The Tasty Visitor

Master Ye Fashan(葉法善) was skilled in talismanic magic. The Emperor honored him several times as a Hongluqing(鴻臚卿), bestowing upon him lavish rewards and special treatment.

Ye Fashan resided in the Xuanzhen Temple(玄真觀), often hosting a dozen or more courtiers who would come to the temple, loosen their belts, and stay without intending to leave. The seats would be occupied, and they’d desire wine to drink.

Suddenly, someone knocked on the door, claiming to be Qu Xiucai. Ye Fashan sent word to him, ‘There are colleagues from the court here presently; we have no time to converse. I hope you’ll come another day.’

Before he finished speaking, a poor scholar, bold and imposing, strode in. In his twenties, fair and plump, quite handsome, he smiled, saluted everyone, sat at the end, and loudly discussed various matters, referencing ancient and modern sources. The guests were surprised by his eloquence; they considered him quite astute. Only after a long while did he temporarily rise and whirl away like the wind.

Ye Fashan addressed everyone, ‘This person suddenly appeared, eloquent and articulate. Could he not be a demon flaunting his ability to beguile you all? I propose to take out a sword in defense of you all.’

One day, Qu Xiucai returned. Sometimes he clasped his wrist, sometimes clapped his hands, his words sharp and challenging, relentless in his approach. Ye Fashan secretly used a small sword on him, and his head fell off as if responding to Ye Fashan’s hand, landing on the steps and turning into a bottle cap.

The guests, astonished and afraid, looked closely and found it was a bottle of fine wine, and they burst into laughter. They drank the wine, which tasted exquisite.

Inebriated, they caressed the bottle, saying, ‘Qu Sheng(Mr.Qu), Qu Sheng, your flavor is unforgettable.’

Original text in 《開天傳信記》:

道士葉法善,精於符箓之術,上累拜為鴻臚卿,優禮特厚。法善居玄真觀,常有朝客十余人詣之,解帶淹留。滿坐思酒,忽有人扣門,雲,曲秀才。法善令人謂之曰:「方有朝寮,無暇晤語,幸吾子異日見臨也。」語未畢,有一措大,傲睨直入。年二十許。肥白可觀。笑揖諸公,居於末席,抗聲譚論,援引今古。一坐不測,眾聳觀之。良久暫起,如風旋轉。法善謂諸公曰:「此子突入,詞辨如此。豈非妖魅為眩惑乎?試與諸公取劍備之。」曲生復至,扼腕抵掌,論難鋒起,勢不可當。法善密以小劍擊之,隨手喪元,墜於階下,化為瓶蓋。一坐驚懾惶遽,視其處所,乃盈瓶醲醞也,鹹大笑。飲之,其味甚佳。坐客醉而撫其瓶曰:「曲生曲生,風味不可忘也。」

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