|Transcription Number:||Mo 1|
|Transcription Pages:||199 pp.|
|Recording:||In 1980, Nima recorded a portion of the entire text from the recitation of the bard Balǰinima of Aru Qorčin .|
|Transcription Note:||In November 1992, Nima wrote down the text.|
|Further Information:||In the foreword, Nima writes that there are two tales entitled Ögedei mergen qaγan-u üliger and Qubilai sečen qaγan-u üliger, “The Story of the Sage Emperor Qubilai”, set in the Yuan dynasty. They were only known to the bard Buyannemekü of Aru Qorčin. He handed them down orally to Balǰinima. Nima also explains why he was unable to record the entire text.|
|Language Archive Cologne:||hdl:11341/0000-0000-0000-2720|
Pages 1-22: Before the bard Balǰinima begins to narrate the tale, he intones a song while fragrant smoke from burning juniper and sandalwood is floating in the air. The bard tells us that he is going to narrate the story of the second emperor of the Mongol Yuan dynasty, blending history with artistry. The story is also known as Qubilɣan odon šastir “The Story of the Incarnated Stars”, dealing with the reign of Emperor Ögedei, who is presented as the second emperor of the Yuan dynasty (song: p. 1-2). Then the bard turns to rhythmic recitative and narrates that after the rise to power of the Yuan dynasty all rebellions are put down and a time of peace begins. The bard also mentions Činggis Khan as the one who has submitted the people of the five colours and the four vassals and as the founder the Yuan dynasty, in accordance with the decree of Heaven. Ögedei is Činggis Khan’s third son, and at the age of forty-two he succeeds his father on the throne, resulting in the dynasty thriving. From his youth Ögedei has shown a keen interest in learning and is also versed in military science. Ögedei is a ruler with insight and vision. Scholars respect him and the common people revere him. Ögedei Khan’s title is Taizong, and the capital of the Yuan empire is Daidu. Ögedei has brought peace and tranquillity to the entire realm. After describing Ögedei’s virtues and achievements, the bard relates in song how Ögedei of the Kiyad people and the Borǰigin clan founds the Yuan dynasty and pacifies all the places inside and outside the empire, also adding that the events of the story he is going to narrate begin in the seventh year of the reign of Emperor Ögedei (song: p. 4).
That year Emperor Ögedei spends the winter in Daidu, and at the beginning of the first lunar month he convenes a great assembly at court. At the emperor’s command, the civil and military officials gather before the golden imperial palace. A song tells how Emperor Ögedei , the son of the Holy Činggis Khan , who possesses the decree of Heaven, convenes a great assembly at court, and how officials come to discuss affairs of state with the Emperor. It also describes how Ögedei prepares to hold court. He dons a robe interwoven with nine dragons and buttons the collar, revealing a cloud design below his chin. On his head he puts a golden dragon hat, glittering with big and small precious pearls, and wears nine-dragon boots. Then Ögedei sits down in a palanquin and is taken to the palace where the assembly is to be held, while a parasol bearing the images of the sun and moon radiates flashes of light, and a golden dragon banner flutters at the back. Officials from faraway ride fast to court, while the court officials go in palanquins (song: pp. 5-9). When all the civil and military officials have assembled, the fragrance of burning juniper and sandalwood pervades the golden palace and penetrates into their robes. Then a court eunuch requests that the assembled officials should report the affairs of state to the throne, according to Emperor Ögedei ’s command. At this moment, a high-ranking dignitary comes forward from the ranks of the civil officials. A song describes the high-ranking dignitary as being a pillar of the empire, whose talents and knowledge are known throughout the world. He comes before the Emperor and pays his respects to him (song: p. 12). He is Prime Minister Yelu Chucai who held the same office in the time of Činggis Khan. Yelu Chucai reports four affairs of state to Ögedei. The first one is about a flood which has caused calamity to people in Luzhou in Shanxi province. The second one is about a drought which occurred in the spring of the previous year in Chengzhou in Shandong province. The third one involves the information about a strange light of five colours which people saw shining from Jinquan Mountain, or the Golden Spring, in Yanzhou, in Shandong province. The fourth one is about the Daoist Master of the Mengquan Monastery, in Shandong province, who is inviting Emperor Ögedei to visit the monastery. The Daoist Master is an incarnation of the Daoist Master Changchun, who once met with Činggis Khan. When Yelu Chucai has spoken, Ögedei indicates what measures they will take to bring aid to the people affected by flood or drought. He also tells them that he will find an opportunity to visit the monastery. When Ögedei asks Yelu Chucai what omen the light of five colours portends, Yelu Chucai says that he will not dare to explain an omen which involves a secret land associated with Heaven. He suggests sending an official to investigate the site and to discover the source of the light.
There is a high-ranking civil official of the office of ancient documents, named Hua Dingyun. He is a native of Ling’an (or Lin’an?) in Shandong, and has a thorough understanding of poetry. Since Hua Dingyun has given his second daughter to Emperor Ögedei as a concubine, he has come to the capital, built a great palace there and gathered numerous civil and military officials around him. A song describes Hua Dingyun coming forward from the ranks of the civil officials and paying his respects to Emperor Ögedei. Then it depicts Hua Dingyun as a man who harbours all sorts of evil designs in his mind, and whose heart is full of animosity. He is there to observe which way the wind is blowing so as to seize the moment to rebel against the Yuan dynasty (song: pp. 17-18). Hua Dingyun tells Emperor Ögedei that although he is not talented he has been examined ancient documents since his youth, and that he is willing to go to Shandong to investigate the source of the five colours of light. At this moment, Yelu Chucai makes a divination on his fingers inside the sleeve of his robe, and as a result he concludes that on the one hand it is good to send Hua Dingyun to Shandong to discover the source of the light. On the other hand, it is bad because Hua Dingyun has something else in mind, and inspecting the origin of the light is not his major purpose. Yelu Chucai remains silent about the matter, and Ögedei sends Hua Dingyun to Jinquan Mountain in Shandong. After the assembly has dispersed, Hua Dingyun goes back to his official residence and invites his son-in-law and Wang Song and other people with whom he has made common cause to a banquet. A song reflects on these events, saying that while the empire is at peace Hua Dingyun is waiting for an opportunity to stir up a rebellion against the Yuan dynasty. Hua Dingyun is an official who will not bend his knee to the Mongols and is plotting to move an army to the capital from Shandong together with valiant warriors (song: p. 20). At the banquet, Hua Dingyun tells his close friends that his son is an army commander in Ling’an, and that he has sent him secret letters, urging him to move from the capital. He also adds that his son has gathered mighty warriors from Shandong, making them become a force in Ling’an. Now, he says, he is going to Shandong to investigate the matter and consult with his son, and whether or not he will come back depends upon the circumstances. He also tells his friends to stay in the capital secretly, and when information is transmitted to them, each of them should work out a plan. After this, Hua Dingyun selects an auspicious day for the journey, collects his valuables, takes his younger daughter with him, and heads towards Jinquan Mountain, in Shandong.
