415 Keeping a Peaceful Heart in this Garden of the Temple
Looking at the ordinary small pagoda, Zhao Layue wondered who would have known that the previous emperor had been buried here.
Jing Jiu said, "He liked living a simple life. If he could, he would rather not be an emperor for so many years in Zhaoge City."
Zhao Layue raised her head to look at Jing Jiu, as she asked, "Is he the friend you wanted to see?"
Back when they were on Shenmo Peak, Jing Jiu had said that his friend was dead.
"Though it's not very accurate," Jing Jiu said, "he has been more like a friend to me as far as my heart is concerned."
Zhao Layue's gaze fell on his tightly clenched left hand, and inquired, "How can he help you with that?"
"I have seldom come here; but every time I came here, I always had a tremendously peaceful feeling."
As Jing Jiu looked at that stone pagoda, the expression in his eyes was quite peaceful. It was unclear if this expression was one of affection or if it lacked that.
The most difficult part of tempering the Fairy Book was not the formidable power of the fairy energy, but the spiritual awareness left by Bai Ren.
The true fairy awareness couldn't be wiped out by any method in the human world, and it would slowly invade the Dao Heart like the spring rain soaking the ground over night and the candles shining on the beams of a house.
The Dao Heart and the Zen Heart are all in the mind. Only a heart as peaceful as the tranquil water could resist such an invasion.
Many things in this temple could help Jing Jiu keep a peaceful heart, including this small stone pagoda, the setting sun amid the pagoda forest, the ancient temple shone on by the setting sun, the morning bell and evening drum in the temple, and the sounds of reciting the scripts along with the sound of rustling pine trees. Then, he could lead the spiritual awareness into a quiet existence.
This was the reason why Jing Jiu came to the Fruit Formation Temple.
The white cat awoke and opened his eyes, and looked around the quiet courtyard, feeling baffled and nervous.
He lifted his head to smell in the air. He gradually calmed down and climbed down from Jing Jiu's shoulder; it was unclear what he had smelled.
The white cat didn't jump back into Zhao Layue's bosom. Instead, he sauntered to the futon in front of the small stone pagoda, curled up on it, and closed his eyes, falling into a sound sleep, maybe dreaming of a wonderful dream.
Seeing this, Zhao Layue remarked after a moment of silence, "In fact, I had been thinking that it would be impossible to temper the Fairy Book; but I feel more confident now."
"What is your current Cultivation state?" Jing Jiu asked.
Zhao Layue said, "Close to the middle state of Free Travel."
Jing Jiu said, "It's not a good thing to progress too fast. I think you should slow down and solidify the current state. Take a break. Listen to the recitation of scripts for a few years at the Fruit Formation Temple."
In his eyes, Little Layue's Cultivation state had almost caught up to his; it was of course too fast.
If it were any other matter, Zhao Layue would absolutely listen to him, but this was a matter she didn't want to yield to him on. She pursed her lips stubbornly, not saying a word.
Before joining the Green Mountain Sect, she had regarded the Grandmaster Jing Yang as her idol and someone she would like to catch up to and she had felt it was a pity that she and Jing Yang couldn't live in the same time period. Now that she finally realized that she had the opportunity to catch up, there was no way she would give up on the attempt.
Jing Jiu knew what the little girl was thinking of. He reached out his hand and rubbed her head, saying, "The scripts of the Zen sects are very interesting. Shisui has already learned them. You should also learn the scripts and catch up; it's beneficial to your Cultivation."
It was perhaps because his peaceful voice was rather convincing, or because his hand was very warm and comfortable, Zhao Layue finally yielded to his advice. "When should we go see Liu Shisui?" she asked.
Jing Jiu was perplexed. He had seen Shisui on the Cloud-Dream Mountain not long ago and already told him what he thought Shisui needed to know; why did he still need to see Shisui?
Seeing his expression, Zhao Layue realized that he was still the same guy who didn't know that much about mortal affairs and was unable to deal with relationships; though he seemed to be able to talk a bit more and look a bit more experienced now, those were all false phenomena. "He lives right here at the Fruit Formation Temple. Since we are here, we have to go see him," she barked indignantly.
