The Path Toward Heaven
298 The Bygone People
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The Path Toward Heaven
Author :Mao Ni
© Wuxiaworld

298 The Bygone People

At the deep end of the Fruit Formation Temple, a quiet meditation room was covered in snow. Inside the was a small clay stove, and the pot on the stove had potatoes boiling inside, giving off a faint smell of food.

Sitting on the futon, the Young Zen Master was reading a book by oil lamp.

He actually held two books in his hands at the same time; one book was the Poem Collection of the Former Emperor, and the other the Food Menu of the Half Garden.

It was unknown why he could read two books of totally different contents at the same time, or why he needed the lighting for his reading.

The Young Zen Master suddenly sensed something, and lifted his head to look at the oil lamp.

In an instant, a fine spark exploded on the filament of the oil lamp, which was cut perfectly, neither too short nor too long.

Though it was a fine spark, it still looked beautiful, and would have awed any onlooker.

"Spreading flowers by a fairy lady?!"

Young Zen Master mulled over it with a slightly changed expression, wondering whether it was a Senior Master who came out from the pagoda forest to teach the Scripts to the disciples.

He had held high generational status in the Zen sects. Saying nothing of the Fruit Formation Temple, there were few monks among the seventy two temples in Chaotian who were qualified to be his senior masters.

He suddenly remembered the letter from Zhao Layue and realized that it would have occurred in the vicinity of the vegetable garden. His expression changed slightly, and he called in Monk Duhai hurriedly.

Besides the Young Zen Master, Monk Duhai, as the Principal Justice, was the only one who knew the origin of Liu Shisui at the Fruit Formation Temple.

"You go to the vegetable garden to have a look yourself…"

Young Zen Master added after some thought, "Don't disturb that young fellow."

Liu Shisui walked out of the room and saw Xiao He standing in the cold wind with nothing on but a thin coat as she stared at a pile of cabbage blankly. "What's the matter?" he asked her.

Seeing him awake, Xiao He said uneasily, "Yin Fu hasn't come to pick up the vegetables in last three days."

Liu Shisui was startled slightly and asked, "How many days have I been in trance?"

"Three days," was Xiao He's answer.

As far as the highly achieved monks of the Zen Sect were concerned, the amount of time in trance could be short or long, as long as it was within a normal range.

Liu Shisui remained silent.

He had been preoccupied with the explanations in the Script lately, so he didn't pay enough attention to other things. Thinking about it, he realized it was really odd.

Even if this place was the Fruit Formation Temple, it was still impossible for a servant of the kitchen to have such profound knowledge.

This made it impossible for Yin Fu to be a mere servant. What kind of person was he then?

"I often listened to my grandma telling me the stories of the Buddhist Masters teaching the Scripts when I was young. In those stories, the highly achieved monks more often than not disguised themselves as old women to teach the mortals."

Yet, Xiao He wasn't so sure. "Was that person…a highly achieved monk in the temple to begin with?" she wondered.

Liu Shisui had also read many similar stories about the Buddhist Scripts, thinking that if this was the case, the Young Zen Master had treated him truly well, and he felt incredibly moved.

To confirm this, he left the vegetable garden and headed to the temple.

The front yard of the Fruit Formation Temple needed to be a connection with the outside world, so visitors were not prohibited from there. Moreover, the receptionist monk knew he was the farmer in the vegetable garden, so he didn't stop Liu Shisui.

Liu Shisui passed through many buildings and came to the front of the kitchen, finding the usually crowded kitchen to be rather quiet this day, murmuring to himself, "What happened here?"

A fat monk responsible for cleaning the yard answered, "Today is New Year's Day!"

"The monks also celebrate the New Year?!" Liu Shisui asked, confused.

The fat monk snapped, "Of course we don't! But the cooks and helpers in the kitchen do!"

The firecrackers could be vaguely heard outside the temple, and it was probably that those hired hands were drinking alcohol.

Liu Shisui realized that he and Xiao He had perhaps made a mistake, and Yin Fu had simply returned home to spend the New Year. So he asked the monk about Yin Fu.

The fat monk attempted to drive him away by flinging the broom, exclaiming, "Go, go, go! We had never had such a person here. Don't play a prank on me!"

Liu Shisui thought what he and Xiao He suspected was actually true.

Thinking that the highly achieved monks of the Fruit Formation Temple had helped him in secret, Liu Shisui wasn't upset at the fat monk's rudeness. "Master, please don't get so angry," he said with a smile.

The fat monk said angrily, "You would always have meat to eat even if the butcher Zhang were dead. What about us? All we have are the cold steamed buns left over from last night. It's impossible for us not to be sad!"

Liu Shisui came back to the vegetable garden. As he was about to tell Xiao He that it was New Year's Day and that she should make some delicious food to celebrate the occasion, he found Xiao He had already had food ready.

One plate was the simple boiled vegetable leaves, devoid of any soy sauce, and beside it, there was a small plate of spicy bean curd.

There was a large bowl of pig feet cooked with a lot vegetable oil and the best soy sauce; and the sugar was also cooked perfectly and put on the pig feet. The color of the dish was almost perfect, and it should taste delicious.

There was also a pot of mutton soup, a mixture of mutton, sour cabbage and bean noodles, that mixture revealing a swirl of yellow and white colors.

