Schoolteacher Sun (Sūn xuéjiù 孫學究) is a Sanguo zhi pinghua-exclusive fictional character. He serves a similar purpose as Zhuangzhi / the Saint Hermit from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is giving a sacred book to Yellow Turban leader Zhang Jue.
Sun lived at the foot of Mountain Tai. He was the second son of Old Master Sun (Sūn tàigōng 孫太公) and an unnamed mother. He had an elder brother who was to take care of the farm, while younger Sun was to become a schoolteacher (xuéjiù 學究). Schoolteacher Sun also had an unnamed wife.
One day, all of a sudden, schoolteacher Sun contracted leprosy: his hair fell out and his body never stopped oozing pus and blood. The illness also caused him to stink, and the stench offended his parents, so they built him a thatched hut over a hundred paces away from the farm. For several months schoolteacher Sun's wife gave him food, but at one point she could no longer bear looking at him and she always covered her mouth and nose while near him.
Finding the scroll to cure all 404 diseases
Schoolteacher Sun lamented the lack of contact with his family and wondered what the point was of living even a day longer. He decided to find a place to die. He walked tens of steps north to his hut and saw a cave and jumped into it. Inside the hole though, it seemed someone or something carried him on its back, preventing Sun from falling to his death. He lost consciousness after a while and when he regained it he said, “A moment ago I was desperate to kill myself. I never expected I would escape death!”
It was getting dark. He saw some light in the north. He started walking towards the light. After tens of steps, a white jade-like cane emerged. He reached out to the cane. It turned out to be a slightly opened gate. He leaned his shoulder on the gate and opened it. Once the door opened, everything appeared like under the sun light. Schoolteacher Sun found a stone chair. He decided to take a rest. Soon he fell asleep. After a little while, he woke up and stretched up. Suddenly his feet hit something soft. He was startled. What did he see? Doomed to an end was the four-hundred-year-old empire of Han, just because this schoolteacher reached this very spot!
The schoolteacher saw a giant python, a motionless coil, 3.3 feet long, with a body as thick as a tree trunk. When the python saw schoolteacher Sun, it ran back to the cave. Sun followed the python but lost it. Instead, he saw a stone case. He opened the case and inside it he found a scroll of text. He immediatly read it completely. It turned out to be a scroll to cure all 404 diseases. You didn't need a whole lot of ingredients, items, or knowledge, just a cup of water and the correct incantation. The scroll also contained a passage on his leprosy. In the meantime his family went searching for schoolteacher, and feared for the worst when they found his shoes covered in pus and blood. They then heared someone from the pit, and threw him a rope. It was the schoolteacher, and when he came out of the pit he told his family “Father, don't be sad and anxious anymore. I found a heavenly book that will cure my symptoms.” They went back to the farm immediatly where the schoolteacher recited the incantation and drank a cup of water. All of a sudden he was completely cured.
Later, people all over China came to him and they were all cured. Cash and goods worth more than twenty thousand strings of copper coins were offered for his service. He ordained roughly five hundred followers, one of them being Zhang Jue. One day Zhang Jue had to leave schoolteacher Sun because his mother had become old and he wished to take care of her. Before he left, the schoolteacher said to him, “When you leave I will give you a book with famous prescriptions so it doesn't matter if you don't come back.” The schoolteacher instructed Zhang Jue “With these famous prescriptions you will cure all complaints and diseases in the empire; but never ask people for money. Abide by my words.”
Zhang Jue then left and returned home. On his way he cured people in all places he passed through, never asking for money. Zhang Jue said, “If I cure you, all of your young and adult males will follow me as my disciples – there is no claim on the old.” He ordained more than a hundred thousand disciples who would all rise up against the Han dynasty. After this point the schoolteacher is not mentioned anymore.
- Sanguo zhi pinghua 三國志平話 “A storytelling of the Records of the Three Kingdoms”. 1321-1323.