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三打白骨精



Chapter 14: Thrice Hitting the Bone Devil

            Tangseng and his disciples said farewell to the Zhenyuan God and went forward for a few months, soon arriving at a tall mountain. They walked along the mountain trails, and after a while, Tangseng said while riding his horse: “Wukong, I feel hungry. Go find some food for us.”

            Wukong jumped onto the clouds, and looked in all directions. He saw that on the way west there was no human settlements. Wukong pressed down his clouds and said to Tangseng: “There are no families that we could get food from here. But on the south side of the mountain there is a patch of red dots that look like ripe peaches. I will go get some for you.” Tangseng said: “Okay, quickly go and quickly come back!” When Wukong was about to leave, he used his staff to draw a circle on the ground, and he said to Tangseng: “Master, this mountain’s air smells of devils. Sit here to rest and don’t go out. I will pick some peaches.” As he finished, he rode on a cloud to the south side of the mountain.

            Then, as Wukong had predicted, the mountain really had a devil on it. She peered through the clouds and saw Tangseng sitting on the ground. She happily said: “My luck isn’t bad! I had heard of a Tangseng seeking scriptures in the west. I also know that if I eat a piece of his flesh, I will be immortal! Now he has come!” The monster transformed into a gust of clear smoke, coming down from the clouds to capture Tangseng. But there was a golden ring protecting Tangseng, so no matter what the devil tried, she couldn’t get close to Tangseng.

            The devil thought for a moment, and transformed into a beautiful girl. Her left hand carried a basket, and her right hand bore a water jug, and she walked towards the place Tangseng was resting. Bajie saw her coming, and said to Tangseng and Shaseng: “Look, there is a girl. You guys rest here; I will go and see.”

            Bajie put down his palladium and attempted to perfect his clothing. Then, he waddled toward the girl, asking: “Female Buddha, where are you going? What is in your hand?” The devil replied: “Elder, this basket is full of rice, and the jug is full of water. I have come to deliver food to you.”

            Bajie grew very happy and came back to Tangseng, saying: “Master, someone has come to give us food!” Tangseng didn’t believe him and said: “Don’t lie. We have travelled for this long, and still haven’t met a single human. Who would come to give us food?” Bajie pointed to the arriving girl and said: “Master, it is this women.”

            When Tangseng saw her, he stood up. The devil walked closer and said: “Elder, my husband lives at the north side of the mountain. This is my lunch that I originally planned for him. But since I met you, and my parents were all believers of Buddha, I decided to give this to you.” Tangseng said: “Thank you, thanks a lot! I have a disciple picking peaches whom will be back shortly. I don’t need to eat your food. You could give it to your husband.”

            At this time, Wukong came back. He rolled his Red Golden Eyes, and immediately recognized the beautiful maiden as the devil. He frantically raised his staff in an attempt to strike the girl. Tangseng frantically pulled back Wukong. Wukong yelled: “Master! This girl is a devil who has come to trick you! If I had come back just a little later, you would have already been mystified!” As he finished, he aimed and precisely hit the devil.

            When the devil saw Wukong’s staff coming for her head, she transformed into a gust of clear smoke to escape, but left behind a the fake body of a dead maiden. Tangseng was angry at Wukong “killing” people, and scolded: “You are really disrespectful! How come you go around killing innocent people?” As he finished, he started reciting the Tighten Hoop Incantation. Wukong, twisting in pain on the ground, screamed: “Master, stop reciting it!” Tangseng said: “Okay, I will stop. Go back to your mountain; I don’t want you anymore.”

            Wukong kneeled down in front of Tangseng and said: “Master, if I went away, who would protect you to the west? Please leave me; I won’t kill any more.” Tangseng said: “Okay, get up. I will forgive you this time. But if you kill any more, I will recite the incantation twenty times.”

            The devil came to a slope, and transformed into an old lady with a stick, walking towards them, crying with each step. Bajie said to Tangseng: “This is getting bad. The old mother has come to find her daughter!” Wukong said: “Don’t lie. The maiden was twenty or so, but this women is around eighty. How could she be the mom? I will go and see.” Wukong immediately recognized it as the devil when he closed up. He hit wordlessly. The devil again transformed into smoke, but left a fake corpse.

            Tangseng saw that Wukong had again killed a person, and he angrily recited the incantation twenty times. Wukong’s pain reached bursting levels, as he yelled: “Don’t ever recite it again! Please stop!” Tangseng said: “You killed a person and yet another. You agreed to not kill, but then killed an innocent old women!” Wukong said: “She is a devil!” Tangseng said: “Big lies! How are there so many devils? She is clearly a person. I won’t keep you; go away.” Wukong said: “You want me away? Okay, but I need you to do something.” Tangseng asked: “You still want what thing?” Wukong said: “Please recite the incantation that will take off this hoop, so that I could give it back to you and be happy.”

