Cruelty of King Zhou|
King Zhou纣王and his vixen concubine Daji妲己look at an executioner opening the belly of a pregnant woman (left) ; another is preparing to chop off the legs of an old man (right). Another pregnant woman and a young man, bound, wait to suffer the same fate. The Fengshan yanyi corresponding chapter tells how Daji boasts to be able to guess the sex of pregnant women’s embryos. She pretends to be able to explain, too, why an old man can cross icy waters without apparent trouble, while a younger one seems to suffer a lot after crossing the same stream : the older one was born of young parents, while the young man’s parents were already old when he was born: thus the older man’s bone marrow is stronger than the young man’s one. As King Zhou, amazed by his concubine medical knowledge, wants a proof of her talents, he has the two man’s legs chopped off in order to verify. He orders his executioners to open the bellies of two pregnant women after Daji has guessed the sex of their babies: in both cases, Daji’ diagnosis proves to be right.