Follow the story of Zhao and the enigmatic woman from Jinling, their unexpected reunion, and the miraculous medicinal prescriptions that continue to captivate the people of Yishui County.
In Yishui, there was a man surnamed Zhao. One day, he went to the city on business and on his way back, he saw a woman in white clothes crying by the roadside, deeply saddened. Zhao glanced at her and noticed that she was very beautiful, and he couldn’t help but feel affectionate. So, he stopped and stared at her for a long time. The woman had tears streaming down her face and said, “Sir, why are you not moving forward? What are you looking at me for?” Zhao replied, “I see that this wilderness is deserted, and you’re crying so sadly; it’s truly heart-wrenching.” The woman said, “My husband has passed away, and I have nowhere to go, so I’m grieving.” Zhao advised her to find a good husband and remarry, to which the woman replied, “I’m all alone like this, what is there to choose from? If I can find someone to entrust my life to, even becoming a concubine would satisfy me.” Zhao willingly offered himself, and the woman agreed to go with him. Zhao said that their home was too far, and they needed to hire a carriage. The woman said, “No need.” She then took the lead, floating away like a swift immortal. After arriving at Zhao’s home, the woman was very diligent in managing the household chores. After more than two years, one day she said to Zhao, “To express my gratitude for your affection towards me, I followed you three years ago. Now, it’s time for me to leave.” Zhao asked, “You said you had no home before, where are you going now?” The woman replied, “I just said that casually back then, how could I not have a home? My father sells medicine in the city of Jinling. If you want to meet me again, you can bring some medicine, and we can help you earn some money.” Zhao made some preparations for her departure and even rented a carriage for her. However, the woman insisted that it wasn’t necessary and left with
After a long time, Zhao began to miss that woman. So, he bought a batch of medicinal herbs and arrived in Jinling. He stored the goods in a guesthouse and started searching for the whereabouts of the woman in the streets. Suddenly, an old man in a drugstore spotted him and said, “My son-in-law has come.” He then invited Zhao into the shop. The woman was in the courtyard washing clothes. When she saw Zhao, she remained silent and didn’t smile, just continuing to wash clothes with her head down. Zhao became very angry, raised his leg, and started to leave the courtyard. However, the old man forcibly pulled him back. The woman still showed no signs of acknowledgement as before. The old man asked the woman to prepare a meal and set up wine, and he also prepared a generous gift for Zhao. The woman stopped the old man, saying, “He is a person of modest fortune; if we give him too much, he won’t be able to handle it. It’s better to just slightly comfort his hardships and give him a dozen or so prescriptions, which will be more than enough for him.” The old man asked Zhao where the medicinal herbs he brought were, and the woman said, “I’ve already sold them for him, and the money is here.” The old man then handed both the prescriptions and the money to Zhao and sent him on his way back home. Zhao tried these prescriptions, and they had miraculous effects. Even now, there are people in Yishui County who know about these prescriptions. For example, one of them involves using rainwater collected from a thatched roof dripping through a garlic pestle to wash off warts on the body, and it works exceptionally well.