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Chapter 236: Perplexed

 Chapter 236 - Perplexed

Entering into the night, looking in from the top of the city, although it couldn't be described as thousands but the tiny dots of lights, still gave one a warm feeling.

But to Ghost Li, maybe it was the most unfamiliar place to him?

He watched the scene silently and then turned, on the not-very-tall or not-very-strong city walls, there was nobody. The soughing night breeze blew over from the wide wildlands outside HeYang City, brushing past the city walls which were battled from the demon beasts catastrophe, onto he and Zhou Yixian.

For some reason, Xiao Huan and Wild Dog Taoist were not there, only Zhou Yixian and Ghost Li at this nighttime, stood at the city wall. Zhou Yixian looked perfectly composed, his hand still holding that bamboo pole with the banner, the other hand had a bottle of wine, taking a big swig, he made a satisfying sigh.

"What a good wine" he spoke with mirth in his words then spoke to Ghost Li, "The wine is still warm, do you want some?"

Ghost Li silently shook his head, said, "Senior you can have it to yourself."

Zhou Yixian [hei hei] laughed and again took a swig, however after this mouthful, he shook the bottle and flung it down casually, seemed like there was only a mouthful left and feeling bad about it, he tried asking Ghost Li.

This night, the moon bright and stars sparse, the moonlight like water, the secluded city walls were illuminated rather brightly, Zhou Yixian after drinking, looked up at the sky and seemed to be lost in thoughts, for a moment did not speak. Ghost Li walked up to the wall, his eyes instead landed on a certain spot on the wall bricks, there was a familiar deep claw gash, beside the gash, even more gashes decorated the bricks thickly.

A terrifying sight!

"These are left by the innumerable demon beasts from the calamity." Zhou Yixian not knowing since when, had walked over, faintly said.

On the city wall they toured on, this old man who had roamed the world was not cracking jokes as he was usually, instead from Ghost Li's view, he looked compassionate.

Ghost Li stretched out his hand, gently brushed past the deep gashes, against his fingertips, it felt astringent, rough and hard, not knowing how many innocent souls, had cried out under these claw marks.

He was silent for a long while, "In HeYang City, were there many innocent commoners killed?"

Zhou Yixian sighed, walked to the side of the wall and looked down, in his eyes, it reflected the lights in the city, "Many, although many of them had gotten an early start and escaped to the north but there were at least fifty percent of the commoners who lost their lives and dead by those beasts."

Ghost Li looked at Zhou Yixian, suddenly spoke, "Senior, those innocent commoners that you speak of, every one of them were the same human as us, every one of them were living well, not to say all but at least ninety percent of them, they were all harmless to humans and animals, but why is it that they would have this unexpected disaster? And with their normal life, what caused it?"

Zhou Yixian looked at Ghost Li, his hand on the city wall, said, "Today you are able to stand here, and those commoners lost their innocent lives, I ask you, what do you think is the reason?"

Ghost Li was silent for a long time, "I am different from them, I practise Taoism, even if the demon beasts come, I can avoid it."

Zhou Yixian nodded, said, "It was so, you see everyone's the same, all have the view of the great realm and great foresight in mind [Translator note: I don't understand the meaning of the words [,], please let me know if you do], like Tianyin Temple Buddhist saying that everyone is equal, it is this meaning. Actually according to Buddhist saying, not only humans, even ants and ferocious beasts, are no different from us." He paused, smiled and continued, "However, in this world, how can it be only one kind that can look past emotions? [Translator note: I don't understand the meaning of the words [], please let me know if you do] You have great abilities, have powers, and so are able to escape from desperate situations, and have surpassed the common people, although it is said that everyone is equal but in the nuances, we are never equal."

Ghost Li's face revealed a perplexed look, shook his head slowly and said, "I do not wish to surpass the commoners and also do not have the mercy to save the people, even though I practise the Tao but I have not the slightest interest in immortality."

Zhou Yixian indifferently asked, "Then what is it that you want?"

Ghost Li bitterly laughed, quietly said, "This is the problem. What I want, even I myself also do not know."

His face expression changed, the clear moon gradually shifted to the middle, the moonlight even more brilliant, shining down from the sky, pulling his shadow longer.

Zhou Yixian did not speak, quietly watched Ghost Li, just that in his gaze, it was different from the usual times, even though standing before him was Ghost Li who was the only one in the world who practised four volumes of [Tian Shu], his skills already reached the level of unfathomable but right now Zhou Yixian looked bigger than him.

His scholarly bearing, his composure, the night breeze brushed past the grey hairs on the sides of his head, even the bright moonlight, seemed to gather quietly by his side.

But Ghost Li did not sense anything different, in fact, Zhou Yixian only quietly stood before him, and he himself, was deep in his thoughts.

After a long time, Ghost Li smiled bitterly, said, "Seems like I am really good-for-nothing, even what's the reason I am living for, what I want, I can't comprehend it too."

