Li Yundong flew all the way back to Tiannan City from Tibet. When he got home and opened the door, he saw everyone from the Fox Zen School sitting around the living room. Even Su Chan, Zhou Qin, Ziyuan, and Ruan Hongling were there. All of them were gathered together with grave expressions, the atmosphere solemn.
Li Yundong was stunned for a moment before asking in surprise, "Are you all here?"
Su Chan heard the noise at the door and turned her head. Seeing him enter, she happily rushed over like a young swallow flying into the forest, saying delightedly, "Yundong, you're finally back!"
He smiled and was about to take her into his arms, but he suddenly remembered that there was a 1,000-year-old snow lotus on his person, so he immediately clasped her shoulders, stopped her from rushing into his arms, and said with a smile, "Don't be naughty. It will be terrible if you break it."
Su Chan blinked slowly and couldn't help looking at Li Yundong's arms. She asked in surprise, "What's wrong?" But hardly had she finished her words before she thought of something and said with elation and amazement, "Have you gotten the 1,000-year-old snow lotus back?"
Li Yundong laughed, took out the snow lotus wrapped in a white handkerchief from his pocket, and said with a smile, "Aren't you clever!"
Hearing the words '1,000-year-old snow lotus', the others in the room all stood up at the same time. They started clamoring and surrounded Li Yundong curiously. Even Zi Yuan couldn't help looking curiously at Li Yundong's hands.
The 1,000-year-old snow lotus was an extremely important guiding herb of the Diyuan Jindan. Its appearance would largely determine the completion of the Diyuan Jindan.
Since the Ming Dynasty, no one had ever refined the Diyuan Jindan. On the one hand, the cause was closely related to the loss of the Medicine King Tripod and The Three-Dan Classics. On the other hand, it was also related to the 1000-year-old snow lotus that had not shown up in the world for hundreds of years.
Li Yundong had obtained the 1,000-year-old snow lotus at this time, meaning that he was only one step away from the Diyuan Jindan!
Even though Zi Yuan was usually calm and indifferent, not caring about anything, she was still a little surprised by this and said, "You got it? That's great! Since ancient times, External Alchemy has had sayings like, 'it is easy to refine a Renyuan Jindan, but hard to find the thousand-year-old snow lotus!' Now that you've got the thousand-year-old snow lotus, Wan Zhenyuan should come begging!"
Zhou Qin, Ruan Hongling, and others also approached Li Yundong curiously and carefully looked at the snow lotus in his hands.
Zhou Qin could see that there was a handkerchief wrapped around it, and a corner of the handkerchief was embroidered with two rows of Tibetan and Chinese characters, one of which was two delicate Chinese characters which read: Meiduo.
Zhou Qin's heart skipped a beat and she couldn't help glancing at Li Yundong. She asked softly, "Master, did you meet Meiduo?"
Li Yundong nodded and told her what he had gone through in Tibet. When he mentioned that he had met Xu Ling and Xu Kong on the snow mountain, and that Xu Ling was a jinshen Master, everyone in the room couldn't help exclaiming.
"A Jinshen Master?" Ruan Hongling gasped, her eyes widening. "Which sect did he belong to? Why did the top ten jinshen masters attack so soon? How... how did you defeat them?"
"Defeat them?" Li Yundong shook his head and laughed. "A Jinshen Master is not someone that can be defeated by someone in the Yangshen phase like me..."
Although Su Chan knew that since Li Yundong was standing safe and sound in front of her and that it must have been a threatening but not dangerous battle, she still nervously grabbed Li Yundong's sleeve and asked, "Then, Yundong, how did you win?"
Li Yundong sighed and said, "If it weren't for the fact that Dorjee Tenzin and the others fought desperately, slowing Xu Ling's pace, and Meiduo reincarnated as Tsing Lam, I'm afraid that things would have been difficult to deal with!"
Zhou Qin couldn't help letting out a startled cry and asking, "Meiduo turned into Tsing Lam? Isn't, isn't she..."
Li Yundong looked at her and nodded meaningfully. "Yes, Meiduo is indeed not the reincarnation of Banda Lam, but she's still able to inherit the power of Banda Lam, isn't she?"
