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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…

“Aiyah”

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,

“Really?”

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

NOTES:

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

http://blog.pacificdelighttours.com/pacificdelighttoursblog/bid/27090/Giving-Face-China-s-greatest-cultural-mystery
http://www.chinaholidays.com/guide/chinese-culture/common-etiquette.html
http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/2498-face-what-is-it/

4. The seven stars representing the Big Dipper.

5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wudang_Mountains

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

困名疆陰陽鬥智
識本來二聖還原

當時彭剪一聞香風一陣,即依桃花女吩咐之法,用三根木杖向大門連打三下,高叫一聲“桃花女!”忙把右腳一起,踢了一下,“嘩”把大門一開。內邊把桃花女的屍骸,剛剛被人抬起,出了房門。周公心中甚是喜歡,跟在後面催著:“快些抬去好入殮!”只因桃花女的靈魂被凶煞守住,不能入竅,今彭剪一敲大門,早驚了凶煞一退,桃花女的魂魄已得撲入屍骸,精神歸了本位。一個翻身看著地下站起。六丁六甲神祗見仙子回陽,一陣亮光,早已回天復位而去。

只有眾家丁、使女見桃花小姐登時起身,唬得大驚小怪,一齊東跑西奔,道:“不好了!”亂成一塊。桃花女一睜杏眼,見周公就在那廂,心中著惱,道:“周乾!我與你並無殺父深仇,何忍下此毒手,是必要治死我?今日又如何奈我的?”周公聞言,又羞又惱,便挺手中天罡劍,來取桃花女。

這桃花女忙念勾煞反制的神咒,退後一步,兩袖高揚,向周公一摔,長笑一聲,凶煞便反撲周公,是出其不意,他縱有法力,也來不及,當此“哎喲”一聲,天罡劍拋在地下,咕咚一交,倒跌在地下,法名回煞。周公不知袖裡的變化,被這回煞一沖,反傷了自己的性命。正是:  

惹火自燒身,
害人先害己。
可嘆世上人,
多不想此理。

周公一刻撲倒於地,面紫唇青,口中已無一息之氣了。合家眾人無不著忙,婦女大小放聲悲切,皆言:“公爺必被任桃花用邪法所傷,休要放走了!拿他到聞太師府中去!”  

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!”

桃花女一來被眾人哀求不過,二來要顯他手段,他便微笑道:“你們今不拿我麼?且看彭哥哥金臉,我勉作也!”眾人一齊叩頭道:“請問小姐如何解救?”桃花女冷笑:“你去照方才的法作來,只叫一聲:'戒刀!'他就活轉來了。”彭剪道:“為何不叫主人名字,叫起'戒刀'來?”桃花女道:“此乃天機,你如何知道?你快去罷!你主活轉來,方見我手段。”彭剪聞言不再問,依言關上大門,照前一樣的作法,叫了一聲“戒刀!”那周公的神魂醒悟,也向他的屍首來,一翻身坐在地上。看見了桃花女,正是仇人分外眼紅,忙起身來,搶了天罡劍,便大喝一聲:“陰人休走!你敢用回煞法傷於孤麼?今若不誅你,誓不為人!”挺手中劍直取。有桃花女即向錦囊中取出瞭如意桃枝一把,玉手把寶劍架過,喝曰:“你周乾不思報活命之恩,敢恃強傷我?”周公又是一劍過來。桃花閃開把手中桃枝火速相迎,一陰一陽在大廳上動手。

彭剪見了,直叫聲:“不好!”手中又無兵器,如何上前解勸?便奔報與天香小姐知道,把個天香小姐唬昏了,又忙飛跑到任家去報信去了。

單說周公與桃花女從大門鬥到天井,見地方偏小,不能施展法力,便一齊駕上雲,起在半空中,你來我往的相鬥。

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。

且說周公、桃花女二人越鬥越有精神,各施本領,弄得風吼雷鳴,早驚動了巡天御史,見他兩個鬥得很兇,已近北天門,忙去報與北方真武玄天上帝。帝用慧眼一看,己知其來脈。他即差龜、蛇二將前去,帶他兩個來見神。

龜、蛇二將領了法旨。各向雲中把他二人攔住,大喝曰:“你們不必爭鬥!吾聞上帝敕令,召你們去謁金闕!如不遵旨,吾神便打你下雲去!”兩個聽得上帝有旨來召,他們只得收了兵器,同龜,蛇二將來參謁上聖,倒身下跪。叩首畢,上帝便下玉旨曰:“你兩個俱有根基道行,何故自相殘害?周乾,你乃如意戒刀所化,在兜率官為看卦童子,不守清規,私自下凡,洩漏天機,反累了桃花女下凡。任桃花乃如意刀鞘也。你兩個本性相同,不得另生他意!今乃汝等肉體飛空之期,每個賜金丹一粒。”命他們吞了,又言:“你今服了此丹,如先生異志者,此丹在腹內不消三刻,總是金剛不壞之體,也要化成膿血!”

說畢,一展七星旂將二人捲起,帶至武當山中為將周桃二位元帥。把神光一迫,二位大帥各奔一邊,左右手站立。上帝又用七星寶旂連展七展,望二位元帥一口先天正氣吹去,二位元帥就收了神光,一齊肉體歸位。

是晚,武當山的葉道士得了一夢:夢見二位元帥託他寄家書。及醒來上大殿一看,只見天將內又多二神元帥,神光迫人,金光燦燦。心中大驚,見各人足下俱有書一部,上件件寫明。忙取了來,不敢開看。隨即朝參了上帝與二位元帥金身,星夜下山,趕奔至朝歌城來。尋到週府,把書遞與門上的人,並言夢見二位元帥的話,說了一遍。門上的人連忙入報與彭剪得知。彭剪接了來書,又少不免餐膳款待了道士。又與道士親自同去,報知任太公夫妻及天香小姐說了。各人俱拆開看明,上邊不過說知須要兩姓合好的話,安慰之言。各各大悅,又言他二人為神去矣,仍有此靈異不泯。

斯時便一同葉道士來至武當山進香,先謁叩上帝,後拜二位大帥。但細看二帥金容,與生時面貌無二。眾人參拜了,又交出黃金百兩與道士,以為奉祀二位元帥香油費用。然後回去,遠近傳揚,人人稱異。當日又傳揚至朝廷,文武百官無一個不來瞻仰,奉祀之誠,求應如響。後人看到此處,有詩為證。詩曰:

其一:

為人作事有天知,
莫道前因有所欺。
善惡到來終有報,
舉頭三尺是神祗。

其二:  

萬事安排總在天,
機關時盡枉圖然。
人心不足蛇吞象,
存意當如學聖賢。
無藥可醫惟枉想,
有錢難買是神仙。
刻薄世情今古嘆,
憑他作惡我心堅。

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