Pages 22-53: Now the events of the story begin in Yanzhou on the distant frontier of the empire. A song relates that the section of the story goes on to narrate that in the past Yanzhou was a province, and it remained a province under Emperor Ögedei. There is in Yanzhou a wise high official named Su Huiding, who has suppressed rebellions, and was a high official under the former Jin dynasty. Recognising the changing decree of Heaven, Su Huiding has submitted to the Yuan dynasty. He is still strong even at an advanced age and can stretch a bow with the force of ten. Su Huiding is an upright official who never acts in his own interests (song: pp. 22-24). Previously, Su Huiding held the title of Lord of Jin, which he preserved after he submitted to the Yuan dynasty. In Yanzhou, Su Huiding has jurisdiction over military and government affairs, and at the age of sixty-two, as his physical energy weakens, he decides to go to Emperor Ögedei to inform him of his resignation from his office and to ask the Emperor to send a young official to take over. At the beginning of the second lunar month of the seventh year of the reign of Emperor Ögedei, Su Huiding sets out for the capital, escorted by six soldiers. These events are recalled in song (p. 26). Another song relates how the aged Su Huiding mounts his horse and sets out on a long journey, heading for Daidu, the capital of the empire, and how he travers the southern border of his native Shandong (song: pp. 26-27). As Su Huiding and the six soldiers are heading west, a high mountain blocks their way. This is Jinquan Mountain. The seven of them put up at an inn, where they hear people say that from the beginning of the first lunar month a strange light of five colours can be seen shining on Jinquan Mountain. Su Huiding does not attach much importance to people’s gossip, and he and his six soldiers resume their journey. On approaching Jinquan Mountain , all of them look at the mountain and the splendid scenery touches their hearts. A song describes a remote mountain rugged and majestic, with lofty peaks joining up with the clouds, with glaciers inhabited by deities, and mist hanging over the foot of the mountain (song: p. 28). When Su Huiding and his six soldiers reach the middle of the mountain, night falls and they sleep in the open. The next morning, they go around the mountain to enjoy the scenery. When they come up to the mountain pass one of the soldiers points towards a light of five colours which can be seen from the middle of the mountain. They climb over a high cliff and see a light of five colours rising high in the sky. Judging that the source of the light cannot be far, Su Huiding and six soldiers go in that direction.
One of the soldiers, a native of the area, warns that, according to the words of the elders, there are five natural obstacles to overcome before reaching the source of Jinquan, or the Golden Spring. To cut a long story short, Su Huiding and his six soldiers come to a dense dark forest, and again the same soldier warns against entering the forest because, he says, in the forest there is a mad tiger which is the mount of a god, and it is difficult to come out of there alive. A song relates that Su Huiding and his six soldiers enter the forest anyway, and when a wind blows, now cold, now hot, a black striped tiger dashes towards the seven men. The six soldiers are so frightened that they feel as if their souls have left their bodies. Su Huiding ties his horse to a tree, pulls down his strong bow from his back, and when he fits an arrow to the string, the tiger jumps at him with a mighty leap. The force of the arrow makes the tiger jump up, then the beast falls down (song: pp. 32-33). Su Huiding, who has shot three arrows, sends his soldiers to make sure that the arrows have killed the tiger. The tiger is dead, and its body is left under a tree as an identifying mark. Su Huiding and the six soldiers keep going in the direction of the light. When a spring shaped like a half moon comes in sight, the soldier who knows the area cautions the others against going further. He says that the waters of the Golden Spring flows into that spring to form a lake, and if an ordinary man approaches the lake, his bones will melt and his flesh dissolve. Only a person with supernatural powers can approach the lake, he adds. A song recounts how the old general Su Huiding goes through dangerous obstacles in the mountain, and how he approaches the source of the Golden Spring (song: p. 35). The Golden Spring flows into the lake from a yellowish dragon-shaped rock cave. There are five lotus flowers floating on the water of the lake, with each of them emitting a light of different colours. Su Huiding and the soldiers notice something resembling a box under the stems of the lotus flowers. Closer scrutiny reveals a square white object resembling a jade stone. Su Huiding approaches the edge of the lake, takes out the square stone from the water, and when he looks at it he sees that there are words inscribed on it, saying that it has to be opened by a member of the Su clan. Full of devotion, Su Huiding thinks that the precious object reveals the good fortune of the Mongol Emperor Ögedei with the decree of Heaven, and he decides to open it so that the world will know this. Su Huiding shakes the stone and it cracks open to reveal a marvellous object.
It is a piece of jade stone, actually a jade seal of authority, with stars carved on the front, and the reverse contains five words inscribed on it with the image of a dragon over it and the image of a tiger under it. The five words are ying xiong tian bao tu (英 雄 天 宝 图) “heavenly treasured image of heroes”. The jade seal radiates a light of five colours. A song describes Su Huiding thinking to himself that the precious jade seal has been concealed for thousands of years, and it comes to light when the country is at peace and blessed with the protection of Heaven and Earth. He also thinks to himself that he will present it to Emperor Ögedei , and that scholars at court will surely understand the hidden secret of the jade seal (song: p 38). Su Huiding wraps the jade seal in the red brocade of his cloak, and since heavy rain is falling, he and the six soldiers come down from Jinquan Mountain. After this, Sui Huiding warns his soldiers that they should not tell anybody about the discovery of the jade seal, and that he will give them money as a reward when they reach home. A song relates how the meritorious Su Huiding finds the precious jade seal and puts it on his chest, and that he and the six soldiers go back and reach the place where the tiger was killed by the arrows which Su Huiding shot (song: p. 40). They reach that place, but they cannot find either the tiger or the arrows. Then they set out towards Songshu Village, or Pine Tree Village , under Ling’an jurisdiction, which is Su Huiding’s birth place. All these events are recapitulated in song (p. 41). Now we learn that Su Huiding’s wife has died, leaving behind a son and a daughter named Su Zijian and Su Xiaolian (the bard says Jiaolan). Su Huiding has not returned home for six years, and as soon as he approaches his village he sends an attendant to his home to announce his arrival. On hearing that their father is coming home, his son and daughter are delighted and go out to welcome him. A song recounts how Su Huiding’s son and daughter meet their father, kneel before him and greet him. Su Huiding looks at his two children and sees that his son has grown to manhood. His countenance possesses the power of a hero, and his daughter’s luminous eyes manifest sincere thoughts (song: pp. 42-44). While Su Huiding and his children are feasting at home, Sui Huiting asks the two of them what they have been doing while he was away. The son and daughter, in song, tell their father of the skills they have acquired and how they have conducted themselves (song: p. 45). Then Su Huiding begins to tell his children that while he was on his way he crossed Jinquan Mountain and found a jade seal. Then he takes it out and asks his son and daughter if they can decipher the five words inscribed on it. The two children dare not explain the meaning of the words which embody the profound mysteries of the world. After this, Su Huiding’s daughter wraps the jade seal in clean brocade and conceals it in a safe place. At this moment, the gatekeeper announces the visit of a strange-looking man, and Su Huiding lets him in. A song describes a man wearing a torn religious robe and mantle, with a contorted mouth and looking upwards as he steps into the middle of the courtyard (song: p. 47). He enters the house and sits down beside Su Huiding without uttering a word, to the astonishment of all. Judging by the man’s torn clothes he looks like a Daoist priest who practises meditation in the mountains. Su Huiding politely asks the man from which mountain he has descended and what instructions he has come to give. Without saying a word, the Daoist priest laughs noisily. A song describes the Daoist priest turning to Su Huiding and accusing him of stealing a treasured object and hiding it in his home. Surprised by these words, Su Huiding stresses that he is a rich man and does not need to steal anything. He also says that he is an official of the Yuan dynasty, that he has always held high office, and that the Daoist priest should explain the reason for branding him as a thief (song: pp. 48-49). The Daoist priest says to Su Huiding that he is a thief because he has stolen the precious jade seal which he found on Jinquan Mountain. After this, the Daoist priest goes on, he told his soldiers to keep it secret, and promised to give them money. Moreover, the Daoist priest continues, he has committed a sin by killing the tiger, which was a divine creature. Then the Daoist priest produces three bloody arrows and tosses these in front of Su Huiting . A song describes Su Huiting kneeling down before the Daoist priest and wondering how he can know all the details of what happened on Jinquan Mountain (song: p. 50). The Daoist priest explains to Su Huiding that he took possession of the precious jade seal which fell from the Western Heaven and has been concealed in Jinquan Mountain for thousands of years to reveal the emperor who truly possesses the mandate of Heaven to the world. The time for this event has come, but, he adds, the jade seal will also be the cause of trouble. When Su Huiding ’s daughter brings the jade seal, the Daoist priest deciphers the five words inscribed on its surface for Su Huiding. A song relates how the Daoist priest declares that the treasured jade seal which has fallen into Su Huiding ’s hands reveals the changing mandate of Heaven and the succession of emperors. It also represents the incarnation of heroes’ stars in the world (song: p. 51). The Daoist priest also says that, if worshipped, the jade seal will increase the power of heroes, who, after subduing revolts, will bring peace to the country for a long time. Then the Daoist priest tells Su Huiding that he does not yet know what he intends to do with the jade seal he has found. A song includes the words of Su Huiting, who tells the Daoist priest that his intention was to present the jade seal to Emperor Ögedei, and that he never thought of taking possession of it (song: pp. 51-52). Then the Daoist priest tells Su Huiding that unless he takes the jade seal himself to Emperor Ögedei, the land in Shandong will suffer bloody disaster for five years. After this, the Daoist priest is invited to a banquet (song: pp. 52-53).
