Wuxin frowned, unclear as to why that eunuch would suddenly recite such a poem.
On the other hand, Lei Wujie wasn’t all that concerned about the eunuch. He sighed a long sigh, disappointed in the outcome just now. While his previous attack might have just seemed like a miss on the surface, in actuality, the instant he threw out that punch, he had dodged a minimum of three waves of sword qi. Even now, he could feel the skin on his face tingling with a prickly pain. Stroking the spot, he found a trace of blood there -he ended up being injured anyway.
“To strike barehanded against the Frostwind Sword like that, are you mad? If Jin Xian really wanted to kill you, you would be dead already, “ Xiao Se lazily said as he leaned against the wooden support of the door.
At the other end of the battlefield, the bearded monk had taken a step forward as well.
“Form up!” Ling Jun yelled. Immediately, Bo Yong and the four hulking men, who hadn’t participated up till now, drew out their weapons and formed up into an array around Eunuch Jin Xian.
Yet just as everyone thought that a grueling battle was about to start…
“That’s enough, we’re leaving.” Eunuch Jin Xian sheathed his sword and returned to the sedan, not even bothering to spare Wuxin a second look. Seeing that, the four hulking men promptly stowed their weapons and returned to their posts as well, lifting up the sedan without needing to be told to. While Ling Jun and Bo Yong were confused by this sudden change, they promptly kept their weapons as well after exchanging a brief glance with each other.
“Lift off!” Ling Jun yelled.
Just like that, the sedan left towards the gates of the Grand Sanskrit Temple, all the while under the confused gazes of those still present.
“What was that about? Why did they just leave like that?” Lei Wujie turned towards Xiao Se and asked.
“How would I know? He probably felt that he wasn’t a match for that fist of yours, so he did decide to run away,” Xiao Se answered in his usual lazy tone.
Lei Wujie paused for a second, then touched the stinging wound on his face, “I’m actually hoping that you are right…”
As the sedan passed by Wuxin, the soft voice of Eunuch Jin Xian said, “Little Wuxin, the monks from the Nine Dragon Temple are already rushing here, if you want to escape, you’d better do it fast.”
Hearing that, Wuxin merely smiled, face never changing as he said, “There’s no running away.”
“That’s right, this life of yours might be able to escape, but it will never be able to escape from this life.” Having said that illogical statement, Eunuch Jin Xian passed through the gate, not saying another word further.
“Teacher, why did you decide to let him go all of a sudden? That monk clearly wasn’t your match.” No longer within the premises of the temple, Bo Yong finally couldn’t restrain his curiosity and asked that of his teacher.
“That monk has already learned all the thirty two secret arts of the Rakshasa Hall, he isn’t as easy to deal with as you think. But still… Ling Jun, get me a brush, I have to write a missive to the Head Eunuch.” Eunuch Jin Xian’s voice suddenly grew heavy at that point. Such sobriety was unheard of from their teacher, at least it wasn’t so for Ling Jun who swiftly retrieved a brush and presented it with both hands to his teacher.
However, merely a few words later, Eunuch Jin Xian lowered the brush in his hand, paused in deep thought, then tore up the paper and muttered to himself, “No, not a missive, if the letter ends up being intercepted…”
Bo Yong and Ling Jun exchanged a look between themselves. Their teacher had always presented an elegant but aloof front to others. In all his years as a substitute Administrator of the Court of State Ceremonies, he had never shown such distress, not even in the face of an important ceremony like the Day of Heavenly Offerings. Exactly what was it he discovered within that temple that shocked him to such an extent?
“NO! Ling Jun, I need you to fetch me the fastest steed from a nearby stable. I have to see the Head Eunuch right this instant!” Eunuch Jin Xian tossed the brush away.
Exactly what kind of missive could be so important to command such haste? Here was the Grand Eunuch of Incense, who was only second to the Head Eunuch in strength amongst the five Grand Eunuchs, wanting to rush off to the imperial capital personally, just to make a report?
“Understood!” Not daring to second guess his teacher’s order any further, Ling Jun ran off in a flash.
“Sigh… The cold winds bite, yet the wanderer meanders without guard.” Eunuch Jin Xian muttered to himself after finally calming down.
With the departure of Eunuch Jin Xian and his entourage, a moment of reprieve descended upon the Grand Sanskrit Temple. No longer faced with a grueling fight, the two youths, Lei Wujie and Xiao Se, walked up to Wuxin.
“So exactly who is it you’re looking for in the Grand Sanskrit Temple, Wuxin?” Lei Wuijie asked.
“It’s probably that drunken monk over there, isn’t it?” Xiao Se asked. It was then that the monk in question slowly walked foward, still wielding that Buddhist monk’s knife as before, aura still as overbearing. A cold glimmer flashed past Xiao Se’s eyes, “Be careful, that monk’s martial arts isn’t that much worse than Jin Xian’s.”
