Chapter 181 - Ill-fated Relationship
“That was several years ago, but in my mind, it seems like yesterday, so vivid, not a single detail forgotten.”
PuHong Master’s calm and unhurried voice drifted in the house, slowly started to recount the past.
“I remembered very clearly, it was a cloudy day, gloomy and heavy. That day, starting from the morning, my mind was unsettled but I couldn’t ﬁgure out what was wrong, even I was distracted while doing the homework which I have always done. That kind of situation was rarely seen, I myself also did not know what the reason was, so that day I wasn’t in a good mood.”
“So it was like that, until evening, when the evening drum beat and I saw that the dusk was approaching, I felt slightly better. At that moment, I only thought that most likely my cultivation was not enough and was distracted for a moment. Unexpectedly on that day during twilight, suddenly, I heard a scream from outside Tian Yin Temple entrance.” Speaking till here, PuHong Master turned his head and looked at FaXiang.
FaXiang nodded, said, “Yes, at that time disciple was patrolling the entrance, saw someone fainted near the temple entrance, disciple hurried over to investigate, unexpectedly...it was PuZhi teacher uncle.”
He sighed and continued, “PuZhi teacher uncle was unconscious, he looked extremely haggard but his face somehow, looked strangely red. It was until later that I found out, PuZhi teacher uncle, in order to extend his life, took the rare medicine ‘Three Days Must Die Pill’.”
Ghost Li was surprised when he heard that, the medicine pill was really unheard of, he couldn’t help but ask, “What Three Days Must Die Pill?”
PuHong Master said, “This strange medicine is not used in the orthodox way, it was said in the former years, a strange person known as ‘Ghost Doctor’ in Evil Sect, created it using his wildest imagination. Heard that once this pill is taken, no matter how grave your injuries are, this pill will be able to stimulate your body’s capacity and allow you to live three days more, and in these three days, you will have just enough strength of a normal person. However after the three days, the medicine will change to be the world’s number one type of poison, even if your body is in a good condition with exceptional cultivation, you will not be able to defeat the efﬁcacy of the strange medicine and die without question. That is why it has such an unusual name.”
Ghost Li was silent.
PuHong Master continued, “At that time naturally we didn’t know so much, after receiving FaXiang disciple’s urgent report, I turned pale with fright. PuZhi junior brother was intelligent and had gifted aptitude, his cultivation was profound and had always been an outstanding talent in our Tian Yin Temple, I never expected that he would become like that. I immediately ordered them to bring him in, in the meditation room I tried to save him but he remained unconscious, his internal channels were in a mess, he was not only severely poisoned, his body was also heavily injured by a highly skilled martial artist, it was already at that stage where the lantern had exhausted the oil…” Although it was already several years after the incident, PuHong Master’s face revealed agonized and dejected expression, clearly this past incident had a huge impact on him.
“That night, I did all I could to save PuZhi junior brother but even though I exhausted all elixirs, spent all of my true vitality, I couldn’t revive PuZhi junior brother, watching helplessly as his breathing became weaker and weaker, I was really in anguish. Could it be that my junior brother, would just die without knowing the reason?”
“His body was so severely injured, it would not be a surprise if he had died a few days earlier, however he struggled to return to Tian Yin Temple, evidently he had something to tell us before he dies, or it could be something urgent that he have to let us know.”
PuHong Master heaved a long sigh, became quiet, as if in his mind, the day’s incident again surfaced.
After a long while, FaXiang coughed softly beside, whispered, “Teacher, I was constantly with you and PuZhi teacher uncle during that time, for the rest of the events, let me relate it for you!”
PuHong Master silently nodded, did not speak.
FaXiang coughed once, continued on, “At that time I was always with teacher, watched teacher and PuFang teacher uncle and the rest tried their best to save PuZhi teacher uncle but it was to no avail, I was burning with impatience too. PuZhi teacher uncle had always treated me very well, I only blamed myself for my meagre skills, unable to do anything for him. Unexpectedly, when my teacher uncles and I were at lost at what to do anymore, that late night, PuZhi teacher uncle regained conscious by himself.”
“Ah…” Ghost Li raised his brows, exclaimed softly and then quickly controlled himself, his face again turned cold.
FaXiang glanced at him, continued, “It was my shift to look after PuZhi teacher uncle, rejoicing, I immediately called teacher and PuFang teacher uncle over. Although it had been several years already but I can still clearly remember, PuZhi teacher uncle’s look on that night, a look of death but only on his face, red like blood, it was really scary.”
“Looking at PuZhi teacher uncle’s condition taking a turn for the better, we were all extremely glad, although PuZhi teacher uncle looked strange but we couldn’t care much at that moment. Teacher was about to ask PuZhi teacher uncle what exactly had happened, how did he get so severely injured? Unexpectedly...unexpectedly PuZhi teacher uncle the moment he saw teacher, he, he…”
FaXiang paused for a moment, it was to compose himself.
The room was silent, PuHong Master closed his eyes, softly chanting, the prayer beads in his hands turned, Ghost Li was instead listening with all of his attention.
FaXiang for some reason, looked terrible but he eventually still carried on.
“After PuZhi teacher uncle regained consciousness, he remained rather quiet but when teacher rushed over upon hearing the news, the moment he saw teacher, suddenly, like being agitated, he trembled all over, leapt up and sat on the bed.”
“We were all shocked, PuZhi teacher uncle’s face was still red like blood, a pair of eyes staring intently on teacher, stretched out his withered hand, pointed at teacher. Teacher immediately went over, grabbed his hand and was about to ask him, PuZhi teacher uncle instead…”
A moment of hesitation ﬂashed past FaXiang’s face, glanced at PuHong Master, PuHong Master’s expression was unchanged, still with his eyes closed.
FaXiang after a slight moment of silence, continued, “PuZhi teacher uncle once he held teacher’s hand, suddenly, it was as if he was totally devastated, like a child, burst out crying on teacher.”
“What?” Ghost Li when he heard that, for a moment forgotten himself, stood up and stared at FaXiang. In his heart, no matter what PuZhi holy monk had did but the impression he left him, how would he be such a person?
FaXiang sighed, said, “The three of us were shocked too and at lost, we didn’t know what happened to PuZhi teacher uncle, why was he acting so oddly. But looking at PuZhi teacher uncle, he looked extremely remorseful and grieved, we didn’t know what to do. PuZhi teacher uncle while crying, said to teacher: Senior brother, senior brother, junior brother deserves to die, did a heinous crime, even if I were to die ten thousand times, it will not be able to make up one ten thousandth of it!”
Ghost Li’s eyes twitched but he did not speak.
FaXiang’s voice was deep, continued, “The shock in my heart, at that moment was already to the brim, looking at teacher’s expression, clearly he was like me too. PuZhi teacher uncle demeanour was unstable, almost like mad, we couldn’t do anything and could only console him, hoped he would have a good rest and wait till his body recovers fully before doing anything.” “However PuZhi teacher uncle was obstinate, said in order to see us again at Tian Yin Temple, he had already took Three Days Must Die Pill and would deﬁnitely die in less than a day. Before dying, he had something very important to tell teacher and teacher uncle, and had something important to entrust. If his words were not heard before he died, then he would not go in peace.”
“We were all shocked and anxious when we heard that but before PuZhi teacher uncle, we were helpless and could only let him talk. Initially I thought due to his severe injuries, PuZhi teacher uncle was delirious, nobody expected that with his words, he actually said such a treason against Buddhist heart and human relations, evil deed with inﬁnite sin.”
PuHong Master quietly sighed, clasped his palms together and chanted, “Amitabha!”
FaXiang also clasped his hands together and chanted, then looked at Ghost Li, saw his expression slowly turning ashen, continued, “PuZhi teacher uncle grabbed teacher’s hand tightly, tears streaming down while recounting the events, the rest of us beside, the more we heard the more dumbfounded we were, almost to the stage where our blood ran cold. PuZhi teacher uncle said: To fulﬁl his desire to merge Buddhism and Taoism together, several days earlier he went up to Qing Yun Hill again to visit Qing Yun sect Head Reverend DaoXuan, expressed his own thoughts, unfortunately Reverend DaoXuan rejected him. Disappointed, he walked aimlessly down the mountain, came to a small village at the foot, that small village was called ‘Grasstemple Village’...”
[Pa!] a mufﬂed sound, almost at the same time when ‘Grasstemple Village’ was said, the table which Ghost Li had placed his hand on, under his agitated emotion, twisted one corner down, grinded it into powder, spilling ﬁnely down from his hands.
FaXiang glanced at that table, sighed quietly in his heart but still continued, “When PuZhi teacher uncle walked into the village and took a temporary rest in one of the diaphilated temple at the back of the village, by chance encountered a group of youths playing, saw two youths after arguing, one of the youth unable to let go of his temperament, almost did a regrettable fatal thing, fortunately PuZhi teacher uncle intervened in time and could be said to save one of the youth’s life.” Ghost Li’s facial expression again ﬂuctuated, clenching his ﬁsts tightly, in his eyes, clearly revealed anguish.
“PuZhi teacher uncle did not think much about this small matter, however that day the sky was gloomy, looked as if a storm was approaching and so decided to stay for a night in the dilapidated temple. Unexpectedly it was that night, something happened…”
Ghost Li’s head, buried deep down, refusing to allow anyone, to see his emotions.
The memories like knives, hacked down deep in his heart, blood gushed out like fountain, unable to hold back!
FaXiang’s voice unhurriedly reverberated, “It was night, PuZhi teacher uncle woke up with a start from his meditation, discovered that a sorcerer dressed in black had sneak into the village, intended to kidnap a youth who had extremely good aptitude. PuZhi teacher uncle naturally could not sit and watch and so saved that youth, but strangely, that sorcerer in black was unexpectedly malicious and crafty, actually used that youth as a pretence, his target was in fact PuZhi teacher uncle.” “That sorcerer in black secretly placed the ‘Seven tailed Centipede’ on that youth, with one hit struck PuZhi teacher uncle, following which while PuZhi teacher uncle’s state of mind was in chaos, he used Evil sect sorcery to heavily injure PuZhi teacher uncle. And it was at that time, PuZhi teacher uncle then realized, the vicious attacks by that sorcerer in black, was all because of that greatly ominous sealed item, ‘Sinister Orb’ on PuZhi teacher uncle.”
Ghost Li’s shoulders moved but he did not raise his head up, from his sleeves, the Sinister Orb’s familiar icy cold sensation faintly travelled up…
Thousands of feelings, ten thousands of emotions and enmities, when it all gushed up to your heart at the same time, you, what kind of feeling is that?
He was taciturn, silent, only his entire body was tensed, involuntarily, trembled slightly…
“Although that sorcerer’s moves were treacherous and murderous but PuZhi teacher uncle was after all deeply skilled, even though he was heavily injured, he still managed to use Buddhist remarkable powers, fought with that sorcerer and both sides were heavily injured, although he was severely injured and on the brink of death but he still successfully chased that sorcerer temporarily away. However during that process, PuZhi teacher uncle discovered in shock, that person actually knew Qing Yun sect Taoism true way skills, evidently he had countless links with Qing Yun sect.”
“When PuZhi teacher uncle was ﬁghting with that sorcerer, for some reason, that youth which he had saved during daytime, came quietly to the dilapidated temple, after a few intense ﬁghts, that child was affected and fainted. After the ﬁght, PuZhi teacher uncle chased that sorcerer away but he was also at his limit, severely injured and dying, he had no choice but to consume that ‘Three Days Must Die Pill’ which he happened to obtain it in the past, in order to extend his life.”
“PuZhi teacher uncle ﬁrstly knew he was going to die, his mind was already in a mess and unable to handle matters calmly, secondly he was worried that that sorcerer would deﬁnitely be back to kill any witnesses, he himself did not fear but the villagers would most likely be annihilated totally by that extremely vicious sorcerer, then wouldn’t he be committing a heinous sin. He intended to seek help from Qing Yun but that sorcerer was clearly involved with Qing Yun Hill, what if something happened to him after he went up the mountain, he was not afraid of losing his life but wouldn’t he be impeding many lives.”
FaXiang’s face looked bleak, he seemed to feel sorrow for PuZhi’s dilemma at that time.
“PuZhi teacher uncle many years ago, once toured the world, at the west great marsh incidentally subdued the world’s most evil object, ‘Sinister Orb’, he, endowed with Heaven’s merciful heart, used Buddhist remarkable powers and suppressed this evil object, day and night he carried it with him, to prevent it from harming the common people. However this Sinister Orb’s cruel energy was innate, although protected by Buddhist powers but it still slyly corroded PuZhi teacher uncle’s mind. Just that on usual days it was shielded by Buddhist powers so it was not discovered.”
“That day, PuZhi teacher uncle facing a hopeless situation, he himself have to die and yet he had to implicate the people around him, and his entire lifetime grand wish to comprehend Buddhism and Taoism looked like it was going to turn into bubbles, he couldn’t help but feel agitated and great sorrow, unexpectedly, when it was all looking hopeless, he actually...actually had the wildest fantasy, thought of another way, to realize his grand wish.”
Ghost Li’s breathing, started to slowly became hurried.
FaXiang paused for a moment, slowly continued, “PuZhi teacher uncle actually thought of privately passing the Tian Yin Temple Buddhist Supreme Great Brahman Wisdom to a youth, then let him try and join Qing Yun, as such, he could fulﬁl the grand wish of his lifetime. At that time he was brooding over the matter of Buddhism and Taoism merger, once he had that thought, it was like grasping a straw as lifeline, refused to let it go again. Following which he weighed the matter and chose to pass the Great Brahman Wisdom True Way mnemonic formula to that youth whom he had saved his life, at the same time instructed him not to reveal it to anyone, entrusted his entire lifetime of wish, onto that young man.”
“Hei, hei hei...hei hei hei hei…” Ghost Li’s extreme suppressed laughter, ﬂowed out from his lowered head, carrying a few degrees of desolation, a few bitterness, and a few chokes with emotions. Not knowing if he was mocking PuZhi, endless hatred, or was it resentment towards Heaven, complaining his own fate?
FaXiang waited for his laughter to end, a dejected look on his face, continued, “After everything was settled, PuZhi teacher uncle cast spells to make that youth fall asleep again, and because of the Three Days Must Die Pill’s effect, his body strength was slowly returning, initially he intended to leave like that, rushed back to Tian Yin Temple within three days, to instruct his funeral affairs. Unexpectedly at that moment, he suddenly recalled, Qing Yun Sect was very strict in taking in disciples, and because he wanted to maintain his secret, he chose that youth and not that high aptitude youth, thinking carefully, Qing Yun Sect might not take that youth in.”
“Watching as his greatest wish was about to go up in bubbles again, and his death was imminent, PuZhi teacher uncle’s mind was in a mess, in addition his severe injuries, his Buddhist cultivation was already greatly damaged, far from his usual strength, the vicious energy in his body from that Sinister Orb, at that moment, ﬂared up, ﬁnally created an irredeemable sin.” “When PuZhi teacher uncle’s emotions were agitated, he was attacked by that vicious energy, in his chaotic state of mind, he only thought of racking his brains to ﬁnd ways to fulﬁl his own wish. While he was pondering wildly, he actually thought of, what if that youth became an orphan, and it was due to a huge accident, because they were located at the foot of Qing Yun Hill, Qing Yun sect would deﬁnitely not sit by and watch…”
PuHong Master’s face suddenly revealed grieved expression, the prayer beads in his hands rotated even quicker, his mouth also chanted incessantly.
“And so…” FaXiang’s voice, right now seemed to tremble, “PuZhi teacher uncle actually thought of how, how, how to make this child an orphan, so that he could enter Qing Yun Sect. At that moment, he was already deranged, totally controlled by the evil power of the Sinister Orb, ﬁnally, he slowly entered the village, started...started to kill; And after seeing the ﬁrst blood, he was out of control, the vicious character released, two hundred over villagers in the Grasstemple Village, were totally wiped out, and created this heinous sin!...” “Enough, do not say it anymore!” Suddenly, Ghost Li shouted, abruptly stood up, on his face, it was already wet with tears.
“Do not say...it...anymore…” His voice hoarse, choking with emotions.
FaXiang was silent, slowly lowered his head. On the meditation bed, PuHong opened his eyes, slowly came down the bed, walked to Ghost Li, stretched his hand out and gently comforted Ghost Li on his shoulders, quietly said, “Child, if you wish to cry or curse, just do it! But the past matter, you will still have to ﬁnish listening to it.”
Ghost Li choked with sobs.
PuHong Master quietly said, “When PuZhi teacher uncle regained his consciousness, the grave mistake was already made, standing at the pile of corpses and sea of blood, like the ﬁve thunders striking his head, he was totally dumbfounded. His entire life of merit and cultivation, not to mention going down the drain, harming so many innocent people, such a heinous crime, it almost tore his heart apart. In his muddle headedness, he deliriously rushed back to Tian Yin Temple, saw me, what he did was not for anything, it was only to confess to me everything, all of his sins. Filled with remorse, he beseeched me, based on our hundred years of brotherly relationship, to redeem one ten thousandth of his heinous sin, no matter what happens in the future, as long as you are in difﬁculty, we will deﬁnitely try our best to help.”
Ghost Li tried hard to suppress his own feelings but hopelessly, never once cried for several years, a man who was strong like iron, right now reduced to a person in tears. His teeth bit hard into his lips, deeply sunk in, traces of blood ﬂowed slowly out from the corner of his mouth, due to his agitated emotions, he had bit through his lips.
PuHong Master looked upset, said, “PuZhi junior brother after leaving his last wish, the venom took effect and he ﬁnally passed away. On his deathbed, he instructed that his remains not to be cremated and buried, to use Jade Ice Disc to guard it, leaving this remnant body, hope that in the future that youth named Zhang Xiao Fan, if he happens to know the truth, to invite him here and let him deal with this inﬁnite sinful body. To ﬂog or spit on and curse, or to grind the bones into dust and scatter it, all of the monks in Tian Yin Temple, no one is to intervene, this is to repay one ten thousandth of his sin.” Ghost Li whipped his head up, PuHong Master stared into his eyes, his face solemn and respectful, continued on unhurriedly, “What I have said, you have all understood! Junior brother’s ﬁnal wish, I have already fulﬁlled it for him. Now on how to deal with it, will follow your wishes. That small house in the backyard, what you wish to do with it, you just have to go over.”
Ghost Li clenched his teeth tightly, his eyes deep, stared at PuHong Master. For some reason, PuHong Master did not wish to look into his eyes, slowly shifted his gaze.
Ghost Li’s breathings became louder and louder, his chest rising up and down, the expressions on his face ﬂuctuated in seconds, suddenly, as if he had made up his mind, abruptly turned, strided out, hearing his footsteps, it was headed towards that small house at the back.
FaXiang’s countenance changed greatly, exclaimed, “Teacher!”
PuHong Master slowly shook his head, his face revealed deep anguish, spoke quietly, “Let him go! That was your PuZhi teacher uncle last wish. The bitterness of the affairs of the human life, how many are able to accept it? Amitabha…”
He gently clasped his palms together, silently chanted, in the room, instantly quietened down.
Chapter 182 - Resolve
The morning bell tolled, the evening drum deep and heavy, Mt Meru immersed in the misty clouds, from the rising sun to the evening glow, the sky in the horizon changed, white clouds changed into grey dogs, rolled past, time after all never once stopped for anyone.
Tian Yin Temple imposing and magniﬁcent, standing majestically on Mt Meru, like a compassionate giant watching the world, countless mortals coming from all directions gathered in the morning, facing the gods statues in the Buddhist temple and prostrating themselves, recounting their own happy or sad wishes, seeking the gods’ blessings. Millions of people came, gathered, millions dispersed, left, day after day, never once changed, gathering and dispersing like time. Only the gods and buddha golden statues in the temple, the unceasing altar lamp ﬁre in the hall, the rising curling smoke, saw all of the world’s vicissitudes of life.
Ghost Li, or the Zhang Xiao Fan at that time, once again entered into that small house where PuZhi holy monk’s remains was, a day and night had passed again, during this period, nothing stirred in the small house. PuHong Master had came once to the small courtyard outside the house, stopped for a long time then sighed and left. Only FaXiang, ever since he saw Ghost Li entering that house, he had been standing outside in the courtyard, with astonishing patience waited.
Nobody knew, the reason why FaXiang stood there but including PuHong Master, the other Tian Yin Temple monks never asked him, and FaXiang too, stood there by himself and determined, as if waiting for something.
The remnants of the sun like blood, reﬂecting the west side of the sunset sky red, watching from afar, there seemed to be a thin layer of golden light at the edge of the clouds, very beautiful. The heaven and earth’s beauty, actually has always been beside, only whether do you see it or not, whether do you have the heart to or not.
FaXiang gazed far into the sunset, staring blankly, standing for a day and night, his ﬁne and delicate face did not seem to show the slightest sense of fatigue, instead in his clear gaze, glimmered with deep wisdom glint.
“What are you looking at?” Suddenly, a voice rang out from beside, FaXiang got a shock, came out of his thoughts, saw that PuHong Master had arrived at the courtyard again, standing beside himself, smiling and looking at him.
FaXiang clasped his hands together and replied, “Replying to teacher, disciple is looking at the sunset glow in the west, suddenly was enlightened and lost in my thoughts, didn’t realize that teacher is here, neglected teacher.”
PuHong Master smiled and said, “Trivial customs and etiquette, don’t have to mind, I wonder from that sunset in the west, what have you enlightened?”
