Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Chapter 199 - Merits


The Yin wind blew harder and harder, flapping Ghost Li and Jin PingEr’s clothes loudly. They stood at the cave entrance, watching the spirit which was forming into its massive shape.

Eyes as big as bells, abruptly opened in the white mist, faint blood-red glow revealed, the ferocious spirit’s colossal body shrouded over, his eyes fell onto the two mortals below him.

"Who is it, dare to come to this place?"

The spirit’s voice suddenly rang out, forceful and deafening, the surrounding mountain walls seemed to be trembling.

But after a moment, the fierce spirit seemed to discover something, was startled for a moment, his eyes turned to Jin PingEr who was standing behind Ghost Li, “You again?”

Jin PingEr smiled, her charms boundless, said, "Yes! It’s me, we meet again.”

The spirit gave an angry howl, the sound echoing far, the deep cave behind it seemed to reverberate his cries, “Why have you come here again, isn’t it enough that you have disturbed the goddess the last time?"

Jin PingEr was still contemplating on how to deal with this spirit, from that day situation, this guardian definitely was not someone easy to deal with. Just that while she was scheming, her face was still smiling.

Jin PingEr was about to speak, suddenly heard Ghost Li said, "Are you the Black Tiger, one of the southern border seven heroes who followed LingLong shaman lady into the Ten Thousand Great Mountains?"

Jin PingEr stunned, turned to look at Ghost Li, saw him looking solemn, watching that spirit.

But almost at the same time Ghost Li asked that question, that spirit was also stunned, as if the name ‘Black Tiger’, was like a heavy punch hitting deep within him.

Even if it was a metamorphosed evil ghost ferocious spirit, even if it was abandoned by the world, thousands and thousands of years keeping watch solitary, but in the end there was still some memories, hidden deep inside the hearts…

"Who...are you?" The forceful voice of the spirit, suddenly turned hoarse, completely different when he first appeared.

Ghost Li looked at that spirit surrounded by uncanny voice, his eyes flashed with complicated expression, slowly said, "The seven who followed LingLong shaman lady, in the end five returned and established the southern border five tribes which we know today. Leaving two who were real brothers and had been with LingLong shaman lady the longest, Black Tiger and Black Wood, they did not come back. The ancient shaman tribe legend said, the elder brother Black Tiger was loyal and brave, the younger brother Black Wood steadfast and dedicated, I see that you are especially reverence towards this statue, firm and tenacious for these thousands and thousands of years, not regretting evolving into a ferocious spirit, so I guessed you are Black Tiger, is that right?"

That fierce spirit was silent for a long time, his eyes gazed at Ghost Li, Ghost Li in that stare, did not show any fear, met his eyes squarely.

Slowly, the white mist around the fierce spirit rose, the red colour around his eyes turned darker, even the bone-penetrating chill at the entrance of the cave, seemed to turn colder.

Xiao Hui who was crouching on Ghost Li’s shoulder, seemed uneasy, quietly called out twice.

"Who exactly are you, actually know about the shaman tribe past?” The fierce spirit’s original angry voice seemed to change, his tone contained an inexplicable chill.

Ghost Li seemed not to feel anything, only looked at the huge shadow, said, "Most of the world probably can’t remember things that happened too long ago, just that there will still be legends after all, bit by bit passed down."

He looked at the fierce spirit, word by word said, "The southern border today, the descendants of the shaman tribe, there are still people who remember you!"

The fierce spirit’s eyes closed, and for a long time did not opened.

Jin PingEr stood behind, her brows slightly wrinkled up, looked at the fierce spirit, and looked at Ghost Li again, these so-called ancient shaman tribe LingLong statue legends, she knew nothing of it, but looking at the reaction of the fierce spirit, apparently what Ghost Li said was actually true. All along, she assumed within the Evil Sect, nobody would know more about the various strange things in this Ten Thousand Great Mountain than her, unexpectedly Ghost Li actually had secrets.

She looked at that man's figure, her heart slightly in awe, her eyes instead turned colder.

After a long time, the Yin wind was still blowing coldly. Above their heads, the dark clouds rolled silently, the cold breeze soughing, a desolate scenery.

In this silence, suddenly, that fierce spirit Black Tiger suddenly looked up, lifted his head to the sky and howled, his cries mournful, as if the countless vicissitudes of his past, were all within the cries. When the cries were still reverberating faintly in the distant mountains, he had already turned his head back, the rumbling sounds, as if he was feeling agitated but in the end, still suppressed it.

"Thank you!"

