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Divine influence: Jiang Jiao
Zhu Yueming, Ed.
When he was younger, before he attained power, Jiang Jiao enjoyed hunting. One day while hunting, he came across a monk. The monk said, “Please spare me some food.” Jiang Jiao had his servants bring the monk some meat. After the monk finished eating the meat and left, surprisingly, the meat was still there and looking completely untouched. Jiang Jiao ordered his men to catch up to the monk and bring him back.
The monk said, “You will attain wealth and power.”
Jiang Jiao asked, “How?”
“You are going to meet a man who will bring you wealth and power.”
Jiang Jiao asked, “When will I meet this man?”
The monk looked up at him and answered, “Today.”
The monk was heading out of the city and Jiang Jiao decided to follow the monk on horseback. On the outskirt of the city, he ran into the future Emperor Tang Xuan Zong, who was only the Duke of Linzi at that time. The future Emperor was also out hunting. At that time, Jiang Jiao was carrying on his arm a sparrow hunting hawk, which was worth twenty thousand Qian (a monetary unit in the Tang Dynasty.) Seeing the hunting hawk on Jiang Jiao’s arm, the Duke invited Jiang Jao to join him in hunting. The monk slipped off unnoticed.
Later on that day, a woman who could foresee the future came to Jiang Jiao’s home.
Jiang Jiao asked her, “Tell me, who will visit me today?”
The woman said, “The Emperor will come.”
Jiang Jiao laughed, “The Emperor lives in the palace. How could he possibly grace my humble abode?”
After a little while, someone knocked at the door and announced, “The Third Son is here to visit you!”
Jiang Jiao went out and found it was the Duke of Linzi who had hunted with him earlier. Jiang Jiao was extremely respectful and courteous to the Duke. He offered the Duke everything that he might need, be it money or horses.
When the Duke was leaving, Luzhou, all the local government officials, his relatives, and friends went to say goodbye, except Jiang Jiao. The Duke was a little upset. However, after he had traveled north to the Wei River, he saw Jiang Jiao had set up tents next to the road and had arranged a farewell banquet. There the Duke said goodbye to Jiang Jiao and left happily. That was the beginning of the fulfillment of their predestined relationship as an emperor and his official. Later, Jiang Jiao indeed became very rich and powerful under Tang Xuan Zong [Li Longji, reigned 712AD-755AD, ruled over a flourishing age but a rebellion at the end of his era presaged the decline of the Tang dynasty].
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