Chapter 583 – A String of Prayer Beads
The Unraging monk paused. “I don’t know either.”
Fucking hell! Li Qingshan cursed inside.
The Unraging monk continued with a smile, “Actually, who created a cultivation method isn’t important. What is important is what the cultivation method can bring us. Damned disciple, you’ve already reached the sixth statue with the Demon Suppression Statuary. You can freely use the Chains of Demon Suppression and the Demon Suppression Tower, but can you be regarded as having grasped it completely?”
“I’ve only grasped twenty or thirty percent of it,” said Li Qingshan.
Even the Arts of the Boundless Ocean required him to constantly cultivate and comprehend in order to break through, let alone the Demon Suppression Statuary that was more profound. All he had done was take advantage of the intensity of his demonic nature and how he did not have to worry about his demonic nature running out of control.
“At least you know your limitations somewhat. You might have me as your master, but you probably have no interest in listening to actual buddhist classics, so let’s just talk about the profound wonders of the Demon Suppression Statuary instead!”
Li Qingshan brought his palms together and lowered his head, answering politely. No matter how proud he was usually, he was receiving careful guidance for free, so he had to accept it with a modest mindset. He listened along closely.
Duoge copied Li Qingshan and brought his palms together in a hurry. “Yes, master.”
The Unraging monk smiled. “A century ago, your master I was once known as the ‘Raging Monk’. I could not stand any of the injustices of the world. Whenever I saw the kind-hearted being harassed, I would only ever be relieved if I killed the perpetrator, regardless of their identity or cultivation. During the several years I spent travelling outside, who knew how many lives I had claimed. The rage within me blazed fiercely, and my mind became lost, severely breaking the precept of anger. Before I knew it, I had already entered the demonic path…”
The Unraging monk sat on the rock, telling them patiently what he had gone through in the past, including why he had been punished to stand guard over the Demon Suppression hall and what led to him learning the Demon Suppression Statuary.
Li Qingshan listened along quietly, sighing over the Unraging monk’s journey before gaining much enlightenment from his experiences with comprehending the Demon Suppression Statuary. Before he knew it, the sun had set, and the sky had become covered with stars.
The days cycled through, and before he knew it, a month had passed.
Before the Demon Suppression hall, the vegetation stood lush and verdant. The scenery remained the same.
Under the sunlight, Li Qingshan laid on top of the grey stone tablet in front of the Demon Suppression hall, sleeping away. There was an array of alcohol jars of various sizes around him, and the heavy fragrance of alcohol still lingered in the air.
He stretched and woke up, rubbing his face. “I didn’t think I’d actually lose to that old monk with drinking. He must have used his powers secretly and cheated, taking advantage of the fact that my cultivation is not as high as his.”
The thunks of a wooden fish rang out beside him. Looking over, he saw the Unraging monk sitting in the shade of the mountain on a tall meadow, striking the wooden fish with one hand while holding prayer beads in the other.
Li Qingshan rolled over, leaning on his side as he asked in wonder, “Master, you chant scriptures too?”
“I, your master, am a monk, so I obviously have to chant scriptures.”
Li Qingshan smiled. “Doesn’t the buddha pass through your belly, but alcohol and meat remain in your heart?”
The Unraging monk opened his eyes and smiled. “Today, your master is holding a banquet in his heart, inviting the buddha to dine on meat and alcohol. I need to chant a little to play my role as a host.”
Li Qingshan laughed aloud. His laughter echoed through the valley, startling a few birds.
“If I were the buddha, I’d wipe you off the face of the world with a palm strike right now, master.”
“And that’s why you’re not the buddha.” The Unraging monk smiled. His smile contained an indescribable sense of buddhist truth, which made Li Qingshan remember that this big, smiling monk was a great master who had undergone three heavenly tribulations.
Li Qingshan asked, “Junior brother hasn’t come out yet?”
The Unraging monk said, “Soon. He has already made it to the fourth floor. He’s basically at his limit now.”
“Master, why don’t you just teach us the entire Demon Suppression Statuary, and that’ll be that?”
Recently, Li Qingshan had been listening day and night to the Unraging monk explain the true essence of the Demon Suppression Statuary. He felt like he had benefited tremendously, and he gained some recognition for this easygoing and fearless master of his. However, he also became more curious about the next part of the Demon Suppression Statuary.
The Unraging monk said, “If you want to learn the whole thing, then you’ll have to kill your way down floor by floor. The Demon Suppression Statuary cannot be inherited through other methods. It cannot be passed on using words.”
“I’m very confused. If the first statue of the Demon Suppression Statuary is on the top floor, then only the weaker demonfolk have an opportunity to see it. Their demonic nature will never be strong enough, so even if they do comprehend it, they’ll never really achieve anything great. Meanwhile, the stronger demonfolk are all suppressed at the very bottom. Wouldn’t they never get the opportunity to learn the Demon Suppression Statuary?”
“Once you make it to the lowest floor of the Demon Suppression Statuary, you’ll understand.”
“Don’t worry, that day will come sooner or later.”
“That’s good if you have that confidence. However, before you undergo the third heavenly tribulation, I won’t permit you entering the ninth floor of the Demon Suppression hall.”
“Just what is suppressed down there?”
“When you see him in the future, you’ll know.”
“Alright then. No matter who he is, I’ll butcher him sooner or later.”
Li Qingshan rested his head on his arms and gazed at the sky. It had already been a month since he last saw Xiao An. He felt rather empty inside. Only when he remembered she was right round the corner did he find some peace.
Actually, the Unraging monk had basically explained everything he needed to explain regarding the Demon Suppression Statuary during the past few days. What came next was Li Qingshan’s gradual comprehension, but he did not choose to do this immediately.
