“I’ve read a book before wherein I saw mentions of heavenly beings. Stepping on the clouds, they would soar through the heavens in their flowing white robes. Such beings only needed dew and air to exist, and with their mighty powers, they could ride the wind to travel ten thousand li and age in step with the heavenly bodies themselves. In all likelihood, that was what the author meant when he wrote that.” Xiao Se sat on a piece of reef, looking at Wuxin standing beside the river. At that very instant, Wuxin was gazing into the distance as the strong wind blew against him, causing his white robes to flutter and snap in the wind. Moonlight scattering off him, the Wuxin standing in front of him almost seemed like an immortal.
“I’ve never seen such movement skills before. It’s as though he actually rode the wind… Even though those two are so skilled, they still weren’t able to catch up to us!” Lei Wujie exclaimed. It had been three hours since Wuxin grabbed them and started running. Evening turned to night as they ran but Wuxin didn’t seem tired at all.
Xiao Se forced a smile, “As his hostages, we are actually here praising him…I wonder how he would feel about if he heard us.”
All of a sudden, Wuxin turned his head got up. In the next instant, he appeared in front of the two of them with a face full of smile, “Sir benefactors are not my hostages. This humble monk just said so back at the inn… this humble monk merely requests that sir benefactors follow him somewhere.”
Xiao Se sneered, “Why us, there were plenty of others in that inn? Was it not just because one of us doesn’t know martial arts and the other is heavily injured?”
“Heavily injured?” Wuxin glanced at Lei Wujie and started to laugh. “Untalented this humble monk might be, he’s willing to help sir benefactor.”
Lei Wujie was stunned for a second, “You want to heal my injuries?”
Wuxin slightly nodded his head, “The road ahead is still long and along the way, this humble monk will need the help of sir benefactors. Treating your injury is such a minor inconvenience, you need not mention it.”
“But I still think…” Lei Wujie murmured as he gazed at Wuxin’s grinning face as doubt filled his heart about what this capricious monk was planning.
Without another word, Wuxin pulled Lei Wujie’s arm over, lightly tapped on the ground with the tip of his toes before launching himself backwards. Before long, they arrived on the shores of the lake. He jabbed his fingers into several points on Lei Wujie’s back and shoulders, and said, “Since the day that sir benefactor was wounded by the Violet Duke’s qi, his vicious qi had been wreaking havoc. If sir benefactor doesn’t try to circulate his qi, then that wouldn’t be problem. Should sir benefactor do so, however, both qis would violently clash with each and add oil to the fire that is sir benefactor’s wounds. This humble monk will now use a qi circulation art to force out the Violet Duke’s qi.” As soon as the words left his mouth, Wuxin grabbed Lei Wujie’s shoulders with both hands and jumped into the deep end of the river, toes deftly tapping on the ripples of the water surface.
Lei Wujie was shocked and started screaming, “I… I don’t know how to… water!”
Xiao Se narrowed his eyes and gasped, “Such a miraculous movement skill actually exists in this world?”
Wuxin continued stepping on the waves, traveling across the river with Lei Wujie as though he was walking on flat ground. Suddenly, Wuxin stopped. He squeezed his eyes shut and his white robes started dancing wildly in the air. Lei Wujie felt his body shake violently as if he was about to fall into the river at any time. Out of nowhere, he felt a wave of qi entering his body from Wuxin’s palms. His initially anxious heart started to calm down and he silently closed his eyes. Listening to the whistling of the wind and crashing of waves, his heart suddenly became clear and he felt a sense of unprecedented calmness.
Still watching them from the shores, Xiao Se was now the very picture of shocked. That was because, right at this very moment, Wuxin had already retracted his hands from Lei Wujie’s shoulders! Lei Wujie had no idea what was going on but still, he stood on the surface of the lake with his eyes tightly shut.
Wuxin’s eye went wide with shock as well and a soft voice escaped his lips, “The old monk said there were those in the world who were naturally sensitive and were able to be one with nature, looks like he really didn’t lie to me.” With a violent swing of his sleeve, water started to rapidly swirl around the two of them and it eventually turned into a giant whirlpool. Lei Wujie’s eyes were closed as usual yet beads of perspiration started dripping down from his forehead. Wuxin chuckled and he lightly tapped Lei Wujie’s forehead. “Break!”
An instant later, a strand of violet qi could be seen flowing out of Lei Wujie extracted by Wuxin’s finger. He quickly waved his hand towards the left, sending forth a blast of qi that forced a towering pillar of water high into the heavens. As the huge pillar of water crumbled, droplets of water fell like rain back down into the river. Grabbing Lei Wujie’s shoulder with a single hand, Wuxin stepped on the waves once again and dragged Lei Wujie back to shore. Once back on land, Wuxin shoved Lei Wujie towards Xiao Se and he triumphantly flipped his long robes. “Done!”
