My Daoist Life - 7
Golden Haired Monkey
However, the cold qi in the jade pendant was making me feel uncomfortable. Therefore, I was not able to sleep well that night. Since, I didn’t dare displace the jade pendant, the cold qi on the jade pendant was making me worry endlessly. I don’t know what time I finally fell asleep, however Teacher Lin woke me up early next morning.
“Huang Jingyang, why were you not able to wake up today, ah? Did you do some mischief in the night?” Teacher Lin smilingly looked at me.
“I did not touch your jade pendant.” I had a guilty conscience. Which I had a hard time hiding as a seven year old child.
Teacher Lin’s heart moved, as she took out the jade pendant, and glanced at it. She shouldn’t have been able to know about the jade pendant’s matter. However, listening to my words, she must have surely recalled what her boyfriend had said earlier.
“Is there anything wrong with my Jade pendant?” Teacher Lin had a suspicion that I knew something.
“Nothing.” I was a bit flustered, “Teacher Lin, I need to return to set loose my Ox.”
I walked home barefoot, having left behind slippers in Teacher Lin’s room.
Grandpa hadn’t gone to work this morning. Farm work was only now and then, it was not something that needed work done every day.
“What are you so flustered for? Could it be that you have done something bad?” Grandpa teased me.
“I, I didn’t do anything wrong. I woke up late in the morning. I am just afraid of being late for school.” I defended myself.
I had pinned the hopes of my future onto a half a mu big fish pond, so the thoughts of the fish pond were quite heavy on my mind. After taking out the Ox, I ran over to see the fish pond. I also didn’t know what to feed these fish. Having seen other people throw grass into fish ponds, that were eaten up by the fish, I also scrounged up some fresh grass and scattered them into the fish pond. Conveniently, a strand of primordial qi was also shot into the grass which involved barely an effort.
[TLNote: Chinese “Mu” is a unit of area http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/area/cmu.html%5D]
“Foolish child, the fish you are feeding are not grass carp, you threw fish grass……” Grandpa’s words were cut off abruptly, because he saw that in the fish pond the various fish that I had captured were frantically eating the grass. Through all my life, afraid it was the first time that saw such a strange phenomenon. In any case, anything touched by me is unlikely to be normal.
Grandpa shook his head and walked towards home.
“Grandpa, should I continue to feed them grass?” I asked somewhat puzzled.
“Go on.” Grandpa said from afar.
Now that Grandpa had permitted to feed, then fed they shall be. In such a big fish pond, just a bucket of fish didn’t feel like enough to me. So I simply went again to the river beach during the afternoon time, and brought back some captured fish.
Black Bean had been playfully running behind me. I turned out my pockets to find some pieces of candy but there was no meat bone. I dismayingly took a chunk of candy and gave it to Black Bean. However, I didn’t think that a thing that was held great interest for me, would attract no interest from it. It just licked it once in his mouth and unexpectedly, didn’t even taste it again.
“Stupid Dog, don’t you know that the taste of sweets is good?” I turned to look at that piece of candy for quite a few seconds, and eventually returned without picking up that candy. No matter what, we are still Daoists. How the hell could we be picking up candy that dogs had eaten.
Today is Friday, this is a kid’s most favourite day, because studies last for only the first half of the day, and the afternoon is straight up holiday. Teacher Lin also goes back home on Friday. At last, I also need not go to school. In the afternoon, I prepare to go into the mountains to chop firewood.
With my small body, I am not able to bring heavy firewood on my back. However, this was not that difficult for me. I had Grandpa make two wicker baskets and fixed them on the Ox’s back. I also carried a small bamboo basket myself. I would not be able to bring back great trees from the mountain, but it was still possible for me to pick up deadwood from the mountain. The picked up firewood was enough to burn for a couple of days.
All the village brats avoided me from a distance, naturally no one would go along with me up the mountain. I did not speak about my experience during the two years, not having a playmate also didn’t bother me. After lunch, I took along Old Yellow and Black Bean and walked towards inner parts of the mountain.
Even though the village children were warned by their parents to avoid me, I could see it in their eyes, their envy of how I was able to train my ox and puppy to be so obedient.
Autumn had already embellished the verdant mountainside with red and yellow colours, golden pine needles lay spread on the floor softly like a carpet, red maple leaves swayed from the trees flames flickering in the wind up and down. Wild Persimmons were hanging from the treetops like small lanterns. The changing seasons always left a faint trace of a clue for me. Allowing me to touch the marks left by the passage of time.
A pine cone came roaring at my face, fortunately I managed to dodge quickly, but not fast enough as it left behind a small mark on my head. Rolling over on the ground, I cut a sorry figure.
Not far away on the mountain side, atop a pine tree, a monkey covered in golden fur was laughing merrily.
If the Lord suffers, the Subjects die. Seeing me suffer such humiliation, my two generals flew into a rage immediately.
Old Yellow roared out a moo angrily.
Black bean also started barking incessantly following its lead.
I picked up a rock from the ground and threw it hard in the direction of the monkey. How could I possibly afford to lose.
However, the rock didn’t fly far, as it plummeted down before rolling along the ground a few times to eventually return back to my side.
The Golden haired monkey had initially jumped in fright, but upon seeing that the rock thrown by me was soft and weak, it immediately startled laughing rampantly and once more counter-attacked with a pine cone.
Furiously, I picked up a pine cone, some primordial qi had inadvertently been condensed into my hands. That primordial qi enveloped the pine cone and the instant I threw it, the pine cone flew screaming towards the monkey.
