Two Monks Wipe out the Demons in the Dragon Palace The Sages Destroy Evil and Recover the Treasure
The story tells how the king of Jisai and his officials high and low watched as the Great Sage Monkey and Pig disappeared by wind and cloud, carrying the two demons with them. Then all of them bowed in homage to heaven, saying, "Their fame is well founded. Only today can we really believe that such immortals and living Buddhas exist." As Monkey and Pig vanished into the distance the king bowed again to thank Sanzang and Friar Sand.
"Our mortal eyes were only able to see that your illustrious disciples had the power to capture thieving devils. We never realized that you were superior immortals with the power to ride on winds and clouds."
"I do not have any dharma powers," Sanzang replied. "On my journey I have depended very much on my three disciples."
"I tell you the truth, Your Majesty," said Friar Sand. "My senior fellow−disciple is the Great Sage Equaling Heaven who has been converted. He once made havoc in Heaven, and none of the hundred thousand heavenly troops was a match for his gold−banded cudgel. He had the Supreme Lord Lao Zi and the Jade Emperor both scared. My next senior fellow−disciple is Marshal Tian Peng, now a faithful Buddhist. He once commanded 80,000 sailors on the River of Heaven. I'm the only one of us with no magic powers: I was the Curtain−lifting General before I took my vows. We're useless at everything except capturing demons and monsters, arresting thieves and runaways, subduing tigers and dragons, and kicking the sky into a well. And we know a thing or two about stirring up the sea and turning rivers upside−down. Oh yes, and then there's riding clouds and mists, summoning wind and rain, moving the stars around in the sky, carrying mountains, and chasing the moon: but those are just extras." All this made the king treat them with very great respect Indeed:
Inviting Sanzang to take the place of honour, he kept addressing him as "Buddha" and referring to Friar Sand and the others as bodhisattvas. All the civil and military officials were delighted, and the citizens of the country kowtowed to them.
The story switches to the Great Sage Monkey and Pig riding their storm wind to the Green Wave Pool on the Ragged Rock Mountain, where they stopped their clouds.
Blowing a magic breath on his gold−banded cudgel Wukong told it to change and turned it into a monk's knife with which he cut an ear off the snakehead and the lower lip of the catfish, then threw the two demons into the water with a shout of, "Tell the Infinitely Sage Dragon King that Lord Sun, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, is here. If he wants me to spare the lives of him and his family he'd better hand over the treasure from the pagoda of the Golden Light Monastery in Jisai at once. If there's even the hint of a 'no' from him I'll give this pool such a stirring that there'll be no water left in it and then exterminate his whole family."
Having been given this order the two little devils fled for their lives in great pain, jumping into the water, chains, ropes and all, to the alarm of the various turtle, alligator, shrimp, crab and fish spirits, who crowded round them to ask, "Why are you roped and chained?"
Once of them shook his head and waved his tail with his hand over his ear; the other stamped and beat his chest as he covered his mouth. There was much shouting and commotion as they both went to the dragon king's palace to report, "Disaster, Your Majesty."
The Infinitely Sage Dragon King was drinking with his son−in−law Prince Ninehead when the two of them arrived. "What disaster?" the dragon king asked, putting down his cup.
"We were on sentry duty last night," they reported, "when the Tang Priest and Sun the Novice captured us as they were sweeping the pagoda. We were chained up and taken to see the king this morning. Then Sun the Novice and Pig dragged us here. One of us had an ear cut off and the other a lip. Then they threw us into the water to come to ask for the treasure from the top of the pagoda." They then told the whole story in great detail. The news about Sun the Novice, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, gave the ancient dragon such a fright that his souls left his body and were scattered beyond the sky.
"Son−in−law," he said to the prince, shivering and shaking, "anyone else would have been easy enough to deal with; but if it's him it's terrible."
"Relax, father−in−law," the prince replied. "I've been studying the martial arts since childhood and made friends with quite a few of the world's heroes. He's nothing to be scared of. After three rounds with me I guarantee the wretch will surrender with his head hanging so low he won't even dare look you in the face."