No matter how unimportant the relationships were, it was Jing Jiu who had sent Liu Shisui to the Fruit Formation Temple; if he didn't go and see Liu Shisui when he was here, Zhao Layue thought, how terribly sad would Liu Shisui feel after he found out?
Jing Jiu understood what she meant after some thought, saying, "I don't know where he lives."
"I know," Zhao Layue said immediately while staring into his eyes.
Gu Qing was the person responsible for communicating between Liu Shisui and Shenmo Peak, and it was Gu Qing who was responsible for sending things to the vegetable garden. It was Gu Qing who had told her the address of the vegetable garden and reminded her of telling Jing Jiu to go and visit Liu Shisui before she left Shenmo Peak.
In other words, without Gu Qing reminding her, she might have forgotten about it. So she was not qualified to advise Jing Jiu on the matter, but she was not going to tell Jing Jiu about this.
Zhao Layue and Jing Jiu came to visit the temple at the same time, drawing the attention of the important figures at the Fruit Formation Temple. Jing Jiu was unwilling to deal with this sort of affairs, nor was Zhao Layue. They let the Monk Dachang take charge of the affairs for them.
The Monk Dachang was the former Vice Chief of Taichang Temple. He served the late emperor all his life, and had lived at the Fruit Formation Temple for three hundred years. As such, it was easy for him to deal with this sort of thing.
Every year, some state dukes would come to the Fruit Formation Temple from Zhaoge City, representing the Emperor to repay the promise to the temple. They would stay in the temple, and use a wooden board for coming and going.
Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue took a wooden board each and walked out of the Fruit Formation Temple. They arrived at the foot of the cliff outside the side gate of the temple.
The sunlight wasn't so warm in winter. The vegetable garden looked a bit barren because not so much green vegetable was planted in the garden at the moment.
Looking down at the vegetable garden while standing on the cliff, Jing Jiu thought this place was not so great and a few bamboos in the garden didn't even look so vigorous. He simply couldn't figure out why Liu Shisui was unwilling to go to the One-Cottage House.
Though the sun in winter couldn't warm up the body, it could somehow warm the heart. Liu Shisui was reading the scripts while sitting on a bench in front of the house, while Xiao He was embroidering a design on a shoe for him.
Seeing Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue approaching, Liu Shisui was surprised and joyful, but he felt more bewildered. He was well aware that his Young Master wouldn't come to the Fruit Formation Temple just to see him, since Jing Jiu was very lazy; moreover, they had seen each other merely a few days ago, not to mention they had been together in the Royal Palace of the Illusionary Realm for many years.
On the other hand, Xiao He was stunned. She didn't even feel a thing when her finger was poked by the needle. She got up hastily to bow to Jing Jiu and then to Zhao Layue. According to the ranking on Shenmo Peak, Zhao Layue was the peak master and the number one figure, and should be bowed to first, but Xiao He felt terribly scared when seeing Jing Jiu, so she couldn't think straight.
Though it was unnecessary to drink wine, it was nonetheless necessary to have dinner together when the relatives came to their house.
Many delicious dishes were placed on the table, looking abundant and lavish.
Jing Jiu didn't eat any rice. He picked up a piece of green bamboo shoot casually with the chopsticks from the dish of pickles, but he found it a bit too sour, so he put the chopsticks back on the table.
Seeing him doing this, Xiao He couldn't help but feel indignant. She felt a little better when she saw Zhao Layue eat a whole steamed fish.
When all of them had finished dinner, Xiao He went out of the room to fill the newly boiled tea for them. It was then that Jing Jiu suddenly asked, "Why didn't you want to go to the One-Cottage House?"
This was the second time he asked Liu Shisui the question.
Liu Shisui didn't respond, his head hanging low.
Jing Jiu felt helpless as he recalled the expression on her face when she didn't want to agree to his advice earlier in front of the stone pagoda, wondering why both of them were equally stubborn.
Zhao Layue got up and walked outside. She took Xiao He to a farther place, in an effort not to interfere with the conversation between the pair of master and servant.
"I'm not going to tell anybody."
