Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Peach Blossom Girl Dueling Magic - Chapter 16 Final

Copyright © 2010 - Jeff Loh. All rights reserved

Peach Blossom Girl Dueling Magic

Chapter 16 – Final

In The Battle Of Wits, Blurry Is The Demarcation As Ying And Yang Fights1,
Finally In Enlightenment, Two Saints Return To Their Proper Places.

As Pang Jian detected a waft of fragrance, he followed Peach Blossom’s instructions of using three wooden stakes to knock at the great doors thrice, all the while yelling out her name,

“Peach Blossom!”

Then with his right foot he quickly kicked opened the doors with a great sound of “Wah!” coming from him. Meanwhile inside the house, the corpse of Peach Blossom Girl was being carried out of the bed chamber. Lord Chou’s heart was filled with glee. Smirking, he hurried from the rear and ordered,

“Quickly put the corpse into the coffin!”

Peach Blossom’s soul was blocked by the Black Malignancy and was prevented from entering into her body through her orifices. When the Black Malignancy was startled by the sudden crashing of the main doors, Peach Blossom Girl’s soul at that moment of distraction quickly slipped into her corpse. As her vitality regained to full strength, she quickly jumped up and stood erect. The Six Gods of Ding and the Six Gods of Jia15-2 departed in a flash of light and returned to their proper places when they saw the Peach Fairy returned to life.

All the people were stiffened by fright on seeing Peach Blossom Girl’s corpse suddenly jump up into an upright position. Chaos and pandemonium ensued, with everyone running away quickly screaming,

“Oh my God!”13-4

Peach Blossom Girl glared menacing with her almond- shaped eyes at Lord Chou who was standing in a corridor. Great anger filled the depths of her heart and in a loud voice she berated,

“Chou Chien! We don’t have any reason to avenge for the deaths of our fathers. So why use such a venomous way to kill me? What can you do to me now?”

Lord Chou was goaded from embarrassment to anger when suddenly he lunged at Peach Blossom Girl with his Big Dipper Sword. Peach Blossom Girl quickly stepped back and muttered a counter control spell at the Black Malignancy. As she waved her two long sleeves at Lord Chou, she gave a great laugh. The Black Malignancy turned and leapt at Lord Chou instead. Even with his great powers, Lord Chou did not expect such a sudden turn of events. He was too late in evading the Black Malignancy…


And the sound of the Big Dipper Sword was heard clanging on the ground. As Lord Chou fell, he tried to mutter the incantation of returning the Black Malignancy but of no avail. He did not foresee the tricks hidden in Peach Blossom Girl’s sleeves and in this round he smacked right into the Black Malignancy and died instantaneously. This is really,

Play with fire you’ll get burnt,
In harming others you’ll harm yourself first.
Alas, all people in this world,
How many can understand this simple truth.

As Lord Chou dropped to the ground his face turned purple and his lips became green. Nary was a breath left in his mouth. All present were stunned into a stupor until women big and small cried out in pain,

“Our master must have been harmed by the evil magic of Miss Ren Peach Blossom. Don’t let her go! Quickly we must bring her before Grand Tutor Wen2 for justice!”

All this while Miss Heavenly Fragrance was moping in her room as her father had forbade her to speak of any leniency for Peach Blossom.

Peach Blossom Girl laughed lackadaisically at the women’s mutterings and icily she taunted them,

“Chou Chien tried to harm others but in the end, he was killed instead. All his fault! I’ll stand here and see what you all can do to me?”

In the meantime, Pang Jian had completed his mission and went inside in great haste. There were sobs and cries all over the place and he grew frightened. Hastening himself and in about three to five steps he was in the inner apartments. All he saw was chaos and everyone rambled in discussion. So confused he was until he espied Peach Blossom Girl standing tall in cold laughter that he went up to her in a congratulatory mood,

“My benefactress little sister, today all should be joyful in seeing you well and alive…”

But before he could finish his sentence, a crowd surrounded him and admonished,

“Old Master has been killed by this Peach Blossom Girl. Why all this small talk with her?”

Pang Jian was dumbfounded and quickly asked,


The crowd pointed over his shoulder and said,

“Can’t you see what’s over there?”

Pang Jian lifted his head and saw that Lord Chou had fallen to the ground. Quickly he put out his hand to feel Lord Chou’s nostrils. Indeed there was no breath. Pang Jian started to cry.

The crowd pushed,

“Already dead, no use crying. Must have a solution!”

Pang Jian stopped his cries and shouted at them,

“What solution? Yesterday he tried to harm others. First he had his own daughter killed and who saved her? It was the one he intended to harm. Still our master did not realize his error of his ways. Now it is his turn. Who’s to save him now?”

Pang Jian turned and knelt on the ground begging,

“My benefactress little sister, please have great pity and compassion to save a life. We all will be bounded in endless gratitude to you!”

Peach Blossom Girl propped Pang Jian up and counseled,

“Elder brother, don’t be like this. All these people here wanted to take me to Grand Tutor Wen’s place for justice. Beckon him here and I’m still not afraid!”

Pang Jian replied,

“We’re foolish people, my benefactress little sister, please give Pang Jian some thin face3. It’s best to save a life.”

The crowd too knelt down and pleaded aloud,

“Miss Ren, if you can save our Lord, all of us shall be in your gratitude for ten thousand generations!”

As Peach Blossom Girl saw them on their knees pleading in earnest and also to demonstrate her powers, she gave a partial smile and taunted,

“Oh ho, so now you are all not going to take me to see Grand Tutor Wen? I shall accede to Brother Pang’s golden face. No choice but I shall try to make an effort!”

The crowd began knocking their heads to the ground as she spoke and asked,

“How? Please instruct us!”

Peach Blossom Girl laughed coldly,

“Go and do as I had instructed you before about bringing me back to life. This time just shout out ‘Buddhist monk knife!’ instead and he will stir.”

Pang Jian asked,

“Why not call the master’s name but ‘Buddhist monk knife’?”

Peach Blossom Girl replied,

“This is the secret of Heaven, how would ye know? Go quickly and do as I had instructed! You’ll see your master return to life and witness my power!”

Pang Jian dared not question any further but went back to the main doors and did exactly as before, kicking at it while shouting out loud,

“Buddhist monk knife!”

Right then the soul of Lord Chou became enlightened, turned to face the corpse and jumped into it. Immediately Lord Chou regained consciousness and leapt up. Right before his eyes, was his arch nemesis, Peach Blossom Girl. Both became bloodshot with enmity. Quickly he reached for his Big Dipper Sword and lunged at Peach Blossom Girl shouting,

“Bitch! Don’t leave! You dare use the Arts of Malignancy to harm me? If I don’t destroy you today, a man I shall be no more!”

Peach Blossom girl unhurriedly took out her as-you-wish peach branch from her pouch and transformed it into a precious sword to parry, berating him at the same time,

“Chou Chien, you ingrate! Instead of thanking me for saving your life, you dare to harm me?”

With that another fearsome stroke of his sword come bearing down upon her. Peach Blossom Girl dodged away and with lightning speed her Peach Blossom Sword came thrusting at Lord Chou. One Ying, one Yang began their battle in the great hall.

On seeing how events were unfurling, Pang Jian cried,

“Mercy me!”

How can Pang Jian stop the fight with no weapon in hand? Quickly he ran to inform Miss Heavenly Fragrance who fainted dead right away. Then he ran to inform the Ren household…

Through the great doors and into the courtyard, Lord Chou and Peach Blossom Girl fought in a life-and-death manner. Unable to unleash their full power in such a small area they had no choice but to mount onto clouds and continue their duel in mid air. He came with a thrust and she went with a parry. Both parties assailed each other without mercy.

