GOR Chapter 75: Beginning of The Five De
Chen Xiaolian stared at the catalpa tree, at the hack marks on its surface. His face turned odd and he gave out a long sigh before using a low tone to speak. “This is a catalpa tree. It is known as the Distinguished Shrine of Fury.”
Pausing, Chen Xiaolian’s tone became filled with perplexity. “I thought that those were only legends. To think that the tree would actually be here…”
Miao Yan frowned. “What are you muttering? If you know anything then just spit it out.”
Chen Xiaolian turned around to look at Miao Yan before looking at Qiu Yun. He realized that Qiu Yun was also staring at him – not just him, even Nangong, Lun Tai and Bei Tai were looking at him.
Chen Xiaolian stroked his face and forced out a laugh. “With all of you looking at me like that, I will have a lot of pressure. All right, no need to keep the suspense. It is just that I have read more when it comes to miscellaneous types of books. Seeing the hack marks on this tree made me remember a myth from the Qin Dynasty.”
Exhaling, Chen Xiaolian slowly said. “In ancient times, there is a book of myths regarding the supernatural. It is known as ‘In Search of the Supernatural’. One of them tells of a story regarding Duke Wen of Qin .
This Duke Wen of Qin was Qin Shi Huang’s ancestor. He was quite frankly, a very important figure.
The Qin Dynasty considered itself to be of the Water De . I have explained this before.
However, this statement regarding the Water De was not brought up during Qin Shi Huang’s era. It was brought up since the time of his ancestor, Duke Wen of Qin.
Legends has it that Duke Wen of Qin once went out on a hunt where he hunted down a black dragon. Err, back when I read about this legend, I guessed that what Duke Wen of Qin actually hunted down was a huge black python.
However, the people of Qin viewed the black dragon as the fortune of the Water De. In other words, black represents water. And so, the black dragon represents the fortune of water.
Thus, after hunting down the black dragon, Duke Wen of Qin placed himself in the position of the ruler of the state. He took it as a sign from the Heavens and the state of Qin had since then considered themselves as being of the Water De.
It could be said that since the time of Duke Wen of Qin all the way until the moment Qin Shi Huang united the world, the state of Qin had always declared themselves to be a state with the Water De.”
“What connection does the hunt of a black dragon have to do with this big tree?”
“There is a connection. It lied with the one who conducted the hunt,” Chen Xiaolian slowly said. “That person is none other than Duke Wen of Qin.
As I have said earlier, there are some interesting chronicles regarding Duke Wen of Qin in the book ‘In Search of the Supernatural’.
One of them is known as ‘Distinguished Shrine of Fury’.
According to legends, Duke Wen of Qin once went out. He reached a place known as the Distinguished Shrine of Fury. There, he saw a big tree.
For some unknown reason, perhaps something was wrong with his mind, but Duke Wen found the tree to be an eyesore. He sent his soldiers to chop down the tree.
However, something strange happened. No matter how they chopped, they could not chop down the tree. Whenever they hacked down on it, a maddening gale would descend from the skies. At the same time, the big tree would continuously restore the wounds upon itself. In the end, 40 plus soldiers spent the entire day trying to chop down the tree but to no avail.
After that, the soldiers called it a day. Unfortunately, one of the soldiers twisted his ankle and decided to sit upon the big tree to rest. As he was asleep in the middle of the night, the soldier overheard the spirit of the big tree conversing with a ghost. The ghost said to the spirit of the big tree. “What is so great about you? These ordinary people were simply unable to discover the method to chop you down. As long as someone wears red robes, use red ropes to tie up your tree body, sprinkle lime dust on your tree body… then take up the axe to chop you, you will be a goner.”
The soldier overheard those words and reported them the very next day. The Qin soldiers followed those procedures to proceed.
Wearing red clothes, they used red ropes to ties up the big tree. Then, they sprinkled the big tree with lime before chopping down upon it… finally, the big tree was chopped down!
