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三百余年宋史,中间南北纵横。闲将二帝事评论,忠义堪悲堪敬。 The history of the Song Dynasty spans more than 300 years, with much to and fro and events from North to South. We speak of the tale of the two Emperors - it is a tale of loyalty, worthy of our sorrow and respect.

(Poetry - rough translation): Loyalty like frost on a summer's day, evil like flies on an autumn night. Honour turns to dishonour but all reputations are transitory, why does the dream not end.
To the tune of Xi Jiang Yue
The wars of the Five Dynasties would not end, until the Incident of the Yellow Robe ended our woes. Who was to know that the lord who crossed south, does not need the worry of the loyal people.
From ancient times, the Mandate of Heaven moves in circles, between prosperity and waste. My poem begins a tale of the King Wu Mu of the Most Brilliant Loyalty who served his country with utmost loyalty.
Let us speak of the end of the Tang Dynasty and the time of the Five Dynasties, when dynasties came and went quickly [the idiom, literally, "Liang Dynasty by dawn and Jin Dynasty by dusk", refers to the life of Feng Dao, who served as Chancellor to eight ruling families of all five dynasties - and came to mean, metaphorically, a person without steadfast loyalty and changed sides frequently], and all the peoples suffered. At this time, on Mount Huashan, the Western Mount, there was a hermit named Chen Tuan, who was called "Master Xiyi [the rare and barbarian?]", who was an immortal of high stsanding and virtuous practise. One day, he rode his mule across the Bridge of the Heavenly River, and looked up to see a five-coloured auspicious cloud. He laughed, and fell off his mule. Everyone asked why, and he said, "it is good, it is good. Do not say that there are no true lords on earth, there shall be two dragons borne of the one womb." All listeners, do you know why he says this? It is because there is a scholar-bureaucrat family, whose head is surnamed Zhao and named Hongyin [literally magnificent + prosperous], who served as Situ [minister of the interior], and whose wife was surnamed Du. She gave birth to a son at the Jiamaying Barracks, and named him "Kuangyin". He was the reincarnation of the Thunderclap God of the heavenly court, which is why his birth was accompanied by red light, rare perfumes, and auspicious clouds. Kuangyin grew up to be a singular hero - with one stick and two fists, he conquered more than 400 military commandaries and established the 300-year reign of the Great Song dynasty, with its capital at Bianliang. After the Coup of Chenqiao where he was acclaimed with the Yellow Robe, he became Emperor and was called "the Son of Heaven and the Seen Dragon". He was succeeded by his younger brother Kuangyi, which is why it is said to be "two dragons from one womb". From the time that the Taizu established the dynasty till the time of Emperor Huizong of Song, there were eight emperors: Taizu, Taizong, Zhenzong, Renzong, Yingzong, Zhezong, Shenzong and Huizong.
Emperor Huizong of Song is the reincarnation of the Immortal of the Long Eyebrow from the heavenly court, and so is interested in the gods and immortals, and calls himself "the Emperor, Lord of the Tao". By this time the whole country has been at peace for a long time, as the idiom goes: the horses have been released into the southern hills, weapons have been put into warehouses. The grains are fertile, and all people are happily employed. As the poem goes [poem to the same effect].
[This is probably the important paragraph) Casting aside the frivolous, we turn to the Buddha, the Tathāgata, in the Leiyin Temple of the Western Paradise, was sitting atop the nine-level lotus throne, with the eight Bodhisattvas, the eight Lokapalas, the five hundred Arhats, the three thousand __?, monks, nuns, ___, ___, and all the guardians of the law, are listening to the Buddha lecture on the sutra. Just as he was getting to the fascinating part, there was one Star-spirit, the Girl-Bat, who was attending the lecture, and at this moment could no longer hold it in - and let out a smelly fart. The Buddha is a benevolent and forgiving one, and did not mind at all. However, the fart angered a guardian spirit above the Buddha's head, the Great Peng-bird and Brilliant King of the Golden Wings, whose eyes shown with golden rays and whose back was a scene of serenity and auspiciousness - he saw that the Girl-Bat was unlcean, and was angered, and unfurled his wings and flew down, picked the Girl-Bat once on the head with his beak, and she was killed. The light point of her soul shot out of the Temple, to the Eastern Lands where it was reincarnated. It became a daugher of the Wang family, and later married Qin Kuai and persecuted the righteous, to revenge her grudge from this day. We will come to this later.