By now Ren Tai Kung had arrived at the Chou residence. Heavenly Fragrance came out to meet him and gave him an account of what had transpired. She could not help herself but break down in sorrowful sobs. Espying the sky they saw two persons mounted on colorful clouds locked in a deadly battle. Soon they drifted out of sight. The sound of deafening cries of a daughter for his father went unheeded – later, Ren Tai Kung and wife knew their daughter had returned to her proper divine station in heaven and heard how she resembled Peach Blossom Girl that the two old biddies took pity on Heavenly Fragrance. Using Pang Jian as intermediary they adopted her as their own. On her part she saw her father had been apotheosized and because she had lost her mother at an early age now without anyone to depend on and because of her friendship with Peach Blossom Girl, she agreed to the two old biddies’ grand gesture. She went over to the Ren household the next day to pay the proper respects to Ren Tai Kung and wife and became their companion. All affairs in Lord Chou’s household were left in charge to Pang Jian. These are later events.

Turning to the battling duo, the more they fought with each other, the more they were energized; demonstrating their powers and causing winds to turn into gales howling away. As thunder cracked, it caused great alarm to the Divine Sentries of Heaven. With each round, they battled with greater intensity and were approaching the vicinity of the Northern Gate of Heaven. The concerned Divine Sentries quickly reported the fighting to the Dark Warrior Emperor of the North. Upon opening his all-seeing and all-knowing eyes, all were seen and became known. The Tortoise and Snake Warriors were dispatched to bring the fighting duo before him.

Upon receiving their orders, the Snake and Tortoise Warriors blocked the way of the fighters and shouted in a booming voice,

“Cease all at once! By ye imperial orders of his most high Emperor! Ye are ordered to appear before his Holiness! Disobey and be whipped down from your clouds by these Celestial Lashers!”

The dueling duo heard the imperial Edict; they had no choice but to put away their weapons and followed the Snake and Tortoise Warriors into the August Halls of His Holiness. They fell on their knees and after making their obeisance, another Jade Edict came,

“Both ye belong to the world of immortals, for what reason must ye destroy each other? Chou Chien you are the reincarnation of the as-you-wish Buddhist Monk Knife and as a divine attendant boy, instead of following orders of watching the Eight Trigrams in the Tushita Palace, you secretly stole down to earth to divulge heavenly secrets causing Peach Blossom Girl to descend to the mortal world as well. Peach Blossom Girl is originally the scabbard for ye. Both of your natures are one and the same. Deviate not from this path! It is time now that your bodies of flesh and blood shall return to heaven. Here, a golden pill for each of you.”

They were ordered to swallow the pill and the Edict continued,

“Now that ye had partaken of the pills, ye will feel strange at first. If the pill does not dissolve in thy bellies within three quarters of an hour even indestructible bodies will putrefy into pools of pus!”

When the pronouncement was done a Seven Star4 Pennant was unfurled and the two were wrapped inside it. At Mt. Wudang5 they became the Chou and Peach Marshals. With a divine light they were forced apart to stand erect at the right and left sides. His Holiness then waved the Seven Star Pennant continuously for seven times and with a divine breath blew at the two Marshals who then took their divine light away and had their flesh and blood bodies returned to their proper places.

That very night, Taoist priest Yeh of the Mt. Wudang had a dream. In his dream he saw two Marshals askng him to relay letters to their familes. When he woke up and came into the main hall, he saw two extra divine Marshals standing in the temple hall; each emanating in a blinding light of divinity. The priest was taken aback. At their feet were two letters and with addressees clearly written on the envelopes. He quickly took them but dared not open them. The very next day he made his obeisance to the Dark Warrior Emperor of the North and the two golden bodies of the Marshals before traveling to the city of Morning Song. He located Lord Chou’s residence without difficulty and explained his presence to the gatekeeper who in turn reported to Pang Jian immediately, handing the letter to him when he came out. The priest was thanked with a reception for his troubles. Afterwards, Pang Jian went with the priest to see Ren Tai Kung, his wife and Miss Heavenly Fragrance. Each of them tore off the envelope of their respective letters to see the messages. Nothing much was said except for the need of the two families to be in harmony, words of consolation, that they had been apotheosized and that their divinity will never vanish.

After some time, together with Priest Yeh, they travelled to Mt. Wudang to offer incense. They made obeisance first to the Dark Warrior Emperor of the North before coming before the Marshals. Their golden countenance and facial appearance looked exactly the same as when they were mortals. After prayers were offered, they gave the priest a hundred taels of gold as expenses for offerings made to the two Marshals. With that they left for their homes. Very soon the news of these two new Marshals began to spread and reached the ears of the imperial court at Morning Song. Every official was in awe and many prayed to the Marshals in earnest as their prayers were answered. Two poems attest to this story:

Poem 1:

What you do, Heaven knows,
Speak not of reasons for your grievances.
The good and wicked will get their just rewards,
Able to lift your head three feet high you’ll get the respect from the Gods.

Poem 2:

Ten thousand things all planned by Heaven,
When the time comes, all planning by mortals go to waste.
Human greed never sated, like the snake trying to swallow the elephant6
Learn from the Sages with all one’s heart.
Except for wishful thinking none a cure for dissatisfaction,
The only thing money cannot buy is to become a God.
One can only sigh at the harshness of this world,
No matter how wicked it is, resolve is in my heart never to do evil.

18 Nov 2010


1. The lines of the Ying and Yang are clearly defined and marked. It describes how furious the battle must be in order for these two primal forces to collude into blurriness.

2. Grand Tutor Wen 聞太師 was the teacher to evil King Chou (紂王) of the Shang Dynasty. Finally we have confirmation of when the story took place. In the beginning, all we know was that the King of the Shang Dynasty was not too virtuous a ruler but the text did not identify him. Since the Grand Tutor is living in the city, we can safely assume that he had not been ordered to quell the rebellion in the North Sea when the Nine Tail Vixen came to befuddle the King and cause the demise of the dynasty. For more information see the “Tale of the Investiture of Gods” - 封神演義. I was stumped for over 20 years in trying to translate a term in a poem in the first chapter until the event of the Internet. Then again I was stuck in trying to find information on another obscure reference with no success. Hopefully I will be able to do so after this experience in translating this story. There is already an English translation but it omits out all the poems and explanations. . I didn’t think it was a scholarly piece of work.

3. This face giving or saving is an Asian cultural aspect that is beyond the scope of discussion in these mere footnotes. For more info please see

4. The seven stars representing the Big Dipper.


In the movie, Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon, this is the place where the heroine committed suicide by leaping to her death off the cliffs. This is also the place where the famous Golden Hall is located; one part of the Supreme Harmony Temple (太和宫). Built entirely of gilded copper with an incredible 20 tons of fine copper and 300 kilograms of gold, the hall is one of the biggest gilded copper temples in China.

Original Text

桃花女陰陽鬥傳 第十六回







此時天香小姐因見父親不准他講情,哭得哀哀切切,回歸自己房去了。桃花女聽了眾人之言,徐徐冷笑曰:“周乾害人不死,反自損命,是他自取之禍也!我在此處,看你們怎樣拿法?”又說彭剪作完了事,飛奔進內,忽聽得哭泣之聲,心下大驚,三五步跑至內堂,只見眾人亂紛紛的,不知嘈雜什麼。只見桃花女站在那裡冷笑,即忙上前呼喚:“恩妹今日人人喜得你不死……”,說話還未完,眾人即便上前圍住,說道:“公爺已被桃花女制治死了,還與他說什麼閒話?”彭剪聽了駭然,忙問道:“果是否?”眾人指上首曰:“那面你看是否?”彭剪抬頭一看,見周公身倒地中,去用手一抹,口中無氣。便放聲哭泣起來。眾人解勸曰:“既死,不必哭了,還須出個主意!”彭剪止了哭,言道:“出什麼主意?他前日要害人,今日又要害人,先把自己女兒害死,又得被害之人救活了,他又不知醒悟。今日輪到自己,還求那個?”只得翻身向桃花女,跪在他跟前呼:“恩妹,你今再發慈悲之心救活,眾人感恩不淺!”桃花女忙把彭剪扶起,道:“兄長不必如此,眾人竟要拿我去聞太師處。你們即請聞太師到來,我也不怕!”彭剪曰: “他們俱是愚人。恩妹看彭剪的薄面,搭救才好。”說罷,又要跪下去。眾人也便一齊跪下,高叫:“任小姐,若肯救活公爺,我等感恩萬代!”