That fierce spirit gazed at Ghost Li for a long time, suddenly slightly dipped his head, and said that.

Ghost Li was expressionless, slowly retreated half a step, closed his eyes and slightly bowed, considered returning the gesture.

The fierce spirit nodded his head, his tone gradually calmed down, said, "I didn’t expect that in this world somebody still remember our goddess and us, he, but when we followed shaman lady deep into this Ten Thousand Great Mountain, when did we once thought we would leave our names in history?"

The eyes of the fierce spirit, slowly turned to outside of the cave, on that LingLong shaman goddess statue, his eyes, also instantly turned gentle, even his voice, seemed lighter, "But coming here, I presume it is not specifically to look for me this not human nor ghost thing and tell me these words right?”

Ghost Li was silent for a moment, said, "Yes, before I came, although I have heard about LingLong shaman lady and the seven of you, but I did not know your current situation, and I did not know you will be here..."

He looked up, looked at the spirit, slowly said, "My reason for coming here, is because of that Beast Deity in this cave.”

The spirit enormous figure trembled, even he was afraid of the name.

However, the spirit’s eyes did not look at him, instead paused on the statue, said, "Why are you all looking for him?”

Ghost Li said indifferently, "We want to find him, and then kill him."

The spirit abruptly looked back, staring at Ghost Li, slowly said, "Just the two of you?”

Ghost Li slowly nodded, said, "Yes.”

The white mist shrouding the fierce spirit suddenly started to spin rapidly, making his figure blurred, after a long while, he was heard speaking coldly, "That’s right, the Beast Deity is indeed in this Subdue Devil ancient cave."

Jin PingEr shook, a hint of delight flashed past her face. Ghost Li however did not show any happy expression, was still looking at the fierce spirit.

That fierce spirit was also looking at him, suddenly said, "I see from your attire, most likely you are not from southern border, should be from Central Plains?”

Ghost Li nodded and said, "Yes.”

The spirit pondered for a moment, in the ghostly atmosphere, he seemed to look uncertain, said, "Do you know, why do I guard the cave entrance?”

Ghost Li said, "I do not know."

The spirit said, “Without doubt I do it to protect the goddess statue, but other than that, I am here guarding, firstly is not to allow external forces to resurrect this evildoer, secondly not to allow ignorant people into the cave and meet their deaths, can you understand?"

Ghost Li nodded his head.

The fierce spirit smiled bitterly, said, "But in the end I am still unworthy of the goddess’s great trust, was ... was tricked by that bastard, made a serious mistake, the evildoer is resurrected, the world’s livings in great misery ..." At the end, his voice gradually quietened down, then, the fierce spirit seemed to compose himself, said again, "I have already given up all hope, thought no one in the world can stop this evildoer, unexpectedly some time ago, he returned heavily injured, the greatness of Central Plains heroes lends glory to the place, there is actually still a master who is able to injure him, it is really a shock to me."

Ghost Li’s eyes slightly twitched, suddenly sneered, said, "You do not have to be too mindful of it, although the beast is defeated but the person who defeated him, might not be better off!”

The fierce spirit was slightly taken aback, did not know what Ghost Li meant but right now he did not bother to get to the bottom, said, "To be able to eliminate the evildoer, naturally it is the best, I have this intention no less than several thousand years, only regret that at that time even though he was not yet fully awake, I too could do nothing to him. You all come from Central Plains, who knows maybe you all will be able to do it. If really succeed..."

The ghostly air around the spirit suddenly disappeared, with glaring eyes, he loudly said, "I thank all of you here on behalf of goddess!"

Having said that, he slowly shifted his body, opening a path, revealing behind him that deep bottomless cave.

Ghost Li glanced into the depths of the cave, turned to look deeply at the spirit, the fierce spirit was also staring at him.

Ghost Li slowly nodded, did not speak, slowly walked in. When he passed by the fierce spirit, Xiao Hui suddenly lifted its head, curiously looked at the spirit, its three eyes blinked continuously.

The spirit suddenly spoke loudly to the back figure of Ghost Li, "There is one more thing, you must be careful. The Beast Deity did not return alone, other than that vicious TaoTie beside him, there is still another evildoer, highly skilled, you must be very careful"

Ghost Li paused, said, "As far as I know, his underlings thirteen demon beasts, have all been annihilated.”

The fierce spirit shook his head, "Not one of the thirteen demon beasts, before this, even I have not seen that evildoer before, you must be careful.”

Ghost Li slowly nodded, continued down into the cave.

