The shout made the glass of the surrounding shops shake. Onlookers in the street felt like their ears were buzzing, like someone was pounding their eardrums with chopsticks. It was so painful that they couldn’t hear any words that followed. They were all too busy covering their ears with their hands.
Zou Ping and the others were shocked. The Zhenqi in their body was in chaos. She felt a jolt of fear, then looked at Li Yundong with hatred and said, "Let's go!"
Now that they were downtown, Zou Ping was no longer afraid of Li Yundong's sneak attack. After saying that, she supported her fellow student and turned away.
Wang Lingfei cast a cold glance at Li Yundong and Zi Yuan before he left. Suddenly, he said with a sneer, "Zhenren Zi Yuan, Zhenren Li, I hope that you will not be cowardly at the Taoist assembly in the near future!"
After saying this, he held his head up high and left with a laugh.
Ruan Hongling looked at their retreating figures, then spat balefully and said, "D*mn it! What they are? Treating an utterly worthless thing like an order from on high! They really think that they are the leaders of the Zhengyi School! "
Li Yundong's face was sullen. He turned his head and saw Zi Yuan with a little frown on her face, and it looked like there was confusion in her eyes, as if she was thinking deeply about something.
"Zi Yuan, what is a Taoist assembly?" Li Yundong asked.
“Ah!” The question brought Zi Yuan back to her senses. She gazed at him, thought about his question and said, "Here isn't the place to talk about it, let's go back and talk later."
Li Yundong looked around and saw that the street was thick with pedestrians. Even some policemen and city management had come out to maintain order. "Okay," he said with a nod.
They had come out happily but were returning angry. As soon as they entered the house, everyone start talking and cursing again. Ruan Hongling was really livid, as were others from the Fox Zen School.
They felt that they have never done a bad thing in their lives. Why were these darned people just not allowing them to live in this world?
"Some people in human form will do things worse than any beast. In the end, they will shout and kill others, saying that they are Demon Witches and shouldn't exist in this world. If they continue living, it will be the worst sin in the world."
Was that the reason? They thought so.
Seeing that they were cursing together, Li Yundong did nothing to stop them. He just nodded to Zi Yuan, who took the hint and followed him into a room.
"Zi Yuan, what's going on with this Taoist assembly? Why did the man just say that we must go as well?" Li Yundong asked.
Zi Yuan sighed tiredly. "It's a long story."
Li Yundong smiled and said, "Never mind. Take your time. Do you want a cup of tea?"
Zi Yuan ignored the request and smiled weakly. "During the period of The Tsin Dynasty and Southern and Northern Dynasties, Buddhism and Taoism flourished at the same time. In particular, none of the scholars in The Tsin Dynasty were bad at Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism. Because one of the three disciplines could not be learned as well, they could not get excellent grade qualifications in their evaluations and thus received no opportunity to become an official. Buddhism and Taoism have never again been as prosperous and powerful as it was during that period. In the period of the Southern and Northern Dynasties, Emperor Wu initiated a grand gathering of Buddhists for the first time. According to the book Annals of Biographic of Emperor Wu, 'Emperor Wu attended Tongtai Temple and set up a meeting open to all'.
"By the beginning of the Tang Dynasty, Xuanzang had returned from India with scriptures. He also recorded in 'Traveling Notes of the Western Regions in Great Tang Dynasty' that there was a meeting open to all that was held in ancient India every five years."
Li Yundong asked in confusion, "So, what is this meeting exactly?"
"The meeting refers to a kind of fast ceremony held by Buddhists in which all people are equally treated, regardless of whether their backgrounds are noble or humble, whether they are monks or common people, wise or foolish, good or evil," Zi Yuan explained.
Li Yundong asked again, "What does that have to do with the Taoist assembly?"
Zi Yuan smiled. "As I said just now, during the time of The Tsin Dynasty and Southern and Northern Dynasties, Buddhism and Taoism flourished together. But in the Tang Dynasty, especially while Emperor Tang Taizong respected Buddhism and held the meeting open to all every five years, Buddhism's forces often gathered, so Taoism naturally became marginalized and fell. But at that time, the Taoist sect was unwilling to take a back seat. They saw Buddhism holding a meeting every five years, so Taoist Zhenren Luo Gongyuan took the initiative to contact the Taoist sect masters Zhang Guo and Ye Fashan, and they too began to hold a Taoist assembly, this time one every four years."
Li Yundong was completely absorbed in listening to her explanation. "And then what?"
"Later, after several sessions of the Taoist assembly, its reputation gradually spread to the extent that it reached the ears of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang. Emperor Xuanzong of Tang summoned Luo Gongyuan out of curiosity and asked him to settle a score with Vajrabodhi in front of everyone in the court hall. In the end, Luo Gongyuan completely trounced Vajrabodhi. From then on, Emperor Xuanzong of Tang converted to Taoism, and asked Luo Gongyuan for Taoist magic."
Li Yundong seemed to be getting it now. He said, "I understand. So from then on, the feud between the Buddhism and Taoism has raged on?"
Zi Yuan nodded and said, "Yep. From then on the Taoist assembly achieved great fame. Every Taoist sect is proud of being able to participate in it. Those who are able to participate in the Taoist assembly are all top-tier sects in the Cultivation World. Even if you lose in the battle, others will look up to you, but if you can't participate, others won't even take a look at you!"
Li Yundong replied with a sneer, "I don't care what they think of me."
