According to the Classic of the Mountains and Seas, Xiangliu was a minister of the snake-like water deity Gonggong. Xiangliu devastated the ecology everywhere he went, leaving nothing but gullies and marshes devoid of animal life. Eventually, Xiangliu was killed by Yu the Great, whose other labors included ending the Great Flood of China. In other versions of the story, Xiangliu was killed by Nüwa, after being defeated by Zhurong, but his blood was so virulently poisonous that the soil which it soaked could no longer grow grain. An oral version of the Xiangliu myth was collected as late from Sichuan as 1983, in which Xiangliu is depicted as a nine-headed dragon, responsible for floods and other harm.