The Tale Never Ends Chapter 161 The Zoomorphic Deities Of Shamanism
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My eyeb.a.l.l.s nearly popped out of their sockets. Of all the names for books and stories, I would never have expected to see this t.i.tle. The style of "the DemiG.o.d of the Soaring Sword" belonged to no one else but my father, Murong Hai! Although I had heard him being addressed in this name for one too many times, I never thought I would see a book bearing his name! It must be the reason that prompted Chongxi to begin reading it.
We walked to Chongxi's table and sat beside him. The nice proprietor of the stall and his wife immediately welcomed us with three steaming bowls full of wontons even before we had made our order. The warm friendliness was further garnished with a plate of garlic freshly-chopped. We whirled to them as they left our table, smiling with grat.i.tude before I said to Chongxi, "Where did you find this book!? Let me have a look at it!" But instead of handing the book to me, Chongxi pointed somewhere else. We followed the direction of his hand and saw a young little chap sitting at a roadside stall, clad in the guise of a scholar from the ancient times as he busily riffled through the pages of a book.
I got up and walked to the stall, only to find lots of new books on display! I took one up and opened it and was surprised; the books were all hand-copied. Before I knew it, I was poring through the lines of infinitesimal writings crammed every page of the books, captivated by the stories which could have easily eclipsed the storybooks and novels in the market today! I placed down the book I was holding and looked at the others, all of which looked like novels to me with t.i.tles such as "The DemiG.o.d of the Soaring Sword," "The Triune of Wu Zhong," and "The Neverending Tales of Wu Zhong."
"Ahhh," I mused to myself, "There was no reason for alarm! The stories here are all fiction!" As I peered through the books, the young chap, whose face was still s.h.i.+elded behind his book growled impatiently, "Are you buying these? Otherwise, I'd thank you for not messing them up!" I immediately dropped the one I was holding and looked up. In spite of his best efforts in disguising himself as a scrawny-looking scholar, I could make out the stiff strands sticking out from his hair. Porcupine thorns, I realized. "So he's a porcupine demon a.s.suming human form, heh heh."
I swiped up "The Triune of Wu Zhong" book and asked, "How much for this?" A pair of disinterested eyes looked up from over the top of his book before they sank back down like a pair of suns setting into the mountains. "Ten yuan! Whoever you are, it's ten yuan for each book here. Even for the Triune of Wu Zhong themselves!" I was stunned. What did he mean by "even for the Triune of Wu Zhong themselves?" His eyes rose up again to meet mine and he barked irritably, "Ten yuan! All storybooks and novels are ten yuan each!" I fished for my wallet and extracted a ten-yuan note. Feeling curious, I asked, as I handed him the note, "Why is it that you need human money?" The proprietor regarded me with a strange look, before he remarked gruffly, "How else would I buy my stationary if not for human money?"
What a contrast to the wonton stall proprietor, I wondered, reflecting on the rough and curt manner of this scholarly-looking porcupine. I took my new purchase and went back to the stall and discovered that Chongxi was already on his third helping as the proprietor of the stall retreating away after bringing a fresh bowl of wonton for him.
I chuckled and asked the proprietor before he was out of earshot, "Why is that stall owner so unfriendly?" "Heed him not, my friend. He's too deeply buried under his books to manage his manners. Even the rest of his kin, us, pay him little attention." So, I realized, "this proprietor and his wife are also porcupine demons too." I smiled at him as he left and I sat down, flipping open my "The Triune of Wu Zhong."
I began diving into the rabbit hole of the fictional world of the story. But I began to find the story less interesting than I had hoped it to be, and the fact that it was written in archaic Chinese did not improve my reading experience not one bit. But I did read enough to find out the story: Three humans attained the powers of demiG.o.ds during the era of the Qing Dynasty, just after the fall of the Ming Empire. They were known as the Triune of Wu Zhong, famed for their heroics and invincibility and their impartiality when dealing with humans, evil beings, demons, and even ghosts. What followed was the details of their various derring-dos and how they eventually came to be respected and revered, although my interest in poring on slowly waxed and waned.
