offended 6ou.@ @3 am a mon# sent (6 the 7mperor of the 5reat Tang to +isit the uddha in the Western 0ea+en and as# for the s"riptures4@ -anFang rep!ied. @3 had Eust got here 'hen 3 found m6se!f "omp!ete!6 surrounded (6 'o!+es4 tigers4 sna#es and other "reatures4 'hi"h meant that 3 "ou!d go no further. Then sudden!6 6ou appeared4 0igh Warden4 and sa+ed m6 !ife. Than# 6ou +er6 mu"h indeed.@ @Those of us 'ho !i+e here4@ rep!ied ;iu o>in4 @"an on!6 support ourse!+es (6 #i!!ing tigers and 'o!+es4 and "at"hing sna#es and other repti!es4 'hi"h is 'h6 a!! those anima!s f!ed in terror from me. /s 6ou are from the Tang 7mpire4 'e are "ompatriots. This is sti!! the territor6 of the 5reat Tang4 and 3 am a Tang "itiFen. oth of us depend on the 7mperor1s !ands and ri+ers for our food and drin#4 and 'e are fe!!o'−"ountr6men4 so there is nothing to fear. ?ou must "ome 'ith me to m6 hut4 and 6our horse "an rest. 31!! ta#e 6ou on 6our 'a6 tomorro'.@ -anFang4 'ho 'as de!ighted to hear this4 than#ed him and 'ent a!ong (ehind him4 !eading the horse. When the6 had "rossed the mountainside the6 heard a sound !i#e the ho'!ing of a 'ind. @-it do'n here and don1t mo+e4 +enera(!e mon#4@ said o>in. @That noise !i#e a 'ind means that a mountain "at is "oming. <ust 'ait a moment 'hi!e 3 "at"h it4 then 3 "an ta#e it home to feed 6ou 'ith.@ This ne's so terrified -anFang that he dared not mo+e. The high 'arden 'as striding for'ard4 (randishing his trident4 to meet the anima!4 'hen a striped tiger appeared in front of him. /t the sight of ;iu o>in the anima! turned to f!ee4 (ut the high 'arden !et out a thunder"!ap of a shout% @Where d16ou thin# 6ou1re going4 'ret"hG@ When the tiger rea!iFed that ;iu o>in 'as in hot pursuit4 it turned and "harged him4 (aring its "!a's. The high 'arden raised his trident to meet his opponent. /t the sight of a!! this -anFang "o!!apsed on the grass4 para!6Fed 'ith fear8 ne+er had he seen an6thing so terrif6ing in a!! his (orn da6s. The tiger and the high 'arden fought a magnifi"ent (att!e under the mountain%

ursting 'ith anger4 Bad 'ith rage. ursting 'ith anger4 The 'arden (rist!ed4 immense!6 strong. Bad 'ith rage4 The striped tiger snorted out red dust as it sho'ed its might. $ne (ared its teeth and (randished its "!a's4 The other t'isted and turned.

The trident thrust against the hea+ens and (!otted out the sun8

The patterned tai! stirred up mist and "!ouds. $ne made 'i!d sta(s at the "hest4 The other stru"# at the head. To a+oid the (!o's 'as to 'in a ne' !ife8 / hit 'as an appointment 'ith the Cing of 0e!!. /!! that "ou!d (e heard 'as the tiger (e!!o'ing /nd the high 'arden shouting. When the tiger (e!!o'ed4 Bountains and ri+ers sp!it open4 to the terror of (irds and (easts. /t the high 'arden1s shouts4 The s#6 'as parted and the stars re+ea!ed. The tiger1s go!den e6es 'ere (u!ging 'ith fur64 The hunter1s +a!iant heart 'as fu!! of 'rath. 0o' admira(!e 'as high 'arden ;iu of the mountain4 0o' sp!endid the !ord of the (easts of the !and. /s man and tiger fought for +i"tor6 Whoe+er 'ea#ened 'ou!d !ose his !ife.

/fter the pair of them had (een fighting for a(out t'o hours the tiger1s "!a's (egan to s!a"#en as it gre' tired4 and Eust then the high 'arden smote him fu!! in the "hest 'ith his trident. 3ts points pier"ed the anima!1s !i+er and heart4 a pitifu! sight. Within an instant the ground 'as "o+ered 'ith its (!ood as the hunter dragged it a!ong the path (6 its ears. What a manA Without panting4 and 'ith his eDpression un"hanged4 he said to -anFang4 @What a pie"e of !u"#. This mountain "at 'i!! (e enoughA to feed 6ou for a 'ho!e da6.@ -anFang 'as fu!! of praise for him. @0igh Warden4 6ou rea!!6 are a mountain god.@ @3t 'as nothing4@ said ;iu o>in4 @so p!ease don1t eDaggerate. This is a!! the resu!t of 6our (!essings. Come on4 !et1s s#in it and (oi! up some of its meat as soon as 'e "an so as to get 6ou fed.@ 0o!ding his trident in one hand and dragging the tiger 'ith the other he !ed the 'a64 'hi!e -anFang fo!!o'ed4 !eading his horse. /s the6 'ound their 'a6 a"ross the mountain4 a "ottage sudden!6 "ame into +ie'. 3n front of its gate there 'ere%

/n"ient trees rea"hing to the s#64 Wi!d "reepers "o+ering the path. Coo! 'ere the 'ind and dust in the +a!!e6s4 -trange +apours "oi!ed around the "!iffs. The s"ent of 'i!d f!o'ers 'as a!! a!ong the path4 *eep4 deep the green of the (am(oos. / that"hed gatehouse4 / fen"ed 6ard4 oth prett6 as a pi"ture. / stone (ridge4 White'ashed mud 'a!!s% Charming austerit6. The !one!iness of autumn4 /ir6 iso!ation. ?e!!o' !ea+es !a6 fa!!en (eside the path4 White "!ouds drifted a(o+e the pea#s. Bountain (irds sang in the 'oods Whi!e a pupp6 (ar#ed outside the gate.

When he rea"hed the gate4 the high 'arden ;iu o>in thre' do'n the tiger and shouted4 @Where are 6ou4 !adsG@ Three or four ser+ants of strange and repu!si+e appearan"e "ame out4 and 'ith mu"h pu!!ing and tugging the6 "arried the tiger in. o>in to!d them to s#in it at on"e and prepare it to offer to their guest4 then turned round to 'e!"ome -anFang in. When the6 had forma!!6 greeted ea"h other -anFang (o'ed to o>in to than# him for ta#ing pit6 on him and sa+ing his !ife. @Wh6 (other to than# meG We1re fe!!o' "ountr6men.@ When -anFang had (een offered a seat and ser+ed 'ith tea4 an o!d 'oman "ame out to greet him fo!!o'ed (6 a 6oung one. ;iu o>in eDp!ained that the6 'ere his mother and his 'ife. @Badam4 p!ease ta#e the highest seat 'hi!e 3 (o' to 6ou4@ said -anFang.

@?ou are a guest from afar4 +enera(!e mon#4 so !et us ea"h preser+e our dignit6 and neither (o' to the other4@ the o!d 'oman rep!ied. @Bother4@ said ;iu o>in4 @he has (een sent (6 0is BaEest6 the Tang 7mperor to go to the Western 0ea+en to see the uddha and fet"h the s"riptures. 3 met him on the mountain4 and 3 thought that as 'e 'ere fe!!o'−"ountr6men 3 shou!d in+ite him home to rest (efore 3 ta#e him on his 'a6 tomorro'.@ The o!d 'oman 'as de!ighted. @5ood4 good4@ she said. @ ut it 'ou!d (e e+en (etter to as# him to sta6 !onger. Tomorro' is the anni+ersar6 of 6our father1s passing a'a64 and 3 'ou!d !i#e to trou(!e the +enera(!e mon# to sa6 some pra6ers and read a sutra for him8 6ou "ou!d ta#e him on his 'a6 the da6 after.@ /!though this o>in 'as a tiger−#i!!er and the high 'arden of the mountain4 he 'as a dutifu! son4 and 'hen he heard this suggestion he made read6 paper and in"ense and as#ed -anFang to sta6. Whi!e the6 ta!#ed the6 had not noti"ed the e+ening dra'ing in. The ser+ants set out a ta(!e and stoo!s4 then (rought in se+era! dishes of tender tiger−meat4 'hi"h the6 p!a"ed steaming hot on the ta(!e. ;iu o>in as#ed -anFang to he!p himse!f 'hi!e he ser+ed the ri"e. 9utting his hands together in front of his "hest4 -anFang rep!ied4 @This is 'onderfu!4 (ut 3 must te!! 6ou fran#!6 that 3 ha+e (een a mon# e+er sin"e 3 !eft m6 mother1s 'om(4 so 3 am >uite una(!e to eat meat.@ o>in thought for a 'hi!e (efore rep!6ing4 @:enera(!e mon#4 our fami!6 has not eaten +egetarian food for generations. When 'e "ut (am(oo shoots4 pi"# fungus4 gather 'i!d +egeta(!es for dr6ing4 or ma#e (ean−"urd 'e a!'a6s "oo# them in the fat of roe(u"#4 deer4 tiger or !eopard4 so e+en the6 aren1t rea!!6 +egetarian8 and our t'o "oo#ing pots are steeped in fat4 so 'hat are 'e to doG 31m afraid it 'as 'rong of me to as# 6ou here.@ @There1s no need to 'orr64@ -anFang ans'ered. @9!ease go ahead and eat. 31d go 'ithout food for four or fi+e da6s4 or e+en star+e4 rather than (rea# the monasti" ru!e a(out +egetarian food.@ @ ut 'e "an1t ha+e 6ou star+ing to death4@ protested ;iu o>in. @Than#s to 6our great #indness4 0igh Warden4 3 'as sa+ed from the pa"#s of tigers and 'o!+es. 7+en if 3 'ere to star+e to death4 it 'ou!d (e (etter than pro+iding a mea! for tigers.@ ;iu o>in1s mother4 'ho had (een !istening to their "on+ersation4 said4 @*on1t ta!# nonsense4 son. 31+e got some +egetarian things that 'e "an offer to him.@ @Where did 6ou get them fromG@ ;iu o>in as#ed4 to 'hi"h mother rep!ied4 @2e+er 6ou mind ho'4 (ut 31+e got them.@ -he to!d her daughter−in−!a' to ta#e do'n the !itt!e "oo#ing−pot4 (urn the fat out of it4 s"ru( it and 'ash it se+era! times o+er4 then put it (a"# on the sto+e. Then the6 ha!f fi!!ed it 'ith (oi!ing 'ater that the6 thre' a'a6. 2eDt she poured (oi!ing 'ater on mountain−e!m !ea+es to ma#e tea4 (oi!ed up some mi!!et4 and "oo#ed some dried +egeta(!es. This 'as then a!! put into t'o (o'!s and set on the ta(!e. Then the o!d 'oman said to -anFang4 @9!ease eat4 +enera(!e mon#. This is "omp!ete!6 pure tea and food that 3 and m6 daughter−in−!a' ha+e prepared.@ -anFang than#ed them and sat do'n in the seat of honour. /nother p!a"e 'as !aid for ;iu o>in4 'here 'ere set out (o'!s and dishes fu!! of the meat of tiger4 roe(u"#4 sna#e4 foD4 and hare4 as 'e!! as dried +enison4 a!! "oo#ed 'ithout sa!t or sau"e4 'hi"h he 'as going to eat 'hi!e -anFang had his +egetarian mea!. 0e had Eust sat do'n and 'as on the point of pi"#ing up his "hopsti"#s 'hen he noti"ed -anFang put his hands together to re"ite some s"ripture4 'hi"h so a!armed him that instead of pi"#ing up his "hopsti"#s he stood (eside him. When -anFang had re"ited a fe' !ines he urged o>in to eat. @/re 6ou a short−sutra mon# thenG@ o>in as#ed. @That 'asn1t a sutra4 it 'as a gra"e (efore eating.@

@?ou get up to a!! sorts of tri"#s. .an"6 re"iting sutras at mea!times4@ 'as o>in1s "omment. When the mea! 'as o+er and the dishes had (een "!eared a'a64 ;iu o>in in+ited -anFang out into the gathering dar#ness for a stro!! at the (a"#. The6 'ent a!ong an a!!e6 and "ame to a that"hed hut. $n pushing the door open and going in -anFang sa' (o's and "ross(o's hanging on the 'a!!s and >ui+ers fi!!ed 'ith arro's. .rom the (eams 'ere s!ung t'o gor6 and stin#ing tiger−s#ins4 and at the foot of the 'a!! 'ere stood man6 spears4 s'ords4 tridents and "!u(s. 3n the midd!e 'ere t'o seats. ;iu o>in urged -anFang to sit do'n4 (ut -anFang "ou!d not (ear to sta6 there !ong among the horrif6ing fi!th4 and so he 'ent outside. 5oing further to the (a"# the6 "ame to a !arge garden fu!! of "!umps of 6e!!o' "hr6santhemums and red map!e−trees. Then 'ith a 'hinn6ing noise a(out a doFen p!ump deer and a !arge herd of roe(u"# ran out8 the6 'ere do"i!e and unfrightened on seeing humans. @Were those roe(u"# and deer raised (6 6ouG@ as#ed -anFang. @?es4@ rep!ied o>in. @When 6ou Chang1an peop!e ha+e some mone6 6ou (u6 +a!ua(!es4 and 'hen 6ou ha+e !and 6ou a""umu!ate grain8 (ut 'e hunters "an on!6 #eep a fe' 'i!d anima!s for a rain6 da6.@ *us# had fa!!en unnoti"ed as the t'o of them ta!#ed4 and no' the6 'ent (a"# to the house to s!eep. 7ar!6 the neDt morning the 'ho!e fami!64 6oung and o!d4 got up and prepared +egetarian food for the mon#4 and then the6 as#ed him to start re"iting sutras. -anFang 'ashed his hands4 'ent to the fami!6 shrine of the high 'arden4 (urned in"ense there4 and 'orshipped4 then (eat his @'ooden fish@ as he re"ited first a pra6er to purif6 his mouth4 then a ho!6 spe!! to purif6 his (od6 and mind4 and fina!!6 the Sutra to Deli)er the Dead. When he had finished4 o>in as#ed him to 'rite out a !etter of introdu"tion for the dead man and a!so re"ite the Dia!ond Sutra and the Guan(in Sutra. -anFang re"ited them in a !oud4 "!ear +oi"e and then ate !un"h4 after 'hi"h he read out the se+era! "hapters of the Lotus Sutra, the 8!ita%ha Sutra, as 'e!! as one "hapter of the ,ea2o2k Sutra and to!d the stor6 of the "!eansing of the (hi#shu. 6 no' it 'as dar#4 and 'hen the6 had (urned a!! #inds of in"ense4 paper mone64 and paper horses for a!! the gods4 and the !etter of introdu"tion for the dead man4 the ser+i"e 'as o+er and e+er6one 'ent to (ed and s!ept sound!6. The sou! of o>in1s father4 no' de!i+ered from (eing a dro'ned ghost4 "ame to the house that night and appeared in a dream to e+er6one in the fami!6. @3 suffered !ong in the under'or!d4 una(!e to find de!i+eran"e4@ he said4 @(ut no' that the saint!6 mon# has 'iped out m6 sins (6 reading some s"riptures. Cing ?ama has had me sent (a"# to the ri"h !and of China to (e re(orn in an important fami!6. ?ou must re'ard him generous!64 and no ha!f measures. 2o' 31m going.@ 3ndeed%

5reat is the signifi"an"e of the maEesti" ;a'4 That sa+es the dead from suffering and the morass.

When the6 a!! a'o#e from their dreams4 the sun had a!read6 risen in the 7ast. o>in1s 'ife said4 @Warden4 6our father "ame to me in a dream !ast night. 0e said that he had suffered !ong in the under'or!d4 and "ou!dn1t find de!i+eran"e. 2o' that the saint!6 mon# has 'iped out his sins (6 reading some s"riptures4 Cing ?ama has had him sent (a"# to the ri"h !and of China to (e re(orn in an important fami!6. 0e to!d us to than# him generous!64 and no ha!f measures. When he1d said this he 'ent out through the door and drifted a'a6. 0e didn1t ans'er 'hen 3 "a!!ed4 and 3 "ou!dn1t ma#e him sta6. Then 3 'o#e up and rea!iFed that it 'as a

dream.@

@3 had a dream Eust !i#e 6ours4@ rep!ied ;iu o>in. @;et1s go and te!! mother a(out it.@ /s the6 'ere on the point of doing this the6 heard his mother shout4 @Come here4 o>in m6 son. There1s something 3 'ant to te!! 6ou.@ The t'o of them 'ent in to her to find the o!d 'oman sitting on the (ed. @B6 "hi!d4 3 had a happ6 dream !ast night. ?our father "ame home and said that than#s to his sa!+ation (6 the +enera(!e mon#4 his sins ha+e (een 'iped out and he has gone to (e re(orn in an important fami!6 in the ri"h !and of China.@ 0us(and and 'ife !aughed for Eo6 and her son said4 @3 and m6 'ife (oth had this dream4 and 'e 'ere Eust "oming to te!! 6ou 'hen 6ou "a!!ed to us. -o no' it turns out that 6ou it too.@ The6 to!d e+er6one in the house to get up to than# -anFang and get his horse !oaded and read6. The6 a!! (o'ed to him and he said4 @Ban6 than#s4 +enera(!e mon#4 for re"ommending m6 father for de!i+er6 from his sufferings and for re(irth. We "an ne+er repa6 this de(t of gratitude.@ @What po'ers ha+e 3 that 6ou shou!d than# meG@ rep!ied -anFang. o>in to!d him a(out 'hat the three of them had (een to!d in their dreams4 and -anFang 'as happ6 too. Then the6 ga+e him his (rea#fast and an oun"e of si!+er as an eDpression of their than#s4 (ut he 'ou!d not ta#e a sing!e penn6 of it4 a!though the 'ho!e fami!6 (egged and (esee"hed him to do so. @3f in 6our mer"6 6ou "ou!d es"ort me for the neDt stage of m6 Eourne6 3 'ou!d (e deep!6 tou"hed4@ he said. /!! that o>in4 his mother4 and his 'ife "ou!d do then 'as to prepare some s"ones of "oarse 'heaten f!our as his pro+isions4 and ma#e sure that o>in es"orted him a !ong 'a6. -anFang g!ad!6 a""epted the food. $n his mother1s orders the high 'arden to!d t'o or three ser+ants to (ring hunting gear as the6 set off together a!ong the road. The6 sa' no end of 'i!d mountain s"ener6. When the6 had (een tra+e!!ing for some time the6 sa' a mountain in front of them4 a high and pre"ipitous one that to'ered right up to the aFure s#6. efore !ong the6 had rea"hed its (ase. The high 'arden "!im(ed it as if he 'ere 'a!#ing on !e+e! ground4 and 'hen the6 'ere ha!f−'a6 o+er it he turned round4 stood (eside the path and said4 @:enera(!e mon#4 3 must as# 6ou to ta#e 6ourse!f on from here. 3 ha+e to go (a"#.@ $n hearing this -anFang tum(!ed out of his sadd!e to sa64 @9!ease4 p!ease4 ta#e me another stage4 0igh Warden.@ @?ou don1t seem to #no' that this is "a!!ed *ou(!e oundar6 Bountain4@ said the high 'arden. The 7astern part (e!ongs to our 5reat Tang4 (ut the Western parts is Tatar territor6. The tigers and 'o!+es on that side are not su(Ee"t to m6 "ontro!4 'hi"h is 'h6 3 "an1t "ross the (oundar6. ?ou mast go on (6 6ourse!f. The mon# 'as so a!armed to hear this that he 'a+ed his arms around and gra((ed ho!d of the hunter1s "!othes and s!ee+es4 'eeping and refusing to !et him go. When at !ast -anFang 'as (o'ing repeated!6 to the hunter to ta#e his !ea+e4 a shout !i#e thunder "ame from under the mountain% @B6 master1s "ome4 m6 master1s "ome.@ -anFang stood froFen 'ith fear at the sound of it4 and o>in had to ho!d him up. 3f 6ou don1t #no' 'ho it 'as 'ho shouted4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment. Chapter 14 The Bind−/pe ,eturns to Truth The -iD andits *isappear Without Tra"e

uddha is the mind4 the mind is uddha4 Bind and uddha ha+e a!'a6s needed things.

When 6ou #no' that there are no things and no mind Then 6ou are a uddha 'ith a true mind and a *harma (od6.

/ *harma−(odied uddha has no form8 / sing!e di+ine !ight "ontains the ten thousand images. The (odi!ess (od6 is the true (od6. The image!ess image is the rea! image.

3t is not materia!4 not empt64 and not non−empt68 3t does not "ome or go4 nor does it return. 3t is not different nor the same4 it neither is nor isn1t. 3t "an1t (e thro'n a'a6 or "aught4 nor seen or heard.

The inner and outer di+ine !ight are e+er6'here the same8 / uddha−#ingdom "an (e found in a grain of sand. / grain of sand "an ho!d a thousand 'or!ds8 3n a sing!e (od6 and mind4 a!! dharmas are the same.

.or 'isdom4 the se"ret of no−mind is essentia!4 To (e unsu!!ied and uno(stru"ted is to (e pure of #arma. When 6ou do no good and do no e+i!4 ?ou (e"ome a Cas6apa uddha.

The terror−stri"#en ;iu o>in and -anFang then heard another shout of @B6 master1s "ome.@ @That must (e the o!d mon#e6 'ho !i+es in a stone "e!! under this mountain shouting4@ said the ser+ants. @?es4 6es4@ said the high 'arden.

@What o!d mon#e6G@ as#ed -anFang4 and the high 'arden rep!ied4 @This mountain used to (e "a!!ed .i+e 7!ements Bountain4 and its name 'as on!6 "hanged to *ou(!e oundar6 Bountain 'hen our 5reat Tang 7mperor fought his Western "ampaign to pa"if6 the "ountr6. 3 on"e heard an o!d man sa6 that in the da6s 'hen Wang Bang usurped the 0an throne4 0ea+en sent do'n this mountain and "rushed a mon#e6 under it. This mon#e6 doesn1t mind heat or "o!d and neither eats nor drin#s. 0e1s guarded (6 a !o"a! tute!ar6 god 'ho gi+es him iron pe!!ets 'hen he1s hungr6 and mo!ten "opper 'hen he1s thirst6. /!though he1s (een there sin"e an"ient times4 he hasn1t died of "o!d or hunger. 3t must ha+e (een him shouting8 there1s nothing for 6ou to (e afraid of4 +enera(!e sir. ;et1s go do'n and ha+e a !oo#.@ -anFang had to fo!!o' him4 !eading his horse do'n the mountain. / mi!e or t'o !ater the6 sa' that there rea!!6 'as a mon#e6 po#ing out his head out of a stone "e!!4 and ma#ing desperate gestures 'ith his outstret"hed hands as he shouted4 @Baster4 'h6 didn1t 6ou "ome (eforeG Than# goodness 6ou1re here4 than# goodness. 3f 6ou get me out of here 3 guarantee that 6ou1!! rea"h the Western 0ea+en.@ *o 6ou #no' 'hat the +enera(!e mon# sa' 'hen he 'ent for'ard for a "!oser !oo#G

/ pointed mouth and sun#en "hee#s4 .ier6 e6es 'ith go!den pupi!s. 0is head 'as thi"# 'ith moss4 /nd "!im(ing figs gre' from his ears. 6 his temp!es gre' !itt!e hair (ut a !ot of grass4 Hnder his "hin there 'as sedge instead of a (eard. *irt (et'een his e6e(ro's4 /nd mud on his nose Bade him an utter mess8 $n his "oarse fingers /nd thi"# pa!ms Was fi!th in p!ent6. 0e 'as so happ6 that he ro!!ed his e6es /nd made p!easant noises. /!though his tongue 'as nim(!e4 0e "ou!dn1t mo+e his (od6.

0e 'as the 5reat -age of fi+e hundred 6ears ago4 Who toda6 "ou!d not es"ape the net of 0ea+en.

0igh 'arden ;iu sho'ed great "ourage in going up to him4 pu!!ing a'a6 the grass that 'as gro'ing (eside his temp!es and the sedge under his "hin4 and as#ing4 @What ha+e 6ou got to sa6G@ @31+e got nothing to sa64@ the mon#e6 rep!ied. @?ou Eust te!! that mon# to "ome o+er here 'hi!e 3 as# him a >uestion.@ @What >uestion do 6ou 'ant to as# meG@ said -anFang. @/re 6ou the fe!!o' sent to the Western 0ea+en (6 the 7mperor of the 7ast to fet"h the s"ripturesG@ as#ed the mon#e6. @?es4 3 am4@ -anFang rep!ied. @Wh6 do 6ou as#G@ @3 am the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en 'ho 're"#ed the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e fi+e hundred 6ears ago. The ;ord uddha put me under this mountain for m6 "rimina! insu(ordination. -ome time ago the odhisatt+a 5uan6in 'ent to the 7ast on the uddha1s orders to find someone 'ho "ou!d fet"h the s"riptures. When 3 as#ed her to sa+e me she to!d me that 3 'as to gi+e up e+i!−doing4 return to the uddha1s ;a'4 and do a!! 3 "ou!d to prote"t the tra+e!er 'hen he 'ent to the Western 9aradise to 'orship uddha and fet"h the s"riptures8 she said that there1!! something in it for me 'hen that1s done. 7+er sin"e then 31+e (een 'aiting da6 and night 'ith eager anti"ipation for 6ou to "ome and sa+e me4 Baster. 3 s'ear to prote"t 6ou on 6our 'a6 to fet"h the s"riptures and to (e 6our dis"ip!e.@ -anFang4 de!ighted to hear this4 said4 @/!though 6ou no' ha+e these sp!endid intentions and 'ish to (e"ome a mon# than#s to the tea"hing of the odhisatt+a4 31+e no aDe or "hise!4 so ho' am 3 to get 6ou outG@ @There1s no need for aDes or "hise!s. /s !ong as 6ou1re 'i!!ing to sa+e me4 3 "an get m6se!f out4@ the mon#e6 rep!ied. @31m 'i!!ing to sa+e 6ou4@ -anFang said4 @(ut ho' are 6ou going to get outG@ @$n the top of this mountain there is a detention order (6 the Tathagata uddha 'ritten in !etters of go!d. 3f 6ou "!im( the mountain and tear it off4 31!! (e straight out.@ /""epting his suggestion4 -anFang turned round to as# ;iu o>in if he 'ou!d go up the mountain 'ith him. @3 don1t #no' 'hether he1s te!!ing the truth or not4@ said o>in4 at 'hi"h the mon#e6 shouted at the top of his +oi"e4 @3t1s true. 3 'ou!dn1t dare !ie a(out that.@ -o ;iu o>in to!d his ser+ants to !ead the horse 'hi!e he he!ped -anFang up the mountain. 6 hanging on to "reepers the6 managed to rea"h the summit4 'here the6 sa' a m6riad (eams of go!den !ight and a thousand 'isps of propitious +apour "oming from a !arge4 s>uare ro"# on 'hi"h 'as pasted a paper sea! (earing the go!den 'ords ! !ani "ad!e hu!. -anFang 'ent up and #ne!t do'n (efore the ro"#4 then read the go!den 'ords and (o'ed his head to the ground a num(er of times. 0e !oo#ed to the West and pra6ed4 @3 am the (e!ie+er Chen =uanFang sent on imperia! orders to fet"h the s"riptures. 3f 3 am fated to ha+e a dis"ip!e4 ma6 3 (e a(!e to tear off the go!den 'ords and re!ease the di+ine

mon#e6 to "ome 'ith me to the :u!ture 9ea#. 3f 3 am not fated to ha+e a dis"ip!e4 and this mon#e6 is an e+i! monster 'ho has de"ei+ed me and 'i!! do me no good4 then ma6 3 (e una(!e to remo+e it.@ When he had pra6ed he (o'ed again4 after 'hi"h he 'ent up and gent!6 tore the paper sea! off.

/ s"ented 'ind (!e' in his fa"e and "arried the paper up into the s#6 as a +oi"e "a!!ed4 @3 am the 5reat -age1s guard. 2o' that his sufferings are o+er 3 am going (a"# to see the Tathagata and hand in this sea!.@ The start!ed -anFang4 ;iu o>in4 and the rest of them a!! (o'ed to 0ea+en4 then 'ent do'n the mountain to the stone "e!!4 'here the6 said to the mon#e64 @The restri"tion order has (een torn off4 so 6ou "an "ome out.@ The de!ighted mon#e6 said4 @Baster4 p!ease stand 'e!! "!ear so that 3 don1t gi+e 6ou a fright 'hen 3 "ome out.@ $n hearing this ;iu o>in too# -anFang and the rest of them to the 7ast4 and 'hen the6 had "o+ered some t'o or three mi!es the6 heard the mon#e6 shout4 @.urther4 furtherA@ -o -anFang 'ent mu"h further unti! he 'as off the mountain. Then there 'as a great noise as the mountain sp!it open. /s the6 'ere a!! sha#ing 'ith terror4 the mon#e6 appeared #nee!ing star# na#ed in front of -anFang1s horse and sa6ing4 @Baster4 31m out.@ 0e (o'ed four times to -anFang4 then Eumped up4 addressed ;iu o>in 'ith a respe"tfu! noise4 and said4 @Than# 6ou4 e!der (rother4 for es"orting m6 master4 and than# 6ou too for 'eeding the grass off m6 fa"e.@ 0e then pi"#ed up the !uggage and put it on the horse1s (a"#. /t the sight of him the horse fe!t so 'ea# and trem(!ing that it "ou!d not sta6 on its feet. e"ause the mon#e6 had on"e (een the 9rote"tor of the 0orses and !oo#ed after the dragon steeds of 0ea+en4 and morta! horses 'ere terrified at the +er6 sight of him. -eeing that his intentions 'ere indeed good and that he rea!!6 'as no' a uddhist4 -anFang as#ed him 'hat 'as his surname. @B6 surname1s -un4@ rep!ied the Bon#e6 Cing. @31!! gi+e 6ou a uddhist name that 3 "an "a!! 6ou (64@ said -anFang. @There1s no need to trou(!e 6ourse!f4@ said the Bon#e6 Cing4 @31+e a!read6 got one% -un Wu#ong−−Bon#e6 /'a#ened to 7mptiness.@ @That1s Eust right for our se"t4@ eD"!aimed the mon#. @/s 6ou !oo# so mu"h !i#e a 6oung no+i"e4 31!! gi+e 6ou another name and "a!! 6ou rother Bon#e6. 3s that a!! rightG@ @?es4 6es4 6es4@ said -un Wu#ong4 and from then on he 'as a!so "a!!ed rother Bon#e64 or -un the 2o+i"e. When he sa' that rother Bon#e6 'as determined to go4 the high 'arden turned to -anFang4 "hanted a noise of respe"t and said4 @3t1s sp!endid that 6ou ha+e got so good a dis"ip!e4 +enera(!e sir. 0e1!! "ertain!6 ma#e the Eourne6. 3 must no' ta#e m6 !ea+e.@ -anFang (o'ed to him in than#s4 sa6ing4 @3 ha+e (rought 6ou a !ong 'a64 and am deep!6 inde(ted to 6ou. When 6ou return home p!ease "on+e6 m6 respe"ts to 6our +enera(!e mother and 6our 'ife8 3 "aused them a !ot of trou(!e4 and hope that 3 sha!! (e a(!e to "ome and than# them on m6 return.@ o>in returned his (o'4 and 'ith that the6 parted. rother Bon#e6 as#ed -anFang to mount the horse 'hi!e he am(!ed ahead4 star# na#ed4 "arr6ing the !uggage on his (a"#. efore !ong the6 'ere o+er the *ou(!e oundar6 Bountain.

-udden!6 a fero"ious tiger rushed at them4 roaring and !ashing a(out 'ith its tai!. -anFang on his horse 'as terrified. rother Bon#e64 'ho 'as standing (eside the path4 put do'n the !uggage and said happi!64 @*on1t (e s"ared4 master4 it1s Eust (ringing me m6 "!othes.@ 0e pu!!ed a need!e out of his ear and shoo# it in the 'ind4 turning it into an iron "udge! as thi"# as a (o'!. @3 ha+en1t used this !itt!e treasure in o+er fi+e hundred 6ears4@ he said4 ho!ding it in his hand. @Toda6 31m (ringing it out to get m6se!f some "!othes to 'ear.@ <ust 'at"h as he rushes at the tiger4 shouting4 @Where d16ou thin# 6ou1re going4 'ret"hG@ The tiger "rou"hed in the dust4 not daring to mo+e4 as the "udge! smashed into its head. Thousands of drops of red (rain and man6 a pear!6 pie"e of tooth f!e' e+er6'here4 so terrif6ing -anFang that he fe!! out of the sadd!e4 (iting on his finger and "r6ing4 @0ea+ens4 the high 'arden had to fight for ages (efore #i!!ing the striped tiger the other da64 (ut this -un Wu#ong has smashed a tiger to pu!! 'ith a sing!e (!o'. 0e rea!!6 is a tough1s tough.@ @-it do'n for a moment4 master4 'hi!e 3 strip the "!othes off him to 'ear on the Eourne64@ said Bon#e6 as he dragged the tiger o+er. @ ut he hasn1t got an6 "!othes4@ -anFang protested. @*on1t (other 6ourse!f a(out it4 3 #no' ho' to "ope.@ The sp!endid Bon#e6 Cing pu!!ed a hair from his (od64 (reathed some magi" (reath on it4 and said @ChangeA4@ on 'hi"h it turned into a pointed #nife shaped !i#e a "o'1s ear. Cutting into the s#in on the tiger1s (e!!64 he too# it a!! off in a sing!e stro#e4 "hopped off the head and "!a's4 then he!d up the s>uare hide to get an idea of its siFe. @3t1s on the (ig side4@ he said4 @so 3 "ou!d ma#e t'o #i!ts out of it4@ and 'ith these 'ords he too# his #nife and "ut it in t'o. $ne pie"e he put a'a64 and the other he 'rapped round his 'aist to "o+er the !o'er ha!f of his (od6 and tied firm!6 'ith a "reeper he pu!!ed do'n from (eside the path. @;et1s go on4 master4 !et1s go on4@ he said. @The se'ing "an 'ait ti!! 'e rea"h a house 'here 'e "an (orro' a need!e and thread.@ 0e pin"hed his iron "udge! to ma#e it as sma!! as a need!e again4 put it (a"# in his ear4 too# the !uggage on his (a"#4 and as#ed -anFang to mount the horse. /s the t'o of them 'ent a!ong the +enera(!e mon# as#ed from the horse1s (a"#4 @Wu#ong4 'h6 has the iron "udge! 6ou used to #i!! the tiger disappearedG@ @What 6ou don1t #no'4 master4@ rep!ied rother Bon#e6 'ith a !augh4 @is that 3 got it from the dragon pa!a"e of the 7astern -ea4 and that it1s "a!!ed the Bagi" 3ron to 0o!d the ed of the Bi!#6 Wa6 in 9!a"e or 1/s−?ou−Wi!! 5o!d− anded Cudge!1. When 3 raised m6 great re(e!!ion against the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e in the o!d da6s it ser+ed me 'e!!. 3t "an "hange into an6thing and (e 'hate+er siFe 3 'ant it to (e. <ust no' 3 turned it into an em(roider6 need!e and put it a'a6 in m6 ear. 3 on!6 ta#e it out 'hen 3 need it.@ Con"ea!ing his de!ight at hearing this4 -anFang 'ent on to as#4 @Wh6 didn1t that tiger mo+e 'hen it sa' 6ouG Wh6 on earth did it !et 6ou hit itG@ @3 "an te!! 6ou in a!! truthfu!ness4 master4 that not Eust tigers (ut e+en dragons ha+e to (e on their (est (eha+ior 'hen the6 meet me. 3 #no' a fe' tri"#s for putting them in their p!a"e and ha+e the po'er to ma#e ri+ers run (a"#'ards and stir up the seas. 3 "an te!! 'hat things are rea!!6 !i#e from appearan"es a!one4 and sort out the truth (ehind 'hat is said. When 3 'ant to ma#e m6se!f (ig 3 measure m6se!f against the uni+erse4 and 'hen 3 shrin# 3 "an (e he!d on a do'n6 hair. There1s no !imit to the transformations 3 "an perform4 and rother

no(od6 "an te!! 'hen 31m going to +anish or 'hen 31m going to reappear. There 'as nothing 'onderfu! a(out s#inning that tiger. Wait ti!! 3 sho' 6ou a thing or t'o.@ This too# a great !oad off -anFang1s mind4 and he 'hipped his horse on. /s master and dis"ip!e 'ent a!ong their 'a6 ta!#ing together4 the sun 'as sin#ing in the West4 and the6 sa'%

3n the fier6 g!o' of the setting sun The "!ouds return to ends of the s#6 and the sea. The (irds on a thousand mountains "hirrup and "a!!4 .!6ing in f!o"#s to the 'oods for the night.

The 'i!d (easts go t'o (6 t'o8 /!! spe"ies return to their dens. / "res"ent moon (rea#s through the dus#4 /s "ount!ess points of star!ight shimmer.

@?ou must hurr6 up4 master4 as it1s !ate4@ said Bon#e6. @There must (e a house in that "!ump of trees o+er there4 so !et1s get there as soon as possi(!e to sett!e do'n for the night.@ -anFang 'hipped on his horse and ga!!oped to the house4 'here he dismounted. rother Bon#e6 put do'n the !uggage4 'ent up to the gate4 and shouted4 @$pen up4 open up.@ /n o!d man "ame out4 !eaning on a (am(oo sti"#4 and the gate "rea#ed as he opened it. /t the sight of Bon#e61s ug!6 fa"e and the tiger−s#in 'rapped around him4 'hi"h made him !oo# !i#e the god of thunder4 the o!d man 'as so terrified that his !egs turned to Ee!!6 and his (od6 'ent num(. @/ de+i!.... / de+i!4@ he muttered de!irious!6. -anFang 'ent up to support him4 sa6ing4 @*on1t (e afraid4 aged (enefa"tor. 0e1s no de+i!4 he1s m6 dis"ip!e.@ When the o!d man !oo#ed up and sa' -anFang1s pure fa"e he fe!t stead6 on his feet at on"e4 and he as#ed 'hat monaster6 -anFang 'as from4 and 'h6 had he (rought that e+i!−!oo#ing "reature to his house. @3 "ome from the Tang Court4@ said -anFang4 @and 3 am going to the Western 0ea+en to +isit the uddha and as# for the s"riptures. /s 'e 'ere passing this 'a6 at nightfa!! 'e "ame to 6our mansion4 good (enefa"tor4 to as# for a night1s !odging. We sha!! (e off (efore da'n tomorro'. 3 +er6 mu"h hope that 6ou 'i!! (e a(!e to he!p us.@ @?ou ma6 (e a Tang man4@ the o!d fe!!o' rep!ied4 @(ut that ug!6 (rute "ertain!6 isn1t.@ @?ou1+e got no e6es in 6our head4 6ou si!!6 o!d man4@ shrie#ed rother Bon#e6. @0e1s m6 master and 31m his dis"ip!e. 31m no Tang man or -pi#e man4 31m the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en. -ome of the peop!e 'ho !i+e in this house must #no' me4 and 31+e seen 6ou (efore.@

@Where1+e 6ou seen meG@ the o!d man as#ed. @*idn1t 6ou gather fire'ood in front of m6 fa"e and pi"# 'i!d +egeta(!es from m6 "hee#s 'hen 6ou 'ere a "hi!dG@ said -un Wu#ong. @,u((ish4@ retorted the o!d man. @Where did 6ou !i+e and 'here did 3 !i+e 'hen 3 'as supposed to gather fire'ood and 'i!d +egeta(!es in front of 6our fa"eG@ @3t1s 6ou 'ho1s ta!#ing ru((ish4 m6 "hi!d4@ rep!ied -un Wu#ong. @?ou don1t #no' 'ho 3 am4 (ut 31m the 5reat -age from the stone "e!! under the *ou(!e oundar6 Bountain. Ta#e another !oo# and see if 6ou "an re"ogniFe me no'.@ The o!d man at !ast rea!iFed 'ho he 'as and said4 @3 suppose 6ou do !oo# a (it !i#e him4 (ut ho'e+er did 6ou get outG@ -un Wu#ong to!d him the 'ho!e stor6 of ho' the odhisatt+a had "on+erted him and to!d him to 'ait ti!! the Tang 9riest "ame to ta#e off the sea! and re!ease him. The o!d man 'ent do'n on his #nees and (o'ed his head4 in+iting the Tang 9riest inside and "a!!ing his 'ife and "hi!dren to "ome and meet him8 the6 'ere a!! +er6 happ6 'hen the6 heard 'hat had happened. When the6 had drun# tea he as#ed -un Wu#ong4 @0o' o!d are 6ou4 5reat -ageG@ @0o' o!d are 6ou4 thenG@ said -un Wu#ong. @3n m6 seni!e 'a6 3 ha+e rea"hed a hundred and thirt6.@ @Then 6ou "ou!d (e m6 remote des"endant4@ said rother Bon#e6. @3 "an1t remem(er 'hen 3 'as (orn4 (ut 3 spent o+er fi+e hundred 6ears under that mountain.@ @True4 true4@ remar#ed the o!d man4 @3 remem(er m6 grandfather sa6ing that this mountain fe!! from hea+en to "rush a magi"a! mon#e64 and 6ou 'eren1t a(!e to get out (efore no'. When 3 sa' 6ou in m6 "hi!dhood4 grass gre' on 6our head and there 'as mud on 6our fa"e4 so 3 'asn1t afraid of 6ou. ut no' that the mud and grass ha+e gone 6ou !oo# thinner4 and the tiger−s#in round 6our 'aist ma#es 6ou as near a de+i! as ma#es no differen"e.@ This "on+ersation made e+er6one roar 'ith !aughter4 and as he 'as a #ind o!d man he had a +egetarian mea! set out. When the mea! 'as o+er -anFang as#ed him his surname. @Chen4@ the o!d man rep!ied. $n hearing this4 -anFang raised his hands in greeting and said4 @:enera(!e (enefa"tor4 6ou are of the same "!an as m6se!f.@ @Baster4@ protested rother Bon#e64 @?ou1re "a!!ed Tang4 aren1t 6ou4 so ho' "an 6ou (e!ong to the same "!an as himG@ @B6 se"u!ar surname is Chen4 and 3 am from <uDian :i!!age4 0ongnong 9refe"ture4 0aiFhou4 in the Tang 7mpire. B6 uddhist name is Chen =uanFang. ut as our 5reat Tang 7mperor TaiFong "a!!ed me his 6ounger (rother and ga+e me the surname Tang4 3 am #no'n as the Tang 9riest.@ The o!d fe!!o' 'as de!ighted to hear that the6 shared a surname. @Chen4 o!d fe!!o'4@ said Bon#e64 @31m afraid this 'i!! (e putting 6our fami!6 out4 (ut 3 ha+en1t 'ashed for o+er fi+e hundred 6ears4 so "ou!d 6ou go and (oi! up some 'ater for me and m6 master to ha+e a (ath (efore 'e set out againG Than# 6ou.@ The o!d man ga+e instru"tions for 'ater to (e (oi!ed and a tu( (rought4 and he !it the !amp.

When master and dis"ip!e had (athed the6 sat do'n (6 the !amp4 and rother Bon#e6 as#ed on"e more4 @$!d Chen4 there1s another thing 31d !i#e to as# 6ou% "ou!d 6ou !end me a need!e and threadG@ @?es4 of "ourse4@ the o!d man rep!ied4 sending his 'ife to fet"h them and then handing them to Bon#e6. Bon#e61s sharp e6es had o(ser+ed his master ta#e off a short 'hite "otton tuni"4 'hi"h he did not put on again4 so Bon#e6 gra((ed it and put it on himse!f. Then he too# off his tiger s#in4 Eoined it up 'ith a p!eat4 'rapped it round his 'aist again4 tied it 'ith a "reeper4 'ent up to his master4 and as#ed4 @0o' 'ou!d 6ou sa6 these "!othes "ompared 'ith 'hat 3 'as 'earing (eforeG@ @-p!endid4 sp!endid4@ rep!ied -anFang4 @it ma#es 6ou !oo# >uite !i#e a rea! mon#. 3f 6ou don1t mind "ast−offs4@ he added4 @6ou "an go on 'earing that tuni".@ -un Wu#ong "hanted a @na−a−a'@ of o(edien"e and than#ed him4 then 'ent off to find some ha6 for the horse. When a!! the Eo(s 'ere finished4 master and dis"ip!e 'ent to (ed. 7ar!6 the neDt morning -un Wu#ong 'o#e up and as#ed his master to set out. -anFang dressed and to!d Bon#e6 to pa"# the (edding and the rest of the !uggage. The6 'ere Eust on the point of !ea+ing 'hen the o!d man appeared. 0e had prepared hot 'ater for 'ashing as 'e!! as (rea#fast. /fter (rea#fast the6 set out4 -anFang riding the horse and rother Bon#e6 !eading. The6 ate 'hen the6 'ere hungr6 and dran# 'hen the6 'ere thirst64 tra+e!!ing (6 da6 and resting (6 night. Thus the6 'ent on unti! the6 rea!iFed it 'as ear!6 'inter.

When the frost destro6s the red !ea+es the 'oods are sparse8 $n the ridge on!6 pine and "6press f!ourish. The unopened p!um (uds eDha!e a dar# perfume4 Warming the short da6s4 / tou"h of spring. When the "hr6santhemum and !otus is finished4 the 'i!d tea (!ossoms.

6 the "o!d (ridge and the an"ient trees the (irds >uarre! for (ran"hes. 3n the t'isting gu!!6 the 'aters of the spring run !o'4 9a!e sno' "!ouds drift a"ross the s#6. The 2orth 'ind (!o's strong4 Tugging at 6our−s!ee+es% Who "an (ear the "o!d to'ards e+eningG

When master and dis"ip!e had (een tra+e!!ing for a !ong time the6 heard a 'hist!e from (eside the path4 and siD men rushed out 'ith spears4 s'ords4 "ut!asses4 and strong(o's. @Where do 6ou thin# 6ou1re going4 mon#G@ the6 roared. @3f 6ou gi+e us 6our horse and !uggage 'e1!! spare 6our !ife.@ -anFang fe!! from his horse4 s"ared out of his 'its and una(!e to utter a 'ord. rother Bon#e6 he!ped him to his feet and said4 @*on1t 'orr64 master4 it1s nothing serious. The61re "ome to (ring us some "!othes and our tra+e!!ing eDpenses.@ @/re 6ou deaf4 Wu#ongG@ the other as#ed. @The6 to!d us to gi+e them our horse and !uggage4 so ho' "an 6ou as# them for "!othes and mone6G@ @?ou !oo# after the "!othes4 the !uggage and the horse 'hi!e 3 go and ha+e a (ash at them. We1!! see 'hat happens.@ @/ good hand is no mat"h for t'o fists4@ said -anFang4 @and a pair of fists is no mat"h for four hands. The6 are siD (ig men against !itt!e 6ou4 a!! (6 6ourse!f. ?ou "an1t possi(!6 ha+e the ner+e to fight them.@ The (ra+e rother Bon#e6 did not stop to argue. 3nstead he stepped for'ard4 fo!ded his arms a"ross his "hest4 (o'ed to the siD (andits and said4 @Wh6 are 6ou gent!emen o(stru"ting our 'a6G@ @We are might6 ro((er #ings4 (ene+o!ent !ords of the mountain. We ha+e (een +er6 famous for a !ong time4 a!though 6ou don1t seem to ha+e heard of us. 3f 6ou a(andon 6our things at on"e4 'e1!! !et 6ou go on 6our 'a68 (ut if there1s e+en a hint of a 1no1 from 6ou4 'e1!! turn 6our f!esh into min"emeat and 6our (ones into po'der.@ @3 too am a hereditar6 ro((er #ing4 and ha+e ru!ed a mountain for man6 6ears4 (ut 31+e ne+er heard of 6ou gent!emen.@ @-in"e 6ou don1t #no' our names4 31!! te!! them to 6ou% 76e−seeing 0appiness4 7ar−hearing /nger4 2ose−sme!!ing ;o+e4 Tongue−tasting Thought4 Bind−(orn *esire4 and od6−(ased -orro'.@ -un Wu#ong !aughed at them. @?ou1re Eust a (un"h of sma!!−time "roo#s. ?ou "an1t see that 31m 6our !ord and master a!though 31m a mon#4 and 6ou ha+e the effronter6 to get in our 'a6. ring out a!! the Ee'e!s 6ou1+e sto!en4 and the se+en of us "an share them out e>ua!!6. 31!! !et 6ou off 'ith that.@ This made the (andits happ64 angr64 !o+ing4 thoughtfu!4 desirous4 and sorro'fu! respe"ti+e!64 and the6 a!! "harged him4 6e!!ing4 @?ou1+e got a ner+e4 mon#. ?ou1+e got nothing to put in the #itt64 (ut 6ou 'ant to share our stuff.@ Wa+ing their spears and s'ords the6 rushed him4 ha"#ing 'i!d!6 at his fa"e. -e+ent6 or eight6 (!o's "rashed do'n on him4 (ut he simp!6 stood in the midd!e of them4 ignoring e+er6thing. @What a mon#A@ the (andits said. @0e1s a rea! tough nut.@ @3 thin# 'e1+e seen enough of that4@ said rother Bon#e6 'ith a smi!e. @?our hands must (e tired after a!! that (ashing. 2o' it1s m6 turn to (ring out m6 need!e for a (it of fun.@ @This mon# must ha+e (een an a"upun"turist4@ said the (andits. @There1s nothing 'rong 'ith us. Wh6 is he ta!#ing a(out need!esG@ Ta#ing the em(roider6 need!e from his ear4 rother Bon#e6 shoo# it in the 'ind4 at 'hi"h it (e"ame an iron "udge! as thi"# as a ri"e(o'!. With this in his hand he said4 @-ti"# around 'hi!e 3 tr6 m6 "udge! out.@ The terrified (andits tried to f!ee in a!! dire"tions4 (ut Bon#e6 ra"ed after them4 "aught them a!! up4 and #i!!ed e+er6 one of them. Then he stripped the "!othes off them4 too# their mone64 and 'ent (a"# 'ith his fa"e

'reathed in smi!es.

@;et1s go4 master8 31+e 'iped those (andits out4@ he said. @7+en though the6 'ere high'a6men4 6ou1re rea!!6 as#ing for trou(!e4@ -anFang rep!ied. @7+en if the6 had (een arrested and handed o+er to the authorities4 the6 'ou!dn1t ha+e (een senten"ed to death. ?ou ma6 #no' a fe' tri"#s4 (ut it 'ou!d (e (etter if 6ou1d simp!6 dri+en them a'a6. Wh6 did 6ou ha+e to #i!! them a!!G 7+en ta#ing a man1s !ife (6 a""ident is enough to stop someone from (e"oming a mon#. / person 'ho enters the re!igious !ife

-pares the ants 'hen he s'eeps the f!oor4 Co+ers the !amps to sa+e the moth.

What (usiness did 6ou ha+e to s!aughter the !ot of them4 'ithout "aring 'hi"h of them 'ere the gui!t6 and 'hi"h 'ere inno"entG ?ou ha+en1t a shred of "ompassion or goodness in 6ou. This time it happened in the 'i!ds4 'here no(od6 'i!! (e a(!e to tra"e the "rime. -a6 someone offended 6ou in a "it6 and 6ou turned murderous there. -a6 6ou #i!!ed and 'ounded peop!e 'hen 6ou 'ent (erser# 'ith that "!u( of 6ours. 3 m6se!f 'ou!d (e in+o!+ed e+en though 31m >uite inno"ent.@ @ ut if 3 hadn1t #i!!ed them4 the61d ha+e #i!!ed 6ou4 master4@ protested -un Wu#ong. @3 am a man of re!igion4 and 3 'ou!d rather die than "ommit murder4@ said -anFang. @3f 31d died4 there1d on!6 ha+e (een me dead4 (ut 6ou #i!!ed siD of them4 'hi"h 'as an a(so!ute outrage. 3f the "ase 'ere ta#en to "ourt4 6ou "ou!dn1t ta!# 6our 'a6 out of this e+en if the Eudge 'ere 6our o'n father.@ @To te!! 6ou the truth4 master4 3 don1t #no' ho' man6 peop!e 3 #i!!ed 'hen 3 'as the monster 'ho ru!ed the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit4@ said -un Wu#ong4 @(ut if 31d a"ted 6our 'a6 31d ne+er ha+e (e"ome the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en.@ @3t 'as pre"ise!6 (e"ause 6ou a"ted 'ith su"h t6ranni"a! "rue!t6 among morta!s and "ommitted the most desperate "rimes against 0ea+en that 6ou got into trou(!e fi+e hundred 6ears ago4@ retorted -anFang. @ ut no' 6ou ha+e entered the faith4 6ou1!! ne+er rea"h the Western 0ea+en and ne+er (e"ome a mon# if 6ou don1t gi+e up 6our taste for murder. ?ou1re too e+i!4 too e+i!.@ Bon#e64 'ho had ne+er !et himse!f (e put upon4 f!ared up at -anFang1s end!ess nagging. @3f 6ou sa6 that 31!! ne+er (e"ome a mon# and 'on1t e+er rea"h the Western 0ea+en4 then stop going on at me !i#e that. 31m going (a"#.@ efore -anFang "ou!d rep!64 Bon#e6 !eapt up in a fur64 shouting4 @31m off.@ -anFang !oo#ed up >ui"#!64 (ut he 'as a!read6 out of sight. /!! that "ou!d (e heard 'as a 'hist!ing sound "oming from the 7ast. ;eft on his o'n4 the 9riest nodded and sighed to himse!f 'ith great sadness and indignation. @The in"orrigi(!e 'ret"h4@ he ref!e"ted. @.an"6 disappearing and going (a"# home !i#e that Eust (e"ause 3 ga+e him a (it of a te!!ing−off. -o that1s that. 3 must (e fated to ha+e no dis"ip!es or fo!!o'ers. 3 "ou!dn1t find him no' e+en if 3 'anted to4 and he 'ou!dn1t ans'er if 3 "a!!ed him. 3 must (e on m6 'a6.@ -o he had to stri+e 'ith a!! his might to rea"h the West4 !oo#ing after himse!f 'ith no(od6 to he!p.

-anFang had no "hoi"e (ut to gather up the !uggage and tie it on the horse. 0e did not ride no'. 3nstead4 ho!ding his monasti" staff in one hand and !eading the horse (6 the reins 'ith the other4 he made his !one!6 'a6 to the West. efore he had (een tra+e!!ing for !ong he sa' an o!d 'oman on the mountain path in front of him. -he 'as ho!ding an em(roidered ro(e4 and a patterned hat 'as resting upon it. /s she "ame to'ards him he hurried!6 pu!!ed the horse to the side of the path to ma#e room for her to pass. @Where are 6ou from4 +enera(!e mon#4@ the o!d 'oman as#ed4 @tra+e!!ing a!! a!one and (6 6ourse!fG@ @3 ha+e (een sent (6 the great Cing of the 7ast to go to the West to +isit the uddha and as# him for the True -"riptures4@ he rep!ied. @The uddha of the West !i+es in the 5reat Thunder Bonaster6 in the !and of 3ndia4 thirt6−siD thousand mi!es a'a6 from here. ?ou1!! ne+er get there4 Eust 6ou and 6our horse4 'ithout a "ompanion or dis"ip!e.@ @3 did ha+e a dis"ip!e4 (ut his nature 'as so e+i! that he 'ou!d not a""ept a !itt!e reproof 3 administered to him and disappeared into the (!ue4@ said -anFang. @3 ha+e here an em(roidered tuni" and a hat inset 'ith go!den patterns that used to (e m6 son1s4@ the 'oman said4 @(ut he died after (eing a mon# for on!6 three da6s. 31+e Eust (een to his monaster6 to mourn him and sa6 fare'e!! to his master4 and 3 'as ta#ing this tuni" and this hat home to remem(er the (o6 (6. ut as 6ou ha+e a dis"ip!e4 +enera(!e mon#4 31!! gi+e them to 6ou.@ @Than# 6ou +er6 mu"h for 6our great generosit64 (ut as m6 dis"ip!e has a!read6 gone4 3 "ou!dn1t a""ept them.@ @Where has he goneG@ @/!! 3 heard 'as a 'hist!ing sound as he 'ent (a"# to the 7ast.@ @B6 home isn1t far to the 7ast from here4@ she said4 @so 3 eDpe"t he1s gone there. 31+e a!so got a spe!! "a!!ed 'rue #ords to Cal! the Mind, or the and−tightening -pe!!. ?ou must !earn it in se"ret4 and (e sure to #eep it to 6ourse!f. 2e+er !ea# it to an6one. 31!! go and "at"h up 'ith him and send him (a"# to 6ou4 and 6ou "an gi+e him that tuni" and hat to 'ear. 3f he1s diso(edient again4 a!! 6ou ha+e to do is re"ite the spe!! >uiet!6. That 'i!! stop him "ommitting an6 more murders or running a'a6 again.@ -anFang (o'ed !o' to than# her4 at 'hi"h she "hanged into a (eam of go!den !ight and returned to the 7ast. 0e rea!iFed in his heart that it must ha+e (een the odhisatt+a 5uan6in 'ho had gi+en him the spe!!4 so he too# a pin"h of earth as if he 'ere (urning in"ense and (o'ed in 'orship to the 7ast most re+erent!6. Then he put the tuni" and hat in his pa"#4 sat do'n (eside the path4 and re"ited the 'rue #ords to Cal! the Mind o+er and o+er again unti! he #ne' them thorough!64 and had "ommitted them to his memor6. ;et us turn to -un Wu#ong4 'ho after !ea+ing his master 'ent straight (a"# to the 7astern $"ean on his somersau!t "!oud. 9utting his "!oud a'a64 he parted the 'aters and 'ent straight to the undersea pa!a"e of "r6sta!. 0is approa"h had a!armed the dragon #ing4 'ho "ame out to 'e!"ome him and too# him into the pa!a"e4 'here the6 sat do'n. When the6 had eD"hanged "ourtesies the dragon #ing said4 @31m sorr6 that 3 fai!ed to "ome and "ongratu!ate 6ou on the end of 6our sufferings4 5reat -age. 3 ta#e it that 6ou are returning to 6our o!d "a+e to put 6our immorta! mountain (a"# in order.@

@That1s 'hat 3 'anted to do4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @ ut 31+e (e"ome a mon# instead.@ @/ mon#G 0o'G@ the dragon #ing as#ed. @The odhisatt+a of the -outhern -ea "on+erted me. -he taught me to 'or# for a good re'ard !ater (6 going to the West 'ith the Tang 9riest from the 7ast4 +isiting the uddha4 and (e"oming a mon#. /nd m6 name has (een "hanged to rother Bon#e6.@ @Congratu!ations4 "ongratu!ations4@ said the dragon #ing. @?ou1+e turned o+er a ne' !eaf and de"ided to (e good. ut in that "ase 'h6 ha+e 6ou "ome (a"# to the 7ast instead of going WestG@ Bon#e6 !aughed. @ e"ause that Tang 9riest doesn1t understand human nature. 0e started nagging a'a6 at me a(out a fe' sma!!−time high'a6men 3 #i!!ed4 and said that e+er6thing a(out me 'as 'rong. ?ou #no' ho' 3 "an1t stand peop!e going on at me4 so 3 !eft him to "ome home to m6 mountain. 3 !oo#ed in on 6ou first to as# for a "up of tea.@ @*e!ighted to o(!ige4@ said the dragon #ing4 and his dragon sons and grandsons "ame in 'ith some fragrant tea 'hi"h the6 presented to Bon#e6. When he had drun# his tea4 Bon#e6 !oo#ed round and sa' a pi"ture "a!!ed4 @9resenting the -hoe at the ?i ridge@ hanging on the 'a!! (ehind him. @What1s that a +ie' ofG@ as#ed Bon#e6. @?ou 'ou!dn1t #no' a(out it (e"ause it happened after 6our time4@ the dragon #ing rep!ied. @3t1s "a!!ed 19resenting the -hoe Three Times at the ?i ridge.1@ @What1s a!! that a(outG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @The 3mmorta! is ;ord ?e!!o' -tone4 and the (o6 is Lhang ;iang4 'ho !i+ed in 0an times4@ the dragon #ing rep!ied. @;ord ?e!!o' -tone 'as sitting on the (ridge 'hen sudden!6 he dropped one of his shoes under it and to!d Lhang ;iang to fet"h it for him. The (o6 Lhang ;iang did so at on"e4 and #ne!t do'n to present it to him. ;ord ?e!!o' -tone did this three times4 and (e"ause Lhang ;iang ne+er sho'ed a tra"e of arrogan"e or disrespe"t4 ;ord ?e!!o' -tone 'as tou"hed (6 his di!igen"e. $ne night he ga+e Lhang ;iang some hea+en!6 (oo#s and to!d him to support the 0an "ause. ;ater he 'on +i"tories hundreds of mi!es a'a6 through his "a!"u!ations 'ithin the 'a!!s of his tent. When pea"e "ame he resigned his offi"e and 'ent (a"# to roam on his mountain 'ith Baster ,ed 9ine and a"hie+e the Wa6 of 3mmorta!it6 through en!ightenment. 5reat -age4 if 6ou don1t prote"t the Tang 9riest 'ith a!! 6our might4 and if 6ou reEe"t his instru"tion4 then 6ou might as 'e!! stop tr6ing to 'in 6ourse!f a good !ater re'ard4 (e"ause it 'i!! mean 6ou1re on!6 an e+i! 3mmora! after a!!.@ Bon#e6 hummed and ha'ed4 (ut said nothing. @5reat -age4@ said the dragon #ing4 @6ou must ma#e 6our mind up. *on1t ruin 6our future for the sa#e of an6 eas6 !ife no'.@ @7nough said. 31!! go (a"# and !oo# after him4@ rep!ied -un Wu#ong. The dragon #ing 'as de!ighted. @3n that "ase 3 shan1t #eep 6ou. 3 as# 6ou in 6our mer"6 not to !ea+e 6our master 'aiting for !ong.@ thus pressed to go4 Bon#e6 !eft the sea pa!a"e4 mounted his "!oud4 and too# !ea+e of the dragon #ing. eing

$n his 'a6 he met the odhisatt+a 5uan6in. @What are 6ou doing here4 -un Wu#ongG@ she as#ed. @Wh6 did 6ou reEe"t the Tang 9riest1s tea"hing and stop prote"ting himG@ rother Bon#e6 franti"a!!6 (o'ed to her

from his "!oud and rep!ied4 @/s 6ou had predi"ted4 odhisatt+a4 a mon# "ame from the Tang 7mpire 'ho too# off the sea!4 res"ued me4 and made me his dis"ip!e. 3 ran a'a6 from him (e"ause he thought 3 'as 'i"#ed and in"orrigi(!e4 (ut no' 31m going (a"# to prote"t him.@

@0urr6 up then4 and don1t ha+e an6 more 'i"#ed thoughts.@ With that the6 ea"h 'ent their separate 'a6s. / moment !ater Bon#e6 sa' the Tang 9riest sitting g!oomi!6 (eside the path. 0e 'ent up to him and said4 @Wh6 aren1t 6ou tra+e!!ing4 masterG What are 6ou sti!! here forG@ -anFang !oo#ed up. @Where ha+e 6ou (eenG@ he as#ed. @3 "ou!dn1t mo+e 'ithout 6ou4 so 3 had to sit here and 'ait ti!! 6ou "ame (a"#.@ @3 'ent to +isit the $!d *ragon Cing of the 7astern -ea to as# him for some tea4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @*is"ip!e4 a re!igious man shou!dn1t te!! !ies. 0o' "an 6ou sa6 that 6ou 'ent to drin# tea at the dragon #ing1s p!a"e 'hen 6ou ha+en1t (een gone t'o hoursG@ @3 "an te!! 6ou >uite truthfu!!64@ rep!ied Bon#e6 'ith a smi!e4 @that 'ith m6 somersau!t "!oud 3 "an "o+er thirt6−siD thousand mi!es in a sing!e (ound. That1s ho' 3 got there and (a"#.@ @When 3 spo#e to 6ou a !itt!e se+ere!6 6ou resented it and 'ent off in a huff4@ said -anFang. @3t 'as a!! right for a "!e+er person !i#e 6ou−−6ou (egged 6ourse!f some tea. ut 3 "ou!dn1t go4 and had to sta6 here hungr6. ?ou ought to (e sorr6 for me.@ @3f 6ou1re hungr64 master4 31!! go and (eg 6ou some food4@ suggested Bon#e6. @2o need4@ his master rep!ied4 @there are sti!! some dr6 pro+isions in m6 (und!e that the high 'arden1s mother ga+e me. Ta#e that (o'! and fet"h some 'ater. When 'e1+e eaten some of it 'e "an (e on our 'a6.@ $pening the (und!e4 rother Bon#e6 found some s"ones made of "oarse f!our4 'hi"h he too# out and ga+e to his master. 0e a!so noti"ed the daFF!ing (ro"ade tuni" and the hat 'ith in!aid go!den patterns. @*id 6ou (ring this tuni" and hat 'ith 6ou from the 7astG@ he as#ed. -anFang had to ma#e something up on the spot. @3 used to 'ear them 'hen 3 'as 6oung. With that hat on 6ou "an re"ite s"riptures 'ithout e+er ha+ing (een taught them4 and if 6ou 'ear that tuni" 6ou "an perform the ritua!s 'ithout an6 pra"ti"e.@ @*ear master4 p!ease !et me 'ear them4@ Bon#e6 p!eaded. @3 don1t #no' 'hether the61!! fit 6ou4 (ut if 6ou "an get them on4 6ou "an 'ear them.@ Bon#e6 too# off the o!d 'hite tuni"4 put the (ro"ade one on instead4 and found that it 'as a perfe"t fit. Then he put the hat on his head. /s soon as he had the hat on4 -anFang stopped eating and si!ent!6 re"ited the and−tightening -pe!!. @B6 head a"hes4 m6 head a"hes4@ "ried rother Bon#e64 (ut his master 'ent on and re"ited the spe!! se+era! times more. Bon#e64 no' ro!!ing in agon64 tore the hat to shreds4 and -anFang stopped re"iting the spe!! for fear he 'ou!d (rea# the go!den (and. The moment the spe!! stopped the pain finished. ,ea"hing up to fee! his head4 Bon#e6 found something !i#e a go!den 'ire "!amped so tight!6 around it that he "ou!d not 'ren"h or snap it off. 3t had a!read6 ta#en root there. 0e too# the need!e out of his ear4 for"ed it inside the (and4 and pu!!ed 'i!d!6 at it. -anFang4 again frightened that he 'ou!d snap it4 started to re"ite the spe!! on"e more. The pain 'as so (ad this time that Bon#e6 stood on his head4 turned somersau!ts4 and 'ent red in the fa"e and

ears. 0is e6es 'ere popping and his (od6 'ent num(. -eeing the state he 'as in4 -anFang had to stop4 and the pain stopped again too. @Baster4@ said Bon#e64 @What a "urse 6ou put on me to gi+e me a heada"he !i#e that.@ @3 didn1t put a "urse on 6ou4 3 re"ited the and−tightening -pe!!4@ -anFang rep!ied. @-a6 it again and see 'hat happens4@ said Bon#e64 and 'hen -anFang did as he as#ed4 Bon#e61s head a"hed again. @-top4 stop4@ he shouted4 @the moment 6ou started re"iting it m6 head a"hed. Wh6 did 6ou do itG@ @Wi!! 6ou a""ept m6 instru"tion no'G@ -anFang as#ed. @?es4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @Wi!! 6ou mis(eha+e again in futureG@ @3 "ertain!6 'on1t4@ said Bon#e6. /!though he had made this +er(a! promise4 he 'as sti!! nurturing e+i! thoughts4 and he shoo# his need!e in the 'ind ti!! it 'as as thi"# as a ri"e(o'!. 0e turned on the Tang 9riest4 and 'as on the point of finishing him off 'hen the terrified -anFang re"ited the spe!! t'o or three more times. The mon#e6 dropped his "udge! and fe!! to the ground4 una(!e to raise his arm4 @Baster4@ he shouted4 @31+e seen the !ight. -top sa6ing the spe!!4 p!ease stop.@ @0o' "ou!d 6ou ha+e the perfid6 to tr6 to #i!! meG@ as#ed -anFang. @31d ne+er ha+e dared4@ said rother Bon#e64 adding4 @'ho taught 6ou that spe!!4 masterG@ @/n o!d !ad6 3 met Eust no'4@ rep!ied -anFang. Bon#e6 eDp!oded 'ith rage. @Te!! me no more4@ he said4 @31m sure and "ertain the o!d 'oman 'as that 5uan6in. 0o' "ou!d she do this to meG <ust 6ou 'ait. 31m going to the -outhern -ea to #i!! her.@ @/s she taught me this spe!!4@ -anFang rep!ied4 @she1s (ound to #no' it herse!f. 3f 6ou go after her and she re"ites it4 that 'i!! (e the end of 6ou.@ -eeing the for"e of his argument4 Bon#e6 "hanged his mind and ga+e up the idea of going. 0e #ne!t do'n and p!eaded pitifu!!64 @Baster4 she1s used this to for"e me to go 'ith 6ou to the West. 3 shan1t go to ma#e trou(!e for her4 and 6ou must re"ite s"riptures instead of sa6ing that spe!! a!! the time. 3 promise to prote"t 6ou4 and 3 sha!! a!'a6s (e true to this +o'.@ @3n that "ase 6ou1d (etter he!p me (a"# on the horse4@ -anFang rep!ied. Bon#e64 'ho had (een p!unged into despair4 summoned up his spirits4 tightened the (e!t round his (ro"ade tuni"4 got the horse read64 gathered up the !uggage4 and hurried off to'ards the West. 3f 6ou 'ant to #no' 'hat other stories there are a(out the Eourne64 then !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment. Chapter 15 $n the Coi!ed -na#e Bountain the 5ods 5i+e -e"ret 0e!p 3n the 7ag!e1s -orro' 5orge the Thought−0orse 3s ,eined in

Bon#e6 !oo#ed after the Tang 9riest as the6 headed West. The6 had (een tra+e!!ing for se+era! da6s in the t'e!fth month of the 6ear4 'ith its freeFing 2orth 'inds and (iting "o!d. Their path 'ound a!ong o+erhanging pre"ipi"es and steep "!iffs4 and the6 "rossed range after range of dangerous mountains. $ne da6 -anFang heard the sound of 'ater as he rode a!ong4 and he turned around to shout4 @Bon#e64 'here1s that sound of 'ater "oming fromG@ @/s 3 remem(er4 this p!a"e is "a!!ed 7ag!e1s -orro' 5orge in the Coi!ed -na#e Bountain. 3t must (e the 'ater in the gorge.@ efore he had finished spea#ing4 the horse rea"hed the edge of the gorge. -anFang reined in and !oo#ed. 0e sa'%

/ thin "o!d stream pier"ing the "!ouds4 *eep4 "!ear 'a+es shining red in the sun. The sound sha#es the night rain and is heard in the >uiet +a!!e64 3ts "o!or thro's up a morning haFe that o(s"ures the s#6. / thousand fathoms of f!6ing 'a+es spit Eade8 The torrent1s roar ho'!s in the fresh 'ind. The "urrent !eads to the mist6 'a+es of the sea8 The egret and the "ormorant ne+er meet (6 a fisherman.

