Peach Blossom Girl Dueling Magic – Chapter 11


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Copyright © 2010 – Jeff Loh. All rights reserved

 

Requesting Dowry Articles For A Vexing Marriage,
Seeking Demonic Gods For An Evil Scheme.On hearing the Lord Chou’s marriage proposal, Peach Blossom did not let her parents finish and with great fury bursting out of her that she slipped from the chair. This is really:Delicate is the flower hapless under the rain,
Weak is the willow dancing in the wind.

Ren Tai Kung and wife were greatly alarmed as their daughter fell from her seat. Quickly they helped her up and consoled,

“My darling daughter! Why be like this?”

Whereupon they started to cry. Steadily Peach Blossom sat down and complained moodily,

“My parents dido not think thrice before acting and are now ensnared in someone’s ploy! Now we are in the hands of Lord Chou! Your daughter hasd divined that Lord Chou has no son and his wife had died a long time ago. Only a daughter he has, sixteen years of age1. Such suddenness he wanted me to be his daughter-in-law in three days’ time. Your daughter is reasonably sure that in breaking his prediction by saving Brother Pang, Lord Chou’s embarrassment hasd turned into anger. Today’s marriage proposal is a ruseploy to destroy your daughter. I’m afraid your daughter has to bid her parents goodbye forever a goodbye, never to reunite again!”

Ren Tai Kung and wife were thoroughly vexed on hearing her words,

“Why such inauspicious words so suddenly?”

Peach Blossom was no ordinary mortal being; being able to grasp situations easily, she quickly kneaded her fingers and already knew what was going on,

“Nineteenth of the month is when the Lords of Catastrophe are descending from heaven. It is extremely inauspicious. Lord Chou selected this date so that your daughter clashes with the Gods and die!”

Tai Kung raged angrily and shouted,

“Vile is this Lord Chou in planning such a venomous ploy. This old man will fight with him to death! I shall not be cowed by him in the courts!”

With that he tore the red flowers2 from his head, rending them to pieces before stomping on them.

Peach Blossom thought secretly to herself,

“By the orders of the Jade Edict I descended upon this earth to break Lord Chou’s predications. This I cannot avoid. Better to comfort the hearts of these aged parents.”

“Father, mother, please don’t worry! T’is the will of Heaven. Your daughter will not be intimidatedcowed by him! It is because you two have brought me up and I still haven’t repaid the debt to you bothtwo. It’s my greatest regret that I failed my filial duty to you.”

Ren Tai Kung and wife wept as they heard her words,

“Such an inauspicious date, how can we let him do it?”

Peach Blossom replied,

“For others, there shall be harm. However, your daughter knows how to break his schemes. When others needed saving, I had saved them. Now that disaster is upon me, how could I not know of a way to save myself? Please be at ease my parents. Your daughter is not afraid! It would only be three days before your daughter returns. However Lord Chou must assent to a few things before I acquiesce to that date of going over his threshold.”

Ren Tai Kung was delighted on hearing his daughter’s words,

“Whatever you wanted from Lord Chou, I shall call upon matchmaker Chiang to fulfill your needs.”

Peach Blossom replied,

“What is needed are not rare or difficult to find. A two foot long piece of red silk, Immortals from the Eighteen Caves3 made from assorted colors of silken knots are to be embroidered on the bridal sedan, a pair of empty vases, and a Five Grains clothes Iron4. By the time the bridal sedan reaches the threshold, sandalwood and cedar leaves must be burning both in the vases and the clothes iron. A servant from his household must walk around the sedan three times with the clothes iron before I am to enter the threshold. A horse saddle and a square bucket shall be placed at the main and inner gates. Upon leaving the sedan, the bride must cross over the saddles without touching the earth before she can kowtow to Heaven and Earth10-6. Finally, a servant from his household must be nearby at all times to take orders from us. If Lord Chou does not adhere to any of the conditions set forth, either his son comes to fetch me or I shall not be married into their household. Father please quickly prepare and make no mistake to all I that I’ve asked!”

Ren Tai Kung remembered all the instructions and quickly took the Four Treasures of the Literary Studio2-2 to record meticulously all that was asked without error. Knowing their daughter’s capability and her fearless attitude towards Lord Chou, their worries gradually gave way to joy,

“Your parents are now much at ease on hearing how you are able to break his magic. When the matchmaker is here, we shall demand your instructions be met byfrom Lord Chou.”

With that the two old biddies left the backyard garden at peacein ease. Peach Blossom remained in the garden mulling over her strategy to thwart Lord Chou’s scheme. This we shall not elaborate further.

