One morning, Houyi was practicing his sword fencing in the woods near the Heavenly Palace. Suddenly, he saw a raindrop slipping down from the leaf. He drew his bow, and shot the raindrop. It hit, and splashed everywhere.
This happened to be seen by a group of fairy maidens who were flying past the woods. They started to praise Houyi's great shot. The most beautiful fairy maiden, whose name was Chang'e, exclaimed, "What a master archer!" But Houyi was very modest. Chang'e and the other maidens danced for this master archer, and Houyi is very much attracted by Chang'e's beauty.
Suddenly, there were dark clouds, and some terrible sounds could be heard. There, amidst the dark clouds came running a fierce wolf. The fairy maidens went into a panic, and did not know where to hide. The wolf dashed at the young ladies with its big mouth wide open, and the girls were scared to death. The wolf ran towards Chang'e, who was frightened out of her wits. And at this moment, just before the wolf ran towards Chang'e, Houyi drew the bow and shot the wolf dead.
The news of Houyi killing the wolf was soon known by everyone in the Palace. The Lord of Heaven decided that Chang'e should marry Houyi. They lived together very happily until one day Houyi was showing off, and he shot down the sun. The Lord of Heaven got very angry, and sent them down to earth. Chang'e did not want to leave the Palace, but she had to go with her husband to the human world.
After Houyi shot down the sun, the weather on the earth became good for crops to grow, and people lived happily. But in the mountains, rivers and lakes, there lived wild beasts and monsters who came out to hurt people. Houyi heard that there was a monster with nine heads in the north who often did horrible things to people, and even ate people. Houyi decided to fight it.
Houyi fought against the nine-headed monster for three days, but neither of them could win. Later on, Houyi learned that the only way to kill the monster was to cut off all of its nine heads. Otherwise, it would get even stronger. Houyi drew his big bow, and shot nine arrows all at the same time at the nine heads of the monster. The nine heads all fell down, and the monster died immediately.
From then on, Houyi got lots of love and respect from the people. He began to like his new life in the human world. But his wife still felt very sad, and missed her life in the Heaven very much.
One day, Chang'e was sitting at the table, waiting for her husband. She felt sad and began crying at the thought of her unhappy life in the human world. When she heard Houyi's footsteps, she did not go out to welcome him as usual. Houyi entered the room, and found Chang'e was so sad. He asked, "What is wrong with you? Don't you enjoy our life here?" Chang'e answered, "Ever since we arrived in the human world, my life has not been happy at all. You spend your time outside. Do you know how lonely and bored I am?" Houyi smiled and said, "I will keep you company from now on. I'm going to take you to a deep valley in the mountain tomorrow. I guarantee that the valley is more beautiful than anything you have seen in the Heaven."
The valley was indeed beautiful, quiet and cool, with many butterflies flying around. Chang'e sat by the river to comb her long hair, looking at her reflection in the water. Houyi put some flowers in his wife's head. Chang'e was very happy and thought, "This is just the life I want."
Suddenly, the quietness was interrupted by some screaming voices in the distance. Houyi knew the beasts were hurting the villages. So he quickly took his bow and arrows, and was about to hurry away, but Chang'e was very angry and cried. Houyi said, "It is my job to remove evils from this world to protect the people. Forgive me." And then he rushed away. Chagn'e cried and returned home alone.
The following weeks Houyi went out to get rid of evils almost every day. It took a long time, but at last, he wiped out all the evils. When he happily returned home, he saw the sad look in Chang'e's face. Houyi understood that he had made his wife suffer a lot, and he should treat her better. He also knew his wife didn't blame him. She was just worried about his safety. After all, he was the only person she can depend on.
Now that all the evil beasts were killed, Houyi and Chang'e lived peacefully, and happily, and spent their time together. Chang'e began to love her life on earth until one day she realized that she and Houyi would die someday, just as the ordinary people of the earth would. Houyi knew that there was a Queen Mother who knew magic. If he could get one of her magic potions, he and his wife could live hundreds of years until the Lord of Heaven let them go back to the Heaven. So, having made up his mind, he set out with his bow and arrows to find the Queen Mother.
- 「後來、然後」- Later On
Later on, Houyi learned that the only way to kill the monster was to cut off all of its nine heads. Otherwise, it would get even stronger.
- 「陪伴某人」- Keep Someone Company
Houyi smiled and said, "I will keep you company from now on. I'm going to take you to a deep valley in the mountain tomorrow."
- 「除掉、擺脫」- Get Rid Of
The following weeks Houyi went out to get rid of evils almost every day.