Thunder, lightning, wind, rain, almost screaming unceasingly in his ears, the chaos in his mind, feeling muddleheaded, he could no longer differentiate who exactly he himself was anymore? Only that in the severe pain, he felt waves of wind and rain brushing past, heading towards an unknown place.
Someone seemed to be speaking beside him, that voice seemed rather unfamiliar, sounded slightly anxious, faintly he heard, “He doesn’t seem right, quickly come and take a look?”
A cold hand roamed about on his body to check, a moment later a stunned voice said, “How did he get such serious injuries?”
The person beside angrily said, “Superfluous words, with that Zhu Xian sword, do you think…”
He did not catch the end, because a burst of dizziness hit his head and almost fainted, in his daze, he indistinctly felt the horizon was still rumbling with unceasing sounds of thunders.
The person beside seemed taken aback, quickly investigated, that cold sensation from the hand, made him slightly sober, he heard the person urgently said, “This is bad, his forehead is burning, I’m afraid he is having a high fever…”
So he was also having a fever?
This was the last thought in Ghost Li’s head, after which, he fainted again, there was no more conscious.
A loud sound, shook him awake from his unconsciousness, his first reaction, he thought it was the thunder from the horizon. For some reason, although he was somehow conscious, it was still darkness before him, he struggled to open his eyes and look around but discovered in shock, his own eyes were still shut, unable to be opened.
Following which, a wave of severe pain was felt but it was not from his injured chest, instead from his throat, he subconsciously moved his mouth, making a light and hoarse cry, “Water…”
There seemed to be no one around, leaving him lying alone helplessly on the ground, his throat was feeling even more parched, like being on fire. His lips moved slightly, an inexplicable strength came from his body and he moved his body slightly, the consciousness in his mind, he seemed to be more clear-headed.
“Ah!” Suddenly a voice was heard beside, this voice was different from the usual but he seemed to hear it before, somewhat familiar, a surprise tone in the voice said, “You are awake, senior brother, quickly come over, he is awaken…”
Suddenly it became quiet, immediately footsteps sound were heard approaching quickly, arriving before Ghost Li. Ghost Li struggled again to open his eyes but for some reason, this time, the strength in his body seemed to vanish, in his daze he saw two figures squatting before him, and behind them, there seemed to be more dark figures. As for those people’s faces, he was unable to see them clearly.
“Water…” he whispered again.
This time, the people around him understood.
“Quickly, bring water over, hurry up.”
The hurried footsteps, rushing to and fro, the next instant someone ran over, following which a cold hand lifted his head carefully, a bowl-like thing placed beside his lips.
Cold, clear water, touched his dry lips, Ghost Li’s face moved and struggled to open his mouth, drank mouthful and mouthful of water. That cooling water entering his throat, like oasis spilling into a dry land, immediately relieving that pain which seemed aflamed.
Ghost Li felt relief, immediately a wave of tiredness, again fell into unconsciousness.
The people beside were surprised, immediately someone came over to feel Ghost Li’s pulse, the next moment a sigh of relief, said, “It’s alright, he is too seriously injured and having a fever at the same time, his strength is nearly exhausted, right now there is no danger to his life.”
Once the words were said, the people around him seemed to be relieved, then, someone seemed to be watching Ghost Li, gently sighed.
He fell asleep for unknown length of time, in-between Ghost Li woke up a few times but each time he fell unconscious immediately after waking up, in his memory, he only remembered there was always someone beside him.
In his blurry state, he saw many people, his parents when he was young, his innocent and beautiful senior sister, deeply etched in his heart BiYao, maintaining a distance Lu XueQi and many more, all flashed past before him, once, he even thought that he saw ten years ago Tian Yin Temple FaXiang, FaShan senior brothers, sitting beside him chanting Buddhist mantra.
At that, he smiled bitterly but he himself did not know too, this bitter smile, whether his face revealed it, maybe, eventually it was still an illusion.
Just like, this life turned upside-down, like a dream an illusion!
Why chant mantra for me?
Chanting mantra, what was the use of it?
When Ghost Li was awake momentarily, he thought like that quietly in his mind, and then, he fainted again.
A low deep bell seemed to reverberate in the horizon, lasting a long time, waking him from his deep slumber, that deep bell, coming near from afar, slowly, it seemed to strike deep into his heart.
For the first time, he did not have the impulse to open his eyes, quietly lying there like that, not thinking and not caring, where he was now, and in which world?
The boundless universe, at the moment having left with only deep low sounds of bell.
The melodious bells, seemed never-ending, continued to strike on. He listened, his breathing peaceful, all of his attention focusing into this peaceful sound, unwilling to leave it again.
For such a long time, this was the first time he was lying down with no worries.
