Chapter Four - Lament
These Monster Ox Movements had originated from the Heaven-Zen temple, where only disciples from the temple had the privilege to learn.
Liao Chen was singled out as a potential talent to learn these movements, back when he had joined the temple. His recommender was a famous Zen master in this temple, named Jiu Ru. Later, Liao Chen taught Xu Yi what he had learned from his master.
It took Xu Yi merely two years to master these movements while, as a teacher, Liao Chen had spent nearly ten years! Obviously, Xu Yi grossly outperformed his Sifu. Even the most promising disciple, Bei Chen, who was considered to be a peerless genius, had practiced for three whole years before mastering these moves.
The short learning span of three years was considered sensational in the Heaven-Zen Temple, and Bei Chen was praised as a rare genius who could only emerge once in an interval of fifty years.
To raise a genius like Bei Chen, the Heaven-Zen Temple had used up numerous precious herbs for his cultivation.
As he looked at the young man in front of him, Liao Chen felt totally confused. How could an orphan, with only a part time job as a storyteller, earn the money to buy the required rare herbs? Plus, it only took him two years to reach this stage with these limited resources.
This was truly a miracle!
“You are made for these movements. To tell you the truth, I was a little bit worried when I taught you these movements, which is only allowed to be taught to Heaven-Zen Temple disciples. But look at what you have achieved now, I am so relieved. Because I bet, that Master Jiu Chan will not blame me for this, he loves young talents like you.” Liao Chen praised Xu Yi and then clasped his hands together.
“You may say I am smart or talented. Yet, I am not. On the contrary, I am a foolish boy. The only secret that makes me a success is diligence. If others practice once, I will probably practice one hundred times more than them.”
“Well, well, your words are truly enlightening! I believe in you! I don’t have much time now, come closer and listen carefully.” It seemed that Liao Chen was intending to share some secret with Xu Yi.
When Liao was in his thirties, he had made a breakthrough in his cultivation – He surpassed the peak state of a forged body and entered into a new realm – the state of an ocean of qi. Because of this, he was quickly appointed as a keeper in the scripture library of the Heaven-Zen Temple.
In the following years, Liao Chen obediently did his job as a scripture keeper, sweeping the floor, or stacking the scriptures onto the shelves. On top of the routines, he kept cultivating in Wu Dao, as he was obsessed with it.
Fifteen years had passed, and everything was on track, until one day – Rumors had spread all over the Heaven-Zen Temple, that Liao Chen had stolen a special scripture and had fled. The leaders of the Heaven-Zen Temple were outraged and listed him as the most wanted monk.
Liao Chen fled with the scripture to Guanan. Unfortunately, soon after arriving here, he was arrested and beaten to death. Only his ghost managed to barely survive, which had eventually encountered Xu Yi.
Liao Chen told Xu Yi of the crime he had committed, even though he originally hadn’t planned to tell Xu Yi. Now, since he wouldn’t stay much longer in this world and there was still unfinished business left to take care of, he needed Xu Yi to help him out.
“There is an old saying, that if you can’t surpass the state of an ocean of qi at the age of sixty, then you will never surpass it in your whole life. As I grew older, this really scared me. Originally, I intended to rely on this secret scripture to find a shortcut in my cultivation. Nevertheless, haste made waste... I learned nothing from this scripture, not because it was useless, but the technique described is beyond my ability. I have long wished to repent for my theft. Please do me a favor and give back this scripture to the Heaven-Zen Temple!” Liao Chen explained in a sincere manner.
Liao Chen kneeled down and begged Xu Yi to help him.
“I will! I will!” Xu Yi quickly moved to his Sifu and tried to help him up.
However, All of a sudden, a wild wind blew away the remaining parts of Liao Chen. He just faded away, only leaving a horrible groaning. Watching all this, Xu Yi was spiritually suffering. He helplessly looked around the forest and confirmed for himself that his Sifu was really gone forever.
He shouted his Sifu’s name in the silent forest, in the hope that his Sifu might hear it. To his disappointment, however, except for the noises of wild animals, there was no response. Eventually, he shouted like a monster, letting out the greatest of grievances, one that was beyond words. All the memories between him and his Sifu emerged in his vision, like slides on a projector.
The morning sunshine shone brightly through the branches, Xu Yi realised that morning had already arrived. He had stayed up all night lamenting over his Sifu. He stood up and moved to a clear space to dig a hole and bury the remaining parts of the incense sticks. He tirelessly searched around the forest, searching for an acceptable tombstone. Not much later, he returned with a large piece of wood that would serve as the tombstone.
After an hour, Xu Yi reluctantly left the grave and went down to the foot of the Hui Yin Mountain. On his way, he came across a wild pig, which he effortlessly hunted. Before, hunting was not an easy job for him. But now, he was a completely different person with immense power, who could smash wood and stone with the greatest of ease.
Looking up into the sky, the sun was shining brightly. The terrace in the distance was covered with plants, as farmers were working on it. Some were hoeing, others were ploughing.
To some extent, the alluring scenery alleviated Xu Yi’s sadness. Suddenly, Without warning, a cloud of black smoke rose up in the northwest. It seemed like it originated from where Xu Yi’s wooden house was located. Xu Yi could even hear a dog barking bitterly.
“Oh, no! My dog!”
Xu Yi was so infuriated that all his blood was about to reach the boiling temperature. He used up all of his remaining energy to speed up home. Sadly, it was already too late.
The wooden house was burned down to the ground. There was nothing left.
Xu Yi searched around like crazy. Until. eventually, he saw the dog’s four legs, which were penetrated by wooden sticks. That was not even the crudest part, touching on the dog’s head, Xu Yi found that the dog’s skin had been ripped off from his head to his breast.
Surprisingly, the dog was actually still alive with eyes full of tears and blood. He stared, with blood- and tear stained eyes of love at Xu Yi. Until finally, the dog closed his eyes one final time. Tears bursted out of Xu Yi’s eyes as he took the dead dog in his warm embrace.
Xu Yi’s face was deformed into a strange look, with blue veins protruding and wide open bloodshot eyes. An extreme rage was dominating his mind.
The dog had been around Xu Yi since his childhood. When he was a little boy he would ride on the dog’s back, which was still one of the most memorable things in his life. In summer time, the dog would waive its tail to drive away the mosquitoes that would be buzzing around Xu Yi. Sometimes the dog would go into the forest and come back home with chickens and rabbits for Xu Yi to cook… The dog was more than a pet, it was a family member!
The consecutive blows on Xu Yi drove him crazy, as he rushed back into the forest, in search for some consolation. He ran and ran, like an unbridled monster, cutting down all the nearby plants and trees. Xu Yi eventually climbed up to the summit of a small mountain and a while later he slowly walked back down to the foot of this mountain. His mind had turned bleak.
After a considerable period of time, Xu Yi was suddenly completely sober. He accepted the brutal events and prepared to dig a grave for his dog. He then buried the dog and wiped away all of his tears.