Lei Wujie finally opened his eyes and he took a long and deep breath.
“How was it?” Xiao Se asked.
Wiping the perspiration off his forehead, Lei Wujie thought for a moment before replying, “I can’t say…there’s this indescribable sense of comfort”
“Sir benefactor has completely recovered, and has even gained from his misfortune” Wuxin clasped his hands together and a smile appeared on his face.
“What do you mean by that?” Lei Wujie had no idea what Wuxin was talking about.
“Sir benefactor will know what I’m talking about in the future.” Wuxin laughed but didn’t give Lei Wujie a proper reply.
“So why did you bring us with you?” Xiao Se suddenly asked.
Wuxin reached out his hand to pat Xiao Se’s shoulders but he dodged it before Wuxin could touch him. With no other person in reach, Wuxin had no choice but to turn around to pat the shoulders of Lei Wujie who was still in shock. “This humble monk already explained himself just now. This humble monk wants to go somewhere and he needs sir benefactors to accompany him. As for healing sir benefactor’s injuries, it’s nothing worth mentioning.”
Xiao Se shot Wuxin a cold glance. “Honorable master, with martial arts like yours… I can hardly imagine a place that would urgently require us to accompany you. Not to mention the fact that you’re someone the Snow Moon City wants delivered to the Nine Dragon Temple. This person beside me is a disciple of the Snow Moon Temple, how in the world do you expect us to help you escape?”
“If sir benefactor would pardon this humble monk asking such a bold question… If not for this humble monk’s Demon Enthrallment, the black clothed men would have already killed sir benefactors outside the inn. If not for this humble monk assisting benefactor Tang in the Inn, he wouldn’t be able to execute the Ten Thousand Trees Flying Flower Art, would he have fended off the Violet Duke and the White Haired Immortal? This humble monk has saved sir benefactors’ life twice already. A small favor such as this, can’t be hard to agree to, can it?” Wuxin shook his head and sighed. He had a face full of regret and he continued, “This humble monk’s heart has truly been frozen this day…” coldly laughed.
Xiao Se smirked, “A monk asking for repayment?”
“Of course! If even the Buddha requires payment for his grace, why not this humble monk!?” Wuxin tone suddenly became extremely respectful.
Xiao Se was stunned for a moment and he replied, “You have to repay the favor for the Buddha’s grace? I’ve met some monks myself, but none of them has ever said that before. May I know which scripture you are referring to?”
“The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, once gathered one thousand two hundred and fifty monks as he traveled through Kapilavastu to Sravasti. There was a huge Banyan tree standing on the border of both countries, one that was twenty li tall. The crown of the tree spanned sixty li long and it bore many fruits which tasted just like honey. Once consumed, even a blind person would be able to regain their sight, someone who was terminally ill would recover instantly.
“The Siddhartha Gautama once asked his disciples to pick the fruits before turning to his disciple, Ananda, and saying “I view the world, and all life within it, as having its own place and karma.” Ananda responded thusly, “This disciple does not understand, what is karma?” To which the Siddhartha Gautama replied, “Man who sows harmony acts like that tree before you, what is just a seed will one day grow and bear fruit unlimited. A man who is noble, a king that is long-lived, all that stems from respect for the Buddha and adherence to the ideals of Buddhism. For a man to be wealthy, to be not lacking in material comforts, all that stems from generosity. For a man to be long-lived, to be free from ailments, to be hale and hearty, all that stem from abstinence. To sow a seed and reap ten thousand, harmony and longevity eternal.” Wuxin narrowed his eyes and smiled.
Xiao Se shook his head, “This was the <<The Buddha Said That Virtues and Sin Determines Whereabouts>>, it talks about how your karma reciprocates your virtues and sins. To use that and say that the Buddha requires us to repay his favors… I don’t know if the Buddha will allow that.”
“I never knew that sir benefactor is so well-versed in the teachings of the Buddha. Even what you said was exactly the same as what that old monk, Wangyou, said.” Wuxin still had a smile on his face and he even addressed his teacher as ‘old monk’, without a shred of respect at all.
“I’ll go with you!” Lei Wujie who had been silent all the while suddenly spoke up.
“Oh?” Wuxin turned his head around and looked at Lei Wujie with a bemused look in his eyes.
Xiao Se helplessly shrugged his shoulders, “I just knew you would say that.”
“You saved our lives twice so I’ll help you out this once. However, once you have fulfilled your wish, I’ll still catch you and bring you back.” Lei Wujie said in a solemn voice.
Wuxin was stunned for a moment before raising his head to the sky and breaking into rambunctious laughter. After lowering his head, a demonic light flashed through his eyes that caused Xiao Se and Lei Wujie to shiver. However, his eyes recovered in an instant. Nodding his head, he said, “Very well, when that time comes, I’ll be waiting for you to try and catch me…if you are able to do so, that is.”
“The way you address us changed…” Xiao Se suddenly pointed out.
