Wuxiaworld > Nightfall > 348 The Invitation from Lanke Temple

348 The Invitation from Lanke Temple

Chapter 348: The Invitation from Lanke Temple
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn

The young monk was about 25 or 26. He was handsome and looked kind. His skin was slightly tanned and his thin monk robes fluttered in the wind, making him look rather ethereal. However, it was still mid-winter, and it was a wonder that he wasn't cold.

Ning Que grew slightly wary, but it did not show on his face. His smiled slightly and asked, "Does this master know me?"

The monk smiled and said, "This monk guessed."

Ning Que asked in surprise, "You can guess something like that?"

The monk calmly said, "That's because I have met the Calligraphy Addict before, that's why I guessed that you are Mr. Thirteen."

Ning Que thought about the rumors floating about lately and could not help but smile bitterly.

Mo Shanshan looked at the young monk. Her usually lazy gaze focused gradually as she thought about her previous meeting with him years ago. She said, slightly surprised, "It's Senior Brother Guan Hai. How have you been? What are you doing in Chang'an?"

Mo Shanshan introduced the monk, and Ning Que found out that he was a disciple of the Elder at Lanke Temple called Guan Hai. A strange expression crossed his face.

This world was different from the world that Ning Que had once lived in. Not every housewife was highly skilled in both Buddhism and Taoism. As compared to Haotian Taoism, the Buddhism Sect's influence was definitely weaker, and Buddhism was not as popular.

However, the Lanke Temple was very well-renowned, especially to the regular folk. Nobody knew about the Xuankong Temple, but they all knew about the Lanke Temple. As for cultivators, the Lanke Temple's standing was higher than the White Tower Temple of the Yuelun Kingdom. Even Ning Que, who did not understand anything about the Buddhism Sect had heard of the Lanke Temple and was very impressed by it.

Many stories have played out in the thousand-year-old temple. Master Lotus had become world renowned after his debate with the Elder from the Lanke Temple. After that, he had cultivated in the temple in seclusion for many years. That bloodshed incident that had resulted in the destruction of the Devil's Doctrine and changed the cultivation world had also begun at the Lanke Temple.

Ning Que first heard of the Lanke Temple when Prince Long Qing had entered Chang'an. Long Qing had become famous at the debate at Lanke Temple. Now that he thought about it, he could not help but think that perhaps all cultivators who want to be famous had to go to the Lanke Temple and enter a debate session.

Lanke Temple had a very special place in the cultivation world precisely because of these stories. The Elders who lived in seclusion at the back of the mountain were ranked high in seniority. The young monk was a disciple of an Elder at the Lanke Temple, and would rank higher than the legendary seven disciples of the Buddhism Sect.

According to Ning Que's character, he should be trying to get close to the young monk named Guan Hai. However, in recent days, due to the entering of the human realm by the Academy, he had been cautious about meeting those from other sects who had come forth to challenge him. He couldn't help but feel a little uneasy when he saw someone from the Lanke Temple appearing in Chang'an.

"So, you're a Bhadanta from the Lanke Temple. I wonder why I have never met you in the palace, Senior Brother." He smiled and said.

The young monk uttered that he did not dare and said respectfully, "This monk wouldn't dare to call himself a Bhadanta. Furthermore, my teacher is a disciple of the Headmaster of the Academy. How would I dare to be called that by Senior Brother, Mr. Thirteen? As for the incident in the Wilderness, the temple had received an edict from the Divine Hall. It was just that the disciples of the Buddhism Sect values penance and not interfering with the mortal world, so I did not go."

When he heard that, Ning Que thought to himself, that if he really did not interfere with the mortal world, he would not desire fame, and as such, would not seek to give Ning Que trouble. He felt a little relieved. Furthermore, the monk looked at him with admiration and that felt very nice indeed. He asked with a warm expression, "I wonder what tasks Senior Brother has to carry out in Chang'an?"

It takes two to clap, so even though the monk did not acknowledge that he was a Senior Brother out of humility, Ning Que insisted on addressing him as so. We could see that Eldest Brother was right, that being flexible when dealing with things and the ability to improvise was a skill. He was indeed the prime candidate of the back of the mountain of the Academy.

Guan Hai pulled out a letter from a yellow cloth pouch and said, "I have retrieved a document from the Ministry of Rites from the Tang Empire and am about to head to the Academy. I did not expect to meet Mr. Thirteen, so I will leave this invitation with you so that I need not make the journey there."

"An invitation for the Academy?"

Ning Que opened the yellow cloth to discover that the letter was not sealed. He took out a sheet of thin letter paper from the inside. The contents of the letter were simple and clear. The Elder of Lanke Temple had invited the Academy to send someone to participate in the Yue laan hungry ghost festival next year.

After the conversation with Eldest Brother, he knew that he would have to deal with all issues to do with the secular world on behalf of the Academy in the future. So he had to participate in Lanke Temple's Yue laan hungry ghost festival. It was lucky that it was still a year away, and he could prepare himself for it. He could rest easy now that he could be certain that the Lanke Temple had sent someone to send an invitation.

He smiled at Guan Hai and said, "Senior Brother had journeyed far from the Lanke Temple. I should play host, but I have already agreed to tour with the Hill Master. Shall we meet for tea and a chat at night?"

Monk Guan Hai replied respectfully, "Mr. Thirteen, you are kind, but I have followed instructions passed unto me by my teacher to come to Chang'an and have fallen behind on my school work. Since I have already passed the invitation to you, I shall return to the temple shortly."

