The monkeys panicked when they saw soldiers calling for their king with demands for surrender. When Sun Wukong heard about the situation he did not hesitate in preparing to fight. He put on his golden armor and prepared his cudgel, and strode out into the sunlight. 

The head of the vanguard stepped forward to make the faction’s stipulations. “Remove your armor and weapon immediately, and come back with us. And if you attempt to resist, every living thing here will be killed. You can’t beat me.”

The Monkey King was furious at the arrogant warrior. He called forth, “What a joke! I would kill you right now, but I have some demands of my own and need you alive to carry my message. I have great power, far greater than that which you possess, and your leader made me the “protector of the horses”. If you want me back, you’ll have give me a far better title than that!” 

What followed was a magnificent battle as the scornful soldier swung a giant battle axe which the golden cudgel easily blocked. They clashed several times before the monkey ended the fight and subdued his opponent. The loser fled in terror, which melted to shame upon seeing the temple and admitting defeat.

The Great Sage sent forth another soldier, who also failed despite its monstrous abilities. When it returned and told of the monkey’s demands and overwhelming strength, the Sage decided to capitulate once again and offered the chaotic beast the title he wanted. It was only an empty title, after all; he could swallow his pride for the sake of pacifying the demon. 


The temple they arrived at was resplendent, but the title Sun Wukong received was far less so. His job was to watch after the livestock. He performed diligently until he learned exactly how irrelevant his position was, after which he raged and returned to the kingdom he ruled. 

The Monkey King’s subjects celebrated his return with massive feasts and were excited to hear tales of his exploits. When he explained the indignity he suffered by the insolent rulers of the temple, they were confounded that their leader’s tremendous power had been ignored so blatantly. 

On the other hand, when the officials at the temple reported Wukong’s departure the Supreme Sage was livid. The monkey had refused his mercy in a petulant fit, the nerve! The Sage issued the order he should have originally given.

“Capture him.”


When the Supreme Sage received reports on the actions of Sun Wukong, he was not pleased. At first he wanted to punish the greedy monkey by sending fighters to defeat him, until someone else at the hearing spoke up.

The speaker stepped forward and stated their argument. “This being can access the power of the world, just like us. If we show mercy and have him work for us, he can be controlled without resorting to violence.”

The Supreme Sage was pleased with the idea, and sent the speaker with an invitation.


Upon hearing the news Sun Wukong was pleased. Not surprised, of course, it was bound to happen eventually with his strength. He offered a feast to the emissary, who politely declined and insisted on leaving immediately. The Monkey King was unperturbed and accepted. He was going to be a high-ranking officer in the most powerful organization that existed, what was there to miss?

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Apparently immortality prevents hangovers

Upon his return Sun Wukong quickly started showing off his new weapon. As an award for their advice, he made the oldest monkeys generals.He 

For a time afterwards all the Monkey King and all his subjects feasted. He invited several powerful demon rulers with whom he was well acquainted to celebrate as well.

One day as Sun was falling asleep in a drunken stupor he looked up to see two figures approach him and tie him up. They dragged him until they reached a city, at which point he began to recover from his drunken stupor. He recognized the the lands surrounding him to be in the realm of the dead and struggled to break free from his captors. The Monkey King was able to reach his weapon and quickly escaped and beat the guards to a pulp.

Raging, Sun Wukong stormed through the gates, terrifying all the residents in the process. Messengers quickly alerted the ten Lords of the Dead, who emerged from their palace to confront the assailant. They managed to talk him down from his attack and invited him to see the book in which they kept track of the deceased. When the Monkey King crossed out his name and those of his subjects, nobody dared to complain for fear of an attack.

Wukong returned to reality easily when, while rushing out of the city, he tripped and hit his head. He came to surrounded by guards telling him to wake up as he had slept in. Unconcerned with quaint concerns about “schedules”, he took the opportunity to regale them on his unconscious exploits and the immortality now available to his subjects. There was no worry about consequences; after all, he had successfully had fended those off the previous night.

At least he thought so.

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In which the Monkey King is a jerk

Fearful of the armed monkeys, several other inhabitants of the Mountain joined their group. The Monkey King had a grand army and the trappings of a court, but still he was not satisfied. The sword he had taken after defeating the Demon King of Confusion was clumsy, and the weapons he had stolen were too weak for his taste. He asked the oldest monkeys for advice.

“The stream by the bridge leads to the palace of a powerful Dragon. If you ask it might have something that suits you.”

Sun Wukong departed hastily and swam to the palace, where he encountered a demon guard. “Who are you, and what power do you have that allows you to swim so fast?” The Monkey King told him, with more than a hint of indignation. The demon went to the dragon and described the encounter.

The dragon quickly prepared and invited Sun in. When asked of his business, he answered, “I have trained to become an Immortal and taught my family to fight, but I have not been able to find a weapon for myself. I heard of your great power and magnificent home, and thought you surely must have magical weapons to spare. I beg of you to help me.

The request was acceptable, so the dragon sent the general to bring back a giant sword. Wukong was dissatisfied, and refused the next offer-a spear weighing more than a ton-as well on account of insufficient weight. The host was disturbed by the nonchalant act, and had an even heavier halberd brought in.

It was still nothing to the monkey, which terrified the dragon. It desperately pled that there was nothing heavier in the palace. Before Sun Wukong responded, some of the dragon’s servants arrived. “Lord, the Anchor relic is glowing. Do you think it could be related to the visitor?”

The procession headed towards the treasury, wherein stood a thick pole several times the height of the Monkey King. It shone brilliantly as he approached and grabbed it, but still he complained the unwieldy size. As if it heard him, the rod shrunk to a comfortable size and dimmed so he could see it. Most of the cudgel was black iron except for two gold bands.