Let’s talk aboutof matchmaker Chiang and Hsu Cheng’s return to report to Lord Chou about what had transpiredhow Ren-Tai-Kung had agreed to the marriage proposal and the bride will be crossing the threshold on the nineteenth of the month as stipulated. Lord Chou was immensely delighted and gave matchmaker Chiang a boon of some silver, and ten taels of silver to Hsu Cheng. Fearing that Ren Tai Kung and wife might renege, he ordered matchmaker Chiang and Hsu Cheng to prepare for the dowry gifts of wine and other articles immediately. A few female servants were ordered to follow the procession bearingof leading goats and wine kegs carrying to Ren Tai Kung’s home.

On reaching their destination, Ren Tai Kung ordered his inner servants to serve tea at the outer hall for the men whileand the female guests were invited into the inner apartments. All gifts were then let into the kitchen area without checks and tallies. When matchmaker Chiang and the female servants entered the inner apartments, she kowtowed,

“Ren Tai Kung, Mrs. Ren, congratulations!”

This time the old peacemaker admonished loudly,

“Matchmaker Chiang let me ask you, how can you be so befuddled in your dealings? I’m not vexeding at this marriage proposal, but at the date you selected for the nineteenth of the month. Such an extremely inauspicious date. Lord Chou is a scholar of knowledge. Why did he not consult his books? Bringing me a paper coffin instead? Is he trying to befuddle and deceive me? I shan’t go into this further but let his Lordship know this: If he does not adhere to all stipulations we demanded for the preparation of the marriage, then don’t blame us for reneging. I don’t care if he goes to court and sues us. I shall be most willing to entertain the process!”

Matchmaker Chiang quickly apologized and explained,

“Old peacemaker, please calm yourself! Only if these things are unobtainable in this world. If they are available, I personally will guarantee that you will be thoroughly satisfied. I shan’t eat my words.”

Ren Tai Kung chimed in,

“These are not unobtainable treasures, just some daily articles of use. All that is needed are written clearly on this slip of red paper5. Go back and tell Lord Chou to act accordingly to what’s written on the list.”

As the red list was handed over to matchmaker Chiang, she feigned illiteracy6 and asked,

“Tai Kung, could you please read over what’s on the list so that I know what they are?”

When Ren Tai Kung finished reading, matchmaker Chiang smiled broadly and said,

“All this while, I was thinking that what you requested are lacking in Heaven and none found on Earth. Such ordinary things, not difficult, not difficult at all! All guarantees on this little woman’s back. None shall be lacking!”

Ren Tai Kung then said,

“I have to bother you toin relaying to Lord Chou about all that iswas stipulated today. We were cautioned by a Ying-Yang master7 who explained that the date was too inauspicious. Perhaps these articles may offer some protection. Without them my daughter may die hence all these inconveniences. Though I’m of the vulgar masses, I’ll not renege on this marriage. Lord Chou is of the nobility, I’m sure he won’t be stingy on such trifle matters. You may leave!”

Matchmaker Chiang agreed most readily and she bade Tai Kung farewell and returned with her retinue. She gave Lord Chou him the red slip as she reported to Lord Chou,

“How sharp the Ren family is! As if they have some God of the Ears for a messenger. They seemed to know all of your Lordship’s moves.”

Lord Chou took a look and said,

“No problem… jJust follow the instructions. Go and tell them quickly that I’ve agreed to all requests. Send Pang Jiang over to them on that day and let them do whatever with him.”

Again matchmaker went back and reported to Ren Tai Kung that Lord Chou had agreed to everything.

Actually Lord Chou’s “Heavenly Dipper Divine Book” teaches only how to make predictions but not solving obstacles. Because of this, Lord Chou did not take seriously into his heart Peach Blossom’s requests seriously. Soon the eve of the eighteenth day of the month arrivedcame. Lord Chou sat alone in his study and was kneading his fingers to predict the precise location where the Lords of Catastrophe would beare descending. The Star Lord of the Four Ends8 and the Four Destroyers9 wouldill be descending in the north east, the Wailing Death in the north. The Heavenly Gauze and the Earthly Nets wouldill be in the east; the Well Wood Dingo, the Demon Metal Ram, the Mao Hour Day Rabbit and the Day Star Horse10 wouldill be at the north east corner.

