Creation of the Gods: A Somewhat Less Than Critical Commentary
by David Keffer
Chapter 1. King Zhou and Goddess Nu Wa
The Shang Dynasty ruled China for 650 years. King Zhou was the last of 28 Shang Kings. King Zhou was named crown prince by his father King Di Yi due to a display of miraculous strength. When King Zhou assumed the throne, he ruled in peace. On Goddess Nu Wa's birthday, King Zhou went to the temple of the goddess to worship her. There he caught sight of her beautiful statue and lusted after her.
Nu Wa was offended by the poem King Zhou left behind. She summoned 3 demons to seduce King Zhou and help bring about the downfall of the Shang Dynasty.
Two fawning courtiers, Fei Zhong and You Hun, suggested to King Zhou that he decree that the dukes supply 100 beauties to him from around the kingdom. Surely, one of them would be as beautiful as the statue of Nu Wa.
Chapter 2. The Rebellion of Su Hu
Shang Rong advised King Zhou not to demand the women at this time, because the king already had 1000 women and the people were suffering from drought. King Zhou reluctantly acquiesed. Later, the courtiers urged him to seek the daughter of a Marquis Su Hu upon whom they wanted revenge, as a concubine. King Zhou demanded Su Hu's daughter. Su Hu rose up in rebellion.
The North Grand Duke Chong Houhu, avaricious and cruel, and the West Grand Duke, virtuous and loved, were ordered to command an army to decimate Jizhou, the city under Su Hu. The North Grand Duke Chong Houhu led 50,000 men against Su Hu at Jizhou. Chong Houhu suffered several devastating defeats, losing several generals to the martial skill of Su Hu's son Su Quanzhong.
Chapter 3. Daji Enters the Palace
Chong Houhu and his son, Chong Yingbiao, fled in defeat. Reinforcements led by Chong Houhu's brother, Chong Heihu, aka Black Tiger, arrived. Black Tiger battled Su Quanzhong. Black Tiger was a marvelous fighter, but he had sympathies for Su Hu and did not want to kill Su Quanzhong. He retreated but Su Quanzhong recklessly pursued. Black Tiger opened a magic gourd and released a flock of magic eagles which pecked out the eyes of Su Quanzhong's steed. Black Tiger captured Su Quanzhong.
Jizhou was beseiged by Black Tiger and Chong Houhu. Su Hu despaired and intended to kill his daughter, Daji, rather than allow her to be taken captive to King Zhou. General Zheng Lun stayed Su Hu's hand. Zheng Lun battled Black Tiger and used magic beams of light shooting from his nostrils to capture Black Tiger.
West Grand Duke Ji Chang sent San Yisheng as a messenger to Su Hu. He reasoned that Su Hu had everything to gain and nothing to lose if he sent Daji to King Zhou. Su Hu agreed.
Chapter 4. The Fox Sprite Murders Daji
Su Hu accompanied Daji toward the palace. At Enzhou, enroute, they stop for the night. One of the three demons, the thousand year old female fox sprite, summoned by Nu Wa to wreak vengeance on King Zhou sucked the soul out of Daji and occupied her body. No one was the wiser.
Su Hu brought Daji to the palace. Evil Ministers, Fei Zhong and You Hun, conspired to have him killed, but Shang Rong convinced King Zhou to be reasonable. Once King Zhou laid eyes on Daji, he was bewitched. He spent all his time taking pleasure in Daji and neglected his kingdom.
Chapter 5. A Vain Attempt By the Master of the Clouds
A Taoist Immortal, Master of the Clouds, detected an evil aura in the palace. He traveled to the King and advised him to hang a pine sword up form a tower in the palace to dispel the evil. King Zhou later found that Daji was deathly ill. Daji convinced the king that the sword was a curse on her, and that King Zhou had been tricked by a sorceror. King Zhou destroyed the sword. He continued to dissipate all his time with Daji and his kingdom suffered.
Chapter 6. The Burning Pillar Torture
Grand Tutor Du Yuanxian warned King Zhou that there was a demon in the palace. King Zhou ordered him killed. Shang Rong politely protested. Mei Bo vigorously protested. King Zhou ordered Mei Bo killed. Daji devised a method of torture called the "Burning Pillar", by which Mei Bo was killed. Shang Rong retired from court life.
Chapter 7. Fei Zhong Plots to Depose the Queen
Queen Jiang tried to convince King Zhou that spending all his time with Daji would lead to the end of the Dynasty. Daji conspired with Fei Zhong and a servant named Jiang Huan to create a fake assassination plot of King Zhou and have it blamed on Queen Jiang. The plot worked. Concubine Huang was set up as judge of the trial. Queen Jiang denied all accusations. Daji convinced King Zhou to gouge out one of Queen Jiang's eyes if she refused to admit her guilt. Queen Jiang refused and one of her eyes was gouged out. Still Queen Jiang did not confess. Daji convinced King Zhou to burn Queen Jiang's hands off until she confessed, but still after the flesh and bones of Queen Jiang's hands had been reduced to ash, still she did not confess.
Chapter 8. Princes Take Flight
Queen Jiang died of her wounds. King Zhou's two sons, Yin Jiao and Yin Hong, were enraged by their father's actions. Yin Jiao killed Jiang Huan, then rushed off to find and kill Daji. When King Zhou heard of this, he ordered both of his sons killed. Concubine Huang helped hide them. Concubine Yang helped hide them but hung herself for fear of being discovered and tortured. Two low-level generals, Fang Bi and Fang Xiang, spirited the sons out of the capital. Two generals Chao Tian and Chao Lei were assigned to kill the sons, but they were afraid of the Fang brothers and managed to shirk their duties off on Huang Feihu. Huang Feihu caught up to the sons, intent on killing them, although his conscience told him otherwise. The two sons each offered to die so that the other might live to raise an army and extract revenge. Huang Feihu took pity on the sons. He hatched a plot for one son to seek out the East Grand Duke, Queen Jiang's father, and the other to seek out the South Grand Duke, and launch a joint uprising against King Zhou. Huang Feihu returned to the capital, claiming to have failed to locate the sons. Two generals Yin Pobai and Lei Kai were sent out with 3000 men to locate the sons. Huang Feihu made sure that the men assigned to this mission were old and could move only very slowly. The two sons split up. Yin Hong headed for the South Grand Duke. Yin Jiao headed for the East Grand Duke. Along the way, Yin Jiao met up with Shang Rong, who resolved to return to the capital and set King Zhou straight.
Chapter 9. The Prime Minister's Death
Yin Pobai and Lei Kai captured King Zhou's two sons. They returned them to the palace where King Zhou ordered them killed. Despite the ministers' protests, the execution would have taken place had not two immortals, Pure Essence and Grand Completion, sent down a genii to spirit the innocent boys away. Shang Rong arrived in court and, knowing that it would cost him his life, berated the King for his cruelty and debauchery. Shang Rong killed himself to protest the King's behavior.
Chapter 10. The Discovery of Thunderbolt
Zhao Qi denounced the king's behavior and was killed via the burning pillar. King Zhou informed Daji that despite the barbaric torture, the ministers were not afraid to criticize the king. He pled with Daji for an even more barbaric form of torture. Daji suggested he ask Fei Zhong. Fei Zhong suggested he summon all four of the Grand Dukes to court and kill them. On the way to the palace, West Grand Duke was caught in a rainstorm. Afterward, he found a baby boy in a temple. He decided to adopt the boy. The Taoist Master of the Clouds arrived and agreed to raise the boy, Thunderbolt, for seven years. The four Grand Dukes arrived at the palace and were secretly warned that King Zhou had killed East Grand Duke's daughter, Queen Jiang, and tried to kill her sons. At court the next morning, King Zhou ordered that all four Grand Dukes be killed.
Chapter 11. The Ill Fortunes of the Grand Dukes
King Zhou demanded that the four grand dukes be executed. Fei Zhong and You Hun plead with the King to spare Chong Houhu. The other ministers pleaded with King Zhou to spare the other three dukes, but succeeded only in saving Ji Chang. E Chongyu was beheaded. Jiang Huanchu was nailed to a board and sliced to a thousand pieces. The other two grand dukes were sent home. At a farewell party, Fei Zhong and You Hun got Ji Chang drunk, in an attempt to entrap him and have him yet executed. They asked Ji Chang to predict the fates of King Zhou, themselves, and himself. Ji Chang predicted that King Zhou would be the last of the Shang Dynasty, that Fei Zhong and You Hun would freeze to death, and that he himself would die a natural death. The King sent Chao Tian out to bring Ji Chang back to the capital. King Zhou accused Ji Chang of practicing sorcery rather than proper divination. To prove his reliability, Ji Chang predicted that the ancestral hall would catch fire on the following day. At noon on the morrow, lightning struck the hall and set it afire. King Zhou reluctantly appealed the death sentence, opting instead to keep Ji Chang detained at Youli. Soon thereafter, South Grand Duke's son, E Shun, and East Grand Duke's son, Jiang Wenhuan rebeled. Huang Feihu issued orders to guard strategic passes.
