1. Same person has different fate
Earlier, in a certain township, there were three scholars named Wang Sheng, Zhuang Sheng, and Zeng Sheng who were loyal to Jinlan. Among them, Zhuang Sheng's family is relatively poor, while Wang Sheng and Zeng Sheng are rich. Wang Sheng was generous and generous, and often secretly helped Zhuang Sheng. The three of them were studying in the same class, and they were like-minded, and they became close friends.
This autumn coincided with the coming of the year of the Dabi, and candidates from all over the country were preparing to go to Jinling to take the exam. Wang Sheng discussed with the two classmates about taking the exam together. Unexpectedly, Zhuang Sheng suddenly proposed to give up the exam because his family was poor and couldn't afford to rush for the exam. Wang Sheng immediately took out ten taels of silver and handed it to Zhuang Sheng: "My dear brother, such a trivial matter is nothing to worry about. The silver is for the settlement expenses of my dear brother, and all the expenses along the way are also covered by me. No more worries!"
Unexpectedly, Zhuang Sheng held Wenyin in both hands and still hesitated and remained silent. After repeated questioning, Zhuang Sheng let out a long sigh and told the whole story. It turned out that two days ago, a fortune teller came to the countryside, and the villagers praised him as very effective. Zhuang Sheng also asked him to count his fate. Unexpectedly, the blind man counted his fingers, shook his head and sighed repeatedly, saying that his lifespan has come to an end, and Bailu Festival will surely die in a catastrophe. Now the beginning of autumn has been two days, which means that Zhuang Sheng's death is very close, so Zhuang Sheng is very worried, so he has to wait for the god of death to come.
Wang Sheng laughed loudly after hearing this, and comforted Zhuang Sheng, saying: "The blind fortune-teller is talking nonsense, so don't listen to his nonsense. Brother, let's calm down and get rid of distracting thoughts. The three of us go to the examination room together, and it is also an honor to get an official position." !"
Under the persuasion of Wang Sheng and Zeng Sheng, Zhuang Sheng finally dispelled his worries, packed his bags, and set off together.
After arriving in Jinling, because there were still a few days before the exam period, in order to relax the fatigue of the journey, the three of Wang and Sheng went out to play together. When I came to the Cheng'en Temple in the suburbs this day, I saw people coming in and out, it was very crowded. Zhuang Sheng stepped forward to ask why it was so lively? Someone told them that a masquerade fortune teller recently came to the temple, and his fortune teller is very good. All those who met him were amazed and called him a "living fairy".
Zhuang Sheng listened to it and couldn't help thinking. The fortune teller in my hometown sentenced me to death. Today I met this "living fairy". Having made up his mind, he tried his best to encourage Mr. Wang and Mr. Zeng to meet each other in order to predict their future.
Mr. Xiangmian is nearly seventy years old, his beard and eyebrows are white, and he has a bit of fairy charm. He first took a look at Zeng Sheng, clasped his hands again and again, and was full of praise: "Mr. Good luck, this subject must be the top high school, Xie Yuan is none other than you!"
When Zeng Sheng heard the words, he immediately smiled, and immediately donated generously, rewarding Mr. Xiangmian with ten taels of silver.
Then, Mr. Xiangmian also met Wang Sheng, still smiling, and bowed to Wang Sheng: "Sir, I am also very happy to congratulate you. I am sure that you will be on the list in this subject, but the ranking is slightly lower than the gentleman in front of you." !"
Wang Sheng said with a smile: "In this way, the two brothers have taken the rankings in this subject. I'm afraid it's New Year's greetings – all the good words, the eldest son can make the dwarf happy, let's talk about the rest of my brother How can I say it?"
Mr. Xiangmian immediately said seriously: "Sir, what you said is wrong! This old man makes judgments based on the appearance of a person, how dare you talk nonsense and ruin your reputation?" After finishing speaking, he stared at Zhuang Sheng who was standing beside him, and sighed aloud. : "It seems that this gentleman's face is bad, bad!"
Zeng Sheng took the lead and asked, "How did you see it? Please explain it in detail!"
Mr. Xiangmian stared at Zhuang Sheng's face without blinking, and said frankly: "Everyone, I'm sorry to be outspoken. You see, this gentleman has a haggard face and a vain expression, and there are dark lines on the heavenly court. According to the law, this I will die in five days, so I should rush back home as soon as possible. But according to Xiang, I will definitely die in a foreign land, even if I leave immediately, it may be too late!"
Mr. Xiangmian's words were so decisive, not only Zhuang Sheng was shocked, but even Wang Sheng and Zeng Sheng were shocked. Wang Sheng hurriedly asked: "Can I ask you to investigate carefully again, sir, is there any way to save it?"