With great satisfaction, Lord Chou exclaimed,

“Such Viciousness all gathered together and what luck that my house aligned in the perfect positiondirection. No further need of more manipulations. For other people, only one direction is needed to finish them off. Methinks that Peach Blossom hasdo have some capability. I wondered about the myriad things she needsed. Are these used to ward off any calamity? If this is the case, her capability will be greatly enhanced. How am I able to factor infact this fact? Let me adopt an ‘Easy to dodge a spear in the open and difficult to evade an arrow in the dark’ strategy. I’m sure she won’t be able to predict all the directions these vicious gods are descending. Just to be on the safe side, why don’t I secretly summon more gods to deal with this female? The moment her bridal sedan is in sight, these deities will take the bitch’s life for sure! Even if with great magic, she would not be able to withstand so many at the same time!”

Once his mind was made up, he quickly purified himself through a bathing ritual and changed into new clean clothes. With the “Heavenly Dipper Divine Book” in his robes next to his chest and the Heavenly Dipper Sword in hand, he strolled into his backyard garden ordering boy servants to prepare a table with fragrant flowers, candles, new sheets of paper, a brush and sheets of yellow paper. Everyone was ordered out and warned not to peek. H, he locked the doors himself and waited until it the third drum beat was heard. He took off his golden cap and let loose his hair as he approached the table. Taking out the Heavenly Dipper Divine Book out, he copied strange- looking charms from the book onto the yellow slips of paper with a clean brush dipped in vermillion. With the sword in his left hand and burning the copied charms in his right, he began to recite the sacred formulae. When he was done, he pointed the sword at the sky and suddenly a gust of wind began to howl strangely. When it died down, a heavenly marshal descended from the sky. How fearsome he looked:

Golden helmet in head spewing air of viciousness,
Face dyed in black, thick eyebrows a standing,
Eyes bright as lanterns and huge like Mt. Ao11.
Bristling beard hard as needles,
A bamboo culm shaped mace he wielded,
Fully a marshal ordained by Heaven,
Just two words, his name “Black Malignancy” cowering both Gods and demons!

Standing not far from the table, a voice was heard booming suddenly after a bow was made by this form,

“Conjurer, what need thee fromhas for us?

Lord Chou quickly closed his eyes and said,

“Sacrilegious it is to disturb ye Lords if there’s no purpose. Tomorrow’s hour of Si is the marriage hour of Peach Blossom. Aid me and wait at Ren Tai Kung’s residence. The moment Peach Blossom enters the bridal sedan, strike her with your mace and let her die in her sedan. Take leave and resume your proper place.”

“By ye orders!”

And with that, the form disappeared. The second amulet was then burnt and down from the heavens a disheveled form wearing mourning clothes came. In his right hand was, a yellow porcelain container was held and ion his left, a mourning cudgel wielded. This is the God of Funeral Affairs and is responsible forin overseeing the deaths of mortals. Lord Chou felt an aura of intimidation emanating from this Lord and quickly closed his eyes. The God bowed and asked for his responsibilities. Again Lord Chou commanded,
“Sacrilegious it is to disturb ye Gods if there’s none in purpose. Tomorrow’s hour of Si is the hour when Peach Blossom’s sedan approaches the main door. Bother thy Holiness to wait at the left side of the main door. When the bride leaves the bridal sedan, let your greatness strike her to death. Resume to your proper place when done.”

“By thy orders!”

With that replying the form turned into a gust of wind and disappeared. Once more after a third paper charm was burnt the Gods of Condolences appeared and was ordered to wait at the right side of the door and only to resume their former places after striking Peach Blossom dead.

Please read the next chapter to see which God was summoned by the fourth paper charm burning.

Notes:

1. It is strange that a daughter of Lord Chou is now suddenly mentioned!

2. A traditional gift to celebrate weddings etc

3. It is believed that the Penglai Isles of Blessed, 蓬莱島 has eighteen caves where immortals lived. These Isles are believed to be situated in the Eastern Ocean.

4. Most probably a clothes iron in which motifs of the five grains are etched on the sides.

 
5. On auspicious occasions such as marriage, everything is done in red, the color of living and auspiciousness.
 
6. Being a clever woman, matchmaker Chiang used this ruse to verify what was written on the list tso prevent any misunderstandings from happening so that Ren Tai Kung couldan not make any excuse to renege on the marriage.
 
7. A more elegant way of calling a fortune teller – one who is well versed in the principles of the Yin and Yang.
 
8. The Four Ends, are the last days of each season, considered in Chinese fortune telling to be extremely unlucky days.
 
9. The Four Destroyers, similar to the western Four Apocalypse.

10. These are the names of various stars in Chinese named constellations.
犴 is a kind of wild dog in North China used as a totem for a minority tribe. It looks like a fox with a black snout. Also a kind of legendary beast whose image is depicted on cell doors.

