No fortune can replace a mermaid’s tear,
Human hearts are hard to fathom and understand.
In "Sou Shen Ji", there is a story about a mermaid-like creature that involves an interaction between a person known as Bai Gongzi (Young Master Bai) and a mermaid. Bai Gongzi is a Buddhist monk who once encountered a beautiful woman on the beach, who was, in fact, a mermaid.The mermaid woman developed affection for Bai Gongzi, and the two became enamored with each other. However, Bai Gongzi grew conflicted upon learning her true identity, as he was reluctant to develop feelings for a mermaid. Eventually, Bai Gongzi left the area, parting ways with the mermaid woman.
This story delves into the relationship between humans and mysterious beings, as well as the conflict between emotions and reality. It's a recurring theme in ancient literary works, using myths and legends to explore human nature, morality, and the connection between humans and the natural world.
Barren mountains mourn, burying white bones,
This cold world lacks compassion, concealing red doors.
The character "Bai Gu Jing" (White Bone Demon) first appears in the classic Chinese novel "Journey to the West." She is a demon who has transformed over many years, skilled in shape shifting and cunningly knowledgeable about human weaknesses. In her female form, she presents a lively and captivating appearance. Over time, Bai Gu Jing becomes aware of Tang Sanzang, the monk, and desires to consume his flesh in order to achieve immortality.
Bai Gu Jing is devious and cunning, using manipulative tactics to create discord between Tang Sanzang and his disciples. After undergoing multiple transformations, she is ultimately exposed by Sun Wukong (the Monkey King) and subsequently defeated. However, this confrontation leads to Sun Wukong's banishment by Tang Sanzang due to the resulting conflict.
The character of Bai Gu Jing embodies the trope of a seductive and treacherous demon, and her story within. "Journey to the West" explores themes of deception, temptation, and the complexities of good versus evil.
To seek your attention, I don a magical disguise,
Painting the skin and bones, but unable to capture the heart.
This story from “Liao Zhai Zhi Yi” revolves around a hideous and monstrous demon who dons a human skin painted with colorful pigments, disguising itself as a charming and alluring young woman. The demon employs various deceitful tactics to achieve its sinister intentions, aiming to tear open people's abdomens and extract their hearts. Eventually, a Taoist priest exposes the demon's true identity. Through a series of swift strikes with a wooden sword, the demon is forced to discard its "painted skin," revealing its monstrous form, and is ultimately defeated with a decisive blow.The story carries a profound and thought-provoking metaphor, serving as a cautionary tale for men against being lured by external beauty. It warns of the danger of falling victim to demons that disguise themselves in an appealing facade. Over time, this story has been adapted into modern film and television productions, continuing to resonate with audiences through its enduring message.