Historical Origins: Journey to the West Part II
So, after escaping a would-be murderer, Monk Sanzang would totally be safe, right? Um, wrong. Things actually sucked much worse after that. See, since he passed by Gaozhou illegally, people wanted to arrest him. He spilled his water and got lost, so this was pretty much a recipe for like, death.
He then travelled like, 80 li, or like, 40 kilometres before he came to this military fortress. He was like, really freakin’ scared so he hid in the shade durin’ the day, and went there at night. When he went up to the fortress, someone shot an arrow at him and… missed
“Don’t kill me! I’m a monk from Chang’an!” he said.
“You’re a monk? Cool! Hang on, lemme get the subcommander.”
Yeah, the Tang monk was pretty lucky because the subcommander of the fortress was Buddhist, gave him some water and bread, and even escorted him a little bit to the next fortress. The dude at the next fortress was also Buddhist and treated the Tang monk well, too, But the dudes at this fortress told him not to go to the next one ‘cause the dude was cranky and shiz, so he should totally go to Wild Horse Springs, which was like, 800 li or 400 kilometres away.
The Tang monk journeyed again, and he dropped his flask. He totally wanted to turn back, but he’d made this vow to not turn back, no matter what, so he was kind of stuck in the desert for five days without water. He fainted.
When he came to, he realized that he was near a pond, so he drank all the water and took a rest, stuff like that. Two days later, left the desert and reached Yuwu, and then Gaochang, which is like modern day Turfan/Turpan in Xinjiang.
Qu Wentai met him in Xinjiang. He was also a Buddhist, and he was like, “OMG, you’re totally that monk from the Tang empire! You totally have to stay and we have to give lectures to errbody, man.”
But Monk Sanzang couldn’t stay, and so Qu Wentai gave him like, 25 men, 30 horses, and wrote letters to all the kingdoms that the monk might stop by so that he might as for safe passage, which was like, so totally cool.
The next part of the journey really sucked ‘cause now they ventured into the snow, walked past mountains and experienced avalanches. But they made it to Suiye, which is Tokmok in Northern Kyrgyzstan today. This made things a li’l easier for the monk, but there were still obstacles to overcome before he came to India.
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