Huang Di, the ancient Yellow Emperor, stood bravely at the head of his army of gods, bears, tigers, and leopards. At the other end of the battlefield loomed the oxen-horned giant Chi You, backed by his army of demons.
Huang Di came to defend his imperial throne; Chi You came to demand it.
Chi You sneezed loudly and a thick, white fog covered the battlefield. No one could see a thing. Huang Di's army lashed out blindly until his quick-witted minister created a compass. Huang Di gathered the survivors and escaped.
Chi You was furious. The angry giant called in demon forces to help him. The winds blew wildly. The sky blackened and a fierce driving rain fell all over the battlefield. The Emperor's army was drowning.
Huang Di called for his most powerful weapon his daughter Ba.
Ba strode through the flood. A terrific heat spread from her body and dried up the waters. Huang Di then fashioned a drum out of a sea monster's hide. When he crashed down his huge, powerful drumsticks, a terrible thunder shook the mountains. Chi You's army was paralyzed with fear. The Emperor's army rushed forward... to victory!
China has the oldest existing civilization in the world. Its earliest myths date from more than 4,000 years ago, but its mythologies were ever-changing. Names, ranks, and the importance of Chinese deities were closely connected to the ruling powers of a region or an era. Much of China's early history is intertwined with its mythic history. The line between mythic leaders, like Huang Di, and historic figures is often very blurry. Ancient Chinese mythology was later transformed by the spread of the Taoist, Confucian, and Buddhist religions.