/s master and dis"ip!e 'at"hed the6 heard a noise in the gorge as a dragon emerged from the 'a+es4 !eapt up the "!iff4 and gra((ed at -anFang. 3n his a!arm Bon#e6 dropped the !uggage4 !ifted -anFang off his horse4 turned4 and f!ed. The dragon4 una(!e to "at"h him up4 s'a!!o'ed the 'hite horse4 sadd!e and a!!4 at a sing!e gu!p4 then disappeared on"e more (eneath the surfa"e of the 'ater. Bon#e6 made his master sit do'n on a high pea# and 'ent (a"# to fet"h the horse and the !uggage. When he found that the horse had gone and on!6 the !uggage 'as !eft4 he "arried the !uggage up to his master and put it do'n (efore him. @Baster4@ he said4 @that damned dragon has disappeared 'ithout a tra"e. 3t ga+e our horse su"h a fright that it ran a'a6.@ @0o'e+er are 'e going to find the horse4 dis"ip!eG@ @*on1t 'orr64 don1t 'orr64 'ait here 'hi!e 3 go and !oo# for it.@ 0e !eapt into the s#64 'hist!ing. 9utting up his hand to shade his fier6 e6es 'ith their go!den pupi!s4 he !oo#ed a!! around (e!o' him4 (ut sa' no sign of the horse. 0e put his "!oud a'a6 and reported4 @Baster4 that horse of ours must ha+e (een eaten (6 the dragon−−3 "an1t see it an6'here.@ @*is"ip!e4@ -anFang protested4 @ho' "ou!d that 'ret"hed "reature ha+e a mouth (ig enough to s'a!!o' a horse that siFe4 sadd!e and a!!G 3 thin# the horse must ha+e s!ipped its (rid!e in a pani" and run into that +a!!e6. 5o and ha+e a more "arefu! !oo#.@

@?ou don1t #no' a(out m6 po'ers4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @These e6es of mine "an see 'hat1s happening three hundred mi!es a'a64 and 'ithin that range 3 "an e+en spot a dragonf!6 spreading its 'ings. There1s no 'a6 3 "ou!d miss a (ig horse !i#e that.@ @ ut 'e1!! ne+er get a"ross those thousands of mountains and ri+ers.@ /s he spo#e4 his tears fe!! !i#e rain. The sight of him "r6ing 'as too mu"h for rother Bon#e64 'ho f!ared up and shouted4 @-top (eing su"h an im(e"i!e4 master. -it there and 'ait 'hi!e 3 find that 'ret"h and ma#e him gi+e us (a"# our horse.@ @?ou mustn1t go4@ said -anFang4 gra((ing ho!d of him. @31m frightened that he1!! "ome "reeping out again and #i!! me this time. Then 31!! (e dead as 'e!! as the horse4 and that 'ou!d (e terri(!e.@ This made Bon#e6 angrier than e+er4 and he roared 'ith a shout !i#e thunder4 @?ou1re hope!ess4 a(so!ute!6 hope!ess. ?ou 'ant a horse to ride (ut 6ou 'on1t !et me go. This 'a6 6ou1!! (e sitting there !oo#ing at the !uggage for the rest of 6our !ife.@ /s he 'as 6e!!ing fero"ious!6 in a f!aming temper4 a +oi"e 'as heard in the s#6 that said4 @*on1t (e angr64 5reat -age8 stop "r6ing4 6ounger (rother of the Tang 7mperor. We are gods sent (6 the odhisatt+a 5uan6in to gi+e hidden prote"tion to the pi!grim 'ho is fet"hing the s"riptures.@ /t these 'ords -anFang immediate!6 (o'ed4 (ut Bon#e6 said4 @Te!! me 6our names4 6ou !ot.@ @We are the -iD *ings4 the -iD <ias4 the ,e+ea!ers of the Truth of the .i+e ,egions4 the .our *ut6 5ods4 and the 7ighteen 9rote"tors of the .aith8 'e sha!! ta#e it in turns to (e in attendan"e e+er6 da6.@ @Who starts toda6G@ @The *ings and <ias4 the .our *ut6 5ods4 and the 9rote"tors of the .aith 'i!! ta#e turns. $f the ,e+ea!ers of the .i+e ,egions4 the 5o!d−headed ,e+ea!er 'i!! a!'a6s (e 'ith 6ou (6 da6 and (6 night.@ @:er6 'e!! then4@ said Bon#e64 @a!! those of 6ou 'ho are not on dut6 ma6 'ithdra'. The -iD *ing 0ea+en!6 5enera!s4 the *ut6 5od of the *a64 and the ,e+ea!ers of the Truth 'i!! sta6 here to prote"t m6 master4 'hi!e 3 sha!! go to find that e+i! dragon in the gorge and ma#e him gi+e our horse (a"#.@ The gods a!! did as the6 'ere to!d4 and -anFang4 no' great!6 re!ie+ed4 sat on the "!iff and ga+e Bon#e6 detai!ed instru"tions. @There1s no need for 6ou to 'orr64@ said the sp!endid Bon#e6 Cing as he tightened the (e!t round his (ro"ade tuni"4 fo!ded up his tiger−s#in #i!t4 grasped his "udge!4 'ent to the edge of the gorge4 and stood amid "!ouds and mist a(o+e the 'ater. @5i+e us (a"# our horse4 mud !oa"h4 gi+e us (a"# our horse4@ he shouted. 2o' 'hen the dragon had eaten -anFang1s 'hite horse it !a6 !o' in the stream4 hiding its mira"u!ous po'ers and nourishing its +ita! nature. When it heard someone shouting and "ursing it and demanding the horse (a"#4 it 'as una(!e to ho!d (a"# its temper. ;eaping up through the 'a+es it as#ed4 @0o' dare 6ou ma#e so free 'ith 6our insu!tsG@ The moment he sa' it4 Bon#e6 roared4 @*on1t goA 5i+e us (a"# our horseA@ and s'ung his "udge! at the dragon1s head. aring its fangs and 'a+ing its "!a's4 the dragon 'ent for him. 3t 'as a no(!e (att!e that the pair of them fought (eside the ra+ine.

The dragon stret"hed its sharp "!a's4

The mon#e6 raised his go!d−(anded "udge!. The (eard of one hung in threads of 'hite Eade4 The other1s e6es f!ashed !i#e go!den !amps. The pear!s in the dragon1s (eard ga+e off a "o!oured mist4 The iron "!u( in the other1s hands dan"ed !i#e a 'hir!'ind. $ne 'as a 'i"#ed son 'ho had 'ronged his parents8 The father4 the e+i! spirit 'ho had 'orsted hea+en!6 genera!s. oth had (een through trou(!e and suffering4 /nd no' the6 'ere to use their a(i!ities to 'in merit.

Coming and going4 fighting and resting4 'hee!ing and turning4 the6 (att!ed on for a +er6 !ong time unti! the dragon1s strength 'as eDhausted and his mus"!es num(. Hna(!e to resist an6 !onger4 it turned around4 di+ed into the 'ater4 and !a6 !o' at the (ottom of the stream. 3t pretended to (e deaf as the Bon#e6 Cing "ursed and rai!ed at it4 and did not emerge again. Bon#e6 "ou!d do nothing4 so he had to report to -anFang4 @Baster4 3 s'ore at that ogre ti!! it "ame out4 and after fighting me for ages it f!ed in terror. 3t1s no' in the 'ater and 'on1t "ome out again.@ @/re 6ou sure that it rea!!6 ate our horseG@ -anFang as#ed. @What a thing to sa64@ said Bon#e64 @3f it hadn1t eaten the horse4 it 'ou!dn1t ha+e dared to sa6 a 'ord or fight against me.@ @When 6ou #i!!ed that tiger the other da6 6ou said 6ou had 'a6s of ma#ing dragons and tigers su(mit to 6ou4 so ho' "omes it that 6ou "ou!dn1t (eat this one toda6G@ Bon#e6 had ne+er (een a(!e to stand pro+o"ation4 so 'hen -anFang mo"#ed him this time he sho'ed something of his di+ine might. @-a6 no more4 sa6 no more. 31!! ha+e another go at it and then 'e1!! see 'ho "omes out on top.@ The Bon#e6 Cing !eapt to the edge of the ra+ine4 and used a magi"a! 'a6 of thro'ing ri+ers and seas into turmoi! to ma#e the "!ear 'aters at the (ottom of the 7ag!e1s -orro' 5orge as tur(u!ent as the 'a+es of the ?e!!o' ,i+er in spate. The e+i! dragon1s pea"e 'as distur(ed as he !ur#ed in the depths of the 'aters4 and he thought4 @0o' true it is that (!essings ne+er "ome in pairs and trou(!es ne+er "ome sing!6. /!though 31+e (een a""epting m6 fate here for !ess than a 6ear sin"e 3 es"aped the death pena!t6 for (rea#ing the !a's of 0ea+en4 3 'ou!d ha+e to run into this murderous de+i!.@ The more he thought a(out it4 the angrier he fe!t4 and una(!e to (ear the humi!iation a moment !onger he Eumped out of the stream "ursing4 @Where are 6ou from4 6ou (!ood6 de+i!4 "oming here to push me aroundG@ @2e+er 6ou mind 'here 31m from4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @31!! on!6 spare 6our !ife if 6ou gi+e (a"# that horse.@

@That horse of 6ours is in m6 stoma"h4 and 3 "an1t si"# it up again4 "an 3G 31m not gi+ing it (a"#4 so 'hat a(out itG@ @3f 6ou 'on1t gi+e it (a"#4 then ta#e thisA 31m on!6 #i!!ing 6ou to ma#e 6ou pa6 for the horse1s !ife.@ The t'o of them (egan another (itter strugg!e under the mountain4 and (efore man6 rounds 'ere up the !itt!e dragon "ou!d ho!d out no !onger. With a sha#e of his (od6 he turned himse!f into a 'ater−sna#e and s!ithered into the undergro'th. The Bon#e6 Cing "hased it 'ith his "udge! in his hands4 (ut 'hen he pushed the grass aside to find the sna#e the three gods inside his (od6 eDp!oded4 and smo#e poured from his se+en orifi"es. 0e uttered the magi" 'ord o!, thus "a!!ing out the !o"a! tute!ar6 god and the god of the mountain4 'ho (oth #ne!t (efore him and reported their arri+a!. @9ut out 6our an#!es4@ Bon#e6 said4 @'hi!e 3 gi+e 6ou fi+e stro#es ea"h of m6 "udge! to 'or# off m6 temper.@ The t'o gods #o'to'ed and p!eaded pitifu!!64 @We (eg the 5reat -age to a!!o' us pett6 gods to report.@ @What ha+e 6ou got to sa6G@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @We didn1t #no' 'hen 6ou emerged after 6our !ong sufferings4 5reat -age4@ the6 said4 @'hi"h is 'h6 'e didn1t "ome to meet 6ou. We (eg to (e forgi+en.@ @3n that "ase4@ Bon#e6 said4 @3 'on1t (eat 6ou4 (ut 31!! as# 6ou this instead% 'here does that de+i! dragon in the 7ag!e1s -orro' 5orge "ome from4 and 'h6 did he gra( m6 master1s 'hite horse and eat itG@ @5reat -age4 6ou ne+er had a master4@ said the t'o gods4 @and 6ou 'ere a supreme 3mmorta! 'ith an undistur(ed essen"e 'ho 'ou!d not su(mit to 0ea+en or 7arth4 so ho' does this master1s horse "ome inG@ @?ou t'o don1t #no' that either4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @ e"ause of that (usiness of offending against 0ea+en4 3 had to suffer for fi+e hundred 6ears. 2o' 31+e (een "on+erted (6 the odhisatt+a 5uan6in4 and she1s sent a priest 'ho1s "ome from the Tang 7mpire to res"ue me. -he to!d me to (e"ome his dis"ip!e and go to the Western 0ea+en to +isit the uddha and as# for the s"riptures. /s 'e 'ere passing this 'a6 'e !ost m6 master1s 'hite horse.@ @/h4 so that1s 'hat1s happening4@ the gods said. @There ne+er used to (e an6 e+i! "reatures in the stream4 'hi"h ran 'ide and deep 'ith 'ater so pure that "ro's and magpies ne+er dared to f!6 a"ross it. This 'as (e"ause the6 'ou!d mista#e their o'n ref!e"tions in it for other (irds of their o'n #ind and often go p!ummeting into the 'ater. That1s 'h6 it1s "a!!ed 7ag!e1s -orro' 5orge. ;ast 6ear4 'hen the odhisatt+a 5uan6in 'as on her 'a6 to find a man to fet"h the s"riptures4 she res"ued a Eade dragon and sent it to 'ait here for the pi!grim 'ithout getting up to an6 trou(!e. ut 'hen it1s hungr6 it "omes up on the (an# to "at"h a fe' (irds or a roedeer to eat. We "an1t imagine ho' it "ou!d (e so ignorant as to "!ash 'ith the 5reat -age.@ @The first time he and 3 "rossed s'ords 'e 'hir!ed around for a fe' rounds4@ rother Bon#e6 rep!ied. @The se"ond time 3 s'ore at him (ut he 'ou!dn1t "ome out4 so 3 stirred up his stream 'ith a spe!! to thro' ri+ers and seas into turmoi!4 after 'hi"h he "ame out and 'anted to ha+e another go at me. 0e didn1t rea!iFe ho' hea+6 m6 "udge! 'as4 and he "ou!dn1t parr6 it4 so he "hanged himse!f into a 'ater sna#e and s!ithered into the undergro'th. 3 "hased him and sear"hed for him4 (ut he1s +anished 'ithout a tra"e.@ @5reat -age4 6ou ma6 not (e a'are that there are thousands of inter"onne"ted tunne!s in this ra+ine4 'hi"h is 'h6 the 'aters here run so deep. There is a!so a tunne! entran"e round here that he "ou!d ha+e s!ipped into. There1s no need for 6ou to (e angr64 5reat -age4 or to sear"h for it. 3f 6ou 'ant to "at"h the "reature4 a!! 6ou

ha+e to do is to as# 5uan6in to "ome here4 and it 'i!! natura!!6 su(mit.@

$n re"ei+ing this suggestion Bon#e6 to!d the !o"a! deit6 and the mountain god to "ome 'ith him to see -anFang and te!! him a!! a(out 'hat had happened pre+ious!6. @3f 6ou go to as# the odhisatt+a to "ome here4 'hen 'i!! 6ou e+er (e (a"#G@ he as#ed4 adding4 @31m terri(!6 "o!d and hungr6.@ efore the 'ords 'ere out of his mouth the6 heard the +oi"e of the 5o!d−headed ,e+ea!er shouting from the s#64 @5reat -age4 there1s no need for 6ou to mo+e. 31!! go and as# the odhisatt+a to "ome here.@ Bon#e64 'ho 'as de!ighted4 rep!ied4 @This is putting 6ou to great trou(!e4 (ut p!ease (e as >ui"# as 6ou "an.@ The ,e+ea!er then shot off on his "!oud to the -outhern -ea. Bon#e6 to!d the mountain god and the !o"a! deit6 to prote"t his master4 and sent the *ut6 5od of the *a6 to find some +egetarian food4 'hi!e he himse!f patro!!ed the edge of the ra+ine. The moment the 5o!d−headed ,e+ea!er mounted his "!oud he rea"hed the -outhern -ea. 9utting a'a6 his propitious g!o'4 he 'ent straight to the 9urp!e am(oo 5ro+e on the is!and of 9otara#a4 'here he as#ed the 5o!den /rmour *e+as and Bo#sa to get him an audien"e 'ith the odhisatt+a. @What ha+e 6ou "ome forG@ the odhisatt+a as#ed. @The Tang 9riest4@ the ,e+ea!er rep!ied4 @has !ost his horse in the 7ag!e1s -orro' 5orge4 and the 5reat -age -un Wu#ong is desperate4 (e"ause the6 "an neither go for'ard nor (a"#. When the 5reat -age as#ed the !o"a! deit6 he 'as to!d that the e+i! dragon 6ou sent to the ra+ine4 odhisatt+a4 had s'a!!o'ed it4 so he has sent me to as# 6ou to su(due this dragon and ma#e it gi+e (a"# the horse.@ @That 'ret"hed "reature 'as the son of /o ,un4 the *ragon Cing of the Western -ea4 'hom his father reported for diso(edien"e 'hen he (urned the pa!a"e Ee'e!s. The hea+en!6 "ourt "ondemned him to death for it4 (ut 3 'ent m6se!f to see the <ade 7mperor and as#ed him to send the dragon do'n to ser+e the Tang 9riest as a (east of (urden. Whate+er made it a"tua!!6 eat the Tang 9riest1s horseG 31d (etter go and !oo# into it.@ The odhisatt+a des"ended from her !otus throne4 !eft her magi" "a+e4 and "rossed the -outhern -ea4 tra+e!!ing on propitious !ight 'ith the ,e+ea!er. There is a poem a(out it that goes%

0one6 is in the uddha1s 'ords that fi!! Three -tores of s"ripture4 The odhisatt+a1s goodness is !onger than the 5reat Wa!!. The 'onderfu! 'ords of the Baha6ana fi!! 0ea+en and 7arth4 The truth of the praEna res"ues ghosts and sou!s.

3t e+en made the 5o!den Ci"ada shed his "o"oon on"e more4 /nd ordered =uanFang to "ontinue "u!ti+ating his "ondu"t. e"ause the road 'as diffi"u!t at the 7ag!e1s -orro' 5orge4 The dragon1s son returned to the truth and "hanged into a horse.

The odhisatt+a and the ,e+ea!er rea"hed the Coi!ed -na#e Bountain (efore !ong4 and stopping their "!oud in mid−air the6 !oo#ed do'n and sa' rother Bon#e6 "ursing and shouting at the edge of the ra+ine. When the odhisatt+a to!d him to "a!! Bon#e6 o+er4 the ,e+ea!er (rought his "!oud to !and at the edge of the ra+ine. 3nstead of going to see -anFang first4 he said to Bon#e64 @The odhisatt+a1s here.@ Bon#e6 !eapt straight into the air on his "!oud and shouted at her at the top of his +oi"e4 @Tea"her of the -e+en uddhas4 mer"ifu! head of our re!igion4 'h6 did 6ou thin# up this 'a6 of hurting meG@ @31!! get 6ou4 6ou outrageous (a(oon4 6ou red−(ottomed ape4@ she rep!ied. @3 'as at m6 'it1s end t'o or three times o+er ho' to fet"h that pi!grim4 and 3 to!d him to sa+e 6our !ife. ut far from "oming to than# me for sa+ing 6ou4 6ou no' ha+e the effronter6 to (a'! at me.@ @?ou1+e (een +er6 good to me4 3 must sa64@ retorted Bon#e6. @3f 6ou1d !et me out to roam around enEo6ing m6se!f as 3 p!eased4 that 'ou!d ha+e (een fine. 3 'as a!! right 'hen 6ou met me a(o+e the sea the other da64 spo#e a fe' un#ind 'ords4 and to!d me to do a!! 3 "ou!d to he!p the Tang 9riest. ut 'h6 did 6ou gi+e him that hat he tri"#ed me into 'earing to torture me 'ithG Wh6 did 6ou ma#e this (and gro' into m6 headG Wh6 did 6ou tea"h him that and−tightening -pe!!G Wh6 did 6ou ma#e that o!d mon# re"ite it o+er and o+er again so that m6 head a"hed and a"hedG ?ou must (e 'anting to do me in.@ The odhisatt+a smi!ed. @?ou mon#e6. ?ou don1t o(e6 the "ommands of the faith4 and 6ou 'on1t a""ept the true re'ard4 so if 6ou 'eren1t under "ontro! !i#e this 6ou might re(e! against 0ea+en again or get up to an6 #ind of e+i!. 3f 6ou got 6ourse!f into trou(!e as 6ou did (efore4 'ho 'ou!d !oo# after 6ouG Without this monstrous head4 6ou1d ne+er (e 'i!!ing to enter our ?oga"atin faith.@ @:er6 'e!! then4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @!et1s "a!! this o(Ee"t m6 monstrous head. ut 'h6 did 6ou send that "rimina! and e+i! dragon to (e"ome a monster here and eat m6 master1s horseG ;etting e+i! "reatures out to run amu"# !i#e that is a (ad deed.@ @3 persona!!6 as#ed the <ade 7mperor to put the dragon here as a mount for the pi!grim4@ said the odhisatt+a. @*o 6ou thin# an ordinar6 horse 'ou!d (e a(!e to "ross the thousands of mountains and ri+ers to rea"h the uddha−!and on the :u!ture 9ea#G $n!6 a dragon horse 'i!! (e a(!e to do it.@ @ ut he1s so afraid of me that he1s s#u!#ing do'n there and 'on1t "ome out4 so 'hat1s to (e doneG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. The odhisatt+a to!d the ,e+ea!er to go to the edge of the ra+ine and shout4 @Come out4 9rin"e <ade *ragon4 son of the *ragon Cing /o ,un4 to see the odhisatt+a of the -outhern -ea4@ after 'hi"h the offspring 'ou!d emerge. The ,e+ea!er 'ent to the edge of the gorge and shouted this t'i"e4 immediate!6 the 6oung dragon !eapt up through the 'a+es4 too# human form4 stepped on a "!oud4 and greeted the odhisatt+a in mid−air. @3n m6 gratitude to 6ou4 odhisatt+a4 for sa+ing m6 !ife4 3 ha+e (een 'aiting here for a !ong time4 (ut 3 ha+e had no ne's 6et of the pi!grim 'ho is going to fet"h the s"riptures.@ The odhisatt+a pointed to rother Bon#e6 and said4 @3sn1t he the pi!grim1s great dis"ip!eG@ @0e1s m6 enem64@ the 6oung dragon rep!ied 'hen he !oo#ed at him. @3 ate his horse 6esterda6 (e"ause 3 'as star+ing4 so he used some po'ers of his to fight me ti!! 3 returned eDhausted and terrified4 then s'ore at me so that 3 had to shut m6se!f in4 too frightened to "ome out. 0e ne+er said a 'ord a(out an6one fet"hing s"riptures.@ @?ou ne+er as#ed me m6 name4 so ho' "ou!d 3 ha+e to!d 6ouG@ Bon#e6 retorted.

@3 as#ed 6ou 1Where are 6ou from4 6ou (!ood6 de+i!G1 and 6ou 6e!!ed4 12e+er mind 'here 31m from4 and gi+e me (a"# that horse.1 ?ou ne+er so mu"h as (reathed the 'ord 1Tang.1@ @?ou mon#e64 6ou are so proud of 6our o'n strength that 6ou ne+er ha+e a good 'ord for an6one e!se4@ said the odhisatt+a. @There 'i!! (e others 'ho Eoin 6ou !ater on 6our Eourne64 and 'hen the6 as# 6ou an6 >uestions4 the first thing 6ou must mention is fet"hing the s"riptures. 3f 6ou do that4 6ou1!! ha+e their he!p 'ithout an6 trou(!e at a!!.@ Bon#e6 'as happ6 to a""ept instru"tion from her. The odhisatt+a then 'ent for'ard4 (ro#e off some of the pear!s from the dragon1s head4 soa#ed the end of her 'i!!o' t'ig in the s'eet de' in her (ott!e4 sprin#!ed it on the dragon1s (od64 and (reathed on it 'ith magi" (reath4 shouted4 and the dragon turned into the eDa"t !i#eness of the origina! horse. @?ou must "on"entrate on 'iping out 6our past sins4@ she to!d him4 @and 'hen 6ou ha+e su""eeded4 6ou 'i!! rise a(o+e ordinar6 dragons and (e gi+en (a"# 6our go!den (od6 as a re'ard.@ The 6oung dragon too# the (it (et'een his teeth4 and her 'ords to heart. The odhisatt+a to!d -un Wu#ong to ta#e him to see -anFang as she 'as returning to the -outhern -ea. Bon#e6 "!ung to her4 refusing to !et her go. @31m not going4@ he said4 @31m not going. 3f the Eourne6 to the West is as tough as this4 3 "an1t possi(!6 #eep this morta! priest safe4 and if there are man6 su"h more tria!s and tri(u!ations4 31!! ha+e enough trou(!e #eeping a!i+e m6se!f. 0o' "an 3 e+er a"hie+e an6 re'ardG 31m not going4 31m not going.@ @3n the o!d da6s4 (efore 6ou had !earned to (e a human (eing4@ the odhisatt+a rep!ied4 @6ou 'ere prepared to 'or# for 6our a'a#ening 'ith a!! 6our po'er. ut no' that 6ou ha+e (een de!i+ered from a 0ea+en−sent "a!amit64 6ou ha+e gro'n !aF6. What1s the matter 'ith 6ouG 3n our faith4 to a"hie+e nir+ana 6ou must (e!ie+e in good re'ards. 3f 6ou meet 'ith inEur6 or suffering in future4 6ou ha+e on!6 to "a!! on 0ea+en and 7arth for them to respond8 and if 6ou get into a rea!!6 hope!ess situation 3 sha!! "ome to res"ue 6ou m6se!f. Come o+er here as 3 ha+e another po'er to gi+e 6ou.@ The odhisatt+a p!u"#ed three !ea+es from her 'i!!o' t'ig4 put them on the (a"# of rother Bon#e61s head4 and shouted @Change4@ on 'hi"h the6 turned into three !ife−sa+ing hairs. @When the time "omes and no(od6 e!se 'i!! he!p 6ou4@ she said4 @the6 'i!! turn into 'hate+er is needed to sa+e 6ou from disaster.@ /fter hearing a!! these fine 'ords4 Bon#e6 fina!!6 too# his !ea+e of the /!!−mer"ifu! odhisatt+a4 'ho 'ent (a"# to 9otara#a amidst s"ented (reeFes and "o!oured mists. Bon#e6 (rought his "!oud do'n to !and4 and !ed the dragon horse (6 the mane to see -anFang. @Baster4@ he said4 @'e1+e got our horse.@ -anFang "heered up the moment he sa' it. @Wh6 is it sturdier than it 'as (eforeG@ he as#ed. @Where did 6ou find itG@ @Baster4 6ou must ha+e (een dreaming. The 5o!den−headed ,e+ea!er as#ed the odhisatt+a to "ome here4 and she turned the dragon in the gorge into our 'hite horse. The "o!oring is the same4 (ut it hasn1t got a sadd!e or a (rid!e4 'hi"h is 'h6 3 had to drag it here.@ -anFang 'as astounded. @Where1s the odhisatt+aG 3 must go and 'orship her4@ he said. @-he1s (a"# in the -outhern -ea (6 no'4 so don1t (other4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. -anFang too# a pin"h of earth as if he 'ere (urning in"ense4 #ne!t do'n4 and (o'ed to the -outh. When he had finished he got up and he!ped

Bon#e6 put their things together for the Eourne6. Bon#e6 dismissed the mountain god and the !o"a! deit64 ga+e orders to the ,e+ea!er and the *ut6 5ods4 and in+ited his master to mount the horse.

@3 "ou!dn1t possi(!6 ride it−−it1s got no sadd!e or (rid!e4@ his master rep!ied4 @(ut 'e "an sort this out 'hen 'e1+e found a (oat to ferr6 us a"ross the stream.@ @Baster4 6ou seem to ha+e no "ommon sense at a!!. Where 'i!! a (oat (e found in these 'i!d mountainsG This horse has !i+ed here for a !ong time and is (ound to #no' a(out the "urrents4 so 6ou "an ride him and use him as 6our (oat.@ -anFang had no "hoi"e (ut to do as Bon#e6 suggested and ride the horse (are(a"# to the edge of the stream 'hi!e Bon#e6 "arried the !uggage. /n aged fisherman appeared upstream4 punting a raft a!ong 'ith the "urrent. /s soon as he sa' him4 Bon#e6 'a+ed his hand and shouted4 @Come here4 fisherman4 "ome here. We1re from the 7ast4 and 'e1re going to fet"h the s"riptures. B6 master is ha+ing some trou(!e "rossing the ri+er4 so "ome and ferr6 him o+er.@ The fisherman punted to'ards them 'ith a!! speed4 'hi!e Bon#e6 as#ed -anFang to dismount and he!ped him on (oard the raft. Then he !ed the horse on and !oaded the !uggage4 after 'hi"h the fisherman pushed off and started punting 'ith the speed of an arro'. efore the6 rea!iFed it the6 had "rossed the 7ag!e1s -orro' 5orge and 'ere on the Western (an#. When -anFang to!d rother Bon#e6 to open the (und!e and find a fe' 5reat Tang "oins and notes to gi+e the fisherman4 the o!d man pushed his raft off from the shore 'ith the 'ords4 @3 don1t 'ant 6our mone64 3 don1t 'ant 6our mone64@ and drifted off into mid−stream. -anFang 'as most upset4 (ut "ou!d do nothing eD"ept put his hands together and than# him. @There1s no need to than# him4 master4@ Bon#e6 said. @Can1t 6ou see 'ho he isG 0e1s the 'ater god of this stream4 and 3 shou!d (e gi+ing him a (eating for not "oming to 'e!"ome me. 0e shou!d "onsider himse!f !u"#6 to get off the (eating−−ho' "ou!d he possi(!6 eDpe"t mone6 tooG@ 0is master4 'ho 'as on!6 ha!f−"on+in"ed4 mounted the sadd!e!ess horse on"e more and fo!!o'ed Bon#e6 to Eoin the main path4 and then the6 hurried on to'ards the West. 3ndeed%

The great truth !anded on the opposite (an#4 The sin"ere heart and "omp!ete nature "!im(ed :u!ture 9ea#.

/s dis"ip!e and master 'ent for'ard together4 the sun s!ipped do'n in the West and e+ening dre' in.

9a!e and ragged "!ouds4 The moon dim o+er the mountains4 /s the "o!d frost fi!!s the hea+ens4 /nd the 'ind1s ho'! "uts through the (od6. With the !one (ird gone4 the gre6 is!and seems +ast8 Where the sunset g!o's4 the distant mountains are !o'.

3n the sparse forests a thousand trees moan4 $n the deserted pea# a !one!6 ape s"reams. The path is !ong4 and (ears no footprints4 /s the (oat sai!s thousands of mi!es into the night.

/s -anFang 'as gaFing into the distan"e from the (a"# of his horse4 he noti"ed a farm−house (eside the path. @Bon#e64@ he said4 @!et1s spend the night in the house ahead of us and go on in the morning.@ Bon#e6 !oo#ed up and rep!ied4 @Baster4 it1s not a farm−house.@ @Wh6 notG@ @/ farm−house 'ou!dn1t ha+e a!! those de"orati+e fishes and anima!s on the roof. 3t must (e a temp!e or a nunner6.@ /s the6 'ere ta!#ing the6 rea"hed the gate4 and 'hen -anFang dismounted he sa' the 'ords T7B9;7 $. T07 W/,* /;T/, 'ritten !arge a(o+e the gate and 'ent inside. 0ere an o!d man 'ith a rosar6 of pear!s hanging round his ne"# "ame out to meet them 'ith his hands he!d together and the 'ords4 @9!ease sit do'n4 master.@ -anFang >ui"#!6 returned his "ourtesies and entered the main (ui!ding to pa6 his respe"ts to the di+ine image. The o!d man to!d a ser+ant to (ring tea4 and 'hen that had (een drun# -anFang as#ed the o!d man 'h6 the temp!e 'as dedi"ated to the 'ard a!tar. @This p!a"e is in the territor6 of the Western !and of Cami4@ the o!d man rep!ied4 @and (ehind the temp!e !i+es the de+out farm fami!6 'hi"h (ui!t it. 1Ward1 means the 'ard of a +i!!age4 and the a!tar is the a!tar of the !o"a! tute!ar6 deit6. /t the time of the spring p!oughing4 the summer 'eeding4 the autumn har+est4 and the storing a'a6 in 'inter the6 a!! (ring meat4 f!o'ers4 and fruit to sa"rifi"e to the a!tar. The6 do this to ensure good fortune throughout the four seasons4 a ri"h "rop of the fi+e grains4 and good hea!th for the siD #inds of !i+esto"#.@ $n hearing this -anFang nodded and said in appro+a!4 @0o' true it is that 15o three mi!es from home4 and 6ou1re in another !and.1 We ha+e nothing as good as this in our "ountr6.@ The o!d man then as#ed him 'here his home 'as. @3 "ome from the !and of the 5reat Tang in the 7ast4@ -anFang rep!ied4 @and 3 ha+e imperia! orders to go to the Western 0ea+en to 'orship the uddha and as# for the s"riptures. /s our Eourne6 (rought us this 'a6 and it is a!most night4 'e ha+e "ome to this ho!6 temp!e to as# for a night1s !odging. We sha!! set off at da'n.@ The o!d man4 'ho 'as +er6 p!eased to hear this4 apo!ogiFed profuse!6 for ha+ing fai!ed in his hospita!it6 and to!d the ser+ant to prepare a mea!. When -anFang had eaten he than#ed the o!d man. Bon#e61s sharp e6es had noti"ed a "!othes−!ine under the ea+es of the (ui!ding. 0e 'ent o+er4 tore it do'n4 and ho((!ed the horse 'ith it. @Where did 6ou stea! that horse fromG@ the o!d man as#ed 'ith a smi!e.

@?ou don1t #no' 'hat 6ou1re ta!#ing a(out4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @We1re ho!6 mon#s going to +isit the uddha4 so ho' "ou!d 'e possi(!6 stea! a horse.@ @3f 6ou didn1t stea! it4@ the o!d man "ontinued4 the smi!e sti!! on his !ips4 @then 'h6 do 6ou ha+e to (rea# m6 "!othes−!ine (e"ause it1s got no sadd!e4 (rid!e or reinsG@ -anFang apo!ogiFed for Bon#e6 and said to him4 @?ou1re too impatient4 6ou naught6 mon#e6. ?ou "ou!d ha+e as#ed the o!d gent!eman for a pie"e of rope to tether the horse 'ith. There 'as no need to snap his "!othes−!ine. 9!ease don1t (e suspi"ious4 sir4@ -anFang 'ent on4 addressing the o!d man. @This horse isn1t sto!en4 3 "an assure 6ou. When 'e rea"hed the 7ag!e1s -orro' 5orge 6esterda6 3 'as riding a 'hite horse "omp!ete 'ith sadd!e and (rid!e. We did not #no' that there 'as an e+i! dragon in the stream 'ho had (e"ome a spirit4 and this dragon s'a!!o'ed m6 horse sadd!e4 (rid!e and a!!4 in a sing!e gu!p. ;u"#i!6 this dis"ip!e of mine has "ertain po'ers4 and he (rought the odhisatt+a 5uan6in to the side of the gorge4 'here she "aught the dragon and "hanged it into a 'hite horse4 eDa"t!6 !i#e the origina! one4 to "arr6 me to the Western 0ea+en to +isit the uddha. 3t1s (een !ess than a da6 from 'hen 'e "rossed that stream to 'hen 'e rea"hed 6our ho!6 shrine4 sir4 and 'e ha+en1t 6et sadd!e or (rid!e for it.@ @9!ease don1t (e angr64 .ather. 3 'as on!6 Eo#ing4@ the o!d man rep!ied. @3 ne+er thought 6our respe"ted dis"ip!e 'ou!d ta#e it serious!6. When 3 'as 6oung 3 had a (it of mone64 and 3 'as fond of riding a good horse4 (ut man6 6ears of trou(!es and (erea+ement ha+e ta#en the fire out of me4 and 31+e "ome to this misera(!e end as a sa"ristan !oo#ing after the in"ense. ;u"#i!6 the (enefa"tor 'ho o'ns the farm (ehind here pro+ides me 'ith the ne"essities of !ife. /s it happens4 3 sti!! ha+e a sadd!e and (rid!e−−3 'as so fond of them in the o!d da6s that 3 ha+e ne+er (een a(!e to (ring m6se!f to se!! them4 poor as 3 am. 2o' that 3 ha+e heard4 +enera(!e master4 ho' the odhisatt+a sa+ed the di+ine dragon and "hanged it into a horse to "arr6 6ou4 3 fee! that 3 must he!p too4 so 3 sha!! (ring that sadd!e and (rid!e out tomorro' for 6ou to ride on. 3 (eg 6ou to (e gra"ious enough to a""ept them.@ -anFang than#ed him effusi+e!6. The ser+ant (o6 had (6 no' produ"ed the e+ening mea!4 and 'hen it 'as o+er the6 spread out their (edding4 !amp in hand4 and a!! 'ent to s!eep. When Bon#e6 got up the neDt morning he said4 @Baster4 that o!d sa"ristan promised us the sadd!e and (rid!e !ast night. ?ou must insist and not !et him off.@ efore the 'ords 'ere out of his mouth4 the o!d man appeared 'ith the sadd!e and (rid!e in his hands4 as 'e!! as sadd!e−"!oth4 sadd!e−pad4 reins4 muFF!e and a!! the other trappings for a horse. 2othing 'as missing. /s he put it a!! do'n in front of the +erandah he said4 @Baster4 3 hum(!6 offer this sadd!e and (rid!e.@ When -anFang sa' them he a""epted them 'ith de!ight. Then he to!d Bon#e6 to put them on the horse to see if the6 fitted him. Bon#e6 'ent o+er and pi"#ed them up to !oo# at them one (6 one% the6 'ere a!! fine pie"es. There are some +erses to pro+e it that go

The 'e!!−"ar+ed sadd!e shines 'ith si!+er stars The Ee'e!ed stirrups g!eam 'ith go!den !ight. -e+era! !a6ers of sadd!e−pads are made from 'oo!4 The !ead−rope is p!aited from purp!e si!#.

The reins are in!aid 'ith f!ashing f!o'ers4 The (!in#ers ha+e dan"ing anima!s out!ined in go!d. The (it is made of tempered stee!4 /nd 'oo!!en tasse!s hang from either end.

Bon#e64 'ho 'as se"ret!6 +er6 p!eased4 put the sadd!e and (rid!e on the horse and found that the6 fitted as if the6 had (een made to measure. -anFang #ne!t and (o'ed to the o!d man in than#s4 at 'hi"h the o!d man rushed for'ard and said4 @2o4 no4 ho' "ou!d 3 a!!o' 6ou to than# meG@ The o!d man did not tr6 to #eep them a moment !onger4 and (ade -anFang mount the horse. When he 'as out of the gate -anFang "!im(ed into the sadd!e4 'hi!e Bon#e6 "arried the !uggage. The o!d man then produ"ed a 'hip from his s!ee+e and offered it to -anFang as he stood (eside the road. 3ts hand!e 'as of rattan (ound 'ith !eather4 and its thong of tiger sine' (ound at the end 'ith si!#. @0o!6 mon#4@ he said4 @3 'ou!d a!so !i#e to gi+e 6ou this as 6ou !ea+e.@ /s -anFang too# it sitting on horse(a"#4 he than#ed the o!d man for his generosit6. /s -anFang 'as on the point of "!asping his hands together to ta#e his !ea+e of him4 the o!d man disappeared4 and on turning round to !oo# at the temp!e4 the mon# "ou!d see nothing (ut a stret"h of empt6 !and. 0e heard a +oi"e sa6ing in the s#64 @0o!6 mon#4 'e ha+e (een +er6 a(rupt 'ith 6ou. We are the mountain god and the !o"a! deit6 of 9otara#a 3s!and4 and 'e 'ere sent (6 the odhisatt+a 5uan6in to gi+e 6ou the sadd!e and (rid!e. ?ou t'o are no' to ma#e for the West as fast as 6ou "an4 and not to s!a"#en 6our pa"e for a moment.@ -anFang tum(!ed out of the sadd!e in a pani"4 and 'orshipped the hea+ens4 sa6ing4 @B6 e6es of f!esh and m6 morta! (od6 pre+ented me from re"ogniFing 6ou4 no(!e gods8 forgi+e me4 3 (eg 6ou. 9!ease "on+e6 m6 gratitude to the odhisatt+a for her mer"6.@ ;oo# at him4 #o'to'ing to the s#6 more often than 6ou "ou!d "ount. The 5reat -age -un Wu#ong4 the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing4 'as standing (6 the path o+er"ome 'ith !aughter and (eside himse!f 'ith amusement. 0e 'ent o+er and tugged at the Tang 9riest. @Baster4@ he said4 @get up. The61re a!read6 mu"h too far a'a6 to hear 6our pra6ers or see 6our #o'to's4 so 'h6 e+er are 6ou doing thatG@ @*is"ip!e4@ -anFang rep!ied4 @'hat do 6ou mean (6 standing (eside the path sneering at me and not e+en ma#ing a sing!e (o' 'hi!e 31+e done a!! those #o'to'sG@ @?ou don1t #no' an6thing4@ Bon#e6 retorted. @/ de"eitfu! pair !i#e that deser+e a thrashing. 3 !et them off out of respe"t for the odhisatt+a. That1s >uite enough% the6 "ou!dn1t eDpe"t me to (o' to them too4 "ou!d the6G 31+e (een a tough gu6 sin"e 3 'as a #id4 and 3 don1t (o' to an6one. 7+en 'hen 3 meet the <ade 7mperor or the -upreme ;ord ;ao Li 3 Eust "hant a 1na−a−a'1 and that1s a!!.@ @?ou inhuman (east4@ said -anFang4 @stop ta!#ing su"h nonsense. 5et mo+ing4 and don1t ho!d us up a moment !onger.@ With that -anFang rose to his feet and the6 set off to the West. The neDt t'o months1 Eourne6 'as pea"efu!4 and the6 on!6 met ;uo!uos4 0uihuis4 'o!+es4 monsters4 tigers4 and !eopards. The time passed >ui"#!64 and it 'as no' ear!6 spring. The6 sa' mountains and forests "!ad in emera!d (ro"ade as p!ants and trees put out shoots of green8 and 'hen a!! the p!um (!ossom had fa!!en4 the

'i!!o's started "oming into !eaf. Baster and dis"ip!e tra+e!ed a!ong enEo6ing the (eauties of spring4 and the6 sa' that the sun 'as setting in the West. -anFang reined in his horse to !oo# into the distan"e4 and in the fo!d of a mountain he dim!6 dis"erned to'ers and ha!!s.

@Wu#ong4@ he said4 @"an 6ou see if there1s an6'here 'e "an go thereG@ Bon#e6 !oo#ed and said4 @3t must (e a temp!e or a monaster6. ;et1s get there >ui"#!6 and spend the night there.@ -anFang 'i!!ing!6 agreed4 and gi+ing his dragon horse a free rein he ga!!oped to'ards it. 3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hat sort of p!a"e it 'as that the6 'ere going to4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment. Chapter 16 The Bon#s of the 5uan6in Bonaster6 9!ot to Ta#e the Treasure The Bonster of the !a"# Wind Bountain -tea!s the Casso"# The master 'hipped on his horse and hurried straight to the temp!e gate 'ith his dis"ip!e to ha+e a !oo#. The6 sa' that it 'as indeed a monaster6%

0a!! upon ha!!4 C!oister after "!oister. e6ond the trip!e gates Count!ess "o!oured "!ouds are massed8 efore the 0a!! of .i+e !essings Coi! a thousand 'isps of red mist. T'o ro's of pine and (am(oo4 / forest of !o"ust and "6press trees. The t'o ro's of pine and (am(oo /re age!ess in their e!egant purit68 The forest of !o"ust and "6press trees 0as "o!or and (eaut6. -ee ho' high the drum and (e!! to'ers are4 0o' ta!! the pagoda. 3n pea"efu! mediation the mon#s ma#e firm their natures4 /s (irds sing in the trees outside.

9ea"e (e6ond morta! dust is the on!6 true pea"e8 7mptiness 'ith the Wa6 is the rea! emptiness.

/s the poem goes4

/ supreme <eta+ana hidden in a green +a!!e64 / monaster6 set in s"ener6 un(eaten in the 'or!d. -u"h pure !ands are rare on earth8 $n most of the famous mountains d'e!! mon#s.

-anFang dismounted4 Bon#e6 !aid do'n his (urden4 and the6 'ere Eust on the point of going in 'hen a "ro'd of mon#s "ame out. This is ho' the6 'ere dressed%

$n their heads the6 'ore hats pinned on the !eft4 $n their (odies 'ere "!othes of purit6. Copper rings hung from their ears4 /nd si!#en (e!ts 'ere tied around their 'aists.

-!o'!6 the6 'a!#ed on sanda!s of stra'4 /s the6 he!d 'ooden "!appers in their hands. With their mouths the6 'ere a!'a6s "hanting Their de+otion to the Wisdom.

When -anFang sa' them he stood respe"tfu!!6 (eside the gate and greeted them. / mon# hasti!6 returned his greeting and apo!ogiFed for not noti"ing them (efore. @Where are 6ou fromG@ he as#ed4 @p!ease "ome to the a((ot1s rooms and ha+e some tea.@

@3 ha+e (een sent from the 7ast on an imperia! mission to 'orship the uddha in the Thunder Bonaster6 and as# for the s"riptures4@ -anFang rep!ied4 @and as it is a!most night 'e 'ou!d !i#e to as# for a night1s !odging no' that 'e are here.@ @Come inside and sit do'n4 "ome inside and sit do'n4@ the mon# said. When -anFang to!d Bon#e6 to !ead the horse o+er4 the mon# 'as frightened at the sudden sight of him and as#ed4 @What1s that thing !eading the horseG@ @Ceep 6our +oi"e do'n4@ -anFang urged4 @#eep 6our +oi"e do'n. 0e has a >ui"# temper4 and if he hears 6ou referring to him as 1that thing41 he1!! (e furious. 0e1s m6 dis"ip!e.@ The mon# shuddered and (it his finger as he remar#ed4 @.an"6 ta#ing a monstrous!6 ug!6 "reature !i#e that for a dis"ip!e.@ @0e ma6 not !oo# it4@ -anFang rep!ied4 @(ut ug!6 as he is4 he has his uses.@ The mon# had no "hoi"e (ut to go through the monaster6 gate 'ith -anFang and Bon#e64 and inside the6 sa' the 'ords C0/2 B$2/-T7,? $. 5H/2?32 'ritten in !arge !etters on the main ha!!. -anFang 'as de!ighted. @3 ha+e often (een the gratefu! (enefi"iar6 of the odhisatt+a1s di+ine mer"64@ he eD"!aimed4 @(ut 3 ha+e not 6et (een a(!e to #o'to' to her in than#s. To 'orship her in this monaster6 'i!! (e Eust as good as seeing her in person.@ $n hearing this4 the mon#4 ordering a !a6 (rother to open the doors4 in+ited -anFang to go in and 'orship. Bon#e6 tethered the horse4 put the !uggage do'n4 and 'ent up into the ha!! 'ith -anFang4 'ho prostrated himse!f and put his head on the f!oor (efore the go!den statue. When the mon# 'ent to (eat the drum4 Bon#e6 started stri#ing the (e!!. -anFang !a6 (efore the image4 pra6ing 'ith a!! his heart4 and 'hen he had finished the mon# stopped (eating the drum. Bon#e64 ho'e+er4 'as so engrossed in stri#ing the (e!!4 sometimes fast and sometimes s!o'4 that he 'ent on for a +er6 !ong time. @0e1s finished his de+otions4@ a !a6 (rother said4 @so 'hat are 6ou sti!! (eating the (e!! forG@ Bon#e6 thre' do'n the (e!! hammer and said 'ith a grin4 @?ou1re ignorant4 aren1t 6ouG 1Whoe+er is a mon# for a da6 stri#es the (e!! for a da61% that1s me.@ 6 then a!! the mon#s in the monaster64 senior and Eunior4 as 'e!! as the a((ot and his assistant4 had (een so start!ed (6 the 'i!d noises from the (e!! that the6 a!! "ame "ro'ding out to as# 'hat sa+age 'as ma#ing su"h a din 'ith the (e!! and drum. Bon#e6 Eumped out and "ursed them% @?our grandfather -un Wu#ong 'as ha+ing some fun.@ /!! the mon#s "o!!apsed 'ith sho"# at the sight of him and said as the6 #ne!t on the ground4 @;ord Thunder 5od4 ;ord Thunder 5od.@ @The Thunder 5od is m6 great grandson4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @5et up4 get up4 6ou1+e nothing to fear. 31m a !ord from the !and of the 5reat Tang empire in the 7ast.@ The mon#s a!! (o'ed to him4 and "ou!d not fee! eas6 unti! -anFang appeared. @9!ease "ome and drin# tea in m6 rooms4@ said the a((ot of the monaster6. The horse 'as un!oaded and !ed off4 'hi!e the6 'ent round the main ha!! to a room at the (a"# 'here the6 sat do'n a""ording to their seniorit6. The a((ot ga+e them tea and arranged for food to (e (rought4 and after the mea! it 'as sti!! ear!6. /s -anFang 'as eDpressing his than#s4 t'o ser+ant (o6s appeared (ehind them supporting an aged mon#. This is 'hat he !oo#ed !i#e%

/ :airo"ana miter on his head Topped 'ith a g!eaming "at1s−e6e Ee'e!. $n his (od6 a go'n of (ro"ade4 7dged 'ith go!d−mounted #ingfisher feathers. / pair of mon#ish shoes studded 'ith the 7ight Treasures4 / 'a!#ing sti"# in!aid 'ith C!ouds and stars. / fa"e "o+ered 'ith 'rin#!es4 ;i#e the $!d 5oddess of Bount ;i8 / pair of pur(!ind e6es4 ;i#e the *ragon Cing of the 7astern -ea. 0is mouth "an1t #eep out the 'ind as his teeth ha+e gone8 0is (a"# is (ent (e"ause his mus"!es are stiff.

@The 9atriar"h has "ome4@ the mon#s a!! said. -anFang (o'ed !o' to him in greeting and said4 @?our dis"ip!e pa6s his respe"ts4 +enera(!e a((ot.@ The aged mon# returned his greeting and the6 (oth sat do'n. @The 6oungsters ha+e Eust to!d me that gent!emen ha+e "ome from the Tang 7mpire in the 7ast4@ he said4 @so 3 ha+e "ome out to see 6ou.@ @9!ease forgi+e us for (!undering into 6our monaster6 so rude!64@ -anFang rep!ied. @*on1t put it !i#e that4@ the aged mon# said4 going on to as#4 @0o' !ong a Eourne6 is it from the 7astern !ands to hereG@ @3t 'as o+er siDteen hundred mi!es from Chang1an to the *ou(!e oundar6 Bountain4 'here 3 too# on this dis"ip!e4@ -anFang rep!ied. @We tra+e!ed on together through the !and of Cami4 and as that too# t'o months 'e must ha+e "o+ered getting on for another t'o thousand mi!es (efore rea"hing here.@ @$+er three thousand mi!es4@ said the aged mon#. @3 ha+e spent a !ife of piet6 and ha+e ne+er (een outside the monaster6 gates4 so 6ou "ou!d rea!!6 sa6 that 3 ha+e (een 1!oo#ing at hea+en from the (ottom of a 'e!!41 and "a!! mine a 'asted !ife.@ @0o' great is 6our age4 +enera(!e a((otG@ -anFang as#ed. @3n m6 stupid 'a6 3 ha+e !i+ed to (e t'o hundred and se+ent64@ the o!d mon# rep!ied.

@Then 6ou1re m6 ten−thousandth−great grandson4@ put in Bon#e6. @Ta!# proper!64@ said -anFang4 g!aring at him4 @*on1t (e so disrespe"tfu! and rude.@ @0o' o!d are 6ou4 sirG@ the aged mon# as#ed. @3 don1t +enture to mention it4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. The aged mon# then thought that he must ha+e (een ra+ing4 so he put the matter out of his mind4 said no more a(out it4 and ordered tea to (e (rought for them. / 6oung page (rought in three 2loisonne tea"ups on a Eade tra6 the "o!or of mutton fat4 and another "arried in a 'hite a!!o6 teapot from 'hi"h he poured out three "ups of fragrant tea. 3t had a (etter "o!or than pomegranate (!ossom4 and its aroma 'as finer than "assia. When -anFang sa' a!! this he 'as fu!! of praise. @What sp!endid things4@ he said4 @'hat sp!endid things. Wonderfu! tea in 'onderfu! +esse!s.@ @The61re not 'orth !oo#ing at4@ the o!d mon# rep!ied. @/fter a!!4 sir4 6ou "ome from a superior and hea+en!6 "ourt4 and ha+e seen man6 rare things in 6our 'ide tra+e!s8 so ho' "an 6ou gi+e su"h eDaggerated praise to things !i#e thatG What treasures did 6ou (ring 'ith 6ou from 6our superior "ountr6 that 3 "ou!d ha+e a !oo# atG@ @31m afraid our 7astern !and has no great treasures4 and e+en if it did4 3 'ou!d ha+e (een una(!e to (ring them on so !ong a Eourne6.@ @Baster4@ put in Bon#e64 'ho 'as sitting (eside him4 @isn1t that "asso"# 3 sa' in our (und!e the other da6 a treasureG Wh6 don1t 3 ta#e it out for him to seeG@ When the mon#s heard him mention the "asso"#4 the6 smi!ed sinister smi!es. @What are 6ou smi!ing atG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @We thought it 'as +er6 funn6 'hen 6ou said that a "asso"# 'as a treasure4@ the a((ot of the monaster6 rep!ied. @/ priest of m6 ran# has t'o or three doFen4 and our 9atriar"h4 'ho has (een a mon# here for t'o hundred and fift6 or siDt6 6ears4 has se+en or eight hundred.@ 0e ordered them to (e (rought out and disp!a6ed. The o!d mon#4 'ho 'as a!so in on the game4 to!d the !a6 (rothers to open the store−rooms4 'hi!e friars "arried t'e!+e "hests out into the "ourt6ard4 and un!o"#ed them. Then the6 set up "!othes frames4 put rope a!! around4 shoo# the "asso"#s open one (6 one4 and hung them up for -anFang to see. 3ndeed4 the 'ho!e (ui!ding 'as fu!! of (ro"ade4 and the four 'a!!s "o+ered 'ith si!#. Bon#e6 eDamined them one (6 one and sa' that some 'ere made of (ro"ade and some 'ere em(roidered 'ith go!d. @7nough4 enough4 enough4@ he said. @9ut them a'a64 put them a'a6. 31!! (ring ours out for 6ou to ta#e a !oo# at.@ -anFang dre' Bon#e6 aside and 'hispered to him4 @*is"ip!e4 ne+er tr6 to "ompete 'ith other peop!e1s 'ea!th4 6ou and 3 are a!one in this foreign !and4 and 31m afraid that there ma6 (e trou(!e.@ @What trou(!e "an "ome from !etting him !oo# at the "asso"#G@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @?ou don1t understand4@ -anFang rep!ied. @The an"ients used to sa64 1*on1t !et greed6 and trea"herous men see rare or amusing things.1 3f he !a6s his e6es on it4 his mind 'i!! (e distur(ed4 and if his mind is distur(ed4 he1s (ound to start s"heming. 3f 6ou 'ere "autious4 6ou 'ou!d on!6 ha+e !et him see it if he1d insisted8 (ut as it is4 this is no trif!ing matter4 and ma6 'e!! (e the end of us.@

@*on1t 'orr64 don1t 'orr64@ said rother Bon#e64 @31!! !oo# after e+er6thing.@ Wat"h as 'ithout another 'ord of argument he rushes off and opens the (und!e4 'hi"h is a!read6 gi+ing off a radiant g!o'. 3t sti!! had t'o !a6ers of oi!ed paper round it4 and 'hen he remo+ed it to ta#e out the "asso"# and sha#e it open the ha!! 'as (athed in red !ight and "!ouds of "o!oured +apours fi!!ed the "ourt6ard. When the mon#s sa' it their hearts 'ere fi!!ed 'ith de!ight and their mouths 'ith praise. 3t rea!!6 'as a fine "asso"#.

0ung 'ith pear!s of unri+a!!ed >ua!it64 -tudded 'ith uddhist treasures infinite!6 rare. /(o+e and (e!o' a dragon (eard spar#!es4 $n grass−"!oth edged 'ith (ro"ade.

3f it is 'orn4 a!! demons are eDtinguished8 When donned it sends a!! monsters do'n to he!!. 3t 'as made (6 the hands of hea+en!6 3mmorta!s4 /nd none (ut a true mon# shou!d dare put it on.

When the aged mon# sa' ho' rare a treasure it 'as4 his heart 'as indeed distur(ed. 0e 'ent up to -anFang and #ne!t (efore him. @B6 fate is indeed a 'ret"hed one4@ he !amented4 tears pouring do'n his "hee#s. -anFang he!ped him to his feet again and as#ed4 @Wh6 do 6ou sa6 that4 +enera(!e patriar"hG@ @?ou ha+e unfo!ded this treasure of 6ours4 sir4@ the aged mon# rep!ied4 @'hen it is a!read6 e+ening4 so that m6 e6es are too dim to see it "!ear!6. That is 'h6 3 sa6 m6 fate is 'ret"hed.@ @-end for a "and!e and ta#e another !oo#4@ -anFang suggested. @B6 !ord4 6our pre"ious "asso"# is a!read6 shining (right!64 so 3 don1t thin# 3 'ou!d see more distin"t!6 e+en if a "and!e 'ere !it4@ rep!ied the aged mon#. @0o' 'ou!d 6ou !i#e to !oo# at it thenG@ as#ed -anFang. @3f4 sir4 6ou 'ere in 6our mer"6 to set aside 6our fears and !et me ta#e it to m6 room to eDamine it "!ose!6 during the night4 3 'i!! return it to 6ou in the morning to ta#e to the West. What do 6ou sa6 to thatG@ This re>uest start!ed -anFang4 'ho grum(!ed at rother Bon#e64 @3t1s a!! 6our fau!t4 a!! 6our fau!t.@ @0e1s nothing to (e frightened of.@ Bon#e6 rep!ied 'ith a grin. @31!! pa"# it up and te!! him to ta#e it a'a6 to !oo# at. 3f an6thing goes 'rong4 31!! (e responsi(!e.@ /s there 'as nothing he "ou!d do to stop him4 -anFang handed the "asso"# to the o!d mon# 'ith the 'ords4 @31!! !et 6ou ta#e it4 (ut 6ou must gi+e it (a"# to me tomorro' morning in the "ondition it1s in no'. 3 'on1t ha+e 6ou getting it at a!! dirt6.@

The o!d mon# g!eefu!!6 to!d a page to ta#e the "asso"# to his room4 and instru"ted the other mon#s to s'eep out the front meditation ha!!4 mo+e t'o rattan (eds in4 spread out the (edding on them4 and in+ite the t'o gent!emen to spend the night there8 he a!so arranged for them to (e gi+en (rea#fast and seen off the neDt morning. Then e+er6one 'ent off to (ed. -anFang and his dis"ip!e shut the doors of the meditation ha!! and 'ent to s!eep. /fter the o!d mon# had tri"#ed them into gi+ing him the "asso"#4 he he!d it under the !amp in the (a"# room as he 'ept and 'ai!ed o+er it. This so a!armed the mon#s that none of them dared go to s!eep (efore he did. The 6oung page4 not #no'ing 'hat to do4 'ent to te!! the other mon#s4 @5randad1s sti!! "r6ing a!though it1s getting on for e!e+en.@ T'o Eunior mon#s4 'ho 'ere among the o!d man1s fa+orites4 'ent o+er to as# him 'h6 he 'as "r6ing. @31m "r6ing (e"ause m6 a""ursed fate 'on1t a!!o' me to see the Tang 9riest1s treasure4@ he said8 to 'hi"h the6 rep!ied4 @5randad4 in 6our o!d age 6ou ha+e su""eeded. 0is "asso"# is !aid (efore 6ou4 and a!! 6ou ha+e to do is open 6our e6es and !oo#. There1s no need for tears.@ @ ut 3 "an1t !oo# at it for !ong4@ the aged mon# ans'ered. @31m t'o hundred and se+ent6 this 6ear4 and 31+e "o!!e"ted a!! those hundreds of "asso"#s for nothing. 0o'e+er am 3 to get ho!d of that one of hisG 0o'e+er am 3 to (e"ome !i#e the Tang priestG@ @Baster4 6ou1+e got it a!! 'rong4@ the Eunior mon#s said. @The Tang 9riest is a pi!grim far from home. ?ou shou!d (e satisfied 'ith 6our great seniorit6 and 'ea!th8 'h6 e+er 'ou!d 6ou 'ant to (e a pi!grim !i#e himG@ @/!though 3 !i+e at home and enEo6 m6 de"!ining 6ears4 31+e got no "asso"# !i#e his to 'ear4@ the aged mon# rep!ied. @3f 3 "ou!d 'ear it for a da64 3 'ou!d "!ose m6 e6es in pea"e. 31d (e as happ6 as if 3 'ere a mon# in m6 neDt !ife.@ @What nonsense4@ the Eunior mon#s said. @3f 6ou 'ant to 'ear his "asso"#4 there1!! (e no pro(!em a(out that. We1!! #eep him for another da6 tomorro'4 and 6ou "an 'ear it for another da6. $r 'e "an #eep him for ten da6s and 6ou "an 'ear it for ten da6s. -o 'h6 get so upset a(out itG@ @7+en if 'e #ept him for a 6ear4@ the o!d mon# rep!ied4 @31d on!6 (e a(!e to 'ear it for a 6ear4 'hi"h 'ou!dn1t (ring me an6 g!or6. 31!! sti!! ha+e to gi+e it to him 'hen he 'ent% 3 "an1t #eep him here for e+er.@ /s the6 'ere ta!#ing a 6oung mon# "a!!ed road Wisdom spo#e out. @5randad4@ he said4 @if 6ou 'ant it for a !ong time4 that1s eas6 to arrange too.@ @What (ri!!iant idea ha+e 6ou got4 "hi!dG@ the aged mon# as#ed4 "heering up. @That Tang 9riest and his dis"ip!e 'ere so eDhausted after their Eourne6 that the6 are (oth as!eep (6 no'4@ road Wisdom rep!ied. 3f 'e arm some strong mon#s 'ith s'ords and spears to (rea# into the meditation ha!! and #i!! them4 the6 "an (e (uried in the (a"# garden4 and no(od6 (ut us 'i!! (e an6 the 'iser. This 'a6 'e get their 'hite horse and their !uggage as 'e!! as the "asso"#4 'hi"h 'i!! (e"ome an heir!oom of the monaster6. We 'ou!d (e doing this for posterit6.@ The o!d mon# 'as +er6 p!eased 'ith this suggestion4 and he 'iped the tears from his e6es as he said4 @:er6 good4 +er6 good4 a mar+e!!ous p!an.@ /nother 6oung mon# "a!!ed road 9!ans4 a fe!!o'−student of road Wisdom1s4 "ame fro'ard and said4 @This p!an1s no good. 3f 'e are to #i!! them4 'e1!! ha+e to #eep a sharp e6e on them. That o!d pa!e−fa"ed one !oo#s eas6 enough4 (ut the hair6−fa"ed one "ou!d (e tri"#68 and if (6 an6 "han"e 'e fai! to #i!! him4 'e1!! (e in deep trou(!e. 3 ha+e a 'a6 that doesn1t in+o!+e using 'eapons4 (ut 3 don1t #no' 'hat 6ou1!! thin# of it.@

@What do 6ou suggest4 m6 "hi!dG@ the aged mon# as#ed. @3n m6 hum(!e opinion4@ he rep!ied4 @'e shou!d assem(!e the head mon#s of a!! the "e!!s4 senior and Eunior4 and get e+er6one to put a (und!e of fire'ood outside the meditation ha!!. When it1s set a!ight4 those t'o 'i!! ha+e no es"ape4 and 'i!! (e (urnt to death together 'ith their horse. 7+en if the peop!e 'ho !i+e around this mountain see the (!aFe4 the61!! thin# that those t'o (urnt do'n the mediation ha!! (6 "are!ess!6 starting a fire. This 'a6 the61!! (oth (e (urnt to death and no(od6 'i!! #no' ho' it happened. Then the "asso"# 'i!! (e"ome our monaster61s treasure for e+er.@ /!! the mon#s present 'ere p!eased 'ith this suggestion4 eD"!aiming4 @5reat4 great4 great8 an e+en (etter p!an.@ The head of e+er6 "e!! 'as to!d to (ring fire'ood4 a s"heme that 'as to (ring death to the +enera(!e and aged mon#4 and redu"e the 5uan6in Bonaster6 to ashes. 2o' there 'ere se+ent6 or eight6 "e!!s in the monaster64 and o+er t'o hundred Eunior and senior mon#s. The6 shifted fire'ood a!! night4 pi!ed it up a!! round the meditation ha!! so that there 'as no 'a6 out4 and prepared to set it a!ight. /!though -anFang and he had gone to (ed4 the magi"a! Bon#e61s spirit remained a!ert and his e6es ha!f open e+en 'hen he 'as as!eep. 0is suspi"ions 'ere aroused (6 the sound of peop!e mo+ing around outside and the rust!ing of fire'ood in the (reeFe. @Wh6 "an 3 hear footsteps in the sti!! of the nightG@ he 'ondered. @9erhaps (andits are p!anning to murder us.@ 0e !eaped out of (ed4 and 'as on the point of opening the door to ta#e a !oo# 'hen he remem(ered that this might distur( his master4 so instead he used his mira"u!ous po'ers to turn himse!f into a (ee 'ith a sha#e of his (od6.

-'eet his mouth and +enomous his tai!4 -!ender his 'aist and !ight his (od6. 0e f!e' !i#e an arro'4 threading through 'i!!o's and f!o'ers4 -ee#ing their ne"tar !i#e a shooting star. / tin6 (od6 that "ou!d (ear great 'eights4 Carried on the (reeFe (6 his frai! and (uFFing 'ings. Thus did he emerge from under the rafters4 5oing out to ta#e a !oo#.

0e sa' that the mon#s had pi!ed fire'ood and stra' a!! around the meditation ha!! and 'ere setting it a!ight. -mi!ing to himse!f he thought4 @-o m6 master 'as right. This is their idea. The6 'ant to #i!! us and #eep our "asso"#. 3 'ish 3 "ou!d !a6 into them 'ith m6 "udge!. 3f on!6 3 'asn1t for(idden to use it4 3 "ou!d #i!! the !ot of them8 (ut the master 'ou!d on!6 (e angr6 'ith me for murdering them. Too (ad. 31!! Eust ha+e to ta#e m6 "han"es as the6 "ome4 and finish them off.@ The sp!endid Bon#e6 !eapt in through the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en 'ith a sing!e somersau!t4 start!ing the hea+en!6 'arriors 9ang4 ;iu4 5ou and i into (o'ing4 and Ba4 Lhao4 Wen and 5uan into (ending !o' as the6 a!! said4 @$h no4 oh noA The fe!!o' 'ho turned 0ea+en upside do'n is here again.@

@There1s no need to stand on "ourtes6 or (e a!armed4 gent!emen4@ said Bon#e6 'ith a 'a+e of his hand4 @31+e "ome to find the road−:isioned 0ea+en!6 Cing.@ efore the 'ords 'ere out of his mouth the 0ea+en!6 Cing 'as there and greeting Bon#e6 'ith4 @0a+en1t seen 6ou for ages. 3 heard the other da6 that the odhisatt+a 5uan6in "ame to see the <ade 7mperor to (orro' the four *ut6 5ods4 the -iD *ings and <ias and the ,e+ea!ers of the Truth to !oo# after the Tang 9riest on his pi!grimage to the Western 0ea+en to fet"h the s"riptures. The6 'ere a!so sa6ing that 6ou 'ere his dis"ip!e4 so ho' is it that 6ou ha+e the spare time to "ome hereG@ @;et1s "ut the "a"#!e4@ said Bon#e6. @The Tang priest has run into some +i!!ains 'ho ha+e started a fire to (urn him to death. 3t1s +er6 urgent4 'hi"h is 'h6 31+e "ome to as# 6ou for the !oan of 6our /nti−fire Co+er to sa+e him 'ith. .et"h it at on"e8 31!! (ring it straight (a"#.@ @?ou1+e got it a!! 'rong4@ the 0ea+en!6 Cing rep!ied. @3f +i!!ains are tr6ing to (urn him4 6ou shou!d res"ue him 'ith 'ater. What do 6ou need m6 /nti−fire Co+er forG@ @?ou don1t understand4@ Bon#e6 "ontinued. @3f 3 tr6 to sa+e him 'ith 'ater4 he ma6 sti!! (e hurt e+en if he isn1t (urnt up. 3 "an on!6 #eep him free from inEur6 if 6ou !end me that "o+er8 and 'ith that it doesn1t matter ho' mu"h (urning the6 do. u"# up4 (u"# upA 3t ma6 (e too !ate a!read6. *on1t mess up 'hat 31+e got to do do'n there.@ @?ou mon#e64@ said the 0ea+en!6 Cing 'ith a !augh4 @?ou1re as 'i"#ed as e+er4 thin#ing on!6 of 6ourse!f and ne+er of others.@ @0urr6 up4 hurr6 up4@ Bon#e6 p!eaded. @?ou1!! ruin e+er6thing if 6ou go on nattering.@ The 0ea+en!6 Cing4 no !onger a(!e to refuse4 handed the "o+er to Bon#e6. Ta#ing the "o+er4 Bon#e6 pressed do'n on his "!oud and 'ent straight to the roof of the meditation ha!!4 'here he spread the "o+er o+er the Tang 9riest4 the dragon horse4 and the !uggage. Then he 'ent to sit on top of the aged mon#1s room to prote"t the "asso"#. /s he 'at"hed them starting the fire he #ept on re"iting a spe!! and (!e' some magi" (reath to'ards the -outh'est4 at 'hi"h a 'ind arose and fanned the f!ames up into a 'i!d and roaring (!aFe. What a fireA

-preading (!a"# smo#e4 ;eaping red f!ames8 The spreading (!a"# smo#e (!otted out a!! the stars in the s#64 The !eaping red f!ames made the earth g!o' red for hundreds of mi!es. When it started 3t 'as a g!eaming go!den sna#e8 ;ater on

3t 'as a spirited horse. The Three -pirits of the -outh sho'ed their might4 The .ire 5od 0ui!u 'ie!ded his magi" po'er4 The (one−dr6 #ind!ing (urned fero"ious!64 /s 'hen the 7mperor -uiren dri!!ed 'ood to start a fire. .!ames !eapt up from the (oi!ing oi! (efore the doors4 righter than 'hen ;ord ;ao Li opens his furna"e. /s the "rue! fire spreads4 What "an stop this 'i!!fu! murderG 3nstead of dea!ing 'ith the disaster The6 a(etted it. /s the 'ind fanned the fire. The f!ames f!e' man6 mi!es high8 /s the fire gre' in the might of the 'ind4 -par#s (urst through the 2ine 0ea+ens. Cra"#ing and (anging4 ;i#e fire"ra"#ers at the end of the 6ear8 9opping and (ursting4 ;i#e "annon−fire in (att!e. 2one of the uddha statues "ou!d es"ape the (!aFe4 /nd the guardian gods in the 7astern "ourt had no'here to hide. 3t 'as fier"er that the fire−atta"# at ,ed C!iff4 $r the (urning of the 7pang 9a!a"e.

/ sing!e spar# "an start a prairie fire. 3n a fe' moments the raging 'ind had (!o'n the fire up into an inferno4 and the 'ho!e 5uan6in Bonaster6 'as red. ;oo# at the mon#s as the6 mo+e a'a6 (oDes and (as#ets4 gra((ing ta(!es and "arr6ing "oo#ing−pots on their heads. The 'ho!e monaster6 'as fu!! of the sound of shouting and 'eeping. rother Bon#e6 prote"ted the a((ot1s rooms at the (a"#4 and the /nti−fire Co+er "o+ered the meditation ha!! in front8 e+er6'here e!se the fire raged4 its red f!ames ref!e"ted in the s#6 and its daFF!ing (rightness shining through the 'a!!.

When the fire (ro#e out4 a!! the anima!s and de+i!s of the mountain 'ere distur(ed. -e+en mi!es due -outh of the 5uan6in Bonaster6 'as the !a"# Wind Bountain4 on 'hi"h there 'as a !a"# Wind Ca+e. 3n this "a+e a monster a'o#e and sat up. -eeing !ight streaming in through his 'indo'4 he thought it must (e da'n4 (ut 'hen he got up to ta#e a (etter !oo# he sa' a fire (!aFing to the 2orth. @ !ime64@ the monster eD"!aimed 'ith astonishment4 @those "are!ess mon#s must ha+e set the 5uan6in Bonaster6 on fire. 31d (etter go and he!p them.@ The good monster !eapt off on a "!oud and 'ent do'n (e!o' the smo#e and f!ames that rea"hed up to the s#6. The front ha!!s 'ere a!! empt64 and the fire 'as (urning (right in the "!oisters on either side. 0e rushed for'ard 'ith !ong strides and 'as Eust "a!!ing for 'ater 'hen he noti"ed that the rooms at the (a"# 'ere not (urning as there 'as someone on the roof #eeping the 'ind a'a6. The moment he rea!iFed this and rushed in to !oo#4 he sa' a magi" g!o' and propitious +apours "oming from a (!a"# fe!t (und!e on the ta(!e. $n opening it he found it "ontained a (ro"ade "asso"# that 'as a rare treasure of the uddhist re!igion. 0is mind distur(ed (6 the sight of this +a!ua(!e o(Ee"t4 he forgot a(out putting out the fire or "a!!ing for 'ater and gra((ed the "asso"#4 'hi"h he made off 'ith in the genera! "onfusion. Then he 'ent straight (a"# to his "a+e (6 "!oud. The fire (!aFed on ti!! da'n (efore (urning itse!f out. The undraped mon#s ho'!ed and 'ai!ed as the6 sear"hed through the ashes for (ronFe and iron4 and pi"#ed o+er the "inders to find go!d and si!+er. -ome of them fiDed up that"hed she!ters in 'hat remained of the frames of the (ui!dings4 and others 'ere rigging up pots to "oo# food at the (ases of the eDposed 'a!!s. We 'i!! not des"ri(e the 'eeping4 the shouting and the "onfused hu((u(. rother Bon#e6 gra((ed the /nti−fire Co+er4 too# it (a"# to the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en 'ith a sing!e somersau!t4 and returned it to the road−+isioned 0ea+en!6 Cing 'ith than#s. @5reat -age4@ said the 0ea+en!6 Cing as he a""epted it. @?ou are as good as 6our 'ord. 3 'as so 'orried that if 6ou didn1t gi+e me (a"# m6 treasure4 31d ne+er (e a(!e to find 6ou and get it off 6ou. Than# goodness 6ou1+e returned it.@ @/m 3 the sort of (!o#e 'ho1d "heat someone to his fa"eG@ as#ed Bon#e6. @/fter a!!4 13f 6ou return a thing proper!6 'hen 6ou (orro' it4 it1!! (e easier to (orro' it neDt time.1@ @/s 'e ha+en1t met for so !ong4 'h6 don1t 6ou "ome into the pa!a"e for a 'hi!eG@ said the 0ea+en!6 Cing. @31m no !onger the man to 1sit on the (en"h ti!! it rots4 ta!#ing a(out the uni+erse41@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @31m too (us6 no' that 3 ha+e to !oo# after the Tang Bon#. 9!ease eD"use me.@ ;ea+ing 'ith a!! speed4 he 'ent do'n on his "!oud4 and sa' that the sun 'as rising as he 'ent straight to the meditation ha!!4 'here he shoo# himse!f4 turned into a (ee4 and f!e' in. $n re+erting to his true form he sa' that his master 'as sti!! sound as!eep. @Baster4 get up4 it1s da'n4@ he "a!!ed. -anFang 'o#e up4 ro!!ed o+er4 and said4 @?es4 so it is.@ When he had dressed he opened the doors4 'ent outside4 and sa' the 'a!!s reddened and in ruins4 and the ha!!s and to'ers gone. @5oodness4@ he eD"!aimed in great astonishment4 @'h6 ha+e the (ui!dings a!! disappearedG Wh6 is there nothing (ut reddened 'a!!sG@ @?ou1re sti!! as!eep4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @There 'as a fire !ast night.@ @Wh6 didn1t 3 #no' a(out itG@ -anFang as#ed.