Zhou Qin nodded, her face full of surprise and suspicion. "It seems so, but why?"
Li Yundong smiled and said, "Taoists and Buddhists have been part of two different cultivation sects since ancient times. The reason why they are different is largely reflected in their inheritance of cultivation power. The growth of Taoists' power comes from External Alchemy and Neidan. Once the Neidan is formed and turns into a Yang Spirit, its user can transcend the five elements and jump out of the Samsara. They can constantly inherit power through the Yang Spirit's transfer until they don't want to live in this world anymore and decide to ascend to the sky.
"The inheritance of the power of Taoism is straight like running water, while the power of Buddhism is folded like a storage cabinet, paying attention to inheritance and opportunities. As long as the Living Buddha and the people think you are the inheritor, you can inherit this power. As for whether you have really been reincarnated or not, it doesn't matter!"
Beside him, Zi Yuan also nodded and said, "That's right. Why can Guan Yu become a saint of war, but Lu Bu can't? It's because Guan Yu has been respected and worshipped for his loyalty for generations. The powerful faith and incense power he possesses allowed him to ascend to the sky and become a saint of war, ranking amongst the immortals!"
Li Yundong said with admiration, "That's right! During the Tang Dynasty, Kobo Daishi of Zhenyan Tantrism from Japan came to China to seek Buddhism. At that time, the seventh founder of Tang Tantrism in China, Huiguo Ali, predicted that there would be a catastrophe for Buddhism in the future, and only an outsider could save Tantrism. Therefore, he decided to teach all his skills and give his powerful magical weapons to Kobo, who had come to study for less than half a year. Therefore, Kobo soon became a top-level cultivator after coming to China, returning to Japan, he immediately established a sect and became the founder of Zhenyan Tantrism, which lasted for 1,200 years!"
Listening to this carefully, Zhou Qin couldn't help asking, "How about Master Huiguo Ali?"
Li Yundong sighed slightly. "Not long after Kobo Daishi left China, Wuzong of Tang triggered a well-known catastrophe in Buddhist history, which was so intense that it was difficult for Buddhism to survive. At that time, 4600 temples were demolished in the Tang Dynasty. Shortly after Huiguo Ali handed over his power, he died. However, because he had predicted the consequences accurately before his passing, Tantrism was thus cut off from China from then on, and the incense of Tantrism took root and sprouted in Japan under the leadership of Kobo Dashi."
Li Yundong then sighed and said, "Zhou Qin, even if you are the reincarnation of Banda Lam, if you have not been recognized by the Living Buddha and the people in Tibet, you will not be able to inherit the power of Banda Lam. Since ancient times, the person chosen by Buddhism has not been the person with the most lineal or reincarnated True Spirit, but the person with the most opportunities! Otherwise, how could Kobo Dashi, a Japanese man, be the most lineal person, or a certain reincarnated True Spirit? He was just lucky! Meiduo is the same!"
"Ah!" Zhou Qin said anxiously. "So, will Meiduo really be Banda Lam in the future?"
Li Yundong nodded slightly. "Yes, the people in Tibet, the Living Buddha, and even the Mountain Spirit have admitted that Meiduo is the heir of Banda Lam, so she has inherited that power. Even if you, the reincarnated True Spirit, wanted to go back and be Banda Lam in the future, it would be impossible."
Zhou Qin shook her head and said, "I don't want those powers. What's so good about being trapped like that? But what about Meiduo? Will she be stuck like this?"
"Everyone has their own fate. It's her choice. There's nothing we can do..." Li Yundong said sadly.
Zhou Qin remained silent. Suddenly, she felt a wave of guilt sweep through her heart. She felt inward that Meiduo wouldn't be like this if not for her own selfishness, but what else could she have done?
Feeling that the atmosphere had grown a little heavy, Zi Yuan said with a smile, "Don't overthink it. Didn't Tsangyang Gyatso, who was chosen as the sixth Dalai Lama, also flee on a snowy night? Maybe one day, when Meiduo doesn't want to be this Banda Lam anymore, she will do as her predecessor did."