Zhou Yixian calmly looked at Ghost Li, a faint smile on his lips, said, "You are wrong, young man."

Ghost Li was stunned, this was the first time he heard Zhou Yixian addressed him as young man, but this was not the important point, after a moment he said, "Please senior, you said I am wrong, where am I wrong?"

Zhou Yixian indifferently said, "You think that you are good-for-nothing when you are unable to comprehend this question, to me, it is on the contrary, you being able to think of this question, you have already surpassed the others in this world."

Ghost Li was surprised, said, "What?"

Zhou Yixian smiled, beckoned him and said, "Come and look."

Ghost Li walked over to him, following his finger pointing to the city and looked, in HeYang City, under the moonlight, the spots of light in tranquility, twinkling unceasingly.

Zhou Yixian watched those lights, his gaze also contained mixed feelings, after a period quietly asked, "What did you see?"

Ghost Li said, "These are all candlelights from numerous commoners houses."

Zhou Yixian nodded and said, "That's right, it is the household lights. Each spot of light, is like a living person, they are all living on this world, may be pleased or maybe displeased with their lives but they eventually still have to live on, let me tell you, in this multitudinous of living beings, how many are only living just for the sake of it, and someone like you who is in distress while reflecting on the reason why we are living, there isn't one in ten thousands."

Ghost Li was speechless, he had never thought like this but hearing from Zhou Yixian, it seemed to be very logical, he was unable to counter.

Zhou Yixian watched him, his face suddenly revealed a sad look but it vanished with a flash, and then he sighed, stretched out his hand and patted Ghost Li's shoulder.

Ghost Li, although could not be said that he was taken aback but his mind indeed was in a turmoil, with his current skills and natural defense reaction, he subconsciously avoided Zhou Yixian's hand but the strange thing happened, that obscure and usually sloppy Zhou Yixian, that hovering hand, with Ghost Li's current cultivation, actually did not manage to avoid it, and just like that was patted by Zhou Yixian.

Ghost Li's mind was really in a shock, before he could react to it, instead the words which made him even more shocked came from Zhou Yixian.

"Furthermore, you are the only one in this world who have practised the four volumes of [Tian Shu], how are you the same as others?"

Once the words were spoken, Ghost Li was nonplussed, this matter had always been his secret. In fact, the third volume from the Celestial Emperor Treasury and the fourth volume from Tianyin Temple Wordless Jade Wall, even Lu Xueqi and those Tianyin Temple's monks, did not know those mysterious inscriptions were from [Tian Shu], only he from the beginning till the end had practised and so understood those were [Tian Shu] fourth volume.

And at that moment, Zhou Yixian instead clearly spoke of this secret, how could he not be shocked, for a moment his face was full of disbelief, stared at Zhou Yixian.

Zhou Yixian smiled faintly, said, "Though you are shocked but you don't have to be like this."

Ghost Li carefully assessed this old man in front of him, after a long time, suddenly smiled, stepped back, arranged his clothes properly and respectfully bowed, "Junior is disrespectful, in the past slighted senior, but I am still perplex, hope senior is able to enlighten me?"

Zhou Yixian's face was calm, in front of him was a figure whose name shook the world, was being so respectful to him, he seemed not to have the slightest embarrassment, only said, "What you are feeling puzzled and confused about, if it is what others can tell you, with your formless and enigmatic [Tian Shu], how could you not figure it out?"

Ghost Li was silent, slowly said, "Could it be that what senior is thinking, the matter that junior is puzzling over, is actually unable to be solved?"

Zhou Yixian smiled and shook his head, said, "Yes, comprehending yourself, Buddha is in the heart and not outside the body, this is where [Tian Shu] is similar to Buddhism."

Zhou Yixian said, "And so it is so. What is the reason for living, it should be something that you should realize it yourself, I can maybe show you the way but I might not say what you want to hear."

After speaking, he smiled and clasped his hands behind, walked to a side.

Ghost Li was silent again, after a long while, the perplexed expression was still on his face, he said, "Life, death, separation, leaving, I have only seen these four words throughout life, will like to consult senior, is life inherently suffering?"

Zhou Yixian smiled and said, "Wrong, wrong, all your life your path has been rough, and so you thought everyone is suffering, actually it is not so [Translator note: I don't understand the meaning of the words [], please let me know if you do]. Let me ask you, do you think your life is hard?"

Ghost Li was surprised, wanted to speak but stopped, Zhou Yixian had already laughed and said, "Why, not easy to say right? Even if we take the recent demises of your teacher and shiniang, do you think their lives were hard?"

Ghost Li stammered said, "Teacher and shiniang they"

Zhou Yixiang solemnly said, "Tian Buyi died a worthy death, is because he died without regrets, left with a smile; your shiniang Suru, was deeply in love with your teacher, unwilling to live alone, you thought she committed suicide because she was grieved but you didn't know that where her soul is, to be able to be with her husband, is her greatest joy?"

