After several decades of organization and perfection, the Endless Spring Holy River’s water was drawn into Quicksand City’s many hidden canals.
Quicksand City already no longer lacked water, poplar trees were planted all around. The past yellow sand city was already filled with verdance, water sounds murmuring. Nowadays, the caravans pulled by camels and even Tangcang Ancient Country’s own people were already used to calling this place Tangcang Holy City or Tangcang Capital City instead of mentioning the past name Quicksand City.
Because the loved and respected empress dowager liked banyan trees, many tall banyan trees with great canopies could be seen along the streets and in many people’s courtyards.
Right now, some cicada sounds could be heard from within some of the banyan trees.
This man whose entire body’s skin had been soaked until it was rotting with ulcers, amidst the cries of cicadas, stared at the sunlight somewhat greedily. He shook his head slightly, releasing a sigh.
“I invite Sir Gu to enter the palanquin for a chat.”
That aged and hoarse voice sounded again.
A happy smile appeared on this man’s face, as if he was meeting an old friend. While dragging the chains and carrying his body’s foul odor, he walked towards the earthen yellow palanquin the voice came from. He raised the curtains, and then walked in just like that.
Inside the somewhat gloomy palanquin sat a tall and formidable looking elder dressed in earthen yellow official robes.
The uniforms of Tangcang’s officials were rather simple, lacking excessive decorations, only distinguished through colors. This earthen yellow represented Tangcang’s territory, a major rank one high official.
“Sir Gongsun, it’s been a while.” The man examined this rank one great figure. With a chuckle, he said this seriously.
Tangcang’s high official Gongsun Jing was actually sizing up this man as well. When faced with the putrid odor coming from this man’s body, he didn’t seem to have noticed it in the slightest. He only returned the smile, saying, “Your complexion is much better than I imagined.”
The man said with a smile, “Your respected self likely never imagined I would see the light of day again.”
Gongsun Jing nodded, a bit lost for words as he said, “I indeed never expected this… and I never expected that the day Sir Gu sees the light again, would be the day when holy mother empress dowager enters the heavens.”
“It seems like these years have treated you well, but it wasn’t all that comfortable for me. However, I still have the chance to see the light of day again, but my Junior Song who died under your hands will never see this sky again, nor will he hear the sounds of the cicadas again.” The man looked at Gongsun Jing, speaking calmly. When he uttered the last ‘again’, his body suddenly erupted with a flood-like rumbling. A wave of biting cold killing intent made all of the Tangcang heavy cavalry’s red hooved giant horses release cries of fear.
The man’s chest suddenly contracted, a sparkling water sword carrying a streak of exceptional aura fired out from his mouth, landing on Gongsun Jing’s body.
The earthen yellow great palanquin broke to pieces, smashed into pieces by the tremendous soul force.
Gongsun Jing sat down in ruin, a large hole appearing in his chest, blood gushing out.
When they saw the palanquin suddenly explode, saw Gongsun Jing who sat down in ruin, loud cries of horror sounded from Tangcang’s heavy cavalry at almost the same time.
None of them expected a prisoner who had been locked up in the water prison for who knew how many years to actually still be able to erupt with this type of terrifying power, actually able to strike down a cultivator who was incomparably powerful in their eyes, make even Sir Gongsun suffer such serious injuries.
“Don’t do anything!”
However, when everyone already prepared to attack this man, these words sounded from the seated Gongsun Jing and from the other great palanquins at the same time.
“Why aren’t you retaliating?” This man’s brows furrowed as he looked at Gongsun Jing who had trouble breathing, asking.
“If I retaliate, how can Sir Gu’s resentment be resolved?” Gongsun Jing lightly coughed out blood. He looked at this man, saying, “Before holy mother empress dowager set out, she entrusted me with a mission, to have me receive you here, moreover have me tell you something. Vice Principal Xia wishes for Sir Gu to continue living, she also wishes for you to continue living.”