The splendid demon jumped to his feet, put on his armor, took the weapon he used, a crescent−bladed halberd, walked out of the palace, parted the waters, and when he reached the surface called out, "What's all this about a 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven'? Come and give yourself up at once." Standing on the bank, Pig and Monkey saw how the evil spirit was dressed:
A silver helmet on his head, Outshone the whitest snow; The suit of armor that he wore Was higher than autumn frost.
Over it was a battle−robe of brocade, With dragons, cloud−patterns and pearls; The rhinoceros−patterned belt at his waist Was like a python wrapped in gold.
He held a crescent halberd
That flew and flashed like lightning;
The pigskin boots on his feet
Moved as smoothly as water or waves.
From a distance he seemed to have only one face and head, But seen from close to there were faces all around him: Eyes in front and eyes behind
That could see in all directions;
Mouths to the left and mouths to the right, Nine of them, all talking.
One shout from him would make the sky shake
Like the call of the crane resounding through the stars.
As nobody answered he shouted again, "Which of you is the Great Sage Equaling Heaven?" Touching the golden band round his head and fingering his iron cudgel, Monkey replied, "I am."
"Where do you live?" the demon asked. "Where are you from? What brought you to Jisai to look after the king's pagoda? Why did you have the effrontery to capture and mutilate two of our officers? And why are you here demanding battle now?"
"Thieving devil," replied Monkey abusively, "it's obvious you don't know who I am. Come a little closer and I'll tell you:
My people come from the Mount of Flowers and Fruit, From the Water Curtain Cave in the middle of the sea. Since childhood I have made my body indestructible; The Jade Emperor created me Heaven−equaling Sage. When I made havoc in the Dipper and Bull Palace
All the gods of Heaven were not enough to beat me.
The Buddha then was asked to use his great and subtle powers; His infinite wisdom went beyond the mortal world.
When I matched my powers with his and made my somersaults His hand turned to a mountain and crushed me underneath.
There I was kept for full five hundred years,
And only was released when converted by Guanyin Because Sanzang was going to the Western Heaven To seek the Buddha's words at distant Vulture Peak. She freed me then to escort the holy monk,
To clear up all the monsters and purify my conduct. Our journey led to Jisai in the regions of the West
Where there monkish generations have been cruelly mistreated. When in our mercy we asked them what had happened
We learned that the pagoda no longer shone with light. My master swept it clean to find out the reason.
In the deep silence of the night's third watch,
We captured the demons and extracted their confessions:
They said you were the thief who had stolen the great treasure, Conspiring to be a robber with the ancient dragon king
And the princess who is also known as Infinitely Sage. Your rain of blood washed out the pagoda's magic light And you brought the treasure back to use it here yourselves. The confession that they made was true in every detail,
And we have come here now on His Majesty's own orders. That is why we looked for you and challenge you to battle: Never will you need to ask my name again.
Give the king back his treasure this instant
If you want to save the lives of all members of your family.
Should you in your folly try to make resistance
Your pool will be dried out and your palace smashed to ruins."
When the prince heard all this he replied with a touch of a mocking smile, "If you're monks going to fetch the scriptures you shouldn't be trumping up charges where it's none of your business. So what if I stole their treasure? You're going to fetch your Buddhist scriptures and it's nothing to do with you. Why are you here looking for a fight?"
"Thieving devil," said Monkey, "you've got no idea of right and wrong. The king's done us no favours. We don't drink his kingdom's waters or eat its grain. We were under no obligation to do thing for him. But you have stolen his treasure, contaminated his pagoda, and brought years of misery to the monks in the Golden Light Monastery. They are our fellow believers, so of course we'll make an effort for them and right their wrong."
"So it looks as though you want a fight," said the prince. "As the saying goes, the warrior avoids unnecessary combat; but once I start there'll be no mercy, you'll be dead in next to no time, and that will be the end of going to fetch the scriptures."
"Bloody thieving devil," Monkey cursed back, "you must think you're quite a fighter, talking big like that. Come here and take this!" The prince was not flustered in the least as he blocked the cudgel with his crescent−bladed halberd. A fine battle ensued on the Ragged Rock Mountain.
Because the monster stole the treasure the pagoda was dark; Monkey went to catch the demons for the sake of the king; The little devils fled for their lives back into the water;
The ancient dragon took counsel in his terror. Prince Ninehead showed his might
As he went out in armor to exercise his powers. The angry Great Sage Equaling Heaven
Raised his gold−banded cudgel that was very hard Indeed: In the monster's mine heads were eighteen eyes
Shining bright as they looked in all directions. Monkey's iron arms were immensely strong And auspicious lights glowed all around.