Buddha saw this with his wise eyes, and said: "Sādhu, sādhu. It turns out there is this episode of karma." He called Garuda forth, and admonished him: "You sinful creature! If you convert to my teachings, why do you not abide by the five vows, and commit violence thus! You are of no further use here, and now you will descend to the mortal world to repay your debt. When you have fulfilled your work, then you will be allowed to return here, and achieve spiritual immortality." Garuda obeyed Buddhia's order, and flew out of the temple, and out to the Eastern Lands to be reincarnated. We will hold off the rest of this story here.
再说那陈抟老祖,一生好睡。他本是在睡中得道的神仙,世人不晓得,只说是“陈抟一(目忽)困千年”。那一日,老祖正睡在云床之上,有两个仙童,一个名唤清风,一个叫做明月。两个无事,清风便对明月道:“贤弟,师父方才睡去,又不知几时方醒,我和你往前山去游玩片时如何?”明月道:“使得。”他二人就手搀着手,出洞门来闲步寻欢。但见松径清幽,竹阴逸趣。行到盘院石边,猛见摆着一副残棋。清风道:“贤弟,何人在此下棋,留到如今,你可记得吗?”明月道: “小弟记得当年赵太祖去关西之时,在此地经过,被我师父将神风摄上山来下棋,赢了太祖二百两银子,逼他写卖华山文契,却是小青龙柴世宗、饿虎星郑子明做中保。后来太祖登了基,我师父带了文契下山,到京贺喜,求他免了钱粮。这盘棋就是他的残局。”清风道:“贤弟,好记性,果然不差。今日无事,我请教你,对弈一盘何如?”明月道:“师兄有兴,小弟即当奉陪。”
Returning to Chen Tuan the old immortal - he loved to sleep. This is because he achieved immortality while sleeping. Most people do not know this, so they just say "Chen Tuan sleeps for a thousand years". One day, the old immortal was sleeping on his cloud bed. There were two young immortals, one called Clear Wind and the other Bright Moon. They had nothing to do, so Clear Wind sait to Bright Moon: "Younger brother, Master has just fallen asleep, and we don't know when he will wake up again. What say you we go play for a while on the front slopes of the mountain?" Brigh Moon said "yes". The two held hands and left the cave to go wandering. The pine path was quiet and the bamboo shades were interesting. When they went near the circle court rock, they saw a game board in progress. Clear Wind said: "Younger brother, who was playing a game here and left the board till today, do you remember?" Bright Moon said "I remember this was when the Emperor Taizu of Song was heading to the west of the Pass, and passing here, he was taken up to the mountain by our Master with a divine wind to play the game. Our Master won 200 taels of silver from the Emperor and forced him to write a deed selling Mount Huashan. It was Emperor Shizong of Later Zhou and [the fictional general] Zhen Ziming who acted as guarantors. Later, when Taizu became Emeperor, our MAster took the deed to the capital to congratulate him, and ask him to waive his taxes. This was the board left from that game". Clear Wind said: "Younger brother, you have a good memory - that was what happened. Since we have nothing to do today, can I invite you to play a game on the board too?" Bright Moon said "since Older Brother is interested, of course I will play."
Just as the two of them sat down and were about to play, they suddenly heard a loud noise from the sky. They looked up and saw black smoke in the north-west corner of the sky, and getting close to the south-east. It was quite frightening. Clear Wind shouted "Younger brother, this is not good! It must be the heavens and the earth flipping over!" The two of them walked away panicked and kneeled in front of the cloud bed, and shouted, "Master, it is no good! Please wake up, the heavens and the earth are about to flip over!"