Fairy Primordial received a letter from the Jade Emptiness Palace, indicating that Jiang Ziya would soon leave Mount Kunlun and that it was time to send Pearl Spirit down to the world of men.
Chapter 12. The Birth of Nezha
Li Jing was a Taoist commander at Chentang Pass. His wife, Madame Yin, had given him two sons. However she was pregnant with the third child for three years and six months. Madame Yin gave birth to a fleshy demon ball. Li Jing cut it in half with a sword and out jumped a baby boy with a bracelet and piece of red silk. He was a reincarnation of Pearl Spirit. The Taoist Fairy Primordial offered to instruct the boy as a Taoist. Fairy Primordial named the boy Nezha and predicted the boy would break the commandment against killing.
When E Shun and Jiang Wenhuan rose up in rebellion, Li Jing guarded the pass against them.
Seven years passed.
Nezha stood six feet tall at age seven. The red piece of silk that Nezha was born with was a magic weapon called the Sky Muddling Damask. The bracelet was also a weapon called the Universal Ring. Every time Nezha dipped the silk in the local river, the river bled, wounded by the weapon. This caused the palace of the dragon king of the East Sea, Ao Guang, to shake violently. He send Li Gen, the Yaksha, to find out the cause. Li Gen attacked Nezha, who killed Li Gen. Ao Bing, son of Ao Guang, went to investigate and was also killed by Nezha. Ao Guang visited Li Jing and complained to him of his son's crime. Ao Guang promised to bring his complaint before the Jade Emperor in Heaven. To calm his parents' worry, Li Jing sought the help of Fairy Primordial, who made him invisible. Nezha flew to Heaven and attacked Ao Guang before he could come before the Jade Emperor.
Chapter 13. Combat Between Two Fairies
Nezha beat Ao Guang ruthlessly at the gate to the Jade Emperor's Heavenly Palace, preventing the dragon from entering. Later, Nezha practiced archery with a magic Universal Bow, which no ordinary mortal could draw, and Sky-Shocking Arrows. He shot into the distance, unknowingly killing a disciple of the fairy, Lady Rock. Confronted by Lady Rock, Nezha tried to attack her but was easily disarmed. Nezha fled to the protection of his master, Fairy Primordial. In a magic-filled battle, Fairy Primordial was forced to kill Lady Rock.
Ao Guang convinced the Jade Emperor to arrest Nezha's parents for his crimes. Nezha rushed home and confronted the four dragon kings. According to Fairy Primordial's plan, Nezha cut off his left arm, cut open his belly, gouged out his intestines, and broke his own bones.
Chapter 14. Reincarnation with Lotus Flowers
Nezha visited Madame Yin in a dream and convinced her to build a temple for him, so that he could eventually be reincarnated. Ten months later, Li Jing discovered the temple and destroyed it. Fairy Primordial knew that Nezha had to be reincarnated in time to help Jiang Ziya found the Zhou Dynasty, so he had some Lotus leaves and flowers gathered, and simply reincarnated Nezha then and there. Fairy Primordial gave him a Fire-Tipped Lance and two Wind-Fire Wheels, in addition to the Universal Ring and the Sky-Muddling Damask.
Nezha sought revenge on Li Jing for destroying the temple. He chased him until they ran into Muzha, who defended Li Jing. Nezha felled his older brother, and continued the chase until Li Jing hid in the cave of the Immortal, Heavenly Master of Outstanding Culture, who easily captured Nezha and had his eldest brother, Jinzha, cane him. Fairy Primordial arrived and thanked Heavenly Master of Outstanding Culture for disciplining Nezha. They release Li Jing and Nezha, but Nezha again attempted to kill Li Jing. The Taoist Immortal, Burning Lamp, empowered Li Jing with the strength to defend himself against Nezha. He also gave Li Jing a magic pagoda which could burn Nezha. In effect, he reconciled a peace between Li Jing and Nezha.
Chapter 15. Jiang Ziya Leaves Mount Kunlun
Jiang Ziya studied at Mt. Kunlun for 40 years but was not destined to become an immortal. At age 72, he was sent back down to Earth to help found the Zhou dynasty. His friend, Song Yiren, married him to a 68-year-old virgin, Madame Ma. Song Yiren, a wealthy man, helped Jiang Ziya get started in four different businesses, but Jiang Ziya failed miserably at all of them.
Chapter 16. Burning the Jade Lute Scepter
Jiang Ziya established a successful fortune telling business in Zhaoge. One day the Jade Lute Spectre (one of the three demons summoned by the Goddess Nu Wa) passed by and decided to stop in. Jiang Ziya recognized her as a demon and killed her human form. He refused to release her wrist, lest the spirit escape. Bi Gan arrested him and, hearing the story, took him to the royal court. There Jiang Ziya proved to King Zhou that the corpse indeed housed a specter, because it could not be consumed by fire.
Chapter 17. The Serpent Pit
Jiang Ziya destroyed the Jade Lute specter with celestial fire emanating from his eyes.
Daji convinced King Zhou that 72 palace maids, formerly serving Queen Jiang were plotting a rebellion. She advised him to have a huge pit dug and filled with snakes. The palace maids were stripped, bound, and thrown into the pit to be consumed by the serpents. As their cries echoed through-out the palace, Minister Jiao Ge protested but King Zhou ordered him thrown in the pit as well. Jiao Ge died by self-imposed defenestration.
Daji was still angry with Jiang Ziya for killing her sister the Jade Lute Specter. She advised King Zhou to order Jiang Ziya to oversee the construction of a ridiculous and irreverent 49-story tower.
Chapter 18. Flight from Zhaoge
Jiang Ziya attempted to convince King Zhou that the project was a waste of the country's strained resources. King Zhou ordered Jiang Ziya killed by the burning pillar. Jiang Ziya jumped off a balcony. Everyone thought he had drowned in the river below, but he had secretly escaped on a flying cloud
Chong Houhu was selected as Jiang Ziya's replacement to build the "Happy Terrace". Yang Ren advised King Zhou against the building, considering that the empire is currently trying to finance three wars (against Jiang Wenhuan, East Grand Duke, against E Shun, South Grand Duke, and Grand Tutor Wen Zhong's expedition to the North Sea district). King Zhou ordered Yang Ren's eyes gouged out. Master Virtue of the Pure Void rescued Yang Ren and gave him small hands that grew out of his eye sockets with eyes in the palms, from which he could see everything that transpired in heaven and earth.
Jiang Ziya fled the capital. His wife refused to accompany him and forced him to divorce her. Jiang Ziya met a group of several hundred refugees fleeing the capital. When the garrison commander at the first pass refused to allow any of them to pass, Jiang Ziya transported them all magically to the West Dukedom. Bo Yikai, son of West Grand Duke Ji Chang, decided to travel to Zhaoge and plead for his father's release from prison.
Chapter 19. Gifts to the King
Bo Yikao, son of West Grand Duke Ji Chang, traveled to Zhaoge. He pleaded with King Zhou to release his father. Daji knew that Bo Yikao was a master lute player and advised the king to have him play. Bo Yikao played delightfully and Daji lusted after him. She asked the King to have Bo Yikao tutor her in the lute. During her first lesson, she tried to seduce Bo Yikao. Bo Yikao knew that he would die if he refused, but he considered the honor of the Ji family name, and admonished her. Daji plotted to have Bo Yikao killed in revenge. She slandered Bo Yikao to the King and eventually had him nailed to a board and sliced to death. Daji ordered Bo Yikao baked up into pies. She decided to offer the pies to Ji Chang. If Ji Chang ate his son, she would release him; otherwise, she would have Ji Chang killed.
Chapter 20. San Yisheng Bribes the Corrupt Courtiers
Ji Chang knew full well that the pies contained his son's flesh, but he ate them anyway. The courtiers Fei Zhong and You Hun urged the King to keep him imprisoned all the same. San Yisheng sent generous bribes to Fei Zhong and You Hun to free Ji Chang. The bribes proved successful. Ji Chang was released and promoted to Prince Wen. Huang Feihu urged Ji Chang to flee Zhaoge immediately for his own safety, since the King's whims were totally unpredictable.
Chapter 21. Flight Through the Five Passes
West Grand Duke Ji Chang, now known as Prince Wen, was pursued from Zhaoge by the King's Generals. Just before he was to be overtaken, Master of the Clouds sensed his trouble. He told the Grand Duke's son, Thunderbolt, to find a weapon. Thunderbolt ate two apricots and transformed into a creature with an indigo face, red hair, wings, and and a trunk twenty feet long. He then flew to Prince Wen's aid. Both Master of the Clouds and Prince Wen ordered Thunderbolt to kill none of the king's soldiers.
