Li Yundong was sitting cross-legged under the pine tree, silently watching the other version of him and Su Chan working in the countryside. On his face was a quiet and serene smile, as if as long as he could look at them from a distance, he would be satisfied and happy.
"Zi Yuan, why do you want to cultivate?" he asked.
Zi Yuan had not been expecting to receive a question in return for hers. After thinking for a while, she answered, "To ascend from the suffering of the mortal world and reach wonderland."
Li Yundong smiled and said, "Yes, it's very in line with your cultivation standard. When I first saw you, I thought, 'Ah, how could there be such a beautiful woman in this world? Is she a fairy from heaven?' At that time, I thought that you were a fairy who would sooner or later go to the wonderland, so you were seeking immortality through cultivation."
She quietly listened to his words. The old Li Yundong in front of her was not as handsome as he had once been, but his hoarse voice was full of wisdom.
Li Yundong tenderly looked at Su Chan from the Spirit Space and said to Zi Yuan softly, "But have you ever wondered, even if you become a Shenxian, what will you do? Will you feel happy because you will have no experience of birth, old age, sickness and death, and then you can jump out of the cycle of rebirth? Or... do you just want to follow your master and go to wonderland to find him?"
Li Yundong had been right about Zi Yuan's subconscious wish, which had been hidden in her heart for a long time. Her body stiffened slightly, and she couldn't help but say in her mind, "Yes, I followed my master's footsteps like this, and even regarded his psalm as the truth. Why? Is it just because I want to follow him and be with him forever?
"But... Master loves Ao Wushuang, not me..."
Zi Yuan had been with her master since she was a child. In her eyes, her master was omnipotent. Not only was he the most handsome man in the world, but he was also the most extraordinary. Because of this, Wang Yuanshan's mark could be found in every aspect of her life!
Thinking of her past, Zi Yuan vaguely felt that her master Wang Yuanshan seemed to have noticed her feelings for him, so he had left her a psalm and told her that Li Yundong was the one for her.
"It was because of my master's psalm that I came to the Spirit Space without hesitation."
But... even if the Li Yundong in front of her was really her soulmate, he loved Su Chan, not her!
“The purpose of my cultivation was to enter the Immortal Realm, and the purpose of entering the Immortal Realm was to find my master. In order to enter the Immortal Realm, I had to save my lover. In conclusion, my cultivation is all for the sake of... love?
”However, neither my master nor my supposed lover loves me back...
“So what is the purpose of my cultivation?”
This question utterly stumped Zi Yuan, almost consuming her mind. She just stood there without saying a word, her expression changing constantly.
It was as though Li Yundong's eyes could see through the mortal world. He smiled and said, "Zi Yuan, you cultivated for the purpose of becoming Shenxian, but do you know what I cultivate for?"
At this time, Zi Yuan was so enraptured that she could only listen to Li Yundong's words, while her mind was in a mess.
Seeing that Zi Yuan had not spoken, Li Yundong didn't look back. He continued to say, "The purpose of my cultivation was very simple. I just wanted to protect Su Chan from harm, and then I wanted to protect myself as well, so that she and I can live happily."
Li Yundong pointed to the other version of himself and Su Chan at the foot of the mountain. He said, "Look, they are so happy now. I searched for my true self by walking through the worlds of the trichiliocosm and Spirit Space. During this period, I experienced countless live and death experiences and overcome countless strong enemies to protect myself from being separated from Su Chan in the Spirit Space. When I came to this Spirit Space, I realized that there was no one else in this world, only me and Su Chan. Therefore, I chose to stay and quietly sit on this sea of clouds and watch them. I want to see if they will get tired of this kind of simple life, and whether their love will begin to fade with the passing of the years."
Li Yundong smiled wistfully. "As an onlooker, I can see myself getting older and older, and yet they are still happy. You know, I cultivate only in order to see myself finally get married to my lover. Now that they are living a happy life, what else could I wish for?"
