|Water Margin character|
|Rank||106th, Rat Star (地耗星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends|
|Scout leader of Liangshan|
|Ancestral home / Place of origin||Anle Village, Yuncheng County, Shandong|
|First appearance||Chapter 16|
Bai Sheng is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 106th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 70th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Daylight Rat" for his scavenging behaviour and lack of a stable job.
Robbing the birthday gifts
Chao Gai and six friends plan to rob a convoy of birthday gifts for Cai Jing, the Imperial Tutor, and intend to strike at Yellow Soil Ridge (黃泥崗) near Anle Village. Chao Gai and his companions visit Bai Sheng and stay at his house and enlist his help in the robbery. The seven men (excluding Bai Sheng) disguise themselves as date traders and wait for their targets.
Bai Sheng disguises himself as a wine seller and carries two buckets of wine past the ridge. The soldiers escorting the gifts are thirsty and are strongly attracted to the wine. Yang Zhi, who is supervising the soldiers, suspects something and refuses to allow his men to drink the wine. Chao Gai and his friends buy one bucket of wine from Bai Sheng, who gives them the one without drugs. Yang Zhi reluctantly allows his men to buy the other bucket from Bai Sheng after seeing that Chao Gai and his friends are fine after drinking the wine. The other bucket of wine has been spiked with drugs which will make the consumer temporarily unconscious. Chao Gai and his friends rob the convoy when Yang Zhi and his men are knocked out. Bai Sheng receives a share of the loot as his reward.
Liang Shijie, the Grand Secretary and Cai Jing's son-in-law, is furious when he hears that the birthday gifts for his father-in-law have been robbed. He orders the local authorities in Yuncheng County to arrest the robbers. The magistrate sends the constable He Tao to investigate the robbery. He Qing, He Tao's brother, previously saw Chao Gai and Bai Sheng near Yellow Soil Ridge on the day before the robbery, so he tells He Tao about it.
He Tao suspects that Bai Sheng is involved in the robbery so he leads his soldiers to surround Bai's house at night and barge in. They search the house for the loot but did not find anything, until He Tao notices that the earth under Bai's bed looks freshly dug. He orders his men to dig and they find the loot. Bai Sheng is arrested and tortured during interrogation but he refuses to disclose the names of his accomplices. Although he eventually names Chao Gai as an accomplice, he keeps denying that he knows who the other robbers are. This is because he already knows that the authorities are aware that Chao Gai is one of the robbers.
Song Jiang alerts Chao Gai and his companions, who escape to Liangshan Marsh and join the outlaw band there. Song Jiang also helps to secure Bai Sheng's release. Bai Sheng goes to Liangshan to join his friends after he is freed from prison.
Campaigns and death
Bai Sheng becomes one of the scout leaders of Liangshan after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. He follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces after they have been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong. He dies of illness after the battle of Hangzhou during the campaign against the rebel leader Fang La.
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- Buck, Pearl. All Men are Brothers. Moyer Bell Ltd, 2006. ISBN 9781559213035.
- Zhang, Lin Ching. Biographies of Characters in Water Margin. Writers Publishing House, 2009. ISBN 978-7506344784.
- Keffer, David. Outlaws of the Marsh.
- Miyamotois, Yoko. Water Margin: Chinese Robin Hood and His Bandits.
- (Japanese) Ichisada, Miyazaki. Suikoden: Kyoko no naka no Shijitsu. Chuo Koronsha, 1993. ISBN 978-4122020559.
- Shibusawa, Kou. Bandit Kings of Ancient China. KOEI, 1989.