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462 The Small Taoist Temple and Being Free

Chapter 462: The Small Taoist Temple and Being Free
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn

Eldest Brother and Ye Su walked to the stone steps and whispered to the Taoist. The Taoist was a little surprised and somewhat unwilling especially when he realised that the two did not hand over any money even though he waited for a while with his hands clenched into a fist in his sleeves. However, when he saw the bun on Ye Su's head, he discovered that he had lost all courage to stop them and had no choice but to be silent.

The handful of people who had turned up at the Taoist temple to hear the teachings were engrossed in the story that the Taoist told. They listened intently even though they had the occasional doubts. However, they could not help but be surprised when they were suddenly interrupted by the two people standing before the Taoist.

Ye Su's face was devoid of any expression. He wasn't interested in talking to these mere mortals and wouldn't have done so if not because he wanted to get a conclusion to the differing opinions between himself and Mr. First of the Academy.

"Next, I will explain the essence of the three points of Haotian Taoism." Then he glanced at Eldest Brother and said, "Mr. First, you're welcome to raise your doubts anytime."

Eldest Brother nodded calmly.

Ye Su began to explain Haotian Taoism as he understood it.

Eldest Brother occasionally raised his doubts.

Ye Su was the World Wayfarer of Haotian Taoism as well as the successor of Zhishou Abbey. He began studying Haotian Taoism classics as a child and traveled to many countries, exploring life and death. He had a deep understanding of Taoism and was the most extraordinary figure in the present world.

Eldest Brother was Mr. First of the Academy. He was the first disciple of the Headmaster and was well-versed in the six arts. He was well-read and had begun touring the world with the Headmaster since childhood. His cultivation state was extremely high and while he was slow at speaking and acting, he was one of the most intelligent people.

As they debated in front of the crowds, the two did not behave as calmly or directly as they did when they spoke in private. They each spoke about ancient classics and sought evidence from annotations of famous scholars. They spoke concisely and uninhibitedly and sought a deeper understanding of the subject.

From every perspective, the debate between Mr. First of the Academy and Zhishou Abbey's successor, Ye Su, was a legendary event that was bound to be recorded in history.

If those from the cultivation world found out about this, they would be beyond shock and come in droves to witness this event. They would come even if they were on their sickbeds and would have someone carry them on a stretcher to listen to these two sublime beings in the clouds lecture.

However, this debate did not happen in the Lanke Temple, the West-Hill Divine Palace, or the Academy. It happened on a street in Chang'an at an inconspicuous Taoist temple.


Those gathered at the doors of the temple were just ordinary folks who did not know that the two were Unworldly Sublime Beings who rarely appeared in the mortal world where they would share the same status with the emperor.

These folks were literate, but had never studied the classics hidden in the Academy and Zhishou Abbey. They did not understand the hidden depths in the debate between the two. These ordinary folks only thought about earning money, drinking and having fun. To them, the stories told by the Taoist earlier was much more interesting than the debate given by the two who began to argue out of blue.

"What are those two talking about?"

"Who knows? Anyway, I do not understand."

"Why did the skinny Taoist allow them to speak?"

"Who knows?"

"These two are so boring. Let's go."

"Didn't the skinny Taoist say that we can each get a bottle of alcohol after the lecture? Can we still get it if we leave now? If not, why are we wasting so much time here?"

"I can't listen anymore. What are they talking about? I'm going to fall asleep if we stay any longer. Don't mention the alcohol. I rather not drink it than to continue listening."

"You're right. Let's go."

The cultivation world would have gone nuts over this debate that happened before the tiny Taoist temple. However, it was in no way interesting to the ordinary folks. They began discussing it below the stone steps and grew annoyed before leaving eventually.

The debate on the stone steps was at its climax. Eldest Brother and Ye Su frowned and thought hard. They were very careful with whatever they said and did not notice what was happening around them.

After some time, when they finally emerged from the debate, they realized that the Taoist temple was quieter than before. The people listening had all left. The autumn breeze rustled fallen leaves, pressing them against the streets. Only an awkward silence accompanied the two.

The skinny Taoist looked at the two helplessly and sighed. He said, "I bought over 20 bottles of wine just to get those believers to come and listen to my teachings. In the end... they were all forced away by you. I really don't understand, why did you guys come? To create chaos?"

Eldest Brother looked a little awkward.

Ye Su was somewhat annoyed. After a long silence, he said, "If you have not earned enough money of incense, I will stay and help you earn that."

The Taoist looked at Ye Su's bun and could not refuse. However, he wondered helplessly to himself if the man was going to ruin his little Taoist temple.

Eldest Brother smiled bitterly at Ye Su. "It seems that an argument over ideas is meaningless. If we always float in the clouds, how can we land on the ground?"