@3 'as prote"ting the meditation ha!!4 and as 3 "ou!d see 6ou 'ere as!eep4 master4 3 didn1t distur( 6ou4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @3f 6ou 'ere a(!e to prote"t the meditation ha!!4 'h6 didn1t 6ou put out the fire in the other (ui!dingsG@ -anFang as#ed. Bon#e6 !aughed. @31!! te!! 6ou4 master. What 6ou predi"ted a"tua!!6 happened. The6 fan"ied that "asso"# of ours and p!anned to (urn us to death. 3f 3 hadn1t noti"ed4 'e1d (e (ones and ashes (6 no'.@ @*id the6 start the fireG@ as#ed -anFang 'ho 'as horrified to !earn this. @Who e!seG@ rep!ied Bon#e6. @/re 6ou sure that 6ou didn1t "oo# this up (e"ause the6 'ere rude to 6ouG@ -anFang as#ed. @31m not su"h a ras"a! as to do a thing !i#e that4@ said Bon#e6. @0onest!6 and tru!64 the6 started it. $f "ourse4 'hen 3 sa' ho' +i"ious the6 'ere 3 didn1t he!p put the (!aFe out. 3 he!ped them 'ith a s!ight (reeFe instead.@ @0ea+ensA 0ea+ensA When a fire starts 6ou shou!d (ring 'ater4 not 'ind.@ @?ou must #no' the o!d sa6ing−−13f peop!e didn1t harm tigers4 tigers 'ou!dn1t hurt peop!e.1 3f the6 hadn1t started a fire4 3 'ou!dn1t ha+e "aused a 'ind.@ @Where1s the "asso"#G *on1t sa6 that it1s (een (urnt too.@ @3t1s a!! right8 it hasn1t (een (urnt. The a((ots1 "e!! 'here it 'as #ept didn1t "at"h fire.@ @3 don1t "are 'hat 6ou sa6. 3f it1s "ome to an6 harm4 31!! re"ite that spe!! ti!! it #i!!s 6ou.@ @*on1t do that4@ p!eaded Bon#e6 desperate!64 @3 promise to (ring that "asso"# (a"# to 6ou. Wait 'hi!e 3 fet"h it for 6ou4 and then 'e1!! (e on our 'a6.@ With -anFang !eading the horse4 and Bon#e6 "arr6ing the !uggage4 the6 'ent out of the meditation ha!! and straight to the a((ot1s !odgings at the (a"#. When the grief−stri"#en mon#s of the monaster6 sudden!6 sa' master and dis"ip!e emerge 'ith horse and !uggage from the meditation ha!! the6 'ere terrified out of their 'its4 and s"reamed4 @Their a+enging ghosts ha+e "ome to demand our !i+es.@ @What do 6ou mean4 a+enging ghosts "oming to demand 6our !i+esG@ Bon#e6 shouted. @5i+e us (a"# our "asso"# at on"e.@ The mon#s a!! fe!! to their #nees and #o'to'ed4 sa6ing4 @Basters4 'rongs are a!'a6s a+enged4 and de(ts a!'a6s ha+e to (e paid. 3f 6ou 'ant !i+es4 it1s nothing to do 'ith us8 3t 'as the o!d mon# and road 9!ans 'ho "oo#ed up the p!ot to #i!! 6ou. 9!ease don1t punish us.@ Bon#e6 snorted 'ith anger and roared4 @31!! get 6ou4 6ou damned anima!s. Who as#ed for an6one1s !ifeG <ust (ring out that "asso"# and 'e1!! (e on our 'a6.@ T'o (ra+e men from among the mon#s said4 @Basters4 6ou 'ere (urnt to death in the meditation ha!!4 and no' 6ou "ome (a"# to as# for the "asso"#. /re 6ou men or ghostsG@

@?ou "att!e4@ sneered Bon#e64 @there 'asn1t an6 fire. 5o and !oo# at the meditation ha!! and then 'e1!! see 'hat 6ou ha+e to sa6.@ The mon#s rose to their feet4 and 'hen the6 'ent for'ard to !oo#4 the6 sa' that there 'as not e+en the s!ightest tra"e of s"or"hing on the door and the 'indo'−frames. The mon#s4 no' stru"# 'ith fear4 rea!iFed that -anFang 'as a di+ine priest4 and Bon#e6 a guardian god. The6 a!! #o'to'ed to the pair of them and said4 @$ur e6es are (!ind. We fai!ed to re"ogniFe saints sent do'n from 0ea+en. ?our "asso"# is in the a((ot1s rooms at the (a"#.@ -anFang 'ent past a num(er of ruined 'a!!s and (ui!dings4 sighing end!ess!64 and sa' that the a((ot1s rooms at the (a"# had indeed not (een (urnt. The mon#s a!! rushed in shouting. @5randad4 the Tang priest is a saint4 and instead of (eing (urnt to death he1s 're"#ed our home. ring the "asso"# out at on"e and gi+e it (a"# to him.@ 2o' the o!d mon# had (een una(!e to find the "asso"#4 'hi"h "oming on top of the destru"tion of the monaster6 had him distraught 'ith 'orr6. When the mon#s as#ed him for it4 he 'as una(!e to rep!6. -eeing no 'a6 out of his >uandar64 he (ent his head do'n and dashed it against the 'a!!. 0e smashed his s#u!! open and eDpired as his (!ood poured a!! o+er the f!oor. There are some +erses a(out it%

/!as that the aged mon# in his fo!!6 ;i+ed so !ong a !ife for nothing. 0e 'anted the "asso"# as an heir!oom for the monaster6. .orgetting that 'hat is uddha1s is not as morta! things. /s he too# the "hangea(!e for the eterna!4 0is sorr6 end 'as >uite ine+ita(!e. What use 'ere road Wisdom and road 9!ansG To harm others for gain a!'a6s fai!s.

The other mon#s (egan to ho'! in desperation4 @$ur 9atriar"h has dashed his (rains out4 and 'e "an1t find the "asso"#4 so 'hate+er sha!! 'e doG@ @3 thin# 6ou1+e hidden it some'here4@ Bon#e6 said. @Come out4 a!! of 6ou4 and (ring me a!! the registers. 31m going to "he"# that 6ou1re a!! here.@ The senior and Eunior a((ots (rought the t'o registers in 'hi"h a!! the mon#s4 no+i"es4 pages4 and ser+ants 'ere registered. There 'ere a tota! of t'o hundred and thirt6 names in them. /s#ing his master to sit in the p!a"e of honour4 Bon#e6 "a!!ed out and mar#ed off ea"h of the names4 ma#ing the mon#s open up their "!othes for his inspe"tion. When he had "he"#ed ea"h one "arefu!!6 there 'as no sign of the "asso"#. Then he sear"hed "arefu!!6 through a!! the (oDes and (as#ets that had (een sa+ed from the f!ames4 (ut again he "ou!d find no tra"e of it. -anFang4 no' a(so!ute!6 furious 'ith rother Bon#e64 started to re"ite the spe!! as he sat up high. Bon#e6 fe!! to the ground in great agon64 "!ut"hing his head and p!eading4 @-top4 stop4 3 s'ear to return the "asso"# to 6ou.@ The mon#s4 trem(!ing at the sight4 (egged him to stop4 and on!6 then did he shut his mouth and desist.

Bon#e6 !eapt to his feet4 too# his iron "udge! from (ehind his ear4 and 'as going to hit the mon#s 'hen -anFang shouted4 @?ou ape4 aren1t 6ou afraid of another heada"heG /re 6ou going to mis(eha+e againG *on1t mo+e 6our hand or hurt an6one. 3 'ant 6ou to >uestion them again instead.@ The mon#s a!! #o'to'ed to him and entreated him most pitifu!!6 to spare their !i+es. @We1+e honest!6 not seen it. 3t1s a!! that dead o!d (astard1s fau!t. /fter he sa' 6our "asso"# 6esterda6 e+ening he "ried ti!! !ate into the night4 not e+en 'anting to !oo# at it as he 'or#ed out a p!an (6 'hi"h it "ou!d (e!ong to the monaster6 for e+er. 0e 'anted to (urn 6ou to death4 masters4 (ut 'hen the fire started4 a ga!e 'ind (!e' up4 and 'e 'ere a!! (us6 tr6ing to put the (!aFe out and mo+e a'a6 'hat stuff 'e "ou!d. We don1t #no' 'here the "asso"# 'ent.@ Bon#e6 'ent into the a((ot1s >uarters at the (a"# in a great rage and "arried out the "orpse of the o!d mon# 'ho had #i!!ed himse!f. When he stripped the (od6 he found no treasures on it4 so he dug up the f!oor of his room to a depth of three feet4 again 'ithout finding a sign of the "asso"#. Bon#e6 thought for a moment and then as#ed4 @/re there an6 monsters turned spirits around hereG@ @3f 6ou hadn1t as#ed4 sir4 31d ne+er ha+e imagined 6ou 'anted to #no'4@ the a((ot rep!ied. @There is a mountain due -outh of here "a!!ed the !a"# Wind Bountain4 and in the !a"# Wind Ca+e−on it there !i+es a 5reat !a"# Cing. That o!d dead (astard of ours 'as a!'a6s dis"ussing the Wa6 'ith him. There aren1t an6 other e+i! spirits apart from him.@ @0o' far is the mountain from hereG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @$n!6 a(out se+en mi!es4@ the a((ot rep!ied. @3t1s the mountain 6ou "an see o+er there.@ Bon#e6 smi!ed and said to -anFang. @*on1t 'orr64 master4 there1s no need to as# an6 more >uestions. 2o dou(t a(out it% it must ha+e (een sto!en (6 that (!a"# monster.@ @ ut his p!a"e is se+en mi!es from here4 so ho' "an 6ou (e sure it 'as himG@ -anFang as#ed. @?ou didn1t see the fire !ast night4@ rother Bon#e6 retorted. @The f!ames 'ere !eaping up hundreds of mi!es high4 and the g!o' penetrated the trip!e hea+ens. ?ou "ou!d ha+e seen it se+ent6 mi!es a'a64 !et a!one se+en. 31m "on+in"ed that he sa' the g!are and too# the "han"e to s!ip o+er here >uiet!6. When he sa' that our "asso"# 'as a treasure4 he must ha+e sto!en it in the "onfusion. <ust 'ait 'hi!e 3 go and find him.@ @3f 6ou go4 'ho1s going to prote"t meG@ as#ed -anFang. @*on1t 'orr64 gods are 'at"hing o+er 6ou in se"ret4 and in the +isi(!e sphere 31!! ma#e these mon#s ser+e 6ou.@ With that he "a!!ed the "ommunit6 together and said4 @3 'ant some of 6ou to go and (ur6 that o!d ghost4 and some of 6ou to ser+e m6 master and !oo# after our 'hite horse.@ The mon#s a!! assented o(edient!64 and Bon#e6 "ontinued4 @3 'on1t ha+e 6ou agreeing g!i(!6 no' (ut not 'aiting on them 'hen 31+e gone. Those of 6ou 'ho !oo# after m6 master must do so 'ith p!easant eDpressions on 6our fa"es4 and those 'ho feed the horse must ma#e sure he gets the right amount of ha6 and 'ater. 3f there1s the s!ightest mista#e4 31!! hit 6ou !i#e this.@ 0e pu!!ed out his "udge!4 and smashed a fire−(a#ed (ri"# 'a!! to smithereens8 the sho"# from this shoo# do'n se+en or eight more 'a!!s. /t the sight of this the mon#s1 (ones turned to Ee!!64 and the6 #ne!t do'n and #o'to'ed to him 'ith tears pouring do'n their "hee#s. @*on1t 'orr64 master4 6ou "an go−−'e1!! !oo# after him. We promise not to sho' an6 disrespe"t.@ The sp!endid Bon#e6 then 'ent straight to the !a"# Wind Bountain 'ith a !eap of his somersau!t "!oud to !oo# for the "asso"#.

The 5o!den Ci"ada !eft the "apita! in sear"h of the truth4 ;eaning on his staff as he 'ent to the distant West. /!ong his route 'ere tigers4 !eopards and 'o!+es8 .e' 'ere the artisans4 mer"hants4 or s"ho!ars he met. 3n a foreign !and (e en"ountered a stupid and "o+etous mon#4 /nd depended entire!6 on the might6 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en. When fire and 'ind destro6ed the monaster64 / (!a"# (ear "ame one night to stea! the si!#en "asso"#.

3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hether the "asso"# 'as found on this Eourne6 or ho' things turned out4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment. Chapter 17 rother Bon#e6 Ba#es Trou(!e on the !a"# Wind Bountain 5uan6in -u(dues the ear -pirit /s Bon#e6 !eapt up 'ith a somersau!t4 the senior and Eunior mon#s4 the no+i"es4 the page−(o6s4 and the ser+ants of the monaster6 a!! (o'ed !o' to the s#6 and said4 @Baster4 6ou must (e a "!oud−riding 3mmorta! "ome do'n from 0ea+en. 2o 'onder that fire "an1t (urn 6ou. *amn that stupid o!d s#inf!int of ours% he destro6ed himse!f 'ith his o'n s"heming.@ @9!ease rise4 gent!emen4@ rep!ied -anFang4 @there1s no need to hate him. 3f m6 dis"ip!e finds the "asso"# our trou(!es 'i!! a!! "ome to an end8 (ut if he doesn1t find it4 he has rather a nast6 temper and 31m afraid that none of 6ou 'i!! es"ape 'ith 6our !i+es.@ When the6 heard this 'arning4 the mon#s1 hearts 'ere in their mouths4 and the6 imp!ored 0ea+en to !et him find the "asso"# and spare their !i+es. $n"e in mid−air4 the 5reat -age -un Wu#ong rea"hed at the !a"# Wind Bountain 'ith one t'ist of his 'aist. -topping his "!oud 'hi!e he too# a "arefu! !oo# around4 he sa' that it 'as indeed a fine mountain. 3t 'as a spring da6%

The m6riad +a!!e6s1 streams "ompete4 / thousand pre"ipi"es +ie in (eaut6. Where the (irds "a!!4 no man is8 When the (!ossoms fa!!4 the trees are sti!! fragrant.

/fter the rain4 the s#6 and the !o'ering "!iff are moist8 /s the pines (end in the 'ind4 the6 spread an emera!d s"reen. The mountain her(s gro'4 The 'i!d f!o'ers (!ossom4 0anging o+er (eet!ing "rags8 The 'i!d fig thri+es /nd fine trees f!ourish $n "ragg6 range and f!at−topped hi!!. ?ou meet no hermits4 /nd "an find no 'ood−"utters. eside the stream a pair of "ranes drin#4 /nd 'i!d apes gam(o! on the ro"#s. 9ea#s !i#e musse!−she!!s4 g!eaming (!a"#4 ;oft6 and green as the6 shine through the mist.

/s Bon#e6 'as !oo#ing at the mountain s"ener6 he heard +oi"es from in front of the grass6 s!ope. 0e s!ipped off to "on"ea! himse!f under the ro"#−fa"e and ta#e a dis"reet !oo#. 0e sa' three fiends sitting on the ground. /t the head 'as a dar# fe!!o'4 to his !eft 'as a Taoist4 and to his right a 'hite−ro(ed s"ho!ar4 and the6 'ere a!! ta!#ing a(out !oft6 and (road matters% a(out refining "inna(ar and mer"ur6 'ith tripods and "au!drons8 and a(out the 'hite sno'4 mer"ur64 the 6e!!o' sprout4 !ead4 and other esoteri" tea"hings. 3n the midd!e of this the dar# fe!!o' said4 @/s it1s m6 (irthda6 tomorro'4 3 hope 6ou t'o gent!emen 'i!! do me the honour of "oming a!ong.@ @We "e!e(rate 6our (irthda6 e+er6 6ear4 ?our BaEest64@ the 'hite−ro(ed s"ho!ar rep!ied4 @so of "ourse 'e sha!! "ome this 6ear.@ @3 "ame (6 a treasure !ast night4@ the dar# fe!!o' 'ent on4 @a (ro"ade "asso"# for a uddha4 and it1s a 'onderfu! thing. 31m going to gi+e a (ig (an>uet for it the da6 after tomorro' and 31m in+iting a!! 6ou mountain offi"ia!s to "ome and "ongratu!ate me4 'hi"h is 'h6 31m "a!!ing it a 1 uddha1s ,o(e an>uet.1@ @Wonderfu!4 'onderfu!4@ the Taoist eD"!aimed 'ith a smi!e. @Tomorro' 31!! "ome to "ongratu!ate 6ou on 6our (irthda64 and the da6 after 31!! "ome again for the (an>uet.@ /s soon as Bon#e6 heard him mention the uddha1s ro(e he 'as sure it 'as their treasure4 and una(!e to ho!d (a"# his anger he !eapt out from the "!iff (randishing his go!d−(anded "udge! 'ith (oth hands and shouting4 @31!! get 6ou4 6ou gang of de+i!s. ?ou sto!e our "asso"#4 and no' 6ou thin# 6ou1re going to ha+e a 1 uddha1s ,o(e an>uet1. 5i+e it (a"# to me at on"e.@

@*on1t mo+e4@ he (ar#ed4 s'inging the "udge! and (ringing it do'n to'ards the monster1s head. The dar# fe!!o' turned into a 'ind to f!ee in terror4 and the Taoist rode off on a "!oud8 so Bon#e6 'as on!6 a(!e to s!a6 the 'hite−ro(ed s"ho!ar 'ith a (!o' from the "!u(. When he dragged the (od6 o+er to !oo# at it4 he sa' that it 'as a 'hite−patterned sna#e spirit. 3n his anger he pi"#ed the "orpse up and tore it to pie"es4 then 'ent into the re"esses of the mountain in sear"h of the dar# fe!!o'. ,ounding a sharp pinna"!e and tra+ersing a diFF6 pre"ipi"e4 he sa' a "a+e pa!a"e in the "!iff%

Thi"#4 mist6 "!ouds4 *ense 'ith "6press and pine. The thi"# and mist6 "!ouds fi!! the gates 'ith "o!or8 The dense stands of "6press and pine surround the door 'ith green. .or a (ridge there is a dried−out !og4 /nd 'i!d fig "oi!s around the mountain pea#s. irds "arr6 red peta!s to the "!oud−fi!!ed +a!!e68 *eer tread on s"ented (ushes as the6 "!im( the stone to'er. efore the gates the season (rings out f!o'ers4 /s the 'ind 'afts their fragran"e. /round the 'i!!o's on the di#e the go!den orio!es 'hee!8 utterf!ies f!it among the pea"h−trees on the (an#. This ordinar6 s"ene "an 6et "ompete With !esser +ie's in .air6!and.

When he rea"hed the gates Bon#e6 sa' that the6 'ere +er6 strong!6 fastened4 and a(o+e them 'as a stone ta(!et ins"ri(ed 'ith the 'ords !a"# Wind Ca+e of the !a"# Wind Bountain in !arge !etters. 0e (randished his "udge! and shouted4 @$pen upA@ at 'hi"h the Eunior de+i! 'ho 'as on the gates opened them and as#ed4 @Who are 6ou4 and ho' dare 6ou "ome and atta"# our 3mmorta!s1 "a+eG@ @?ou damned "ur4@ Bon#e6 rai!ed at him. @0o' dare 6ou "a!! a p!a"e !i#e this an 13mmorta!s1 "a+e1G What right ha+e 6ou to use the 'ord 13mmorta!1G 5o in and te!! that dar# fe!!o' of 6ours that if he gi+es (a"# m6 "asso"# at on"e4 31!! spare 6our !i+es.@

The Eunior de+i! rushed in and reported4 @The 1 uddha1s ,o(e an>uet1 is off4 ?our BaEest6. There1s hair6−fa"ed thunder god outside the gates 'ho1s demanding the "asso"#.@ The dar# fe!!o'4 'ho had (are!6 had time to shut the gates and had not e+en sat do'n proper!6 sin"e rother Bon#e6 "hased him4 a'a6 from the grass6 s!ope4 thought on hearing this ne's4 @This 'ret"h has "ome from 3 don1t #no' 'here4 and no' he has the effronter6 to "ome 6e!!ing at m6 gates.@ 0e "a!!ed for his armour4 tightened his (e!t4 and strode out of the gates 'ith a (!a"#−tasse!ed spear in his hands. Bon#e6 appeared outside the gates ho!ding his iron "udge! and g!aring 'ide−e6ed at that fero"ious−!oo#ing monster.

0is (o'!−shaped iron he!met shone !i#e fire8 0is (!a"# (ronFe armour g!eamed. / (!a"# si!# go'n 'ith (i!!o'ing s!ee+es4 / dar# green si!#en sash 'ith fringes. 3n his hands a spear 'ith (!a"# tasse!s4 $n his feet a pair of dar# !eather (oots. ;ightning f!ashed from his go!den pupi!s8 0e 'as indeed the !a"# Wind Cing of the mountains.

@This 'ret"h !oo#s as though he1s (een a (ri"#−(urner or a "oa!−digger4@ Bon#e6 thought as he smi!ed to himse!f. @0e1s so (!a"# he must (e the !o"a! soot−painter.@ @What gi+es 6ou the ner+e to a"t so (ig round here4 mon#4 and 'hat the he!! are 6ouG@ shouted the monster at the top of his +oi"e. Bon#e6 rushed him 'ith his "udge! and roared4 @Cut the "a"#!e4 and gi+e me (a"# the "asso"# at on"e4 #id.@ @What monaster6 d16ou "ome fromG Where did 6ou !ose the "asso"#G Wh6 "ome and as# for it hereG@ @B6 "asso"# 'as in the rear a((ot1s !odgings at the 5uan6in Bonaster6 due 2orth of here. When the monaster6 "aught fire 6ou made the most of the "onfusion to do a (it of !ooting and (rought it (a"# here4 6ou 'ret"h4 and no' 6ou1re p!anning to ho!d a 1 uddha1s ,o(e an>uet1. *on1t tr6 to (raFen it out. 5i+e it (a"# at on"e4 and 31!! spare 6our !ife4 (ut if e+en a hint of a 1no1 gets past 6our teeth 31!! push the !a"# Wind Bountain o+er4 tramp!e 6our "a+e f!at4 and f!atten e+er6 one of 6ou fiends into nood!es.@ The monster !aughed e+i!!6 and rep!ied4 @?ou1+e got a ner+e. ?ou 'ere the one 'ho started the fire !ast night. ?ou 'ere sitting on the roof of the a((ot1s !odgings and "a!!ing up a 'ind to ma#e it 'orse. What1s it to 6ou if 3 did ta#e a "asso"#G Where are 6ou fromG Who are 6ouG ?ou must ha+e a !ot of tri"#s up 6our s!ee+e if 6ou ha+e the ner+e to ta!# so (ig.@

@?ou "an1t re"ogniFe 6our o'n grandfather.@ rother Bon#e6 rep!ied. @34 6our grandfather4 am the dis"ip!e of 0is 0ighness the 9atriar"h -anFang4 the 6ounger (rother of the 7mperor of the 5reat Tang. B6 name is rother -un Wu#ong. 3f 6ou 'ant to #no' a(out m6 tri"#s4 Eust gi+e me the 'ord. 31!! s!aughter 6ou here and no'4 and send 6our sou!s f!6ing.@ @31+e ne+er heard of these tri"#s of 6ours4 so 6ou1d (etter te!! me a(out them.@ @-tand sti!! and !isten to me4 m6 "hi!d4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 and 'ent on to sa6%

@5reat ha+e (een m6 magi" po'ers sin"e "hi!dhood8 Changing 'ith the 'ind4 3 sho' m6 might. 2ourishing m6 nature and "u!ti+ating the truth4 3 ha+e !i+ed out the da6s and months4 -a+ing m6 !ife (6 Eumping (e6ond the "6"!e of re(irth. $n"e 3 sear"hed sin"ere!6 for the Wa6 C!im(ing the -pirit Terra"e Bountain to pi"# medi"ina! her(s. $n that mountain !i+es an an"ient 3mmorta! $ne hundred and eight thousand 6ears o!d. 3 too# him as m6 master4 0oping that he 'ou!d sho' me a road to immorta!it6. 0e said that the e!iDir is in one1s o'n (od6−− 3t is a 'aste of effort to see# it outside. 3 !earned a great spe!! of immorta!it6. 3 "ou!d s"ar"e!6 ha+e sur+i+ed 'ithout it. Turning m6 gaFe in'ards4 3 sat and "a!med m6 mind4 Whi!e the sun and moon in m6 (od6 interming!ed. 3gnoring the affairs of the 'or!d4 3 made m6 desires fe'4 When senses4 (od64 and mind 'ere purified4 m6 (od6 'as firm. ,e+ersing the 6ears and returning to 6outh is then easi!6 done8

The road to immorta!it6 and sagehood 'as not !ong. 3n three 6ears 3 a">uired a magi" (od64 That did not suffer !i#e a "ommon one. 3 'andered around the Ten Continents and Three 3s!ands4 The "orners of the sea and the edge of the s#6. 3 'as due to !i+e o+er three hundred 6ears ut "ou!d not 6et f!6 up to the 2ine 0ea+ens. 3 got a rea! treasure for su(duing sea dragons% /n iron "udge! (anded 'ith go!d. $n the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit 3 'as supreme "ommander8 3n the Water Curtain Ca+e 3 assem(!ed the fiendish hosts. The 5reat <ade 7mperor sent me a de"ree Conferring high ran# and the tit!e 17>ua!ing 0ea+en1. Bore than on"e 3 're"#ed the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist4 /nd sto!e the Kueen Bother1s pea"hes se+era! times. / hundred thousand hea+en!6 so!diers in serried ran#s Came 'ith spears and s'ords to put me do'n. 3 sent the hea+en!6 #ings (a"# up there in defeat4 Bade 2aFha f!ee in pain at the head of his men. The True ;ord 7r!ang4 s#i!!ed at transformations4 ;ao Li4 5uan6in and the <ade 7mperor Wat"hed me (eing su(dued from the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en. /s he 'as gi+en some he!p (6 ;ord ;ao Li4 7r!ang "aptured me and too# to 0ea+en.

3 'as tied to the *emon−su(duing 9i!!ar4 /nd di+ine so!diers 'ere ordered to "ut off m6 head. Though ha"#ed 'ith s'ords and pounded 'ith hammers 3 remained unharmed. -o then 3 'as stru"# 'ith thunder and (urned 'ith fire. /s 3 rea!!6 do ha+e magi" po'ers4 3 'as not in the s!ightest (it afraid. The6 too# me to ;ao Li1s furna"e to (e refined. The -iD *ings roasted me s!o'!6 'ith di+ine fire. When the time 'as up and the furna"e opened4 out 3 Eumped4 /nd rushed round 0ea+en4 m6 "udge! in m6 hand. 2o one "ou!d stop me ma#ing trou(!e e+er6'here4 /nd 3 "aused "haos in the thirt6−three 0ea+ens. Then our Tathagata uddha used his *harma po'er /nd dropped the .i+e 7!ements Bountain on m6 (a"#. There 3 'as "rushed for fu!! fi+e hundred 6ears4 Hnti! -anFang "ame from the !and of Tang. 2o' 3 ha+e reformed and am going to the West To "!im( the Thunder 9ea# and see the uddha. 7n>uire throughout the .our -eas4 0ea+en and 7arth% ?ou1!! find that 31m the greatest monster e+er.

$n hearing this the fiend !aughed and said4 @-o 6ou1re the 9rote"tor of the 0orses 'ho 're"#ed 0ea+en4 are 6ouG@ Bon#e64 'ho got angrier at (eing addressed (6 this tit!e than at an6thing e!se4 'as furious. @?ou +i"ious monster. ?ou stea! the "asso"# and refuse to gi+e it (a"#4 and on top of that 6ou insu!t 6our !ord and master. <ust ho!d it4 and see ho' 6ou !i#e m6 "!u(.@ The dar# fe!!o' dodged the (!o' and then riposted 'ith his spear. The pair of them fought a fine (att!e.

/n /s−?ou−Wi!! "udge!4 / (!a"#−tasse!ed spear4 /nd t'o men sho'ing their toughness at the mouth of a "a+e. $ne sta(s at heart and fa"e4 The other tries for arm and head. This one stri#es "unning sides'ipes 'ith a "!u(4 That one (randishes his spear in three s'ift mo+ements. The 'hite tiger "!im(s the mountain to sin# in his "!a's8 The 6e!!o' dragon !6ing on the road turns round fast. -norting out "o!oured mists4 *isgorging ra6s of !ight4 The t'o immorta! fiends are hard to "hoose (et'een% $ne is the -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en 'ho has "u!ti+ated the truth8 The other is the 5reat !a"# Cing (e"ome a spirit. $n this (att!efie!d in the mountains The pair of them fight for the "asso"#.

The fiend fought some ten in"on"!usi+e rounds 'ith Bon#e64 and as the sun 'as no' rising steadi!6 to'ards the Fenith4 the dar# fe!!o' raised his ha!(erd to (!o"# the iron "udge! and said4 @ rother Bon#e64 !et1s !a6 do'n our arms. 31!! "ome (a"# and fight 6ou again after 31+e eaten.@ @?ou a""ursed (east4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @ho' "an 6ou "a!! 6ourse!f a rea! manG 3f 6ou 'ere4 6ou 'ou!dn1t (e needing to eat after on!6 ha!f a da6. 3 ne+er e+en tasted 'ater on"e in those fi+e hundred 6ears 3 spent under the mountain4 (ut 3 'asn1t hungr6. -top ma#ing eD"uses4 and don1t go. 31!! !et 6ou ha+e 6our mea! if 6ou gi+e me (a"# m6 "asso"#.@ The fiend 'a+ed his ha!(erd in a feint4 'ithdre' into the "a+e4 and shut the doors fast (ehind him. -ummoning his Eunior go(!ins4 he ordered that a (an>uet (e spread and 'rote in+itations as#ing a!! the de+i! #ings of the mountain to "ome to the "e!e(rator6 feast. Bon#e6 "harged the gates (ut 'as una(!e to for"e them open4 so he had to go (a"# to the 5uan6in Bonaster64 'here the mon#s had (uried the o!d patriar"h and 'ere no' a!! in attendan"e on the Tang 9riest in the a((ot1s >uarters. rea#fast 'as o+er4 and !un"h 'as (eing (rought in. <ust as the6 'ere (ringing soup and more hot 'ater4 Bon#e6 des"ended from the s#6. The mon#s a!! (o'ed !o' and too# him into the a((ot1s room to see -anFang.

@/h4 6ou1re (a"#4 Wu#ong4@ he said. @What a(out the "asso"#G@ @31+e found the ans'er. We misEudged these mon#s. 3t 'as in fa"t sto!en (6 a fiend from the !a"# Wind Bountain. 3 'ent to ha+e a >uiet !oo# for him and found him sitting in front of grass6 s!ope ta!#ing to a 'hite−go'ned s"ho!ar and an o!d Taoist. 0e1s a se!f−"onfessed monster4 and he said 'ith his o'n mouth that he 'as in+iting a!! the e+i! spirits to "ome and "e!e(rate his (irthda6 tomorro'4 and that as he had "ome (6 a (ro"ade uddha1s ro(e !ast night he 'anted to "e!e(rate that too4 so he 'as going to gi+e a great feast that he "a!!ed an 1/ssem(!6 for the Ce!e(ration and /dmiration of the uddha1s ,o(e1. 3 rushed him and too# a s'ipe at him 'ith m6 "!u(4 (ut the dar# fe!!o' turned into a puff of 'ind and f!ed. The Taoist disappeared too4 and 3 'as on!6 a(!e to #i!! the 'hite−"!ad s"ho!ar4 'ho 'as a 'hite sna#e turned spirit. 3 'ent to the mouth of his "a+e as fast as 3 "ou!d and to!d him to "ome out and fight me. 0e admitted that he had "arried it off. We fought for ha!f a da6 'ithout either of us 'inning4 and then the monster 'ent (a"# to his "a+e for !un"h and shut the stone gates (ehind him. 0e 'as too s"ared to "ome out again4 so 3 "ame (a"# to gi+e 6ou this ne's4 master. 2o' 'e #no' 'here the "asso"# is4 there1s no need to 'orr6 that he 'on1t gi+e it (a"#.@ $n hearing this4 the mon#s put their hands together or #o'to'ed as the6 in+o#ed /mita(ha eD"!aimed4 @0e1s found 'here it is−−'e1re sa+ed.@ uddha and

@*on1t (e so happ6 a(out it4@ Bon#e6 'arned4 @3 ha+en1t got it 6et4 and m6 master hasn1t !eft 6our monaster6 6et. ?ou1!! ha+e to 'ait ti!! 31+e re"o+ered the "asso"# and m6 master has (een seen off proper!6 from here (efore 6ou "an "onsider 6ourse!+es safe. /nd if there is the s!ightest mista#e4 remem(er that 31m a +er6 >ui"#−tempered (oss. 0a+e 6ou gi+en m6 master the (est food and teaG 0a+e 6ou gi+en m6 horse the (est fodderG@ @?es4 6es4 6es4@ the mon#s hastened to assure him. @We ha+en1t (een remiss in an6 'a6 'hi!e !oo#ing after his ,e+eren"e.@ @Whi!e 6ou 'ere a'a6 a!! morning 31+e drun# tea three times and eaten t'i"e4 and the6 ha+e not (een at a!! offhand 'ith me4@ -anFang eDp!ained. @?ou1d (etter go (a"# and do e+er6thing possi(!e to re"o+er that "asso"#.@ @*on1t (e in su"h a hurr64@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @3 #no' 'here it is4 and 3 guarantee that 31!! "apture this 'ret"h and return the "asso"# to 6ou. There1s no need to 'orr6.@ /s he 'as ta!#ing the senior a((ot "ame in4 set out the +egetarian mea!4 and in+ited ;ord Bon#e6 to eat. /fter s'a!!o'ing a fe' mouthfu!s Bon#e6 mounted his magi" "!oud on"e more and 'ent off on his hunt. $n his 'a6 he sa' a Eunior go(!in going a!ong the main path 'ith a rose'ood (oD under his !eft arm. 5uessing that there must (e some #ind of !etter in the (oD Bon#e6 raised his "udge! and (rought it do'n on his head. The (!o' did not Eust #i!! the go(!in% it !eft him !oo#ing !i#e a ham(urger. Thro'ing his remains aside4 rother Bon#e6 'ren"hed open the (oD and sa' that it "ontained an in+itation%

?our pupi! ear presents his hum(!e greetings to ?our 7D"e!!en"64 the -upreme and :enera(!e $ne of the 5o!den 9oo!% 3 am deep!6 gratefu! for the magnifi"ent #indness that 3 ha+e so fre>uent!6 re"ei+ed from 6ou. When 3 sa' the fire !ast night 3 fai!ed to put it out4 (ut 3 am sure that 6our di+ine inte!!igen"e 'i!! ha+e suffered no harm from it. /s 6our pupi! has (een !u"#6 enough to o(tain a uddha1s ro(e4 3 am gi+ing a (an>uet4 to 'hi"h 3 hope 6ou 'i!! "ome to appre"iate the ro(e. 3 'ou!d (e profound!6 gratefu! if 6ou 'ou!d honour me 'ith 6our presen"e at the appointed time. Written t'o da6s (eforehand.

$n reading this4 Bon#e6 roared 'ith !aughter and said4 @That "roo#ed o!d mon#. 0e thorough!6 deser+ed to (e #i!!ed. 0e1d (een ganging up 'ith e+i! spirits4 had heG 3t1s odd that he shou!d ha+e !i+ed to (e t'o hundred and se+ent6. 3 suppose that e+i! spirit must ha+e taught him a fe' tri"#s a(out "ontro!!ing his +ita! essen"e4 'hi"h 'as 'h6 he !i+ed so !ong. 3 "an remem(er 'hat he !oo#ed !i#e4 so 3 thin# 31!! ma#e m6se!f !oo# !i#e him and go into that "a+e. This 'a6 3 "an see 'here he1s put that "asso"#4 and if 31m !u"#6 31!! (e a(!e to get (a"# and sa+e a !ot of trou(!e. The sp!endid 5reat -age re"ited a spe!!4 fa"ed the 'ind4 and made himse!f !oo# Eust !i#e the o!d mon#. 0e hid his "udge!4 'a!#ed straight to the entran"e of the "a+e4 and shouted4 @$pen up.@ The Eunior go(!in opened up4 and as soon as he sa' him he rushed (a"# to report4 @?our BaEest64 the 7!der of the 5o!den 9oo! is here.@ The monster 'as astounded. @31+e on!6 Eust sent a 6oungster 'ith an in+itation for him4 and the message "an1t ha+e rea"hed him 6et. 0o' "ou!d he possi(!6 ha+e got here so fastG The 6oungster "an1t e+en ha+e met him. $(+ious!6 rother Bon#e6 has sent him here to as# for the "asso"#. -te'ard4 hide that "asso"# some'here 'here he 'on1t see it.@ /s he "ame to the front gates Bon#e6 sa' that the "ourt6ard 'as green 'ith (am(oo and "6press4 'hi!e pea"h and p!um trees +ied in (eaut6 amid (!ossoming shru(s and fragrant or"hids. 3t 'as a "a+e paradise. 0e a!so sa' a "oup!et ins"ri(ed on the gates that read%

3n pea"efu! retirement deep in the hi!!s4 one is free of +u!gar 'orries8 *'e!!ing >uiet!6 in a magi" "a+e4 happ6 in di+ine simp!i"it6.

@This 'ret"h has es"aped from the dirt and dust of the 'or!d4@ thought Bon#e64 @and is a fiend 'ho understands !ife.@ 5oing through the gates he 'ent further inside and passed through a trip!e gate. 0ere 'ere "ar+ed and painted (eams4 !ight 'indo's and "o!oured doors. 0e sa' that the dar# fe!!o' 'as 'earing a dar# green si!#en tuni" o+er 'hi"h 'as s!ung a (!a"# patterned si!# "!oa#8 on his head 'as a soft (!a"# hat4 and on his feet a pair of dus#6 deers#in (oots. When he sa' Bon#e6 approa"hing he straightened his "!othes and "ame do'n the steps to greet him 'ith the 'ords4 @31+e (een !oo#ing for'ard to seeing 6ou for da6s4 5o!den 9oo!. 9!ease ta#e a seat.@ Bon#e6 returned his "ourtesies4 and 'hen the6 had finished greeting ea"h other the6 sat do'n and dran# tea. Then the e+i! spirit (o'ed and said4 @3 sent 6ou a note Eust no' as#ing 6ou to "ome o+er the da6 after tomorro'. Wh6 is it that 6ou1+e "ome to see me toda64 o!d friendG@ @3 'as on m6 'a6 here to +isit 6ou 'hen 3 happened to see 6our message that 6ou 'ere gi+ing a 1 uddha1s ,o(e an>uet41 so 3 hurried o+er to as# 6ou to !et me ha+e a !oo#.@ @?ou1+e misunderstood4 o!d friend4@ rep!ied the e+i! monster 'ith a smi!e. @3t1s the Tang 9riest1s "asso"#4 and as he1s (een sta6ing at 6our p!a"e 6ou must ha+e seen it there. Wh6 "ome here to see itG@

@When 3 (orro'ed it4@ Bon#e6 said4 @it 'as too !ate at night for me to (e a(!e to !oo# at it. -in"e then4 to m6 great surprise4 it has (een ta#en (6 ?our BaEest6. $n top of that4 the monaster6 has (een (urnt do'n and 3 ha+e !ost e+er6thing 3 o'n. That dis"ip!e of the Tang 9riest1s is >uite a (o!d fe!!o'4 (ut he "ou!d not find it an6'here. 3 ha+e "ome here to !oo# at it as ?our BaEest6 has had the great good fortune to re"o+er it.@ /s the6 'ere ta!#ing4 a Eunior go(!in "ame in from patro!!ing the mountain to announ"e4 @?our BaEest64 a terri(!e thing1s happened. rother Bon#e6 has #i!!ed the !ieutenant 'ho is ta#ing the in+itation (6 the main path4 and ta#en the "han"e of ma#ing himse!f !oo# !i#e the 7!der of the 5o!den 9oo! to "ome here and tri"# the uddha1s ro(e out of 6ou.@ @3 'ondered 'h6 the e!der "ame toda64@ the monster thought4 @and 'h6 he "ame so soon4 and no' 3 see that it1s rea!!6 hi!." 0e !eapt to his feet4 gra((ed his ha!(erd4 and thrust at Bon#e6. Bon#e6 pu!!ed the "udge! from his ear in a f!ash4 re+erted to his true form4 parried the ha!(erd1s (!ade4 Eumped out from the main room into the "ourt6ard4 and fought his 'a6 (a"# out through the front gates. This terrified a!! the fiends in the "a+e4 s"aring the 'its out of 6oung and o!d a!i#e. The fine "om(at on the mountain that ensued 'as e+en (etter than the pre+ious one.

The "ourageous Bon#e6 Cing 'as no' a mon#4 The "unning dar# fe!!o' had hidden the uddha1s ro(e. /t mat"hing 'ords the6 'ere (oth masters8 3n ma#ing the most of "han"es there 'as nothing (et'een them. The "asso"# "ou!d not (e seen4 'hate+er one 'ished8 / hidden treasure is a true 'onder. When the Eunior demon on mountain patro! announ"ed a disaster4 The o!d fiend in his fur6 sho'ed his might. Bon#e6 transformed himse!f and fought his 'a6 out of the "a+e4 /s ha!(erd and "udge! stro+e to de"ide the issue. The "!u( (!o"#ed the !ength6 ha!(erd 'ith resounding "!angs8 The ha!(erd g!eamed as it parried the iron "!u(. -un Wu#ong1s transformations 'ere rare on earth8 .e' "ou!d ri+a! the fou! fiend1s magi". $ne 'anted to ta#e the ro(e to (ring himse!f !ong !ife8 $ne had to ha+e the "asso"# to return 'ith honour.

This (itter strugg!e 'as not to (e (ro#en up8 7+en a ;i+ing uddha "ou!d not ha+e reso!+ed it.

.rom the mouth of the "a+e the pair of them fought to the top of the mountain4 and from the top of the mountain the6 (att!ed their 'a6 (e6ond the "!ouds. The6 (reathed out 'ind and mist4 set sand and stones f!6ing4 and strugg!ed ti!! the red sun set in the West4 (ut the "ontest 'as sti!! unde"ided. Then the monster said4 @-top for the moment4 Bon#e6. 3t1s too !ate to go on fighting tonight. 5o a'a64 go a'a6. Come (a"# tomorro'4 and 'e1!! see 'hi"h of us is to !i+e and 'hi"h to die.@ @*on1t go4 m6 "hi!d4@ Bon#e6 shouted (a"#. @3f 6ou 'ant to fight4 fight proper!6. *on1t use the time of da6 as an eD"use to get out of it.@ With that he stru"# 'i!d!6 at the dar# fe!!o'4 'ho "hanged himse!f into a puff of 'ind4 'ent (a"# to his "a+e4 and fastened the stone gates tight!6 shut. Bon#e6 "ou!d thin# of no a!ternati+e to going (a"# to the 5uan6in Bonaster6. ringing his "!oud do'n4 he "a!!ed to his master4 'ho had (een 'aiting for him anDious!6 unti! he appeared sudden!6 (efore his e6es. -anFang 'as +er6 g!ad4 unti! seeing that there 'as no "asso"# in Bon#e61s hands his happiness turned to fear. @Wh6 ha+en1t 6ou got the "asso"# this time eitherG@ he as#ed. rother Bon#e6 produ"ed the in+itation from his s!ee+e4 and as he handed it to -anFang he said4 @Baster4 that fiend 'as friends 'ith that dead "roo#. 0e sent a Eunior go(!in 'ith this in+itation as#ing him to go to a 1 uddha1s ,o(e an>uet1. 3 #i!!ed the go(!in4 made m6se!f !oo# !i#e the o!d mon#4 'ent into the "a+e4 and tri"#ed a "up of tea out of them. 3 as#ed him to !et me see the "asso"#4 (ut he 'ou!dn1t (ring it out. Then as 'e 'ere sitting there a mountain patro!man of some sort ga+e the game a'a64 so he started to fight me. We fought ti!! Eust no'4 and neither of us 'as on top4 'hen he sa' that it 'as !ate4 shot (a"# to his "a+e and shut the stone doors (ehind him. This meant that 3 had to "ome (a"# for the moment.@ @0o' do 6our tri"#s "ompare 'ith hisG@ -anFang as#ed. @31m not mu"h (etter than him4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @and 3 "an on!6 #eep m6 end up.@ -anFang read the in+itation and handed it to the pre!ate. @Can it (e that 6our 9atriar"h 'as an e+i! spiritG@ he said. The pre!ate fe!! to #nees as fast as he "ou!d and said4 @B6 !ord4 he 'as human. ut (e"ause that 5reat !a"# Cing 'as "u!ti+ating the 'a6s of humanit6 he often "ame to our temp!e to dis"uss the s"riptures 'ith our 9atriar"h4 and taught him some of the arts of nourishing the di+ine and "ontro!!ing the +ita! essen"e. That 'as 'h6 the6 'ere on friend!6 terms.@ @2one of these mon#s ha+e an6thing satani" a(out them4@ Bon#e6 said. @The6 a!! ha+e their heads in the air and their feet on the ground4 and are ta!!er and fatter than 3 am. The61re not e+i! spirits. *o 6ou see 'here it sa6s 1?our pupi! ear1 on the in+itationG 0e must (e a (!a"# (ear 'ho has (e"ome a spirit.@ To this -anFang said4 @There1s an o!d sa6ing that 1 ears and (a(oons are a!i#e1. 3f the6 are a!! anima!s4 ho' "an the6 (e"ome spiritsG@ Bon#e6 !aughed and rep!ied4 @31m an anima! too4 (ut 3 (e"ame the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en. 31m Eust the same as him. /!! the "reatures on hea+en and earth that ha+e nine openings to their (odies "an "u!ti+ate their "ondu"t and (e"ome 3mmorta!s.@

@<ust no' 6ou said his a(i!ities 'ere the same as 6ours4 so ho' are 6ou going to (eat him and get the "asso"# (a"#G@ -anFang 'ent on to as#. @*on1t 'orr64 don1t 'orr64@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @3 "an manage.@ /s the6 'ere ta!#ing4 the mon#s (rought their e+ening mea! and in+ited them to eat. The -anFang as#ed for a !amp and 'ent to (ed in the front meditation ha!! as (efore. The mon#s a!! s!ept under that"hed she!ters rigged up against the 'a!!s4 !ea+ing the a((ot1s >uarters at the (a"# for the senior and Eunior pre!ate. 3t 'as a pea"efu! night.

The Bi!#6 Wa6 'as "!ear4 The Eade firmament free of dust. The s#6 'as fu!! of "orus"ating stars4 / sing!e 'a+e 'iped out the tra"es. -ti!!ed 'ere a!! sounds4 /nd the (irds 'ere si!ent on a thousand hi!!s. The fisherman1s !ight (eside the (an# 'as out4 The uddha−!amp in the pagoda dimmed. ;ast night the a((ot1s (e!! and drum had sounded8 This e+ening the air 'as fi!!ed 'ith 'eeping.

This night he spent as!eep in the monaster6. -anFang4 ho'e+er4 "ou!d not s!eep for thin#ing a(out the "asso"#. 0e turned o+er4 and seeing that the s#6 'as gro'ing !ight outside the 'indo'4 got straight out of (ed and said4 @Bon#e64 it1s !ight4 go and get the "asso"#.@ rother Bon#e6 (ounded out of (ed4 and in an instant a host of mon#s 'as in attendan"e4 offering hot 'ater. @;oo# after m6 master proper!64@ he said. @31m off.@ -anFang got out of (ed and seiFed ho!d of him. @Where are 6ou goingG@ he as#ed. @31+e (een thin#ing4@ said Bon#e64 @that this 'ho!e (usiness is the odhisatt+a 5uan6in1s fau!t. /!though this is her monaster6 and she re"ei+es the 'orship of a!! these mon#s4 she a!!o's that e+i! spirit to !i+e in the neigh(ourhood. 31m going to the -outhern -ea to find her and as# her to "ome here herse!f to ma#e that e+i! spirit gi+e us (a"# the "asso"#.@ @When 'i!! 6ou "ome (a"#G@ -anFang as#ed. @/fter 6ou1+e finished (rea#fast at the ear!iest4 and (6 midda6 at !atest4 31!! ha+e done the Eo(. Those mon#s had (etter !oo# after 6ou 'e!!. 31m off no'.@

2o sooner 'ere the 'ords out of his mouth than he had disappeared 'ithout a tra"e and rea"hed the -outhern -ea. -topping his "!oud to ta#e a !oo#4 he sa'%

/ +ast eDpanse of o"ean4 Waters stret"hing ti!! the6 Eoined the s#6. 9ropitious !ight fi!!ed the firmament4 /uspi"ious +apours shone o+er mountains and ri+ers. / thousand sno'−"apped (rea#ers roared at the aFure +au!t4 / m6riad mist6 'a+es reared at the s#6. Water f!e' in a!! dire"tions4 Torrents poured e+er6'here. /s the 'ater f!e' in a!! dire"tions it e"hoed !i#e thunder8 /s the torrents poured e+er6'here the6 "rashed and roared. ;et us !ea+e the sea4 /nd "onsider 'hat !a6 in it% / pre"ious mountain in man6 a mist6 "o!or−− ,ed4 6e!!o'4 purp!e4 (!a"#4 green4 and (!ue. Then did he see the (eautifu! !and of 5uan6in4 9otara#a 3s!and in the -outhern -ea. What a 'onderfu! p!a"e to go−− To'ering pea#s Cutting through the s#64 With a thousand #inds of eDoti" f!o'ers (e!o' them4 /nd e+er6 t6pe of magi"a! her(. The 'ind shoo# pri"e!ess trees4 The sun shone on go!den !otus.

5uan6in1s pa!a"e 'as roofed 'ith g!aFed ti!es4 The gates of the Tide Ca+e 'ere set 'ith tortoise she!!. 3n the shade of green 'i!!o's parrots ta!#ed4 Whi!e pea"o"#s "a!!ed amid purp!e (am(oo. $n the mar(!ed stone The prote"ting gods are maEesti"a!!6 se+ere8 . efore the agate strand -tands the might6 Bo#sa.

2ot pausing to ta#e in the 'ho!e of this eDoti" s"ene4 Bon#e6 (rought his "!oud straight do'n to !and under the (am(oo gro+e. / num(er of de+as 'ere a!read6 there to meet him4 and the6 said4 @The odhisatt+a to!d us some time ago that 6ou had (een "on+erted4 5reat -age4 and praised 6ou +er6 'arm!6. ut if 6ou are no' prote"ting the Tang 9riest4 ho' ha+e 6ou found the time to "ome hereG@ @ e"ause something has happened 'hi!e 31+e (een es"orting him on his Eourne6. 9!ease go and te!! the odhisatt+a that 31d !i#e an audien"e 'ith her.@ When the de+as 'ent into the "a+e to report this4 5uan6in summoned him inside. Bon#e6 did as he 'as to!d and (o'ed to her (eneath the !otus throne. @What ha+e 6ou "ome forG@ the odhisatt+a as#ed. @B6 master1s Eourne6 has (rought him to a monaster6 of 6ours4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @and 3 find that a!though 6ou a""ept in"ense from its mon#s4 6ou a!!o' a (!a"# (ear spirit to !i+e in the neigh(ourhood4 and ha+e !et him stea! m6 master1s "asso"#. 31+e tried to ta#e it off him a num(er of times (ut got no'here4 so no' 31+e "ome to as# 6ou to demand it from him.@ @What nonsense4 6ou ape4@ the odhisatt+a retorted. @7+en if a (ear spirit has sto!en 6our "asso"#4 'hat (usiness ha+e 6ou to as# me to go and demand it for 6ouG 3t a!! happened (e"ause 6ou 'anted to sho' it off4 6ou (ig−headed and e+i! (a(oon4 in front of pett6−minded peop!e. $n top of that4 in 6our 'i"#edness 6ou "a!!ed up the 'ind to spread the fire that (urnt do'n m6 monaster6. /nd no' 6ou ha+e the ner+e to tr6 6our tri"#s here.@ These 'ords from the odhisatt+a made Bon#e6 rea!iFe that she #ne' a!! a(out the past and the future4 so he hasti!6 (o'ed do'n in re+eren"e and p!eaded4 @ odhisatt+a4 forgi+e 6our dis"ip!e his sins4 e+er6thing 6ou sa6 is true. /!! the same4 m6 master 'i!! re"ite that spe!! again (e"ause that monster 'on1t gi+e (a"# the "asso"#4 and 3 "ou!dn1t (ear the agoniFing heada"he. That1s 'h6 3 "ame to (other 6ou4 odhisatt+a. 3 (eg 6ou in 6our mer"6 to he!p me "at"h that e+i! spirit4 get the "asso"# (a"#4 and "arr6 on to'ards the West.@ @That monster1s magi"a! po'ers are "ertain!6 no 'ea#er than 6ours4@ the odhisatt+a said. @:er6 'e!! then4 out of "onsideration for the Tang 9riest 31!! go there 'ith 6ou.@ Bon#e6 than#ed her and (o'ed again4 as#ed her to "ome out4 and rode on the same magi" "!oud as her. 3n neDt to no time the6 rea"hed the !a"# Wind Bountain4 'here the6 !anded the "!oud and headed for the "a+e on foot.

/s the6 'ere on their 'a64 a Taoist priest appeared on the mountain s!ope. 0e 'as "arr6ing a g!ass sa!+er on 'hi"h 'ere t'o pi!!s of the e!iDir of immorta!it6. Bon#e6 'as immediate!6 suspi"ious of him4 so he stru"# straight at his head 'ith the iron "udge!4 sending (!ood sp!attering out from (rain and "hest. @/re 6ou sti!! as 'i!d as this4 6ou apeG@ the sho"#ed odhisatt+a as#ed. @0e didn1t stea! 6our "asso"#4 6ou didn1t e+en #no' him4 and he 'as no enem6 of 6ours. Wh6 #i!! himG@ @?ou ma6 not #no' him4 odhisatt+a4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @(ut he 'as a friend of the !a"# ear -pirit. ?esterda6 the6 and a 'hite−"!ad s"ho!ar 'ere sitting ta!#ing in front of the grass6 mountainside. Toda6 is the !a"# -pirit1s (irthda64 and tomorro' he 'as "oming to the 1 uddha1s ,o(e an>uet1. That1s 'h6 3 re"ogniFed him. 31m sure that he 'as "oming to greet that monster on his (irthda6.@ @3f that1s the 'a6 it is4 +er6 'e!! then4@ said the odhisatt+a. Bon#e6 then 'ent to !ift up the Taoist to ta#e a !oo# at him4 and he sa' that he had (een a gre6 'o!f. There 'as an ins"ription under the g!ass sa!+er that !a6 (eside him. 3t read4 @Bade (6 Baster 7mptiness−rea"hed@ . rother Bon#e6 !aughed and sand4 @What !u"#4 'hat !u"#. This he!ps me and 'i!! sa+e 6ou trou(!e too4 odhisatt+a. This monster has "onfessed of his o'n free 'i!!4 and the other monster there "an (e finished off toda6.@ @What do 6ou meanG@ the odhisatt+a as#ed. @3 ha+e a sa6ing4@ he rep!ied4 @that goes 1(eat him at his o'n game1. /re 6ou 'i!!ing to !et me do things m6 'a6G@ @Te!! me a(out it4@ the odhisatt+a said. @The t'o pi!!s of immorta!it6 6ou see on that sa!+er 'i!! (e the present 'e ta#e to +isit him 'ith4@ said Bon#e64 @and the 'ords ins"ri(ed underneath−−1Bade (6 Baster 7mptiness−rea"hed1−−are the (ait 'e1!! set for him. 3f 6ou do as 3 sa64 3 ha+e a p!an for 6ou that does not "a!! for for"e or fighting. The fiend 'i!! "o!!apse (efore our e6es4 and the "asso"# 'i!! appear. 3f 6ou 'on1t !et me ha+e m6 'a64 then 6ou go West4 31!! go 7ast4 'e "an sa6 good−(6e to the uddha1s ro(e4 and -anFang 'i!! (e up the "ree#.@ @?ou1+e got a "hee#4 6ou ape4@ rep!ied the odhisatt+a 'ith a smi!e. @2o4 no4 3 rea!!6 ha+e got a p!an4@ Bon#e6 protested. @Te!! me a(out it then4@ said 5uan6in. @?ou #no' it sa6s on the sa!+er4 1Bade (6 Baster 7mptiness−rea"hed41 We!!4 Baster 7mptiness−rea"hed must (e his name. odhisatt+a4 if 6ou1re prepared to !et me ha+e m6 'a64 then "hange 6ourse!f into that Taoist. 3 sha!! eat one of those pi!!s and then "hange m6se!f into a pi!!4 though 31!! (e a (it on the (ig side. ?ou are to ta#e the tra6 'ith the t'o pi!!s on it and go to 'ish the fiend man6 happ6 returns. 5i+e him the (igger of the pi!!s4 and 'hen he1s s'a!!o'ed me4 31!! ta#e o+er inside him. 3f he doesn1t hand the "asso"# o+er then4 31!! 'ea+e a su(stitute out of his guts.@ The odhisatt+a "ou!d on!6 nod her agreement. @What a(out it thenG@ said the !aughing Bon#e64 and at this the odhisatt+a in her great mer"6 used her un(ounded di+ine po'er and her infinite "apa"it6 for transformation to "ontro! her 'i!! 'ith her heart and her (od6 'ith her 'i!!−−in an instant she turned into Baster 7mptiness−rea"hed.

The 'ind of immorta!it6 (!e' around his go'n4 /s he ho+ered4 a(out to rise to emptiness. 0is dar# features 'ere as an"ient as a "6press4 0is e!egant eDpression unmat"hed in time. 5oing and 6et sta6ing no'here4 -imi!ar (ut uni>ue. 3n the !ast resort a!! "omes do'n to a sing!e !a'4 .rom 'hi"h he is on!6 separated (6 an e+i! (od6.

@5reat4 great4@ eD"!aimed rother Bon#e6 at the sight. @/re 6ou a odhisatt+a disguised as an e+i! spirit4 or a odhisatt+a 'ho rea!!6 is an e+i! spiritG@ @Bon#e64@ she rep!ied 'ith a !augh4 @e+i! spirit and odhisatt+a are a!! the same in the !ast ana!6sis−−the6 (oth (e!ong to non−(eing.@ -udden!6 en!ightened (6 this4 Bon#e6 "ur!ed up and turned himse!f into a pi!! of immorta!it6%

,o!!ing a"ross the p!ate (ut not unsta(!e4 ,ound and (right 'ithout an6 "orners. The dou(!e three 'as "ompounded (6 5e 0ong4 The dou(!e siD 'as 'or#ed out (6 -hao Weng. 9e((!es of go!den f!ame4 9ear!s that shone in the da6!ight. $n the outside 'ere !ead and mer"ur64 ut 3 "annot re+ea! the formu!a.

The pi!! he "hanged himse!f into 'as indeed a !itt!e !arger than the other one. The odhisatt+a noted this and 'ent 'ith the g!ass sa!+er to the entran"e of the fiend1s "a+e. 0ere she sa'

To'ering "rags and !oft6 pre"ipi"es4 Where "!ouds gro' on the pea#s8 !ue "6presses and green pines Where the 'ind soughs in the forest. $n to'ering "rags and !oft6 pre"ipi"es The de+i!s "ome and go4 and fe' men !i+e. The (!ue "6presses and green pines 3nspire 3mmorta!s to "u!ti+ate the hidden Wa6. The mountains ha+e gu!!ies4 The gu!!ies ha+e springs4 Whose gurg!ing 'aters sing !i#e a guitar4 ,efreshing the ear. *eer on its (an#s4 Cranes in the 'oods4 Where the reti"ent 3mmorta!1s pipe is "asua!!6 p!a6ed To de!ight the heart. 0ere an e+i! spirit "an attain en!ightenment4 /nd the (ound!ess +o' of the uddha eDtends its mer"6.

When the odhisatt+a sa' this she thought4 @3f the (east has "hosen this "a+e4 there must (e some hope for him.@ /nd from then on she fe!t "ompassion for him. When she rea"hed the entran"e of the "a+e4 the Eunior go(!ins at the gates greeted her 'ith the 'ords4 @We!"ome4 3mmorta! 7!der 7mptiness−rea"hed.@ /s some of them ran in to announ"e her4 the monster "ame out of the gates to meet her and sa64 @Baster 7mptiness−rea"hed4 ho' good of 6ou to put 6ourse!f to this trou(!e. This is an honour for me.@ @/!!o' me to present 6ou 'ith this magi" pi!! that4 3 +enture to sa64 'i!! "onfer immorta!it6 on 6ou4@ the odhisatt+a rep!ied. When the t'o of them had finished eD"hanging greetings the6 sat do'n4 and the monster started to ta!# a(out the e+ents of the pre+ious da6. The odhisatt+a >ui"#!6 "hanged the su(Ee"t (6 passing the sa!+er to him and sa6ing4 @9!ease a""ept this to#en of m6 regard for 6ou.@ -he o(ser+ed 'hi"h 'as the (igger one and handed it to him 'ith the 'ords4 @3 'ish ?our BaEest6 eterna! !ife.@

The monster handed the other pi!! to her and said4 @3 hope4 Baster 7mptiness−rea"hed4 that 6ou 'i!! share it 'ith me.@ When the6 had finished de"!ining po!ite!64 the fiend pi"#ed up the pi!! and 'as on the point of s'a!!o'ing it 'hen it 'ent ro!!ing into his mouth. Then Bon#e6 resumed his true form and stru"# up some a"ro(ati" postures4 at 'hi"h the fiend fe!! to the ground. The odhisatt+a too resumed her true form and as#ed the monster for the uddha1s "asso"#. /s Bon#e6 had no' emerged through the monster1s nostri!s4 she 'as 'orried that the e+i! spirit might mis(eha+e again4 so she thre' a (and o+er his head. 0e rose to his feet4 read6 to run them through 'ith his spear4 (ut Bon#e6 and the odhisatt+a 'ere a!read6 up in mid−air4 'here she (egan to re"ite the spe!!. /s the monster1s head (egan to a"he4 he dropped the spear and 'rithed in agon6 on the ground. The 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing "o!!apsed 'ith !aughter in the s#64 'hi!e the !a"# ear -pirit ro!!ed in torment on the earth. @ east4 'i!! 6ou return to the truth no'G@ as#ed the odhisatt+a. @3 s'ear to4 3 s'ear to4 if on!6 6ou spare m6 !ife4@ the monster repeated o+er and o+er again. Bon#e6 'anted to finish him off 'ith no more ado4 (ut the him−−31+e got a use for him.@ odhisatt+a stopped him at on"e% @*on1t #i!!

@What1s the point in #eeping that (east a!i+e instead of #i!!ing himG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @31+e got no(od6 to !oo# after the (a"# of m6 9otara#a 3s!and4@ she rep!ied4 @so 3 sha!! ta#e him (a"# 'ith me to (e an is!and−guarding deit6.@ @?ou "ertain!6 are the a!!−mer"ifu! de!i+erer 'ho doesn1t a!!o' a sing!e sou! to perish4@ said Bon#e6 'ith a !augh. @3f 3 #ne' a spe!! !i#e that one of 6ours4 31d sa6 it a thousand times o+er and finish off a!! the (!a"# (ears 3 "ou!d find.@ /!though the (ear spirit had "ome round and the spe!! had stopped4 he 'as sti!! in great pain as he #ne!t on the ground and (egged pitifu!!64 @-pare m6 !ife and 3 promise 31!! return to the truth.@ The odhisatt+a des"ended in a ra6 of !ight4 p!a"ed her hands on his head4 and administered the monasti" dis"ip!ine to him8 then she to!d him to ta#e up his spear and a""ompan6 her. The (!a"# (ear1s e+i! intentions "eased from that da6 on4 and his un(ounded per+ersit6 "ame to an end. @-un Wu#ong4@ ordered the odhisatt+a4 @go (a"# no'. -er+e the Tang 9riest 'e!!4 don1t (e !aF64 and don1t start trou(!e.@ @31m +er6 gratefu! to 6ou for "oming so far4 odhisatt+a4 and 3 must see 6ou home4@ Bon#e6 said. @That 'i!! not (e ne"essar64@ she rep!ied. Bon#e6 too# the "asso"# #o'to'ed to her4 and departed. The odhisatt+a too# ear (a"# to the sea4 and there is a poem to pro+e it%

/ magi" g!o' shines round the go!den image4 The thousand ra6s of g!orious !ight. -he sa+es a!! men4 gi+ing of her pit64 -ur+e6ing the 'ho!e uni+erse and re+ea!ing the go!den !otus.

Ban6 sha!! no' prea"h the s"riptures1 meaning4 2or sha!! there (e an6 f!a' therein. -u(duing a demon and (ringing him to truth4 she returns to the sea8 The re!igion of 7mptiness has re"o+ered the (ro"ade "asso"#.

3f 6ou don1t #no' ho' things de+e!oped4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt "hapter. Chapter 18 The Tang 9riest 3s ,es"ued in the 5uan6in Temp!e The 5reat -age ,emo+es a Bonster from 5ao :i!!age Ta#ing his !ea+e of the odhisatt+a4 Bon#e6 (rought his "!oud in to !and4 hung the "asso"# on a nan!u tree4 pu!!ed out his "udge!4 "harged into the !a"# Wind Ca+e4 and found not a sing!e go(!in inside. This 'as (e"ause the appearan"e of the odhisatt+a in her true form had so terrified them that the6 had f!ed in a!! dire"tions. 7+i! thoughts 'e!!ed up in rother Bon#e64 and after pi!ing dr6 fire'ood a!! around the mu!ti−storied gate he set it a!ight4 turning the !a"# Wind Ca+e into a ,ed Wind Ca+e. Then he 'ent (a"# to the 2orth on a (eam of magi" !ight. -anFang4 'ho had (een anDious!6 'aiting for him4 'as (eginning to 'onder 'h6 he had not "ome (a"#. 0ad the odhisatt+a not "ome 'hen as#ed to4 or had Bon#e6 Eust made up a stor6 to es"apeG /s he 'as (eing ra"#ed (6 these desperate thoughts4 a shimmering "!oud appeared in mid−air and Bon#e6 "ame do'n and #ne!t (efore him. @Baster4 here1s the "asso"#4@ he announ"ed4 to -anFang1s great Eo6. /!! the mon#s of the temp!e 'ere de!ighted too4 and the6 eD"!aimed4 @Wonderfu!4 'onderfu!4 our !i+es are safe at !ast.@ @Bon#e64@ said -anFang as he too# the "asso"# from him4 @'hen 6ou set out this morning 6ou re"#oned that it 'ou!d on!6 ta#e the !ength of a mea!4 or unti! midda6 at !ongest. Wh6 ha+e 6ou on!6 "ome (a"# no'4 at sunsetG@ When Bon#e6 ga+e him a fu!! a""ount of ho' he had as#ed the odhisatt+a to transform herse!f to su(due the monster4 -anFang set up an in"ense ta(!e and (o'ed !o' to the -outh. That done4 he said4 @*is"ip!e4 no' that 'e ha+e the uddha1s ro(e4 pa"# our !uggage as >ui"#!6 as 6ou "an.@ @2ot so fast4 not so fast4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @3t1s a!read6 e+ening4 too !ate to hit the road. ;et1s set out tomorro' morning.@ The mon#s a!! #ne!t and said4 @;ord Bon#e6 is right. .or one thing it1s too !ate4 and for another 'e made a +o'. 2o' that a!! is 'e!! and the treasure has (een re"o+ered4 'e 'ou!d !i#e to "arr6 out that +o' and in+ite ?our ;ordships to share in the than#sgi+ing mea!. Tomorro' morning 'e1!! see 6ou off on 6our 'a6 West.@ @?es4 6es4@ urged Bon#e6. The mon#s then emptied their (ags and produ"ed e+er6thing that 'as !eft of 'hat the6 had sa+ed from the fire to ma#e an offering of food. Then the6 (urnt some paper to (ring (!essings and re"ited some sutras to 'ard off disaster. The "eremonies 'ere finished that e+ening.

The neDt morning the horse 'as "urried and the !uggage pa"#ed4 and then the6 set out. The mon#s es"orted them a !ong distan"e (efore turning (a"#4 after 'hi"h Bon#e6 !ed the 'a6. 3t 'as no' ear!6 spring.

The grass "ushions the horse1s hoo+es4 2e' !ea+es emerge from the 'i!!o'1s go!den threads. /pri"ot +ies for (eaut6 'ith pea"h8 The 'i!d fig round the path is fu!! of !ife. $n sun−'armed sand(an#s s!eep mandarin du"#s8 3n the f!o'er−s"ented gu!!6 the (utterf!ies are >uiet. /fter autumn4 'inter4 and ha!f of spring4 Who #no's 'hen the Eourne6 'i!! end as the6 find the true 'ordG

$ne e+ening4 after the6 had (een tra+e!!ing a!ong a deso!ate path for siD or se+en da6s4 master and dis"ip!e sa' a distant +i!!age. @Bon#e64@ said -anFang4 @do 6ou see the +i!!age not far o+er thereG ;et1s go and as# them to put us up for the night8 'e "an set off again tomorro' morning.@ @Wait ti!! 31+e made sure it1s a!! right (efore de"iding.@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 gaFing at the +i!!age as his master pu!!ed on the si!#en rein. 0e sa'

C!ose−p!anted (am(oo fen"es4 Ban6 a that"hed roof. $utside the gates soar !oft6 trees8 0ouses are mirrored in the 'aters under a (ridge. 5reen gro' the 'i!!o's (eside the road4 .ragrant (!oom the f!o'ers in the gardens. /s sun sets in the West irds sing in the 'ooded hi!!s. The smo#e of e+ening rises from the sto+es

/!ong the paths roam sheep and "att!e. We!!−fed "hi"#ens and pigs s!eep under the ea+es4 Whi!e the drun# o!d man sings his song neDt door.

