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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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.

NOTES:

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 http://baike.baidu.com/view/161731.htm

Original Text

桃花女陰陽鬥傳/第十五回

桃花三解天罡法
周乾再布壓魔謀

詩曰:

陰陽反覆不尋常,
相觸日月色無光。
黎首瞻仰盡徬徨,
大哉上帝離雲鄉。
手扶日月上天堂,
安然偶立在帝旁。
果杲皎皎塵華裳,


卻說周公用黑犬鎮壓法,要製治死桃花小姐,彭剪又問其解救之法,桃花女言:“他乃魔治之法,縱使大羅天仙也難脫解,必要三魂出竅,七魄飛空,是決死無救的。但彭哥哥可念昨天小妹救你之情,今日搭救小妹則個。”當下,彭剪急的頓足道:“我若有法術救得你,不用對你說,我就早早破他的法,救了恩妹!”桃花女道:“不是要你破他的法,不過要你依我的言語,我就有救了。”彭剪聞言,大喜道:“你教我的事,那敢不在心?你看昨天囑託的事,件件都不誤。你可快快說來,好去取……”桃花女道:“你聽周公之言,到我家把桃樹砍了。那桃樹是我的本命,今被你砍了,就如塞斷水源一般,縱有飛騰變化,也不中用。明日未刻,就是小妹的死期!”彭剪聞言,嘆道:“如此怎好?只恨我一個愚人,不通玄術,不然他叫我,死也不去!”桃花女道:“今且不必悔怨,明日未時,是一定的死。我想得一個解法:我若死之後,周公必要即時將我入殮,待他抬起我入棺時。切不可等我下去才動手,只等他教人一兜起時,可拿木杖三根,將大門掩上,朝著門閂上連敲三下,高叫一聲:'桃花女',卻用右足將大門踢開,我是自有妙法活轉來。千萬不可誤事!”彭剪道:“這時候早也作不得,遲也亦作不得,必須要看緊一兜起才做得。你想想,此去大門有多少遠?倒怕我未曾跑到大門,你已入殮多時了,如何使得?”桃花女道:“兄長,你說的是。小妹忙中未曾細說你知之。你但看交申時,你便可先出去大門等候,若聞一陣香風過時,就是兜起我的時候了,你便即要急急可照我言行事!”彭剪點頭道:“如此只要算得準,又有何難?恐防沒有這陣香風,就不要怪我呀!”桃花女道:“是必然有的。”彭剪聽了,心中尚覺半疑半信,又言:“若果有香風為信,你且放了心,交擔在我身上!”說罷,急忙忙告別而出。

桃花女獨在房中打點他死后防身的法寶,一件件都裝在錦囊中里面,帶在貼身的衣裳上。剛剛收拾方完,這天香小姐倒早妝已畢,來至房中。二人見了禮坐下,彼此相談。桃花女半字不提他父暗害之心,似閒常一般的耍耍笑笑,一直至晚。天香小姐陪著桃花女用過晚飯,方才辭回自己房安臥。

惟有桃花女這一夜何曾合眼?坐在牙床上合著眼養神。養神到了次早起來,梳洗已畢,便也不戴釵環珠翠,只挽個道裝,穿了一件水綠色的道衫兒,歡歡喜喜的,不露一些聲色。

當日周公仍是放心不下,又暗暗差人來打聽,回去報知都說他色相並無憂容之態,又無動作。周公聽了,大喜道:“此番克去了他的本命星,他自然昏暗矣!”俟到了晌午,忙進後園,寫了催煞符,步起鬥來,念念有詞,把靈符剛化了。只說桃花女同天香小姐在閨房中正是話得投機,忽然大叫一聲,已撲倒在地。當日天香小姐與眾丫環不知其故,一齊大驚。忙上前扶起。只見他氣息全無,身軟如綿,已見不活了。正是:  

三寸氣在千般用,
一旦無常萬事休!