            Tangseng said: “Wukong, Guanyin only taught me the tightening incantation, and didn’t teach me the anti-spell.” Wukong said: “If there isn’t the loosening incantation, then I will go with you.” Tangseng could only bring Wukong with him, saying: “I will forgive you once again, but you really can’t kill any more innocent people.” Wukong quickly got up and helped Tangseng onto his horse so they could progress forward.

            The devil again avoided Wukong’s staff, and this time jumped into the air and thought: “This monkey king is really powerful! No matter what I transform into, he could always recognize me. No, I still must think of a plan to capture Tangseng; I couldn’t let him escape from me!”

            The devil came up with a plan, descended onto the mountain and turned into an old man who was reciting Buddhism classics. Tangseng became very happy when he saw this old man, happily saying: “Look at that old man! He recites Buddhism even while walking!” Bajie said: “Master, don’t be happy too early. Wukong killed his daughter, and then came to kill his wife; he has come to get lives back.” Wukong said: “Fool, don’t talk nonsense. I will go and find out.”

            Wukong went up and asked the devil: “Old man, where are you going?” The devil thought that Wukong hadn’t recognized her, so she said: “Elder, my daughter went this morning to deliver food, but hasn’t come back yet. My wife went to look for her, but never returned. I felt very anxious, so I came out to look for them.” Wukong said: “You old thing, coming to trick me again?” The devil knew she had been recognized by Wukong. Her face whitened in fear, and for a long time she couldn’t speak.

            Wukong raised his staff, and tried to hit the devil. The devil was prepared, immediately turning into smoke and leaving a corpse. Tangseng, seeing that Wukong had again killed, was so scared that for a long time was speechless. Bajie, standing at the side, said: “Oh Wukong, you really are crazy! Killing people three at a time!” Tangseng started reciting the Tighten Hoop Incantation at hearing Bajie add on. Wukong frantically ran to his front, screaming: “Stop! Don’t recite it! Quickly come over to see what “food” the devil is delivering!” Tangseng looked down, and saw a few toads jumping out of the basket the maiden was carrying. Shaseng flipped the basket over, and a few stones rolled out. Wukong said: “If that young girl was a true person, why would she feed you toads and rocks?”

            Tangseng half believed Wukong after hearing this. Bajie said: “Master, don’t believe him. He killed people, and because of fear of your incantation, turned food into toads and rocks to trick you!” Tangseng thought this was true, so he again started the incantation. The pain was hard on Wukong, as he kneeled on the road screaming: “Master, don’t do it! Stop!” Tangseng said: “Dead monkey, this time I will not forgive you anymore; leave!”

            Wukong said: “Master, you wrongly blamed me. Clearly the devil wanted to harm you, and it was me who killed her. But you listen to that fool talk of nonsense, and now you don’t even separate good and bad! Okay, I will leave. But I still have a golden hoop on my head.” Tangseng said: “I won’t recite the incantation anymore.” Wukong said: “This is hard to say. If you met a powerful devil or monster, and Bajie and Shaseng both couldn’t win over him, and then you think of me, you would recite it. Even if you’re one hundred and eight thousand miles away, my head will still hurt.”

            Tangseng, hearing Wukong, told Shaseng to get out a brush and paper. He wrote a small line of words, handing it over to Wukong and saying: “Monkey, take these words, and from now on I will not recite the incantation or accept you.”

            Wukong tucked the strip of paper into his clothes and said to Tangseng: “Master, today I can’t stay with you anymore. Please sit down and I will show you the last of my respect.”

            Tangseng turned around, not paying attention to Wukong. Wukong jumped into front of Tangseng, but Tangseng simply turned around. Wukong, seeing this, plucked three hairs off himself, and said “transform!” They turned into three Wukong, and along with the original, surrounded Tangseng. Then they all kneeled down in rescpect. Tangseng couldn’t avoid this, so he could only take it.

            After Wukong finished, he jumped up, took back his hair, and said to Shaseng: “Brother, you are a good person. On this way, you must be very careful. If a devil caught master, just say I am his eldest disciple. The monsters all know of my abilities, so they won’t harm master.”

            Tangseng said: “Use good monks don’t mention the names of the evil. Quickly shoo!” Wukong, seeing that Tangseng had no regret, held back his tears and said farewell.

            Wukong flipped back all the way to Flower-Fruit Mountain. When he got there, he again raised the great saint flag, and started happily living as the Monkey King.

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