老祖正在梦酣之际,被那二人叫醒了,只得起来,一齐走出洞府。抬头一看,老祖道:“原来是这个畜生,如此凶恶,也难免这一劫!”漳清风。明月道:“师父,这是什么因果?弟子们迷心不悟,望师父指点。”老祖道:“你们两个根浅行薄,那里得知。也罢,说与你们听听罢!这段因果,只为当今徽宗皇帝元旦郊天,那表章上原写的是‘玉皇大帝’,不道将‘玉’字上一点,点在‘大’字上去,却不是‘王皇犬帝’了?玉帝看了大怒道:‘王皇可恕,犬帝难饶!”遂命赤须龙下界,降生于北地女真国黄龙府内,使他后来侵犯中原,搅乱宋室江山,使万民受兵革之灾,岂不可惨!”二童道:“师父,今日就是这赤须龙下界么?”老祖道: “非也!此乃我佛如来恐赤须龙无人降伏,故遣大鹏鸟下界,保全宋室江山,以满一十八帝年数。你看,这孽言将近飞来。你两个看好洞门,待我去看他降生何处?”就把双足一登,驾起祥云,看那大鹏一气飞到黄河边。
The Old Immortal was sound asleep, but was woken by these two and had to get up. He walked with them outside the cave. He looked up, and said "It turns out to be this animal, how ferocious! Alas, this episode of suffering could not be avoided!". Clear Wind and Bright Moon said, "Master, what is this karma? We do not understand, and hope that Master will instruct us". The Old Immortal said "You two are inexperienced, and you would not know. I will tell you! This karma originates from the current Emperor Huizong of Song, who was worshipping the Heavens on new year's day. The prayer was supposed to say "the Great Jade Emperor", but misplaced a dot, so that now it reads "the King Dog Emperor". The Jade Emepror was furious: "I do not mind being called "King Emepror", but the "Dog" is not excusable." He then sent the Dragon of the Red Whiskers down to earth, where he was born in the land of the Jurchen in the north, and caused him to later invade the Central Plains and distrub the Song dynasty, and cause the people to suffer the ravages of war. It is pitiable." The two young immortals said "Master, so was that the Dragon of the Red Whiskers?" The Old Immortal said "No. That was the Buddha, being afraid that the Dragon of the Red Whiskers could not be subdued, sending Garuda to earth, to proect the Song dynasty until it reaches 18 rulers as fated. You see, the creature flies hither. You two must guard well the cave door, and I will see where he will land and reincarnate." He jumped up and flew off on a cloud, to follow Garuda as it flew to the banks of the Yellow River.
The Yellow River, well known as the "Yellow River of Nine Bends", is 9000-li wide where it turns around. Back in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, the Master Priest Xu Xun slew the dragon [or crocodile?], and the dragon monster turned into a young scholar, adopted the name Shen Lang ["the Cautious Young Gentleman"], who married into the family of Governor Jia of Changsha. He was captured by the Master Priest, and chained to the iron bark tree inside the southern well of the Jiangxi capital. The Master Priest forgave the wife lady Jia, and she later became a nun at Mount Wulong [Black Dragon]. They [Shen Lang and Lady Jia]] had three sons. The Master Priest slew two of these, while the third escaped to under the Tiger Tooth Beach on the banks of the Yellow River. There he meditated and became immortal, taking the name of "the Dragon [to be precise, small dragon with horns] King of the Iron Back". This day, he transformed into into a white robed handsome young man, gathered together some prawn soldiers and crab officers [idiomatic term for the soldiers of the dragon king], and were playfully exercising and practising formations under the river cliffs. At that moment, the Great Peng Bird arrived. It could see that this was a monster, and charged down towards the dragon. His beak caught the dragon on his left eye, which came out of the socket and blood covered his face. The dragon cried "ah ya" and rolled into the depth of the yellow river to hide. All the marine life also jumped into the water to escape, but there was one soft shell turtle-monster, who was not very sensible, and thought he was strong, and waved his twin tridents, and cried, "what monster goes there, and dares to commit wanton violence!" But before he could finish the sentence, he was pecked by the Great Peng Bird, and flipped over, and died! His soul did not disappear, and flew to the Eastern Lands to reincarnate, and became Moqi Xie. He helped to put Lord Yue into prison, and caused his death at the Fengbo Pavilion, in order to revenge this grudge. But this, also, will come later.
The Old Immortal saw this clearly, nodded and sighed, "this sinful creature has fallen into the cycles of karma, yet still commits violence - grudges beget grudges, when would it end!" As he was contemplating this, he steered his cloud to follow the Great Peng Bird. The Great Peng Bird flew onto the roof ridge of a house in Xiangzhou in Henan, and when the Old Immortal looked again, it was gone. The Old Immortal also landed his cloud, and transformed into an old Taoist priest, walking with the aid of a stick, and set forth to investigate.
