The Daughter of Minister Lu: A Tale of Love, Reincarnation, and Second Chances

Follow the captivating story of Miss Lu, whose love transcended lifetimes, as she reunites with Zhang Yudan in a tale of love, reincarnation, and second chances.

In Shandong’s Zhaoyuan County, there was a man named Zhang Yudan, who had a bold and unrestrained personality. At that time, he was studying in a temple. The county magistrate of Zhaoyuan, Lord Lu, was from the Three Hans and had a daughter who loved hunting. Zhang Yudan had once encountered her in the wilderness and saw her as exceptionally graceful. She was dressed in silk and sable fur, riding a small black horse with a graceful demeanor, like a figure from a painting.

Zhang Yudan returned to the temple and couldn’t help but think about Lord Lu’s daughter’s beauty. He admired her greatly. Later, he heard that the young lady had died suddenly from an illness, and he was heartbroken. Since Lord Lu’s hometown was too far away, he temporarily placed his daughter’s coffin in the same temple where Zhang Yudan was studying.

Zhang Yudan revered Lord Lu’s daughter as if she were a deity. Every morning, he would burn incense and offer prayers. During meal times, he would make offerings. He often poured wine on the ground and prayed, saying, “I was fortunate to see a glimpse of the young lady’s beauty, and I often see you in my dreams. I never expected that such a beautiful lady would suddenly pass away. Today, even though we are so close, the distance between the living and the dead is like a vast ocean and mountains apart. My heart’s sorrow is so profound! While you were alive, you were bound by propriety, but now that you have passed away, there should be no taboos. If you have a spirit in the netherworld, please come and comfort my deep affection.”

Zhang Yudan prayed day and night for almost half a month.

One evening, as Zhang Yudan was studying under the lamp, he looked up and saw Miss Lu from the Lu family standing there with a smile in front of the lamp. Zhang Yudan quickly got up and greeted her. Miss Lu said, “I can’t restrain my feelings of gratitude towards your deep affection, so I’ve decided not to care about the suspicion of eloping.” Zhang Yudan was overjoyed, and from then on, they shared their love and happiness together every night. Miss Lu never missed a single evening.

One day, she told Zhang Yudan, “In my previous life, I loved horseback riding and hunting. I took pleasure in hunting deer and other animals, but I caused too much harm and accumulated deep sins, which left my soul restless after death. If you truly love me, please recite the ‘Diamond Sutra’ for me sincerely. I won’t forget your kindness throughout eternity.” Zhang Yudan wholeheartedly followed her request. Every night, he would wake up and recite the sutra in front of her coffin.

Once, during a festival, Zhang Yudan wanted Miss Lu to accompany him home. She was concerned about her weak legs and couldn’t endure a long journey, so Zhang Yudan offered to carry her. Miss Lu agreed with a smile. When Zhang Yudan carried her, she felt as light as a baby, and he didn’t feel tired at all. It became a routine, and he even took her with him to the examinations, traveling at night.

Later, when Zhang Yudan was about to participate in the autumn county-level examination, Miss Lu said, “Your fate is not favorable, so it will be in vain to go.” Upon hearing her words, Zhang Yudan chose not to take the exam.

After four or five years, Lord Lu retired from his official position. Due to his poverty, he couldn’t afford to transport his daughter’s coffin back to their hometown. He decided to bury his daughter’s body locally but faced difficulty finding a burial site. Zhang Yudan went to Lord Lu and said, “My family’s land is not far from the temple. We have a small plot, and I’m willing

One night, Miss Lu from the Lu family leaned against Zhang Yudan’s chest, tears the size of beans rolling down her cheeks. She said, “After five years of love, today we must part ways! I can never repay the kindness you’ve shown me in this lifetime and the next!” Zhang Yudan was astonished and asked what was happening. She replied, “Thanks to your immense kindness to me in the netherworld, I have completed the recitation of an entire collection of scriptures and mantras. Today, I am going to be reborn into the Lu family of the Ministry of Revenue in Hebei. If you don’t forget this day, on the sixteenth day of the eighth month, fifteen years from now, please come to the Lu family to meet me.” Zhang Yudan tearfully said, “I am already over thirty years old, and in another fifteen years, I will be close to the end of my life. Even if I go to meet you, what can I do?” Miss Lu said, “I am willing to become your servant to repay your kindness.”

