|Transcription Number:||Mo 51-56|
|Transcription Pages:||563 pp.|
|Recording:||On July 19-27, 1996, Rinčindorǰi recorded the text from the recitation of the bard Kesigbuyan of Baγarin West Banner .|
|Transcription Note:||On October 2, 1998, Rinčindorǰi finished writing the text.|
|Further Information:||At the end of the text (Mo 56), the bard Kesigbuyan relates that he learned the tale Čečeg-ün küriyeleng-tü güngǰü-lüge uruγlaγsan from the bard Böbö of Baγarin while he was performing tales in the House of Culture of Baγarin West Banner. The bard Böbö recited the tale for Kesigbuyan without musical accompaniment, and Kesigbuyan wrote down the text. Kesigbuyan recited this tale many times both in the üliger-ün ger, “House of Tales”, of the banner town and in the countryside. Kesigbuyan also adds that the bard Böbö had many books of tales, one of which was Altan luu-yin namtar “The Story of the Golden Dragon”. He also owned books on the history of the Mongols. Kesigbuyan likewise recounts how the bard Böbö used to tell him that, since he was the youngest bard in the Banner, he had the opportunity to make the artistic skills of the Mongols flourish, and all hopes for the future rested on him. As we learn from Kesigbuyan, the bard Böbö wished to transfer his property to him, but Kesigbuyan did not meet him again. Finally, Kesigbuyan tells us that the bard Böbö recited tales by heart which he had learned from books. Original tapes partly damaged|
|Language Archive Cologne:||hdl:11341/0000-0000-0000-2718|
Pages 1-3: The story opens with a song which describes the land of the Mongols as a peaceful place with domestic animals grazing on vast plains. It is a time when the Mongols are enjoying well-being and prosperity (song: pp. 1-2). At this time the Emperor of the Zhou dynasty is on the throne in Luoyang, the capital of the Empire. The Emperor convenes an assembly of military and civil officials, who, in song, inform the Emperor about the situation of the empire, saying that there are no bandits in the mountains, and no rebellions or lawsuits. There are no muddy waters, the rain falls at the right time and the five kinds of grains fill the granary, the five kinds of domestic animals graze in the plains, and the people live happily (song: pp. 2-3).
Pages 3-116: Now the story turns to King Long Xiangkunn of Eastern Liao, who rules over the eastern land and resides in Chengtang, and also guards Chentang frontier fortress . King Long Xiangkun has two sons and a daughter. His older son is Long Jichang. His younger son is Long Jigang, and his daughter is Long Jilian. A song describes King Long Xiangkun as a ruler who loves his subjects like a father, and who has defeated their enemies in all directions (song: p. 4). One night, Long Jigang, the king’s younger son, aged eighteen, is in the garden when he sees a rainbow shining brightly with the light of nine colours from the south. He greatly marvels and decided to go and see, but he does not know whether the rainbow is a good or a bad omen. He orders servants to saddle his horse and to fetch armour and weapons, and has soldiers to escort him. Servants saddle his horse with a white coat and a grey tail. A song praises the qualities of Long Jigang’s horse , saying that the horse has eyes like the morning star and the ears of a wolf. He has a forehead like a wish-granting jewel and a nose similar to a white conch. The horse does not falter when climbing mountains. Nor does he retreat when coming upon rivers. From among ten thousand horses he is the foremost (song: pp. 5-7). Another song describes how the horse is adorned. Then the song goes on to extol the saddle of Long Jigang’s horse , which is made from the branches of a sandal tree. Nails of gold and brass are driven in for going powerful enemies. The pommel of the saddle bears the images of the sun and the moon shining a light back and front. The saddle straps with flowers and leaf designs spread like wings. Then the song describes Long Jigang removing his plain clothes and putting on padded armour. He wears a suit of iron armour over it, covered with silver armour bordered with a magic rainbow design shining a light of nine colours. On the back side it shows a rainbow radiating a light of ten colours with images of lions and tigers. On his head, Long Jigang puts on a silver helmet with a golden trident and with tassels tied to a ring. He wears boots showing tigers’ heads. He takes a magic bow, and puts five arrows with the feathers of a vulture into the quiver. He puts treasured sword as hard as a diamond into a green sheath, and then he takes a silver lance (song: pp. 8-14). Escorted by fifty or sixty soldiers, Long Jigang sets out in the direction of the place where the rainbow of nine colours appeared. A song describes Long Jigang riding at full speed to discover the source of the rainbow of nine colours, while clouds of dust stirred up by his horse’s hooves cover the sky. Long Jigang and his men come to a beautiful azure-coloured plain (song: pp. 15-16).
After dismounting from their horses, they notice a deep hole in the ground from where a light of nine colours is shining. Long Jigang tells his soldiers to wait there for him while he gooes back to tell his father about what they had seen. A song relates how Long Jigang meets his father and greets him (song: pp. 17-18). Long Jigang narrates to his father all about the light of nine colours, then he says to him that he does not know whether the light is the sign of bad or a good omen. King Long Xiangkun summons his officials, and the military advisor, He Zijin, tells the King that it is difficult to establish what omen the light of nine colours portends. He suggests sending wise and capable men to investigate. On hearing this, King Long Xiangkun orders provisions and tents to be loaded onto carts, and he and his son Long Jigang set out, escorted by two thousand soldiers. A song describes how they all ride towards the place from where the rainbow radiates a light of nine colours. They reach it before daybreak and make camp (song: p. 21). After this, Long Jigang tells his father that, since he was the first to see the light of nine colours, he will go into the deep hole in the ground to discover the source of the light. His father agrees to this and tells him to wear a short armour and to take a short sword with him. Long Jigang sits down in a basket and people lower it into the deep hole. This fact is repeated in song, which also adds that it is pitch-dark inside the hole (song: pp. 23-24). Suddenly, the sun rises and darkness vanishes, and Long Jigang finds himself in an enchanting landscape. A song describes a landscape with turquoise-coloured cliffs glittering in the rising sun. Willow, sandal, and pine trees stand high in wide ravines. Lotus and lily flowers blossom beside stretches of waters, and larks sing melodious tunes (song: pp. 25-26). Long Jigang sees a temple and, as he goes in that direction, he notices that a rainbow radiates a light of nine colours from inside the temple. He wonders what deity inhabits the temple. Since no one is in sight, he pushes open the door and goes in. In the courtyard, Long Jigang sees flowers of myriad colours and hears birds singing melodiously (song: p. 28). Long Jigang finds an empty temple without paintings on its walls. Then he notices a cooking-pot on the south-west side of the temple, and since he is hungry, he goes in that direction. As he lifts the lid, he sees that there are two tigers, nine cows, and a dragon over a steaming-tray. He devours them all. Long Jigang is now thirsty and heads to a lake on western side of the temple. The lake is described in a song (p. 32). After drinking water from the lake to quench his thirst, Long Jigang takes off his armour and jumps into the lake. While he is swimming he hears a tinkling sound. This alarms Long Jigang, who hides under the flowers in the lake. He peeps through the flowers and sees a maiden. A song praises the maiden, saying that her beauty eclipses flowers of ten thousand colours and makes the sun in the sky feel ashamed (song: p. 34). The maiden sees Long Jigang and reproaches him for swimming in the sacred lake and polluting the water. Showing his head outside the water, Long Jigang asks the maiden to forgive him for swimming in the lake. After coming out of the lake, Long Jigang puts on his clothes, and the maiden begins to hit him with her fist. Long Jigang becomes furious at the maiden and the two of them beging to fight by kicking each other with their feet. A song relates that the maiden and Long Jigang fight with each other, but neither could prevail (song: pp. 38-39).