却说那个人家姓岳名和,安人姚氏,年已四十,才生下这一个儿子。丫环出来报喜。这员外年将半百,生了儿子,自然快活,忙忙的向家堂神庙点烛烧香,忙个不了。不道这陈抟老祖变了个道人,摇摇摆摆来到庄门首,向着那个老门公打个稽首道:“贫道腹中饥饿,特来抄化一斋,望乞方便。”那个老门公把头摇一摇说道: “师父,你来得不凑巧!我家员外极肯做好事,往常时不要说师父一个,就是十位、二十位俱肯斋的。只因年已半百,没有公子,去年在南海普陀去进香求嗣,果然菩萨灵验,安人回来就得了孕。今日生下了一位小官人,家里忙忙碌碌,况且回下不洁净,不便,不便!你再往别家去罢。”老祖道:“贫道远方到此。或者有缘,你只与我进去说一声。允与不允,就完了斋公的好意了。”门公道:“也罢!老师父且请坐一坐,待我进去与员外说一声看。”说罢,就走到里边,叫一声:“员外,外边有一个道人,要求员外一斋。”岳和道:“你是有年纪的人,怎不晓事?今日家中生了小官人,忙忙碌碌,况且是暗房。那道人是个修经念佛的人,我斋他不打紧,他回到那佛地上去,我与孩儿两个身上,岂不反招罪过么?”
The man of the house is surnamed Yue, given name He, and his wife is surnamed Yao. He was already 40 when he got this first son. The maids came out to report the good news. The gentleman was almost 50 and had finally gotten a son, so he was of course happy, and hurried to light candles and incense before the family and household shrines. At this time the Old Immortal Chen Tuan had transformed into a Taoist priest, and ambled up to the gate of the estate. He bowed to the old doorkeeper and said: "I, the poor priest, am hungry, and I would like to beg for your alms, please fulfill my need." The old doorkeepr shook his head and said "Master, you arrive at an inopportune time! The gentleman of the house is a kind man, and normally - not only the one of you Master, even if there were ten or twenty, he would be happy to put up food. However, he is almost 50, and has not had a son, and last year he went on a pilgrimage to ask for a son from Putuo of the South Seas, and the Boddhistava granted his wish. The lady became pregnant upon her return, and gave birth to a young master just doay. The whole household is very busy, and anyway it is unclean at the moment, so it is not convenient! Please go on to another house." The Old Immortal said: "I, the poor priest, came here from afar. Perhaps our connection is fated, and all you have to do is to report inside for me. Whether or not it is permitted, that completes your good deed." The doorkeeper said, "Alright. Old master, please take a seat. I will go inside and report to the Gentleman." He went inside and shouted "Master, there is a Taoist priest outside, who is asking for a meal in alms." Yue He said: "You are a man with age, do you not understand how things work? Today the young master is born, the whole house is busy. Plus, it is a Dark House today. The priest is someone who meditates and practices Buddhism [this seems to be a bit confused]. I can give him a meal, but if he were to return to the Land of the Buddha - then it is a sin on the part of both my child and me!"
The doorman returned outside, and repeated the gentleman's words to the Old Immortal. The Old Immortal said, "I have been fated to be here today, please go in and report again, and just say 'any good fortune you will enjoy, any sins I, the poor priest, will bear'." The doorman went in again and told the master. The gentleman said, "it's not that I do not want to feed him, but it reall is inconvenient. What can I do?" The doorman said "Master, you can't blame him. In these sparse parts there are no hotels, where would you have him go? As the idiom says 'spending money avoid sinning'. If you feed him, that is your good will, there would not be any sin." Yue He considered this, and nodded, "that makes sense. Go invite him in." Doorman acknolwedged this, and went outside and said "Master, I managed to said much that helped to convince, and the gentleman finally relented and invites Master to go inside." The Old Immortal said "that is indeed rare!" As he said, he went inside to the main hall.