Mr. Physician twisted his beard and sighed aloud: "The number of life and death, if there is no great Yin virtue, it is difficult to have the power to recover. What's more, the time of death has come, what can be done? If counting from now, six days later, this gentleman is still alive. If you are alive, this old man should clean up the mess and never look at the photos here!"
The people on the side were all dumbfounded when they heard it, and they spoke so decisively. It seems that the nickname of this physiognomist "Living Immortal" is really well-deserved.
After returning to the apartment, Wang Sheng and Zeng Sheng couldn't stop comforting Zhuang Sheng, saying that immortals can't tell the difference between life and death, and the words of fortune tellers may not be effective.
Zhuang Sheng wept and said: "The words of today's fortune teller and the fortune teller are so coincidental, they are exactly the same, and they must be fulfilled. Since ancient times, no one in life has died. I am not afraid of death. I am worried that dying here will implicate the two elder brothers." .So it’s better to go back to my hometown immediately and try to die at home.”
With such tragic words, Wang Sheng and Zeng Sheng were hard to keep. Wang Sheng immediately took out another ten taels of silver and handed it to Zhuang Sheng, and said with tears: "This little thing just shows my heart!"
At that moment, Zhuang Sheng looked up and sighed: "The same person does not have the same fate!" Then he said goodbye to Wang Sheng and Zeng Sheng with tears.
2. Scattered gold saves five lives
Disappointed, Zhuang Sheng hired a small boat to return to his hometown in a depressed mood. Unexpectedly, the boat had only sailed against the river for half a day, but because of the strong wind, it had to stop at the shore. The owner of the boat said that he had to wait for the wind to calm down before moving forward. Unexpectedly, this wait lasted for four days, and the limelight has not abated. Soon the deadline for the fifth day came, and the boat was still unable to sail. Zhuang Sheng's mood became impatient, and the fortune teller's prophecy of "Dao death" echoed in his ears. Is it really about to be fulfilled? At this moment, he can only wait for death with one heart, and all worries are empty. Just suffering from a sense of loneliness and boredom, he couldn't get rid of it, so he greeted the boatman and left the boat to wander around alone. After walking for more than a mile, there were no people around. Zhuang Sheng was very puzzled, and was about to turn around when he heard a few cries of children not far away, so he raised his eyes to look for it. I saw a middle-aged pregnant woman with a big belly suddenly appearing in front of me, with three young children with her. I saw her holding one in her left hand, one in her right hand, and another behind her. The child just walked and cried, and the pregnant woman's face was full of tears, very miserable.
Seeing this, Zhuang Sheng couldn't help being very surprised: "This river bank is empty and there is no one living there, and there are no residents around. This woman has a big belly. Where is she going with these three crying children?" The more he thought about it, the more suspicious and terrifying he became. , I couldn't help but take the initiative to step forward to inquire. Unexpectedly, this woman seemed to have heard nothing, and just walked her own way. Zhuang Sheng became more and more suspicious, so he simply took a few steps forward to block her way, his wife, the rich official ghost , bowed and asked, "May I ask my sister-in-law, seeing how sad you are, what difficulties did you encounter? Can you tell me?" , maybe Xiaosheng can solve problems and worries on his behalf."
The pregnant woman looked at Zhuang Sheng's honest and serious look, and finally cried "wow", pouring out her bitterness. It turned out that the woman was unfortunately married to a butcher. The butcher had a violent temper and often abused his wife. Beatings and scolding became commonplace, and the woman was often beaten to pieces. Yesterday, my husband handed over ten taels of silver for selling pork to her for safekeeping, and planned to go out to sell pigs in a few days. Unexpectedly, today the woman found that the ten taels of silver had disappeared, most likely stolen by thieves. Now the woman was scared out of her wits, and her husband would definitely not let her off easily. Rather than being beaten to death by this villain, I might as well commit suicide by myself! After thinking about it, if he died, it would be pitiful to leave these three young children behind, and they would also be abused by their wicked father. Therefore, she made up her mind and took the three children with her to die in the river together while her husband was selling meat in the market, so as to get rid of the troubles of the world.
The woman's crying made Zhuang Sheng feel pity, and he thought to himself, it's so miserable to take five lives for these ten taels of silver! On second thought, am I not the one who is going to see Hades soon? That being the case, why not give this woman the ten taels of silver that Wang Sheng gave me, and save the five lives of their mother and child, which is considered a sinful virtue. After deliberating and making up his mind, he immediately took out the ten taels of silver from his body and handed it to the woman, saying earnestly: "Sister-in-law, since you have encountered such a big difficulty, I will help you with all my strength. The ten taels Wenyin is just a little bit of my heart to help you tide over the difficulties!"
The woman hastily declined and said: "Sir, you and I met by chance and have never met before. How can I accept your great gift?"