FaXiang hesitated for a moment, said, “Disciple stood here for a day and night, watched the stars at night and saw the blue sky in the day, until this moment the bustling of the day receding, the rising sun sinking in the east, only the remnants of the light illuminating the west sky. Couldn’t help but feel sorrow, life is just like that, time is just like that, all creations in heaven and earth are just like that, disciple for a moment actually did not know living between this Heaven and Earth, am so insigniﬁcantly small like a drop in the ocean, what is the meaning of living?” PuHong Master nodded and said, “Your intelligence indeed surpassed others, disciple. The living things in this heaven and earth, each and every of them has their destiny, thus although things are ever-changing, in the end unable to violate God’s will. You are able to comprehend this level of truth from the rising and setting of the sun, it is already amazing.”
FaXiang respectfully bowed to PuHong Master, said, “Thank you teacher for your praise, disciple dare not. Just that although disciple has comprehended that, the bewilderment in my heart instead became bigger. Disciple don’t understand, although one’s fate is destined, all creations in the end will wither and fall, these countless mortals working hard all of their lives, entangled in this world grudges and affections, what is it for? Buddha said to deliver all living creatures from torment, all living creatures can break the cycle of samsara and achieve enlightenment but all living creatures may not be willing to be delivered by Buddha, why is this so? Could it be that the Land of Ultimate Bliss in the west said by Buddha, no resentment no hatred no feelings no desire, can’t actually attract the mortal beings? Disciple is ignorant, teacher please guide me.”
Speaking, FaXiang bent his head low, clasped his palms together and chanted. PuHong Master watched FaXiang for a long while, slowly nodded, a smile revealed on his face but he did not answer immediately, instead looked in the direction that FaXiang was gazing in just now, the west sunset, after watching it for a moment, said, “What you have just seen, is it this sunset in the west?”
FaXiang said, “Yes, disciple saw time ﬂies past at this moment, the rising sun setting in the west, time no longer around, my heart is grieved and perplexed, therefore seek teacher’s advice.”
PuHong Master smiled and said, “In just a moment, this remnant of the sun is going to set completely, at that time, even this sunset glow, can no longer be seen.”
FaXiang felt slightly puzzled, not knowing what PuHong Master meant and could only acknowledged, said, “That’s right.”
PuHong Master watched the west horizon, saw the sun slowly setting, the sky turning darker, dusk gradually approaching, indifferently said, “The evening sun is heartless, must not be asked to stay. But tomorrow morning, are you still able to see the rising sun?”
FaXiang’s body shook, his heart seemed to be moved, for the moment he was speechless, his face revealed his pondering.
PuHong Master turned and looked at FaXiang, a faint smile on his face, he did not speak anymore.
The sky gradually darkened, the evening sun ﬁnally disappeared completely, moments later, a bright moon slowly rose from the east, moonlight like water, illuminating clear and bright light, spilling onto the mortal world.
In the night scene, Tian Yin Temple under the moonlight tranquil and beautiful, although no longer as bustling and lively like in the day but it had another kind of silent tranquil beauty.
And the Little Tian Yin Temple on Mt Meru, in that small tiny courtyard, teacher and disciple were silent, quietly stood in the courtyard, in the mountain breeze which gently blew past and rufﬂed the corners of their clothes, quietly stood.
For an unknown length of time, the moon gradually moved to the center of the sky, in the quiet small courtyard, a light laughter was heard.
FaXiang had delight on his face, stepped forward a few steps, walked to the middle of the small courtyard, lifted his head and looked at the moon, saw the dazzling moonlight, shining directly on his bluish white monk robe, as if like frost.
FaXiang laughed, turned around, kneeled down before PuHong Master who had been smiling, clasped his palms together bowed and said, “Many thanks for teacher’s guidance, disciple comprehended.”
PuHong Master eyes were full of gratiﬁcation, looking at the disciple kneeling before him, even though he had long cultivated to the realm where he remained indifferent whether favoured or humiliated, genuine happiness still shown on his face. He stretched his hand and gently patted FaXiang’s head, said three words in succession. “Good!”
“You are naturally gifted, rarely seen in the world but even more importantly, is your attitude towards Buddhist philosophy and logic, you have another level of wisdom. That time among the four of us, actually your PuZhi teacher uncle was the brightest, pity although he was intelligent but he chose the wrong path, delayed his Buddhist studies, wishfully sought for what longevity, eventually met with such a bad end. Today you are able to comprehend, it’s your good fortune, it is also our Tian Yin Temple’s fortune!”
FaXiang was stunned, raised his head and looked at PuHong Master, said, “Teacher, what do you mean by that, disciple do not quite understand?”
PuHong Master shook his head, ﬁrst extended his hand to support FaXiang up, then the delight on his face gradually faded, faintly said, “These past years, your teacher me day and night is held up by secular tasks, as for Buddhist studies and comprehension, came to a standstill, instead held this secular undeserved reputation in vain, the struggles and ﬁghts for half a century, I actually can’t give it up. That year when your PuZhi teacher uncle passed away, teacher me wanted to retire from the world, however there was no one to take over, facing this inheritance from our founders, although it is mere worldly possession but eventually can’t abandon it casually. Now that there is you, teacher me can leave in peace.”
FaXiang was shocked, his face turned pale, he had just stood up and immediately kneeled down again, hurriedly said, “Teacher, what are you talking about, how can Tian Yin Temple leave you, moreover disciple also wants to accompany teacher day and night, listen to your teachings. Only beg teacher you must must not abandon disciple and the people of Tian Yin Temple and live in seclusion!” after speaking, he kowtowed unceasingly.
PuHong Master laughed in spite of himself and then sighed, pulled FaXiang up, sighed and said, “Foolish child, foolish child, how could there be a banquet that would never disperse in this world? But teacher’s seclusion matter is not that urgent and it is not something that can be done in these days, you don’t have to be anxious, I have to settle everything properly so that I can too set my mind at rest.”
FaXiang was tearful but eventually he knew PuHong Master’s desire to retire was something he could not stop, fortunately like what his teacher said, although he wanted to but it was not that urgent, when there is a chance in the future, he would just have to try to persuade his teacher. Thinking about that, his tears then stopped, stood aside.
PuHong Master lifted his head and looked at the sky, saw the moonlight penetrating, cool and beautiful, he gazed for a long time, suddenly said, “Let’s go in and look at that little patron!”
FaXiang was taken aback, said, “What?”
PuHong Master indifferently said, “The rights and wrongs, gratitudes grudges feelings and enmities, no matter what, eventually it needs to end.”
After speaking, without further words, he headed to that small house, FaXiang slowly followed behind him, watched as that door came nearer and nearer, for some reason, he started to feel nervous.
A day and a night already, during that time, facing PuZhi teacher uncle, what exactly had Ghost Li done?
He, what else would he do too?
The answer, the moment when they lifted the curtain and pushed opened the wooden door, lightly stepped into the house, appeared before them.
The empty house, was still twinkling with ‘Jade Ice Disc’ silverish light.
What, nothing happened!
PuZhi’s remains, still sat cross-legged on the Jade Ice Disc, and opposite him, Ghost Li, or perhaps it was Zhang Xiao Fan, sat cross-legged, backfacing PuHong Master and FaXiang, silently staring at PuZhi’s face in the faint light.
PuHong Master inhaled deeply, was about to speak, suddenly felt movement behind him, turned and looked, FaXiang had gently pulled his robe, after he saw that PuHong Master had turned his head around, he signaled with his eyes, towards the place below Ghost Li.
PuHong Master turned and looked, couldn’t help but frowned, saw that nothing had changed in the house, only on the ground that Ghost Li was sitting on, the surrounding radius of three chi, the brick ground were all cracked, numerous densely packed thin cracks covered the entire ground around him, the nearer the ground was to him, the denser the cracks were, before him within one chi radius, all of the bricks no longer cracked, instead had completely turned to powder.
This day and night, nobody knew what had happened to Ghost Li, or maybe perhaps, nobody would know it forever. PuHong Master slowly walked to Ghost Li, glanced at the ground before him, using a calm voice said, “Patron, you have already stayed here for a day, have you thought carefully about it?”
Ghost Li slowly looked away from PuZhi remains, looked at PuHong Master, PuHong Master had a shock, Ghost Li’s face was extremely pale, his face looked tired, although it was only a day but he looked as if he was travel-stained with vicissitudes of life, already experienced hundred years of the world.
PuHong Master clasped his palms together, gently chanted, “Amitabha!”
Ghost Li slowly stood up but halfway, his body trembled, seemed unstable, FaXiang and PuHong Master frowned, FaXiang was about to step forward to assist him but Ghost Li had already once again stood ﬁrm, breathing deeply then straightened his body again, faced PuHong Master.
One look and it could be seen that his body was frail but for some reason, he right now, looked big and tall, steadfast. “Master…” his voice was slightly hoarse.
PuHong Master clasped his palms together, said, “Yes, what instructions does little patron has?”
“The deceased is buried into the ground to rest, you take his...PuZhi teacher’s remains to be cremated and buried!”
PuHong Master and FaXiang both got a shock at the same time, looked at Ghost Li, the next moment, PuHong Master heaved a long sigh, seemed to sigh endlessly, quietly said, “Patron, have you looked past the matter?”
Ghost Li laughed sadly, glanced at PuZhi sitting cross-legged in the faint light, his facial muscle tensed and released, slowly said, “I only have one night of fate with this master at that time, yet once kneeled before him, willingly kowtowed to him and called him ‘Teacher’. He saved me before, also harmed me but without him, there would not be me, he is already dead. Although I am not a Buddhist disciple but I know Buddhists regarded reincarnation the most, he refused to be buried at his deathbed, it could be seen he was bitterly remorseful…” Icy cold breath, indistinctly emitted from his hand, PuHong Master and FaXiang both felt it at the same time, that surging strange evil power.
“The intensity of the vicious energy from Sinister Orb’s evil power, all these years I feel it and receive it in no small measure, more or less I can also understand the circumstances and cause then.” Speaking till here, Ghost Li slowly turned around, headed towards the door, his hoarse voice from time to time coughed once or twice.
PuHong Master and FaXiang both at the same time behind him, clasped their palms and chanted, PuHong Master, following which said, “Little patron has a good heart, touching the heavens and earth, old monk here thank patron on behalf of my unworthy deceased junior brother PuZhi. Old monk will solemnly obey patron’s instructions, in a little while will carry out the rituals and cremate junior brother’s remains, in addition bury him, just that not sure before these, does patron has any other instructions?”
Ghost Li by now had already reached the door, his hand stretched out towards the door panel but the next moment, he paused, he seemed to freeze there. PuHong Master and FaXiang did not know what he was thinking, for the moment only looked at him, did not speak.
Ghost Li slowly turned around, again saw that aged and faintly anguish face. That face, he had only saw it twice in his life, several years of time, in that instant surged up his heart, in the end, ﬁnally only leaving that pounding rain and violent wind night, his kind and gentle smile before him.
He was Ghost Li, or maybe Zhang Xiao Fan, who would know?
And who would care?
That man, just at that entrance, facing that sitting on the jade disc faint light, an entire lifetime of suffering body remains, like when he was young, kneeled towards him, properly kowtowed three times, then, he lifted his head, respectfully, with inﬁnite deep distress on his face, said, “Teacher!...” …
“Teacher, you...rest in peace!”
He quietly said, then stood up, without any more words, turned and opened the door, walked out.
Cultivators of the way like PuHong, FaXiang, for the moment were stunned and speechless, only watched Ghost Li walked out of this small house.
In the silence, FaXiang sighed, said, “He, he really has great wisdom and great knowledge, great merciful heart ah! Really a rare man of the world, amitabha…”
PuHong Master turned around, looked at PuZhi, after a long time, clasped his palms together and said, “Junior brother, you can ﬁnally rest...eh?” PuHong Master’s exclamation, surprised FaXiang, he quickly followed PuHong Master’s gaze direction and looked, immediately was also shocked, his face full of astonishment.
PuZhi who sat cross-legged on the disc, right now out of the sudden something was happening, in the spots of frost-like- snow-like silverish white faint light, PuZhi remains, like sandstone weathering into powder, little by little transformed into ﬁne and hardly visible by naked eye, sands, slowly falling. And on his aged face, for some reason, the faint trace of anguish had disappeared, instead revealing a hint of gratiﬁed smile.
Watching this transformation rapidly speeding up, the entire body soon disappeared, PuHong Master’s eyes teared, clasped his palms and said, “Junior brother, junior brother, your wish is fulﬁlled, senior brother is happy for you. From today the Buddha sea is boundless, look out for yourself!”
PuZhi’s remains swiftly eroded, ﬁnally completely became white sands, from the silverish white faint light emitted by the Jade Ice Disc in the mid air, slowly fell. And also at this moment, after the Jade Ice Disc received those sands, the magical weapon brilliant light suddenly surged, in the tightly enclosed small house, suddenly with inexplicable power, a wind started blowing.
In the unseen world of spirits far away, there seemed to be Buddhist Sanskrit song, faintly travelling over.
The light from the Jade Ice Disc shone brighter and brighter, the speed of the wind became faster and faster, PuHong Master and FaXiang’s robes ﬂapped in the strong wind, both of them looked at each other stunned. Suddenly, a light sharp whistle was heard from the disc, resplendent light exploded, numerous powder immersed in the frost-snow-like faint light, scattering in all directions, a loud rumble, burst forth!
The dust ﬂew, following which covered by a huge resplendent radiance, the surrounding walls of this small house were instantly destroyed by the Jade Ice Disc’s strange brilliance, without leaving any traces, the moonlight shone high, clear bright like snow, reﬂecting on this mountain summit, in this quiet world, there was actually such a rare sight. The Jade Ice Disc in this resplendent glory, slowly rose up from its original position, beside this magical weapon, silverish white powder-like dust danced, like a spirit pursuing over. In the courtyard outside the house, Ghost Li silently stood there, looking up at the sky, his face streaming with tears.
The Jade Ice Disc ﬂew over by itself, circled Ghost Li three times, ﬁnally paused before Ghost Li.
Ghost Li stared at the bits of smoke and dust, clenching his teeth tightly, almost not himself.
Then, in that almost solidiﬁed radiance, in the paradise-like cool beautiful night, the Jade Ice Disc emitted a light sound, like ice breaking, the clear sound reverberated, before Ghost Li, this rare treasure of the world too transformed into numerous powder dust, under the moonlight sparkling bright, like falling snow vast and various, magniﬁcent and dazzling.
From far, the mountain breeze blew, numerous powder dust drifted with the wind, ﬂoated in the mid air, carried by the wind to the distant, ﬁnally gradually vanished...
Chapter 183 - Haze
Qing Yun Mountain, Big Bamboo Peak.
Since the Qing Yun battle, many days had passed, the battleﬁeld that was once the witness to monumental events, over time turned peaceful, all traces of the war, in the process of cleaning up, were quietly erased.
On that day, how many had lost their friends and loved ones, at Tong Tian Peak, piles of numerous bodies, from the summit till foot, like the said Hades prison.
Or perhaps it was luck! The least populated Big Bamboo Valley in this big battle, not one disciple died but almost all were injured, even Tian BuYi who remained in Big Bamboo Valley to guard and activate the Heaven Seal, appeared exhausted. Among the disciples, second disciple Wu DaYi, fourth disciple He DaZhi were the most seriously injured, they were still conﬁned to bed until now but the good fortune in the midst of bad, their tendons or bones were not hurt, after Tian BuYi personally examined them, they only needed to rest and recuperate. Given time, it will not hindered their cultivation and practice. But even so, in a battle of life and death where victory was narrowly won from the Beast Deity and did their best to save the common people from the catastrophe, everyone in Big Bamboo Valley, however looked extremely depressed. The disciples were unable to lift their spirits up after the war, even Tian BuYi kept frowning tightly too.
This day early in the morning, Tian BuYi was summoned by a disciple dispatched by Sect Head Reverend DaoXuan to visit Tong Tian Peak for discussion, after returning in the afternoon, on his round plump face, dark and heavy, his brows twisted so tightly together that it looked like it could not be apart again.
Around early afternoon, Tian BuYi ordered all Big Bamboo Valley disciples to Observed Silence Hall, even Wu DaYi and He DaZhi who were conﬁned to bed, Tian BuYi sent men to assist them to the hall, sitting on the side.
In the usually cold and cheerless Observed Silence Hall, rarely was ﬁlled with people, Tian BuYi’s wife SuRu also stood beside the seat of honour, her graceful bearing was still beautiful, just that her left hand was wrapped in white cloth bandage, obviously was also injured in the big battle. Tian BuYi clasped his hands behind and paced a few times in the hall, glanced at the disciples who were either sitting or standing in a row, in a deep voice said, “Today I called all of you here, it’s not for anything else but again for the Zhu Xian ancient sword matter.”
The disciples were solemn, not many revealed shocked expressions, evidently most had expected it.
Tian BuYi met SuRu’s gaze, again looked at the disciples, said, “This morning sect head reverend called me over again, only Little Bamboo Valley ShuiYue Master was there with me, as for what we talked, all of you can probably guessed. The matter of Zhu Xian ancient sword sustaining damage, no matter what, all of you have to keep it a secret, must never reveal the slightest.”
The Big Bamboo Valley disciples looked at each other, ﬁnally ﬁrst disciple Song Daren coughed, said, “Teacher, you know the few of us well too, such an important matter, we will deﬁnitely rather die and dare not say a single word.” Speaking till here, he hesitated for a moment, looked at Tian BuYi, suppressed his voice and said, “Teacher, not including you and your wife reminding us repeatedly, just sect head reverend and Tong Tian Peak side, including this time, it is already the fourth time word was sent over. Don’t tell me...don’t tell me they not only don’t trust us, even teacher and teacher’s wife they can’t trust too?”
Tian BuYi frowned, suddenly bellowed, “How dare you! What are you, actually dare to preposterously presume your sect head reverend and elders!”
Song Daren’s countenance changed, lowered his head and said, “Yes, disciple is wrong.”
SuRu stood aside, sighed, walked over and tried to smooth things, said, “Alright, alright, these are all what sect head reverend instructed, and the matter of Zhu Xian ancient sword being damaged, the implications are too great, it’s not surprising that sect head senior brother is so uptight over it and therefore it’s understandable that he enquired more than a few times and instructed more than a few times.”
Tian BuYi twisted his head to the side, did not speak, Song Daren and other disciples all lowered their heads said, “Disciples know now.” SuRu looked at the disciples, softly said, “I know all of you feel rather wronged, thought that sect head reverend and the other teacher elders don’t trust you all, actually when it comes down to it, all of these are due to the gravity of the matter, no choice. After that war, for a moment our Qing Yun sect among the Good Faction was unrivalled, beat down all of the other fellow sects. But all of this, putting it bluntly, is because sect head reverend at Tong Tian Peak, held Zhu Xian celestial sword in a vicious battle with the Beast Deity, defeated it in
return for this. Everything our Qing Yun sect has today, the weight of this Zhu Xian celestial sword, I think all of you are as clear as me.”
SuRu smiled sadly, continued, “But it is never ever expected, that this sword will…”' she paused, looked to be composing herself before she could continued, “That day outside Illusory Moon Cave, other than sect head reverend and the branch leaders teacher uncles who rushed over soon after, only Big Bamboo Valley disciples and a few Small Bamboo Valley female disciples witnessed the sword being damaged. Therefore for the sake of our sect’s reputation and prestige in the world, sect head reverend has much to worry about, and so instructed more than a few times, this is also what his role should do. Don’t take it to heart, only need to remember to bury this matter forever in your heart, understand?” Song Daren and the others looked at each other, said, “Disciples understood, will solemnly obey teacher and teacher’s wife’s commands.”
SuRu turned to Tian BuYi, Tian BuYi was frowning, the grave expression was still on his plump face, did not seem to be consoled at all by SuRu’s words, only stretched out his hand and waved to his disciples, said, “What your teacher’s wife said, you all better bear in mind. Alright, dismissed!”
Song Daren and the rest bowed, turned and went out together, Wu DaYi and He DaZhi had difﬁculty walking, Song Daren, Du BiShu and the others helped to assist, soon, the group walked out, leaving only Tian BuYi and SuRu in the hall.
SuRu looked at Tian BuYi’s darkening face, slowly walked to his side, whispered, “What is it, is it that sect head senior brother is throwing his temper again?”
Tian BuYi grunted faintly, said, “I am not the only one he is throwing his temper at, even ShuiYue that kind of person, he scolded her too, much less me.” SuRu was surprised, said in astonishment, “What, sect head senior brother even scolded ShuiYue senior sister?”
A trace of impatient revealed on Tian BuYi’s face, his pacing speed obviously increased, his brows frowning even tighter.
SuRu saw his expression, was quite worried but did not know what to say, could only say, “You too don’t worry too much, sect head senior brother is only being anxious for the moment, therefore then…”
Tian BuYi abruptly looked up, interrupted loudly, “If he is really over-anxious, even if he scolds me a thousand and ten thousand times, I also won’t care?”
SuRu lowered her head but swiftly lifted up, a shock look on his face, urgently asked, “What did you just say?”
Tian BuYi kept mumbling, pacing with quick steps in the hall, the anxiety look on his face turned more restless, indistinctly a trace of worry too. SuRu was even more worried, anxiously said, “What do you mean exactly, quickly say it!”
Tian BuYi walked to SuRu, stopped his pacing, hesitating for a moment, in a heavy voice said, “These few days, DaoXuan senior brother summoned ShuiYue and me many times, repeatedly warned that our sect disciples must keep the secret, this originally is understandable. However the recent few times, I noticed there is increasingly something wrong with DaoXuan senior brother.”
SuRu was taken aback, said, “Something wrong, what do you mean?”
Tian BuYi frowned and said, “In the past, do you recall DaoXuan senior brother scolded anyone rashly?”