Hearing her reassuring words, Li Yundong immediately felt a little better, and a silent smile spread over his face.
Su Chan, who was standing just next to him, was being very well-behaved. She quickly changed the topic and said, "Yundong, you said so much just now. Do you mean to say that the power of Taoists comes from the constant transfer of their own powers, but the transfer of this power is based on how they have cultivated the Yang Spirit, while the power of Buddhists comes from inheriting power from generation to generation, but this foundation must be established by how they are recognized by the Living Buddha and the common people?"
Li Yundong glanced at Su Chan and temporarily stifled his concern. He nodded and said, "Yes, I feel that the power of Banda Lam seems to be stored on Kari Holy Mountain. Since ancient times, the power of the people's worship has been concentrated on that Holy Mountain. When the Living Buddha and the common people admitted that Meiduo was Banda Lam, she became qualified to go to the Holy Mountain to inherit this power. Fortunately, she inherited the power right at that time, otherwise, I would not have been able to defeat Xu Ling..."
Zhou Qin had been cultivating for the shortest time, so she knew the least about cultivation sects. She frowned, asking, "Who on earth are those two guys?"
Li Yundong said, "They said they were from Zhenkongism..."
"Zhenkongism?" Ruan Hongling and Zi Yuan exclaimed at the same time.
Li Yundong looked at them strangely. "What? Do you know anything about Zhenkongism?"
Zi Yuan nodded and said, "Yeah. Before I met you, I had some dealings with people from Zhenkongism."
Li Yundong asked in surprise, "Zhenkongism has declined in China now, with only a few believers remaining in Fujian Province, right? "
Zi Yuan smiled and said, "Zhenkongism is not recognized by the current government now, but during the period of the national government, they were indeed recognized. At that time, it was unusually active. In the 37th year of the Republic of China, Liao Yipu, grand-nephew of the founder of Zhenkongism Liao Di, established the Zhenkong Charity in Nanjing and registered it with the Ministry of Social Affairs of the National Government. A group of military and political personnel from the government took up the positions of director and supervisor. Up to the 38th year of the Republic of China - that is, the year of 1949 - Zhenkongjism established 205 Taoist temples around 12 provinces and in one city of China. It could be said that this sect was second to none in the eyes of Chinese Taoists during the Republic of China! As the saying goes, a centipede dies but doesn't stop. It was so glorious at that time, no wonder some incense was left here."
With that, Zi Yuan continued with some emotion, "Unfortunately, after the founding of the People's Republic of China, the sect gradually declined. It slowly transferred its power to Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, and other places around Southeast Asia. Especially after the Reform and Opening-up Revolution, other Taoist sects started slowly recovering, but the power of Zhenkongism has been difficult to regain in the Chinese mainland. There are only some inconspicuous believers residing in Fujian Province. I thought that after this sect was transferred to Southeast Asia, it would not be able to survive. I didn't expect that there would be a jinshen master from Zhenkongism appearing out of thin air!"
She then said solemnly to Li Yundong, "Li Yundong, you must not be careless! Jinshen Masters can change the balance of power between sects. They can be encountered but not sought after. A sect only needs one jinshen master to be able to immediately show off in the cultivation world! Now that you have made enemies with him, Zhenkongism may support him. If they do, it will be hard to say how things will unfold!"
Li Yundong's manner was grave. "You're right! Even if he doesn't come to make trouble for me, I'll make trouble for him!"
Su Chan also said with a smile, "That's right. Now that we have the 1,000-year-old snow lotus, we have already got half of the Diyuan Jindan. I believe that before long, Yun Dong, you will become a jinshen master!"
Hearing Su Chan's innocent words, Li Yundong immediately laughed. He pinched the adorable girl's nose and said, "What were you doing when I came in just now? Why was the atmosphere so grave?"
At that moment, Su Chan suddenly seemed to recall something. She ran over to the tea-table quickly, picked up a few pieces of paper and handed them to Li Yundong, saying, "I would have completely forgotten if you hadn't mentioned it. Yundong, look!"
He took the proffered paper and looked at it, suddenly stunned. He saw three characters written with murderous intent on the sheet in his hand: The Challenge Letter!