Zhuang Sheng sighed: "A mere ten taels of silver can save five lives of your mother and son, and Zhuang has formed a good relationship with you in the previous life. Happy, happy!"
The woman had no choice but to accept Wenyin, and she was naturally very grateful. She took the three children and knelt in front of Zhuang Sheng, kowtowing several times in succession. Zhuang Sheng was so flustered that he was at a loss as to what to do, and he shouted, "Don't do it! Don't do it!"
After the woman happily left with the three children, Zhuang Sheng turned around and prepared to go back to the shore.
3. Meng Jing Guandi Temple
At this time, the sun had already set, and the dusk was dark. Zhuang Sheng was eager to get back to the boat. He hurried all the way, and after less than a mile, he lost his way, and he felt a little flustered. There are no people everywhere, and there is nowhere to ask. He was jumping up and down in a hurry, when God suddenly turned his face, a dark cloud passed by, and then it started to rain lightly. Zhuang Sheng didn't dare to stop, he continued to walk forward, and suddenly saw a few houses looming not far away. He took a closer look, but it was a dilapidated temple with ruins everywhere. Zhuang Sheng pondered: seeing that it was getting late and the rain was not stopping, it seemed that he had to squat under the eaves of this dilapidated temple all night. He changed his mind and thought again: This is an empty and deserted place, there must be tigers, leopards and wild animals, maybe it should be my death place! Avoid him, if the words of the fortune-tellers are really fulfilled, you might as well bury him to death, bury at the end of the road, and lie in the gutter as a coffin. What are you afraid of? After making up his mind to die, he was no longer afraid, so he leaned against a pillar and half-lyed to rest.
Bewildered, suddenly there was a burst of noisy voices, Zhuang Sheng looked up, and saw that the hall was suddenly brightly lit, with a red-faced and bearded man sitting on top of it, and behind him stood a black man holding a big knife, lined up on both sides. With a group of soldiers and warriors. My God, isn't this the Guan Shengdi and Zhou Cang in the main hall of the Guandi Temple? Zhuang Sheng was so frightened that his heart shivered and he broke into a cold sweat, he didn't even dare to snort.
Suddenly, Emperor Guan asked: "Just now I heard that someone saved five lives by the river today. I wonder if you have found out the whereabouts of this person. You should reward him!"
As soon as the words fell, a small official in purple was holding the paper in his hand, and went out to play and said: "I want to report to the Holy Emperor, I just received a report from the scholar god. This person is a scholar who is rushing for the exam, and his name is Zhuang Sheng." .”
Emperor Guan stroked his beard and said in admiration: "In this case, we need to do more detailed investigations. See if he is on the autumn list this time? After checking, I will make my own decision."
At this time, another small official in embroidered clothes stood up from the side, also holding a notebook in his hand, and went out to play: "I want to report to the Holy Emperor, but it is a pity that this Zhuang Sheng is not only unknown in his family, hopeless in his official salary, but also has a long life span." The number has been exhausted, and they should be crushed to death by the collapse of the wall under the corridor of this temple at midnight tonight."
When Emperor Guan heard this, his expression changed immediately, and he frowned and shouted angrily: "If this is the case, then we will be indiscriminate between black and white, good and evil! How can we persuade people to do good? They saved five lives , has accumulated such a great merit. Therefore, we should try to change Lupu’s wife, wealth , official and ghost for him, and increase his life expectancy. Wenchang Palace informed yesterday that there is a candidate in the autumn examination that should have been admitted to Jiangnan Jieyuan, but this person He was expelled from the Wenchang Palace for raping and selling girls, so it seems that Zhuang Sheng can fill the gap."
The embroidered official interjected again: "It has now been found out that the twelve taels of silver used by Zhuang Sheng to save lives was a gift from his friend Wang Sheng. Wang Sheng must have neglected wealth and acted righteously, which made Zhuang Sheng successful. Tracing back to the source, Wang Sheng should also be listed in the Ming and Lu Ji!"
Emperor Guan nodded his approval again and again, and ordered his subordinates to check the salary status on the spot. The embroidered official reported back: "Wang Sheng got fifty-three in the scientific examination."
Zhuang Sheng was eavesdropping in the dark, when suddenly someone shouted in his ears: "Zhuang Sheng, go away! Zhuang Sheng, go away!"
Zhuang Sheng was taken aback and woke up suddenly, only to realize that it was Nan Keyi Meng. I was still curled up under the eaves of the temple, surrounded by darkness, and I couldn't see my fingers. He only heard the mud and sand on the wall falling straight down, so he hurriedly got up and rushed out in the dark. He only ran a few steps away, only to hear a loud "bang" behind him, and the broken wall The walls had all collapsed, and the mud was piled right where he had just slept. How dangerous, Zhuang Sheng exclaimed, breaking out in a cold sweat.
