Modern Chinese Short Story: Heaven and earth in tea

Story 1: Selling stolen goods and preparing gifts

Lin Zhiwei, county magistrate of Langzhou, has just received the news. Recently, officials above the county magistrate will go to the governor’s Yamen to attend a hall meeting to give a farewell party to governor Yan in Beijing next month. Lin Zhiwei was worried about the preparation of the gift. Constable Zhang came to reply and said, “Sir, the tomb theft case the day before yesterday has been solved, all the stolen goods have been collected, and the criminal has escaped.” Lin Zhiwei asked, “the criminal has escaped again? Why hasn’t one person been caught in the recent theft cases?” Constable Zhang explained with a look of embarrassment: “It’s not that you don’t know. The criminals are all poor people who can’t afford to eat. They have to take care of food when they are caught in prison. Our yamen can’t open the pot.”

Heaven and earth in tea

Constable Zhang is telling the truth. After taking office, governor Yan ordered all prefectures and counties to use farmland to grow tea, saying it was to cultivate new and good tea for the holy emperor. The climate in Kelang Prefecture was not suitable for the growth of tea trees. The tea fried by governor arranged for trial planting tasted bitter and tasted bitter. Lord Yan scolded him and didn’t say anything about it. The grain originally promised to be allocated was gone. The surplus grain of the people’s family was almost finished, and their eyes were empty The famine is about to break out. Thinking of this, Lin Zhiwei sighed again and said, “the governor’s Yamen is holding a meeting. I want to ask adults to open their warehouses and release food to save the emergency. I don’t have any money to buy gifts. I’m afraid I can’t even enter the door.” Constable Zhang had an idea, handed a small cloth bag and said: “My Lord, this is the stolen goods collected in the tomb theft case. I sold them for some money to buy a congratulatory gift to save the people in the county.” Lin Zhiwei Qichu disagreed with selling the stolen goods without authorization in violation of the law, but he couldn’t resist persuasion. When he thought about starving people, he decided to do so.


Constable Zhang told Lin Zhiwei that in order to prevent revealing the stolen goods, we must not sell them to local people. Recently, a foreign peddler came to ask him. However, due to the investigation, Constable Zhang has exposed his official identity at the peddler. For the sake of insurance, the county magistrate should go out in person.

Lin Zhiwei changed his official clothes. According to the information said by the constable, he found the target in the area where the peddler often moved. The peddler took the cloth bag, took several artifacts and looked at them carefully, then shook his head and said, “they are worthless.” Just as he was about to return his things, he suddenly had a bright eye, grabbed a celadon tea bowl covered with mud, looked carefully, and then looked for water to wash it, wiping it like a treasure. Lin Zhiwei saw some clues and tried to ask the price. The peddler pretended to be profound and said, “it can be said that it is both valuable and worthless.” Lin Zhiwei didn’t understand. He thought he was deliberately looking for some words to lower the price. The peddler explained to him. It turned out that this tea bowl was called “heaven and earth lamps”. If anyone uses this tea bowl to make tea, he can spy on the bottom of his heart and predict the fate. He is the treasure of divination. Lin Zhiwei asked suspiciously: “Since it is such a treasure, why is it worthless? You must be lying to me.” the peddler said: “The guest doesn’t know. Not everyone can use the heaven and earth lamps in this world. You and I are a broken bowl in our hands, but in the hands of an expert who knows the art of treasure detection, we can spy on the mysteries of fate. I travel around the country and happen to know an expert who knows treasure detection. Wait until I sell the treasure to him at a high price and give you the money.” Lin Zhiwei was afraid that the peddler would take the opportunity to cheat the treasure and escape. He insisted on going to see the expert with him.

Story 2: Treasure hunting

The peddler couldn’t resist Lin Zhiwei, so he went to a remote Taoist temple in Langzhou county with him, and told him that the expert who knew how to identify treasures was Taoist priest Xianyun in the Taoist temple. The two met the Taoist priest together and presented the celadon tea bowl. The peddler saw that the Taoist priest looked at the tea bowl for a moment, but didn’t speak, and was busy saying: “I got this tea bowl by chance, and carefully identified it as heaven and earth. It can’t be fake.” the Taoist priest looked at him, and then said faintly, “it’s true or false. You’ll know if it’s true or false as soon as you try.” then he called daotong to prepare hot water and tea, and said to the two people: “we don’t know each other, so use this thing to guess your identity.”

