Chapter 567 – The Demon Suppression Hall
Li Qingshan strode into the grand hall and clasped his hands. “I’m the Scarlet Hawk commander of the Clear River prefecture, Li Qingshan. Greetings to the abbot and the head monks.”
Noticing the Dauntless monk’s hostile tone, he purposefully mentioned his identity as a Hawkwolf guard to make these monks reconsider what they wanted to do to him.
The Dauntless monk asked, “Who allowed you to set foot in here?”
“The Annihilum Light Chan Master-” Li Qingshan looked towards the Annihilum Light Chan Master, but never did he expect the old monk to not be looking at him at all. His head was lowered as he gazed down, remaining perfectly silent. His heart lurched. Crap, I’ve been duped by this monk.
The Annihilum Light Chan Master had never permitted him to follow along, so obviously he would not admit to it right now.
Xiao An said, “He came with me. He didn’t know the rules of the monastery, so please forgive him, abbot.”
The Dauntless monk could not help but glance at Xiao An deeply. This was the longest she had spoken for apart from when debating over the dharma ever since she set foot in the grand hall. Even when she spoke with him earlier, she had reduced her words to the bare minimum.
Li Qingshan clasped his hands. “The ignorant have no crimes. Please forgive me, masters. I will leave right now.”
The Dauntless monk’s gaze swept past the Annihilum Light Chan Master and Li Qingshan and seemed to understand something. He said, “This is the inner courtyard of the monastery. Only disciples of my monastery have the right to set foot in here. If outsiders enter here without invitation, then it is viewed as intrusion, and they will be executed without mercy.”
Li Qingshan was startled. Surely these monks don’t need to be so vicious!
The Annihilum Light Chan Master said to the Dauntless monk with his side facing him, “Abbot, he did indeed come in with me. Although I never gave him permission, his crimes do not warrant death. Since only disciples of the monastery can set foot in here, why don’t we just accept him as a disciple? That’ll be the best of both worlds.”
Li Qingshan’s eye twitched, finally understanding what this Annihilum Light was scheming.
He’s clearly afraid I’ll influence Xiao An’s cultivation, so he just downright tricked me into entering the monastery so that he can turn me into a monk. By then, all I can do is reduce my desires to nothingness and give up on drinking and sex. And, if I become a disciple of the monastery, he can obviously do whatever he wants with me. Sure enough, if they aren’t bald, they aren’t vicious, and if they’re aren’t vicious, they aren’t bald.
The Annihilum Light Chan Master could not be blamed for being oversensitive. A young man and a beautiful young girl, enough to be known as unrivalled, spent day and night together. They even shared the same dwelling. Even if something happened between them, it made perfect sense. And, the young girl clearly showed special concern towards this man. He basically garnered all the suspicion he could.
However, he was unable to approach this forcefully either, just in case it led to a schism with her. As a result, he came up with this brilliant plan, killing several birds with one stone. It would be quite a rare opportunity for Li Qingshan to join a sect like the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga with such ease too. Although Li Qingshan’s talent was not as monstrous as Xiao An’s, he was still a genius, which was a good thing for the monastery.
The Dauntless monk nodded. “That is an idea.”
“Definitely not. I already have a family, and I need to carry out my duties as a Hawkwolf guard. I really can’t just set aside my responsibilities.”
Li Qingshan said, only to see Xiao An had actually become eager over this prospect. He smiled bitterly to himself. You’re so clever, yet you’ve actually become so blinded right now. They’re doing this to separate us. Why would they let me see you whenever I want?
“In other words, you don’t want to?” The Dauntless monk furrowed his brows. If he were a White Hawk commander, then he would care a little more, but a measly Scarlet Hawk commander was absolutely nothing.
“Yes. I have never cultivated good karma in my life, with a special liking towards conflict and sins. I tamper with all of the indulgences and vices, whether it be alcohol, sex, greed, or pride. When the masters discussed the dharma earlier, I didn’t even understand a single word. If I remain in the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, I’ll probably disturb this peaceful, pure land of buddhism. I better go!” Li Qingshan turned around to leave as soon as he finished.
