Su Chan had asked with joy, but Li Yundong was not in a hurry to answer. Instead, he said, "I thought you had been seized by a monk from Xiyuan Temple, so I rushed over to save you. I hadn't expected to let go of the two golden snakes. Do you still remember this?"
Su Chan blinked her eyes and didn't understand why Li Yundong was saying all this. "I remember it, but does it have anything to do with Metasamsara?" she asked.
Li Yundong smiled and said, "Of course it has something to do with that. I remember that the head of the monastery of Xiyuan Temple once said that he had a disciple who could predict the future. I hadn't been paying attention at that time, but as soon as you mentioned it just now, I remembered that the disciple of Xiyuan Temple actually cultivates Metasamsara."
Su Chan was overjoyed. "Then let's go and visit him now, shall we?"
Li Yundong patted the little girl's forehead and said with a smile, "You're in such a rush! It's late now and monks also need to rest. Have a good rest tonight. We'll go there early tomorrow morning."
Su Chan looked cheerful and nodded vigorously.
Li Yundong carried the girl on his back into the room and lay her down on the bed. He knew that Su Chan was worried about Ao Wushuang, so he didn't joke with her too much and just covered her with a thin quilt. He said softly, "Don't worry. Your master is just sealed up. Although she hates her guts, Yan Fang is now a Yang Spirit body, so she can't use magical items or hurt your master."
Su Chan wriggled down under the quilt. She watched as Li Yundong tucked the quilt in for her. When Li Yundong was just about to turn around and leave, she suddenly called in a low voice, "Sir!"
Li Yundong turned his head and smiled. "Little girl, what's wrong?"
Su Chan's eyes darted about. Suddenly, she got up, hugged Li Yundong, and kissed him on the cheek. Then, she quickly let go of him and got back under the quilt with a smile, showing only her beautiful and clever eyes. She said with a charming smile, "I'm so glad that you are here!"
Li Yundong laughed and said incredulously, "You little fool!" After that, he walked out of the room.
As the sun rose the next day, they all awakened. Zi Yuan, Ruan Hongling, Zhou Qin, and Su Chan all came to Li Yundong's room, so he told them what he had discussed with Su Chan last night.
Li Yundong said, "I've been thinking all night and I think the thing about Ao Wushuang shouldn't be postponed in case anything else happens. But today is the delivery day for Zheng Youming. It won't be good if no one stays in Dongwu. I think it's better for us to split up into two groups."
Zi Yuan nodded and said to Li Yundong, "Hong Ling and I will head back to Dongwu. Why don't you and Su Chan stay here and find out where Ao Wushuang is?"
Li Yundong nodded and said, "Agreed." He then turned his head and looked at Zhou Qin. "What about you? Will you stay here with me or go back to Dongwu?"
Zhou Qin smiled slightly. "Naturally, I'll follow my master."
Li Yundong laughed and made no comment. He immediately came to a decision. "Then it's settled. We'll divide into two groups after breakfast."
There was nothing delicious in the Taoist temple where Fox Zen School was located, only plain noodles, but Li Yundong and the others were not gluttons and they ate the simple dish with relish.
After breakfast, Zi Yuan flew back to Dongwu with Ruan Hongling, while Li Yundong took Su Chan and Zhou Qin to Xiyuan Temple in Dongwu.
After the three people had taken a taxi to Xiyuan Temple, Li Yundong did not choose to force his way in. Instead, he reported his name to a monk at the door and then waited respectfully at the entrance.
While they were waiting, Li Yundong suddenly said to Su Chan, "I'm really ashamed. When I barged in recklessly last time, the head of the monastery did not blame it on me, but told me your position. Even now, I don't known his name."
Su Chan giggled and said, "A matter related to oneself is a matter of disorder. Though Xiyuan Temple can't compare to the temples of the four famous Buddhist mountains, it enjoys some reknown. I do know the Buddhist name of the head of this monastery."
Li Yundong was overjoyed. He put his palms together and said, "Amitabha, this is a matter of merit. It's better than not knowing his name."
Su Chan smiled. "The head of the monastery here is called Master Puren. I heard that his spiritual energy and powers are quite impressive."
Li Yundong smiled and said, "That's right. I almost suffered a big loss here before."
They carried on talking in low voices. Before long, a greeting bonze approached them and respectfully invited Li Yundong to go with him.