任太公此時已到周家。天香小姐出來相見,把話說了一遍,不覺放聲痛哭。俱仰面朝天觀看。見他二人擁著彩雲,在半空中苦爭惡戰,越鬥越遠,漸漸不見了。哭兒叫父之聲振耳,他二人全然不顧。 ——到後來,任太公夫妻見女兒歸了神位,見天香與女兒相貌一般,聽得彭剪說他女兒甚是相得,任太公兩老有憐惜之意,就教彭剪去說,認天香為女。這天香小姐見父親成神,早年失母,無人依靠,聽得任太公夫妻如此美意,又想桃花女之情,即日親到任家拜見太公夫妻。他便留住天香小姐作伴。周公的家事,就是托交彭剪料理。此是後事。










Peach Blossom Girl Dueling Magic - Chapter 15

Copyright © 2010 - Jeff Loh. All rights reserved

Peach Blossom Girl Dueling Magic

Chapter 15

Peach Girl Thrice Foils The Great Dipper’s Power
Chou Chien Once More Lays A Demon Quelling Formation

The poem states:

Unusual it is that Ying Yang switching apexes,
When they touch, light from the sun and moon emit no more.
Gazing upwards in darkness, irresolution everywhere,
Oh great! The Master of Heaven has left his home in the clouds.
Carrying with him the sun and moon back to Heaven,
Peacefully they stood by the side of their Lord.
Indeed in their splendorous clothes they shine,
In prosperity and harmony ten thousands celebrate in cups made from rhino horns.

Let’s turn to Lord Chou who used the method of ‘Black Dog Quelling” to destroy Peach Blossom Girl. Pang Jian asked what he can do to thwart his master’s plan. Peach Blossom Girl said,

“He’s using demonic ways that even immortals from Heaven cannot escape easily. It’ll squeeze the three superior souls out through the cavities and cause the seven baser souls to fly out of the body. There is no way out of it. However since big brother Pang remembered how this little sister had saved him…”

Pang Jian hastily interrupted and said,

“If I’ve the power to break his spell, I’d have done so earlier even before informing you to save my benefactress sister!”

Peach Blossom Girl replied,

“I don’t need you to break his spell but just do as I tell you and I’ll be saved.”

Pang Jian burst into a great joy as he heard her words,

“How can I not remember how you saved me? You had already seen all the things you told me to do. Nary was a mistake made yesterday. Tell me quickly and let me fetch…”

Peach Blossom Girl explained,

“You obeyed Lord Chou’s commands and went to my home to cut down a peach tree. That tree is my life line. Once it was cut down, it’s like damming up a water source. Whatever you do downstream, there’ll be no water flowing down. Tomorrow at the hour of Mei is the hour of death for your little sister!”

Pang Jian sighed,

“What can we do now? I’m only a foolish man. If I had understood the intricacies of magic, even in death, I’ll not go and do such a thing to you!”

Peach Blossom Girl admonished gently,

“No need for regrets, tomorrow at the hour of Mei I’ll surely die. However here’s my counter plan. I’ll be put into the coffin soon afterwards. Wait until my body is about to be placed inside, take three wooden stakes and rap it three times continuously on the closed door’s latch. Then in a high voice shout out my name, ‘Peach Blossom Girl’ and kick open the doors with your right foot. I’ll then have a way of returning to the land of the living. Make no mistake!”

Pang Jian said,

“Too early is no good and too late will a disaster be. Only at the precise moment it will work. However please think a bit more. How far is it from here to the front door? Even before I can reach the front door, your body is already placed inside the coffin. How can I succeed?”

Peach Blossom Girl explained,

“Big brother, what you say is correct. Your little sister has not told you the details. When the hour of Shen approaches, go out to the front doors and wait. When you detect wisps of fragrance, you’ll know that I’m being scooped up and placed into the coffin. Follow my instructions precisely and quickly!”

Pang Jian nodding his head in agreement, commented,

“Now this is workable and a piece of cake. However what happens if gusts of fragrance don’t come wafting? Don’t blame me for that!”

Peach Blossom Girl replied,

“Of course there will be fragrance wafting out to your nose.”

Pang Jian was in doubt but nevertheless he said,

“If there’s indeed such fragrance, rest assured that you can depend on me!”

At that Pang Jian bade his farewell.

Peach Blossom Girl sat alone in her room and prepared the magical articles needed to protect her body upon death. Each article was placed in a cotton pouch that she wore next to her undergarments. Just as she was putting her things away Heavenly Fragrance entered the room. She had woken up early and had her face made. After paying respects to each other, they sat down and chatted up a storm. Nothing about the dastardly plan formulated by her father was mentioned to Heavenly Fragrance. They chatted as usual with laughter and jest. They spent the day till nightfall together and after dining, each headed back to her own room.

How can Peach Blossom Girl get a wink of sleep this night? Sitting on the ivory bed she closed her eyes in concentration until early next morning. She washed her face and did not bother to put on hairpins or green jade earrings. She merely donned a simple garb in the Taoist fashion of bluish green. Merrily she acted as if everything was normal.

That day Lord Chou was antsy and secretly sent someone to spy on Peach Blossom. When he heard nothing unusual about Peach Blossom Girl’s demeanor – no sadness or anticipation of any sort, he relaxed and was filled with greatest glee:

“This time her Star of Longevity shall be suppressed and she will naturally fall into a coma!”

Lord Chou endured till noon when he departed quickly into the backyard. A charm of hastening and urging was written. Standing in a fighting stance, Lord Chou began muttering the incantation and the charm was subsequently burnt. Turning back to Peach Blossom Girl… She was chatting away merrily along with Heavenly Fragrance when she suddenly gave a great shout and fell onto the floor. Heavenly Fragrance and the serving girls not knowing anything were greatly horrified. They quickly put Peach Blossom Girl onto the bed. There was no sign of any breathing and her body lay limp like a piece of cotton. Peach Blossom was dead. Really this is,

A thousand uses while alive,
Myriad things turn useless once you’re dead!1

Heavenly Fragrance was aghast and not knowing what else to do, she burst into a great weep,

“Elder sister! You were okay just now how can you suddenly die like this? Alas such pity to die so young and your beauty wasted. How could anyone not be in sorrow?”

Heavenly Fragrance tugged absently at Peach Blossom Girl’s clothes with great pain. The surrounding servant girls burst into cries too, so great that heaven was torn asunder and the earth cracked. Pang Jian also rushed into the outer fringes of the room. Totally in shock, he cried out,

“My God! Such powerful magic at work. Nothing was amiss at the hour of Mei and now this. How accurate the prediction is!”

Peering into the room Pang Jian saw Peach Blossom lying on the bed but looking as if she was still alive except that her mouth was tightly closed as if in a grip. Pang Jian’s tears welled up and he sobbed. Suddenly he realized and said to himself,

“Why am I still crying? Better go quickly to the main doors and wait. Saving her life is of paramount importance. This is my job!”

Wiping his tears away, Pang Jian flew to the main doors and waited for his cue.

Already Lord Chou received the news in exuberance. He personally walked into the room to see things for himself. Indeed Peach Blossom Girl was dead as a door nail and he sneered icily,

“Bitch! How do you escape from my palms now?”

Heavenly Fragrance begged,

“Daddy! Though Peach Blossom Girl had offended you and ought to die but she saved your daughter. Please won’t you forgive her a little? It’s the right thing to do in using your magnanimity to save her!”