After the tree was chopped down, a green ox ran out from within the big tree. It rushed into the river. However, the ox could not endure being in water. Seemingly fearful of the water, the ox ran out. The Qin soldiers that saw it sought to kill it. One of the soldiers slipped, ending up with dishevelled hair. The ox caught sight of that and seemed to be terrified of the dishevelled state of his hair. It was so scared, it ran away and never showed up ever again.”
After saying all that, Chen Xiaolian laughed. “That is it. I think… this big tree may be the catalpa tree in the story.”
Miao Yan stared. “That is the end? How is that a story? There is nothing exciting or wonderful about it. Is there any peculiarities within the story?”
Chen Xiaolian looked at Miao Yan before turning to regard the rest of them. He then gave a soft sigh. “In terms of connection, there is a very big connection! If we are to just regard this story by itself, then there is nothing. However, if we are to look at everything that we have seen in this Epang Palace, in addition to what I said earlier regarding how the people of Qin considered themselves to be of the Water De. Then… this story holds a critical significance!”
Nangong and his 2 companions were bewildered. Qiu Yun’s eyes flashed and he asked in a low voice. “How so?”
“It all lies with Duke Wen of Qin.”
Chen Xiaolian spoke in a low tone. “The people of Qin considered themselves to be of the Water De. They would unite the world in the name of the Heavens. But, this beginning of the Water De did not come from Qin Shi Huang’s body. Instead, it came from the body of his ancestor, Duke Wen of Qin.
It could be said that the beginning for the Water De started from Duke Wen of Qin. He was the starting point.
As for this story about felling the tree, I had originally dismissed it as something minor. But now that I think about it… its contents are infinitely profound.”
“Water De, Water De… ,” Qiu Yun thought about it carefully. “In this story, water was mentioned. The green ox that appeared from the big tree ran into the river. But, it could not endure being in water and thus it ran out.”
“En, but it does not stop there.”
Chen Xiaolian gave a light smile. “The so-called water does not have to be physical in form, it can also be symbolic.”
As everyone there was trying hard to figure out what those words meant, a small hand gripped onto the corners of Chen Xiaolian’s clothes.
“Xiaolian oppa, I know.”
Chen Xiaolian lowered his head to see Soo Soo raising her head with pursed lips. “It is hair.”
“What?” Miao Yan was stunned and she looked at Soo Soo.
“It is hair,” Soo Soo carefully continued. “Xiaolian oppa said before, the people of Qin highly values the colour black because black represents the Water De within the Five Elements.
Hair is black.
That Qin soldier’s dishevelled state of hair terrified the green ox.
In other words, loosely hanging black hair that sways about resembles the flow of black coloured water.”
“That makes sense!” Miao Yan’s eyes lit up. She could not help but move forward and pinch Soo Soo’s baby like cheeks. Miao Yan smiled. “What a smart little girl! Not only are you cute, you are also very smart.”
Soo Soo shrunk backwards, seemingly showing defiance towards Miao Yan’s act of pinching her cheeks. Her head shrunk behind Chen Xiaolian’s body and she held tightly onto his hand. She pouted her bun like face as she stared at Miao Yan, her big eyes showing discontent.
“Even if this tree is the one that Duke Wen of Qin chopped down… how does that help us?”
Qiu Yun slowly asked. “Now that we know its origin, what do we do?”
“Now we know its origin. Coincidentally, there is an important clue within this story!
At first, I did not know how to break through our current circumstance. Now, I have an idea.
The answer to solve our current plight is within the tree-felling story! How about everyone try to solve it?”
1 Duke Wen of Qin ruled over the state of Qin from 765–716 BC, around 450 years before the state of Qin conquered the other states and established the Qin Dynasty.↩
2 As mentioned before, the word ‘De’ is a key concept in Chinese philosophy, usually translated as virtue/ inherent character/ inner power/ integrity.↩