The maiden guides Long Jigang to the temple where he was before, but this time the temple is different. A song describes a goddess with a luminous appearance sitting on a throne decorated with lotus flowers of ten colours. The goddess preserves in her body her primeval light which radiates a rainbow light of nine colours to the world. Long Jigang kneels in obeisance before the goddess, and after paying his respect to her, he tells the goddess how he ate the animals he had found over the steaming-tray, and how he swam in the lake (song: pp. 41-42). After this, the goddess tells Long Jigang that he is her predestined disciple, that he has come to the Western Heaven, and that the rainbow light of nine colours radiates from her miraculous robe. The goddess also tells Long Jigang that she is the goddess of the Ninth Heaven. Then the goddess recites a poem for him to memorise, with lines saying that the West is an auspicious direction where a happy event will occur to him. He will marry a princess in a flower garden. After this, the goddess urges Long Jigang to go back, take command of an army of ten thousand men, and set out to the West, carrying a flag with words inscribed in letters of gold on it which read that the army has set out to experience a happy event in the West. The goddess tells Long Jigang that before he can marry the princess in the flower garden, he will experience obstacles and battles. In view of this, the goddess gives Long Jigang magic objects. She gives him magic armour and a helmet, and magic bow and arrows. The goddess also advises Long Jigang to use bow and arrows only when he fights against people with magic powers. The goddess also gives Long Jigang a divinatory book without written words on it. Words will appear, she adds, only when Long Jigang puts the book on an altar, purifies his body with incense, and prays and bows to her. If Long Jigang wants to find out about the outcome of a battle, continues the goddess, he will find a battle strategy in the book. The goddess also gives Long Jigang a small gourd from where the immortality pill will emerge when he prays to her. If he dissolves the pill in spring water and pours it into the mouth of a dead man, the dead man will come back to life. Finally, the goddess gives Long Jigang a double-bladed sword which is only found in Śudarasun, the city of heavenly God Qormusta.
When Long Jigang comes out of the hole, the hole disappears, and Long Jigang’s countenance is more luminous than before, with a light radiating from his magic armour and helmet. After going back, King Long Xiangkun has his two sons, Long Jichang and Long Jigang, set out to the West with hundred thousand soldiers. Long Jichang assumes command of the whole army, and Long Jigang acts as vanguard general of the army. The day of the black tiger is selected as the auspicious date for setting off. Before setting off, Long Jichang and Long Jigang take leave of their parents. A song tells about the two sons taking leave of their parents, who give them moral exhortations for correct behaviour such as, for example, that they should not fawn on those who wear silk robes and sit in palanquins, because there may be enemies among them. They should not despise beggars, because top-ranking men may come out from them to offer help (song: pp. 54-56). Another song relates how the two brothers ride to the White Tiger encampment, how Long Jichang, the commander of the army, dismounts from his horse and mounts the commander’s platform, raising the sword and waiving the banner of military authority to the accompaniment of drums beating, clashing gongs, and the blowing of trumpets. It also includes an account of how Long Jichang selects soldiers aged between eighteen and twenty-eight, how the ten thousand soldiers are divided into five units, and how Long Jichang calls his younger brother’s name and gets him to lead the front army and raise a red flag. Then Long Jichang also calls four generals and puts them in charge of the north, the west, the east and the centre army units, with each of them rising black, white, blue, and yellow flags (song: pp. 57-63). When the troops have arrayed themselves according to the five elements with their corresponding colours and directions, provisions and other necessities for the army are loaded onto carts. This event is described in a lengthy song (pp. 65-69). After this, Long Jichang mounts his horse with a white coat and a grey tail and heads his troops out of the city. They begin to march westwards.
A song describes the troops coming out of the gate of Chengtang, with the red tiger flags at the front. The troops leave behind their homeland and march along a long road in the middle of a plain covered with grass. Fine dust kicked up by the horses’ hooves obscures the horizon, and the lances, swords and flags stand upright like reeds. At this point, the commander of the army Long Jichang, issues the military regulations for the conduct of the soldiers during the journey. Long Jichang addresses the soldiers, saying, among other things, that they should not behave immorally. They should not play dice. Nor should they trample over the fields of wheat. They are not to stay at people’s homes. Nor should they rob silver and gold. Finally, Long Jichang tells the soldiers that anyone who disobeys the eighteen regulations will be put to death. After this, they continue to march westwards (song: pp. 70-73). When the troops have travelled for about ten days a high mountain appears before them. A song relates that the troops see an isolated lofty mountain with peaks joining with the sky and covered with all kinds of flowers and trees, swaying in the breeze. They see thick bushes, hazel trees, fruit trees, and old trees with branches like forks (song: pp. 73-75). Looking at the steep rugged mountain Long Jichang thinks to himself that there must surely be bandits in that place, and that they should be vigilant. The troops make camp in the vicinity of the mountain. The mountain is called Tielong, or Iron Dragon , and it is ruled by the two brothers Tie Jinlong and Tie Jinhu and their sister Tie Jinhua . It has been three years since they built a stronghold in the mountains. Patrols go to inform the three of them that a large army has come and set up camp (spoken poem: p. 76). The brothers and sister observe the troops from a high place and find out that the army has come from Chengtang. They also see a flag bearing words inscribed in gold which read that the army is going to the West to experience a happy event. They become suspicious about the troops who have made camp close to their mountain, and wonder whether they have come to attack them. Tie Jinhu goes out to investigate. A song describes Tie Jinhu wearing armour and helmet, having his horse saddled, taking weapons and riding off, escorted by some ten soldiers (song: p. 78). When Long Jichang learns of Tie Jinhu’s arrival, his younger brother Long Jigang, offers to confront the bandit Tie Jinhu. Upon meeting him, Long Jigang reins in his horse and, in song, he tells Tie Jinhu that by becoming a bandit he has disgraced his parents’ name, and has become the enemy of the people. He also exhorts him to give up living as a bandit and become loyal to the state (song: pp. 80-81). Then Long Jigang goes on to tell the bandit that they will make him an army general, if he admits his wrongdoing. The bandit Tie Jinhu thinks to himself that King Long Xiangkun of Chengtang is known as a just ruler who loves his subject like a father. After Long Jigang tells the bandit his name and why they are going to the West, the bandit also states his name and challenges him to a duel, which is narrated in song. It describes the two warriors galloping at full speed and coming to fight with their lances twirling. When their weapons clash, sparks of fire fly up in all directions (song: p. 84). The story goes on to tell that when a blood-red fire [descends over the nape of the neck of the two opponents the rocks in front of them flash a light. After fighting eight rounds, the two of them will not stop, and it is like a downpour. It is as if snow is falling in flakes. After fighting twenty-one rounds, Tie Jinhu realises that he is no match for Long Jigang and flees. Long Jigang races after him. He stretches his right foot, making Tie Jinhu slip from the horse. Long Jigang gets soldiers to tie him and take him to the encampment. A song reflects on how the mighty warrior Tie Jinhu suffers a defeat and is captured, using an aphorism such as: although a pillar is hard as steel it becomes soft in the heat of the fire.
After patrols have informed Tie Jinlong of what has happened to his younger brother, a song follows which describes Tie Jinlong donning armour, saddling his horse, and taking weapons. Then he gallops down the mountains, and when Long Jigang catches sight of him he asks the man to tell his name. He is Tie Jinlong , the king of Tielong Mountain , and the elder brother of Tie Jinhu, who has been captured. The two opponents fight a fierce battle which causes steep slopes to crumble, and clouds of dust to obscure the sky. When Tie Jinlong feels that he cannot compete with Long Jigang, he flees. Long Jigang races after him in pursuit, but Tie Jinlong throws a magic net which captures Long Jigang and takes him to his stronghold in the mountains. Upon hearing that his younger brother has been taken to the stronghold of the bandits, Long Jichang rides off to the stronghold, hurling insults at the bandit Tie Jinlong who has captured his brother. When he challenges Tie Jinlong to battle, his sister, Tie Jinhua , offers to go out to confront Long Jichang. A song describes how Tie Jinhua dons armour and helmet, and puts the saddle on her horse with a coat like a red date fruit. She takes her magic double-bladed halberd and a sword, and gallops off. When Long Jichang sees the warrior maiden he tells her to go back and send out a valiant man instead. This does not discourage the warrior maiden. They cross weapons four times, and when Long Jichang ’s lance descends over her it is as if Mount Kunlun is pressing against her. After abandoning the scene of battle, Tie Jinhua recites magic spells and throws a long rope, catching Long Jichang with it. Long Jichang falls off his horse and finds himself tied up. He is taken to the stronghold by the soldiers who escorted Tie Jinhua. A song relates about the two brothers who have been seized by the enemies. After Long Jichang is taken to the stronghold, Tie Jinhua’s two maid-servants say to each other that Long Jichang is the commander of a force of ten thousand soldiers, that his face is like white jade, and that Tie Jinhua has not yet married. The maid-servants contrive a plan whereby Tie Jinhua will be forced to marry Long Jichang. The two maid-servant give Tie Jinhua and Long Jichang wine mixed with a drug to drink which causes both of them to be drunk and fall asleep. Then they carry Long Jichang to Tie Jinhua ’s bed, and as a result the two of them have no other choice but to marry. The wedding is celebrated, and a feast, lasting for three days is given to the troops under Long Jichang ’s command. These events are also described in song. Both Long Jigang and Tie Jinhu, who were taken prisoner, are set free.]