Following which, Jin PingEr also slowly followed up, the two figures and a monkey, slowly descended into the darkness, wavering forward in the depths of the shadows, slowly and finally disappeared.

The spirit’s body ghostly air, gradually blurred, but his huge eyes, kept staring at the darkness in the depths of the cave. Suddenly, at that deepest darkness, he suddenly issued a deafening roar, like huge waves toppling the mountains and overturning the seas, even that chilling Yin wind flowed backwards, the extremely hard rock walls rumbled loudly, like the sky was crashing and earth quaking!

In that raging wild roar, the fierce spirit’s huge body, slowly submerged into the darkness…

But, when the fierce spirit disappeared at the same time, he did not notice, outside the entrance, behind that statue, a black human figure, it was that person who instigated the southern border five tribes internal strife, snatched back the five tribes sacred weapons, resulting in the resurrection of the Beast Deity, Black Wood.

The black and loose robe as usual, enveloped his entire body, emanating chill air, but his eyes, was glimmering with complicated feelings, looking at the cave. When the fierce spirit, who was also once his brother, disappeared, he slowly looked away, once again, looked at that LingLong shaman lady’s statue.

In the rustling Yin wind, he seemed to be also mumbling, "Goddess..."

At the same time, far from the burnt black mountain summit where the cave was, in that vast black forest, a team of more than a dozen people slowly walked out. The first one, was in white like frost, an extremely beautiful looking lady, in her hand a blue TianYa Celestial Sword, her face like clear frost, her eyes yet contained an inexplicable distress and vicissitudes of life, silently, gazing towards this black-burnt mountain summit…

Central Plains, thirty miles outside HeYang City.

On the main road, after so long, most of the refugees had returned to their southern hometown, the place here was not far from the foot of Qing Yun Hill, yet could still see shabbily attired commoners trudging with difficulty. But during which, there were more small business and hawkers set up, compared to the catastrophe which occurred several months ago, it was very much better.

"Immortal giving pointers, come read your remaining life’s fate..." Suddenly, a loud cry rang out, breaking the silence here, it was especially piercing.

"Fortune, career luck in government official, marriage, whereabouts; geomancy, physiognomy, glyphomancy, fortune from feeling the bones, all-knowing, come come come, only five silvers per person! It is already cheap..."

Zhou YiXian holding the ‘Immortal Guide’ sign bamboo pole, strided over, shouting along the way, not one did not glance over.

Wild Dog Taoist who was behind him did not speak, as usual carrying all the luggage.

Xiao Huan was instead stunned, lifted her head up from the wordless black-cover book which she had been carefully reading during the journey, asked in surprised, “Grandpa, what did you just say, how many silvers per person?”

Zhou YiXian turned, [he he] smiled, Taoist immortal-like demeanour, stretched out five fingers, solemnly said, "Five silvers.”

Xiao Huan frowned, said, "But yesterday you called out three silvers! Also, what exactly is with you these days, three days ago we were still fine like in the past, each customer five copper, but you have the nerve, these few days you leapt and jumped rising up, five coppers increasing to one silver, after one day to two silvers, yesterday it became three silvers, today you simply directly ask for five silvers..."

Xiao Huan walked to Zhou YiXian, assessed him carefully up and down, Zhou YiXian felt unnerved by her, stepped back and made a dry cough, said, "You little lass, what are you looking at?"

Xiao Huan ignored him, stretched out her hand and felt his forehead, Zhou YiXian was startled, stepped back and made way, said, "What are you doing behaving so oddly?"

Xiao Huan [pei] a cry, said, "You are the one behaving oddly! I am checking if you are having a fever, your brains fried muddled!"

Then she turned to Wild Dog Taoist, asked, "Priest, you say, is my grandfather muddleheaded recently?”

Because it was in the day, Wild Dog Taoist was as usual his face wrapped up in cloth, but his two eyes sparkling, extremely bright, at the moment asked a question by Xiao Huan, [he he] laughed twice, and then immediately nodded and said, "He, uh, I mean senior is aged, it is inevitable..."

“Bullshit!"

Zhou YiXian ahead jumped up, furious.

Xiao Huan rolled her eyes at him, said, "Grandpa, what are you so agitated for, I think what Priest said is very reasonable, looking at your behaviour these days, I'm afraid you are really somehow senile."

Zhou YiXian seemed particularly sensitive about ‘senile’ these three words, he was even more infuriated, angrily said, "What do you two know about, how old are both of you only, how much do you know about the ways of the world, I do all these isn’t it to…”

Xiao Huan cut in, “Is it, then tell us, why are you desperately raising the prices?”