Pages 53-64: Now the narrative moves to another place. Hua Dingyun, whom Emperor Ögedei has sent to Shandong to discover the source of the light of five colours, arrives in Ling’an, which is governed by his son Hua Zilong. Hua Dingyun has sent people to Jinquan Mountain to investigate, and he also went there himself, but none of them have seen the light of five colours in that place. Hua Dingyun begins to worry and tells his son that the light of five colours is an important matter for the empire. He maintains that it is the sign of the transfer of power from the Mongol Yuan empire to the rising empire in Shandong. Every day, father and son discuss strategies with each other for rebelling against the Yuan dynasty. Rumour has it that after Su Huiding has found the marvellous object, the light of five colours can no longer be seen on Jinquan Mountain .
One day, while Hua Dingyun is feasting with his son, the visit of a strange-looking man is announced. It is, in fact, the same Daoist priest who previously visited Su Huiding. The man is admitted, and when father and son observe him they find that his appearance is truly repulsive. When Hua Dingyun asks the man who he is, the man answers that he is an immortal who guards the concealed powers of the world by the decree of Heaven. Then he addresses Hua Dingyun, saying that Emperor Ögedei has ordered him to investigate the light of five colours on Jinquan Mountain. Yet he is sitting there drinking wine and neglecting his official duty. On hearing this, Hua Dingyun is startled and wonders how the man can know about the imperial order. The man goes on to say to Hua Dingyun that while he is feasting the precious jade seal with five words inscribed on it has fallen into the hands of Su Huiding. After the man leaves, Hua Zilong tells his father that, since he has received an imperial order, he should use this opportunity to go to Su Huiding’s and take away the jade seal from him. The next morning Hua Dingyun sets out for Su Huiding’s village, escorted by fifty men. When Su Huiding hears that a high official is arriving, he goes out to receive him. Once in Su Huiding’s house, Hua Dingyun reports to Su Huiding that Emperor Ögedei has sent him to investigate the source of the light of five colours, that he could not find it, and that he heard that after Su Huiding found a precious object on Jinquan Mountain, the light can no longer be seen. Then he asks Su Huiding to give him the jade seal, also adding that he will take it to the Emperor. At this point, Su Huiding invites his guest to a banquet. A song describes Hua Dingyun addressing Su Huiding with kind words and expressing his desire to see the precious jade seal (song: p. 58). Su Huiding ’s daughter brings the jade seal, and Hua Dingyun takes it and reads the five words inscribed on it. Being aware of the importance of the jade seal for attaining his goals, Hua Dingyun presses Su Huiding to give the jade seal to him, in accordance with the emperor’s command. Su Huiding, however, will not give the jade seal to anyone, fearing that five years of bloody disaster will strike Shandong, if he does not take it to Emperor Ögedei himself. As a result, Hua Dingyun plots to steal the jade seal.
Hua Dingyun’s son, Hua Zilong, has gathered around him more than four thousand talented civil and military officials. He has also raised an army, waiting for an opportunity to set forth and overthrow the Yuan dynasty. In Ling’an, Hua Zilong has a force of eight hundred thousand men under his command. He has also recruited five hundred thousand soldiers, and among them there is a warrior named Zhang Kui, whose strength is a match for ten thousand. In view of the forces he has gathered, it will be easy for Hua Zilong to steal the jade seal. He tells his father that Su Huiting is about to leave for the capital to take the jade seal to Emperor Ögedei, and that they should seize the jade seal while Su Huiding is on his way. The song narrates that in the dead of night Hua Zilong summons his military advisor, Cao Tianxi, gives instructions to him and sends him to a certain place. Then he calls Zhang Kui, gives him instructions on how to carry out his plan, and sends him to a certain place with nine men all dressed in plain clothes (song: p. 64).
Pages 64-86: Now the narrative returns to Songshu Village , Su Huiding’s home. Su Huiding tells his son and daughter that he is about to leave for the capital to hand his resignation, and after that he will return home. A farewell feast is celebrated. A song describes Su Huiting feeling uneasy about leaving. He also gives his children instructions for correct behaviour, exhorting them to cultivate their skills, without being pretentious (song: p. 66). After this, Sui Huiding puts the jade seal on his person, takes three men and General Gong Sunxiao with him and rides off. A song describes Su Huiding leaving home, while his children follow him with their eyes (song: p. 67). Su Huiding and his retinue take the road to Huanghua Mountain, and after travelling for several days, they reach Chadao post-station, where they stop for the night. The story goes that, after Emperor Ögedei ascended the throne bandits were suppressed, making the roads safe for travellers. Small and big post-stations were also set up. Returning to Su Huiding at the post-station, he drinks some wine and retires to his room. During the night, Su Huiding hears a loud noise. He looks up at the ceiling and sees a huge crocodile. Su Huiding wonders how a crocodile can have got there. He draws his sword to strike the beast, but it is as if he were piercing a piece of silk. When all at once the beast disappears, Su Huiding begins to shout. Gong Sunxiao comes to his aid and tells him that he has had a bad dream. The next day, Su Huiding feels exhausted and leaves the post-station at noon. A song narrates how Sui Huiding climbs the mountain pass, and because of previous night’s the bad dream he feels weak and tired, and his horse also moves at a slow pace (song: p. 70). At sunset, Su Huiting and his men approach the post-station of Huanghua Mountain, and, as the song relates, on the road the light bay horse Su Huiding has ridden for twenty years suddenly bucks and throws Su Huiding off the saddle. Su Huiding does not fall to the ground and keeps holding on to the horse’s neck (song: pp. 70-71). At this moment, Gong Sunxiao comes forward and puts Su Huiding back on his horse. They reach the post-station where they will spend the night. Servants meet them, help Su Huiding to get off his horse, and guide them in. A song tells how servants at the post-station greet Su Huiding politely and lay a table for a banquet. Su Huiding thinks to himself that he will drink some wine and resume his journey early next morning. While he is drinking, Su Huiding observes that there are ten men at the post-station who do not look like ordinary people. They all look strong and powerful. The chief of the post-station is especially impressive. He is a strong, thick-set man, nine spans tall, and with a dark spotted face (song: pp. 72-73). Although the man behaves politely, Su Huiding becomes suspicious of him and whispers to Gong Sunxiao that the man looks strange and that they should be careful.