SuRu was silent, after a long time shook her head said, “Sect head senior brother has deep cultivation, upright moral conduct, does not show his delight and anger, how will he scold anyone rashly.” Tian BuYi nodded, said, “That’s right, it is like that, even you also know this. But after the big battle, DaoXuan senior brother’s personality seemed to change greatly, getting more and more impatient, these few times he summoned us over, forget it that he warned us repeatedly, but yet each time in the beginning he would be pleasant, until the end for some reason, because of some bafﬂing trivial matters he would get furious, or reviling, or vent his anger, anyway…”
He shook his head, slowly looked up at SuRu, hesitated then walk nearer to SuRu, suppressed his voice, “I suspect, DaoXuan senior brother in the war with the Beast Deity is already hurt by the Zhu Xian sword’s spiritual vicious energy, so he then…”
SuRu’s countenance changed, quickly said, “Stop.” She walked with quick steps to outside of the hall, glanced left and right, after checking that there was nobody around, walked back and quietly spoke to Tian BuYi, “This is our Qing Yun sect secret, you, you mustn't say baseless thing!”
Tian BuYi sighed and said, “The implications of this matter is so great, how would I dare to spout nonsense. But in that battle, DaoXuan senior brother in order to win, disregarded my repeated dissuasion, forced opened the Heaven Seal that sealed Qing Yun seven mountain summits spiritual energies for generations, amplifying Zhu Xian ancient sword’s power. Just that each time I recall the ﬁnal instructions our ancestors left, stated that the Zhu Xian sword’s vicious energy is too violent, the death aura defy the natural order, classiﬁed it as an
ominous object, I cannot turn a blind eye and do nothing.Today when I came back, parting with ShuiYue at Tong Tian Peak, although we have never get along but when we looked at each other before parting, I felt that we both sensed something. I suppose that ShuiYue, must be thinking the same thoughts as me, however because of the gravity of this situation, both of us do not dare to say it out that's all.”
SuRu was silent for a long time, her voice slightly hoarse, said, “Although it is so but in the end it is still the Zhu Xian sword. Now that Zhu Xian is already damaged, even if sect head senior brother is unfortunately hurt, but ﬁrstly there is no basis, secondly his cultivation is divine, only after time passes, most likely he will slowly come to realize it and probably will resolve it by himself!”
Tian BuYi’s grave expression did not dispel the slightest, faintly said, “Hope it is so, if not, with his status in Qing Yun, in the event should something happen, the entire Qing Yun... really don’t know how to resolve it.” SuRu pondered and then also sighed helplessly, dejectedly said, “Forget it, this is also not something we can control, don’t worry about it too much. There is also one more thing, I have been wanting to ask, after Zhu Xian sword was damaged, how was it taken care of?”
Tian BuYi said, “I have enquired about this from a senior brother who knew about it, heard that DaoXuan senior brother reprimanded everyone not to reveal it to the outsiders, immediately picked up Zhu Xian sword which broke into two, walked into Illusory Moon Cave and forbid anyone from entering the cave. So until today, nobody knows what happened to that ancient sword? Or maybe, there is still hope of repairing it?”
Tian BuYi spoke the last sentence to himself but followed that with a shake of his head and a bitter laugh, evidently even he himself also could not believe that. After a few bitter laughs, he spoke, “We can’t do anything about the sword, instead the trip to Tong Tian Peak today, other than being admonished for no reason, I also heard a strange thing.”
SuRu was surprised, said, “What strange thing?” Tian BuYi shrugged, said, “You won’t believe it too, in that battle, many of our disciples and elders died, currently in Tong Tian Peak Crystal Hall a public memorial service is being conducted. But our DaoXuan senior brother, each day only shows up for a moment at Crystal Hall and then disappear,
instead he goes to the Founders Ancestral Hall everyday to keep vigil, isn’t that strange?”
SuRu was stunned, asked in surprise, “Keeping vigil, what happened at Founders Ancestral Hall, don’t tell me a senior elder has passed away?”
Tian BuYi shook his head, sneered and said, “Where would there be any senior elder, I heard a few junior disciples secretly conversing, it was an old man who had kept watch and maintained Founders Ancestral Hall for ten over years, for some reason coincidentally died on that day. How he died, that nobody knows, only that when DaoXuan senior brother found out, for the moment was dumbstruck, the next moment instead ﬂew into a rage, heard that for several days he was beside himself, in the end he insisted to place this old man’s spiritual tablet in Founders Ancestral Hall, but the strangest thing is, the spiritual tablet that he places in the Founders Ancestral Hall, is actually blank!” SuRu looked even more perplexed after hearing it, shook her head said, “This, this what is this exactly, don’t tell me sect head senior brother is really, really somehow muddleheaded?”
Tian BuYi sneered, said, “Whether he is muddleheaded or not, nobody knows, anyway someone did dissuade him before but he refused to listen. And he did not take a good look at those disciples’ spiritual tablets in Crystal Hall, instead stared in a trance at that blank spiritual tablet in Founders Ancestral Hall. If he continues like this, I think this Qing Yun sect, sooner or later something will happen, sooner or later it will be destroyed at his hands…”
SuRu was silent, after a long time, faintly sighed, looked out of the hall, saw on this quiet afternoon, the outside was empty too, only the distant clear blue sky.
The mountain breeze blew past, bamboo rustling sounds were heard indistinctly, but for some reason, it instead increased the feeling of loneliness.
Qing Yun Hill, Tong Tian Peak, Founders Ancestral Hall. Here was as tranquil and solemn as usual, the lofty hall was still towering, surrounded still with lush green forest, as if the earth-shocking big battle that happened on Qing Yun Hill few days ago, had no impact at all here.
Other than the missing old man who swept the grounds, and on that dim altar, in a unremarkable area among the numerous tablets, an additional unfamiliar and empty spiritual tablet.
Lin JingYu silently kneeled before that empty tablet, wearing mourning clothes, before him was a ﬁre pan, on the table two white candles were lit, three sticks of joss sticks, faint smoke curling up, gently ﬂoating, soon merging into the offering incense, inseparable.
Lin JingYu looked grieved, his lips closed tightly together, woodenly kneeling on the ground, slowly placing paper money into the ﬁre pan, watched them slowly curled and turned yellow, gradually reducing to ashes, then slowly placing another fresh set.
In-between, he looked up frequently to that tablet. When the old man’s tablet was placed into the Founders Ancestral Hall, it was Qing Yun sect head Reverend DaoXuan solitary insistence, the other branch leaders disapproved, however all along Qing Yun sect head’s words carried weight, in addition after Reverend DaoXuan defeated the Beast Deity, his reputation was even more prestigious, the rest of them saw that he was
determined and so followed his wishes.
Just that although this matter was unexpected for Lin JingYu, but what followed afterwards, was even more shocking, Reverend DaoXuan actually placed an empty tablet in the hall, as for that, Lin JingYu was even bold enough to ask Reverend DaoXuan who came to offer prayers.
Unexpectedly Reverend DaoXuan only indifferently asked in return, rendering Lin JingYu speechless, “Then do you know his name?”
Lin JingYu was stunned, although he had trained under this mysterious elder for ten years but as for this elder’s past, he had never revealed a single detail to him, right now for Lin JingYu to say any of it, he was really helpless. But looking at Reverend DaoXuan, evidently he knew something of this old man’s past but he did not intend to reveal. Lin JingYu although had suspicions but after all he did not dare to be presumptuous before Sect head Reverend, he could only back away silently. Anyway to him, this elder although his tablet was empty but his voice and face were clearly etched in his heart, not the slightest faded.
The public memorial service at the front mountain, he had also been there to pay homage, but he still felt that, over there numerous disciples offered prayers but this elder, although had unparalleled skills but left quietly like that, no matter what he had to send him off, and Reverend DaoXuan also seemed to implicitly allowed him here, to handle the funeral arrangements for this old man. And with his position as sect head, he ignored the surprised looks from the sect disciples, frequently came to visit this elder’s tablet, as such it aroused many speculations but Lin JingYu couldn’t care less.
Right now, footsteps were heard behind him again, these past few days, Lin JingYu was already familiar with the footsteps sounds, once he heard it he knew it was Reverend DaoXuan.
He rose and turned, quietly said, “Sect Head." Reverend DaoXuan slowly walked into the hall.
The hall was dimly lit, although Lin JingYu had been there all along but for the moment couldn’t see DaoXuan’s expression clearly, he saw DaoXuan’s ﬁgure in a blur, standing in the shadows, quietly looking at that blank tablet.
For some reason, Lin JingYu watched that blurred ﬁgure in the darkness, suddenly felt something was wrong but as for what it was, he could not say it, just that an inexplicable palpitation, indistinctly felt tensed.
“He, still well?” Reverend DaoXuan ﬁnally spoke, his voice seemed rather deep, somehow hoarse, and seemed to exert force and suppressing something, very different from his usual tone.
Lin JingYu felt even more bewildered but still answered, “Disciple has been keeping vigil day and night for senior, burning incense on schedule, never once neglected.” The person in the shadows seemed to move, slowly said, “He has you who is sincerely sending him off, his teachings to you for ten years is not in vain. He he…” His laughter was cold, felt eerie in this dim hall, “Not knowing if I was dead too…”
He suddenly stopped, seemed to sense that he had said the wrong things, Lin JingYu naturally did not dare to speak further, stood there with his hands by the side.
The hall sank into silence, after a moment, Reverend DaoXuan said, “Leave me for a moment, I have some words which I need to tell him privately.”
Lin JingYu was surprised, acknowledged and said, “Yes.” Speaking, he strided out.
Once out of the hall, standing on the empty ground in sunlight, Lin JingYu immediately felt invigorated, he then realized, just now in that hall, he seemed to feel a pressure.
He walked one round around this empty ground, waited for about an hour but still did not see Reverend DaoXuan, while he was wondering, he turned and saw a back ﬁgure disappearing on the small path heading towards Illusory Moon Cave. Ever since the war ended, Illusory Moon Cave had again became a forbidden ground, the only one who could enter, naturally was only Reverend DaoXuan.
Lin JingYu took a few more glances, shook his head, turned and walked back to the hall. He went to that blank tablet, saw before it, three thin joss sticks were offered again, and on the ﬁre pan, it seemed to have many more ashes, like someone had burned some paper money in it.
Lin JingYu contemplated, slowly raised his head, only saw that empty tablet was still quietly standing in that secluded corner, in silence…
Chapter 184 - Wordless Jade Wall
The bell tolled, again reverberated around Mt Meru, announcing the start of another new day.
The rising morning sun, a small little halo peeking out from the east horizon, spilling a thread of light into the world. Early morning on the mountain path, it was already full of commoners, following the path and stairs towards the imposing temple, many of them carrying joss sticks and candles for worship, plain devotion on their faces.
Among them some families also brought their children along for prayers, the children innocent and pure, they were not tired from walking on the mountain path instead many young ones jumped around and ran ahead and back, looking excited.
The morning mist had not dispersed completely, lingered outside Tian Yin Temple, the damp moisture could be still felt in the air. The monks whom had risen early had completed their mandatory morning lessons, right now were sweeping the courtyard, gently sweeping the trees leaves which had fallen during the night, to the side. The entire Tian Yin Temple, right now appeared solemn and peaceful, immersing in the faint mountain breeze, accompanying the breeze, there was still a faint fragrance from the leaves.
The bell peals drifted, guiding the people below the mountain, also hovered in the temple, awaking the people who were sound asleep.
He from slumber, slowly awakened.
How long had it been, sleeping at ease, waking up calmly, even in his sleep, there wasn’t even dreams, only deep sleep, peaceful deep sleep.
So, this was such a feeling of happiness.
He quietly listened to the bell tolled, as if the tolls were not drifting in the vast world outside the house, instead in his heart, he even had this feeling that the bell, tolled especially for him. Until, the tolling of the bell gradually ceased, he then slowly got up, opened the room door and walked out, lifting his head, expanded his chest, inhaled deeply.
The damp air in the mountain gushed into his heart, on his face, a rare expression of satisfaction slowly appeared, he really wished to continue standing like that, just that at that moment, a sound was heard outside the courtyard entrance.
“Zhang patron, you have awakened?”
Ghost Li turned over, saw FaXiang smiling, standing not far from the door entrance looking at him, then nodded, said, “Morning!”
FaXiang assessed him with two glances, smiled and said, “Patron after this period of quiet recuperation, most of your injuries have already healed, just that it is said the initial recovery from a serious illness, thirty percent it will relapse, patron still need to watch out for yourself. Mt Meru topography is rather elevated, the days and nights are different from the secular land, the chill is heavy here, patron must be careful.” Ghost Li nodded, said, “Thanks for the concern, I will remember it. Also, not sure if abbot PuHong Master is free today, I hope to visit master, will like to bother him for a moment.”
FaXiang smiled and said, “Such a coincidence, I am carrying my teacher’s instructions, came especially to invite Zhang patron to meet teacher after your morning meal.”
Ghost Li was surprised, said, “Why, abbot master is also looking for me?”
FaXiang said, “This little monk won’t know but guess it would be to enquire after your injuries!”
Ghost Li was silent for a moment, said, “Since it is so, I will go pay a visit to abbot master in just a moment.”
FaXiang brought his palms together, said, “Patron do not have to hurry, abbot has especially instructed just now, not to hasten patron. Teacher is still at Little Tian Yin Temple meditation room, if patron is free later, just go ahead by yourself.”
FaXiang smiled faintly, said, “In Tian Yin Temple, only if patron wish to, patron can go anywhere you want to, there is nothing to be concerned of.”
Ghost Li’s heart was moved, looked at FaXiang, FaXiang’s words indistinctly had obvious subtle meaning, as if they already treated him like one of Tian Yin Temple people, or maybe, in those Tian Yin Temple monks’ hearts, he who once prostrated before PuZhi’s seat, eventually was also considered one of Tian Yin Temple?
FaXiang turned and retreated, Ghost Li watched his back ﬁgure, silent for a moment and then returned to his own meditation room.
From the moment he stepped foot onto the summit, Ghost Li involuntarily paused his body slightly, to him, this was really a place that stirred all sorts of different emotions in him. Under the morning sun, Little Tian Yin Temple simple and unadorned situated ahead, the low walls, small courtyards, where were the signs of that soul-stirring night?
Looking back, gazing, indistinct human voices again travelled over from Tian Yin Temple, the prosperous joss sticks offered, a bustling sight, or maybe, those people who were living peacefully, instead were happier?
He quietly turned around, walked into Little Tian Yin Temple, soon, the unique quietness of this place enveloped him, in the whole courtyard, seemed like only his footsteps reverberated.
When he reached that meditation room entrance, Ghost Li stopped, subconsciously glanced towards the back of the yard, that small path was blocked by the boundary walls but he could still see that it extended towards the back, just that at this moment, that last courtyard, most probably only a blank slate remained!
Like, humans who came empty handed, left empty handed. He knocked on the door, very quickly, PuHong Master’s voice was heard, “Is it Zhang little patron, quickly come in!”
Ghost Li faintly acknowledged, pushed the door opened and walked in. In the room right now, PuHong Master was alone and sitting on his meditation room, a smile on his face greeting Ghost Li who had just walked in.
Ghost Li nodded to PuHong Master, said, “Master, I heard from FaXiang that you are looking for me?”
PuHong Master instead asked, “That’s right but I heard that little patron happens to also have something to discuss with me?”
Ghost Li pondered for a moment, nodded and said, “Yes, actually it’s not a big deal, mainly that I have troubled you all for many days, now that my injuries are almost healed, I really should not continue to trouble.”
PuHong Master smiled, said, “Little patron you’re too formal.” Ghost Li shook his head and said, “That day at the foot of Qing Yun Hill, master has already saved my life, and afterwhich here, master helped to undo the knot in my heart, I am really beyond grateful. Just that I am afterall from Evil sect, in the long run, inevitably this will hurt the clean
reputation of your honorable temple.”
PuHong solemnly said, “Little patron, I have a word, not sure if I should say it?”
Ghost Li said, “Master please say.”
PuHong nodded his head and said, “Since so, forgive this old monk direct words. Looking at little patron’s physiognomy and complexion, you are absolutely not an utterly evil disciple, degenerated into the Evil Way, it is because your fate dictates it so, deﬁnitely not little patron’s mistake. And little patron has such a predestined relationship with PuZhi junior brother, which is also a predestined afﬁnity with our Buddha, and even so an afﬁnity with Tian Yin Temple. Only if little patron is willing to turn back to the shore, Tian Yin Temple will naturally do our utmost to shield you, not to mention Qing Yun sect, even if the world’s Good Faction all come together, our temple will not fear the slightest. Buddha said, enlightening a person is utmost merit, little patron since you are a person with afﬁnity, why not put down the secular baggage, receive this peace and be at ease, isn’t this better?”
Having said that, his expression earnest, looking at Ghost Li.
Ghost Li naturally did not expect PuHong would say such words, for the moment was stunned. These few days in this Tian Yin Temple, his mind and heart was completely different from the past, main difference was he was comfortable and at peace, deep in his heart, he very much liked it that way, just that men like him, in the end still had matters he could not put down.
He was silent for a long time before slowly raising his head, bowing deeply to PuHong Master, said, “I know, master is sincere to me, deliberately enlighten the ignorant and stubborn, however I am a secular man, bobbing along with the waves, in the secular world, there are even more countless of worries but yet I am unable to give them up. Master’s good intentions, forgive my inability to accept.” Having said that, he heaved a long sigh, about to turn around and walk off, PuHong Master instead said, “Patron don’t go yet.”
Ghost Li said, “Master, is there anything else?”
PuHong Master looked like he was contemplating, slowly said, “Patron’s heart is like a huge rock, this old monk will not dare to force too but if patron is willing to, our humble temple has a request, hope that patron will grant it.”
Ghost Li was slightly surprised, said, “What is it, abbot master there is no harm saying it.”
PuHong Master looked at him, said, “PuZhi junior brother met with such an ending, although it is because of his own sins, an unforgivable crime but tracing it to the source, that evil object, ‘Sinister Orb’ cannot avoid responsibility. And now that PuZhi junior brother had already passed away but this evil object is still on patron’s body, encroaching onto little patron!”
Ghost Li was silent for a moment, said, “Master meaning…” PuHong Master brought his palms together, said, “Little patron don’t get me wrong, this old monk has no other intention. This Sinister Orb contains strong evil power, harming others and yourself. That time after PuZhi junior brother passed away, for several years this old monk grieves and laments, never once did not think about that, received Heaven’s bequeathed sympathy, actually thought of an idea, maybe it is a method to restrain Sinister Orb this type of evil object’s vicious energy. Not sure if little patron is willing to try?”
Ghost Li’s countenance changed, the Sinister Orb although had inﬁnite power but its vicious energy during these ten over years, made him suffered much, even his character, seemed to be changed gradually by it. Sometimes he also recalled PuZhi’s situation, each time he thought of himself being controlled by this vicious energy too, he couldn’t help but break out in cold sweat. However this matter could not be told to others after all, although he was worried but he did not have any good solution to it, unexpectedly today upon hearing PuHong Master’s words, it instantly hit the matter close to his heart.
Ghost Li thought for a long time, then slowly said, “Didn’t expect that abbot master has such a good plan, not sure how is it to be done?” PuHong Master’s face was serious, said, “The method is actually simple, frankly, it is only using the Buddha’s remarkable powers, boundless mercy, to degrade all of this world’s vicious energies. In the rear mountain of Tian Yin Temple, there is a ‘Wordless Jade Wall’, more than seven zhang
tall, smooth like jade, it is said that Tian Yin Temple founder attained enlightenment under that Wordless Jade Wall, and from then started Tian Yin Temple.”
Ghost Li frowned, did not understand the relations it had with the Sinister Orb, heard PuHong continued on, said, “It is from that realm, from the centre of Mt Meru, the Buddhist energy is the most solemn and propitious, little patron only need to sit there for a period of time and in addition, I will lead a group of monks to form the ‘Vajra Ring’ formation, with such strong propitious energy, maybe it can suppress the Sinister Orb’s vicious energy that is in your body, we do not know.”
Ghost Li’s body trembled, he did not expect that PuHong Master had such exceptional foresight, had saw through that the internal channels in his body was in a disorder. After contemplating for a moment, decisively said, “Master’s good intentions, I received it. Since then, I will sit under the Wordless Jade Wall for a few days. Just that after which, I will treat it as farewell and leave.” PuHong Master brought his palms together, nodded his head, smiled and said, “Patron just be assured, our humble temple will deﬁnitely not prevent patron.”
Ghost Li nodded his head, turned and walked out. PuHong Master watched his back ﬁgure disappeared, sighed, muttered to himself, “Junior brother, if your spirit is in Heaven, you have to bless and protect this child…”
The Wordless Jade Wall was as what PuHong Master said, even though it was located at Mt Meru rear mountain, Ghost Li assumed it would be easy to ﬁnd, however on that day, following FaXiang and FaShan who led the way, there was no sign of it after walking for almost an hour.
Ghost Li felt bewildered in his heart but did not speak it out, instead it was FaXiang who was attentive and noticed the puzzled look on Ghost Li’s face, guessed his thoughts and smiled, said, “Zhang patron, are you thinking why is the Wordless Jade Wall so far away?”
Ghost Li did not deny, said, “Boldly asking senior brother, where exactly is this Wordless Jade Wall, and how did it come about?”
FaXiang laughed while walking, “This is quite a long story. When did the Wordless Jade Wall appear, naturally this nobody knows, it is only known that thousand years ago, when Tian Yin Temple founder was still an itinerant monk, travelling around, one day for some reason, strayed into Mt Meru lofty ridges and towering mountains and was lost, unable to get out. Having no choice, our founder walked randomly in this forest, it was also predestined Buddha afﬁnity, the smooth like jade stone wall was spotted by him. At that moment, our founder was already hungry and thirsty and exhausted, and so rested under the wall.”
FaXiang paused, Ghost Li could not help but asked, “Oh, then what happened later?”