 
11. When the God of Fire, Gung Gung was defeated by the God of Water during a fight he banged against one of the supporting pillars of heaven in rage and destroyed it. Chaos ensued. The creator Goddess Nu Wa mended heavens with melted five colored stones but the earth was still in flux. Ao was a huge tortoise; the 9th son of the Dragon King of the Eastern Ocean offered his four legs to the goddess as pillars for the earth. In recognition of his service he was changed to an immense mountain. Mt Ao is situated in Tsinling Mountain range.

Original Text

桃花女陰陽鬥傳/第十一回

惱婚姻需索聘物
請凶煞中毒施謀

當時桃花小姐一聞父母許了周家誆親之約,不待兩老說完,桃花小姐怒氣沖衝,坐立不定,在椅上倒撲跌下。正是:

嬌花經雨底無力,
弱柳臨風舞不勝。

任太公見女兒翻撲跌在地下,夫妻二人唬得魂不附體,連忙一齊上前,抱扶起道:“我的嬌兒!何故如此?”竟哭將起來。這桃花小姐坐定,帶悶道:“爹娘作事好不三思,受人圈套也!這是周公之計謀也,如今中其計了!孩兒算得周公並無甚麼公子,且夫人已是早亡過了,只有一女,今年已是十六歲了。如今一刻要娶女兒,三日就要過門去,孩兒大料是為著彭家哥哥之事。只因見孩兒破了他的八卦,羞惱變成了怒,今日來求親,是想用法置死孩兒的。只此怕孩兒要與父母永別,再無見面的日子了!”任太公夫妻聽了這話,唬驚的發呆道: “好端端的,為何說出不吉之言?”桃花女原不是個凡人,料事如見,忙掐指一算,已明透洞理:“十九日是個凶神下降,大敗的日子,周公擇此日子,要衝死孩兒!”太公便大怒道:“周公如此可惡!而來計害。老漢不要這條老命,與他拚了!到官府理論,也不怕他!”把頭上的花紅拔了下來,揉的稀爛,地下揉踏數下。

桃花女暗想:“我既奉玉旨下凡,來破周公法,料躲不過,不如安穩兩老之心,免他著急。”便道:“爹娘放心!此乃天數,女兒也不怕他!只是養兒一場,並無一些報答,乃負卻父母大恩。”任太公夫妻聽了,雙垂珠淚道:“這樣不利兇日子,如何允得他的?”桃花女道:“別人遇之有害,女兒可能破解。別人尚能救脫,今日到自己身上,難道反不會救?爹娘放心,女兒不怕!此去不過三日便回來。只道是要周公給女兒幾件東西,便依他日子。”太公聞言,大喜道:“比如要周公些什麼。我好叫蔣媒去取。”桃花女道:“這不是奇難物。要二尺紅綾,花轎上繡上十八洞神仙,花轎要用雜色綢結成,空的寶瓶一對,內放五穀熨斗一個。花轎一到門,用檀香柏葉,放在瓶內熨斗中燒,要他家人一個,提著熨斗,繞轎三匝。方才進門。大門二門,要馬鞍一個,方斗一個,新人下轎跨過馬鞍,然後才拜天地。再要他家自大門起,直布彩氈到內堂,新人一下轎,腳要不佔坭。還要他家的彭剪到來,昕候我們使喚。若周公有一件不許我們,女兒就不允嫁去他家。又只要教他的公子親來入贅。爹爹可即照此急備周全,不得少誤!”當下任太公一一記清,自又取過文房四寶,逐一件件開列紙上,俱依著女兒所說出之物,一件件無差。夫妻又知道女兒有此本領,不怕周公,定然無妨,便把憂愁撇去,也歡喜起來。又喚:“我兒,你說能破他的法,爹娘自然放心。待蔣媒來,就叫他與周公要取這些的東西便了。”兩老才歡歡喜喜的出了後園。桃花女仍在園中打點破周公的法不提。

再說蔣媒與許成回府,見了周公,就把“任太公許親,十九日過門”的話,說了一遍。周公聞言大喜,此時賞了蔣媒銀子,又賞許成十兩白銀,又恐怕任太公夫妻反悔,吩咐蔣媒與許成登時備全聘禮、酒盒各物,喚了府中幾個僕婦跟隨,紛紛牽羊擔酒,竟到任太公家下禮物。