Lord Chou laughed out loud,

“You’re still too young to understand things. The will of Heaven has already been determined, who can save her and beckon her back from the dead?”

Ordering his servants, Lord Chou announced,

“Ren Peach Blossom died at the hour of Mei and a quarter. Her malignant spirit is too great to tarry in here any longer. Go quickly and prepare for the after matters. With speed of horses put her quickly into a coffin! Notify her family after burial and set a date for the funeral procession. The coffin may be placed in the small room at the side of the main hall. There shall be no mourning from the women folk!”

Also he ordered that the doors be locked up to prevent any Ren family servant girls from sneaking out to break the news to the Ren family. Who knew that when the great entrance was locked, Pang Jian was already waiting outside! Soon the funerary preparations were done and were waiting in the outer hall. Lord Chou forbade anyone to change the clothes of Peach Blossom Girl to a shroud and ordered four servant girls to lift her body into the coffin. It was like dragonflies crashing into a stone pillar. No matter how much they tried to move the body, they could not lift it. Everyone was amazed and buzzed with excitement,

“How could such a lithe and small body be so heavy?”

Lord Chou saw this and ordered four more servants to help but nary an inch was the corpse moved. Anger swelled and Lord Chou remarked,

“In her former life, this bitch was a witch, now in death has she turned into a demoness? You all! Lift her up for me!”

Talk not of adding four more people, adding any more was of no use. Everyone was huffing and puffing with sweat pouring out like rivers. Everyone finally said,

“No can do, can’t budge anymore!”

Lord Chou ordered the servant girls to retreat and called upon forty burly male servants into the room. Some went to the left and some to the right. No matter how much they tried, they could not lift the corpse. In the end, they exclaimed,

“This is eerie, as if the corpse has melded to become part of the earth. Don’t think it would move an inch!”

Lord Chou was stomping in anger. He quickly got out his Big Dipper Sword and pointed at Peach Blossom’s shoulder and then hacked at it. Sparks flew like stars with a great roar and with such great force that the sword repelled back at Lord Chou. His mouth numbed and shock waves of pain sailed up his arms,

“Such solid a body this is!”

Lord Chou began to whack at it a few more times. Not even a crease appeared on her clothing. All the servants, male and female gasped at the same time and exclaimed,

“This woman must be a great user of magic. See, even her body has been trained to become indestructible!”

This was like pouring oil over fire and annoyed Lord Chou to no end as he heard his servants sighing at her great magical skills.

Thundering, Lord Chou ordered,

“Bring me dry wood!”

No one dared to hesitate and soon dried wood was brought in. He ordered them to lay the wood around the corpse and burn it to ashes.

One servant knelt before his Lord and counseled,

“If we set fire, won’t the room be…”

Lord Chou countered angrily,

“Quickly do as I ordered! I know what I’m doing. How can the room catch fire? Start burning! Now!”

The servants got out fire kindlers and began to set fire to the wood. Strangely no fire caught on. A fire started here and the fire over there extinguished. Lord Chou bellowed to pour oil over the wood. However the oil acted like water and put out whatever flames that were started. Fumes began to spew and all, including Lord Chou, was smoked out of the room into the courtyard where they stood with tears welling n their eye sockets and snort dripping from their noses.

Lord Chou thought for awhile and gave further orders,

“Take out the wood and let it burn slowly outside. There must be a reason. I shall go and divine what this bitch is up to and see the kind of magic she is using!”

Quickly he kneaded his fingers and gave a sigh,

“My fault for not doing my homework in detail! The bitch had used body protective magic to secure her corpse. I’m afraid no mortal can do any harm to it. I shall summon the Six Divine Warriors2 and see how ye shall fare?”

With his Great Dipper sword, he took off his golden cap and let loose his hair. Lord Chou began incanting, causing ten thousand Gods to be alerted at once who descended upon Lord Chou’s mansion. However they did not appear in their full glory in the daylight. When Lord Chou suddenly detected gusts of fragrant winds he knew that the Gods had arrived. Lord Chou ordered,

“All leave! Only four men shall remain to carry the corpse!”

Talk about being late, talk about being early, Pang Jian was waiting for a long while outside the main doors. He was growing impatient and getting agitated with nervousness. Then in a split second of doubt, he detected wafts of fragrance. Jumping in joy, Pang Jian cried,

“Now it’s time!”

Quickly, he used the three pieces of wooden planks and banged on the main door three times yelling out,

“Peach Blossom Girl!”

If you want to know how Lord Chou’s plans are thwarted, please read the next chapter.


1. The literal translation of the couplet is:

三寸氣在千般用,A thousand things to do when you still have 3 inches of breath,
一旦無常萬事休.   The day you die, ten thousand things become useless!

2. The character ‘丁' is the name of one of the 10 Heavenly stems. It can also mean servant. Usually
these divine helpers are part of a set of 12, the other six from the Heavenly Stem of Jia六甲. ‘甲’ can also mean armor or Armorer. In Taoism they form part of the celestial protectors and defenders of Taoist precepts comprising of the 4 Worthies (or ‘those on duty’), 四值, the 28 Constellations, 二十八宿, the 36 Celestial Warriors, 天將, and the 72 Earth Malignancies, 七十二地煞 .

Their official rank is very low but they often perform menial but important chores such as protecting the monk Tripitaka in the story of the “Western Journey” 西遊記when his disciples are not around to protect him. Their full names are a combination with the names of Earth Branches.

A pregnant woman is called the body with the Six Amorers -身為六甲. This is because those six days were considered the days associated with the creation of the universe.

For more information see

Original Text












周公此時氣得火上加油一般,一聞家人嘆羨他道行,忿忿然連呼:“快拿乾柴來!”左右不敢遲延,忙忙急取乾柴到了。周公吩咐放在桃花女屍上,要將引火之物來燒化他的屍骸。就有一個家丁跪禀道:“若還一放火,豈不連房子……。”周公大怒道:“趕快取來我用!孤自有法,豈能連累房舍?快與孤放火! ”家丁等趕快取了引火之物來,在屍首上下乾柴裡點起來。可見作怪,點了一刻,點不著,剛剛點著這邊,那邊又滅了。周公喝教家丁再加上油,灌於柴上,但加油竟似加水一般,反滅了乾柴之火。使得濃煙四起,把周公、眾家人熏得鼻水眼淚齊落,一哄跑出天井中站住足。



Peach Blossom Girl Dueling Magic - Chapter 14

Copyright © 2010 - Jeff Loh. All rights reserved
Peach Blossom Girl Dueling Magic

Chapter 14

Peach Blossom Girl Uses Magic To Break Magic,
Lord Chou Harming Others In Turn Harms Himself.

After Peach Blossom Girl met Heavenly Fragrance, the mutual admiration between the two beauties grew. However in the end, Peach Blossom Girl is the reincarnated spirit from Heaven and a daughter of magic who knows the past and future. Tonight she had no choice but to use Heavenly beauty as a scapegoat. How can she be seated on the bed first? With a cold smile, she called out to Heavenly Fragrance and said,

“You are a delicate guest; please sit down first at the honoured place. I’ll serve you.”

Heavenly Fragrance replied,

“Sister, you are the older one; I’m only a proxy for my brother. How can I usurp the order of things and sit first?”

Peach Blossom Girl retorted,

“Since you are the proxy for your brother, you’re considered as the groom and therefore you should sit first.”

Heavenly Fragrance knew very well that her father was going to do away with Peach Blossom in a nefarious manner. She had no choice but to obey her father. She longed to return to her boudoir when her duty was done. How could she know of the dangers lurking in the seating placement? Peach Blossom Girl’s words were logical and she answered,

“Since you put it this way, I shall follow elder sister’s advice and this little sister will sit first according to etiquette and custom.”

