Treasury Official: A Mysterious Encounter and Lessons in Fate

Follow the intriguing tale of Zhang Huadong, a government official, and his encounter with a mysterious treasury official during his southern journey, leading to profound lessons about fate and destiny.

In Zouping County, Zhang Huadong, a government official, was ordered to perform a sacrificial ritual at Mount Heng in Nan Yue. During his journey, as he passed through the Jianghuai region, he planned to stay overnight at a post station. Some individuals who had gone ahead to clear the way warned him, saying, “There’s something strange at the post station, and staying there will surely cause trouble.” Zhang Huadong paid no attention to their warning.

In the middle of the night, Zhang Huadong, dressed in his official attire with a sword at his side, sat at the post station. After a while, he heard the sound of boots entering the station. It turned out to be an elderly man with graying hair, wearing a black veil hat and a black waistband. Zhang Huadong asked him in surprise, “Who are you?” The old man bowed and said, “I am the keeper of the treasury, and I have been in charge of the treasury’s wealth for many days. Fortunately, your excellency has come from afar, and now I can relieve myself of this heavy responsibility.” Zhang Huadong inquired, “How much silver is currently in the treasury?” The old man replied, “There are 23,500 taels of silver.” Zhang Huadong was concerned that carrying so much silver would be a burden, so he agreed to return and audit the inventory before making any decisions. The old man agreed and left.

Zhang Huadong traveled to the southern regions and received many gifts. When he returned to the Jianghuai area and stayed at a post station, the old man came to visit him again. When Zhang Huadong inquired about the treasury’s wealth, the old man said, “It has already been allocated for the military expenses in Liaodong.” Zhang Huadong was greatly astonished and puzzled by the conflicting statements. The old man explained, “In one’s life, there is a predetermined amount of income, and it cannot be increased or decreased by a single cent. Your Excellency has already received the allotted amount during this journey to the south, so what more do you seek?” With that, he got up and left. Zhang Huadong then counted the money he had received, and it matched exactly with the amount of silver in the treasury that the old man had mentioned. He realized that every meal and every income in life is preordained and should not be pursued recklessly.




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