Chapter 1026 – Numerous Calculations, Letting Down No One
The Dauntless monk hesitated and faltered. Xiao An immediately understood what he wanted to do. She smiled. “Abbot, would you like to test the power of the Affliction Severing blade too?”
“I do. Who doesn’t have afflictions as people who live in this world?” The Dauntless monk shook his head with a smile.
Xiao An said nothing more, swinging down with the blade conveniently. The entire hall was illuminated by the flash of the blade before rapidly returning to gloominess.
The Dauntless monk brought his palms together and stood exactly where he was without budging.
Only a while later did he open his eyes and praise, “Sure enough, this blade is wondrous!”
“Come, come, come. There’s another one here!”
Li Qingshan placed his hand on the Unraging monk’s shoulder and called Xiao An.
“I have too many afflictions, far more than you can sever, so it’s fine even if they aren’t severed! It’s just like how you just stop worrying if there’s enough to bother you.” The Unraging monk smacked aside Li Qingshan’s hand and chuckled.
“You possess great wisdom, master, so assistance from a foreign object like this isn’t necessary,” said Xiao An.
“I’ve already told One Lamp to come. He’s only a step away from the third heavenly tribulation. He’s in need of this blade right now,” said the Dauntless monk. The Unraging monk did not need it, but the countless disciples of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga did. After personally experiencing the wondrous powers of the Affliction Severing blade, he could already imagine a sight where all the disciples of the monastery were free of afflictions and their cultivation progressed drastically.
“Alright,” said Xiao An.
The Dauntless monk said a few more names in thought. They were all renowned figures in the monastery. Life always led to some afflictions, and cultivators did not necessarily have any fewer afflictions than mortals. In particular, mortals could live with these afflictions, but cultivators, especially buddhist cultivators, would struggle to advance their cultivation if they were haunted by these afflictions. If the afflictions became too deep, they would even turn into inner demons.
The Affliction Severing blade was basically a saviour that had just dropped on them, while Xiao An who wielded the blade had gained an extraordinary status even if she did not inherit the position of abbot, let alone the fact that she possessed startling strength too. Standing before the Dauntless abbot, she did not lose out in gravitas at all anymore.
“Senior brother, afflictions are also opportunities for enlightenment!” the Unraging monk said suddenly.
If a person grew up without encountering any afflictions or troubles at all, that definitely would not lead to so-called wisdom. Without wisdom, afflictions would definitely rise up very quickly to haunt once more even if they were temporarily severed away, and this would all be in vain.
“Amitābha. Senior brother is right. I’ve become carried away and lost sight.”
The Dauntless monk sorted through the list in his mind again and greatly reduced the number of names on there. He secretly made up his mind to only use the Affliction Severing blade to save disciples whose afflictions were so heavy that they almost became inner demons.
Before long, the people on the list arrived in the grand hall. Li Qingshan noticed that their cultivations varied in strength, but they all seemed distressed. In particular, there was an old monk who basically seemed to possess severe depression. His eyes were sunken, and his face was ashen. In comparison to him, even the One Lamp monk’s ugly appearance seemed a little pleasing to the eye.
“May I ask why the abbot has assembled us?” the One Lamp monk asked.
“You’ve all been bound by afflictions, which have been affecting your cultivation. Coincidentally, One Will has recovered the treasure of our monastery, the Affliction Severing blade. You can try it, said the Dauntless monk.
The monks all became surprised and emotional. “The Affliction Severing blade!” “Is it really the Affliction Severing blade?” “Didn’t it end up in the Golden Cicada Spirit King’s hands?”
Someone else questioned, “But abbot, the Affliction Severing blade is the ultimate treasure of our monastery. It can’t be wielded so easily!”
“You have nothing to worry about. One Will has already undergone the third heavenly tribulation. She will be conferred the title of Monk King soon.”
The hall fell silent, and everyone’s gazes gathered on Xiao An. Who didn’t know what “Monk King” signified?