When he had sur+e6ed the s"ene4 rother Bon#e6 said4 @5o ahead4 master. 3t1s definite!6 a good +i!!age. We "an spend the night there.@ -anFang urged his horse for'ard4 and in a fe' moments the6 'ere at the (eginning of the main street. / 6oung man appeared 'earing a si!#en tur(an4 a (!ue Ea"#et4 a pair of trousers tied at the an#!es4 and a pair of stra' sanda!s. 0e 'as "arr6ing an um(re!!a in his hand and a pa"# on his (a"#. 0e 'as a fine sight as he 'a!#ed (ris#!6 do'n the street. Bon#e6 gra((ed him and as#ed4 @Where are 6ou goingG 3 'ant to as# 6ou something−−'here is thisG@ The fe!!o'4 'ho 'as tr6ing to (rea# !oose4 shouted4 @Wh6 as# meG 31m not the on!6 person in the +i!!age.@ @*on1t (e angr64 #ind sir4@ rep!ied Bon#e64 a!! smi!es. @To he!p others is to he!p 6ourse!f. What harm "an it do to te!! me 'hat the p!a"e is "a!!edG We might (e a(!e to (ring 6our trou(!es to an end4 6ou #no'.@ -trugg!e as he might4 the fe!!o' "ou!d not (rea# !oose4 'hi"h made him !eap around 'ith fur6. @*amn it4 damn it4@ he shouted4 @3 get more (u!!6ing from the o!d man than 3 "an stand4 and no' 31+e got to run into 6ou4 (a!d6. ?ou1+e got it in for me too.@ @3f 6ou1re good for an6thing4 get out of m6 grip4@ Bon#e6 said. @*o that and 31!! !et 6ou go.@ The 6oung man t'isted and turned4 (ut he "ou!d not (rea# free−−it 'as as if he 'ere he!d in a pair of p!iers. 3n his temper he thre' do'n his um(re!!a and his (und!e4 and tore at Bon#e6 'ith (oth hands4 tr6ing to get ho!d of him. Bon#e6 'as ho!ding the !uggage in one hand4 and 'ith the other he 'as #eeping the 6oung man under "ontro!4 and no matter ho' hard the fe!!o' tried he "ou!d not get a grip on him. Bon#e64 ho'e+er4 'as no' ho!ding him more firm!6 than e+er4 and 'as (ursting 'ith fur6. @Bon#e64@ -anFang said4 @here "omes someone e!se 6ou "an as#. Wh6 #eep su"h a tight grip on himG ;et him go.@ @?ou don1t understand4 master4@ rep!ied Bon#e6 'ith a smi!e. @3t 'ou!d (e no fun to as# an6one e!se. 3 ha+e to as# him if there1s to (e an6thing to (e got out of this.@ -eeing that Bon#e6 'ou!d not !et him go4 the fe!!o' started to ta!#. @This is $!d 5ao :i!!age in the "ountr6 of -tu(et4 and it1s "a!!ed that (e"ause pra"ti"a!!6 e+er6one here has the surname 5ao. 2o' !et me go.@ @.rom 6our get−up4 6ou1re going on a !ong Eourne64@ Bon#e6 'ent on. @Te!! me 'here 6ou1re going and 'hat 6ou1re up to4 then 31!! !et 6ou go.@ The poor fe!!o' had no option (ut to te!! Bon#e6 the truth. @31m 5ao Cai from the fami!6 of ->uire 5ao. 0is 6oungest daughter is t'ent6 and not 6et married4 (ut three 6ears ago an e+i! spirit "ame and too# her. 0e1s (een sta6ing 'ith us for three 6ears4 and the o!d man isn1t at a!! p!eased. There1s no future in ha+ing a gir! marr6 an e+i! spirit4 he sa6s. 3t1s ruining our fami!64 and 'e don1t get a fami!6 of in−!a's to +isit. 0e1s a!'a6s 'anted to get rid of the e+i! spirit4 (ut he refuses to go. 2o' he1s shut the gir! up in the (a"# (ui!ding for the (est part of a 6ear4 and he 'on1t !et an6 of the fami!6 see her. B6 o!d man ga+e me t'o oun"es of si!+er and sent me to find a priest to "apture the monster. 31+e (een on the go for ages no'4 and as#ed three or four of

them4 (ut the6 'ere a!! hope!ess mon#s or pimp!es of Taoists−−none of them "ou!d "ontro! him. The o!d man1s Eust (een s'earing at me as an utter idiot4 gi+en me fi+e more oun"es of si!+er as tra+e!!ing eDpenses4 and to!d me to find a good priest 'ho1!! dea! 'ith the monster. Then 3 'as gra((ed (6 6ou4 6ou e+i! star4 and that1s made me !ater than e+er. 2o 'onder 3 shouted at 6ou% 31m pushed around at home and pushed around 'hen 3 go out. 3 ne+er thought 6ou1d (e su"h a good 'rest!er that 3 'ou!dn1t (e a(!e to (rea# out of 6our "!in"h. ;et me go no'−−31+e to!d 6ou e+er6thing.@

@?ou1re in !u"#−−'e1re in the (usiness4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @This is >uite "on+enient8 6ou needn1t go an6 further or spend an6 of 6our mone6. We1re not hope!ess mon#s or pimp!es of Taoists. We1+e got some rea! magi" po'ers4 and 'e #no' ho' to dea! 'ith e+i! spirits. This1!! do (oth of us a (it of good. 5o (a"# and te!! the head of 6our househo!d that m6 master is a saint!6 mon#4 and the 6ounger (rother of the 7mperor of the 7ast4 'ho has sent him to +isit the uddha in the Western 0ea+en and see# the s"riptures. We are +er6 good at "ontro!!ing de+i!s and "apturing monsters.@ @*on1t !ie to me4@ the 6oung man rep!ied. @31+e had enough of (eing pushed around. 3f 6ou1re tri"#ing me4 6ou ha+en1t rea!!6 got an6 spe"ia! po'ers4 and 6ou "an1t "apture that fiend4 6ou1!! on!6 (e getting me into more trou(!e than e+er.@ @3 s'ear 31m not foo!ing 6ou4@ ans'ered Bon#e6. @-ho' us the 'a6 to 6our front door.@ The 6oung man sa' that there 'as nothing for it (ut to pi"# up his (und!e and um(re!!a4 turn round4 and ta#e the t'o of them to his gate4 'here he said to them4 @,e+erend gent!emen4 'ou!d 6ou mind sitting here on the +erandah for a moment 'hi!e 3 go in and te!! the masterG@ $n!6 then did Bon#e6 !et go of him4 put do'n the "arr6ing−po!e4 ta#e the horse1s reins4 and stand (eside his master4 'ho sat do'n (6 the gate. The 6oung man 'ent in through the gate and straight to the main ha!!4 'here he happened to meet ->uire 5ao. @We!!4 6ou sa+age4 'ho ha+e 6ou "ome (a"# instead of going to find someoneG@ ->uire 5ao demanded. 9utting do'n his (und!e and um(re!!a4 the 6oung man rep!ied4 @3 must report to 6ou4 sir4 that 3 had Eust got to the end of the street 'hen 3 met a "oup!e of mon#s. $ne 'as on horse(a"#4 and the other had a "arr6ing−po!e on his shou!der. 0e gra((ed me and 'ou!dn1t !et me go4 and as#ed me 'here 3 'as going. 3 refused to te!! him se+era! times4 (ut he had me !o"#ed in a grip 3 "ou!dn1t get out of4 so 3 had to te!! him a!! a(out the mission 6ou ga+e me4 sir. 0e 'as a(so!ute!6 de!ighted 'hen he heard a(out it4 and 'anted to "at"h that monster for us.@ @Where are the6 fromG@ ->uire 5ao as#ed. @0e sa6s that his master is a saint!6 mon#4 the 6ounger (rother of the 7mperor of the 7ast4 'ho has sent him to +isit the uddha in the Western 0ea+en and see# the s"riptures4@ the 6oung man rep!ied. @ ut e+en if the61re mon#s from far a'a64 the6 ma6 not rea!!6 (e "apa(!e of an6thing. Where are the6 no'G@ @Waiting outside the gate.@ The o!d man >ui"#!6 put on his (est "!othes and 'ent out 'ith the 6oungster to greet them4 addressing them as @:enera(!e 7!ders.@ -anFang turned hurried!6 round 'hen he heard this4 and found them standing (efore him. The o!der man 'as 'earing a (!a"# si!# tur(an4 an onion−'hite ro(e of -i"huan (ro"ade4 a pair of "a!f−s#in (oots the "o!or of unpo!ished ri"e4 and a (e!t of (!a"# si!#. 0e "ame for'ard and said 'ith a smi!e4 @5reetings4 :enera(!e 7!ders4@ as he (o'ed4 ho!ding his hands together. -anFang returned his (o'4 (ut Bon#e6 stood there immo(i!e. /t the sight of rother Bon#e61s ug!6 fa"e the o!d man de"ided not to (o' to him.

@Wh6 'on1t 6ou pa6 6our respe"ts to meG@ Bon#e6 as#ed4 at 'hi"h the o!d man4 some'hat frightened4 said to the 6oung man4 @?ou1!! (e the death of me4 6ou !itt!e 'ret"h. We1+e a!read6 got one hideous monster at home as a son−in−!a' 'e "an1t get rid of4 so 'h6 e+er did 6ou ha+e to (ring this thunder god here to ruin usG@ @5ao4 o!d "hap4 6ou1+e (een !i+ing a!! these 6ears for nothing−−6ou1+e sti!! got no sense. 3t1s "omp!ete!6 'rong to Eudge peop!e (6 their fa"es. 3 ma6 (e no (eaut64 (ut 31m >uite "!e+er. 31!! gra( that e+i! spirit for 6ou4 "at"h that demon4 seiFe 6our son−in−!a'4 and gi+e 6ou (a"# 6our daughter. 31!! (e doing 6ou a good turn4 so there1s no need to fuss a(out m6 !oo#s.@ The o!d man4 no' sha#ing 'ith fear4 pu!!ed himse!f together and as#ed them in. Bon#e6 too# the horse1s (rid!e4 to!d the 6oung man to "arr6 the !uggage4 and 'ent in 'ith -anFang. 3n his usua! de+i!−ma6−"are 'a6 he tethered the horse to one of the pi!!ars of an open−air pa+i!ion4 pu!!ed up a g!eaming !a">uered arm"hair4 and to!d his master to sit do'n. Then he (rought o+er a "hair for himse!f and sat (eside him. @The 6ounger +enera(!e e!der has a!read6 made himse!f at home4@ ->uire 5ao remar#ed. @31d fee! at home here if 6ou entertained us for siD months4@ rother Bon#e6 rep!ied. When the6 'ere a!! seated the o!d man said4 @The (o6 to!d me a moment ago that 6ou 'ere from the 7ast.@ @That1s right4@ -anFang rep!ied. @The "ourt has sent me to 'orship the uddha in the Western 0ea+en and as# for the s"riptures. /s 'e are passing this 'a6 on our Eourne64 'e 'ou!d !i#e to spend the night here (efore "ontinuing on our 'a6 tomorro' morning.@ @3f 6ou t'o gent!emen Eust 'ant to spend the night here4 'h6 a!! the ta!# a(out "at"hing monstersG@ @/s 'e1!! (e spending the night here4@ Bon#e6 put in4 @'e though it 'ou!d (e fun to "at"h a fe' monsters 'hi!e 'e1re a(out it. Ba6 3 as# ho' man6 there are in 6our residen"eG@ @5ood hea+ens4@ the o!d man eD"!aimed4 @ho'e+er man6 do 6ou 'antG We1+e on!6 got this monster of a son−in−!a'4 and he1s ruined our !i+es.@ @Te!! me a!! a(out this monster from the (eginning4@ Bon#e6 said. @3 must #no' a(out his magi" po'ers if 31m to "apture him for 6ou.@ @This +i!!age has ne+er had an6 trou(!e from ghosts4 demons or e+i! spirits (efore. 3t 'as m6 misfortune to ha+e no son4 and three daughters4 of 'hom the e!dest is "a!!ed .ragrant $r"hid4 the se"ond <ade $r"hid4 and the third !ue $r"hid. The other t'o 'ere (etrothed to men from the +i!!age 'hen the6 'ere "hi!dren and ha+e (een married off. 3 'anted the third to marr6 a man 'ho 'ou!d !i+e here to support−me in m6 o!d age4 !oo# after the househo!d4 and do Eo(s a(out the p!a"e. /(out three 6ears ago a good−!oo#ing 6oung fe!!o' turned up 'ho said that his name 'as Lhu and he "ame from the Bountain of !essing. 0e to!d me that he had no parents or (rothers4 and 'anted to marr6 and !i+e 'ith his in−!a's. /s he had no fami!6 "ommitments 3 offered him m6 daughter1s hand4 o!d foo! that 3 am4 and from the moment he (e"ame a mem(er of our fami!6 he 'or#ed +er6 hard. 0e p!oughed and hoed 'ithout using oDen or too!s8 and he didn1t need a s"6the or a sti"# to har+est the "rops. /s da6 fo!!o'ed da64 there 'as nothing 'rong 'ith him4 eD"ept that he started to !oo# different.@ @0o'G@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @/t first he 'as a p!ump4 dar# "hap4 (ut !ater on he (e"ame a !ong−nosed4 (ig−eared idiot 'ith thi"# (!a"# hairs running do'n from the (a"# of his head and a great4 thi"# (od6. 0is fa"e is Eust !i#e a pig1s. 0is

appetite is enormous4 too. 0e needs se+era! (ushe!s of grain at e+er6 main mea!4 and o+er a hundred gridd!e−"a#es for (rea#fast. ;u"#i!6 he is a +egetarian. 3f he ate meat and 'ine he 'ou!d ha+e ruined us in siD months.@

@0e has to eat so mu"h (e"ause he 'or#s so hard4@ -anFang "ommented. @ ut that1s not the main thing.@ ->uire 5ao "ontinued. @0e "an a!so summon up a 'ind4 ma#e "!ouds and mist "ome and go4 and send pe((!es and sand f!6ing. 0e1s terrified our neigh(ors4 'ho don1t fee! safe !i+ing here an6 !ongerA 0e1s shut m6 daughter a'a6 in the (ui!ding at the (a"#4 and no(od61s seen her for siD months. We don1t e+en #no' if she1s sti!! a!i+e. That is ho' 'e #no' he1s an e+i! monster4 and 'h6 'e 'ant a priest to "ome and get rid of him.@ @2o diffi"u!t6 there4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @*on1t 'orr64 o!d "hap4 3 guarantee that 31!! get him tonight4 ma#e him 'rite out a do"ument di+or"ing 6our daughter4 and (ring her (a"# to 6ou. What do 6ou sa6 to thatG@ @ e"ause 3 thought there1d (e no harm in offering him m6 daughter4 31+e ruined m6 reputation and estranged a!! m6 re!ations4@ ->uire 5ao rep!ied. @3f 6ou "an "at"h him4 'h6 (other 'ith a di+or"e do"umentG Wipe him out for me4 if 6ou p!ease.@ @7as64 eas64@ said Bon#e6. @31!! get him tonight.@ The o!d man 'as de!ighted. 0e had a ta(!e and "hairs set out and 'iped "!ean4 and a +egetarian mea! (rought in. When the mea! 'as o+er and he 'as a(out to go to (ed4 the o!d man as#ed4 @What 'eapons and ho' man6 men 'i!! 6ou needG 31!! get e+er6thing read6 in good time.@ @3 ha+e a 'eapon4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @?ou t'o gent!emen on!6 ha+e 6our monasti" sta+es−−ho' 'i!! 6ou (e a(!e to #i!! the fiend 'ith themG@ the o!d man as#ed. Bon#e6 produ"ed the em(roider6 need!e from his ear4 he!d it (et'een his fingers4 and shoo# it in the 'ind. 3t turned into the go!d−(anded "udge! as thi"# as a ri"e−(o'!. Bon#e6 turned to ->uire 5ao and as#ed4 @0o' does this "udge! "ompare 'ith the 'eapons 6ou ha+e in hereG Wi!! it do to #i!! the monsterG@ @-o 6ou ha+e the 'eapon4@ the o!d man 'ent on4 @(ut 'hat a(out the menG@ @3 "an do it sing!e−handed.@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @though 3 'ou!d !i#e a fe' respe"ta(!e o!d gent!emen to "ome in and #eep m6 master "ompan6 'hi!e 31m a'a6 from him. When 31+e "aptured the monster the6 "an 'itness his "onfession (efore 3 'ipe him out for 6ou.@ The o!d man thereupon sent his ser+ants to as# a fe' o!d friends o+er4 and (efore !ong the6 had a!! arri+ed. When the introdu"tions 'ere o+er Bon#e6 said4 @Baster4 6ou sit here and don1t 'orr6. 31m off.@ <ust 'at"h Bon#e6 as 'ith his "udge! in his hand he ta#es ho!d of the o!d man and sa6s4 @Ta#e me to the (ui!ding at the (a"#. 3 'ant to see 'here this e+i! spirit !i+es.@ ->uire 5ao !ed him to the door of the (a"# (ui!ding4 and Bon#e6 to!d him to (ring the #e6 at on"e. @;oo# here4@ the o!d man ans'ered4 @if a #e6 'ou!d ha+e done the tri"#4 3 'ou!dn1t ha+e had to as# for 6our ser+i"es.@ @Can1t 6ou te!! at 6our age 'hen someone1s Eo#ingG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @3 'as on!6 teasing. ?ou shou!dn1t ha+e ta#en me serious!6.@ 0e fe!t the !o"# and found that mo!ten "opper had (een poured into it4 so he stru"# it a +i"ious (!o' 'ith his "udge! and shattered it. 9ushing the doors open4 he sa' that it 'as pit"h−(!a"# inside. @Ca!! 6our daughter1s name4 $!d 5ao4 to see 'hether she1s in here4@ he said. The o!d man summoned up his "ourage and "a!!ed her name4 and the daughter4 re"ogniFing her father1s +oi"e4 ans'ered fee(!64 @*ad4 31m in here.@ With a ro!! of his go!den pupi!s Bon#e6 peered into the dar#ness to ta#e

a "!oser !oo# at her. *o 6ou #no' 'hat she 'as !i#eG

0er "!oud6 hair 'as tang!ed and un#empt4 0er fa"e 'as fi!th6 and un'ashed. 0er or"hid heart 'as as pure as e+er4 ut her (eaut6 !a6 in ruins. There 'as no (!ood or !ife in her "herr6 !ips4 /nd her !im(s 'ere "roo#ed and (ent. / sad fro'n on her forehead4 0er e6e(ro's pa!e8 Wea# and frightened4 $n!6 daring to 'hisper.

When she "ame out and sa' her father4 she gra((ed ho!d of him4 put her hand round his head4 and 'ept. @*on1t "r64@ Bon#e6 said4 @don1t "r6. Where has the monster goneG@ @3 don1t #no'. These da6s he1s (een setting out at da'n and on!6 "oming (a"# in the midd!e of the night. There1s a!'a6s so mu"h "!oud and mist that 3 "an1t te!! 'here he goes. 0e #no's that m6 father 'ants to eDor"ise him4 so he1s a!'a6s on the a!ert. That1s 'h6 he "omes (a"# !ate and !ea+es at da'n.@ @$f "ourse he 'ou!d4@ Bon#e6 remar#ed4 adding4 @o!d fe!!o'4 ta#e the gir! to the front (ui!ding. ?ou t'o "an ha+e a good !ong ta!#8 31m going to 'ait for the monster here. *on1t (e surprised if he doesn1t turn up8 (ut if he does4 31!! 'ipe him out for 6ou.@ The o!d man happi!6 too# his daughter to the front (ui!ding. Bon#e6 then used some of his magi" po'ers to turn himse!f into the !i#eness of the gir! 'ith a sha#e of his (od6. Then he sat do'n in the room to 'ait for the e+i! spirit. efore !ong there 'as a mar+e!!ous 'ind that sent stones and dust f!6ing%

/t first it 'as a gent!e (reeFe4 That gradua!!6 (e"ame a tremendous ga!e. When it 'as a gent!e (reeFe4 it fi!!ed 0ea+en and 7arth8 When it gre'4 nothing "ou!d 'ithstand it.

3t stripped off f!o'ers and snapped 'i!!o's !i#e sta!#s of hemp4 Hprooting forests as if it 'ere pi"#ing +egeta(!es. 3t thre' ri+ers and seas into turmoi!4 to the fur6 of gods and de+i!s4 -p!itting ro"#s and mountains as 0ea+en and 7arth 'at"hed in horror.

The f!o'er−eating deer !ost their 'a64 The fruit−p!u"#ing mon#e6s did not #no' 'here the6 'ere. -e+en−storied iron pagodas fe!! on the uddha1s head4 The streamers in the temp!e fe!! on the Ee'e!ed "anop6.

5o!den (eams and pi!!ars of Eade 'ere sha#en from their roots4 Ti!es f!e' from the roof !i#e s'a!!o's. /s the (oatman raised his oar he made a +o'4 Kui"#!6 sa"rifi"ing a pig and a goat as he pushed off.

The guardian god of the "it6 'ard a(andoned his shrine4 The *ragon Cings of the .our -eas (o'ed to 0ea+en. The 6a#sha demons1 (oats 'ere 're"#ed on the "oast4 /nd ha!f the !ength of the 5reat Wa!! 'as (!o'n do'n.

/s this ga!e 'ind passed4 an e+i! spirit appeared in mid−air. 0e 'as "ertain!6 ug!6 'ith his dar# fa"e4 stu((!6 hair4 !ong nose4 and (ig ears. 0e 'ore a "otton tuni" that 'as some'here (et'een (!a"# and (!ue4 and round his 'aist 'as a patterned "otton "!oth. @-o that1s 'hat he1s !i#e4@ thought Bon#e6 'ith a se"ret smi!e4 and 'ithout greeting him or as#ing him an6thing he !a6 do'n on the (ed4 (reathing hea+i!6 and pretending to (e i!!. 2ot #no'ing 'ho this rea!!6 'as4 the monster "ame straight in4 put his arms around him and 'as going to #iss him. Bon#e6 !aughed to himse!f again as he thought4 @-o he rea!!6 'ants to s"re' me.@ Then he thrust his hand up under the monster1s !ong nose to thro' him off (a!an"e. The monster fe!! off the (ed.

/s the monster pu!!ed himse!f up he !eaned on the edge of the (ed and said4 @*ar!ing4 'h6 are 6ou so angr6 'ith me toda6G 3s it (e"ause 31m !ateG@ @31m not angr64@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @not angr6 at a!!.@ @3f 6ou1re not angr6 'ith me4 'h6 did 6ou ma#e me fa!! o+erG@ @?ou shou!d ha+e (een more thoughtfu! and not tried hugging me and #issing me. 31m not fee!ing +er6 'e!! toda6. 3f 31d (een m6 usua! se!f 31d ha+e (een 'aiting for 6ou at the door. Ta#e 6our "!othes off and "ome to (ed.@ 2ot rea!iFing 'hat he 'as up to4 the monster undressed. Bon#e6 Eumped out of (ed and sat on the pot as the monster 'ent (a"# to (ed and groped around 'ithout finding the gir!. @Where1+e 6ou gone4 dar!ingG@ he as#ed. @Ta#e 6our "!othes off and "ome to (ed.@ @5o to s!eep4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @31m ta#ing a shit.@ The monster did as he 'as to!d. Bon#e6 sighed and said4 @What terri(!e !u"#.@ @What are 6ou so fed up a(outG@ the monster as#ed. @What do 6ou mean (6 1terri(!e !u"#1G 3 ma6 ha+e eaten some food and drun# some tea sin"e marr6ing 6ou4 (ut 3 ha+en1t (een id!e either. 31+e s'ept for 6our fami!6 and dug dit"hes4 31+e shifted (ri"#s and ti!es4 31+e (ui!t 'a!!s for 6ou4 31+e p!oughed and 'eeded 6our fie!ds4 31+e so'n 6our 'heat4 and 31+e transp!anted 6our ri"e. 31+e made 6our fami!61s fortune. These da6s 6ou dress in (ro"ade and ha+e go!den pins in 6our hair. ?ou ha+e fruit and f!o'ers in a!! four seasons4 and +egeta(!es for the pot throughout the 6ear. ut despite this 6ou1re sti!! not satisfied4 groaning and moaning !i#e that and "omp!aining a(out 6our 1terri(!e !u"#.1@ @3 didn1t mean that4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @Toda6 3 "ou!d hear m6 parents through the 'a!!. The6 'ere smashing up (ri"#s and ti!es and pretending to "urse and (eat me.@ @Wh6 shou!d the6 'ant to do thatG@ the monster as#ed. @The6 said that sin"e 'e married and 6ou (e"ame their resident son−in−!a'4 a!! respe"ta(i!it6 has gone (6 the (oard. The6 'ere "omp!aining a(out ha+ing su"h an ug!6 fe!!o' as 6ou around4 and a(out ne+er meeting an6 (rother−in−!a' or other re!ations of 6ours. esides4 'ith a!! that 'ind and "!oud 'hene+er 6ou "ome in or go out4 the6 'onder 'ho on earth 6ou "an (e and 'hat 6ou are "a!!ed. ?ou1re ruining their reputation4 and disgra"ing the fami!6. That1s 'h6 the6 'ere so angr6 that the6 'ent through the motions of (eating and "ursing me.@ @3 ma6 (e a (it of an e6esore4@ the monster said4 @(ut if 6ou 'ant me to (e a good−!oo#er 3 "an fiD that 'ithout an6 diffi"u!t6. When 3 first "ame 3 had a 'ord 'ith 6our father4 and he agreed to the marriage of his o'n free 'i!!. Wh6 is he ta!#ing !i#e this no'G@ B6 home is the C!oud 9ath'a6 Ca+e on the Bount of !essing. B6 surname4 Lhu4 is !i#e m6 fa"e−−pigg6−−and m6 "orre"t name is Lhu 5ang!ie4 3ron−0aired pig. ?ou te!! them a!! that if the6 as# 6ou again. @0e1s an honest monster4@ thought Bon#e6 'ith de!ight. @3f he "ame out 'ith a!! this 'ithout (eing tortured. 2o' 3 #no' 'ho he is and 'here he1s from4 31m sure 3 "an "at"h him.@ @0e1s sent for a priest to "ome and "at"h 6ou4@ Bon#e6 said a!oud. @Come to (ed4 "ome to (ed4 and forget a(out him4@ the monster said 'ith a !augh. @3 "an do as man6 transformations as the 9!ough4 and 3 ha+e m6 nine−pronged ra#e too4 so 'hat ha+e 3 to fear from priests4 mon#s or TaoistsG 7+en if 6our o!d man 'ere ho!6 enough to summon the *emon−destro6ing 9atriar"h

do'n from the 2inth 0ea+en4 he1s an o!d friend of mine and 'ou!dn1t do an6thing to harm me.@

@B6 father said that he1d as#ed that fe!!o' (6 the name of -un4 the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en 'ho made su"h trou(!e up in the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e some fi+e hundred 6ears ago4 to "ome and "apture 6ou.@ The monster 'as some'hat ta#en a(a"# on hearing this name4 and said4 @3n that "ase 31m off. We1re through.@ @?ou "an1t Eust go !i#e that4@ said Bon#e6. @?ou 'ou!dn1t #no'4@ the monster rep!ied4 @(ut that 9rote"tor of the 0orses 'ho made su"h trou(!e in the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e is >uite a fighter. 3 might not (e a(!e to (eat him4 and that 'ou!d spoi! m6 good name.@ With these 'ords he pu!!ed on his "!othes4 opened the door4 and 'as Eust going out 'hen Bon#e6 gra((ed him4 ga+e his o'n fa"e a ru(4 and "hanged (a"# into his rea! form. @Where d16ou thin# 6ou1re going4 m6 fine monsterG@ he roared4 adding4 @ta#e a !oo# and see 'ho 3 am.@ The monster turned round and sa' Bon#e61s protruding teeth4 pin"hed fa"e4 fier6 e6es 'ith go!den pupi!4 (a!d head and hair6 fa"e. /t the sight of this thunder god in"arnate his hands 'ere num(ed and his !egs para!6Fed8 then 'ith a great tearing sound he (ro#e free4 ripping his "!othes4 and es"aped in the form of a hurri"ane. Bon#e6 rushed after him4 gra((ed his iron "udge!4 and too# a s'ipe at the 'ind. The monster then "hanged into ten thousand spar#s and 'ent straight (a"# to his mountain. Bon#e6 mounted his "!oud and 'ent after him shouting4 @Where d16ou thin# 6ou1re goingG 3f 6ou go up to 0ea+en4 31!! "hase 6ou as far as the *ipper and u!! 9a!a"e4 and if 6ou go into the 7arth4 31!! pursue 6ou as far as the 0e!! of the HnEust!6 -!ain.@ 5oodnessA 3f 6ou don1t #no' ho' far he "hased the monster4 or 'ho 'on in the end4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt "hapter. Chapter 19 3n the C!oud 9ath'a6 Ca+e -un Wu#ong Wins o+er Lhu aEie $n 9agoda Bountain =uanFang ,e"ei+es the -eart Sutra The monster shot for'ard as a stream of spar#s4 'ith the 5reat -age (ehind him on his "o!oured "!oud. /s he 'as ra"ing a!ong4 Bon#e6 sa' a ta!! mountain appear in front of them. 0ere the monster put himse!f together again (6 reassem(!ing the spar#s4 rushed into a "a+e4 and "ame out 'ith a nine−pronged ra#e in his hand to do (att!e. @Wret"h4@ shouted Bon#e64 @'here are 6ou fromG 0o' do 6ou #no' m6 name4 6ou e+i! demonG What po'ers ha+e 6ou gotG Te!! me honest!64 and 31!! spare 6our !ife.@ @?ou don1t #no' 'hat 3 "an do4@ the monster rep!ied. @Come a !itt!e nearer and stand sti!! 'hi!e 3 te!! 6ou%

3 'as (orn stupid4 /n id!er and a s!a"#er. 3 ne+er nourished m6 nature or "u!ti+ated the truth4

ut spent m6 time in prima! ignoran"e. Then 3 happened to meet a true 3mmorta!4 Who sat do'n 'ith me and "hatted a(out the 'eather4 /d+ised me to reform and not to sin# among morta!s4 .or ta#ing !ife 'as a heinous sin. $ne da64 'hen m6 !ife "ame to an end4 3t 'ou!d (e too !ate to regret the punishments in store. 0is 'ords mo+ed me to see# reform4 /nd m6 heart !onged for mira"u!ous spe!!s. 3 'as !u"#6 enough to ha+e him as m6 tea"her8 0e sho'ed me the gates of 0ea+en and 7arth. 0e taught me the 2ine Changes and the 5reat ,eturn of Cinna(ar4 /s 'e 'or#ed (6 night and da6 'ith ne+er a (rea#. 3t rea"hed up to the Bud a!! 9a!a"e in m6 head4 /nd do'n to the u((!ing -pring in m6 feet. The "ir"u!ating magi" !i>uid rea"hed the .!o'er6 9oo! under m6 tongue4 /nd the Cinna(ar .ie!d in m6 a(domen 'as gi+en eDtra 'armth. The a(e4 !ead4 and the 5ir!4 mer"ur64 'ere married4 /nd "om(ining together4 the6 di+ided into sun and moon. The *ragon and the Tiger 'ere harmoniFed4 The -a"red Tortoise dran# the 5o!den Cro'1s (!ood. The Three .!o'ers gathered at the top and returned to the root. The .i+e 7ssen"es fa"ed the $rigin and f!o'ed in a!! dire"tions. When their 'or# 'as done4 3 "ou!d f!64 /nd the 3mmorta!s of 0ea+en "ame in pairs to greet me. Co!oured "!ouds gre' (eneath m6 feet4

/s 3 fa"ed 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e gates 'ith a (od6 !ight and strong. The <ade 7mperor ga+e a (an>uet for a!! the 3mmorta!s4 /nd a!! !ined up a""ording to their grades. 3 'as made .ie!d Barsha! in "harge of the Bi!#6 Wa64 Commanding a!! the sai!ors on that ri+er in the s#6. When the Kueen Bother ga+e a 9ea"h an>uet4 -he in+ited man6 guests to the <ade 9oo!. /s drun#enness "!ouded m6 mind that da64 3 !ur"hed and staggered around. /s 3 "harged in drun#en pride into the Coo! road 9a!a"e 3 'as greeted (6 an eD>uisite immorta! maiden. /t the sight of her (eaut6 m6 sou! 'as "apti+ated4 /nd 3 "ou!d not repress m6 morta! passions of o!d. ;osing a!! sense of ran# and dignit64 3 seiFed the (eaut6 and as#ed her to s!eep 'ith me. Three times4 four times she refused4 *odging and tr6ing to hide in her distress. 5reat 'as the "ourage of m6 !ust4 and 3 roared !i#e thunder4 /!! (ut sha#ing do'n the gates of hea+en. The Bira"u!ous 3nspe"ting $ffi"er reported to the <ade 7mperor4 /nd from that da6 3 'as doomed. The Coo! road 9a!a"e 'as "!ose!6 surrounded. 3 "ou!d neither ad+an"e nor retreat% es"ape 'as impossi(!e. Then 3 'as arrested (6 the gods4 ut as 3 'as sti!! drun# 3 'as not s"ared. 3 'as mar"hed to the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist to see the <ade 7mperor4

/nd4 after >uestioning4 senten"ed to death. ;u"#i!6 the 5reat White 9!anet -tepped for'ard4 (o'ed !o'4 and inter"eded. B6 senten"e 'as "ommuted to t'o thousand stro#es of the hea+6 rod4 Whi"h tore m6 f!esh and a!! (ut smashed m6 (ones. 3 'as re!eased a!i+e and eDpe!!ed from 0ea+en4 -o 3 tried to ma#e a !i+ing on the Bount of !essing. .or m6 sins 3 'as re(orn from the 'rong 'om(4 /nd no' 3 am #no'n as 3ron−haired 9ig.@

@-o 6ou are an earth!6 rein"arnation of Barsha! Tian 9eng4@ said rother Bon#e6 'hen he heard this. @2o 'onder 6ou #ne' m6 name.@ @0a4@ the monster snorted angri!6. @?our insane re(e!!ion "aused trou(!e for +er6 man6 of us4 9rote"tor of the 0orses. 0a+e 6ou "ome here to thro' 6our 'eight around againG 31!! tea"h 6ou some manners. Ta#e thisA@ Bon#e6 'as in no mood to spare him after this4 and he stru"# at the monster1s head 'ith his "udge!. The pair of them fought a magnifi"ent midnight (att!e on that mountainside%

Bon#e61s go!den pupi!s f!ashed 'ith !ightning8 The monster1s g!aring e6es spar#ed si!+er. $ne disgorged "o!oured mist4 The other (reathed out red "!ouds. The red "!ouds !it up the night8 The "o!oured mists i!!uminated the dar#ness. / go!d−(anded "udge!4 / nine−toothed ra#e4 /nd t'o sp!endid heroes. $ne a 5reat -age do'n among the morta!s4 The other a marsha! (anished from 0ea+en.

$ne had (een stripped of his honors and (e"ome a monster4 The other had (een sa+ed 'hen he too# ser+i"e 'ith a priest. When the ra#e atta"#ed4 it 'as !i#e a dragon stret"hing its "!a's8 The "udge! (!o"#ed it as nim(!6 as a phoeniD f!6ing through f!o'ers.

9ig said4

@3n 're"#ing m6 marriage 6our "rime is as great as parri"ide.@

Bon#e6 rep!ied4

@?ou deser+e to (e arrested for raping that 6oung gir!.@

/mid these eD"hanges /nd 'i!d shouts4 The "udge! and the ra#e "rossed and "!ashed. The6 fought ea"h other ti!! the da6 (egan to da'n4 /nd the monster1s arms 'ere tired right out.

The6 fought from the se"ond 'at"h of the night unti! the s#6 (egan to gro' !ight in the 7ast. The monster4 no !onger a(!e to resist his enem64 (ro#e a'a6 and f!ed4 turning himse!f into a hurri"ane again. 0e 'ent straight (a"# to his "a+e4 shut the gates (ehind him4 and did not "ome out. Bon#e6 sa' a stone ta(!et outside the "a+e on 'hi"h 'as ins"ri(ed C;$H* 9/T0W/? C/:7. The monster did not "ome out again and it 'as no' (road da6!ight4 so Bon#e6 thought that as his master might (e 'aiting for him he had (etter go (a"# to see him. 0e "ou!d "ome (a"# !ater to "at"h the monster. 0e ga+e his "!oud a #i"# and 'as (a"# in $!d 5ao :i!!age in an instant. -anFang4 mean'hi!e4 had (een ta!#ing a!! night 'ith the e!ders a(out things an"ient and modern4 and had not s!ept a 'in#. <ust as he 'as (eginning to thin# that rother Bon#e6 'ou!d not "ome (a"#4 Bon#e6 appeared in the "ourt6ard4 put a'a6 his iron "!u(4 straightened his "!othes4 and entered the main room.

@Baster4 31m here4@ he announ"ed4 gi+ing the o!d men su"h a surprise that the6 a!! fe!! to their #nees and than#ed him for his efforts. @?ou1+e (een out a!! night4 Bon#e64@ -anFang said. @Where did 6ou "at"h that e+i! spiritG@ @0e1s no "ommon or garden ghost4 master4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @and he isn1t an ordinar6 'i!d anima! turned monster. 0e is Barsha! Tian 9eng4 'ho 'as eDi!ed to the morta! 'or!d. /s he 'as p!a"ed in the 'rong 'om( he has a fa"e !i#e a 'i!d (oar4 (ut he1s sti!! #ept his origina! di+ine nature. 0e sa6s that he ta#es his name from his !oo#s and is "a!!ed Lhu 5ang!ie4 3ron−haired 9ig. 3 'as going to #i!! him in the (ui!ding at the (a"#4 (ut he turned into a hurri"ane and f!ed. When 3 stru"# at this 'ind4 he "hanged into spar#s4 'ent straight (a"# to his "a+e4 "ame out 'ith a nine−pronged ra#e4 and fought me a!! night. 0e (ro#e off the engagement in terror as the da'n (ro#e and shut himse!f in his "a+e. 3 'as going to smash do'n the gates and ha+e it out 'ith him4 (ut then it o""urred to me that 6ou might (e 'orried after 'aiting for me so !ong4 so 3 "ame (a"# to put 6ou in the pi"ture first.@ /fter Bon#e6 had made his report4 ->uire 5ao "ame up and #ne!t (efore him sa6ing4 @:enera(!e sir4 31m afraid that a!though 6ou1+e "hased him a'a64 he1!! "ome (a"# after 6ou1+e gone8 so this is no rea! so!ution. 9!ease4 3 (eg of 6ou4 "at"h him for me and eDterminate him to pre+ent trou(!e !ater. 3 promise 6ou that 3 sha!! not (e remiss if 6ou do this for me4 and there 'i!!4 of "ourse4 (e ri"h re'ards. 3 sha!! 'rite a deed4 'itnessed (6 m6 re!ations and friends4 gi+ing 6ou ha!f of m6 propert6 and m6 !and. 9!ease4 p!ease eradi"ate this e+i! 'eed and sa+e the honour of the fami!6.@ @?ou1+e got no sense of 'hat1s proper4 o!d man4@ rep!ied Bon#e6 'ith a grin. @0e to!d me that a!though he ma6 ha+e put a'a6 a !ot of 6our ri"e and tea4 he1s a!so done 6ou a !ot of good. ?ou1+e pi!ed up a !ot of 'ea!th in the past fe' 6ears4 a!! than#s to his efforts. 0e sa6s he hasn1t (een eating 6our food in id!eness4 and 'ants to #no' 'h6 6ou1re tr6ing to ha+e him eDor"ised. 0e maintains that he is a hea+en!6 3mmorta! "ome do'n to earth 'ho has (een 'or#ing for 6our fami!6 and has ne+er harmed 6our daughter. 3 'ou!d sa6 that he is a +er6 fitting son−in−!a' for 6ou4 'ho does 6our fami!61s name no harm. ?ou rea!!6 ought to #eep him.@ @:enera(!e sir4@ the o!d man rep!ied4 @he ma6 ne+er ha+e done an6thing 'i"#ed4 (ut it does our reputation no good to ha+e a son−in−!a' !i#e him. Whether he does an6thing or not4 peop!e sa6 that the 5aos ha+e as#ed a monster to marr6 into the fami!64 and 3 simp!6 "an1t (ear to hear a thing !i#e that.@ @5o and ha+e it out 'ith him4 and then 'e1!! see 'hat to do4@ said -anFang. @31!! tr6 a tri"# on him this time4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @3 guarantee to (ring him (a"# this time for 6ou to !oo# at. ut don1t (e angr6 'ith him.@ @$!d 5ao4@ he "ontinued4 addressing the o!d man4 @!oo# after m6 master 'e!!. 31m off.@ 6 the time the 'ords 'ere out of his mouth4 he had disappeared. 0e !eapt up the mountain and smashed the gates of the "a+e to sp!inters 'ith a sing!e (!o' of his "udge!4 shouting4 @Come out and fight Bon#e64 6ou "haff−guFF!ing moron.@ The monster4 'ho had (een snoring inside4 heard the gates (eing smashed and the insu!ting @"haff−guFF!ing moron4@ and 'ent 'i!d 'ith fur6. -eiFing his ra#e and summoning up his spirit4 he rushed out and shrie#ed4 @?ou shame!ess 9rote"tor of the 0orses. What ha+e 3 e+er done to 6ou to ma#e 6ou smash do'n m6 gatesG ?ou1d (etter ta#e a !oo# at the statute (oo#% there1s the death pena!t6 for (rea#ing and entering.@ @?ou foo!4@ !aughed Bon#e64 @31+e got a +er6 good Eustifi"ation for smashing 6our gates−−6ou a(du"ted a gir! (6 for"e4 'ithout mat"hma#ers or 'itnesses4 and 'ithout gi+ing proper presents or o(ser+ing the right

"eremonies. ?ou1re a fine one to ta!# a(out 'ho deser+es to ha+e his head "ut off.@

@-top ta!#ing su"h nonsense and see ho' this ra#e of mine stri#es 6ou4@ the monster rep!ied. !o"#ing the (!o' 'ith his "udge!4 Bon#e6 retorted4 @3s that the ra#e 6ou used 'hen 6ou 'ere ti!!ing the fie!ds and gro'ing +egeta(!es for the 5aos as their hired handG What1s so 'onderfu! a(out it that 3 shou!d (e afraid of 6ouG@ @?ou don1t rea!iFe that it1s no ordinar6 'eapon4@ the monster rep!ied. @?ou1d (etter !isten 'hi!e 3 te!! 6ou a(out it%

This 'as refined from di+ine i"e−iron4 9o!ished ti!! it g!eamed daFF!ing 'hite4 0ammered (6 ;ord ;ao Li himse!f4 Whi!e ?ing 0uo fed the fire 'ith "oa!−dust. The .i+e 7mperors of the .i+e ,egions app!ied their minds to it4 The -iD *ings and -iD Eias 'ent to great efforts. The6 made nine teeth of Eade4 Cast a pair of go!den rings to hang (eneath them4 *e"orated the (od6 'ith the -iD right -hiners and the .i+e p!anets4 *esigned it in a""ordan"e 'ith the .our -easons and the 7ight *i+isions. The !ength of top and (ottom mat"h 0ea+en and 7arth. 9ositi+e and 2egati+e 'ere to !eft and right4 di+iding the sun and moon. The -iD *i+ine 5enera!s of the $ra"u!ar ;ines are there4 fo!!o'ing the 0ea+en!6 Code8 The "onste!!ations of the 7ight Trigrams are set out in order. 3t 'as named the -upreme!6 9re"ious 5o!d−im(ued ,a#e4 /nd ser+ed to guard the gates of the <ade 7mperor1s pa!a"e. /s 3 had (e"ome a great 3mmorta!4 3 no' enEo6ed eterna! !ife4 /nd 'as "ommissioned as Barsha! Tian 9eng4

With this ra#e to mar# m6 imperia! offi"e. When 3 raise it4 fire and !ight stream forth8 When 3 !o'er it4 a sno'6 (!iFFard (!o's. 3t terrifies the 0ea+en!6 5enera!s4 /nd ma#es the Cing of 0e!! too >ua#e 'ith fear. There is no other 'eapon mat"hing it on 7arth4 2or iron to ri+a! it throughout the 'or!d. 3t "hanges into an6thing 3 !i#e4 /nd !eaps a(out 'hene+er 3 sa6 the spe!!. .or man6 a 6ear 31+e "arried it around4 Ceeping it 'ith me e+er6 sing!e da6. 3 'i!! not put it do'n e+en to eat4 2or do 3 'hen 3 s!eep at night. 3 too# it 'ith me to the 9ea"h an>uet4 /nd "arried it into the "e!estia! "ourt. When 3 sinned m6 sin in drun#en pride4 3 used it to for"e "omp!ian"e 'ith m6 e+i! 'i!!. When 0ea+en sent me do'n to the morta! dust4 3 "ommitted a!! #inds of 'i"#edness do'n here. 3 used to de+our peop!e in this "a+e4 Hnti! 3 fe!! in !o+e and married in 5ao :i!!age. This ra#e has p!unged (eneath the sea to stir up dragons4 /nd "!im(ed high mountains to smash up tigers1 dens. 2o other (!ade is 'orth a mention esides m6 ra#e4 the sharpest 'eapon e+er. To 'in a fight 'ith it re>uires no effort8

$f "ourse it a!'a6s (rings me g!or6. 7+en if 6ou ha+e an iron (rain in a (raFen head and a (od6 of stee!4 This ra#e 'i!! s"atter 6our sou!s and send 6our spirit f!6ing.@

Bon#e6 put his "udge! a'a6 and rep!ied4 @-top shooting 6our mouth off4 6ou idiot. 31m no' sti"#ing m6 head out for 6ou to hit. ;et1s see 6ou s"atter m6 sou!s and send m6 spirits f!6ing.@ The monster raised his ra#e and (rought it do'n 'ith a!! his might4 (ut a!though f!ames !eapt forth4 it did not e+en s"rat"h Bon#e61s s"a!p. The monster1s arms and !egs turned to Ee!!6 'ith fright as he eD"!aimed4 @What a head4 'hat a head.@ @?ou 'ou!dn1t #no'4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @When 3 'as "aptured (6 the ;itt!e -age for 're"#ing the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e4 stea!ing the pi!!s of immorta!it6 and the hea+en!6 pea"hes4 and fi!"hing the imperia! 'ine4 3 'as mar"hed to a p!a"e outside the *ipper and u!! 9a!a"e4 'here a!! the gods of 0ea+en ha"#ed at me 'ith aDes4 hit me 'ith ma"es4 "ut at me 'ith s'ords4 sta((ed at me 'ith daggers4 tried to (urn me 'ith !ightning4 and pounded me 'ith thunder8 (ut none of it hurt me in the s!ightest. Then 3 'as ta#en off (6 the 5reat 0igh ;ord ;ao and put in the 7ight Trigrams .urna"e4 'here 3 'as refined 'ith di+ine fire4 so that m6 e6es are no' fier64 m6 pupi!s go!den4 m6 head (raFen4 and m6 shou!ders of iron. 3f 6ou don1t (e!ie+e me4 tr6 a fe' more (!o's to see 'hether 6ou "an hurt me or not.@ @3 remem(er 6ou4 6ou (a(oon4@ the monster rep!ied. @When 6ou made trou(!e in 0ea+en4 6ou !i+ed in the Water Curtain Ca+e on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit in the !and of /o!ai in the Continent of *i+ine :i"tor6. 3 ha+en1t heard of 6ou for a +er6 !ong time. What (rings 6ou here4 and 'h6 are 6ou (u!!6ing me in front of m6 o'n gatesG -ure!6 m6 father−in−!a' didn1t go a!! that 'a6 to as# 6ou to "ome hereG@ @2o4@ said Bon#e64 @he didn1t. 3 ha+e turned a'a6 from e+i! and (een "on+erted to good. 3 ha+e gi+en up Taoism and (e"ome a uddhist. 3 am prote"ting the 9atriar"h -anFang4 the 6ounger (rother of the 5reat Tang 7mperor4 on his Eourne6 to the Western 0ea+en to +isit the uddha and as# for the s"riptures. We happened to as# for a night1s !odging 'hen 'e "ame to 5ao :i!!age4 and in the "ourse of our "on+ersation $!d 5ao as#ed me to res"ue his daughter and "apture 6ou4 6ou "haff−guFF!ing moron.@ The monster dropped his ra#e to the ground4 "hanted a respe"tfu! @na−a−a'4@ and said4 @Where1s this pi!grimG 9!ease ta#e me to meet him.@ @What do 6ou 'ant to see him forG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @5uan6in "on+erted me and to!d me to o(e6 the monasti" ru!es and eat +egetarian food here ti!! 3 "ou!d go 'ith that pi!grim4 the one 'ho1s going to the Western 0ea+en to 'orship the uddha and as# for the s"riptures. 31!! (e a(!e to ma#e up for m6 sins through this good deed4 and 'in a good re'ard. 31+e (een 'aiting for him for 6ears4 (ut there1s (een no ne's of him ti!! no'. 3f 6ou1re a dis"ip!e of his4 'h6 didn1t 6ou sa6 something a(out fet"hing the s"riptures (efore4 instead of ma#ing this +i"ious atta"# on me in m6 o'n homeG@ @This had (etter not (e a tri"# to soften me up and ma#e me !et 6ou get a'a64@ said Bon#e6. @3f 6ou rea!!6 'ant to prote"t the Tang 9riest and 6ou aren1t tr6ing to #id me4 then 6ou1d (etter ma#e a +o' to 0ea+en4 and 31!! ta#e 6ou to meet m6 master.@ The monster fe!! to his #nees 'ith a thud4 and #o'to'ed to the s#6 so often that he !oo#ed !i#e a ri"e pest!e.

@/mita(ha uddha4@ he "ried out4 @if 31m not "omp!ete!6 sin"ere4 "ut me up into ten thousand (its for (rea#ing the !a's of 0ea+en.@ /fter hearing him s'ear this oath4 Bon#e6 said4 @:er6 'e!! then4 no' !ight a (rand and (urn this p!a"e of 6ours out. 3f 6ou do that4 31!! ta#e 6ou.@ The monster pi!ed up some reeds and (ram(!es4 !it a (rand4 and set the C!oud 9ath'a6 Ca+e on fire8 it (urned as 'e!! as a (ri"# #i!n that has got out of "ontro!. @31+e no se"ond thoughts4@ he said4 @so p!ease ta#e me to see him.@ @5i+e me that ra#e of 6ours4@ Bon#e6 ordered4 and the monster o(edient!6 handed it o+er. Bon#e6 then p!u"#ed out a hair4 (!e' on it 'ith magi" (reath4 and shouted4 @ChangeA@ 3t turned into three !engths of hempen rope4 'ith 'hi"h he (ound the monster1s hands (ehind his (a"#8 the monster do"i!e!6 put his hands there and !et Bon#e6 tie him up. Then Bon#e6 seiFed him (6 the ear and !ed him off 'ith the 'ords4 @Kui"# mar"h.@ @Ta#e it eas64@ the monster p!eaded. @?ou1re pu!!ing so hard 6ou1re hurting m6 ear.@ @Can1t (e done4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @Can1t sho' 6ou an6 fa+ours. /s the o!d sa6ing has it4 1e+en a good pig must (e hand!ed rough!6.1 Wait unti! 6ou1+e seen m6 master. 3f 6ou rea!!6 are sin"ere4 6ou1!! (e re!eased then.@ The t'o of them 'ent (a"# through "!oud and mist to 5ao :i!!age4 and there is a poem to pro+e it%

The 5o!den :aEra is stronger than Wood4 The Bind /pe "ou!d (ring the Wooden *ragon to su(mission. When Beta! o(e6ed and Wood 'as tamed the6 'ere at one8 When Wood 'as !o+ing and Beta! #ind the6 'or#ed together. $ne host and one guest 'ith nothing to #eep them apart4 With the three in harmon6 the6 had a m6sterious po'er. 2ature and fee!ings (oth reEoi"ed as the6 Eoined in the -upreme 9rin"ip!e8 The6 (oth promised 'ithout reser+ation to go to the West.

3n a moment the6 'ere (a"# at the +i!!age. 0o!ding the monster1s ra#e in one hand and t'isting his ear 'ith the other4 he said4 @*o 6ou #no' 'ho that is sitting up straight in the main ha!!G 3t1s m6 master.@ When $!d 5ao and a!! his friends and re!ations sa' Bon#e6 "oming4 tugging the (ound monster (6 his ear4 the6 a!! "ame into the "ourt6ard and said happi!64 @:enera(!e sir4 this is the son−in−!a' a!! right.@ The monster 'ent for'ard4 fe!! to his #nees4 and #o'to'ed to -anFang 'ith his hands (ehind his (a"#. @Baster4@ he shouted4 @?our dis"ip!e fai!ed to 'e!"ome 6ou. 0ad 3 #no'n4 master4 that 6ou 'ere sta6ing in m6 father−in−!a'1s house4 31d ha+e "ome to greet 6ou and do homage4 and 31d ha+e (een sa+ed a!! this agon6.@ @0o' did 6ou ma#e him su(mit and "ome to pa6 homageG@ -anFang as#ed Bon#e6.

Bon#e6 then !et the monster go4 hit him 'ith the hand!e of the ra#e4 and 6e!!ed4 @Te!! him4 foo!.@ The monster then to!d -anFang a!! a(out ho' he had (een "on+erted (6 the odhisatt+a. -anFang 'as so p!eased that he as#ed ->uire 5ao for an in"ense ta(!e to (e (rought4 'hi"h 'as done at on"e. -anFang then 'ashed his hands4 (urnt in"ense4 (o'ed !o' to the -outh4 and said4 @Than#s (e to the odhisatt+a for her di+ine gra"e.@ The e!ders a!so (urnt in"ense and (o'ed !o' in 'orship. When this 'as done4 -anFang too# the seat of honour in the ha!! and to!d Bon#e6 to untie the monster. Bon#e6 shoo# himse!f to ta#e his hairs (a"#4 and the ropes untied themse!+es. The monster (o'ed to -anFang on"e more and +o'ed to go to the West 'ith him. Then he (o'ed to Bon#e6 as his e!der (rother (e"ause he had Eoined first4 addressing him as @e!der (rother@ from then on. @3f 6ou 'ish to earn a good re'ard (6 going 'ith me as m6 dis"ip!e4 31!! gi+e 6ou a uddhist name to "a!! 6ou (6.@ @Baster4@ he rep!ied4 @When the odhisatt+a !aid her hands upon m6 head and to!d me to o(e6 the prohi(itions4 she ga+e me a uddhist name−−Lhu Wuneng4 9ig /'a#ened to 9o'er.@ @Wonderfu!4 'onderfu!4@ said rother Bon#e6 'ith a smi!e4 @31m "a!!ed Wu#ong4 /'a#ened to 7mptiness4 and 6ou1re "a!!ed /'a#ened to 9o'er. That ma#es us mem(ers of the same se"t in the uddhist faith.@ @Baster4@ said 9ig4 @3 ha+e (een instru"ted (6 the odhisatt+a and 3 ne+er eat the fi+e stin#ing foods and the three for(idden meats−−'i!d goose4 dog4 and sna#ehead. 31+e eaten +egetarian food in m6 father−in−!a'1s house and ne+er tou"hed the stin#ing foods8 (ut no' that 3 ha+e met 6ou4 master4 31m freed from these restri"tions.@ @?ou are not4@ -anFang rep!ied. @?ou are not to eat the fi+e stin#ing foods and the three for(idden meats4 and 31m gi+ing 6ou another name% 7ight 9rohi(itions4 or aEie.@ @3 sha!! o(e6 m6 master1s "ommand4@ the moron happi!6 rep!ied4 and from then on he 'as #no'n as Lhu aEie4 or 7ight 9rohi(itions 9ig. ->uire 5ao 'as happier than e+er to see that he had turned from e+i! to good4 and he ordered his ser+ants to set out (an>uet 'ith 'hi"h to than# the Tang 9riest. 9ig 'ent o+er to ->uire 5ao4 tugged at his "oat4 and said4 @-ir4 ma6 m6 'ife "ome out and pa6 her respe"ts to these t'o gent!emenG@ @ rother4@ said Bon#e6 'ith a !augh. @?ou1+e entered the "hur"h no' and (e"ome a mon#. *on1t e+er ta!# a(out a 'ife again. $n!6 Taoist priests "an ha+e fami!ies−−'e uddhist mon#s ne+er marr6. ;et1s a!! sit do'n and eat a +egetarian mea!4 then 'e "an set off ear!6 tomorro' morning on our Eourne6 to the West.@ ->uire 5ao had the ta(!e and "hairs set out and as#ed -anFang ta#e the seat of honour. Bon#e6 and 9ig sat on his !eft and right4 and a!! the re!ations sat (e!o' them. ->uire 5ao opened a pot of 'ine4 from 'hi"h he fi!!ed a "up and poured a !i(ation to 0ea+en and 7arth (efore handing it to -anFang. @.ran#!64 sir4@ -anFang said4 @3 ha+e (een a +egetarian from the 'om(4 and ha+e not "onsumed strong−f!a+oured food sin"e m6 ear!iest "hi!dhood.@ @:enera(!e master4 3 #no' that 6ou are a +egetarian4@ ->uire 5ao rep!ied4 @'hi"h is 'h6 3 ha+en1t pressed an6 meat or strong−f!a+oured food upon 6ou. ut this 'ine is made from +egeta(!e matter4 so a "up of it 'i!! do no harm.@ @3 don1t drin# either4@ -anFang eDp!ained4 @as a!"oho! is the first of the prohi(itions of the priesthood.@ @Baster4@ pig hasti!6 interEe"ted4 @3 ma6 (e a +egetarian4 (ut 3 ha+en1t gi+en up !i>uor.@

@/nd a!though 3 ha+en1t strong head for the stuff and "an1t finish a 'ho!e Ear of it4 3 ha+en1t gi+en it up either4@ Bon#e6 added. @3n that "ase 6ou t'o had (etter drin# some8 (ut don1t get drun# and ruin e+er6thing4@ said -anFang. The pair of them then too# the first "up4 after 'hi"h e+er6one sat do'n again as the +egetarian dishes 'ere (rought in. Words "ou!d not des"ri(e the f!o'ing "ups4 the 'e!!−fi!!ed dishes4 and the sp!endid food. When master and dis"ip!es had eaten4 ->uire 5ao (rought pie"es of go!d and si!+er to the 'eight of t'o hundred oun"es on a red !a">uer tra6 and offered them to the three pi!grims to he!p 'ith the eDpenses of their Eourne6. Then he produ"ed three (ro"ade−"o!!ared go'ns that "ou!d ser+e as o+er"oats. @We are mendi"ant mon#s4@ said -anFang4 @Who (eg for our food in the +i!!ages and other p!a"es through 'hi"h 'e pass4 so 'e "ou!d not possi(!6 a""ept go!d4 si!+er4 or "!oth.@ Bon#e6 then mar"hed up and gra((ed a handfu! of the mone6. Then he addressed the 6oung man 5ao Cai. @?esterda64@ he said4 @3 trou(!ed 6ou to !ead m6 master here4 and toda6 he has re"ruited another dis"ip!e4 (ut 'e ha+e (een una(!e to sho' our gratitude. -o ta#e these pie"es of go!d and si!+er as 6our fee for guiding us4 and (u6 6ourse!f a pair of stra' sanda!s. 3f 6ou ha+e an6 more e+i! spirits in future4 and 6ou he!p us again4 'e1!! (e a(!e to sho' e+en more appre"iation.@ The 6oung man 5ao Cai too# the go!d and si!+er4 then #o'to'ed to eDpress his than#s. @3f 6ou 'on1t ta#e go!d or si!+er4@ ->uire 5ao said4 @p!ease (e good enough to a""ept these rough "!othes as a mar# of our gratitude.@ @3f 'e mon#s a""epted a sing!e thread4 'e 'ou!d ha+e to atone for it for a thousand ages4@ rep!ied -anFang. @3t 'i!! suffi"e if 'e ta#e the pan"a#es and fruit that 'e ha+en1t eaten 'ith us as pro+isions for the Eourne6.@ @Baster4 e!der (rother4@ said 9ig4 'ho 'as standing (eside them4 @it1s a!! right for 6ou t'o to refuse them4 (ut 3 'as a son−in−!a' in this fami!6 for se+era! 6ears4 and 3 deser+es three (ushe!s of grain to ta#e 'ith me. $n 6es4 father−in−!a'4 m6 tuni" 'as torn (6 e!der (rother 6esterda6 and m6 shoes ha+e sp!it4 so p!ease gi+e me a (!a"# (ro"ade "asso"# and a good pair of ne' shoes.@ $!d ->uire 5ao4 'ho "ou!d s"ar"e!6 refuse this re>uest4 ga+e him the ne' shoes and a tuni" in eD"hange for his o!d ones. 9ig s'aggered o+er to $!d 5ao4 "hanted a @na−a−a'@ of respe"t4 and said4 @9!ease inform m6 mother−in−!a'4 m6 sisters−in−!a'4 m6 (rothers−in−!a'4 and m6 un"!es that 3 ha+e (e"ome a mon# toda64 and as# them to eD"use me for not sa6ing good−(6e to them in person. .ather−in−!a'4 !oo# after m6 'ife 'e!!. 3f 'e don1t get the s"riptures4 31!! go (a"# to !a6 !ife and 'or# for 6ou as a son−in−!a' again.@ @Boron4@ shouted Bon#e64 @stop ta!#ing nonsense.@ @31m doing nothing of the sort4@ 9ig rep!ied4 @3 am thin#ing that if things go 'rong 31d (e 'asting m6 time as a mon#4 and m6 'ife1s marriage 'ou!d ha+e (een ruined4 (oth for nothing.@ @7nough of 6our id!e "hatter4@ said -anFang4 @!et1s (e on our 'a6 at on"e.@ Their !uggage 'as hung from a "arr6ing−po!e on pig1s shou!ders. When the 'hite horse 'as sadd!ed4 -anFang mounted it4 and Bon#e6 !ed the 'a6 'ith his iron "udge! o+er his shou!der. Thus the three of them !eft ->uire 5ao4 his re!ations4 and his friends4 and headed West. There is a pome to pro+e it that goes%

The trees to'er a(o+e the mist6 earth

/s the Tang dis"ip!es of uddha toi! and suffer. When hungr64 the6 (eg their food from a thousand homes8 When "o!d the6 'ear "!oa#s 'ith a thousand pat"hes. *o not a!!o' the Thought−horse to run 'i!d4 /nd don1t !et the stu((orn Bind−ape ho'! at 'i!!. With passions sti!!ed and one1s nature firm4 a!! destinies are in harmon68 When the fu!! moon of "ontemp!ation is rea"hed4 6ou 'i!! (e pure.

/fter tra+e!!ing pea"efu!!6 West'ards for a month4 the three of them !eft the territor6 of -tu(et and sa' a mountain soaring up a(o+e their heads. -anFang stopped 'hipping his horse on4 reined him in4 and said4 @Bon#e64 Bon#e64 that1s a high mountain in front of us4 so p!ease go and re"onnoiter it.@ @2o need4@ said 9ig. @3t1s "a!!ed 9agoda Bountain4 and there1s a ,oo#1s 2est 0ermit 'ho "u!ti+ates his "ondu"t on it. 31+e met him.@ @What does he doG@ -anFang as#ed. @0e has some po'ers4@ 9ig rep!ied. @0e on"e in+ited me to "u!ti+ate m6 "ondu"t 'ith him4 (ut 3 didn1t go.@ /s master and dis"ip!es ta!#ed the6 'ere soon on the mountain. 3t 'as a sp!endid mountain at that%

-outh of it 'ere (!ue pines and +erdant !o"ust trees4 To the 2orth 'ere green 'i!!o's and red pea"h−(!ossom. Ca'ing noisi!64 The 'i!d (irds ta!#ed to ea"h other8 -oaring gra"efu!!64 The "ranes f!e' together. ,i"h in fragran"e Were the thousands of different f!o'ers8 -oft!6 dar# Were the end!ess #inds of her(s. 3n the gu!!ies 'ere (u((!ing green streams4

The "rags 'ere 'reathed in auspi"ious "!oud. 3t 'as indeed a s"ene of rare and e!egant (eaut6. ;one!64 'here no man "ame or 'ent.

/s the master sur+e6ed the s"ene from his horse he noti"ed a grass hut in front of a fragrant !o"ust tree. To the !eft of it 'ere *a+id1s−deer 'ith f!o'ers in their mouths4 and to the right 'ere mon#e6s ho!ding offerings of fruit4 'hi!e phoeniDes of man6 "o!ours 'hee!ed around the top of the tree4 in 'hi"h "ranes and go!den pheasants had gathered. 9ig pointed and said4 @That1s the ,oo#1s 2est 0ermit.@ -anFang ga+e his horse the rein4 'hipped it on4 and 'ent straight to the foot of the tree. When the hermit sa' the three of them "oming he Eumped do'n from his (ird1s nest. -anFang dismounted and (o'ed to him4 and on!6 then the hermit rep!64 he!ping him up4 @9!ease arise4 ho!6 priest. 31m sorr6 3 did not 'e!"ome 6ou proper!6.@ @5reetings4 +enera(!e hermit4@ said 9ig. @/ren1t 6ou the 3ron−haired 9ig from the Bount of !essingG 0o' ha+e 6ou had the great good fortune of tra+e!!ing 'ith a ho!6 mon#G@ @;ast 6ear4@ rep!ied 9ig4 @3 'as "on+erted (6 the odhisatt+a 5uan6in4 and 3 s'ore that 31d go 'ith him as his dis"ip!e.@ @Wonderfu!4 'onderfu!4@ eD"!aimed the de!ighted hermit4 'ho then pointed at Bon#e6 and as#ed4 @Who is this gent!emanG@ @$!d hermit4@ said Bon#e64 @ho' is it that 6ou #no' him (ut didn1t re"ogniFe meG@ @9!ease eD"use m6 ignoran"e4@ the hermit rep!ied. @0e is -un Wu#ong4 the senior of m6 dis"ip!es4@ eDp!ained -anFang. @3 apo!ogiFe for m6 dis"ourtes64@ said the hermit. -anFang (o'ed again and as#ed him the 'a6 to the 5reat Thunder Bonaster6 in the Western 0ea+en. @.ar a'a64@ the other rep!ied4 @far a'a6. The Eourne6 is a !ong one and there are man6 tigers and !eopards a!ong the 'a6. 3t 'i!! (e diffi"u!t.@ @0o' far is itG@ as#ed -anFang 'ith great interest. @/!though the Eourne6 is a !ong one4@ the hermit rep!ied4 @6ou are (ound to get there in the end. ut there 'i!! (e e+i! inf!uen"es that 6ou1!! find hard to dispe!. 3 ha+e a -eart Sutra, a tota! of 270 'ords in 54 senten"es4 and if 6ou re"ite it 'hen 6ou en"ounter e+i! inf!uen"es 6ou 'i!! "ome to no harm.@ -anFang prostrated himse!f on the ground and (egged the hermit to te!! him it4 and the hermit re"ited it to him. 3t 'ent%

When the odhisatt+a /+a!o#ites+ara 'as meditating on the profound praEna−paramita4 he per"ei+ed that a!! the fi+e aggregates are +oid and empt64 and he 'as thereupon freed from a!! sufferings and "a!amities.

-ariputra4 matter is not different from +oidness and +oidness is not different from matter% matter is +oidness and +oidness is matter. -u"h is a!so the "ase 'ith sensation4 per"eption4 dis"rimination and "ons"iousness. -ariputra4 a!! these things are +oid in nature4 ha+ing neither (eginning nor end4 (eing neither pure nor impure4 and ha+ing neither in"rease nor de"rease. Therefore4 in +oidness there is not matter4 no sensation4 no per"eption4 no dis"rimination and no "ons"iousness8 there is no e6e4 no ear4 no nose4 no tongue4 no (od6 and no mind8 there is no sight4 no sound4 no sme!!4 no taste4 no tou"h and no menta! pro"ess8 there is no "ategor6 of e6e nor is there a "ategor6 of "ons"iousness8 no ignoran"e nor the "essation of ignoran"e8 no o!d age and death4 nor the "essation of o!d age and death8 there is no suffering4 no "auses of suffering4 no "essation of suffering4 and no 'a6 !eading go the "essation of suffering8 and there is no 'isdom4 nor an6thing to (e gained. /s nothing is to (e gained4 a odhisatt+a depending on praEna−paramita (e"omes free in his mind4 and as he is free in his mind he has no fear and is rid of dream!i#e thoughts of unrea!it6 and enEo6s u!timate 2ir+ana. 6 mean of praEna−paramita4 a!! uddhas of the past4 the present and the future rea!iFe anuttara−sam6a#−sam(odhi. Therefore4 'e #no' praEna−paramita is a great4 di+ine spe!!4 a great en!ightening spe!!4 a supreme spe!!4 and a spe!! 'ithout a para!!e!4 that "an do a'a6 'ith a!! sufferings 'ithout fai!. Thus 'e re"ite the 9raEna−paramita -pe!! and sa6% 5ate4 gate4 paragate4 parasamgate4 (odhi4 s+ahaA

/s the 9atriar"h from the Tang had a!read6 the origins of en!ightenment inside himse!f4 he 'as a(!e to remem(er the -eart Sutra after on!6 one hearing4 and it has (een passed on do'n to this +er6 da6. This sutra is the #erne! of the "u!ti+ation of the truth4 and it is the gate'a6 to (e"oming a uddha. When the hermit had re"ited it4 he started to rise up to his "ro'1s nest (6 "!oud4 (ut -anFang tugged at him and said that he 'anted to #no' a(out the 'a6 to the Western 0ea+en. To this the hermit rep!ied 'ith a smi!e%

@The Eourne6 'i!! not (e diffi"u!t4 3f 6ou tr6 to fo!!o' m6 instru"tions. There 'i!! (e a thousand mountains4 a thousand deep ri+ers. Ban6 e+i! miasmas4 and man6 a de+i!. 3f 6ou rea"h the edge of the s#6 *o not 'orr6 or (e afraid. 3f 6ou "ome to 9re"ipitous C!iff Wa!# 'ith 6our feet p!a"ed side'a6s. e "arefu! in the !a"# 9ine .orest4 Where man6 an e+i! foD ma6 (!o"# 6our path. The "apita! "ities 'i!! (e fu!! of spirits4 /nd demon #ings 'i!! !i+e in the mountains.

Tigers 'i!! sit in the musi" rooms4

Wo!+es 'i!! (e in "harge of the a""ounts. ;ions and e!ephants 'i!! a!! (e #ings4 With tigers and !eopards for ministers. / 'i!d (oar 'i!! "arr6 6our !uggage4 / 'ater monster 'i!! !ead the 'a6. / +er6 o!d stone mon#e6 0as no "ause to (e angr6. /s# those friends of 6ours−− The6 #no' the 'a6 to the West.@

Bon#e6 smi!ed (itter!6 and said4 @;et1s go. 2o need to as# him8 6ou "an as# me.@ -anFang did not understand 'hat he meant. The hermit "hanged himse!f into a (eam of go!den !ight and 'ent up to his nest4 'hi!e the +enera(!e -anFang (o'ed to him in gratitude. Bon#e64 no' furious!6 angr64 raised his iron "udge! and 'as Eust going up to 're"# the p!a"e 'hen ten thousand !otus f!o'ers appeared4 prote"ted (6 a thousand mira"u!ous mists. rother Bon#e64 6ou are strong enough to stir up the o"ean or turn a ri+er upside−do'n8 (ut don1t e+en dream of tou"hing a t'ig of that nestA When -anFang sa' 'hat he 'as going to do4 he gra((ed ho!d of him and said4 @Wu#ong4 'hat do 6ou mean (6 tr6ing to 're"# this odhisatt+a1s nestG@ @0e insu!ted us t'o dis"ip!es4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @0e did not insu!t 6ou4@ said -anFang. @0e 'as ta!#ing a(out the 'a6 to the Western 0ea+en.@ @?ou 'ou!dn1t (e a(!e to understand4@ Bon#e6 said. @When he said4 1/ 'i!d (oar 'i!! "arr6 6our !uggage41 he 'as insu!ting 9ig8 and 1/ +er6 o!d stone mon#e61 'as an insu!t to me. ?ou didn1t get his meaning4 of "ourse.@ @*on1t (e angr64@ said 9ig. @That hermit #no's a(out the past and the future as 'e!!. We don1t 6et #no' 'hether his ta!# a(out a 'ater monster !eading the 'a6 'i!! "ome true or not. ;et him off.@ Bon#e6 sa' the !otus (!ossoms and the mira"u!ous mists dra' in round the nest4 and "ou!d (ut as# his master to mount the horse and go do'n the mountain to the West. $n this Eourne64

/!though the6 #ne' (!essings rare on earth4 There 'as man6 a demon and disaster in the hi!!.

3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hat !a6 in store for them4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment.

Chapter 20 The Tang 9riest Beets Trou(!e on the ?e!!o' Wind ,idge 9ig Wins Baster6 0a!f'a6 up the Bountain

The *harma is (orn in the mind4 /nd in turn is destro6ed (6 the mind. Who do !ife and death "ome fromG *e"ide for 6ourse!f. 3f it is a!! from 6our o'n mind4 Wh6 do 6ou need others to te!! 6ouG /!! 6ou need to do is 'or# hard4 ->ueeFing (!ood out of iron. Thread a si!#en rope through 6our nose. /nd fasten 6ourse!f to emptiness. Tie it to the tree of non−a"tion4 To pre+ent it from "o!!apsing. *on1t a"#no'!edge (andits as 6our sons4 $r 6ou 'i!! forget the *harma and the mind. *o not a!!o' 6ourse!f to (e de"ei+ed (6 others−− -mash them first 'ith a pun"h. When the mind appears it is non−eDistent4 When the *harma appears4 it "eases. When the (o6 and the oD (oth disappear4 The (!ue s#6 is a(so!ute!6 "!ear. /!! is as round as an autumn moon4

/nd this and that "an no !onger (e distinguished.