The man is none other than the military advisor Cao Tianxi, who has been sent to the post-station by Hua Zilong, who has dispatched ten men. They have divided into two groups. One group followed Su Huiding on the road, while the others came to the post-station before Su Huiding arrived and killed ten soldiers who were stationed at the post-station. They threw their bodies into a ravine to the east of the post-station. The men at the post-station give Su Huiding and the four men accompanying him wine mixed with poison to drink. A song tells us that Su Huiding loses consciousness as he reaches his room, and that Gong Sunxiao, who has also drunk the poisonous wine, remains unharmed (song. pp. 73-74). In the meantime, Cao Tianxi and his men make ready to kill Su Huiding and his companions. Cao Tianxi enters the room where Su Huiding is lying unconscious and cuts him in two with his sword. After killing Su Huiding , a fierce battle ensues, which is related in song. Gong Sunxiao, who protected Su Huiding, fights the ten men on his own. Gong Sunxiao is a skilled warrior and proves invincible until Cao Tianxi takes an iron club, which releases poison when it touches a person’s body. They fight ten rounds, and when Cao Tianxi’s iron club clashes with Gong Sunxiao’s sword, the iron club releases poison, and from the sword which Gong Sunxiao is holding in his hand poison penetrates his body. Gong Sunxiao tumbles to the ground (song: pp. 75-76). After this, Cao Tianxi takes a sword and cuts him in two. After killing Su Huiding and the four men who have escorted him, Cao Tianxi seizes the jade seal which Su Huiting kept on his body. Then he and his followers go to the stable to steal the five men’s horses, but they cannot find Sui Huiding ’s light bay horse. The ten men throw Su Huiding and the other four men into the ravine to the east of the post-station. They burn down the post-station and go back to the city of Ling’an. A song recalls how the loyal official Su Huiding spent the night in the post-station, and although he was suspicious, he could not know about the poison and suffered greatly. He could not know that the jade seal would bring disaster. Now the aggrieved souls of Su Huiding and his four men wander in the intermediate state (between death and rebirth). Another song narrates how the traitor Cao Tianxi has attained his goal, and hastens back to Ling’an with the jade seal in his hands (song: p. 79-80).
On reaching Ling’an, Cao Tianxi tells Hua Dingyun and Hua Zilong that they have found the jade seal. A great celebration takes place and everybody worships the jade seal. After this, Hua Dingyun dispatches envoys to all the places in Shandong to summon their accomplices. A song narrates how Hua Dingyun’s accomplices come to Ling’an one after the other, and how the jade seal, which reveals the fate of Emperor Ögedei , has fallen into the hands of rebels (song: pp. 81-82). The story goes on to state that rumours are circulating, according to which before he died Emperor Ai Zong of the Jin dynasty had conferred on Hua Dingyun the title of Gaiwang. Thus Hua Dingyun thinks that he should use this opportunity to attain his goal. He gets people in his circle to write a false imperial decree in the name of Emperor Ai Zong , announcing that Hua Dingyun is appointed as Jin Gaiwang with the task of overthrowing the Yuan dynasty and restoring the Jin dynasty. When this is done, Hua Dingyun assembles his accomplices and sets out his plans to rebel against the Yuan dynasty. First, he says, he will go Daidu, the capital of the empire, and reports to Emperor Ögedei that Su Huiding has found the jade seal and fled to a foreign country, taking it with him. The second plan involves the great army commander Yao Hun, who is stationed in Henan and whose strength is a match for ten thousand. Only the powerful Mongol general Muqulai can defeat him. For this reason, he says, a secret letter should be sent to Yao Hun to urge him to move his troops to Shandong and join forces with them to attack the Yuan Mongols from south-east. The third plan involves the Mongol general Ariɣun, who has a force under him to the south of the city of Jinan , and since there is no war in Shandong, he has left the military camp behind and is staying in the city to study the classics with a scholar named Xi Meng, who is loyal to the Yuan dynasty. Not only is Ariɣun interested in literature and poetry, he is also a courageous man and a formidable warrior. For this reason, Hua Dingyun says, they should get rid of him. When Hua Dingyun asks his men who will go to deal with Ariɣun, Zhang Kui volunteers for the task. A song reflects on these events, saying that a fire of demons is blazing from Shandong, that Hua Dingyun, who has committed thousands of evil deeds, is setting out his plans for rebellion, and that the cunning Zhang Kui is infiltrating the city of Jinan (song: p. 86).
Pages 86-113: Now this section of the narrative begins in a different place. In the fourth year of the reign of Emperor Ögedei , examinations take place to select young civil and military officials. A young Mongol named Mergen-biligtei is successful in the examination, and he is assigned by the Emperor as commander to defend the ford on the Yellow River in Hetang, with three hundred thousand soldiers under his command. One day, news arrives of five leopards that are harming people in Qingliang Mountain. A song relates that Mergen-biligtei takes a group of soldiers with him and sets off for Qingliang Mountain to kill the five leopards. It also recounts how Mergen-biligtei and his soldiers go out on a hunt, how they cross the precipitous terrain of Qingliang Mountain and find no trace of the five leopards (song: pp. 88-89). When travellers tell Mergen-biligtei and his soldiers that the five leopards can be seen in the north-east, they set out in that direction. They come to the west of Huanghua Mountain to hunt the beasts. A song describes the mountain Mergen-biligtei and his men come to as a place with steep cliffs which causes great excitement to hunters. They go through all the natural obstacles of the mountain to chase the beasts, but find nothing (song: p. 90). At midday, Mergen-biligtei and his soldiers decide to have a rest at Huanghua post-station. They come to the post-station only to find nothing but ashes. A song tells of Mergen-biligtei and his soldiers being surprised to find the post-station reduced to ashes (song: p. 91). They go out to hunt again, and while they are going, Mergen-biligtei notices footprints in the grass left by a single horse. Mergen-biligtei grows curious and follows the horse trail until he can see the horse standing still above a deep ravine. He approaches and sees a light bay horse with a halter and half tether. When Mergen-biligtei looks at the horse carefully he has the feeling that he has seen the horse before. Then he realises that it is Su Huiding’s light bay horse. He remembers that Su Huiding was one of the supervisors of the examinations he took, and that on that occasion Su Huiding rode on that light bay horse. A song describes Mergen-biligtei descending into the deep ravine (pp. 93-94). It is dark in the ravine and Mergen-biligtei lights a torch to give light. He sees the bodies of fifteen men who have been killed, and since their bodies have not decayed, he recognises Su Huiding ’s body. A song describes how Mergen-biligtei is astonished to find the bodies in the ravine, and how he decides not to remove them (song: pp. 94-95). Then, leading the light bay horse by the bridle, Mergen-biligtei sets off towards the city of Ling’an to inform Hua Zilong of what he has witnessed.
A song recounts how Mergen-biligtei rides at a full speed towards Ling’an, spurring his horse on with his whip (song: pp. 95-96). When Mergen-biligtei’s arrival is announced to Hua Zilong, the latter becomes alarmed. Referring to Hua Zilong, a song includes an aphorism such as “the one who started a fire knows that disaster will happen. The one who performed evil deeds becomes suspicious” (song: pp. 96-97). It so happens that Hua Zilong has betrothed his younger sister to Mergen-biligtei, and a song describes Hua Zilong wondering about Mergen-biligtei’s visit. He thinks to himself that he may have come to discuss matters concerning the betrothal, or he may have discovered what happened on Huanghua Mountain . The song describes how Hua Zilong meets Mergen-biligtei, also stating that Mergen-biligtei has not come to discuss matters of the betrothal. Instead, he has come to inform Hua Zilong about all the strange things he has seen on Huanghua Mountain. The two of them drink wine together, then Mergen-biligtei tells Hua Zilong how he went on a hunt, how he came to Huanghua post-station and found it burnt to ashes, and how he discovered fifteen bodies in a ravine (song: pp. 98-99). On hearing this, Hua Zilong is frightened, and thinks to himself that all these events can obstruct his plans. Then Hua Zilong turns to Mergen-biligtei and, in song, he tells him that trouble has arisen in a place under his jurisdiction, and that Su Huiding of Songshu Village has stirred up rebellion (pp. 99-100). Hua Zilong goes on to tell Mergen-biligtei that Su Huiding found the jade seal on Jinquan Mountain and fled to a foreign country, taking the jade seal with him, and that he must have mistaken Su Huiding’s body for that of another person in the ravine. A song relates how Mergen-biligtei affirms that Su Huiding has been murdered, and that he recognised his body in the ravine. Since, he continues, Su Huiding was a trustworthy man, enemies must have stolen the jade seal from him (song: pp. 100-101). When Mergen-biligtei insists that he recognised both Su Huiding’s body and his light bay horse, Hua Zilong grows nervous. Then he says to Mergen-biligtei that the horse of Su Huiding’s which he recognised was an old one and Su Huiding has abandoned it and got a fresh horse to run away on. Now, in Hua Zilong ’s palace, there are the military advisor Cao Tianxi and other men standing behind a screen. They are waiting for Hua Zilong to make a gesture for them to come out from behind the screen and kill Mergen-biligtei. Hua Zilong is tempted to do this, but he desists for various reasons. His father has not yet come back from the capital. Moreover, there is no news of Zhang Kui, who has been sent to take the city of Jinan, and the envoy who has been sent to General Yao Hong (?) has not yet returned. Hua Zilong promises to Mergen-biligtei to look carefully into the matter of Su Huiding , and he also donates Su Huiding ’s light bay horse to him. A song describes Mergen-biligtei going back to Hetang, and Hua Zilong and his accomplices conferring with each other about how to proceed (song: pp. 104-105). They decide to do away with Su Huiding’s children quickly, and, since Hua Zilong has spread the rumour that Su Huiding was a traitor, and since Su Huiding’s village was under his jurisdiction, he thinks that this will be the right thing to do. Thus Hua Zilong sends out an army contingent led by Cao Tianxi.