The best looking of all the dishes was the shredded intestines cooked with the spicy sauce, and it looked delicious, with dozens of green onions scattered on top.

Liu Shisui liked eating the green onion the most, and his favorite dish was tofu mixed with sliced green onions.

The Cultivation practitioners should eat vegetables cooked with less oil.

His Young Master hadn't told him this, but he learned it by himself.

Xiao He and Liu Shisui had been the partners in eating before they lived together, so she knew what he preferred. Seeing him sit in front of the bean curd, Xiao He didn't feel disappointed, and she rolled up her sleeves, about to use her hand to pick up a whole pig foot from the bowl and gnaw at it in satisfaction.

Liu Shisui gestured for her to wait a bit, turning around and entering the kitchen.

Xiao He felt bewildered, not knowing if she should put down her hands first, or just wait with her hands up.

A moment later, Liu Shisui walked out from the kitchen and put two sets of bowls and chopsticks on the table, picking up the wine jar and pouring into two small wine cups after that.

Xiao He understood his intention and hurriedly straightened her chopsticks, asking if she should put rice in the bowls.

Liu Shisui said that they should drink some wine before eating the rice.

Xiao He said "okay", with a crisp and lovely tone. Her intention was to make Liu Shisui feel better.

Then they started eating the dishes and drinking, during which Liu Shisui and Xiao He placed the food with their chopsticks into the two extra bowls.

After a while, Xiao He couldn't stand it anymore, asking, "I know this bowl is for Mister Yan for sure, and that one is for…"

"Xiwang Sun," said Liu Shisui.

The atmosphere suddenly became gloomy and depressing.

The two of them continued eating with their heads lowered.

It had been quiet in the room for a long time.

They had no idea whether Mister Yan and Xiwang Sun had eaten these meals.

Xiao He ate the meal in a delicate manner. She didn't even use her hand to hold the pig foot while eating it, instead inserting the chopsticks into it and eating it on the sticks.

The atmosphere was kind of depressing, devoid of the mood of New Year celebration.

Xiao He raised her head to look at Liu Shisui, wondering what she should say to make him happier.

In the occasion of festivals, people must think of their loved ones.

Xiao He thought that Liu Shisui must miss Jing Jiu, so she remarked deliberately, "I don't know how those people on Shenmo Peak would celebrate the occasion today."

"Well…Young Master doesn't celebrate the New Year."

Liu Shisui remembered clearly that Jing Jiu felt interested in everything back when he was in the village during the New Year.

It was obvious that it was his first time experiencing such an event.

Liu Shisui seldom though of Jing Jiu, because Jing Jiu undoubtedly lived well; similarly, he wasn't worried about his parents either, because his parents were in good health and enjoyed eating.

The firecrackers boomed again in the distance, and night fell.

Thinking of that highly achieved practitioner of the previous generation disguised as Yin Fu, Liu Shisui suddenly missed him, and had no idea when they would meet again.

The Justice Hall of the Fruit Formation Temple was the most isolated place, and this is where the meditation room called the "White Mountain" was.

Yin San and the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect sat on the futons, wearing the monk robes. They exchanged glances when hearing the firecrackers outside the temple. Both of them felt bored.

For some reason, they didn't leave the Fruit Formation Temple, but hid here after disguising themselves as the monks of the Fruit Formation Temple.

"You were almost discovered by somebody because you wanted to teach him the Script. Immortal, why did you take the risk?" the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect asked while looking at Yin San.

Yin San didn't respond to the question, a smile formed on his face.

He had liked being teacher for others all his life.

He was actually the best teacher in the Cultivation world. He had taught three figures in the Heavenly Arrival State; but unfortunately, they had all betrayed him.

Yin San hadn't taught anyone anything for a long time, so it was inevitable that he'd miss the experience. He spent the last few days teaching the Script after the rationality had been overcome by the affection.

Maybe, it was due to fate that he and Liu Shisui would have this interaction.

The only pity was that the Script that Liu Shisui studied talked about reality and illusion, and on the other hand, he wanted to learn about the scripts discussion of life and death.

In the White Mountain room was a Buddha statue made of black bronze, holding all sorts of magic treasures, exuding a respectful and intimidating aura.

Any regular person looking at this statue would feel awe and respect, but Yin San and the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect didn't have such feeling.

There was no tribute in front of the Buddha statue, save for three bowls full of clean water.

Those bowls were made of skulls embellished with silver, exuding a mysterious feel.

The night grew late, and the firecrackers sounded again. Soon after, the bell rang out.

Though the Fruit Formation Temple didn't celebrate the New Year, the monks rang the bell every day. The ringing bell indicated the arrival of a new year.

Yin San opened his eyes, got up and walked to the front of the Buddha statue.

The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect followed him closely behind.

The ringing bell echoed.

It was the sound of time.

"The bygone people are forever lost," Yin San remarked sentimentally.

The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect commented emotionally, "Therefore, people don't want to miss even a single day or night."

"So let's enjoy life in its entirety," said Yin San.

Having said that, he picked up a bowl of water and emptied it with one gulp.

Some of the water leaked and wetted his lapel.

It tasted like alcohol.

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