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A Sword Hidden in the Fish's Belly

Once upon a time, in the ancient state of Wu during the Spring and Autumn period of China, a tale of courage and conspiracy unfolded that would be remembered through the ages. This is the story of the Banquet of the Brave. In the heart of Wu, a usurper king named Liao sat on the throne, having deceitfully taken it from his nephew, Prince Guang. Resolute in reclaiming his rightful place, Prince Guang plotted to overturn this injustice. Advised by the wise Wu Zixu, Prince Guang took under his wing a warrior of unmatched bravery and skill, named Zhuan Zhu. Zhuan Zhu, a man of Yue who had seen his share of struggles, was entrusted with a mission of grave importance. He was to master the art of cooking a great carp, King Liao's favorite dish. The prince intended to use this culinary allure as a means to draw the usurper into a trap. The fateful day arrived when King Liao was invited to a grand banquet at Prince Guang's residence. Despite his suspicions, the allure of the famed carp
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The Son of Severed-Feet and The Wife-Stealer's Lackey

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Cart Driver

A cart driver was struggling to haul a heavy load up a hill when a wolf bit his buttocks. He wanted to let go, but if he did, the cargo and the cart would crush him. So, he endured the pain and kept pushing. By the time he made it to the top, the wolf had bitten off a piece of his flesh and left. The wolf, seizing the opportunity when the man was unable to fight back, secretly tasted a piece of him. It was cunning, yet somewhat amusing. 車夫 有車夫載重登坡,方極力時,一狼來嚙其臀。欲釋手,則貨敝身壓,忍痛推之。既上,則狼已齕片肉而去。乘其不能為力之際,竊嘗一臠,亦黠而可笑也。

One who is a jack-of-all-trades but master of none will not be successful

Once upon a time, in the land of ancient China, there lived a creature known as the Wu Weasel. The Wu Weasel was a peculiar creature, known for its vast array of skills. The renowned philosopher Xunzi often spoke of this creature, remarking: "The Wu Weasel is skilled in five ways, yet it always ends up impoverished." The Wu Weasel was not an ordinary weasel; it held a certain uniqueness that differentiated it from its kin. According to the "Er Ya," an ancient Chinese dictionary, the Wu Weasel was a special kind of weasel, almost mythical in its reputation. An old scholar named Guo Pu provided a vivid description of this creature. "The Wu Weasel," he said, "resembles a small fox, yet its bearing is much like a bat. It has fleshy wings, a winged tail, and flanks. Its fur is a purplish red, like the hue of the setting sun, its back is colored like the green mugwort and ai grass, and its belly gleams with a yellowish tint. Its beak and chin are sprinkled


Once upon a time, in the ancient lands of China, there was a charioteer named Zi Chushang from the esteemed Shusun family. One day, while gathering firewood in the immense wilderness, he chanced upon a creature of exceptional beauty and grace - a Qilin. The Qilin, a revered mythical creature in Chinese lore, was considered akin to the Western Unicorn. Its awe-inspiring features, as described by scholar Lu Ji, included the body of a deer, the tail of an ox, the hooves of a horse, and a captivating yellow hide. It bore a single horn with flesh at the end. Its voice was as harmonious as bells and musical stones, reverberating in the tranquil wilderness. The Qilin moved with an air of disciplined orderliness. It selected its dwelling place with meticulous care, ensuring to avoid stepping on living insects or damaging thriving grass. This solitary creature did not herd with other animals nor travel with them. It was adept at evading traps and could not be ensnared by nets. The Qilin's a

Jun's mother was kind, and good at teaching

 In the bustling capital city, Buyi Jun worked tirelessly as the prefect. His days were filled with the endless tasks of governing, always busy in visiting to the county prison, recording the stories of the prisoners, listening intently to their tales of woe, retrial the cases, and made proper judgements. When he returned home, his mother would always be waiting for him. She was a kind woman, wise and good at teaching. She would ask him about the cases he had overturned and smile happily at his successes. Her joy was infectious and Jun couldn’t help but feel lighter in her presence. But there were times when he had nothing to report. On those days, his mother’s demeanour would change. Her eating and speaking habits would become different and if he had nothing to say, she would become angry and refuse to eat. It was a stark reminder of the weight of his responsibilities. Jun took his mother’s lessons to heart. He was strict but not cruel as an official. He remembered her words and the t

The roadside spectators killed your horse

A man rides a horse on the road. Because the horse ran so fast, passers-by kept applauding and applauding. Horses are proud, and so are the riders. So he hurried on and continued to run wildly on the post road. The faster he ran, the more people applauded. After running for hundreds of miles, the horse suddenly fell over and died after gasping for a while. The man on the horse fell down and was so distressed that he wanted to cry. How can a good horse die? At this time, an old man came over and said, "The one who kills the your horse is standing on the road side."(杀君马者道旁儿) It means that the person who kills your horse is the one who applauds and applauds you on the side of the road. This story comes from Ying Shao's "Fengsu Tongyi"( Comprehensive Meaning of Customs and Mores) in the Eastern Han Dynasty, and was later included in the Song Dynasty book "Taiping Yulan".  Mr. Cai Yuanpei has quoted this allusion twice: once after the May 4th Movement in 19