Sanguo zhi pinghua
Part A, page 2
The Heaven Emperor assigns Zhongxiang to be the Judge of Underworld
...Eighteen years later, Liu Xiu from Whitewater village of Deng city in Nanyang rose in righteous rebellion and defeated Wang Mang. He took the throne and whereafter deposed Wang Mang. Nowadays, Emperor Guangwu has ascended the throne, with his prime minister assisted by Hou Marquis of Twenty-eight Mansions. Emperor Guangwu is also the Great Thearch of Purple Tenuity, but there cannot be two emperors in a country. Your majesty, you have neither army nor adviser but physical weakness. If Guangwu knows where you are, he might come for you with his troops. What would you do?" Zhongxiang said, "What's your advice?" The eight men replied, "Your majesty, please descend from the Night Dragons Chair and look up to the eave, you would find that this place is not the court in the mortal world."

Zhongxiang looked up and saw a red painted plaque with four golded characters "Hall of Avenging Wrongs" on it which were as big as dustpan. He lowered his head and thought for quite a while but it was beyond his comprehension. Then he asked, "My ministers, I don't know what it means." The eight men replied, "Your majesty, you are now in the nether world instead of the mortal world. You just read a book about the fallen Qin Dynasty and reviled the Emperor Qin Shi Huang, which is meant to blame the gods. It seemed that you couldn't wait to drive him to hell. Your majesty, please think about the people ruled respectively by the Kings such as Yao, Shun, Yu, Tang, from who they got rewarded; think about the people ruled respectively by the Kings such as Jie and Zhou, by who they got killed. You have to know that these were all by Gods' will, because the people committed sins under their brutal lord. Reviling the Emperor Qin Shi Huang is meant to blame the gods, who demanded me to usher you in the Court of Grievance Redress and entitle you the Judge. If you could make righteous judgement, you would be enthroned as emperor in the mortal world. Otherwise, you would be cast into hell and would not be reincarnated forever." Zhongxiang said, "What case do you want me to judge?" The eight men replied, "Your majesty, someone will lodge his grievance if you proclaim the decree." No sooner had he proclaimed the decree than a man cried out "Injustice!" with a pleading in his hand.

Zhongxiang looked at this man who kept crying out about his grievance, and found that he wore a golden helmet, golden chainmail armor, crimson robe, Green boots, with his blood oozing from his neck to his robe. The judge took over his pleading and unfolded it on his desk, it turned out that it happened 205 years ago. "How could I make a judgement?" Zhongxiang asked. The complainant replied, "My name is Han Xin, I was unjustly treated by the first Emperor of the Former Han Dynasty. I was from Huaiyin and was once crowned the King of Qi with ten great achievement including repairing the plank road, advancing secretly towards Chencang by an unknown path, chase Xiang Yu to commit suicide at the Wu River. I was a meritorious statesman establishing the Han Dynasty. However, the Emperor ignored my achievement and deceived me into heading to Yunmeng Lakes with generous rewards, then asked his empress Lü confine me in the Weiyang Palace and murdered me with a pointless sword. I suffered a unjust death. Please give me justice!"

Zhongxiang said in a trembling voice, "How?" The eight men replied, "Your majesty, if you could not judge a case like this, how could you be the emperor in the mortal world?" Hardly had their voice faded away, another man cried out "I was treated unjustly, too!" He wore red headband, green robe embroidered with fine willow pattern and green boots, crying out about his grievance with a pleading in his hand as well. He replied the judge who inquired his name, "My name is Peng Yue, I was crowned the King of Da Liang, Duke under the first Emperor of the Former Han Dynasty. I established the Han Dynasty with Han Xin, but was discarded by the emperor when the world was at peace and even hacked into meat sauce eaten by other dukes. Please give me justice." The judge took over his pleading.

Again, another man cried out about his grievance with a pleading in his hand. The judge found this man wearing helmet with Suan Ni Lion design, green armor embedded with dragon scales, green boots. This man replied to the judge who inquired his name, "I was also an official under the first Emperor of the Former Han Dynasty, crowned the King of Jiu Jiang. I established the Han Dynasty with Han Xin and Peng Yue for the twelve generations of emperors in more than two hundred years. Despite of such a great achievement, the emperor also discarded me in the age of peace. He framed cases against us and killed us in the palace. These are injustice facts. I beg your majesty to give us justice!"

The judge flew into a rage, ...

SGZ Pinghua page 02






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