Even with the Dauntless monk’s mental fortitude and composure, he could not help but fly into a rage. He bellowed, “Move away from her immediately, vile spawn!” His voice contained the cries of dragons, already using the Chant of Deva-Nāga.
For a moment, Li Qingshan felt his mind sway. He let go of Xian An uncontrollably, but he immediately composed himself again.
Li Qingshan asked, “Why must you be like this, abbot?”
“How can you behave like this in a pure land of buddhism?”
“I haven’t seen my family for several years, so what’s wrong with a hug? Abbot, you’re having impure thoughts, but I have none!” Li Qingshan refused to back down.
Xiao An stood beside him silently, grabbing the hem of his clothes. A faint smile stretched across her face. She bore absolutely no resemblance to the One Will the monks remembered!
The Dauntless monk became even more furious. He had arduously studied and practised the buddhist dharma for many years. Li Qingshan’s half-assed sayings were nowhere near enough to fool him.
At this exact moment, a voice rang out from behind the mountain. “Damn brat, how dare you come to Great Buddha mountain without visiting your master first? All you do is fool around on the mountain. Why don’t you get over here right now?”
“Yes, master! Abbot, I’ll be taking my leave then!”
Li Qingshan readily took the opportunity to get out of this situation. He clasped his hands and left the grand hall, making his way to the back of the mountain. Xiao An followed behind him blindly.
It had been several years since they last saw one another. They went through various different things, and even their appearances had changed quite a lot. However, the sight right now was actually no different from the past.
The Unraging monk laid on the Demon Suppression hall’s stone tablet with a bare belly and looked at Li Qingshan happily. He was filled with delight. With how outstanding his disciple was, he also felt proud as his master!
However, when he saw Xiao An behind him, the delight turned to some helplessness!
During the recent years, Xiao An had basically shaken up Great Buddha mountain. Whether it was her study of buddhist scriptures, debating over the buddhist dharma, cultivation speed, or talent for battle, she had completely surpassed any regular person. She became the greatest star of hope in the monastery’s history.
After undergoing the second heavenly tribulation and condensing a śarīra, she had also become a figure of tremendous weight in the monastery. Li Qingshan was close to thirty now. If she was assumed to be in her early twenties, then even the living buddha reincarnations of esoteric sects were not as powerful!
Her original appraisal was that she had a very good chance at becoming a Monk King, but now, the appraisal had already been changed to possessing the potential of ascending. If it was not for the fact that she was female, she would almost be guaranteed to become the next abbot of the monastery. If anyone had the courage to touch even a hair on her right now, the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga would basically throw their entire monastery at them.
Only Li Qingshan was capable of something like that. As the Unraging monk’s disciple, he was technically a part of the monastery too, and he was a supreme genius of startling talent on top of that. If any other man had tried touching and hugging her in front of the grand hall, even if it was a descendant of the imperial clan, the Dauntless monk would definitely turn against them and make blood splatter on the mountain.
“Thank you for providing me with a way out, master!” Li Qingshan said.
If he did not have the Unraging monk here to support him, the only time when he would ever stand up to the Dauntless monk would be when there was something wrong with his head. He did not actually think the Dauntless monk was someone he could just walk over.
“As long as you understand!” the Unraging monk said in exasperation.
“The Dauntless abbot has gone too far. If it weren’t for my permission, would Xiao An have come and joined your Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga as a disciple? Look at it now. You have a genius disciple, and it’s buy one get one free with me thrown in the deal. Yet now, he’s actually trying to get rid of me as soon as I’m not needed anymore. Does he still want us to hack down people for the monastery or not!?”
Li Qingshan complained “indignantly” before turning to Xiao An and asking, “Xiao An, isn’t that right?”
Xiao An smiled resplendently and nodded gently.
The moment of radiance left Li Qingshan stunned too. He sighed inside, In just a few years of not seeing you, your appearance has become more and more powerful. The Path of White Bone and Great Beauty really is impressive!
Afterwards, he looked back and continued to gaze at the Unraging monk. He was not enchanted by her at all.
Even the Unraging monk, a monk who ate meat and drank alcohol without any regard for rules, widened his eyes and bellowed when he heard Li Qingshan, “Oi! You damned brat! The Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga is a holy land of cultivation for buddhism, not some gang from the jianghu! Who needs you to hack down people?”
“You know what I mean. Please pass this onto the abbot. As long as he stops making things difficult for us, we can guarantee that the monastery will shine with a brand-new glow in the future! As the buddha says, you shouldn’t insist on everything and constantly try persisting with your own way…”
Li Qingshan had absolutely no interest in actual buddhist dharma, but he had read plenty of self-help and motivational stories along the same line as “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. He could do a pretty good imitation of how the various professionals and wise men spoke.
“Shut your mouth! If you mention the buddha’s name again, I’ll smack you to death!” The Unraging monk sat up.
“Master, you’ve broken the precept of falsehoods. Aren’t you Unraging? Alright, alright, alright. I’ll stop!”
“It’s true that you have a destiny with me, but I just feel that one day, you’ll stir up a huge problem for me!”
The Unraging monk sighed. Having guarded the Demon Suppression hall for all these years, he understood that Li Qingshan was just crude with his words. In truth, he was very sharp-witted. If simply expounding the buddhist dharma was enough to bring salvation to all, what was the point of having abilities? The buddha was benevolent, but even the buddha needed guardians kings to keep evil at bay!
In simpler terms, it was basically no different from a gang of the jianghu. Conflict was present wherever people were present, let alone the cultivation community that was far more than mere people. Not hacking down people was always an option, but if they lacked the power to hack, they would not be far from death.