Li Yundong put his palms together, returning the greeting. Then, he asked the greeting bonze to lead the way, following him a few steps behind.
Along the way, Li Yundong saw Zhou Qin curiously look around the temple, seeming especially interested in the forest full of various kinds of talismans and the Merit Bag of Blessings. Li Yundong whispered to Su Chan and Zhou Qin about how the situation had been when he had fought against the middle-aged monk here. He was very eloquent and talked about the fierce fighting vividly in a only few words, making Su Chan and Zhou Qin widen their eyes and watch him attentively.
Li Yundong pointed to the talisman amulets and merit bags hanging in the surrounding woods, saying in a low voice, "The talismans here have absorbed many people's psyche. They can turn them into powerful psyche power and help the monks here to increase their cultivation power."
Su Chan, who was listening beside him, suddenly said, "Yundong, why don't you carry some talismans with spiritual energy like they do?"
Li Yundong chuckled and said, "Didn't I use the Five Thunders Fu that you gave me last time? There are no talismans at all. Besides, the talisman spells are the magic powers of the northern sects, such as the Jinshan Sect. My cultivation mainly belongs to the Neidan Sect, so I don't know where to learn these spells."
Su Chan blinked and said, "If you have an Immortal Pen, you can draw whatever talisman you want."
Li Yundong smiled and said, "Haven't you heard from Zi Yuan that that is the magic tool of Zuo Ci, a master of Danding Sect? It has been missing for more than a thousand years. How could it still be in the world?"
Su Chan pouted and snorted in response. "I wish all the good magical items in the world would be ours!"
Li Yundong laughed and tweaked her nose. "Little girl, you should learn to be content with what you have."
Looking at the talismans and bags hanging from the trees of merits, Zhou Qin sighed and said, "When I came to the temple before, I saw some people burning incense and worshipping the Buddha while some other people hung Fu for blessings. I even laughed at their superstitious ways, but now it seems that I'm the one who was ignorant."
"God is fair to everyone. He closed the previous door to the world for you, but in return he opened a door to the cultivation world for you."
Zhou Qin was stunned when she heard that. She considered the deep meaning behind his words for a long time.
While Li Yundong's group was passing through the merit woods, a middle-aged monk was standing at the exit waiting for them. Li Yundong looked over and saw that it was the middle-aged monk who had come to settle a score with him last time. He hurried forward, put his palms together, and said respectfully, "Master, we meet again. I haven't apologized for my previous offense. I'm truly sorry."
The middle-aged monk smiled slightly and returned the gesture. "You're too polite, Zhenren Li. As the saying goes, 'no harm, no foul'. Without the previous score settling, how could I have known that Zhenren Li's reputation for retreating from the siege of the six major sects was not baseless?"
Li Yundong laughed and said, "I'm ashamed. I haven't even asked the Great Master's name yet."
The middle-aged monk smiled and said, "My name is Fakong. Zhenren Li, please come in. The head of the monastery is waiting for you." As he spoke, he glanced at Zhou Qin and Su Chan. When his gaze swept over Su Chan, he frowned slightly, but then his brow quickly relaxed. He thought to himself, "This fox spirit is really beautiful. I have been cultivating for more than forty years, but just at first glance, my foundation has almost been shaken. The danger of beauty is not to be underestimated."
But when his eyes fell on Zhou Qin, there was a flash of surprise on his face. He couldn't help but think to himself, "This woman is obviously a maiden, so why does she have Yuanyang in her body? It's extremely rare for there to be this kind of Yuanyang Qi in this Mysterious Yin Body. Is this woman a cultivation genius, the kind who has not been seen in a hundred years?"
It was easy for men to cultivate but difficult for women. This was a truth recognized throughout the cultivation world. However, once a woman achieved success in cultivation, she would be a master.
Fakong looked at Zhou Qin for a while and sighed in his heart. He admired her talent and could not help saying, "Benefactress, do you have a master?"
Zhou Qin was a daughter of an eminent family, so she behaved very politely. She smiled slightly as she said, "Yes."
Fakong was greatly disappointed. "Ah? Who is it?"
With a smile, Zhou Qin responded, "He's right in front of us!"
Only then did Fakong come to his senses. He put his palms together in front of Li Yundong and said enviously, "You're so lucky to have such a good disciple, Zhenren Li. I'm very jealous."