After a moment, she added, “Please escort me about six or seven li away. There are many thorns on this path, and my dress is too long, making it difficult for me to walk.” So she embraced Zhang Yudan’s neck, and he carried her to the side of a main road. They saw a procession of carriages and horses along the road, some carrying one or two people on horseback, others with three or four people on board, and some with varying numbers, except for one carriage adorned with gold and silver and decorated with embroidered curtains, which had only an old lady inside.

When the old lady saw Miss Lu approaching, she called out, “Have you come?” Miss Lu replied, “Yes.” Then she turned to look at Zhang Yudan and said, “You can leave her here. You should go back and don’t forget my words.” Zhang Yudan agreed. Miss Lu approached the carriage, and the old lady pulled her inside. The carriage wheels started turning, and the rest of the carriages also moved away with a jingling sound.

Zhang Yudan returned home with a sense of melancholy, marking the day of their separation on the wall. Because he believed it was the result of reciting Buddhist scriptures, he became even more devout in his practice. In a dream, a divine being told him, “Your aspirations are commendable, but you must make a journey to the South Sea.” He asked the divine being, “How far is the South Sea?” The divine being replied, “The South Sea is within your own heart.” Upon awakening, Zhang Yudan understood the message and wholeheartedly continued his Buddhist practice, purifying his spiritual path.

Three years later, his second son, Zhang Ming, and his eldest son, Zhang Zheng, both achieved success in the civil service examinations. Although Zhang Yudan suddenly became wealthy and prestigious, he remained dedicated to doing good deeds and never slackened. One night, he dreamt of a person dressed in green who led him to a magnificent palace. In the palace, there sat a figure resembling a Bodhisattva, who welcomed Zhang Yudan, saying, “Your unwavering commitment to goodness is highly commendable. Unfortunately, you do not have a long life, but luckily, I have already interceded with the Heavenly Deities on your behalf.” Zhang Yudan prostrated himself in gratitude. The Bodhisattva asked him to rise, offered him a seat, and served him fragrant tea, as sweet-smelling as orchids. A young boy then guided him to a bath. The pool water was exceptionally clear, with visible swimming fish. Upon entering the water, he felt it was pleasantly warm, and as he scooped some up and smelled it, it carried the fragrance of lotus leaves.

After a while, he gradually walked to a deeper area, but suddenly, he lost his footing and fell into a deep pit, and the water quickly submerged him. He woke up in shock, finding the experience quite strange. Since then, his physical health improved day by day, and his eyesight became sharper. His beard first turned white and then, after some time, all his facial hair fell out, and the wrinkles on his face gradually smoothed out. Several months later, his chin was smooth, and his complexion was clear, like that of a fifteen or sixteen-year-old boy. He developed a fondness for games and play, just like a child. Because he became excessively concerned with his appearance and clothing, his two sons often advised him not to be so preoccupied.

After some time, his wife grew old and fell ill, eventually passing away. His sons wanted to find a new wife for him from a wealthy family, but Zhang Yudan said, “Let me make a journey to Hebei, and when I return, I will consider remarrying.”

Zhang Yudan calculated on his fingers and realized that the time for his appointment with Miss Lu was drawing near. He harnessed his carriage and set off with his servants towards Hebei. After inquiring, he indeed found a Minister of Revenue named Lu. Minister Lu had a daughter who was exceptional; she could speak from birth and grew up to be even more intelligent and beautiful. Her parents doted on her immensely. Despite proposals from wealthy suitors, the young lady was always reluctant to accept them. Her parents found this odd and asked her, and she then detailed her previous life’s pledge with Zhang Yudan. Everyone calculated their ages together, and the parents laughed, saying, “Silly girl, Zhang Lang is already well past fifty by now. The world has changed so much; his bones have probably decayed. Even if he’s still alive, he might have lost all his hair and teeth.” The young lady refused to listen.