Chapter 22. Return of the Grand Duke
Prince Wen arrived in West Qi City, the capital of the West Dukedom. His advisors, San Yisheng and Nangong Kuo, suggested that he rebel against the corrupt King, but Prince Wen adamantly rejected the idea.
Chapter 23. Dream of a Flying Bear
Prince Wen had a divination terrace and pool built. His subjects were happy to help build it. Prince Wen dreamt of a flying tiger. Since a dream of a flying bear meant a great minister would appear, a dream of a flying tiger was interpreted as meaning a truly masterful minister would soon appear.
In the West Dukedom, Jiang Ziya lived as a reclusive fishermen. He met a woodcutter, who insulted him. Jiang Ziya predicted the woodcutter, Wu Ji, would kill a man in the city that day. The woodcutter did indeed accidently kill a city guard. He was arrested. Freed to attend to his mother, she advised him to seek help from Jiang Ziya.
Chapter 24. From Fisherman To Prime Minister
Jiang Ziya accepted Wu Ji as his disciple. Wu Ji cut wood for half the day and studied military strategy for the other half. One day, Prince Wen went out looking for this great minister that his dream had augured. He heard fishermen and woodcutters singing very intelligent and patriotic songs. The men claimed that an old fishermen had written the songs. The old fishermen was Jiang Ziya. Because Prince Wen was a noble man, he recognized the merit of Jiang Ziya and Wu Ji, though they had yet to prove themselves to him. Wu Ji was named General of Military Virtue. Jiang Ziya was named Prime Minister to Prince Wen.
Chapter 25. A Banquet for Specters in the Palace
The construction of King Zhou's Happy Terrace was completed. He reminded Daji of her promise to have immortals feast with him on the Terrace. Daji summoned 39 fox sprites who could disguise themselves as immortals to dinner. Minister Bi Gan served them wine but noticed their foul stench. As the fox sprites got drunk, some lost their composure and their ability to maintain the illusion that they were immortals. Bi Gan spotted their fox tails. He alerted Huang Feihu who had them tracked to their lair after the dinner. There the lair was set afire and Huang Feihu had the felts of the foxes made into a fur coat for the King to teach him and Daji a lesson.
Chapter 26. Daji Plots Revenge
Daji desired revenge against Bi Gan. She told King Zhou of a beautiful sister, who was a Taoist nun. The king asked Daji to summon her to the palace for his pleasure. The second demon conjured by Nu Wa, Hu Ximei, was Daji's sister. She arrived and, with Daji, kept the King indulged in sex all hours of the day. Then Daji feigned an illness. Hu Ximei informed King Zhou that only a special kind of human heart soup could cure her and it just so happened that the only person around who had such a heart was Bi Gan.
Bi Gan received the summons and prepared to die. His son, You Zi, reminded him of a letter that Jiang Ziya had left for him to be opened in a time of trouble. Bi Gan read the letter, followed the instructions, marched to the palace, berated the King, drew a sword, dug out his own heart, threw it at the King's feet, mounted a horse, and galloped off to the north gate of the capital.
Chapter 27. Return of the Grand Tutor
Bi Gan died. Grand Tutor Wen returned victorious from the North Sea District. He had a third divine eye in his forehead. He was outraged by the state of the Kingdom. For some reason, the King did not treat him like any of his other ministers. He allowed himself to be upbraided by Grand Tutor Wen. Grand Tutor Wen wrote ten proposals for the health of the Kingdom. The King immediately agreed to seven of them, including destroying the burning pillars, serpent pit, wine pool/meat forest, opening the granaries to the starving people, sending emissaries for peace to the south and east grand dukes, looking for talented hermits in the mountains, and encouraging freedom of speech. The King stalled on three proposals: destoying the Happy Terrace, deposing Daji, and executing Fei Zhong and You Hun. Before any further action could be taken, King Ping Ling declared the East Sea District independent. Grand Tutor Wen left the capital to quell the rebellion.
Chapter 28. Punitive Expedition Against the North Grand Dukedom
King Zhou held a party. Daji and Hu Ximei got drunk. Daji lost her ability to hold her human form, returned to a fox sprite, and flew about looking for a human meal. She found Huang Feihu, who warded her off long enough to release a hawk which scratched Daji's face badly. No one had recognized the fox as Daji, and the next day, seeing Daji's scratched face, he did not make the connection. Daji swore to get revenge on Huang Feihu.
West Grand Duke Ji Chang along with minister Jiang Ziya and various generals and men launched an expedition against North Grand Duke Chong Houhu and his son Chong Yingbiao for gross oppression of the people. The King had given Ji Chang the authority to launch such a campaign. They attacked Chong City, quickly killing three generals. Chong Yingbiao blocked the gates to the city. Jiang Ziya favored a direct assault but Ji Chang did not want to hurt the good people of the North Dukedom. They waited for Black Tiger Chong Heihu to arrive.
Chapter 29. Death of Two Grand Dukes
Ji Chang's general, Nangong Kuo, convinced Chong Heihu to deliver his brother and nephew, Chong Houhu and Chong Yingbiao, to Ji Chang. Chong Heihu entered Chong city. He encouraged Chong Yingbiao to summon his father from Zhaoge. When father and son were in Chong City, Chong Heihu turned them over to Ji Chang. Ji Chang would have spared them, but Jiang Ziya ordered them to be beheaded. Chong Heihu took over the Northern Dukedom, making it independent of Zhaoge.
Haunted by the grisly visages of decapitated heads of Chong Houhu and Chong Yingbiao, Ji Chang died. Ji Fa took over the Western Dukedom, still guided by Jiang Ziya. News of this transition of power reached King Zhou in Zhaoge.
Chapter 30. Incidents Leading to a Rebellion
Huang Feihu's wife, Lady Jia, went to pay New Year's respects to Daji. In a plot to get revenge on Huang Feihu, Daji secretly arranged for King Zhou to see the beautiful Lady Jia. The King tried to seduce her so she threw herself off the balcony to her death to protect her chastity. Huang Feihu's sister, the Concubine Huang, heard the news and attacked Daji. In her fury, she also punched King Zhou in the face. He threw her off the balcony.
News of his wife's and sister's death upset Huang Feihu. His brothers and generals convinced him to rebel. At the palace gates, Huang Feihu challened the King. The King fought briefly then retreated into the palace. Huang Feihu, his two brothers, three sons, and four generals headed out for the West Dukedom.
Grand Tutor Wen returned to the capital. He upbraided the King. He then sent orders that Huang Feihu not be allowed to pass through the five passes to the Western Dukedom.
Chapter 31. Flight and Pursuit
Huang Feihu and his men were trapped by Grand Tutor Wen and commanders of the various passes. Only through the divine aid of Master Virtue of the Pure Void was Huang Feihu able to escape alive. Reaching the first pass, Lintong Pass, Huang Feihu met Commander Zhang Feng. They battled. Xiang Yin, a subordinate of Zhang Feng, betrayed Zhang Feng and enabled Huang Feihu to pass. At the second pass, Tongguan Pass, Chen Tong attacked the party. Chen Tong had magic javelins. He killed Huang Feihu and his general Zhou Ji. Master Virtue of the Pure Void sent his disciple and Huang Feihu's son, Huang Tianhua, armed with a sword and a flower basket, down to resurrect Huang Feihu and help him through the remaining four passes.
Chapter 32. Huang Tianhua Meets his Father
Huang Tianhua revived Huang Feihu and Zhou Ji. He killed Chen Tong, then left. Huang Feihu traveled to the third pass, Chuanyun Pass, commanded by Chen Tong's brother, Chen Wu. Chen Wu pretended to befriend Huang Feihu, feasting him and getting the party drunk. In the middle of the night, the ghost of Lady Jia appeared and warned Huang Feihu that Chen Wu intended to burn them all to death. Huang Feihu roused his party, killed Chen Wu, and fought his way out of the pass. He headed toward the fourth pass, Jiepai Pass, where his father Huang Gun was commander. Huang Gun met the party with prisoner carts ready.
Chapter 33. The Battle at Sishui Pass
Huang Gun was a glum, old man with no sense of the depths of the depravity of King Zhou. He chastised his son, Huang Feihu. Huang Feihu's four generals battled Huang Gun long enough for Huang Feihu and his party to slip through the pass. They then tricked Huang Gun into joining Huang Feihu by burning the buildings where Huang Gun's kept the King's taxes. The King would surely execute Huang Gun for losing his taxes, so he reluctantly joined up with his son.
At the fifth pass, Sishui Pass, Han Rong was commander. Under him was a sorceror named Yu Hua. Using his magic Soul Killing Pennant, Yu Hua battled and captured Huang Feihu, his two brothers, all four of his generals, and his eldest son. Huang Gun went to beg Han Rong for mercy so that he would spare the lives of the two youngest sons.
