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← How the Monkey King escaped the underworld - Shunan Teng

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Showing Revision 1 created 04/06/2020 by lauren mcalpine .

  1. In the depths
    of their underwater kingdom,
  2. the mighty Dragon Lords
    quaked with fear.
  3. Before them pranced Sun Wukong,
    the Monkey King.
  4. The legendary troublemaker been hatched
    from a stone, schooled in divine magic,
  5. and was currently brandishing
    the Dragon Lord’s most treasured weapon.
  6. This magical staff,

  7. originally large enough to measure
    the depth of a great flood,
  8. now obeyed the Monkey King’s will
    and shrank at his touch.
  9. Terrified of this bewildering power,
  10. the Dragons graciously allowed
    Sun Wukong to keep the staff.
  11. The Monkey King stowed the weapon away,
  12. and gleefully sped back to his kingdom
    to show this treasure
  13. to his tribe of warrior monkeys.
  14. After a lavish celebration,
    Sun Wukong fell into a deep sleep.

  15. But just as he began to dream,
  16. the Monkey King
    quickly realized two things.
  17. The first was that
    this was no ordinary slumber.
  18. The second was that he wasn’t alone.
  19. Suddenly, he found himself caught
    in the clutches of two grisly figures.
  20. At first the Monkey King didn’t know
    who his captors were.
  21. But as they dragged him toward
    their city’s gates,
  22. Sun Wukong realized
    his deathly predicament.
  23. These were soul collectors
    tasked with transporting mortals
  24. to the Realm of the Dead.
  25. This was the domain of the Death Lords,
  26. who mercilessly sorted souls
    and designed gruesome punishments.
  27. From here, the kingdom of death
    was laid out before him.

  28. He could see the Death Lord’s palaces,
  29. and the fabled bridge
    across the river Nai He.
  30. Manning the bridge was an old woman
    who offered worthy souls a bowl of soup.
  31. After drinking, the spirits
    forgot their previous life,
  32. and were sent back to the world
    of the living in a new form.
  33. Further below were the souls
    not worthy of reincarnation.
  34. In this twisting maze of chambers,
  35. unfortunate spirits endured
    endless rooms of punishment—
  36. from mountains spiked with sharp blades,
    to pools of blood and vats of boiling oil.
  37. But Sun Wukong was not about to accept
    torture or reincarnation.

  38. As the soul collectors attempted to drag
    him through the gates,
  39. the Monkey King whipped out his staff
    and swung himself out of their clutches.
  40. His battle cries and the clang of weapons
    echoed throughout the underworld.
  41. Sensing a disturbance,
    the ten Death Lords swooped upon him.
  42. But they had never met such resistance
    from a mortal soul.
  43. What was this unusual creature?
  44. And was he a mortal, a god—
    or something else?
  45. The Lords consulted
    the Book of Death and Life—

  46. a tome which showed the time
    of every living soul’s death.
  47. Not knowing what category
    this strange being was under,
  48. the Death Lords struggled
    to find Sun Wukong at first;
  49. but the Monkey King
    knew just where to look.
  50. Unfortunately, the records confirmed
    the Death Lord’s claim—
  51. Sun Wukong was scheduled
    to die this very night.
  52. But the Monkey King was not afraid.
  53. This was far from the first time
    he’d defied destiny
  54. in his quest for wisdom and power.
  55. His past rebellions had earned him
    the power to transfigure his body,
  56. ride clouds at dizzying speeds, and govern
    his tribe with magic and martial arts.
  57. In this crisis,
    he saw yet another opportunity.
  58. With a flash of his nimble fingers,

  59. the Monkey King struck
    his own name from the Book.
  60. Before the Death Lords could respond,
  61. he found the names of his monkey tribe
    and swept them away as well.
  62. Liberated from the bonds of death,
  63. Sun Wukong began to battle
    his way out of the underworld.
  64. He deftly defeated endless swarms
    of angry spirits—
  65. before tripping on his way
    out of the kingdom.
  66. Just before he hit the ground,
    Sun Wukong suddenly awoke in his bed.

  67. At first he thought the journey
    might have been a dream,
  68. but the Monkey King felt
    his new immortality surging
  69. from the top of his head
    to the tip of his tail.
  70. With a cry of triumph, he woke his
    warriors to share his latest adventure—
  71. and commence another round
    of celebration.