Meanwhile, Su Huiding’s son and daughter, Su Zijian and Su Xiaolian (or Jiaolan), have heard that their father was killed on his way to the capital, and that the jade seal was stolen from him. There is also a rumour that Su Huiding has fled to a foreign country. Su Zijian begins to worry and decides to set off to find out what really happened to his father. No sooner has Su Zijian gone than the army arrives and surrounds Su Huiding ’s house. They also plunder the house of its valuables. Since Su Zijian is not at home, Cao Tianxi turns to Su Huiding’s daughter, Su Xiaolian , shouting that she should make clear what her father told his children about his plans when he betrayed his country and fled. She only knows that her father went to the capital with the jade seal on his person, and since all kinds of rumours were circulating, her brother set off to find out the truth. Cao Tianxi orders Su Xiaolan to be tied up and brought to Ling’an. At this point, an old official of the village named Li Gong intervenes and pleads for Su Xiaolian’s life. As a result, Cao Tianxi agrees to leave Su Xiaolian in her home. A song praises the goodness of the old official Li Gong, who rescued Su Xiaolian, but who, is enduring suffering in an empty house (song: pp. 108-19). One day, Su Xiaolian feels that she can no longer cope with her suffering, and remaining at home is more than she can bear. She decides to run away from her house, which is surrounded by soldiers. At this moment, Su Xiaolian confides her decision to run away to a young maid-servant who has grown up in Su Huiding’s home. A song relates how the young maid-servant begs Su Xiaolian to take her along, because, she says, without her she has nowhere else to live, and that they will share their suffering (song: pp. 110-111). Another song tells how Su Xiaolian is moved to tears by the loyalty of the young maid-servant (song: pp. 111-112). In the middle of the night, the two girls put on boys’ clothes, go out by a small door in the back and then run away. They go in search of Su Xiaolian’s brother. The same event is repeated in song (pp. 112-113).
Pages 113-122: Now this section of the story begins in another place. After returning to Hetang Mountain, Mergen-biligtei sends out two men to investigate all the matters concerning Su Huiding’s journey from Yanzhou. Meanwhile, Su Zijian is on his way in search of his father. One day, Su Zijian stops at an inn in a village to spend the night. Unable to sleep, he steps outside the room, and while he is walking two men who were also staying at the inn ask Su Zijian the road to Yanzhou. They begin to talk to each other, and then the two men invite Su Zijian to their room. When they hear that Su Zijian is Su Huiding’s son, the two men tell him that Mergen-biligtei has sent them to make investigation about his father. After this, the two men take Su Zijian with them and go back to Hetang Mountain. Once there, Mergen-biligtei tells Su Zijian how he went to Huanghua Mountain and recognised his father’s body in a ravine. On hearing this, Su Zijian wonders what people can have killed his father and why he should have ended his life in that place. Mergen-biligtei gets soldiers to accompany Su Zijian to Huanghua Mountain. A song narrates how Su Zijian finds out that his father has been murdered, how the soldiers who accompany him show him the ravine. It also relates that Su Zijian descends into the ravine, and when he lights a torch and sees his father’s body his eyes become blurred (song: pp. 114-115). Su Zijian sends back the soldiers and sets off for home. On reaching his village, Su Zijian is surprised to find that people do not welcome him as they used to when he returned home from a journey. When he reaches his house, he finds the main gate locked. He also notices signs that the house has been ransacked. A song recalls how Su Zijian’s father has always been a loyal man who rendered service to his country. It also relates that Su Zujian finds the gate locked and turns back (song: pp. 116-117). He goes to visit a certain Wang Mama. Wang Mama in song gives Su Zujian an account of all the events which happened after Su Zijian left home. Soldiers came with orders to exterminate his household. His sister has endured suffering for many days, then she ran away and no one knows where she went. Soldiers, she adds, are now waiting to seize him as soon as he gets back (song: pp. 117-118). While Wang Mama is speaking, soldiers arrive, throw Su Zijian to the ground and tie him up. They bring Su Zijian to Hua Zilong in the city of Ling’an. Su Zijian kneels down at the base of the raised platform, and Hua Zilong begins to shout offensive words at him. A song has Hua Zilong calling Su Zijian a son of a thief and a traitor, who after finding the jade seal, ran away with it. Then he asks Su Zijian what his father had in mind when he left him behind (song: p. 119). Another song has Hua Zilong asking Su Zijian to tell him if his father was really loyal to the Yuan dynasty or if he had different thoughts (song: p. 119). Su Zijian in song states that his father was an official under the Jin dynasty. Then following the rules of Heaven, he submitted and offered his service to the Yuan dynasty, and that he never had immoral thoughts (song: p. 120). Hua Zilong orders his soldiers to beat him with rods. After this, Hua Zilong asks Su Zijian to write a document, stating that his father rebelled against the Yuan dynasty, found the jade seal and fled with it. Su Zijian refuses to write the document and is put in jail. A song includes lines which reflect on these events using an aphorism such as “when the winds rise the forest rustles. When ruthless enemies give rise to evil deeds the upright man suffers” (song: pp. 121-122). The story will not tell of Hua Zilong, who received the news he was waiting for from his father, Zhang Kui and General Yao Hong (?).
Pages 122-199: Now this section of the story begins in the centre of Shandong province. There is in the city of Jinan a high-ranking official called Xi Meng, who had ruled over the province under the Jin dynasty, and, since he became loyal to the Yuan dynasty he kept the same office. Xi Meng is both a scholar and a worthy official. He has made friends with the Mongol general Ariɣun, who has a force under his command stationed in a military camp south of Jinan. Ariɣun devotes himself to literature and poetry and goes back to military camp from time to time. These facts are repeated in song (p. 123). One day, Ariɣun goes back to the military camp, and General Zhang Song, who is guarding Ariɣun’s military camp, tells Ariɣun that because of heavy rain the army provisions are all damaged by flooding. While Ariɣun is saying that he does not have a solution to solve the problem, the visit of a man is announced, who requests an audience with Ariɣun. Ariɣun lets the man in. A song reiterates these events (song: p. 125). The man who enters the command tent wears a black robe tied with a blue belt. He has a face as ruddy as a date and is nine spans tall. He has the countenance of a mighty warrior. Ariɣun asks the man what his name is, where he comes from, and why he wants to see him. A song tells us more about the man, saying that his name is Zhang Kui, that he has crossed mountains and rivers and has come from the distant city of Ling’an to ask for the protection of Ariɣun. He also recounts that Zhang Kui was in charge of the provisions of the army in Ling’an under Hua Zilong, and the latter charged him with a crime and will execute him (song: p. 126). Zhang Kui sheds tears as he pleads with Ariɣun for his life. Then he says that Hua Zilong had a great number of houses built in Ling’an, using his soldiers to do the work. He raised objections to this and had a dispute with Hua Zilong and deserted, and, since he knows that Ariɣun loves his soldiers like sons, he has come to him. A song, at this point relates how Zhang Song tells Ariɣun that Zhang Kui comes from his homeland, and that he knows that he was in charge of grain and grass under Hua Zilong, and, since Hua Zilong disliked him, he has come to ask Ariɣun to spare his life. Ariɣun says that he will write a letter to Hua Zilong , asking him to punish Zhang Kui only for disputing with him, and that Zhang Kui himself should deliver the letter to Hua Zilong. The song also describes Zhang Kui shedding tears when he tells Ariɣun that Hua Zilong will cut him into a thousand pieces if he takes the letter to him. Because Ariɣun is a warm-hearted man, he allows Zhang Kui to stay in his military camp. Then Zhang Kui goes on to praise the virtues of Ariɣun and promises to him that he will behave correctly and serve him as faithfully as a dog and a horse (song: pp 128-130). Before leaving the military camp, Ariɣun, who has put a great deal of trust in him, tells Zhang Song to send someone to Ling’an to find out what crime Zhang Kui actually committed. Zhang Song promises to Ariɣun that he will take care of the matter himself. He also asks Ariɣun if he agrees to put Zhang Kui in charge of grain and grass in the military camp. Ariɣun agrees. A song tells of Ariɣun going back to Jinan. Then it relates that in the dead of night, Zhang Song calls Zhang Kui to his tent. Zhang Kui tells Zhang Song that he infiltrated Ariɣun’s military camp on the orders of Hua Zilong with the aim of capturing the city of Jinan. Then Zhang Kui gives Zhang Song a letter from Hua Zilong (song: pp. 130-131).