A song narrates that after the wedding feast the army led by Long Jichang leaves Tielong Mountain and sets out towards the West (song: p. 85). When the troops have marched for eight days, they come to a mountain and made camp near Doulong frontier fortress. After this, Long Jichang writes a letter to the commander of Doulong frontier fortress, requesting that he let the army pass through so that they can continue their journey to West. Four soldiers take the letter and ride off. On reaching the gate of the fortress, four young generals took the letter and presented it to the commander, Liu Han. After reading the letter, Liu Han laughs and says that the sons of the King of Eastern Liao have raised an army of ten thousand men, claiming that they are on their way to the West to experience a happy event, but in reality, he says, they come from the East to overthrow the Zhou dynasty and usurp the throne. At this moment, two young generals in Liu Han’s command volunteer to go out and fight the troops from the East. They ride off, escorted by a band of soldiers. The four soldiers who have delivered the letter, are beaten up and sent back. On reaching the camp, they tell Long Jichang that two generals and a band of soldiers are arriving. A song narrates how general Ma Song of Long Jichang ’s army goes into battle, escorted by two thousand soldiers (song: p. 90). Another song relates how Ma Song fights alone against the two generals, who are under Liu Han’s command (song: pp. 90-91). After fighting forty rounds, Ma Song’s large sword presses against the two generals as if it were Mount Tai, and the two generals flee the battle field. Observing this, Liu Han becomes angry. He dons his Daoist robe, puts a saddle on a white stag, takes up a sword, and enters into battle. A song relates how Liu Han comes to fight a fierce battle (song: p. 93). Upon seeing him, Ma Song asks Liu Han why he blocked the road for the troops on their way to the West, also adding that they were not travelling in their own interest. Nor were they going to plunder silver and gold. The battle which ensues is described in song. It narrates that after the two enemies crossed weapons six times, Liu Han weakens and rides the length of several bowshots. From there he throws a flying sword at Ma Song, who gallops after him in pursuit (song: pp. 94-95). The flying sword cuts off Ma Song’s head, and a song follows which reflects on the uselessness of war, which does not bring happiness to anyone (song: pp. 95-96).
After Ma Song is killed in battle, Long Jigang and Long Jichang’s wife, Tie Jinhua , charge ahead to confront Liu Han . A song relates that when the two warriors enter the battle a shower of sparks disperses and flies into the air. It seems as if a divine punishment is coming down from the sky. It is as if a huge mountain of fire is going to pieces, and the waters of the ocean are boiling. The two warriors are determined to avenge Ma Song ’s death. (song: pp. 98-100). After fighting about ten rounds, Liu Han flees the battle field. Long Jigang takes out the magic arrows the goddess of Ninth Heaven has given him. He fits an arrow to the bowstring and aims at Liu Han’s neck, but misses. After two unsuccessful attempts, Long Jigang notices that the wind has lifted up the front hem of Liu Han’s robe, showing a spot flashing a red light. At this moment, Long Jigang shoots an arrow for third time that pierces that unprotected spot and kills Liu Han. As soon as he dies, Liu Han changes into a hedgehog, while his mount, a stag, becomes a turtle. After this, Long Jichang and his troops resume their journey to the West. A song describes the troops marching westwards in high spirits, with their flags fluttering in the wind (song: pp. 109-110).
When the troops have marched for some days they come to Sanhe, or Three Rivers, frontier fortress. It is guarded by a general named Nan Ping. When Long Jichang and his hundred thousand men make camp near Sanhe frontier fortress , Nan Ping is surprised by such a large force. Then Long Jichang sends a letter to Nan Ping, asking that he let the army cross the frontier so that they can proceed to the West. Nan Ping reads the letter and thinks that the King of Eastern Liao is a righteous and benevolent ruler, but it is unclear to him why his sons have come. If he lets them go through, he thinks, they might reach the capital, kill the Zhou Emperor and usurp the throne. Nan Ping answers the letter, saying that until written permission from the Emperor arrives the troops should stay away from the fortress. Then Nan Ping decides to send a letter to Luoyang to inform the officials at court that an army heading to the West has come to Sanhe frontier fortress. He dispatches two messengers with the letter. A song praises Nan Ping as a loyal man experienced in military science, who handles the matter of the troops from the East carefully. It also relates how the two messengers reach Luoyang (song: pp. 113-114). Officials in Luoyang read the letter and are told that an army from Chengtang, in the East, has reached Sanhe frontier fortress. Officials at court take counsel with each other, and suspecting that the army will reach the capital and usurp the throne, conclude that word should be sent to every ruler of the provinces, and that the Emperor should issue a decree to call valiant generals and men to Luoyang and send reinforcements to every frontier pass. A song relates how the imperial decree is circulated everywhere (song: p. 116).
Pages 116-189: This section of the story begins in the state of Western Liang, which is ruled by King Han Sun, and its capital is Lianhua. King Han Sun is versed in the military arts and is also a righteous ruler. King Han Sun does not oppress his subjects. Nor does he take bribes. There are no robbers in the land, and people live in peace under his rule. In the meantime, the imperial decree has reached Western Liang and, one day, while King Han Sun is holding his morning court, the minister named Liang Xiong, presents the imperial decree to King Han Sun. The King reads the imperial decree and says that is willing to send an army unit to Luoyang, according to the emperor’s command. At this moment, Liang Xiong tells the King that they should use this opportunity as a pretext for killing the Zhou Emperor and seizing the imperial jade seal. A song comments on this event, saying that while the state was at peace an enemy arose (song: p. 119). When King Han Sun severely reprimands Liang Xiong for saying such words, Liang Xiong claims that he never really thought to usurp the throne of the Zhou dynasty. Then Liang Xiong tells the King that sending an army unit to Luoyang to protect the emperor will be advantageous to them in the future. He also advises the King that he should send his daughter, Princess Han Xiuying, along with the army and marry her to the emperor’s son, Ji Long, so that the king of Western Liang and the Emperor will become relatives through the marriage of their children. King Han Sun agrees, and Han Xiuying’s mother goes to tell her daughter, Han Xiuying, that it has been decided to send her to Luoyang to marry the Crown Prince Ji Long. King Han Sun of Western Liang also has two sons, Han Ming and Han Liang, who do not behave like their father. They take bribes and delight in women, and have a lust for power. They harbour the thought to conquer the realm of the Zhou dynasty, and have made common cause with Liang Xiong to attain their goal. Liang Xiong has deceived the King and used Han Xiuying’s marriage to Crown Prince Ji Long as a pretext for usurping the throne in Luoyang. An auspicious day is selected for setting out, and Liang Xiong collect the wedding presents. A song relates how Han Xiuying takes leave of her parents, and how her parents gave her instructions on how to behave when one day she will be empress (song: pp. 128-130). On leaving home, Han Xiuying and her two brothers sit down in a carriage and Liang Xiong mount on his horse, escorted by five thousand soldiers. A song portrays the traitor Liang Xiong as the enemy of the people, who has deceived the King and taken his daughter to a distant place by means of trickery (song: pp. 132-133).
