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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2250559-The-Woman-in-the-Moon
Rated: E · Short Story · Mythology · #2250559
Once a maid in the Emperor's palace, she found immortality and loneliness on the Moon.
Renowned for her beauty and grace, Chang'e drew the attention of the Jade Emperor who lived in the Golden palace. To keep her young and beautiful, he made her immortal and placed her in the highest room of the palace. When her luster faded, he asked why she did not shine as she once did. When she told him that she missed her family on the Earth, he created a balcony for her stand upon with a view of all that she loved so dearly. Her radiance returned and the Emperor was pleased.

The balcony from her room looked down on all of the Earth. Her family aged and passed as mortals do, yet Chang'e remained young and beautiful. While standing on the balcony, Chang'e saw a young warrior. Hou Yi was an archer whose skill was becoming legendary. Soon, Chang'e would spend all her time on her balcony gazing at the young warrior and the Jade Emperor became furious.

In a fit of jealousy, the Jade Emperor sent fourth his ten sons to scorch the Earth and kill the young warrior. However, the young archer's skill was so great that he was able to shoot down nine of the sons leaving only one to warm the Earth. The Jade Emperor was so impressed, he offered Chang'e as the prize for his great deed.

Hou Yi and Chang'e were married and lived happily for many years. But soon, Chang'e noticed her beauty was beginning to fade, and she became saddened by the mortality that was gifted to her by the Jade Emperor. Her husband, not wanting Chang'e to be sad left in search of the elixir of immortality in order to please his wife.

After searching for many more years, he met the Jade Rabbit who tells Hou Yi the location of the elixir. He shared with him that there was only enough of the potion for one person and that the Elixir would give the user immortality and entrance to the Golden Palace where he may live for all eternity. If, however, the elixir was to be shared, the two would live for a hundred years. Long enough to see their great-great-great grandchildren grow to be old.

Hou Yi found the elixir and returned home. There he found Chang'e aged and bitter in her loneliness. When she greeted him with anger, Hou Yi left again to go on a hunt in the forest with the young men from the village leaving the elixir hidden under his pillow. On the hunt, the young men told him tales of her wailing and grief, and Hou Yi pledged to return home, share the elixir and never leave her side again. He swore that she would never be alone again.

While Hou Yi was away, Chang'e found the elixir and swallowed it whole. She regained her youth, beauty, and grace, and began to float high up to the Golden Palace. When she entered the Palace, the Jade Emperor greeted her with disgust. Her selfishness had tainted her beauty, and he banished her to the Moon to live with her greed for an eternity.

When Hou Yi returned home and discovered his wife's fate, he was saddened. He had sworn an oath to be with her, to never let her be alone again. He returned to the Jade Rabbit in hopes that there was another elixir that could be found. However, the Jade Rabbit was not able to help. In his grief and desire to make sure she would never be alone, Hou Yi captured the Jade Rabbit. Using his legendary archery skills, he shot the Jade Rabbit to the Moon to be with his beloved wife.

The Jade Emperor witnessed the great deed and wished to honor Hou Yi for his skill. He granted Hou Yi immortality and a place in the Golden Palace. From the steps of the palace, Hou Yi was able to see Chang'e and the Jade Rabbit on the moon. From the moon, Chang'e was able to see Hou Yi on the steps of the Golden Palace. For all eternity, they are able to see each other, never be together ,every day and night except for the night of the Blood Moon.

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