Two of them turned around and found a bearded monk, dressed in robes that were tattered beyond belief, swaying about in a drunken stupor before collapsing in front of the two battlemonks. “Who are these people? Why haven’t you thrown them out yet?”
“Junior martial brother, what’s the deal with that guy?” Ling Jun asked with a frown on his face.
“Sleeping Arhat Fists?” Bo Yong hesitated for a moment, “Of the Buddhist martial arts… that’s the only technique which comes to mind.”
However, the figure in the sedan laughed, “That’s not the Sleeping Arhat Fists, he’s just drunk.”
“Just…drunk?” Bo Yong was stunned for a second, at which point that monk belched in a satisfied manner, much to the disdain of the other two battlemonks.
“Senior martial brother, these… who are they again?” the drunken monk struggled several times but failed to stand up in the end.
Like before, Venerable Falan shook his head. No one knew if Venerable Falan was shaking his head because he didn’t know the origins of the newcomers or if he just was fed up with his drunken junior brother.
“Just a drunken monk, how skilled can he possibly be? Charlatan… Let me handle this.” Ling Jun finally ran out of patience. Raising his sword, he took a step forward.
However, despite his obvious intent to attack, all he saw was a monk still struggling to get up. Eventually, that monk stood up unsteadily, snatched the Buddhist monk’s knife from the battlemonk beside him and laughed, “You, you neither eat meat, drink alcohol, nor are you lecherous. That’s why your understanding of the Broken Vows Knife is always lacking something. Watch carefully!” After the words left his mouth, he carelessly waved the knife around.
It was a simple wave, yet it drew in the all the air of the courtyard in one go, time seemingly stopping in that very instant. The wind stopped blowing and the birds stopped chirping. Even the leaves which were quietly falling halted in mid air. As his knife slashed through the air, it was as though he took away the life from everything in the surroundings.
Ling Jun and Bo Yong felt something stir inside them at the same time. They felt as though the Buddhist monk’s knife was all around. In the skies and in the earth… It was everywhere. Even if one flew in the sky or dug into the earth, they would never be able to run away from the blade. Even if one grew wings, they would never be able to dodge it. Facing this blade, one would be completely helpless and only death awaited.
As for the drunken monk, he straightened his back in an instant. Around him, there were no signs of movement other than a gale which surrounded him and blew against his long robes. Standing there with a thin smile appeared on his face, he actually looked like the Buddha himself.
“This… Is he still human?” Bo Yong lowered the sword in his hand as he stood there in a daze. It was at that instant that the endless swirl of blade qi ceased. Ling Jun and Bo Yong, already prepared for their deaths at that instant, hurriedly turned around. The blinds which were covering the sedan was torn to shreds, and there their teacher sat, slowly lowering his hand as he sighed deeply.
However, the person who was the most shocked right now was the battlemonk whose Buddhist monk knife had been snatched away by that drunken monk. That drunkard was the person who they all looked down on the most.
Every day, he wouldn’t bother studying the teachings of the Buddha, neither would he practice his martial arts. Instead, he would indulge himself in heavy drinking. The previous venerable, Mo Ke, once said that he was the disciple with the most talent in the Buddhist arts in the past hundred years. However, if not for Venerable Fa Lan siding with and defending him, he would have been chased out of the temple long ago. Yet despite all that, the realm of understanding he displayed just then, that was some a level that the battlemonk would never reach, even if he had another ten years of cultivation.
On the other hand, Venerable Fa Lan wasn’t all that shocked as shook his head once more.
“Senior martial brother, that’s enough shaking. What will come, will come in the end. Since it can’t be avoided, we just have to kill them all.” After waving the knife around, his drunken stupor seemed to dissipate.
Ling Jun and Bo Yong turned their heads to look at their teacher. It was clear that this monk was beyond them.
The person in the sedan laughed, “Stand down, we are here to look for someone anyway. Since that person has come looking for us instead, there is no longer a need to fight.”