The Taoist priest first asked Lin Zhiwei to put some tea in the bowl, fill it with hot water, and then cover the bowl. He stepped back to watch. The Taoist priest pressed the lid of the bowl and said something in his mouth. A moment later, he opened the lid and saw that the tea in the bowl would be suffused with three surging ripples. The ripples in the middle were high and sharp, and the ripples on both sides were low and flat. They were dependent on the ripples in the middle. They looked like an official hat together. They drifted around The floating tea leaves whirled around the water waves, like dancing around the official hat. The Taoist priest pondered, “you can see the heaven and earth in the lamp. You must be an official. The tea leaves flying around the black yarn seem to be surrounded by the common people. It can be seen that you want to be an honest and good official loved by the people.” After that, he saluted Lin Zhiwei and became a little respectful to him.

Surprised, Lin Zhiwei quickly saluted the Taoist priest and believed in the treasure. The peddler thought that the Taoist priest had calculated the person’s identity correctly and said in surprise: “you are an official? I’m surprised. Why did the official come to me in person…” the Taoist priest interrupted the peddler and said: “Don’t hurry. Let me calculate your identity and what you think.” the Taoist priest ordered the Taoist boy to take out the tea bowl, wash it, and then put it back on the table. He also asked the peddler to fill it with water and do divination in the same way. After the Taoist priest opened the lid of the bowl, the ripple of the tea showed the shape of a copper coin. The Taoist priest smiled: “Greedy merchant, do you still want to sell this thing at a high price here? Monks don’t crave treasures. You two take this tea bowl and leave quickly!”

Seeing this, Lin Zhiwei quickly explained to the Taoist priest that he wanted to sell the treasure and raise money to give gifts. Then he said, “I originally wanted to sell some money to buy gifts and ask the governor to give food. I think there is little hope. Now I have this treasure and see the Taoist priest’s ability to control the treasure. Please follow me to the governor’s Yamen and find a way to help the people of Langzhou.” Then he shed tears, knelt down and kowtowed. The Taoist priest picked him up and asked, “what do you think of to help the people? Tell me.” So Lin Zhiwei said his own idea. He wanted to invite Taoist priest to attend the hall meeting and divination with treasures to win the favor of the governor, so that he could promise to allocate money and food and seek a way to live for the people of Langzhou. Taoist priest Xianyun was moved by his sincerity and determination to petition for the people and resolutely said: “Well, for the sake of the people, I’m a monk. I don’t care about the rules and regulations. I’ll make an exception and go down the mountain with you.” Lin Zhiwei was overjoyed and gave the only silver fragments left to the peddler to express his gratitude.

Story 3: Offering treasure and asking for divination

Lin Zhiwei and Taoist priest Xianyun came to the governor’s Yamen with “heaven, earth, heaven and earth lamps”. Seeing that Lin Zhiwei was present empty handed, the governor’s concierge didn’t send a congratulatory gift or give a reward for management, so they shouted to the inner hall, “Lin Zhiwei, county magistrate of Langzhou, salute empty handed!” Lord Yan listened in the inner hall, frowned, and ordered Lin Zhiwei to be called to ask about business.

Yanda hostage asked, “everyone in the world knows that the saint loves tea as his life. He ordered me to cultivate new and good tea here. You didn’t do your best to grow tea in Langzhou. The tea you planted is useless. I haven’t cured you yet. Now you have no boss. I can’t help but lose your official!” Lin Zhiwei quickly kowtowed and said that in order to make up for his mistake, he found a treasure to serve, and then introduced it “Heaven and earth, heaven and earth”, please Taoist priest Xianyun to practice divination.