“Hmm?” Wuxin slightly furrowed his brows.
“Before this, you addressed us as ‘sir benefactor’ and you addressed yourself as ‘this humble monk’. However, you’re using ‘you’ and ‘I’ now…”
“You’re sharp.” Wuxin complimented. “However, since the two of you have agreed to accompany me, we can be considered companions. As companions, what formality is there to speak of? That’s why it’ll be better if I address you two by your names. Come to think about it, I still have no idea what are your names?”
“I’m called Lei Wujie.” Lei Wujie replied.
“Xiao Se.” Xiao Se replied lazily as well.
“Those are good names.” Wuxin snickered.
“So why do you have to have us travel with you? With your remarkable abilities, putting aside the vast Central Plains, is there anywhere you can’t go in this tiny Western Region of thirty-two Buddhist countries?” Xiao Se glanced at Wuxin from the corner of his eyes.
“An even better question!” Wuxin shook his white monk robes and raised his head. He proclaimed in a clear voice, “That’s because I have no money. When venturing outside, especially in a foreign country like this, it’s hard to even advance an inch if you are broke!”
As Wuxin stood there at the side of the river, gazing into the distance, he had a quality about him that was eighty percent otherworldly. When he was silent and beaming in that cunning smile of his, he had an aura that was ninety percent bewitching, and when he revealed his extraordinary abilities, he exuded a pressure that was one hundred percent oppressive… However, that single reply of, ‘I have no money’, was said with a matter-of-factness that was worth one hundred and ten percent, and contained a level of shamelessness at the level of a hundred and twenty percent!
Lei Wujie couldn’t control himself and broke into a laugh. As he laughed, he pointed at Xiao Se, “Hahahaha! Then, my dear monk, you found the right guy. In that entire inn, he truly was the only one who had money!”
On the other hand, Xiao Se’s expression was unusually foul. Yet just as he was about to argue, Wuxin’s figure flashed and stood in front of him.
“What now? If I don’t hand the money over, are you going to snatch it from me!?” A fire flashed past Xiao Se’s eyes.
However, Wuxin suddenly turned around and out of nowhere, a feathered arrow came whistling towards them. With a wave of his sleeve, the arrow stopped just before it managed to make contact. Even so, it refused to give up, rotating around in the air for quite some time before losing all power and falling to the ground.
Wuxin raised his head and saw someone standing on a horse three hundred steps away from them. With a feathered bow in hand, he just shot an arrow at them from an astonishing three hundred paces away. For that to still contain such frightening power, a tough fight was most likely in stall for them.
“A bow of wings.” Wuxin suddenly remembered a name.
“A procession of a hundred ghosts.” Xiao Se frowned.
“A bow of wings, a procession of a hundred ghosts? What in the world is that? Sounds like quite the expert.” Lei Wujie didn’t know what was going on and he asked, “Even though I have heard many tales of the martial world from elders since birth, I never heard of this name before.”
“Of course. Those were all stories of heroes. This here ‘a bow of wings, a procession of a hundred ghosts‘ refers not to a hero, nor to a demon…” Xiao Se looked at the person in the distance who had just drawn his bow once more.
“What are they then?” Lei Wujie asked.
“They are bandits.” Xiao Se examined his surroundings again but the black shadows had already started to move. “Hey monk, exactly what kind of person are you? Good people, bad people, monks, and bandits… why does everyone seem to be so interested in you”
“Aren’t the bandits here to rob us?” Lei Wujie seemed confused.
“My dear hero, Lei Wujie…” Xiao Se looked at Lei Wujie as though he was looking at an idiot. “These people are the strongest group of bandits in the Western Region. If they really wanted to rob someone, they would at least target the extremely wealthy merchants who have at least a hundred guards surrounding them. There are only three of us here and two of you are penniless… If they aren’t here for the countless martial arts hidden away in that monk over there, why else would they even rob us?”
“A hundred guards? Well, we’re harder to rob than some merchant with a hundred guards.” Lei Wujie’s eyes were resolute and devoid of fear.
“That’s why what you said was wrong…” Wuxin laughed and glanced at Xiao Se. “In this tiny Western Region of thirty-two Buddhist countries, I can’t just go wherever I want.”
“Well, since you can still laugh, it means that these hundred ghosts still aren’t worthy.” Xiao Se lazily said.
It was at that moment that the bandit, who had already drawn his bowstring to the point where the bow looked like a full moon, gave a low growl, “Go!”
Wuxin sighed and his white monk robes fluttered in the wind. He lightly rubbed the prayer beads around his neck.
“Destroy!” That person howled at the heavens before firing a feathered arrow that hissed through the air with an unstoppable might. Even though there were three hundred paces between them, the arrow seemed to instantly appear before the three of them.
At the same, that arrow acted as a signal as well. The shadows in the darkness began to stir as blades were drawn and horses prepped!