Jing Jiu made a promise.
This was an extremely rare behavior for him.
Liu Shisui got up and took out a case from a secret hole in the corner of the room.
In the case were a fan and a pen.
Jing Jiu looked at the fan and said, "It's ordinary."
Then he took a close look at the pen. His countenance turned grave, as he commented, "Not bad."
It must be a very formidable magic treasure in Chaotian if it could be evaluated by Jing Jiu as "not bad".
A buzzing sound suddenly rang out in the room.
There shouldn't be any mosquitoes in winter; what was making the noise?
Liu Shisui raised his hands with a helpless expression, indicating it was not his doing.
The silvery sword bracelet on Liu Shisui's wrist vibrated at a high speed. The sound came out from the bracelet.
The silvery sword bracelet was making a buzzing sound, similar to Liu Ada's meowing. They both made the noise to attract Jing Jiu's attention.
Thinking of the Green Sky Mirror of the Center Sect, Jing Jiu felt disappointed in the bracelet, shouting, "Shut up."
Liu Shisui brought down his hands slowly. The Lone Sword didn't dare make any more noise, the room being filled by the indignant atmosphere.
Jing Jiu fixed his gaze on Liu Shisui, and demanded, "Tell me now."
"A state duke came to the Fruit Formation Temple a few years ago to repay the promise on behalf of the Emperor. I was acquainted with an official of the group. I learned by secret means that Mister Yan turned out to be a traitor of the One-Cottage House. I heard that he stole the Pen of the Guarding City back when he betrayed the One-Cottage House, and he had been pursued by the scholars of the House ever since. Though I'm not sure if Mister Yan was a good man or not, I don't think it was a simple matter. But I'm definitely certain about one thing, that is, he was a warmhearted person; otherwise, he wouldn't have died in order to save me…"
Liu Shisui told Jing Jiu about what had happened. He even had tears running down his cheeks secretly, as he recalled the scene in which Mister Yan died by turning himself into ashes.
"The Underworld Emperor was trapped by this pen and then suppressed by the Fairy
Book. If the scholars of the One-Cottage House knew the pen was in your hands, it would be indeed trouble."
Jing Jiu pretended to have not seen his tears, and continued, "…so it's better not to let them know you have the pen."
Liu Shisui wiped off the tears with his sleeve, and said, "But I'm afraid that I couldn't help but investigate what had happened to Mister Yan if I went to the One-Cottage House. I'll definitely bring some trouble for you when that happens…by now everybody knows the relationship between us, and it wouldn't help even if you expelled me from your peak."
Jing Jiu sighed, and said, "I thought you didn't know about this."
"Yes, I know," Liu Shisui said. "That is why I didn't want to go to the One-Cottage House."
Jing Jiu said, "But the problem of conflicting zhenqi in your body has to be resolved sooner or later. I have to make a decision. If nothing helps, you should go back to the Sword Jail to beg that dog to help you."
"I think this is a better solution," said Liu Shisui. "Regardless, the Master Dead Dog is my senior master, so he shouldn't stand watching me die without landing a helping hand."
"You are wrong on this point," said Jing Jiu. "Speaking of watching others die without landing a helping hand, that dog has done the most of the sort save for the Old Dragon; it's because it was their job."
Liu Shisui was startled a bit, and then remarked, "Young Master, it seems that you are talking much more than before."
Jing Jiu got up and walked outside, and said to Zhao Layue who was looking at the uninteresting snowy scenery, "Let's go."
Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue came to the outside of the vegetable garden, and were ready to return to the temple by walking on the mountain path; but they found that Liu Shisui followed behind them, as if it was a natural thing to do.
"Hmm?" Jing Jiu uttered an inquiry sound.
"Young Master, since you are going to stay at the Fruit Formation Temple for a while, you must need someone to serve you."
Recalling the past experiences when they were on Green Mountain, Liu Shisui felt nostalgic. "I haven't done this sort of chores for many years since we left the South-Pine Pavilion."
"It's not a bad idea," said Jing Jiu after some thought.
The door of the vegetable garden was closed with a squeaking noise, full of indignant emotion.