到任家,任太公便叫內使們自在大堂上待茶,女客請至內室。但禮物不用過目,一概教人抬入大廚房去。蔣媒與幾個僕婦進了內房,朝上叩頭,言道:“任太公、任太太恭喜!”這回老安人叫聲:“蔣媒,我問你,你辦事為何這樣糊塗?如今誆親的事我倒不惱,只是不該擇個十九日,乃大凶煞日。周公爺是個明理之士,為何不察看,竟拿紙棺材來糊糊塗塗瞞我?我如今也不追究了。但你回去說知周公爺:將上轎所用的東西預備,若少一件不給預備,莫怪我們悔口。憑他家去告官,我願吃官司!”蔣媒忙謝過,解曰:“老安人請息怒!若要些東西,只怕世上沒有;如果有的,小婦人包管教周家辦齊,決不食言。”任太公道:“也不是世上沒有的,不過是日用的物件。這裡有個紅單,上面開明白。你且拿回府中與周公爺,照單上送來也罷。”把紅紙單遞去。蔣媒接過,但認不得字,叫:“太公,你一一念過,看是什麼的東西?”太公便把單上寫的物件說完。蔣媒笑道:“我只說天上少,地下無的,原來是這些東西,不難,不難!包在小婦人身上,不少一件!”

任太公道:“煩你對周公爺說,今日要的物件是個卜陰陽先生算來,說日子太兇,要這東西,或者解得,若不然,就耍犯死我女兒,故此囉嗦。但我是個小民,既不肯食言賴婚,周公乃公侯貴人,不要吝嗇不辦。你們且回罷!”蔣媒諾諾,連連答言,忙與眾人拜別太公,飛奔回府。見了周公,又言:“任家好利害也!好像他們有個耳報神一般,公爺的事也一一先知。”又把太公所要之物紅單遞上。周公接來一看,道:“不難,一一依他。你可速速回報個信,說孤件件準依。至臨期,教彭剪送過去,且聽他使喚就是。”蔣氏聽畢,又往任太公府裡說了。

原來周公的《天罡神書》止有佔算之法,並無破解之用。至此周公把桃花女所要的東西看輕了,不在心上。到了十八日黃昏時候,周公獨坐在書房掐算那些凶神下降的方位,就知四絕、四滅星在東北,哭喪在北,天羅、地網在東,鬥木犴、鬼金羊、卯日兔、星日馬在東北角。心中大悅言:“群凶聚合,又與孤這所房子甚合方向,不用去勾齊。若是別人,只用向一方,就可治他性命。孤想桃花必有些本事,況且要了許多東西,安知不是解法?倘被他弄了手段,逃脫此難,反顯他之能,孤有何面目?今做個明槍易躲,暗箭難防,量這些凶神惡煞下降的方向,他必算不出。孤何不再暗暗勾上幾位惡煞,在各方等候這個陰人?只看他的花轎一過,不拘遇著那位凶神,就把這個狗賤的性命結果了!縱有法術,也教他顧不得許多!”定了主見,忙去沐浴更衣,取了《天罡神書》揣在懷中,提了天罡寶劍,一到後花園中,吩咐小使們預備下桌子,香花、燈燭、新紙筆、黃紙等物,放在桌案中。吩咐侍從人等俱退出去了,又不許在外窺看,自己關了門。只待那天交三鼓,周公走至桌前,把自己之金冠摘下,打散了頭髮,將《夭罡神書》取出,照定上面的符篆,用新筆寫上是硃砂在黃紙上面書道靈符,左手提劍,右手焚符,念咒罷,用天罡劍往上一指,只聽得起了一陣怪風,風響過,從空落下一朵煙雲來,托著一員天將,好不利害也:

頭戴金盔生煞氣,
面如黑染豎濃眉,
眼似鰲山明燈盞,
鬍鬚一部硬如針,
竹節鋼鞭手內擎,
上天敕旨封大帥,
“黑煞”二字鬼神驚!

忽聽一聲響,法身立在案桌之外,躬身道:“法官喚吾神那裡使用?”周公忙閉雙目,口言:“無事不敢冒瀆尊神,明日巳時,乃桃花女出嫁之時,借力與我前往任太公家等候,看他上轎的時候,可用鋼鞭把任桃花打死轎內後,請歸本位。”只聽得“遵法旨”一聲,開目就不見了。又把第二道靈符化了,甚是靈速,早從空下了一位披頭散發,渾身穿孝,右手提了一個黃磁罐,左手拿了一根喪棒兒,這位神是專管人間喪事,乃喪門正神也。周公見此位神將威威迫人,忙閉了二目,乃神躬身問差使,周公又言:“不敢冒瀆尊神,明日巳時,有任桃花的彩轎到門,煩上聖在大門左邊等候。倘任桃花一下轎來,仗神威靈將他衝死後,請回本位。”有神聖言:“領法旨!”化一陣風,也不見了。周公又忙化第三道靈符,請來了弔客尊神,又請他在右邊把守,必要把任桃花沖死,方許回本位。

不知第四道靈符請得那位神聖,且看下回分解.

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