A bifurcation appeared in the mountain path before FaXiang, FaXiang headed to the left and led Ghost Li down a slope, at the same time said, “It was said that our founder sat under the jade wall for three days and three nights, for some reason, gradually from unbearable hunger and thirst to a composed state, his heart at ease and his mind calmed, entered into our Buddhist Great Perfection Realm, after three days, he attained enlightenment under the Wordless Jade Wall. Other than that, it was said…”
FaXiang turned and smiled mysteriously to Ghost Li, continued, “It was further said, under the wall, our founder actually comprehended our Tian Yin Temple supreme true way Great Brahman Wisdom which is passed down from generations to generations, and so established Tian Yin Temple’s position among the world’s cultivation sects.“
Ghost Li was stunned for a moment, shook his head, felt the legend of this Tian Yin Temple founder was quite amusing, several parts of the story felt unreal, actually also somehow absurd. Initially towards PuHong Master’s method this time, he had some expectations but after hearing FaXiang narration of the story, he instead felt disheartened, could not help but secretly sighed.
FaXiang was observant, saw Ghost Li’s change of expressions, only smiled and continued to lead the way, did not speak, as for the tall and sturdy FaShan monk behind them who remained silent all the way, also did not speak. The three of them followed along the mountain path for about an hour, walked among the twisting lofty mountains, unknowingly had already left Tian Yin Temple far behind them, unable to see it again.
Ghost Li did not expect that the mountain terrain behind Tian Yin Temple was actually more extensive than he had imagined but watching the peaks and ridges, layers of green, the mountain breeze blew gently, along the way odd rocks towered, all kinds of strange things, or steep cliff waterfalls, pouring from the sky, rumbling and looking like jade belt.
Along the way, he felt his chest lifted, looking at the beautiful scenery in the surroundings, he instead did not feel that depressed anymore.
Suddenly FaXiang was heard saying, “It will be ahead.”
Ghost Li was surprised, looked ahead but saw the path was still winding, beside the path was dense forest, the other side weeds and brambles, outside three chi was a cliff, where was the more than seven zhang tall Wordless Jade Wall that they said? “Boldly asking senior brother, where is this jade wall?”
Smiling, FaXiang walked a few steps ahead, came to that cliff, looking back, said, “It is here.”
Ghost Li went to his side, standing on the cliff, he looked up, saw the mist permeating below, like surging waves, turbulent, seemed like a valley. And an indistinct mountain silhouette could be seen in the distance, but it was at a very remote place.
Ghost Li pondered, turned and said to FaXiang, “Don’t tell me it's in this valley?”
FaXiang smiled and said, “It is below our feet.”
Ghost Li was stunned, FaXiang was already laughing and said, “Let’s go down!”
Speaking, FaXiang leapt down, FaShan followed after. Ghost Li standing on the cliff above, deliberated a moment but also jumped down.
Soul-devouring in the mist, ﬂashed with dark-green light, slowly enveloped Ghost Li, protected him and slowly descended.
The mist seemed peculiar, appeared dense but not dense, threadlike entangling together, allowing the mountain breeze to rufﬂe it but it did not show any signs of dispersing. During the descend, Ghost Li looked towards the mountain wall but only saw white mist in front.
Feeling bewildered, he grasped and urged the Soul-devouring to go nearer to the mountain wall, he only saw layers of cloud- like mist scattering, slipping away to both sides before his eyes, just when he was focusing, suddenly, a silhouette appeared in front of him.
Ghost Li was startled and quickly paused his body, looking carefully, he received quite a big shock, before himself he saw someone who looked exactly like himself, with a shock look looking at himself. That person’s gaze was deep, his face appeared to show the vicissitudes of life, in his hand was also holding a Soul- devouring evil stick. While Ghost Li was in shock, a Sanskrit song was suddenly heard from the sky, like a heavy drum beat, heavily reverberated in his ear.
Following this Sanskrit song, a solemn and digniﬁed force instantly charged up from an unknown realm below his feet, like an enormous wave shooting up to the sky and the surrounding mist immediately rolled up into it, consuming that ﬁgure completely. Ghost Li felt a pain in his heart, the ice- cold feeling in his body actually moved on its own accord, like repelling violently against this Buddhist force, retaliating back on its own.
In his shock, Ghost Li again felt that other than the evil power from the Sinister Orb stirring in his body, like being inﬂuence by this Buddhist energy, his own cultivation Great Brahman Wisdom also seemed unwilling to submit to another force, surged up, seemed intending to have a show-down with the Sinister Orb evil power.
Before even starting, his body already had such great impact, the energy in this realm, was really inconceivable. Ghost Li was shocked, for a moment forgotten about the strange silhouette, only urged his own cultivation, protected his heart and slowly descended.
Soon, the fog gradually thinned, the scene below his feet immediately became clear, it was a small stone platform, the surface smooth, a radius of three zhang, sparse trees, surrounded it were several Tian Yin Temple monks sitting around. These monks were either sitting near or far, in no order but it seemed to have implicit meaning, faint Buddhist power ﬂowed within, indistinctly forming a formation.
Ghost Li carefully looked, suddenly felt somehow familiar, carefully thinking, he recalled an image of a Buddhist mantra primitive character.
Ghost Li very quickly reached the ground, looking around, saw FaXiang and FaShan were already sitting among the monks, clasping their palms together in silent, with their heads bowed and not looking at him. And the leader of the monks, was Tian Yin Temple abbot PuHong Master, sitting below on his left, whom Ghost Li had saw him before, was PuFang holy monk who had demonstrated his great martial prowess on Qing Yun Hill. Instead it was a monk who was sitting below on his right, looked rather weird, Ghost Li had never seen him before but looking at his haggard face, complexion sallow, like a dying person, and his aged appearance, was even far older than PuHong Master. Just that he did not know who this person was but he was ranked together with PuHong and PuFang these two holy monks, evidently was a great ﬁgure in Tian Yin Temple.
Ghost Li without further words, bowed to PuHong Master, PuHong Master clasped his palms back in greetings, smiled and said, “Little patron has come.”
Ghost Li nodded, “Yes but what does abbot wants me to do?”
PuHong Master pointed to the platform, said, “None other, little patron only has to sit on that platform, meditate and sit for a few days.”
Ghost Li nodded his head, looked back to that platform and then looked up again at the surrounding, saw the thick mist lingering above but where was the legendary Wordless Jade Wall? He could not help but ask, “Abbot Master I will like to ask, where is the Wordless Jade Wall?” PuHong Master smiled, “Little patron will see it in a moment.”
Ghost Li was surprised, nodded his head, turned around and was about to sit on that platform when suddenly a faint sharp whistle was heard in the sky, it was wind, it was the howl of a beast, traversing the clouds and mist, a beam of brilliant light following closely behind, tore opened a crack in the thick mist, shone down onto Ghost Li.
Ghost Li retreated a step back, looked up and saw within the valley rumbling sounds, like undulating peals of thunders, waves suddenly formed in the thick mist like sea, from gentle risings turning into huge waves, billows undulating, following which many more cracks appeared, the thick mist also became thinner and thinner, revealing beams after beams, rays and rays of light.
Facing this spectacular sight, Ghost Li watched for a long time, the thick mist ﬁnally dispersed completely, light shone down, instantly resplendent light ﬁlled the world, nobody could look at the light directly. After a moment, it gradually dimmed. When Ghost Li once again opened his eyes, he got a shock, saw the legendary Wordless Jade Wall.
It was just In front of him, behind that small stone platform, under the cliff, a precipice that looked like mirror, hanging down perfectly straight, more than seven zhang high, more than four zhang wide, the texture like jade but not jade, extremely smooth, reﬂecting the beauty of heaven and earth, near and far mountains, actually were all in this jade wall. And Ghost Li with the other Tian Yin Temple monks under this wall, looked insigniﬁcant like ants.
Compared with the creations of heaven and earth, humans were so tiny!
Ghost Li was silent, after a long time let out a long breath, without a word, went up to the platform sat cross-legged down, did not look at anyone, took a deep breath and closed his eyes, sat there like that motionless.
PuHong Master watched Ghost Li for a long time, turned to the monks behind and nodded his head. Dozens of Tian Yin Temple monks, including PuHong Master, PuFang holy monk and that mysterious monk beside PuHong, FaXiang, FaShan etc, brought their palms together and chanted.
Dozens of faint golden lights, slowly rose, indistinct Sanskrit song, seemed to come from the sky!
Suddenly, golden light increased greatly, in the monks formation, golden light ﬂowed, digniﬁed Buddhist energy, the golden light from the monks turned more and more dazzling, after a moment deafening rumbles were heard, a golden resplendent large ‘Buddha’ incantation appeared above the formation, slowly rising.
The Sanskrit song became louder and louder, heaven and earth solemn, that golden Buddha word rose higher and higher, slowly reached the mid-air, erected. In the sunlight of the horizon, glowing more and more resplendently.
As if activated by the Buddhist mantra, on that precipice, on the smooth jade wall a reﬂection of the Buddhist word slowly appeared but it was not like the usual mirror, instead started from small to big, gradually emitting golden light, the Buddhist word image slowly appearing and when it grew large on that jade wall, the Buddhist mantra in the air seemed to dim down.
Very quickly, the Buddhist mantra on that jade wall grew almost bigger than the one in the air, the entire wall dazzled with golden light, sparkling, accompanying the waves of SanSkrit song. Suddenly, on that jade wall a faint ray of golden Buddha light revealed, slowly shone out, enveloped Ghost Li who was sitting cross-legged.
Ghost Li’s body trembled, a trace of pain shown on his face but he did not open his eyes, instead tolerated it. Very quickly, the pain expression on his face disappeared, sitting motionless.
The jade wall shone out faint Buddhist light, did not have any changes, the golden light slowly glimmered, an indescribable digniﬁed feeling.
And surrounding Tian Yin Temple monks’ countenances did not change too, chanting softly, the light on their formation ﬂowed slowly, supporting the Buddhist mantra in the air. Time ﬂowed, quietly passed by like that…
After three days, the Buddhist mantra on the jade wall did not show the slightest sign of weakening, the faint Buddhist light shining, still enveloping Ghost Li.
Ghost Li’s face was calm, these three days to him seemed the same, like the ﬁrst day he arrived, instead it was the monks below PuHong Master, although the formation did not change but their faces faintly showed tiredness.
PuHong Master from his meditation slowly opened his eyes, looked to Ghost Li who was still sitting peacefully, after a long while sighed quietly, “Foolish child, foolish child, in the end still unable to let go?”
Speaking, he shook his head gently, sighed incessantly.
PuFang holy maid who was sitting on his left side lightly said, “We worked so hard, arranged this Buddhist Subdue Devil formation, ﬁrst is to help him degrade Sinister Orb vicious energy, even more importantly, to resolve the demons in his heart. But his heart is tightly locked up, hard to eliminate the demons in his heart, even if the Sinister Orb vicious energy is neutralized, who knows one day if he will also turn into a demon too? The things that we did today, most likely are instead taking the side of the evildoer!”
PuHong Master frowned, his face darkened, said, “Junior brother, this young man has deep afﬁnity with our Tian Yin Temple, no matter what we cannot give up lightly, why did you say such words?”
PuFang’s countenance changed, brought his palms together, “Senior brother is right to lecture. I am not having any prejudice towards this young man, it is because of that time...that scene of our senior and junior brothers dying, my heart is in sorrow, I really do not wish to see him taking the evil route again. Junior brother spoke inappropriately, senior brother please chastise.”
PuHong Master’s face eased, said, “Not that I have not thought the same way as you, if not I would not lay down this Subdue Devil formation, deliberately used Buddhist true way great ability to enlighten him. But before this jade wall, he seemed to too…” While speaking, suddenly in the tranquil and solemn mountain valley a loud sound issued out of thin air, the entire jade wall seemed to tremble once, the Buddhist mantra in the air and on the wall seemed to be shaking too.
PuHong Master and the other monks turned pale, in shock for a moment, quickly hastened their spells, unexpectedly a pain expression appeared on Ghost Li’s face, the Soul- devouring which had been suppressed by Buddhist power these three days suddenly lighted up, a burst of black energy instantly covered his face.
PuHong Master did not expect that the Sinister Orb’s evil power was so strong, after being suppressed for three days and three nights, it still had strength to resist, he was able to call everyone to hold on to the formation, Ghost Li who was unable to bear it any longer, issued a cry and leapt up.
The Buddhist mantra in the air suddenly dispersed, Ghost Li raised his head and made a long cry in the air, his demeanour like mad, at the same time turned and looked at the jade wall, saw that in addition, it had rays of red lights, the golden light and red rays, ﬁghting incessantly. While the lights were in chaos, strange forms varied and brilliant, a shock of thunder heard out of sudden in the horizon, the sky darkened down.
Winds and clouds rolled over from all directions, on the smooth jade wall, from top to bottom, spots like deep engraving, a row of characters appeared, other than that, numerous golden crude incomprehensible words, like seething on the jade wall between the golden light red rays glimmering and quivering, a dazzling display. And that row of words instead were unmistakably clear, it was --
Heaven and Earth heartless, treats all living things as straw dogs!
Chapter 185 - Heaven Punishment
On that Wordless Jade Wall, numerous golden crude words appeared, such bizarre thing, even PuHong Master and all of the other Tian Yin Temple monks had never seen it before. On that Jade Wall, majestic auras rose at times, glimmered with dark red light at times, solemn and digniﬁed golden light mixed with strange unfathomable red light, gave one a feeling of suffocation.
Ghost Li in the air, lifted his head up and gave a long scream, he looked like he was in pain, his eyes then shifted to that Wall, saw the wavering seething words. Around him, the Soul- devouring strange light turned brighter and brighter, the evil power emitting from his body, also turned stronger and stronger.
Even the monks on the ground, felt a never-before ice cold energy, coming from Ghost Li’s body, enveloping them. These three days after being grinded by the Buddhist formation, the Sinister Orb’s evil power did seemed to weaken, instead it seemed to trigger all of its power out, unprecedentedly powerful. PuHong Master seemed anxious, right now was the critical point of the situation, his expression like the weather in the horizon, changing constantly, unable to decide his move.
PuFang instead was worrying, he looked at Ghost Li who was bathed in dark green light, his brows frowning, looked at PuHong Master and shouted, “Senior brother, what shall we do now?”
PuHong Master took a deep breath, decisively said, “This person is the descendant of PuZhi junior brother, he also has his lifetime of great aspiration, we cannot stand by.”
He had just ﬁnished speaking when he shouted an order, again sat cross-legged down, his mouth chanting, SanSkrit song indistinctly started again, following which, the monks around him saw the abbot casting spell, all followed too. The next moment, a solemn digniﬁed golden light, again ﬂoated out from these Tian Yin Temple monks.
Just that the Buddhist golden light this time, was different from the Buddhist formation in the past three days, in the solemness it was less merciful, more stern and harsh. However Ghost Li, did not notice the rising golden light below which was approaching himself, his attention right now seemed to be totally absorbed in those glimmering words on the Wall.
Nobody could have expected, even if those Tian Yin Temple monks saw with their own eyes, would not understand it, right now glimmering on the Wordless Jade Wall, on this most revered noble and unsullied sacred Jade Wall, was the legendary fourth volume of the Evil Sect Classic <TianShu>!
The heavenly laws boundless, the things of the world changeful, how much can one predict?
Tian Yin Temple monks day and night performed ceremony for the Buddha, still did not know it; Ghost Li with his rough lifetime of experiences, vicissitudes of life in the world, he too didn’t know!
But Ghost Li right now, how would he consider so much, in his eyes, almost instinctively mesmerized by those glimmering words. Every pulsing sentences, were all of the missing and unexplainable portions of the strange skill <TianShu> which he arduously trained in solitary, one by one appearing before him, like one whose road ahead was full of countless cliffs and precipices, hesitating at the dead end, suddenly there was a road in the cliff, bridge across rapids, what kind of exhilaration that was, how could he still be distracted and care about other things?
For a moment, the arduous and obscure parts of his past cultivation, suddenly like seeing the light, slowly revealed. From the ﬁrst <TianShu> volume of general principles seen ten years ago in KongSang Mountain Thousand Bats Ancient Cave Blood Dripping Cave, ten years of time like tide elapsed, this man hovering in the horizon of changing situation, for the ﬁrst time felt, breathing as one with Heaven and Earth, yet forgetting each and every living thing.
Panting, deeply panting!
From top to toe, every part of his body felt like it was going to explode, numerous and complicated strange whistling noise, tightly shrouded him. The different breaths in his body seething like huge waves, all surging and turbulent. The Sinister Orb evil power cold, Inferno Fire Mirror pure yang energy blazing harder and harder; TaiJi Xuan Qing Way gentle and unbiased, Great Brahman Wisdom solemn like mountain; in addition drifting out from the different areas of the body, Ghost Li past cultivated three volumes of <Tian Shu> true vitality energy, copious amount and unable to stem.
Heaven and earth changing, creating miracles!
Under the dark clouds, the strange light emitted from the ﬁgure in the air increased in brightness while the sky turned darker and darker, a direct show of might rebelling against the heavens. The thunder rumbled in the horizon, ﬂashes of lightning were seen scurrying within the clouds, as if the heaven was already infuriated. In the clouds, strong winds blew, the clouds slowly started to spin, just above Ghost Li, gradually evolving into a giant vortex.
And Ghost Li, his attention still on the Jade Wall, oblivious to the surroundings.
And at this moment, the SanSkrit chant on the ground burst into power, solemn golden light charged to the sky, immediately enveloping Ghost Li. This golden light was extremely powerful, accumulating several Tian Yin Temple monks’ cultivation forces, how would it be ordinary, instantly suppressed the evil power from Ghost Li, containing it tightly.
Once the golden light rose, enveloped Ghost Li, the force of the thunder and lightnings in the horizon seemed to be restrained, immediately slowly turned weak, the huge vortex forming in the sky also seemed to gradually disintegrate.
PuHong Master gazed at the ﬁrmament, slowly let out a breath, the withered old monk beside him suddenly spoke coldly, “This person’s lifetime of cultivation actually invoked ‘Heaven Punishment Stern Thunder’, the powerfulness of the evil power can be seen, heaven is intolerant too. Abbot disregarded everything to save and protect him, I’m afraid it might not be correct too.”
PuHong Master’s countenance changed, turned and looked at him, that withered old monk coldly stared back, PuHong Master for the moment was speechless. Actually with PuHong Master’s level of skills, how would he not sense the waves of malevolent evil power emanating from Ghost Li, deﬁnitely not Good Faction’s skills, what he did today, it really could not be said to be right. Just that once he thought about his PuZhi junior brother who passed away in bitterness, and Ghost Li’s great merciful act towards PuZhi’s remains a few days ago, PuHong Master who was deeply touched could not watch and do nothing.
PuHong Master did not speak, after a long pause was about to speak, suddenly a stir of commotion was heard beside, many of them exclaimed, at the same time a strange energy emanated from the formation, it seemed to have change, he quickly looked up, immediately his face changed.
Under the protection and suppression of the great Buddhist formation wielded by many of the Tian Yin Temple monks at the same time, Ghost Li’s evil power was forcibly suppressed, all of it contained in the golden light formation. The mysterious storm in the sky was unable to ﬁnd its target, slowly dispersed. Unexpectedly at this moment, the weak beams of light on Ghost Li, suddenly lit up again, and its turbulent energy, was even more powerful than before.
[Rumble] A shock of thunder, exploded out in the horizon.
Wild winds raged, in the thunder, Ghost Li again screamed long to the sky, light ﬂashed around him, dark-green, red, gold, bright red, rotated ceaselessly, ﬁnally in the end merged, evolved into the most simple black white colours, this black white colours were also rather strange, at times totally white, at times totally black, unpredictable but the indistinct power in it, was felt by all of the Tian Yin Temple monks.
In the mid air, consolidating several Tian Yin Temple monks’ power, that golden light formation, seemed unable to resist Ghost Li’s new-born power, slowly weakened. At the same time, wind and clouds rolled in the sky, the enormous vortex appeared again, and its speed surpassed the previous, swiftly formed and just above Ghost Li.
Looking up from the ground, in that layers of cloud vortex, lightning ﬂashed madly, thunder sounds rumbled, there was also a strange [si si] whistle, like the sky’s ferocious mouth, was about to pick someone and devour. The monks on the ground, their faces revealed pain, it had become a struggle to maintain this formation, right now not only Ghost Li’s body was resisting the golden light, in the sky, that mysterious vortex, a powerful force descended, clashed heavy on top of the golden light formation.
The golden light formation received attacks from the front and back, its light swiftly dimmed, PuHong Master and the rest were shocked, and at this moment, a sound of thunder suddenly in the sky, from that unceasing bottomless vortex, a thick lightning struck down from the ﬁrmament, onto the golden formation.
Deafening cracking sound, PuHong Master and the rest of the monks’ bodies shook, those monks who were lower-skilled, their faces ﬂushed red, some already spat out blood. The golden formation wavered and ﬂashed, ﬁnally dispersed dejectedly, vanished.
PuHong Master’s felt a tightness in his chest, as the leader of the formation, he received the hardest hit but right now his attention was all on the sky, in his anxiety, he actually stood up. Since the golden light formation had broken up, Ghost Li no longer was restrained, the pressure on his body instantly disappeared but felt that although his body was relieved, the newborn vitality energy in his body revolved ceaselessly, growing incessantly, absolutely free from inhibitions.
Then, without waiting for any actions from him, he who had raised the alarm in the heavens, deep inside the dark clouds in the sky, rolling cracks of thunder rumbled, like a light beam descending from the sky, overwhelmingly, as if directly penetrating through Heaven and Earth, struck down with a loud crash, it was heading straight towards him.
