Before Zhou Qin met Li Yundong, she had only known about Tibetan Buddhism from films and stuff she had seen on TV. But when she had become Li Yundong's disciple, she had begun to read a lot of classic works of Buddhism and Taoism from both ancient and modern times. Li Yundong was especially good at one kind of kung fu, which was the Mantra Mahāmudrā, so she had also looked into Tibetan Buddhism.
Although she did not know that Banda Lam referred to the Lakşmī, she knew that the Lakşmī was an important guardian of Tibetan Buddhism and also known as the merits guardian.
Zhou Qin was dumbstruck as she stared at Meiduo, who was not far away. She had never thought that this Tibetan girl who had spoken to her so intimately before would turn out to be the reincarnation of the Lakşmī!
She was stunned for a while, and she couldn't help feeling confused. She turned to Changbagela and said, "That's not right. Tibetans are looking for reincarnated spirit children. Aren't you looking for newborns? Is Meiduo already eighteen? She doesn't look like a reincarnated spirit child."
He replied with a wry smile, "Only the reincarnation of gods or living Buddhas require newly born spiritual children, and living Buddhas can figure out where they reincarnate. Banda Lam is a very special Gods’ soul with two faces and two forms. One was the quiet and beautiful Brahms, which symbolized purity and kindness, while the other was the ferocious Tsing Lam, which symbolized anger and majesty. When Tsing Lam revealed her true form, no matter who looked at her, they would die. I heard that sometimes, hoping to find Banda Lam, there were several spiritual children who accidentally took a look at Tsing Lam and died with her."
Zhou Qin asked puzzledly, "So what does that mean?"
"So... looking for Banda Lam is the hardest thing imaginable, especially when she hasn't revealed her real body. No one can know where she is. I hadn't expected that... Meiduo would be Banda Lam!"
Zhou Qin saw that Changbagela's face was written with worry and that he kept sighing. She could not help but ask, "Isn't it a good thing that Meiduo is the reincarnation of a god? Why are you so sad?"
Changbagela glanced at Zhou Qin. He wanted to say something, but stopped himself and sighed. "Well, I can't tell you everything now. You'll know when the time comes. I have to start worshipping Banda Lam as soon as possible. If I make her angry, it will be terrible!"
After that, Changbagela followed the actions of his clansmen and kowtowed. They respectfully crawled in the snow in obeisance to Meiduo.
Meiduo was thunderstruck. She looked at the worshipping crowd surrounding her and was rendered speechless.
After a long while, she stammered, "Master Erdeni, you've got it all wrong, haven't you? How could I be Banda Lam? You must be joking, right?”
Erdeni put his palms together and said with a solemn face, "You think I would dare to lie in front of the true god? Can this kind of thing even be joked about? The mani wheel you just turned, its full name is 'the great merits mani wheel'. Even if I wanted to turn it, I would have to make full use of all my spiritual energy to barely nudge it. But Banda Lam, you turned it so easily. Doesn't it mean that you're the reincarnation of the true god?"
Meiduo was stunned. She looked down at her hands, which were as white and smooth as jade, and then looked back at her clansmen who were still crawling all over the ground. Even Dorjee Tenzin, who had been talking and laughing with her just now, was now prostrated respectfully on the ground, and he did not dare to look up at her.
Meiduo bent down, wanting to pull him up, but he seemed to have eyes on the top of his head and he immediately crawled down deeper, avoiding her hand.
Meiduo's hand froze in midair. Unwilling to give up, she turned around to pull at her clansmen and yelled, "Get up everyone. I'm not Banda Lam. I'm just the same old Meiduo. Don't do this."
The clansmen were pulled at by Meiduo, but they all shook their hands in panic and kept shaking their heads, not daring to look at her directly.
She felt as if her heart had been pinched by someone. She walked to the front of Changbagela and choked out in a strained voice, "Changbagela, are you also ignoring me?"
Changbagela was prostrate on the ground, and he remained unmoving, but he released a light sigh and said, "Banda Lam, what do you mean by this?"
Meiduo's tears streamed down in glittering rivers. "Changbagela, I'm Meiduo, not Banda Lam. Why do you even believe them?" she asked sadly.
After a long silence, Changbagela raised his head slightly to take a look at Meiduo, and then he released a weary sigh. "Meiduo, if the great master says you are Banda Lam... then you are Banda Lam. Whether I believe it or not... it doesn't matter."
After that, he buried himself ever deeper into the snow. No matter how Meiduo whimpered, he wouldn't look up again.
For a moment, everyone on the snow-covered plateau fell into silence. There was a heavy stillness hanging over the vast plateau, with only the sounds of Meiduo crying mixing with the whistling of the cold wind to be heard, making people feel sad and sympathetic.
Meiduo looked at Zhou Qin beside her and saw that all the people around were pressed to the ground, apart from this Han girl, who was still standing in the snow, looking at her with a complicated expression.
Meiduo didn't know why, but when she saw Zhou Qin's eyes, she felt an overwhelming sadness and couldn't restrain herself anymore. She threw herself into Zhou Qin's arms and burst into tears. "Han Sister, I'm Meiduo. I'm not Banda Lam!"
Although Zhou Qin did not understand why Meiduo was so upset, she could not help but feel a little sympathetic when she heard her pitiful wailing. She patted Meiduo's back gently and said softly, "I know you are Meiduo, not Banda Lam. No matter what kind of reincarnated god you are, you are still Meiduo in my eyes, okay?"
Meiduo cried even harder. She sobbed deeply, and the tears fell from her eyes like broken pearls. She hugged Zhou Qin tightly and cried, "But they don't believe I'm Meiduo!"