“You are using your life to plead with me?” The man frowned. He looked at Gongsun Jing who already had no chance of surviving, somewhat irrelevantly saying, “Even you can be this noble?”
Gongsun Jing strengthened his will, looking at this man and saying, “It isn’t that I am noble, but rather that I’ve experienced the Tangcang chaos before holy mother empress dowager prayed for rain. I do not wish for my offspring to also live in that type of chaotic world, so I must ask sir to please empathize.”
“Since she has even already headed to Sanskrit Temple, it is still this serious?” This man muttered to himself. “Our western border is extremely chaotic?”
“It is extremely serious.” Gongsun Jing looked at this extremely intelligent and powerful individual who didn’t need much news to guess at some things, nodding and saying, “I already cannot hold on much longer, Sir Lu will speak with you in more detail.”
After saying this, Gongsun Jing’s head suddenly fell, no life left within him.
The man looked at Gongsun Jing, shook his head, and then sighed. He turned his head to look at the remaining great palanquins. “I want to take a shower and eat some things.”
Then, he shook his head in a somewhat worried, somewhat helpless manner, adding, “I fear that I can’t handle anything too oily.”
The troops dressed in snow-white mourning clothes began to leave the miraculous great Sanskrit Buddhas towering in the yellow sand, starting to return.
The entirely red-eyed Emperor Feng Xuan kowtowed in respect once more before leaving the densely packed buddhist caves. When he got up, his expression immediately became blank.
He saw that the extremely well-built sanskrit monk Zhen Pilu had already changed into ordinary silk clothes, the dark golden staff he originally held was also stored in a long wooden box, carried on his back. Meanwhile, at his side was a similar white-clothed bald little monk, looking to be ten or so years of age. His face still carried childishness, eyes lustrous and black.
“Great master, this one is?” Emperor Feng Xuan couldn’t help but ask.
Zhen Pilu nodded his head slightly, saying, “This is my junior Yun Hai, he also wishes to take a look around the outside, and master has agreed. That is why he will accompany me.”
“I pay my respects to great master Yun Hai.”
Even though this small monk looked young, Emperor Feng Xuan naturally understood what kind of place Sanskrit Temple was, knowing what kind of figures came out of Sanskrit Temple. As such, even though he carried grief inside, he still couldn’t help but immediately become a bit happy, promptly giving his greetings.
“We chose to come into the world, but most sanskrit buddhist masters only wish to live a life purified of defiling illusions. That is why once we leave, we will no longer bear the titles of sanskrit monks.” Zhen Pilu looked at Emperor Feng Xuan, saying with a great voice, “Once we leave, refer to us just like ordinary cultivators, using sir is enough to avoid drawing attention.”
After a slight pause, Zhen Pilu then said, “Since my master has already had holy mother empress dowager and the emperor enter Sanskrit Temple, then he has already tactfully expressed acknowledgment and support. Together with the majestic presence holy mother empress dowager has established these years, moreover giving the people of the secular world an impression of Sanskrit Temple, there is no need to worry too much about the greater situation.”
Emperor Feng Xuan quietly nodded.
“Hurry and look! It’s brother Xuan Yuan!”
Right at this time, the tender-faced little monk Yun Hai suddenly released a cheer that didn’t seem to match the current atmosphere.
When he followed his line of sight, Emperor Feng Xuan was stunned once more.
He saw a young white-robed monk carrying a tremendous load using an ordinary ebony staff, on his head a conical bamboo hat, currently walking out from a buddhist hall on the other side of the mountain stream.
This young white-robed monk’s appearance was extremely ordinary, but it was also extremely kind and clean.
This appearance naturally produced an indescribably powerful sense of intimacy and kindness.
Emperor Feng Xuan felt like this monk was extraordinary with just a single look.
“Junior Yun Hai, Senior Zhen Pilu.”
When he looked past the deep stream, seeing Yun Hai and Zhen Pilu, this young white-robed monk revealed a somewhat awkward smile, joining his hands in greeting.