The halberd was like a new moon's crescent, The cudgel like flying frost.
"Why don't you give up trying to right wrongs?" "You were wrong to steal the pagoda's treasure. Behave yourself, damned devil,
And give me back the treasure if you want to live." Cudgel and halberd fought for mastery:
Neither emerged as victor in the fight.
The two of them fought hard for over thirty rounds without either of them emerging as winner. Pig, who was standing on the mountain admiring the sweetness and beauty of their fight, raised his rake and brought down on the evil spirit from behind, Now the monster's nine heads all had eyes in them, and he could see Pig coming behind him very clearly, so he now used the butt−end of his halberd to block the rake while holding off the cudgel with the blade. He resisted for another six or seven rounds until he could hold out no longer against the weapons that were swinging at him from before and behind, when he rolled away and leapt up into the sky in his true form as a nine−headed bird. He looked thoroughly repulsive: the sight of him was enough to kill one with horror:
His body all covered in feathers and down,
His girth was some twelve feet measured around, And he was as long as an old crocodile.
His two feet were as sharp as book−shaped blades, And his nine heads were all set in a circle.
When he opened his wings he could fly superbly: Not even the roc could match his great strength. His voice could resound to the edge of the sky, With an echo even louder than the call of the crane.
Bright flashed golden light from his many pairs of eyes; His pride far outstripped that of ordinary birds.
The sight alarmed Pig, who said, "Brother, I've never seen anything as ugly in all my days. What sort of blood could that monstrous bird have been born of?"
"There's nothing like him," Monkey replied, "nothing. I'm going up to kill him." The splendid Great Sage then leapt up on his cloud into mid−air, where he struck at the monster's head with his cudgel. The monster now displayed the power of his body as he swooped down, his wings outspread, then turned with a roaring noise to come low over the mountain and shoot out from his waist another head with a mouth open wide like a bowl of blood. His beak gripped Pig's bristles at the first attempt, then he dragged Pig to the pool and pulled him in.
Once back outside the dragon palace he turned himself back into what he had been before, threw Pig to the ground, and said, "Where are you, little ones?"
Thereupon the mackerel, trout, carp, mandarin fish, hard and soft−shelled tortoises, and alligators, who were all armored demons, rushed forward with a shout of, "Here!"
"Take this monk and tie him up for me," said the prince. "This will be revenge for our patrolling sentries." Shouting and pushing, the spirits carried Pig inside, to the delight of the ancient dragon king, who came out to meet the prince with the words, "Congratulations, son−in−law. How did you catch him?" The prince then told him the whole story, after which the ancient dragon ordered a celebratory banquet, which we need not describe.
Instead the story tells how Monkey thought in terror after the evil spirit had captured Pig, "This monster is terrible. But if I go back to the court to see the master the king will probably laugh at me. But if I challenge him to battle again how will I deal with him single−handed? Besides, I'm not used to coping in water. I'll just have to turn myself into something to get inside and see what the evil spirit has done with Pig. If it's possible I'll sneak him out of there to help me."
The splendid Great Sage then made magic with his fingers, shook himself, turned into a crab again, and plunged into the water till he was outside the archway again. He knew the way from when he had come here the previous time and stolen the Bull King's water−averting golden−eyed beast. When he reached the gateway to the palace he walked in sideways to see the ancient dragon king, the nine−headed monster and their whole family drinking together to celebrate. Not daring to go too close. Monkey crawled under the eaves of the Eastern verandah, where several shrimp and crab spirits were fooling around and amusing themselves. He listened to them for a while then said, imitating their way of talking, "Is the long−snouted monk the prince brought here dead or alive?"
"He's alive," the spirits all replied, "and tied up. Can't you see him groaning under the Western verandah over there?"
Monkey then crawled quietly over to the Western verandah, where he did indeed find Pig tied to a column and groaning. "Can you recognize me, Pig?" he asked. Pig knew who it was from Monkey's voice.
"This is terrible, brother," he said. "The monster got me." Looking all around to make sure there was nobody there Monkey cut through the ropes with his claws and told Pig to go. "What am I to do, brother?" Pig said. "He's got my rake."