On approaching Luoyang, Liang Xiong and his soldiers make camp twenty miles away from the capital. Then Liang Xiong sets out for Luoyang with ten carts full of precious objects. Liang Xiong comes to the gate of the imperial palace, and when his visit is announced, the Emperor agrees to receive him. A song relates how the Emperor lets Liang Xiong enter the golden palace, and how the Emperor is seated on a dragon throne, surrounded by his ministers. It goes on to describe Liang Xiong with contempt for his cunning lies (song: pp. 135-137). Liang Xiong kneels before the Emperor and greets him. Then he tells the Emperor that he has come on behalf of King Han Sun of Western Liang , and that he also has a letter from the King. At this moment, the civil officials whisper to the emperor that they should first let Liang Xiong stay in a hostel outside the wall, and then they will decide how to proceed. After Liang Xiong has left, the Emperor reads the letter, in which the King Han Sun of Western Liang writes that he has a daughter named Han Xiuying, who is beautiful and sharp-witted, and askes the Emperor if he agrees to give Han Xiuying in marriage to his son. Ministers, at this point, suggest to the emperor that he summon Han Xiuying to the palace. When Han Xiuying enters the imperial palace, all the ministers who are present see that she is really beautiful. A song praises Han Xiuying’s beauty, whose countenance puts the brightness of the moon to shame, eclipses the colours of lotus flowers, and inspired the love of young and old alike (song: pp. 144-147). Not only is Han Xiuying beautiful, her eyes show the virtue of benevolence. When Han Xiuying kneels before the jade stairs and greets the Emperor in her harmonious voice, the Emperor agrees to give her in marriage to his son. The wedding is celebrated, and a song, at this point, extols the bridegroom Ji Long , who has the appearance and the qualities to rule the world as Emperor (song: pp. 156). While Liang Xiong, Han Ming, and Han Liang are feasting with the Emperor and his ministers in the imperial palace, Liang Xiong, who has taken poisoned wine with him, gives the Emperor poisoned wine to drink and the Emperor dies.
A song narrates that the two brothers Han Ming and Han Liang and their followers hid short swords under their armours, which they cover with silk robes. They take out the weapons and kill the ministers of the Emperor, who have joined the wedding feast and have no weapon to defend themselves (song: pp. 161-162). After this, Han Ming and Han Liang set out to kill Crown Prince Ji Long, who is staying in a tower with his bride Han Xiuying. They entrust two of their generals with the task of killing Ji Long . When from beneath the tower they urge Ji Long and Han Xiuying to come down, the two generals, Su Qing and Su Bao, who protect Ji Long and are never parted from him, go down. They ask the two generals, who have been sent to kill Ji Long , who they are, and why they have come. Han Ming and Han Liang tell Su Qing and Su Bao who they are, and make clear to them that they have not come to Luoyang to help the Zhou Emperor. Nor have they have come to marry Han Xiuying to Ji Long. They tell them that they have poisoned the Emperor and killed his ministers, and that the power of the state is now in their hands. They also exhort Su Qing and Su Bao to surrender to them. Determined to protect Ji Long, Su Qing and Su Bao raise their swords to strike and a battle ensues. A song describes how the four warriors fight, and how their hatred is harder than diamonds. They charge back and forth with the strength of lions, threatening one another with thunderous voices (song: pp. 166-168). After fighting twenty rounds, Su Qing and Su Bao realise that they cannot withstand their opponents and flee. After this, Han Ming and Han Liang call their sister, Han Xiuying, to come down from the tower. When she comes down, her two brothers tell her that they never really intended to marry her to Ji Long. Her marriage is a cover for coming to Luoyang and usurping the throne. Now, they say, they are going to kill Ji Long. A song relates that, on hearing this, Han Xiuying flies into a rage. She blames her brothers for deceiving their father and for playing games with her (song: pp. 171-172). After this, the two brothers conclude that their sister is useless to them and decide to get rid of her. A song narrates how Han Ming draws his sword to strike her sister Han Xiuying, and how, at this moment, Han Xiuying, weeping, pray to all the gods in Heaven for protection. A wind rises from under the hem of her robe and she soars into the air and vanishes (song: pp. 173-176). When Crown Prince Ji Long , who is in the tower, understands that his life is in danger, he jumps out of the back window of the tower, landing on soft ground among flowers and bushes in the garden. He survives. Thinking that Ji Long is dead, Han Ming dons a dragon robe and ascends the throne, while his brother Han Liang takes charge of the military officials. The flag of the Western Liang dynasty is raised on the wall of Luoyang.
As for Han Xiuying, who has soared into the air and vanished, she lands on soft ground and survives. When she begins to observe all around she sees white yurts and horses galloping across a vast plain. A song goes on to describe the land where Hua Xiuying comes. It is a land inhabited by Mongol herdsmen, with camels grazing across hills, and feather grass swaying in the breeze. In the middle of a plain the five species of domestic animals resemble pearls. Linnet birds sing sweetly around the emerald plain (song: pp. 182-183). As Hua Xiuying reach a Mongol yurt, a girl comes out and invites Han Xiuying to enter the yurt. The girl is named Čolmon-čečeg. A song has Han Xiuying telling Čolmon-čečeg and her parents all about what has happened to her, and how she was blown away by the wind and came there (song: p. 187). Hua Xiuying makes friends with Čolmon-čečeg and remains with her.
Pages 189-212: Now the story returns to Han Ming and Han Liang, who have control of the Middle Kingdom. They amuse themselves, despise the elders and the poor, and take bribes. A song describes Han Ming’s and Han Liang’s greed for money and power with the words: If food is given to a voracious man, it is the same as filling a bottomless pit (song: pp. 190-191). As for Crown Prince Ji Long, who jumped from the window and survived, he stays in garden until the night falls. Then he escapes from Luoyang and takes the south road. A song depicts a tearful Ji Long leaving behind Luoyang (song: p. 193). As he is going on his way, Ji Long notices that there are many cave dwellings. He enters one and decides to stay there for the night. In the middle of the night, five hundred beggars noisily enter the cave dwelling. When at day-break the beggars are about leave, they notice a boy dressed in brocade robe with dragon motifs. A song recounts how an old man comes up to Ji Long and, addressing him with kind words, asks him what his name is and where his homeland is (song: p. 198). When Ji Long reveals to the old man who he is and what has happened to him to the old man, the latter is moved to tears. On hearing that Ji Long is the Crown Prince, some of the beggars want to seize Ji Long, take him to Luoyang, and hand him over to Han Ming and Han Liang, who might reward them for this. When the old men tries to defend Ji Long, one of the beggars kills him. A song relates how Ji Long falls into the hands of enemies, and how he prays to the gods for help (song: pp. 201-202). While Ji Long is being taken back to Luoyang by the beggars, a boy comes to the cave dwelling looking for his father. An old man who has remained in the cave dwelling tells him how his father was killed, and how the beggars have taken Crown Prince Ji Long back to Luoyang. A song describes the boy grieving for the death of his father and vowing to avenge his father’s death (song: p. 204). He draws a sword out of its sheath and runs after the four hundred beggars who are marching towards Luoyang. A song narrates how the boy, filled with hatred, runs as fast as he can after the beggars as if he has wings. As he reaches the men, he sees that Ji Long is with them. At this moment, his sword glitters and he cuts off their heads, tear their limbs apart, and smash their chests. He is like a hungry tiger falling upon its prey (song: pp. 205-207). Having killed all the beggars, the boy unties Ji Long, who thanks him for saving his life. The boy is twelve years old and his name is Ji Shan. When Ji Shan learns that Ji Long has fled Luoyang and has nowhere else to go, he carries him on his back and goes begging. As they are going, they come to a village where an old diviner named Ma Gong , or Old Ma, lives. Old Ma invites Ji Long and Ji Shan into his house.
