==> land

The raft did not reach land for several days, but the Monkey King’s determination did not wane. When he did finally reach a shallow point, he leaped off of the raft and raced to the shore. The people who saw him screamed and fled, but the Monkey King managed to catch one and make them give him a disguise. Afterwards he was able to wander as he pleased among their society.

He would imitate the people he saw, but never forgot his goal and was always asking of the Immortals and Sages. Nobody cared about death or the secret of immortality, and after years of exploring he realized there was nothing for him on the small island. After hearing of a continent to the west over a great sea, he built another raft and set sail once again.

The Monkey King arrived and journeyed over the land, always enquiring as to the nature and whereabouts of the immortal beings. The effort paid off eventually, when he arrived at a massive yet graceful mountain. Awed and uncaring of any predators foolish enough to attack, he climbed until he reached a small forest. From it came a simple melody, which was sung by a woodcutter engrossed in their work. It mentioned Immortals, at which the Monkey King interrupted delightedly, “So this is where the Immortals have been hiding.” However, when he greeted the worker as an Immortal his assumption was quickly refuted.

“No, no. I don’t even have enough to eat or drink, so how can I possibly let you call me an Immortal?” The Monkey King was confused, as the song had also used a term that he had learned to associate with the way of Immortality. When asked, the worker explained that they were taught the song by another and directed the monkey to the cave where the Immortal lived.  

The Monkey King made his way along a path until he reached a forest with doors set in a giant rock wall. He did not dare knock, and instead waited for somebody to emerge. When the doors finally did open, it was an apprentice with a noble bearing who he saw.

“Who is making that row out here?”

I claim no ownership of the image.

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