With that settled, she approached the bed. As she sat on it, Peach Blossom Girl suddenly draped herself with the cover of the curtains and muttered a God Hastening mantra. The spell alerted the White Tiger Marshall. A gust of fierce wind blew up, revealing its true form. What a fearsome shape the Star Lord of Malignancy was! On seeing a female sitting on the bed it pounced on Heavenly Fragrance with a whoosh and bit her! How sad it was,

A delicate flower in an abrupt downpour,
Tender buds meeting a sudden gale.

“Aiya!” cried Heavenly Fragrance as she fell off from the bed, blood gushing out of her mouth. All the womenfolk saw what was happening and were petrified. As they regained their composure, they quickly lifted their fallen mistress whose face as ashen like a piece of gold paper1 with fresh blood still spewing out of her mouth. Her body had stiffened and she died on the spot. The womenfolk tried to revive her but to no avail. A great wail rose up from the room. Some people hurriedly reported to Lord Chou who had already heard the commotion in the bridal chamber. He merely thought his scheme had worked and that the Ren household would be holding a funeral soon. Glee sated his heart until he heard what was reported,

“Our Miss died in the bridal chamber with no cause!”

Upon hearing the news, Lord Chou felt like falling from a high ditch, boats capsizing in the Yangtze River. He rushed immediately into the bridal chamber and with both hands lifted the dead body of his daughter. He began to wail,

“You were Okay today, why now such a sudden death?”

When Peach Blossom Girl heard his words, she simply sneered,

“Lord Chou! Who are you trying to trick? Using your daughter like this? Your words can only deceive fools. Do I get deceived this easily? Last night you summoned the White Tiger Lord of Malignancy to bite me to death. Why, it’s your daughter who is now still bleeding in death. Such a nice girl you sent to death, why cry now?”

Lord Chou was embarrassed to no end and at the same vexed to his very bones. He stopped his wailing and looked up at Peach Blossom Girl. All he saw was.

All donned in the deepest red,
Her demeanor no different from any fairy.

This is the first time Lord Chou had laid his eyes on Peach Blossom Girl in person, her eyebrows arched in the classic manner, her limpid pools are from heaven and her body made in jade2. Lord Chou could not help himself but shuddered as he thought to himself,

“No wonder this bitch is so dangerous. Her demeanor is not of this world!”

Lord Chou had no choice but to give a smiling face and said,

“Miss Ren, you understood this matter but not me. Can you use your magic to save my daughter?”

Peach Blossom laughed out loud,

“Lord Chou, learning the secrets of the Big Dipper itself is not bad. Knowing its usage yet not understanding how to solve… How can you not blame yourself in your shallow learning but others for breaking your divination? Since you begged me for help, I shall save your daughter. What difficulty is there to bring her back to life? Quickly go to the river and get me some countercurrent water and a willow sprig. I’ll show you a trivial trick or two and see how I can bring the dead back to life so that you can sincerely concede with your heart and mouth!”

Peach Blossom continued,

“Do you know what a countercurrent is? When ocean tides come, rivers ebb. When the ocean ebbs, river tides come. With the ocean as the focal point, the tidal water of the river is the countercurrent. ”

Lord Chou was mute-like when he heard the explanation from Peach Blossom Girl and wondered if her idea was any good. However saving his daughter’s life was of utmost importance so he dared not argue any longer with Peach Blossom Girl. Instead he turned to his men and bellowed,

“Quickly to the river and fetch me some countercurrent water and a sprig of willow!”

By the time a breath was let out, the two objects were brought in. Peach Blossom Girl ordered a cold mat placed on the floor and the body of Heavenly Fragrance was put on it with her face looking up. After everyone was ordered to silence, Peach Blossom then casually placed the sprig of willow into the countercurrent water. Thrice to the left and thrice to the right she stirred the willow sprig and started her incantation. With the dripping water from the sprig, Peach Blossom Girl sprinkled it ritually onto the face of Heavenly Fragrance. Such is the miraculous way of immortals, chanting three times and sprinkling three times Peach Blossom Girl had the three superior souls and seven baser spirits of Heavenly Fragrance hooked back into her body. Her spirit churned and soon returned to the mortal world.

“Aiyah! How dreadful!”

Two almond-shaped eyes fluttered open and Heavenly Fragrance jerked up before slumping back to a sitting position on the mat. She was in a daze. Every household member jumped for joy at the sight, exclaiming,

“The powers of Miss Ren are indeed miraculous. Even raising the dead back to life!”

Lord Chou was thoroughly embarrassed and blushed all the way to the back of his ears. He had no choice but to approach Peach Blossom to thank her.

Finally Heavenly Fragrance had settled down and found out that her saviour was no other than Peach Blossom Girl. She was filled with gratitude and kowtowed quickly to her. She did not return to her own room that night but remained in the bridal chamber with Peach Blossom Girl. The two girls appreciated each other’s talents with a you-love-me-and-I-love-you scenario. As both were of the same age, it was a perfect and wonderful opportunity to become bonded sisters. This we shall not elaborate further.

Let’s turn to Lord Chou instead. He was mortified with shame on this day. Alone he sat in his study contemplating to himself,

“All these Gods of Malignancy had been thwarted by this bitch and my daughter was bitten to death by the Divine White Tiger Lord. Though she is saved by that bitch, what an abhorrence she is for showing off in front of all those women to shame me! My idea in using this sham marriage was to destroy her but she’s now sitting comfortably in my own home. After three days she’ll have to see the groom. How can I give her one? She must be destroyed to abate my hatred and to have a good night’s sleep!”

Quickly Lord Chou took out his divine Big Dipper book and studied it in detail. With the birth hours he had on Peach Blossom Girl, he began to calculate and divine a new scheme for her demise. Finally he came out with a “Black Dog Squelching” magic technique. He divined once again to make sure there were no flaws to allow her to escape the trap. Casually he lifted his head and began to smile,

“If I had known earlier and waited for the fire, the rice would have been long cooked. I should have used this before and not have to go through all this fuss!”

With his plan finalized, he put away his ‘Divine Big Dipper Manual’ safely. Heading out to the main hall Lord Chou ordered his servant,

“Here’s a copper penny, go south and get me a black bitch. Bring it to the backyard and wait for further instructions. Make no mistake!”

The servant soon returned with a black female dog and gave it to the one in charge of the backyard affairs. The night passed uneventfully.

The very next day, Lord Chou ordered Peng Jian, “Go to the backyard of the Ren family. There is a worm-eaten peach tree. Chop down a southerly branch. I have use for it and make sure to hold it with thy hands on the way home and do not look back! If so, a blind man ye will become. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!”

Pang Jian quickly headed for the Ren family. After explaining to Ren Tai Kung, Pang Jian found the great peach tree and cut down a southern branch and returned home as quickly as he could. Lord Chou was delighted and asked,

“Is this a southerly branch? If this is so, bring it to the backyard.” With the peach branch in hand, Pang Jian followed Lord Chou into the backyard. A table was brought in and burning incense was placed on it along with some flowers, fruits, candles and joss sticks. The peach branch was snapped into several pieces. Peach Blossom Girls’ hours of birth was written on a branch with ritually blessed cinnabar. It was then carefully wrapped in yellow cloth and ordered to be tied around the black bitch. A loop was made from another branch and again it was tied to the body of the dog. Seven more peach charms were written and Lord Chou personally placed them on the peach loop that was already tied to the body of the dog. Holding the charms he recited the incantations seven more times. Everything was taken off from the dog and burnt. Immediately afterwards the dog was beaten to death. His servants were ordered to bury everything on the table in a southerly place in the backyard. When all was done, Lord Chou gave out a chortle and exclaimed,

“Oh you disgusting female! See how you can dodge from me this time?”