Hearing this, Zi Yuan's heart was filled with melancholy, and she let out a sigh. "But he isn't really you..."
Li Yundong turned around and asked with a serene smile, "What's the difference?"
Zi Yuan opened her mouth, wanting to say something, but when she looked into Li Yundong's bottomless black eyes, she couldn't seem to produce any words. She sighed again softly and sat down beside him. "In that case, I also won't leave. I'll stay here and accompany you."
Li Yundong was slightly stunned. "You'll stay? How could you do that?"
A pitiful smile appeared on Zi Yuan's face. "Why can't I do it? What's the difference between me leaving or staying? Whether it's my master or..." Zi Yuan paused and swallowed back her words. A crimson flush crept over her otherworldly and beautiful face.
Li Yundong said seriously, "No, what will Ruan Hongling do if you don't return? What about the Linggong Sect that your master left for you? Do you want to leave Ruan Hongling there and let the other disciples of the Zhengyi School bully your younger sister?"
A thought struck Zi Yuan, and she intercepted Li Yundong's words to say, "You're right, but have you ever thought about it? If you stay here, you'll be happy to see yourself and Su Chan in the Spirit Space. Have you ever thought about what will happen to the real Su Chan outside the Spirit Space, who's been waiting for you to come back and fulfill your promise to her?"
When Li Yundong heard these words, his whole body suddenly shook, and his eyes widened.
Seeing this, Zi Yuan immediately said, "Even if you think that the Su Chan outside is no different from the Su Chan in front of you, have you ever thought about anyone else? How about Zhou Qin? She has just returned from building the Zhuji phase. Do you know that? Do you want to lead her down the path of cultivation and then abandon her? My master left Hongling and me at that time too, you can't do that!"
Zi Yuan spoke of the sadness in her heart, every word and sentence immediately moved Li Yundong.
She went on to say, "Forgetting Su Chan and Zhou Qin for a moment, what about those little foxes who have such a strong dependence on you? Will you just leave them alone after taking them down the mountain? Do you know what will happen to them if you aren't there to care about them? Since ancient times, all the vixens going down the mountain and getting involved in the mortal world have been extremely miserable. If you do this, won't you hurt them? Do you have no conscience? Can you be at ease here?"
When Li Yundong heard this, his expression changed. He looked at Zi Yuan in a daze, and after a long while, he finally couldn't help but let out a long breath. He stood up and flicked his sleeves, letting out a loud laugh. He said loudly, "Buddha, I think I now know what my true self is!"
In this vast world, the name of a Buddhist monk suddenly rang out. The clouds quickly gathered together and turned into a huge statue of the Buddha, which said in a dignified manner. "Amitabha, what is the true self?"
Li Yundong's expression was full of enlightenment. His countenance had become clear and bright, and he said in a sonorous voice, "Ordinary people who make the Five Imprints prefer to be themselves. In fact, they are only decoys. Only when I have the Eight selves like the Buddha does can I be my true self."
The statue of the Buddha asked in a booming voice, "What are the Eight selves?"
Li Yundong replied in a loud voice, "First, by showing that one's body is multiple, it can become small like a tiny speck of dust; Second, by revealing that one's body is spread throughout the Vast Worlds, it can become big enough to let one's own changes be like an infinite void world; Third, a big body is able to gently lift one's body far away, showing that one's changes can be as light as a feather; Fourth, when one's body is stationary, it can be free and able to change size at will!
"Fifth, the roots use each other, and the meaning is to have a master. It can freely change into an adult or a child and can take over everything. Sixth, it has nothing to think about. The meaning is that it can go anywhere as it pleases; Seventh, through no Cultivation Tribulation, it can move, and can make six or eighteen tremors in the earth. Eighth, it covers the entire world, like the void, and it can do many things. It can walk on a steep mountain, walk over fire and water, and walking through the void. It also can turn the earth into water, and is able to go for as long as he wants!"