Pages 212-228: Now the story turns to King Ding Xianglong , who governs Yunnan and Guizhou provinces. One day, a decree arrives from Han Ming and Han Liang, informing Ding Xianglong that the name of the dynasty has changed to Western Liang, and that he should bring tribute in the form of money to Luoyang. After reading the decree, and after conferring with his civil and military officials, Ding Xianlong decides to assume command of a large force, march to Luoyang, kill Han Ming and Han Liang and restore the Zhou dynasty. A song relates how Ding Xianlong orders grooms to saddle his horse. The song also includes both the praise of the saddle of Ding Xianlong’s horse and the description of Ding Xianlong donning armour, helmet and putting on his weapon. It also relates how Ding Xianlong mounts on his horse with a white coat and a grey tail (song: pp. 214-222). Then Ding Xianlong, holding the sword and the banner of military authority, tells his soldiers that Luoyang has fallen into the hands of the traitors Han Ming and Han Liang, and that they are going to restore the Zhou dynasty. After this, the army begins to march towards Luoyang. An account of the army on the march is conveyed in song (pp. 224-226). Years pass, and in the meantime Nan Ping, who guards Sanhe frontier fortress , hears that Han Ming and Han Liang of Western Liang have killed the Zhou Emperor, and that Luoyang has fallen into their hands. Nan Ping, at this point, thinks that he should join forces with the ten thousand men led by Long Jichang, who are still staying in the vicinity of Sanhe frontier fortress, farming the soil and without causing any trouble. They are still awaiting permission from the Zhou Emperor to continue their journey to the West, unaware that the Emperor is dead. One day, Nan Ping goes to meet Long Jichang and his younger brother, Long Jigang , and tells them about his plan to join forces with them, march to Luoyang, and eliminate Han Ming and Han Liang who killed the Emperor and usurped his throne. He also tells them that there is news of Ding Xianlong setting out for Luoyang with a large army, but he does not know for what reason Ding Xianlong has mobilised his army.
Pages 228-240: Now the story returns to Old Ma’s home, where Crown Prince Ji Long and Ji Shan are staying. One day, a boy comes to Old Ma’s home begging for food. The boy has a greenish face similar to the colour of sea weeds and broad shoulders. He wears the robe of coarse cotton typical of a beggar farmer, and holds a crescent-bladed axe in his hand. Old Ma takes the boy into his home and lets him eat and drink to his fill. Then Old Ma asks the boy his name and age, and the boy says that his name was Fei Tangfeng , and that he is nine years old. When the boy Fei Tangfeng asks Old Ma to let him stay the night, Old Ma agrees and the boy goes to sleep under the eaves. At night, a noise is heard which wakes up Old Ma , Ji Long, and Ji Shan. The three of them get up and see Fei Tangfeng standing over a lotus-shaped cloud, grabbing a golden club radiating a beam of golden light, and battling with a goddess who is holding a double-bladed sword. After the goddess vanishes in the sky, Fei Tongfeng awakes and wonders why a golden club should have ended up in his hand. At this moment, Old Ma tells Fei Tongfeng that, a supernatural being, who may have been the goddess of the Ninth Heaven , has taught him the skills in arms in a dream. On learning this, Fei Tongfeng thinks that he will use his skills in arms to help to restore the Zhou dynasty. After this, Old Ma thinks that Crown Prince Ji Long should be taken to a safe place in the mountains. Thus Old Ma, Ji Long, and Ji Shan set out for Hanqing Mountain , where a warrior named Hou Sanlang built a stronghold. A song related how the three of them set out for Hanqing Mountain (song: p. 239). On reaching the stronghold, Old Ma, Ji Long, and Ji Shan are welcomed by Hou Sanlang and his men.
Pages 240-245: Now the story turns to Gansu province , which is ruled by King Yao Tianlong , aged sixty-five. When, one day, Yao Tianlong receives an imperial decree from Han Ming, he convenes an assembly of his ministers and tells them that Han Ming has informed him that the emperor of the Zhou dynasty has died, and that he and his brother, Han Liang, of Western Liang have usurped the throne of the deceased emperor. Since Yao Tianlong has the ambition to become emperor, he tells his ministers that an opportunity has been offered to them to march to Luoyang with a large force, kill the usurpers and seize the throne. As Yao Tianlong and his army are about to set out for Luoyang, spies report that Crown Prince Ji Long is staying in Hanqing Mountain. On hearing the news, Yao Tianlong abandons his original plan to march to Luoyang, deciding to go first to Hanqing Mountain and kill Ji Long.
Pages 245-259: Now the story tells us about a Daoist master , named Laozu Tiansun, who lives in a cave called Dajin on Mount Sumeru . One day, the Daoist master calls his youngest disciple, the eighteen-year-old girl named Ji Zaiyun, who is none other than the daughter of the deceased Zhou Emperor . The master tells Ji Zaiyun that when she was two years old he took her to his cave and taught her book knowledge and the martial arts. Now, the Daoist master adds, the time has come for her to descend to the everyday world to protect her younger brother Ji Long from danger. The master gives Ji Zaiyun a magic deer to ride, which will take her to the place where she should stop. A song relates how Ji Zaiyun gets ready to leave the mountain. Near her skin she wears padded armour with leaf patterns, and over it she dons a soft armour. Over it, she puts on armour bearing the images of the five continents, the four seas, and the planets, tying it with a wide belt of pure silk. On her head she puts a helmet made of the Seven Treasures and wears boots showing the head of the Garuda bird . She fixes all kinds of magic flags on her collar at the back. She ties a precious gourd under her left arm and takes a sword as hard as a diamond. She calls her magic deer, and the deer comes towards her, playfully. After adorning the deer with precious bridle and saddle, Ji Zaiyun sets off, with the deer folding its hooves and soaring into the air (song: pp. 248-259).
Pages 259-296: Now the story returns to Yao Tianlong of Gansu province, who is heading for Hanqing Mountain determined to kill Crown Prince Ji Long. A song describes the majestic Hanqing Mountain with peaks reaching to the horizon and covered with sandal trees (song: p. 260). Yao Tianlong and the army approach the mountain and made camp. Another song relates how scouts see a large army camping near the stronghold (song: pp. 260-261). They rush to inform the commander of the stronghold, Hou Sanlang, and when Hou Sanlang and Old Ma go to observe events from a high place, they see a force of twenty thousand men who has come from Gansu province led by Yao Tianlong . Suspecting that the army has come to seize Crown Prince Ji Long, two young generals under Hou Sanlang’s command, come down from the mountains to encounter the enemies. The two young generals are Wang Long and Wang Hu. A song relates how Wang Long and Wang Hu arrive at the scene of the battle, and how the enemy troops are deployed in the long snake battle formation. Then the vanguard general rides out from the formation, and Wang Long pulls the reins of his horse and asks him why an army should have come to Hanqing Mountain, since from time immemorial there has been no enmity between them. The vanguard general addresses Wang Long, calling him the general of a petty bandit living in the mountains (song: pp. 265-266). The vanguard general identifies himself as Qing Xiangku , who has come to do battle from Gansu province. Wang Long, in song, states his name, adding that he is under the command of the valiant warrior Hou Sanlang, who is generous in giving help to all (song: p. 267). Then Qing Xiangku declares that the army has come to capture Crown Prince Ji Long. A fierce battle ensues, which is conveyed in song (pp. 268-269). After exchanging weapons eight times, Wang Long realises that he is no match for his opponent and flees towards the mountains. Qing Xiangku races after him, holding high a three-pointed lance. A song follows which relates how Qing Xiangku pursues Wang Long shouting that there is no escape for him, and if he rises into the air, he will shoot him down; if he dives into the Anabatabta Ocean, he will fish him out (song: pp. 270-271). When Qing Xiangku reaches him, Wang Long quickly produces his lance and pierces the enemy’s chest with it. A song states that the death of the rebellious Qing Xiangku is a good omen which heralds Ji Long’s rise to power in Luoyang (song: pp. 271-273).
