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All Men Are Brothers – [Shui Hu Chuan] – Prologue #7

All Men Are Brothers – [Shui Hu Chuan] – Prologue #7

“CHANG, THE HEAVENLY TEACHER, CHIEF OF THE TAOISTS, BESEECHES THE GODS TO DRIVE AWAY THE EVIL FLUX. THE COMMANDER HUNG, IN HEEDLESSNESS, FREES THE SPIRITS.”

Again he went on some thirty to fifty paces and he drew several deep sighs and he said resentfully, “The Emperor set me a certain day to come here and he has made me suffer such fear as this —“

Before he finished speaking he perceived again a great wind rising there and it blew a poisonous breath toward him. When the Commander stared into it there was a sound of hissing among the vines in the bamboos and there came forth a white-spotted serpent as large around as a bucket.

 

The Commander saw it and again he leaped in terror. He case aside his censer and shouted out, “This time am I dead indeed!” And tumbling backward he fell beside a ledged rock. Then he saw the serpent writhe quickly toward to rock and facing him it heaped itself into a pile of circles and out of its two eyes gleamed yellow light and opening its great mouth it thrust out its tongue and blew its poisonous breath into the man’s face.

The Commander was in such terror his three souls floated from his body and his seven earthly spirits left him. That serpent stared awhile at the Commander and at last winding down the mountain was seen no more. Only then did the Commander crawl to his feet again and he said, “Fortunate! But I am killed with fright.”

When he looked at himself there were spots on him as big as dumplings and he began to curse the Taoists, saying, “These hateful, cursed, virtueless ones – they make these tricks on me and make me suffer such fears as these! If I cannot find The Heavenly Teacher on the mountain top then shall I have more to say to them when I go down.”

Again he lifted up the censer and set straight the mandate and ordered his clothing and was about to go on again. Even as he lifted his foot to step he heard in the pines the faint sound of a flute coming near and nearer. When he fixed his gaze to see, he saw an acolyte sitting backward on an ox and blowing on a metal flute and smiling as he came. The Commander watched him come and he called, “From whence have you come? Do you know who I am?”

But the acolyte paid no heed to him and he did but blow his flute. The Commander asked him yet several times more and at last the acolyte laughed a great ho-ho and taking the metal flute from his lips he pointed with it at the Commander and he said, “Do you come hither to see The Heavenly Teacher?”

 <Continued – Prologue #8>

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December 10, 2010 - Posted by | Read

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