Li Yundong spoke with confidence and composure. Zi Yuan stood beside him, and she was slightly shocked after listening to him. She wondered, "When did Li Yundong manage to research the Buddhist doctrine so thoroughly? He's amazing!"
Unexpectedly, Li Yundong seemed to hear her thoughts. He looked back and smiled, "How do you think I spent all my time in these three thousand Spirit Spaces? I have been in the worlds of the trichiliocosm and Spirit Spaces for countless years. I have almost finished all the books that can be hidden in the worlds of the trichiliocosm and Spirit Space and learned almost all of their magic! It is because I have experienced so many things in the worlds of the trichiliocosm and Spirit Spaces that I finally feel tired. I don't want to leave this quiet Spirit Space. If you hadn't come to wake me up, I would have stayed forever."
When Zi Yuan saw that Li Yundong's voice and expression had returned to their former state, and that he no longer looked as old as before, she couldn't help feeling happy in her heart. She smiled and was about to reply, but the statue of Buddha suddenly said, "Since you know the Eight Ishvaras, why don't you show them to me?"
Li Yundong raised his eyebrows and asked, "What's difficult about that?"
After that, Li Yundong shook his sleeves and shouted, "Small!"
In the blink of an eye, Li Yundong’s figure disappeared into thin air and he cried, "I exist on every tiny speck of dust in this Spirit Space!"
Zi Yuan heard Li Yundong's voice coming from all directions at the same time. It was as if countless drops of water had gathered into tidal waves that were pouring into her ears. Even though her cultivation level was high, she couldn't help but frown and cover her ears.
Soon, Li Yundong‘s figure reappeared and he shouted again, "Big!"
His figure suddenly became bigger than before. Zi Yuan looked up and could not even see where Li Yundong's knees were! Compared with Li Yundong, the statue of Buddha had become like a minuscule little ant.
Li Yundong quickly returned to his original state. "Whisper!" he cried, and his body actually floated up. Li Yundong smiled and said to Zi Yuan, "Zi Yuan, please blow on me."
Zi Yuan curiously blew a breath towards Li Yundong. When she did so, she saw that he was like a feather, floating far away in the blink of an eye.
Li Yundong laughed and shouted, "I can grow!" He stretched out his arm, and it suddenly became very long, as if it could reach across the sky. Soon, he shouted, "And I can shrink!" His other arm became very short, almost disappearing.
Li Yundong quickly demonstrated the arts of free transformation one by one. He changed from an old man to a child with his mind, and there was nothing he couldn't change!
When he showed his seventh Ishvara, he shouted, "It can move!" He turned his hands over, as if the Buddha had turned his own five fingers over. The Spirit Space suddenly shook violently, and the top of the mountain seemed to be about to collapse at any time.
Su Chan and Li Yundong, who were in the Spirit Space together, both panicked and held each other, yelling loudly.
Zi Yuan couldn't bear to be shaken by the violent vibrations, so she had no choice but to fly up and shout, "Don't shake, if you shake any more of this Spirit Space, it will collapse. Even if it doesn't collapse, this mountain will!"
Li Yundong laughed. "If this mountain becomes a piece of gold, how can it collapse?"
After that, Li Yundong pointed at the peak of the mountain. With a crash, the whole thing turned into a shining golden mountain in the blink of an eye, and the shaking of the world suddenly stopped!
Although she was an experienced and knowledgeable figure in the Cultivation World, she couldn't help but be dumbfounded by Li Yundong's magical ability.
At this time, Li Yundong cried to the statue of Buddha in a loud voice, "What do you think? Are the Eight Ishvaras my true self or not?"
The statue of Buddha gave a booming laugh. "Good. You have been through the worlds of the trichiliocosm, and have indeed learned the magical effects of these Eight Ishvaras! You really deserve your identity as the Fashen of the Immovable Wisdom King! Now I can trust you and give you the burning thumb pot! With your experience and the power of the Fashen of the Immovable Wisdom King, from now on, you can use all the magic tools of Buddhism at will. Nothing will stand in your way! Ha ha ha..."