Zi Yuan shook her head and gave some advice. "Li Yundong, that's not right. Although we often call ourselves Taoists, we are in fact Taoist cultivators. The Taoist school stresses nonaction, while Taoists stress the fighting between man and nature. The process of cultivation is to constantly fight with oneself and God. Therefore, our Taoism sect seems peaceful, but it is actually the most fierce and rebellious one around!
"Now you have succeeded the leader of the Fox Zen School, I believe that you can also feel it. That if you don't fight for it, you will starve to death within a month! If you want to open a teahouse, you will naturally have competitors. Facing your competitors, will you not fight for business? If you can't, you will have no money, and then you will starve. If you are hungry, you can't cultivate. If you can't cultivate, your sect will weaken slowly and you will be bullied by others!"
After Li Yundong heard this, he sighed and said, "Yes, how can I cultivate under these terrible circumstances all day long?"
Zi Yuan nodded. "There is also a benefit in attending Taoist assemblies, which is that it lets all the cultivation sects around the world know what you're capable of, so that no one will dare to offend you again. And most importantly, the organizer of the Taoist assembly will take out a magical item as the prize to attract masters of each sect to participate."
Speaking of that, Zi Yuan suddenly asked Li Yundong, "By the way, guess who presides over this Taoist assembly?"
Li Yundong asked in surprise, "Isn't it the Zhengyi School?"
Zi Yuan shook her head. "No. As history develops, the Taoist assembly has become a gathering at which each sect displays their own power and attracts new disciples of the sect. Zhengyi School is already strong enough. There's no need for them to use this kind of Taoist assembly to prove their strength."
"Then which sect could it be?" Li Yundong muttered.
Zi Yuan's gaze flickered and she said meaningfully, "it's the Gezao Sect of External Alchemy!"
“Eh?” Li Yundong said. He thought to himself, "Gezao Sect? The Gezao Sect that refined Renyuan Jindan?"
Zi Yuan nodded affirmatively. "Yes. Do you remember that we once said that there was a puppet-master in the Cultivation World masterminding a conspiracy?"
Li Yundong looked grave. "Yes, everything is a little odd, especially the fact that the bodies of the two golden snakes have been stolen. What's more, Zhangsun Hong's death is so confusing, I vaguely feel that there must be some connection between these things."
"I think so too," Zi Yuan said in agreement. "Just now, when Wang Lingfei mentioned the Taoist assembly, I suddenly remembered that the Golden Snake had mentioned the birth of the Immortal Pen and the Medicine King Tripod before it died. I couldn't help but think Gezao Sect has always been low-key, so why would they initiate the Taoist assembly this time? Furthermore, why would the master of the Gezao Sect, Wan Zhenyuan, be so high-profile, proclaiming that he has refined Renyuan Jindan and resulting in the theft of the Jindan?"
Li Yundong's expression grew grave. "Do you suspect that this has something to do with Gezao Sect?"
Zi Yuan nodded. "Yes, I even believe that the magical item for this year's Taoist assembly will be either the Immortal Pen or the Medicine King Tripod!"
"I don't know what the Immortal Pen is for," began Li Yundong, "but as you said before, the Medicine King Tripod the magical item used to refine Diyuan Jindan, right? Since the Gezao Sect is from External Alchemy, how could they be willing to give it to others?"
A sneer flashed over Zi Yuan's face. "So, if the magical item that Gezao Sect offers as the award is the Medicine King Tripod, there must be a terrible conspiracy behind it! They would even dare to give away the magical item used to refine Diyuan Jindan, which means they're sending the lifeblood of the External Alchemy away. Since they are willing to make such a great sacrifice, there must be something big behind their actions!"
As she said that, she looked at Li Yundong with her bright eyes, then followed up by saying, "Moreover, in ancient times, there has never been only one when Renyuan Jindan was refined!"
Li Yundong was thoroughly shocked, gawping at Zi Yuan. "You mean... there is another Renyuan Jindan that exists in the world?"
Li Yundong had never seen the magic power of the Immortal Pen and the Medicine King Tripod, so he didn't have strong feelings or hold greed towards it, but he had a deep feeling about Renyuan Jindan.
Without Renyuan Jindan, he would still be an ordinary, homely man. How could he have become the Li Yundong he was today?
Li Yundong thought to himself: "Although his cultivation had already reached a rather high level and he didn't need the help of Renyuan Jindan to do it, Su Chan, Zhou Qin, and the others will still need it. If they were able to consume a Renyuan Jindan, their cultivation would definitely soar by leaps and bounds as a result!"
In particular, the Renyuan Jindan that he had consumed had belonged to Su Chan. He had taken her Jindan by mistake, causing her cultivation to stagnate. This had made Li Yundong feel terrible guilt over her.
If he could get another Renyuan Jindan, would he be able to make it up to his little girl?
Li Yundong's heart thumped as this thought raced through his mind. He couldn't help but shake his head and say, "No, even if he refined a few Renyuan Jindan in one furnace at the same time, the person who got the Jindan would have already used it himself. How could he have held onto it until now?"
Seeing his eagerness, Zi Yuan quickly realized what he was thinking. "Even though there is a chance that someone has consumed Renyuan Jindan, since it has already appeared, it means that the Medicine King Tripod must has appeared as well. It's just that we don't know where it is. However, based on the current situation, it is very likely that it is in the hands of the master of the Gezao Sect, Wan Zhenyuan. Considering that Medicine King Tripod is still in the world, have you ever thought that if you obtained it, you could refine Alchemy yourself?"
Li Yundong was surprised. "Do it myself?"