After daybreak, Zhuang Sheng made obeisances to Emperor Guan in the main hall a few times, then stepped out of the temple gate, finally discerned his direction, returned to the bank of the river, found the boatman, and decided to return to Jinling to surprise Wang Sheng and the others.
4. Shoulu turns upside down
Zhuang Sheng's sudden appearance really surprised Wang Sheng and Zeng Sheng. They looked at each other, not knowing what to say. Zhuang Sheng seemed to see what they were thinking, so he explained with a smile that the return trip was delayed due to the strong wind and the boat was difficult to sail, and his death deadline had passed, so he was still alive. So he hurried back, firstly to take the exam, and secondly to seek an explanation from this fortune teller. Of course, he also lied, saying that he lost the ten taels of silver while wandering by the river bank, and he didn't mention anything about saving the five lives of the pregnant woman's family. Wang Sheng rejoiced and said, "Blessed are those who retire!"
Of course Wang Sheng and Zeng Sheng believed it was true, and the three immediately returned to Cheng'en Temple, found the fortune teller, and planned to mock him. Unexpectedly, when the fortune teller saw Zhuang Sheng, he opened his mouth in surprise, and it took him a long time to come back to his senses. After observing carefully, he waved his hands to Zhuang Sheng and shouted happily: "I haven't seen you for a few days, sir." His facial features are very different from before, and his complexion is much better all of a sudden. It is completely different from his appearance five days ago. It seems that Mr. must have done some great good deeds, and he must have saved several lives, so he can restore the power of good fortune! Turn bad luck into good luck, and turn bad luck into good luck!"
Zhuang Sheng deliberately smiled and said, "I am already poor and destitute. How can I help others?"
The fortune teller shook his head again and again: "Sir, don't lie to me. When you asked me the way to resolve it that day, I said such a sentence. If you don't have great Yin virtue, you will be powerless! Look at your face today. Not only has he gained good fortune and longevity, but also his salary has been promoted. In this exam, he must be on the top list. Next year, Lianjie will be admitted to Hanlin, and he will be a first-rank official, and his life expectancy will increase to eighty!"
Zeng Sheng sneered at the side: "You are really good at cursing people, last time you cursed people to death, and today you praise people's blessings. It seems that it is all nonsense!"
The fortune teller glanced at Zeng Sheng, sighed and said: "In fact, a person's life, wealth, fortune, and fortune are all changing. Those who do good things will naturally increase their blessings and life, and those who do evil will undoubtedly lose their blessings and life. I remember the three of you a few days ago. When I went to look at the photo together, I found that the face under my step was extraordinary, and it must be Jieyuan. But when I saw it today, I found that there were hanging needle lines (that is, dilapidated lines) on the forehead under my step, and I lost my previous appearance. To put it bluntly, you have done something shameful and evil. Not only will your salary be cut off, but your life will also be cut off!" Then pointing to Zhuang Sheng, he asserted: "It's even more coincidental. What’s more, it’s none other than this gentleman that Xie Yuan is replacing today!”
When Zeng Sheng heard this, his face flushed with anger, and it was inconvenient for Wang Sheng and Zhuang Sheng to be around. He had no choice but to swallow his bad breath, pointing at Wang Sheng and complaining to the fortune teller: "I don't care about you for now, but what does this brother look like?"
The fortune teller looked at it for a moment, then nodded resolutely and asserted: "This gentleman also has yin, he must be the same as Mr. Zhuang, and he must go to high school in this subject!"
Wang Sheng laughed: "I don't know what happened to my two brothers. As for myself, I haven't done any good deeds!"
The fortune teller explained: "It's just doing nothing, and doing good deeds without knowing it. This is called Yin Zhi. There is a god when you raise your head three feet!"
Wang Sheng, Zhuang Sheng, and Zeng Sheng looked at each other in blank dismay, but could not say a word.
This year's scientific examination, Zhuang Sheng really won the first prize, and Wang Sheng also passed the 53rd place in the examination. In the second year, the two entered Hanlin at the same time. As expected, Zeng Sheng failed the exam, and was so angry that he was bedridden. The treatment was ineffective, and he died half a year later. It turned out that he was the scholar who raped and sold singers that the embroiderer in the Guandi Temple said. He really lost his fame and lost his life.
Afterwards, Zhuang Sheng finally told the truth to Wang Sheng, revealing the scene of the encounter in the Guandi Temple. I am ashamed!"
Zhuang Sheng said seriously: "Brother En's words are wrong. If there is no money from you, I can only watch these five lives die in the belly of fish! I am lucky to be blessed by God today, but it is the favor of my dear brother!"
After this anecdote spread, everyone sighed. ■