When her mother saw her unwavering determination, she discussed it with Minister Lu. They instructed the gatekeeper not to allow any visitors seeking their daughter inside the house and planned to cut off her hopes after the specified date. Soon, Zhang Yudan arrived at the Lu residence, but the gatekeeper denied him entry. Feeling deeply disheartened, he had no other choice but to wander outside the city and gradually gather information about Miss Lu’s situation.

Miss Lu of the Lu family believed that Zhang Yudan had betrayed their pledge and cried so much that she couldn’t eat or drink. Her mother said to her, “Zhang Lang may not have come because he might have already passed away. Even if he’s still alive, the blame for breaking the oath lies with him, not you!” The daughter remained silent, spending her days bedridden.

Minister Lu was deeply concerned and wanted to meet Zhang Yudan to understand the kind of person he was. He feigned a trip to the countryside and coincidentally encountered Zhang Yudan outside the city. To his surprise, Zhang Yudan appeared to be a young man. They sat on the grass and exchanged a few words, and Minister Lu found Zhang Yudan to be very cultured and graceful. Delighted, Minister Lu invited him to his home.

Zhang Yudan was inquiring about the young lady’s situation when suddenly, Minister Lu stood up abruptly and asked his guest to wait for a moment, hastily going to inform his daughter. The daughter was overjoyed and got out of bed immediately. However, when she secretly took a look at Zhang Yudan, she found that he didn’t match her expectations, and she cried upon her return, accusing her father of deceiving her. Minister Lu tried his best to explain that the young man was indeed Zhang Yudan, but his daughter remained silent and continued to cry.

Minister Lu came out, feeling deeply dejected, and he wasn’t very polite to the guest. Zhang Yudan asked, “Do you have an elderly gentleman who holds the position of Minister of Revenue here?” Minister Lu casually responded while looking around, seemingly oblivious to the presence of the guest. Zhang Yudan sensed Minister Lu’s indifference and took his leave. Miss Lu cried for several days and eventually passed away.

On this night, Zhang Yudan dreamt that Miss Lu came to him and said, “Is it really you who has come to find me? Because of the significant difference in our ages and appearances, we cannot recognize each other in person, and we have become separated for eternity. I died with sorrow and regret. Please hurry to the ancestral shrine to call for my spirit. There is still a chance for me to be resurrected. If you delay, it will be too late.” When Zhang Yudan woke up, he quickly went to inquire at Minister Lu’s residence, and indeed, his daughter had already been dead for two days.

Zhang Yudan was overwhelmed with grief. He went to pay his respects at the funeral chamber and shared his dream with Minister Lu. Upon hearing his words, Minister Lu went to the ancestral shrine to summon his daughter’s spirit. When he returned, he lifted the cover from his daughter’s body, gently caressed her, and prayed for her. After a while, they heard a sound from the daughter’s throat, and her lips suddenly parted, expelling a sticky phlegm like ice. Minister Lu moved her to the bed, and the daughter gradually began to groan. She had indeed been brought back to life.

Minister Lu was overjoyed and invited Zhang Yudan to celebrate with a banquet. Minister Lu inquired about Zhang Yudan’s background in detail and learned that he originally came from a wealthy family. This made him even happier. He chose an auspicious day and time, and Zhang Yudan and his daughter were married.

After half a month, Zhang Yudan brought his new bride home. Minister Lu escorted his daughter to Zhang’s house and stayed for half a year before leaving. Zhang Yudan and his wife lived together like a newlywed couple. Those who didn’t know them well often mistook their son and daughter-in-law for the parents. After a year, Minister Lu passed away. The youngest male in his family was unfairly slandered and harmed by powerful individuals, leading to a near depletion of their family fortune. Zhang Yudan took him in and raised him, and he settled down in Zhang’s household.











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