Gao Yuting was a very dutiful son. Soon after he was appointed to be the mayor of Tuyang County, he invited his 70-year-old mother, Madam Yu, to stay with him. The hardship on the road to her son’s place was too much for his elderly mother, and she got sick when only halfway there. After a 12-day rest at an inn, she continued on her journey.
One day, as Mrs. Yu passed the East Mountain of An County, she was fascinated by the beautiful scenery. As she walked, she heard the miserable crying of a young lady, so she stopped to see what had happened and found a young lady in her twenties sobbing beside a rock. The young lady said:
“My name is Luyun. My parents passed away and my stepmother dislikes me, and treats me badly. I was forced to flee from my family, but I didn’t know where to go, so I am very sad…” Tears came to her eyes while speaking.
Mrs Yu felt sorry for this delicate young lady with her two swollen eyes. She said:
“My surname is Yu. I am on my way to Tuyang, as my son is the current head of the county there. If you would like, you can go with me to Tuyang and serve me.”
Hearing this, Luyun knelt down and said: “Thank you for keeping me with you. To repay your kindness, I would like to be your maid and serve you.” Madam Yu accepted her plea and they traveled together. Luyun served Madam Yu very well on the journey, so the old lady was very glad to have her.
Upon arriving in Tuyang, Madam Yu told her son, Gao Yuting, Luyun’s story, so Gao Yuting called Luyun in, and seeing a beautiful and delicate young lady, he said:
“Mum, apparently she is a good girl. Since you felt sorry for her and are satisfied with her service, of course you can keep her by your side.”
Several months later, Gao Yuting’s daughter, Miss Gao, was going to get married to a son of another head of a county, but she was kidnapped by bandits armed with knives and guns on the way to the groom’s house. When her followers fled home to report the case, Gao’s wife fainted. Madam Yu turned very pale and Gao didn’t know how to rescue his daughter.
Some officials suggested that Gao send troops to rescue Miss Gao, but Gao Yuting was at a loss, because one or two bodyguards would not be enough to defeat the armed bandits. However, sending many troops might endanger Miss Gao’s life.
While Gao was hesitating, Yu sighed:
“No matter what we are going to do, you should try your best to protect my granddaughter. If something bad happens to her, how can our whole family deal with it?”
All of a sudden, they heard a small voice beside Yu say:
“I’ve been here for several months and am very grateful to Yu for saving me; however, I have never had a chance to repay her kindness. So if you believe me, I’d like to go to rescue Miss Gao at this time.”
Everybody was very surprised to find that it was the slim and delicate Luyun saying this. Gao doubted her ability:
“You are so young and delicate, you can hardly catch a chicken. The bandits are so rude and harsh, how can you deal with them?”
Without answering the question, Luyun said: “This case can’t be delayed anymore; I have to go now.” Luyun ran out of the door, and then jumped over the wall and disappeared. Everyone was dumbfounded at what they saw. Long after Luyun left, Yu said:
“She has been here for several months, and I have never noticed that she was different from the other maids. Who knew that she has these magic abilities.”
However, Gao Yuting sighed and said: “Is she the kind of heroine that people speak of?” Nobody answered. About midnight, it was very quiet, so quiet that even a falling needle could be heard, and all the people were silently waiting for information about Miss Gao, when all of a sudden, there was the sound of a flower vase being broken.
Then a maid came into the room with a kettle of tea. Gao Yuting was about to criticize the maid when they heard a clear voice saying with a laugh: “Fortunately, I didn’t delay; otherwise, I would have been too late.” Then they heard somebody jump down off the wall in the backyard and saw Luyun come in.
Everyone in the room stood up to welcome her. They were all relieved when they saw a tired Luyun with Miss Gao on her back standing in front of them. Luyun told Gao Yuting:
“Fortunately, I could live up to your trust. Here is Miss Gao, who was not harmed.”
He thanked Luyun. Everyone surrounded Miss Gao asking her what happened to her. Miss Gao said:
“When I was kidnapped by the bandits, they blindfolded my eyes with a black cloth, and stuffed my mouth. Then, without knowing how much time had passed, they took me to their cottage. They locked me in an empty room. All of a sudden, a white light shone through the window and I shivered.
“Then I felt the hand of the bandit that was grabbing me release and he fell down beside me. When I looked down at him, I found that his head was cut off. Then I don’t know what happened after that. When I opened my eyes again, I was safely here with you.”
After hearing this, everyone stared at Luyun, who was very shy and excused herself with: “Sorry, I’m very tired now. If it is all right, I might have a rest.” When Luyun went to Yu’s room to prepare her for bed, Yu grabbed her small hand and said: “All our family owe you a lot today, but I don’t really understand. If you are so talented, why don’t you return to your family and seek revenge on your stepmother?”
Luyun said: “I shall never forget that you kept me here. Being able to help your family today fulfilled one of my dreams. Even though I was treated badly by my stepmother, if that was not so, I would still be a poor farmer’s wife and could not learn all these techniques. So I think I should even be grateful to my stepmother.”
Yu said: “So you are a very different young lady.” And she recommended her grandson to Luyun as her future husband. Luyun said: “Sorry, because I revealed myself today, I can’t stay here any longer. But may I warn you that you will be in danger soon.” Yu was so frightened to hear these words that she shivered, asking: “How shall we deal with it then, if it happens?”
Luyun bowed and thought, and then she said: “Please call your granddaughter here.” When Miss Gao stood in front Luyun, Luyun took off one metal arrow ring from her finger and passed it to Miss Gao. “As I can’t stay here any longer, the whole family will depend on you to deal with the future danger. Here is my metal arrow ring. Try to throw it as far away as possible when you are in danger.”
Accepting the ring, Miss Gao asked her: “Then, where are you going?” Luyun sighed and said: “Anywhere possible.” Then Luyun helped Mrs Yu to bed and disappeared the next morning. Everyone sighed for her.
During the month Luyun left, people frequently expressed their admiration and felt sorry for her. Then one night, after a busy day and having dinner with some of his officials, Gao Yuting went to bed early. He was suddenly awakened by a noise outside and found that a group of more than 40 bandits had jumped over the walls and entered the backyard. All had knives in their hands.
Upon hearing the noise of rapid footsteps outside, Gao Yuting quietly woke all his family members and rushed them to the building at the back of their house.
Finding no one in the house, the bandits decided to search the building. Miss Gao told Gao Yuting: “It is the time to use Luyun’s metal arrow ring now. She told me to use it to get rid of danger.” Then she threw the ring out as far away as possible toward the bandits. With a flash of white light, the ring flew to the bandits and, as if in a magic show, all the bandits stood there, still, without moving anymore. So Gao Yuting ordered his men: “Come on, catch them.”
Gao Yuting interrogated the bandits next day. He asked: “You were very aggressive when you first came; how is it you were caught without any resistance afterwards?”
The leader of the bandits said: “When we were ready to search the building, we saw a flash of white light and then we just couldn’t move anymore. So we were caught.”
The bandits were executed afterwards.