“zhizhizhizhi…….” The Golden haired monkey thought that this attack of mine would also lose steam half-way. However, who knew that this time the pine cone didn’t show any signs of slowing down, and instead flew even faster before abruptly hitting the golden haired monkey’s forehead who had closed its eyes out of fear.
The Monkey fainted on the spot, and dropped straight down from the tree. Fortunately, the bush was dense and it cushioned the blow of the monkey’s fall. At last, it ended up on the ground covered with thick pines. The golden fur and the dead golden pinewood leaves, thoroughly mixed together.
I promptly ran towards the monkey, with my two generals immediately following behind.
The monkey was lying motionlessly on the ground, i thought that the monkey had fallen to his death. Black Bean by comparison was quite fierce, as it ran up to fiercely bite the monkey’s tail. I also wondered whether the milk teeth of the puppy would have problems biting down or not. However, who could have imagined that the monkey at once jumped up. With eyes full of a look of grievance looked at me as if I was a villain. The monkey screeched and threw itself towards me. Apparently, it was looking for revenge. Old Yellow rushed up and kicking out with its hooves directly sent the monkey flying for about twenty feet.
The monkey, having suffered total defeat, naturally had to fiercely reprimand us for not following Jiang Hu’s way of righteousness and morality. It ran away at once after finishing the scolding.
I am but a child, naturally I would not talk with a monkey about the righteousness and justice of Jiang Hu. The only regret was that I couldn’t find the means to make the monkey submit. Maybe I should have slapped some primordial qi into it, but I don’t know if it would immediately bow down to me like Old Yellow or Black Bean.
[TLnote: Jiang Hu is basically the world of Martial Arts. And if we believe traditional Wuxia novels, there is a “Way of Righteousness and Morality” followed by practitioners of martial arts.]
I spent several days in regret for this reason.
With Old Yellow’s help, I was naturally able to return home with a full load. The wicker baskets loaded onto Old Yellow were full of dry branches and dry pine cones. In addition, I had brought back some wild persimmons. Ready to be brought back and stored in the barn.
Furthermore, there was a stretch of woods that was from a place where the villagers had always warned children not to go. The bronze medal on my person had been picked up from that place only. At the moment, I was able to feel that stretch of wood’s obscurity. My two generals seemed to be extremely cautious towards that stretch of wood. While passing through that stretch of wood, I discovered that the hair on black bean’s body were pointing straight up, while he was somewhat trembling and Old Yellow kept breathing roughly.
I was also somewhat nervous, as I tightly clenched the bronze medal hanging at my neck. I had a feeling as if this bronze medal were trying to fly away from me.
It was already getting late, even if I had been able to comprehend the mysteries of heaven and earth, I was still just a child and I was still afraid of the dark. The comparatively empty areas in the forest were more likely to darken. There were shadows everywhere, I could feel my heart beat thumping as my pace became faster and faster. Black bean with his short stature was unable to keep up and began to anxiously bark from behind. I had no option but to stop, but I was anxious that the golden haired monkey would take advantage of this opportunity to come over and take revenge.
The golden haired monkey had suffered a major loss, but it didn’t appear in front of me again. I didn’t know if I would have another opportunity to capture that golden haired monkey.
Grandpa was sitting in the courtyard waiting, and seeing Old Yellow carrying two packs full of firewood, immediately came over to help.
“Look at you child, it’s already so late in the day, don’t you know that should have back come a little earlier. If you had run into a tiger in the interiors of the mountain, what would you have done.” Grandpa tried to frighten me.
“We are here but where’s the tiger, ah. Wolf, Wild Boar and what not, all haven’t been seen by anybody since so many years.” I was definitely not afraid.
“Hurry up and undress, wash yourself in the bath, see how much you are sweating, you must not catch a cold.” Grandpa had already boiled some water.
“This is nothing. This little bit of sweat, it will dry up in a short while.” Even though these words were coming out of my mouth, I had already stripped, and after pouring a bowl of hot water on myself, I began scrubbing thoroughly to wash my body clean. Compared to other children, I was more fond of cleanliness. This was because I could clearly feel the filth on my body brimming with an aura I very much disliked.
“Grandpa, the millets have all turned yellow, did Papa and Mama call back yet?” Having finished bathing, and putting on clean clothes, I sat down by the side of the kitchen fire cooking the dinner.
“Your Papa and Mama are so busy, having to work overtime everyday, how could they have the time to call back? The telephone charges are quite hefty, don’t you know? Even going to pick up a phone call from the village branch clerk’s house would cost 1 Yuan.” Grandpa tried to find a pile of excuses, but in fact had inadvertently let me know that Papa and Mama hadn’t called back.
I realized it as soon as I heard it, so I could only feel somewhat dejected. In the kitchen, there was only the sound of the firewood cackling in the stove. The flames flickered, and my tender silhouette was also flickering in the night.
In the dimness, the flames in the stove transformed into little twinkling stars within my eyes. It was of course the fire attribute primordial qi. Each and everyone of them had an explosive disposition, but so long as they leapt out of from the flames, they would very quickly vanish into the air.
I tried to attract the fire attribute primordial qi into my body, but found that this type of primordial qi was exceptionally hard to control. The primordial qi on the bronze medal has eight different forms, but between these eight forms, they could be combined into countless number of permutations, making up the myriad objects between heaven and earth. However, I am not yet able to control even one of them.