The Sword Maker Ganjiang and Moya

The Sword Maker

Beacause Ganjiang took three years to forge a pair of swords for the king of Chu, the king was angry and decided to kill him. One sword was male, the other female. Ganjiang's wife, Moya was about to give birth, and he said to her:

"I have taken three years to make these swords for the king, and he is angry. When I go there he will have me killed. If you give birth to a son, when he grows up tell him that if he goes out and faces the south hill he will see a pine growing on a stone with a sword in its back."

Then he took the female sword to the king. The king was in a rage, for he knew that there were two swords one make and one female, and the female sword was here but not the male. So in a passion he killed the sword maker.

Ganjian's son was named Chi. When he grew up he asked his mother:

"Where is my father?"

"Your father took three years to make a pair of swords for the king of Chu."She told him. "The king was angry and killed him. But before he left home he bid me tell you that if you go out and face the south hill, you will find a pine growing on a stone with a sword in its back."

The son went out and faced south, but he saw no hill. All he saw was a pillar of pine wood on a stone base before the hall. He cut this open with his axe and found the sword. Then day and night he thirsted for revenge.

The king saw in a dream a boy with a brow one foot across who wanted to take revenge on him. He offered a reward of a thousand gold pieces for him. And when Chi heard this he fled lamenting to the mountains. There a stranger accosted him.

"You are young," he said. "Why should you wail so bitterly?"

"I am the son of Ganjiang and Moya," replied the lad. "The king of Chu killed my father, and I want revenge."

"I hear the king has offered a reward of a thousand gold pieces for your head," said the stranger. "Give me your head and your sword, and I will avenge you."

"Very well," agreed the boy.

Then he killed himself and, standing upright, presented his head and sword with both hands to the stranger.

"I shall not let you down," said the stranger.

Then the boy's body fell.

This stranger took the head to the king, who was very pleased.

"This is the head of a brave man," said the stranger. "You should boil it in a seething cauldron."

The king did as he said. But even after three days and three nights the head would not melt away. It leapt out the boiling water and glared in anger.

"This boy's head will not melt away," said the stranger, "unless Your Majesty comes to look at it."

Then the king walked up, the stranger struck him with the sword, and the king's head fell into the boiling water. The stranger then cut off his own head, which fell into the water too, and all three heads melted and intermingled. So the flesh and the soup were divided into three portions, and buried in a place called the Grave of the Three Kings. This grave is in the county of Beiyinchun of Runan.


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