This gatha refers to ho' the 9atriar"h =uanFang "ame to a'areness and understanding of the -eart Sutra and thus opened the gate. /s that +enera(!e e!der re"ited it "onstant!64 a ra6 of mira"u!ous !ight penetrated through to him. 7ating and s!eeping in the open4 the three of them tra+e!ed on4 and (efore !ong the heat of summer 'as upon them.

The (!ossoms 'ere o+er4 the (utterf!ies1 passion spent. 0igh in the trees the "i"adas s"ree"hed. Wi!d si!#'orms spun "o"oons amid the pomegranate (!ossom4 /s !otus f!o'ers opened in the poo!.

/s the6 'ere tra+e!!ing a!ong one e+ening the6 sa' a "ottage (eside the road. @;oo#4@ said -anFang4 @the sun is setting (ehind the Western hi!!s4 hiding its mirror of fire4 and the moon is rising from the 7astern sea to sho' its 'hee! of i"e. 0o' !u"#6 that there is a fami!6 !i+ing (6 our path. ;et1s spend the night here and set off again tomorro' morning.@ @We!! said4@ put in 9ig. @31m a (it hungr64 and if 'e (egged some food from that house 31d ha+e more strength for "arr6ing the !uggage.@ @0omesi"# ghost4@ remar#ed rother Bon#e64 @6ou1+e on!6 (een a'a6 from home for a fe' da6s4 (ut 6ou1re a!read6 regretting that 6ou "ame.@ @7!der (rother4@ 9ig rep!ied4 @3 "an1t !i+e on 'ind and mist !i#e 6ou. ?ou "ou!dn1t rea!iFe ho' the hunger1s (een gna'ing at m6 stoma"h a!! these da6s 31+e (een fo!!o'ing our master.@ @9ig4@ said -anFang4 @if 6our heart is sti!! at home4 6ou are not intended for a re!igious !ife4 and 6ou1d (etter go (a"#.@ The oafish 9ig fe!! to his #nees and p!eaded4 @Baster4 p!ease don1t pa6 an6 attention to 'hat m6 e!der (rother sa6s% it1s an insu!t. 0e sa6s 3 'ish 3 hadn1t "ome4 (ut in fa"t 31+e had no regrets at a!!. 3 ma6 (e stupid4 (ut 31m straight. 3 Eust said that 3 'as hungr6 and 'ant to (eg for some food4 and he starts "a!!ing me a homesi"# ghost. ut the odhisatt+a to!d me a(out the prohi(itions4 and 6ou ha+e (een so #ind to me8 so 3 rea!!6 do 'ant to ser+e 6ou on 6our Eourne6 to the West. 31!! ne+er ha+e an6 regrets4 3 s'ear 3 'on1t. This is 'hat the6 "a!! 1"u!ti+ating "ondu"t the hard 'a61. What right ha+e 6ou to sa6 3 shou!dn1t (e a mon#G@ @:er6 'e!! then4@ said -anFang4 @up 6ou get.@ The idiot !eapt up4 and pi"#ed up the "arr6ing−po!e4 "hattering in"essant!6. Then he pressed grim!6 on. efore !ong the6 rea"hed the roadside house4 'here -anFang dismounted as Bon#e6 too# the (rid!e and 9ig put do'n his (urden. The6 a!! stood in a green shade. -anFang too# his nine−ringed monasti" staff4

straightened his rattan hat4 and hurried to the gates4 'here he sa' an o!d man !6ing (a"# on a (am(oo (ed mum(!ing uddhist s"riptures to himse!f.

2ot 'anting to shout !oud!64 -anFang said in a >uiet +oi"e4 @5reetings4 (enefa"tor.@ The o!d man sprang to his feet4 straightened his "!othes4 and "ame out through the gate to return his greeting. @7D"use m6 dis"ourtes64 +enera(!e sir4@ he said4 going on to as#4 @Where are 6ou from4 and 'h6 ha+e 6ou "ome to m6 hum(!e a(odeG@ @3 am a mon# from the 5reat Tang in the 7ast4@ -anFang rep!ied4 @and 3 (ear an imperia! "ommand to 'orship the uddha in the Thunder Bonaster6 and as# for the s"riptures. /s 'e find ourse!+es in this distri"t at nightfa!!4 3 'ou!d (e enormous!6 o(!iged if 6ou "ou!d a!!o' us to spend the night in 6our mansion.@ @?ou1!! ne+er get there4@ said the o!d man 'ith a 'a+e of his hand and a sha#e of his head. @3t1s impossi(!e to get s"riptures from the Western 0ea+en. 3f 6ou 'ant s"riptures 6ou1d (etter go to the 7astern 0ea+en.@ -anFang said nothing as he as#ed himse!f 'h6 the o!d man 'as te!!ing them to go 7ast 'hen the odhisatt+a had instru"ted them to go West. 0o' "ou!d the s"riptures (e o(tained in the 7ast4 he as#ed himse!f. 3n his em(arrassment he 'as at !oss for 'ords4 so he made no rep!6. Bon#e64 'ho 'as rough (6 his +er6 nature4 "ou!d not stand for this4 so he 'ent up to the o!d man and shouted4 @$!d fe!!o'4 6ou ma6 (e +er6 an"ient (ut 6ou1re a "omp!ete foo!. We ho!6 men from far a'a6 "ome to as# for !odging4 (ut a!! 6ou "an do is to tr6 to put us off. 3f 6our house is too po#6 and there isn1t room for us to s!eep in it4 'e1!! sit under the trees a!! night and 'on1t trou(!e 6ou an6 further.@ The o!d man gra((ed ho!d of -anFang and said4 @Baster4 6ou didn1t 'arn me that 6ou had a dis"ip!e 'ith su"h a t'isted fa"e and no "hin to spea# of4 !oo#ing !i#e a thunder god 'ith his red e6es. ?ou shou!dn1t !et a demon of si"#ness !i#e him a!arm and offend a person of m6 age.@ @?ou1re "omp!ete!6 !a"#ing in Eudgement4 o!d man4@ Bon#e6 said 'ith a !augh. @Those prett6 (o6s ma6 !oo# good (ut4 as the6 sa64 the6 don1t taste good. 3 ma6 (e !itt!e (ut 31m tough4 and it1s a!! mus"!e under m6 s#in.@ @3 suppose 6ou must ha+e some po'ers4@ the o!d man remar#ed. @Without 'ishing to (oast4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @3 "an get (6.@ @Where is 6our home4@ the o!d man as#ed4 @and 'h6 did 6ou sha+e 6our head and (e"ome a mon#G@ @B6 an"estra! home is the Water Curtain Ca+e on the Bountain of .!o'ers and .ruit in the !and of /o!ai 'hi"h !ies a"ross the sea to the 7ast of the 7astern Continent of -uperior od6. 3 !earned ho' to (e an e+i! monster from "hi!dhood4 and m6 name 'as Wu#ong4 or /'a#ened to 7mptiness. 3 used m6 a(i!ities to ma#e m6se!f the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en4 (ut as 3 de"!ined hea+en!6 offi"e and raised a great re(e!!ion against the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e4 3 (rought a disaster do'n on m6 o'n head. B6 sufferings are no' o+er. 31+e turned to the uddhist faith and am see#ing a good re'ard for the future (6 es"orting 0is Tang 7D"e!!en"64 m6 master4 on his Eourne6 to the Western 0ea+en to +isit the uddha. 31m not afraid of high mountains 'ith pre"ipitous paths4 or of (road ri+ers 'ith huge 'a+es. 3 "an "at"h monsters and su(due demons4 "apture tigers or dragons4 'a!# in the s#64 or (urro' into the earth. /s !ong as 6our mansion has a fe' (ro#en (ri"#s and ti!es4 a singing pot and an open door4 31!! (e a(!e to rest here "ontented.@ /fter hearing this spee"h4 the o!d man said 'ith a "hu"#!e4 @-o 6ou1re a mon# 'ith the gift of the ga( 'ho sudden!6 s'it"hed destinies.@

@?ou1re the ga((er4 m6 "hi!d4@ retorted Bon#e6. @31m too tired after the strain of the Eourne6 'ith m6 master to (e a(!e to ta!#.@ @3t1s as 'e!! 6ou are4@ the o!d man rep!ied4 @or 6ou1d (e ta!#ing me to death. 3f 6ou ha+e a!! these po'ers 6ou1!! (e a(!e to rea"h the West. 0o' man6 of 6ou are thereG 9!ease "ome into m6 "ottage for the night.@ @Than# 6ou +er6 mu"h for not !osing 6our temper 'ith him4@ -anFang said. @There are three of us.@ @Where is the thirdG@ the o!d man as#ed. @?our e6es are +er6 dim4 o!d man4@ said Bon#e64 pointing as he "ontinued4 @Can1t 6ou see him standing in the shade thereG@ When the o!d man4 'hose e6es 'ere indeed dim4 !oo#ed "arefu!!6 and sa' 9ig1s fa"e he 'as so terrified that he ran into the house shouting4 @-hut the gates4 shut the gates4 there1s a monster here.@ Bon#e6 ran after him and gra((ed him. @*on1t (e afraid4 o!d fe!!o'4@ he said4 @he1s not an e+i! monster4 he1s a fe!!o'−dis"ip!e of mine.@ @:er6 'e!! then4@ rep!ied the o!d man4 'ho 'as trem(!ing a!! o+er4 @(ut 'hat a hideous "reature to (e a mon#.@ /s the o!d man 'as ta!#ing to the three mon#s in front of the gates4 t'o 6oung men appeared at the -outhern end of the farm (ringing an o!d 'oman and three or four "hi!dren (a"# from transp!anting ri"e−seed!ings4 for 'hi"h reason their "!othes 'ere tu"#ed up and their feet 'ere (are. When the6 sa' the 'hite horse and the "arr6ing po!e 'ith !uggage and heard the shouting at the gates of their home4 the6 did not #no' 'hat 'as up4 so the6 rushed for'ard and as#ed4 @What are 6ou doingG@ 9ig turned round4 f!apped his ears4 and thrust his snout at them4 at 'hi"h the6 a!! "o!!apsed in terror or f!ed. 3n the "onfusion -anFang #ept "a!!ing out4 @*on1t (e afraid4 don1t (e afraid4 'e are good men4 'e are mon#s going to fet"h the s"riptures.@ The o!d man then "ame out again4 and he!ped the o!d 'oman to her feet. @Hp 6ou get4 'ife4@ he said4 @there1s no "a!! for pani". This ho!6 father is from the Tang "ourt4 and a!though his dis"ip!es are a (it ug!64 their hearts are in the right p!a"e. 9!ease ta#e the 6oungsters inside.@ The o!d 'oman "!ung to the o!d man 'hi!e the t'o 6oung men too# the "hi!dren inside. /s he sat on a (am(oo "hair in the gatehouse4 -anFang said indignant!64 @*is"ip!es4 the pair of 6ou are ug!6 to !oo# at4 and 6our !anguage is too "oarse. ?ou ga+e that 'ho!e fami!6 a terri(!e fright4 and got me into trou(!e.@ @3 te!! 6ou truthfu!!64 master4@ 9ig rep!ied4 @that 31+e gro'n (etter−!oo#ing sin"e 31+e (een fo!!o'ing 6ou. When 3 !i+ed in 5ao :i!!age 3 !oo#ed so a'fu! that 3 often used to s"are t'ent6 or thirt6 peop!e to death (6 ma#ing a fa"e and 'agg!ing m6 ears.@ @*on1t eDaggerate4 stupid4@ said Bon#e6 'ith a smi!e4 @and tid6 that ug!6 mug of 6ours up a (it.@ @What nonsense 6ou1re ta!#ing4 Bon#e64@ said -anFang. @0e 'as (orn that 'a64 so ho' "an 6ou eDpe"t him to tid6 his fa"e upG@

@0e "ou!d sti"# his ra#e of a snout into his "hest4 and not (ring it out8 and he "ou!d !a6 those fan−shaped ears do'n (ehind his head and not 'agg!e them. That 'ou!d tid6 his appearan"e up.@ 9ig then tu"#ed his snout a'a6 and !aid his ears (a"#4 and stood (eside -anFang 'ith his head (o'ed. rother Bon#e6 too# the !uggage inside and tethered the 'hite horse to a post. The o!d man "ame out again 'ith a 6oung man 'ho 'as "arr6ing a tra6 'ith three "ups of tea on it4 and 'hen it had (een drun# he ga+e instru"tions for a +egetarian mea! to (e prepared. The 6oung man then (rought out an o!d4 dented4 and un!a">uered ta(!e4 as 'e!! as a pair of (en"hes 'ith "hipped tops and (ro#en !egs4 'hi"h he put in a "oo! spot (efore as#ing the three of them to sit do'n. -anFang then as#ed the o!d man his surname4 and 'as to!d4 @?our hum(!e ser+ant1s surname is Wang.@ @0o' man6 des"endants ha+e 6ouG@ @T'o sons and three grand"hi!dren.@ @Congratu!ations4 "ongratu!ations4@ said -anFang8 then he as#ed the o!d man ho' o!d he 'as. @3 ha+e !i+ed in m6 stupidit6 to siDt6−one.@ @-p!endid4 sp!endid4 6ou ha+e (egun a ne' "6"!e4@ said -anFang. @ enefa"tor4@ he "ontinued4 @'h6 did 6ou sa6 at first that it 'ou!d (e impossi(!e to fet"h the s"riptures from the Western 0ea+enG@ @There is no pro(!em a(out a"tua!!6 getting the s"riptures4@ the o!d man rep!ied4 @it1s Eust that the Eourne6 'i!! (e +er6 diffi"u!t. $n!6 some t'e!+e mi!es to the West of here is a mountain "a!!ed the three−hundred mi!e ?e!!o' Wind ,idge4 and it1s fu!! of e+i! monsters. That1s 'h6 3 said it 'ou!d (e impossi(!e to get the s"riptures. ut as this 6ounger gent!eman sa6s he has so man6 magi" po'ers4 6ou 'i!! (e a(!e to get there.@ @Certain!64 "ertain!64@ said Bon#e6. @With me4 m6 master and m6 fe!!o'−dis"ip!e4 no de+i!s4 ho'e+er fier"e4 'i!! dare to pro+o#e us.@ /s he spo#e the 6outh "ame in 'ith food4 'hi"h he put on the ta(!e 'ith the 'ords4 @9!ease eat.@ -anFang put his hands together and started to re"ite the gra"e. 6 then 9ig had a!read6 s'a!!o'ed a (o'!fu!4 and the moron finished three more (efore the short pra6er 'as o+er. @What a "haff−guFF!er4@ said Bon#e6. @We do seem to ha+e run into a hungr6 ghost.@ $!d Wang4 ho'e+er4 found the speed at 'hi"h 9ig ate +er6 amusing4 and said4 @This re+erend gent!eman must (e +er6 hungr6. 5i+e him more ri"e at on"e.@ The stupid "reature indeed had a !arge stoma"h. ;oo# at him4 #eeping his head do'n as he de+ours at !east a doFen (o'!s. -anFang and Bon#e6 had not (een a(!e to finish t'o (o'!s4 (ut the idiot 'ou!d not stop and 'as sti!! eating. @/s this is far from (eing haute "uisine4 3 "annot press 6ou too hard4 (ut p!ease ta#e another mouthfu!.@ @We ha+e eaten enough4@ said -anFang and Bon#e68 (ut 9ig said4 @What are 6ou going on a(out4 o!d fe!!o'G Who1s (een te!!ing 6our fortuneG 3s that 'h6 6ou1re going on a(out >uiFFingG /n6ho'4 as !ong as there1s ri"e4 gi+e me some more.@ 3n a sing!e mea! the idiot ate a!! the ri"e in the house4 and sti!! said that he 'as on!6 ha!f−fu!!. Then the ta(!e 'as "!eared a'a64 (am(oo (eds 'ere set out for them in the gatehouse4 and the6 'ent to s!eep. /t da'n the neDt morning Bon#e6 'ent to sadd!e the horse 'hi!e 9ig pa"#ed the !uggage. $!d Wang to!d his 'ife to prepare some pastries and hot 'ater for then4 after 'hi"h the three of them than#ed him and said good−(6e. @3f an6thing goes 'rong on 6our Eourne64@ the o!d man said4 @6ou must "ome to our p!a"e.@

@*on1t (e so dis"ouraging4 o!d fe!!o'4@ said Bon#e6. @We1re dedi"ated4 and there1s no turning (a"# for us.@ With that the6 'hipped the horse4 pi"#ed up the "arr6ing−po!e4 and headed West. /!asA $n their Eourne6 there 'as no good path to the West4 and there 'ere undou(ted!6 demons and great disasters in store for them. efore the6 had (een going for ha!f a da64 the6 rea"hed the mountain. 3t 'as most pre"ipitous. -anFang rode as far as the edge of a "!iff4 then dismounted to ha+e a !oo#.

0igh 'as the mountain4 Cragg6 the ridge8 -teep the "!iffs4 *eep the +a!!e6s. -prings "ou!d (e heard4 /nd s'eet sme!t the f!o'ers. Was that mountain highG 3ts summit tou"hed the aFure hea+ens. Were the gorges deepG /t their (ottom 6ou "ou!d see the Hnder'or!d. 3n front of the mountain Were ro!!ing 'hite "!ouds4 /nd to'ering "rags. There 'ere no end of m6riad−fathom4 sou!−snat"hing "!iffs4 3n 'hi"h 'ere t'isting "a+es for dragons4 Ca+es fu!! of sta!a"tites dripping 'ith 'ater. 0e sa' deer 'ith (ran"hing ant!ers4 /nd ri+er−deer gaFing 'ith fiDed stare4 Coi!ed4 red−s"a!ed p6thons4 /nd mis"hie+ous4 'hite−fa"ed apes. /t e+ening tigers "!im(ed the hi!!s to find their dens8

*ragons emerged from the 'a+es at da'n4 To enter their "a+es 'ith thunderous roars. irds f!6ing in the grass ,ose in a f!urr68 easts 'a!#ing in the 'oods 0urried he!ter−s#e!ter. -udden!6 a pa"# of 'o!+es ran past4 Ba#ing the heart pound hard 'ith fear. This is a p!a"e 'here "a+es are !in#ed 'ith "a+es4 /nd mountains stand 'ith mountains. The green of the pea# made it !i#e ten thousand feet of Eade4 /s a m6riad "!ouds 'ere pi!ed a(o+e it !i#e a "o+er of (!uish gauFe.

Whi!e -anFang urged his si!+er6 steed s!o'!6 for'ard4 Bon#e6 stro!!ed ahead on his "!oud and 9ig am(!ed a!ong 'ith the "arr6ing−po!e. /s the6 !oo#ed at the mountain the6 heard a 'hir!'ind (!o'ing up4 and -anFang 'as a!armed. @Wu#ong4@ he said4 @there1s a 'hir!'ind "oming.@ @What1s there to (e afraid of a(out a 'indG@ said Bon#e6. @3t1s on!6 'eather4 after a!!4 and nothing to (e s"ared of.@ @ ut this is a +er6 e+i! 'ind4 not !i#e a natura! 'ind at a!!4@ -anFang rep!ied. @0o' "an 6ou te!!G@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @<ust !oo# at it4@ said -anFang%

@Bight6 and maEesti" it ho'!s and roars4 Coming out of the distant hea+ens. /s it "rosses the ridge the trees moan4 The trun#s (end 'hen it enters the 'ood.

@The 'i!!o' on the (an# is sha#en to its roots4 /nd f!o'ers and !ea+es go s'ir!ing round the garden. $n the fishing (oats gathering in nets4 the6 pu!! hard on the "a(!es8 -hips !o'er their sai!s4 and a!! "ast an"hor.

@The tra+e!er !oses his 'a6 in mid−Eourne64 The 'ood"utter in the hi!!s "annot "arr6 his !oad. The mon#e6s s"atter in the or"hards of fair6 fruit4 The deer f!ee from the "!umps of rare f!o'ers.

@;o"ust trees and "edars "o!!apse (efore the "!iff4 Whi!e pine and (am(oo in the +a!!e6 are stripped of !ea+es. There are stinging (!asts of dirt and sand4 /nd 'a+es (oi! on ri+ers and seas.@

9ig 'ent up to Bon#e6 and gra((ed ho!d of him. @ rother4@ he said4 @this is a terrifi" storm. ;et1s ta#e she!ter.@ @?ou1re use!ess4 (rother4@ rep!ied Bon#e6 'ith a mo"#ing !augh. @3f a (ig 'ind ma#es 6ou 'ant to hide4 'hat are 6ou going to do 'hen 6ou meet an e+i! spiritG@ @7!der (rother4 ha+e 6ou ne+er heard the sa6ing4 1/+oid a prett6 gir! as 6ou 'ou!d an enem64 a+oid a 'ind as 6ou 'ou!d an arro'G1@ 9ig rep!ied. @There1s no reason 'h6 'e shou!dn1t ta#e she!ter.@ @-top ta!#ing4 'i!! 6ou4 'hi!e 3 get a ho!d on that 'ind and ta#e a sniff at it4@ said Bon#e6. @?ou1re ta!#ing through 6our hat again4@ said 9ig 'ith a grin. @/s if 6ou "ou!d get a ho!d on a 'ind. esides4 e+en if 6ou did4 6our hand 'ou!d go through it.@ @What 6ou don1t #no'4 (rother4 is that 3 ha+e a magi" 'a6 of "at"hing 'inds4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. ;etting the head of the 'ind pass4 the sp!endid Bon#e6 gra((ed the tai! and sniffed at it. 3t had rather a fou! sten"h. @3t "ertain!6 isn1t a good 'ind4@ he remar#ed. @3t sme!!s !i#e either a tiger 'ind or a monster 'ind. There1s definite!6 something suspi"ious a(out it.@

efore the 'ords 'ere out of his mouth4 a fero"ious striped tiger !eapt out at the foot of the s!ope4 s!ashing 'ith its tai! and rushing to'ards them. -anFang 'as so s"ared that he "ou!d no !onger #eep his seat in his "ar+ed sadd!e4 (ut fe!! headfirst off his 'hite horse and !a6 spra'!ed in a 'it!ess heap (eside the path. 9ig thre' do'n the !uggage4 gra((ed his ra#e and4 not !etting Bon#e6 mo+e for'ard4 roared4 @/nima!4 'here d16ou thin# 6ou1re goingG@ 0e 'ent straight after it and smote it on the head. The tiger stood up on its hind !egs4 and 'ith a s'ing of its front !eft "!a's ripped at its o'n "hest. There 'as a tearing noise as its s#in a!! "ame off4 and then the "reature stood (eside the path. <ust see ho' hideous 'as%

/ gor64 s#inned (od64 ,ound4 red !egs and feet. .ier64 matted hair4 /nd straight4 (rist!ing e6e(ro's.

.our sinister stee!6 'hite fangs4 / pair of g!ittering go!den e6es. With soaring spirits it ga+e a might6 roar4 / might6 and maEesti" shout.

@2ot so fast4@ it 6e!!ed4 @not so fast. 3 am none other than the Commander of the :anguard for the 5reat ?e!!o' Wind Cing. 3 (ear 0is BaEest61s stri"test "ommand to patro! the mountain and "at"h a fe' "ommon morta!s as tid(its for him to ni((!e 'ith his 'ine. Where are 6ou from4 mon#4 and ho' dare 6ou 'ound me 'ith that 'eapon of 6oursG@ @31!! get 6ou4 6ou (east4@ rep!ied 9ig a(usi+e!6. @?ou don1t seem to rea!iFe that 31m not Eust an6 o!d passing tra+e!er% 31m a dis"ip!e of -anFang4 the 6ounger (rother of the Tang 7mperor of the 7ast4 'ho has (een sent (6 the 7mperor to +isit the uddha in the Western 0ea+en and as# for the s"riptures. 3f 6ou "!ear off4 stop (!o"#ing our path4 and don1t frighten m6 master an6 more4 31!! spare 6our !ife. ut if 6ou go on raging a(out !i#e that4 there1!! (e no mer"6 for 6ou.@ 2ot (othering to argue4 the e+i! spirit rushed at 9ig4 feinted4 and "!a'ed at his fa"e. 9ig dodged nim(!6 and s'ung his ra#e at the monster4 'ho turned and f!ed as he 'as unarmed. With 9ig at his hee!s he made for the (ottom of the s!ope and produ"ed t'o (ronFe s'ords from the tang!ed undergro'th there8 then4 (randishing them4 he turned to fa"e 9ig. The t'o of them (att!ed a'a6 at the foot of the hi!!4 !unging and hitting at ea"h other. Bon#e64 'ho 'as he!ping the Tang 9riest to sit up4 said4 @*on1t (e afraid4 master. ?ou sit here 'hi!e 3 he!p 9ig to defeat that monster4 then 'e "an (e on our 'a6.@ -anFang4 'ho had managed to sit up4 'as sha#ing a!! o+er and intoning the -eart Sutra.

Bon#e6 gra((ed his "udge! and shouted4 @5et it.@ 9ig made a tremendous effort4 and the monster f!ed from the s"ene of (att!e. @*on1t !et him get a'a64@ 6e!!ed Bon#e64 @6ou must "at"h it.@ The pair of them "hased the monster do'n the mountain4 'a+ing the ra#e and the "udge!. The monster 'as so hard−pressed that it did a @go!den "i"ada shedding its s#in@ tri"#. 3t re+erted to its rea! form−−a fero"ious tiger−−'ith a somersau!t4 (ut Bon#e6 and 9ig 'ou!d sti!! not !et it get a'a64 and 'ere hot on its hee!s4 determined to destro6 it. When the monster sa' ho' "!ose the6 'ere4 it ripped at its "hest and tore off its s#in again4 then !aid it o+er a ro"# that 'as shaped !i#e a "rou"hing tiger. Then it a(andoned its rea! (od64 turned into a hurri"ane4 and 'ent straight (a"# to the path4 'here it noti"ed -anFang re"iting the -eart Sutra. -anFang 'as gra((ed (6 the monster and "arried a'a6 on the 'ind. 9oor -anFang%

The Bon# of the ,i+er 'as fated to suffer mu"h8 3n the faith of 2ir+ana it is hard to 'in merit.

Carr6ing the Tang 9riest to the mouth of the "a+e4 the monster sti!!ed the hurri"ane and said to the gate#eepers4 @,eport to 0is BaEest6 at on"e that the Tiger of the :anguard has "aught a mon# and is a'aiting further instru"tions outside the gates.@ 0e 'as then admitted on the orders of the "hieftain. With his t'o (ronFe s'ords stu"# in his (e!t and ho!ding the Tang 9riest in (oth hands4 he 'ent for'ard and genuf!e"ted (efore the "hieftain. @?our BaEest64@ he said4 @6our hum(!e under!ing 'as patro!!ing the mountain as ordered 'hen sudden!6 3 met a mon#. 0e is the 9atriar"h -anFang4 the 6ounger (rother of 0is BaEest6 the 5reat Tang 7mperor4 and he 'as going to the West to +isit the uddha and as# for the s"riptures. 3 ha+e "aptured him and no' offer him as a dish for 6our ta(!e.@ The "hieftain 'as astonished at the ne's. @31+e heard te!! of the 9atriar"h -anFang4 the ho!6 priest sent (6 the 5reat Tang 7mperor to fet"h the s"riptures. 0e has a dis"ip!e "a!!ed rother Bon#e6 'hose magi"a! po'ers are tremendous and 'hose "unning is "onsidera(!e. 0o'e+er did 6ou manage to "at"h himG@ @0e has t'o dis"ip!es. The first one to "ome at me 'as a fe!!o' 'ith a !ong nose and (ig ears 'ho 'ie!ds a nine−pronged ra#e4 and the se"ond one has a go!d−(anded iron "udge! and fier6 e6es 'ith go!den pupi!s. When the pair of them 'ere after me and a(out to atta"#4 3 used a 1go!den "i"ada shedding its s#in1 tri"# to ma#e m6 geta'a64 then 3 "aught this mon# to offer to ?our BaEest6 as a sna"#.@ @0e1s not to (e eaten 6et4@ the "hieftain said. @?ou must (e off 6our food4 ?our BaEest64 if 6ou 'on1t eat 'hat1s put (efore 6ou4@ said the Tiger of the :anguard. @?ou don1t get m6 point4@ the "hieftain rep!ied. @3t1s not eating him that 'orries me4 (ut the thought that those t'o dis"ip!es of his ma6 "ome here to ma#e trou(!e4 'hi"h 'ou!d (e dangerous. Tie him to the 'ind−sett!ing sta#e in the garden at the (a"#4 and !ea+e him there for a fe' da6s ti!! 'e1re sure his dis"ip!es 'on1t (e "oming to ma#e trou(!e for us. This 'a6 he1!! (e ni"e and "!ean4 and 'e "an do 'hat 'e !i#e 'ith him 'ithout an6 arguments. Whether 'e ha+e him (oi!ed4 steamed4 fried or s"ram(!ed4 'e "an eat him at our !eisure.@ @?our BaEest61s p!ans are most far−sighted4 and 6ou are >uite right4@ said the Tiger of the :anguard4 'ho then ordered his under!ings to ta#e -anFang a'a6.

-e+en or eight of them "ro'ded for'ard to tie up -anFang and ta#e him a'a68 the6 'ere !i#e ha'#s seiFing (ram(!ings as the6 (ound him tight!6. Then did the unfortunate Bon# of the ,i+er !ong for rother Bon#e68 the ho!6 priest in his trou(!es 'ished 9ig 'ou!d "ome. @*is"ip!es4@ he "a!!ed out4 @3 don1t #no' on 'hat mountain 6ou are "at"hing monsters4 or 'here 6ou1re su(duing e+i! spirits4 (ut 31+e met 'ith disaster and (een "aptured (6 a demon. /!as4 'hen 'i!! 3 e+er see 6ou againG 3f 6ou "ome soon4 6ou "an sa+e m6 !ife4 (ut if 6ou are too !ong a(out it 3 'i!! (e finished.@ 0is tears poured do'n !i#e rain as he moaned and sighed. /s Bon#e6 and 9ig "hased the tiger do'n the mountain side the6 sa' that it had rea"hed the (ottom and 'as "rou"hing at the foot of the "!iff. Bon#e6 raised his "udge! and (rought it do'n as hard as he "ou!d4 thus hurting his o'n hands. 9ig too# another s'ipe at the (east 'ith his ra#e4 'hi"h made its prongs sp!a6 apart. The Tiger turned out to (e on!6 a tiger s#in spread o+er a ro"# shaped !i#e "rou"hing tiger. @This is terri(!e4@ said Bon#e64 @he1s tri"#ed us.@ @0o'G@ 9ig as#ed. @The tri"# is "a!!ed 1the go!den "i"ada shedding its s#in1. 0e put his tiger−s#in o+er this ro"# and got a'a6. We1d (etter go (a"# and see that our master "omes to no harm.@ The t'o of them rushed (a"# to find that -anFang had disappeared. @Whate+er sha!! 'e doG@ "ried Bon#e6 in a +oi"e as !oud as thunder. @3t1s "aught our master.@ 9ig !ed the horse o+er and said through his tears4 @0ea+en he!p us. Where+er sha!! 'e !oo# for himG@ @*on1t "r64@ said Bon#e64 raising his head4 @don1t "r6. 3f 6ou "r6 6ou1!! dampen our spirits. 31m "on+in"ed he must (e some'here on this mountain. We must start sear"hing for him.@ The t'o of them hurried deep into the mountain4 going through passes and "rossing ridges4 and after the6 had (een going for a !ong time the6 sa' a "a+e pa!a"e at the foot of a ro"#−fa"e. The6 stopped to gaFe at it4 and sa' an a'e−inspiring sight%

-"reened (6 man6 a Eagged pea#4 With an"ient paths 'inding around8 5reen pines merged 'ith (!uish (am(oo8 The softness of 'i!!o's and +utong trees. $dd (ou!ders stood in pairs (efore the "!iff4 Whi!e (irds made "oup!es hidden in the 'oods. The 'ater in the gu!!6 sp!ashed against the ro"#−'a!!4 /s the spring 'aters tri"#!ed o+er the sand(an#. Hnder the (i!!o'ing "!ouds4

,are her(s gre' !ush. .oD spirits and "raft6 hares darted around8 0orned deer and ri+er−deer fought for master6. /n"ient "reepers hung a"ross the ro"#s4 /nd a thousand−6ear "6press 'as suspended in a "hasm. 3n pinna"!ed maEest6 it +ied 'ith Bount 0ua8 The f!o'ers and (irdsong ri+a!ed Tiantai 9ea#.

@Worth6 (rother4@ said Bon#e64 @put our (aggage in the 'ind−storing "a+e4 !et the horse out to pasture4 and !ie !o' 'hi!e 3 go to the gates of that p!a"e and fight it out 'ith them. 3 must "at"h that e+i! spirit (efore 3 "an res"ue our master.@ @There1s no need to gi+e me instru"tions4@ 9ig rep!ied. @5o at on"e.@ Bon#e6 straightened his tuni"4 tightened his tiger−s#in #i!t4 and 'ent straight to the gate 'ith his "udge! in his hands. /(o+e the gate he sa' ?7;;$W W32* C/:7 $. T07 ?7;;$W W32* ,3*57 'ritten in !arge !etters. Ta#ing a firm stan"e and (randishing the "!u( he shouted4 @7+i! monsters4 send m6 master out if 6ou don1t 'ant this den of 6ours turned upside−do'n and 6our home tramp!ed f!at.@ When the Eunior fiends heard this the6 'ere terrified4 and the6 ran trem(!ing inside to announ"e4 @?our BaEest64 a disaster.@ @What is itG@ as#ed the ?e!!o' Wind Bonster 'ho 'as sitting inside. @There1s a thunder−+oi"ed4 hair6−fa"ed mon# outside 'ith a great thi"# iron "udge! in his hands4 and he 'ants his master (a"#4@ the6 said. The a!armed "hieftain sent for the Tiger of the :anguard and said to him4 @When 3 sent 6ou to patro! the mountain 6ou 'ere on!6 supposed to "at"h mountain oDen4 'i!d (oar4 deer4 and goats. Wh6 on earth did 6ou (ring that Tang 9riest hereG 3t1s pro+o#ed his dis"ip!e into "oming to ma#e trou(!e. What are 'e to doG@ @There is no need for ?our BaEest6 to 'orr64@ the Tiger rep!ied. @?our in"ompetent under!ing 'i!! ta#e fift6 Eunior offi"ers out 'ith me and (ring (a"# that rother Bon#e6 as a se"ond "ourse for the mea!.@ @/part from the higher and !o'er ran#ing "ommanders4 'e ha+e a(out siD hundred Eunior offi"ers here4@ said the "hieftain. @Ta#e as man6 of them as 6ou !i#e 'ith 6ou. 3f 6ou "at"h that Bon#e64 'e "an dine off the priest at our !eisure4 and 3 promise to ma#e 6ou m6 s'orn (rother. ut 31m afraid that 6ou 'on1t (e a(!e to get him4 and that he1!! #i!! 6ou. 3f that happens4 don1t (!ame me.@ @,est assured4@ the tiger monster said4 @rest assured. 31!! soon (e (a"# 'ith him.@ Bustering fift6 strong and spirited 6oung fiends4 he "harged out of the gates 'ith drums ro!!ing and (anners 'a+ing8 his t'o (ronFe s'ords 'ere tied to his (od6. @Where are 6ou from4 ape mon#G@ he shrie#ed at the top of his +oi"e. @What do 6ou mean (6 a!! this 6e!!ing and shoutingG@

@?ou s#inned (east4@ Bon#e6 retorted4 @6ou p!a6ed that tri"# of s#inning 6ourse!f to "apture m6 master4 and 6ou ha+e the ner+e to as# me 'hat 31m doingA ring m6 master out at on"e and 31!! spare 6our !ife.@ @?es4 3 "aptured 6our master4@ the monster rep!ied4 @and he1s going to (e ser+ed up at 0is BaEest61s dinner ta(!e. 3f 6ou ha+e an6 sense4 go a'a6. $ther'ise 31!! "at"h 6ou too4 and 6ou1!! (e ser+ed up 'ith him. /s 31+e got one of 6ou4 31!! !et the other off.@ Bon#e6 'as no' furious4 and he gnashed his stee!6 teeth as his fier6 e6es opened 'ide in a terri(!e g!are. @What po'ers ha+e 6ou4@ he roared4 (randishing his iron "udge!4 @to gi+e 6ou the ner+e to ta!# so (igG 0o!d it a moment4 and ta#e this.@ The tiger put his hands on his s'ords4 and a terri(!e fight ensued as ea"h of them sho'ed off his po'ers.

The monster 'as !i#e a goose egg4 Bon#e6 'as an egg−shaped stone. Tr6ing to 'ard off Bon#e6 'ith (ronFe s'ords Was !i#e thro'ing eggs at a stone. 0o' "an a "ro' or Ea"#da' fight a phoeniDG What "han"e has a pigeon against a ha'#G The monster snorted out 'inds that "o+ered the mountain 'ith dust4 ut Bon#e6 (reathed a fog that (!otted out the sun. /fter fighting it out for man6 a round4 The :anguard 'as eDhausted4 his strength a!! gone. 0e turned a'a64 defeated4 to f!ee for his !ife4 $n!6 to ha+e Bon#e6 harr6 him to death.

When he "ou!d defend himse!f no !onger4 the monster turned to f!ee. /s he had ta!#ed so (oastfu!!6 in front of his "hieftain he dared not return to the "a+e4 so he tried to es"ape up the mountain side. Bon#e64 'ho had no intention of !etting him go4 "hased him as fast as he "ou!d4 'a+ing his "udge!4 roaring4 and ho'!ing. 0e "hased him as far as the ho!!o' 'here the 'ind 'as stored4 'here 9ig "ou!d (e seen pasturing the horse. /s soon as 9ig heard the shouting he turned to !oo#4 and 'hen he sa' Bon#e6 pursuing the defeated tiger monster he !et go of the horse4 raised his ra#e4 and stru"# the tiger diagona!!6 a"ross the head. The poor monster4 'ho thought he had made his 'a6 out of the si!#en net4 ne+er rea!iFed that he had (een "aught (6 a fish−trapper. 9ig1s ra#e made nine ho!es from 'hi"h the (!ood gushed4 and the (rains a!! spurted out. There is a pome to pro+e it that goes%

Con+erted to the true faith se+era! 6ears (efore4 0e a+oided meat and 'as a'a#ened to emptiness. *etermined 'ith a!! his heart to defend -anFang 0e 'on this merit ear!6 in his re!igious !ife.

9!anting his foot in the midd!e of the monster1s (a"#4 9ig s'ung the ra#e 'ith (oth hands and smote him again. When Bon#e6 sa' this he 'as de!ighted4 and he said4 @That1s the 'a64 (rother. 0e !ed a fe' doFen pett6 fiends out to do (att!e 'ith me4 (ut 3 (eat him. 3nstead of running (a"# to the "a+e he "ame this 'a64 as if he 'anted to die. 3f 6ou hadn1t (een here to meet him4 he1d ha+e got a'a6 again.@ @Was he the one 'ho made a ga!e and "arried off our masterG@ 9ig as#ed. @The +er6 one4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @*id 6ou as# him 'here our master isG@ 9ig as#ed. @0e too# our master into the "a+e and 'anted to gi+e him to his "hieftain to eat 'ith his ri"e. This made me so angr6 that 3 fought him a!! the 'a6 to here4 'here 6ou finished him off. The "redit for this must go to 6ou4 (rother. ?ou1d (etter go on !oo#ing after the horse and our things 'hi!e 3 drag that monster1s (od6 o+er to the "a+e and "ha!!enge them to another fight. We must "apture the "hief monster if 'e1re to res"ue our master.@ @?ou1re right4@ said 9ig4 @so off 6ou go. 3f 6ou (eat that "hief monster4 mind 6ou "hase him this 'a6 for me to "orner and #i!!.@ -p!endid Bon#e6 'ent straight to the mouth of the "a+e 'ith his "udge! in one hand and the dead tiger in the other. 3ndeed%

When the patriar"h 'as in danger from e+i! monsters4 7motion and 2ature "om(ined to su(due the demons.

3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hether he defeated the e+i! monsters and sa+ed -anFang4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment. Chapter 21 The 9rote"tors of the .aith ui!d a .arm for the 5reat -age ;ingEi from -umeru 9a"ifies the Wind *e+i! The fift6 pett6 de+i!s f!ed routed into the "a+e4 their (anners and drums smashed4 to report4 @?our BaEest64 the Tiger of the :anguard is no mat"h for the hair6−fa"ed mon#4 'ho "hased him do'n the mountain.@ The o!d fiend 'as +er6 angr6 at the ne's4 and he sat si!ent 'ith his head (o'ed as he thought o+er 'hat to do. Then the pett6 demons from the gate "ame in to announ"e4 @?our BaEest64 the hair6−fa"ed mon# has #i!!ed the Tiger of the :anguard and dragged his (od6 to the gates4 'here he1s insu!ting us to pro+o#e us to fight.@

The o!d fiend 'as angrier than e+er 'hen he heard this4 and he said4 @This 'ret"h doesn1t #no' 'hat he1s doing4 #i!!ing m6 Commander of the :anguard a!though 3 ha+en1t eaten his master. 0atefu! (east. ring m6 armour. 31+e heard of this rother Bon#e64 and no' 3 thin# 31!! go out to ha+e a !oo# at this nine−headed4 eight−tai!ed mon#. 31!! "apture him to a+enge m6 Tiger of the :anguard.@ The Eunior de+i!s (rought the armour as fast as the6 "ou!d4 and 'hen the o!d fiend had put it a!! on proper!64 he too# his stee! trident and !ed his de+i!ish host out of the "a+e. 0e 'as fu!! of martia! dignit6 as he "ame out4 and 6ou "an see ho' he 'as e>uipped%

0is go!den he!met shone in the sun4 /nd !ight 'as ref!e"ted from his go!den armour. / pheasant1s tai! f!oated a(o+e his he!met4 /nd the thin si!# ro(e o+er his armour 'as pa!e goose−6e!!o'. The (e!t that girded his armour 'as dragon−(ri!!iant8 0is shining (reastp!ate daFF!ed the e6e. 0is deers#in (oots Were the "o!or of !o"ust−tree (!ossom8 0is (ro"ade #i!t Was patterned 'ith 'i!!o' !ea+es. With a sharp stee! trident in his hand4 0e 'as no !ess a'esome than the ;itt!e -age 7r!ang.

/s he "ame out of his "a+e the o!d fiend shouted at the top of his +oi"e4 @/re 6ou rother Bon#e6G@ Bon#e64 'ho 'as Eumping up and do'n on the tiger monster1s "orpse and (randishing his "udge!4 rep!ied4 @?our grandfather4 Bon#e64 is here. -end m6 master out.@ The e+i! spirit !oo#ed "arefu!!6 at Bon#e6 and sa' that he had a misera(!e !itt!e (od6 and a pin"hed fa"e4 and did not e+en stand four feet ta!!. @9oor !itt!e thing4@ he said 'ith a !augh. @31d imagined that 6ou 'ere some sort of in+in"i(!e hero4 (ut no' 3 see 'hat a !itt!e si"# de+i! 6ou rea!!6 are4 a!! s#in and (one.@ Bon#e6 smi!ed (a"# and said4 @?ou1+e no e6es in 6our head4 m6 "hi!d. 3 ma6 (e tin64 (ut if 6ou hit me on the head 'ith the hand!e of 6our trident4 31!! gro' another siD feet.@ @Ba#e 6our head hard then4@ the monster rep!ied4 @here it "omes.@

The 5reat -age did not f!in"h as the monster hit him4 then 'ith a (end of his 'aist he gre' siD feet ta!!er4 ma#ing himse!f ten feet ta!! a!together4 to the astonishment of the monster4 'ho put his trident do'n and shouted4 @ rother Bon#e64 'h6 do 6ou "ome and do these defensi+e transformations at m6 gateG -top foo!ing around4 and "ome o+er here so 'e "an "ompare tri"#s.@ @B6 "hi!d4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @as the sa6ing goes4 13f 6ou ha+e an6 'arm fee!ings4 don1t raise 6our hand in anger8 and if 6ou raise 6our hand in anger4 put a!! fee!ings aside.1 3 ha+e a +er6 hea+6 hand4 and 31m afraid that 6ou ma6 not (e a(!e to stand m6 "udge!.@ 2o !onger 'ishing to ta!#4 the monster 'hir!ed his trident round and !unged at Bon#e61s "hest. With unrushed eDpertise Bon#e6 did a @ !a"# *ragon 9a'ing the 5round@ mo+ement to parr6 the trident 'ith his "udge! (efore stri#ing at the monster1s head. There fo!!o'ed a fine due! (et'een the pair of them at the mouth of the ?e!!o' Wind 5a+e%

The demon #ing 'as furious4 The 5reat -age sho'ed his might. The furious demon #ing Wanted to "at"h Bon#e6 in re+enge for his :anguard Commander8 The might6 5reat -age 3ntended to "apture the e+i! spirit and res"ue his master. When the trident "ame the "udge! parried4 When the "udge! stru"# the trident (!o"#ed. $ne 'as supreme "ommander of the mountain4 The other 'as the 0andsome Bon#e6 Cing4 9rote"tor of the ;a'. /t first the6 fought in the dust4 ut then the6 rose into mid−air. The stee!−tipped trident Was (right−pointed and dead!6 sharp8 The /s−?ou−Wi!! "udge! Was (!a"# and (anded 'ith go!d. Whoe+er 'as run through 'ou!d go to the Hnder'or!d8 3f either 'as hit he 'ou!d sure!6 meet Cing ?ama. /!! depended on a fast hand and a >ui"# e6e8

-trength and +igor 'ere essentia!. 7a"h 'as mind!ess of !ife or death4 Who 'ou!d sur+i+e4 and 'ho 'ou!d (e #i!!edG

/fter some thirt6 rounds of "om(at (et'een the o!d fiend and the 5reat -age the issue 'as sti!! not sett!ed. /s Bon#e6 'anted to 'in g!or6 he used an @eDtra (od6@ tri"#% p!u"#ing a hair out4 he "he'ed it into !itt!e (its4 (!e' them a!! out4 and shouted4 @ChangeA@ The6 turned into 'e!! o+er a hundred Bon#e6s4 a!! dressed !i#e him and 'ie!ding iron "udge!s. The6 surrounded the monster in mid−air4 and in his fright he "ountered 'ith a tri"# of his o'n. 0e turned his head sharp!6 to the -outheast opened his mouth three times4 and (!e'. / 6e!!o' hurri"ane sudden!6 arose. 3t 'as rea!!6 terri(!e.

/s it ho'!ed and moaned a!! 'as "hanged8 Without sign or shado' the 6e!!o' dust 'hir!ed4 Whist!ing through forests4 topp!ing mountains4 and uprooting trees4 9i"#ing up dust to (!ot out the tum(!ing ridge. The ?e!!o' ,i+er1s 'aters 'ere a!! in turmoi!4 Whi!e the ?angtse1s 'a+es 'ere (!o'n (a"#'ards. The 9o!ar pa!a"e 'as ro"#ed in the s#64 The -en!uo 9a!a"e in the Hnder'or!d 'as a!! (ut (!o'n do'n. 0ea+en 'as fi!!ed 'ith the shouting of /rhats4 The 7ight 5reat :aErapanis 'ere a!! 6e!!ing 'i!d!6. BanEusri1s (!a"#−"oated !ion f!ed4 -amanta(hadra1s 'hite e!ephant 'as no'here to (e found. The True Bartia! 7mperor1s tortoise and sna#e 'ere missing4 Li Tong1s mu!e 'as (!o'n a'a6 (6 its sadd!e−"!oth. Tra+e!!ing mer"hants "a!!ed on 0ea+en4 oatmen made +o's to the gods as the6 sought safet6. ;i+es 'ere 'ashed a'a6 in the torrent4

.ortune or death 'as de"ided (6 the 'aters. The "a+e pa!a"e on the magi" mountain 'as mur#6 dar#4 /nd 9eng!ai4 is!and of Eo64 'as 'rapped in g!oom. ;ao Li "ou!d hard!6 manage to !oo# after his furna"e4 The -tar of ;onge+it6 put a'a6 his fan of dragon1s (eard grass. The Kueen Bother4 on her 'a6 to a 9ea"h an>uet4 0ad the pendants at her 'aist (!o'n in a tang!e. 7r!ang "ou!d not find his "it6 of 5uanFhou8 2eFha "ou!d s"ar"e!6 dra' his s'ord from its s"a((ard. 0ea+en!6 Cing ;i !ost sight of the pagoda in his hand4 ;u an the "arpenter dropped his go!d−tipped a'!. Three stories of the pagoda at Thunder Bonaster6 fe!!4 /nd the stone (ridge at LhaoFhou "o!!apsed. The red 'hee! of the sun sent out no !ight4 /nd a!! the stars in the s#6 'ere dimmed. The (irds of the -outhern hi!!s 'ere "arried to the 2orth4 The 'aters of the 7ast !a#e f!o'ed to the West. 0us(and 'as parted from 'ife4 Bother snat"hed from "hi!d. The dragon #ing sear"hed the seas for his 6a#shas4 The thunder god hunted e+er6'here for his !ightning. The Ten Cings of he!! !oo#ed for the Eudge4 Whi!e the (u!!−headed demons sear"hed for the horse−fa"ed. This hurri"ane o+erturned 9otara#a 3s!and4 ,o!!ing up a!! of 5uan6in1s s"riptures. The 'hite !otus 'ent f!6ing (e6ond the seas4

/nd the t'e!+e "ourts of the odhisatt+a 'ere a!! (!o'n do'n. 9an 5u4 'ho had seen a!! 'inds sin"e "reation4 0ad ne+er seen one as fine as this4 0o'!4 ho'!−− /s mountains and seas trem(!ed4 0ea+en and 7arth 'ere a!! (ut (!asted asunder.

The hurri"ane that the monster had summoned up made a!! the !itt!e Bon#e6s that the 5reat -age had produ"ed from his hair 'hir! round in mid−air !i#e so man6 spinning−'hee!s4 and4 far from (eing a(!e to use their "udge!s4 the6 "ou!d not e+en "ontro! their o'n (odies. /t this "riti"a! moment Bon#e6 shoo# his hair and put it (a"# on his (od64 then ad+an"ed to gi+e (att!e 'ith his iron "udge! he!d high. The monster (!e' another 6e!!o' hurri"ane at him4 and it 'as so strong that Bon#e6 had to shut his fier6 e6es 'ith their go!den pupi!s tight. $pening them 'as out of the >uestion. Hna(!e to use his iron "udge!4 he had to f!ee from the s"ene of (att!e4 at 'hi"h the monster put his 'ind a'a6 and 'ent (a"# to his "a+e. When 9ig sa' the great 6e!!o' hurri"ane (!o' up and "ast 0ea+en and 7arth into dar#ness4 he he!d on to the horse and #ept a grip on the "arr6ing po!e 'hi!e he "rou"hed in the ho!!o' on the mountain side4 not daring to open his e6es or raise his head as he in+o#ed the uddha and made a!! sorts of +o's to him. 0e did not #no' 'hether Bon#e6 had 'on or !ost4 or 'hether their master 'as sti!! a!i+e. /s he 'orried a(out a!! this the 'ind died do'n and the s#6 (e"ame "!ear again. 0e raised his head to !oo# to'ards the entran"e of the "a+e4 (ut he "ou!d neither see an6 'eapons nor hear an6 gongs or drums. The idiot did not 'ant to get an6 nearer to those gates4 and there 'as no(od6 e!se to !oo# after the horse and the (aggage4 so he 'as stu"# there4 not #no'ing 'hat to do4 and fee!ing misera(!e. 0is g!oom6 thoughts 'ere interrupted (6 the sound of Bon#e6 shouting to the West of him. 9ig ha!f rose to his feet to 'e!"ome him and said4 @That 'as >uite a 'ind4 e!der (rother. Where1+e 6ou (eenG@ @That 'as terri(!e4@ said Bon#e64 @2e+er in m6 !ife ha+e 3 #no'n su"h a hurri"ane. That o!d fiend "ame out to fight me 'ith a stee! trident4 and after 'e1d (een at it for thirt6 rounds 3 used m6 eDtra (od6 tri"# to surround him. This made him so 'orried that he de!i(erate!6 summoned up the 'ind. 3t 'as rea!!6 +i"ious− −it (!e' so hard 3 "ou!dn1t stand m6 ground4 so 3 had to put m6 tri"#s a'a6 and "!ear out. What a 'ind4 'hat a 'indA 3 "an "a!! up 'ind or rain4 (ut 31+e ne+er produ"ed an6thing as +i"ious as his.@ @Can that e+i! monster fight 'e!!G@ 9ig as#ed. @0e1s not (ad at a!!4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @and he has a +er6 neat 'a6 'ith this trident. We 'ere e+en!6 mat"hed4 apart from that fou! 'ind4 'hi"h ma#es him un(eata(!e.@ @Then ho' are 'e going to res"ue our masterG@ 9ig as#ed. @0is res"ue 'i!! ha+e to 'ait4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @3 'onder if there1s an o"u!ist near here to treat m6 e6es.@ @What1s happened to themG@ 9ig as#ed.

@When that monster (!e' his 'ind at me4@ said Bon#e64 @it made m6 e6es +er6 sore4 and the6 #eep on 'atering.@ @We1re ha!f'a6 up a mountain4 and night1s fa!!ing4@ said 9ig. @2e+er mind a(out an o"u!ist4 there1s no'here for us to she!ter for the night.@ @There1s no pro(!em a(out she!ter4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @3 don1t thin# that e+i! spirit 'i!! dare to do our master an6 harm4 so !et1s find the main path and !oo# for a house to sta6 in tonight. We "an "ome (a"# here at first !ight to su(due that fiend.@ @:er6 'e!!4 +er6 'e!!4@ 9ig rep!ied. ;eading the horse and "arr6ing the (aggage4 the6 "ame out of the ho!!o' and 'ent a!ong the path. The dus# 'as gradua!!6 deepening 'hen the6 heard dogs (ar#ing under a hi!! to the -outh of the path. The6 stopped to !oo# and sa' a farmhouse 'ith a !amp shining (right!6 in its 'indo'. The pair of them stopped (othering to !oo# for the path and "ut straight through the grass to the gate. The6 sa'

*ar# magi" fungus4 5reen6 'hite ro"#s. The magi" fungus 'as dar# among the man6 her(s4 The 'hite ro"#s 'ere green 'ith moss. -ome tin6 firef!ies made dots of !ight /gainst the dense ran#s of the forest trees. 0ea+6 'as the fragran"e of the or"hid4 /nd the tender (am(oo had (een ne'!6 "ut. / pure spring f!o'ed a!ong a 'inding (ed4 /n an"ient "6press hung o+er a "!iff. 2o tra+e!ers "ame to this remote spot4 /nd on!6 'i!d f!o'ers (!oomed (efore the gate.

/s the6 did not 'ant to mar"h straight in4 the t'o of them shouted4 @$pen up4 open up.@ /n o!d man "ame out at the head of se+era! farm hands "arr6ing for#s4 ra#es and (rooms. @Who are 6ou4@ he as#ed4 @'ho are 6ouG@

@We are the dis"ip!es of the ho!6 priest of the 5reat Tang in the 7ast4@ rep!ied Bon#e6 'ith a (o'. @We 'ere "rossing these mountains on our 'a6 to the West to +isit the uddha and as# for the s"riptures 'hen the 5reat Cing of the ?e!!o' Wind snat"hed our master a'a6. We ha+en1t (een a(!e to res"ue him 6et4 (ut as it is getting dar# 'e ha+e "ome to (eg for a night1s !odging in 6our mansion4 and 'e hope +er6 mu"h that 6ou 'i!! he!p us.@ The o!d man returned his (o' and said4 @31m sorr6 3 didn1t 'e!"ome 6ou proper!6. This is a p!a"e 'here 'e see a !ot of "!ouds (ut +er6 fe' peop!e4 and 'hen 3 heard 6ou shouting at the gate 3 feared it might (e foD−spirits4 tigers4 (andits from the mountains4 or something of the sort. 3 am afraid that 3 ha+e stupid!6 offended 6ou% 3 did not rea!iFe it 'ou!d (e t'o re+erend gent!emen. 9!ease "ome in.@ Ta#ing the horse and the !uggage 'ith them the6 'ent inside4 tethered the anima!4 put do'n the "arr6ing po!e4 (o'ed to the o!d man4 and sat do'n. / ser+ant "ame in 'ith tea4 and 'hen the6 had drun# it some (o'!s of sesame mea! 'ere produ"ed. /fter the6 had eaten4 the o!d man had (eds prepared for them and suggested that the6 'ent to (ed. @We don1t need to s!eep 6et4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 adding4 @ma6 3 as# 6ou4 #ind sir4 if e6e ointment is so!d an6'here around hereG@ @*o 6ou ha+e a "hroni" e6e "omp!aint4 re+erend sirG@ the o!d man as#ed. @3 "an te!! 6ou truthfu!!64 sir4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @that 'e re!igious men ha+e ne+er (een i!! (efore4 and 31+e ne+er had trou(!e 'ith m6 e6es (efore.@ @Then 'h6 are 6ou as#ing for ointmentG@ the o!d man as#ed. @We 'ere tr6ing to res"ue our master on the ?e!!o' Wind ,idge toda64@ Bon#e6 eDp!ained4 @'hen that monster started (!o'ing his 'ind at me4 'hi"h made m6 e6es a"he. The61re streaming 'ith tears no'4 'hi"h is 'h6 3 'ant to find some e6e ointment.@ @/ fine stor64@ the o!d man "ommented. @0o' "ou!d 6ou te!! su"h !ies4 a re+erend gent!eman4 and so 6oung a one at thatG The 5reat Cing of the ?e!!o' Wind1s hurri"ane is rea!!6 terri(!e. 3t "an1t (e "ompared 'ith spring 'inds4 autumn 'inds4 pine and (am(oo 'inds4 or 2orth4 -outh4 7ast and West 'inds.@ @3t must (e a (rain−snat"hing 'ind4@ interrupted 9ig4 @or a goat1s ear 'ind4 or a hemp 'ind4 or a head−t'isting 'ind.@ @2o4 no4@ the o!d man said4 @it1s "a!!ed a *i+ine -amadhi Wind.@ @What1s it !i#eG@ Bon#e6 as#ed.

@3t "an dar#en 0ea+en and 7arth4 Ba#e gods and de+i!s g!oom64 -p!it ro"#s open and (ring "!iffs do'n4 /nd it doesn1t stop ti!! 6ou1re dead4@ the o!d man rep!ied. @3f 6ou1d en"ountered that 'ind4 6ou "ou!dn1t possi(!6 ha+e sur+i+ed. $n!6 a god or an 3mmorta! 'ou!d (e a(!e to sur+i+e su"h a 'ind.@

@Kuite right4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @>uite right. /!though 'e1re not gods or 3mmorta!s ourse!+es4 3 regard them as m6 Euniors4 and this !ife of mine is eDtreme!6 hard to snuff out−−a!! the 'ind "ou!d do 'as to ma#e m6 e6es +er6 sore.@ @3f 'hat 6ou sa6 is true4@ the o!d man said4 @6ou must rea!!6 (e some(od6. /!though there is no'here that se!!s e6e ointment here4 3 sometimes suffer from 'atering e6es m6se!f 'hen 31m in the 'ind4 and 3 on"e met an unusua! person 'ho ga+e me a pres"ription for 1Three .!o'er 2ine -eed $intment1. This "ures a!! inf!ammations of the e6e.@ Bon#e6 (o'ed his head4 "hanted a respe"tfu! @na−a−a'4@ and said4 @9!ease put a !itt!e on m6 e6es for me to tr6.@ The o!d man "onsented4 'ent inside4 and (rought out a tin6 agate (ott!e. ,emo+ing the stopper4 he dipped a Eade hairpin inside and put a tin6 amount in Bon#e61s e6es4 then to!d him not to open them. 0e "ou!d go to s!eep 'ithout 'orr6ing4 and in the morning he 'ou!d (e "ured. When he had finished app!6ing it he put the stopper (a"# the (ott!e and ga+e it to a ser+ant to put a'a6 inside. 9ig opened their (und!es4 spread out their (edding4 and to!d Bon#e6 to go to (ed. Bon#e6 groped a(out so 'i!d!6 'ith his e6es shut that 9ig !aughed at him and said4 @Wou!d 6ou !i#e a (!ind man1s sti"#4 sirG@ @Chaff−guFF!ing moron4@ Bon#e6 retorted4 @do 6ou 'ant to ma#e a (!ind man of meG@ The idiot "hu"#!ed himse!f >uiet!6 to s!eep4 (ut Bon#e6 sat thin#ing on the (ed unti! midnight (efore he doFed off. /t a(out fi+e the neDt morning4 Eust (efore the (rea# of da64 rother Bon#e6 ru((ed his fa"e4 opened his e6es and said4 @3t "ertain!6 is good ointment−−3 "an see far4 and more "!ear!6 than e+er.@ 0e turned round to !oo# (ehind him4 and to his astonishment there 'as no house4 'indo's4 or doors8 a!! that "ou!d (e seen 'ere some an"ient !o"ust trees and ta!! 'i!!o's. The pair of them 'ere s!eeping on "ushions of green sedge. @What are 6ou shouting forG@ as#ed 9ig as he 'o#e up. @$pen 6our e6es and !oo#4@ rep!ied Bon#e6. The idiot raised his head4 and 'hen he sa' that there 'as no(od6 there4 he !eapt up in a pani" 'ith the 'ords4 @Where1s our horseG@ @$+er there4 tied to a tree4@ said Bon#e6. @What a(out the !uggageG@ @There4 (eside 6our head.@ @The 'ret"hes4@ said 9ig4 @mo+ing 'a6 in the midd!e of the night. *amn it4 'e must ha+e (een a!most dead as!eep. 0o'e+er did the6 dismant!e the house 'ithout us hearing a thingG@ @3diot4@ said Bon#e6 'ith a snigger4 @don1t go shouting a!! o+er the p!a"e. Can 6ou see 'hat that pie"e of paper on the tree o+er there isG@ 9ig 'ent o+er4 tore it do'n4 and sa' that there 'ere four !ines of +erse on it%

@This farm 'as not inha(ited (6 morta!s8

The ,e+ea!ers of the Truth produ"ed the house (6 magi". 3 ga+e 6ou good medi"ine to "ure 6our e6es% -u(due demons 'ith a!! 6our heart4 and ne+er hesitate.@

@-o those tough gods "ame to p!a6 their tri"#s4 a!though 3 ha+en1t "a!!ed the ro!! sin"e the6 "hanged the dragon into a horse4@ said Bon#e6. @*on1t sho' off4 (rother4@ said 9ig. @0o' "ou!d the6 possi(!6 ans'er to 6our ro!!−"a!!G@ @?ou don1t rea!iFe4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @that the 9rote"tors of the .aith4 the -iD *ings4 the -iD <ias4 the ,e+ea!ers of the Truth of the .i+e ,egions and the .our *ut6 5ods ha+e a!! (een ordered (6 the odhisatt+a to gi+e se"ret prote"tion to our master. The6 reported their names to me then4 (ut as 31+e had 6ou 'ith me re"ent!6 3 ha+en1t needed them again4 'hi"h is 'h6 3 ha+en1t "a!!ed the ro!!.@ @ rother4@ 9ig rep!ied4 @if the6 ha+e (een ordered to prote"t our master in se"ret4 then of "ourse the6 "an1t appear in their true forms. That 'as 'h6 the6 produ"ed the magi" farm. ?ou mustn1t (e angr6 'ith them. ?esterda6 the6 ga+e 6ou e6e ointment and fed us−−the6 did a!! the6 "ou!d. *on1t (e angr6 'ith them. ;et1s go and res"ue the master instead.@ @0o' right 6ou are4@ said Bon#e6. @3t1s not far from here to the ?e!!o' Wind Ca+e4 so there1s no need for 6ou to mo+e. ?ou1d (etter sta6 in the 'ood and !oo# after the horse and the !uggage 'hi!e 3 go to the "a+e to see 'hat 3 "an find out a(out 'here our master is (efore fighting the monster again.@ @?es4@ said 9ig4 @find out for sure 'hether he1s a!i+e or dead. 3f the master1s dead4 'e1d (etter ea"h go our o'n 'a64 and if he1s a!i+e 'e1!! do e+er6thing 'e "an to sa+e him.@ @-top ta!#ing su"h nonsense4@ rep!ied Bon#e6. @31m off.@ With a sing!e Eump he arri+ed at the entran"e to the "a+e4 'here the gates 'ere sti!! !o"#ed as e+er6one 'as as!eep. Bon#e6 did not "a!! on them to open the gates as he did not 'ant to a!arm the monsters. 3nstead he said a spe!!4 made a magi" mo+ement 'ith his hand4 shoo# himse!f4 and turned into a neat !itt!e mos>uito. There are some !ines a(out it that go%

3ts trou(!esome !itt!e (od6 has a sharp (ite4 3ts faint (uFF e"hoes !i#e thunder. C!e+er at getting through the "urtains round the (ed4 3t parti"u!ar!6 !o+es the summer1s 'arm 'eather. 3t fears on!6 smo#e and f!6−s'atters4 /nd !o+es the (ri!!ian"e of the !amp.

;ight and tin64 it f!ies straight in4 7ntering the e+i! spirit1s "a+e.

-eeing that the !o'!6 demon on the gate 'as fast as!eep and snoring4 Bon#e6 (it him on the fa"e4 at 'hi"h the "reature 'o#e up and said4 @B6 !ordA What an enormous mos>uitoA 3t1s raised a huge !ump 'ith a sing!e (ite.@ Then he opened his e6es and announ"ed4 @3t1s !ight.@ The t'o gates "rea#ed open4 and Bon#e6 f!e' inside 'ith a (uFF to see the o!d demon gi+ing orders that a +er6 "!ose 'at"h 'as to (e #ept at a!! the gates4 and a!! the 'eapons are to (e assem(!ed at su"h−and−su"h a spot. @31m afraid that 6esterda61s 'ind ma6 not ha+e #i!!ed rother Bon#e64@ he 'as sa6ing4 @and 3 thin# he1s (ound to "ome (a"# toda6. When he does4 31!! finish him off.@ When he heard this4 Bon#e6 f!e' a"ross to the (a"# of the ha!! 'here he sa' a door that 'as tight!6 "!osed. 0e s!ipped through the "ra"# (et'een the t'o !ea+es of the door and found himse!f in a !arge empt6 garden4 on one side of 'hi"h 'as the 'ind−sett!ing sta#e 'ith the Tang 9riest tied to it. The tears 'ere pouring do'n -anFang1s fa"e as he 'ondered 'here Bon#e6 and 9ig 'ere. Bon#e6 stopped f!6ing as he stung his sha+en pate and "a!!ed4 @Baster.@ @Bon#e64@ said -anFang4 re"ogniFing his +oi"e4 @do 6ou 'ant to get me #i!!edG Where are 6ou "a!!ing me fromG@ @31m on 6our head4 master. *on1t (e anDious or 'orried. We are sure to "at"h that e+i! spirit and sa+e 6our !ife.@ @0o' !ong 'i!! it (e ti!! 6ou "at"h that e+i! spirit4 dis"ip!eG@ @9ig has a!read6 #i!!ed the tiger monster 'ho "aptured 6ou4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @(ut that o!d fiend has a terri(!e 'a6 'ith a hurri"ane. /!! the same4 31m "ertain that 3 "an "at"h him toda64 so don1t 'orr6 and stop "r6ing. 31m off no'.@ With those 'ords he (uFFed a'a6 to the front ha!!4 'here he sa' the o!d monster sitting on his throne and re+ie'ing his "aptains. / Eunior e+i! spirit sudden!6 rushed in 'ith a "ommand f!ag in his hands and announ"ed4 @3 had Eust gone out to patro! the mountain4 ?our BaEest64 'hen 3 sa' a mon# 'ith a !ong snout and (ig ears sitting in the 'oods. 3f 3 hadn1t run as fast as 3 "ou!d4 he1d ha+e "aught me. ut 3 didn1t see that hair6−fa"ed mon#.@ @3f rother Bon#e6 'asn1t there4@ the o!d fiend said4 @he must ha+e (een #i!!ed (6 the 'ind4 and he 'on1t (e going off to get so!diers to res"ue his master.@ @3f the 'ind #i!!ed him4 ?our BaEest64@ the other de+i!s said4 @'e are in !u"#. ut if he 'asn1t #i!!ed and 'ent to fet"h di+ine so!diers instead4 'hat1s to (e doneG@ @What1s so frightening a(out di+ine so!diersG@ the o!d fiend said. @2one of them "an put do'n m6 'ind eD"ept the odhisatt+a ;ingEi4 so there1s no need to fear the rest of them.@ When Bon#e6 heard this as he sat on a roof−(eam4 he 'as (eside himse!f 'ith de!ight. .!6ing straight out4 he re+erted to his rea! form and 'ent (a"# to the 'ood4 "a!!ing4 @ rother.@

@Where ha+e 6ou (eenG@ 9ig as#ed. @3 "hased an e+i! spirit 'ith a "ommand f!ag a'a6 Eust no'.@ @5ood for 6ou4@ said Bon#e6 'ith a smi!e4 @good for 6ou. 3 "hanged m6se!f into a mos>uito and 'ent into the "a+e to see our master. 0e 'as tied to a 'ind−sett!ing sta#e in there and "r6ing. 3 to!d him not to "r64 f!e' up to a roof−(eam4 and had a good !isten. 3 sa' the one 'ith the "ommand f!ag "ome puffing and panting in to report that 6ou1d "hased him a'a6 and that he hadn1t seen me. The o!d fined 'as ma#ing some 'i!d guesses. .irst he said that 3 had (een #i!!ed (6 his 'ind4 then he said 31d gone to as# for the he!p of di+ine so!diers. 3t1s 'onderfu!−−he ga+e the fe!!o'1s name a'a6.@ @Whose nameG@ 9ig as#ed. @0e said that no di+ine so!dier "ou!d suppress his 'ind eD"ept the odhisatt+a ;ingEi4@ Bon#e6 "ontinued4 adding4 @(ut 3 don1t #no' 'here the odhisatt+a ;ingEi !i+es.@ /s the6 'ere 'ondering 'hat to do4 an o!d man "ame a!ong the road. ;oo# at him%

0e 'as strong enough not to need a sti"#4 ut his (eard 'as !i#e i"e and his f!o'ing hair sno'6. /!though his go!d−f!e"#ed spar#!ing e6es seemed some'hat dim4 0is aged (ones and mus"!es had not !ost their strength. -!o'!6 he 'a!#ed4 (a"# (ent4 and head (o'ed do'n4 ut his (road (ro' and ros6 "hee#s 'ere those of a (o6. 3f 6ou ga+e him a name from his !oo#s4 The -tar of ;onge+it6 had "ome out of his "a+e.