Sun Wukong was greatly pleased with the weapon and returned to the hall. Despite his professed gratitude, though, he wanted still more from the dragon. “I’ve got this cudgel, but I still don’t have the clothes to go with it. I’d be most obliged if you give me some armor.”

When confronted by the dragon’s insistence on lacking the desired armor, the monkey quickly resorted to threats. Filled with fear for its life, the host offered to invite other dragons to provide the suit.

When the dragons arrived and were explained the situation, one of them-Ao-raged to fight the Monkey King but was stopped by the first dragon’s description of his power. Another guest suggested that they provide the armor then report him to the Astral Council for punishment.

And that is how Sun Wukong bullied a dragon into giving him not only a powerful and versatile weapon but also a resplendent gold suit. He did not thank them for the gifts, of course; the cudgel was obviously meant to be his.

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Sun Wukong began teaching the other monkeys to fight so they could defend themselves. They made primitive spears and learned military strategies, but advanced civilizations still posed a threat to the inexperienced apes. Fearful of an attack from neighboring kingdoms, one of the elders made a suggestion: “Your majesty, over the lake is a city that trades with some of the most influential planets in our system. If you bought some of their technology we could defend ourselves easily.”

Wukong was thrilled by the idea, and enthusiastically agreed. He flew to the capital, but upon seeing it he decided not to buy the tech. After all, his magic was more than sufficient as a distraction.

With an incantation and a breath, the monkey summoned a massive storm. The city quickly deserted as the seas tossed and a powerful gale blew. Everyone stayed inside as the thunderstorm arrived with brilliant lightning and sheets of rain. Sun Wukong flew around until he spotted the palace, at which point he blew down the doors and searched for the armory. What he found was more than sufficient for the relatively small group of monkeys. After a little more application of magic, the Monkey King was surrounded by thousands of tiny clones that held as much and more weapons than they would ever need. Satisfied by the load, Sun and his workers carried it back to the Mountain.

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That night the Monkey King learned many spells to harness Spirit for protection and purity. When he departed to sleep, his heart was peaceful and filled with bliss. This was a pattern for 3 years, until Subhuti once again came to lecture to the disciples. The teachings were profound, concerning both the inner and outer world. With them, though, came a warning.

The powers Sun Wukong was learning brought dangers intended to defeat immortals. Demons and spirits angered by the great power would strike with three Disasters, all of which were lethal unless evaded. Although he was doubtful at first, after hearing the explanation the Monkey King was deeply disturbed and begged for knowledge to escape death.

The responding advice was imparted thusly:

“Your sight must be clear so that you can hide from them before they come. If you succeed in avoiding all of them you will live as long as eternity itself; if you don’t, you will be burned or torn to shreds.”

“There are several transformations that you could employ for this purpose. You can learn either ascendant transformations, of which there are only 36, or the 72 worldly ones.”

After some consideration, the Monkey King decided to learn the 72 worldly transformations to get as much as much as possible out of them.

Subhuti does not comment except to say, “If that is your will.” before whispering the miraculous secrets into Sun Wukong’s ear.

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The Monkey King introduced himself as a disciple hoping to learn the Way of Immortality. The apprentice laughed before offering to take him to the Immortal. Accepting the guidance, the monkey straightened his clothes and followed the apprentice through the gates.

Inside, the sanctuary was filled with splendor. Precious stones formed majestic works of art and massive buildings. After they passed countless cells, the Monkey King finally saw the Immortal amidst a crowd of disciples.

Subhuti sat on a dais made of jasper. Their countenance was pure and golden, freed by enlightenment from the imperfection and desires of mortal beings. Upon seeing them, the Monkey King bowed and proclaimed them his master.

“Where are you from?” Subhuti queried. “You must tell me your name and address before you can become my pupil.”

The monkey uncertainty answered, “I have no name, but I have come from the Mountain of Flower and Fruit.”

The Immortal was angry, thinking that he had lied. In desperation, the Monkey King declared his truthfulness and described his origin and journey. Subhuti subsided, now interested. After some consideration, they proposed a surname of “Wu.” The Monkey King was delighted, and enquired after a personal name to further identify himself. On that day the monkey received the name Sun Wukong, meaning Monkey Awakened to Emptiness.

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The Monkey King was hosting a banquet one day when he began being plagued by a fear for the future. Servants noticed his sudden change in spirits and crowded around, querying as to the source of his anxiety. When he told them, they merely laughed.

The Monkey King responded by saying, “Although we are not restricted by the laws of human kings, and we fear no beast, the time will come when we are old and weak and are taken to the underworld by the King of Hell. When the time comes for us to die, we won’t be able to go on living among the Blessed, and our lives will have been in vain.”

Most of the monkeys were stunned and worried of the relentless pursuit of time. Another, though, was knowledgeable and proclaimed, “If Your Majesty is thinking so far ahead, this is the beginning of enlightenment. Of the Five Creatures, there are only two that do not come under the jurisdiction of the King of Hell:  the Immortals and the Sages. They are free from the chains of mortality and last as long as the world.”

The Monkey King was delighted and immediately decided to leave and search for a teacher. When he informed the others, all the monkeys clapped in approval and promised to gather enough food for a great feast.

The next day, the host of monkeys ushered the Monkey King to the seat of honour. Each of them took brought him wine, flowers, and fruit in turns. The next morning the Monkey King woke and ordered the monkeys to build a raft of pines. He boarded the raft, pushed off with all his might, and floated off towards the waves of the ocean.

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