Ghost Li was nonplussed, unable to speak.

Zhou Yixian indifferently said, "You are in anguish for Tian Buyi couple but you didn't know they perhaps understood the most and were the ones with the least regrets, judge others by oneself, isn't it ridiculous?"

Speaking till here, Zhou Yixian suddenly smiled, looked at Ghost Li, "Are you afraid of death?"

Ghost Li hesitated for a moment, quietly sighed and said, "Afraid."

Zhou Yixian said, "Oh, then I must ask you, what are you afraid of, is it death itself?"

Ghost Li silently shook his head, "Since I am not interested in immortality, naturally I do not care about death, what I am afraid is after I am dead, I am unable to fulfill my wish."

Zhou Yixian laughed and said, "Then this is it. Since you can look past life and death, yet in your heart there is something more important than life and death, rather than you trying to ask me in every possible ways, why don't you think about these things which are more important to you?"

Ghost Li frowned, his eyes glinted, seemed to have comprehended something but his face did not show relief, instead he again sank into contemplation. Zhou Yixian did not disrupt him, quietly walked aside, looked up, saw the clear moon, the moonlight like water, spilled down in full.

In the vast wilderness, the night breeze soughing, stars shifted and time passed, infinite firmament.

He gazed for a long while, suddenly let out a deep sigh.

Ghost Li's voice was heard from behind, "Senior, do you have something in your heart that you are unable to look past?"

"Me?"

Zhou Yixian did not turn, still watching the full moon in the far horizon, after a long while, he faintly said, "Since the fact I am still wandering in this world, I will still have thoughts that I can't get past."

"Oh, what is it?"

Zhou Yixian smiled and said, "What I can't see through, is this reincarnation!"

Qing Yun Hill, Small Bamboo Valley.

All along, there was only females on Small Bamboo Valley, therefore the atmosphere here compared to the other branches on Qing Yun, had always been quiet and peaceful, even in the day, long hours of tranquility, only the birds' cries and flower fragrances, reverberated in this beautiful valley.

However ever since Shuiyue Master brought the disciples back from the funeral at Big Bamboo Valley, the atmosphere at Small Bamboo Valley contained solemness and suppression within the tranquility. Many of the younger disciples for the first time saw the grief and loneliness that Shuiyue Master was unable to hide, and with her current skills, she should be long unaffected by emotions.

Wenmin had always been the one who understood Shuiyue Master the most, she had already told the girls, that they should watch themselves, especially not to talk and laugh loudly in order not to provoke their teacher, under such restrictions, Small Bamboo Valley naturally was in a blanket of solemness.

And ever since returning from Big Bamboo Valley, Shuiyue Master locked herself in her bamboo hut. Wenmin brought up her courage and went ahead to greet her teacher but did not receive permission to enter, Wenmin somehow started to be worried.

This day, Wenmin had already not seen her teacher for a day and night, worrying, she went to look for Lu Xueqi. Lu Xueqi did not look to be in a good mood, initially was unwilling to go but after Wenmin persuaded her a few times, she was also worried and so went with Wenmin.

Both of them came to the bamboo forest, standing before the hut, Wenmin signalled to Lu Xueqi, Lu Xueqi hesitated and walked up, gently knocked and said, "Teacher, disciple Lu Xueqi and Wen senior sister have something to discuss with teacher."

It was silent in the hut, nobody answered.

Lu Xueqi and Wenmin looked at each other, Wenmin frowned, even more worried. Actually with Shuiyue Master's character, she was slightly different from the others, in the past not only she had ignored her disciples before, there were also incidents where she even disappeared for several days. But for some reason, after they came back from the funeral, they knew to a certain degree the reasons and cause, and so was more sensitive to her behaviours these few days.

Wenmin coughed and slightly raised her voice, "Teacher, this morning senior brother Xiao Yicai sent someone over with a letter, disciple will bring it in now."

Silence again from the hut, Wenmin took a deep breath, walked forward and pushed opened the door. Lu Xueqi followed closely behind her.

Both of them entered the hut, looked around, both of their brows frowned, the hut was not very big and the furnitures in it were simple, at one glance, they did not see Shuiyue Master.

Wenmin sighed, said, "Teacher is actually not here, I wonder where did she go to?"

Lu Xueqi quietly shook her head, said, "Senior sister, we better go back first, or maybe we worry too much, teacher and Suru teacher aunt although were very close but the most she will only be grieved, I guessed nothing will happen."

Wenmin nodded, said, "We can only do so, but I still feel uneasy."

Lu Xueqi sighed softly, shook her head slightly, turned and walked out. Wenmin looked around the hut again, then took out a letter and put it on the table, and walked out too. The hut door was closed by her, making a light [pa] sound.

In the hut, silence descended again.