When 9ig sa' him he said 'ith de!ight4 @ rother4 6ou #no' the sa6ing4 13f 6ou 'ant to #no' the 'a6 do'n the mountain4 as# a regu!ar tra+e!er.1 Wh6 don1t 6ou as# himG@ The 5reat -age put his iron "udge! a'a64 unhit"hed his "!othes4 and 'ent up to the o!d man. @5reetings4 grandfather4@ he said. 0a!f rep!6ing to him and ha!f not4 the o!d man returned his (o' and as#ed4 @Where are 6ou from4 mon#4 and 'hat are 6ou doing in this deso!ate spotG@ @We are ho!6 mon#s going to fet"h the s"riptures4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @?esterda6 'e !ost our master here4 and 'e 'ou!d !i#e to as# 6ou4 sir4 'here the odhisatt+a ;ingEi !i+es.@ @;ingEi !i+es a thousand mi!es due -outh of here4@ the o!d man said4 @on a mountain "a!!ed ;itt!e Bount -umeru. There is a ho!6 p!a"e there 'hi"h is the monaster6 'here he prea"hes the s"riptures. /re 6ou going to fet"h s"riptures from him.@

@2o4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @'e1re going not to fet"h s"riptures from him4 (ut to trou(!e him o+er something e!se. 0o' does one get thereG@ The o!d man pointed -outh and said4 @That t'isting path 'i!! ta#e 6ou.@ Thus tri"#ing the 5reat -age into turning round to !oo#4 the o!d man turned into a puff of 'ind and disappeared from sight. /!! that "ou!d (e seen of him 'as a pie"e of paper he had !eft (eside the road. $n it there 'ere four !ines of +erse that read%

@3 report to the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en4 That 3 am ;ong ;ife ;i. $n -umeru Bountain there is a .!6ing *ragon -taff4 The 'eapon the uddha on"e ga+e to ;ingEi.@

rother Bon#e6 too# the note turned4 and set off. @What !ous6 !u"# 'e1+e (een ha+ing for the !ast fe' da6s4 (rother4@ said 9ig. @.or the !ast "oup!e of da6s 'e1+e (een seeing ghosts e+en in (road da6!ight. Who 'as that o!d man 'ho turned into a 'indG@ Bon#e6 handed the pie"e of paper to him4 and 'hen he had read it he said4 @Who is this ;ong ;ife ;iG@ @0e1s the 5reat White 9!anet of the West4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. 9ig immediate!6 (o'ed !o' and said4 @B6 (enefa"tor4 m6 (enefa"tor. 3f he hadn1t put in a memoria! to the <ade 7mperor4 3 don1t #no' 'hat 'ou!d ha+e (e"ome of me.@ @-o 6ou1re "apa(!e of fee!ing gratitude4@ said Bon#e6. @Bean'hi!e4 6ou1re to hide deep in these 'oods 'ithout sho'ing 6ourse!f4 and #eep a "!ose 'at"h on the (aggage and the horse 'hi!e 3 go to Bount -umeru to as# the odhisatt+a to "ome.@ @Hnderstood4@ said 9ig4 @understood. ?ou go as fast as 6ou "an. 31+e !earned the tortoise1s tri"#4 and "an pu!! m6 head in 'hen ne"essar6.@ The 5reat -age Bon#e6 !eapt into the air and headed -outh on his somersau!t "!oud at tremendous speed. 0e "ou!d "o+er a thousand mi!es 'ith a nod of his head4 and do eight hundred stages 'ith a t'ist of his 'aist. 3t 'as on!6 an instant (efore he sa' a high mountain surrounded (6 auspi"ious "!ouds and a propitious aura. 3n a +a!!e6 on the mountain there 'as a monaster6 from 'hi"h the distant sounds of (e!!s and stone "himes "ou!d (e heard4 and a haFe of in"ense smo#e hung a(o+e it. Bon#e6 'ent straight to the gate4 'here he sa' a !a6 (rother 'ith pra6er (eads round his ne"# 'ho 'as in+o#ing the uddha. @5reetings4 !a6 (rother4@ said Bon#e64 "!asping his hands in sa!utation. The !a6 (rother (o'ed to him in rep!6 and said4 @Where are 6ou from4 sirG@ @3s this 'here the odhisatt+a ;ingEi prea"hes the s"ripturesG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @?es4 this is the p!a"e4@ the !a6 (rother rep!ied. @0a+e 6ou a message for himG@

@3 'ou!d !i#e 6ou to te!! him that 3 am rother -un Wu#ong4 the 5reat -age 7>ua!ing 0ea+en4 a dis"ip!e of the 9atriar"h -anFang4 the 6ounger (rother of 0is BaEest6 the 7mperor of the 5reat Tang in the 7ast4 and there is a matter a(out 'hi"h 3 shou!d !i#e to see the odhisatt+a.@ @That1s far too man6 'ords for me to remem(er4 sir4@ said the !a6 (rother 'ith a smi!e. @Then te!! him that the Tang 9riest1s dis"ip!e -un Wu#ong is here4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. The !a6 (rother did as he as#ed and 'ent into the prea"hing ha!! to pass on the message. The odhisatt+a put on his "asso"#4 (urnt some in"ense4 and prepared to re"ei+e him. /s the 5reat -age 'ent through the gate and !oo#ed inside he sa'%

/ ha!! fu!! of (ro"ade4 / room of a'e−inspiring maEest6. /!! the mon#s 'ere "hanting the ;otus -utra Whi!e the aged head priest !ight!6 stru"# the go!den "hime. The offerings made to the uddha Were magi" fruit and magi" f!o'ers8 -et out on ta(!es Were meat!ess de!i"a"ies. *aFF!ing "and!es -ent go!den f!ames up to the rain(o'4 .rom fragrant in"ense <ade smo#e rose to the trans!u"ent mist. With the sermon o+er and the mind at pea"e4 a tran"e 'as entered. White "!ouds "oi!ed around the tops of the pine trees. When the s'ord of 'isdom is sheathed4 the demon is (eheaded8 5reat are the po'ers of the praEna−paramita.

The odhisatt+a straightened his "!othes and "ame out to meet Bon#e64 'ho "!im(ed the steps into the ha!! and sat in the guest1s seat. When the orders 'ere gi+en for tea to (e (rought4 Bon#e6 said4 @3 'on1t trou(!e 6ou to gi+e me tea. B6 master is in trou(!e on the ?e!!o' Wind Bountain4 and 3 ha+e "ome to as# 6ou4 odhisatt+a4 to use 6our great po'ers to su(due the demon and res"ue m6 master.@

@3 ha+e (een ordered (6 the Tathagata uddha to guard o+er the ?e!!o' Wind Bonster4@ the odhisatt+a rep!ied. @The Tathagata ga+e me a Wind−sett!ing 9i!! and a .!6ing *ragon -taff. When 3 "aptured that monster (efore4 the Tathagata spared his !ife and eDi!ed him to !i+e in se"!usion on this mountain4 'here he is not a!!o'ed to #i!! or do an6 other e+i!. 3 ne+er imagined that he 'ou!d 'ant to murder 6our master toda6. 3 must ho!d m6se!f responsi(!e for this as 3 ha+e fai!ed to "arr6 out m6 orders.@ The odhisatt+a 'anted to #eep Bon#e6 for a mea! and a ta!#4 (ut in response to Bon#e61s urgent p!eading he too# his .!6ing *ragon -taff and rode off 'ith the 5reat -age (6 "!oud. / moment !ater the6 rea"hed the ?e!!o' Wind Bountain4 and the odhisatt+a said4 @5reat -age4 as this e+i! monster is a (it s"ared of me4 31d (etter sta6 here inside the "!oud 'hi!e 6ou go do'n and "ha!!enge him to "ome out and fight. $n"e 6ou1+e !ured him out4 3 "an use m6 di+ine po'er.@ *oing as he suggested4 Bon#e6 (rought his "!oud do'n to !and8 and 'ithout more ado he smashed do'n the gates of the "a+e 'ith his iron "udge!. @.iendish monster4@ he shouted4 @gi+e m6 master (a"#.@ The Eunior fiends on the gate a!! rushed (a"# to report this4 and the o!d monster said4 @That damned ape rea!!6 has a "hee#−−instead of (eha+ing himse!f proper!64 he "omes to smash m6 gates do'n. This time 31!! use a magi" 'ind that 'i!! "ertain!6 (!o' him to death.@ 9utting on his armour and ta#ing his trident as (efore4 he 'ent out through the gate4 and the moment he sa' Bon#e64 he thrust straight at his "hest 'ith his trident4 not uttering a sing!e 'ord. Bon#e6 sidestepped to dodge it and hit (a"# at the monster1s fa"e 'ith his "udge!. When on!6 a fe' rounds had (een fought4 the monster turned to the -outheast and 'as Eust going to open his mouth and (!o' out a 'ind 'hen the odhisatt+a ;ingEi appeared in mid−air and dropped the .!6ing *ragon -taff on him. Whi!e the monster re"ited a!! sorts of spe!!s4 an eight−"!a'ed go!den dragon gra((ed him 'ith t'o of its "!a's and smashed him se+era! times against a ro"#−fa"e. /t this the monster re+erted to his rea! form−−a (ro'n marten. Bon#e6 rushed at it and had raised his "udge! to #i!! it 'hen the odhisatt+a stopped him and said4 @*on1t #i!! it4 5reat -age. 3 must ta#e it (a"# to see the Tathagata. 0e used to (e a marten 'ho had o(tained the Wa6 underneath the :u!ture 9ea#4 and on"e he sto!e some of the pure oi! from a "r6sta! !amp. When the !amp 'ent out he 'as so afraid of (eing "aught (6 a :aErapani that he ran a'a6 and (e"ame a spirit monster here. The Tathagata de"ided that as this 'as not a "apita! offen"e 3 shou!d (e sent to #eep guard o+er him8 (ut if he too# !ife or "ommitted an6 other e+i! deeds he 'as to (e ta#en to the :u!ture 9ea#. /s he has no' offended 6ou4 5reat -age4 and "aptured the Tang 9riest 'ith the intention of murdering him4 3 must ta#e him to see the Tathagata to (e senten"ed for his "rime (efore this (usiness "an (e regarded as "!eared up.@ 9ig4 mean'hi!e4 'ho had (een 'ondering a(out Bon#e6 as he 'aited in the 'ood4 heard a shout from the mountainside4 @9ig4 (ring the !uggage and the horse out.@ ,e"ogniFing the +oi"e as Bon#e61s4 the idiot rushed out of the 'ood 'ith the things and as#ed Bon#e64 @0o' did it goG@ @3 as#ed the odhisatt+a ;ingEi to "ome4 and he used his .!6ing *ragon -taff to "apture the e+i! spirit4 'ho turned out to ha+e (een the spirit of a (ro'n−"oated marten and 'as ta#en off to the :u!ture 9ea# (6 the odhisatt+a to see the uddha. We t'o had (etter go into the "a+e to res"ue our master.@ The idiot 'as +er6 p!eased to hear the ne's. The pair of them "harged into the "a+e and #i!!ed a!! the e+i! hares4 foD−fiends4 roe(u"#4 and deer inside 'ith the iron "!u( and the ra#e. Then the6 'ent into the garden at the (a"# to res"ue their master. When he 'as outside he as#ed4 @0o' did 6ou t'o "apture that e+i! spiritG 0o' did 6ou manage to res"ue meG@ Bon#e6 to!d him a!! a(out ho' ;ingEi had su(dued the fined4 and -anFang eDpressed his gratitude at great !ength

'hi!e the t'o prepared a mea! from the meat!ess food that there 'as in the "a+e. Then the6 !eft the "a+e and !oo#ed for the main path West on"e more.

3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hat happened !ater4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment. Chapter 22 9ig .ights a 5reat att!e in the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er Bo#sa $(e6s the *harma and Wins .riar -and $+er The stor6 te!!s ho' the Tang 9riest and his t'o dis"ip!es es"aped from their trou(!es and pressed for'ard. efore !ong the6 had "rossed the ?e!!o' Wind ,idge and 'ere heading West a"ross a p!ain. The time passed rapid!64 and summer ga+e 'a6 to autumn. Co!d "i"adas sang in mou!ting 'i!!o' trees4 and the 5reat .ire -tar san# (e!o' the Western horiFon. /s the6 'ere tra+e!!ing one da6 the6 sa' the might6 'a+es of a great ri+er4 (oi!ing and raging. @*is"ip!e4@ "a!!ed out -anFang from his horse4 @do 6ou see that (road ri+er in front of usG Wh6 are there no (oats on it4 and ho' are 'e going to get a"rossG@ @Those are rea!!6 terri(!e 'a+es4@ said 9ig 'hen he sa' the ri+er4 @and there aren1t an6 (oats to ferr6 us o+er.@ Bon#e6 sprang into the s#64 shaded his e6es 'ith his hand4 and !oo#ed. @Baster4@ he said 'ith horror4 @'e1re in (ig trou(!e here. 3 "an "ross a ri+er !i#e this 'ith a t'ist of m6 'aist4 (ut 31m afraid 6ou1!! ne+er (e a(!e to "ross it in ten thousand 6ears.@ @0o' 'ide is it4 thenG@ -anFang as#ed. @3 "an1t see the other (an# from here.@ @/(out three hundred mi!es4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @0o' "an 6ou (e so sure of the distan"e4 (rotherG@ 9ig as#ed. @These e6es of mine "an see 'hat1s happening three hundred and fift6 mi!es a'a6 in da6time4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @When 3 too# a !oo# from up in the air Eust no' 3 "ou!dn1t ma#e out the !ength of the ri+er4 (ut 3 "ou!d see that it 'as a good three hundred and fift6 mi!es 'ide.@ *epressed and 'orried4 -anFang reined in his horse and noti"ed a stone ta(!et (eside the ri+er. The three of them 'ent to !oo# at it4 and the6 sa' the 'ords .;$W325 -/2*- ,3:7, ins"ri(ed on it in the an"ient "ur!6 st6!e. $n the (ase of the ta(!et 'ere four !ines in the standard s"ript%

@Three hundred mi!es of f!o'ing sands4 Three thousand fathoms of 'ea# 'ater4 $n 'hi"h a goose feather 'i!! not f!oat4 /nd the f!o'er of a reed 'i!! sin#.@

/s the three of them 'ere !oo#ing at this ta(!et the6 heard the 'a+es ma#e a roar !i#e a "o!!apsing mountain as a most hideous e+i! spirit emerged from the 'ater%

/ head of matted hair4 as red as fire4 / pair of staring e6es4 g!eaming !i#e !amps. /n indigo fa"e4 neither (!a"# nor green4 / dragon1s +oi"e !i#e drums or thunder.

$n his (od6 a "!oa# of 6e!!o' goose−do'n4 Tied at the 'aist 'ith 'hite "reeper. 2ine s#u!!s hung around his ne"#4 /nd in his hands 'as an enormous staff.

The monster "ame to the (an# in a 'hir!'ind and rushed straight at the Tang 9riest. Bon#e6 pi"#ed -anFang up at on"e4 turned4 and made off up the high (an#. 9ig dropped his "arr6ing−po!e4 gra((ed his ra#e4 and stru"# at the e+i! spirit4 'ho parried the (!o' 'ith his staff. 7a"h of them sho'ed his pro'ess on the (an#s of the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er4 and it 'as a fine (att!e%

The nine−pronged ra#e4 /nd the ogre−>ue!!ing staff% T'o men fighting on the (an#s of the ri+er. $ne 'as the great "ommander Tian 9eng The other the (anished Curtain−!ifting 5enera!. The6 used to meet in the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist4 ut no' the6 'ere !o"#ed in fero"ious "om(at. The ra#e had dug deep into "!a'ed dragons4 The staff had defeated tus#ed e!ephants. When either 'as he!d defensi+e!64 it 'as ro"#−so!id8 3n atta"# the6 "ut into the 'ind. Whi!e one "!a'ed at head and fa"e4

The other ne+er pani"#ed or !eft an opening. $ne 'as the man−eating monster of the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er4 The other 'as a (e!ie+er4 a genera! "u!ti+ating his "ondu"t.

The pair of them (att!ed on for t'ent6 rounds4 (ut neither emerged as the +i"tor. The 5reat -age4 'ho 'as ho!ding on to the horse and !oo#ing after the !uggage after "arr6ing the Tang 9riest to safet64 (e"ame 'or#ed up into su"h a fur6 at the sight of 9ig and the monster fighting that he ground his teeth and "!en"hed his fists. When he "ou!d ho!d himse!f (a"# no !onger4 he pu!!ed out his "udge! and said4 @Baster4 6ou sit here and don1t (e afraid. 31m going to p!a6 'ith him.@ 3gnoring -anFang1s p!eas for him to sta64 he 'hist!ed4 Eumped do'n to the side of the ri+er4 and found that the fight (et'een 9ig and the ogre 'as at its height. rother Bon#e6 s'ung his "udge! and aimed it at the ogre1s head4 (ut the ogre made a !ightning turn and p!unged straight into the ri+er. 9ig 'as hopping mad. @2o(od6 as#ed 6ou to "ome4 e!der (rother4@ he said. @That ogre 'as tiring and he "ou!d hard!6 fend m6 ra#e off. With fe' more rounds 3 'ou!d ha+e "aptured him4 (ut 6ou ga+e him su"h a fright that he ran a'a64 damn it.@ @ rother4@ said Bon#e6 'ith a smi!e4 @3 must te!! 6ou fran#!6 that the sight of 6ou fighting so (eautifu!!6 ga+e me an un"ontro!!a(!e it"h. 3 ha+en1t used m6 "udge! for a 'ho!e month sin"e 'e "ame do'n the mountain after dea!ing 'ith the ?e!!o' Wind Bonster−−3 Eust had to Eoin in the fun. 0o' 'as 3 to #no' that the monster 'ou!dn1t 'ant to p!a6 and 'as going to run a'a6G@ The t'o of them then "!asped hands and 'ent (a"# ta!#ing and !aughing to see -anFang4 'ho as#ed4 @*id 6ou "at"h the ogreG@ @2o4@ Bon#e6 said4 @he "ou!dn1t ta#e an6 more and di+ed (a"# into the 'ater.@ @0e has !i+ed here for a !ong time4 dis"ip!e4@ -anFang said4 @and must #no' the sha!!o's and deeps here. We must ha+e a 'ater eDpert to !ead us a"ross this +ast eDpanse of 'ea# 'ater that has no (oats.@ @?es4@ said Bon#e64 @as the sa6ing goes4 1What1s near "inna(ar goes red4 and 'hat1s neDt to in# turns (!a"#.1 /s that ogre !i+es here he must (e a 'ater eDpert4 so if 'e "at"h him 'e shou!dn1t #i!! him−−'e shou!d ma#e him ta#e 6ou a"ross4 master4 (efore finishing him off.@ @There1s no time to !ose4 (rother4@ said 9ig. @?ou go and "at"h him 'hi!e 3 !oo# after the master.@ @This is something 3 "an1t ta!# (ig a(out4@ said Bon#e6 'ith a smi!e. @31m not a!! that good at under'ater stuff. 7+en to 'a!# under'ater 3 ha+e to ma#e a magi" hand mo+ement and re"ite a 'ater−repe!!ing spe!! (efore 3 "an mo+e. The on!6 other 'a6 3 "an get a(out there is (6 turning m6se!f into a fish4 a shrimp4 a "ra( or a turt!e. 3 "an manage an6 strange and 'onderfu! magi" on a mountain or in the "!ouds that 6ou "an do4 (ut 'hen it "omes to under'ater (usiness4 31m use!ess.@ @When 3 'as the "ommander of the Bi!#6 Wa64 the hea+en!6 ri+er4 in the o!d da6s4@ said 9ig4 @3 had a for"e of eight6 thousand sai!ors4 so 3 #no' a (it a(out 'ater. ut 31m afraid that he might ha+e generations of "!ansmen do'n there4 and that 'ou!d (e too mu"h for me. /nd if the6 got me4 'e1d (e in a rea! mess.@

@?ou go into the 'ater and start a fight 'ith him there4@ said Bon#e6. @*on1t fight hard4 and don1t 'in. ?ou must !ose and !ure him out4 then 3 "an finish him off for 6ou.@ @:er6 'e!! then4 31!! (e off4@ said 9ig. /fter stripping off his (ro"ade tuni" and remo+ing his shoes he s'ung his ra#e in (oth hands and made his 'a6 into the 'ater4 'here the tri"#s he had !earned 6ears (a"# ena(!ed him to go through the 'a+es to the ri+er−(ed4 a"ross 'hi"h he ad+an"ed. The ogre had no' re"o+ered his (reath after his ear!ier defeat4 and 'hen he heard someone pushing the 'aters aside he !eapt to his feet to !oo#. -eeing that it 'as 9ig (randishing his ra#e4 the monster raised his staff and shouted at him4 @Where do 6ou thin# 6ou1re going4 mon#G Wat"h out4 and ta#e this.@ 9ig 'arded off the (!o' 'ith his ra#e and rep!ied. @Who are 6ou4 e+i! spirit4 and 'h6 are 6ou (!o"#ing the 'a6G@ @?ou ma6 not rea!iFe 'ho 3 am4@ the monster rep!ied4 @(ut 31m no fiend4 demon4 ghost or monster4 and 3 don1t !a"# a name either.@ @3f 6ou1re not a fiend4 a demon4 or a monster4 then 'h6 do 6ou !i+e here ta#ing !ifeG Te!! me 6our name truthfu!!6 and 31!! spare 6ou !ife.@ @34@ the monster rep!ied4

@0a+e had a di+ine essen"e sin"e "hi!dhood4 /nd ha+e 'andered a!! o+er hea+en and earth. 3 ha+e 'on g!or6 among the heroes of the 'or!d4 /nd (ra+e #nights ha+e ta#en me as their mode!.

3 tra+e!ed at 'i!! o+er "ountries and "ontinents4 5oing 'here 3 !i#ed in !a#es and seas4 To stud6 the Wa6 3 'ent to the edge of the hea+ens4 /nd 3 roamed the 'astes in sear"h of tea"hers.

3n those da6s 3 had a "asso"# and an a!ms−(o'!4 /nd 3 #ept m6 mind and spirit 'e!! "ontro!!ed. 3 tra+e!ed the earth (6 "!oud some doFen times4 :isiting e+er6'here on a hundred Eourne6s.

The 3mmorta! 3 fina!!6 managed to find ;ed me a!ong the great and shining Wa6. .irst 3 gathered mer"ur6 and !ead4 Then 3 !et go of the Bother of Wood and Beta!1s .ather.

The #idne6−'ater (ehind m6 (ro' entered m6 mouth4 /nd the !i+er−fire in m6 'indpipes entered m6 heart. With three thousand a""omp!ishment 'on4 3 (o'ed to the hea+en!6 "ountenan"e8

9ious!6 3 'orshipped him in his g!or6. The 5reat <ade 7mperor then promoted me To (e the 5enera! Who ;ifts the Curtain. 3 'as honoured 'ithin the -outhern 5ate of 0ea+en4

-upreme (efore the 0a!! of Bira"u!ous Bist. /t m6 'aist 'as hung the tiger ta!!64 3n m6 hand 3 he!d m6 demon−>ue!!ing staff. B6 go!den he!met shone !i#e sun!ight4

$n m6 (od6 g!eamed a suit of armour. 3 !ed the es"ort for the 7mperor1s "arriage4 /!'a6s too# pre"eden"e 'hen he entered or !eft "ourt. ut then the Kueen Bother gathered the pea"hes

/nd in+ited a!! the genera!s to feast at the <ade 9oo!. 3 "are!ess!6 smashed some Eade and "r6sta!4 To the horror of a!! of the hea+en!6 gods. The <ade 7mperor in his terri(!e fur6

9ut his hands together and fumed to the +i"e−premier. B6 hat and armour 'ere remo+ed4 and 3 'as stripped of offi"e4 Then mar"hed to the p!a"e of eDe"ution. Then4 to m6 good fortune4 the great are−foot 3mmorta!

-tepped for'ard to as# for m6 reprie+e. *eath 'as "ommuted8 3 'as a!!o'ed to !i+e 3n eDi!e on the 7ast (an# of the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er. When 'e!!−fed 3 s!eep in the ri+er 'aters8

When hungr6 3 (urst through the 'a+es in sear"h of food. 3f a 'ood"utter meets me his !ife is finished− − 2o fisherman sees me and sur+i+es. 3n one 'a6 and another 31+e eaten man6 a man4

C!oa#ed as 3 am in an aura of death. /s 6ou1+e dared to "ome to ma#e trou(!e at m6 gates B6 (e!!6 has something to !oo# for'ard to toda6. 2o matter if 6ou1re "oarse and don1t taste good4 When 31+e "aught 6ou 3 "an "ut 6ou up for sa!ted min"e.@

9ig 'as eDtreme!6 angr6 to hear this4 and he rep!ied4 @?ou1re "omp!ete!6 (!ind4 'ret"h. 3 "an "at"h (u((!es in m6 fingers4 so ho' dare 6ou sa6 that 31m so "oarse 6ou1!! "ut me up for sa!ted min"eG -o 6ou ta#e me to (e a +er6 'e!!−"ured side of hamA *on1t (e impudent−−ta#e a dose of this ra#e.@ When the monster sa' the ra#e "oming at him he did a @phoeniD nod@ to a+oid it. The t'o of them fought their 'a6 up to the surfa"e of the 'ater4 'here ea"h of them trod on the 'a+es as the6 strugg!ed in a "om(at that 'as e+en fier"er than their pre+ious one.

The Curtain−!ifting 5enera!4 /nd Barsha! Tian 9eng8 7a"h ga+e a sp!endid sho' of magi" po'ers. The ogre−>ue!!ing staff 'hee!s around the head4 The nine−pronged ra#e is s'ift in the hand. /s the6 !eap on the 'a+es4 the6 sha#e hi!!s and ri+ers4 *ar#ening the 'or!d as the6 push the 'aters aside4 /s terri(!e as the *isaster -tar stri#ing (anners and pendants4 /s frightening as !ifting the "anop6 off the *eath -tar. $ne 'as the !o6a! defender of the Tang 9riest4 The other4 a "rimina!4 'as an ogre of the 'aters. Where the ra#e stru"# it !eft nine s"ars8 When the staff smote4 a!! the sou!s 'ere s"attered. Cheerfu!!6 fighting for a!! the6 'ere 'orth4 The6 put a!! their hearts into the "om(at. /!though he is on!6 a pi!grim fet"hing s"riptures 0is unrestrained anger (ursts against the s#6. -u"h 'as the "haos that the fishes !ost their s"a!es4 Whi!e the soft she!!s of terrapins 'ere "rushed8 ,ed pra'ns and purp!e "ra(s a!! !ost their !i+es4 /nd a!! the gods of the 'ater pa!a"e pra6ed to hea+en.

The on!6 sound 'as the thunder of "rashing 'a+es8 -un and moon 'ere dar#4 to the horror of earth and s#6.

The6 (att!ed on for four hours4 (ut the issue 'as sti!! unde"ided. 3t 'as as if a (rass pan 'as fighting an iron (rush4 or a Eade "hime 'as "ompeting 'ith a go!den (e!!. The 5reat -age4 'ho 'as standing (eside the Tang 9riest to guard him4 'at"hed the fight on the 'ater 'ith !onging4 una(!e to do an6thing. Then 9ig feinted 'ith his ra#e4 pretended to (e (eaten4 and made for the 7astern (an# 'ith the ogre rushing after him. When he had a!most rea"hed the (an#4 Bon#e6 "ou!d ho!d himse!f (a"# no !onger. /(andoning his master4 he sprang do'n to the ri+er1s edge 'ith his "udge! in his hand and too# a s'ing at the ogre1s head. 2ot daring to fa"e him4 the monster 'ent straight (a"# into the ri+er. @9rote"tor of the 0orses4@ 9ig shouted4 @6ou impatient ape. ?ou shou!d ha+e ta#en it a (it more s!o'!6 and 'aited ti!! 31d dra'n him up to high ground4 and then "ut him off from the ri+er−(an#. Then he 'ou!dn1t ha+e (een a(!e to go (a"# and 'e1d ha+e "aught him. ut no' he1s gone (a"# in4 he1!! ne+er "ome out again.@ @*on1t shout4 idiot4@ Bon#e6 said 'ith a smi!e4 @don1t shout. ;et1s go (a"# and see our master.@ When 9ig rea"hed the top of the (an# 'ith Bon#e64 -anFang (o'ed to him and said4 @?ou1+e had a tough time4 dis"ip!e.@ @3 'ou!dn1t sa6 that4@ 9ig rep!ied. @ ut if 'e1d "aptured that e+i! spirit and made him ta#e 6ou a"ross the ri+er4 that 'ou!d ha+e (een the perfe"t so!ution.@ @0o' did 6our (att!e 'ith the e+i! spirit goG@ -anFang as#ed. @0e1s as good as me4@ 9ig rep!ied. @When 3 pretended to (e (eaten in the fight he "hased me to the ri+er1s edge8 (ut then he sa' e!der (rother 'a+ing his "udge!4 so he ran a'a6.@ @-o 'hat are 'e going to doG@ -anFang as#ed. @,e!aD4 master4@ said Bon#e64 @there1s no need to 'orr6. 3t1s getting !ate4 so 6ou1d (etter sit on the (an# 'hi!e 3 go and (eg some food. When 6ou1+e eaten that 6ou "an go to s!eep4 and 'e "an de"ide 'hat to do tomorro' morning.@ @5ood idea4@ said 9ig. @ e as >ui"# as 6ou "an.@ Bon#e6 !eapt up on his "!oud4 'ent due 2orth to a house 'here he (egged some food4 and "ame (a"# to gi+e it to his master. -eeing him "ome (a"# so soon4 -anFang said to him4 @Bon#e64 !et1s go to the house 'here 6ou (egged this food and as# them ho' to "ross this ri+er. That 'ou!d (e (etter than ha+ing to fight this ogre.@ @ ut that house is a !ong 'a6 a'a64@ !aughed Bon#e6. @3t1s a(out t'o thousand mi!es from here. What 'ou!d (e the point in as#ing them a(out this ri+erG The6 'ou!dn1t #no' an6thing a(out it.@ @?ou1re te!!ing ta!! stories again4@ 9ig said. @3f it1s t'o thousand mi!es a'a64 ho' did 6ou get there and (a"# so fastG@

@?ou 'ou!dn1t #no'4 of "ourse4@ rother Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @that m6 somersau!t "!oud "an "o+er thirt6−siD thousand mi!es 'ith a sing!e (ound. To do a mere t'o−thousand−mi!e return Eourne6 ta#es on!6 a "oup!e of nods and a (o'−−there1s nothing to it.@ @3f it1s so eas64 (rother4@ said 9ig4 @6ou shou!d "arr6 the master on 6our (a"#4 ta#e him a"ross 'ith Eust a "oup!e of nods and a (o'4 and sa+e us a!! the trou(!e of fighting the monster.@ @?ou "an ride "!ouds4 "an1t 6ouG@ said Bon#e6. @Wh6 don1t 6ou "arr6 the master a"rossG@ @The master1s morta! f!esh and (ones are hea+ier than Bount Tai4@ said 9ig4 @-o a!though 3 "an ride "!ouds 3 "ou!d ne+er !ift him. 2othing (ut 6our somersau!t 'i!! do the tri"#.@ @B6 somersau!t is the same as "!oud−riding.@ Bon#e6 said4 @eD"ept that it ta#es 6ou further. 31m no more a(!e to "arr6 him than 6ou are. /s the o!d sa6ing goes4 1Bount Tai is as eas6 to mo+e as a mustard seed4 (ut a morta! "annot (e dragged a'a6 from the earth!6 dust.1 When that other poisonous monster of a fiend made a magi" 'ind 3 "ou!d on!6 mo+e the master (6 dragging and tugging him a!ong the ground. $f "ourse. 3 "an do tri"#s !i#e that4 and a!! those other ones !i#e ma#ing m6se!f in+isi(!e or shrin#ing !and. ut a!though our master "annot es"ape from the sea of suffering he 'ants to go to a foreign !and4 so he finds e+er6 in"h of the 'a6 hea+6 going. /!! 'e "an do is es"ort him and see that he "omes to no harm. We "an1t undergo a!! that suffering on his (eha!f4 nor "an 'e fet"h the s"riptures for him. 7+en if 'e 'ent ahead to see the uddha4 he 'ou!dn1t gi+e the s"riptures to 6ou or me. /fter a!!4 if 'e "ou!d get them that easi!64 'e1d ha+e nothing to do.@ The idiot a""epted e+er6thing Bon#e6 said4 then the6 ate some p!ain ri"e 'ithout an6 +egeta(!es4 after 'hi"h the three of them 'ent to s!eep on the 7astern (an# of the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er. @Bon#e64@ said -anFang the neDt morning4 @'hat are 'e going to do a(out it toda6G@ @There1s nothing for it (ut to send 9ig (a"# under the 'ater4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @?ou1re ma#ing me go under'ater (e"ause 6ou 'ant to sta6 dr64 (rother4@ 9ig protested. @3 'on1t (e impatient this time4@ Bon#e6 said. @31!! !et 6ou !ure him out onto the (an# and then 31!! "ut him off from the ri+er. That 'a6 'e1!! (e (ound to "at"h him.@ *ear 9ig ru((ed his fa"e4 summoned up his energ64 too# his ra#e in (oth hands4 'ent do'n to the ri+er4 and parted the 'aters as he 'ent (a"# to the monster1s !air on"e more. The ogre4 'ho had on!6 Eust 'o#en up4 turned to see 'hat 'as happening the moment he heard the 'aters (eing pushed apart. $(ser+ing that a ra#e−'ie!ding 9ig 'as upon him4 he sprang to his feet to stop him4 shouting4 @2ot so fast4 not so fast. Ta#e this.@ 9ig (!o"#ed the (!o' from the staff 'ith his ra#e and said4 @What do 6ou mean (6 te!!ing 6our an"estor to 1ta#e this1 from that mourner1s staff of 6oursG@ @?ou #no' nothing4 6ou 'ret"h4@ the monster rep!ied4 "ontinuing%

@5reat is the fame of this staff of mine4 Bade from a -a!a tree on the moon. Wu 5ang "ut do'n a (ran"h of it4 .or ;u an to 'or# 'ith his unri+a!!ed s#i!!.

/ strip of go!d goes right through its heart4 /nd it is set 'ith "ount!ess pear!s. 3t is a pre"ious staff4 fine for su(duing fiends8 3t "ou!d >ue!! a!! demons 'hen it guarded the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e.

When 3 'as "ommissioned as 0igh 5enera! The <ade 7mperor ga+e it me to use. 3t "an (e an6 !ength 3 'ish4 Thi"# or thin4 responding to m6 'i!!.

3t prote"ted the 7mperor at 9ea"h an>uets4 /ttended at "ourt in the upper 'or!d. When 3 'as at the pa!a"e4 it met a!! the sages4 When 3 !ifted the "urtain4 it greeted the 3mmorta!s.

3 nurtured it and made it a di+ine 'eapon−− This is no ordinar6 earth!6 arm. When 3 'as sent do'n from 0ea+en in eDi!e 3 roamed at 'i!! throughout the 'or!d.

3 do not need to (oast a(out this staff4 Hnmat"hed (6 an6 spear or sa(er in the 'or!d. ;oo# at that rust6 ra#e of 6ours4 $n!6 good for farming or gro'ing +egeta(!es.@

@31!! gi+e 6ou the (eating 6ou deser+e4 damn 6ou4@ said 9ig. @2e+er mind a(out +egeta(!e−gro'ing−−one s'ipe from it and 6ou1!! ha+e no'here !eft to put ointment4 (e"ause 6our (!ood 'i!! (e pouring out from nine ho!es. 7+en if it doesn1t #i!! 6ou4 6ou1!! ha+e tetanus for the rest of 6our da6s.@ The ogre dropped his defensi+e posture and fought 'ith 9ig from the ri+er−(ed to the surfa"e of the 'ater. This (att!e 'as fier"er than the ear!ier ones%

The pre"ious staff 'hir!ed4 The dead!6 ra#e stru"#4 /nd no 'ord passed (et'een the t'o foes. e"ause the Bother of Wood "on>uered the Bedi"ine Beasure The pair of them had to fight ea"h other t'i"e. With no +i"tor64 /nd no defeat4 The 'a+es 'ere o+erturned and #ne' no pea"e. 0o' "ou!d the one ho!d (a"# his angerG 0o' "ou!d the other (ear his humi!iationG /s the staff parried the ra#e1s (!o's4 the6 sho'ed their pro'ess8 7a"h 'as most +i"ious as the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er ro!!ed. To'ering rage4 -trenuous efforts4 /!! (e"ause -anFang 'anted to go West. The ra#e 'as thorough!6 murderous4 The staff 'as 'ie!ded 'ith eDperien"e. 9ig gra((ed his enem64 tr6ing to drag him ashore4 Whi!e the other in torn tried to pu!! 9ig under 'ater. The thunderous noise distur(ed fish and dragons8 5ods and ghosts !a6 !o' as the s#6 'as dar#ened.

The (att!e 'ent on for thirt6 rounds4 (ut neither emerged +i"torious. 9ig feigned defeat on"e again4 and f!ed trai!ing his ra#e (ehind him. The ogre "harged through the 'a+es after him as far as the (an#4 'hen 9ig shouted at him4 @31!! get 6ou4 6ou damned ogre. Come up on this higher ground 'here 'e "an fight 'ith dr6 !and under our feet.@ @?ou1re tr6ing to !ure me up there4 damn 6ou4@ the monster rep!ied4 @for 6our mate to "ome and get me. Come (a"# and fight in the 'ater.@ The fiend4 'ho had more sense than to go up the (an# again4 stood at the ri+er1s edge4 shouting it out 'ith 9ig. When Bon#e6 sa' that the monster 'as not "oming up on the (an# he seethed 'ith frustration at not (eing a(!e to "at"h him. @Baster4@ he said4 @6ou sit here 'hi!e 3 do a 10ungr6 7ag!e .a!!ing on 3ts 9re61 on him.@ 0e somersau!ted into mid−air4 then p!ummeted do'n to "at"h the ogre4 'ho heard the noise of a 'ind as he 'as 6e!!ing at 9ig4 turned immediate!64 and sa' Bon#e6 des"ending from the "!ouds. 0e put his staff a'a64 p!unged into the 'ater 'ith a sp!ash4 and 'as seen no more. @ rother4@ said Bon#e6 to 9ig as he !anded on the (an#4 @the monster1s made a smooth geta'a6. Whate+er are 'e to do if he 'on1t "ome on to the (an# againG@ @3t1s impossi(!e4@ said 9ig4 @We1!! ne+er (e a(!e to (eat him. 7+en if 3 put e+er6thing 31+e got into it4 3 "an on!6 ho!d m6 o'n against him.@ @;et1s go and see the master4@ Bon#e6 said. The t'o of them "!im(ed the (an# and to!d the Tang 9riest a(out the diffi"u!t6 of "apturing the ogre. @3t1s so hard4@ said -anFang4 tears streaming do'n his "hee#s. @0o'e+er are 'e going to "rossG@ @2o need to 'orr64 master4@ said Bon#e6. @The monster is !ur#ing deep do'n on the ri+er−(ed4 'here it1s +er6 hard to mo+e around. ?ou sta6 here and !oo# after the master4 9ig4 and don1t fight 'ith the ogre again. 31m going to the -outhern -ea.@ @What forG@ 9ig as#ed. @This 'ho!e (usiness of fet"hing the s"riptures 'as started (6 the odhisatt+a 5uan6in4 and it 'as she 'ho "on+erted us. 2o' 'e are stu"# here at the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er no(od6 (ut she "an sort this one out. With her he!p 'e1!! (e in a stronger position to fight that monster.@ @?es4 6es4@ said 9ig4 @and 'hen 6ou1re there4 p!ease than# her for "on+erting me.@ @3f 6ou1re going to as# the >ui"#!6 as possi(!e.@ odhisatt+a to "ome4@ -anFang said4 @don1t 'aste a moment4 and (e (a"# as

Bon#e6 then somersau!ted off on his "!oud to'ards the -outhern -ea4 and (efore an hour 'as up he sa' 9otara#a 3s!and. /n instant !ater he !anded outside the 9urp!e am(oo 5ro+e4 'here the t'ent6−four de+as "ame for'ard to greet him 'ith the 'ords4 @Wh6 ha+e 6ou "ome4 5reat -ageG@ @ e"ause m6 master is in trou(!e4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @3 ha+e "ome for an audien"e 'ith the odhisatt+a.@ The de+a on dut6 that da6 as#ed Bon#e6 to sit do'n 'hi!e he 'ent in to report4 'hereupon he 'ent into the Tide Ca+e to announ"e that -un Wu#ong 'as see#ing an audien"e on (usiness. The odhisatt+a 'as !eaning on a (a!"on6 !oo#ing at the (!ossoms in the 9re"ious ;otus 9oo! 'ith the *ragon 9rin"ess 9eng Lhu 'hen she heard the ne's. -he 'ent (a"# in her "!oud6 maEest64 opening the door and summoning Bon#e6 to her presen"e. The 5reat -age greeted her 'ith gra+e re+eren"e. @Wh6 aren1t 6ou !oo#ing after the Tang 9riest4@ she as#ed4 @and 'h6 ha+e 6ou "ome to see me.G@

@B6 master 'on a ne' dis"ip!e at 5ao :i!!age4 odhisatt+a4@ rother Bon#e6 reported. @0e1s "a!!ed Lhu aEie and a!so has the uddhist name Wuneng than#s to 6ou. We ha+e no' rea"hed the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er after "rossing the ?e!!o' Wind ,idge4 (ut it1s a thousand mi!es of ,uo ,i+er and m6 master "annot "ross it. $n top of this there1s an e+i! monster in the ri+er 'ho1s a great fighter4 and a!though our 9ig had three great (att!es 'ith him on the surfa"e of the 'ater4 he "ou!dn1t (eat the ogre4 'ho is sti!! (!o"#ing our 'a6 and pre+enting m6 master from "rossing. This is 'h6 31+e "ome to see 6ou and as# 6ou in 6our mer"6 to he!p him a"ross.@ @?ou ha+e re+ea!ed 6our "on"eit on"e again4 6ou ape4@ said the monster that 6ou 'ere prote"ting the Tang 9riestG@ odhisatt+a. @Wh6 didn1t 6ou te!! the

@We 'anted to "at"h him4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @and ma#e him ta#e our master a"ross the ri+er. /s 31m not up to mu"h in the 'ater4 9ig 'as the on!6 one 'ho "ou!d find the ogre1s den and did a!! the ta!#ing. 3 eDpe"t he ne+er mentioned fet"hing the s"riptures.@ @The ogre of the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er is the morta! in"arnation of the 5reat Curtain−!ifting 5enera!4@ said 5uan6in4 @and is a (e!ie+er 'hom 3 "on+erted m6se!f and instru"ted to prote"t those 'ho 'ou!d (e "oming to fet"h the s"riptures. 3f 6ou had to!d him that 6ou had "ome from the 7ast to fet"h the s"riptures4 so far from fighting 6ou4 he 'ou!d "ertain!6 ha+e Eoined 6ou.@ @ ut the "ra+en monster is no' s#u!#ing in the ri+er4 too frightened to "ome out4@ Bon#e6 said4 @so ho' are 'e to ma#e him Eoin us4 and ho' is m6 master to "ross the 'ea# 'aterG@ The odhisatt+a sent for her dis"ip!e 0uian and produ"ed a red (ott!e−gourd from her s!ee+e. @Ta#e this gourd4@ she said4 @and go 'ith -un Wu#ong to the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er. -hout 1WuEing1−−1/'a#ened to 9urit61−−and he1!! "ome out. .irst ta#e him to su(mit to the Tang 9riest4 and then ma#e him thread his nine s#u!!s on a string !i#e the -a"red 9a!a"es. 3f he puts this gourd in the midd!e of them4 it 'i!! ma#e a dharma (oat to ferr6 the Tang 9riest a"ross the ri+er.@ 3n o(edien"e to the odhisatt+a1s "ommand4 0uian and the 5reat -age too# the gourd 'ith them from the Tide Ca+e and the 9urp!e am(oo 5ro+e. There are some !ines to des"ri(e it%

The .i+e 7!ements 'ere "om(ined 'ith the hea+en!6 3mmorta!4 ,e"ogniFing their master of the o!d da6s. The6 ha+e (een suffi"ient!6 refined to a"hie+e great things8 When true and fa!se are distinguished4 origins are seen. When Beta! Eoins 2ature4 !i#e Eoins !i#e8 When Wood see#s the 9assions4 (oth are !ost. When the t'o 7arths a"hie+e nir+ana4 .ire and Water 'i!! "om(ine4 and 'or!d!6 dust (e no more.

/ !itt!e !ater the pair of them (rought their "!ouds do'n to !and on the (an# of the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er. ,e"ogniFing 0uian as Bo#sa the 2o+i"e4 9ig !ed his master for'ard to meet him. When Bo#sa had eD"hanged "ourtesies 'ith -anFang4 he greeted 9ig. Then 9ig said4 @Than#s to ?our 0o!iness1s instru"tion4 3 'as a(!e to meet the odhisatt+a4 and sin"e then 3 ha+e o(e6ed the uddhist !a' and had the p!easure of (e"oming a mon#. /s 3 ha+e (een tra+e!!ing sin"e then4 31+e (een too (us6 to go and than# 6ou. 9!ease forgi+e me.@ @*on1t (e so !ong'inded4@ said Bon#e6. @;et1s go and "a!! to that 'ret"h.@ @Ca!! to 'homG@ as#ed -anFang. @3 sa' the odhisatt+a4@ said Bon#e64 @and to!d her 'hat had happened. -he said that the ogre of the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er is the morta! in"arnation of the 5reat Curtain−!ifting 5enera!4 'ho 'as thro'n do'n to this ri+er as a monster (e"ause of a "rime he had "ommitted in 0ea+en. 0e has (een "on+erted (6 the odhisatt+a and has +o'ed to go to the Western 0ea+en 'ith 6ou. 3f 'e1d to!d him 'e 'ere going to fet"h the s"riptures4 there 'ou!d ha+e (een none of this (itter fighting. The odhisatt+a has no' sent Bo#sa to gi+e this gourd to that fe!!o' to ma#e a dharma (oat that 'i!! ferr6 6ou a"ross.@ -anFang (o'ed in re+eren"e to the odhisatt+a man6 times 'hen he heard it4 and a!so (o'ed to Bo#sa 'ith the 'ords4 @9!ease do this as >ui"#!6 as 6ou "an4 ?our 0o!iness.@ Bo#sa then 'ent (6 "!oud and stood o+er the ri+er 'ith the gourd in his hands. @WuEing4 WuEing4@ he shouted at the top of his +oi"e4 @the pi!grims 'ho are going to fet"h the s"riptures ha+e (een here for a !ong time. Wh6 ha+en1t 6ou su(mitted to themG@ The ogre4 'ho had gone (a"# to the ri+er−(ed for fear of the Bon#e6 Cing4 'as resting in his den 'hen he heard his uddhist name (eing "a!!ed and rea!iFed that this 'as a message from the odhisatt+a 5uan6in. $n hearing that the pi!grims 'ere there4 his fears of (eing atta"#ed me!ted a'a64 and he pushed his head up through the 'a+es to see that it 'as Bo#sa the 2o+i"e. ;oo# at him as he (o's to Bo#sa4 his fa"e 'reathed in smi!es. @31m sorr6 3 did not 'e!"ome 6ou proper!64 ?our 0o!iness4@ he said. @Where is the odhisatt+aG@ @-he didn1t "ome4@ Bo#sa rep!ied. @-he sent me to te!! 6ou to (e the Tang 9riest1s dis"ip!e. ?ou are to ta#e the nine s#u!!s 6ou 'ear round 6our ne"#4 arrange them 'ith this gourd in the pattern of the 2ine -a"red 9a!a"es4 and ma#e a dharma (oat to ferr6 him a"ross this 'ea# 'ater.@ @Where is the pi!grimG@ WuEing as#ed. @There he is4 sitting on the (an#4@ said Bo#sa4 pointing at -anFang. WuEing then noti"ed 9ig and said4 @3 don1t #no' 'here that (!ood6 "reature is from4 (ut he fought 'ith me for t'o 'ho!e da6s and ne+er said a 'ord a(out fet"hing s"riptures. /nd as for this one4@ he added4 noti"ing Bon#e64 @he1s that one1s a""omp!i"e and a rea! terror. 31m not going 'ith them.@ @That one is Lhu aEie4 and this one is rother Bon#e6. The6 are (oth dis"ip!es of the Tang 9riest 'ho ha+e (een "on+erted (6 the odhisatt+a4 so 6ou ha+e nothing to fear from them. ;et me present 6ou to the Tang 9riest.@ WuEing put a'a6 his staff4 straightened his 6e!!o' (ro"ade tuni"4 Eumped ashore4 #ne!t (efore the Tang 9riest4 and said4 @Baster4 6our dis"ip!e1s e6es ha+e no pupi!s in them−−3 (eg 6ou to forgi+e me for atta"#ing 6our fo!!o'ers instead of re"ogniFing 'ho the6 'ere.@ @?ou pustu!e4@ said 9ig4 @'h6 did 6ou fight me instead of su(mittingG What did 6ou mean (6 itG@ @?ou "an1t (!ame him4 (rother4@ said Bon#e6. @We didn1t te!! him our names or e+en mention fet"hing the s"riptures.@

@*o 6ou (e!ie+e in our tea"hings 'ith a!! 6our heartG@ -anFang as#ed. @3 'as "on+erted (6 the odhisatt+a4@ WuEing rep!ied4 @and she ga+e me this ri+er1s name as a surname and "a!!ed me (6 the uddhist name of -ha WuEing4 or -and /'a#ened to 9urit64 so of "ourse 3 must fo!!o' 6ou4 master.@ @3n that "ase4@ said -anFang4 @(ring the raFor o+er4 Bon#e64 and "ut his hair off.@ The 5reat -age o(edient!6 sha+ed the monster1s head4 'ho then (o'ed to -anFang4 Bon#e64 and 9ig 'ith appropriate degrees of re+eren"e. When -anFang sa' him do this Eust !i#e a rea! mon# he ga+e him another name−−.riar -and. @2o' that 6ou ha+e entered the faith4@ said Bo#sa4 @there1s no need to 'aste time ta!#ing. Ba#e that dharma (oat at on"e.@ .riar -and too# the s#u!!s from round his ne"# 'ithout de!a6 and tied them into the pattern of the 2ine 9a!a"es 'ith the odhisatt+a1s gourd in the midd!e. Then he as#ed -anFang to (oard it4 and -anFang found 'hen he sat on it that it 'as as sta(!e as a sma!! dingh6. 9ig and .riar -an supported him to !eft and right4 'hi!e Bon#e6 !ed the dragon horse through the "!ouds (ehind him4 and Bo#sa stood a(o+e him on guard. -anFang thus made a "a!m and 'ind!ess "rossing of the 'ea# 'ater of the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er. 0e mo+ed 'ith the speed of an arro'4 and it 'as not !ong (efore he "!im(ed ashore on the other side. 0e 'as neither 'et nor mudd64 and his hands and feet 'ere "omp!ete!6 dr6. Thus it 'as that master and dis"ip!es trod on dr6 !and again 'ithout an6 trou(!e. Bo#sa then !anded his "!oud4 and too# (a"# the gourd. The nine s#u!!s "hanged into nine gusts of 'ind and disappeared. -anFang (o'ed to Bo#sa to than# him and 'orshipped the odhisatt+a4 after 'hi"h

Bo#sa returned to the 7astern $"ean4 Whi!e -anFang remounted and headed West.

3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hen the6 'on their re'ard and fet"hed the s"riptures4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt "hapter. Chapter 23 -anFang *oes 2ot .orget the asi" The .our 0o!6 $nes 0a+e Their 9iet6 Tested

;ong is the road as the6 tra+e! West8 3n the rust!ing autumn (reeFe the frost−#i!!ed f!o'ers fa!!. The "unning ape is firm!6 "hained−−do not untie him8 The 'i"#ed horse is tight!6 reined−−don1t 'hip him on.

The Bother of Wood and .ather of Beta! 'ere origina!!6 "om(ined8 et'een the ?e!!o' Bother and the ,ed a(e there 'as no differen"e. When the iron pi!! is (itten open4 truth is re+ea!ed8 The 9raEna−paramita has rea"hed that person.

/!though this (oo# is a(out the Eourne6 to fet"h the s"riptures4 it ne+er !ea+es the su(Ee"t of ho' the indi+idua! stri+es for the (asi". The four of them4 ha+ing understood the truth4 sha#en off the "hains of the morta! 'or!d4 and !eapt a'a6 from the f!o'ing sands of the sea of nature4 headed a!ong the main road West free of a!! impediment. The6 "rossed (!ue mountains and green ri+ers4 and sa' no end of 'i!d f!o'ers. The time f!e' (64 and (efore !ong it 'as autumn. The6 sa'%

0i!!s "o+ered 'ith red map!e !ea+es4 ?e!!o' "hr6santhemums (ra+ing the e+ening (reeFe4 /ging "i"adas singing 'ith !ess +igor4 /utumn "ri"#ets !onging for the da6s of p!ent6.

The !otus 'as !osing its green si!#en !ea+es4 The fragrant orange tree 'as massed 'ith go!den g!o(es. ;ines of 'i!d geese4 a!as4 -pread out !i#e dots a"ross the distant s#6.

/s the6 'ere tra+e!!ing a!ong one da64 e+ening dre' in4 and -anFang said4 @Where are 'e going to s!eep4 dis"ip!es4 no' that it1s getting !ateG@ @That1s not the right thing to sa64 master4@ said Bon#e6. @We mon#s are supposed to eat the 'ind and drin# the rain4 and s!eep under the moon and in the frost. $ur home is 'here+er 'e are. -o 'h6 as# 'here 'e1re going to s!eepG@ @?ou ma6 thin# that 6ou1+e had an eas6 Eourne64@ said 9ig4 @(ut 6ou don1t gi+e a damn a(out other peop!e (eing tired. 7+er sin"e 'e "rossed the .!o'ing -ands ,i+er 'e1+e (een going o+er mountain ranges4 and this hea+6 !oad has fair!6 'orn me out. We1+e got to find a house 'here 'e "an (eg some tea and food and ha+e a good rest−−it1s on!6 fair.@

@3t sounds to me4 idiot4 as though 6ou1re ha+ing regrets4@ said Bon#e6. @31m afraid 6ou "an1t ha+e su"h an eas6 !ife no' as 6ou did (a"# in 5ao :i!!age. 3f 6ou 'ant to (e a mon#4 6ou ha+e to suffer−−it1s the on!6 'a6 of (eing a true dis"ip!e.@ @0o' hea+6 do 6ou thin# this !oad isG@ 9ig as#ed. @3 ha+en1t "arried it sin"e 6ou and .riar -and Eoined us4 so ho' shou!d 3 #no'G@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @<ust add it up4@ said 9ig. @There are

.our (und!es 'rapped in 6e!!o' (am(oo mats4 7ight ropes of assorted !engths. Then4 to #eep out rain and damp4 Three or four !a6ers of fe!t around it The "arr6ing−po!e is terri(!e s!ipper6 With nai!s at either end. Then there1s a (ronFe and iron nine−ringed staff /nd a "ape made of (am(oo and "reeper.

With a!! this !uggage to "arr6 da6 after da6 of "ourse 3 find the going hea+6. Whi!e 6ou1re a!!o'ed to (e the master1s dis"ip!e4 31m treated as a hired hand.@ @Who do 6ou thin# 6ou1re ta!#ing to4 idiotG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @31m ta!#ing to 6ou4 e!der (rother4@ said 9ig. @?ou shou!dn1t (e "omp!aining a(out this to me4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @B6 Eo( is to !oo# after the master1s safet64 'hi!e 6ou and .riar -and !oo# after the horse and the !uggage. /nd if there1s an6 s!a"#ing from 6ou4 6ou1!! fee! a hea+6 sti"# a(out 6ou an#!es.@ @*on1t threaten me 'ith a (eating4 (rother4@ said 9ig4 @that 'ou!d (e (u!!6ing. 3 #no' that 6ou1re too high and might6 to "arr6 the !uggage4 (ut the master1s horse is a (ig4 sturd6 anima! to (e "arr6ing on!6 one o!d mon#. 31d (e +er6 happ6 if it "ou!d "arr6 a fe' pie"es of !uggage.@ @*o 6ou thin# he1s a horseG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @0e1s no ordinar6 horse. 0e 'as the son of /o ,un4 the *ragon Cing of the Western -ea4 and his name is 9rin"e *ragon−horse. e"ause he (urnt the pa!a"e pear!s his father reported on him as an offender against the 0ea+en!6 Code. ;u"#i!6 for him4 his !ife sa+ed (6 the odhisatt+a 5uan6in4 and he 'aited a !ong time for the master in the 7ag!e1s -orro' 5orge. 0e 'as honoured (6 another +isit from the odhisatt+a4 'ho too# off his s"a!es and horns4 remo+ed the pear!s from under his ne"#4 and turned him into this horse4 'hi"h has s'orn to "arr6 the master to the Western 0ea+en to +isit the uddha.

This is a matter of him 'inning merit for himse!f4 so 6ou1d (etter !ea+e him a!one.@ @3s he rea!!6 a dragonG@ as#ed .riar -and 'hen he heard this. @?es4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @31+e heard an o!d sa6ing4@ 9ig remar#ed4 @that dragons "an (reathe out "!ouds4 ma#e the dust and sand f!64 pu!! mountain ranges up (6 their roots4 and turn o"eans upside do'n. 0o' is it that he1s mo+ing so s!o'!6 no'G@ @3f 6ou 'ant to see him go fast4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @31!! ma#e him go fast for 6ou.@ The sp!endid 5reat -age gripped his iron "udge!4 and "ount!ess !uminous "!ouds sprang from it. When the horse sa' him gra( the "udge! he thought he 'as going to (e hit 'ith it4 and in his terror he shot off at the speed of !ightning. -anFang 'as too 'ea# to rein him in as the e>uine dashed up the mountainside for a!! his e+i! nature 'as 'orth (efore he s!a"#ened his pa"e. When -anFang (egan to get his (reath (a"#4 he !oo#ed up and sa' some fine houses in the shade of a (am(oo gro+e%

C6presses 'ere (ending o+er the gates $f the houses near the (!ue mountain. There 'ere se+era! spreading pines /nd some mo!ded (am(oo. Wi!d "hr6santhemum outside the fen"e4 (eautifu! in the frost8 The or"hid (6 the (ridge ref!e"ted red in the 'ater. / 'hite'ashed4 p!astered 'a!! -urrounded it. 0andsome 'as the !oft6 ha!!4 9ea"efu! the main (ui!ding. There 'as no sign of oDen or sheep4 or "hi"#ens4 or dogs8 3t seemed to (e the s!a"# season after har+est.

-anFang stopped the horse to ta#e a !onger !oo#4 and then he sa' Bon#e6 and the others arri+e. @?ou didn1t fa!! off the horse4 masterG@ as#ed Bon#e6. @?ou ga+e this horse a terri(!e fright4 6ou fi!th6 ape4@ -anFang said4 @(ut 3 #ept m6 seat.@

@*on1t te!! me off4 master4@ said Bon#e64 putting on a smi!e. @3t 'as on!6 (e"ause 9ig said the horse 'as going too s!o'!6 that 3 made him speed up a (it.@ The (!o"#head 9ig4 'ho had (een running >uite fast after the horse4 'as puffing and panting as he mum(!ed4 @7nough of this. When 6ou1re (ent dou(!e 6ou "an1t re!aD. /!though 31m "arr6ing a !oad so hea+6 3 "an1t pi"# it up4 6ou ma#e me go running after the horse.@ @*is"ip!e4@ said -anFang4 @do 6ou see the farm o+er thereG ;et1s as# if 'e "an spend the night there.@ Bon#e6 immediate!6 !oo#ed up4 sa' that the s#6 a(o+e it 'as fu!! of "!ouds of (!essing4 and #ne' that the farm had (een mira"u!ous!6 produ"ed (6 the uddha or some 3mmorta!s. 2ot daring to gi+e a'a6 the se"rets of 0ea+en4 ho'e+er4 he on!6 said4 @-p!endid4 sp!endid4 !et1s as# if 'e "an !odge there.@ *ismounting from his horse4 -anFang sa' a gate−house 'ith pi!!ars !i#e e!ephants1 trun#s and (eams that had (een painted and "ar+ed. .riar -and put do'n the "arr6ing−po!e and 9ig said as he he!d the horse4 @This is a +er6 'ea!th6 house.@ Bon#e6 'as on the point of going in 'hen -anFang said4 @2o4 'e men of re!igion shou!d a+oid in"urring suspi"ion. ?ou mustn1t go "harging in. We shou!d 'ait ti!! some(od6 "omes out and then as# po!ite!6 for !odging.@ 9ig tethered the horse at the s!oping (ase of the 'a!! 'hi!e -anFang sat on a stone stoo!4 and .riar -and and Bon#e6 sat (eside the steps. When no(od6 appeared for a !ong time Bon#e6 Eumped up impatient!6 and 'ent through the gate to ha+e a !oo#. 0e sa' a !arge ha!! fa"ing -outh 'hose ta!! 'indo's 'ere shaded 'ith (am(oo "urtains. $+er the door'a6 di+iding the inner and outer parts of the house 'as a horiFonta! !ands"ape painting s6m(o!iFing !ong !ife and (!essings4 and on the go!d−painted "o!umns f!an#ing the door 'as pasted a pair of s"ro!!s reading%

@The tender 'i!!o' !ea+es s'a6 in the e+ening (6 the (ridge8 When the p!um−(!ossom !oo#s !i#e sno'f!a#es it is spring in the "ourt6ard.

3n the midd!e of the room 'as an in"ense ta(!e 'hose (!a"# !a">uer had (een po!ished4 an an"ient anima!−shaped (ronFe in"ense−(urner standing on it4 and siD "hairs. 9i"tures of the four seasons 'ere hung on the 'a!!s at either end of the ha!!. /s Bon#e6 'as peeping inside he heard footsteps from (ehind the door at the (a"#. / 'oman4 neither o!d nor 6oung4 "ame out4 and as#ed in a "harming +oi"e4 @Who has for"ed his 'a6 into this 'ido'1s house of mineG@ The 5reat -age hastened to greet her respe"tfu!!6 and sa64 @3 am a hum(!e mon# from the 5reat Tang in the 7ast4 under imperia! orders to go to the West to 'orship the uddha and as# for the s"riptures. There are four of us a!together4 and sin"e our Eourne6 has (rought us this 'a6 as e+ening is dra'ing in4 'e ha+e "ome to 6our mansion4 di+ine patroness4 to (eg for a night1s !odging.@ -he returned his greeting 'ith a smi!e and said4 @Where are the other three gent!emen4 +enera(!e sirG@ at 'hi"h Bon#e6 shouted4 @Baster4 "ome in.@ -anFang4 9ig and .riar -and then "ame in4 (ringing the horse and the !uggage 'ith them. /s the 'oman "ame out of the ha!! to 'e!"ome them4 9ig sto!e a g!an"e at her 'ith greed6 e6es.

-he 'ore a green si!# go'n4 /nd o+er it a pa!e red Ea"#et8 / s#irt of 6e!!o' (ro"ade4 e!o' 'hi"h sho'ed thi"#−so!ed shoes. 0er fashiona(!e "oiffure 'as +ei!ed in (!a"#4 Whi"h suited her gra6ing !o"#s4 "oi!ed !i#e a dragon8 9a!a"e−st6!e i+or6 "om(s shone 'ith red and green4 /nd t'o go!den pins adorned her hair. 0er ha!f−gre6 tresses soared !i#e a phoeniD in f!ight4 T'o ro's of pear!s hung from her ear−rings. .ree of po'der and paint4 her (eaut6 'as natura!8 -he 'as as attra"ti+e as a 6ounger gir!.

When she sa' the three others she 'as more p!eased than e+er4 and she in+ited them into the main room. When a!! the introdu"tions had (een made4 she as#ed them to sit do'n and ha+e some tea. / ser+ant gir! 'ith her hair in p!aits "ame in through the door !eading to the (a"# of the house8 she 'as "arr6ing a go!den tra6 on 'hi"h 'ere set 'hite Eade "ups of steaming hot tea as 'e!! as eDoti" fruits that sme!t de!i"ious. 0er s!ee+es 'ere 'ide4 and 'ith her fingers as s!ender as (am(oo shoots in spring she handed ea"h of them a Eade (o'! and (o'ed. When the tea had (een drun#4 the mistress ordered a meat!ess mea! to (e prepared. @What is 6our name4 +enera(!e p!a"e "a!!edG@ odhisatt+aG@ as#ed -anFang4 spreading out his hands. @/nd 'hat is this

@This is the Western Continent of Catt!e−gift4 or 5odani6a4@ she rep!ied. @B6 maiden name is <ia and m6 hus(and1s name 'as Bo. 3n m6 "hi!dhood 3 had the misfortune of !osing (oth m6 parents4 and 3 married to "ontinue the an"estra! enterprise. $ur fami!6 is 'orth ten thousand strings of "ash4 and 'e o'n fifteen thousand a"res of good ara(!e !and. We 'ere not fated to (e gi+en sons4 and 'e on!6 had three daughters. The 6ear (efore !ast 3 suffered the great misfortune of !osing m6 hus(and. 3 ha+e remained a 'ido'4 and this 6ear 3 ha+e "ome out of mourning. There are no other re!ations to inherit the fami!6 estate (esides m6se!f and m6 daughters. 3 'ou!d !i#e to remarr64 (ut not at the pri"e of a(andoning the estate. 2o' that 6ou ha+e "ome here4 +enera(!e sir4 'ith 6our three dis"ip!es4 3 thin# it shou!d (e 6ou. 3 and m6 three daughters 'ant to marr6 'hi!e sta6ing at home4 and 6ou four gent!emen 'ou!d suit us ni"e!6. 3 'onder if 6ou 'ou!d (e prepared to "onsent.@ -anFang sat there pretending to (e deaf and dum(4 'ith his e6es shut and his mind #ept "a!m. 0e made no rep!6.

@We ha+e o+er four thousand a"res ea"h of irrigated !and4 dr6 !and4 and or"hards on hi!!sides4@ she "ontinued4 @as 'e!! as o+er a thousand head of oDen and 'ater (uffa!o4 herds of mu!es and horses4 and more pigs and sheep than 6ou "ou!d "ount. There are siDt6 or se+ent6 farm (ui!dings and (arns. We ha+e more grain in the house than 'e "ou!d eat in eight or nine 6ears4 and more than enough si!# to "!othe us for a de"ade−−to sa6 nothing of more go!d and si!+er than 6ou "ou!d spend in a !ifetime. ?ou1!! (e e+en (etter off than those an"ients 'ho 1stored spring (ehind (ro"ade "urtains1 and #ept gir!s 'hose 1hair 'as hea+6 'ith go!den pins1. 3f 6ou and 6our dis"ip!es are prepared to "hange 6our minds and !i+e in this house as our hus(ands4 6ou "an enEo6 'ea!th and ease. Wou!dn1t that (e (etter than a diffi"u!t Eourne6 to the WestG@ -anFang sat there si!ent4 as if he 'ere an im(e"i!e. @3 'as (orn at the hour (ou of the third da6 of the third month of the 6ear dinghai, "she "ontinued. @B6 !ate hus(and 'as three 6ears o!der than me4 and 3 am no' fort6−four. B6 e!dest daughter4 LhenFhen4 is nineteen8 m6 se"ond4 /iai is se+enteen8 and ;ian!ian4 the 6oungest4 is fifteen. 2one of them ha+e (een (etrothed. /!though 3 am rather ug!6 m6se!f4 the gir!s are a!! >uite good−!oo#ing4 and the6 ha+e a!! the feminine a""omp!ishments. /s m6 !ate hus(and had no sons4 he ga+e them a (o61s edu"ation4 tea"hing them to read the Confu"ian "!assi"s from an ear!6 age and training them to re"ite poems and ma#e "oup!ets. /!though the6 !i+e in this mountain farmhouse 6ou "ou!dn1t "onsider them (oorish4 and 3 thin# that the6 'ou!d (e good partners for a!! 6ou re+erend gent!emen. 3f 6ou are 'i!!ing to (roaden 6our out!oo# and !et 6our hair gro'4 6ou "ou!d (e head of the fami!6 and 'ear si!#s and (ro"ades. Wou!dn1t that (e far (etter than 6our earthen'are (egging−(o'!4 rough "!othes4 stra' sanda!s4 and rain−hatsG@ -anFang sat in the p!a"e of honour as sti!! as a "hi!d terrified (6 thunder or a toad soa#ed in a rainstorm. 0e seemed to (e in a tran"e as he !eant (a"# 'ith his e6es turned up to'ards the s#6. 9ig4 ho'e+er4 fe!t an it"h in his mind that 'as hard to s"rat"h 'hen he heard a(out a!! this 'ea!th and (eaut6. 0e fidgeted on his "hair as if need!es 'ere (eing stu"# into his (a"#side4 and fina!!6 "ou!d (ear it no !onger. 0e 'ent up to his master4 tugged at his "!othes4 and said4 @Baster4 'h6 are 6ou pa6ing no attention to 'hat the !ad6 is sa6ingG ?ou rea!!6 ought to ta#e some noti"e.@ -anFang g!ared at him angri!64 made a furious noise4 and shouted at him to go a'a6. @7+i! (east4@ he said4 @We are men of re!igion. 3t1s disgra"efu! to a!!o' 6ourse!f to (e mo+ed (6 the thought of 'ea!th4 honour or seD.@ @9oor4 poor things4@ said the 'oman 'ith a smi!e. @What good "an there (e in (eing men of re!igionG@ @What good "an there (e in (eing of the 'or!d4 odhisatt+aG@ -anFang rep!ied. @9!ease sit do'n4 re+erend sir4 'hi!e 3 te!! 6ou a(out the ad+antages of (eing in the 'or!d4@ she said. @There is a poem to des"ri(e them that goes%

3n spring 'e "ut out !in#ed diamond patterns and 'ear ne' si!#8 3n summer 'e "hange to !ight gauFe and admire the !otus8 3n autumn "omes meat and de!i"ious ri"e−'ine4 3n 'inter the house is 'arm4 and our fa"es are red 'ith drin#.

We ha+e a!! that1s needed in the four seasons4 The treasures and de!i"a"ies of the 'ho!e 6ear. ro"ade "!othes4 si!#en sheets and a 'edding night /re (etter than p!odding a!ong and 'orshipping Baitre6a.@

@ odhisatt+a4@ said -anFang4 @it is4 of "ourse4 +er6 good to enEo6 'ea!th and honour 'ith p!ent6 of food and "!othes and a fami!6. ut 'hat 6ou don1t rea!iFe is that the re!igious !ife has ad+antages4 'hi"h are des"ri(ed in this poem%

3t is no !ight matter to de"ide to enter re!igion% ?ou ha+e to demo!ish the !o+e and gratitude 6ou fe!t (efore. 7Dterna!s are "reated no !onger4 and 6our mouth is tight!6 shut. 2egati+e and positi+e eDist 'ithin 6our (od6.

When a!! has (een a"hie+ed4 6ou fa"e the go!den gates8 -ee 6our nature4 "!arif6 6our mind4 and return home. This is (etter than sta6ing in the 'or!d to (e greed6 for (!ood and food Whi!e 6our stin#ing f!esh gro's aged and de"repit.@

@?ou inso!ent mon#4@ the 'oman said in great anger. @3f it 'eren1t for the fa"t that 6ou1+e "ome a !ong4 !ong 'a6 from the 7ast. 31d dri+e 6ou out of m6 house. 3 in+ite 6ou four 'ith a!! sin"erit6 to marr6 us and enEo6 our 'ea!th4 and 6ou repa6 m6 #indness 'ith insu!ts. 3f 6ou ha+e a""epted the prohi(itions and made 6our +o's4 6ou "ou!d at !east !et me ha+e one of 6our under!ings as a son−in−!a'. Wh6 are 6ou (eing su"h a sti"#!er for the ru!esG@ /s she had !ost her temper4 -anFang had to soothe her4 so he said4 @Bon#e64 6ou sta6 here.@ @31+e ne+er (een a(!e to do that sort of thing4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @Wh6 not !et 9ig sta6G@ @-top teasing4 e!der (rother4@ 9ig said. @We shou!d a!! de"ide 'hat1s the (est thing to do.@

@3f neither of 6ou 'i!! sta64 3 must as# .riar -and to sta64@ said -anFang8 (ut .riar -and rep!ied4 @What a thing to sa64 master. 3 'as "on+erted (6 the odhisatt+a4 agreed to o(e6 the prohi(itions4 and 'aited ti!! 6ou "ame4 and sin"e ta#ing me as 6our dis"ip!e 6ou1+e taught me more. 3 ha+en1t (een 'ith 6ou for t'o months 6et4 and 31+e had no time to 'in an6 merit at a!!. 0o' "ou!d 3 possi(!6 'ant 'ea!th and positionG 3 'ant to go to the Western 0ea+en e+en if it "osts me m6 !ife4 and 31m "ertain!6 not going to frustrate m6 hopes (6 doing that.@ 3n the fa"e of their refusa!s the 'oman turned round4 'ent out through the door !eading to the (a"# of the house4 and s!ammed it (ehind her4 !ea+ing master and dis"ip!es outside 'ith neither food nor tea. 2o(od6 e!se "ame out to see them. @That1s not the 'a6 to hand!e things4 master4@ grum(!ed an angr6 9ig. @?ou shou!d ha+e (een more f!eDi(!e and gi+en her some non"ommitta! ans'er4 then 6ou1d ha+e got some food out of her. That 'a6 'e1d ha+e eaten 'e!! tonight4 (ut 'ou!d sti!! ha+e (een a(!e to refuse to marr6 them in the morning. We1re going to ha+e a !ous6 night 'ith nothing to eat if that inside door is shut and no(od6 "omes out to us.@ @ rother 9ig4 6ou shou!d sta6 here and marr6 one of the gir!s4@ said .riar -and. @;a6 off me4@ 9ig rep!ied. @We must de"ide 'hat1s the (est thing to do.@ @Wh6 (otherG@ said Bon#e6. @3f 6ou 'ant to marr6 one of them4 6ou1!! ma#e our master and the 'oman in−!a's4 and 6ou "an (e a hus(and !i+ing 'ith his in−!a's. / fami!6 as ri"h as this is (ound to gi+e a good do'r64 as 'e!! as a feast for re!ations 'hi"h 'i!! do us a!! a (it of good. -o it1s in a!! our interests for 6ou to return to 'or!d!6 !ife here.@ @3t sounds a!! right4@ said 9ig4 @(ut it 'ou!d mean going (a"# to the 'or!d after !ea+ing it4 and marr6ing again after ending another marriage.@ @*id 6ou ha+e a 'ife (efore4 thenG@ as#ed .riar -and. @-o 6ou sti!! don1t #no'4@ said Bon#e64 @that he used to (e the son−in−!a' of ->uire 5ao in 5ao :i!!age in the !and of -tu(et. /fter 3 defeated him and the odhisatt+a "on+erted him and made him promise to o(ser+e the prohi(itions4 'e managed to for"e him to (e"ome a mon#. -o he !eft his 'ife and Eoined our master for the Eourne6 to the uddha in the West. 3 thin# that no' he1s (een a'a6 from her for so !ong he1s remem(ering a!! that (usiness again. When he heard this 'oman1s offer4 it re+i+ed his o!d ideas. !o"#head4@ he "ontinued4 addressing 9ig4 @marr6 into this fami!6 as a son−in−!a'. 3 'on1t report on 6ou pro+ided 6ou (o' to me a fe' times.@ @2onsense4 2onsense4@ said 9ig. @?ou1+e a!! (een thin#ing the same thoughts4 (ut 6ou pi"# on me to ma#e an eDhi(ition of. 3t1s a!'a6s said that 1a mon# among prett6 'omen is a hungr6 ghost41 and that goes for a!! of us. ut (6 a"ting so high and might6 6ou1+e ruined our "han"es of doing 'e!! here. We ha+en1t "ast our e6es on so mu"h as a "up of tea4 and there isn1t e+en an6one to !ight the !amps for us. We ma6 (e a(!e to sti"# it out for a night4 (ut that horse 'i!! ha+e to "arr6 our master again tomorro'4 and if he gets nothing to eat a!! night he1!! "o!!apse. ?ou !ot sit here 'hi!e 3 ta#e him out for a feed.@ 0e untied the anima! and dragged it out in a great hurr64 at 'hi"h Bon#e6 said4 @.riar -and4 6ou sit here 'ith the master 'hi!e 3 fo!!o' him and see 'here he pastures that horse.@ @3f 6ou 'ant to #eep an e6e on him4 6ou ma6 do so4@ -anFang said4 @(ut don1t p!a6 an6 tri"#s on him.@ @3 understand4@ said Bon#e64 and as he 'ent out of the room he shoo# himse!f4 turned into a red dragonf!64 f!e' out of the main gate4 and "aught up 'ith 9ig.