The drunk monk placed the Buddhist monk knife on his shoulder and looked at the person in the sedan. A slight frown appeared on his face, “Oh, so it’s you, damned ladyboy.”
“Venerable Fa Ye, it’s been twenty years since we last met, hasn’t it?” The man in the sedan chuckled, unaffected even after hearing what the drunk monk said.
“Monk, if you really want to go somewhere, it’s alright even if you have no money. I, Xiao Se can lend you some, you just have to pay it back with interest later. Of course, If you really have no money to pay me back, I’m alright with this short end of the stick, as long as you give me your secret manuals. However, if you don’t even know the way, then we’re just out of options. If we really know our way around, we wouldn’t even have met you lot at all.” Xiao Se lazily plopped his butt down on a large stone along the road, his face showing that he didn’t want to leave this rock at all.
“I can fight, but I’m just not good with roads.” Lei Wujie shook his head helplessly. If he knew the way, he wouldn’t have run into Xiao Se’s little inn during a snowstorm. Neither would he have ended up getting lost twice, having never made it to Snow Moon City even after all that trouble.
“It’s fine. I’ll just ask around.” Wuxin wasn’t all that flustered as he went up to some random person on the road and asked, “Sir benefactor, may I know…”
Before he was able to ask his question however, the person waved his hand frantically and shook his head as he ran away.
“There are thirty-two Buddhist countries in the western region. Within them, there are about seven to eight different languages, yet the official speak of the Central Plains just so happen not to be one of them. Those who are able to speak the official language are rare.” Xiao Se looked at Wuxin with disdain.
“This… what to do then?” Wuxin scratched his head. Suddenly, he spotted a monk in the tavern beside him. A light flashed in his eyes then, “I would like to go to the Grand Sanskrit Temple. So shouldn’t we just follow that monk and everything will be settled.”
“Khotan is a giant Buddhist country. There are temples everywhere, you can practically find one every hundred steps. Do you think we’ll get to the Grand Temple just by following some monk?” Even though Xiao Se was criticizing Wuxin, he still stood up in the end. While the ordinary folk might not speak the language of the Central Plains, there had to be a monk or two who knew how to speak it in a big temple. It wasn’t a bad plan to follow the monk to a big temple before asking them for directions to the Grand Sanskrit Temple.
However… why was that monk even in a tavern? Even if this wasn’t the Western Region, famous for its ascetic style of Buddhism, monks of the Central Plains were still not allowed to partake in meat or wine. There were very few parts which still had the saying of, “The edible Thrice-pure meat”. Speaking of wine…
- Meat which you haven’t seen being slaughtered for consumption.
- Meat which you haven’t heard someone credible claiming that it has been slaughtered for consumption
- Meat which one does not suspect of having been slaughtered for consumption.)
The monk then picked up a jar of wine skillfully and proceeded to take a huge swig from it, stunning Xiao Se and Lei Wujie in an instant. This wasn’t just a monk who drank wine, his alcohol capacity was astounding as well!
“A jar of wine like that would be worth three silvers in my inn.” Xiao Se clicked his tongue and tilted his head, only to find Wuxin with a frown on his face. The expression he had on now was strange, in fact, it almost seemed like he wasn’t Wuxin at all.
“What’s up?” Xiao Se asked.
Wuxin didn’t say a word but he took a step forward instead. Reaching out his hand, he tugged at the shoulder of the drinking monk. But the moment he tried to do so, the monk picked up his jar of wine and leaped up to the roof of the building like he had sensed his intent. It had to be said, though, that the moment he landed on the roof, he stumbled and it looked as though he was about to fall.
“Expert!” Lei Wujie yelled in surprise. In his heart, however, he truly felt that this trip out to the martial world wasn’t a waste at all. Out here, experts were like cabbages -even a random monk who was drinking wine at the side of the road could turn out to be an expert!