Chapter 34. Huang Feihu Meets the Prime Minister
Han Rong refused to grant Huang Gun's request for mercy. Han Rong took all eleven prisoners (Huang Feihu, his two brothers, four generals, father, and three sons) in cages back toward Zhaoge. They traveled back through Jaipei Pass to Chuanyun Pass. The Fairy Primordial detected Huang Feihu's plight. He sent his disciple, Nezha, down to aid Huang Feihu. Nezha battled Yu Hua and Han Rong, wounding both and sending them running. He freed the Huang prisoners and saw them safely through the last pass. He then returned to his master.
In West Qi City, Huang Feihu, through Jiang Ziya's intercession, is made a minister of King Wu (West Grand Duke Ji Chang's son Ji Fa).
Chapter 35. The Surrender of Two Generals
Grand Tutor Wen sent two Generals, the brothers Chao Tian and Chao Lei, out to West Qi to determine if King Wu intended to attack Zhaoge. When Chao Tian and Chao Lei arrived in West Qi, they challenged for a battle. Chao Lei was captured by Nangong Kuo. The prisoner insulted Jiang Ziya, who ordered his execution. Huang Feihu pleaded in Chao Lei's name for mercy. Chao Lei ceded defeat and joined. He went out to convince his brother to join as well, but Chao Tian feared for his family and conceived a trick to return to Zhaoge victorious. Chao Tian claimed he would only surrender to a general. Huang Feihu went out to accept the surrender and was ambushed. Chao Tian and Chao Lei fled toward Zhaoge with Huang Feihu as a captive. Jiang Ziya had foreseen this plot and situated armies to block the retreat. Chao Tian and Chao Lei were captured and Huang Feihu was freed. Jiang Ziya again ordered their execution, but they claimed that their actions were a stupid trick meant to save their families in Zhaoge. Jiang Ziya relented. He held Chao Tian as ransom and sent Chao Lei back to Zhaoge to retrieve both of their families.
Chapter 36. First Expedition Against West Qi
Chao Lei successfully retrieved the two families. Discovering the treachery, Grand Tutor Wen assigned Zhang Guifang leader of 100,000 men to defeat West Qi. Zhang Guifang's second in command was Feng Lin. Both knew sorcery. Using sorcery Feng Lin is able to capture Zhou Ji and Nangong Kuo. The Fairy Primordial sent down Nezha to aid Jiang Ziya. Nezha dispels the sorcery of Feng Lin and Zhang Guifang.
Chapter 37. Jiang Ziya Visits Mount Kunlun
Jiang Ziya visited the Heavenly Primogenitor on Mount Kunlun. Jiang Ziya asked him for help, but the Heavenly Primogenitor rebuked him, telling him that he didn't need help because good men would flock to a virtuous cause unbidden. The Heavenly Primogenitor gave Jiang Ziya the "list of creation" containing those names of the men who would distinguish themselves and become gods. He also warned Jiang Ziya not to look back as he returned home. Despite the warning, Jiang Ziya looked back when a fellow disciple, Shen Gongbao, called his name. Shen Gongbao vowed to support King Zhou, boasting of his superior skill. Jiang Ziya told him that if he could cut off his head and throw it up in the air and have it fly around the earth and return to the neck and live, then he would destroy the list of creation and join King Zhou. Shen Gongbao did precisely this but was caught and chastized by the Immortal of the South Pole. For this disobedience, Jiang Ziya brought down 36 invasions on West Qi. Further along on his way back to West Qi, Jiang Ziya ran into a naked man rising out of the sea. His name was Bai Jian and he was formerly a general under Xuanyuan who had long since died. He offered to serve Jiang Ziya, who ordered him and the gods of the five routes to start construction on the Terrace of Creation on Mount Qi, where the list of creation would be hung.
Returning to West Qi, Jiang Ziya ordered a night raid. The army of Zhang Guifang was decimated. Zhang Guifang wrote to Grand Tutor Wen in Zhaoge, asking for reinforcements. Grand Tutor Wen intended to go himself but instead opted to send "some of his talented friends from the mountains", i.e. Taoist hermits.
Chapter 38. Four Holy Men in West Qi
Grand Tutor Wen decided to enlist the aid of four Taoist Hermits from Nine Dragon Island in the West Sea: Wang Mo, Yang Sen, Gao Youqian, Li Xingba. They were sent to West Qi and defeat Jiang Ziya's army. Jiang Ziya makes a second trip to Mount Kunlun, seeking aid. He was given a bizarre mount called a nondescript. On the way home, Jiang Ziya met Dragon Beard Tiger, an immortal with the head of a snake, the neck of a goose, the body of a fish, a beard like a lobster, hands like hawk talons, and a single foot like that of a tiger. By demonstrating his Taoist refinement, Jiang Ziya convinced Dragon Beard Tiger to become his disciple. Returning to West Qi, Huang Feihu, Nezha, Dragon Beard Tiger, and Jiang Ziya battle the four hermits summoned by Grand Tutor Wen. The four hermits best the three generals and Wang Mo chases Jiang Ziya. Catching up to him, he kills him. This is Jiang Ziya's first of seven preordained deaths. The Heavenly Master of Outstanding Culture appears with his disciple, Jinzha, and forbade Wang Mo from decapitating Jiang Ziya, indicating instead that the Heavenly Master would revive him. Wang Mo attacks and Jinzha defends.
Chapter 39. Jiang Ziya Freezes Mount Qi
Grand Tutor Wen sent a new army under Lu Xiong to attack West Qi. Fei Zhong and You Hun were appointed aides to the general. They tried to escape the assignment but were unable to. It was the hottest part of the summer and Lu Xiong halted the army at Mount Qi. Meanwhile, Bai Jian sent word to Jiang Ziya that the Temple of Creation on Mount Qi was completed. Jiang Ziya sent an army under Nangong Kuo and Wu Ji to Mount Qi. It was terribly hot, but he sent them supplies of winter coats and hats. Then Jiang Ziya summoned a wind. The wind blew for three days then snow fell. Jiang Ziya melted the snow then froze it again. The invading army was decimated. West Qi soldiers walked into the Shang camp and captured the three leaders alive.
Chapter 40. West Qi City Under Siege
Jiang Ziya had King Wu offer prayers at Mount Qi but he did not tell him that the Temple of Creation had been built. Lu Xiong, Fei Zhong, and You Hun were executed by Jiang Ziya.
Grand Tutor Wen ordered the four Mo generals to lead an attack against West Qi. The Mo generals were brothers, each with magical weapons. Mo Liqing had a Green Cloud Sword that could summon a smoky wind filled with swords and spears; Mo Lihong had a Universe Muddling Umbrella that could plunge the earth in darkness and cause earthquakes; Mo Lihai had a lute that summoned fire and wind; Mo Lishou had a magic ermine that when released could turn into a white winged elephant and devour anybody in its path. With their magical weapons, the four Mo Generals delivered West Qi a devastating defeat. They lay siege to the city for six months. They would try to attack but Jiang Ziya was skilled at defense, both magically and militarily.
When the food had almost run out, two disciples of the Immortal, Heavenly Master of Divine Virtue, Han Dulong and Xue Ehu, brought enouogh food in their pockets to fill the city's granaries. A disciple of Jade Tripod, Yang Jian, arrived to aid West Qi. He battled the Mo Generals, killing the magic ermine and stealing the magic umbrella. The disciple of Master Virtue of the Pure Void and son of Huang Feihu, Huang Tianhua arrived to aid West Qi.
Chapter 41. Grand Tutor Wen Attacks West Qi
Huang Tianhua went out to battle the Mo Generals and was promptly killed. His body was returned to Master Virtue of the Pure Void, who revived him and berated him for eating meat and not wearing Taoist dress, while in West Qi. Huang Tianhua returned to West Qi and battled the Mo Generals again. He killed them all with a magic nail.
Grand Tutor Wen decided he must personally lead an attack against West Qi. He took a different route than through the five passes. On the way, he met a group of bandits with four leaders and 10,000 men. He persuaded them to join his attacking army.
Chapter 42. Surrender of the Bandit Chiefs
Grand Tutor Wen made the bandit chiefs generals of his army. They led the troops to West Qi City, where they surrounded it. Jiang Ziya and all his generals gave battle, but suffered a bad defeat due to Grand Tutor Wen's two magic staves. Three days later, they battled again. This time, Jiang Ziya countered Grand Tutor Wen's staves with the Staff for Beating Gods. Grand Tutor Wen suffered a great defeat. That night, Jiang Ziya planned a sneak attack. Grand Tutor Wen divined that the plan was coming and prepared for it.
Chapter 43. Grand Tutor Wen Suffers Defeat
Grand Tutor Wen's force was massacred. He retreated and sought aid from 10 Taoist Sorcerors on Golden Turtle Island. The Taoists created Ten Death Traps: Heavenly Destruction, Earthly Fury, Roaring Typhoon, Frigid Ice, Golden Light, Bleeding Blood, Vehement Flame, Soul Snatching, Red Water, and Red Sand.
