While traveling the Silk Road, Tangseng and his three disciples encounter a young boy hanging upside down from a tree. They rescue him only to discover that he is really Red Boy, a powerful and malevolent demon and, it turns out, Sun Wukong’s nephew. Ignoring this family relationship, the demon kidnaps Tangseng and plans to eat him. The three disciples battle the demon but soon discover that he can produce deadly fire and smoke which nearly kills Sun Wukong. The two remaining disciples struggle to save Sun Wukong and Tangseng, enlisting the aid of several supernatural beings including Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. At the end, they learn Red Boy’s true nature.
This is the 14th book in the best-selling The Journey to the West series of stories for students learning to read Chinese. It is based on the epic 16th century novel of the same name by Wu Chen’en. That novel was inspired by an actual journey by the Buddhist monk Tangseng, who traveled from Chang’an westward to India in 629 A.D. and returned seventeen years later with priceless knowledge and spiritual texts. Over the course of the book Tangseng and his companions face the 81 tribulations that Tangseng had to endure to attain Buddhahood.
The story is written, as much as possible, using the 1200 word vocabulary of HSK4, plus several hundred words introduced in previous books in the series. It is presented in Simplified Chinese characters and pinyin, and includes an English version and glossary. A free audiobook is available on YouTube’s Imagin8 Press channel and also on www.imagin8press.com.