Gu Yanying said, “I just received the news!”
Li Qingshan stood up, tempted to rush over to the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga immediately. However, after pacing around, he sat back down.
He still had to focus on his priorities. Xiao An had undergone the second heavenly tribulation, but she probably had to become a head monk and learn the Chant of Deva-Nāga before she could see him. If he rushed over now, he would probably just have the door slammed in his face. He was better off sticking with his original plan.
“Si Qing definitely won’t let this opportunity of revenge slip by. You’ll probably face quite a lot of danger by going to the Mist province this time, and it won’t just be from Si Qing.”
Gu Yanying tapped her palm gently with her jade folding fan. Since the Mist province was known as a lawless land, the Hawkwolf Guard that were representatives of the laws obviously faced great hostility. Apart from these surface-level conflicts, there were many more dangers lurking beneath.
“I’ve even offended the last people I can afford to offend, so what danger can I be afraid of?” Li QIngshan smiled. Was it supposed to be even more dangerous than the Dragon King of Ink Sea hunting him down? He was on rather good terms with the Daemon King of the Mist province, the Great Banyan Tree King!
Gu Yanying smiled. “Fair enough. There’s no need for you to agree immediately either. I’ll help you out so that you receive the compensation you deserve from the Hawkwolf Guard!”
“Then I’ll be troubling you.”
“It’s nothing. Oh right, which commandery would you like to go to?”
“The South Sea commandery!”
Gu Yanying raised her eyebrows. “That’s easy then. None of the commanderies of the Mist province are more dangerous than the South Sea commandery. Although I shouldn’t really ask about this, I’m really quite curious about why you would suddenly want to go to such a distant place.”
“I promised someone to go to the coast of the South sea.”
After leaving the Waterside Pavilion of Listening Wind, Li Qingshan went to Han Qiongzhi’s dwelling.
Han Qiongzhi was waiting for him. Seeing him return, she asked in a hurry, “Qingshan, what did commander Gu say?”
“Seems like I’m going to be promoted.” Li Qingshan sat down with a smile and lifted her up, placing her on his lap.
“I might have to pay a visit to the South Sea commandery.”
“The South Sea commandery!” Han Qiongzhi exclaimed.
Within the records of the Hawkwolf Guard, there were not a lot of places more dangerous than the South Sea commandery. Cases of White Hawk commanders and White Wolf commanders perishing had both happened there.
“You don’t have to worry. I just happen to want to go out for some training. There aren’t a lot in the world that can harm me.”
“Then let me accompany you!”
“Only when you cultivate in peace do I not have to worry,” Li Qingshan said softly.
Han Qiongzhi also understood that. With her strength, she could not help him out even if she went. Instead, it would be very easy for her to become a deadweight, tying him down.
“Then wait until Xiao An emerges from secluded cultivation. She can definitely help you out!”
“She has already emerged.”
“The Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga probably won’t let their most outstanding disciple risk her life with me in the Mist province!”
Li Qingshan shook his head. He was not very optimistic about this. The Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga basically guarded against him like they were guarding against a thief. They only wished that Xiao An and he never saw each other again.
“Then what do you do?” Han Qiongzhi frowned.
“What else can I do? It’s not like I’m that flimsy. Even if I’m alone, I’m going to stir the Mist province into a mess.”
Seeing how worried she was, Li Qingshan was touched. He pinched her cheek with a smile and embraced her firmly, kissing her ear gently. He said softly, “Qiongzhi, the three years of mourning are already over. We can officially get married.”
Han Qiongzhi was very interested, but she said, “Wasn’t that time in the past official?”
“Of course it was.”
“Then isn’t it enough? There’s no need to rush something like this. You better spend your time cultivating instead for now. I don’t want to become a widow right after getting married!” Han Qiongzhi broke free from his embrace.
Li Qingshan thought about it and agreed with her. If he had to travel all the way to the South sea before they could even spend a honeymoon together, that would not be particularly nice.
As a result, he smiled. “My wife, we spend more time apart than together, and the times we do spend together is always too short. Let’s just go at it again!”
The Samādhi Flames of White Bone blazed away. A White Bone śarīra spun away, containing a luminous, sagacious buddhist nature.
The dragon cries rang out constantly, sometimes low and sometimes high. It was like they were slowly chanting an unending scripture.
A pair of eyes suddenly opened up. They were clear and flawless, just like glaze.
Xiao An sat under a verdant bodhi tree with her legs crossed. Everything in her surroundings, as far as she could see, was white emptiness. Apart from her and the tree, there was nothing else.
This place was known as the Bodhi Realm of Emptiness. It was a miniature world similar to the Asura Field. It contained a buddhist nature and was a place of cultivation the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga provided.
There was nothing beyond her body, nothing beyond her heart. The concept of time had been reduced to nothing. If her mentality was not firm enough, if her wisdom was insufficient, then it would only cause her detriment.
In the past, countless eminent monks had come here to achieve enlightenment, but there had also been many that suffered qi deviation and lost their minds.
But to her, this place had absolutely no differences from the bustling, secular world!
It was just missing a person!
Li Qingshan cultivated for a few more days in his dwelling. One day, he suddenly opened his eyes and arrived outside his dwelling. He gazed towards the direction of Great Buddha mountain.
After contemplating it, he simply could not help himself in the end. He set off for the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga.
Under Great Buddha mountain, the pilgrims continued to bustle about in an endless stream, gathering over from everywhere to pay homage. Suddenly, a streak of light flew over them.