Li Yundong laughed and said, "A monk shall regard all physical existence as vanity. Are you feeling moved?"
Fakong retorted, "Not so. The Tao of cultivation focuses on one's own cultivation, and also on the preaching of one's disciples. If the fifth ancestor of Buddhism, Hong Ren, had not found such a good disciple as Huineng, how could it have been as glorious as it was when the sixth ancestor of Huineng let Zen Sect unify the whole world in the future?"
Li Yundong was moved by his words. "Yes, this monk is right. It's impossible for me to do everything by myself in the future, isn't it? It's fine now. If I become famous in the future and so many people challenge me day and night, won't I be utterly exhausted?"
Li Yundong felt enlightened. He decided to teach Zhou Qin cultivation after their return. He put his palms together and said gratefully, "You're right, master. I've learned a lot."
Fakong smiled and returned the gesture. "You're too polite, Zhenren Li."
They talked along the way and soon came to the head of the monastery's meditation room. Fakong glanced at Su Chan and Zhou Qin and said, "Benefactresses, won't you come with me to the next room to have a rest?"
As a demonic being, Su Chan was naturally wary of such an important Buddhist place. How could she be willing to leave Li Yundong's side? She clutched Li Yundong's clothes tightly with her hands, unwilling to let go. She stared at him imploringly, afraid that Li Yundong would nod in agreement.
Zhou Qin was good at observing people's expressions, so he asked, "Does the land of Buddhism also value men more than women?"
Fakong was stumped when he heard this question and did not know how to reply. Just as he was feeling awkward, he heard an old man's laughter coming from inside the mediation room. He said, "Amitabha, Buddha has said: In this world, all living things are equal. How can there be a saying that values men over women? Fakong, you can leave and let them in."
Only then did Fakong put his palms together and turn to leave.
After watching Fakong leave, Li Yundong took Su Chan and Zhou Qin into the mediation room. As soon as they entered, Li Yundong saw Puren sitting on a prayer mat, holding a string of Buddha beads in one hand and giggling at him.
"Nice to meet you again, Zhenren Li," Puren said with a smile.
Li Yundong bowed respectfully. "Yes, Master Puren."
Puren glanced at Su Chan and Zhou Qin, his expression unchanging. He then looked at Li Yundong and said, "Zhenren Li, you're not here for no reason. Just tell me what you want."
Seeing Puren get straight to the point, Li Yundong didn't beat around the bush and simply told him what had happened. Finally, he said, "Now, as the leader of Fox Zen School, I know full well that cultivators from other sects in the cultivation world think that I'm some useless degenerate. But how can they know that I'm determined to reform Fox Zen School? Now that our predecessor has gone, I have to entreat Great Master Puren for help. If you won't help me, I'm afraid I will be at a loss."
Puren nodded slightly. He chuckled, thought for a moment, then said, "Since you are determined to manage Fox Zen School and turn it into a noble and righteous sect, it will be a merit for you. If Buddha knows this, he will be very happy. Originally, the founder of Fox Zen School, Pan Shi, had some ties with Buddhism. But later, Mystical Silver Fox interfered in it, so we two sects turned from friends into enemies. Now that Fox Zen School has been changed by Zhenren Li, it seems that there is a chance for it to be rejuvenated. I will naturally help Zhenren Li with such noble work!"
As he spoke, he picked up a copper bell beside him and shook it gently. After a while, a young monk came through the door. He saluted respectfully and said, "Master, what can I do for you?"
Puren smiled and said, "Faneng, take them to my disappointing disciple."
Faneng was shocked and looked embarrassed by the command. "Master, you want me to go? That... wouldn't be very good, right?"
Puren said in a serious voice, "Buddha said, 'If I don't go to hell, who will?' You have no choice."
Faneng's face was immediately filled with bitterness as he thought to himself, "That's right. You said that you wouldn't go to hell, so who will? Why don't you go to hell yourself? Why do I have to instead?" However, he didn't dare to say such words and openly go against Puren's wishes. He bowed and said to Li Yundong with a face full of reluctance, "Please follow me."
Following him, Li Yundong was very curious. He thought in his heart, "Where is the disciple of Puren who knows Metasamsara? Why did he say 'If I don't go to hell, who will?' Is he really so horrible?"