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Yue eventually marries and later participates in the imperial military examination in the Song capital of Kaifeng.There, he defeats all competitors and even turns down an offer from Cai Gui (蔡桂), the Prince of Liang, to be richly rewarded if he forfeits his chance for the military degree.The work is a historical novel in form, but it is in fact based almost mainly on legends which were current amongst the common people for centuries.Indeed some of the events described there are nothing more than Qian Cai's own imagination.Yue Fei (24 March 1103 – 27 January 1142), courtesy name Pengju, was a Han Chinese military general who lived during the Southern Song dynasty.His ancestral home was in Xiaoti, Yonghe Village, Tangyin, Xiangzhou, Henan (in present-day Tangyin County, Anyang, Henan).Soon, it began to rain and the Yellow River flooded, wiping out the village.Yue Fei's father held onto the clay jar as it was swept down the river, but eventually drowned.

Starting in 1964 and finishing in 1995, Sir Yang Ti-liang, former Chief Justice of Hong Kong, current Chairman of the Hong Kong Red Cross, combined the first chapters of these works (in an attempt to weed out the overabundance of supernatural elements) to create a 79 chapter version with 961 pages, which he translated into English.According to the Shuo Yue Quanzhuan, the immortal Chen Tuan, disguised as a wandering priest, warned Yue Fei's father, Yue He (岳和), to put his wife and child inside a clay jar if the infant Yue Fei began to cry.A few days later, a young child squeezed Yue Fei's hand too hard and he began to cry.After this display of archery, Yue is asked to marry the daughter of Li Chun (李春), an old friend of Zhou and the county magistrate who presided over the military examination.However, Zhou soon dies of an illness and Yue lives by his grave through the winter until the second month of the new year when his sworn brothers come and tear it down, forcing him to return home and take care of his mother.(Zhou Tong is not to be confused with the similarly named "Little Tyrant" in Water Margin.) Zhou teaches Yue and his three sworn brothers - Wang Gui (王贵), Tang Huai (湯懷) and Zhang Xian (張顯) - literary lessons on odd days and military lessons, involving archery and the eighteen weapons of war, on even days.

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