22
Apr
10

Portraits of Thirty-three Swordsmen – 26 Pan Yi

No. 26 Pan Yi: self-proclaimed “wild guest”, dependent on Zheng Kuangguo.

According to “Record of Southern Tang”, Pan Yi often traveled in the Jianghuai area, calling himself “Wild Guest”. He thought patronage with Zheng Kuangguo – provincial governor of Hai Zhou. But Zheng didn’t think highly of him, and put him up in a small room next to the stables.

On day, Pan Yi was out hunting with Zheng Kuangguo. Zheng’s wife went to check on the horses, on her way she stopped by Pan Yi’s room. She saw that the room is practically empty save for the simple grass bed and the bamboo trunk next to it. Curious, she opened the trunk. There was nothing inside except two balls made of tin. It was not clear what they were for. So she closed the trunk and left.

When Pan Yi got back, he was shocked and angry “It must’ve been that woman who touched it! Good thing I pulled back the radiant light from the swords, otherwise she’d lose her head.” A bystander reported this outburst to Zheng. Zheng secretly summoned Pan Yi. “Do you know swordsmanship”, he asked. “That’s something I often practice”, replied Pan Yi. “Then can I take a look”, asked Zheng. “Sure”, said Pan Yi, “but I must fast and pray for three days beforehand. And we need to do it at a flat area on the eastern outskirt of the city. Then we can try and see what happens.”

Zheng arrived at the time and placed they agreed to. Pan Yi took out the two tin balls placed them on one upturned palm. Suddenly, two long, narrow steams of air appeared, like rays of light shooting out from tips of his fingers. Like white rainbows, they circled and spiraled around Zheng’s neck, their loud clanging ringed his ears nonstop.

Sitting upright on the horseback, Zheng dare not move, his spirit and courage long gone. Finally, he thanked Pan Yi “Sir, your divine skill, I am now aware of it. Thank you for holding back its full power.” Pan Yi smiled, raising his hand, the two streams of air withdraw back into his palm. Soon, they transformed back into the tin balls.

From that point on Zheng Kuangguo treated him as his most honored guest, even recommending him to the emperor.

Note:
Pan Yi was recommended to the emperor by Zheng Kuangguo. Their meeting must have been similarly impressive, as Pan Yi was ordered to move into the royal palace. He died there several years later.

潘扆

潘扆常游江淮間,自稱野客,落托有大志。鄭匡國為海州刺史,民往謁之。匡國不甚禮遇,館于外廄。

一日,從匡國獵。匡國之妻因詣廄中,覘扆栖泊之所,弊榻完席竹籠而已。籠中有錫彈丸二顆,余無所有。扆厲還,發籠視之,大惊曰;“定為婦人所触幸吾攝其光芒,不爾,斷婦人頸矣!”圉人异之,聞于匡國。匡國密召扆,問曰:“先生其有劍術乎?”扆曰:“素所習也。”匡國曰:“可一現乎?”扆曰:“可。當齋戒三日,趨近郊平曠之地,請試之。”匡國如期召厲,僅至東城。扆自怀中出二錫丸,置掌中。俄有气二條,如白虹微出指端,須臾旋轉,繞匡國頸,其勢奔掣,其聲掙縱。匡國据鞍危坐,神魄俱喪,謝曰:“先生神術,固已知之,幸收其威靈。”扆笑舉一手,二日气复貫掌中。少頃,复為二錫龍。匡國自此禮遇愈厚,表荐于烈祖。

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