Now we learn that Zhang Song has long harboured thoughts of rebellion against the Yuan dynasty, and he also has a close relationship with Hua Zilong. Zhang Song reads the letter, in which Hua Zilong mentions the details of his plans to rebel against the Yuan dynasty and restore the Jin dynasty in Shandong. Within a month, more than fifty soldiers are sent by Hua Zilong to infiltrate Ariɣun’s military camp. Zhang Kui takes charge of them, while Zhang Song looks after of all the matters of the soldiers in the military camp. One day, Zhang Song and Zhang Kui are in the army tent discussing strategies for rebelling against the Yuan dynasty, when the visit of a strange-looking Daoist priest is announced. When Zhang Song and Zhang Kui observe the Daoist priest entering the tent, they see that he has a huge head and a donkey-like face. When asked what his name is, and why he has come, the Daoist priest says that his name is Ren Gang and he practises meditation on Jiuyao Mountain. He has observed the circumstances of the time, and has descended to the red dusty world to assist in the affairs of men. When Zhang Kui asks the Daoist priest how he can help them, he claims that he can read people’s minds simply by looking at their faces. When Zhang Kui asks him to tell them what he and Zhang Song are thinking, the Daoist priest says that they are thinking of rebelling against the Yuan dynasty and restoring the Jin dynasty in Shandong. On hearing this, Zhang Kui flies into a rage. A song describes an enraged Zhang Kui calling the Daoist priest a donkey-faced man who talks nonsense (song: p. 134). Zhang Kui orders soldiers to drive out the Daoist priest. While Zhang Kui and Zhang Song are sitting at a table on which food and drink is laid, talking about their plot which is now revealed, suddenly food and drink disappear from the table. They look around and see the Daoist priest eating and drinking in a corner of the tent. Zhang Kui becomes furious and draws his sword to use against the Daoist priest, but, a blue light suddenly appears and he falls to the ground. Zhang Song comes to his aid only to find that Zhang Kui’s sword has cut off his right foot. Soldiers also intervene but they are powerless against the Daoist priest and are injured. Zhang Song, at this point, recognises the magic powers of the Daoist priest and kneels before him. A song narrates how Zhang Song calls the Daoist priest an immortal master, and how he asks forgiveness for their misconduct and for not recognising him. Zhang Song also promises to the Daoist priest that they will worship him and begs him to recite magic spells for them (song: pp. 135-136). The Daoist priest recites magic spells, and as a result all those who have suffered injuries are cured at once. Another song relates that Zhang Song and Zhang Kui invite the Daoist priest to a banquet (song: pp. 136-137). Then the Daoist priest tells Zhang Song and Zhang Kui about the magic powers he possesses. He says that one of them is called sayig (Tibetan: sa-yig). It consists in writing magic spells on yellow paper and drinking them mixed with water, and once people drink such a potion they will do anything he wants them to. The Daoist priest also says that he can send evil spirits to take people’s souls. From that day onwards, the Daoist priest remains secretly in Ariɣun’s military camp.
Meanwhile, in Jinan, Ariɣun is staying at the official residence of Xi Meng, drinking wine and studying poetry, when Xi Meng is informed that more than a hundred people are at the gate. When they enter, they kneel down at the base of the raised platform. A song describes how the arrival of all these people comes as a surprise to Xi Meng. They are all in tears when they tell Xi Meng that they are people from six districts, and that at the beginning of summer government soldiers came and collected grain and grass, stating that they were doing this in accordance with the established law of the country. Since, people also say, grain and grass are never collected at the beginning of summer, this year government soldiers have enforced the law, and people had no choice but to give them grain and grass. Soldiers, they add, have also confiscated their valuables, and, as a result, they are left without food to eat or clothes to wear (song: pp. 138-140). People also ask Xi Meng to inform Ariɣun of what is happening to them. Ariɣun, who has heard what the people have told Xi Meng, becomes furious. He says that surely it is Zhang Song who has done this, abusing his trust and using his name to empower Zhang Kui to take away grain and grass from people in order to fill the granary of the military camp for his own purposes. Only now does Ariɣun understand that Zhang Song has deceived him, and that he has fallen for Zhang Kui’s flattery. After this, Ariɣun rides to the military camp. A song relates how Ariɣun, trusting the men under his command, left the military camp behind to devote himself to poetry. When Ariɣun comes to the military camp, he finds Zhang Song and Zhang Kui having their midday meal sitting on couches on the raised platform in the command tent (song: pp. 141-142). Zhang Song and Zhang Kui are expecting Ariɣun’s arrival. Now Ariɣun draws his sword to kill the two of them, and a song relates how Ariɣun accuses both Zhang Song and Zhang Kui of bringing grief to the common people by arbitrarily misusing the law of the country. Ariɣun moves towards the two men and ascends the raised platform with his swords raised high (song: 142-143). When Ariɣun steps on the platform, he loses his balance and falls into a pit at the bottom of the platform. Soldiers go quickly into the pit and tie Ariɣun up. After this, a song includes the words that Zhang Kui addresses to Ariɣun. He insults Ariɣun, saying that he is a Mongol thief who understands nothing, and thinks that the Mongols can devour the whole world. The Mongols, he goes on, have killed Emperor Ai Zong and destroyed the Jin dynasty, thinking that there were no valiant warriors left. He also says that they have been waiting for him to kill him by order of Hua Dingyun, who has become Jin Gai Wang (song: pp. 143-144). Ariɣun points at Zhang Kui and tells him that if he wants to kill him he should do it at once. Otherwise, he will challenge him to battle. He says this using the words “let us decide which of us is strong and which is weak”. These words enrage Zhang Kui. He orders soldiers to cut off Ariɣun’s finger. Afterwards, Ariɣun’s tongue is also cut out. Then at the Daoist priest’s suggestion Ariɣun is tied to a pillar and flayed alive. A song laments the fate of a valiant warrior who fell victim to his enemies (song: p, 146).