A moment later, an official hat appeared in the tea brewed by Lord Yan. The Taoist priest said solemnly, “Your Excellency has made great progress by offering tea to the Holy One. It can be seen that this tea is the foundation of your official fortune. This heaven and earth lamp is the treasure related to tea. This divination indicates that if you offer new tribute tea to Beijing this time, you must be happy and be able to worship the officials and generals.” Lord Yan was overjoyed and praised Lin Zhiwei for his effectiveness. Lin Zhiwei took the opportunity to request the allocation of money and food, and Lord Yan happily signed the document.

Later, Lin Zhiwei suggested that Taoist priest Xianyun use this treasure for divination at the grand finale of tonight’s hall meeting, so that all officials and colleagues in the government offices of various states can see the good omen that adults will be promoted to rank and rank, and make people more convinced and respect the governor. Lord Yan praised him for his thoughtfulness and couldn’t close his mouth with a smile.

In the interval before the meeting, Lin Zhiwei took the official documents of Lord Yan and allocated money and food to Langzhou for disaster relief. After finishing the meeting, he rushed back to the governor’s Yamen to attend the meeting. He just saw Taoist Xianyun holding the “heaven and earth lamp” Perform on the stage. Lord Yan shows a proud look on one side and puts tea and water very cooperatively. Taoist priest Xianyun holds the bowl cover and chants a curse, and then says to the officials present: “please come closer and watch.” The crowd hurried forward and surrounded. The Taoist priest suddenly lifted the lid of the bowl, and a dazzling golden light shone from the tea bowl. Before they could see what it was, all the officials began to flatter and shout in unison. When they fixed their eyes, they found that the water waves surging up in the tea were twisted together, slowly rising up, and suddenly leaped up and out of a water wave rapids, which was just a tea Golden Dragon.

Taoist priest Xianyun said in consternation: “you know the heaven and earth in the lamp, and you know the hearts of the people in your belly. It turns out that adults want to turn gold scales into dragons one day. This is to plot to usurp the throne! Gentlemen, take this anti thief quickly and eliminate harm for the Holy Lord. It must be a great achievement!” Before the words fell, the officials and sergeants who were watching suddenly woke up and rushed to the stunned Yan one by one. The scene was in chaos. When Lin Zhiwei squeezed out of the crowd, Taoist priest Xianyun disappeared again.

Later, state and county officials and garrison generals impeached governor Yan, who had an evil heart and intended to conspire against him. They also attached the crime and evidence of privately occupying grain fields and embezzlement and bribery in the name of growing tea. Others found that he had put chronic poison in the tea offered to the Holy Lord. The Holy Lord was angry and beheaded him in public.

Story 4. Ending

After the fall of Lord Yan, famine broke out in various states and counties. The imperial court stepped up the transportation of disaster relief food to help the victims. Only Langzhou did not break out of famine. Lin Zhiwei, the county magistrate of Langzhou, made meritorious governance and was promoted to Prefecture magistrate.

After magistrate Lin took office, he ordered the people to change the fields where tea trees were planted to grain. Then he took people to the Taoist temple to look for food. The Chinese said that Taoist priest Xianyun had never been here. He sent many people to investigate. He couldn’t find this person in the Taoist temple near Langzhou, and even the peddler businessman disappeared. What’s more strange is that Constable Zhang of Langzhou County Yamen resigned his post and disappeared 。

Lin Zhiwei was puzzled by the mystery of heaven and earth. One day many years later, when he visited his distant relatives, he saw a similar trick at a street juggling place. The artist showed different shapes of water waves in the bowl. So Lin Zhiwei asked him why. The artist said: “It’s actually very simple. Make dark grooves with different shapes in advance and hide them at the bottom of the bowl, and then ventilate the dark groove at the bottom of the bowl through the mechanism to blow the water waves and form small surges with different shapes. As for the water wave golden dragon, you only need to increase the air flow and sprinkle some gold powder into the water. However, different shapes of surges need different dark grooves. It’s necessary to change the shape Lin Zhiwei thought of the Taoist boy who cleaned the tea bowl and suddenly realized that everything in the tea was a game. He was only willing to be a person in the game for the sake of the people.

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