不当养马官

 


Chapter 4: Not Being the Horse Keeper

            The Jade Emperor was sitting on his throne one day when the East Sea Dragon King rushed in. He had come to tell of how Wukong messed up his palace. The Jade Emperor asked: “How could such a devilish monkey have such powers?” The Emperor’s advisors told him: “This was the monkey that was born of earth three hundred years ago, and somewhere he became immortal to gain these abilities.” The Jade Emperor then asked: “Which general would like to capture this devil?”

            The White Golden Star stood out and said: “This monkey has already become immortal and has such abilities; how about you invite him to the sky, and keep him satisfied here? If he comes to trouble again, then wouldn’t it be easier to capture him?” The Jade Emperor thought this strategy was good, so he sent the Star to Flower-Fruit Mountain to invite Wukong Sun onto the sky.

            The White Golden Star went out the South Sky Gate, and riding on a cloud arrived at the Curtain of Water Cavern at Flower-Fruit Mountain. He said to the bunch of small monkeys: “I am sent from the Jade Emperor in the sky to invite your king into the sky. Please go to tell him.” Wukong became excited at hearing the reports, saying: “These days I just wanted to take a stroll in the sky, and now someone has come to invite me! Okay, I accept!” He quickly yelled: “Please quickly come inside!” The White Golden Star came in and said his invitation again. Wukong happily said: “Thanks, I appreciate it!”

            The White Golden Star said: “The Jade Emperor is waiting for you in his palace; please start on your way now.”

            Wukong called to his front the four generals, and told them: “Stay here and take good care of the small monkeys. After I know the paths of the sky, I might as well bring you there too!”

            The Star led Wukong out of the cavern, and riding on a cloud headed for the sky. Wukong’s Flipping Cloud was faster than normal, so as he used it he threw the White Golden Star far behind. Wukong arrived at the South Sky Gate, and as he wanted to enter, he was blocked out by the guards.

            After a little while, the Star arrived. Wukong unhappily said: “Why do you old fellow come to trick me? You said that the Jade Emperor has come to invite me, but why has he called this unruly mass to keep me out?” The White Golden Star smiled and said: “King, don’t be angered. You haven’t ever been to here before, so the soldiers don’t recognize you. Why would they let a stranger to them inside? After the Jade Emperor has seen you and you have position in the sky, these people wouldn’t ever block you out again.”

            The Star led Wukong into the Sky Door and all the way to the Heaven Palace. The White Golden Star kneeled down in front of the Jade Emperor and said: “Emperor, Wukong has come!”

            The Jade Emperor asked: “Which one is Wukong Sun?”

            Wukong didn’t kneel, but only bent his waist a little and said: “I am.”
            The Jade Emperor wrinkled his forehead and asked the other immortals: “What position could we give him?”

            The Star said: “The horses need a keeper to control them.” The Jade Emperor said: “Then let Wukong be the Horse Keeper.”

            Wukong happily went to the Horse Stables. He worked his best day and night, and under his work the horses became full and strong.

            One day, Wukong was drinking wine with some others when he asked: “How high a position is a Horse Keeper?” The others all became silent. Wukong said: “You guys not speaking… does that mean this position is the highest.” The others said: “No, it isn’t big. This position is very, very small; it is the smallest. After all, it only helps the emperor take care of horses.”

            Wukong immediately became angry when he heard this, shouting: “So you guys don’t think I am anything! I was being my happy king at my mountain when I was tricked by you to feed horses! Okay, this is it!” He slammed the table as he took out his staff and fought through the sky stables, charging straight for the South Sky Gate. The guards didn’t dare to block him, so Wukong fought all the way out the door.

            Wukong came back to the Flower-Fruit Mountain and yelled: “Children, I have come back!” When the monkeys welcomed him inside the cavern, the four generals asked: “King, what position did you take?” Wukong shook his hand and said: “Not good to say. The Jade Emperor told me to be a Horse Keeper that helps the emperor keep his horses. In the beginning I didn’t know, but now I know that that position is the smallest; therefore, I just pushed over the table and came back!” The monkeys all variously chanted: “Yes! It was right to come back! How happy it is to come back to our mountain; why should we help him keep horses?”

            As the monkeys were drinking wine and celebrating with Wukong Sun, the Niumo King came. The Niumo King said: “I heard that you became a Horse Keeper for the Jade Emperor. How could you merely keep horses when you have all the skills and abilities that you own? If you want, you should easily be the Command Sky Saint!” Wukong was very happy, so he told a monkey beside him to bring a great flag and to write the words “Command Sky Saint” on top. He stationed the flag right outside the Curtain of Water Cavern, happily watching as the flag waved in the wind.

            The second day, the Jade Emperor heard that the Horse Keeper had fought out of the Sky Palace and had went back to Flower-Fruit Mountain. He sent the Tower King Li to bring Nezha and other gods and immortals to capture Wukong.