"Go on, go on. You have to go home eventually." Ning Que thought to himself happily. However, he kept an enthusiastic expression on his face and tried to get the young monk to stay. He even pretended to be angry like how the men of Hebei do.

Monk Guan Hai refused repeatedly, saying, "I really can't afford to fall behind on my school work anymore. It is just that this is a rare visit to Chang'an for me, and that I have met Mr. Thirteen in person, I would like to ask you for some advice as I have met with some difficulties in cultivation."

"That's no problem at all. I will order a vegetarian feast at the Building of Pines and Cranes tonight along with two bottles of wine. We can drink and talk, or drink some tea. And we can analyze... er, what did I just say?"

Ning Que had been talking excitedly and was completely immersed in the act of entering the human realm. He only became fully aware of what he had done now.

There were many things that did not require one to talk about it clearly, and it did not need to be spoken about clearly. That's because if it was so, it would make things ugly for everyone. Those from Academy, the West-Hill Divine Palace, and the Lanke Temple usually paid attention to their demeanors.

Since they were supermundane cultivators, how could they behave like the ruffians of the secular world? They would not stab at someone with a watermelon knife without reason, or just because of some petty argument.

Even if they were to fight, they would have to dress the issue prettily. They would dress it with a pretty reason. It was rare in the cultivation world to have people like Ning Que and Ye Hongyu who cared about victory and not demeanor and would jump into battle rashly.

And the prettily clothed reasons were none other than asking about some difficult questions about cultivation, analyzing each other's state. Other than that, the naked truth was that they were simply asking for a fight.

Ning Que's expression altered slightly when he ascertained that the monk from Lanke Temple had issued an invitation to battle. He looked at the slightly tanned face and could not help but think of Sangsang and Darkie's skin color. He thought to himself, that he must be fated to face down people of this skin color in this lifetime.

After a moment, he said sincerely, "Monks highly regard compassion, why would you care about worldly things such as fame?"

Monk Guan Hai said even more sincerely, "I have practiced penance in the temple for many years and have heard the Elders mention about learning from the Headmaster of the Academy back then. I know that the Academy is one of the best places in the world and have always wanted to go there, but could never get away from my schoolwork. Since I have made a rare visit to Chang'an, I would like Mr. Thirteen to be understanding of this monk's bad thoughts and teach me something."

Ning Que stared at the monk's eyes and discovered that other than respect, there was only admiration and a determination to battle.

Since the other party was so polite and full of admiration, how could he bring himself to scold him? His will to battle was strong, and he was a monk who practiced penance sincerely, so who could he persuade him?

Ning Que did not know how he should respond to the situation at hand. He would have run away if he were still that person of the past in the City of Wei. However, he was now forced to carry the burden of the Tang Empire and the Academy. It would take quite a bit of effort even if he did run away.

He had never been afraid of battle, and did not fear fight. He was just worried that he could not win.

Guan Hai was the core disciple of the Elder in Lanke Temple. Core disciples were usually very strong. For example, Mo Shanshan, the core disciple of the Master of Calligraphy, or himself, the core disciple of the Headmaster of the Academy... Alright, he had to acknowledge that he was the weakest Wayfarer of the Academy, and wasn't confident of winning.

He still had to fight even if he couldn't beat him. That could be called bravery, or stupidity. Ning Que held on to the big black umbrella and descended into silence in the snowfall of Chang'an. He struggled between bravery and the right choice, but could not find an answer.

Mo Shanshan stood by the big black umbrella silently. Perhaps she had guessed the struggle he was experiencing at that moment. She lowered her lids, and her lashes fluttered slightly. It took her plenty of effort to stop her smile from escaping.

Monk Guan Hai was an honest man. He had heard of the Elder's respect and admiration for the Headmaster of the Academy since he was a child. He had never thought that he would win in a battle against the student from the Second floor of the Academy. When he saw that Ning Que did not speak for a long while, he wondered if Mr. Thirteen was considering if he should not beat himself up too badly, and could not help but be touched.

"Mr. Thirteen, if you deem that my state of practice is too weak, why don't we sit down and talk?" He said sincerely.

Ning Que thought that the Lanke Temple was renowned for its debate. Furthermore, the man's tanned skin and his name, Guan Hai, implied that he ate plenty of bean oil daily, and was well-versed in the art of debate. If they were to sit down and talk, he would lose in seconds. Wouldn't that mean announcing the first official loss for his first battle upon entering the human realm?

Losing was not an issue, but the problem was that Eldest brother would not allow him to lose. It would bring shame to the Academy and the Headmaster of the Academy. And the Headmaster of the Academy wasn't someone who could bear being shamed, and this would result in a series of very serious problems.

Ning Que lifted his head with these thoughts and his gaze met the monk's clear and sincere ones. His heart wavered, as he felt that he was lacking in an important thing that he needed when fighting against the man.

The falling snowflakes landed on the oily surface of the big black umbrella, forming a thin layer of snow.

Ning Que looked at the monk and calmly said, "Could I trouble Senior Brother to wait for me for half a day?"

The monk Guan Hai placed his palms together.

Mo Shanshan looked at him and asked, "What are you going to do with half a day?"

"I need half a day to consider a very important question."

With that, Ning Que folded the big black umbrella and carried it on his back. He walked in the light snowfall towards the south of Chang'an. After an hour, he reached the newly formed lake at the south of the city. Then, he slowly sat down in the snow.