Actually, Peach Blossom’s lifeline was made into a peach branch familiar. Now that Lord Chou had it chopped down, it sealed her sinus. While all this was happening, Pang Jian was peeping into the backyard and had witnessed everything. Already highly suspicious of the backyard activities, which were verified by Lord Chou’s cold blooded words, Pang Jian grew fearful and said to himself,

“This is no good! He really means harm to Miss Ren. I must quickly inform her so that she can be prepared!”

Pang Jian is like an old prime minister of the household and therefore no one dared stop him from going places. He flew straight like an arrow into the bridal chamber.

As for Peach Blossom Girl and Miss Heavenly Fragrance, they grew close to each other, enjoying each other’s company. They spent the night chatting until the third beat before retiring to their respective rooms. This morning, Peach Blossom was alone in the inner apartments doing her morning makeup and was planning for her return to her family when suddenly she felt her heartbeat rise and fall in rapidity. Quickly she kneaded her fingers and understood everything. She fearfully lamented to herself,

“Lord Chou has cut off my lifeline and used the ‘Black Dog Squelching” technique on me. With my birth hours in his hand, even those with skills of fairies will not escape easily. What should I do?”

As she was pondering on this impending calamity, Pang Jian burst in unexpectedly. His feet had not steadied and words came spilling out of his mouth as he huffed and puffed,

“My virtuous younger sister! My benefactor! No good it is today. Calamity approaches!”

Without missing any details, Pang Jian explained how Lord Chou had ordered him to cut down the peach branch and what he did in the backyard. Peach Blossom Girl was nodding all this while and finally said,

“Big brother, no need to be so frantic. I have already known all these comings and goings. This is known as the ‘Black Dog Squelching” technique, a vile and demonic use of magic. This time, I don’t think I can escape easily. I’m sure I’ll die. If you consider how I saved you, you must now help me!”

Pang Jian heard her words and replied quickly,

“If my benefactress little sister has any use of Pang Jian, I’ll not hesitate to help. I will wade through fire and face ten thousand deaths for you!”

Peach Blossom Girl was elated at his words and said,

“Good! Then your little sister will be saved.”

To know how Peach Blossom Girl breaks Lord Chou’s spell, please continue reading.


1. These are funerary papers with gold-like glitter painted on them to be folded as gold ingots for burning during the Ullambana festival. The Chinese believed that Hades is like another level of existence with all the worldly comforts to be enjoyed in the Netherworld. Hence the need for paper currency, gold, silver and even paper servants and houses that the spirits are accustomed to on this earth. More importantly, life perhaps could be made easier through bribery!

2. The Chinese believe that all gentlemanly qualities are found in jade.

Original Text
















Tuesday, November 23, 2010

清閑- Leisure Pursuits


Discuss not of flowers or birds then it is talk about the moon.
If it’s not a landscape painting then it is drawing of the clouds.
Plucking the string or flicking on the zither my heart is at rest.
Composing poetry and completing couplets nary a care to the world.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Peach Blossom Girl Dueling Magic - Chapter 13

Copyright © 2010 - Jeff Loh. All rights reserved

Peach Blossom Girl Dueling Magic

Chapter 13

No bias When Orthodox and Unorthodox Gods Battle,
The Genuine Triumphs Over the Fake, Yin and Yang Always Accurate

Let’s recap. As Miss Ren Peach Blossom was carried in the bridal sedan to Lord Chou’s residence, the Red and Black Lords of Malignancy were waiting in readiness to execute orders of both parties: One obeying the will of the Big Dipper to lash Peach Blossom to death while the other submitting himself to the words of power in the incantation of the Immortal of Malignancy by Peach Blossom Girl to save herself. After the Star Lords explained to each other the reason of their respective presence, they both at once rode on their clouds and departed to their proper places. With that the bridal sedan of Peach Blossom entered the main gate of the house unscathed. The beat of the drums and gongs deafened the heavens as the music of panpipes1 led the procession. Numerous servants followed the retinue in throngs. Some were shouting in the front; some were pushing in the back and others straddled on steeds with handsomely-carved saddles. People on the street knew that the retired official Lord Chou is now getting a daughter-in-law. What a dazzling sight it was: the bridal sedan made from knotted silk damasks with the Eighteen Immortals from the Fairy Isles embroidered on it and everything else was covered in red. True magnificence it was! Everyone praised the lavishness before their eyes:

“What difference it makes between the nobility and the vulgar masses!”

Those in the know knew Lord Chou had no son and chimed in,

“He’s marrying a second wife. Of course no expenses spared!”

Inside the bridal sedan, Peach Blossom seethed and fumed as she heard such ribald comments,

“If I don’t skin2 that Chou Chien alive, how can I ever bear today’s insults?”

None of the various Gods of Malignancy dared approach the bridal sedan embroidered with images of the Immortals of the Eighteen Caves. Thus Peach Blossom was able to journey safely to the main entrance of Lord Chou’s residence. When the bridal sedan arrived, people from the Ren household began to call out to matchmaker Chiang,

“Quickly, people from Chou’s residence. Come perfume and purify the bridal sedan!”

Matchmaker Chiang went inside and informed Lord Chou about the ritual. He asked matchmaker Chiang:

“When Miss Ren Peach Blossom entered the bridal sedan, did you see anything suspicious?”

Matchmaker Chiang replied,

“This little woman was at her side all the time and saw her parents help her into the bridal sedan. I did not see anything unusual.”

Lord Chou was taken aback in surprise and said,

“Strange indeed. Methinks this Peach Blossom’s skills are no trifling matter. Even this God of Black Malignancy is no obstacle for her. I guess the various lesser Gods of Malignancy are of no use then! Thank goodness I had called upon the Gods of Mourning and Funeral3 to be at hand. I shall see what magic this female can conjure up to break my spells!”

And that, Lord Chou said to matchmaker Chiang,

“Since she wants my men to purify the bridal sedan what harm is there for me to go and check things out? You people there, quickly bring out the clothes iron and start heating it. Place some cedar and rue (Rutaceae) leaves in it. I shall personally go and perfume the bridal sedan myself so that this female can enter the threshold!”

The members of the Chou household had long prepared things needed for the ceremony and quickly they were given to Lord Chou who then encircled the bridal sedan thrice. Little did he know of the power of the aroma from the burning cedar and rue leaves that could ward off unclean things. Suddenly by this act all the effects of the Gods of Mourning and Funerals were negated in one shot. The Gods could no longer stand the scent and quickly withdrew. From inside the bridal sedan, when Peach Blossom Girl heard that Lord Chou himself had come to perfume the bridal sedan, she chuckled to herself,

“Such an idiot this Chou Chine is! Not knowing this simple logic of burning cedar and rue aroma to ward off evil!”

By the virtue of this single act, we know that Lord Chou is no match for Peach Blossom. All the traps he had set to harm Peach Blossom Girl literally went up in smoke. Lord Chou knew nothing of what he had done. All this while he had assumed Peach Blossom Girl had some great magic power to thwart the Gods of Malignancy. Chou Chien did not understand the way of nature in that everything has its allies and nemeses. After the perfuming ceremony was performed, Lord Chou walked into the main entrance to put away the clothes iron with the rest of the things and then ordered,

“All bystanders stand aside and let the bride get out of the bridal sedan to enter the main hall. Once again, you all…”

What Lord Chou really meant to say was that despite his uncouth deeds, he wanted to show to the world the great designs he had for Peach Blossom Girl when she entered the main hall - to show how mighty he is over her and to take revenge for breaking his predictions.

Expecting that Peach Blossom Girl would die inside the bridal sedan, word had spread that the master had ordered no one to be allowed to enter the main hall except for the bridal sedan. However the night before, Pang Jiang had been instructed by Peach Blossom Girl to do the following: to take a few steps ahead and past the main doors just before the arrival of the bridal sedan into the main hall, and with his back facing outside and his front looking in, he must take out the willow bow and arrow…

Cocking the arrow and steadying the bow, Pang Jiang chanted in a loud voice:

One bow of willow wood,
An arrow of peach wood,
Shoot to door’s left,
Shoot to door’s right,
Lord of Funerals,
Lord of Mourners,
All be gone nary a trace I should see.

