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He had spent his whole morning stamping his official seal on documents promoting or demoting heavenly officials.

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In the afternoon his wife, the Lady Queen Mother, had demanded his help with the invitation list for the Grand Banquet of Immortal Peaches. And now both the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea and Yama, Lord of the Dead, stood before him complaining of some kind of monkey who had become immortal, with power enough to threaten them both. No sooner had the Dragon King and Yama left the hall than a lieutenant rushed in and bowed to the ground.

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A talking monkey arrived there an hour ago and demanded entrance. Four of our guards engaged him in combat, but he is holding them all off with a simple staff. Would it not be better simply to invite him into Heaven and offer him a position? Then we could keep an eye on him and avoid further trouble. A gasp went up from the Great White Planet and from the other court officials.


The Jade Emperor stared icily at Monkey. At the Imperial Stables of the Jade Emperor, a banquet of welcome and congratulation was being held for the new Protector of Horses.

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The officials under him liked him as well, and so had gathered in his honor. Her guests all dine on Immortal Peaches grown in her orchard. Each peach has ripened for nine thousand years and adds that many years to the life of the one who eats it. A single pill will guarantee eternal life. Monkey was stunned. The Monkey King! At the Pavilion of the Jade Pool, servants ran about, busily setting the tables.

From where he had landed nearby, Monkey could see trays loaded with Immortal Peaches, and bowls brimming with Pills of Immortality. There were also large pitchers filled with juice of jade, and heaping plates of delicacies like unicorn liver and phoenix marrow. You are all to go to the Cloud Palace of the Golden Doors for further instructions. As soon as Monkey was alone, he changed back to himself and started grabbing peaches right and left.

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They tasted so heavenly, he wanted to eat them all—but since there were so many, he took just a bite or two from each one. He guzzled the jade juice and bolted down whole plates of delicacies. And he popped Pills of Immortality into his mouth like peanuts. Nearly all of the most important divinities were there, including ministers from all departments of the heavenly administration, heavenly generals, many star and constellation spirits, and a number of Bodhisattvas and Immortals. As the Jade Emperor conversed with the guests, the head steward entered and bowed low before the Celestial Throne.

At the Pavilion of the Jade Pool, Monkey had eaten as much as he possibly could and was patting his stomach in satisfaction. But a moment later he looked nervously at the scene around him. Mighty Miracle swung again and again, but Monkey parried every blow. Soon they were moving so fast, their arms were just a blur. The noise of their battle was deafening, and their movements raised a wind that nearly blew away the twelve Thunder Generals. But neither could gain an advantage. Mighty Miracle roared with pain, then quickly shrank to normal size and retreated.

Now the twelve Thunder Generals surrounded Monkey and attacked him with their battle-axes, swords, lances, halberds, maces, and scimitars.

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Monkey whirled like a top, countering every blow. But after a while he grew tired.

He put his staff away in his ear and stood grinning in the midst of the battle. The Jade Emperor was aghast. Will you permit me? But I must point out that you have no weapon. Kwan Yin stamped her foot, rose a hundred feet in the air, and landed on a magic cloud. Monkey dropped unconscious to the ground. The fighting monkeys at once changed back to hairs, returning to his tail. The Heavenly General of Mighty Miracle came up. After eating so many of my Pills of Immortality, his body must be as hard as a diamond.

No weapon could pierce or even scratch it. In just an hour his body will be consumed to ash—and at the same time, I can recover my elixir. Meanwhile, Monkey was starting to come to. He groped around in the dark. Are they trying to bake me? Or burn me to ashes? In a flash the staff enlarged to five feet, pushing against the bottom of the crucible and shattering the top. As Monkey jumped out, he knocked over the astonished Supreme Patriarch, sending him head over heels.

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Monkey ran in a blind rage all the way from the Cinnabar Palace to the Cloud Palace of the Golden Doors, brandishing his staff at every heavenly official along the way. At the palace steps he found the Heavenly General of Mighty Miracle and the twelve Thunder Generals, who all grew pale at the sight of him. The creature is too powerful a fighter for any single warrior to defeat.

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And if we send great numbers against him, he can easily outdo us with an army made from the hairs of his body. Even if we capture him again, we have no way to destroy or imprison him. There is still one who could defeat the rebellious Immortal and preserve your rule. Why not send to the Western Paradise and ask the assistance of the Buddha?

It was not long before he reached the Western Paradise, where he landed on the Mountain of Miracles and entered the Temple of the Thunderclap. The Buddha listened closely to the message of the Great White Planet. Then he turned to his disciples. Outside the Cloud Palace of the Golden Doors, Monkey marched up and down, swinging his staff, till his patience ran out.

But just as he stepped forward, a magic cloud landed in front of him. Off it stepped a huge man in the robe of a monk. The man laughed. Someone else should get a turn. And I can travel for hundreds of miles with a single somersault! Monkey stared at the Buddha. I just said I can somersault hundreds of miles.

How could I not jump out of your palm? Then he gave the mightiest leap of his life. Head over heels Monkey tumbled through the air, spinning like a windmill for hundreds, thousands of miles.