Having left for so long, the power of the Water God Seal had already declined by quite a bit, and without the assistance of the Water God Seal, the spirit turtle’s suppression immediately became unstable. The Demon Suppression Statuary had only managed to achieve a supplementary function.
It was about time for him to return, and if he remained here, he would probably only give himself away. And, he still had many entanglements in the Clear River prefecture that he could not get away from so easily.
If it were not for these reasons, he was willing to remain in the valley, keeping watch over the glistening peak of Great Buddha mountain quietly until the day she returned.
Right as his thoughts wandered, the Unraging monk said, “He’s back!”
Before long, Duoge flew out of the Demon Suppression hall. He had clearly become much stronger as his violet eyes shone brightly. After receiving the Unraging monk’s advice and guidance, he entered the Demon Suppression hall and properly learnt the first three forms of the Demon Suppression Statuary.
“Master! Senior brother!” Duoge said excitedly. Because he had suppressed his demon heart, his mannerisms now resembled a regular child’s more.
“Well done. Have a drink!” Li Qingshan rolled over and tossed a pot of alcohol over.
Duoge caught the pot and drank it all. Looking at the pots and jars littered on the ground, he said unhappily, “Master and senior brother have drunk so much alcohol behind my back!”
“Who told you to come out so slowly? If you had been a little later, you wouldn’t even have been able to see me.”
Duoge was mildly surprised. “You’re leaving, senior brother?”
Li Qingshan said, “I’ve basically learnt everything I need to learn. If I don’t go home and spend some time with my wife, am I supposed to stay here and spend time with monks?”
“Spending time with monks is pretty good too!”
Duoge said reluctantly. During this period, he had experienced human warmth he had never experienced before. He understood the warm feelings that people held for one another. He was no longer that little demonfolk who did not even feel sorrow over the death of his father.
“You’re still young!” Li Qingshan chuckled and bowed towards the Unraging monk. “Master, junior brother has finally come out. I still have many matters and attachments to the secular world that I have yet to deal with, so I will be bidding farewell to master. If you have anything else you need to tell me, please tell me now, master!”
“Both of you come over.” The Unraging monk shooed Li Qingshan off the grey rock and sat down on it himself. He held his wrist and did not assume any special pose, waiting for the two of them to gather before him.
“Having accepted you as my disciples, I should give you a gift, but the time was just not right in the past. Now that my damned disciple is going to be leaving, I can’t stop him either, so I have something for both of you.”
Li Qingshan’s interest was piqued. Finally time for gifts. With master’s cultivation, surely the gift would not be shabby, but there’s no need to call me a damned disciple at a time like this!
“Duoge, you’ve been the most well-behaved, way better than this damned disciple, so I’ll give you yours first!”
Li Qingshan pursed his lips and snorted, but when he saw the Unraging monk’s gift, he could not help but become stunned.
The Unraging monk took out a great string of prayer beads. There were a hundred and eight in total, and each one was a different colour, varying in size. However, they all glistened brightly, shining with various colours.
If they were merely regular gemstones, then so be it. The issue was every single prayer bead was a demon heart. The demon heart that the Unraging monk had originally used to tease Duoge was among them too.
They were not a hundred and eight prayer beads, but the demon hearts of a hundred and eight Demon Commanders. In the cultivation world, they were basically equivalent to a hundred and eight golden cores.
Duoge was completely dazzled, thrown into a trance. He even forgot to speak.
“During the century I’ve watched over the Demon Suppression hall, I’ve happened to assemble this string of prayer beads, so I’ll give it to you today. Duoge, as a demonfolk, your demon heart has already merged with your body. It cannot be removed. If you wish to continue on the path of cultivation, then the best way would be to practise the Demon Suppression Statuary.”
“You can wear this string of prayer beads. The power and demonic nature within them will influence you. Hopefully you can guard your conscience without becoming misled by your demonic nature. These are not a hundred and eight demon hearts, but a hundred and eight bodhi, a hundred and eight enlightenments. Afflictions, or kleshas, are bodhi.”
The Unraging monk hung the string of demon heart prayer beads around Duoge’s neck gently. Duoge gulped, holding back his urge to just eat them as he lowered his head.
“Thank you, master.”
Li Qingshan already knew that the seal over the Demon Suppression hall was not absolute. Instead, it was connected to a certain world of demons. Every once in a while, it would draw in many demonfolk, which was why it could serve as the trial grounds for the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga.
Having guarded the Demon Suppression hall for all these years, it was not strange at all for him to have accumulated so many demon hearts. With this string of prayer beads, not only would Duoge have the opportunity to learn the entire Demon Suppression Statuary, but his personal cultivation would probably increase rapidly too. This was truly an extremely rare and precious opportunity.
Li Qingshan could not help but become eager. Just what might his gift be?
He was not eager for demon hearts. Due to the demon heart condensed from the demonic nature of the tiger demon and the ox demon being too pure, it instead could not allow for the existence of other demon hearts. Even if he received demon hearts, all he could do was feed them to the Traitorous Demon sword. Not to mention that the string of demon hearts should have been everything his master possessed.
Might it be the renowned Great Dragon pill of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga?
It was rumored that the Great Dragon pills could purge a myriad of poisons and heal all wounds, not just wounds of the body, but wounds of the soul too. It could even eliminate inner demons, allowing the consumer’s cultivation to progress rapidly. It was known as the “ultimate pellet” that could cure everything in the cultivation world.
That was how he thought, only to see the Unraging monk pull out another string of prayer beads from his sleeve.