"Do you know where he put it?" Monkey asked.
"I think he must have taken it into the main hall of the palace," Pig replied.
"Wait for me under the arch," said Monkey, and Pig slipped quietly out to save his skin. Monkey climbed up on the roof of the main hall, from where he saw the intense glow of Pig's rake down on the left, made himself invisible, and sneaked it out of the palace. Once under the archway he called, "Pig, take your weapon."
"You go on ahead, brother," said Pig, now reunited with his rake. "I'm going to attack that palace. If I win I'll capture the whole family of them, and if I lose you'll be waiting by the bank to rescue me." Monkey, who was delighted at the suggestion, urged him to be careful. "I'm not scared of him," Pig replied. "I know a thing or two when it comes to water." Monkey then left him and came up through the water.
Pig meanwhile tightened the belt round his black tunic, grasped his rake with both hands, and charged in with a great war−cry that sent all the members of the watery tribe rushing into the palace and shouting, "Disaster! The long−snouted monk has broken free from his bonds and is charging back in." The ancient dragon king, the nine−headed monster and the rest of the family were caught off their guard, and all they could do was jump to their feet and flee for cover. The idiot, not fearing for his life, charged into the hall, laying about him with his rake as he went. He smashed everything: doors, tables, chairs, wine−cups and all else too. There is a poem to prove it that goes:
When the mother of wood was taken by the water monster The mind−ape did not flinch from a difficult rescue.
One used his secret skills to open the locks;
The other one showed his might in hatred and wrath. The prince fled, taking his princess to safety;
Not a sound was heard from the shivering dragon.
The palace's crimson windows and doors were all smashed; The dragon's descendants were all scared out of their wits.
Pig smashed the tortoise−shell screens to powder and the coral trees to fragments.
When the nine−headed monster had hidden his princess safely inside he grabbed his crescent−bladed halberd and went for Pig in the front of the living quarters of the palace, shouting, "Bloody idiot! Swine! How dare you terrorize my family?"
"Thieving devil," retorted Pig. "How dared you capture me? This was none of my fight till you brought me into it. Give the treasure back at once for me to take back to the king and that'll be that. Otherwise every last member of your family will be killed." The demon was in no mood for kindness: he ground his teeth and started fighting Pig. Only then did the ancient dragon calm down enough to lead his dragon sons and grandsons to surround and attack Pig with their spears and swords. Seeing that things were going badly for him Pig feinted and fled, followed by the ancient dragon and his host. A moment later he shot up through the water and they all surfaced at the top of the pool.
Monkey, who had been waiting on the bank, suddenly saw them coming out of the water after Pig, so he put one foot on a cloud and brought out his iron cudgel with a shout of, "Stay where you are." His first blow smashed the ancient dragon king to pulp. It was a terrible sight: his corpse and the scales that had come off it floated on the surface of the pool, which turned red with his gore. His sons and grandsons all fled for their lives in terror, while Prince Ninehead took the body back to the underwater palace.
Brother Monkey and Pig did not pursue them but went back to the bank to discuss what had happened. "I've knocked a bit of the stuffing out of him," said Pig. "I went charging in with my rake and smashed everything to smithereens. They were all scared witless. I was just fighting the prince when the ancient dragon king went for me. Thanks for killing him. Now those bastards have gone back they'll be too busy with mourning and the funeral to come out again. Besides it's getting late now. What are we going to do?"
"Never mind about it being late," replied Monkey. "This is our chance. Get back down there and attack again. You must get the treasure so that we can go back to court." The idiot was feeling lazy so he made all sorts of excuses to get out of going down again, but Monkey insisted: "Don't worry so, brother. Just draw him out again as you did just now and I'll kill him."
As the two of them were talking they heard the roar of a mighty wind as dark and gloomy clouds came from the East, heading South. When Monkey took a closer look he saw that it was the Illustrious Sage Erlang with the Six Brothers of Plum Hill. They had falcons and hounds and were carrying foxes, hares, water−deer and deer that they had killed. All of them had bows and crossbows at their waists and were carrying sharp swords as they arrived on their wind and clouds.