Where it traversed, blazing ﬁercely, the sides of the column made [chi chi] sounds unceasingly, not knowing if it was because the temperature was too high, all of the things beside it were all reduced to malleable. And what Ghost Li was facing, was this colossal might of Heaven and Earth, unavoidable, inescapable…
Looking as Ghost Li was about to be hit by this colossal light beam, body to be smashed to pieces, PuHong Master and the rest of the monks could not bear to watch, all closed their eyes and turned their heads over, PuHong Master felt even more grieved, couldn’t ﬁgure out, he was only having a good intention to enlighten Ghost Li, hoped to resolve the evil energy in his body, how did it turn out to be like this, invoking not seen for ten thousand years, existing only in legends, the Heaven Punishment Stern Thunder!
Don’t tell him, Heavens really could not accept this man?
The light beam looked to be arriving soon, before it reached his body, Ghost Li’s face pale, in the howling wild storm opened his mouth and shouted but there was no sound at all, all were drowned in that colossal might of Heaven and Earth. But he, wrapped under the divine might, blood ﬂowing out of his face’s seven apertures, his expression desolate and despair, even the Soul-devouring evil baton which had always protected him loyally, this moment facing the Heaven Punishment, was suppressed and had no light.
Everything, seemed about to end!
The dominating ﬁrmament, a dirge seemed to be heard faintly, reverberating in the horizon. Suddenly, behind Ghost Li, the Wordless Jade Wall which had gradually dimmed, seemed to sense something, numerous glimmering words again ﬂashed up, especially the nine words in the center: Heaven and Earth heartless, treats all living things as straw dogs! Dazzled with glaring intensity, lighted up, looking at its impetus, it indistinctly carried a trace of insufferably arrogance and obstinate air.
Even if, facing the heaven which countless of mortals prostrated in worship, that Heaven Punishment which seemed eternally invincible, the light on the Jade Wall, did not retreat the slightest!
The light on the wall reached its ultimate, it was as if the most resplendent meteor ablaze in that instant, no one could look at its light. The light which seemed to go into a frenzy, in an instant blotting out the sky and covering up the earth, charged over, from bottom upwards, entirely enveloping Ghost Li’s body within, at the same time, an even bigger unparalleled brilliance charged up to the sky, that inﬁnite impetus, actually charged directly towards that enigmatic colossal vortex in the horizon.
The canopy of the heavens, deafening thunder sounds, each seemed to have the force of cracking the sky, like being agitated, in that instant, that incomparable might of the Heaven Punishment light column shifted a few degrees, leaving Ghost Li, struck onto that unyielding brilliance that rose up from that Wordless Jade Wall!
Two forces of blazing light columns, collided with a crash between Heaven and Earth, the mountain ranges on the ground quaked, numerous giant rock walls cracked opened, in the rumbles of thunder, thousands of beasts cried out, like the end of the world had arrived.
Between Heaven and Earth, the dazzling light which could not be viewed!
Heaven and Earth froze, seemed in that instant. On the jade wall, the polished-like-mirror stone wall, cracking sounds were heard, from the center of the wall, [pu] a crisp sound, a small opening cracked opened, following which numerous thin ﬁssures extended out from this opening, enlarging. Finally, in the confused cries, a sound of loud rumble, this huge stone wall, stones and rocks ﬂew, collapsed!
In the horizon, the huge light beam slowly dispersed, the looming dark clouds seemed to have vented their anger, the wild winds slowly ceased, thunders too. Following which, heaven and earth seemed to resume its tranquility all of a sudden, the dark clouds gradually scattered, that calm sky, gradually lit up.
A ﬁgure, slowly fell from the sky, it was Ghost Li, blood streaming from his face, unconscious, and protecting his body, was a faint mysterious light, after his body landed, wavered a few times, eventually dispersed, leaving not a trace.
The Tian Yin Temple monks stared dumbfoundedly at the ruins of the Wordless Jade Wall, looked at Ghost Li who actually by a stroke of luck escaped from the Heaven Punishment, speechless. This sleep, seemed to be another distant slumber.
Seemed like during this time, many people walked past himself, extremely busy, some spoke beside him, the volumes loud and soft at times, and at times, there seemed to be arguments too. But most of the time, it was quiet.
He in this insipid peace, not knowing how long he had slept, indistinctly felt some sensations but still did not regain consciousness.
Maybe, remaining in this deep slumber, instead was the ardent hope deep inside his heart!
Footsteps were heard outside the door, FaXiang, in the meditation room, glanced out, quickly stood up, put his palms together and bowed to PuHong Master who was walking in. PuHong Master nodded, glanced at the sleeping Ghost Li on the meditation bed, quietly said, “Is he still good?”
FaXiang nodded and said, “Since that day, Zhang patron has been unconscious like this. Just that his breathing is at ease, there is no abnormal sign, and his body did not have any other injuries, by right should long be up but for some reason, he is still unconscious like that?”
PuHong Master was silent for a moment, said, “He is fortunate to escape death under the Heaven Punishment, as such it is already a tremendous luck. Thinking back that Heaven Punishment is a rare divine power in ten thousand years, unexpectedly it would happen on him, it can’t be...he is really an evildoer untolerated by Heaven?”
FaXiang’s countenance changed, secretly glanced at PuHong Master, PuHong Master looked grave but there was no other expressions, thus he placed his suspended heart back, quietly said, “Teacher, is it that the other teacher uncles argued with you?”
PuHong Master laughed bitterly but did not speak.
FaXiang was silent. After a long time, PuHong Master slowly said, “The Wordless Jade Wall was our Tian Yin Temple sacred ground treasure, moreover the Buddhist remains handed down by our founders, this time destroyed by Heaven Punishment, it is all because of my selﬁsh motive. I have decided after Zhang patron regain consciousness, I will resign from my position as abbot, from then face the wall and comprehend Buddhist truth, so as to atone for my sin.”
FaXiang’s countenance changed greatly, exclaimed, “Teacher, how, how can you say that, this is not your fault!”
PuHong Master shook his head, said, “Your teacher uncles are right, I was ﬁlled with gratitude to Zhang patron for resolving PuZhi junior brother’s resentful spirit and vicious energy and so presumptuously made the decision, overestimated myself and assumed to use Buddhist power on the sacred ground to enlighten him. Thus invoking the Heaven Punishment, destroyed the Jade Wall, this is really my sin. Just that…”
He smiled instead, said to FaXiang, “Just that I never once regretted, do you know why?” FaXiang silently shook his head.
PuHong Master smiled and said, “On that day, when the Heaven Punishment struck down, this Zhang patron by right would not be spared but the Jade Wall on its own accord saved Zhang patron. Although the reason for it, we all do not know but the Jade Wall had spiritual intelligence, it must be it was not willing to watch Zhang patron die under the Heaven Punishment and therefore did so. Since the Jade Wall did that, it can be seen what I did was not wrong. Therefore although it is my fault that the Jade Wall is destroyed, I intend to seek forgiveness but in my heart, I did not regret a bit.”
FaXiang clenched his teeth, raised his head and called out, “Teacher…”
PuHong Master patted his shoulder, smiled and consoled with a few words, walked to Ghost Li side and carefully looked at him, nodded and said, “Seems like he is looking much better already, if nothing unexpected happens, I guess he will wake up in these few days, you must take good care of him.” FaXiang put his palms together, said, “Teacher please be assured.”
PuHong Master nodded, took another look at Ghost Li, turned and about to walk out.
Just when he was about to step out, suddenly, Ghost Li moved, making a soft groan.
FaXiang was shocked, said in pleasant surprise, “Teacher, he seems to be awakening.”
PuHong Master was greatly delighted, strided over, sat beside Ghost Li on the bed. Under the watchful gazes of the teacher and disciple, Ghost Li’s eyes gently ﬂuttered, ﬁnally slowly opened.
Chapter 186 - Difﬁcult to enlighten
Like the usual days, the melodious morning bell once again sounded, echoed in Mt Meru, among the mist and mountain breeze. It traversed countless of years and time, repeated day after day and in the future days like this, continued to echo.
Standing in the morning sun, Ghost Li clasped his hands behind and stood, listening.
He closed his eyes slightly, as if the leisurely echoes of the bell, must be savored. Ghost Li at the moment, for some reason, his appearance did not change but he looked like a different person, from his bearing, expression, compared to previously, more calmness, less vicious.
Perhaps, those Buddhist formations really had an effect?
This question among the monks in the temple, many after Ghost Li awakened, had this query. The day before yesterday, Ghost Li woke up again, PuHong Master and etc checked him carefully, his body seemed ﬁne, even the impacts he received after being heavily struck did not seem to exist on his body. PuHong Master was overjoyed and just in case, kept Ghost Li a few days more at Tian Yin temple, Ghost Li did not reject and so stayed at Tian Yin Temple.
In the past few days, Ghost Li was even more taciturn than usual, for someone like him who could actually angered the Heaven and invoked Heaven Punishment, most of the monks avoided him, only PuHong Master and FaXiang had no scruples, came to see him frequently. And Ghost Li himself did not seem to pay attention to those, did not leave the room, only when the morning bell and evening drums sounded, he would go to the small yard and quietly listened.
The last bell, carrying inﬁnite lingering echoes, reverberated long over Tian Yin Temple sky, ﬁnally turned silent. Ghost Li then slowly opened his eyes. Submerged in Tian Yin Temple’s morning breeze, underneath his peaceful appearance, his breathing was instead pulsing strongly, as if his entire being wanted to soar up. Tian Yin Temple monks would not know, but Ghost Li himself, understood it in his heart.
On that Wordless Jade Wall, unexpectedly appearing, was the legendary Evil Sect classic <Tian Shu> fourth volume, others might not understand but he was the only one in this world who practised the ﬁrst three volume of <Tian Shu>, with one glance he knew that was what he had always been yearning for during his cultivation, the crux fourth volume.
The numerous seemingly indestructible, insurmountable problems in his training, at this moment, he had already mastered the keys to it, in front of him, was almost like a broad and open road, extremely smooth. He even had this thought, walking down this road, it would deﬁnitely be very smooth, or maybe, he could peep into realms that he dared not even have wild hopes of in the past.
And when he looked upon the past feelings, the human affairs before him, he actually had a transcend feeling, like owning a new world, looking back anew at the past. Just that for some reasons, in his heart, in this wonderful situation, he still had a faint trace of disappointment but he could not describe it. A somewhat incorrect thought, still wrapped around his heart.
Ghost Li stood still for a very long time, no one knew what he was thinking, and no one came in to disturb him. Until he suddenly turned, for several days, for the ﬁrst time walked out of this small little courtyard.
Leaving this courtyard, he never looked back.
Following the steps under his feet, he slowly walked, it was said that this road, was once that monk, in order to carry forward the Dharma, made a great wish and used great supernatural powers to build it. Today, countless people were still using the road he built, but how many would know, he was already scattered ashes and dispersed smoke.
Walking on this road, the simple and crude layers of stone steps, stepping up onto it, a feeling of levelled ground was felt. That earth-shaking scene a few days ago, after an unexpected phenomenal ﬁght, Mt Meru temple hall had varying degrees of damages, only this levelled stone-steps mountain road, was not damaged in the slightest, stayed paved sturdily on the ground, allowing numerous people walking past its chest.
Or perhaps, for the unpredictable Heaven Divine, this road too had some special sentiment?
Ghost Li did not know, and did not want to know, he walked on the road, only silently recalled the past and the deceased, while in his thoughts, he gradually arrived at Little Tian Yin Temple at Mt Meru Peak.
The door was left unlatched, here was as usual quiet, Ghost Li slowly walked in, from behind the door, conversations were heard.
He knocked on the door.
The talks suddenly ceased, then someone like being surprised, made a soft [yi] and the next moment, [zhi ya] the door opened, FaXiang appeared. Saw that it was Ghost Li, FaXiang revealed a smile, Ghost Li nodded his head, said, “Is abbot in?”
FaXiang smiled and stepped aside, said, “Yes, please enter!”
Ghost Li went inside, saw PuHong Master sitting cross-legged on the meditation bed, smiling at him too. Ghost Li walked towards PuHong Master, bowed and said, “Abbot Master."
PuHong Master looked at Ghost Li, assessed him from top to bottom, and ﬁnally looked at his feet, suddenly nodded his head, put his palms together, said, “Didn’t expect within such a short period of time, patron’s skills has improved greatly, it is really gratifying!"
Ghost Li’s brows jumped, did not speak, FaXiang was surprised, carefully assessed Ghost Li from beside.
After a moment of silence, Ghost Li lowered his head slightly towards PuHong Master, said, “A few days ago because of me, the Wordless Jade Wall at your honourable Temple sacred site was destroyed, I am really disturbed.” PuHong Master gently shook his head, indifferently said, “It is a small matter, not worth mentioning.”
Ghost Li was slightly startled, said, “That Wordless Jade Wall was your honourable temple treasure, isn’t it valuable?”
PuHong Master put his palms together, said, “The affairs of life moves around, all beings each and every are nothing, who will know what will happen after that? Today it is precious and important, who knows how it would be on some other days? If patron has a mind to, “ He pointed outside the window, said, “To the right outside of Tian Yin Temple there is a huge rock, patron can go take a look, maybe you will understand the Way of Buddhist mind.”
Ghost Li nodded and said, “Yes. But I came over today, is to bid farewell to abbot master.”
PuHong Master did not seemed surprise, expected Ghost Li’s words, he only nodded and said, “If patron wishes to go, old monk do not dare to stop. Just that before patron leaves, old monk has a few words, wishes to speak to patron.” Ghost Li said, “Master please speak.”
PuHong Master said, “Patron during this period of time, suffered many calamities but eventually is able to overcome every one and break through, I see that patron seemed to have been enlightened, I wonder if it is so?”
Ghost Li pondered for a moment, nodded and said, “Master is discerning, in my survival after the calamity, I indeed had some thoughts. Looking back on my life, there are many regrets.”
PuHong Master’s eyes glinted, said, “Patron is really a person with great wisdom, since you have looked past it, why not look past the secular feelings, come join my Buddhist sect? With old monk’s appraisal, what patron longs for and thinks, it’s only just a ‘quiet’ word, how is it?”
Ghost Li was silent, stood for a long time, bowed to PuHong Master, faintly said, “Master enlightens me, I am very grateful. But although I have enlightenment thoughts but I have not looked past the mortal feelings. To me, the secular feelings, I am unable to let go.” PuHong Master shook his head, said, “Buddha said: color is emptiness! [Translator note: It means the sensory world is an illusion] Aren’t all things in the secular world like this, resentment, gratitude, feelings, enmity, beauty, foes, all are only a ‘colour’ word, trapping humans psychologically, disturbing humans’ peace, patron why do you have to be so stubborn?”
Ghost Li lifted his head and inhaled, with a loud laughter, turned and walked out, loudly saying, “Master, wrong. Colour is emptiness and emptiness is also colour. You want me to look past the mortal relations but how can we look past the mortal relations? I am at between heaven and earth, resentment, gratitude, feelings, enmity, are exactly my lots in life. You want me to look past and attain peace, yet you do not know, after looking past, am I still me?”
The voice gradually became low and deep, ﬁnally inaudible, that man had already went far from this meditation room.
FaXiang was silent for a long time, said to PuHong Master, “Master, you have tried to enlighten him several times but unfortunately…” PuHong Master lightly replied, “He comprehends the way and cultivation, in future I’m afraid he will be the number one ﬁgure in the world. But a person like him actually not able to see past his own demons, in the future various situations, it will depend on his own fortune.”
FaXiang bowed his head, put his palms together and chanted, did not speak again.
Ghost Li left Little Tian Yin Temple, when he walked out of the temple gate, he suddenly stopped, paused and instead turned to the right, in a few steps, he indeed saw a large stone about half the size of a person fallen to the ground.
He went up and looked carefully at the stone, saw that the stone was scarred all over but not a single word or sentence, there was no artiﬁcial chisel marks, did not understand what the mystery of this stone was about.
Ghost Li frowned, pondered for a moment, suddenly his eyes narrowed, it was attracted to the tip of the boulder. The boulder was mottled all over, evidently experienced countless years of sharp winds and bitting frost, full of scars but at that spot, a shape could be vaguely seen. Just that over the years, it had became indiscernible.
Ghost Li stretched his hand over, gently swept the dust and sand from the stone, carefully checked, after a long time, he recognized that that was a shell shape but due to the long period of time, it had turned into stone, merged as one with this stone. Ghost Li then again carefully looked at the boulder but did not ﬁnd any other unusual spots.
His gaze, once again back to the shell, unless what PuHong Master wanted him to see, was this ordinary-looking shell, and in this, what was the mystery of it?
He recalled PuHong Master’s words again in his mind, his eyes looking at that shell and slowly lit up. The towering mountain ranges of Mt Meru, in the near and far thousand miles distance, there wasn’t any deep sea or ocean but this stone, clearly belonged to Mt Meru. Thousands and thousands years ago, for all you know, perhaps this place was a big ocean. The lifetime of a human, compared to the revolution of the earth, the vicissitudes of the world, like a drop in the great ocean, a Mt Meru mustard seed.
However, he was silent, turned towards that quiet little monastery and bowed, when he turned back, his expression was indifferent.
Where his sleeves ﬂung, faint white light ﬂoated, his ﬁgure transformed into a light, headed to the sky, gradually disappearing in the ﬁrmament.
Who is able to look past?
The affairs of human life will go through the great changes to the world by time, but how could it be compared to that moment in my heart, that faint light in that moment. .
Qing Yun Hill, Big Bamboo Peak.
The battle at Qing Yun had already passed for some time, and after that because of the Zhu Xian Sword matter, Reverend DaoXuan kept a close watch on Big Bamboo Valley for a period of time but lately perhaps because Big Bamboo Valley disciples were too obedient, sect head did not send the warnings as frequent. Actually! In the Big Bamboo Valley disciples’ hearts, although this matter was of great important but Reverend DaoXuan’s actions were a little too much.
But no matter what, after all right now they had not been disturbed for a long while, Big Bamboo Valley gradually returned to its usual tranquility. Wu DaYi, He DaZhi both of their injuries also slowly healed, after examination by SuRu, it looked like they had mostly recovered. They were able to walk around on their own now but still unable to handle heavy tasks.
Therefore, as in the past, when the cleaning of the rooms were done, that room at the secluded corner which belonged to their junior brother who had left, also continued to be cleaned. This day, Song Daren and Du BiShu again walked towards that room.
Both were chatting and laughing, like countless times in the past, walked into the yard.
But at that moment, suddenly, a gray shadow ﬂashed past that little yard which should be undisturbed.
That grey shadow was extremely fast but Song Daren and Du BiShu both saw it almost at the same time, both of them shocked, immediately placed their cleaning tools down, shot forward like arrows. However that shadow vanished in an instant, the two of them searched the entire yard, even the rooftop, but still did not ﬁnd anything.
Standing in the courtyard, Song Daren and Du BiShu looked at each other, Song Daren frowned, “Did we see wrongly?”
Du BiShu tilted his head and thought, about to speak when suddenly he whispered, “Senior brother, look over here.” Having said that, he pointed to the back of Song Daren.
Song Daren quickly turned to see, following the direction where Du BiShu was pointing, little junior brother’s room door was initially shut tight but the window beside the door, since when a gap was left. And the room had always been left unoccupied, naturally the window would be closed tight.
Song Daren and Du BiShu looked at each other, saw the suspicions in each other’s eyes. Song Daren composed himself, whispered, “Let’s go in and take a look.”
Du BiShu for some reason, felt nervous, while nodding he could not help but lowered his voice and spoke to Song Daren, “Big senior brother, don’t tell me...will junior brother he…”
Song Daren’s eyes jumped, obviously he had the same thoughts but even he himself felt afraid at that thought, perhaps, if it was really that little junior brother who was now already a stranger, he wouldn’t know how to face him right? His hand, when he touched that wooden door, Song Daren and Du BiShu again looked at each other, then, as if he had made up his mind, Song Daren gritted his teeth, shouted loudly, “Who is it?” While shouting, he ﬁercely pushed the door.
Almost at the same time, the grey ﬁgure in the room ﬂashed past, it seemed to be startled, from the table jumped to the bed, turning around at the same time, its two bright eyes looking around, facing the two people standing at the door stunned, [zhi zhi zhi zhi] cried out.
Song Daren and Du BiShu at the same time called out.
Xiao Hui swallowed down the fruit in its mouth, picked up another wild fruit beside it and bit into half in one mouthful, happily eating. Big Bamboo Valley Observed Silence Hall, right now were scattered with fruit pits from Xiao Hui, thrown everywhere, compared to its usual solemn appearance, it looked rather comical.
Right now everyone was gathered here, even the usual bad- tempered Tian BuYi looking at this scene, only frowned but did not lose his temper, his face dark, not knowing what he was thinking.
For the past ten years, all of them knew, Xiao Hui had always been with that person, never once separated, now that Xiao Hui was there, where was that person?
On that day before Qing Yun Hill Tong Tian Valley Illusory Moon Cave, Song Daren and the others saw Ghost Li, also witnessed that once little junior brother heavily injured by the Zhu Xian ancient sword, and then pursued by numerous people, although since then, there was no longer any news of him, they also vaguely heard, he was already rescued by his accomplice.
But, why would Xiao Hui appear here? Xiao Hui’s appearance here, then where would that person be?
The same question, lingered in everyone’s hearts, weighed heavily. And in Observed Silence Hall, only Xiao Hui impertinently ate with big mouthfuls, other than that, there was still one extremely excited, completely different from the rest!
This big dog, at the moment was very excited, simply ignored his master’s gloomy face, [wang wang wang] barking incessantly, circulated ceaselessly around the table which Xiao Hui was crouching, occasionally sticking out its tongue, licking Xiao Hui a few times.