            The king sent Juling God as a forward to go to Flower-Fruit Mountain. The god held two giant copper hammers, coming to the Curtain of Water Cavern to call out battle cries. The monkeys guarding the door came inside the cavern to report to Wukong: “King, outside there is a god who says that the Jade Emperor sent him to capture you. He told us to quickly surrender!”

            Wukong quickly put on his armor, and holding his staff rushed out of the cavern. When the Juling God saw him, he shouted: “Devilish monkey, do you recognize me?” Wukong looked at him and merely asked: “Who are you? I have never seen you before, so quickly tell me your name!” The Juling God replied: “I am the Tower King Li’s forward, the Juling God! The emperor sent me to capture you, so quickly surrender! If you say a single ‘no’, I will crush you to the bone!”

            Wukong’s anger steamed up at each word, finally saying: “Don’t brag! I want to kill you with one hit, but I am just afraid that there’s nobody to tell the emperor of your death. Quickly tell the Jade Emperor that I have a lot of abilities. Why did he tell me to be a mere Horse Keeper when I could be the Command Sky Saint? Look at my flag; if you let me be what I want, we will go in peace. But if not, I will fight all the way to the Heaven Palace!” The Juling God only coldly laughed at his words, yelling: “Devil Monkey, first get a hammer down!” Wukong raised his staff in return. After just two rounds of battle, Wukong smashed his staff down, and the god’s hammer split into two. The Juling God, seeing that he had no weapon left, turned around in escape. Wukong laughed and said: “This time I will let you go; quickly go back to tell them of your fail!”

            After the Juling God was beaten up, the Tower King Li got raged. Nezha, who was standing by the side, said: “Father, please let me go battle him!”

            Soon, Nezha arrived at the cavern. Wukong came up and said: “Which father do you little kid belong to? Why are you coming to my cavern?” Nezha yelled: “I am the third son of the Tower King Li, Nezha! Today I have come to capture you!” Wukong laughed and said: “How do you come to brag at such a young age? I won’t spank you; quickly tell the Jade Emperor to let me be my Command Sky Saint! If not, I will surely go to the Heaven Palace!” Nezha lifted his head and saw a giant flag waving in the wind with the words “Command Sky Saint” inscribed on it. Nezha said: “You are a devil monkey; how much skill do you have, requesting to be a saint? Don’t go, first get a slash from me!” Wukong laughed again, saying: “I will stand here and not move so that you could slash me a few more times.” Nezha was enraged, shouting “Transform!” and turning into a three headed and six shouldered person. He held his cutting sword and fiery wheels, charging towards Wukong.

            Wukong saw this and thought: “This kid actually has some skill!” He yelled “transform” too, and he immediately became three headed and six shouldered. He waved his staff, which also turned into three. Wukong, waving three staffs in six hands, started battling with Nezha. Nezha transformed his sword into thousands of millions. Wukong also turned his staff into millions of thousands. The two fought for more than thirty rounds without a single sign of victory or defeat. Wukong came up with an idea, pulling off a hair and shouting “turn”. The hair turned into his form and fought with Nezha while his real self simply jumped behind Nezha and smacked at his right arm. Nezha didn’t have enough time to avoid this hit, so he could only go back in pain.

            Nezha came back to his father and said: “Father, that monkey really has some skill. I couldn’t win him, and instead got hurt in the elbow.” Now the king started getting frightened, saying: “How does he have this much skill? How could be beat him? How about this, we will have the Jade Emperor give us more forces to capture this monkey.” Nezha could only go with his father because of his injury.

            The Tower King Li and Nezha arrived at the Heaven Palace and told the Jade Emperor of how Wukong had wrecked the sky soldiers and of how Wukong wanted to be the Command Sky Saint, and how he would vanquish the skies if his wish was not granted. The Jade Emperor raged at hearing this, saying: “Quickly send some more troops! I must capture this devilish monkey!”

            At this time, the White Golden Star stood up and said: “If the rock monkey really is so powerful, the amount of sky soldiers that we send would matter no more. As I say… we should give him a fake name.”  The Jade Emperor asked: “How could we give him a fake name?” The star replied: “His name is the Command Sky Saint, but he is not in charge of anything. Just keep him in the sky, and everything would be fine.” The Jade Emperor thought that this was not a bad idea, so he sent the White Golden Star to persuade Wukong.

            The star came out of the Sky Door and arrived at Flower-Fruit Mountain. He saw numerous monkeys all practicing war techniques with their weapons. The Golden Star said to one of the monkeys: “Tell your Wukong that I am the White Golden Star sent from the Jade Emperor, and I have come to invite him.” The little monkeys quickly went inside to report. When Wukong heard this, his said suspiciously: “This old person might have come just to trick me again. I wonder what his evil plan is this time. Let him in.”

            The star entered the cavern, and invited Wukong to be the Command Sky Saint. Wukong happily agreed, complimenting thanks, but also saying: “But what if the Jade Emperor is tricking me again?” The star said: “No, no! This time it is for real. If this is fake, just find me.”

            Wukong became very happy at hearing this, so he went with the White Golden Star to the South Sky Gate. This time, the sky guards that were guarding the door met Wukong with smiling faces.

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