Richard Wilhelm (10 May 1873 – 2 Mar 1930) was a German sinologist, theologian, and missionary. He lived in China for 25 years, became fluent in spoken and written Chinese, and grew to love and admire the Chinese people. He is best remembered for his translations of philosophical works and collecting Chinese folk tales, fables and fairy tales. His translation of the I Ching is still regarded as one of the finest, as is his translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower.
"The King Of Huai Nan" is a Chinese fairy tale, included by Richard Wilhelm into the Chinese Fairy book. The story follows the King of Huai Nan, a learned man of the Han dynasty. He cultivated the society of scholars, could interpret signs and foretell the future. But among everything else, he was thriving to learn the secrets of eternal life. Once, eight old men, carriers of arcane knowledge and capable of strange things, came to see the king.