Xiao Hui grinned, scratched his head and then snatched up an apple from beside, waved it before Da Huang and then threw it out of Observed Silence Hall. Da Huang with a [wang] loud bark, immediately jumped up, its four legs speeding, dashed out of the hall, everyone was surprised, looked out and saw Da Huang actually reached before the apple landed, caught it in the air and at the same time ran back immediately, laid down beside the table, its dog teeth loosened, the apple fell onto the table, rolled a few times.
Everyone was dumbstruck, Tian BuYi grunted.
Only Xiao Hui [zhi zhi zhi zhi] laughed non-stopped, obviously meeting its good friend the old dog, it’s in a very good mood, its monkey tail curled, jumped down from the table and onto Da Huang broad back, hugged Da Huang’s body.
Da Huang [wang wang wang] barked incessantly, looked up raised its chest and ran out, not knowing where one monkey and one dog running off to play again.
Song Daren glanced to Tian BuYi and SuRu, stood up, about to go out and bring back the two animals but only heard Tian BuYi spoke coldly, “Let them go! That monkey has stayed on this mountain for many years, since it has come, it will not go.”
Song Daren acknowledged, slowly sat down. Tian BuYi was silent for a moment, said, “Other than this monkey, you and lao liu did not see anyone else?”
[Translator’s note: Lao liu is an affectionate term for number six]
Song Daren and Du BiShu shook their heads at the same time, said, "Nope.”
Tian BuYi looked displeased, suddenly waved his hand, said, “Alright, you all are dismissed!”
Song Daren and the others looked at each other but their teacher’s command was like the mountain, eventually dared not defy and could only retreated out slowly, on their way out, He DaZhi was thoughtful, asked SuRu, “Teacher’s wife, the pits are everywhere, do you want disciple to clean up?”
Before SuRu could speak, Tian BuYi slightly angrily spoke, “We’ll see tomorrow, didn’t you hear I told you to go out?” He DaZhi silenced, with a [suo] sound retreated, in a blink of an eye disappeared.
SuRu rolled her eyes at Tian BuYi, said, “For what do you vent your anger on them?”
Tian BuYi looked occupied, pacing back and forth, suddenly looked up at SuRu said, “You think lao qi...that person, will he be nearby too?”
SuRu pondered for a moment, lightly said, “That person, has always valued relationships the most, if he wanted to see you, it is also understandable. Just that with his identity, most probably he is unable to reveal himself."
Tian BuYi’s expression changed, his plump face looked uncertain, an inexplicable strangeness.
SuRu looked at him, sighed and said, “I know what you are worrying, that day outside Illusory Moon Cave, although he was hurt by Zhu Xian ancient sword but he after all, did not die, and didn’t rumors claimed that he was rescued by his accomplice? Daren and the rest after reporting to us, all said that the grey monkey was not with him, in my opinion, perhaps he knew the danger at that time and so deliberately did not bring the monkey with him. And after he escaped with serious injures, the monkey wandered among Qing Yun Hill wild mountains, since it cannot ﬁnd its master, it is not surprising that it came to us.”
Tian BuYi frowned tightly, suddenly mumbled something, like cursing someone.
SuRu did not hear clearly, asked, “What did you say?”
But Tian BuYi did not answer, grunted, spread out his brows, with his hands clasped behind headed to the rear hall. SuRu looked at his back ﬁgure, shrugged his shoulders, quite helpless.
Just when she turned around, suddenly heard Tian BuYi’s soft cry, SuRu was surprised, quickly turned around and saw, could not help but smiled. Tian BuYi seemed occupied, did not watch where he was stepping, actually accidentally stepped onto a fruit pit, slipped a bit. Just that Tian BuYi was after all not an ordinary person, with his skills, almost immediately stabilized himself, even it was so, SuRu had already laughed out.
Making a little fool of himself before his wife, Tian BuYi blushed with shame, his face darkened even more, bitterly cursed, “Stupid monkey, see when I will skin you, then see if you will still eat!”
After speaking, not even turning back, he walked into the rear hall, leaving the hall full of fruit pits, SuRu smiled standing.
Chapter 187 - Secret Command
In a blink, the monkey Xiao Hui was already back at Big Bamboo Peak for several days, during this period, it did not looked like it had left Big Bamboo Valley for almost ten years, every single blade of grass and tree over here, the monkey was still so familiar with it. Xiao Hui and Da Huang played the whole day, running around, the usual tranquility on Big Bamboo Valley, seemed like in the recent days, became slightly bustling again.
The sounds of dog barking and shrill mischievous monkey laughter, frequently echoed in Big Bamboo Valley, actually making it more lively.
Early morning, streaming out in groups from their rooms, the Big Bamboo Valley disciples looked at the monkey and dog which were already running and playing on the empty ground before Observed Silence Hall, couldn’t help but broke out into smiles.
He DaZhi smiled and turned back to the crowd said, "Ever since little junior sister married, it has been a long while since the place is so lively.” Everyone nodded, a rather regretful feeling, and at this moment, someone suddenly coughed once in the hall, the cough forceful, everyone was surprised, saw Tian BuYi standing there, quickly went up to pay their obeisance to their master.
Tian BuYi dismissed them with a wave then his gaze was also attracted to Da Huang and Xiao Hui, looking at them for a while, grunted, said, “Two ignorant animals, early in the morning barking like crazy, really don’t intend to let anyone sleep."
All the disciples were stunned for a moment but because he was their teacher, in the end they did not dare to comment anything. Tian BuYi grumbled a few more sentences, mainly complained about raising this stupid dog for so many years in vain, in the end still this useless, actually played so happily with a stupid monkey, everyone found it funny but naturally did not dare to laugh out loud.
Unexpectedly after a moment, Da Huang who was having fun over at a distance, suddenly started to bark loudly at Tian BuYi who was at Observed Silence Hall: [Wang wang wang, wang wang, wang wang wang] - a series of jarring dog barks early in the morning, and Da Huang’s dog face looked arrogant, sticking out its tongue, appeared very displeased with Tian BuYi, it seemed to have heard Tian BuYi’s curses, a disgruntled look.
The disciples had the same thoughts, couldn’t it be that Da Huang already had some cultivation, if not at such a distance, even how sharp its dog ears were, most likely it could not hear clearly, but if it was an old dog that had some cultivation, then naturally it would be another matter.
While everyone was secretly speculating, Tian BuYi was turning red with anger by Da Huang’s sudden rebuttal, angrily shouted, “Rebelling, rebelling, now even a dog dare to jump out and make noise. Lao liu!”
Standing next to the crowd, Du BiShu, was startled, quickly stood out and said, “Teacher, disciple is here, what instructions do you have?”
Tian BuYi looked extremely infuriated, pointing to Da Huang who was still barking loudly with Xiao Hui, angrily said, “Today at noon slaughter that stupid dog, cook a pot of dog meat to eat!” then he hatefully turned and entered the Observed Silence Hall.
Du BiShu stood dumbfounded, cold sweat breaking out, hoarsely said, “What? Teacher, this"
Before he could ﬁnish, Tian BuYi was already gone, the next moment, the group of people behind Du BiShu [hua] with loud laughters burst out, Song Daren and the rest laughed till they were out of breath. Du BiShu, anxious and angry, said, “What are you all laughing at, this, this is commanded by the teacher, what should I do?”
Song Daren came forward, put away his smile, although his eyes were still twinkling but his face had a solemn expression, patted Du BiShu’s shoulder, he seriously said, “Junior brother, this is an important task that teacher entrusted you to, you must perform it well."
Du BiShu almost cried out, anxiously said, “Who are you lying to, who doesn’t know that teacher’s favourite is Da Huang, even if we were to pull out a strand of dog fur, teacher will show us his displeasure. Now this, this, if I really follow Teacher’s order, later on if Teacher regrets, will I still be alive?”
Song Daren [he he] laughed, turned and walked away, second disciple Wu DaYi walked over, nodded seriously to Du BiShu, said, “Lao liu, you are indeed a smart person, you know what Teacher really meant, since it is so, just don’t listen to Teacher’s order will do.”
He DaZhi lifted his head and looked at the sky, slowly walked away but he was muttering, whether deliberately or not, said, “But heard that the thing that Teacher dislikes most is that we these disciples disobey Teacher’s command, once Teacher knows that lao liu dare to treat Teacher’s words like wind, this”
His laughter drifted over with the wind but he was already far away, Du BiShu, like ants on a hot pot, paced around on the spot, when he turned around, the rest was already heading towards the kitchen, he could not help but angrily shouted to the back of his senior brothers, “You these unloyal fellows, sooner or later there will be retribution!” His voice travelled over, not knowing if Song Daren and the rest heard it, from far he could only see that Song Daren did not even turn his head, only stretched out his right hand to wave once, indistinctly, their laughter seemed to be heard again.
X x x
"Stupid dog, foolish dog, dead dog"
[Wang wang wang, wang wang!]
"What, you still dare to bark at me!" Du BiShu gritted his teeth, scolded Da Huang who was tied a tree stump, “It’s because you are meddlesome, caused me to be assigned to do such a damm task by Teacher."
Nearing noon, Du BiShu while his senior brothers were gloating, caught Da Huang who was running amok in the mountains, and tied him to the tree stump outside the kitchen entrance, Xiao Hui using his tail, hung on a tree branch nearby, also did not seem to understand what Du BiShu was trying to do, swinging left and right, watching the human and dog arguing.
As for Da Huang, obviously at the moment it did not have any good feelings towards Du BiShu, its dog face looking ferocious, barking incessantly at Du BiShu
Du BiShu although kept scolding Da Huang but he resolutely dared not as what Tian BuYi said, slaughter Da Huang and make dog stew. Just that his Teacher’s temper was eccentric, more likely than not later when he comes out and sees Da Huang here, he might vent his anger on him. Thinking of these, Du BiShu felt anxious, not knowing what he should do.
Da Huang was obviously very displeased being tied to the stump, its dog mouth opened wide, revealing sharp fangs, howling loudly to Du BiShu. Du BiShu was fretting, glared at Da Huang, shook his head and said to himself, "Forget it, forget it, just consider me unlucky, better go prepare the meals ﬁrst. Hopefully teacher’s mood will be better later.”
Then, he turned and headed to the kitchen, his face looking worried, did not bother with Da Huang anymore. Until he was inside the kitchen, Da Huang was still barking incessantly, but he assumed it was just because Da Huang was alone, did not meant anything much and soon quietened down.
In order to please Tian BuYi, Du BiShu put his heart into the preparation of the meal, focused hard and wholeheartedly absorbed, in-between he heard a few barks from Da Huang and then became mufﬂed, following by low [wu wu] sounds, Du BiShu did not pay much attention to it, only concentrated on making the meal. Besides, his senior brothers, teacher and teacher’s wife would not come here now, he was enjoying the peacefulness.
After a hard time to prepare a good meal, Du BiShu ﬁnally was relieved, took out a handkerchief to wipe his sweat, walked out of the kitchen, unexpectedly he was stunned, only the rope was left on the tree stump, Da Huang and Xiao Hui were missing. Du BiShu was very anxious, looked left and right, couldn’t see any trace of the monkey and yellow dog, wondered if one of his senior brothers was playing around with him at this time?
He immediately ran to the disciple dormitories, asked each one of them but no one knew anything, some still made jokes. Only Du BiShu did not have the mood to joke around, feeling low spirits and turning around in circles. And at this moment, suddenly a loud and clear dog bark was heard from a distance, everyone was surprised, Du BiShu was even the ﬁrst to rush out, carefully checking, it was coming from the room of Zhang Xiao Fan.
Du BiShu quickly rushed to the room, the other Big Bamboo Valley disciples also rushed over, entering the room, only Da Huang was in the courtyard, barking loudly to the sky, and Xiao Hui was gone.
Everyone looked up, but only saw the high blue sky, inﬁnite blue, not the slightest abnormality. Song Daren and the rest quickly searched, all the rooms were searched but Xiao Hui was not seen. Just like his mysterious appearance, Xiao Hui this monkey, again mysteriously disappeared.
For some reason, in Da Huang’s loud barks, everyone was perplexed.
That day at noon, while Du BiShu was anxiously anticipating lunch time, only SuRu appeared in front of the disciples. Everyone felt strange, Du BiShu instead was delighted and surprised but he still asked with concern on his face, “Teacher’s wife, why did teacher not come?”
SuRu gave him a cold stare, did not bother with him, only indifferently glanced back at Observed Silence Hall, her face had a strange look, after a moment she then said, "Your teacher is having some thoughts, and in a bad mood, did not wish to eat today."
Everyone was surprised but looking at SuRu’s expression, did not dare to ask more.
At Big Bamboo Valley, it seemed to resume its usual tranquility, other than occasionally Da Huang barking loudly to the sky, it looked like nothing had happened before.
X x x
A silhouette, drifted down from the depths of Qing Yun mountain range, brisk and mysterious misty, like the legendary mountain spirit. Just that this ﬁgure swept onto a certain area of the mountain foot, suddenly paused on the ground, making a low whistling sound due to the high speed in the air, abruptly stopped, creating [sha] sounds from the grasses and trees below his feet, many fell forward by the wind.
It was Ghost Li.
No one knew which boundary Ghost Li came out from Qing Yin Hill but on his shoulder, Xiao Hui once again crouched there, reunited with its master again after a long time, Xiao Hui was evidently very happy, its long tail curled, its end still wrapped around Ghost Li’s arm. And not knowing since when, that big wine bag on Xiao Hui was again bloated up, wine fragrance emanating, Xiao Hui was even more delighted by this, hugging that big bag, opening it to take a mouthful at times, a satisﬁed look on its face
But Ghost Li was clearly not like Xiao Hui, at the moment his face was indifferent, swept his gaze around, the surroundings was thick with trees, silent and still, only indistinct birds chirping were heard in the distant. Ghost Li suddenly sneered, indifferently sad, “Come out."
No one answered, Ghost Li did not speak again, only slowly turned around, facing a certain area and quietly stood, after a while, suddenly someone sighed and said, “Only a few days, unexpectedly GongZi your skills actually advanced so much, this is really admirable!”
A silhouette ﬂashed, from deep inside the woods a man in black walked out, it was Mr Ghost.
This person, seemed to be perpetually unfathomable and mysterious, always appearing in places where nobody expected him.
Ghost Li looked at him, his eyes cool, although he did not reveal his abhorrence but clearly he he did not like this person, said, "You are here waiting for me, what is it?"
Mr Ghost eyes roamed, ﬁrst looked at Xiao Hui on Ghost Li’s shoulder, especially stared for a moment at the third eye on its forehead, then looked at Ghost Li, said, "Why, vice sect leader doesn’t wish to meet me?"
Ghost Li snorted, did not speak.
Mr Ghost nodded his head and said, "This is also up to you, but this time it is not me, instead it is sect head Ghost King who sent me a message few days ago, asking me to convey some words to you.”
Ghost Li frowned and said, "What happened?"
Mr Ghost said, "After Ghost King sect head heard that you were injured at Qing Yun Hill Illusory Moon Cave, was very concerned, ordered our men who are hidden spies in Central Plains that they must ﬁnd you, and convey his message, if they found vice sect head you, and if vice sect head is in bad health and injured, he could turn back to Wildlands to recuperate, his health is more important; if fortunately vice sect head is well, there is one matter which needs to trouble vice sect head.”
Ghost Li was silent for a moment, said, "Speak.” Mr Ghost behind his black veil, seemed to laugh faintly, his laughter deep and low, said, "Ghost King sect head already knew, the Beast Deity has lost in the battle at Qing Yun and ﬂed. This fang massacred countless of our holy sect disciples, he is our holy sect foe which cannot exist under the same sky, now is the rare opportunity to kill this fang. His escape this time, must be to the southern border which he is familiar with, and in our sect only vice sect head is more familiar with southern border, hope that vice sect head can go into the southern border to pursue him, it is also considered doing a great service for our holy sect.”
Ghost Li was silent for a moment, nodded his head, said, "Alright, I will go.”
Mr Ghost nodded slightly, but suddenly stepped forward, came near to Ghost Li, suppressed his voice and said, “But this trip, sect head especially privately commanded me that I must convey to you this, pursuing the Beast Deity although is important, but the most most important thing, is still another.”
Ghost Li was stunned, said, “What?” Mr Ghost’s eyes glinted, whispered, "Sect head instructed, there is a ferocious beast TaoTie beside the Beast Deity. In any case, even if the Beast Deity escape, this ferocious TaoTie, must be caught alive and brought back to Wildlands. This is a very important matter, vice sect head must bear in mind, bear in mind!"
Ghost Li’s eyebrows wrinkled, stared deeply at Mr Ghost, said, “What does sect head wants with TaoTie?”
Mr Ghost stood up straight, his tone back to normal, lightly said, “This, is not something I can know.”
Ghost Li looked at him for a long time, suddenly turned, without even turning back to look, his ﬁgure like a ﬂash, instantly swept out, disappeared. Leaving only Mr Ghost standing at the same spot, looking at the direction where Ghost Li headed, after a long time mumbled to himself, “Strange, how is it that his skills in such a short time, advanced to such level?”
“That day, that group of men in black that saved him, who are they exactly?” His low mumblings, drifted with the wind, quietly echoed in the forest, eventually disappeared.
Chapter 188 - Mad Dog
After the calamity with the Beast Deity, from north to south, appalling desertion sights were seen everywhere, not a single human for thousands of miles, not a sound from hundreds of villages, were some of the frequent encounters. Due to the short period of suffering, the north was slightly better, heading towards the south, the tragic scenes became more serious.
Ruins, defeated towns, were everywhere. And even in the wild ﬁelds empty grounds, eerie white bones could be discovered at times, a ghastly sight. Wind and smoke soughing, a bleak, desolate scene, this secular world, humans like ants, all unable to control their own fates.
Many people ﬂed to the north, after ensuring that this calamity was indeed over, started to return to their hometowns. The inﬁnite desolate lands, begun to have humans presence. But this also, contained much sorrowful sentiments, both sides of the road, still often had corpses, some killed by evil beasts, some, after the calamity, unable to withstand the hunger and cold on their way back, died. In-between, occasionally some remote places, a few small evil beasts remained, at times rumours of evil beasts killing humans spread. However, at this time, the huge catastrophe was after all over, although the small evil beasts were causing alarm but it could not deter the wishes of many more people who wished to return.
And even those lingering evil demons, in fact also soon disappeared. Because among the countless commoners who were returning home, there were many Good Faction disciples, whenever news of the evil demons were heard, very quickly they were subdued by those Good Faction disciples.
On the day of the great battle at Qing Yun Hill, the Beast Deity defeated by Zhu Xian sword but it did not die, the Good Faction were not fools too, what the Evil Sect knew about hitting a person when he is down, eliminating the roots, the Good Faction naturally also understood the logic of ‘eradicating evil completely’!
They were all various Good Faction sects’s dispatched talented disciples, some of the smaller sects even came out in force, if there is a chance to catch the Beast Deity, taking a broad view, this merit and reputation, how would it be ordinary? Moreover the Beast Deity was an exceptional demon, if there wasn’t any exceptional weapons with it, even fools would not believe it. These speculations, mixed in the crowd, like the tide spread out, gushing towards the south, behind the gradual descending peace, it seemed however that many were holding their breaths to wait and see. In contrast, the commoners’ woes, not many cared.
Following this crowd heading towards the south, travelling in it together were Zhou YiXian, Xiao Huan and Wild Dog Taoist, their sentiments were different from others.
Zhou YiXian was still holding that bamboo pole, and the white banner with the words, ‘Immortal Guide’, was still hanging on it, just that the white cloth, in this turmoil and chaos of war, turned an uneven black and yellow, it still had a few tears at some places. Even the cold wind blew past, the cloth still welcomed and ﬂuttered but there wasn’t any more celestial air, instead it was all broken and dejected.
As for Wild Dog Taoist, for this long period of time, was still following Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan, the three of them roaming the world. But right now he had a cloth covering his face, not for anything else but just that at this time, the commoners around him were more sensitive towards people who looked slightly strange, inadvertently he might be misunderstood to be one of the evil demons, if so then it would be most injustice. After experiencing several such misunderstandings, without Zhou YiXian rolling his eyes at him or Xiao Huan persuading him, Wild Dog Taoist also could not stand it, found a cloth and covered his face up.
Among the three, Xiao Huan looked most refreshing, of course, a young and beautiful girl, naturally would be eye- catching and good-looking. In this sorrowful and dejected crowd of people, she seemed to be the most beautiful ﬁgure.
Along the way, very different from the rest, she always wore a smile but it was not the gloating kind, instead, disregarding Zhou YiXian incessantly nagging, tried her best to help the helpless commoners around her.
Someone who fell due to tiredness, she stepped forward to support; or someone in hunger and cold, she delivered food and clothing; or someone sick or weak, she seemed to have some medical skills, went up to examine; even looking at the bodies lying along the road, she would gently quietly walked past, not avoiding the stench, roughly buried them, regarded as a form of comfort. Along the way, wind and dust covered them, other than facing the graveness of the sick, weak and dead, Xiao Huan seemed to be forever smiling, on this dim and dark path, she was like the compassionate fairy. Zhou YiXian was still perpetually quietly nagging and Wild Dog Taoist followed behind Xiao Huan, never discouraged her once, as long as whatever Xiao Huan wished to do, he would rushed to do it ﬁrst: burying the bodies, he moved to dig; saving and helping the weak, he personally assisted the person. Along the way, in his eyes, there seemed to be only that delicate young girl, what Xiao Huan did, he did it too, even how hard the times were or how tired the journey, he seemed not to be bother at all.
However, they were after all not immortal, without mentioning the rest, so many were hungry and cold and only a little food, even theirs were soon gone. Having no choice, this day they had to leave the crowd temporarily, headed to the wilds, hoping in that mountain they were able to ﬁnd some food.
In the catastrophe, miserable conditions like this!
Zhou YiXian holding the bamboo pole, watching the gradual fading sky, shook his head, sighed, “The times now, it’s really hard to survive."