Wuxin followed him up to the roof but the monk immediately dashed away. However, calling that dashing was being generous. The way he ran was extremely sightly, what with his body swaying from side to side as though he looked like he was going to fall off the roof at any moment. Despite that, his movements were still strangely agile. Even Wuxin, who had extraordinary movement skills, was unable to catch him. He was always off by a few steps.
“Run?” Xiao Se suddenly asked Lei Wujie who was standing beside him in a daze.
Lei Wujie thought about it then he furiously nodded his head, “Let’s run!” Having said that, he too leaped onto the roof and chased after the two monks. Right after that came the clearly enrage Xiao Se. “Moron! I’m not asking if you to run after them! I’m asking you if you want to run away?!”
However, Lei Wujie’s head was already too full of blood from the chase. In the past, he could only be dragged around by Wuxin thanks to his heavy injuries.. Now that he had completely recovered, he wanted nothing more than to challenge Wuxin and decide who was stronger. Had he been his old self in the past, there was no way he would ever be able to catch up to Wuxin. However, after Wuxin smacked him around a few times with his circulation arts, Lei Wujie felt his whole body lighten and his breath became much smoother. With just a few leaps, he managed to close up the distance to Wuxin and the other monk.
Xiao Se quickly caught up to them and he was grumbling as usual, “You… That was the perfect chance to escape. Don’t tell me you really plan on catching him and bringing him back single-handedly? Can you even defeat him?”
“Aren’t you here as well?” Lei Wujie scratched his head.
“Rubbish!” Xiao Se yelled, “Didn’t I say it before, I don’t know martial arts!”
“But your movement skills are even better than mine!” Lei Wujie seemed skeptical.
“If I don’t know martial arts, obviously I have to learn some movement skills. Otherwise, how am I supposed to run away?” Xiao Se said with all the righteous fury in the world.
“But that day in your inn… you waved your hand and tens of windows slammed shut.” Lei Wujie clearly recalled that scene in the inn. That wave of his hand was anything but ordinary; it thoroughly shocked him then.
“That was just some mechanism I installed a long time ago -just to scare people.” Unlike the surprised Lei Wujie, Xiao Se was a lot more calm about this.
“That… “ Lei Wujie’s forehead was suddenly filled with perspiration. It seemed as though there weren’t just many experts in the martial world. There were as many conmen too.
Right then, the monk they were chasing threw his wine jar behind him, and with a single leap, he landed in a courtyard ahead of him. Wuxin caught the wine jar and stopped as well. Placing the jar down gently, he leaned forward and looked down, brows furrowed in thought.
“Why aren’t we chasing anymore?” Xiao Se caught up and asked with a puzzled expression on his face. He followed Wuxin’s gaze towards the courtyard, and then his eyes went wide. “Hey monk, looks like you really hit the mark this time. We actually came to the right place by chasing him.”
Below them was a temple of no small magnitude with the following three words clearly written on the tablet hanging above the entrance to the temple: Grand Sanskrit Temple.
“Since we are already here, why don’t we head in?” Lei Wujie looked at Wuxin who was lost in thought.
Wuxin was stunned for a moment. Then, he came back to his senses, his capriciousness returning as well. He laughed, “That’s true! Let’s head in!” Having said that, he waved his sleeve and landed in the courtyard of the temple with a few leaps. Lei Wujie and Xiao Se naturally followed after him.
Upon landing, the three of them immediately realized that the temple’s size wasn’t like what they thought. They saw a magnificent sedan parked in the middle of the courtyard flanked on all sides by four hulking men. There were also two handsome teenagers -with a single look, one could see that they had the bearing of some aristocratic family from the Central Plains. As for the drunk monk who had a long beard, he was standing in front of the entrance of the main hall, eyes still unfocused but aura overwhelming as he wielded a Buddhist monk’s knife. Both parties were currently in a tense standoff, neither side daring to take a step forward.