Myths and Legends of China
Dispels the Nine False Suns
After this first victory Shên I led his troops to the banks of the Hsi Ho, West River, at Lin Shan. Here he discovered that on three neighbouring peaks nine Page 182extraordinary birds were blowing out fire and thus forming nine new suns in the sky. Shên I shot nine arrows in succession, pierced the birds, and immediately the nine false suns resolved themselves into red clouds and melted away. Shên I and his soldiers found the nine arrows stuck in nine red stones at the top of the mountain.
Marries the Sister of the Water-spirit
Shên I then led his soldiers to Kao-liang, where the river had risen and formed an immense torrent. He shot an arrow into the water, which thereupon withdrew to its source. In the flood he saw a man clothed in white, riding a white horse and accompanied by a dozen attendants. He quickly discharged an arrow, striking him in the left eye, and the horseman at once took to flight. He was accompanied by a young woman named Hêng O1, the younger sister of Ho Po, the Spirit of the Waters. Shên I shot an arrow into her hair. She turned and thanked him for sparing her life, adding: “I will agree to be your wife.” After these events had been duly reported to the Emperor Yao, the wedding took place.
Slays Various Dangerous Creatures
Three months later Yao ordered Shên I to go and kill the great Tung-t’ing serpent. An arrow in the left eye laid him out stark and dead. The wild boars also were all caught in traps and slain. As a reward for these Page 183achievements Yao canonized Shên I with the title of Marquis Pacifier of the Country.
Builds a Palace for Chin Mu
About this time T’ai-wu Fu-jên, the third daughter of Hsi Wang Mu, had entered a nunnery on Nan-min Shan, to the north of Lo-fou Shan, where her mother’s palace was situated. She mounted a dragon to visit her mother, and all along the course left a streak of light in her wake. One day the Emperor Yao, from the top of Ch’ing-yün Shan, saw this track of light, and asked Shên I the cause of this unusual phenomenon. The latter mounted the current of luminous air, and letting it carry him whither it listed, found himself on Lo-fou Shan, in front of the door of the mountain, which was guarded by a great spiritual monster. On seeing Shên I this creature called together a large number of phoenixes and other birds of gigantic size and set them at Shên I. One arrow, however, settled the matter. They all fled, the door opened, and a lady followed by ten attendants presented herself. She was no other than Chin Mu herself. Shên I, having saluted her and explained the object of his visit, was admitted to the goddess’s palace, and royally entertained.