“You’ve never cultivated good karma in your life, and you have a special liking towards conflict and sins. Hmph, imprison him in the Demon Suppression hall until he repents and mends his ways!” The Dauntless monk ordered. Two huge, mighty guardian gods flew down from the walls on the side, pressing towards Li Qingshan.
This seems to be the handiwork of the school of Painting. The two guardians in the paintings are probably even more powerful than regular Golden Core cultivators.
Only now did Li Qingshan notice the wall painting around the grand hall. The divine generals, demons, monsters, and protectors were all true to life, extending from the walls to the highest part of the ceiling.
He vaguely found it rather familiar. Shifting his gaze, he noticed a bright, red seal the size of a table on the western wall, expressing three words, “Five Absolutes Immortal”. The wall paintings were actually by the legendary Five Absolutes Immortal, and they had accumulated several millennia of power of belief, making them even more powerful than they were originally.
Xiao An suddenly stood up and stood in front of Li Qingshan, blocking them.
“The monastery has its rules. No one is exempt from them. If you want to stick up for this person, then you can enter the Demon Suppression hall and reflect on yourself too!”
An idea flashed through the Dauntless monk’s eyes, and with a wave of his hand, even more guardian gods flew down from the wall paintings. Li Qingshan clenched his fist before loosening it again, placing it gently on Xiao An’s shoulder.
The Annihilum Light Chan Master blocked the guardian gods and arrived before the two of them. “Come with me.”
Li Qingshan and Xiao An exchanged glances and followed the Annihilum Light Chan Master. They left the grand hall, and under the gazes of the disciples of the monastery, they made their way to the back of the mountain.
“Monk, how dare you screw me over!” Li Qingshan questioned the Annihilum Light Chan Master aggressively through his soul sense.
“The Demon Suppression hall is not a place of punishment, but a place of cultivation. Take care,” the Annihilum Light Chan Master only said that before ignoring Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan had researched many things about the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga beforehand. He knew the monastery had a special Disciplinary courtyard. If disciples ever did wrong, they would obviously be sent there to be punished, and the head monk of the Disciplinary courtyard would keep an eye over them, so why were they being sent to some Demon Suppression hall instead?
Just what did the Dauntless monk have in mind with this?
“Is this the Demon Suppression hall?”
Li Qingshan arrived at the back of the mountain with the Annihilum Light Chan Master. In a peaceful valley, the mossy, stone pillars formed a simple gate. It was very large and grand, but it was close to falling apart.
In front of the gate, a fat monk snored away thunderously on a great, grey rock. His bare belly rose and fell like a small mountain. He gave off a heavy scent of alcohol and still held the leg of a lamb in one hand.
Li Qingshan dared not be careless. This monk who ate meat and drank alcohol did not emit any aura at all, but with the senses of the spirit turtle, he knew he was no weaker than the Dauntless monk.
The fat monk opened an eye and glanced over. “Annihilum Light, why’ve you brought them here?”
“Senior uncle Unraging, I’ve come under the abbot’s orders to send them into the Demon Suppression hall for reflection.”
“Oh?” The Unraging monk rolled over and asked with a chuckle, “So what did you do?”
Li Qingshan noticed that the great, grey rock he was lying on was engraved with the three words, “Demon Suppression hall”.
“Your abbot wanted me to become a monk, and I refused.”
“Hahahaha, interesting, interesting. If I had such a beautiful girl, I’d never be a monk too. Why must senior brother make things difficult for you?”
The Unraging monk glanced at Xiao An and patted his belly. All of his fat jiggled as he laughed.
The laughter was extremely infectious. Even Li Qingshan could not help but smile. “The Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga really should have a master like you as their abbot instead.”
The Unraging monk shook his great big head around like a rattle-drum. “How uninteresting would that be? Hmm? This girl seems to be a disciple of buddhism.”
The Annihilum Light Chan Master gave a rough explanation of everything that had happened. The Unraging monk studied the two people before him as if he was in thought as he maintained a wide smile the entire time. He muttered to himself.
