Exorcising Strange Beings: A Tale of Courage and the Unseen

Explore the gripping story of Xu Yuangong's encounter with a mysterious creature and his fearless attempt at exorcism.

In Longshan County, Xu Yuangong was a scholar during the Ming Dynasty. After the change of dynasty, he gave up the path of studying for the imperial examinations and instead pursued the study of Taoist practices. Gradually, he learned the art of drawing talismans to ward off ghosts, and his reputation spread far and wide. In a certain county, a high-ranking official prepared gifts and sent a sincere letter, along with a servant leading a horse, to invite him. Xu Yuangong asked, “What do they want me to do?” The servant replied that he did not know, only saying, “I was instructed to respectfully request your presence.” Xu Yuangong then embarked on the journey.

Upon arriving at the host’s house, Xu Yuangong saw a banquet set up in the main hall. The host treated him with great respect and hospitality but never mentioned the purpose of his invitation. Unable to contain his curiosity, Xu Yuangong asked, “What exactly do you want me to do? Please clarify my doubts.” The host replied that he had no specific intentions and continued to encourage drinking, speaking vaguely and leaving Xu Yuangong puzzled.

As their conversation continued, evening fell unnoticed. The host then invited Xu Yuangong to the garden for more drinks. The garden was beautifully constructed, but the bamboo groves were tangled, tall trees cast shadows, creating a gloomy atmosphere. Various wildflowers were mostly hidden amidst the weeds. They reached a small building with a rooftop covered in intricate spiderwebs of all sizes.

After several rounds of drinking, it grew dark, and the host lit candles to continue the gathering. Xu Yuangong declined, citing that he had drunk too much. The host then had the banquet removed, and they began to drink tea. Anxious servants hastily cleared the dishes and placed them on a small table in a room to the left of the small building.

While they were not even halfway through their tea, the host made an excuse to leave. A servant, carrying a candle, led Xu Yuangong to the room on the left side of the small building for the night. They placed the candle on the table and quickly departed, showing little courtesy. Xu Yuangong speculated that they might be fetching bedding to join him, but after a long wait, he saw no sign of anyone. He decided to close the door and go to sleep.

The moonlight outside the window illuminated the room, casting a gentle glow on the bed. During the night, small birds and autumn insects simultaneously chirped and buzzed. Xu Yuangong felt a sense of fear in his heart, unable to fall asleep.

After a while, there was a “thumping” sound from behind the partition, resembling the sound of footsteps, but much heavier and louder. Then the sound descended the stairs, approaching the room door. Xu Yuangong was filled with great fear, his hair standing on end. He hastily covered his head with a blanket. At this moment, the door “clanged” open, suddenly wide open. Xu Yuangong lifted the corner of the blanket to sneak a peek and saw a monstrous creature with a beastly face and a human body. It was covered in long, dark hair resembling horse mane, and its mouth revealed two rows of sharp, peak-like teeth. Its eyes shone with two bright torch-like gleams.

Before long, the creature lowered its head to lick the leftover food on the plates. Wherever its tongue touched, the plates became as clean as if they had been washed. Then the creature approached the edge of the bed to sniff Xu Yuangong’s blanket. Xu Yuangong abruptly sat up, flipped the blanket over to cover the creature’s head, and held it tightly, shouting loudly. The creature, taken by surprise, struggled to break free, opened the door, and fled. Xu Yuangong quickly put on his clothes, attempting to escape. However, the garden gate was locked from the outside, leaving him with no way out. He had no choice but to flee along the wall, eventually finding a low wall to climb over. It turned out to be the host’s stable. The stableman, astonished by the situation, learned the reason from Xu Yuangong and requested him to stay there for the night.

As dawn approached, the host sent someone to check on Xu Yuangong’s situation and was extremely worried when they couldn’t find him. Later, Xu Yuangong was discovered in the stable. He emerged from the stable, filled with anger, and said, “I was never accustomed to driving away demons and capturing strange creatures. You asked me to do so secretly, and I had a wishful hook in my belongings that you didn’t deliver to my room. Were you trying to harm me?” The host apologized, saying, “I initially intended to inform you but was afraid it might inconvenience you. Moreover, I didn’t know you had a wishful hook in your belongings. Please forgive my great mistake.” Xu Yuangong remained displeased and requested a horse to ride back. From that day on, the strange creature disappeared without a trace. Whenever the host hosted gatherings in the garden, he would always smile and tell the guests, “I can never forget Mr. Xu’s contribution.”

Yi Shi Shi said, “No matter if it’s a yellow cat or a black cat, as long as it catches mice, it’s a good cat.” This is not an empty saying. If, after covering the monster with the blanket and shouting loudly, Xu Yuangong had concealed his fear and boldly claimed that the monster’s escape was a display of his own abilities, people would surely have regarded Xu Yuangong as an unparalleled divine figure.







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