The monks that guarded the mountain called out, “Who are you? Flying is forbidden on Great Buddha mountain!”
Li Qingshan landed in front of the entrance and clasped his hands. “I’m Li Qingshan, a secular disciple of the monastery!”
The monks were surprised. All of them had heard about this name before. The monk in charge of reception reported this up in a hurry.
A while later, bells and drums rang out on the mountain. The gates opened up, and the monks lined the entrance to welcome him.
“The buddha has said that all life is equal. I’ve only ever heard about this before. Today, I’ve finally been able to enjoy it myself!”
Li Qingshan smiled gently. In the past, when he and Xiao An visited the monastery, they had faced a lot of setbacks. Today, he had undergone the second heavenly tribulation, and he had done so before the age of thirty. With how talented he was, even the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga had to lower themselves a little and consider for his feelings and thoughts.
He strode in and directly made his way towards the top of the mountain. Even when he arrived at the entrance to the inner courtyards, he did not pause. Only when he arrived before the grand hall did he stop and peer inside. The Dauntless monk stood inside with the various head monks beside him. Behind him was the buddha, gazing over all life.
Logically speaking, secular disciples and even true inner courtyard disciples did not necessarily have the right to enter the grand hall. But right now, there were no obstructions before Li Qingshan.
He stepped over the tall door sill and brought his palms together, bowing. “Disciple Li Qingshan greets the Dauntless abbot and the many masters!”
Under the buddha’s name, the monks returned the gesture, without the slightest hint of haughtiness anymore.
The Dauntless Monk was solemn as he studied Li Qingshan up and down. The rumors were true. He had truly undergone the second heavenly tribulation.
“May I ask the abbot where Xiao An is right now?”
Li Qingshan cut right to the chase.
The Dauntless Monk said, “One Will is currently studying the Chant of Deva-Nāga. She is about to assume the position of head monk for the Formless nunnery. She cannot meet with you for now!”
Li Qingshan was not surprised. “Then may I ask just how long this ‘for now’ will be?”
“The Chant of Deva-Nāga is the foundation of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga. The buddhist dharma is vast, extensive, and profound. Completely mastering it requires three to five decades at the very least. It can take over a century. One Will is endowed with buddhist talent, and she’s intelligent and wise, but even she will probably still need around a decade!”
The head monks all nodded in agreement. “What the abbott has said is reasonable. I started studying the Chant of Deva-Nāga thirty years ago, but even now, I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface.”
“Yeah, the buddhist dharma is boundless. It requires an entire lifetime, no, numerous lifetimes to comprehend and study!”
Li Qingshan cursed away inside, Fucking hell. You damned bald asses, that’s because your ability to comprehend is trash!
Afterwards, the Dauntless monk tried both intimidating and tempting him. He used every means he had to make Li Qingshan become a monk so that he became a formal disciple of the monastery. He said that as long as he shaved his head, he would immediately become the head monk of the Arhat hall. There were countless other benefits too. Things like eating meat and drinking alcohol were all up for negotiation!
The other head monks chimed in too, which utterly annoyed Li Qingshan. Suddenly, he called out, “Enough!”
“How dare you raise your voice in the buddha’s hall!” The Dauntless monk widened his eyes and shot him a glare.
Li Qingshan laid out his hands and said lethargically, “Just spare me, masters. I definitely, definitely won’t become a monk! I have neither a buddhist nature nor a root of wisdom. My hobbies are fine alcohol, food, and women! Among the many worlds under the buddha, not everyone is a monk either! Just treat me as a foreign demon who accidentally converted to buddhism!”
“Amitābha. The sea of bitterness has no bounds. Repent and the shore is at hand!”
“Then I’ll roam the four seas and go with the flow!”
The Dauntless monk glared deepened. There really was nothing he could do about him! If he were a regular disciple, the Dauntless monk would have subdued him a long time ago and sent him to the Disciplinary courtyard for self-reflection if he ever dared to talk like that in the grand hall. The other monks all shook their heads and sighed too!
Li Qingshan seemed utterly fearless, but he was distressed inside. Just how could he meet Xiao An? If he spoke a little rashly, that was fine, but if he really tried to force his way in, then the Dauntless monk would have to take action against him for the sake of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga’s reputation.
At this moment, a gentle voice rang out from behind. “Qingshan!”
Li Qingshan suddenly looked back, and a young girl stood before the steps. She wore a set of light-grey robes, but even they struggled to hide her beauty. Her dark, seaweed-like hair draped all the way to her feet. Joy filled her clear, flawless eyes. When she saw him, the smile she showed was so alluring that even the hall dimmed in comparison.
They walked towards each other at the same time, just embracing each other firmly right in front of the grand hall!
At this moment, Li Qingshan felt his heart become extremely full. At the same time, colour flowed through Xiao An’s glaze-like eyes. All they could see was one another. They had forgotten about everything else around them.
The Dauntless Monk furrowed his brows heavily. He was basically tempted to smack Li Qingshan right now. The various monks all responded differently, either raising their eyebrows, pursing their lips, or wrinkling their noses, their expressions all indescribably strange.
Something like this had occurred in front of the grand hall of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, the greatest pure land of buddhism in the Green province; of course, it would seem unpleasant to the eye.
“She’s been arranged to cultivate in the Bodhi Realm of Emptiness. That place is cut off from the world. Even if she can leave, how did she know he’s in the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga?” The Dauntless monk was stumped.
“You’ve grown bigger again!”
Li Qingshan caressed her beautiful face. He only felt like he was at utter peace, completely lacking even a single impure thought.