“You’ve never cultivated good karma in your life, and you have a special liking towards conflict and sins. You do have quite the courage to say something like that in front of my senior brother. Why don’t you just become my disciple? It’ll save you a trip into the Demon Suppression hall. Under me, apart from sex, eating meat and drinking alcohol isn’t particularly forbidden. How does that go again? The buddha passes through my belly, but alcohol and meat remain in my heart.”
TL: The saying is a slightly incorrect version of what Ji Gong had once said. Ji Gong is known to openly eat meat and drink alcohol despite monastic codes and stumbles from place to place in tattered and dirty robes, but he is kind-hearted and always willing to help out the common people if they are in need. The full, correct saying is, “Alcohol and meat pass through my belly, but the buddha remains in my heart. If the common people were to imitate me, it would be no different from sinking into the demonic path.” More on Ji Gong: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ji_Gong
“Senior uncle, you’ve gotten it the wrong way around,” the Annihilum Light Chan Master reminded. A sliver of surprise had appeared on his wrinkled face. The Unraging monk was a great buddhist cultivator who had undergone three heavenly tribulations. His status in the monastery was so great that it completely exceeded the various head monks.
However, his words and actions were twisted, and he did not abide to the buddhist precepts, spending most of his time guarding the Demon Suppression hall. Originally, with his cultivation, no one could stop him even if he wanted to leave the monastery, but he instead chose to stay behind and guard the Demon Suppression hall. Just like that, a century had already passed with him guarding the place.
He found it troublesome, so he never had any disciples before, but never did the Annihilum Light Chan Master imagine he would actually mention accepting a disciple today. That was an astronomical opportunity. If Li Qingshan had such a master, he might not be able to run amok through the nine provinces, but if anyone wanted to touch him, they would have to consider the consequences.
“It’s all the same.”
As the Unraging monk spoke, he fished out a great gourd of alcohol and took a few gulps before passing it to Li Qingshan.
Sniffing the overflowing aroma, Li Qingshan took a small sip. He felt like liquid fire had just flowed through his throat and into his belly. There was a fiery pain, as well as an indescribable sense of satisfaction. He had actually never tasted such strong alcohol before, and it contained extremely dense spiritual qi.
Li Qingshan could not help but suck hard, yet alcohol flowed endlessly out of the gourd. He drank several litres in one gulp, yet there was still no end in sight.
“That’s some great alcohol, but I don’t want to be a monk.”
Li Qingshan drank over fifty litres of alcohol before placing down the gourd, wiping his mouth as he said that. He was hiding a great secret. With the divine powers of the spirit turtle, even great cultivators of the third heavenly tribulation could not see through him, but once they spent some time together, he could not say for sure that he would be able to keep this secret. By then, they would go from master and disciple to enemies.
“Damn brat, why’d you only tell me after drinking!? Forget it then, you better pay a visit to the Demon Suppression hall!”
The Unraging monk had only thought of that spontaneously. If Li Qingshan refused, he would not care either. He extended a finger.
The stone gate opened loudly, revealing a murky cave that gave off a gloomy sense of coldness. Peering inside, it seemed bottomless. The feeling it gave off was somewhat similar to the Gate of Hungry Ghosts as if it led to another world.
The Unraging monk swung his hand, and a tremendous but gentle force swelled up behind them. Li Qingshan flew into the cave helplessly and so did Xiao An.
In the air, they linked their hands as they hurled into the Demon Suppression hall.
“Don’t go too deep or too far!”
The Unraging monk’s voice rang out from behind, growing more and more distant until it became so indiscernible that it sounded like it came from thousands of kilometers away.
The stone gate slammed shut, and the voice was cut off. All light vanished.
“Senior brother, aren’t you afraid that this one-in-a-millennium genius will experience danger in the Demon Suppression hall?”
The Unraging monk yawned and turned around. Before they knew it, the Dauntless monk was already standing beside the grey rock with his hands behind his back.
“As long as she doesn’t venture too deeply into the Demon Suppression hall, what danger will there be? If she were to die so easily, then she wouldn’t be a prodigy anymore. I want to test her disposition again.”
The Dauntless monk answered. Although the result of his testing had ended with nothing, the sliver of unease remained in his heart.
However, Xiao An’s behaviour earlier allowed him to discover an opening—Li Qingshan.
“Come, One Will. Show me where your path lies.”