“Senior Xuan Yuan, it was so tough the last two times, especially the last time when your eyes even went blind, returning only with great difficulty. You are going to go a third time?” Yun Hai joined his hands, returning the greeting, and then said with a lively smile.
Xuan Yuan nodded. “The world has repeatedly stated that my zen will be found precisely from the endless sea of sand.”
Zhen Pilu also nodded, saying seriously, “You need to be careful.”
Xuan Yuan put away his smile, greeting Zhen Pilu respectfully again. “Senior, you also need to be careful.”
Yun Hai instead cried out, “Brother Xuan Yuan, what is there to find in the endless sea of sand? Even if there are true buddhist traces, so what? You might as well follow us out too.”
When Emperor Feng Xuan heard this, he was shaken, but Xuan Yuan seriously shook his head. “Junior Yun Hai, there is no need.”
Yun Hai thus waved his hands. “Then goodbye, Senior Xuan Yuan.”
Xuan Yuan chuckled, also waving from the other side of the stream. “Goodbye.”
Zhen Pilu calmly looked at Xuan Yuan. “I hope we can meet again.”
Xuan Yuan shook his head with a bitter smile. “Senior, since you are already going to enter the secular world, you shouldn’t be so rigid. Before leaving, you should say some auspicious things.”
Zhen Pilu looked at Xuan Yuan, nodding, but didn’t say anything else. He turned around and began to walk out.
Yun Hai jumped excitedly. What left Emperor Feng Xuan a bit stunned was that when he moved, there was a bit of a limp.
“I’ve always been like this. It’s not a big deal.” Yun Hai sensed the strange look in Emperor Feng Xuan’s eyes, only turning around, saying with a smile, “Master said that the flesh is nothing more than a leather bag.”
“It indeed isn’t a big deal.” When he saw that these people didn’t care about honor or disgrace, Emperor Feng Xuan gained some insights once more. He nodded, walking up to hold Yun Hai’s hand, walking with him side by side.
The buddhist radiance continued to shine over the sea.
Jadefall City, Heaven’s Lens Lake’s southern shore, within a nameless grass hut.
Jadefall Border Army’s Great Consecrator Xu Buyi was currently cooking some river fish with a military iron cooking pot.
Chopped pepper, thick sauce, leeks… there were quite a few ingredients, the fragrance spreading into the distance.
There were two pots of wine being warmed in the other pieces of red coals. This somewhat yellow and sallow haired, fifty something year old border army great consecrator had a zither at his side, looking just like a lonely zither player as he sipped on wine, leisurely and contently eating the rather strong flavored fish meat.
Most likely because he had already drank quite a bit, coupled with the fact that he was drinking alone, Xu Buyi’s eyes were a bit turbid, as if he was a bit drowsy.
He picked up another piece of fish meat, but as if he wasn’t quite satisfied with it, he placed it back into the pot.
“Entering without requesting to do so is a rather disrespectful thing.”
He shook his head. He raised his hand, and then flicked his fingers. With a chi noise, a chopstick instantly flew out, shooting outside the grass hut.
A bloodiness spread.
“It was General Nanshan who had me seek your respected self out.”
However, a slightly pained voice quickly sounded.
A tall and sturdy, extremely resolute faced young man held his bleeding abdomen while walking into the grass hut, kneeling down before him.
“Which fella from Imperial City was it who helped Nanshan Mu escape?” Xu Buyi looked at this resolute young soldier, asking with his eyes slightly narrowed.
The youngster shook his head. “I do not know.”
“Don’t know?” Xu Buyi laughed coldly. “Then what did Nanshan Mu have you come here for?”
“General Nanshan Mu told me to tell great consecrator that he knows your respected self is someone under Zhou Shoufu. Respected Cangyue has colluded with the Xiyi Bandits, the proof is conclusive. Also, he has also had me inform your respected self that Ghost Advisor isn’t dead, he will hand Ghost Advisor to your respected self. As for how to deal with him, it will be completely up to great consecrator’s respected self.”