However, Wuxin merely shook his head, pushed aside Lei Wujie who was blocking him, and walked straight up to the monk, stopping only a couple of steps away from him.
“You’ve grown up.” The bearded monk said with a sigh.
“What nonsense. Of course I have, it’s been twelve years.” The two seemed to know each other very well. “Don’t tell me you were expecting me to remain as that five year old boy?” Wuxin jokingly chided the monk.
The monk smiled in return, “Exactly how much do you remember of that age?”
“A lot. I still remember riding on your shoulders all the time, tugging on that long beard of yours. I still remember that you weren’t a monk then. Your Space-severing Blade was a sight to behold, I always clamored for you to teach me that. Do you still remember?” Suddenly, Wuxin’s eyes sharpened and the atmosphere turned icy cold. “Remember that you killed my father?”
Lei Wujie and Xiao Se were stunned. In that very instant, Wuxin exuded a level of murderous intent never seen before, however, it was only for an instant.
“All this time I’ve wondered. Once you’ve grown up, will you come to kill me? I’ve enquired this of Master Wangyou before, all he said then was that everything in the world has a cause and an effect, before prattling on about a bunch of Buddhist nonsense. But I’m just a fake monk, I don’t understand any of those lofty ideals. But then I came to this realization if you were to come kill me, what would I do then? Probably hand you a knife…” the bearded monk twirled his Buddhist monk’s knife, causing it to spin in mid air for a while before landing in front of Wuxin, stabbing a good half blade’s worth into the ground.
Reaching out with his hands, Wuxin gently clasped the hilt of the knife but didn’t pull it out. “The old monk told me to always hold compassion close by my side. Don’t worry, I won’t kill you. After all, I’m a monk now, how can I commit murder so casually?”
“I would rather that you were here to kill me, if you aren’t, that just means you have a matter even more troublesome that requires my help.”
“Oh, it’s not troublesome at all. I just need you to perform some funeral rites.”
“Funeral rites? I’m a fake monk, even after all those years of staying in a temple, I still don’t know how to recite a single scripture.”
“I’m not asking you to do it alone, I want the entire Grand Sanskrit Temple to help me with these funeral rites.”
As the kingdom’s designated temple, Grand Sanskrit Temple naturally had a lot more monks residing within it. However, because an enemy had just descended upon them, the majority of its monks were all hiding in the backyard’s recitation room. Should they all come out in full force, there would be more than three hundred monks present. Only the death of the monarch of Khotan would warrant such a large showing.
However, the bearded monk merely paused for a second before turning towards Venerable Fa Lan and yelling, “Senior martial brother!”
The Venerable in question violently twitched for a second, then opened his eyes groggily to look at the bearded monk, his mouth still stained with some saliva. In all likelihood, the Venerable was merely pretending to shake his head throughout that heated battle. In fact, he had fallen asleep long ago!
“An expert!” Lei Wujie couldn’t but give the monk a big fat thumbs up for his head shaking. Even the legends of old failed to warn him of such skill! In the legends, monks of such esteem were all steadfast and unfazed before danger. As for this Venerable Fa Lan, he was so unfazed, he even fell asleep…
“Senior brother, your junior has a request to make,” the bearded monk called out in a clarion voice.
The Venerable wiped off his drool and lightly nodded his head.
“I need to conduct some funeral rites, I would need three hundred or so of your monks.” The bearded monk asked without any hint of reservation. However, the Venerable merely smiled and nodded his head as before.
“You’re the old monk’s only surviving friend, having you conduct the rites can be considered a repayment of sorts for all his years of nagging.” Wuxin smiled before turning around, “I’ll be waiting at that spot tomorrow.”
“Then what about the day after?” asked the bearded monk.
“The day after? We can talk about that once we’ve survived tomorrow.” Not bothering to turn around again, Wuxin leaped into the air and landed atop the temple’s walls. “After tomorrow’s rites…leave. Twelve years ago, they dragged you into this mess. Twelve years later, you mustn’t commit the same mistake again.” Having said that, the white figure of Wuxin disappeared over the wall.
“I say…Lei Wujie, have you realized that whenever that monk, Wuxin, leaves, he doesn’t seem to have any intention of taking us with him?” Xiao Se flatly stated.
“I’ve realized that too…” Lei Wujie scratched his head.
“Then exactly when will we, his hostages, decide to stop shamelessly clinging onto him?” Xiao Se turned to face Lei Wujie.
“That’s true, let’s just meet up with senior brother Tang then.”
After chasing that monk around for so long, Lei Wujie finally decided not to do so. Yet the moment they came to a hard won agreement, a handsome monk’s face popped up from over the wall and gave them a cheeky wink. “My dear brothers, it’s about time we leave, don’t you think? We still have a long journey ahead of us, and horses to rent -I’m definitely in no position to pay for that.”