Just as Pang Jiang was about to shoot the arrows right into the door, the Gods of Funerals and Mourning were shaken as they saw their nemeses. The moment the whistling sound of the arrow was heard, the Gods fled in fear on their clouds resuming their proper places. For this reason willow bow and peach arrows are hung whenever inauspicious occasions arise.

Lord Chou had thought that Peach Blossom Girl would not be able to ward off the two Gods of Malignancy and would surely be destroyed by them so he personally came out to peep, using the excuse of carrying the clothes iron to perfume the bridal sedan. No one, not even he himself knew that he had fallen right into the trap of Miss Peach Blossom and had foiled his own plans. Pang Jiang was enjoying himself so much at letting loose the first arrow that he shot the second one with gusto. Who knew that this shaft flew right at Lord Chou! However he was quick of eye and shouted,

“Oh Shit4!”

As Lord Chou quickly cocked his head to one side, the arrow barely missed his ear. Enraged he bellowed,

“Who has such gall to let loose arrows in here!”

Lord Chou covertly looked around and saw Pang Jiang holding a bow in his hands and thundered,

“Pang Jiang! What a good nothing you are! You dare try to assassinate your master with an arrow!”

Pang Jiang turned paled as he heard his master’s roar, and quickly threw down the small bow in reply,

“How can Pang Jiang’s gall be so big? Miss Ren had instructed me to shoot at the sides of the main doors, saying that milord had some kind of death and funeral gods to guard the left and right side of the doors waiting to do her harm. Hence she instructed me to use this bow and arrows to banish the two star lords. I’ve nothing to do with it!”

When Lord Chou heard Pang Jiang’s words he let out a great cry,


Quickly he kneaded his fingers and jumped,

“Oh crap! A day’s toil of blood and sweat gone up in smoke! All my plans in vain! Leave me at once!”

Lord Chou entered the inner hall and thought to himself,

“Even if that female thwarted the two Gods of Mourning and Funeral there are still more numerous vicious Gods of Malignancy gathered in here. See how she can get out of this situation?”

Let us turn to Peach Blossom Girl who now had alighted from the bridal sedan with the matchmaker carrying her. All outer and inner halls were decked in red carpets. Peach Blossom walked easily across the halls in her yellow slippers that had not yet touched earth. As she left the second set of doors and into the inner hall, Pang Jiang took the sieve-like string basket from the bridal sedan. On reaching her, he covered her pretty head completely while chanting,

This stringed basket shall be the heavenly Divine Net.
Great red carpets shall be the magical ropes5 to bind her down.
Straddle the saddle to ride the Day Horse Star,
See the grasses of the mortal world, Heavenly Ram6 now be gone!

With that incantation Peach Blossom Girl had taught him, Pang Jiang recited it like a song. On approaching the doors to the inner hall, Pang Jiang emptied the hay from a square bucket and scattered them all over the place. Peach Blossom Girl hurriedly straddled across the horse saddle7 that was placed at the entrance of the hall. She took out her treasure vase and began scattering the five grains that was contained in it. Really:

For mortals it’s only a show,
But when immortals do it, things are different.

With that Peach Blossom Girl entered the inner hall. Now all the women folk of the Chou household knew that their Lord was using his magic to destroy Miss Peach Blossom from the moment she stepped out of the bridal sedan. Up to now nothing had happened thereby proving that Peach Blossom Girl’s power was greater and that their master’s traps were rendered useless. They also heard matchmaker Chiang praising how beautiful Peach Blossom Girl was – such a kingdom beauty that even fish would sink in shame and high-flying geese would swoop down for a peek8. Who wouldn’t want to take a look at her? The inner hall was fully packed with onlookers and the Ying aura was overwhelming. The lesser Gods of Malignancy were held at bay by the actions of Peach Blossom Girl and now with the overpowering Ying aura surrounding her, they could not do anything as she moved away from their position of attack. More importantly the uncleanliness9 on the women in the hall was too much for them. They were afraid that if tainted with such filth that they might not be able to resume to their proper places and so they quickly left on a cloud.

Lord Chou saw nothing was happening to Peach Blossom as she passed through the three entrances and straight into the inner hall. His anger spewed from his three nether regions and smoke belched out of his seven orifices10. He swore,

“Wretched bitch! Dare to break my traps? Our enmity has become a chasm. No longer can I tolerate the sight of this female11!”

Then he heard the matchmaker exclaim,

“The Ren people are now asking for the groom to come out to kowtow to heaven and earth. What should we do?”

Pressed with such urgency, Lord Chou could not formulate any plan and thought to himself,

“What shall I do?”

After thinking for a while, with no plan still in sight, he had no alternative but to call for his daughter Heavenly Fragrance to act as a proxy groom12 to stall things for a while. With that in mind he called out to the servant girls,

“Go and fetch the Miss!”

At the same time he called the house matron and ordered her to do such and such. Then this matron approached Peach Blossom Girl and said,

“Today is not auspicious say our Lord. The groom will not see the bride. Therefore he ordered me to fetch our Miss as a proxy for the groom to kowtow with you. Please enter the bridal chamber and have a seat.”

When Peach Blossom Girl heard the words, she smiled to herself in glee:

“Today a scapegoat13 there will be. No energy to expend!”

Peach Blossom stood still and gave the precious vase to matchmaker Chiang. From her bosom she secretly took out a greenish copper mirror and hid it in her sleeves. Then she kneaded her fingers and calculated.

Now as Heavenly Fragrance arrived to the scene, loud drum din clamoured to heaven, tugging at her ears. The two beauties bowed to each other in acknowledgement before performing the kowtows to each other. A bevy of servant girls followed them as they tittered into the bridal chamber. Heavenly Fragrance performed the customary lifting of the red bridal veil of the bride by the groom… The sight she saw was as if the fairy from the Pistil Palace14 had arrived or that Chang-O from the Lunar Palace15 had descended. Heavenly Fragrance’s heart melted with admiration and sighed to herself,

“Too bad, too bad! Such a ravishing beauty my father has to destroy today. Such a pity!”

At the same time Peach Blossom Girl gazed upon Heavenly Fragrance’s face and truly a sight it was:

Moth-shaped brows be like the crescent of the moon,
Two eyes, starlight bright like reflection from autumn ripples.
Enhancing her looks are the clasped Eight Treasures hairpins,
Just a glance and you know she’s a beauty full of sweetness.

On this very day Peach Blossom Girl was smitten by the winsome looks of Heavenly Fragrance and said admiringly to herself,

“Such rare beauty found on this earth! Alas tonight she’ll die in my stead!”

As each beauty looked at each other in secret admiration, they shared the same feelings of pity and hate. However both shall not die as this would be explained later in the story but at this moment, Heavenly Fragrance started the conversation,

“Miss Ren, please be seated on the bed.”

What will be Peach Blossom’s answer? Will she be able to escape from the White Tiger God in the bed? Please read the next chapter.


1. 笙, Chinese panpipes were thought to be invented by the Goddess Nuwa who mended the heavens with five colored stones. The two longest pipes are silent and is merely a decoration to represent the tail of the phoenix.


Traditional one made from bamboo

A modern interpretation. 

2. In a sense there are two types of punishment in ancient China. The first is the obvious whereby a living person is punished for his crimes. This is 生處. Then there is the dead who are punished for their crimes. This is 死處 where the corpse is dug up and exposed to the elements. This is usually reserved for capital punishment for rebelling against the ruling dynasty. Not only the entire clan is exterminated (Nine Relations -九族) - If the head count is not enough, then dead ancestors are dug up and are punished as if they were alive. Chinese cringe at the thought of having their bodies disinterred as this would affect their descendants’ Feng Shui while also forcing their spirits to wander on earth forever.