I chewed at my wontons with stoic indifference, staring at Chongxi who seemed to be enjoying his story very much. I kicked at his heels. "How's your story? Mine's terribly boring." Chongxi gulped down his soup and mumbled, "It's good. The story portrays Uncle Hai as a true hero!" Peeved, I asked, "I'm asking if the book contained anything we could use!" Chongxi looked up at me, dumb and dazed, until his large, round eyes finally blinked twice. "Take a look yourself," he muttered and tossed me his book.
I took the book from Chongxi and began reading it. The plot of the story seemed much livelier and more fascinating than mine. Not only the storyline was meticulously arranged, burnished with the author's very own vivacious expressions and witticisms; the protagonist in the story and his disposition mirrored exactly the very same, eccentric Murong Hai who was my father. Additionally, even the various appendixes and inscriptions were written with the exact same manner and nuances Father used as if the words had sprouted from his very mouth!
There was an entry detailing the Five Zoomorphic Deities (The Wudaxians). Wors.h.i.+p of the Wudaxians began from the shamanistic rites of the Jurchen tribes who established the Qing Empire. It was a practice that had become a tradition that endured until today and was still widely adopted by all wors.h.i.+ppers of the Wudaxian and the students of their craft and magic, which also gave the beasts and demons some form of understanding of human behavior and understanding.
There was also much explanation for the five species of the Wudaxians. Legend had it that Yu the Great had taken a white fox spirit with nine tails as a consort during his attempts to help control floods. Since then, fox spirits or demons became highly regarded in Chinese culture, which also explained their first position in the Wudaxians.
The weasels, or weasel demons, wors.h.i.+pped Huang s.h.i.+gong as the patriarchal primogenitor of their kind. The legendary teacher of Zhang Liang of the Han Dynasty was said to have become an immortal after learning magic and were since then honored and glorified by all weasels alike. In spite of being notorious for their penchant for mischievous and wilfull use of magic, weasel demons also possessed a benevolent and kind side, having known to have helped save countless lives with the shamanistic magic which was fabled to have been created by Huang s.h.i.+gong himself.
Porcupine demons were known to be more compa.s.sionate than the rest, famed for saving innocent lives with their magic, even though there was no lacking of bad apples that would need no further explanation.
Ranked slightly below, were the snake demons, who both loved and feared the mother G.o.ddess Nvwa, who often appeared in the form of half-woman, half-snake; like Echidna from Greek mythology. In a.s.sociation with the mother G.o.ddess herself, snake demons were commonly believed to be most the powerful with magic after fox spirits. But they were rarely seen and have always kept to themselves.
Rodents, on the other hand, were as common as gra.s.s. Their ability to hide and survive well gave them the reputation of having keen smartness and wits. But according to old wives' tales, rodent demons with magic were often adept in divination. This was commonly attributed to their victory and first placing in the race of the 12 Zodiac and their role in the myth about the human world's primordial creation, where the rodent was alleged to have been the first beast to free itself from the confinement of oblivion into actual existence.
Chongxi's "The DemiG.o.d of the Soaring Sword" was undoubtedly a better read than my book. No wonder Chongxi was already addicted to this story! I mused. Even I myself was already beginning to enjoy the story, when Chongxi asked hesitantly. "s.h.i.+yan, there's a question I wonder if I should ask you." I took a long swig of my wonton soup and replied, "Just fire away." He nodded. "I'm sure you saw it yourself. Yu the Great took a nine-tailed white fox for his wife." I nodded at him, and he continued, "Is your mother the white fox from the legends?" My hand, which was going to suspend my bowl for another gulp, frozen suddenly. "You mean, my father and Yu the Great were..." Chongxi said nothing, merely staring quietly at me. But I said, dismissively, "That's impossible! Come on, Father would have long ascended if that was indeed the case. It's impossible that he would still be here in the Mortal Plane!"
Chongxi looked at me with his usually bewildered look and held me in a stare for seconds before he shook himself. "Just wait till you continue reading! I'm sure you'd be in for a great shock!"
The Tale Never Ends Chapter 161 The Zoomorphic Deities Of Shamanism
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The Tale Never Ends Chapter 161 The Zoomorphic Deities Of Shamanism summary
You're reading The Tale Never Ends Chapter 161 The Zoomorphic Deities Of Shamanism. This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: Mu Xiao Song, 木筱松 already has 60 views.
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