|Schoolteacher Sun Received the Book from Heaven|
|“…I really don’t know the answer. The king of the Qi state gave me only three days to solve this, or I will be in trouble.’ The retainer said: ‘That is not a big deal.’ Ran asked: ‘I will reward you if you know the answer. So is it a good sign or a bad sign?’ The retainer answered: ‘It doesn’t indicate luck. It indicates that a mountain will collapse.’ ‘Why?’ The retainer continued: ‘coppers and irons are the descendants of mountains. Mountains are the origin of coppers and irons.’ Ran understood. He went to see the king of the Qi state. The king met him at the court. Ran told the king: ‘The phenomenon of copper and iron objects making noises doesn’t actually indicate good luck or bad luck.’ ‘Then what is it?’ Ran explained: ‘It is saying that a mountain is about to collapse.’ The king asked: ‘How do you know?’ Ran answered: ‘Coppers and irons are the descendants of mountains. Mountains are the origin of coppers and irons. There is nothing to do with luck.’ The king was very happy. He promoted Ran to a higher rank, and gave Ran’s descendants promised ranks for generations. A few days after the discussion, a mountain in the Hua Mountain Range collapsed. There is nothing needs to be worried about, your Majesty. The signs didn’t mean good luck or bad luck.” Right after Huangfu Song finished the story, a report from Yunzhou arrived, saying that a wheel-size cave appeared after a landslide in the Tai mountain. No one knew the depth of the cave. The Emperor sent an investigator to investigate it.
Meanwhile, there was a mountain house not far away from the cave. This house belongs to Old Master Sun. He had two sons. The elder son was a farmer. The younger son, who was becoming a schoolteacher, studied. One day, an unexpected leprosy hit schoolteacher Sun. He lost his hair and got pustules all over his body. Even his parents couldn’t bear the smell. So they built an isolated hut, located about hundreds of steps away behind the house, for schoolteacher Sun to live. His wife sent him food every day.
One morning in the spring, his wife came to send him food. When she arrived at the door, she couldn’t stand to see the sick schoolteacher Sun. She covered her nose and mouth with one hand, stretched another arm out to offer the food. Schoolteacher Sun signed: “A wife is someone who is supposed to share the same room when we are alive, and share the same coffin after we died. Now even my own wife is giving me the cold shoulder. How about others? What can I expect if I live longer?” Then his wife left.
Schoolteacher Sun felt he would rather die. He took his walking cane, put on his shoes which were covered in his pustule blood. He walked tens of steps north to his hut and saw the cave on the ground. He put down his walking-cane, took off his shoes and jumped into the cave. He felt someone was holding him in the cave. After a while, he recovered from his unconsciousness. He looked up, he could still see a piece of blue sky. He said to himself: “A moment ago I was desperate to kill myself. I never expected I would escape death!”
It was getting dark. He saw some light in the north. He started walking towards the light. After tens of steps, a white jade-like cane emerged. He reached out to the cane. It turned out to be a slightly opened gate. He leaned his shoulder on the gate and opened it. Once the door opened, everything appeared like under the sun light. Schoolteacher Sun found a stone chair. He decided to take a rest. Soon he fell asleep. After a little while, he woke up and stretched up. Suddenly his feet hit something soft. He was startled. What did he see? He didn’t realize that the four hundred years history of the Han dynasty was here!
Schoolteacher Sun saw a giant python which about 3.3 feet long, with a body as thick as a tree trunk. When the python saw schoolteacher Sun, it ran back to the cave. Sun followed the python but lost it, instead, he saw a stone case. He opened the case. There is a book in it. This is a book which recorded the ways to cure four hundred and four diseases. It doesn’t require the eight sacred herbs from Shennong (a well-known doctor in the legend), or refine anything, or any pills, or even medicine inducers. All he needed to do was to follow the instruction about relevant symptoms, cast a spell into water and drink it. This book was indeed a pharmacopeia of different diseases. Sun was very excited. He took the book, walked out the cave and sat on the chair.
At the same time. Sun’s wife came to send him food, but she couldn’t find Sun anywhere. She told Sun’s father about this. His father and elder brother went out to search for him. When they searched to the cave, they saw the walking-cane and the shoes covered in blood. Sun’s parents, his brother and wife were very sad, crying over the cave. Suddenly they heard someone yelling from the cave. They sent down a rope and rescued schoolteacher Sun. Finally the father and the son reunited. They cried together.