Chapter 44. Jiang Ziya's Souls Float Over Mount Kunlun
Each Taoist Sorceror described his Death Trap to Grand Tutor Wen. Heavenly Master Yao used the Soul Snatching Trap to steal Jiang Ziya's soul over a period of 21 days. Jiang Ziya died and his soul flew to Mount Kunlun. The Immortal Pure Essence tried to rescue Jiang Ziya but failed. The Immortal Lao Zi gave Pure Essence a map to rescue Jiang Ziya.
A meeting of immortals was held to decide how to tackle the ten traps. The Immortals who attended were Pure Essence, the Yellow Dragon Immortal, Master Grand Completion, Krakucchanda, Fairy Primordial, Master Spiritual Treasure, Heavenly Master of Outstanding Culture, Immortal Universal Virtue, the Immortal of Merciful Navigation, the Immortal Jade Tripod, Heavenly Master of Divine Virtue, Master Virtue of the Pure Void.
Chapter 45. Confronting the Destructive Forces
The Immortal Burning Lamp arrived to lead the Zhou Immortals. There were 13 Immortals serving Zhou and 10 Immortals serving Shang. They battled using magic. Two of the 10 Death Traps were destroyed. To destroy the third, Roaring Typhoon Death Trap, they needed the Wind-Stopping Pearl. San Yisheng and Chao Tian retrieved it from the Woe Evading Sage. On their return, the pearl was stolen by two giant ferrymen. Huang Feihu hunted the ferrymen down and retrieved the pearl.
Chapter 46. Breaking the Golden Light Trap
One by one four more of the death traps were broken. Each time a mortal disciple tried to best the Heavenly Master who had created the trap. The Heavenly Master retreated into the trap, and the disciple followed and died. Then an Immortal challenged the Heavenly Master, killed him, and destroyed the trap. Grand Tutor Wen was discouraged when only four Heavenly Masters remained. He summoned his old friend Zhao Gongming to help him out.
Chapter 47. Zhao Gongming Assists the Grand Tutor
Zhao Gongming engaged Jiang Ziya in battle and killed him. Grand Completion used his elixir to raise Jiang Ziya from the dead. Zhao Gongming chased Burning Lamp. Zhao Gongming met two hermits who captured his magical weapons. He killed one of the hermits and the other gave the magical weapons to Burning Lamp. Zhao Gongming visited his three sisters on Three Fairy Island but they refused to give him replacement magical weapons, fearing they too would be killed and sent to the temple of creation. The immortal, Celestial Lotus, convinced the sisters to give Zhao Gongming some magic scissors. Zhao Gongming again challenged Burning Lamp to battle.
Chapter 48.The Death of Zhao Gongming
With the golden dragon scissors, Zhao Gongming was able to chase off Burning Lamp. A hermit, Lu Ya, arrived to aid Jiang Ziya. He devised a plan to defeat Zhao Gongming, using an effigy to sap his primal spirit. Lu Ya also destroyed one of the Death Traps. Master Pure Essence destroyed a second of the Death Traps and retrieved the stolen Map of the Eight Diagrams. Grand Tutor Wen divined Lu Ya's plot. He sent Zhao Gongming's disciples to steal the effigy. They stole it from under the nose of Jiang Ziya. Yang Jian and Nezha killed the disciples and retrieved the effigy. Zhao Gongming lay near death. Virtue of the Pure Void set off to battle Heavenly Master Wang Bian.
Chapter 49. King Wu in the Red Sand Trap
Virtue of the Pure Void killed Heavenly Master Wang Bian and destroyed the ninth Death Trap. Following Lu Ya's plan, Jiang Ziya shot the effigy of Zhao Gongming three times. In the Shang camp, Zhao Gongming died. Burning Lamps declared that King Wu must defeat the last Death Trap himself. King Wu, Nezha, and Thunderbolt are trapped in the Red Sand Trap of Heavenly Master Zhang Shao for 100 days. Zhao Gongming's three sisters, along with Celestial Lotus and Lady Pretty Cloud decide to kill Lu Ya in revenge for Zhao Gongming's death. They capture Lu Ya but he transformed into a rainbow and escaped. Next, the five women attacked Jiang Ziya. Yang Jian and Huang Tianhua defended the minister.
Chapter 50. The Yellow River Trap
Jiang Ziya and Huang Tianhua were wounded during battle. On the Shang side, two of Zhao Gongming's sisters were wounded. All swore revenge. High Firmament, the eldest sister, built the Yellow River Trap. In it she captured Yang Jian, Li Jinzha, Li Muzha, and 12 immortals: Pure Essence, Grand Completion, Heavenly Master of Outstanding Culture, Universal Virtue, Merciful Navigation, Virtue of the Pure Void, Divine Virtue, Jade Tripod, Fairy Primordial, Krakucchanda, the Yellow Dragon Immortal, and Spiritual Treasure (omitted, but all 12 captured).
Heavenly Primogenitor, the Grand Master of Chan Taoism, arrived. He observed that all 12 immortals have become mortals, their 1000 years of cultivation wasted. Lao Zi, the Grand Master, also arrived. Heavenly Primogenitor and Lao Zi entered the Yellow River Trap.
Chapter 51. Grand Tutor Wen's Disastrous Defeat
Lao Zi and the Heavenly Primogenitor broke the Yellow River Trap and killed Zhao Gongming's three sisters. The Immortal of the South Pole broke the last of the original ten Death Traps and freed Nezha, Thunderbolt, but King Wu was already dead. Burning Lamp raised King Wu from the dead. Most of the immortals dispersed, having dispensed with the Death Traps. A mighty battle between Jiang Ziya's and Grand Tutor Wen's forces erupted. Grand Tutor Wen suffered a major defeat. He tried to flee, but the former immortals, Grand Completion and Pure Essence, positioned at various passes held him and his men in.
Chapter 52. Grand Tutor Wen's Death
The armies of Jiang Ziya trapped Grand Tutor Wen. One by one, all of his remaining Generals were killed in battle. Finally, Master of the Clouds killed Grand Tutor Wen. The Grand Tutor's spirit went to warn King Zhou, but Daji persuaded the King that his dream was insignificant.
Shen Gongbao went out looking for new men to help King Zhou. He found Earth Traveler Sun, a disciple of Krakucchanda. Earth Traveler Sun stole the magic weapons and elixir from his master and agreed to aid King Zhou.
Chapter 53. Deng Jiugong Attacks West Qi
General Deng Jiugong led a new Shang army against West Qi. On the first battle, he was wounded by Nezha. His daughter, Deng Chanyu, bested Nezha, Huang Tianlu, and Dragon Beard Tiger.
Chapter 54. Earth Traveler Sun Poses A Threat
Earth Traveler Sun captured Nezha and Huang Tianhua in combat. Deng Jiugong promised Earth Traveler Sun his daughter in marriage if Earth Traveler Sun could subdue West Qi. Earth Traveler Sun bound Jiang Ziya in battle, but before he could capture him, Jiang Ziya was taken back to West Qi. The ropes were identified as the Celestial Binding Ropes of Krakucchanda. Earth Traveler Sun traveled underground into the city in order to assasinate King Wu and Jiang Ziya. He found King Wu asleep in bed with a concubine. He killed King Wu and the concubine begged him for her life. Earth Traveler Sun agreed to spare her if she would sleep with him. He undressed and embraced the concubine, who turned out to be Yang Jian in disguise. Yang Jian captured him but Earth Traveler Sun escaped by touching the ground. Yang Jian decided to visit Krakucchanda to determine what was going on.
Chapter 55. Surrender of Earth Traveler Sun
Yang Jian brought Krakucchanda to West Qi, where he easily captured Earth Traveler Sun. Earth Traveler Sun explained that he had been persuaded by Shen Gongbao, then by the promise of Deng Jiugong's daughter, to commit his evil acts. Krakucchanda made a divination and determined that Earth Traveler Sun and Deng Chanyu were destined to be married.
Chapter 56. Deng Jiugong Is Won Over
A messenger explained to Deng Jiugong that Earth Traveler Sun was to marry his daughter. Deng Jiugong had made the promise in a drunken state and sorely regretted it. Still, he decided to use it as a pretense to invite Jiang Ziya to his camp to capture him. Both sides planned a surprise assault during Jiang Ziya visit to discuss the marriage. Jiang Ziya's forces prevailed. The Shang army was routed. Deng Chanyu was captured and wed that very night to Earth Traveler Sun in West Qi. Deng Chanyu convinced her father to come over to Jiang Ziya's side. When word of this reached King Zhou, he ordered Su Hu to lead a new punitive force.
Chapter 57. Su Hu Against West Qi
Su Hu had no intention of attacking West Qi. He assembled the Shang army with the sole purpose of going over to Jiang Ziya's side. In the first battle between the Shang and Zhou army, Huang Feihu captured Zhao Bing. Zheng Lun captured Huang Feihu and Huang Tianhua and Earth Traveler Sun. Earth Traveler Sun escaped. Nezha wounded Zheng Lun. Su Hu freed the captured, and stated his intention to join Jiang Ziya's side, though Zheng Lun vehemently opposed it. A Taoist Immortal, Lu Yue, and his four disciples arrive, to help the Shang army.