Xiao Huan walked beside him, smiled but did not speak. But in this short period of time, although her face was stained slightly with travel but she was still beautiful as ever, with addition of some maturity which wasn’t present in the past. Wild Dog Taoist behind her, his tall ﬁgure seemed to join with Xiao Huan slender form, his face hidden behind the cloth, nothing could be seen, except a sparkling pair of eyes.
Right now they were already a distance from the main road, standing at the summit of a small hill, the night thick with dark clouds, only a few spots of stars in the distant, not a glimpse of the moon. The surrounding wild countryside, right now was silent, only cries of insects from somewhere, sometimes long sometimes short, not knowing where it came from.
Xiao Huan paused, as if recalling something, turned to Wild Dog Taoist, smiled and said, “Priest, now there isn’t anyone else, you can take down your face cloth, wrapping for a day, I am afraid you must be terribly uncomfortable." Wild Dog Taoist’s eyes seemed to ﬂash a faint glint in the dark night, slowly removed the cloth, revealed his strange face, whispered, “Uh, actually I am ﬁne but you have a long day today, you should be exhausted right?"
Zhou YiXian also stopped, looked around, saw a dead wood beside, hurriedly walked over, sat right on top of it, then made a long stretch, after which he rolled his eyes at Xiao Huan, said, “Yes, only she is busy, only she is merciful, therefore gifted others her grandfather’s dried rations, and now even your grandfather is starving.”
Xiao Huan turned red, walked over and stood behind Zhou YiXian, stretched out her hands and gently beat on Zhou YiXian’s shoulders, said, “Grandpa, we are still considered fortunate but look at those people, if they do not eat something, they really will have no strength to go on, I'm afraid they might die."
Wild Dog Taoist looked left and right, said, "You both sit here, I will go into the woods to see if I can catch some wild animals, temporarily ﬁll our stomachs.” Xiao Huan smiled to Wild Dog Taoist and said, “Ok, have to trouble priest.”
Wild Dog Taoist grinned, Zhou YiXian suddenly snorted, sneered, "What are you laughing at? And just laughing, but why old man me see that your smile is so vulgar, don’t tell me you are having some unvirtuous thoughts in your head?"
Wild Dog Taoist was shocked, quickly put away his smile, glanced at Xiao Huan, saw Xiao Huan looking at him slightly apologetic, his eyes immediately brightened, how would it have any hint of anger, totally disregarded Zhou YiXian and straight ignoring him, said to Xiao Huan, “Then you both wait for me to come back." Speaking, he walked with quick steps into the forest.
Zhou YiXian snappily mumbled a few words, Xiao Huan behind him slightly annoyed said, “Grandpa, that Wild Dog Taoist has been with us for so long, why can’t you show him a good face, besides, all thanks to him taking care of us along the way, and furthermore he is not a bad person!” Zhou YiXian snorted and said, "What do you know about a good or a bad person? He follows us, isn’t it because”
"Grandpa!" Xiao Huan cried out, cut off his words. Zhou YiXian grumbled a few words and did not speak again.
X x x
[Suo suo] sounds were heard in the woods, then another burst of ﬂuttering sound, after a long while, a burst of footsteps swiftly came, Wild Dog Taoist beaming, ran out from the forest holding a wild bird. A few days ago after that catastrophe, all livings things in extreme distress, even among the mountains, these wild animals and birds, seemed much lesser than before, today Wild Dog Taoist seemed lucky, actually caught a bird that slipped through the net!
Wild Dog Taoist excitedly rushed back, loudly said, “See, look what I’ve caught” Suddenly, his voice stopped, on the open ground, there was nobody, Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan, were gone. [Pa da] the wild bird from Wild Dog Taoist’s hands dropped onto the ground.
The night wind cold, the chill seemed to instantly soaked through deep into the bones, Wild Dog Taoist body for some reasons, started to tremble. Step by step he walked forward, that dead wood on the ground, still even had traces of Zhou YiXian sitting on it.
"They are gone, gone" Wild Dog Taoist’s mind in a chaos, his dog face changed with different emotions, mostly fear and sadness. He at the moment, dumbstruck like a wooden bird but after a moment, he suddenly shook, his eyes lit up, behind that dead wood, there were a few spots of disorder footprints, and on the soft ground beside the footprint, there was a larger than ordinary footprint, three claws in front, deﬁnitely not a human being.
Wild Dog Taoist’s countenance changed greatly, ﬁrst overjoyed, then shocked, then at the moment, a long howl seemed to be heard in the distant, its sound mournful, like a vicious wolf howling to the moon. Wild Dog Taoist subconsciously took a step back, but after a moment, his dog facial muscles slightly trembling, suddenly with a loud roar, he charged into the dense forest towards the howl direction, looking at his demeanour, it looked like a mad dog.
A crazy dog!
Just when Wild Dog Taoist dashed into the forest, on the dark night sky, a white light suddenly lit up, streaking swiftly from the north, across the horizon, not the slightest pause, straight to the south, like a meteor. And on the ground, after a while, while the remnants of the white light was still in the horizon, a black ﬁgure appeared near that empty ground, looking carefully, he was covered all in black cloth, but he was slightly panting, stopping in the forest, he muttered to himself,
“How did his skills improved so much, really met a ghost.” While he was resting, suddenly, he seemed to sense something, turned and glanced into the forest, heard indistinct ﬁghtings from the depths of the woods, the black-attired man hesitated for a moment, again looked up to that white light in the horizon, shook his head, sighed. Then his body ﬂashed but it was light like a ghost, ﬂashed into where Wild Dog Taoist had dashed in. X x x
Wild Dog Taoist held his weapon fang in his hand, looking tense, but the next moment, his shoulder turned dark red, like already wounded. But before him, there was two huge demon beasts, tiger head and lion’s body, as tall as a human, Wild Dog Taoist before them, looked like he would collapse at the ﬁrst blow.
Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan right now were standing behind the two beasts. In this forest, the two demons seemed to have made a den in this desolate place, many branches, grasses and leaves piled in a mess, the heavy smell of blood assaulted the nose. But the most terrible thing was, dead bodies were scattered all around, and other than Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan, there were still seven or eight humans alive, but they looked unconscious, even if they were conscious, they were as thin as sticks, in dreadful states.
Nobody knew from where the two beasts abducted so many people but it could be imagined that in this demon beasts calamity, how tragic it was! Facing the two huge beasts, Wild Dog Taoist panted heavily, in full alert. Earlier on when he charged into here, saw that Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan were still alive, before he could rejoice, he was already attacked by the two beasts. After exchanging moves, these two demon beasts were not ordinary, had huge strength and could actually slashed Wild Dog Taoist’s shoulder. But even so, Wild Dog Taoist was after all a cultivated person, different from the ordinary people, in his panic, he wielded his weapon and at the same time, hit one of the beasts, right now that beast’s front paw was dripping with blood, clearly it was not better off.
Just that the two demons looked extremely ferocious, saw the blood but it did not backed away, instead it stare deathly at Wild Dog Taoist, they were only wary of his weapon so for the moment only stood facing him. And Wild Dog Taoist was lamenting in his heart, that ﬁght, he knew it well, if it was only one beast, he might still have a slim chance to win but two together, he would deﬁnitely lose his life.
However he perhaps could turn and ﬂee, but for some reason, his eyes intentionally or inadvertently glanced at that terriﬁed and anxious pair of eyes behind the beasts, and he could not move his feet to escape alone. Some things, are really inescapable?
Ferocious roars started, ﬁnally unable to bear it, pounced over. Two ﬁgures in the shadows sweeping up the stench of blood, accompanied by Xiao Huan’s cries.
Wild Dog Taoist’s throat turned dry, both legs trembling, his instinct to turn and run, but, but, his body, instead leapt up, heading towards that ferocious demon beasts, as if --
The result was known in an instant, the two beasts’ four claws almost simultaneously tore into Wild Dog Taoist’s body, and Wild Dog Taoist’s fang weapon stabbed into that wounded beast’s chest.
Beast and Wild Dog Taoist screamed at the same time, Xiao Huan’s exclamations had turned into cried. Blood sprayed, Wild Dog Taoist only felt as if his body was shattering, like being tore into two, staggering backwards, in his panic he only saw the four blood wounds on his body, blood pouring out like a fountain.
Ahead, that beast roared a few times, its legs crumbled and collapsed on the ground. The other beast whined, actually did not attack Wild Dog Taoist, and instead beside the fallen beast, constantly used its head, using its claws to shake his comrade. However the beast’s wound, the fang had stabbed into its heart, after struggling a few times, its head drooped and died like that.
[Pa] a light sound, Wild Dog Taoist also could no longer sustain, fell kneeling to the ground, his upper body almost soaked in blood, a sheet of red, panting with huge mouthfuls, his dog face pale.
The noise however alerted the remaining beast, watching its companion died, this demon beast looked even crazy, roaring loudly to the sky, its fangs like blood, again pounced over. Watching helplessly as Wild Dog Taoist was about to lose his life under the beast’s claws, suddenly a confusion, a beam of yellow light ﬂashed, a few talisman papers drifted down, Wild Dog Taoist actually disappeared, the beast demon pounced onto empty ground.
The beast demon was shocked, but a moment later, suddenly heard [ai ya], Zhou YiXian with Wild Dog Taoist actually fell from the sky, he was still holding a few talisman papers in his hands.
This was naturally Zhou YiXian using his so-called ancestors’ celestial skills, when the beasts suddenly attacked them, they were caught unaware and the next moment both of them were caught, in the beasts’ bloody mouths, they didn’t have any chance of escape. Luckily Wild Dog Taoist hot-headedly came to rescue them, they then had a window to escape, initially wanted to take the opportunity to escape, unexpectedly Wild Dog Taoist’s life was in peril, with no choice, Zhou YiXian had to ﬁrst save him.
But his tactics seemed to be only shallow skills, although it was similar to Taoist’s ‘Five Ghost Moving House’ skill, teleported Wild Dog Taoist but the skill was only halfway, for some reason he slipped and in the end the two of them actually fell from the sky, in an extremely sorry plight. And fortunately, Wild Dog Taoist landed on Zhou YiXian’s body, else with this impact, most likely would cause him his death.
But at the moment it was also not the time for them to think so much, that beast in a blink discovered, in a rage, again pounced over. Zhou YiXian and Wild Dog Taoist heads were still spinning, Wild Dog Taoist was slightly better but sustained heavy injuries, in the end would not be able to escape in time. Helpless, he could only wait for death. On his dog face, a lost expression quietly brush past, he turned his head to look, like he wanted to see something?
But at this ﬂint-spark moment, a ﬁgure abruptly appeared, blocked in front of them, that person loudly shouted, “Grandpa, Priest”
Under the cold claws and sharp fangs, Xiao Huan’s desperately crying yet solemn face!
In that instant, Wild Dog Taoist only felt a gush of blood rushing up his head, his entire body like boiling up, looking at that ﬁgure, weak yet beautiful!
X x x
A loud noise, the two ﬁgures collided.
Xiao Huan staggered and fell to the side, her body covered with mud, but she did not notice all these, looking back, she saw only Wild Dog Taoist who had pushed her, leapt forward, entangled with that beast and knocked that beast on the ground. That beast in its fury slashed madly onto Wild Dog Taoist, blood and ﬂesh ﬂew everywhere in that instant, and Wild Dog Taoist actually held onto a death grip on the beast, never releasing.
Xiao Huan and Zhou YiXian turned pale, and the group behind them were also stunned with fright, the next moment, someone shouted, those that were mobile rushed out, surrounded that beast, took all the weapons that they could ﬁnd, those that could not use their own hands and legs and even teeth, attacked desperately on that ﬁerce beast demon.
The beast initially was still loudly roaring, struggled with its might to ﬁght back but after a while, its voice gradually weakened, becoming deeper and deeper, ﬁnally silence. And the people around it seemed to go crazy, attacked with all of their might.
Until, Zhou YiXian was the ﬁrst to come to his senses, quickly shouted for them to stop, it was more important to save lives, the rest then slowly stopped. And with this release, immediately many collapsed on the ground.
Xiao Huan’s face had a few drops of blood but did not care at all, quickly used all of her effort and pulled the beast’s body, trying to pull Wild Dog Taoist body from beneath it. However, after a long time, the beast and Wild Dog Taoist were still entangled together, Xiao Huan was stunned and anxious, almost crying out.
Finally, it was still Zhou YiXian who was still sensible, after carefully looking, he saw Wild Dog Taoist’s hands had tore through the beast’s tough fur, penetrated directly into its chest, stuck inside, no wonder they were inseparable. After discovering this, Zhou YiXian quickly called the rest to help, with their assistance, ﬁnally pulled Wild Dog Taoist’s bloody hands out and separated the two bodies.
Xiao Huan with her pale face, placed Wild Dog Taoist on the ground, was about to ask when her countenance changed, using her hands to check Wild Dog Taoist’s breath, immediately froze.!
"He Priest he"
Zhou YiXian said, "How is he?"
Xiao Huan with her lips slightly trembling, her eyes full of tears, voice trembling cried, “Priest he he is already dead.”
Zhou YiXian for the moment was also stunned, struck speechless. In Xiao Huan’s cries and chokes, under the faint light in the darkness, Wild Dog Taoist’s strange face, was full of pain but a twisted faint smile indistinctly could be seen.
He died, like a mad dog that had died!
In this world, who was once sober?
Chapter 189 - Capture Soul
Those that were lucky to escape, after resting, were either quiet or after offering a few words of comfort, left this bloodied terrible place one by one. In this troubled times, whose life wasn’t valuable, and who would care about another’s life? Every day and every night, every secluded unfamiliar area, didn’t it stage the same scenes of life and death too?
Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan also left, the beast's’ lair was disgusting and heavy with stench of blood, it was really not a place for humans to stay. They struggled to move Wild Dog Taoist's body from the lair, placed it at the same empty ground at the entrance of the forest.
Wild Dog Taoist’s body, seemed to be still warm, but, eventually it would start to turn cold.
Zhou YiXian frowned, sitting beside, shaking his head and sighing, Xiao Huan was kneeling beside Wild Dog Taoist, choking with tears. The night wind blew whistling, shaking the treetops, in the shadow, the mysterious man in black saw all that had happened. Even though to him, it would not cost him any effort to eliminate the two beasts but he seemed to be cold- blooded, from beginning to end he only watched silently in the dark. At the moment, his eyes was assessing Xiao Huan and again to Zhou YiXian.
After a long while, Zhou YiXian was heard saying quietly, “That’s enough, Xiao Huan, he, he is dead after all, let’s ﬁnd a place to bury him, let him rest in peace.”
Xiao Huan’s body shook, her sobbing cries turned louder, suddenly cried to Zhou YiXian, “Grandpa, don’t you know everything, why don’t you think of a way to save him?"
Zhou YiXian smiled bitterly, “I am not the nine netherworlds Yama King of Hell, and neither the Heavens’ deity, how would I know those back-to-life magic spells?"
Xiao Huan choked, “But Priest he died to save us." Zhou YiXian sighed, his eyes shifted to Wild Dog Taoist’s face, nodded his head and said,"Speaking of which, I was wrong about him, didn’t think that someone like him, would also have real feelings and character. Ai, but now it’s too late for words. Xiao Huan, listen to grandfather, let’s bury him well.”
Xiao Huan stared off in a daze, only tears kept streaming down, drop by drop, wetting Wild Dog Taoist’s palm.
In the shadows, that man in black’s eyes glinted but there wasn’t the slightest grief or pity, in his eyes, the world’s mortal emotions were all like scenes of play, only he, coldly watching from the side.
Zhou YiXian got up, searched around, in this desolate and wild forest, how would he be able to ﬁnd any convenient thing. Searching for a long time, in the end he could only broke off a branch, scraping it on the ground a few times, only a little soil was dug out, if a pit was to be dug to bury someone, God knows how long he has to dig.
Couldn’t it be that even a good burial was hard to achieve? Zhou YiXian abandoned the stick and sighed long, a weary look indistinct on his face. After signing away, he looked back, suddenly frowned. Xiao Huan had already stopped crying, after wiping away her tears, she also found a branch, started to sweep away all of the twigs and leaves beside Wild Dog Taoist.
Zhou YiXian initially thought Xiao Huan expected that digging a pit would be hard and so tentatively tidied up the area around Wild Dog Taoist. Unexpectedly, the more he watched the more he felt that something was wrong, after sweeping out about a radius of about ﬁve chi, she threw the stick away, slowly walked back, her expression was sad, yet had a few degrees of resolution.
Zhou YiXian noticed Xiao Huan’s strange expression, walked a few steps forward, said, “Xiao Huan, what are you doing?”
Xiao Huan quietly said, "I want to save him!"
Once the words were spoken, Zhou YiXian was greatly shocked, even the man in the shadows was shocked, his eyes immediately stared at Xiao Huan. Zhou YiXian asked in shock, "What did you say?" Xiao Huan’s tone was still low but her words were extremely clear, “I want to save him!”
Zhou YiXian shook his head and said, "Yes, Xiao Huan, I understood what you meant, no, not this, I mean, how are you going to save him?”
Xiao Huan stretched out her hand and straightened Wild Dog Taoist’s corpse, both hands placed in a rather strange position, raised up above the shoulders, one hand towards the sky, another hand clenched into a ﬁst, at the same time she said, “Priest was killed because of us, I, I can’t do nothing.”
Zhou YiXian frowned more tightly, watching Xiao Huan continued to straighten Wild Dog Taoist’s feet, placing the right feet below the left feet, his expression turned ugly, suddenly shouted loudly, "Are you crazy, Xiao Huan, don’t tell me you want to use ‘Collect Soul Spell’?"
Xiao Huan was silent for a moment, whispered, "Grandpa, I only know this, maybe, maybe it can really save a life?” "Bullshit!" Zhou YiXian for the ﬁrst time berated Xiao Huan so ﬁercely, "What nonsense are you talking about? That ‘Collect Soul Spell’ although has the ability to collect souls but this spell has always been an unorthodox method, not to mention the unpredictable risks, disturbing the roaming souls, it is even a greater taboo of the netherworld ghost realm, you don’t want your life anymore? Also, this spell has always been used on a living body, with them still breathing and their souls around, as such the spell can be casted, to a dead person how are you going to do it? He has stopped breathing and his soul would have been scattered, even if you have this spell, how are you going to ﬁnd his soul, don’t tell me you want to go to the nine netherworlds Hell to look among the innumerable souls?”
In the darkness, the pair of eyes glistened, it seemed to discover something inconceivable out of the sudden.
Xiao Huan, with her eyes red, cried, "Grandpa, he, he just died not long ago, perhaps his soul is still in the vicinity, there is still hope maybe. If we still delay then there is really no hope."
Zhou YiXian’s countenance turned pale, with big steps went up to Xiao Huan, pulled her up, in a deep voice, said, “Xiao Huan, I am telling you, do not be delusional. I know what you are thinking in your heart, the last time you used your own ability and collected back that Jin PingEr’s almost dispersed souls but I am telling you, this is different from that time. I repeat again, this spell must be used on a living person and this type of Ghost Sect skill, it will damage your Yin merit, that time you have only saved Jin PingEr once and you have already lost one year of your life. Now if you rashly do it again, casting the spell on a dead person, it’s already hard to tell if you will succeed but your own body will at least be destroyed of your cultivation foundation, your life maybe twenty years and above. Have you thought about it carefully?”
The last few sentences, Zhou YiXian almost roared out the words, Xiao Huan for a moment was stunned too, she at the prime of her life, it would be a lie if she was not afraid of death, just that facing Wild Dog Taoist lying on the ground, she couldn’t help herself. However when she thought about the horrible endings, her breathings quickened too.
The atmosphere froze for a moment, the next moment, Zhou YiXian softened his tone, softly said, "Xiao Huan, life is decided by fate, nobody can change it. I guessed Heaven wants Wild Dog to die today, let’s bury him properly, it is also considered doing a service to him, alright?” The expressions on Xiao Huan’s face changed a few times, at times struggling, after a long time, suddenly looked up and said, "Grandpa, his life is not determined by Heaven.”
Zhou YiXian looked at Xiao Huan expression, his heart sank, making a dry laugh, he said, “What?”
Xiao Huan let out a long breath, decidedly said, “Priest’s fate, was decided by him, it was he who disregarded everything and ran over to save us, this then resulted in his unfortunate demise. If he had turned and left, anywhere on earth could be his choice to settle down.” The young girl’s face was pale, looking grieved, whispered, “Therefore, he died for us, without him, we will be long dead, how would we be discussing about what years of life?”
She looked at Zhou YiXian, Zhou YiXian for some reason, looked away, “Grandpa, I want to save him. No matter how dangerous this spell is, it will not be comparable to what he had to face in order to save us right?"
She resolutely said. Zhou YiXian knew then her mind was made up and would not change again, he could only look up the sky and heaved a long sigh. And that man in the darkness, right now his eyes were looking at Xiao Huan, glimmering, radiating brilliance.
X x x
In the woods, right now it was deep in the night, Yin energy at its greatest.
In the dim light, that strange spell, slowly started.
The ﬁrst drop of blood, dripped from a cut made on Xiao Huan’s fair arm, slowly landed beside Wild Dog Taoist, then, Xiao Huan circled Wild Dog Taoist, using her own blood, made drops beside him, watching her shaking her wrist slowly, the dripping blood dropped onto the ground, slowly formed a strange pattern.
In the dense forest, with the red-blood pattern gradually forming, faint ghost wails started. Zhou YiXian stood beside and watched, the corner of his eyes slightly twitching. And that man who had been watching from the shadows for a long time, right now suddenly frowned.
This scene, he seemed to have seen it before somewhere!
The great Shaman.
That man in black involuntarily, trembled slightly!