After Ariɣun leaves his house, Xi Meng begins to worry about his friend. He calls his son, Xi Tianyu, and his daughter, Xi Baiyun, who are both experienced in arms, and tells them that he is going to the military camp to find out what has become of Ariɣun. A song recalls how Xi Meng and Ariɣun are close friends, and how Xi Meng, aged seventy, worries about his friend and sets off (song: pp. 148-149). Xi Meng approaches the command tent in the military camp, and when he sees a man whose skin has been removed and whose body is hanging from a pillar, he becomes suspicious and thinks about going back. A song relates that just then Zhang Kui shouts at him not to go out and to kneel down before him. Since Xi Meng will not bend the knee before a rebel, Zhang Kui orders soldiers to tie him up and make him kneel down. Xi Meng, who knows Zhang Song, turns to him, saying that he has come to tell Ariɣun something. Zhang Song laughs loudly and recounts to Xi Meng how, after the destruction of the Jin dynasty by the Mongols, they have lost power and endured suffering. He goes on to say that because they had no other choice, they have pretended to submit to the Mongol Yuan empire. Now, he adds, there are many mighty men in Shandong, and Hua Dingyun has become Jin Gaiwang, in accordance with a secret decree of the late Emperor Ai Zong. Zhang Song also tells Xi Meng that they will not kill him if he submits to the Jin dynasty (song: pp. 149-151). Zhang Song’s words anger Xi Meng , who states that the days of the Jin dynasty have come to an end, and that the Mongols are benevolent to the common people, recruit scholars and govern in accordance with the law. In contrast to that, Ai Zong of the Jin dynasty proved incompetent. He banned wise officials to remote mountains, killed loyal warriors unjustly, and gathered around him inept and unworthy officials. Under Ai Zong, the country was without laws and rules, continues Xi Meng, and thieves and bandits proliferated. It is nonsense to speak about restoring the Jin dynasty, concludes Xi Meng. On hearing this, Zhang Kui becomes angry and cuts Xi Meng in two. With Ariɣun and Xi Meng dead, it becomes easier for the rebels to take control of the city of Jinan. However, they still have to deal with a Mongol general named Qandaɣai. In the middle of the night, Qandaɣai is summoned to the command tent in which Zhang Song, Zhang Kui, and many soldiers are waiting for him. On receiving the summons, Qandaɣai sets off, escorted by soldiers. A battle ensues and the soldiers who escorted Qandaɣai are killed in the tent, while Qandaɣai is imprisoned. After this, a song relates that Zhang Song orders the two generals Wang Kang and Ma Bao to go to Ariɣun’s house, seize his wife and son and deal with the five hundred soldiers who protect the house. In the meantime, the song continues, a fierce battle is raging in the military camp in the middle of the night, and loud cries echo in the mountain ravines, alarming the people. In Ariɣun’s house there are his wife, Sümen-dere (!), their seven-year-old son, five hundred soldiers and household servants. A patrol brings word that Wang Kang and Ma Bao have arrived to attack them with a force (song: pp. 154-155).
The soldiers protecting the house come out on the rampart, and when they ask the army why they have come in the middle of the night, Wang Kang answers that they have rebelled against the Yuan dynasty so as to restore the Jin dynasty, that they have killed Ariɣun and have come to seize his family. The soldiers guarding the house gate have already been killed, and Sümen-dere finds herself in deep trouble and does not know what to do. Then a song relates that a twelve-year-old servant named Qasduuqai, whom Ariɣun loved like a son, offers to take Sümen-dere to safety. He prepares two horses, one for her and her son, and a small grey horse for himself (song: pp. 156-157). Qasduuqai holds a double-bladed sword in his hand, and he and Sümen-dere and her son mount their horses and ride off towards the south gate. When Wang Kang notices a young boy riding on a small grey horse followed by a woman on horseback and holding a child, he assumes that the woman is Ariɣun’s wife. Qasduuqai urges Sümen-dere to ride at a full speed to the city of Jinan while he fights Wang Kang. A song describes Qasduuqai as a formidable rider. He charges at the enemy, moving back and forth on horseback. He dodges the blows of Wang Kang’s heavy axe many times until Wang Kang cuts off the muscle of his hand. At this point, Wang Kang leaves Qasduuqai behind and gallops in pursuit of Sümen-dere. Seeing this, Qasduuqai rides after Wang Kang (song: pp. 160-161). At this moment, Ma Bao and his soldiers, who have surrounded Ariɣun’s house, hear loud noises and quickly arrive at the scene. By then, Qasduuqai and Sümen-dere have already galloped ahead, and the two enemies cannot overtake them. A song praises the young servant Qasduuqai’s courageous deeds, saying that no matter how lofty a tower may be, it originates from a base as small as the palm of the hand. Then it reflects on the fate of Ariɣun, a man versed in both civil and military science who has been killed, leaving behind a young servant who rescued his family (song: p. 162). Qasduuqai, Sümen-dere and her son reach Jinan and take refuge in Xi Meng’s official residence. Xi Meng has gone to the military camp, and his son, Xi Tianyu, is still waiting for him at home. A song relates how the gatekeeper tells Xi Tianyu that Ariɣun’s family has arrived, and how he is alarmed at the news. He goes out to meet them. Then Qasduuqai tells Xi Tianyu that Ariɣun’s house has been surrounded by soldiers, and, since, Ariɣun’s family is in danger they have ran away, seeking refuge in Xi Meng’s house. Xi Tianyu lets Ariɣun’s wife and son and Qasduuqai stay in his house, feeling that something bad must have happened to his father and Ariɣun (song: pp. 163-164). Then Xi Tianyu informs his wife and younger sister, Xi Baiyun, about Ariɣun’s family’s arrival, also telling them that the next morning he will go to the military camp to find out what has happened to his father and Ariɣun.
Meanwhile, in the military camp, Zhang Song has prepared a flag bearing the word “Jin”, and the Daoist priest has lit butter lamps that emit a bad odour. He begins to recite evil spells, holding Ariɣun’s skin. Then Zhang Kui raises a flag and in the presence his soldiers he declares that by order of the Jin Gaiwang on that day they are going to take the city of Jinan to restore the Jin dynasty to power. He also exhorts the soldiers to fight for their cause under the flag of the Jin dynasty. He also adds that he will use the Mongol general Qandaɣai as an offering to make a sacrifice to the flag. Qandaɣai is brought tied up before Zhang Kui, and the latter pours oil on him and sets fire to him. This is how the sacrifice to the flag is made.