Who would know, the days of carrying so much burden, what kind of agony it was?
Just that, this tiny Heaven and Earth, eventually could not last long, sounds of footsteps came near, walked to where he was, disrupting his thoughts.
The sound of bells striking in his heart, suddenly seemed to leave him, in a blink far at the horizon.
He slowly, opened his eyes.
This was the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes.
A large ‘Buddha' word, hung on top of the roof, surrounding this word, a circle of golden patterns wrapped around it and then along the periphery, circles of finely-carved five hundred Arhat idols, again formed a huge circle. The arhats were all of the same sizes but their divine appearances were all different, arranging in rows, extremely proper. Then at the periphery of the big circle was a blue bottom with black edges false ceiling, two chi higher than the circle with the Buddha word in the middle, the painting on it was completely different, it was checkered square, each square one chi, with golden color embroidered border, in it painted Kirin, Phoenix, Golden Dragon, mountain goat and other auspicious Buddhist animals, these patterns, were the same in each square.
Although he was not an expert in sculptures but with only one look, Ghost Li knew that this was supernaturally fine workmanship. On the roof, inside the inner circle surrounding the Buddha word, hung two golden chains, suspending an altar lamp that never ceased burning, looking up from below, there was a roughly three chi wide copper basin, presumably filled with oil.
Ghost Li frowned and turned his head to look around, the place looked like a meditation room in a temple, the room was quite spacious, standing at the four corners were red painted big pillars, the floor was paved with tiles, the door was made of paulownia wood, a window was opened on both sides of it, painted using the same red colour, looked extremely dignified. On one side of the wall a painting of Guanyin Bodhisattva holding a vase of clear water, below it a long altar with incense burner, on it there were four plates of offering fruits; pears, apples, tangerines, oranges, before the offering fruits a copper incense burner was placed, three joss sticks were lighted and placed in it, thin smoke tendrils drifted up, diffusing into the air.
The other side of the wall, was where Ghost Li was at. Here a wooden bed was placed, simple and sturdy, there wasn’t any more decoration, most likely monks would not be concerned with those things, the room was generally simple, other than what was described, there was only a round table placed in the middle, surrounded with four round stools. The table was black, on it were teapot and tea cups, all made of plain porcelain.
And at this time, the sound of footsteps had already arrived at the door, the meditation room door creaked opened with a sound of [zhi ya], pushed opened by the person outside, someone strided in. Ghost Li looked at him and was surprised, it was a young monk he had never seen before, he was holding a wooden plate, on it a fresh pot, he did not look over at Ghost Li and went straight to the table in the room, exchanged the pot on the table with the one in his hand.
“Who...are you?” Ghost Li asked but he had just said the first word, suddenly he felt the pain in his throat, though it was not as burning painful as that time when he was in a daze but it was still uncomfortable, his voice also immediately turned hoarse.
Although it was so, it shocked that little monk, he immediately turned, his actions abrupt, nearly flipping over the wooden plate in his hand.
“Ah! You are awake?” That little monk was surprised but delight showed in his eyes, he smiled and said, “Wait a while, I will call my senior brothers in immediately.”
Speaking, he was about to dash out of the room, Ghost Li spoke to his back, hoarsely asked, “Little teacher, I will like to ask, where is this place?”
That little monk turned around and smiled, an innocent and delicate expression on his face, said, “Here? Here of course is Tian Yin Temple!”
Tian Yin Temple!
Ghost Li was dumbfounded, like being hit with lightning. That little monk ran off, most likely to call someone, leaving Ghost Li lying stunned on his back, his mind in a chaos.
Tian Yin Temple…
Bewilderment and shock in his heart but for some reason, there was another agonized feeling, surfacing out from the depths of his heart.
Tian Yin Temple...Tian Yin Temple...Pu Zhi…
From far voices were heard, at the same time footsteps walked towards the room, someone whispered to that little monk, that little monk was obviously young, innocent and bubbly, laughed frequently while replying.
For some reason, hearing those conversations, Ghost Li went into a daze, did not think about his current situation nor the past grudges, right now this moment, for no reason he was envious of this ordinary little monk. With his innocent lively look, maybe he still did not know that the world also has suffering and hatred?
Young and ignorant, but in so many of our years, those were instead the most happiest days?
The footsteps stopped suddenly, just outside the door, someone spoke to the little monk, “You don’t have to go in, why don’t you go now and inform the abbot at the back yard, that Zhang Xiao Fan patron has already awaken.”
Little monk laughed and said, “Alright. But FaXiang senior brother, you agreed to teach me Great Brahman Wisdom, this you cannot go back on your words.”
That person outside the door laughed and said, “Little fellow, so greedy, I promised you and so will not renege.”