After killing Qing Xiangku, Wang Long decides not to attack his soldiers, but at this moment a general rides out of the enemy camp. A song depicts the general, who comes out as having a bluish face, with his ears set apart and with pointed teeth as sharp as a steel sword. He wears a dark golden armour and helmet and rides on a bluish horse. He is the wicked Yao Tianlong, who has come to kill Ji Long. Seeing him, Wang Long is furious, and, in song, challenges Yao Tianlong, asking him in a loud voice if he thinks that the Zhou dynasty will not rise again, and that there is nobody to protect the Crown Prince. Then Wang Long orders Yao Tianlong to dismount and surrender. A fierce battle begins (song: pp. 278-280). A song also narrates that when the two enemies fight, it is as if a storm is raging, and Mount Sumeru is crumbling (song: pp. 280-281). After fighting six rounds, Wang Long is wounded and his strength weakens, and his horse is neighing with the voice of foal. Wang Long escapes towards the mountain, but Yao Tianlong goes after him in pursuit. At this moment, a warrior bars Yao Tianlong ’s path. As a song tells us, the warrior Hou Sanlang comes down from the stronghold, riding on a black horse (song: pp. 282-283). Another song relates how Hou Sanlang fights with the enemy Yao Tianlong (song: pp. 284-285). They fight more than a hundred rounds, but neither could vanquish the other. When Hou Sanlang flees the battle field, Yao Tianlong races after him and shoots a poisoned arrow, which strikes Hou Sanlang in his flank. Hou Sanlang loses consciousness and falls from the horse, and the horse seizes him with his teeth by the belt of his armour and takes him away. The horse escapes towards the north-west. When this event is reported to Old Ma, the latter thinks that Ji Long should no longer stay in the stronghold and should be taken to a safe place. Thus Old Ma, Ji Long and Ji Shan escape from the stronghold on Mount Hanqing. In the meantime, Wang Long and Wang Hu, who are under Hou Sanlang ’s command also flee the stronghold. When the enemy army led by Yao Tianlong arrives at the stronghold no one is in sight. They plunder the stronghold of its valuables, burn it down, then they set out for Luoyang.
Pages 296-302: Now the story returns to King Han Sun of Western Liang . One day, the King is holding his morning court when a minister presents a letter to him. In it, his daughter Han Xiuying, writes that her two brothers, Han Ming and Han Liang, deceived their father and took her to Luoyang to marry Crown Prince Ji Long, and while they were celebrating the wedding, her two brothers killed the Emperor and his ministers and took possession of Luoyang. When they were about to kill her, she was blown away by the wind and came to a land inhabited by Mongols. When King Han Sun finds out about her daughter’s suffering and his two sons’ evil deeds, he decides to lead an army to Luoyang and punish his two sons for their crimes. A song describes the King Han Sun of Western Liang and the army heading for Luoyang (song: pp. 300-302).
Pages 303-304: Now the story turns to Su Family Village , located south of the Ice Sea, in the northernmost province of the empire. One day, the two brothers Su Tianlong and Su Tianbiao tell each other that they should set out for Luoyang, at the head of an army of ten thousand men, and in the event that Crown Prince Ji Long is still alive they will help to restore the Zhou dynasty. If that is not the case, they add, they will cause a worthy official to sit on the throne. Thus the two Su brothers and the army begin to march southwards.
Pages 304-325: The story returns to Ji Zaiyun, who descended from the mountain and travels for many days, riding on the magic deer. In the meantime, Ding Xianglong, the ruler of Yunnan and Guizhou, is approaching Sanhe frontier fortress, where the army lead by the two brothers Long Jichang and Long Jigang has joined forces with the army under the command of Nan Ping, who guards the Sanhe frontier fortress. One day, when the arrival of an army is announced to them, Long Jigang offers to go out to investigate. He sets out, accompanied by a contingent of an army. At the same time scouts inform Ding Xianglong that a general with a face like white jade and with the countenance of a hero is on his way, riding on a horse with a grey coat and white tail, and that a light radiates from his armour and helmet. Catching sight of Ding Xianglong and his soldiers, Long Jigang suspects that they are going to Luoyang to kill the traitors Han Ming and Han Liang and usurp the throne. Just when Ding Xianglong and his men are wondering who that warrior might be, Long Jigang raises a flag with the word “Long” inscribed on it. At this moment, two generals from Ding Xianglong’s army gallop forwards, and ask Long Jigang where he was going, and for what reason. Long Jigang tells them that he and his army are going to the West where a happy event awaits him. On hearing this, the two generals think that the army’s journey to West is only a pretext for reaching Luoyang and seizing the throne. After this, one of the two generals fights with Long Jigang, but neither emerges as the victor. By this time, the magic deer ridden by Ji Zaiyun has approached Ding Xianglong’s camp and stopped there. When Ji Zaiyun sees two men engaged in fierce battle, she asks them for what reason they are fighting each other. The two warriors notice the maiden, and Long Jigang , who is fighting, asks her why she has come to the battle field. Then Long Jigang thinks that she must have come to help the army of Ding Xianglong . A song relates how Long Jigang orders the maiden to dismount, take off her armour, and cast aside her weapons (song: p. 314). Since the magic deer has stopped at Ding Xianglong’s camp, the warrior maiden Ji Zaiyun thinks that Ding Xianglong is the loyal one, and that she should fight with Long Jigang. A song describes how Ji Zaiyun fights a duel with Long Jigang, charging left and right, and raising dust that obscures the light of sun (song: pp. 315-316). Then Ji Zaiyun turns the deer southwards determined to defeat Long Jigang by magic. She draws a sword from the sheath and, as she is doing so, a letter falls to the ground. She reads the letter and discovers that it is written by her teacher. In it, the teacher writes that if a warrior with a face like white jade and coming from Chengtang were to fight with her she should recognise him as her predestined husband. A song relates how Ji Zaiyun puts back the sword in the sheath and greets Long Jigang respectfully, and how she tells him about the letter with her teacher’s instructions (song. pp. 318-319). When Ji Zaiyun reveals to Long Jigang that she is the daughter of the deceased Zhou Emperor and the elder sister of Crown Prince Ji Long, Long Jigang knows that she is the princess that he is destined to marry in a flower garden. Now that Ding Xianglong has understood that the army that came from Chengtang is also loyal to the Zhou dynasty, he has his troops pitch camp near Sanhe frontier fortress, and as a result the troops that are loyal to the Zhou dynasty increase in number. While they are getting ready to set off, Crown Prince Ji Long arrives at Sanhe frontier fortress, accompanied by Old Ma and Ji Shan , and Ji Long meets his sister Ji Zaiyun for the first time. Ji Long’s meeting with her sister is described in song (pp. 323-324).
Pages 325-377: The story returns to Hou Sanlang of Hanqing Mountain, who was struck by a poisoned arrow in battle, and whose horse seized him with his teeth by the belt of his armour and took him away. The horse takes Hou Sanlang to a small temple where nuns live. One day a young nun sees a man lying on the ground in front of the temple gate and goes to inform two old nuns about the man. The two old nuns rush out of the temple and find that the man is unconscious, and that the horse near him is hitting the ground with his hooves and shedding tears. The two old nuns wash Hou Hanlang ’s wound with a medicine mixed with water, and Hou Sanlang recovers his senses. When the two old nuns sees that Hou Sanlang is a strong and a valiant man they ask him to marry them. Hou Sanlang refuses angrily, and the two old nuns become furious and begins to fight with him. Hou Sanlang manages to kill both of them. The young nun who was the first to see him, tells Hou Hanlang that the two old nuns kidnapped her and killed her parents when they came to look for her, and now she has nowhere else to go. On hearing this story, Hou Sanlang takes the young nun with him and sets off for Sanhe frontier fortress . When he reaches it, Hou Sanlang is welcomed by the Crown prince Ji Long whose life he saved when he took refuge on Hanqing Mountain. When he leaves Sanhe frontier fortress, Long Jichang takes command of the great army that is loyal to the Zhou dynasty, raising the flag bearing the words “Army of the Zhou dynasty”. The march of the army towards Luoyang is narrated in song (pp. 342-344).
In the meantime, the two Su brothers from the northernmost province of the realm are travelling southwards when they come to the land inhabited by Mongol herdsmen to which Princess Han Xiuying was carried by the wind, as was narrated above. It so happens that, the two Su brothers and the army come across Han Xiuying and her Mongol friend Čolmon-čečeg, and tell the two maidens that they are on their way to Luoyang to restore the Zhou dynasty. On hearing this, Han Xuiying and Čolmon-čečeg decide to follow the Su brothers on their journey to Luoyang. A song describes how Čolmon-čečeg takes leave of her parents, and how the parents wish her success in battle (song: 351-353).