Chapter 58. Lu Yue, the God of the Plague
The four disciples of Lu Yue battle Jinzha, Muzha, Thunderbolt, and Dragon Beard Tiger, infecting them all with plague. Then after another battle, in which Lu Yue is wounded, Lu Yue infected the entire West Qi city, except Nezha and Yang Jian, with plague. Yellow Dragon Immortal and Jade Tripod arrived and sent Yang Jian out to obtain the plague cure from the three Holy Men. Yang Jian retrieved the cure and healed the city. But before the men were ready to fight again, the Shang army attacked. Only Nezha, Yang Jian, Yellow Dragon Immortal, and Jade Tripod were in any condition to repel the assault.
Chapter 59. The God of the Plague is Defeated
Nezha, Yang Jian, Yellow Dragon Immortal, and Jade Tripod repelled the invaders and killed three of Lu Yue's disciples. Wei Hu, a disciple of Heavenly Master of Divine Virtue, arrived and killed the last disciple of Lu Yue.
Pure Essence received a message that soon Jiang Ziya would begin an attack on Zhaoge. He gave all of his magic weapons to his disciple Yin Hong in order to aid Jiang Ziya. However, Yin Hong was a son of King Zhou, and Pure Essence had deep misgivings about lending him all the weapons. He made Yin Hong swear to be loyal to Jiang Ziya. Yin Hong encountered four outlaws, who after being defeated agreed to join him. Shen Gongbao convinced Yin Hong to switch to his father's side. Yin Hong joined Su Hu, who still had been unable to surrender his troops. Yin Hong attacked West Qi.
Chapter 60. Ma Yuan Assists Yin Hong
Huang Feihu and his four sons battled Yin Hong and the four outlaw generals. Two of the Huangs were captured. Yin Hong released them as soon as he recognized one of them as Huang Feihu, because Huang Feihu had once saved his life in Zhaoge. Pure Essence arrived to deal with Yin Hong, but Yin Hong battled him as well, and did so effectively since he had Pure Essence's magical robe for defense and magical weapons for offense. A new Taoist, Ma Yuan, arrived, offering his services to Ying Hong. He killed a Zhou general and ate his heart. Ma Yuan was not on the list of Creation, so when Jiang Ziya tried to subdue him with the Staff for Beating Gods, Ma Yuan simply stole it. Later, it appeared that Ma Yuan killed Yang Jian and ate his heart. But Yang Jian had given him a pill that gave him severe diarhea so as to drain his strength. Heavenly Master of Outstanding Culture arrived with a plan to destroy Ma Yuan.
Chapter 61. Yin Hong Meets His Doom
Ma Yuan chased Jiang Ziya into a wilderness. There he found a dying woman, begging for help. Ma Yuan tore her belly open to eat her, thrusting his hands inside her abdomen, searching upward for the heart. However the wound healed and Ma Yuan could not remove his hands. The Heavenly Master of Outstanding Culture prepared to kill him, but Candi, a Buddha from the West, asked for mercy on Ma Yuan's behalf, saying that Ma Yuan was destined to convert to Buddhism and become a proper Buddhist. Candi returned the Staff for Beating Gods.
Pure Essence killed Yin Hong with Lao Zi's magic map. Pure Essence wept over killing his own disciple; but he had had no choice. In a night raid, the Zhou Army escorted Su Hu into the city, killing those who resisted and capturing Zheng Lun. Eventually, Su Hu convinced Zheng Lun to join with Jiang Ziya.
Chapter 62. Zhang Shan in West Qi
Zhang Shan led the next invasion of West Qi. He was only a general and had no chance of succeeding where Grand Tutor Wen and immortals had failed. After an initial defeat, an immortal, Winged Celestial, arrived to help him. Winged Celestial was no match for the combined might of the various disciples in West Qi. He tried to drown the city with sorcery but the Heavenly Primogenitor protected West Qi. Next, Winged Celestial headed off looking for breakfast but Burning Lamp sent him to eat some cakes that filled him with a great pain.
Chapter 63. Yin Jiao's Revolt
Burning Lamp subdued the Winged Celestial.
Grand Completion received a message that soon Jiang Ziya would begin an attack on Zhaoge. He gave all of his magic weapons to his disciple Yin Jiao in order to aid Jiang Ziya. However, Yin Jiao was the first son of King Zhou, and Grand Completion had misgivings about lending him all the weapons. He made Yin Jiao swear to be loyal to Jiang Ziya. Yin Jiao encountered two outlaws, who agreed to join him. Shen Gongbao convinced Yin Jiao to switch to his father's side. Yin Jiao joined Zhang Shan. Yin Jiao attacked West Qi. Yang Jian alerted Grand Completion to Yin Jiao's treachery. He also visited Master of the Clouds to borrow a Demon Exposing Mirror to determine what kind of Demon, Ma Shan, one of the outlaws who joined Yin Jiao was. Yin Jiao was a lamp wick. Yang Jian traveled to Jade Emptiness Palace on Mt. Kunlun to see if the Grand Master's wick was still burning there. It was. Next, Yang Jian discovered that Burning Lamp's wick was missing.
Chapter 64. Fires Blaze All Over West Qi City
Grand Completion battled Yin Jiao. Burning Lamp subdued Ma Shan. Luo Xuan, the Burning Flame Immortal, and an evil Taoist, Liu Huan, arrived and joined forces with Yin Jiao. They set fire to West Qi City. Princess Long Ji arrived and killed Liu Huan. Li Jing, father of Jinzha, Muzha, and Nezha arrived and engaged Luo Xuan in battle.
Chapter 65. The Head of Crow Prince Hoed Off
Li Jing killed Luo Xuan.
Four flags were collected with which to trap Yin Jiao. Buddha reluctantly lent the Green Lotus, after Candi persuaded him that the goals of Taoism and Buddhism were the same. A huge battle took place in which the forces of Zhou destroyed the Shang forces. Zhang Shan and his generals were killed. Yin Jiao was trapped inside a mountain, with only his head sticking out.
Chapter 66. Hong Jin Attacks West Qi
Yin Jiao's head was removed with a hoe by Burning Lamp. He warned King Zhou of his impending doom. King Zhou selected Hong Jin as the General to lead the next punitive expedition against West Qi. By Jiang Ziya's reckoning, this was the 36th and final attack on West Qi, as destined by Heaven. Hong Jin's magic was weak and, in his first encounter with Princess Long Ji, Hong Jin was captured.
Chapter 67. Jiang Ziya as Commander
Just before Hong Jin's execution, Heavenly Matchmaker arrived and announced that it was destined that Hong Jin should marry Princess Long Ji. Although Long Ji wasn't at all keen on the idea, she consented. Thus Hong Jin and his army joined with the Zhou army.
A ceremony was held in which Jiang Ziya was named Commander of the Army by King Wu. Xin Jia was chief justice of the military court. A grand feast was held to celebrate the occasions. Immortals and mortals both attended.
Chapter 68. Two Hermits Stop the Army
Jiang Ziya commanded the army. Beneath him were four generals: Nangong Kuo, Li Nezha, Wu Ji, and Huang Tianhua. Yang Jian, Earth Traveler Sun, and Zheng Lun were in charge of supplies. Numerous other generals were under them, including Huang Feihu, Huang Feibiao, Huang Feibao, Huang Ming, Zhou Ji, Long Huan, Wu Qian, Huang Tianlu, Huang Tianjue, Huang Tianzinag, Xin Mian, Tai Dian, Hong Yao, Qi Gong, Yin Xun, Ji Sui, Ji Dan, Ji Shi, Ji Gao, and 28 or so others. In addition, there was Thunderbolt and about 20 other sons of King Wen were appointed as Generals. In addition, there were the generals from King Zhou's camp, including Deng Jiugong, Tai Luan, Deng Xiu, Zhao Sheng, Sun Yanhong, Chao Tian, Chao Lei, Hong Jin, Ji Kang, Su Hu, Su Quanzhong, Zhao Bing, Sun Ziyu. There was also Princess Long Ji and Deng Chanyu. San Yisheng and Huang Gun stayed behind in West Qi as civil and military ministers to King Wu.
King Zhou sent an army under Kong Xuan to meet Jiang Ziya at the Golden Chicken Range.
Chapter 69. Trouble at the Golden Chicken Range
Jiang Ziya discovered he had done some bad math and there had only been 35 invasions thus far. Kong Xuan led the 36th and final invasion. After a couple successes, Jiang Ziya planned a night raid. Kong Xuan was wise to it. General Gao Jineng had a magic bag of wasps and centipedes. With this, he was able to kill Huang Tianhua, the first of the major disciples to be killed.