The little monk was clearly delighted, [he he] laughed, jumped happily and went off. The wooden door opened, [zhi ya] sound, someone seemed to pause, inhaled deeply and then walked in.
It was really FaXiang, and behind him, was that tall and big monk, FaShan.
Wearing a pale blue monk robe, fair clean face, his hands holding prayer beads, FaXiang’s appearance, did not seem to change at all these ten years. He unhurriedly walked to where Ghost Li was lying, until when he reached the bed, his eyes met Ghost Li, the two of them, did not speak.
The atmosphere in the room, turned somehow strange, the next moment, FaXiang’s lips revealed a trace of smile, clasped his palms together and bowed to Ghost Li, said, “Zhang patron, you are awake?”
Ghost Li’s eyes twitched, suddenly coldly said, “My surname is not Zhang, I have long forgotten that name.”
FaXiang’s countenance did not change, only looked at Ghost Li, after a while lightly said, “Whichever name to use naturally will follow ur choice, just that, if you even abandon your surname, did you ever think that you will be letting down your parents who raised you up?”
Ghost Li’s countenance changed, snorted, and did not speak anymore, turned his head and did not look at him.
FaXiang did not look offended, he with FaShan, looked at this Evil sect evildoer who was spurned by the world’s Good Faction, their eyes were all filled with kindness and gentleness. FaShan moved two stools from the round table behind him, placed beside the bed, quietly said, “Senior brother please sit!”
FaXiang nodded, sat down on the stool, looked at Ghost Li, said, “How is your body feeling now?”
Ghost Li, without needing him to ask, actually had already checked his own body, his fractured ribs had all been put back in place and secured with thick bandages, as for his shoulder and other superficial wounds on his body, were all dressed up, although he could still feel pain from his wounds but indistinctly a cool clear sensation could be felt, obviously good medication were applied on his wounds and so had this level of healing effect.
FaXiang was not offended when he did not reply, smiled and said, “When you were unconscious, I have already helped to place your bones back, the other superficial wounds are not that serious, just that your internal organs are seriously injured and need to be nursed with great care before you can heal, also fortunately your body is strong, if not even if it was a cultivated person with deep skills, with that kind of heavy wounds, most likely also cannot avoid death.”
He paused for a moment, and continued, “I guessed that little junior brother of mine also told you! This is Tian Yin Temple, you being here, other than a few of us here in the temple, nobody else in the world knows, so it is very safe. You only need to focus on getting well here will do…”
Ghost Li suddenly interrupted his words, directly stared at him in the eyes and said, “It was all of you who saved me?”
FaXiang’s smile froze, seemed hesitated, turned and glanced at FaShan, FaShan lowered his head, softly chanted.
FaXiang looked back, without hesitation, nodded and said, “Yes.”
Ghost Li snorted, said, “Don’t tell me you all didn’t know, that if Qing Yun sect comes to know what you all have done, what situation will that be?”
FaXiang faintly said, “Of course I know.”
Ghost Li smiled coldly and said, “Since then, why do you still go against your teacher’s wishes and save me this Evil sect evil person?”
FaXiang glanced at him, for some reason, his eyes looked different.
Ghost Li frowned and said, “What are you looking at?”
FaXiang smiled, said, “How do you know, that I must have defied my teacher to save you?”
Ghost Li was stunned, said, “What?”
FaXiang leisurely said, “Qing Yun sect at that time the seven branches’ leaders were all extraordinary people, each with their own outstanding skills. The Return of the Wind Valley head Zeng ShuCang is one of them, that day when we fought him, to hold him back and in that short time disguised and not reveal our own sect’s skills, this level of ability, I am still not there yet.”
Ghost Li stared at FaXiang, stared for a long time, FaXiang looked back at him, his smile unchanging. After a long time, Ghost Li suddenly closed his eyes, did not look at FaXiang any longer.
FaXiang nodded, said, “You are seriously wounded and still not recovered, need to have more rest.”
Ghost Li closed his eyes, suddenly said, “Why did you all save me?”
FaXiang was silent for a moment, faintly said, “This question, I cannot answer you.”
Ghost Li took a deep breath, said, “Why?”
FaXiang quietly chanted, said, “You don’t have to be anxious, after a few days when your injuries are better, there will be someone who will tell you.”
Ghost Li opened his eyes, frowned and said, “Who?”
FaXiang’s lips moved, seemed to hesitate but eventually still said, “There is no harm telling you, it is our teacher, Tian Yin Temple PuHong Master!”
Ghost Li looked nonplussed, a moment later, looking at FaXiang’s face, he knew he couldn’t get any more answers, heaved a long sigh, laid down and buried his head.
From far the bells tolled leisurely, again faintly traversed over.