By this time the army led by Long Jichang has approached a gorge called Heilongkou, or Black Dragon Mouth, where there is a frontier fortress guarded by a commander named Wang Gai. When spies tell Wang Gai that they have seen a large army carrying a flag bearing the words “Army of the Zhou Dynasty”, and that the commander of the army has also unfurled a flag with the name of Crown Prince Ji Long inscribed on it, he assembles his generals to discuss the matter with them. Generals say that that it is unclear whether the army is heading for Luoyang to restore the Zhou dynasty, or whether the army is going to Luoyang to usurp the throne. After Long Jichang and the army have made camp in the vicinity of the frontier fortress, Long Jichang writes a letter to Wang Gai, requesting that he let the army pass through so that they can proceed to Luoyang, kill the traitors Han Ming and Han Liang and restore the Zhou dynasty. He dispatches two messengers with the letter. Wang Gai reads the letter and replies to it, saying that he is aware that Long Jichang has come with a large army with the aim of restoring the Zhou dynasty, but he does not share their views and, since, he adds, he has been appointed commander of the frontier fortress by Han Ming and Han Liang of the Liang dynasty and, since he has received innumerable favours from them, he will not open the gate and let the army through. On reading Wang Gai’s letter, Long Jichang flies into a rage.
A song describes Long Jichang making ready for battle. Long Jichang raises the sword of command, holds the flag of military authority and asks his men which of them will go out to confront the enemies. Two warriors gallop forwards flying a red tiger flag (song: pp. 358-359). They are the brothers Tie Jinlong and Tie Jinhu, who have abandoned their stronghold in Tielong Mountain and followed the army led by Long Jichang. At the same time, two warriors come out of the fortress, escorted by an army unit. When one of them, whose name is Ye Lu, rides forward on a brown horse, the two Tie brothers tell him to reflect on the fact that the time has come to get rid of the traitors Han Ming and Han Liang, who deceived their father and killed the Zhou Emperor. At these words, Ye Lu tells them he used to be the commander of the frontier fortress, and that Wang Gai took over his post. He is willing, he goes on, to open the gate for them and join them in their effort to restore the Zhou dynasty. Pleased to hear these words, the two Tie brothers tell Ye Lu to pretend to fighting with them, and when a fierce battle ensues to capture the fortress he should open the gate for them. Ye Lu feigns defeat and, as he flees the battle field, he tells the Tie brothers that Wang Gai is a fierce fighter, and that they should send out talented men to battle with him. After this, Wang Gai goes into battle and fights with Tie Jinlong, who possesses a magic net. When he throws the net to capture Wang Gai, flames spew from Wang Gai’s nose and the net catches fire. Tie Jinlong has no choice but to give up the battle.
At this moment, the warrior maiden Ji Zaiyun comes before Long Jichang and asks him to hand over the sword and the flag of military authority to her. Long Jichang refuses to do this, because, he says, the army is under his responsibility. Only when Ding Xianlong and Old Ma say that it is permissible to do this at critical times does Long Jichang agree to let Ji Zaiyun take command of the army. Then Ji Zaiyun orders the army to evacuate the camp and move stealthily to a place fifteen miles away. The army follows Ji Zaiyun’s instructions, and in the middle of the night Wang Gai comes to the old camp, recites spells and sets fire to it, not knowing that the camp is empty. When he realises that he has burned an empty camp, Wang Gai makes a divination and discovers that Ji Zaiyun has taken command of the army and moved away. He is now determined to destroy Ji Zaiyun . He draws an effigy representing Ji Zaiyun on the trunk of a peach tree, writes her name on her forehead, and sticks nails into the limbs. A song relates how the wicked Wang Gai found ways of harming Ji Zaiyun (song: 376-377). Then Wang Gai begins to recite spells, holding a soul-snatching flag in his hand.
Pages 377-381: Now the story tells of Ji Zaiyun who is beginning to feel unwell. Her limbs ache, her whole body is hot, she loses consciousness, and her soul has left the body. Since this is no ordinary illness, all attempts to cure Ji Zaiyun failed. Having no other choice, Old Ma asks her younger brother Ji Long to burn incense and pray to the gods for his sister’s recovery. This event is narrated in song, which describes Ji Long addressing his prayers to the heavenly God Qormusta and to the protective deities of the ancestors (song: pp. 379-381).
Pages 382-556: Now the story turns to Yunling Mountain , where the master named Wangche Laozu lives. One day, the Daoist master has a ringing in his ears and his eyes twitch. He makes a divination and discovers that the evil Wang Gai has inflicted harm on Ji Zaiyun . He called his disciple, Wang Bao , and orders him to descend to the everyday world and save Ji Zaiyun’s life. Wang Bao has the ability to travel underground, and he reaches the camp of the army loyal to the Zhou dynasty using his ability. Once there, Wang Bao offers to deal with Wang Gai himself. A song relates how Wang Bao penetrates deep underground and comes beneath the door of the fortress (song: p. 387). Then Wang Bao furtively approaches the courtyard, and here there is a tent. Inside the tent Wang Bao sees an old Daoist master seated on a couch, holding a flag and muttering the name “ Ji Zaiyun”. It is none other than the evil Wang Gai. When Wang Bao notices a tree on which the effigy of Ji Zaiyun is drawn, he takes the tree away, goes underground, and returns to the camp of the Zhou army with it. While these events are taking place, a maiden riding on a white crane arrives at the Zhou camp. A song relates that the maiden’s name is Ding Jinhua. She has practised religious meditation in a place located in the Western Ocean, and is a disciple of an immortal master (song: pp. 396-397). As it turns out, she is the second daughter of King Ding Xianlong , and her teacher has sent her to cure Ji Zaiyun. Ding Jinhua puts on a religious robe and enters the tent where Ji Zaiyun is lying, and when she waves a magic flag and recites magic spells, the nails, which pierced the limbs in the effigy of Ji Zaiyun drawn on the peach tree, vanish. Then Ding Jinhua recites a prayer to call back the soul of Ji Zaiyun, directing the soul to enter her body through the top of the head (p. 400). Ji Zaiyun regains her strength and the peach tree is burnt.
Having failed to kill Ji Zaiyun, Wang Gai sets out to destroy all the generals and soldiers of the Zhou army. Wang Gai takes a star-gathering flag and begins to recite spells. Wang Gai also takes bow and arrows and shoots at the protective stars of all the members of the Zhou army, including the protective star of Crown Prince Ji Long. Then he gathers the stars in a vessel. With their protective stars captured, the members of the Zhou army suddenly fall ill, but Wang Bao remains unharmed. Wang Bao, who has travelled underground, manages to steal bow and arrows and vessel, and the stars are sent back to the sky. Just when Wang Gai is sure that all the members of the Zhou army are dead, smoke rising from the tents of the Zhou army and soldiers transporting water and food can be seen. They are all alive, and Wang Gai makes another attempt to destroy them.
Wang Gai, this time, decides to make a magic trap to lure the Zhou army into it. From among a hundred and eight kinds of traps, Wang Gai selects the so-called “wind trap”. He calls eight thousand soldiers and attaches the spell fu “happiness” to their foreheads. Then he orders four girls and four boys to be brought from a village. When the girls and the boys come, Wang Gai recites magic spells and hits their foreheads with his hand, resulting in the girls and the boys losing their memory so that they do anything he orders. The trap is made of leather. In the middle of it earth is piled up, and under it a hole three zhang deep is dug and filled with pebbles. The four girls and the four boys stand at the four sides of the trap; each girl holds a branch of a willow tree, and each boy each holds a magic flag, with the orders to use these weapons when the Zhou soldiers enter the trap. The name of the trap is written on the trunk of a tree that stands in front of the trap. Wang Gai also prepares his seat in the trap, and gathers his magic objects.