The Dauntless monk said, “If you want to rely on your willpower to overcome your afflictions, then please take a step back.”
A while later, not a single monk stepped back. The Dauntless monk nodded in satisfaction. At least they were all aware of their own limits.
“You don’t have to feel any disgrace for relying on a foreign object. I just tried the blade myself, and the Seven Treasures Monk King from the Spirit Kṣetra temple had benefited greatly too. The effects of the Affliction Severing blade are only momentary, but as long as you remember the feeling at that moment, remain with a clear and open mind and find your true self, it’ll definitely bring great benefit to your cultivation!”
As a result, the monks took turns to accept swings of the blade from Xiao An. Li Qingshan watched on from one side and lamented a little inside, She really has changed.
On the “left shoulder” of Great Buddha mountain, in a quiet courtyard, Li Qingshan pushed through the circular gate and gazed at the rising and falling mountains in the distance, but he felt a little perturbed inside. He suddenly looked back and asked, “You’re all done?”
“Yes.” Xiao An stood quietly beneath the bodhi tree in the courtyard.
“That’s good then…”
The courtyard suddenly fell silent again. Only the moonlight poured in quietly. Li Qingshan mulled over his words, but he did not know how to start the conversation.
“Qingshan, are you blaming me for arbitrarily changing the plan?”
“I’m not blaming you. You’re doing it for my sake after all, but we are both indebted to the Golden Cicada Spirit King. Wouldn’t this just be biting the hand that fed us?”
Li Qingshan frowned. He had always kept clear tabs on his debts, but Xiao An’s plan had sold out the Golden Cicada Spirit King, which went against his principles severely.
Xiao An walked over to his side slowly and leaned against him gently. “Helping the Golden Cicada Spirit King ascend successfully is also a part of the plan.”
“What do you mean?”
“We have a total of two objectives. The first is to help the Golden Cicada Spirit King, while the second is to kill the Soaring Locust King. However, the Soaring Locust King isn’t that easy to kill.”
Li Qingshan nodded. A great Daemon King without a bottom line was simply disgusting. “But if we work together, we’ll have a seventy to eighty percent chance of success.”
“No, it’s not that high. I am the greatest factor in this. The Green province is not located over the ocean. When the Golden Cicada Spirit King faces the tribulation, he’ll definitely draw over all of the great cultivators. Meanwhile, once I unleash my Path of White Bone and Great Beauty publicly, there will be no buddhist sects that can allow me to exist any further. I’ll definitely be viewed as a great enemy by the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, and it might end up as a chaotic battle, but I don’t wish to kill anyone from the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga.”
“And if the Golden Cicada Spirit King wishes to ascend successfully, it’s very likely for the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga to become an obstacle only second to the Soaring Locust King. I’m certain what the Dauntless abbot hopes for the most is for him to perish with the Soaring Locust King, so instead of accepting fate, we’re better off reducing the variables as much as possible.”
“I’ve already told the Dauntless abbot about the fact that the Golden Cicada Spirit King would want to eliminate the Soaring Locust King even if it comes at the risk of his ascension failing. It’s not difficult to believe in this given what the Golden Cicada Spirit King has done in the past. He’s handed over the Affliction Severing blade too, which can be viewed as a proactive attempt at peace. I believe the Dauntless abbot will make the correct choice.”
Xiao An’s eyes shone with an intelligent light.
Li Qingshan was immediately rendered speechless. Not only did her planning and preparation increase their chances at killing the Soaring Locust King, but it also provided the Golden Cicada Spirit King with a greater chance at ascending successfully, and they did not have to fight either. And gloriously enough, it did not let down the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, nor did it let down the Golden Cicada Spirit King, let alone him.
He pulled her into his arms and said gladly, “I see. So I’ve been over worrying.” Then he shook his head. “Though, I suddenly feel like I’ve eaten the Fruit of Wisdom for nothing.”