Feiwei and Ji Chang, Two Marksmen

In Pre-Qin Period, there was a man named Gan Ying. He was good at archery. He had a student named Feiwei, and the archery of Feiwei was better than his teacher’s. Later, a young man named Ji Chang studied archery from Feiwei. Feiwei said, “At first you must learn not to wink, then you can study shooting.” Ji Chang returned home. Every day he lay face upwards under his wife’s loom, and stared the awl fixedly. After two years, even if the awl seemed to be going to thrust at his eye, he was able not to wink. Then he told Feiwei. Feiwei said, “You must learn watching and then you can study shooting. If you watch the small as the big, and watch the slight as the conspicuous, then you can tell me.” Ji Chang tied a louse by a hair and hung it on a window. Every day he stared it fixedly. Many days later, he saw the louse became big. After three years, he saw the louse as a wheel. He watched other things, and saw them as hills. Then he shot at the louse, and the arrow penetrated through the louse, but the hair wasn’t cut off. He told Feiwei about his result. Feiwei cried excitedly, “You have learnt it!”

Ji Chang learned the archery of Feiwei, and thought only one Feiwei could be his opponent in the world. So he plotted to kill Feiwei. One day, Ji Chang and Feiwei met in a plain. The two men shot at each other at the same time. Their arrows met halfway and fell down, but the dust didn’t fly. Feiwei’s arrows were used up first, and Ji Chang had only one arrow. Ji Chang shot the arrow, but promptly Feiwei shot a thorn as an arrow. Actually the thorn met Ji Chang’s arrow accurately. The two men were dissolved in tears. They threw down their bows, and did obeisance to each other. And Ji Chang swore to regard Feiwei as his father.

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