Before dawn comes, the evil Wang Gai enters trap and waits for the Zhou generals and men to go in. A song recounts that spies come to alert Long Jichang , the commander-in-chief, about a strange blue mist rising high into the sky from the middle of the plain. Long Jichang and his officials go to observe the strange mist from a watchtower (song: pp. 433-435). Then Long Jichang discusses the matter with the elders and it is decided to send out a talented person to discover the source of the strange mist. At this moment, the warrior maiden Ji Zaiyun offers to carry out the task, saying that she will try to find out the name of the trap, and that she will not fight with anyone. A song describes Ji Zaiyun riding out of the camp, and as she approaches the place from where the strange mist rose, to her surprise, no mist can be seen. She comes close to the trap and sees Wang Gai seated inside it with his hair loose over his shoulder. She also sees a high tree near the trap and finds out the name of the trap. Then Ji Zaiyun decides to go back to consult with the civil and military officials about what can be done to destroy the trap (song: pp. 437-442). The story goes on to narrate that Wang Gai sees Ji Zaiyun and tells her that she should take him as teacher so that he can teach her what she has not yet learned from her own teacher. On hearing that Wang Gai looks down on her teacher’s abilities, Ji Zaiyun cannot restrain her anger, and this fact is stressed in song, which also relates that when a furious Ji Zaiyun enters the trap Wang Gai waves a flag, with dust rising up and pebbles falling to the ground with a crackling sound. It becomes dark and a terrible wind arises from underground, and strange creatures come noisily towards her (song: pp. 445-448). Ji Zaiyun is wearing a magic armour and a magic helmet, radiating a light that surrounds her and enabling her to see in the dark. Ji Zaiyun manages to cut off the heads of the strange creatures; some with the head of a tiger, others with the head of a wolf. After noticing the girls and the boys holding branches of a willow trees and flags, respectively, Ji Zaiyun emerges from the trap. A song tells about Ji Zaiyun returning to the camp, thinking of going to visit her master on Mount Sumeru so as to seek his help and protection (song: pp. 452-453). After reaching the camp, Ji Zaiyun tells the Zhou army about her intention to visit her master on Mount Sumeru . A song related how Ji Zaiyun rides at full speed towards Mount Sumeru . It also includes a description of the mountain landscape (song: pp. 456-458). On meeting her master, Ji Zaiyun tells him about the frightening trap and asks him to give her the instructions for destroying the trap. The master gives Ji Zaiyun secret instructions and urges her to go back. A song narrates how Ji Zaiyun crosses the mountain in the twinkling of an eye, and how by the time the front hem of her robe has rolled up she traverses wide ravines (song: pp. 465-466). After reaching the camp, Ji Zaiyun asks Long Jichang to give her his insignia of command for one day, so that they can destroy the trap, in accordance with her master’s instructions. Thus Ji Zaiyun assumes command of the army again.
A song relates that Ji Zaiyun mounts the commander’s platform, and holding the insignia of military authority, tells the assembled army that they are going to destroy the evil trap, following her master’s instructions. Then she issues the military regulations on army discipline in the field, proclaiming that all who violate the regulations will be punished, regardless of ranks (song: pp. 469-473). After this, Ji Zaiyun calls the army generals by their names and orders that each of them and their soldiers should enter the trap through the gates at the four sides and fight. She also urges the warriors of the army who have magic weapons to use them to accomplish the task of destroying the trap. Long Jigang possesses a magic arrows that pierce a mountain he received from the goddess of the Ninth Heaven . Tie Jinlong has a magic net, and Fei Tongfeng has a magic club he received from a goddess in a dream when he was staying at Old Ma’s home. Generals and men carry out the task assigned to them by Ji Zaiyun, and succeed in destroying the trap. As for the evil Wang Gai, he has summoned his protective deity for help, but thanks to the protection she received from Heaven, Ji Zaiyun is able to turn the protective deity against Wang Gai, and the deity cuts off Wang Gai’s head. Having gained victory over Wang Gai, the Zhou army sets out for Luoyang, led by Long Jichang.
On approaching Luoyang, spies inform Long Jichang that a large army is coming from the west of Luoyang, with another approaching from the north. When he hears this, Long Jichang calls his most valiant warriors and sends them to investigate, also telling them that if the troops have come to help the traitors Han Ming and Han Liang, they should come back without fighting. If the troops, he adds, have come to kill the two traitors and restore the Zhou dynasty they should lead them to their camp. It so happens that the army from the west is headed by King Han Sun of Western Liang , while the army from the north is led by the Su brothers, bringing along King Han Sun’s daughter, Han Xiuying, and the Mongol girl, Čolmon-čečeg. They are all taken to the Zhou camp, and Han Xiuying is reunited with her father and her husband, the Crown Prince Ji Long. A feast to celebrate the happy event takes place.
While all are enjoying themselves, scouts report that an army has come from the south-west, rising clouds of dust, and has made camp fifteen miles away from Luoyang. Scouts go to investigate and discover that it is the army led by Yao Tianlong , the one who plotted to kill Crown Prince Ji Long when he took refuge in the stronghold on Hanqing Mountain. On learning this, Long Jichang and his generals decide that a contingent should fight with Yao Tianlong, while the majority of the troops should surround Luoyang. Thus Long Jichang, Long Jigang, the warrior maiden Ji Zaiyun, and other valiant warriors come out with a contingent to fight Yao Tianlong . When Yao Tianlong and his troops come out to fight, as a song relates, Long Jichang berates Yao Tianlong angrily and calls him a thief who, in opposition to the rules of Heaven, plotted to kill the Crown Prince. He also urges Yao Tianlong to dismount and be punished for his crimes. A fearless Yao Tianlong gallops forth and challenges Long Jichang to battle. After fighting eight rounds, Yao Tianlong sets aside his club and pulls out a poisoned arrow from the quiver. He notches an arrow to the bowstring and aims at Long Jichang, but the arrow does not fly in direction of Long Jichang. It flies skywards, and the maiden Ding Jinhua, who has been watching the battle from mid-air, grabs the arrow. Yao Tianlong looks up into the sky, and when he sees the maiden Ding Jinhua grabbing the arrow he becomes furious. Yao Tianlong re-enters the battle, and the warrior maiden Ji Zaiyun and other warriors of the Zhou army block his path, also urging the enemy troops to surrender to them. Yao Tianlong continues fighting, but he cannot not win. His horse’s pace slows and he is exhausted after the long battle, and in addition he is an old man. Yao Tianlong tries to run away, but Long Ji Chang reaches him and strikes him with his lance. He tumbles from his horse and dies.
At this time, Han Sun, the King of Western Liang, writes a letter to his sons, Han Ming and Han Liang, ties the letter to an arrow and lets it fly to the wall of Luoyang. Soldiers find the letter and present it to Han Ming and Han Liang. In the letter, King Han Sun accuses his sons of their crimes and orders them to come out of the city eastern gate with their hands tied behind the back. After reading the letter, Han Ming and Han Liang put on armour and have their horses saddled, and since Han Ming is the emperor he also wears ceremonial brocade robe over it. When they come before their father, the latter accuses them of opposing the rules of Heaven and killing the Zhou Emperor, and he orders them to dismount and be condemned to death. While King Han Sun is giving his sons these orders, Han Ming and Han Liang notice that the flag of the Liang dynasty has been lowered and the flag of the Zhou dynasty raised. This is done by the troops loyal to the Zhou dynasty who have entered the city. Han Ming and Han Liang do not surrender to the Zhou army and begin to fight with Long Jichang. This makes King Han Sun furious. He rides forth and blocks his sons’ path, determined to fight them, but the generals of the Zhou army dissuade him from doing this because, they think, it would be a grave sin if Han Ming and Han Liang killed their aging father in battle. Then it is decided not to kill Han Ming and Han Liang in battle, but to take them alive and let them suffer all kinds of torments. After all generals and soldiers of the Zhou army have entered Luoyang, Ji Long ascends the throne, Han Ming is executed and Han Liang is beaten eighty strokes and sent into exile to Tibet. After all these events have taken places, Long Jigang marries Princess Ji Zaiyun in the flower garden.
After ending the performance of the tale, the bard Kesigbuyan intones a song to thank Rinčindorǰi for coming to record the tale.
- There is a lacuna at this point in the transcription. The section within square brackets is based on the audio recording and the printed version published by Rinčindorǰi et al. in the book Bensen-ü üliger degeǰi, vol. 2, pp. 997-1005. ↩