"Pig," said Monkey, "here come my seven−sage−sworn brothers. Let's stop them and ask them to help us in this fight. This will really stack the odds in our favour."
"If they're your sworn brothers they owe you that," said Pig.
"The only trouble is that the eldest of them, the Illustrious Sage, once made me surrender, so I feel too embarrassed to face him," said Monkey. "I'd like you to go up, stop the clouds and say, 'Wait a moment please, True Lord. The Great Sage Equaling Heaven would like to pay his respects.' I'm sure he'll stop then. I can only face him after he's landed."
The idiot then shot up on his cloud to the top of the mountain to stop Erlang. "True Lord," he shouted at the top of his voice, "could you slow down for a moment? The Great Sage Equaling Heaven would like to see you." On hearing this Lord Erlang ordered the six brothers to stop and exchanged polite salutations with Pig.
"Where is the Great Sage Equaling Heaven?" he asked.
"Awaiting your summons at the foot of the mountain," Pig replied. "Brothers," said Erlang, "go and ask him up at once."
The six brothers Kang, Zhang, Yao, Li, Guo and Zhi all came out of their camps and said, "Great Sage, our eldest brother has sent us with an invitation for you."
Monkey went forward, paid his respects to them, then accompanied them to the top of the mountain, where Lord Erlang received him, took him by the hand and returned his courtesies.
"Great Sage," he said, "allow me to congratulate you on being rescued from your terrible sufferings and being converted to the Buddhist faith. Soon you will have succeeded and will be sitting on your lotus throne."
"I don't deserve your congratulations," Monkey replied. "I am under enormous obligations that I've hardly begun to repay. I've been rescued and am heading West, but it's too soon to say whether we'll succeed. As we agreed to rescue some monks from disaster in the kingdom of Jisai we are here to capture a demon and demand the return of a treasure. Seeing that you are passing this way, eldest brother, I wonder if I could persuade you to stay and help us. May I ask where you have come from and whether you'd be willing to help?"
"I'm just on my way home from a hunting trip with my brothers because I had nothing to do," Erlang replied. "I'm grateful to you, Great Sage, for asking me to stay out of consideration for our old friendship. Of course I'll help subdue a demon if that is what you wish. What kind of demons are there here?"
"Have you forgotten?" the six brothers asked. "This is the Ragged Rock Mountain, and below it is the Green Wave Pool, the Infinitely Sage Dragon's palace."
"The Infinitely Sage Ancient Dragon is no trouble−maker," said Erlang with astonishment. "How could he have robbed the pagoda?"
"Recently he's had a son−in−law living with him," Monkey replied, "a nine−headed monster turned spirit. He plotted it all with his father−in−law. They made it rain blood on Jisai then stole the sacred Buddha relic from the top of the pagoda in the Golden Light Monastery. The king in his ignorance had the monks arrested and tortured. I captured two of their underlings in the pagoda who'd been sent out on patrol when my master in his mercy swept it out one night, and they confessed everything in the palace this morning. When the king asked our master to capture these monsters we two were sent here. In the first fight the nine−headed monster grew another head that shot out from his waist and carried Pig off. I had to transform myself to go into the water and rescue him. Then there was another big fight in which I killed the ancient dragon king. The swine have recovered the body and are now in mourning. We two were just discussing how to draw them into battle again when we saw you arriving. That's why I have had the effrontery to ask to see you."
"As you've killed the ancient dragon king you'll have to hit them so hard that the monster won't know what to do," Erlang replied. "Then you can clean up the whole den of them."
"Yes," said Pig, "but it's late now."
"There's a soldier's saying that you should never put off an attack," Erlang replied. "It doesn't matter that it's late."
"Don't be so impatient brother," said Kang, Yao, Quo and Zhi. "The demon's family is here, so we don't think he'll run away. Brother Monkey is a distinguished guest, and Iron−haired Pig has been converted too. We have wine and good food in our camp. Why don't we tell the little ones to light the stove and set out a banquet here? It would be a way of congratulating them and a chance to talk at the same time. After a good night's feasting there'll be plenty of time for the battle tomorrow."
Erlang was very pleased with the suggestion: "An excellent idea, brothers." The underlings were then ordered to set out the banquet.
"We couldn't possibly refuse you gentlemen's generous invitation," Monkey replied. "But now we're monks we may only eat vegetarian food. We can't eat meat."
