Chapter 750 – One Lamp’s Change
Li Qingshan arrived before the eighth Demon Suppression statue. A violent aura rushed straight into his face. The demonfolk that was originally still in human form had completely become an unparalleled demon, but his eyes were filled with benevolence and peace. It was conflicting yet harmonious.
Li Qingshan took a step forward. The will inside the Demon Suppression statue rushed straight into his sea of consciousness!
Battle-hungriness and slaughter is me! Indulgence is me! Upholding justice is also me! I hold true to myself and do what I want, so must there be such a clear distinction? Who cares which is buddhist or demonic and which gets suppressed!
Reaching there, he erupted with demon qi. Blue and red merged together, churning about like haze.
It already deviated from the will of the Demon Suppression statue by quite a bit!
There was no struggle from falling into the demonic path or converting to buddhism! I am me!
The One Lamp monk gazed at Li Qingshan’s tall figure. The emotions in his eyes were rather mixed as if he admired him yet refused to admit defeat. His fighting spirit burned even more brightly, and he strode towards him.
Li Qingshan was currently engrossed in comprehending the eighth layer of the Demon Suppression Statuary. He did not budge as if he had not sensed the One Lamp monk’s approach at all.
The One Lamp monk arrived behind Li Qingshan and raised his hands!
Li Qingshan kept his eyes shut as he thought to himself, Come! If you really have any ill intentions in mind, I’ll show you what’s what today!
However, the One Lamp monk brought his palms together and uttered the buddha’s name softly, “Amitābha!”
Li Qingshan commited the eighth layer of the Demon Suppression Statuary to heart. He had taken another step forward with his comprehension of this profound cultivation method. He looked back and asked, “Senior brother, what’s the matter?”
“I want to thank you, junior brother. If I didn’t have junior brother Li with me, I definitely would have died if I entered the eighth floor! I also have to apologise to the Unraging master. He forbade me from entering the eighth floor, but he permitted you, so I actually suspected the master was being biased and was looking down on me. Oh how have I been in the wrong!” the One Lamp monk said sincerely.
“You’re too kind, senior brother! I should be the one thanking senior brother for lending me a hand!”
The One Lamp monk admitting to his resentment so calmly and even wanting to apologise for his thoughts gave Li Qingshan a great impression. He felt like this monk really was not a bad person. He had quite the breadth of mind.
However, it left him even more confused. Where was the sense of danger coming from?
“Junior brother’s strength completely exceeds mine. All of my power just comes from a buddhist treasure. Even without me, you could still come and go as you please, junior brother!”
The One Lamp monk spoke with so much humility that he instead left Li Qingshan rather embarrassed.
“That’s too kind of you, senior brother. Let’s prepare to head up! Once we get out, I’ll invite you to a cup- oh, of course, it’ll be tea!”
However, the One Lamp monk shook his head. He gazed below the Demon Suppression statue deeply. “You should go first, junior brother! I have to keep heading down!”
“What? You want to go to the ninth floor of the Demon Suppression hall?”
Li Qingshan was shocked. That was the exact thing the Unraging monk had warning him about. Even if the Unraging monk had not mentioned it, he would never take this risk either!
“That’s right!” The One Lamp monk nodded.
“Senior brother, you definitely cannot do that. The eighth floor was already so dangerous, so how can you go to the ninth floor?” Li Qingshan tried to change his mind.
“If I don’t undertake trials that are even more dangerous, how can I become stronger? Just like how ‘If I don’t go to hell, who goes to hell?’ I must possess a dauntless spirit as a buddhist disciple and pave a path through all obstacles!”
TL: “If I don’t go to hell, who goes to hell?” is a great vow made by the Kṣitigarbha, the bodhisattva of hell-beings, who swore to never become a buddha until all hells were emptied.
The One Lamp monk was determined as if he had already made up his mind. His fighting spirit and morale blazed, almost to a point of fanaticism.