Yue He looked up, and saw that this man had elderly hair but a young face, his body structure was exceptional and lear, and came down the steps to welcome him. They bowed in the main hall, and were seated according to the proper protocols of host and guest. Yue He began, "Master, it is not that disciple [i.e. 'me'] prevaricates, it is because our humble house has just begotten a son, and we are afraid that the uncleanliness would pollute Master." The Old Immortal said "'Though a good deed is seen by no-one, the good will is known by the Heavens.' May I ask for the gentleman's name?" Yue He said "Disciple is surnamed Yue and named He, my ancestors lived in the Tangyin County of the Xiangzhou [or Xiang Prefecture]. Here was [is officially] the Yonghe sub-district of the Xiaodi district. Becuase I have some property, and plow a few acres of field, people here call this place 'the Yue Family Village [or Estate]'. May I ask for Master's religious name, and where you practise?" The old Master said, "my religious name is Xiyi [Rare Barbarian?], I travel across the land and my home is everywhere. I happen to pass by your estate today, and it just happens to be the day you gain a son, is that not fate? Could the gentleman bring out your son, and I will tell his fortune, and perhaps help with his fortune." The Gentleman said, "that cannot be. The uncleanliness touches the Three Lights. Not only I - but you, Master, would be committing a bad deed." The Old Immortal said "No problem! Just take a umbrella and bring him out in it, then the uncleanliness will not touch the Heaven or the EArth, and the gods and spirits will not be alarmed." The Gentleman said "If that be so, please be seated, I shall discuss with my wife." With this, he went inside the house, and asked the family to prepare a vegetarian meal. He went into the bedroom, saw the wife, and said, "is your body alright?" The lady said "thanks be to the Heaven and the Earth, the Gods, the protection of the Ancestors, my body is sound. Gentleman, look at your child and how nice his features are." Yue He saw, and held his child, and was very pleased. He said to his wife, "there is a priest who has come begging, and he said he has practised for many years, and knows the art of mending fortune. He would like t see the child, and see his fortune and help with any bad fortune." The lady said "he is a new born, the blood may offend the gods. It is not the best idea." The gentleman said "I said so as well. But the priest taught me a method, using an umbrella to shield the body, then there will not be a problem, and all evils will hide away. The lady said "if that be so, then bring him out carefully, and do not frighten him".
员外应声:“晓得!” 就双手捧定,叫小厮拿一把雨伞撑开,遮了头上,抱将出来,到了堂前立定。道人看了,赞不绝口道:“好个令郎!可曾取名字否?”员外道:‘小儿今日初生,尚未取名。”老祖道:“贫道斗胆,替令郎取个名字如何?”员外道:“老师肯赐名,极妙的了!”老祖道:“我看令郎相貌魁梧,长大来必然前程万里,远举高飞,就取个‘飞’字为名,表字‘鹏举’,何如?”员外听了,心中大喜,再三称谢。老祖道:“这里有风,抱了令郎进去罢。”员外应声道:“是!”便把儿子照旧抱进房来睡好,将道人取的名字,细细说与院君知道,那院君也十分欢喜。
The Gentleman answered "I know!" He held the child steadily with both hands, and told a servant boy to take an umbrella and hold it above the head, and brought the child out, and stopped in front of the hall. The priest saw, and could not stop praising: "what a nice son! Has he been given a name yet?" The Gentleman said "the child was only born today, and does not yet have a name." The Old Master said "I would venture to give your son a name, what say you?" The Gentleman said "if Master would grant him a name, that would be brilliant!" The Old Immortal said "I see that your son has handsome features, when he grows up he will definitely have boundless prospects, and go far and fly high. Why do we not use "Fei" [Fly] as the name, and a courtesy name of "Pengju" [Peng bird, lift/achieve]?" The Gentleman listend and was very pleased, and thanked profusely. The Old Immortal said "there is wind here, please take your son inside." The Gentleman said "yes" and took the son inside to lie down according to the previous manner. He explained the name in detail to the lady, and the lady was very pleased too.
The gentleman returned to the main hall to serve the priest. The Old Immortal said, "there is one thing I need to tell you. I had come this way with a fellow priest, but he has gone to the next village to beg for alms. I have come here, and we had agreed that if we found a donor, we would come together. Since Gentleman is so generous, I would like to find him and bring him here as well to enjoy your good will. Would that be acceptable?" The Gentleman said, "Of course that is very acceptable. However, where is that Master? I can just go and invite him here." The Old Immortal said, "we priests have uncertain movements, please allow me to go and find him." He then stepped outside the hall, and saw, in the courtyard, two things, the Old Immortal repeatedly said "good!"
From these two things that the Old Immortal saw, it brings more of the story: within the Xiangzhou city, floodwaters ravage; within the Neihuang County, several heroes gather. That is: all things are decided by the fate of the Heavens, the whole life is set by fortune. For what happens next, see the next chapter.