3nstead of !etting the horse eat 'hat grass there 'as4 the (!o"#head "hi+ied and dragged it round to the (a"# door of the house4 'here he sa' the 'oman and her three daughters admiring some "hr6santhemums. When the6 sa' 9ig "oming4 the three gir!s rushed inside4 'hi!e their mother remained standing in front of him. @Where are 6ou going4 re+erend sirG@ she as#ed. The idiot dropped the horse1s (rid!e4 greeted her respe"tfu!!64 and said4 @31m pasturing the horse4 mother.@ @That master of 6ours is too prim and proper4@ she said. @Wou!dn1t 6ou rather marr6 here than go on p!odding West as a tra+e!!ing mon#G@ @The61re under orders from the Tang 7mperor4@ 9ig rep!ied 'ith a grin4 @and are too s"ared of diso(e6ing him to do a thing !i#e this. When the6 put the pressure on me in the ha!! Eust no' 3 'as in a +er6 a'#'ard spot. 3 hope 6ou don1t mind a(out m6 !ong snout and (ig ears.@ @3 don1t mind4@ she said4 @as !ong as 'e "an ha+e a man a(out the house4 though m6 gir!s might not find 6ou +er6 attra"ti+e.@ @Te!! 6our gir!s not to (e so parti"u!ar a(out a hus(and4@ said 9ig. @That Tang 9riest ma6 (e +er6 handsome4 (ut he1s "omp!ete!6 use!ess. /!though 31m as ug!6 as the6 "ome4 3 ha+e something to sa6 for m6se!f.@ @What 'ou!d that (eG@ she as#ed. 0is rep!6 'as%

@3 ma6 (e not mu"h to !oo# at4 ut 3 "ertain!6 get things done. .ifteen thousand a"res 3 "an p!ough 'ithout an oD. <ust (6 using m6 ra#e 3 p!ant "rops that "ome up 'e!!. 3 "an summon rain in a drought4 Ca!! up a 'ind 'hen there1s none. 3f 6ou find 6our house too sma!!4 3 "an add t'o more stories4 or three. 3f the ground needs s'eeping4 31!! s'eep it8 3f the dit"hes are (!o"#ed4 31!! ma#e them run. 3 "an do a!! sorts of househo!d Eo(s. /nd perform mis"e!!aneous duties in the home.@

@:er6 'e!! then4@ she said4 @if 6ou "an manage the 'or# a(out the p!a"e 6ou1d (etter go and ta!# it o+er 'ith 6our master. 3f there are no pro(!ems4 then 6ou "an marr6 one of the gir!s.@ @There1s no need to ta!# it o+er 'ith him4@ 9ig said. @0e1s not m6 father or mother4 and it1s entire!6 up to me 'hether 3 do it or not.@ @:er6 'e!! then4@ she said4 @Wait 'hi!e 3 te!! the gir!s.@ With that she 'ent in and shut the door (ehind her. 9ig sti!! did not !et the horse graFe (ut dragged it round to'ards the front of the house. Hn(e#no'n to him4 Bon#e64 'ho #ne' a!! a(out 'hat had happened4 f!e' (a"#4 "hanged (a"# into his o'n form4 and said to the Tang 9riest4 @Baster4 9ig is !eading the horse (a"#.@ @3f he hadn1t !ed it4 it might ha+e got eD"ited and run a'a64@ -anFang said4 at 'hi"h Bon#e6 (urst out !aughing and to!d him a!! a(out 'hat had ta#en p!a"e (et'een 9ig and the 'oman. -anFang did not #no' 'hether to (e!ie+e him or not. / moment !ater the (!o"#head !ed the horse in and tethered it. @0a+e 6ou graFed the horseG@ -anFang as#ed. @3 "ou!dn1t find an6 grass that 'as good enough4@ said 9ig4 @so 3 "ou!dn1t graFe it.@ @?ou ma6 not ha+e (een a(!e to graFe the horse4@ said Bon#e64 @(ut 6ou managed do some horse−trading.@ This Ei(e made the idiot rea!iFe that the "at 'as out of the (ag4 so he hung his head and did not sa6 a 'ord. There 'as a "rea# as a side door opened and the 'oman and her three daughters−−LhenFhen4 /iai and ;ian!ian−−"ame in 'ith a pair of !amps g!o'ing red and t'o porta(!e in"ense (urners from 'hi"h s'eet−sme!!ing smo#e "ur!ed up as the Eade ornaments at their 'aists tin#!ed. The three gir!s greeted the pi!grims4 standing in a ro' in the midd!e of the room and (o'ing. The6 'ere undou(ted!6 (eauties%

/!! had moth−e6e(ro's g!istening (!ue4 9a!e and spring−!i#e fa"es. -edu"ti+e (eauties 'ho "ou!d tum(!e #ingdoms4 *istur(ing men1s hearts 'ith their >uiet "harm. 7!egant 'ere their ornaments of go!den f!o'ers8 Their em(roidered sashes f!oated a(o+e the 'or!d!6 dust. Their ha!f−smi!e 'as a (ursting "herr68 Their (reath 'as perfumed as the6 'a!#ed 'ith s!o' steps. Their hair 'as "o+ered 'ith pear!s and Eade. Trem(!ing under "ount!ess Ee'e!ed ornaments8

Their 'ho!e (odies 'ere fragrant4 Co+ered 'ith de!i"ate f!o'ers of go!d. Wh6 mention the (eaut6 of the 'oman of Chu4 $r the "harms of =i LiG The6 rea!!6 'ere !i#e fairies from the 2inth 0ea+en4 $r the ;ad6 of the Boon "oming out of her pa!a"e.

Whi!e -anFang put his hands together and (o'ed his head the 5reat -age pretended not to noti"e and .riar -and turned a'a6. ut 9ig gaFed at them 'ith a fiDed stare4 his mind seething 'ith !e'd thoughts as his !ust o+er'he!med him. @Than# 6ou4 di+ine ange!s4 for "oming to see us4@ he said4 fidgeting4 @(ut "ou!d 6ou as# the gir!s to go4 p!ease4 motherG@ The three gir!s 'ent out through the door4 !ea+ing a pair of gauFe−shie!ded !anterns (ehind them. @Wi!! 6ou four re+erend gent!emen p!ease de"ide 'hi"h of 6ou is to marr6 one of the gir!sG@ the 'oman said. @We1+e a!read6 made up our minds that Br. 9ig is to (e 6our son−in−!a'4@ .riar -and rep!ied. @*on1t pi"# on me4 (rother4@ said 9ig4 @'e shou!d dis"uss this together.@ @2o need to4@ said Bon#e6. @?ou1+e a!read6 fiDed e+er6thing up at the (a"# door and "a!!ed her 1mother41 so there1s nothing to dis"uss. $ur master "an represent the groom1s fami!64 this !ad6 is the (ride1s fami!64 3 "an (e (est man4 and .riar -and "an (e the mat"hma#er. There1s no need to (other 'ith the usua! eD"hange of !etters4 and toda6 is a most auspi"ious one fu!! of hea+en!6 gra"e4 so (o' to the master and go in to (e her son−in−!a'.@ @3mpossi(!e4@ said 9ig4 @impossi(!e. 3 "ou!dn1t do a thing !i#e that.@ @-top tr6ing to "o+er up4 (!o"#head4@ said Bon#e6. @?ou1+e a!read6 "a!!ed her 1mother1 umpteen times% there1s nothing impossi(!e a(out it at a!!. 0urr6 up and fu!fi! 6our promise so that 'e "an ha+e some 'edding 'ine4 'hi"h 'i!! (e one good thing a(out it.@ -eiFing 9ig 'ith one hand and gra((ing the 'oman 'ith the other he said4 @/s the (ride1s mother4 6ou shou!d ta#e 6our son−in−!a' inside.@ The idiot 9ig hesitated4 'anting to go in4 and the 'oman said to the ser+ants4 @ ring ta(!e and "hairs and gi+e these three re!ati+es of ours a meat!ess supper. 31m ta#ing our son−in−!a' inside.@ Then she to!d the "oo#s to prepare a (an>uet for their friends and re!ations the fo!!o'ing morning. The ser+ants did as the6 'ere to!d4 and the other three pi!grims ate their supper4 spread their (edding4 and 'ent to s!eep in their p!a"es. 9ig fo!!o'ed his mother−in−!a' inside4 and as he !ost "ount of the num(er of rooms he 'ent through4 "onstant!6 tripping o+er the thresho!ds. @*on1t go so fast4 mother4@ he said4 @and p!ease guide me as 3 don1t #no' the 'a6.@ @These are a!! granaries4 storehouses4 and mi!!ing rooms4@ she said. @We ha+en1t rea"hed the #it"hens 6et.@

@What an enormous house4@ said 9ig4 as he 'ent round man6 a "orner4 tripping and (umping into things4 unti! he rea"hed the inner apartments of the house. @?our (rother said that toda6 'as a +er6 auspi"ious da64@ the 'oman said4 @'hi"h is 'h6 31+e (rought 6ou inside. ut as 'e1re doing things in su"h a rush4 3 ha+en1t had time to "a!! in a fortune−te!!er or arrange a proper "eremon6 'ith the s"attering of fruit. ?ou must Eust (o' eight times4 and that 'i!! ha+e to do.@ @/ good idea4 mother4@ said 9ig. @?ou sit in the seat of honour and 31!! (o' to 6ou a fe' times−−that "an (e the 'edding "eremon6 and than#ing the (ride1s fami!6 ro!!ed into one4 'hi"h 'i!! sa+e trou(!e.@ @:er6 'e!! then4@ said the 'oman 'ith a !augh. @?ou are a most "apa(!e and pra"ti"a! son−in−!a'. 31!! sit here 'hi!e 6ou (o' to me.@ 3n the room g!ittering 'ith si!+er "and!es the (!o"#head (o'ed to her4 then as#ed 'hi"h of the gir!s 'ou!d (e married to him. @That1s the pro(!em4@ his mother−in−!a' said. @3f 3 gi+e 6ou the e!dest4 the se"ond one 'i!! (e upset8 and if 3 gi+e 6ou the se"ond one4 31m afraid the third one 'i!! (e8 and if 3 gi+e 6ou the third4 the e!dest 'i!! (e−−so 3 ha+en1t de"ided 6et.@ @3f there1s an6 danger of them >uarre!!ing4@ said 9ig4 @then gi+e me a!! of them4 to sa+e the fami!6 from (eing trou(!ed 'ith arguments and s>ua((!es.@ @What a suggestion4@ his mother−in−!a' eD"!aimed. @?ou1re "ertain!6 not ha+ing a!! m6 daughters to 6ourse!f.@ @*on1t (e si!!64 mother. What1s unusua! a(out three or four 'i+esG 7+en if there 'ere se+era! more of them4 31d ta#e them on 'ith a smi!e. When 3 'as 6oung 3 !earned the art of 1protra"ted 'arfare41 and 3 "an guarantee to #eep e+er6 one of them happ6.@ @2o4 no4@ the 'oman said. @3 ha+e a hand#er"hief here. Tie it round 6our head to "o+er 6our fa"e4 and 'e "an !et 0ea+en de"ide 'hi"h one 6ou1!! marr6. 31!! te!! the gir!s to 'a!# in front of 6ou 'hi!e 6ou stret"h 6our arms out. The one 6ou "at"h4 'i!! (e 6ours.@ The (!o"#head o(edient!6 tied the hand#er"hief round his head4 and there is a +erse to pro+e it%

The foo!4 not #no'ing his o'n fate4 Was 'ounded (6 the s'ord of seD as he harmed himse!f in se"ret There ha+e a!'a6s (een proper 'edding rites4 ut toda6 the groom (!indfo!ded himse!f.

When he had tied the hand#er"hief on firm!64 the idiot said4 @Bother4 p!ease as# the gir!s to "ome out.@ @LhenFhen4 /iai4 ;ian!ian4@ she "a!!ed4 @"ome out to see 'hi"h of 6ou 0ea+en 'i!! marr6 to m6 ne' son−in−!a'.@ 0e heard the tin#!ing of Eade ornaments and sme!t rare perfumes as if fairies 'ere there4 so he rea"hed out to gra( one. 0e groped a(out to his !eft and his right4 (ut 'ithout su""ess. There 'ere so man6 gir!s running a(out4 and he had no "han"e of "at"hing one. When he stret"hed 7ast he on!6 put his arms

round a pi!!ar4 and 'hen he stret"hed West he fe!t on!6 the 'a!!. /s he rushed from one end of the room to the other he fe!t so diFF6 that he !ost his (a!an"e and #ept tripping o+er. 0e stum(!ed into the door 'hen he 'ent for'ard4 and "o!!ided 'ith the (ri"# 'a!! 'hen he 'ent (a"#4 (umping4 "rashing and fa!!ing o+er ti!! his snout 'as s'o!!en and his head (!ue 'ith (ruises. .ina!!6 he sat on the f!oor and said as he gasped for (reath4 @Bother4 6our daughters are so s!ipper6 3 "an1t "at"h a sing!e one of them. Whate+er sha!! 3 doG@

@The61re not s!ipper64@ she said4 ta#ing off the hand#er"hief4 @the61re a!! too sh6 to marr6 6ou.@ @3f the6 'on1t marr6 me4@ 9ig said4 @then 6ou marr6 me.@ @What a son−in−!a'A@ she said. @0e doesn1t "are 'hether the61re 6oung or o!d−−he e+en 'ants his o'n mother−in−!a'. 2o' ea"h of these "!e+er gir!s of mine has made a (ro"ade shirt se'n 'ith pear!s. 31!! te!! 'hi"he+er gir! it is 'hose shirt 6ou put on to marr6 6ou.@ @5reat4 great4 great4@ said 9ig. @ ring out a!! three shirts for me to tr6 on4 and if 3 "an get them a!! on4 31!! marr6 them a!!.@ The 'oman 'ent (a"# inside4 and (rought out on!6 one shirt4 'hi"h she handed to 9ig. The idiot too# off his o'n (!a"# "!oth tuni" and pu!!ed on the shirt4 (ut (efore he "ou!d tie the (e!t at the 'aist he fe!! to the ground 'ith a thump and found himse!f tight!6 (ound 'ith man6 ropes. 0e 'as in great pain4 and the 'omen had a!! disappeared. When -anFang4 Bon#e64 and .riar -and 'o#e up4 the 7ast 'as a!read6 !ightening4 and as the6 opened their e6es and !oo#ed around them the6 sa' none of the !oft6 (ui!dings that had (een there. There 'ere no "ar+ed and painted (eams or rafters either% the6 had a!! (een s!eeping in a gro+e of pine and "6press. -anFang "a!!ed for Bon#e6 in terror4 and .riar -and said4 @7!der (rother4 'e1re done for4 done for−−the6 'ere demons.@ @What do 6ou meanG@ as#ed Bon#e64 'ho understood 'hat had happened4 'ith a tra"e of a smi!e. @;oo# 'here 'e1+e (een s!eeping4@ said -anFang. @We1re +er6 "omforta(!e here under the pine trees4@ said Bon#e64 @(ut 3 'onder 'here that idiot is (eing punished.@ @Who1s (eing punishedG@ as#ed -anFang. @The 'oman and the gir!s !ast night 'ere some odhisatt+as or other appearing to us in disguise4@ rep!ied Bon#e6 'ith a grin4 @and 3 suppose the6 'ent a'a6 in the midd!e of the night. 31m afraid 9ig is (eing punished.@ $n hearing this4 -anFang put his hands together and 'orshipped4 and then the6 sa' a pie"e of paper hanging from a "6press tree and f!uttering in the (reeFe. .riar -and hurried o+er to fet"h it and sho' it to their master4 'ho sa' that there 'ere eight !ines of +erse on it%

@The $!d Woman of Bount ;i had no 6earning for the 'or!d4 ut the odhisatt+a 5uan6in persuaded her to "ome. -amanta(hadra and BanEusri 'ere (oth present *isguised as prett6 gir!s among the trees. The ho!6 mon# 'ere too +irtuous to return to !a6 !ife4 ut the unre!igious 9ig 'as 'orse than 'or!d!6.

.rom no' on he must "a!m his mind and reform−− 3f he mis(eha+es again4 the Eourne6 'i!! (e hard.@

/s -anFang4 Bon#e64 and .riar -and read out these !ines the6 heard !oud shouts from the depths of the 'ood% @Baster4 the61re tied me up and !eft me to die. 31!! ne+er do it again if 6ou sa+e me.@ @3s that 9ig shouting4 .riar -andG@ as#ed -anFang4 and .riar -and said4 @?es.@ @/!though that (!o"#head is o(stinate!6 stupid in mind and nature4@ said -anFang4 @he is an honest fe!!o'. esides4 he is +er6 strong and "an "arr6 the !uggage−−and 'e shou!d a!so remem(er that the odhisatt+a sa+ed him and to!d him to "ome 'ith us. 3 don1t thin# he1!! ha+e the ner+e to do it again.@ .riar -and then ro!!ed up the (edding and arranged the !uggage4 'hi!e Bon#e6 untied the horse and !ed it a!ong as he guided the Tang 9riest into the 'ood to in+estigate. 3ndeed%

3n the pursuit of righteousness 6ou must (e "arefu!4 /nd s'eep a'a6 desires in 6our return to the truth.

3f 6ou don1t #no' 'hether the (!o"#head sur+i+ed or not4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment. Chapter 24 $n the Bountain of 3nfinite ;onge+it6 a 5reat 3mmorta! 7ntertains an $!d .riend 3n the WuFhuang Temp!e Bon#e6 -tea!s Banfruit The three of them 'ent into the 'ood and sa' the idiot tied up under a tree4 6e!!ing and ho'!ing in un(eara(!e pain. Bon#e6 'ent o+er to him and said 'ith a !augh4 @What a son−in−!a'A -o !ate4 and 6ou sti!! ha+en1t got up to than# 6our mother−in−!a' or "ome to te!! the good ne's to the master. Wh6 are 6ou sti!! p!a6ing around hereG Where1s 6our mother−in−!a'G Where1s 6our 'ifeG ?ou ma#e a fine4 strapped−up4 'e!!−(eaten son−in−!a'A@ The (!o"#head4 (urning 'ith humi!iation at (eing thus mo"#ed4 gritted his teeth to stop himse!f ho'!ing in his agon6. .riar -and 'as o+er"ome 'ith pit6 'hen he sa' him4 and putting do'n the !uggage he 'ent o+er and untied him. The idiot #o'to'ed to him in gratitude. 0e 'as suffering terri(!e remorse. There is a poem to the tune 'he Moon in the #est 0i)er to pro+e it%

-eD is a s'ord that 'ounds the (od68 Whoe+er !usts for it 'i!! suffer.

/ prett6 gir! of siDteen 3s far more dangerous than a 6a#sha demon.

There is on!6 one $rigin4 /nd there are no eDtra profits to staff in the sa"#. etter store a!! 6our "apita! a'a64 5uard it 'e!!4 and don1t s>uander it.

9ig used a pin"h of earth to represent (urning in"ense and (o'ed in 'orship to 0ea+en. @*id 6ou re"ogniFe the odhisatt+aG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @3 'as !6ing here in a faint and m6 e6es 'ere seeing stars4 so 3 "ou!dn1t te!! 'ho it 'as.@ Bon#e6 handed him the pie"e of paper4 and 'hen he sa' the di+ine message4 9ig 'as more ashamed than e+er. @?ou1re +er6 !u"#64@ said .riar -and 'ith a !augh4 @6ou1+e got four odhisatt+as as 6our re!ations no'.@ @9!ease don1t ta!# a(out it4@ said 9ig. @3 rea!!6 don1t deser+e to (e human. 31!! ne+er mis(eha+e again in future4 and 3 e+en if the effort (rea#s m6 (ones4 31!! ru( m6 shou!der and "arr6 our master1s !uggage to the West.@ @That1s more !i#e it4@ said -anFang. Bon#e6 then !ed his master a!ong the main road. /fter the6 had (een going for a !ong time4 'a!#ing and resting4 the6 sa' a high mountain (!o"#ing their 'a6. @*is"ip!es4@ said -anFang as he reined in the horse and stopped gi+ing it the 'hip4 @'e must (e +er6 "arefu! on that mountain. 31m afraid there ma6 (e fiends and demons on it 'ho 'i!! atta"# us.@ @With us three fo!!o'ers4@ said Bon#e64 @6ou needn1t fear demons.@ -anFang4 his 'orries ended4 pressed for'ard. The mountain 'as "ertain!6 a fine one%

The mountain 'as +er6 high /nd "ragg6 'as its maEest6. 3ts roots Eoined the Cun!un range4 3ts summit tou"hed the Bi!#6 Wa6. White "rane "ame to per"h in its !o"ust and "6press trees4 *ar# apes hung upside−do'n from its "reepers.

When the sun shone (right on its forests4 3t 'as en+e!oped in red haFe8 When 'inds sprang from dar# +a!!e6s4 Co!oured "!ouds s"udded a"ross the s#6. 0idden (irds "a!!ed in the green (am(oo4 9heasants fought among the 'i!d f!o'ers. Thousand−6ear pea#s4 .i+e−(!essing pea#s4 ;otus pea#s4 BaEesti"a!!6 ref!e"ting a de!i"ate !ight8 Ten thousand 6ear ro"#s4 Tiger−tooth ro"#s4 Three 0ea+ens ro"#s4 Wreathed in su(t!e and auspi"ious +apours. ;uDuriant grass in front of the "!iff4 The s"ent of p!um (!ossom on the ridge. *ense gre' the Eung!e of thorns4 9ure and pa!e 'ere the or"hids. *eep in the 'oods the (irds gathered round the phoeniD8 3n an an"ient "a+e a uni"orn 'as "hief of the anima!s. / de!ightfu! stream in a gu!!6 T'isted and turned as it 'andered around8 7nd!ess pea#s Coi!ed a(out in !a6er upon !a6er. Then there 'ere the green !o"ust trees4 Bott!ed (am(oo4

/nd (!uish pines4 That had (een "ompeting in sp!endour for a thousand 6ears. White p!um (!ossom4 ,ed pea"h4 /nd emera!d 'i!!o's Were (ri!!iant as the6 +ied in (eaut6 during spring. *ragons "a!!ed and tigers roared4 Cranes dan"ed and apes ho'!ed. *eer emerged from the f!o'ers4 9heasants sang to the sun. This 'as a !and of (!essing4 an 3mmorta!s1 mountain4 <ust !i#e 9eng!ai or ;ang6uan. .!o'ers opened and 'ithered on the mountain top4 C!ouds "ame and 'ent a(o+e the pea#s a!ong the ridge.

@*is"ip!es4@ said -anFang 'ith de!ight as he sat on his horse4 @31+e "rossed man6 mountains on m6 Eourne6 West4 and the6 'ere a!! steep and ro"#64 (ut none of them "ou!d (e "ompared to the eDtraordinari!6 (eautifu! s"ener6 here. 3f this isn1t far from the Thunder Bonaster64 'e had (etter put ourse!+es in a so!emn and re+erent mood to meet the uddha.@ @3t1s ear!6 da6s 6et4@ said Bon#e6 'ith a !augh. @That1s not an eas6 p!a"e to get to.@ @0o' far are 'e from Thunder Bonaster64 e!der (rotherG@ as#ed .riar -and. @Thirt6−siD thousand mi!es4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @and 'e ha+en1t "o+ered a tenth of it.@ @0o' man6 6ears 'i!! it ta#e us to get thereG@ 9ig as#ed. @?ou t'o 6ounger (rothers of mine "ou!d manage it in ten da6s or so4 and 3 "ou!d go there fift6 times o+er in a sing!e da6 and sti!! (e (a"# (efore sunset. ut for our master it doesn1t (ear thin#ing a(out.@ @Te!! me4 Bon#e6A ho' !ong 'i!! it ta#eG@ as#ed -anFang. @3f 6ou 'ent from "hi!dhood to o!d age4@ said Bon#e64 @and from o!d age (a"# to "hi!dhood again4 and 6ou did it a thousand times o+er4 6ou1d sti!! find it hard to get there. ut if 6ou see 6our true nature4 are determined to (e sin"ere4 and a!'a6s remem(er to turn 6our head (a"# to en!ightenment4 then 6ou 'i!! ha+e rea"hed :u!ture 9ea#.@

@7+en if this isn1t the Thunder Bonaster64@ said .riar -and4 @good peop!e must !i+e amid su"h fine s"ener6 as this.@ @Kuite right4@ said Bon#e64 @there "ou!dn1t (e an6 e+i! "reatures here. This must (e the home of ho!6 mon#s or 3mmorta!s. ;et1s !oo# around here and ta#e our time o+er it.@ This mountain 'as "a!!ed the Bountain of 3nfinite ;onge+it64 and there 'as a Taoist temp!e on it "a!!ed the WuFhuang Temp!e. 3n this temp!e !i+ed an 3mmorta! 'hose Taoist name 'as Lhen ?uan Li. 0e 'as a!so #no'n as ConEoint ;ord of the /ge. The temp!e had a rare treasure4 a mira"u!ous tree that had (een formed 'hen prime+a! "haos 'as first (eing di+ided4 (efore the separation of 0ea+en and 7arth. 3n the four great "ontinents of the 'or!d4 on!6 the Western Continent of Catt!e−gift1s WuFhuang Temp!e had this treasure that 'as #no'n as @5rass−returning Cinna(ar@ or @manfruit.@ 3t too# three thousand 6ears to (!ossom4 three thousand 6ears to form the fruit4 and another three thousand 6ears for the fruit to ripen4 so that +er6 near!6 ten thousand 6ears had to pass (efore the fruit "ou!d (e eaten. $n!6 thirt6 fruit 'ere formed ea"h ten thousand 6ears4 and the6 'ere shaped Eust !i#e a ne'(orn (a(64 "omp!ete 'ith !im(s and sense organs. /n6one 'hose destin6 permitted him to sme!! one 'ou!d !i+e for three hundred and siDt6 6ears4 and if 6ou ate one 6ou 'ou!d !i+e for fort6−se+en thousand 6ears. That da6 the 5reat 3mmorta! Lhen ?uan had re"ei+ed an in+itation from the $rigina! Ce!estia! <ade 9ure $ne in+iting him to the Bi!uo 9a!a"e in the 0ea+en of -upreme 9urit6 to hear a !e"ture on the 9rodu"t of Hndifferentiated Hnit6. The 3mmorta!s 'ho had studied under this great 3mmorta! 'ere too numerous to "ount4 and he no' had fort6−eight dis"ip!es 'ho had a!! attained to the fu!! truth of the Wa6. That da64 the 5reat 3mmorta! too# fort6−siD of them 'ith him to hear the !e"ture in the upper 'or!d4 !ea+ing the t'o 6oungest4 9ure Wind and right Boon4 to !oo# after the temp!e. 9ure Wind 'as 14320 6ears o!d4 and right Boon had Eust turned 14200. The 5reat 3mmorta! ga+e his instru"tions to the t'o (o6s% @/s 3 must o(e6 the summons of the $rigina! Ce!estia! <ade 9ure $ne and go to the Bi!uo 9a!a"e to hear a !e"ture4 6ou t'o 'i!! ha+e to !oo# after the temp!e "arefu!!6. /n o!d friend of mine 'i!! (e "oming this 'a6 (efore !ong4 and 6ou must entertain him +er6 'e!! indeed. ?ou "an pi"# t'o manfruits for him as a to#en of our o!d friendship.@ @Who is this o!d friend of 6ours4 masterG@ the (o6s as#ed. @9!ease te!! us 'ho he is so that 'e "an entertain him proper!6.@ @0e is a priest sent (6 the Tang 7mperor in the 7ast4@ the 5reat 3mmorta! rep!ied4 @and he is #no'n as -anFang. 0e is the mon# going to 'orship the uddha and as# for the s"riptures in the Western 0ea+en.@ @Confu"ius said4 1*on1t ha+e an6thing to do 'ith peop!e of a different 'a641@ rep!ied the (o6s 'ith smi!es. @$urs is the esoteri" se"t of the 5reat Bonad4 so 'h6 e+er are 6ou friends 'ith that uddhist mon#G@ @?ou are not a'are4@ the 5reat 3mmorta! rep!ied4 @that he is a rein"arnation of the 5o!den Ci"ada4 the se"ond dis"ip!e of the Tathagata uddha4 that an"ient sage of the West. 3 made his a">uaintan"e at an H!!am(ana assem(!6 'here he ga+e me tea 'ith his o'n hands. /s this dis"ip!e of the uddha paid me su"h an honour4 3 regard him as an o!d friend.@ When the t'o 3mmorta! (o6s heard this4 the6 a""epted their master1s orders. <ust as he 'as on the point of setting out4 the 5reat 3mmorta! ga+e them some more instru"tions% @There are a !imited num(er of those manfruits. ?ou must on!6 gi+e t'o4 and not one more.@

@When the garden 'as opened 'e a!! shared t'o4@ said the (o6s4 @and there are t'ent6−eight no' !eft on the tree. We 'on1t use more than t'o.@ @/!though the Tang 9riest is an o!d friend of mine4@ said the 5reat 3mmorta!4 @6ou must (e on 6our guard against his ruffian fo!!o'ers4 and 6ou mustn1t !et them #no' a(out the manfruit.@ The 5reat 3mmorta! then f!e' up to 0ea+en 'ith the rest of his dis"ip!es. The Tang 9riest and his three fo!!o'ers4 mean'hi!e4 'ere enEo6ing themse!+es stro!!ing on the mountain 'hen the6 noti"ed some ta!! (ui!dings rising a(o+e a (am(oo gro+e. @What do 6ou thin# that isG@ -anFang as#ed Bon#e64 'ho rep!ied4 @3t1s either a Taoist temp!e or a uddhist one. ;et1s go o+er and find out.@ 3t did not ta#e them !ong to rea"h the gate4 and the6 sa'

/ "oo! pine−"o+ered s!ope4 / tran>ui! path through the (am(oo. White "ranes (rought f!oating "!ouds4 Bon#e6s and apes offered fruit. efore the gate 'as a 'ide poo!4 and the shado's of the trees 'ere !ong8 3n the "ra"#s of the ro"#s gre' moss. Ban6 a purp!e ha!! 'as massed together8 / red aura en+e!oped the !oft6 to'ers. 3t "ertain!6 'as a (!essed p!a"e4 / "!oud "a+e on 9eng!ai. 3n its pure emptiness !itt!e happened8 3ts sti!!ness ga+e (irth to thoughts of the Wa6. 5reen (irds often (rought !etters from the Kueen Bother8 9urp!e pheasants "arried the "!assi"s of ;ord ;ao Li. There 'as a maEesti" air of the Wa6 and its 9o'er−− 3t 'as indeed a di+ine 3mmorta!1s home.

-anFang dismounted and sa' that there 'as a stone ta(!et outside the gate on 'hi"h 'as ins"ri(ed in !arge !etters%

;7--7* ;/2* $. T07 B$H2T/32 $. 32.323T7 ;$257:3T? C/:7 07/:72 $. T07 WHL0H/25 T7B9;7

@?ou 'ere right4@ said -anFang4 @it is a Taoist temp!e.@ @5ood peop!e must !i+e in this temp!e4@ said .riar -and4 @set as it is in su"h fresh4 !ight s"ener6. ;et1s go in and ha+e a !oo# round. When 'e go (a"# to the 7ast at the end of our Eourne64 this 'i!! (e one of the finest sights 'e1!! ha+e seen.@ @We!! spo#en4@ said Bon#e64 and the6 a!! 'ent in. $n the neDt gate 'as pasted the "oup!et% @,esiden"e of *i+ine 3mmorta!s Who 2e+er 5ro' $!d8 0ome of Taoists as /n"ient as 0ea+en.@ @This Taoist tries to intimidate peop!e (6 ta!#ing (ig4@ said Bon#e6 'ith a !augh. @When 3 're"#ed the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e fi+e hundred 6ears ago 3 ne+er sa' an6thing !i#e that o+er the gate of the -upreme ;ord ;ao Li.@ @2e+er mind him4@ said 9ig. @;et1s go in. This Taoist ma6 'e!! (e >uite a de"ent (!o#e.@ /s the6 'ent through the se"ond gate the6 sa' t'o (o6s "ome s"urr6ing out. This is 'hat the6 !oo#ed !i#e%

9ure (ones4 !i+e!6 spirits4 prett6 fa"es4 /nd hair tied in "hi!dish tufts. Their Taoist ro(es natura!!6 'reathed in mist4 The s!ee+es of their feather "!othes 'ere f!oating in the 'ind.

Their Eade (e!ts 'ere tied 'ith dragon−head #nots4 Their grass sanda!s !ight!6 fastened 'ith si!#. 3n their e!egan"e the6 'ere un!i#e "ommon morta!s−− The Taoist (o6s 9ure Wind and right Boon.

The t'o (o6s (o'ed and "ame out to greet them. @We are sorr6 'e did not 'e!"ome 6ou proper!64 +enera(!e master4@ the6 said. @9!ease sit do'n.@ -anFang 'as de!ighted4 and he a""ompanied the t'o (o6s up to the main ha!! of the temp!e4 'hi"h fa"ed -outh. There 'as a patterned !atti"e 'indo' that !et through the !ight on top of the door that the (o6s pushed open. The6 as#ed the Tang 9riest to "ome in4 and he sa' t'o huge 'ords eDe"uted in man6 "o!ours hanging on the 'a!!−−0ea+en and 7arth. There 'as an in"ense ta(!e of red "ar+ed !a">uer on 'hi"h stood a pair of go!den "ensers and a supp!6 of in"ense. -anFang 'ent o+er to the ta(!e and put a pin"h of in"ense in the "ensers 'ith his !eft hand 'hi!e performing trip!e re+eren"es. Then he turned round to the (o6s and said4 @This temp!e is a home of 3mmorta!s in the Western Continent4 so 'h6 don1t 6ou 'orship the Three 9ure $nes4 the .our 7mperors4 and a!! the ministers of 0ea+enG Wh6 do 6ou (urn in"ense to the t'o 'ords 10ea+en1 and 17arthG1@ @To (e fran# 'ith 6ou4 +enera(!e tea"her4@ the (o6s rep!ied 'ith smi!es4 @it1s >uite right to 'orship the top 'ord4 10ea+en41 (ut the (ottom one4 17arth41 gets no in"ense from us. $ur tea"her on!6 put them up to ingratiate himse!f.@ @0o' does he ingratiate himse!fG@ -anFang as#ed. @The Three 9ure $nes and the .our 7mperors are our tea"her1s friends4@ the (o6s rep!ied4 @the 2ine right -hiners are his Euniors4 and the Conste!!ations are his under!ings.@ When Bon#e6 heard this he "o!!apsed 'ith !aughter4 and 9ig as#ed him4 @What are 6ou !aughing atG@ @The6 sa6 that 3 get up to no good4 (ut these Taoist (o6s rea!!6 te!! 'hoppers.@ @Where is 6our tea"herG@ -anFang as#ed them. @0e had an in+itation from the $rigina! Ce!estia! <ade 9ure $ne and has gone to the 9a!a"e in the 0ea+en of -upreme 9urit6 to hear a !e"ture on the 9rodu"t of Hndifferentiated Hnit64 so he1s not at home.@ /t this Bon#e6 "ou!d not he!p roaring4 @-tin#ing Taoist (o6s4 6ou don1t #no' 'ho 6ou1re ta!#ing to. ?ou p!a6 6our dirt6 tri"#s in front of our fa"es and pretend to (e oh−so−inno"ent. What 0ea+en!6 3mmorta! of the 5reat Bonad !i+es in the Bi!uo 9a!a"eG Who in+ited 6our "o'1s hoof of a master to a !e"tureG@ -anFang 'as 'orried that no' he had !ost his temper the (o6s 'ou!d ans'er (a"# and spar# off a disastrous fight4 so he said4 @*on1t >uarre! 'ith them4 Wu#ong. We1!! (e going in a minute4 so 'e o(+ious!6 need ha+e nothing to do 'ith them. esides4 as the sa6ing goes4 1egrets don1t eat egret f!esh1. Their master isn1t here an6'a64 so there 'ou!d (e no point in 're"#ing the p!a"e. 5o and graFe the horse outside the gate. .riar -and4 6ou !oo# after the !uggage4 and te!! 9ig to ta#e some ri"e from our (und!es and use their #it"hen to ma#e our mea!. When 'e go 'e sha!! gi+e them a fe' "oppers for the fire'ood. /!! do as 31+e to!d 6ou and !ea+e me here to rest. When 'e ha+e eaten 'e sha!! (e on our 'a6 again.@ The three of them 'ent off to do their Eo(s. right Boon and 9ure Wind 'ere mean'hi!e >uiet!6 praising -anFang to ea"h other% @What a sp!endid mon#. 0e is indeed the (e!o+ed sage of the West in morta! form4 and his true nature is not at a!! (efudd!ed. The master to!d us to entertain him and gi+e him some manfruit as a to#en of their o!d friendship4 and he a!so 'arned us to (e on our guard against those hoo!igans of his. The6 ha+e murderous−!oo#ing fa"es and "oarse natures. Than# goodness he sent them a'a64 (e"ause if the6 'ere sti!! 'ith him4 'e 'ou!dn1t (e a(!e to gi+e him the manfruit.@ @We don1t 6et #no' 'hether this mon# is our master1s o!d friend or not4@ said 9ure Wind. @We1d (etter as#

him to ma#e sure.@ The t'o of them then 'ent o+er to -anFang and said4 @Ba6 'e as# 6ou4 +enera(!e master4 'hether 6ou are the -anFang of the 5reat Tang 'ho is going to the Western 0ea+en to fet"h the s"ripturesG@

@?es4 3 am4@ said -anFang4 returning their (o's. @0o' did 6ou #no' 'ho 3 'asG@ @$ur master to!d us (efore he 'ent4@ the6 rep!ied4 @to go out to meet 6ou !ong (efore 6ou got here4 (ut as 6ou "ame faster than 'e eDpe"ted 'e fai!ed to do so. 9!ease sit do'n4 tea"her4 'hi!e 'e fet"h 6ou some tea.@ @3 am honoured4@ said -anFang. right Boon hurried out and "ame (a"# 'ith a "up of fragrant tea for him. When -anFang had drun# the tea4 9ure Wind said to right Boon4 @We must do as our tea"her to!d us and fet"h the fruit.@ The t'o (o6s !eft -anFang and 'ent to their room4 'here one of them pi"#ed up a go!den rod and the other a red dish4 on 'hi"h he put man6 a si!# hand#er"hief as "ushioning. The6 'ent into the manfruit or"hard4 'here 9ure Wind "!im(ed the tree and tapped the fruit 'ith the go!den rod 'hi!e right Boon 'aited (e!o' to "at"h them in the dish. The6 on!6 too# a fe' moments to #no"# do'n and "at"h a "oup!e4 'hi"h the6 too# to the front ha!! to offer to -anFang 'ith the 'ords4 @This temp!e of ours is on a remote and deso!ate mountain4 master -anFang4 and there is no !o"a! de!i"a"6 'e "an offer 6ou eD"ept these t'o pie"es of fruit. We hope the6 'i!! >uen"h 6our thirst.@ /t the sight of the manfruit the mon# re"oi!ed some three feet4 sha#ing 'ith horror. @5oodness meA@ he eD"!aimed. @0o' "ou!d 6ou (e so redu"ed to star+ation in this 6ear of p!ent6 as to eat human f!eshG /nd ho' "ou!d 3 possi(!6 >uen"h m6 thirst 'ith a ne'(orn (a(6G@ @This mon# has de+e!oped e6es of f!esh and a morta! (od6 in the (att!efie!d of mouths and tongues and the sea of disputation4@ thought 9ure Wind4 @and he "an1t re"ogniFe the treasures of this home of 3mmorta!s.@ @:enera(!e master4@ said shou!d not eat one.@ right Boon4 @this is 'hat is "a!!ed 1manfruit41 and there is no reason 'h6 6ou

@2onsense4 nonsense4@ said -anFang. @The6 'ere "on"ei+ed (6 their fathers and mothers and had to go through no end of suffering (efore the6 'ere (orn. 0o' "an 6ou treat them as fruit 'hen the6 ha+en1t (een a!i+e for three da6s 6etG@ @The6 rea!!6 and tru!6 gre' on a tree4@ said 9ure Wind. @-tuff and ru((ish4@ -anFang rep!ied. @ a(ies don1t gro' on trees. Ta#e them a'a64 6ou inhuman (easts.@ /s he refused a(so!ute!6 to eat them4 the t'o (o6s had to ta#e the dish a'a6 and go (a"# to their room. This fruit 'as rather diffi"u!t to hand!e4 and did not #eep for !ong 'ithout (e"oming hard and inedi(!e4 so the (o6s sat on their (eds and ate one ea"h. $h dearA What a thing to happenA There 'as on!6 a 'a!! separating their room from the #it"hen4 'here their 'hispering "ou!d (e "!ear!6 heard. 9ig 'as in there "oo#ing the ri"e 'hen he heard them ta!# as the6 fet"hed the go!den rod and the red dish. ;ater he heard them sa6ing that the Tang 9riest had not re"ogniFed the manfruit4 'hi"h 'as 'h6 the6 too# them (a"# to their room to eat. @31d !o+e to tr6 one4 (ut 3 don1t #no' ho'4@ thought 9ig4 una(!e to pre+ent his mouth from 'atering. Too stupid to do an6thing a(out it himse!f4 he had to 'ait unti! he "ou!d ta!# it o+er 'ith rother Bon#e6. 0e had no' !ost a!! interest in sto#ing the sto+e as he stood in front of it4 "onstant!6 po#ing his head outside the #it"hen to !oo# for Bon#e6. efore !ong Bon#e6 appeared !eading the horse4 'hi"h he tethered to a !o"ust

tree. /s he "ame round to the (a"#4 the (!o"#head 'a+ed franti"a!!6 to him and said4 @Come here4 "ome here.@

Bon#e6 turned round4 "ame to the #it"hen door4 and said4 @What are 6ou 6e!!ing for4 idiotG 2ot enough food for 6ouG ;et the o!d mon# eat his fi!!4 then 'e t'o "an go to the neDt (ig house that !ies ahead and (eg for some more.@ @Come in4@ said 9ig4 @it1s not that. *o 6ou #no' that there1s a treasure in this temp!eG@ @What treasureG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @3 "an1t des"ri(e it (e"ause 6ou1+e ne+er seen it4@ said 9ig4 @and if 3 ga+e it to 6ou4 6ou 'ou!dn1t #no' 'hat it 'as.@ @*on1t tr6 to ma#e a foo! of me4 idiot4@ said Bon#e6. @When 3 studied the Wa6 of 3mmorta!it6 fi+e hundred 6ears ago 3 tra+e!ed on m6 "!oud to the "omers of the o"ean and the edge of the s#6. 31+e seen e+er6thing.@ @0a+e 6ou seen manfruit thenG@ 9ig as#ed. @2o4 3 ha+en1t4@ said Bon#e6 'ith astonishment. @ ut 31+e heard that manfruit is 5rass−returning Cinna(ar4 and that an6one 'ho eats it !i+es to a great o!d age. Where "an 'e get someG@ @0ere4@ said 9ig. @Those (o6s ga+e t'o to our master4 (ut that o!d mon# didn1t #no' 'hat the6 'ere and thought the6 'ere ne'(orn (a(ies. 0e 'ou!dn1t eat them. Those (o6s are disgra"efu!−−instead of gi+ing them to us as the6 shou!d ha+e done the6 snea#ed off into their room and had one ea"h4 go((!e4 go((!e4 go((!e−−3 'as droo!ing. 3 'ish 3 #ne' ho' 3 "ou!d tr6 one. -ure!6 6ou1+e got some dodge for getting into the or"hard and pin"hing a fe' for us to taste. ?ou ha+e4 ha+en1t 6ouG@ @7as64@ said Bon#e6. @31!! go in and pi"# some.@ /s he rushed out 9ig gra((ed him and said4 @3 heard them sa6ing in their room that the6 needed a go!den rod to #no"# them do'n 'ith. ?ou must do this +er6 "arefu!!6−−no(od6 must #no' a(out it.@ @3 #no'4 3 #no'4@ rep!ied Bon#e6. The 5reat -age made himse!f in+isi(!e and s!ipped into the (o6s1 room4 on!6 to find that after eating the fruit the6 had gone to the front ha!!4 'here the6 'ere ta!#ing to -anFang. Bon#e6 !oo#ed a!! around the room for the go!den rod unti! he sa' a t'o−foot !ength of go!d hanging from the 'indo' !atti"e. 3t 'as a(out as thi"# as a finger. /t the (ottom 'as a !ump !i#e a (u!( of gar!i"4 and at the top 'as a ho!e through 'hi"h 'as fastened a green si!# tasse!. @-o this must (e 'hat the6 "a!! the go!den rod4@ he thought as he too# it do'n. 0e !eft the room and pushed open a pair of gates at the (a"#. 5oodnessA 0e sa' a garden

With red4 Ee'e!ed (a!"onies /nd a t'isting artifi"ia! hi!!. ,are f!o'ers tr6 to outshine the sun4

The (am(oo attempts to (e (!uer than the s#6. $utside the .!oating Cup 9a+i!ion / "ur+e of 'i!!o's hangs !i#e mist8 efore the 9!atform to /dmire the Boon C!umps of !oft6 pines ma#e sp!ashes of indigo. right4 (right red4 The pomegranate thi"#et8 *eep4 deep green4 The "ushions of grass. ,i"h!6 (!ue Were the Eade−"o!oured or"hids8 ,ushing and po'erfu! The 'ater in the stream. Crimson "assia (!aFed (eside go!den 'e!!s and 'utong trees. ro"ade−ri"h !o"ust trees f!an#ed red (a!"onies and steps. There 'as pea"h (!ossom in pin# and 'hite4 ?e!!o' and fragrant "hr6santhemums that ha+e seen nine autumns. Tre!!ises of rasp(erries .!ourish (6 the peon6 pa+i!ion8 an#s of hi(is"us ;ead to (eds of tree−peonies. There is no end of no(!e (am(oos that ha+e he!d out against frost. $r !ord!6 pines that def6 the sno's. Then there are nests of "ranes and houses for deer4 ->uare ponds and round poo!s4 -pring 'ater !i#e fragments of Eade4

5o!den heaps of f!o'ers. The 2orth 'ind (ursts the 'hite p!um (!ossom open. When spring "omes4 it tou"hes the "ra(−app!e 'ith red. 3t "an (e right!6 "a!!ed the most sp!endid +ie' on 7arth4 The finest garden in the West.

efore Bon#e6 had time to ta#e a!! of this in he sa' another gate. When he pushed it open he sa'

:egeta(!es for ea"h of the four seasons−− -pina"h4 "e!er64 (eetroot4 ginger4 and #e!p4 am(oo shoots4 s'eet potato4 me!ons4 o(!ong gourd and 'i!d ri"e stem4 $nions4 gar!i"4 "oriander4 s"a!!ion and sha!!ots4 ;ettu"e4 artemisia4 and (itter a!isma4 5ourds and au(ergines that must (e p!anted4 ,uta(aga4 turnips4 do"#s4 ,ed amaranth4 green "a((age4 and purp!e mustard−p!ant.

@-o the61re Taoists 'ho gro' their o'n food4@ thought Bon#e64 smi!ing to himse!f. When he had "rossed the +egeta(!e garden he sa' 6et another gate4 and 'hen he opened it there 'as a huge tree in front of him 'ith fragrant (ran"hes and shade−gi+ing green !ea+es shaped rather !i#e those of p!antains. The tree 'as a(out a thousand feet high4 and its trun# 'as some se+ent6 or eight6 feet round. Bon#e6 !eant against it and !oo#ed up4 and on a (ran"h that 'as pointing -outh he sa' a manfruit4 'hi"h rea!!6 did !oo# Eust !i#e a ne'(orn "hi!d. The stem "ame from its (ottom4 and as it hung from the (ran"h its hands and feet 'a+ed 'i!d!6 around and it shoo# its head. Bon#e6 'as thorough!6 de!ighted4 and he thought in admiration4 @What a sp!endid thing−−a rea! rarit64 a rea! rarit6.@ /nd 'ith that thought he 'ent shooting up the tree. 2o' there is nothing that mon#e6s are (etter at than "!im(ing trees to stea! fruit4 and one (!o' from the go!den rod sent the manfruit tum(!ing do'n. 0e Eumped do'n to fet"h it4 (ut it 'as no'here to (e seen. 0e sear"hed the grass a!! around4 (ut "ou!d find not a tra"e of it. @That1s odd4@ he thought4 @+er6 odd indeed. 3t must (e a(!e to use its feet−−(ut e+en then it 'on1t (e a(!e to get past the 'a!!. 2o4 31+e got it. The !o"a! deit6 of this garden has hidden it a'a6 to stop me stea!ing it.@ 0e made some finger magi" and uttered the sa"red sound @ !4@ 'hi"h for"ed the garden deit6 to "ome for'ard4 (o' and sa64 @?ou summoned me4 5reat -age. What are 6our ordersG@

@-ure!6 6ou #no'4@ Bon#e6 said4 @that 3 am the most famous "rimina! on earth. When 3 sto!e the sa"red pea"hes4 the imperia! 'ine4 and the e!iDir of immorta!it6 some 6ears ago4 no(od6 dared to tr6 and ta#e a "ut. 0o' "omes it that 'hen 3 ta#e some fruit toda6 6ou pin"h m6 +er6 first oneG This fruit gro's on a tree4 and the (irds of the air must ha+e their share of it4 so 'hat harm 'i!! (e done if 3 eat oneG Wh6 did 6ou snat"h it the moment it fe!! do'nG@ @5reat -age4@ the deit6 rep!ied4 @don1t (e angr6 'ith me. These treasures (e!ong to the 3mmorta!s of the 7arth4 and 3 am a ghost 3mmorta!4 so 3 'ou!d ne+er dare ta#e one. 31+e ne+er e+en had the good fortune to sme!! one.@ @3f 6ou didn1t ta#e it4 'h6 did it disappear the moment 3 #no"#ed it do'n from the treeG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @?ou ma6 #no' that these treasures gi+e eterna! !ife4 5reat -age4@ the deit6 rep!ied4 @(ut 6ou don1t #no' a(out their origin.@ @Where do the6 "ome from4 thenG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @These treasures4@ the deit6 rep!ied4 @ta#e three thousand 6ears to (!ossom4 another three thousand to form4 and three thousand more to ripen. 3n a!most ten thousand 6ears on!6 thirt6 gro'. /n6one !u"#6 enough to sme!! one 'i!! !i+e for three hundred and siDt6 6ears4 and if 6ou eat one 6ou 'i!! !i+e to (e fort6−se+en thousand. These fruit fear on!6 the .i+e 7!ements.@ @What do 6ou mean4 1fear on!6 the .i+e 7!ementsG1@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @3f the6 meet meta!4@ the deit6 said4 @the6 fa!!8 if the6 meet 'ood the6 rot8 if the6 meet 'ater the6 disso!+e8 if the6 meet fire the6 are (urnt8 and if the6 meet earth the6 go into it. 3f 6ou tap them 6ou ha+e to use a go!den rod4 other'ise the6 'on1t drop8 and 'hen 6ou #no"# them do'n 6ou must "at"h them in a (o'! padded 'ith si!# hand#er"hiefs. 3f the6 "ome in "onta"t 'ith 'ooden utensi!s the6 rot4 and e+en if 6ou eat one it 'on1t ma#e 6ou !i+e an6 !onger. When 6ou eat them 6ou must do so off por"e!ain4 and the6 shou!d (e "oo#ed in "!ear 'ater. 3f the6 "ome in "onta"t 'ith fire the6 (e"ome "harred and use!ess4 and the6 go into an6 earth the6 tou"h. When 6ou #no"#ed one to the ground Eust no' it 'ent straight in4 and as the earth here 'i!! no' !i+e for fort6−se+en thousand 6ears 6ou 'ou!dn1t (e a(!e to ma#e an6 impression on it e+en 'ith a stee! dri!!% it1s mu"h harder than 'rought iron. ut if a man eats one he 'ins !ong !ife. Tr6 hitting the ground if 6ou don1t (e!ie+e me.@ Bon#e6 raised his go!d−ringed "udge! and (rought it do'n on the ground. There 'as a !oud noise as the "udge! sprang (a"#. The ground 'as unmar#ed. @-o 6ou1re right4@ said Bon#e64 @6ou1re right. This "udge! of mine "an smash ro"#s to po'der and e+en !ea+e its mar# on 'rought iron4 (ut this time it did no damage at a!!. This means that 3 'as 'rong to (!ame 6ou. ?ou ma6 go (a"# no'.@ /t this the !o"a! deit6 'ent (a"# to his shrine. The 5reat -age no' had a p!an. 0e "!im(ed the tree and then he!d the rod in one hand 'hi!e he undid the !ape! of his "!oth tuni" and made it into a #ind of pou"h. 0e pushed the !ea+es and (ran"hes aside and #no"#ed do'n three manfruits4 'hi"h he "aught in his tuni". 0e Eumped out of the tree and 'ent straight to the #it"hen4 'here a smi!ing 9ig as#ed him if he had got an6. @This is the stuff4 isn1t itG@ said Bon#e6. @3 'as a(!e to get some. We mustn1t !ea+e .riar -and in the dar#4 so gi+e him a shout.@ @Come here4 .riar -and4@ 9ig "a!!ed4 'a+ing his hand. .riar -and put the !uggage do'n4 hurried into the #it"hen4 and as#ed4 @Wh6 did 6ou "a!! meG@ @*o 6ou #no' 'hat these areG@ Bon#e6 as#ed4 opening his tuni". @Banfruits4@ said .riar -and as soon as he sa' them. @5ood4@ said Bon#e64 @6ou #no' 'hat the6 are. Where ha+e 6ou eaten themG@

@31+e ne+er eaten them4@ .riar -and rep!ied4 @(ut 'hen 3 'as the Curtain−!ifting 5enera! in the o!d da6s 3 used to es"ort the imperia! "arriage to the 9ea"h an>uets4 and 3 sa' some that 3mmorta!s from o+er the seas (rought as (irthda6 presents for the Kueen Bother. 31+e "ertain!6 seen them4 (ut 31+e ne+er tasted one. 9!ease gi+e me a (it to tr6.@ @2o need to as#4@ said Bon#e6. @We1re ha+ing one ea"h.@ -o ea"h of them had one manfruit to eat. 9ig had (oth an enormous appetite and an enormous mouth4 and had4 moreo+er4 (een suffering pangs of hunger e+er sin"e hearing the Taoist (o6s eating. -o the moment he sa' the fruit he gra((ed one4 opened his mouth4 and gu!ped it do'n 'ho!e8 then he put on an inno"ent eDpression and shame!ess!6 as#ed the other t'o 'hat the6 'ere eating. @Banfruit4@ .riar -and rep!ied. @What does it taste !i#eG@ 9ig as#ed. @3gnore him4 .riar -and4@ said Bon#e6. @0e1s a!read6 eaten his4 and he1s no (usiness to as# 6ou.@ @ rother4@ said 9ig4 @3 ate mine too fast. 3 didn1t ni((!e it de!i"ate!6 and taste the f!a+our !i#e 6ou t'o. 3 don1t e+en #no' if it had a stone or not as 3 gu!ped it straight do'n. ?ou shou!d finish 'hat 6ou1+e started% 6ou1+e 'hetted m6 appetite4 so 6ou ought to get me another to eat s!o'!6.@ @?ou1re ne+er satisfied4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @These things aren1t !i#e ri"e or f!our−−6ou "an1t go stuffing 6ourse!f fu!! of them. $n!6 thirt6 gro' in e+er6 ten thousand 6ears4 so 'e "an thin# ourse!+es +er6 !u"#6 indeed to ha+e a 'ho!e one ea"h. Come off it4 9ig4 6ou1+e had enough.@ 0e got up4 s!ipped into the Taoist (o6s1 room 'ith the go!den rod4 and put it (a"# 'ithout !etting himse!f (e seen through the 'indo'. 0e paid no more attention to 9ig4 'ho 'ent on grum(!ing. efore !ong the Taoist (o6s 'ere (a"# in their room4 and the6 heard 9ig moaning4 @3 didn1t enEo6 m6 manfruit8 3 'ish 3 "ou!d ha+e another.@ 9ure Wind1s suspi"ion 'ere aroused4 and he said to right Boon4 @*id 6ou hear that !ong−snouted mon# sa6ing he 'ished he "ou!d ha+e another manfruitG $ur master to!d us 'hen he 'ent that 'e 'ere to (e "arefu! of those gangsters and not !et them stea! our treasures.@ @This is terri(!e4 terri(!e4@ said right Boon. @What1s the go!den rod doing on the f!oorG We1d (etter go into the garden and ta#e a !oo# around.@ The t'o of them hurried out and found the garden gates open. @We shut this gate4@ said 9ure Wind4 @so 'h6 is it openG@ The6 rushed round the f!o'er garden4 found the +egeta(!e garden gate open too4 and tore into the manfruit garden. The6 !eant on the tree and !oo#ed up into it to "ount the fruit4 (ut ho'e+er often the6 added the num(er up4 it a!'a6s "ame to t'ent6−t'o. @Can 6ou do arithmeti"G@ right Boon as#ed4 and 9ure Wind rep!ied4 @?es. Te!! me the figures.@ @There 'ere origina!!6 thirt6 manfruits4@ said right Boon. @When our master opened the garden t'o 'ere di+ided up and eaten4 'hi"h !eft t'ent6−eight. <ust no' 'e #no"#ed t'o do'n to gi+e the Tang 9riest4 'hi"h !eft t'ent6−siD. ut there are on!6 t'ent6−t'o no'4 'hi"h means that 'e1re four short. 3t goes 'ithout sa6ing that those (ad men must ha+e sto!en them. ;et1s go and te!! that Tang 9riest 'hat 'e thin# of him.@ The t'o of them 'ent from the garden to the front ha!!4 'here the6 pointed at -anFang and poured the most fi!th6 and stin#ing a(use on him4 "a!!ing him @(a!d6@ this and @(a!d6@ that. 3t 'as more than -anFang "ou!d stand4 so he said4 @What are 6ou ma#ing a!! this fuss a(out4 3mmorta! (o6sG 9!ease stop. 3 'ou!dn1t mind 6ou (eing a (it offhand 'ith me4 (ut 6ou "an1t ta!# in this outrageous 'a6.@

@/re 6ou deafG@ 9ure Wind as#ed. @We1re not ta!#ing a foreign !anguage4 and 6ou "an understand us perfe"t!6 'e!!. ?ou1+e sto!en our manfruit4 and 6ou1+e no right to for(id us to mention it.@ @What does manfruit !oo# !i#eG@ -anFang as#ed. @3t1s 'hat 'e offered 6ou Eust no' and 6ou said !oo#ed !i#e (a(ies.@ @/mita(ha uddhaA@ -anFang eD"!aimed. @3 shoo# 'ith terror at the +er6 sight of them−−3 "ou!dn1t possi(!6 stea! one. 7+en if 3 'ere (eing ra"#ed (6 the most terri(!e greed4 3 "ou!d ne+er "ommit the "rime of eating one of those. What do 6ou mean (6 ma#ing so unEust an a""usationG@ @/!though 6ou didn1t eat an64@ said 9ure Wind4 @those under!ings of 6ours sto!e and ate some.@ @7+en if the6 did4 6ou shou!dn1t shout !i#e that. Wait ti!! 31+e >uestioned them. 3f the6 sto!e some4 31!! see that the6 ma#e it up to 6ou.@ @Ba#e it upG@ said right Boon. @The6 are things that mone6 "an1t (u6.@ @We!! then4@ said -anFang4 @if mone6 'on1t (u6 them4 1de"ent (eha+ior is 'orth a thousand pie"es of go!d41 as the sa6ing goes. 31!! ma#e them apo!ogiFe to 6ou4 and that 'i!! (e that. esides4 'e sti!! don1t #no' 'hether the6 did it.@ @$f "ourse the6 did4@ retorted right Boon. @The61re sti!! >uarre!!ing in there (e"ause the6 'ere di+ided unfair!6.@ @Come here4 dis"ip!es4@ "a!!ed -anFang. @We1+e had it4@ said .riar -and 'hen he heard -anFang "a!!ing. @The game1s up. $ur master is "a!!ing us and the 6oung Taoists are s'earing and "ursing. The "at must (e out of the (ag.@ @0o' disgra"efu!4@ said Bon#e64 @a!! that fuss a(out some food. ut if 'e "onfess it4 the61!! sa6 it 'as stea!ing food8 the (est thing is not to admit it at a!!.@ @Kuite right4 >uite right4 'e1!! "o+er it up4@ said 9ig4 and three of them 'ent from the #it"hen to the ha!!. 3f 6ou don1t #no' ho' the6 denied it4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment. Chapter 25 The 3mmorta! Lhen ?uan Captures the 9i!grim 9riest Bon#e6 Ba#es 0a+o" in the WuFhuang Temp!e @The mea! is "oo#ed4@ the three dis"ip!es said as the6 entered the ha!!4 @'hat did 6ou "a!! us forG@ @31m not as#ing a(out the mea!4 dis"ip!es4@ said -anFang. @This temp!e has things "a!!ed manfruit or something that !oo# !i#e (a(ies. Whi"h of 6ou sto!e and ate someG@ @3 don1t #no' an6thing a(out it4 honest 3 don1t−−3 ne+er sa' an64@ said 9ig.

@That grinning one did it4@ said 9ure Wind4 @that grinning one.@ @31+e had a smi!e on m6 fa"e a!! m6 !ife4@ shouted Bon#e6. @/re 6ou going to stop me smi!ing Eust (e"ause 6ou "an1t find some fruit or otherG@ @*on1t !ose 6our temper4 dis"ip!e4@ said -anFang. @/s men of re!igion 'e shou!d "ontro! our tongues and not eat food that (efudd!es our minds. 3f 6ou ate their fruit 6ou shou!d apo!ogiFe to them4 instead of tr6ing to (raFen it out !i#e this.@ -eeing that his master 'as ta!#ing sense4 rother Bon#e6 (egan to te!! the truth. @3 didn1t start it4 master4@ he said. @9ig heard the Taoist (o6s eating something "a!!ed manfruit neDt door to him and 'anted to tr6 one himse!f. 0e made me go and get three so that 'e three dis"ip!es "ou!d ha+e one ea"h. ut no' the61+e (een eaten4 there1s no point in 'aiting around here.@ @0o' "an these priests den6 that the6 are "rimina!s 'hen the61+e sto!en four of our manfruitsG@ said right Boon. @/mita(ha uddha4@ eD"!aimed 9ig4 @if he pin"hed four of them 'h6 did he on!6 share out threeG 0e must ha+e done the dirt6 on us.@ 0e "ontinued to shout 'i!d!6 in this +ein. 2o' that the6 #ne' that the fruit rea!!6 had (een sto!en4 the t'o (o6s started to a(use them e+en more fou!!6. The 5reat -age ground his teeth of stee! in his fur64 g!aring 'ith his fier6 e6es and tightening his grip on his iron "udge!. @*amn those Taoist (o6s4@ he thought 'hen he "ou!d restrain himse!f no !onger. @3f the61d hit us 'e "ou!d ha+e ta#en it4 (ut no' the61re insu!ting us to our fa"es !i#e this4 31!! finish their tree off4 then none of them "an ha+e an6 more fruit.@ -p!endid Bon#e6. 0e pu!!ed a hair out from the (a"# of his head4 (reathed a magi" (reath on it4 said @Change4@ and turned it into an imitation Bon#e6 'ho sta6ed 'ith the Tang 9riest4 9ig and .riar -and to endure the "ursing and s'earing of the Taoist (o6s4 'hi!e the rea! Bon#e6 used his di+ine po'ers to !eap out of the ha!! (6 "!oud. 0e 'ent straight to the garden and stru"# the manfruit tree 'ith his go!d−(anded "udge!. Then he used his supernatura! strength that "ou!d mo+e mountains to push the tree o+er 'ith a sing!e sho+e. The !ea+es fe!!4 the (ran"hes sp!a6ed out4 and the roots "ame out of the ground. The Taoists 'ou!d ha+e no more of their @5rass−returning Cinna(ar.@ /fter pushing the tree o+er Bon#e6 sear"hed through the (ran"hes for manfruit4 (ut he "ou!d not find a sing!e one. These treasures dropped at the tou"h of meta!4 and as Bon#e61s "udge! 'as ringed 'ith go!d4 'hi!e (eing made of iron4 another of the fi+e meta!s4 one tap from it (rought them a!! tum(!ing do'n4 and 'hen the6 hit the ground the6 'ent straight in4 !ea+ing none on the tree. @5reat4 great4 great4@ he said4 @that1!! ma#e them a!! "oo! do'n.@ 0e put the iron "udge! a'a64 'ent (a"# to the front of the temp!e4 shoo# the magi" hair4 and put it (a"# on his head. The others did not see 'hat 'as happening as the6 had e6es of morta! f!esh. / !ong time !ater4 'hen the t'o Taoist (o6s fe!t that the6 had rai!ed at them for !ong enough4 9ure Wind said to right Boon4 @These mon#s 'i!! ta#e an6thing 'e sa6. We1+e s'orn at them as if 'e 'ere s'earing at "hi"#ens4 (ut the6 ha+en1t admitted an6thing. 3 don1t thin# the6 "an ha+e sto!en an64 after a!!. The tree is so ta!! and the fo!iage is so dense that 'e ma6 'e!! ha+e mis"ounted4 and if 'e ha+e4 'e shou!dn1t (e "ursing them so 'i!d!6. ;et1s go and "he"# the num(er again.@ right Boon agreed4 and the pair of them 'ent (a"# to the garden. When the6 sa' that the tree 'as do'n 'ith its (ran"hes (ent out4 the !ea+es fa!!en4 and the fruit gone4 the6 'ere horror−stru"#. 9ure Wind1s #nees turned soft and he "o!!apsed4 'hi!e right Boon trem(!ed and shoo#. oth of them passed out4 and there is a +erse to des"ri(e them%

When -anFang "ame to the Bountain of 3nfinite ;onge+it64 Bon#e6 finished the 5rass−returning Cinna(ar. The (ran"hes 'ere sp!a6ed out4 the !ea+es fa!!en4 and the tree do'n. right Boon and 9ure Wind1s hearts (oth turned to i"e.

The t'o of them !a6 in the dirt mum(!ing de!irious!6 and sa6ing4 @What are 'e to do4 'hat are 'e to doG The e!iDir of our WuFhuang Temp!e has (een destro6ed and our "ommunit6 of 3mmorta!s is finished. Whate+er are 'e going to sa6 to the master 'hen he "omes (a"#G@ @-top moaning4 (rother4@ said right Boon. @We must tid6 ourse!+es up and not !et those mon#s #no' an6thing1s 'rong. That hair6−fa"ed sod 'ho !oo#s !i#e a thunder god must ha+e done it. 0e must ha+e used magi" to destro6 our treasure. ut it1s use!ess to argue 'ith him as he1!! den6 e+er6thing4 and if 'e start a >uarre! 'ith him and fighting (rea#s out4 'e t'o ha+en1t a "han"e against the four of them. We1!! ha+e to foo! them and sa6 that no fruit is missing. We1!! pretend 'e "ounted 'rong (efore4 and apo!ogiFe to them. Their ri"e is "oo#ed4 and 'e "an gi+e them a fe' side dishes to eat 'ith it. The moment the61+e ea"h got a (o'! of food 6ou and 3 'i!! stand on either side of the door4 s!am it shut4 and !o"# it. /fter that 'e "an !o"# a!! the gates4 then the6 'on1t (e a(!e to get a'a6. When our master "omes (a"# he "an de"ide 'hat to do 'ith them. That o!d mon# is a friend of his4 so our master ma6 'ant to forgi+e him as a fa+our. /nd if he doesn1t fee! forgi+ing4 'e1+e got the "rimina!s under arrest and ma6 possi(!6 not get into trou(!e ourse!+es.@ @/(so!ute!6 right4@ said 9ure Wind. The t'o of them pu!!ed themse!+es together4 for"ed themse!+es to !oo# happ64 and 'ent (a"# to the front ha!!. @Baster4@ the6 said4 (o'ing !o' to -anFang4 @'e 'ere eDtreme!6 rude to 6ou Eust no'. 9!ease forgi+e us.@ @What do 6ou meanG@ as#ed -anFang. @The fruit is a!! there4@ the6 rep!ied. @We "ou!dn1t see it a!! (efore as the tree is so ta!! and the fo!iage so thi"# (ut 'hen 'e "he"#ed Eust no' the num(er 'as right.@ @?ou1re too 6oung to #no' 'hat 6ou1re doing4@ said 9ig4 ta#ing the "han"e to put the (oot in. @Wh6 did 6ou s'ear and "urse at us4 and tr6 to frame us upG ?ou (astards.@ Bon#e64 'ho understood 'hat the (o6s 'ere up to4 said nothing and thought4 @;ies4 !ies. The fruit is a!! finished. Wh6 e+er are the6 sa6ing thisG Can it (e that the6 #no' ho' to (ring the tree (a"# to !ifeG@ @:er6 'e!! then4@ -anFang 'as sa6ing mean'hi!e4 @(ring our ri"e in and 'e1!! (e off after eating it.@ 9ig 'ent off to fi!! their (o'!s and .riar -and arranged a ta(!e and "hairs. The t'o (o6s hurried out and fet"hed some side dishes−−sa!ted s>uash4 sa!ted eggp!ant4 turnips in 'ine−!ees4 pi"#!e (ean4 sa!ted !ettu"e4 and mustard p!ant4 some se+en or eight p!ates in a!!. These the6 ga+e to the pi!grims to eat 'ith their ri"e4 and then the6 'aited on them 'ith a pot of good tea and t'o "ups. /s soon as the four pi!grims had their ri"e(o'!s in their hands4 the (o6s4 'ho 'ere on either side of the door'a64 s!ammed the doors to and !o"#ed them 'ith a dou(!e−sprung (ronFe !o"#.