The blood formation that Xiao Huan made, clearly looked similar with the one the great shaman made when he tried to save BiYao but after Xiao Huan made a circle, the formation completed, the man in black already could tell, Xiao Huan’s formation was still different from the great shaman. Not to mention the rest, just the scale of the formation was a lot smaller, maybe because both used blood as the medium and Xiao Huan used only her own blood, clearly could not be compared to the great shaman.
Perhaps it was also because of this reason, Xiao Huan’s formation, the drawings were much simpler than the great shaman’s but even though it was so, after one drawing, Xiao Huan was already swaying, her face pale.
Zhou YiXian did not say a word, went up to assist her. Xiao Huan was slightly weak, looked back at him and slightly smiled, and then slowly at the top of the formation, which was also three chi from Wild Dog Taoist’s head, sit down cross- legged.
In the dim dense forest, a ghost wail abruptly pierced the air, instantly the entire forest was ﬁlled with strange cries, eerie energies overwhelming surged over. The Yin wind blew and blew, blowing from all directions, shaking the surrounding trees, behind all of the trees’ shadows, there seemed to be countless of cold eyes watching over here.
Xiao Huan looked solemn, slowly closed her eyes, a pair of fair hands together on the chest, her mouth chanting quietly a mysterious incantation, a moment later, her slender hands opened, slowly put down, into the blood-drawing before her.
The blood drawings around Wild Dog Taoist instantly lighted up, like suddenly receiving life, started to ﬂow in the drawings. At the same time, Xiao Huan’s pale face, seemed to have a few degrees of strange black energy.
The Yin wind became stronger and stronger, the entire forest at this moment seemed to darken down, only this formation started to glisten. The vibrant ﬂowing blood, looked most delicious, attracting numerous spirits over.
Zhou YiXian looked more and more worried, he knew very well the dangers of this spell, imagine, ordinary human actually trying to snatch souls from the underworld, how dangerous this was. But Xiao Huan had cultivation, and only casted the spell within the forest boundary, its effect was considered not that strong, most likely it would not alert those powerful protectors of the ghost realm, else if one of them noticed this, the consequences would be unimaginable.
Just that right now, with just this formation, Xiao Huan looked like it was hard to manage, the dark energy on her face increased, her body also started to tremble. Casting this spell, was different from saving Jin PingEr, there was still remnants of Jin PingEr’s soul, as such relying on it to collect the remaining souls was much easier. That day when the great shaman was trying to save BiYao, although the formation was much larger but it was also because BiYao’s remnant soul was still in the ‘HeHuan Bell’, and so the spell relied on that to probe the underworld, forcefully collected the remaining souls back. But it was also because of that, the great shaman exhausted his life’s energy, secondly it alerted the protectors of the ghost realm, counterattacked by the ghost realm energy, in the end perished.
And right now Xiao Huan with her inadequate cultivation, performing the most difﬁcult spell in the Ghost Sect, and missing the crux soul, even though the difﬁculty was to ﬁnd Wild Dog Taoist’s soul among the wandering souls of this forest, the risks of it, were already unimaginable for an ordinary person.
The two demon beasts had taken unknown number of lives, and unknown number of ghosts which died unjustly wandered around here, unable to reincarnate. And Xiao Huan making this formation here, clearly intended to collect a soul for this body, how wouldn’t the surrounding ghosts go crazy over that?
Suddenly, the wind and clouds changed countenance, numerous indistinct black gases fought to be ﬁrst and charged towards Xiao Huan, and the pained expression on Xiao Huan’s face increased, her countenance almost shrouded entirely by the black gases.
Looking at this situation, most likely Xiao Huan would not be able to last long but for some reason, she refused to give up, so many grieved ghosts beside her circling around, either ghost wailings or howlings, or begging endlessly, or ﬁercely compelling, all various kinds, the world’s anguishes, hopelessness, all of the negative emotions, all seemed to be piercing into her brain, but Xiao Huan still held on bitterly, with her remaining spiritual energy left in her, searching within the sea of souls.
If she fails this time, most likely there would not be another chance!
Zhou YiXian was already drenched in sweat but dared not disturb Xiao Huan, only paced all around, sighing. And that man in the darkness, although all around them was ghastly and eerie atmosphere but he seemed not to care at all, on the contrary, those ghosts seemed to be afraid of him, keeping a distance. Right now that man’s gaze, stared unblinkingly at Xiao Huan, subconsciously nodded his head, after a long time, his voice so soft only he could hear it, said, “How can it be possible, this young girl using Ghost Sect’s skill and with such high aptitude, is still able to hold on. If she has a Ghost Sect teacher, with guidance, it’s not even imaginable.”
While speaking, he actually also strangely showed some hesitation.
And at this moment, Xiao Huan whose face was covered with black gases, suddenly revealed delight, her right hand which was immersed in the blood formation suddenly lifted up, grabbed empty air and then quickly placed down, grabbed Wild Dog Taoist’s right hand. After which she quickly lifted her left hand out, with the same action grabbed the air, instantly, the ghosts wailed loudly at the same time, almost all sank into an uncontrollable rage, the ghostly air was as thick as iron, instantly the black gases enveloped over, shrouding Xiao Huan’s body entirely.
Outside the formation, all of the trees within three zhangs suddenly withered, it was as if they could not bear this boundless vicious energy. Zhou YiXian was frightened, helpless, he saw Xiao Huan panting heavily, a few times she tried to place her left hand onto Wild Dog Taoist’s right hand but the inﬁnite black energy pressed around her tightly, the ghosts wailing incessantly, Yin wind blew gusts after gusts, there seemed to be a strong force that prevented her. And Xiao Huan’s countenance looked paler and paler, her body shaking, blood trails ﬂowed out of her mouth.
Looking as this formation was about be destroyed, Zhou YiXian panicked, was about to disregard everything and dashed in to pull Xiao Huan away, although he did not know what would be the consequence but it would be better to be away from these ghosts. Unexpectedly before he even moved, a black ﬁgure blocked before him. Zhou YiXian was shocked, looking at him, this black man seemed similar to the surrounding spirits.
That man in black’s hoarse voice coldly spoke, “If you want your granddaughter to live, you better stand there and don’t move.”
Then, the black ﬁgure ﬂashed, the man was already near Xiao Huan and the formation, without any more words, his arms swung in successions, black stuffs ﬂew out of his hands, [ba ba ba] broke through the ground and sunk in, inserting around the formation.
Those things looked dark, similar to iron but not iron, unable to determine what it was but when those things inserted into the formation soil, the blood in the formation seemed to receive some force, the ﬂow speed almost instantly increased twice, like boiling. A red glow lighted up from the formation, enveloped Xiao Huan.
The layer of red light seemed to be particularly effective towards the surrounding spirits, immediately the ghosts started to retreat, enveloped by the red light, Xiao Huan’s countenance was quickly restored, her left hand which was in the air immediately pressed down, grabbed Wild Dog Taoist’s left hand.
The moment her hand grabbed Wild Dog Taoist’s arm, a light exploding sound was heard, a dark red light started from Wild Dog Taoist’s palm, like lightning, extended down, in a blink covered Wild Dog Taoist’s body, closely following which, Wild Dog Taoist’s entire body also lighted up, the next moment, again dimmed down, back to normal. At that moment, Xiao Huan managed to open her eyes, stared intently in front of her, Wild Dog Taoist’s head, suddenly tilted, actually let out a breath.
Xiao Huan was overjoyed, relieved, darkness suddenly in front of her eyes, she had already fainted.
Chapter 190 - Ghost Way
Deep into the night.
Wild Dog Taoist who had passed through the gates of Hell and by luck was pulled back, right now most of his injuries were already bandaged up. Although he still looked weak but lying on the ground, his breathing weak yet gentle, for the time being his condition was not critical.
And Xiao Huan who had saved Wild Dog Taoist, was still unconscious but she was only exhausted, no major injuries, the other two people who were conscious were clearly aware of this point, and so they were not that worried.
As for Zhou YiXian, right now his concern was, or should say what he was guarding against, was the mysterious man who had helped saved Xiao Huan. Right now, he had already recognized that this man was not a stranger and had once met him not long ago, at Qing Yun Mountain foot HeYang City, that mysterious man inside the manor, unexpectedly they met again. Zhou YiXian sat beside Xiao Huan, his eyes kept glancing back at that black ﬁgure who stood with his hands clasped behind. With his experience, he naturally knew that this person was highly-skilled in the unorthodox sect Ghost Way, just that that day he seemed to be a foe rather than friend but today the man actually saved Xiao Huan. The other time fortunately they had Ghost Li helping them, Zhou YiXian and the rest then managed to escape, now this situation, although the man’s intention was unknown but their lives were now in his hands.
While Zhou YiXian was contemplating by himself, the man in black, also the same Mr Ghost who was secretly following Ghost Li into the south, looked to have a well-thought-out plan, never imagined that he was also deliberating. His action this time, was really not something he would have done usually, just that the Ghost Way art he was practising, had always been regarded as strange and evil by people, out of the three great true ways sects Taoism, Buddhism, Evil and southern border shaman art skills, ﬂying one’s banner on a solitary tree. However, according to what the secular world says, even the ill repute Evil Sect, also despised Ghost Way, for so many years, the Ghost Way members quietly continued on almost in a kind of darkness, Mr Ghost being able to receive the hospitality of Ghost King Sect Ghost King, was an exceptional case, and also had its reason. And it was also because of that, the Ghost Way which started off mysterious and unfathomable although still continued on today but its members were extremely few and rare, nobody knew for sure when it would die off. To think of it it was also true, most ordinary people, not many would thought of practising this strange art which deals with the eerie ghost realm all the time.
Mr Ghost who had practised for so many years, his skills and power considered one of the top in the world, and in the Ghost Way, there was none comparable to him. His temperament had always been hard and stiff, this was also the result of practising the Ghost Way, he didn’t expect tonight to see Xiao Huan, with her young age, actually used the Ghost Way advanced skill of Collect Soul Spell, he was really shocked, ﬁrstly because Xiao Huan who looked like a young and beautiful girl, in Ghost Way skill, looked to have unimaginable high aptitude; secondly the more shocking thing was, this Collect Soul skill although was one of Ghost Way secret skills but it had been lost for many years, even he as Ghost Way great master, great expert, also did not know, but Xiao Huan could actually use it, how would he not be shocked?
When Xiao Huan collected souls by force, although Mr Ghost did not know the spell but with his high attainments in Ghost Way, his discernment also had distinctive qualities, one look and he knew Xiao Huan although had natural aptitude but she was asking for too much, and as expected after a while, even though Xiao Huan had surprised him when she managed to ﬁnd Wild Dog Taoist’s soul among the countless souls, she had already agitated the countless souls’ vicious energies, counter- attacked by them. When she looked like she was about to lose her life, for some reason, Mr Ghost could not stand by and eventually made a move to save her.
Although he did not know Collect Soul Spell but facing these ordinary ghosts, it was more than enough, once he made his move, immediately he activated a formation to protect Xiao Huan and allowed her to complete the Collect Soul Spell successfully. However after which, he had some hesitations and did not know what to do next.
The atmosphere in the scene, for a moment was that awkward, until a long time, Xiao Huan moved and ﬁnally awakened, softly called, “Grandpa.” then opened her eyes.
Zhou YiXian was extremely delighted, quickly helped Xiao Huan up, she looked tired, had no strength in her limbs but looked ﬁne, after she collected herself, she immediately turned to look at Wild Dog Taoist, saw him lying there with serious injuries but his breathings gentle, clearly resurrected, Xiao Huan then smiled.
She glanced around, then noticed Mr Ghost, she was surprised and then recognized him too, this person was that mysterious black-attired man at HeYang City, she couldn’t help but shrank back, exclaimed, “Grandpa, he, he why is he here too?”
Zhou YiXian helped Xiao Huan up, quietly said, “I also don’t know why is he here out of the sudden, but just now when you are casting your spell at the critical juncture, it was him who helped you, you and Wild Dog then managed to avert the danger.”
Xiao Huan heard Zhou YiXian’s words, immediately recalled too, at the moment when she was unable to handle the souls’ backlash due to her inadequate ability, her formation suddenly received a boost and chased off all of the ghosts, it was actually because of that mysterious man in black.
Recalling that, Xiao Huan slowly nodded to Mr Ghost, said, “Many thanks to this senior.” Mr Ghost seemed to ignore Xiao Huan’s gratitude words, suddenly coldly asked, “Miss, I have a few questions, will like to ask you, I hope you can answer me truthfully.”
Xiao Huan was surprised, at the same time felt Zhou YiXian’s hand tugged her, couldn’t help but hesitated for a moment but eventually said, “What question Senior has, feel free to ask?”
Mr Ghost nodded, said, “Ghost Way has always been secretive and undeclared, where did you learn this kind of Ghost Way skills?”
Xiao Huan was stunned, said, “Ghost Way, what Ghost way?”
Zhou YiXian beside her secretly sighed, Mr Ghost was instead stunned but looking at Xiao Huan’s expression, did not seemed to be fake, she genuinely seemed not to know Ghost Way. After a moment of silence, Mr Ghost said, “The Collect Soul Spell that you used just now, actually is Ghost Way’s advanced and ingenious skill, don’t you know?”
Xiao Huan shook her head in shock, said, “I, I do not know.” Mr Ghost immediately asked, “Then who did you learn this skill from?”
Xiao Huan shook her head and said, “Nobody taught me.”
Mr Ghost was taken aback, Xiao Huan continued, “This Collect Soul Spell, at that time when I was young and naughty, in my grandfather’s old residence while playing and making a mess, slipped and fell into a dry well, discovered and remembered these skills from the well’s wall. I was still young at that time and so casually learnt it and for so many years I only used it once. Why, senior are you also interested in this skill?”
Mr Ghost was speechless, after a long while, he heaved a long sigh instead, his voice was rather desolate, a melancholy feeling.
Xiao Huan and Zhou YiXian looked at each other, did not understand why did the man in black’s mood turned melancholy out of a sudden but after a moment, Mr Ghost’s hoarse voice ahead was suddenly heard, “Miss, what is your name?” Zhou YiXian frowned, Xiao Huan had already answered, “My name is Xiao Huan.”
Mr Ghost nodded, said, “I have some words to speak to you privately, can you walk over here?”
Zhou YiXian frowned deeply, clearly unwilling to leave Xiao Huan with this ghastly-looking fellow, but Xiao Huan did not thought much, recalling that this person had after all just saved her, she nodded and said, “Alright.” After speaking, she ignored Zhou YiXian’s covert obstruction, walked over.
Mr Ghost watched Xiao Huan came before him, slowly nodded, as if approving this young girl, until Xiao Huan came near, slowly, like he was deliberating something in his heart, quietly said, “Are you willing to practise the Ghost Way skills?”
Xiao Huan was taken aback, for a moment speechless but looking at Mr Ghost’s black veil, the pair of eyes blazing, clearly he was not joking, couldn’t help but had some hesitations. Mr Ghost with his years of experience, carefully watched Xiao Huan’s expression, guessed her thoughts, he did not force her, only said, “Just now when you casted the spells, facing the countless ghosts, what did you feel?”
Xiao Huan blushed and then turned pale, quietly said, “I, I was somewhat afraid.”
Mr Ghost indifferently said, “It’s nothing to be ashamed of, the mortals are ignorant, most fear ghosts and spirits, yet do not know the theory of ghost, it is only a kind of species after humans died and before being reborn. What humans fear, most likely it's their own demons.”
He pointed to Xiao Huan, said, “Taking you as example, you had fear when you casted the spell, although you were still able to cast the spell but before you, there must be numerous illusions in front of you, all kinds of hideous ferocious images right?”
Xiao Huan nodded in succession, said, “Yes.” Mr Ghost snorted, said, “Actually the so-called Ghost Way, most important is to control your own demons, if you remained unrufﬂed, all of the ghosts and spirits would not be able to sway your resolution. And if you think carefully, the reason those spirits got angry and counterattacked, looked extremely vicious and violent, didn’t imagined that they were like the innumerable humans in the world, once when they saw a chance to escape, a chance to return to their predestined lifespan, how would they not turn berserk over that?”
He clasped his hands behind and coldly said, “The mortals, criticized the ghostly things as evil and ferocious but they do not know themselves are the same, isn’t it funny?”
Xiao Huan looked thoughtful, slowly nodded.
Mr Ghost said again, “I know what you are thinking, you detest the Ghost Way repute but what you used just now is Ghost Way skill, saved that Wild Dog’s life, it can be seen that Ghost Way is not without a single redeeming feature. Today I see that you are endowed with a natural aptitude not seen for a hundred years in Ghost Way, I really can’t bear to let it slip therefore have the intention to teach you, “speaking till here, he smiled faintly, said, “As for the future, even if you discover my conduct are mostly evil, and want to kill me, it is also ﬁne. We in the Ghost Way, view those conventional etiquette as mere rubbish.”
Xiao Huan was stunned, took a step back.
Mr Ghost was silent for a moment, his eyes looked at Xiao Huan’s face, saw her very hesitant, her delicate beautiful face kept frowning. Mr Ghost did not speak more, took out a book about half a ﬁnger thick with black wordless cover and threw it to Xiao Huan, Xiao Huan subconsciously caught it, looked at him stunned.
Mr Ghost indifferently said, “What this book documented, is half of my lifetime comprehension of the Ghost Way cultivation, in it various methods of smelting weapons, I believe in the world there is nothing on par to it. Whether you choose to learn it, or not learn it, it is up to you.” Speaking, he turned and was about to leave.
Xiao Huan looked at his back ﬁgure, subconsciously called out, “Senior, wait.” Mr Ghost paused, said, “What?”
Xiao Huan instead held her breath for a moment, said, “I, I still do not know senior’s name?”
Mr Ghost, backfacing her, did not move, after a long time said, “I passed you skills, is not for you to remember me, good luck.”
Speaking, he again was about to leave, Xiao Huan feeling anxious, suddenly loudly said, “This, this you saved my life, and passed me skills, I feel that, feel that I should call you teacher right?”
Mr Ghost’s body shook, as if this young delicate girl’s words behind him, compared to the ﬁve sounds of thunders over his head, were even more intense. Just that he was after all highly skilled, very quickly recovered, slowly turned around, black veil covered his face, nobody could tell his expression but from his glistening pair of eyes, anyone could see, his current unusual emotion. “You called me teacher?”
Xiao Huan blushed, felt somehow embarrassed, stammered, “This is this is my own idea, if, if senior you are not willing, I, “
Mr Ghost suddenly interrupted, “Alright, don’t say anymore.”
Xiao Huan was surprised, looked up, Mr Ghost only stared deeply at Xiao Huan, nodded, again took something out from his bosom, passed it over to Xiao Huan, said, “Looking at the fact that you called me teacher, I will gift this to you.”
Xiao Huan looked down, saw a pile of seven dark triangular items, each half an inch big, smooth sides, unable to tell its material, like iron but not iron. Xiao Huan hesitated for a moment, looked at Mr Ghost, saw his eyes slightly gentle and so took it. Looking at it carefully, saw a small hole at the top of the items, dark red strings strung them together. Every triangle-shaped item, both sides had different dark red mysterious patterns, some looked like ﬂames burning, some like beasts roaring, all different. Receiving it, she felt it cool to the skin, at the same time it contained a faint smell of blood. Zhou YiXian standing behind eyes narrowed, one look and he recognized that was the item Mr Ghost used when he saved Xiao Huan.
Mr Ghost indifferently said, “This thing is called ‘Blood Jade Bone Piece’, also one of the treasures of Ghost Way, has the special ability to stimulate Ghost Way’s spells, cultivation of only level ﬁve, with this treasure, at least can be brought up to level seven, with good aptitude, it can even go up to level ten.”
Xiao Huan was surprised and delighted, nodded her head in succession, Zhou YiXian at a distance was instead shaking his head.
Mr Ghost watched Xiao Huan for a long time, suddenly shook his head and sighed, quietly said, “Considering tonight, I have only met you twice, to think that forget it, this is also fate. If in the future you have achieved success in your training, if by chance, “He lifted his head up to the sky, said, “Then help me save someone.”
Xiao Huan was surprised, said, “Save someone, who?” Mr Ghost quietly shook his head, like bitterly laughing, said, “We will talk about it in the future.”
Speaking, he abruptly turned, as if like he did not wish to remain any longer, his dark ﬁgure like apparition, instantly shot out, disappeared in a blink into the dense dark woods. Xiao Huan couldn’t call out in time, she had just opened her mouth and that ﬁgure was gone. For some reason, that man in black gave her a faint feeling of kinship, Xiao Huan sighed, held the item tightly in her hand.
Zhou YiXian snorted, walked over, took the item in Xiao Huan’s hand and looked at it carefully, turned it over face by face, Xiao Huan was puzzled, said, “Grandpa, what is it?”
Zhou YiXian sneered, said, “A good teacher that you have acknowledged, you know what is this thing made of?”
Xiao Huan was stunned, said, “What is it?”
Zhou YiXian said, “This ghostly item is smelted out of the skull of an extremely Yin person, in it it contained countless of live souls, to achieve this degree of power.”
Xiao Huan was shocked, took it and looked, but couldn’t tell that it was human bones, looked more like jade stone, couldn’t help but rolled her eyes at him, said, “Grandpa, is it really true, how does this look like human skull?”
Zhou YiXian immediately was enraged, said, “You found a fellow that look like a ghost and not human to be your teacher, and so don’t believe me anymore?”
Xiao Huan stuck out her tongue, placed the item into her bosom, laughed and said, “Alright, grandpa, anyway in the future I will only use this item to do good deeds, not bad ones, alright?”
Zhou YiXian snorted, turned and walked, mumbling to himself, “It’d be a wonder if I believe you.”
Xiao Huan [he he] laughed, extremely sweet and charming, followed along.