"We have vegetarian food in plenty," Erlang replied, "and monastic wine too." All the brothers then drank and talked of the old days under the light of the moon and the stars; when the sky was their canopy and the earth their mats.
How true it is that the night is long in loneliness and short in pleasure. Soon the East started to become light and Pig, feeling very cheerful and energetic after a few drinks, said, "It's getting light. I'm going down to challenge them to battle."
"Be careful, Marshal," said Erlang. "Just lure him out for my brothers and me to deal with."
"I understand," grinned Pig, "I understand." Watch as he tucks up his clothes, grabs his rake, makes water−dividing magic, jumps in, goes straight to the archway, and charges into the palace with a great war−cry.
The dragon sons were wearing the hempen clothes of mourning as they watched and wept over the dragon's body while the dragon grandsons and the prince were preparing the coffin at the back. Then in came Pig, roaring abuse at them. He landed a terrible blow from his rake that made nine holes in a dragon son's head. The dragon's widow fled inside in terror with the rest of them.
"The long−snouted monk's killed my son now," she howled, and on hearing this the prince led the dragon grandsons out to fight, wielding his crescent−bladed halberd. Pig raised his rake to parry the halberd and fought a fighting retreat till he jumped out of the water. The Great Sage Equaling Heaven and the seven sworn brothers all leapt into the fray, thrusting furiously with sword and spear. One of the dragon grandsons was chopped up into mincemeat.
Seeing that things were going badly the prince rolled in front of the mountain, turned back into himself, spread his wings, and started circling around. Erlang then took his golden bow, fixed a silver pellet to it pulled it to its full extent, and fired it in the air. The monster pulled in its wings and swooped down to bite Erlang with the head that shot out from its waist. Erlang's slim dog leapt up, barked, and bit off the head, which dripped blood. The monster fled for his life in great pain, heading straight back for the Northern Sea. Pig wanted to go after him but Monkey stopped him.
"Don't chase him," he said. "Never corner a defeated enemy. Now the dog's bitten that head off I'm sure he'll be more dead than alive. I'm going to turn myself into his double. I want you to part the waters and chase me in there to find the princess and trick the treasure out of her."
"You don't have to chase him if you don't want to," said Erlang and his six sages, "but by letting a creature like that stay alive you are only creating trouble for the future." The nine−headed gory monsters that are still found today are its descendants.
Pig did as he was told and parted a way through the waters for Monkey, looking just like the monster, to flee with himself in noisy pursuit. They soon reached the dragon palace, where Princess Infinitely Sage asked, "Why are you in such a state, prince?"
"Pig beat me," Monkey replied, "and chased me in here. I'm no match for him. Hide the treasures somewhere safe."
Not realizing in her alarm that he was an impostor, she fetched a golden casket from the rear palace that she gave to Monkey with the words: "This is the Buddha relic." Then she fetched a white jade box that she gave to Monkey saying, "This is the nine−lobed magic fungus. Hide the treasures away where they'll be safe while I fight two or three rounds with him to cover you. When the treasures are safe come and join in the fight."
Monkey then tucked the treasures into his clothes, rubbed his face, and turned back into himself. "Have a good look, princess," he said. "Am I really your husband?" As the princess made a desperate grab for the boxes Pig ran up and knocked her to the floor with a blow on the shoulder from his rake.
The ancient dragon's widow was fleeing as Pig grabbed her and raised his rake to smash her. "Stop!" said Monkey. "Don't kill her! Keep her alive for when we go back to announce our victory at court." Pig then lifted her up out of the water while Monkey followed him to the bank with the two boxes.
"Thanks to your power and prestige, elder brother, we have recovered the treasures and wiped out the thieving devils," said Monkey.
"That was no credit of ours," said Erlang. "In the first place the king's good fortune equaled heaven, and in the second you worthy brothers showed your boundless powers."
The brothers then all said, "As you have now succeeded, Brother Monkey, we shall take our leave of you." Monkey expressed his thanks profusely and tried to persuade them to go to see the king. None of them agreed, and they led their forces back to Guankou.