Huang Feihu went searching for Chong Heihu to help battle the wasps and centipedes. He ran into three generals, Wen Ping, Cui Ying, and Jiang Xiong, who joined him. They convinced Chong Heihu to aid Jiang Ziya.
Chapter 70. Subjugation of the Peacock
Chong Heihu's divine hawks eliminated Gao Jineng's wasps and centipedes. Kong Xuan emitted five magical beams of light. With these beams, he captured numerous Zhou army generals and their magical weapons. One by one, they fell to him. Even Burning Lamp could not fathom his nature or how to defeat him. King Wu considered retreating and convinced Jiang Ziya that was the correct course of action but Lu Ya persuaded them otherwise. Candi, a Buddha from the Western Regions, arrived and declared that Kong Xuan was predestined to live with him in the Western Regions.
Chapter 71. The Offensive on Three Routes
Candi subdued Kong Xuan, battling his sword with a twig, and revealed his true nature as that of a peacock. He rode the peacock back to the Western Region.
Jiang Ziya led the Zhou army to the Sishui pass, where Commander Han Rong sent for reinforcements. Huang Feihu led 100,000 men to Green Dragon Pass. Hong Jin led 100,000 men to Good Dream Pass. That left Jiang Ziya with 400,000 men. At Good Dream Pass, the commander Hu Sheng loses several generals in battle and surrenders. A female Taoist, Mother Fiery Spirit, convinced him to fight again. She wounded Hong Jin, set fire to the camp, and attacked Princess Long Ji.
Chapter 72. Grand Completion at the Green Touring Palace
Princess Long Ji asked Jiang Ziya for reinforcements. Jiang Ziya, Wei Hu, and Nezha left for Good Dream Pass, leaving Li Jing as provisional commander at Sishui Pass but forbidding him from engaging in battle. Jiang Ziya was defeated in battle by Mother Fiery Spirit but Grand Completion killed her and took her coronet. On the way back to Sishui Pass Jiang Ziya was attacked by Shen Gongbao. Krakucchanda subdued Shen Gongbao and took him to the Heavenly Primogenitor. The Heavenly Primogenitor ordered that Shen Gongbao be imprisoned beneath Unicorn Cliff, but he relented when Shen Gongbao took an oath never to attack Jiang Ziya again.
Grand Completion took the coronet of Mother Fiery Spirit to the Grand Master of Jie Taoism in the Green Touring Palace. Grand Completion apologized for killing Mother Fiery Spirit, but the Grand Master of Heaven said that Jiang Ziya was free to use the Staff for Beating Gods against any of his disciples who opposed him. Mother Golden Spirit and Mother Invincible were unhappy with this announcement. Mother Spiritual Tortoise attacked Grand Completion. Grand Completion returned to Grand Master of Heaven, who punished Mother Spiritual Tortoise. Other disciples of Grand Master of Heaven plotted vengeance on Grand Completion.
Chapter 73. Huang Feihu Defeated at the Green Dragon Pass
The disciples of the Grand Master of Heaven lied to him, telling him that Grand Completion slandered Jie Taoism. Grand Master of Heaven authorized setting up the Immortal Slaughtering Trap in Jiepai Pass.
Hu Sheng surrendered Good Dream Pass a second time and Jiang Ziya had him executed. Qi Gong took over Good Dream Pass.
Huang Feihu went to attack Green Dragon Pass. Qiu Yin was badly defeated, losing all of his generals and retreating into the city. Supply Officer Chen Qi arrived and managed to capture Deng Jiugong. Qiu Yin had him executed. Tai Luan was also captured. The three Huang sons went to battle Chen Qi.
Chapter 74. Combat Between Two Generals
Huang Tianxiang was captured and executed. Reinforcements were sent down including Nezha, Deng Chanyu and Earth Traveler Sun. As a group, the Zhou Army defeated Chen Qi and Qiu Yin, killing the former. They set up a garrison in Green Dragon Pass. Once the two side passes were secured, Jiang Ziya deemed it time to attack Sishui Pass. Han Rong and the sorceror Yu Hua resolved to defend it. Yu Hua seriously wounded Nezha with a Blood Converting Dagger.
Chapter 75. An Attempted Theft Ends in Failure
Thunderbolt was also seriously wounded by the Blood Converting Dagger of Yu Hua. Yang Jian allowed himself to be wounded by the dagger in order to determine what sort of poison it caused. Jade Tripod identified the poison and the creator of it, Yu Yuan. Yang Jian assumed the shape of Yu Hua and visited Yu Yuan, pretending to have suffered a wound from it. He obtained three pills to cure the poison, and healed Nezha, Thunderbolt and himself. Yu Yuan vowed to obtain revenge for the deceit.
Yang Jian killed Yu Hua. Yu Yuan arrived at Sishui Pass. Earth Traveler Sun tried to steal his golden-eyed five-cloud camel but was caught. Krakucchanda rescued Earth Traveler Sun and captured Yu Yuan. They couldn't kill Yu Yuan so they locked him in an iron box and dropped him in the North Sea. Yu Yuan escaped and went to the Green Touring Palace to complain to his master, Mother Golden Spirit. The Grand Master of Heaven gave Yu Yuan a magic weapon to capture Krakucchanda. Yu Yuan returned to battle but Krakucchanda ambushed him and captured him exactly as before. Lu Ya arrived and executed Yu Yuan. Without generals or sorcerors, Han Rong decided to abandon Sishui Pass.
Chapter 76. The Occupation of Sishui Pass
Han Rong's sons convinced him to attack once more. The sons had magical vehicles capable of slaughtering armies en masse. They chased Jiang Ziya's armies nearly back to the Golden Chicken Ranges, inflicting massive casualties. Zheng Lun arrived and captured both sons. Nangong Kuo executed the sons and Han Rong killed himself in grief. Thus, Jiang Ziya took Sishui Pass.
Jiang Ziya's army neared the Immortal Slaughtering Trap. Fairy Primordial gave Nezha the gift of six additional arms and two additional heads to help him battle it. Many immortals gathered to discuss defeating the Immortal Slaughtering Trap, including all the 15 usuals: Burning Lamp, Pure Essence, Grand Completion, Heavenly Master of Outstanding Culture, Universal Virtue, Merciful Navigation, Virtue of the Pure Void, Divine Virtue, Jade Tripod, Fairy Primordial, Krakucchanda, the Yellow Dragon Immortal, Spiritual Treasure, Master of the Clouds, and Lu Ya.
Chapter 77. Transformation Into Three Fairies
These immortals of Chan Taoism were met by the Grand Master of Heaven and his disciples of Jie Taoism. They toured the trap. Lao Zi arrived to destroy the trap. He summoned three Taoists of Purity to aid him. The Jie Taoists attacked them but Lao Zi was unperturbed.
Chapter 78. Breaking the Trap
The Immortal Slaughtering Trap required four great immortals to destroy it: Lao Zi, the Heavenly Primogenitor, Candi, and Buddha. They destroyed the trap and sent the Grand Master of Heaven fleeing.
The commander at Jiepai Pass, Xu Gai, sent to King Zhou for reinforcements but Daji convinced the King that this was only a ploy to drain the royal treasury. Jiang Ziya attacked the pass. A general of the Shang Army, Peng Lun, killed Wei Ben. Another general of the Shang Army, Wang Bao, killed two of Su Hu's generals. Thunderbolt killed Peng Zun.
Chapter 79. Four Generals in Captivity at Chuanyun Pass
Nezha killed Wang Bao. A Taoist, Ja Fie, arrived to aid the Shang Army, though the commander was ready to surrender. Ja Fie captured Thunderbolt. Ja Fie was captured but Candi saved him from execution. Xu Gai surrendered Jiepai Pass.
Xu Fang would not surrender Chuanyun Pass. Instead his general, Long Anji, battled and captured Xu Gai, Huang Feihu, Hong Jin, and Nangong Kuo.
Chapter 80. Collapse of the Pestilence Trap
Nezha easily killed Long Anji.
Lu Yue, the God of the Plague, returned and offered his services to Xu Fang. Lu Yue and Chen Geng built a Pestilence Trap, which imprisoned Jiang Ziya for 100 days. Xu Fang sent the four captured generals to Zhaoge. Virtue of the Pure Void taught Yang Ren how to use a lance. Yang Ren went out and rescued the four captured generals at Tongguan Pass. He left them there to help attack Chuanyun Pass from the rear after he destroyed the Pestilence Trap.
Chapter 81. The God of Smallpox at Tongguan Pass
Yang Ren used a magic fan to kill Lu Yue, Chen Geng, and Li Ping, then destroyed the Pestilence Trap. Master of the Clouds resuscitated Jiang Ziya. The Zhou army took Chuanyun Pass. Xu Fang was executed.