Zhou Qin comforted her in a soft voice. "Meiduo, what's wrong with being the reincarnation of a god? Isn't that a good thing?"
Meiduo shook her head vigorously and said in a strangled voice, "If I am Banda Lam, I won't be able to leave Potala Palace for the rest of my life. I won't be able to go to Tiannan City. I won't be able to enter that Han man's university. I won't be able to see him ever again!"
"Ah!" Zhou Qin gasped in understanding. It was as if Meiduo's word had hit the softest place in her heart. "If I were her, I wouldn't be able to see Li Yundong again. I wouldn't be able to see the person I love more than life itself. What would I do?"
For a moment, this resolute, strong girl seemed to feel the same as the girl she was comforting and she shed tears silently. She suddenly made up her mind, as if she had had a spell cast over her. She patted Meiduo's shoulder lightly and whispered, "Meiduo, do you want to be Banda Lam? If you don't, I'll try my best to get you out of it!"
Meiduo, who had still been sobbing, was so stunned that she suddenly forgot to continue crying. As soon as Erdeni heard Zhou Qin's words, he raised his head and glared fiercely at her, shouting, "How dare you say such a thing!"
His loud shout caused the mountains to tremble, and his sound reverberated through the sky. His power was so mighty that it could even cause mountains to collapse, and the clouds to change color!
The monks and lamas who had lowered themselves to the icy ground also jumped up one by one and looked menacingly at Zhou Qin with fierce eyes.
Even the Meiduo's clansmen raised their heads and looked at Zhou Qin with hostility. All of them were eager to have a battle.
Changbagela raised his head in horror and shouted at Meiduo, "Meiduo, are you crazy? Do you want your Han Sister to get killed?"
Meiduo trembled. She hugged Zhou Qin and said sadly, "Look, please don't do anything stupid. I'm just sad and want to cry a bit. When I stop crying, I'll be fine..."
After saying that, Meiduo could not help but burst into tears again. Droplets trickled down her round face and fell into the snow.
Zhou Qin quickly glanced at the monks around her before her eyes turned to Meiduo. She said calmly, without changing her expression, "Meiduo, I just want to ask you one thing. Do you want to be Banda Lam or not?"
Meiduo gawked at Zhou Qin, this Han Sister who had only met her once but was willing to protect her at all costs!
Everyone held their breaths and did not dare to make a sound as they looked at Meiduo. They were all quietly waiting to hear her decision.
Meiduo looked at Zhou Qin for a while. Suddenly, she smiled sadly and quickly wiped away her tears. She forced a smile and said, "Han Sister, thank you. I'm not going to Tiannan City. Would you please help me tell that Han man that I, I can't enter his school..."
Speaking of this, Meiduo couldn't help but sob. "Han Sister, when you go back, remember to tell him that a girl named Meiduo is thinking about him in Potala Palace. When he is free in the future, he can come and see her..."
Zhou Qin was stunned for a moment. Silent, unconscious tears had begun to run down her face too. She was a poor woman who loved Li Yundong deeply but couldn't get his love in return. Now, she was meeting another girl that was even worse off than her. Although she was always firm and resolute, and on the way to building the Zhuji phase she had cultivated her mind to be harder than steel, at this time, she couldn't help but feel tender and cry with pity.
Meiduo saw that Zhou Qin was crying and she thought that she was sympathizing with her, so she forced a smile and said comfortingly, "Don't be sad for me. I'm fine. And I'm very strong! In fact, it's good to be Banda Lam. Although many Tibetan girls dream of it, they don't get the chance!"
When Erdeni saw that Meiduo had already decided to become Banda Lam, he retracted his fierce gaze and once again became friendly. He lowered his eyes and gently shook the prayer wheel, beginning to recite scripture.
The other monks were still surrounding Meiduo, as if they were subtly urging her to continue on the way.
Meiduo glanced at them, then turned back and ran to her yak cart to pull out a woolen cotton-padded jacket. She ran back over to Zhou Qin and pressed it into her hand. Meiduo smiled and shed tears as she said gratefully, "Han Sister, I have to go now. You have to be careful along the way. It's very cold on the top of Kari Holy Mountain. Keep yourself warm."
Zhou Qin gripped the soft wool-padded jacket, unable to refuse. She sighed lightly and asked, "What else do you want me to tell Li Yundong?"
Meiduo smiled and shook her head. "Nothing, I've thought it through. If fate wills it, I'll meet him again someday. We'll talk about it then!"
Zhou Qin cast a lingering look at Meiduo as she turned away. Her delicate figure looked particularly sad in the snow. When Zhou Qin watched Meiduo on Dorjee Tenzin's yak, she could hear her gently singing the song that she had not finished before.
"... Sixth, it’s best not to be relative. In this way, we won't be able to meet each other.
”Seventh, it’s best not to delay each other, so that we won't betray each other.
"Eighth, it’s best not to promise each other. In this way, we won't be able to continue.
"Ninth, it’s best not to cuddle up to each other. In this way, we won't have to rely on each other.
"Tenth, It’s best not to meet each other. In this way, we won't get together again.
"Just meet and fall in love at first sight, knowing that our lives will be entangled, it is better for us to never meet each other.
"Enjoying peace in my heart by breaking up with you, I will be free of suffering lovesickness by dying."
Both Zi Yuan and Ruan Hongling, who had witnessed all of this from a distance, watched in a daze as Meiduo, Dorjee Tenzin, and the others gradually walked farther away. Then, Changbagela took his clansmen and headed in the opposite direction.
For a time on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, only Zhou Qin stood silently in the snowfield, her figure standing tall and alone like a solitary ice sculpture.