Chaos was already rising up in the world. Apart from the five central provinces, the demonic cultivators and heretics who hid in the Cloud, Mist, Frost, and Thunder provinces were constantly trying to rise up again. If the two of them worked together and contributed to the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga wholeheartedly, that was equivalent to two additional pillars of support, and they would definitely become more important as time went on.
As a result, even with the Dauntless monk’s decisiveness, he did not blindly say he would be punishing the two of them outside the grand hall just then. Although it was critical to hold to precepts and abide by rules, there would be something utterly wrong about him being the abbott if he made two genius disciples develop a grudge and a feeling of rejection towards him just because of a few things that they had said!
By calling Li Qingshan to the back of the mountain, the Unraging monk was clearly giving his senior brother a way out of the situation too!
“I’ll bear the consequences of my actions myself! I’ve always borne the troubles I make alone!” Li Qingshan said passionately.
Even when the Dragon King of Ink Sea hunted him to death, he did not try to rely on anyone else. He had braved it all with his own power.
Suddenly, he felt someone tug his sleeve. He looked back, only to see Xiao An pouting as if she was unhappy.
Li Qingshan rubbed her head with a smile. “There’s also Xiao An to bear the consequences for me! If we work together, there’s nothing we can’t do!”
Only then did Xiao An smile in content.
The Unraging monk said, “What you said is reasonable, but my senior brother also has his worries! He worries for your cultivation and the good name of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga!”
Li Qingshan said, “He just thinks too much about what goes on between us. If Xiao An were a man, he wouldn’t have so many worries.”
The Unraging monk shook his head and glanced at Xiao An. With an appearance like that, if she were a man, the Dauntless monk probably would only be even more worried!
“I’ll talk to my senior brother about this. You’ve set off on your journey with the proper Demon Suppression Statuary too, so why don’t you show me it?”
As he also practised the Demon Suppression Statuary, the Unraging monk could vaguely sense the demon qi in Li Qingshan’s body.
Li Qingshan stood up and backed away. His pupils suddenly became a scarlet-blue, covered up by a curved visor. Demon qi poured out of his body, and he assumed his form as a Demon Commander.
He had comprehended the first seven layers of the Demon Suppression Statuary, but he could only unleash up to the fifth or sixth layer at most right now. During the past few days before he came to the monastery, he had tried continuing with the cultivation method, but he discovered that even with his endless demonic nature as support, his cultivation speed was unavoidably slow. If he actually wanted to master all nine layers of the Demon Suppression Statuary, he would probably have to undergo the third heavenly tribulation for that.
“Looks like you haven’t lagged behind during the past few years!”
The Unraging monk nodded in satisfaction. With Li Qingshan’s current form, he had already achieved success, completing the switch between the cultivation methods.
The path that Li Qingshan took was the same as his. He condensed a golden core before switching his cultivation to the Demon Suppression Statuary. That was also what the Unraging monk had done originally, merging his śarīra with his demon heart.
“Your name should have echoed through the world a long time ago. It might just be some fleeting reputation, but sometimes it can really be quite substantial!” the Unraging monk said with some pity.
Undergoing the second heavenly tribulation before the age of thirty was startling enough, but who would have thought he had kept this hidden for a few years already? His talent was in no way lower than Xiao An’s. Xiao An had spent her time in the monastery, under the guidance of the various masters, including the Dauntless monk. However, the only person Li Qingshan relied on was himself to achieve this.
It truly was a great fortune, a blessing from the buddha for the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga to have them as disciples.
“You’re not afraid of revenge from Si Qing now?”
“I’ve already made my preparations. I plan on going to the South Sea commandery to train and toughen up!”
“Since it’s all going according to your plans, I have nothing to say!” the Unraging monk said
This disciple of his had brought him far too much surprise, and he was always so meticulous and thorough. Even if he went to a place as dangerous as the South Sea commandery, he did not have to worry too much. As long as he did not run into any existences of the third heavenly tribulation, he would not be in any danger at all.
“I want to take Xiao An with me to the Mist province!” Li Qingshan said.
“That’s impossible! Senior brother would never let her go!” the Unraging monk said confidently. “Do you know just how many demonic cultivators are lurking in the Mist province? There are even great sects on par with the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga. Do you know much danger a head monk of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga would attract if they went there?”
“It’s exactly because it’s dangerous that we have to go there together!”
As long as Li Qingshan had enough time and recovered his full strength, so what if he ran into third heavenly tribulation existences? He was also confident that with Xiao An’s current strength, she could definitely lend him a helping hand.
He just happened to be in need of an environment filled with danger so that he could push for the fifth layer of the tiger demon through the constant battles. At the same time, Xiao An could obtain even more corpses and continue with the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty!
“I still haven’t mastered the Chant of Deva-Nāga, but I’ve already memorised it. I can practise it even if I’m not in the monastery. I’ll discuss this with the Dauntless abbot!”
Xiao An, who always remained silent, suddenly spoke up. Determination that could not be swayed flashed through her eyes! This separation had been far, far too long. This time, she would stick by his side no matter what!
The Unraging monk said, “Fine then!” He changed the topic. “Qingshan, are you prepared to pay another visit to the Demon Suppression hall?”
“That’s exactly what I’ve been hoping for!”
I am heading into exams, so I won't be translating for a good two or three weeks.
I'll be relying on a backlog I've built up (and mostly diminished because of assignments ;-;) over the past month, except the backlog is not big enough to maintain 2 chapters a day when I'm not translating.
As a result, I have to decrease the release rate for most of this month (at least until June 27th, but hopefully I'll be back sooner) to one chapter every 2 days. It's a big drop, I know, but it's temporary. Things should go back to normal at the end of the month.
If I encounter any other issues with releases, I will notify y'all through further announcements.