有天香小姐一見,吃驚得手足無措,便大哭起來道:“姐姐!你好端端的為何一刻無故身亡?可憐你青春年少,月貌花容,今忽長逝,怎不教人痛心?”便撫著屍的哀哀痛切了。眾丫環們都哭將起來,只哭得天崩地裂的喧嘩。彭剪忙忙趕進房外,亦大驚道:“果也好利害的法術也!剛剛是未時,一些絲毫不錯!”忙忙中一看,只見桃花女身臥地上,面色仍如生前一般,只是緊咬嘴唇,由不得大哭起來。猛然想起,暗自言曰:“我在此哭什麼?快些出大門等候著,救他的性命為要,才是正事。”忙抹去目中珠淚,飛奔出大門等候了。

早有人報知周公。周公聞報大悅,便親自踱進房來。只見桃花女果然身死了,便冷笑言:“陰人!你今還能逃脫得過孤手否乎?”天香小姐含淚曰:“爹爹,這任桃花雖然得罪爹爹,罪應該死,還念著他救了孩兒之恩,且容恕他一二,放寬大量,救活他才是!”周公笑道:“你小小年紀如何知道?此乃天數已定,誰人救得他轉?”隨即吩咐家人道:“任桃花死在未時三刻,殃煞太重,不宜久停。速速去辦他的後事,走馬入殮!俟入殮之後,再去任家報信,另行擇日出殯。可停在大堂偏右之所,那間小房子內。婦女們不許舉哀!”又吩咐看門的人把門關上,以防任家使女回家去報信。豈料先關了大門,倒來彭剪一番舉動。不多時,入殮一應物件俱已辦備,現放在外堂。周公不許別人與桃花女另換衣服,即派四個使女前去抬任桃花的屍首入殮。四個使女領命,前去抬他屍首。不想四人用力,好似蜻蜓撼石柱一般,慢道抬起,動也動不得分毫。眾人一齊詫異道:“小小身材如何有此沉重?”周公見了,又添上四個去抬,也抬不起。周公大怒言:“陰人生前作怪,死後還能成精?你們與孤一齊抬!”慢說多四人,再添些也無用。正扛抬得眾使女們個個氣喘喘,抬得遍體生汗,皆言“抬不動”,周公便喝退使女們,另召了四十個身強力壯的家丁進內,來抬桃花女的屍骸。當下家丁個個踱進來,即去頭左右,也有扛腳兩邊,也有中央橫側,左右幫抽,七手八腳,亂個不住,叫聲:“好奇怪也!好似生成在地下一般,休想搖動他一搖!”把個周公氣怒,暴躁如雷,忙取了天罡劍來,照定桃花女膊肩上一揮砍下,一聲並出火星響亮,反把周公的虎口震麻了,兩手生痛,叫聲:“好結實的屍首也!”一連照頭面砍去幾劍,連衣上的痕跡也沒有一破。各家丁,婦女們一齊驚異,皆言:“此女是個有道法的人,自是修成不壞身體!”

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。

周公一想道:“你們且把柴搬出,且慢慢燒,其中必有緣故。且算一算,看這一陰人作弄什麼法術?”忙掐指一算,歎曰:“原是孤失算!此是他用了重身法護他的屍骸,恐怕死後被人損傷。今且請來六丁,用神祗來,看你陰人怎又脫得過?”即使了天罡劍,摘去了金冠,披髮,口中念念有詞。早已驚動了萬位神祗,降在周公府裡,白日不見顯出金身。這周公忽聞得一陣香風,便知是神聖到了,即喝去眾人、使女等,又吩咐言:“這回只須用四個人去,就可以扛抬得起了!”說時遲,來時快,彭剪在大門上等得久了,心裡發急,好不憂疑之際,一刻聞得一陣香風,扎鼻吹來,心中大喜道:“是此時候了!”忙用三根木杖望大門連打三下,高叫一聲:“桃花女!”

未知果然破得周公之法如何,且看下回分解。

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