"I have nowhere to stay in Chang'an. I shall stay in this Taoist temple for now."

Ye Su looked into his eyes and said frankly, "I have come to Chang'an to see Xia Hou and for that matter. I heard from my teacher that you have been sitting on the end of the black line for 15 years. Since you have already done it, do you think whether your Youngest Brother could or not?"

Eldest Brother smiled and did not answer the question. He turned and left the Taoist temple.

...

...

Standing out of the General's Mansion, Ning Que noticed the spies who did not hide very inconspicuously. He knew that there were many bigwigs who were very concerned about what happened between him and Xia Hou. After a moment of silence, he walked down the stone steps and patted the Big Black Horse's head.

He had many things to do and needed a more convenient form of transport. The steel horse carriage that Master Yan Se had left him was too heavy because his cultivation state was not high enough. An ordinary horse would not be able to pull it. That was why he had brought the Big Black Horse from the back of the mountain.

The Big Black Horse was not pleased or touched after being entrusted with such a responsibility. The horse carriage behind him was too heavy, and he would rather continue being bullied by Wooden Fish back at the Academy.

The all-black horse carriage sped towards Yanming Lake. Ning Que sat in the carriage with his eyes shut, weary evident in his face.

Sitting opposite Xia Hou in the garden and talking about the past and their grudges and enmities had tired his wits even though they hadn't had a real fight.

The sweet scent of osmanthus could be smelt from outside the carriage.

He was amazed that someone's mansion's osmanthus was still blooming even now in autumn.

The object he kept his chest began warming up. The heat emanated in the air of the carriage through his black academy uniform, thickening the scent of osmanthus.

Ning Que opened his eyes and took out the array eye pestle that was tightly wrapped in a cloth. He felt the obvious heat passed to his palm and frowned with a grave expression.

After the study in the palace and contemplation, Ning Que now had a deep understanding of the big tactical array that Chang'an was. Even though he was still not anywhere near Master Yan Se's state, he had slowly established a link between his mental state and Chang'an. He was able to perceive everything that the city wanted to tell him.

Ning Que could sense that an extremely powerful person had entered Chang'an.

It was that very moment when Ye Su had followed the grains team into Chang'an.

Ning Que did not know that the powerhouse who had entered Chang'an was Ye Su.

He only knew that the person was very strong. He was so strong that even the array eye pestle began to heat up. A heavy awareness grew within him and he told the black horse pulling the carriage, "Turn around, go to the Academy."

...

...

Ning Que was headed to the Academy because he knew that his cultivation state and abilities were not good enough against the powerhouse who had come to Chang'an. Also, he was about to use the issue as an excuse to ask his Senior Brothers some questions. They were questions that troubled him but had never been discussed in the Academy.

After entering the back of the mountain, Ning Que walked to the straw cottage with the sounds of the waterfall behind him. Ning Que did not see the Headmaster, and it was evident that the Headmaster did not want to answer his question, and refused to see him.

Then, he left the straw cottage, walked around the waterfall and came to the cliff. He walked by the cliff walls and climbed up a steep slope of stairs, returning to the cliff cave that he had stayed on for three months.

The wisteria flowers on the porch had long since fallen, and borne fruit. They were not cooked with meat by Sangsang but became food for the ants on the ground.

Standing on the edge of the cliff and looking over Chang'an, Ning Que fell silent. He analyzed why the Headmaster did not want to see him and thought about what it meant.

After some time.

Senior Brother walked to his side and looked at the faraway Chang'an City. He said, "The person who came is called Ye Su."

Ning Que had already sensed that the person who had entered Chang'an was one of the strongest powerhouses. He was not surprised when he heard Ye Su's name.

Eldest Brother looked at him and suddenly said, "What happened in the past has passed."

Ning Que knew that Eldest Brother was trying to convince him. He did not reply, but looked at Chang'an that was shrouded in the autumn sunlight. He suddenly felt like saying something.

"But unlike them, I did not die yesterday."

The autumn breeze between cliffs swung the clouds around. The waterfall grew thinner than it had been in spring due to the reduced water volume.

Eldest Brother looked at the waterfall and said, "If a person is blinded by hatred, he cannot see a bigger world and a more beautiful scenery."

Ning Que said, "Hatred cannot blind a person, but it can make someone's eyes red. To me, hatred had long become my eyes. All these years, I had no eyes for anything else and hatred had become my world and the most beautiful scenery."

Eldest Brother said, "This life is so uncomfortable, is it really worth it?"

Ning Que turned around to look at him. He said, "Senior Brother, you are wrong. If a person wants to live freely, then he shouldn't consider too much. True freedom is doing whatever you want to do."

...