@?ou shou!dn1t do that4 (o6s4@ said 9ig 'ith a smi!e. @7+en if the peop!e round here are a (it rough there1s no need to shut the doors 'hi!e 'e eat.@ @?es4 6es4@ said right Boon4 @'e1!! open them after !un"h.@ 9ure Wind4 ho'e+er4 'as a(usi+e. @31!! get 6ou4 6ou greed64 (a!d−headed food−thief4@ he said. @?ou ate our immorta! fruit and deser+e to (e punished for the "rime of stea!ing food from fie!ds and gardens. $n top of that 6ou1+e pushed our tree o+er and ruined our temp!e1s sour"e of immorta!it6. 0o' dare 6ou argue 'ith usG ?our on!6 "han"e of rea"hing the Western 0ea+en and seeing the uddha is to (e re(orn and (e ro"#ed in the "rad!e again.@ When -anFang heard this he dropped his ri"e(o'!4 fee!ing as if a (ou!der 'as 'eighing do'n his heart. The t'o (o6s 'ent and !o"#ed the main and the inner gates of the temp!e4 then "ame (a"# to the main ha!! to a(use them 'ith fi!th6 !anguage and "a!! them "rimina!s and (andits ti!! e+ening4 'hen the6 'ent off to eat. The t'o of them returned to their rooms after supper. @?ou1re a!'a6s "ausing trou(!e4 6ou ape4@ grum(!ed -anFang at Bon#e6. @?ou sto!e their fruit4 so 6ou shou!d ha+e !et them !ose their temper and s'ear at 6ou4 then that 'ou!d ha+e (een the end of it. Wh6 on earth did 6ou push their tree o+erG 3f the6 too# this to "ourt 6ou 'ou!dn1t (e a(!e to get off e+en if 6our o'n father 'ere on the (en"h.@ @*on1t ma#e su"h a ro'4 master4@ said Bon#e6. @Those (o6s ha+e gone to (ed4 and 'hen the61re as!eep 'e "an do a midnight f!it.@ @ ut a!! the gates ha+e (een !o"#ed4@ said .riar -and4 @and the61+e (een shut +er6 firm!64 so ho' "an 'e possi(!6 get a'a6G@ @*on1t !et it (other 6ou4@ said Bon#e64 @3 ha+e a 'a6.@ @We 'eren1t 'orried that 6ou 'ou!dn1t ha+e a 'a64@ said 9ig. @?ou "an turn 6ourse!f into an inse"t and f!6 out through the ho!es in the 'indo' !atti"e. ut 6ou1!! (e !ea+ing poor o!d us4 'ho "an1t turn ourse!+es into something e!se4 to sta6 here and "arr6 the "an for 6ou.@ @3f he does a tri"# !i#e that and doesn1t ta#e us 'ith him 31!! re"ite that o!d sutra−−he 'on1t get a'a6 s"ot−free then.@ 9ig 'as (oth p!eased and 'orried to hear this. @What do 6ou mean4 masterG@ he said. @3 #no' that the uddha1s tea"hings in"!ude a Lanka)atara Sutra, a lotus Sutra, a ,ea2o2k Sutra, an 8)alokit es)ara Sutra, and a Dia!ond Sutra, (ut 3 ne+er heard of an6 ld Sutra." @What 6ou don1t #no'4 (rother4@ said Bon#e64 @is that the odhisatt+a 5uan6in ga+e this (and 3 ha+e round m6 head to our master. 0e tri"#ed me into 'earing it4 and no' it1s +irtua!!6 rooted there and 3 "an1t ta#e it off. The spe!! or sutra for tightening this (and is 'hat he meant (6 the 1o!d surra1. 3f he sa6s it4 m6 head a"hes. 3t1s a 'a6 he has of ma#ing me suffer. 9!ease don1t re"ite it4 master. 3 'on1t a(andon 6ou. 3 guarantee that 'e1!! a!! get out. 3t 'as no' dar#4 and the moon had risen in the 7ast. @3t1s >uiet no'4@ said Bon#e64 @and the moon is (right. This is the time to go.@ @-top foo!ing a(out4 (rother4@ said 9ig. @The gates are a!! !o"#ed4 so 'here "an 'e possi(!6 goG@ @Wat"h this tri"#4@ said Bon#e64 and gripping his "udge! in his hand he pointed at the doors and app!ied un!o"#ing magi" to them. There 'as a "!an#ing sound4 and the !o"#s fe!! from a!! the doors and gates4 'hi"h

he pushed them open.

@2ot ha!f "!e+er4@ said 9ig. @/ !o"#smith 'ith his s#e!eton #e6s "ou!dn1t ha+e done it an6thing !i#e as fast.@ @2othing diffi"u!t a(out opening these doors4@ said Bon#e6. @3 "an open the -outhern 5ates of 0ea+en Eust (6 pointing at them.@ Then he as#ed his master to go out and mount the horse. 9ig shou!dered the !uggage4 .riar -and !ed the horse4 and the6 headed West. @?ou "arr6 on4@ Bon#e6 said4 @'hi!e 3 go (a"# to ma#e sure that those t'o (o6s 'i!! sta6 as!eep for a month.@ @Bind 6ou don1t #i!! them4 dis"ip!e4@ said -anFang4 @or 6ou1!! (e on a "harge of murder in the pursuit of theft as 'e!!.@ @31m a'are of that4@ rep!ied Bon#e6 and 'ent (a"# into the temp!e. -tanding outside the door of the room 'here the (o6s 'ere s!eeping4 he too# a "oup!e of s!eep inse"ts from his (e!t. These 'ere 'hat he had used 'hen he foo!ed the 0ea+en!6 Cing :irudha#a at the 7astern 5ate of 0ea+en4 and no' he thre' them in through a gap in the 'indo' !atti"e. The6 !anded straight on the (o6s1 fa"es4 and made them fa!! into a deeper s!eep from 'hi"h the6 'ou!d not 'a#e up for a !ong time. Then he strea#ed (a"# (6 "!oud and "aught up 'ith -anFang. The6 headed West a!ong the main road. That night the horse ne+er stopped4 and the6 #ept on ti!! da'n. @?ou1!! (e the death of me4 6ou ape4@ said -anFang. @ e"ause of 6our greed 31+e had to sta6 a'a#e a!! night.@ @-top grum(!ing4@ said Bon#e6. @2o' that it1s !ight 6ou "an rest in the forest (eside the road and (ui!d 6our strength up (efore 'e mo+e on.@ -anFang o(edient!6 dismounted and sat do'n on the roots of a pine tree4 using it as a ma#eshift meditation p!atform. .riar -and put do'n the !uggage and too# a nap4 'hi!e 9ig pi!!o'ed his head on a ro"# and 'ent to s!eep. Bon#e64 the 5reat -age4 had his o'n ideas and amused himse!f !eaping from tree to tree. /fter the !e"ture in the pa!a"e of the $rigina! Ce!estia! <ade 9ure $ne the 5reat 3mmorta! Lhen ?uan !ed his Eunior 3mmorta!s do'n from the Tushita 0ea+en through the Eade s#6 on auspi"ious "!ouds4 and in a moment the6 'ere (a"# at the gates of the WuFhuang Temp!e. The gates4 he sa'4 'ere 'ide open4 and the ground 'as "!ean. @-o 9ure Wind and right Boon aren1t so use!ess after a!!4@ he said. @Hsua!!6 the61re sti!! in (ed 'hen the sun is high in the s#6. ut no'4 'ith us a'a64 the6 got up ear!64 opened the gates4 and s'ept the grounds.@ /!! the Eunior 3mmorta!s 'ere de!ighted. ?et 'hen the6 'ent into the ha!! of 'orship there 'as no in"ense (urning and no(od6 to (e seen. Where 'ere right Boon and 9ure Wind4 the6 'ondered. @The6 pro(a(!6 thought that 'ith us not here the6 "ou!d stea! some stuff and "!ear out.@ @What an outrageous idea4@ said the 5reat 3mmorta!. @/s if men "u!ti+ating immorta!it6 "ou!d do an6thing so e+i!A 3 thin# the6 must ha+e forgotten to shut the gates (efore the6 'ent to s!eep !ast night and not ha+e 'o#en up 6et.@ When the 3mmorta!s 'ent to !oo# in their room the6 found the doors "!osed and heard the (o6s snoring. The6 hammered on the doors and shouted for a!! the6 'ere 'orth4 (ut the (o6s did not 'a#e up. The6 for"ed the doors open and pu!!ed the (o6s from their (eds% the (o6s sti!! did not 'a#e up. @.ine 3mmorta! (o6s 6ou are4@ said the 5reat 3mmorta! 'ith a smi!e. @When 6ou (e"ome an 3mmorta! 6our di+ine spirit shou!d (e so fu!! that 6ou do not 'ant to s!eep. Wh6 are the6 so tiredG The6 must ha+e (een (e'it"hed. .et"h some 'ater at on"e.@ / (o6 hasti!6 handed him ha!f a (o'! of 'ater. 0e intoned a spe!!4 too# a mouthfu! of the 'ater4 and spurted it on their fa"es. This (ro#e the en"hantment. The t'o of them 'o#e up4 opened their e6es4 ru((ed their fa"es4 !oo#ed around them4 and sa' the 5reat 3mmorta! as 'e!! as a!! their 3mmorta! (rothers. 9ure Wind (o'ed and right Boon #o'to'ed in their "onfusion4 sa6ing4 @Baster4 that o!d friend of 6ours4 the priest from the 7ast...a gang of (andits... murderous4 murderous....@

@*on1t (e afraid4@ said the 5reat 3mmorta! 'ith a smi!e. @Ca!m do'n and te!! us a!! a(out it.@ @Baster4@ said 9ure Wind4 @the Tang 9riest from the 7ast did "ome. 3t 'as >uite soon after 6ou had !eft. There 'ere four mon#s and a horse−−fi+e of them a!together. We did as 6ou had ordered us and pi"#ed t'o manfruits to offer him4 (ut the +enera(!e gent!eman 'as too +u!gar and stupid to #no' 'hat our treasures 'ere. 0e said that the6 'ere ne'(orn (a(ies and refused to eat an64 so 'e ate one ea"h. ;itt!e did 'e imagine that one of his three dis"ip!es "a!!ed rother -un Wu#ong4 or Bon#e64 'ou!d stea! four manfruits for them to eat. We spo#e to him +er6 reasona(!64 (ut he denied it and se"ret!6 used his magi". 3t1s terri(!e....@ /t this point the t'o (o6s "ou!d no !onger ho!d (a"# the tears that no' streamed do'n their "hee#s. @*id the mon# stri#e 6ouG@ as#ed the immorta!s. @2o4@ said right Boon4 @he on!6 fe!!ed our manfruit tree.@ The 5reat 3mmorta! did not !ose his temper 'hen he heard their stor64 @*on1t "r64@ he said4 @don1t "r6. What 6ou don1t rea!iFe is that Bon#e6 is an 3mmorta! of the -upreme Bonad4 and that he p!a6ed tremendous ha+o" in the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e. 0e has +ast magi" po'ers. ut he has #no"#ed our tree o+er. Cou!d 6ou re"ogniFe those mon#sG@ @3 "ou!d re"ogniFe a!! of them4@ rep!ied 9ure Wind. @3n that "ase "ome 'ith me4@ said the 5reat 3mmorta!. @The rest of 6ou are to prepare the instruments of torture and (e read6 to f!og them 'hen 'e "ome (a"#.@ The other 3mmorta!s did as the6 'ere to!d 'hi!e the 5reat 3mmorta!4 right Boon and 9ure Wind pursued -anFang on a (eam of auspi"ious !ight. 3t too# them (ut an instant to "o+er three hundred mi!es. The 5reat 3mmorta! stood on the edge of the "!ouds and gaFed to the West4 (ut he did not see -anFang8 then he turned round to !oo# 7ast and sa' that he had !eft -anFang o+er t'o hundred and fift6 mi!es (ehind. 7+en riding a!! night that +enera(!e gent!eman had "o+ered on!6 fort6 mi!es4 'hi"h 'as 'h6 the 5reat 3mmorta!1s "!oud had o+ershot him (6 a great distan"e. @Baster4@ said one of the 3mmorta! (o6s4 @there1s the Tang 9riest4 sitting under a tree (6 the side of the road.@ @?es4 31d seen him m6se!f4@ the 5reat 3mmorta! rep!ied. @?ou t'o go (a"# and get some ropes read64 and 31!! "at"h him m6se!f.@ 9ure Wind and right Boon 'ent (a"#. The 5reat 3mmorta! !anded his "!oud4 shoo# himse!f4 and turned into and itinerant Taoist. *o 6ou #no' 'hat he !oo#ed !i#eG

0e 'ore a pat"h'or# go'n4 Tied 'ith ;u *ong(in sash4 Wa+ing a f!6−'his# in his hand 0e tapped a musi"a! drum. The grass sanda!s on his feet had three ears4

0is head 'as 'rapped in a sun tur(an. /s the 'ind fi!!ed his s!ee+es 0e sang 'he Moon /s -igh.

@5reetings4 +enera(!e sir4@ he "a!!ed4 raising his hands. @$h4 31m sorr6 3 didn1t noti"e 6ou (efore4@ rep!ied -anFang hasti!6. @Where are 6ou fromG@ the 5reat 3mmorta! as#ed. @/nd 'h6 are 6ou in meditation during 6our Eourne6G@ @3 ha+e (een sent (6 the 5reat Tang in the 7ast to fet"h the s"riptures from the Western 0ea+en4@ -anFang said4 @and 31m ta#ing a rest a!ong the 'a6.@ @?ou must ha+e "rossed m6 deso!ate mountain if 6ou ha+e "ome from the 7ast.@ @Ba6 3 as#4 3mmorta! sir4 'hi"h mountain is 6oursG@ @B6 hum(!e a(ode is the WuFhuang Temp!e on the Bountain of 3nfinite ;onge+it6.@ @We didn1t "ome that 'a64@ said Bon#e64 'ho rea!iFed 'hat 'as happening. @We1+e on!6 Eust started out.@ The 5reat 3mmorta! pointed at him and !aughed. @31!! sho' 6ou4 6ou damned ape. Who do 6ou thin# 6ou1re foo!ingG 3 #no' that 6ou #no"#ed our manfruit tree do'n and "ame here during the night. ?ou had (etter "onfess% 6ou 'on1t get a'a6 'ith "on"ea!ing an6thing. -ta6 'here 6ou are4 and gi+e me (a"# that tree at on"e.@ Bon#e6 f!ared up at this4 and 'ith no further dis"ussion he stru"# at the 5reat 3mmorta!1s head 'ith his "udge!. The 5reat 3mmorta! t'isted a'a6 from the (!o' and 'ent straight up into the s#6 on a (eam of !ight4 "!ose!6 pursued (6 Bon#e6 on a "!oud. 3n mid−air the 5reat 3mmorta! re+erted to his true appearan"e4 and this is 'hat he !oo#ed !i#e%

/ go!den "ro'n on his head4 / 2o−'orries "!oa# of "rane1s do'n on his (od6. / pair of turned−up sanda!s on his feet4 /nd round his 'aist a (e!t of si!#. 0is (od6 'as !i#e a "hi!d1s4 0is fa"e 'as that of a (eautifu! 'oman. / 'isp6 (eard f!oated do'n from his "hin4 /nd the hair on his temp!es 'as "ro'−(!a"#. 0e met Bon#e6 unarmed

With on!6 a Eade−hand!ed 'his# in his hands.

Bon#e6 stru"# 'i!d!6 at him 'ith his "!u(4 on!6 to (e parried to !eft and right (6 the 5reat 3mmorta!1s 'his#. /fter t'o or three rounds the 5reat 3mmorta! did a @Wrapping 0ea+en and 7arth in 0is -!ee+e@ tri"#4 'a+ing his s!ee+e gent!6 in the (reeFe as he stood amid the "!ouds4 then s'eeping it a"ross the ground and gathering up the four pi!grims and their horse in it. @0e!!4@ said 9ig4 @We1re a!! "aught in a (ag.@ @3t isn1t a (ag4 6ou idiot4@ said Bon#e64 @he1s "aught us a!! in his s!ee+e.@ @3t doesn1t matter4 an6ho'4@ said 9ig. @3 "an ma#e a ho!e in it 'ith a sing!e (!o' of m6 ra#e that 'e "an a!! get through. Then 'e1!! (e a(!e to drop out 'hen he re!aDes his grip on us.@ ut ho'e+er desperate!6 he stru"# at the fa(ri" he "ou!d ma#e no impression on it% a!though it 'as soft 'hen he!d in the hand it 'as harder than iron 'hen hit. The 5reat 3mmorta! turned his "!oud round4 'ent straight (a"# to the WuFhuang Temp!e4 !anded4 sat do'n4 and to!d his dis"ip!es to fet"h rope. Then4 'ith a!! the Eunior 3mmorta!s in attendan"e4 he too# the Tang 9riest out of his s!ee+e as if he 'ere a puppet and had him tied to one of the pi!!ars of the main ha!!. /fter that he too# the other three out and tied ea"h of them to a pi!!ar. The horse 'as ta#en out4 tethered4 and fed in the "ourt6ard4 and their !uggage he thre' under the "o+ered 'a!#. @*is"ip!es4@ he said4 @these priests are men of re!igion4 so 'e "annot use s'ords4 spears or aDes on them. ?ou1d (etter fet"h a !eather 'hip and gi+e them a f!ogging for me−−that 'i!! ma#e me fee! (etter a(out the manfruit.@ The dis"ip!es immediate!6 produ"ed a 'hip−−not an oDhide4 sheeps#in4 deers#in or "a!fs#in 'hip4 (ut a se+en−starred dragon−s#in one−−and 'ere to!d to soa# it in 'ater. / (ra'n6 6oung 3mmorta! 'as to!d to ta#e a firm grip on it. @Baster4@ he said4 @'hi"h of them sta!! 3 f!og firstG@ @-anFang is gui!t6 of gross disrespe"t4@ the 5reat 3mmorta! rep!ied4 @f!og him first.@ @That o!d priest of ours "ou!dn1t stand a f!ogging4@ thought Bon#e6 'hen he heard this4 @and if he died under the !ash the fau!t 'ou!d (e mine.@ .inding the thought of this un(eara(!e4 he spo#e up and said4 @?ou1re 'rong4 sir. 3 sto!e the fruit4 3 ate the fruit4 and 3 pushed the tree o+er. Wh6 f!og him first 'hen 6ou ought to (e f!ogging meG@ @That damn mon#e6 has a point4@ said the 5reat 3mmorta! 'ith a smi!e4 @so 6ou1d (etter f!og him first.@ @0o' man6 stro#esG@ the Eunior 3mmorta! as#ed. @5i+e him thirt64@ the 5reat 3mmorta! rep!ied4 @to mat"h the num(er of fruits.@ The Eunior 3mmorta! 'hir!ed the !ash and started to (ring it do'n. Bon#e64 frightened that the 3mmorta! 'ou!d ha+e great magi"a! po'ers4 opened his e6es 'ide and !oo#ed "arefu!!6 to see 'here he 'as going to (e hit4 and it turned out to (e on his !egs. 0e t'isted at the 'aist4 shouted @ChangeA@ turned them into a pair of 'rought−iron !egs4 and 'at"hed the (!o's fa!!. The Eunior 3mmorta! ga+e him thirt6 !ashes4 one after the other4 unti! it 'as a!most noon. @-anFang must (e f!ogged too4@ the 5reat 3mmorta! "ommanded4 @for training his 'i"#ed dis"ip!e so s!a"#!6 and !etting him run 'i!d.@

The Eunior 3mmorta! 'hir!ed the !ash again and 'as going to stri#e -anFang 'hen Bon#e6 said4 @-ir4 6ou1re ma#ing another mista#e. When 3 sto!e the fruit4 m6 master #ne' nothing a(out it−−he 'as ta!#ing to those t'o (o6s of 6ours in the main ha!! of the temp!e. This p!ot 'as hat"hed (6 us three dis"ip!es. /n6ho'4 e+en if he 'ere gui!t6 of s!a"#ness in training me4 31m his dis"ip!e and shou!d ta#e the f!ogging for him. .!og me again.@ @That damn mon#e6 ma6 (e "unning and +i"ious4 (ut he does ha+e some sense of his o(!igations to his master. :er6 'e!! then4 f!og him again.@ The Eunior 3mmorta! ga+e him another thirt6 stro#es. Bon#e6 !oo#ed do'n and 'at"hed his !egs (eing f!ogged ti!! the6 shone !i#e mirrors (ut sti!! he fe!t no pain. 3t 'as no' dra'ing to'ards e+ening4 and the 5reat 3mmorta! said4 @9ut the !ash to soa#. We "an "ontinue that f!ogging tomorro'.@ The Eunior 3mmorta! too# the !ash a'a6 to (e soa#ed 'hi!e e+er6one retired to their >uarters4 and after supper the6 a!! 'ent to (ed. @3t 'as (e"ause 6ou three got me into this trou(!e that 3 'as (rought here to (e punished4@ moaned the +enera(!e -anFang to his three dis"ip!es as tears streamed do'n from his e6es. @3s that ho' 6ou ought to treat meG@ @*on1t grum(!e4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @3 'as the one to (e f!ogged first4 and 6ou ha+en1t fe!t the !ash4 so 'hat ha+e 6ou got to groan a(outG@ @3 ma6 not ha+e (een f!ogged4@ -anFang rep!ied4 @(ut it1s agon6 (eing tied up !i#e this.@ @We1re tied up too to #eep 6ou "ompan64@ said .riar -and. @Wi!! 6ou a!! stop shoutingG@ said Bon#e64 @then 'e "an (e on our 'a6 again 'hen 'e1+e ta#en a rest.@ @?ou1re sho'ing off again4 e!der (rother4@ said 9ig. @The61+e tied us up 'ith hempen ropes and spurted 'ater on them4 so 'e1re tight!6 (ound. This isn1t !i#e the time 'e 'ere shut in the ha!! of the temp!e and 6ou un!o"#ed the doors to !et us out.@ @31m not (oasting4@ said Bon#e6. @3 don1t gi+e a damn a(out their three hempen ropes spra6ed 'ith 'ater. 7+en if the6 'ere "o"onut "a(!es as thi"# as a ri"e(o'! the6 'ou!d on!6 (e an autumn (reeFe.@ /part from him spea#ing4 a!! 'as no' si!en"e. -p!endid Bon#e6 made himse!f sma!!er4 s!ipped out of his (onds4 and said4 @;et1s go4 master.@ @-a+e us too4 e!der (rother4@ p!eaded a 'orried .riar -and. @-hut up4 shut up4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 then freed -anFang4 9ig and .riar -and4 straightened his tuni"4 tightened his (e!t4 sadd!ed the horse4 "o!!e"ted their !uggage from under the ea+es4 and 'ent out through the temp!e gates 'ith the others. @5o and "ut do'n four of the 'i!!o'−trees (6 that "!iff4@ he to!d 9ig4 'ho as#ed4 @Whate+er do 6ou 'ant them forG@ @31+e got a use for them4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @ ring them here immediate!6.@ The idiot 9ig4 'ho "ertain!6 had (rute strength4 'ent and fe!!ed ea"h of them 'ith a sing!e (ite4 and "ame (a"# ho!ding them a!! in his arms. Bon#e6 stripped off their tops and (ran"hes and to!d his t'o fe!!o'−dis"ip!es to ta#e the trun#s (a"# in and tie them up 'ith the ropes as the6 themse!+es had (een tied up. Then Bon#e6 re"ited a spe!!4 (it the tip of his tongue open4 and spat (!ood o+er the trees. /t his shout of @ChangeA@ one of the trees turned into -anFang4 one turned into Bon#e64 and the other t'o (e"ame .riar -and and 9ig. The6 'ere a!! perfe"t !i#enesses8 'hen >uestioned the6 'ou!d rep!64 and 'hen "a!!ed (6 their names the6 responded. The three dis"ip!es then hurried (a"# to their master4 and on"e more the6 tra+e!ed a!! night 'ithout stopping as the6 f!ed from the WuFhuang Temp!e.

6 the time it 'as da'n the +enera(!e -anFang 'as s'a6ing to and fro as he doFed in the sadd!e. @Baster4@ "a!!ed Bon#e6 'hen he noti"ed4 @6ou1re hope!ess. ?ou1re a man of re!igion−−ho' "an 6ou (e finding it so eDhaustingG 3 "an do 'ithout s!eep for a thousand nights not fee!ing a (it tired. ?ou1d (etter dismount and spare 6ourse!f the humi!iation of (eing !aughed at (6 a passer−(6. Ta#e a rest in one of the p!a"es under this hi!! 'here the 'ind is stored and the +apours gather (efore 'e go an6 further.@ We sha!! !ea+e them resting (eside the path to te!! ho' the 5reat 3mmorta! got up at da'n4 ate his meat!ess (rea#fast4 and 'ent to the ha!!. @Toda6 Tang -anFang is to (e 'hipped4@ he announ"ed as he sent for the !ash. The Eunior 'hir!ed it around and said to the Tang 9riest4 @31m going to f!og 6ou.@ @.!og a'a64@ the 'i!!o' tree rep!ied. When he had gi+en it thirt6 resounding !ashes he 'hir!ed the 'hip around on"e more and said to 9ig4 @2o' 31m going to f!og 6ou.@ @.!og a'a64@ the 'i!!o' tree rep!ied. When he "ame to f!og .riar -and4 he too to!d him to go ahead. ut 'hen he "ame to f!og Bon#e64 the rea! Bon#e6 on the road shuddered and said4 @$h4 noA@ @What do 6ou meanG@ -anFang as#ed. @When 3 turned the four 'i!!o' trees into the four of us 3 thought that as he had me f!ogged t'i"e 6esterda6 he 'ou!dn1t f!og me again toda64 (ut no' he1s !ashing the magi" (od64 m6 rea! (od6 is fee!ing the pain. 31m putting an end to this magi".@ With that he hasti!6 re"ited an in"antation to (rea# the spe!!. ;oo# at the terror of the Taoist (o6s as the6 thro' do'n their !eather 'hips and report4 @Baster4 at first 'e 'ere f!ogging the 9riest from the 5reat Tang4 (ut a!! 'e are f!ogging no' are 'i!!o' trun#s. The 5reat 3mmorta! !aughed (itter!6 on hearing this and 'as fu!! of admiration. @ rother Bon#e6 rea!!6 is a sp!endid Bon#e6 Cing. 3 had heard that 'hen he turned the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e upside−do'n4 he "ou!d not e+en (e "aught 'ith a 0ea+en and 7arth 2et4 and no' 3 see it must (e true. 3 'ou!dn1t mind 6our es"aping4 (ut 'h6 did 6ou !ea+e four 'i!!o's tied up here to impersonate 6ouG 0e sha!! (e sho'n no mer"6. /fter himA@ /s the 'ords @/fter him@ !eft his mouth4 the 5reat 3mmorta! sprang up on a "!oud and !oo#ed West to see the mon#s "arr6ing their (und!es and spurring their horse as the6 'ent on their 'a6. ringing his "!oud do'n he shouted4 @Where are 6ou going4 Bon#e6G 5i+e me (a"# m6 manfruit tree.@ @We1re done for4@ eD"!aimed 9ig4 @our enem61s "ome (a"#.@ @9ut a!! 6our piet6 a'a6 for no'4 master4@ said Bon#e64 @'hi!e 'e finish him off on"e and for a!! 'ith a (it of e+i!8 then 'e1!! (e a(!e to es"ape.@ The Tang 9riest shi+ered and shoo# on hearing this4 and (efore he "ou!d ans'er4 the three dis"ip!es rushed for'ard4 .riar -and 'ie!ding his staff4 9ig 'ith his ra#e he!d high4 and the 5reat -age Bon#e6 (randishing his iron "udge!. The6 surrounded the 5reat 3mmorta! in mid−air and stru"# 'i!d!6 at him. There are some +erses a(out this terri(!e fight%

Bon#e6 did not #no' that the 3mmorta! Lhen ?uan4 The ConEoint ;ord of the /ge4 had e+en deeper po'ers.

Whi!e the three magi" 'eapons fier"e!6 'hir!ed4 0is deer−tai! f!6−'his# gent!6 'a+ed. 9arr6ing to !eft and right4 he mo+ed to and fro4 !o"#ing (!o's from front and (a"# he !et them rush around. When night ga+e 'a6 to da'n the6 sti!! 'ere !o"#ed in "om(at. 3f the6 tarried here the6 'ou!d ne+er rea"h the Western 0ea+en.

The three of them 'ent for him 'ith their magi" 'eapons4 (ut the 5reat 3mmorta! #ept them at (a6 'ith his f!6−'his#. /fter a(out an hour he opened 'ide his s!ee+e and "aught up master4 dis"ip!es4 horse4 and (aggage in it on"e more. Then he turned his "!oud around and 'ent (a"# to his temp!e4 'here a!! the 3mmorta!s greeted him. /fter ta#ing his seat in the ha!! he too# them out of his s!ee+e one (6 one. 0e had the Tang 9riest tied to a stunted !o"ust tree at the foot of the steps4 'ith 9ig and .riar -and tied to trees neDt to him. Bon#e6 'as tied up upside−do'n4 'hi"h made him thin# that he 'as going to (e tortured and interrogated. When Bon#e6 'as tight!6 (ound4 the 5reat 3mmorta! sent for ten !ong tur(an−"!oths. @What a #ind gent!eman4 9ig4@ said Bon#e64 @he1s sent for some "!oth to ma#e s!ee+es for us−−'ith a (it !ess he "ou!d ha+e made us "asso"#s.@ The Eunior 3mmorta!s fet"hed home−'o+en "!oth4 and on (eing to!d (6 the 5reat 3mmorta! to 'rap up 9ig and .riar -and 'ith it4 the6 "ame for'ard to do so. @7D"e!!ent4@ said Bon#e64 @eD"e!!ent−−6ou1re (eing en"offined a!i+e.@ Within a fe' moments the three of them 'ere 'rapped up4 and !a">uer 'as then sent for. The 3mmorta!s >ui"#!6 fet"hed some !a">uer that the6 had tapped and dried themse!+es4 'ith 'hi"h the6 painted the three (andaged (odies a!! o+er eD"ept for the heads. @2e+er mind a(out our heads4 sir4@ said 9ig4 @(ut p!ease !ea+e us a ho!e at the (ottom to shit through.@ The 5reat 3mmorta! then sent for a huge "au!dron4 at 'hi"h Bon#e6 said 'ith a !augh4 @?ou1re in !u"#4 9ig. 3 thin# the6 must ha+e (rought the "au!dron out to "oo# us some ri"e in.@ @.ine4@ said 9ig4 @3 hope the6 gi+e us some ri"e first−−'e1!! ma#e mu"h (etter−!oo#ing ghosts if 'e die 'ith our (e!!ies fu!!.@ The 3mmorta!s "arried out the !arge "au!dron and put it under the steps4 and the 5reat 3mmorta! "a!!ed for dr6 'ood to (e sta"#ed up round it and set a(!aFe. @;ad!e it fu!! of pure oi!4@ he "ommanded4 @and 'hen it is hot enough to (u((!e4 deep−fr6 Bon#e6 in it to pa6 me (a"# for m6 manfruit.@ Bon#e6 'as se"ret!6 de!ighted to hear this. @This is Eust 'hat 3 'ant4@ 0e thought. @3 ha+en1t had a (ath for ages4 and m6 s#in1s getting rather it"h6. 31d thorough!6 appre"iate a hot (ath.@ :er6 soon the oi! 'as (u((!ing and Bon#e6 'as ha+ing reser+ations% he 'as afraid that the 3mmorta!1s magi" might (e hard for him to fathom4 and that at first he might (e una(!e to use his !im(s in the "au!dron. 0asti!6 !oo#ing around him4 he sa' that there 'as a sundia! to the 7ast of the dais and a stone !ion to the West. Bon#e6 ro!!ed to'ards it 'ith a spring4 (it off the end of his tongue4 spurted (!ood a!! o+er the stone !ion4 and shouted @Change4@ at 'hi"h it turned into his o'n image4 tied up in a (und!e !i#e himse!f. Then he eDtra"ted his spirit and 'ent up into the "!ouds4 from 'here he !oo#ed do'n at the Taoists.

3t 'as Eust at this moment that the Eunior 3mmorta!s reported4 @The oi!1s (oi!ing hard.@ @Carr6 Bon#e6 do'n to it4@ the 5reat 3mmorta! ordered4 (ut 'hen four of them tried to pi"# him up the6 "ou!d not. 7ight then tried and fai!ed4 and four more made no differen"e. @This earth−infatuated ape is immo+a(!e4@ the6 said. @0e ma6 (e sma!!4 (ut he1s +er6 so!id.@ T'e!+e Eunior 3mmorta!s 'ere then to!d to pi"# him up 'ith the aid of "arr6ing−po!es4 and 'hen the6 thre' him in there 'as a !oud "rash as drops of oi! sp!ashed a(out4 raising (!isters a!! o+er the Eunior 3mmorta!s1 fa"es. @There1s a ho!e in the "au!dron−−it1s started !ea#ing4@ the s"a!ded 3mmorta!s "ried4 (ut (efore the 'ords 'ere out of their mouths the oi! had a!! run out through the (ro#en (ottom of the "au!dron. The6 rea!iFed that the6 had thro'n a stone !ion into it. @*amn that ape for his inso!en"e4@ said the 5reat 3mmorta! in a terri(!e rage. @0o' dare he p!a6 his tri"#s in m6 presen"eA 3 don1t mind so mu"h a(out 6our getting a'a64 (ut ho' dare 6ou 're"# m6 "au!dronG 3t1s use!ess tr6ing to "at"h him4 and e+en if 6ou "ou!d it 'ou!d (e !i#e grinding mer"ur6 out of sand4 or tr6ing to ho!d a shado' or the 'ind. .orget a(out him4 !et him go. Hntie Tang -anFang instead and fet"h another pot. We "an fr6 him to a+enge the destru"tion of the tree.@ The Eunior 3mmorta!s set to and (egan to tear off -anFang1s !a">uered (andages. Bon#e6 "ou!d hear a!! this "!ear!6 from mid−air. @The master 'i!! (e done for4@ he thought. @3f he goes into that "au!dron it1!! #i!! him. Then he1!! (e "oo#ed4 and after four or fi+e fr6ings he1!! (e eaten as a rea!!6 tender pie"e of mon#. 3 must go (a"# do'n and sa+e him.@ The sp!endid 5reat -age (rought his "!oud do'n to !and4 "!asped his hands in front of him4 and said4 @*on1t spoi! the !a">uered (ands4 and don1t fr6 m6 master. 9ut me in the "au!dron of oi! instead.@ @31!! get 6ou4 6ou (a(oon4@ raged the 5reat 3mmorta! in astonishment. @Wh6 did 6ou use one of 6our tri"#s to smash m6 "oo#ing potG@ @?ou must eDpe"t to (e smashed up if 6ou meet me−−and 'hat (usiness is it of mine an6ho'G 3 'as going to a""ept 6our #ind offer of some hot oi!4 (ut 3 'as desperate for a shit and a piss4 and if 31d done them in 6our "au!dron4 31d ha+e spoi!t 6our oi! and 6our food 'ou!dn1t ha+e tasted right. 2o' 31+e done m6 stuff 31m read6 for the "au!dron. 9!ease fr6 me instead of m6 master.@ The 5reat 3mmorta! !aughed "o!d!64 "ame out of the ha!!4 and seiFed him. 3f 6ou don1t #no' ho' the stor6 goes or ho' he es"aped4 !isten to the eDp!anation in the neDt insta!!ment. Chapter 26 -un Wu#ong ;oo#s for the .ormu!a in the Three 3s!ands 5uan6in ,e+i+es the Tree 'ith a -pring of -'eet Water /s the poem goes4

When !i+ing in the 'or!d 6ou must (e for(earing8 9atien"e is essentia! 'hen training onese!f. /!though it1s often said that +io!en"e is good (usiness4 Thin# (efore 6ou a"t4 and ne+er (u!!6 or (e angr6.

True gent!emen 'ho ne+er stri+e are famed for e+er8 The +irtue−!o+ing sages are reno'ned to this da6. -trong men a!'a6s meet stronger than themse!+es4 /nd end up as fai!ures 'ho are in the 'rong.

The 5reat 3mmorta! Lhen ?uan he!d Bon#e6 in his hand and said4 @31+e heard a(out 6our po'ers and 6our fame4 (ut this time 6ou ha+e gone too far. 7+en if 6ou manage to remo+e 6ourse!f4 6ou 'on1t es"ape m6 "!ut"hes. ?ou and 3 sha!! argue it out as far as the Western 0ea+en4 and e+en if 6ou see that uddha of 6ours4 6ou1!! sti!! ha+e to gi+e me (a"# m6 manfruit tree first. *on1t tr6 an6 of 6our magi" no'.@ @What a sma!!−minded (!o#e 6ou are4 sir4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied 'ith a !augh. @3f 6ou 'ant 6our tree (rought (a"# to !ife4 there1s no pro(!em. 3f 6ou1d to!d me ear!ier 'e "ou!d ha+e (een spared a!! this >uarre!!ing.@ @3f 6ou hadn1t made trou(!e 31d ha+e forgi+en 6ou4@ said the 5reat 3mmorta!. @Wou!d 6ou agree to re!ease m6 master if 3 ga+e 6ou (a"# the tree a!i+eG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @3f 6our magi" is strong enough to re+i+e the tree4@ the 5reat 3mmorta! rep!ied4 @3 sha!! (o' to 6ou eight times and ta#e 6ou as m6 (rother.@ @That1s eas6 then4@ said Bon#e6. @,e!ease them and 3 guarantee to gi+e 6ou (a"# 6our tree a!i+e.@ Trusting him not to es"ape4 the 5reat 3mmorta! ordered that -anFang4 9ig and .riar -and (e set free. @Baster4@ said .riar -and4 @3 'onder 'hat sort of tri"# Bon#e6 is up to.@ @31!! te!! 6ou 'hat sort of tri"#4@ retorted 9ig. @/ p!eading for fa+our tri"#. The tree1s dead and "an1t possi(!6 (e re+i+ed. .inding a "ure for the tree is an eD"use for going off (6 himse!f 'ithout gi+ing a damn for 6ou or me.@ @0e 'ou!dn1t dare a(andon us4@ said -anFang. @;et1s as# him 'here he1s going to find a do"tor for it. Bon#e64@ he "ontinued4 @'h6 did 6ou foo! the 3mmorta! e!der into unt6ing usG@ @7+er6 'ord 3 said 'as true4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @3 'asn1t !eading him on.@ @Where 'i!! 6ou go to find a "ureG@ @There1s an o!d sa6ing that 1"ures "ome from o+er the sea1. 31!! go to the 7astern -ea and tra+e! round the Three 3s!ands and Ten Continents +isiting the +enera(!e 3mmorta!s and sages to find a formu!a for (ringing the dead (a"# to !ife. 3 promise that 31!! "ure that tree.@ @When 'i!! 6ou "ome (a"#G@

@31!! on!6 need three da6s.@ @3n that "ase 31!! gi+e 6ou three da6s. 3f 6ou are (a"# 'ithin that time4 that 'i!! (e a!! right4 (ut if 6ou are !ate 3 sha!! re"ite that spe!!.@ @31!! do as 6ou sa64@ said Bon#e6. 0e immediate!6 straightened up his tiger−s#in #i!t4 'ent out through the door4 and said to the 5reat 3mmorta!4 @*on1t 'orr64 sir4 31!! soon (e (a"#. Bind 6ou !oo# after m6 master 'e!!. 5i+e him tea three times a da6 and siD mea!s4 and don1t !ea+e an6 out. 3f 6ou do4 31!! sett!e that s"ore 'hen 3 "ome (a"#4 and 31!! start (6 ho!ing the (ottoms of a!! 6our pans. 3f his "!othes get dirt64 'ash them for him. 3 'on1t stand for it if he !oo#s sa!!o'4 and if he !oses 'eight 6ou1!! ne+er see the (a"# of me.@ @5o a'a64 go a'a64@ the 5reat 3mmorta! rep!ied. @3 "ertain!6 'on1t !et him go hungr6.@ The sp!endid Bon#e6 Cing !eft the WuFhuang Temp!e 'ith a (ound of his somersau!t "!oud and headed for the 7astern -ea. 0e 'ent through the air as fast as a f!ash of !ightning or a shooting star4 and he 'as soon in the (!essed !and of 9eng!ai. /s he !anded his "!oud he !oo#ed around him and sa' that it 'as indeed a 'onderfu! p!a"e. / poem a(out it goes%

/ great and sa"red !and 'here the 3mmorta! sages -ti!! the 'a+es as the6 "ome and go. The shade of the Easper throne "oo!s the heart of the s#68 The radian"e of the great gate−pi!!ars shimmers high a(o+e the sea. 0idden in the "o!oured mists are f!utes of Eade8 The moon and the stars shine on the go!den !e+iathan. The Kueen Bother of the Western 9oo! often "omes here To gi+e her pea"hes to the Three 3mmorta!s.

5aFing at the en"hanted !and that spread out (efore him4 rother Bon#e6 entered 9eng!ai. /s he 'as 'a!#ing a!ong4 he noti"ed three o!d men sitting round a "hess ta(!e under the shade of a pine tree outside a "!oud−'reathed "a+e. The one 'at"hing the game 'as the -tar of ;onge+it64 and the p!a6ers 'ere the -tar of !essings and the -tar of $ffi"e. @5reetings4 respe"ted 6ounger (rothers4@ Bon#e6 "a!!ed to them4 and 'hen the6 sa' him the6 s'ept the pie"es a'a64 returned his sa!utation4 and said4 @Wh6 ha+e 6ou "ome here4 5reat -ageG@ @To see 6ou4@ he rep!ied.

@31+e heard4@ said the -tar of ;onge+it64 @that 6ou ha+e gi+en up the Wa6 for the sa#e of the uddha4 and ha+e thro'n aside 6our !ife to prote"t the Tang 9riest on his Eourne6 to fet"h the s"riptures from the Western 0ea+en. 0o' "an 6ou spare the time from 6our end!ess "rossings of 'aters and mountains Eust to see usG@ @To te!! 6ou the truth4@ said Bon#e64 @3 'as on m6 'a6 to the West unti! a spot of (other he!d us up. 3 'onder if 6ou "ou!d do me a sma!! fa+our.@ @Where did this happenG@ as#ed the -tar of 'e1!! dea! 'ith it.@ !essings4 @'hat has (een ho!ding 6ou upG 9!ease te!! us and

@We1+e (een he!d up (e"ause 'e 'ent +ia the WuFhuang Temp!e on the Bountain of 3nfinite ;onge+it64@ said Bon#e6. @ ut the WuFhuang Temp!e is the pa!a"e of the 5reat 3mmorta! Lhen ?uan4@ eD"!aimed the three 3mmorta!s 'ith a!arm4 @don1t sa6 that 6ou1+e sto!en some of his manfruitA@ @What if 3 had sto!en and eaten someG@ as#ed Bon#e6 'ith a grin. @?ou ignorant ape4@ the three 3mmorta!s rep!ied. @/ mere 'hiff of that fruit ma#es a man !i+e to (e three hundred and siDt64 and an6one 'ho eats one 'i!! !i+e fort6−se+en thousand 6ears. The6 are "a!!ed 15rass−returning Cinna(ar of Ten Thousand ;onge+ities41 and our Wa6 hasn1t a pat"h on them. Banfruit ma#es 6ou as immorta! as 0ea+en 'ith the greatest of ease4 'hi!e it ta#es us goodness #no's ho' !ong to nourish our essen"e4 refine the spirit4 preser+e our sou!4 harmoniFe 'ater and fire4 "apture the kan to fi!! out the li. 0o' "an 6ou possi(!6 as# 'hether it 'ou!d matterG There is no other mira"u!ous tree !i#e it on earth.@ @Bira"u!ous tree4@ s"offed Bon#e64 @mira"u!ous treeA 31+e put an end to that mira"u!ous tree.@ @WhatG 9ut an end to itG@ the three 3mmorta!s as#ed4 stru"# 'ith horror. @When 3 'as in his temp!e the other da64@ Bon#e6 said4 @the 5reat 3mmorta! 'asn1t at home. There 'ere on!6 a "oup!e of (o6s 'ho re"ei+ed m6 master and ga+e him t'o manfruits. B6 master didn1t #no' 'hat the6 'ere and said that the6 'ere ne'(orn (a(ies8 he refused to eat them. The (o6s too# them a'a6 and ate them themse!+es instead of offering them to the rest of us4 so 3 'ent and pin"hed three4 one for ea"h of us dis"ip!es. Those disrespe"tfu! (o6s s'ore and "ursed at us no end4 'hi"h made me so angr6 that 3 #no"#ed their tree o+er 'ith a sing!e (!o'. /!! the fruit disappeared4 the !ea+es fe!!4 the roots "ame out4 and the (ran"hes 'ere smashed up. The tree 'as dead. To our surprise the t'o (o6s !o"#ed us in4 (ut 3 opened the !o"# and 'e es"aped. When the 5reat 3mmorta! "ame home the neDt da64 he "ame after us and found us. $ur "on+ersation didn1t go too smooth!6 and 'e started to fight him4 (ut he dodged us4 spread his s!ee+e out4 and "aught us a!! up in it. /fter (eing tied up then f!ogged and interrogated for a da64 'e es"aped again4 (ut he "aught up 'ith us and "aptured us again. /!though he had not an in"h of stee! on him4 he fought us off 'ith his 'his#4 and e+en 'ith our three 'eapons 'e "ou!dn1t tou"h him. 0e "aught us the same 'a6 as (efore. 0e had m6 master and t'o (rothers 'rapped up in (andages and !a">uered4 and 'as going to thro' me into a "au!dron of oi!4 (ut 3 used a tri"# to ta#e m6 (od6 a'a6 and es"ape4 smashing that pan of his. 2o' that he has rea!iFed he "an1t "at"h me and #eep me he1s getting a (it s"ared of me4 and 3 had a good ta!# 'ith him. 3 to!d him that if he re!eased m6 master and m6 (rothers 31d guarantee to "ure the tree and (ring it (a"# to !ife4 'hi"h 'ou!d satisf6 (oth parties. /s it o""urred to me that 1"ures "ome from o+er the sea41 3 "ame here spe"ia!!6 to +isit 6ou three (rothers of mine. 3f 6ou ha+e an6 "ures that 'i!! (ring a tree (a"# to !ife4 p!ease te!! me one so that 3 "an get the Tang 9riest out of trou(!e as >ui"#!6 as possi(!e.@ @?ou ape4@ the Three -tars said g!oomi!6 'hen the6 heard this. @?ou don1t #no' 'ho 6ou1re up against. That Baster Lhen ?uan is the 9atriar"h of the 3mmorta!s of the earth4 and 'e are the "hiefs of the di+ine

3mmorta!s. /!though 6ou ha+e (e"ome a hea+en!6 3mmorta!4 6ou are sti!! on!6 one of the irregu!ars of the 5reat Bonad4 not one of the e!ite. ?ou1!! ne+er (e a(!e to es"ape his "!ut"hes. 3f 6ou1d #i!!ed some anima!4 (ird4 inse"t or repti!e4 5reat -age4 'e "ou!d ha+e gi+en 6ou some pi!!s made from sti"#6 mi!!et to (ring it (a"# to !ife4 (ut that manfruit tree is a magi" one and "an1t possi(!6 (e re+i+ed. There1s no "ure4 none at a!!.@ When he heard that there 'as no "ure4 Bon#e61s (ro's !o"#ed in a fro'n4 and his forehead 'as "reased in a thousand 'rin#!es.

@5reat -age4@ said the -tar of e!se. Wh6 (e so 'orriedG@

!essing4 @e+en though 'e ha+e no "ure here4 there ma6 (e one some'here

@3f there 'ere an6'here e!se for me to go4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @it 'ou!d (e eas6. 3t 'ou!dn1t e+en matter if 3 had to go to the furthest "orner of the o"ean4 or to the "!iff at the end of the s#64 or if 3 had to penetrate the Thirt6−siDth 0ea+en. ut the trou(!e is that the Tang 9atriar"h is +er6 stri"t and has gi+en me a time−!imit of three da6s. 3f 31m not (a"# in three da6s he1!! re"ite the and−tightening -pe!!.@ @-p!endid4 sp!endid4@ !aughed the three stars. @3f 6ou 'eren1t restri"ted (6 that spe!! 6ou1d go up to 0ea+en again.@ @Ca!m do'n4 5reat -age4@ said the -tar of ;onge+it64 @there1s no need to 'orr6. /!though that 5reat 3mmorta! is senior to us he is a friend of ours4 and as 'e ha+en1t +isited him for a !ong time and 'ou!d !i#e to do 6ou a fa+our 'e1!! go and see him. We1!! eDp!ain things for 6ou and te!! that Tang mon# not to re"ite the and−tightening -pe!!. We 'on1t go a'a6 unti! 6ou "ome (a"#4 ho'e+er !ong 6ou ta#e4 e+en if it1s a !ot !onger that three to fi+e da6s.@ @Than# 6ou +er6 mu"h4@ said Bon#e6. @Ba6 3 as# 6ou to set out no' as 31m offG@ With that he too# his !ea+e. The Three -tars 'ent off on (eams of auspi"ious !ight to the WuFhuang Temp!e4 'here a!! present heard "ranes "a!!ing in the s#6 as the three of them arri+ed.

The +oid 'as (athed in (!essed g!o'4 The Bi!#6 Wa6 hea+6 'ith fragran"e. / thousand 'isps of "o!oured mist en+e!oped the feather−"!ad ones8 / sing!e "!oud supported the immorta! feet.

5reen and red phoeniDes "ir"!ed and soared4 /s the aroma in their s!ee+es 'afted o+er the earth. These dragons !eant on their staffs and smi!ed4 /nd Eade−'hite (eards 'a+ed (efore their "hests.

Their 6outhfu! fa"es 'ere untrou(!ed (6 sorro'4 Their maEesti" (odies 'ere ri"h 'ith (!essing. The6 "arried star−"hips to "ount their age4 /nd at their 'aists hung gourds and ta!ismans.

Their !ife is infinite!6 !ong4 /nd the6 !i+e on the Ten Continents and Three 3s!ands. The6 often "ome to (ring (!essings to morta!s4 -preading good things a hundred−fo!d among humans.

The g!or6 and (!essings of the uni+erse Come no' as happiness un!imited. /s these three e!ders +isit the 5reat 3mmorta! on auspi"ious !ight4 There is no end to good fortune and pea"e.

@Baster4@ the immorta! 6ouths rushed to report 'hen the6 sa' them4 @the Three -tars from the sea are here.@ The 5reat 3mmorta! Lhen ?uan4 'ho 'as ta!#ing 'ith the Tang 9riest4 "ame do'n the steps to 'e!"ome them 'hen he heard this. When 9ig sa' the -tar of ;onge+it6 he 'ent up and tugged at his "!othes. @3 ha+en1t seen 6ou for ages4 6ou meat−headed o!d fe!!o'4@ he said 'ith a grin. @?ou1re getting +er6 free and eas64 turning up 'ithout a hat.@ With these 'ords he thrust his o'n "!eri"a! hat on the star1s head4 "!apped his hands4 and roared 'ith !aughter. @5reat4 great. ?ou1+e (een 1"apped and promoted1 a!! right.@ .!inging the hat do'n4 the -tar of ;onge+it6 "ursed him for a disrespe"tfu! moron. @31m no moron4@ said 9ig4 (ut 6ou1re a!! s!a+es.@ @?ou1re most "ertain!6 a moron4@ the -tar of !essing rep!ied4 @so ho' dare 6ou "a!! us s!a+esG@ @3f 6ou aren1t s!a+es then4@ 9ig retorted4 @'h6 do peop!e a!'a6s as# 6ou to 1(ring us !ong !ife41 1(ring us (!essings41 and 1(ring us a good Eo(G1@ -anFang shouted at 9ig to go a'a64 then >ui"#!6 tidied himse!f up and (o'ed to the Three -tars. The Three -tars greeted the 5reat 3mmorta! as (efitted mem(ers of a 6ounger generation4 after 'hi"h the6 a!! sat do'n. @We ha+e not seen 6our i!!ustrious "ountenan"e for a !ong time4@ the -tar of $ffi"e said4 @'hi"h sho's our great !a"# of respe"t. The reason 'e "ome to see 6ou no' is (e"ause the 5reat -age Bon#e6 has made trou(!e in 6our immorta! temp!e.@

@0as Bon#e6 (een to 9eng!aiG@ the 5reat 3mmorta! as#ed. @?es4@ rep!ied the -tar of ;onge+it6. @0e "ame to our p!a"e to as# for a formu!a to restore the e!iDir tree that he #i!!ed. /s 'e ha+e no "ure for it4 he has had to go e!se'here in sear"h of it. We are afraid that if he eD"eeds the three−da6 time−!imit the ho!6 priest has imposed4 the and−tightening -pe!! ma6 (e said. We ha+e "ome in the first p!a"e to pa6 our respe"ts and in the se"ond to as# for an eDtension of the !imit.@ @3 'on1t re"ite it4 3 promise4@ ans'ered -anFang as soon as he heard this. /s the6 'ere ta!#ing 9ig "ame rushing in again to gra( ho!d of the -tar of !essing and demand some fruit from him. 0e started to fee! in the star1s s!ee+es and rummage round his 'aist4 pu!!ing his "!othes apart as he sear"hed e+er6'here. @What sort of (eha+ior is thatG@ as#ed -anFang 'ith a smi!e. @31m not mis(eha+ing4@ said 9ig. @This is 'hat1s meant (6 the sa6ing4 1(!essings 'here+er 6ou !oo#.1@ -anFang shouted at him to go a'a6 again. The idiot 'ithdre' s!o'!64 g!aring at the -tar of !essing 'ith un'a+ering hatred in his e6es. @3 'asn1t angr6 'ith 6ou4 6ou moron4@ said the star4 @so 'h6 do 6ou hate me soG@ @3 don1t hate 6ou4@ said 9ig. @This is 'hat the6 "a!! 1turning the head and seeing (!essing.1@ /s the idiot 'as going out he sa' a 6oung (o6 "ame in 'ith four tea !ad!es4 !oo#ing for (o'!s in the a((ot1s "e!! in 'hi"h to put fruit and ser+e tea. 9ig seiFed one of the !ad!es4 ran to the main ha!! of the temp!e4 snat"hed up a hand−(e!!4 and started stri#ing it 'i!d!6. 0e 'as enEo6ing himse!f enormous!6 'hen the 5reat 3mmorta! said4 @This mon# gets more and more disrespe"tfu!.@ @31m not (eing disrespe"tfu!4@ 9ig rep!ied. @31m 1ringing in happiness for the four seasons.1@ Whi!e 9ig 'as ha+ing his Eo#es and ma#ing trou(!e4 Bon#e6 had (ounded a'a6 from 9eng!ai (6 auspi"ious "!oud and "ome to the magi" mountain .angFhang. This 'as a rea!!6 'onderfu! p!a"e. /s the poem goes4

The to'ering .angFhang is another hea+en4 Where gods and 3mmorta!s meet in the 9a!a"e of the 5reat Hnit6. The purp!e throne i!!uminates the road to the Three 9ure $nes4 The s"ent of f!o'ers and trees drifts among the "!ouds.

Ban6 a go!den phoeniD "omes to reEoi"e around its f!o'er6 porta!s8 What ma#es the fie!ds of magi"a! mushrooms g!isten !i#e EadeG 9a!e pea"hes and purp!e p!ums are ne'!6 ripened4

,ead6 to gi+e e+en !onger !ife to the 3mmorta!s.

ut as Bon#e6 (rought his "!oud do'n he 'as in no mood to enEo6 the +ie'. /s he 'as 'a!#ing a!ong he sme!t a fragran"e in the 'ind4 heard the "r6 of the (!a"# stor#4 and sa' an 3mmorta!%

The s#6 'as fi!!ed 'ith radiant !ight4 /s mu!ti"o!ored "!ouds shone and g!o'ed. ,ed phoeniDes !oo#ed (righter than the f!o'ers in their (ea#s8 -'eet!6 sang green ones as the6 dan"ed in f!ight. 0is (!essings 'ere as great as the 7astern -ea4 his age that of a mountain8 ?et his fa"e 'as a "hi!d1s and his (od6 'as strong. 3n a (ott!e he #ept his pi!!s of eterna! 6outh4 /nd a "harm for e+er!asting !ife hung from his 'aist. 0e had often sent (!essings do'n to man#ind4 -e+era! times sa+ing morta!s from diffi"u!ties. 0e on"e ga+e !onger !ife to 7mperor Wu4 /nd a!'a6s 'ent to the 9ea"h an>uets at the <ade 9oo!. 0e taught a!! mon#s to "ast off 'or!d!6 fates8 0is eDp!anations of the great Wa6 'ere "!ear as !ightning. 0e had "rossed the seas to pa6 his respe"ts4 /nd had seen the uddha on the :u!ture 9ea#. 0is tit!e 'as ;ord 7mperor of 7astern 5!or64 The highest−ran#ed 3mmorta! of the mists and "!ouds.

When rother Bon#e6 sa' him he hai!ed him 'ith the 'ords4 @3 sa!ute 6ou4 ;ord 7mperor.@ The ;ord 7mperor hastened to return his greeting and sa64 @3 shou!d ha+e 'e!"omed 6ou proper!64 5reat -age. Ba6 3 as# 6ou home for some teaG@ 0e !ed Bon#e6 (6 the hand to his pa!a"e of "o'rie−she!!s4 'here there 'as no end of Easper poo!s and Eade to'ers. The6 'ere sitting 'aiting for their tea 'hen a (o6 appeared from (ehind

an emera!d s"reen. This is ho' he !oo#ed%

/ Taoist ro(e that spar#!ed 'ith "o!or hung from his (od64 /nd !ight g!eamed from the si!#en sash round his 'aist. $n his head he 'ore a tur(an 'ith the sign of the stars of the *ipper4 /nd the grass sanda!s on his feet had "!im(ed a!! the magi"a! mountains. 0e 'as refining his True eing4 shuff!ing off his she!!4 /nd 'hen he had finished he 'ou!d rea"h un(ounded (!iss. 0is understanding had (ro#en through to the origins4 /nd his master #ne' that he 'as free from mista#es. /+oiding fame and enEo6ing the present he had 'on !ong !ife /nd did not "are a(out the passing of time. 0e had (een a!ong the "roo#ed porti"o4 "!im(ed to the pre"ious ha!!4 /nd three times re"ei+ed the pea"hes of 0ea+en. C!ouds of in"ense appeared to rise from (ehind the emera!d s"reen8 This 6oung 3mmorta! 'as *ongfang -huo himse!f.

@-o 6ou1re here4 6ou 6oung thief4@ said Bon#e6 'ith a smi!e 'hen he sa' him. @There are no pea"hes for 6ou to stea! here in the ;ord 7mperor1s pa!a"e.@ *ongfang -huo greeted him respe"tfu!!6 and rep!ied4 @What ha+e 6ou "ome for4 6ou o!d thiefG B6 master doesn1t #eep an6 pi!!s of immorta!it6 here for 6ou to pin"h.@ @-top ta!#ing nonsense4 Ban>ian4@ the ;ord 7mperor shouted4 @and (ring some tea.@ Ban>ian 'as *ongfang -huo1s Taoist name. 0e hurried inside and (rought out t'o "ups of tea. When the t'o of them had drun# it4 Bon#e6 said4 @3 "ame here to as# 6ou to do something for me. 3 'onder if 6ou1d (e prepared to.@ @What is itG@ the ;ord 7mperor as#ed. @*o te!! me.@ @3 ha+e (een es"orting the Tang 9riest on his Eourne6 to the West4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied4 @and our route too# us +ia the WuFhuang Temp!e on the Bountain of 3nfinite ;onge+it6. The 6ouths there 'ere so i!!−mannered that 3 !ost m6 temper and #no"#ed their manfruit tree o+er. We1+e (een he!d up for a 'hi!e as a resu!t4 and the Tang 9riest "annot get a'a64 'hi"h is 'h6 3 ha+e "ome to as# 6ou4 sir4 to gi+e me a formu!a that 'i!! "ure it. 3 do hope that 6ou 'i!! (e good enough to agree.@

@?ou thought!ess ape4@ the ;ord 7mperor rep!ied4 @6ou ma#e trou(!e 'here+er 6ou go. Baster Lhen ?uan of the WuFhunang Temp!e has the sa"red tit!e ConEoint ;ord of the /ge4 and he is the 9atriar"h of the 3mmorta!s of the 7arth. Wh6 e+er did 6ou "!ash 'ith himG That manfruit tree of his is 5rass−returning Cinna(ar. 3t 'as "rimina! enough of 6ou to stea! some of the fruit4 and #no"#ing the tree o+er ma#es it impossi(!e for him e+er to ma#e it up 'ith 6ou.@ @True4@ said Bon#e6. @When 'e es"aped he "aught up 'ith us and s'ept us into his s!ee+e as if 'e 'ere so man6 s'eat−rags4 'hi"h made me furious. 0o'e+er4 he had to !et me go and !oo# for a formu!a that 'ou!d "ure it4 'hi"h is 'h6 31+e "ome to as# 6our he!p.@ @3 ha+e a nine−phased returning pi!! of the 5reat Bonad4 (ut it "an on!6 (ring animate o(Ee"ts (a"# to !ife4 not trees. Trees are !i+es "ompounded of the Wood and 7arth e!ements and nurtured (6 0ea+en and 7arth. 3f it 'ere an ordinar6 morta! tree 3 "ou!d (ring it (a"# to !ife4 (ut the Bountain of 3nfinite ;onge+it6 is the (!essed !and of a former hea+en4 the WuFhuang Temp!e is the Ca+e 9aradise of the Western Continent of Catt!e−gift4 and the manfruit tree is the !ife−root from the time 'hen 0ea+en and 7arth 'ere separated. 0o' "ou!d it possi(!6 (e re+i+edG 3 ha+e no formu!a4 none at a!!.@ @3n that "ase 3 must ta#e m6 !ea+e4@ rep!ied Bon#e64 and 'hen the ;ord 7mperor tried to detain him 'ith a "up of Eade ne"tar he said4 @This is too urgent to a!!o' me to sta6.@ 0e rode his "!oud (a"# to the is!and of ?ingFhou4 another 'onderfu! p!a"e4 as this poem sho's%

Trees of pear!s g!o'ed 'ith a purp!e haFe8 The ?ingFhou pa!a"es !ed straight to the hea+ens. !ue hi!!s4 green ri+ers4 and the (eaut6 of eD>uisite f!o'ers8 <ade mountains as hard as iron. 9heasants "a!!ed at the sunrise o+er the sea4 ;ong−!i+ed phoeniDes (reathe in the red "!ouds. 9eop!e4 do not !oo# so hard at the s"ener6 in 6our Ear% e6ond the 'or!d of phenomena is an eterna! spring.

$n rea"hing ?ingFhou he sa' a num(er of 'hite−haired 3mmorta!s 'ith the fa"es of "hi!dren p!a6ing "hess and drin#ing under a pear! tree at the foot of a "inna(ar "!iff. The6 'ere !aughing and singing. /s the poem sa6s4 there 'ere

;ight−fi!!ed auspi"ious "!ouds4

9erfume f!oating in a (!essed haFe. ri!!iant phoeniDes singing at the mouth of a "a+e4 !a"# "ranes dan"ing on a mountain top. 9a!e green !otus−root and pea"hes he!ped their 'ine do'n4 9ears and fier6 red dates ga+e them a thousand 6ears of !ife. 2either of them had e+er heard an imperia! edi"t4 ut ea"h 'as entered on the !ist of 3mmorta!s. The6 drifted and f!oated 'ith the 'a+es4 .ree and eas6 in unsu!!ied e!egan"e. The passage of the da6s "ou!d not affe"t them8 Their freedom 'as guaranteed (6 0ea+en and 7arth. !a"# apes "ome in pairs4 ;oo#ing most "harming as the6 present fruit8 White deer4 (o'ing t'o (6 t'o4 Thoughtfu!!6 offer f!o'ers.

These o!d men 'ere "ertain!6 !i+ing a free and happ6 !ife. @0o' a(out !etting me p!a6 'ith 6ouG@ Bon#e6 shouted at the top of his +oi"e4 and 'hen the 3mmorta!s sa' him the6 hurried o+er to 'e!"ome him. There is a poem to pro+e it that goes%

When the magi" root of the manfruit tree 'as (ro#en8 The 5reat -age +isited the 3mmorta!s in sear"h of a "ure. Winding their 'a6 through the +ermi!ion mist4 the 2ine /n"ients Came out of the pre"ious forest to greet him.

Bon#e64 'ho #ne' the 2ine /n"ients4 said 'ith a smi!e4 @?ou nine (rothers seem to (e doing +er6 ni"e!6.@

@3f 6ou had sta6ed on straight and narro' in the o!d da6s4 5reat sage4@ the6 rep!ied4 @and not 're"#ed the 0ea+en!6 9a!a"e 6ou 'ou!d (e doing e+en (etter that 'e are. 2o' 'e hear that 6ou ha+e reformed and are going West to +isit the uddha. 0o' did 6ou manage the time off to "ome hereG@ Bon#e6 to!d them ho' he 'as sear"hing for a formu!a to "ure the tree. @What a terri(!e thing to do4@ the6 eD"!aimed in horror4 @'hat a terri(!e thing. We honest!6 ha+e no "ure at a!!.@ @3n that "ase 3 must ta#e m6 !ea+e of 6ou.@ The 2ine /n"ients tried to detain him 'ith Easper 'ine and Eade !otus−root4 (ut Bon#e6 refused to sit do'n4 and sta6ed on his feet 'hi!e he dran# on!6 one "up of 'ine and ate on!6 one pie"e of !otus−root. Then he hurried a'a6 from ?ingFhou and (a"# to the 5reat 7astern $"ean. When he sa' that 9otara#a 'as not far a'a64 he (rought his "!oud do'n to !and on the 9otara Crag4 'here he sa' the odhisatt+a 5uan6in eDpounding the s"riptures and prea"hing the uddha1s ;a' to a!! the great gods of hea+en4 Bo#sa4 and the dragon maiden in the 9urp!e am(oo 5ro+e. / poem a(out it goes% Thi"# the mists round the !oft6 "it6 of the sea1s mistress4 /nd no end to the greater mar+e!s to (e seen. The -hao!in Temp!e rea!!6 has the true f!a+or4 With the s"ent of f!o'ers and fruit and the trees a!! red. The odhisatt+a sa' Bon#e6 arri+e and ordered the 5reat 5uardian 5od of the Bountain to go and 'e!"ome him. The god emerged from the (am(oo gro+e and shouted4 @Where are 6ou going4 Bon#e6G@ @?ou (ear monster4@ Bon#e6 shouted (a"#4 @ho' dare 6ou address me as 1Bon#e61G 3f 3 hadn1t spared 6our !ife that time 6ou1d ha+e (een Eust a demon1s "orpse on the !a"# Wind Bountain. 2o' 6ou1+e Eoined the odhisatt+a4 a""epted en!ightenment4 and "ome to !i+e on this (!essed is!and 'here 6ou hear the ;a' (eing taught a!! the time. -hou!dn1t 6ou address me as 1sirG1@ 3t 'as indeed than#s to Bon#e6 that the (!a"# (ear had (een en!ightened and 'as no' guarding the odhisatt+a1s 9otara#a as one of the great gods of hea+en4 so a!! he "ou!d do 'as to for"e a smi!e and sa64 @The an"ients said4 5reat -age4 that a gent!eman does not (ear grudges. Wh6 shou!d 6ou "are a(out 'hat 6ou1re "a!!edG /n6ho'4 the odhisatt+a has sent me to 'e!"ome 6ou.@ Bon#e6 then (e"ame gra+e and serious as he 'ent into the 9urp!e am(oo 5ro+e 'ith the 5reat 5od and did o(eisan"e to the odhisatt+a. @0o' far has the Tang 9riest got4 Bon#e6G@ she as#ed. @0e has rea"hed the Bountain of 3nfinite ;onge+it6 in the Western Continent of Catt!e−gift4@ Bon#e6 rep!ied. @0a+e 6ou met the 5reat 3mmorta! Lhen ?uan 'ho !i+es in the WuFhuang Temp!e on that mountainG@ she as#ed. @/s 6our dis"ip!e didn1t meet the 5reat 3mmorta! Lhen ?uan 'hen 3 'as in the WuFhuang Temp!e4@ rep!ied Bon#e64 (o'ing do'n to the ground4 @3 destro6ed his manfruit tree and offended him. /s a resu!t m6 master is in a +er6 diffi"u!t position and "an ma#e no progress.@

@?ou 'ret"hed ape4@ said the odhisatt+a angri!6 no' that she #ne' a(out it4 @6ou ha+e no "ons"ien"e at a!!. That manfruit tree of his is the !ife−root from the time 'hen 0ea+en and 7arth 'ere separated4 and Baster Lhen ?uan is the 9atriar"h of the 7arth1s 3mmorta!s4 'hi"h means e+en 3 ha+e to sho' him a "ertain respe"t. Wh6 e+er did 6ou harm his treeG@ Bon#e6 (o'ed on"e more and said4 @3 rea!!6 didn1t #no'. 0e 'as a'a6 that da6 and there 'ere on!6 t'o immorta! 6ouths to !oo# after us. When 9ig heard that the6 had this fruit he 'anted to tr6 one4 so 3 sto!e three for him and 'e had one ea"h. The6 s'ore at us no end 'hen the6 found out4 so 3 !ost m6 temper and #no"#ed the tree o+er. When he "ame (a"# the neDt da6 he "hased us and "aught us a!! up in his s!ee+e. We 'ere tied up and f!ogged for a 'ho!e da6. We got a'a6 that night (ut he "aught up 'ith us and put us in his s!ee+e again. /!! our es"ape attempts fai!ed4 so 3 promised him 31d put the tree right. 31+e (een sear"hing for a formu!a a!! o+er the seas and (een to a!! three is!ands of 3mmorta!s4 (ut the gods and 3mmorta!s are a!! use!ess4 'hi"h is 'h6 3 de"ided to "ome and 'orship 6ou4 odhisatt+a4 and te!! 6ou a!! a(out it. 3 (eg 6ou in 6our mer"6 to grant me a formu!a so that 3 "an sa+e the Tang 9riest and ha+e him on his 'a6 West again as soon as possi(!e. @Wh6 didn1t 6ou "ome and see me ear!ier instead of sear"hing the is!ands for itG@ the odhisatt+a as#ed. @31m in !u"#4@ thought Bon#e6 'ith de!ight 'hen he heard this4 @31m in !u"#. The odhisatt+a must ha+e a formu!a.@ 0e 'ent up to her and p!eaded for it again. @The 1s'eet de'1 in this pure +ase of mine4@ she said4 @is an eD"e!!ent "ure for magi" trees and p!ants.@ @0as it e+er (een tried outG@ Bon#e6 as#ed. @?es4@ she said. @0o'G@ he as#ed. @-ome 6ears ago ;ord ;ao Li (eat me at gam(!ing4@ she rep!ied4 @and too# m6 'i!!o' sprig a'a6 'ith him. 0e put it in his e!iDir−refining furna"e and (urnt it to a "inder (efore sending it (a"# to me. 3 put it (a"# in the +ase4 and a da6 and a night !ater it 'as as green and !eaf6 as e+er.@ @31m rea!!6 in !u"#4@ said Bon#e64 @rea!!6 in !u"#. 3f it "an (ring a "inder (a"# to !ife4 something that has on!6 (een pushed o+er shou!d (e eas6.@ The odhisatt+a instru"ted her su(Ee"ts to !oo# after the gro+e as she 'as going a'a6 for a 'hi!e. Then she too# up her +ase4 and her 'hite parrot 'ent in front singing 'hi!e Bon#e6 fo!!o'ed (ehind. /s the poem goes4

The Eade−haired go!den one is hard to des"ri(e to morta!s8 -he tru!6 is a "ompassionate de!i+erer. /!though in aeons past she had #no'n the spot!ess uddha4 2o' she had a">uired a human form.

/fter se+era! !i+es in the sea of suffering she had purified the 'a+es4 /nd in her heart there 'as no spe"# of dust.

The s'eet de' that had !ong undergone the mira"u!ous ;a' Was (ound to gi+e the magi" tree eterna! !ife.

The 5reat 3mmorta! and the Three -tars 'ere sti!! in !oft6 "on+ersation 'hen the6 sa' Bon#e6 (ring his "!oud do'n and heard him shout4 @The odhisatt+a1s here. Come and 'e!"ome her at on"e.@ The Three -tars and Baster Lheng ?uan hurried out 'ith -anFang and his dis"ip!es to greet her. $n (ringing her "!oud to a stop4 she first ta!#ed 'ith Baster Lhen ?uan and then greeted the Three -tars4 after 'hi"h she "!im(ed to her seat. Bon#e6 then !ed the Tang 9riest4 9ig4 and .riar -and out to do o(eisan"e (efore the steps4 and a!! the 3mmorta!s in the temp!e "ame to (o' to her as 'e!!. @There1s no need to dither a(out4 5reat 3mmorta!4@ said Bon#e6. @5et an in"ense ta(!e read6 at on"e and as# the odhisatt+a to "ure that 'hate+er−it−is tree of 6ours.@ The 5reat 3mmorta! Lhen ?uan (o'ed to the odhisatt+a and than#ed her% @0o' "ou!d 3 (e so (o!d as to trou(!e the odhisatt+a 'ith m6 affairsG@ @The Tang 9riest is m6 dis"ip!e4 and Bon#e6 has offended 6ou4 so it is on!6 right that 3 shou!d ma#e up for the !oss of 6our pri"e!ess tree.@ @3n that "ase there is no need for 6ou to refuse4@ said the Three -tars. @Ba6 'e in+ite 6ou4 odhisatt+a4 to "ome into our or"hard and ta#e a !oo#G@ The 5reat -age had an in"ense ta(!e set up and the or"hard s'ept4 then he as#ed the odhis