Yu Hualong was commander of Tongguan Pass. He had five sons, the youngest of which was a great sorceror. They battle the Zhou army with good success, killing a couple generals. Yu De, the sorceror, released smallpox in the Zhou army camp. On the advice of the Jade Tripod, Yang Jian traveled to the Fire Cloud Cave where the Saint-Emperors gave him the cure to smallpox. Yang Jian cured the entire camp.
Chapter 82. At the Ten Thousand Immortal Trap
Yu Hualong witnessed his five sons killed in battle. He then killed himself. Jiang Ziya took Tongguan Pass.
Lao Zi, Heavenly Primogenitor, Immortal of the South Pole, and the full complement of Chan Taoist Immortals appraised the Ten Thousand Immortal Trap. Grand Master of Heaven and his disciples arrived as well. Candi aided Pure Essence in battle against Fairy Black Cloud.
Chapter 83. Subjugation of Lion, Elephant, and Jaguar
Candi revealed Fairy Black Cloud as a turtle. Heavenly Master of Outstanding Culture revealed Fairy Dragon Head as a Lion. Universal Virtue revealed Fairy Spiritual Teeth as an elephant. Merciful Navigation revealed Fairy Golden Light as a jaguar. Not long thereafter, Heavenly Master of Outstanding Culture became the Bodhisattva of Outstanding Culture, Universal Virtue became the Bodhisattva of Universal Virtue, and Merciful Navigation became Guanyin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Buddha revealed Mother Spiritual Tortoise as a tortoise. A swarm of mosquitos arrived and sucked her blood out. The Grand Master of Heaven surrounded himself with 28 Taoist Fairies who were destined to become Gods of the 28 constellations.
Chapter 84. Occupation of Lintong Pass
A huge battle of immortals took place. Many Taoist Fairies of Jie Taoism died to become Gods. Some were converted to Buddhism. Some ran away, including the Grand Master of Heaven, Mother Invincible, and Shen Gongbao. Hongjun, head of Taoism, arrived and preached to Grand Master of Heaven and all the Chan Taoists and Buddhists. Having broken the Ten Thousand Immortal Trap, the immortals bid Jiang Ziya farewell, telling him that they would not return. They went to study as hermits.
Ouyang Chun was commander of Lintong Pass. Using a magic pennant, Bian Ji captured Nangong Kuo, Huang Feihu, Huang Ming, and Thunderbolt. Nezha chased Bian Ji from the battlefield. A battle ensued.
Chapter 85. The Rebellion of Two Marquises
Two new generals, Deng Kun and Rui Ji, were assigned as commanders of Lintong Pass. They both were inclined to come over to the Zhou army. Earth Traveler Sun spied on them and learned of their intentions. When they learned how to avoid the magic pennant, they passed the information on to Earth Traveler Sun. Jiang Ziya was ready to attack.
Chapter 86. The Fall of Generals and Princes
Deng Kun and Rui Ji betrayed the Shang Army. Lintong Pass was quickly taken.
The Zhou army reached Mianchi County, where Zhang Kui was in charge. Zhang Kui killed five generals including Huang Feihu. Yang Jian tricked Zhang Kui; killing his magical mount and Zhang Kui's mother.
Chapter 87. Death of Earth Traveler Sun and his Wife
Zhang Kui could travel underground like Earth Traveler Sun. Earth Traveler Sun battled and gave chase but could not catch up to him. He went to learn how to turn earth to steel from Krakucchanda so he could trap Zhang Kui. But Zhang Kui learned of the plan and ambushed Earth Traveler Sun at Fierce Beast Cliff, slicing off his head. Upon hearing the news, Deng Chanyu challenged Zhang Kui's wife Gao Lanying to battle and was killed.
Zhang Kui sent a messenger to Zhaoge asking for reinforcements. King Zhou sent an army to Mengjin under the general Yuan Hong. Yuan Hong, Wu Long and Chang Hao were actually evil sprites from a nearby mountain.
Chapter 88. Crossing the Yellow River
A messenger arrived from Krakucchanda detailing a way to take Mianchi County. They followed the instructions, luring Zhang Kui away from the city. Nezha and Thunderbolt took the city. Zhang Kui realized he had been tricked to late. He ran to Zhaoge for reinforcements. Before he got there, he ran into Yang Jian who recited some spells from Krakucchanda turning earth to steel and trappign Zhang Kui. Wei Hu killed Zhang Kui.
King Wu met with the nobles in Mianchi County. All the nobles and Jiang Ziya wanted to depose King Zhou. King Wu only wanted to rectify the present King. Everyone pretended that was ok, knowing they would eventually enthrone King Wu. Jiang Ziya led the combined forces to battle the Shang Army at Mengjin.
Chapter 89. Cutting Open the Bellies of Pregnant Women
With the two sprites, Yuan Hong had some preliminary success against the Zhou army. News of this success prompted King Zhou to celebrate. During the celebration, Daji bragged about her divination abilities. She convinced the King she could predict the genger and position of unborn babies. Three pregnant women were brought in and cut open to verify Daji's predictions. King Zhou's relatives, Wei Zi, Wei Ziqi, and Wei Ziyan took the ancestral tablets and fled Zhaoge.
Chapter 90. The Subjugation of Two Sprites
Two more sprites, Gao Ming and Gao Jue, joined Yuan Hong. They had super-seeing and super-hearing and eavesdropped on Jiang Ziya's plans. Thus the sprites escaped destruction. Yang Jian visited Jade Tripod to obtain a method for destroying the sprites. Returning to camp, Jiang Ziya set the plans in motion. Yuan Hong planned a night raid.
Chapter 91. Fire Attack on Mount Coiling Dragon
In the raid, Gao Ming and Gao Jue were destroyed. However, Yang Ren was killed by Yong Huan. Two more sprites, Chong Hao and Wu Long, were revealed as sprites and destroyed. The other generals in Yong Huan's army were ashamed to see sprites serving in the army. Knowing that sprites signaled the end of the dynasty, the general under Yong Huan began to look for ways out of the army.
Wu Wenhua, a giant, joined Yong Huan. He battled Dragon Beard Tiger but got pelted by stones. He and Yong Huan raided the Zhou army camp at night. The raid killed Dragon Beard Tiger and 200,000 soldiers. Jiang Ziya devised a plot to kill Wu Wenhua. He used himself and King Wu as bait to lure Wu Wenhua into a ravine.
Chapter 92. The Subjugation of Seven Sprites
Wu Wenhua burned to death in the ravine. One at a time, sprites joined Yong Huan and battled the Zhou army. The pig sprite, dog sprite, and goat sprite were killed by Yang Jian. The buffalo sprite killed Zheng Lun. Goddess Nu Wa helped Yang Jian capture the buffalo sprite, which was executed. With the aid of Nu Wa, Yang Jian finally captured Yong Huan, the seventh and final sprite from Mount Plum.
Chapter 93. Occupation of Youhun Pass
The East Grand Duke, Jiang Wenhuan, was still missing. He had been unable to get past Dou Rong at Youhun Pass. Jinzha and Muzha traveled to Youhun Pass and masqueraded as Taoists from Penglai Island offering their services to Dou Rong. Jinzha and Muzha captured one of Jiang Wenhuan's generals to waylay Dou Rong's suspicions. Then they plotted with Jiang Wenhuan to take the Shang Army camp in a night raid.
Chapter 94. The Tyrant's Last Struggle
Jiang Wenhuan took Youhun Pass. He arrived at Mengjin shortly. The combined army of the four grand dukes numbered 1,600,000. It encircled Zhaoge and stretched out as far as the eye could see. Lu Renjie and Yin Pobai tried to convince Jiang Ziya to peacefully withdraw but he was having none of it.
Chapter 95. The Tyrant's Ten Capital Crimes
Jiang Ziya incited the residents of Zhaoge to rebellion. He confronted King Zhou and proclaimed his Ten Crimes:
Chapter 96. Daji Is Captured
King Zhou was injured in the attack. He retreated into the Palace. The three sprites--Daji, Hu Ximei, and Concubine Wang--decided to abandon him. They were chased out of Zhaoge by Yang Jian, Thunderbolt, and Wei Hu.
Chapter 97. The Tyrant Ends His Own Life
Nu Wa captured the three sprites. They were executed by Jiang Ziya. King Zhou had the royal palace burnt down, with him inside it. He died.
Chapter 98. Relief Supplies Distributed
King Wu ascended the throne. He distributed relief to the people and wealth to the nobles. After ten months in Zhaoge, he returned home.
Chapter 99. Deification of the Dead
Jiang Ziya went to Mount Qi to deify 365 gods. All 365 gods were named and given a position. Bai Jian, the God of Pure Happiness was the first God named. Shen Gongbao was the last of 365 gods named.
Chapter 100. King Wu Creates the States
Li Jing, Jinzha, Muzha, Nezha, Yang Jian, Thunderbolt, and Wei Hu resolved to leave the king and return to a life as a meditative recluse. King Wu feasted them before they left. Next King Wu enfeoffed a great many nobles including Jiang Ziya. The kingdom prospered under his reign.