“That’s what they said, but…”
Li Qingshan frowned heavily. No matter how dauntless of a spirit it was, surely it was not about walking right into the jaws of death!
Living in the world, people would always have undefeatable opponents. They had to flee when they had to flee and shrink back when they had to shrink back. There was nothing embarrassing about that. Conserving strength for another battle in the future was the correct thing to do. Walking right into your own destruction was not courage. It was stupidity.
“You don’t have to say anything more, junior brother. My mind is already made up. I’ll be leaving first!”
The One Lamp monk made his way towards the ninth floor of the Demon Suppression hall and felt a hint of complacency. It was like he had proved he was braver than Li Qingshan through this.
You might be powerful, but you don’t have the same resolve as me. At the end of the day, buddhist disciples and secular disciples are just different.
Li Qingshan actually had no idea how to respond to this rather-childish competition. He blocked the One Lamp monk’s path.
“Are you coming with me, junior brother?”
I’d be fucked in the brain if I came with you! Li Qingshan said to himself as he tried to persuade him sincerely. “Senior brother, it’s best if you reconsider!”
If other people were determined to walk to their dooms, he would never care, but the One Lamp monk was still an alright person. He had technically assisted him earlier, so surely he could not just watch the disciple that bore the high hopes of the monastery simply walk to his doom like this? Otherwise, once the Unraging monk returned, he would probably think Li Qingshan was in the wrong.
The One Lamp monk shot a glare and erupted with light, solemn and dignified!
Li Qingshan became more convinced that something was amiss. Something must have happened!
The moment earlier, when the One Lamp monk had fallen into the illusions and remained unfazed, he was about to break out of the illusions when all of the discomforts around him vanished. There was no longer any wavering from the temptations or fear from the threats! He felt relaxed and delighted!
He thought joyfully, Looks like I’m going to break through again. The arduous cultivation in the Demon Suppression hall hasn’t gone to waste!
The various illusions around him vanished, and he discovered he was sitting under a bodhi tree. In the past, the buddha had also sat underneath a bodhi tree and faced various tests before finally attaining buddhahood!
Before he could think too much about it, the sky blurred, and the ground surged forth with golden lotuses, extending off into the distance from the bodhi tree. Within the prolonged ringing of bells, radiance reached as far as the eye could see. He had appeared in a buddhist holyland. A golden buddha appeared on the horizon, barely visible to him.
“Where is this?” A sliver of fascination appeared in the One Lamp monk’s eyes as he asked subconsciously.
“This is the Western Paradise, Sukhāvatī!” The buddha’s voice was grand and vast, echoing through the entire world.
“The Western Paradise, Sukhāvatī!”
The One Lamp monk became filled with great yearning. He had grown up in the monastery, edified day and night by the buddhist dharma. Things like money, beauties, venomous insects, and vicious beasts were unable to make him waver, but the pursuit of the buddhist dharma had been his lifelong dream.
At this moment, the demonic woman had already lost control over the illusions.
The One Lamp monk walked forwards, approaching the Western Paradise in his heart.
But in that moment, the buddhist holy land receded too. He rushed forward as fast as he could, but the buddhist holy land constantly pulled back. It was within arm’s reach, yet it also seemed like it was on the other end of the world. He was unable to get a single step closer to it.
He asked in complete disappointment and discontent, “What’s this all about?”
The buddha said, “With how weak you are, how can you possess the right to enter my Western Paradise?”
“Yes, you have to become stronger, even stronger than Li Qingshan and One Will. Only then will you have the right to become the abbot of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga and the right to enter the Western Paradise!”
The illusion vanished, but the voice continued to linger by his ear, continuing to do so even at this very moment.
Li Qingshan said, “Senior brother One Lamp, if you want to go to the ninth floor, I’m not going to stop you, but you best wait until my master gets here!”
“Let me repeat myself. Move aside! Are you trying to stop me from getting stronger and entering the Western Paradise?” The One Lamp monk was furious.