That same day, at sundown, the Ninth Maiden encountered Chunwang.
"Husband, where has my father ordered you to sleep this evening?"
"Oh, he told me to sleep in the South Bedroom tonight."
"Chunwang, you'll have to take great care."
"I shall tell you. Remember the louse in the East Bedroom? Well, the South Bedroom has an even more cunning and dangerous and formidable creature, a 3,800 jin Worm Spirit!"
"This could be it for me," sighed Chunwang.
"Don't worry. Once again, I shall bring you a bowl of water and a plate of meat. I'll also give you a needle of mulberry wood. When the worm appears, repeat the same things you said last night: 'There's water here if you're thirsty, and there's meat here if you're hungry. If you're neither thirsty nor hungry, get out! Otherwise, the Ninth Maiden's got a needle here for you!' Then, when you've spoken those words, hold the wooden needle up for the Worm Spirit to see and wave it.
"That should do the trick," added the Ninth Maiden.
Chunwang was left alone for the night with a bowl of water, a plate of meat and a mulberry wood needle.
When it was the darkest part of the night, Chunwang felt the whole room shake and heard a chong! chong!
Nearby, coiled and as big as the largest millstone was the Worm Spirit, more disgusting and smellier than words could do justice.
Mustering up his courage, Chunwang said, "There's water here if you're thirsty, and there's meat here if you're hungry. If you're neither thirsty nor hungry, get out! Otherwise, the Ninth Maiden's got a needle here for you!"
He held up the mulberry wood needle and then waved it. As he did so, the room resounded like a volcano with the sound dengleng! dengleng! dengleng!
The Worm Spirit immediately picked itself up and scudded out of the room as fast as such a large, heavy entity could do so, not to return.
Early the next morning came the Master Immortal, once again carrying his shovel and broom, once again hoping to sweep up Chunwang's head. He opened the door to the South Bedroom a crack, and what did he see? Why, Chunwang sleeping soundly like a rock!
Oh, how the older man's face turned scarlet as he gnashed his teeth!
Fine, fine, he thought, just wait until tonight!
That same day, at sundown, the Ninth Maiden took Chunwang aside and asked, "All right, which bedroom is it to be tonight?"
"Your father told me to sleep in the West Bedroom."
"Oh, that's the worst place so far!"
"And what is in the West Bedroom?"
"In the West Bedroom," said the Ninth Maiden, "dwells the Scorpion Spirit which stings with a thick venom blacker than a bottomless well! It will be very difficult to defeat!"
"Then, I'm doomed . . .," said Chunwang.
"I said 'difficult to defeat,' not 'impossible to defeat.' The only thing it fears is the large pair of scissors my mother keeps. In a moment I'll sneak into her chamber and take them for you. Once again you'll need to have a bowl of water and a plate of meat by your side, along with the shears. When the creature appears, remember to say, 'There's water here if you're thirsty, and there's meat here if you're hungry. If you're neither thirsty nor hungry, get out! Otherwise, your mother's shears are here for you!' Did you get that?"
"Yes," said Chunwang, "only please hurry up and get those shears!"
That night, with the large scissors, the plate of meat, and the bowl of water by his side, Chunwang prepared for what would probably be a sleepless night.
Sure enough, when utter darkness rules the night, the Scorpion Spirit appeared, coiling and twisting and turning, snapping its claws, positioning its stinger.
Taking a deep breath, Chunwang said, "There's water here if you're thirsty, and there's food here if you're hungry. If you're neither thirsty nor hungry, get out! Otherwise, your mother's shears are here for you!"
He held the scissors up, snipping at the air for good measure.
The Scorpion Spirit, shaking the whole room, turned tail and fled out.
Early the next morning, the Master Immortal, with his shovel and broom, appeared outside the door to the West Bedroom, absolutely sure this time that he would finally have the pleasure of sweeping up Chunwang's remains. He opened the door to see Chunwang, sitting up and smiling at him.
"My," said Chunwang, "you get up awfully early to do your cleaning!"
The Master Immortal didn't say a word; instead, he nodded tersely, turned around and left, planning yet another way to finish off Chunwang for good.
Tan Daxian, pp. 62-64
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