I used ‘If I don’t skin Chou Chien alive’ to express Peach Blossom’s anger directly to the readers without having to obstruct the flow of the story.

For more information see Nine Exterminations at

3. In traditional Chinese funerals, 3 rituals must be performed:

    a. 披麻 - donning coarse hemp over white clothing by family members. If the deceased has no family,
        mourners can be hired professionally for a fee.

    b. 弔客 –'hanging’ guests - when they come to pay respect, mourners and family members or otherwise
         must burst out in bereavement to show their loss.

    c. 喪門 –'doors of death’ is the place where the funeral takes place.

All these rituals are personified into vicious Gods of Malignancy and may have a constellation representing them in Chinese fortunetelling.

4. In the original text, it was “No good!”, the way how Chinese expresses in such a situation. However “Oh shit!” serves better to western readers. Such is the difference between two disparate cultures. I did not retain the original flavour in this case as it did not add any value.

5. 拌腳繩 – feet binding ropes. These are magical ropes to bind people. Similar to those found in mythological stories about wars among immortals that are used to bind them - 捆仙索.

6. In the original text, there was no mention of the ram being divined but was inferred by grasses in the mortal world. Most probably a God of Malignancy dwells in the Ram Constellation.

7. In other dialects such as Cantonese, the bride jumps over a burning brazier instead and crawls between the trousers (legs) of the first wife if she is still alive.

8. The complete couplet is:

閉月羞花之容, A face so resplendent that the moon has to hide and flowers droop in shame,
沉魚落雁之貌 Appearance so exquisite that fish sink and the geese swoop down for a peek.

This couplet describes China’s four greatest beauties changed the fortunes of empires. The beauty that causes the moon to hide behind the clouds refers to Diao Chan (貂嬋) of the last years of the Eastern Han Dynasty. It was said that once her adopted father saw her praying in the garden under a full moon when suddenly a cloud passed by and hid it. He took the opportunity to comment about her beauty - so great that even the moon had to hide in shame.

The one who shamed the flowers refers to the famous imperial concubine, Yang Gui Fei (楊貴妃) of the T’ang Dynasty. It was said that when Emperor Hsuan Tsung (唐玄宗) peeked at his bathing beauty, the peony blossoms were so heavy laden that he remarked that even the flowers drooped in shame before her presence.

So beautiful was Hsi Hsi (西施) that when fishes saw her as she washed her clothes in a river that they forgot how to swim and sank to the bottom. She was used as bait by a defeated king as a tribute to his conqueror with the intention of ruining his kingdom. In the end the scheme worked. It is one of the basic stratagems used in the “Art of War” – the Maiden Trap (美人計).

Geese were seen flying and someone remarked that even the birds swooped down to have a look at the beauty of Wang Chiao Chun (王昭君) as she was enroute as bride to the Shanyu (chief) of the Hiong Nu barbarians. The Han emperor relied on his court painter as a way to see who the palace beauties were. Court ladies vied with each other by bribing the court painter to paint them in a more flattering way. Wang Chiao Chun refused as she could paint a portrait of herself. In anger the court painter dotted a mole on her face. The emperor was informed that such a mole portends an early death to the husband. So when the Hiong Nu Shanyu came demanding a princess to be his bride, Wang was given away in the hope that her mole would cause an early demise of the enemy. Woe was the day to the Court Painter when the Emperor came face to face with Wang as he saw her off.

9. Such is the power of menstrual blood that both good and evil forces are adverse to its presence.

10. In Taoism the 3 nether regions are the pubic regions, about two inches below the navel, where it is believed that the ‘chi’ (氣) or vitality of a person resides. These upper, middle and lower regions are also known as 3 ‘Worms’. The seven orifices of the head - the eyes, ears, nostrils and mouth.

11. The original text is “I cannot stand with her in this life” i.e. to go through life with this person etc.

12. This is a quaint custom of the Chinese whereby having a joyous occasion such as a wedding or some grand celebration can counteract malignant influence especially when a family member is gravely ill. This is known as ‘instigating joy’ (冲喜). In some cases when the groom is very sick or is too young to be married, a chicken is substituted for the groom – ‘chicken wedding’ (雞婚). This happens usually in rich families where an older girl is married to a pre-pubescent boy to be looked after by this wife. When the boy is old enough to be married, this “wife” may be discarded.

13. The actual meaning is that when someone died virulently such as in a drowning, the soul is condemned to wander forever until it can find a substitute to take its place. For example a ruse could be to mimic someone struggling in the river in the hope for a Samaritan to go to its rescue. The victim is then drowned by the ghost or spirit who can then be on its way to reincarnation. However such beliefs are inconsistent with Buddhist doctrines in which every soul is judged and punished in Hades for their former evil deeds before being reincarnated in the Wheel of Transmigration into some insect, animal, or human in varying degrees of social status.

14. Name of some fairy palace.

15. Chang-O (嫦娥) was the beautiful wife of Hou I (后羿) the divine archer who shot down 9 of the 10 suns (in the form of crows) that appeared simultaneously in the sky to prevent the earth from burning up. In gratitude the people made him king. Later at Mt. Kung Lun he met the Queen Mother of the Western Paradise (西王母) who gave him some pills of immortality. There are two versions of what happened next. One version is that he became a tyrant and Chang-O stole the pills to prevent him from becoming an immortal and the other is that Chang-O was curious and stole the pills for herself. Whatever the case is she was discovered and downed the pills. She became lighter and fled away to the moon while Hou I shot arrows at her in one version; or in another version, she was filled with much remorse for her action. She lived in the Great Cold Palace (廣寒宫) in the moon with a rabbit pounding elixir under an osmanthus (桂) tree.

Original Text





今日指望桃花女必死在轎中,即傳言出去,說公爺之命,吩咐上大堂方止步,抬進花轎進門。但是晚彭剪受了桃花女的傳法,看住轎夫抬起了花轎,他便先行幾步,走至大門口,面朝里,背朝外,取出柳弓一把,桃箭一枝,雙手舉起弓箭,搭催扣定,高聲念道:  柳木弓,桃木箭,射了左扇時射右扇,喪門、弔客影無踪,一切凶神不見面。當此彭剪搭上了弓箭,念咒語了,照定門上正中一箭。惟有喪、吊二位凶神最怕這兩樣東西,弓弦一響之時,二神那里站立得住?即忙忙駕上雲端,回歸本位去了。故今後世一逢不吉時年,大門上皆掛著柳弓、桃箭,就是這個緣故了。

當時周公只道桃花女定不能退走兩位凶煞神,桃花女必然訂決,故私自出來在旁偷看,即親自出持熨斗繞轎,亦是藉意而出耳,豈知反在桃花小姐算中!此時彭剪初發一箭,見射的高興了,也再放第二箭,豈料那枝箭便向周公面門飛奔射來,周公眼快,喊聲:“不好!”把頭一閃,剛剛在面旁耳側躲過,心中大怒,喝道:“何人膽大?胡亂在此放箭!”暗抬起頭來,見是彭剪手提著一張小弓兒,便喝道:“好彭剪!敢拿箭來暗射於孤!”彭剪一聞呼喝,吃了一驚,忙把小弓丟下,忙答道:“彭剪怎敢膽大?這是任小姐吩咐,教彭剪射向左右大門,又言公爺勾了什麼喪、吊二客,在大門左右守住,要害死於他,故教我放此弓矢射退二位凶星,他方好下轎進門。我是奉使喚,與彭剪無干。”周公聽了,“哎喲”一聲,連忙掐指一算,跳足連言:“不好了!一旦心血工夫枉用矣!倒敗了孤的事!你且走去罷。”  此時周公進內堂坐下暗想,自道:“喪門、弔客二煞神雖被陰人所破,還有許多惡煞現今聚此,看他又有什麼的破解法來?”