Monkey carried the boxes and Pig dragged the dragon wife back to the city in next to no time, travelling by cloud and mist. The liberated monks of the Golden Light Monastery were waiting for them outside the city, and when they saw the two of them suddenly alight from the clouds, they went up and kowtowed, ushering them into the city. The king was then sitting in the main hall of the palace talking with the Tang Priest.
A monk came ahead and took his courage in his hands to go in through the palace gates and report, "Your Majesty, Lords Monkey and Pig are back with one of the thieves and the treasures." The moment he heard this news the king hurried down from the throne hall to welcome them with the Tang Priest and Friar Sand. He was full of expressions of gratitude for their amazing achievement and he ordered a thanksgiving banquet.
"We don't need any drinks now," said Sanzang. "We can only feast when my disciples have returned the treasure to the pagoda." He then asked Monkey why it was that they were only back then as they had left the day before, Monkey then told him all about the battle with the prince, the death of the dragon king, meeting the True Lord Erlang, the defeat of the evil monsters and how he had got the treasures through trickery and transformation. Sanzang, the king and all the civil and military officials were delighted.
"Can the dragon wife talk in human speech?" the king then asked.
"Of course she knows human speech," Pig replied. "She was married to a dragon and had a lot of dragon sons and grandsons."
"In that case," said the king, "she'd better tell us the whole story of their crimes."
"I don't know anything about the theft of the Buddha relic," she said. "That was all done by that husband of mine, the dragon who's a ghost now, and our son−in−law the nine−headed monster. They knew that the light from your pagoda came from the Buddha relic that they stole under cover of the blood rain."
When asked how the magic fungus was stolen she answered, "My daughter the Infinitely Sage Princess sneaked into the Daluo Heaven and stole the Queen Mother's nine−lobed magic fungus from in front of the Hall of Miraculous Mist. The magic vapors of the fungus have nourished the relic, which will now be indestructible and shine for tens of thousands of years. Even if it's buried or put in a field it will give out thousands of beams of coloured light and auspicious vapors the moment it's brushed. You have now taken it back and killed my husband, all my sons, my son−in−law and my daughter. Please spare my life."
"There'll be no mercy for you," Pig replied.
"There's no such thing as a family that's all criminal," said Monkey. "I'll spare your life on one condition: you look after the pagoda for me for ever."
"A poor life is better than a good death," the dragon wife replied. "Spare my life and I'll do whatever you want." Monkey sent for an iron chain that was fetched by one of the aides.
He put it through the dragon wife's collarbone and said to Friar Sand, "Please ask the king to come and watch the treasures being put back in the pagoda."
The king then had his carriage prepared and left the court hand−in−hand with Sanzang, accompanied by the civil and military officials. He went to the Golden Light Monastery and climbed the pagoda, where the relic was placed in a precious vase on the thirteenth floor just under the roof. The dragon wife was chained to the central column of the pagoda. Spells were then said to summon the local deities and city gods of the capital and the Guardians of the monastery, who were ordered to bring the dragon wife food and drink once every three days to keep her alive. If she tried any tricks they were to execute her on the spot. The gods all secretly accepted their orders. Brother Monkey used the magic fungus to sweep out the thirteen stories of the pagoda one by one, then put it in the vase to look after the relic. Then and only then did the pagoda shine anew with coloured light and an auspicious glow that could be seen from all directions and admired by the countries all around.
When they came down out of the pagoda the king thanked them with the words, "If you, venerable Buddha, and your three Bodhisattvas had not come here this matter would never have been cleared up."
"Your Majesty," Monkey said, "Golden Light is not a good name as it's not something permanent. Gold can melt and light is only shining vapor. As we monks have gone to some trouble on your behalf we would like to change the name to Subdued Dragon Monastery. This will ensure that you live for ever." The king ordered that the name be changed and a new board hung up that read.
SUBDUED DRAGON MONASTERY FOUNDED BY ROYAL COMMAND
He then commanded that a banquet be laid on and sent for painters to paint portraits of the four of them. Their names were recorded in the Tower of Five Phoenixes. The king then had his carriage brought out to see the Tang Priest and his disciples on their way. He tried to give them gold and jewels, but they firmly refused to accept anything. Indeed:
Evil had been wiped out;
Now calmness once more reigned. Sunshine had been brought back,
The pagoda's light regained.
If you don't know what happened on the journey ahead listen to the explanation in the next installment.