Myths and Legends of China
Ch’iung Hsiao’s Magic Scissors
In another of the many conflicts between the two rival states Lao Tzŭ entered the battle, whereupon Ch’iung Hsiao, a goddess who fought for the house of Shang (Chou), hurled into the air her gold scaly-dragon scissors. As these slowly descended, opening and closing in a most ominous manner, Lao Tzŭ waved the sleeve of his jacket and they fell into the sea and became absolutely motionless. Many similar tricks were used by the various contestants. The Gold Bushel of Chaotic Origin succumbed to the Wind-fire Sphere, and so on. Ch’iung Hsiao resumed the attack with some magic two-edged swords, but was killed by a blow from White Crane Youth’s Three-precious Jade Sceptre, hurled at her by Lao Tzŭ’s orders. Pi Hsiao, her sister, attempted to avenge her death, but Yüan-shih, producing from his sleeve a magical box, threw it into the air and caught Pi Hsiao in it. When it was opened it was found that she had melted into blood and water.
Chiang Tzŭ-ya defeats Wên Chung
After this Lao Tzŭ rallied many of the skilful spirits to help Chiang Tzŭ-ya in his battle with Wên Chung, providing them with the Ancient Immortal of the South Pole’s Sand-blaster and an earth-conquering light which enabled them to travel a thousand li in a day. From the hot sand used the contest became known as the Red Sand Battle. Jan Têng, on P’êng-lai Mountain, in consultation with Tzŭ-ya, also arranged the plan of battle.
The Red Sand Battle
The fight began with a challenge from the Ancient Immortal of the South Pole to Chang Shao. The latter, Page 159riding his deer, dashed into the fray, and aimed a terrific blow with his sword at Hsien-wêng’s head, but White Crane Youth warded it off with his Three-precious Jade Sceptre. Chang then produced a two-edged sword and renewed the attack, but, being disarmed, dismounted from his deer and threw several handfuls of hot sand at Hsien-wêng. The latter, however, easily fanned them away with his Five-fire Seven-feathers Fan, rendering them harmless. Chang then fetched a whole bushel of the hot sand and scattered it over the enemy, but Hsien-wêng counteracted the menace by merely waving his fan. White Crane Youth struck Chang Shao with his jade sceptre, knocking him off his horse, and then dispatched him with his two-edged sword.
After this battle Wu Wang was found to be already dead. Jan Têng on learning this ordered Lei Chên-tzŭ to take the corpse to Mount P’êng and wash it. He then dissolved a pill in water and poured the solution into Wu Wang’s mouth, whereupon he revived and was escorted back to his palace.
Preparations were then made for resuming the attack on Wên Chung. While the latter was consulting with Ts’ai-yün Hsien-tzŭ and Han Chih-hsien, he heard the sound of the Chou guns and the thunder of their troops. Wên Chung, mounting his black unicorn, galloped like a whiff of smoke to meet Tzŭ-ya, but was stopped by blows from two silver hammers wielded by Huang T’ien-hua. Han Chih-hsien came to Wên’s aid, but was opposed by Pi Hsiang-yang. Ts’ai-yün Hsien-tzŭ dashed into the fray, but No-cha stepped on to his Wind-fire Wheel and opposed him. From all sides other Immortals joined in Page 160the terrific battle, which was a turmoil of longbows and crossbows, iron armour and brass mail, striking whips and falling hammers, weapons cleaving mail and mail resisting weapons. In this fierce contest, while Tzŭ-ya was fighting Wên Chung, Han Chih-hsien released a black wind from his magic wind-bag, but he did not know that the Taoist Barge of Mercy (which transports departed souls to the land of bliss), sent by Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, had on board the Stop-wind Pearl, by which the black storm was immediately quelled. Thereupon Tzŭ-ya quickly seized his Vanquish-spirits Whip and struck Han Chih-hsien in the middle of the skull, so that the brain-fluid gushed forth and he died. No-cha then slew Ts’ai-yün Hsien-tzŭ with a spear-thrust.