Zhou YiXian snorted, waved the bamboo pole, pointed towards the sparsely populated pedestrians, said, "Look at these people, and the people that we encountered along the way, are they all refugees?"

Xiao Huan nodded her head, said, "That’s right, everyone is! Including us too.”

Zhou YiXian stifled a moment, his old face slightly red, then acted as he did not hear it.

Xiao Huan said, "Since they are refugees, away from their hometowns, I think no one actually wants to read their fortunes, I was thinking if we should lower the price, but grandpa you have the nerve, desperately increasing the price."

Zhou YiXian placed his hands behind, the bamboo pole at his back, sneered, "According to what you say, I'd be wrong, but you look at these days, those that came to read their fortunes, did their numbers increase or decrease?"

Xiao Huan was taken aback for a moment, frowned, Wild Dog Taoist instead interrupted, said, "Speaking of it, it seems that the number of people reading their fortunes really increased!"

Zhou YiXian grunted again, a conceited look on his face, spoke to Xiao Huan, "You with your young age, what do you know? Let me tell you, it goes without saying in a castastrophe, everyone leave their homes, they might not have the intention to read their fortunes. But this time it is very different, the magnitude of this catastrophe, is not seen for ten thousand years, the world in utter misery, everyone defensive, who would know if we will be alive tomorrow? In this unusual situation, with me this immortal showing them the path, wouldn’t all rush like ducks?"

Xiao Huan bowed her head and pondered, after a long time, slowly shook her and sighed, a frustrated look on her face.

Wild Dog Taoist was still confused, could not help but said, "Then why are you still increasing the price?”

Zhou YiXian’s eyes rolled, said, "This kind of profound knowledge, how can I teach you!”

Wild Dog Taoist met with a rebuff, stammered and retreated, Xiao Huan sighed and said, "This I understand more or less now.”

Wild Dog Taoist and Zhou YiXian were surprised, Zhou YiXian said, "Oh, try explaining it?”

Xiao Huan shrugged her shoulders, lightly said, "Nothing more than you expecting the world to be in a panic, couldn’t manage their own lives, let alone cherishing material things? On the contrary, the higher you raise your price, the commoners will instead believe that this person’s skills is profound, extraordinary I guessed... these actually I don’t believe it all along, thought these kind of small tricks, even an idiot will be able to tell, unexpectedly, unexpectedly there are still so many people believing it."

Zhou YiXian shook his head and said, "You are wrong, Xiao Huan."

Xiao Huan was stunned, said, "What?

Zhou YiXian said, "You are right at the front but the last sentence, it is not that they can’t tell, just that they can’t get over it."

Wild Dog Taoist beside him was confused, said, "Can’t get over what?”

Zhou YiXian glanced at the people walking haltingly around them, said, "The world's common people, how would they all be foolish, just that at life and death critical juncture, how many refused to believe in themselves, would rather listen to others even if it is just comfort. I give them pointers, the words spoken are mostly about their future and later half of their lives, will be much better than today's situation. With such words, they pay out silvers and also feel at ease."

Xiao Huan suddenly said, "Grandpa, do you really tell from physiognomy, or making wild guesses?”

Zhou YiXian smiled and said, "I am making wild guesses.”

Xiao Huan and Wild Dog Taoist looked at each other, unable to speak.

Zhou YiXian looked at the sky, looked at the vast firmament, watching for a long time, he leisurely said, "Such catastrophe, there may be one but not two, otherwise even Heaven will not tolerate it."

He then turned back and smiled and said, "That being the case, the future days of course will be very much better than today’s uncertain survival, so I am not considered to be lying! On the contrary, old man me along the way, comforted and advised countless of displaced citizens, we don’t know how many with my words, regain a lease of life again, ashes burn once more, such merit, how can it be achieved by those monks and taoist priests who chant scriptures all day long in the temple?"

He stretched his hand and patted Xiao Huan’s head, a celestial look, awe-inspiring righteousness, appearing very much like a great old man’s feelings of salvation and bemoaning the state of the universe, pitying the fate of mankind, tragically going down hell by himself to save the world, even though receiving so much shinning white silvers, it was also the cardinal principles of righteousness, unable to save people if he did not collect, after collecting it was even more the vicissitudes of righteousness from the act of boundless compassion and mercy.

He then sighed and said, "Life, is really lonely..."

...

For a moment there was no voices, a blanket of silence.

Zhou YiXian brows wrinkled, looked away from the sky, and looked around.

...

"Hey, you two, why are you walking so fast for ..."

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