Introduction

“Of the thirty three sky palaces, the palace of heartbreak is the highest; of the four hundred and forty four illnesses, lovesickness is the bitterest.”

“I am not heartbroken.”

“Oh? Then for whom did you engrave your mark for?”

“For the person I cannot lose in this life.”

“Then is that not heartbreak?”

“No. A person’s life is bitter and short, but heartbreak is slow and lasting. The mortal realm [1] is where life or death are but a blink of an eye, who knows if what awaits me is a chance meeting or a missed encounter? How can I stand here and wait for time to be worn away, day after day?”

“Then what will you do?”

“She is in the mortal realm. I will go to the mortal realm.”

“The world of mortals is turbulent.”

“If the mortal realm is turbulent, I resist; if the underworld opens, I enter; if the four seas rage, I cross; if people oppose, I overturn.”

“Why go so far?”

“For her sake, I will not fear ten zhang [2] of red dust, to reverse the bitter erosion of loneliness.”

————————————————————————

Footnotes

1. Here the term “mortal realm” is the Chinese term “红尘”, literally “red dust”. Red dust is often used to mean the mortal world because the footsteps of the numerous mortals cause clouds of red dust to rise up in the air.

2. zhang = “丈” which is a unit of length equal to 3.13 meters

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