A song relates that Xi Meng’s son, Xi Tianyu, tells his younger sister that he sent a man to the military camp and that the man has come back with the news that both their father and Ariɣun have been killed, and that rebel forces are coming to capture the city of Jinan. Xi Tianyu urges his sister to take their family to safety out of the city, while he will go to the west city gate to see what the situation is like. The song, at this point, describes Xi Tianyu making ready for battle. He takes off his plain clothes and puts on padded armour next to his skin. Over it he wears an armour made of iron and steel, tying it with a belt decorated with metal dragons. He also wears a thick green cloak. He holds a lance with an iron hilt in his right hand and a seven-starred sword in his left hand. With bow and arrow strapped on his back, he saddles his dun horse. After this, Xi Tianyu sets off, escorted by ten soldiers. Before reaching the west city gate he comes upon a band of soldiers. Xi Tianyu recognises the generals Wang Kang and Ma Bao, who previously were under Ariɣun’s command, and were ordered by Zhang Kui to go and fight at the west gate of the city of Jinan. The soldiers who follow them stir up dust, which rises up into the sky. Wang Kang comes out from the middle of the army and approaches Xi Tianyu (song: pp. 167-169). Wang Kang asks Xi Tianyu if he is Xi Meng’s son, who, forgetting the favours he enjoyed under the Jin dynasty, submitted to the Yuan dynasty. Xi Tianyu answers that he is the son of the loyal official Xi Meng, who, recognising the changing seasons of Heaven, submitted to the Yuan dynasty. They hurl abuse at each other, then the two men begin combat. A song describes how Xi Tianyu and Wang Kang filled with anger fight fiercely, harbouring thoughts of killing each other. Brandishing his axe, Wang Kang charges at Xi Tianyu, who deflects the blow with his lance. They fight forty rounds. Then Wang Kang points his weapon at Xi Tianyu’s armpit, but, in doing so, he sways in the saddle and misses. The song also describes Xi Tianyu using his lance skilfully. At this moment, Ma Bao hurries to the scene with a trident raised to strike. Xi Tianyu fights the two enemies alone, who charge moving back and forth, and weaving right and left. When the hilt of his lance breaks in the fighting, Xi Tianyu runs away. Xi Tianyu has hardly gone a mile to the west, when a force of ten thousand arrives from the south, arrayed in battle formation. Now a man comes forward. He has a dark face and red hair and a beard, He is nine spans tall and holds an iron club more than a hundred zhang long in his hand (song: pp. 173-174). Two horsemen follow him holding a long pole with two human heads hanging from it and with a cloth showing the names Xi Meng and Ariɣun written on it. The man who holds the iron club is none other than Zhang Kui. He asks Xi Tianyu if he is Xi Meng’s son and if he recognised his father’s head. A duel between Zhang Kui and Xi Tianyu is described in song. The two rivals fight hundred rounds, but neither can defeat the other (song: pp. 175-176). Meanwhile, Wang Kang and Ma Bao have entered the city of Jinan from the south, and two soldiers, each patrolling the south and west city gates, hurry to Xi Meng’s official residence. A song relates how the two soldiers come to inform Xi Tianyu ’s younger sister, Xi Baiyun , that a rebel force has entered the city, and that her brother is fighting a battle in the west of the city. On receiving the information, Xi Baiyun assembles all the members of the household and tells the soldiers protecting the house to take up their weapons. She also has a cart prepared for her mother, her sister-in-law, Ariɣun’s wife and her son. At this moment, a rebel force led by the generals Shu Cheng and Shu Bao reaches the gate. They cry out that they will extinguish the entire clan of anyone who protects Ariɣun’s family. On hearing these words, Ariɣun’s wife, Sümen-dere, comes before Xi Baiyun and tells her that she has taken refuge in her house to escape from danger, and now she is causing harm to her family. Sümen-dere also tells Xi Baiyun about her intention to hand herself over to the enemy so as not to harm her family. Xi Baiyun will not hear of it, mindful of the close friendship which tied Sümen-dere’s husband to her father (song: pp. 176-179). Another song praises the loyal and kind-hearted Xi Baiyun, who dissuades Sümen-dere from handing herself over to their enemies. In the meantime, the rebel army have smashed the house gate (pp. 179-180). At this moment, Xi Baiyun has fifty soldiers lined up, and gets her family and Ariɣun’s wife and son to sit down in a cart covered with many layers of woven silk threads to protect it against arrows. A song describes how Xi Baiyun dons armour and a helmet. The helmet she wears is adorned with precious corals and inlaid with pearls shining brightly on top of her head. She has threads of good luck all along the body. On her feet she wears boots of tiger skin with a curved tip. She holds a double-bladed sword. Then Xi Baiyun tells a servant to saddle her small dun horse. She also orders her fifty soldiers to follow the cart as they come out of the house and block with their lances the arrows shot by the rebel army. Xi Baiyun and the young Qasduuqai lead the way. When the two of them ride out of the south gate, general Shu Cheng notices someone wearing armour and helmet together with a boy. Whether the former is a man or a woman he cannot say precisely. Then Shu Cheng shouts that the unknown person may be Ariɣun’s wife, who has come out to hand herself over to them. It is Xi Baiyun who has come out. She clashes with Shu Cheng, and manages to cut off his head with her sword. Shu Cheng ’s soldiers are surprised to see that a mighty warrior like Shu Cheng has been killed by a single sword. They flee in disarray. While Xi Baiyun and Qasduuqai are leading the way out the city, a volley of arrows comes down like a swarm of locusts from a rampart of the city gate. They manage to go out of the city by the north gate, but all Xi Baiyun’s fifty soldiers have been shot by the arrows (song. pp. 180-184).
Another song relates that when sunset comes, Xi Tianyu is still fighting a battle with Zhang Kui. When Xi Tianyu raises his eyes, he sees that the west city gate is in flames. He flees the field of battle while a volley of arrows shot by the enemy pours down like rain. An arrow hits him in the right flank. Zhang Kui will not let him go and rides after him, and although Xi Tianyu is seriously wounded and bleeding, he resumes battle with Zhang Kui (song. pp. 184-185). By this time, Xi Baiyun and Qasduuqai, who are protecingt the cart, have already gone some five miles away from the city. At this point, Xi Baiyun asks the young Qasduuqai to take the cart into the forest on the mountain, while she goes to the west city gate to see what has become of her brother Xi Tianyu. Qasduuqai insists that he should go instead of her. A song describes Qasduuqai’s grey falcon-like horse galloping fast towards the west city gate (song: pp. 186-187). On reaching the gate, Qasduuqai sees that Xi Tianyu is fighting Zhang Kui. He dashes between the two men, taking Zhang Kui by surprise. When the latter begins to fight Qasduuqai, Xi Tianyu finds an opening to flee southwards. A song relates that, when Qasduuqai sees that Xi Tianyu has gone, he leaves Zhang Kui behind and gallops after Xi Tianyu, calling out his name and harrying him so that he heads for the forest. Zhang Kui rides after Qasduuqai, shooting arrows at him. When Zhang Kui approaches him, Qasduuqai pretends to fall from his horse, and clinging to the opposite side of his horse, he takes a sword from under his horse. He cuts off Zhang Kui’s thigh with a thrust of his sword, and rides after Xi Tianyu. Qasduuqai, who has injured the enemy Zhang Kui, reaches Xi Tianyu in the forest. Xi Tianyu is wounded and holds tightly onto the pommel of the saddle. Then he rolls over and falls from his horse. Qasduuqai pulls out the arrow from Xi Tianyu ’s body (song: pp. 190-191). Then he looks after him.
The rebel generals and soldiers have taken control of the city of Jinan and are celebrating the victory in the military camp, but they have not yet seized Ariɣun’s and Xi Meng’s families. At this point, the Daoist priest offers the solution. From among Ariɣun’s thousand soldiers he selects three hundred soldiers and gives them his magic potion to drink. The three hundred soldiers begin to behave wildly as a result. The Daoist priest has a stick made from the bones of a sea monster to beat the three hundred soldiers as they march towards the mountain in the north. A song relates that in the meantime Xi Baiyun is on the mountain in the north when she hears ugly voices coming towards her. Then a band of soldiers appears in front of her. At this moment, Xi Baiyun tells the cart driver to go ahead quickly, while she tries to hold off the soldiers in order to delay their advance. As the soldiers approach, Xi Baiyun sees how frightening they look. They wear no armour or helmets and brandish all sorts of weapons in their hands. Xi Baiyun is terrified at the sight and appeals to the gods for help. She prays to the gods in heaven, to Mother Absa Burǰa, and to the guardian deities of the eight directions . Xi Baiyun’s prayers are answered. A magic rain descends on her, making her invisible (song: pp. 194-195). The band of soldiers walk past Xi Baiyun and do not harm her. In the meantime, the Daoist priest has climbed to high ground, from where he sees a cart speeding on the main road. He gallops after the cart, and on reaching it, he orders the cart driver to stop. When the Daoist priest removes the cart covering, Ariɣun’s young son sees him and screams, then he falls from the cart. Her mother, Sümen-dere, gets off the cart, but, at this moment, the Daoist priest takes the child and throws him against a rock. Unable to bear it, Sümen-dere collapses and dies. The Daoist priest goes back to the cart and notices Xi Tianyu’s wife seated inside. Struck by her beauty he forgets about the three hundred soldiers and everything else. The Daoist goes back to the military camp, carrying the woman under his arm. When Xi Baiyun goes to where the cart is, she sees that Sümen-dere’s son has a wound in his head and that his mother is dead. Xi Baiyun laments Sümen-dere’s death in song. She invokes her soul floating in the air, also wishing that her soul will return to the world and be happy (song: p. 198). After this, Xi Baiyun lifts the child onto her horse and rides into the forest.