Chapter 222: Blessed Buddha Altar
Three days later, Huang Xiaolong departed from Southern Hill Estate, out of Duanren Imperial City, heading out in the Blessed Buddha Empire's direction.
Huang Peng, Su Yan, Huang Min, Huang Xiaohai, Zhang Fu, Zhao Shu, and the others stood outside the big gates of Duanren Imperial City, sending Huang Xiaolong off as they watched his figure grow smaller in the horizon, and finally vanish from their view.
Su Yan's eyes grew misty with tears watching Huang Xiaolong's silhouette gradually become smaller and disappearing from her sight.
Since Huang Xiaolong was eight, the first time he left Huang Clan Manor to train outside until now, ten years had passed. In these years, she and this son spent more time apart than together.
That year, even she never imagined that her son would become a powerful existence in Duanren Empire in a mere decade's time, even Emperor Duanren held her son in high respect.
All of these were things she daren't even dream of a decade ago.
The existence worshipped by billions of Duanren Empire subjects.
"Let us return." After a long time, Huang Peng spoke, and the group made their way back to Southern Hill Estate.
Leaving Duanren Imperial City, Huang Xiaolong kept his travel southward, reaching Duanren Empire's border a month later, totally stepping out of Duanren Empire land.
The first neighbor empire on the south side was Spring Faun Empire.
Spring Faun Empire's strength ranked at the lower end amongst the seventeen empires in Snow Wind Continent, considerably weaker than Duanren Empire, with less than eight hundred kingdoms under its monarchy. Hence, Spring Faun Empire's land area was only half as big as Duanren Empire's.
All along the way, Huang Xiaolong chose to travel on barren hills and secluded roads, rushing night and day.
Rarely would there be anyone on these routes, so he summoned the black and blue dragons out. With a hop, he landed on either one of the twin dragons and flew forward.
With the twin dragons carrying him through the air, Huang Xiaolong's speed was much faster and very soon, he had cut through the Spring Faun Empire.
However, there were still three big empires' territories he needed to pass before arriving in the empire that sat on the southernmost point on the Snow Wind Continent, the Blessed Buddha Empire.
Since Huang Xiaolong chose to travel along the barren hills route, he did not come across any trouble along the way. At most, it was small time bandits with the highest strength of Houtian Tenth Order.
For the current Huang Xiaolong, a Houtian Tenth Order was nothing more than lifting a finger.
The passage of time flowed as Huang Xiaolong journeyed on, and in the blink of an eye, half a year passed.
In this half a year, Huang Xiaolong continued to practice his battle qi and internal force diligently, increasing his strength as much as possible.
Firstly, his battle qi had reached peak late-Xiantian Second Order and could advance into the Third Order any time soon, whereas his internal force had reached the turning point of Stage Nine: The Azure Dragon Flexing Its Claws. Entering Stage Ten was only a matter of days.
Night came. Moonlight shone down like bright ripples of water.
Somewhere on a barren hill, Huang Xiaolong sat next to a small bonfire, taking out a jug of Sapidity Wine from the Asura Ring, sipping down the wine slowly as he organized his thoughts. In twenty days or less, he would be arriving in Blessed Buddha Empire.
Blessed Buddha Empire! Huang Xiaolong breathed the name through his lips.
He had heard rumors claiming that Blessed Buddha Empire was built by a person called Tianfu from the Buddha World around a thousand years ago, and this founder, Tianfu, had been missing since. The person controlling the Blessed Buddha Empire at the moment was his disciple named Shi Fantian1
Shi Fantian, a legendary name on Snow Wind Continent. It was said that Shi Fantian was born with an Innate Buddhist Physique, with Buddhist jade in his mouth that records a mighty skill Holy Prajna2 that only Shi Fantian with the Innate Buddhist Physique could practice.
"This trip there, I wonder if I can catch a glimpse of this Shi Fantian."
Before he started his journey, Huang Xiaolong inquired and understood this Shi Fantian was a formidable person. When he took over the Blessed Buddha Empire one thousand years ago, he was already a Saint realm Second Order.
And Huang Xiaolong confirmed that if an outsider wanted to enter the Buddha Cavern, first and foremost, they must carry the Blessed Buddha Token. A Blessed Buddha Token was equivalent to Duanren Empire's Golden Token. Every piece of Blessed Buddha Token was bestowed personally by Shi Fantian himself.
There were only two pieces of Duanren Empire's Golden Token, but it wasn't so for the Blessed Buddha Token. Huang Xiaolong didn't know the actual number, but he gauged it wouldn't be lower than ten tokens.
Furthermore, he had no idea who held any one of these Blessed Buddha Tokens. This made Huang Xiaolong frowned.
It was too early to worry about this, he would think of a way when he reached the destination.
The night passed. The next day morning, Huang Xiaolong continued on his way.
Half a month later, he finally arrived in Blessed Buddha Empire.
When he stepped onto the land, through the many cities he passed through, most of the building structures were related to Buddhism. There was at least one Buddhist temple almost on every street, some shops even had various designs of carved buddhas on their entranceway.
In the entire Blessed Buddha Empire, one could feel the deep core of Buddhism that was as thick as the smell of joss stick incense that permeated the air.
When he arrived in Blessed Buddha Empire, Huang Xiaolong inquired news about the Blessed Buddha Token as he headed in the direction of the Buddha Cavern.
The sacred cavern, or Buddha Cavern, was not located within the Imperial City which was on the south side, the Buddha Cavern was located opposite of it, on the north side.
One sits in the south and the other guards the north, a symmetry of resonance.
After another month's time, Huang Xiaolong reached one of the main cities surrounding the Buddha Cavern called Northside Merchant City.
The Buddha Cavern was a forbidden land, especially for outsiders. Still, this Northside City thrived nonetheless. Entering the city, Huang Xiaolong was welcomed with a sight of long endless lines of carriages and a sea of bustling pedestrians, from monks in kasaya robes to the commoners in a myriad of different styled clothing, Daoist priests in Daoist robes, even nuns. It was truly an eclectic mix.
After Huang Xiaolong entered the city, he stopped when passing by a restaurant called Creek of Cloud and went in. Opting for a table near the window, he sat down and placed an order with the waiter.
"You heard it right, the sacred cavern's altar appeared again!"
"The Blessed Buddha Altar appeared again! It had already been more than three hundred years it did not emerge!"
"Yes, ah, every time the Blessed Buddha Altar appears, it means a mutation must've happened inside the Buddha Cavern. I wonder who would so fortunate as to be selected by the Blessed Buddha Altar this time, I heard that the person selected by the altar can have an audience with our Great Emperor and be granted one wish!"
At this time, sounds of excited discussions floated into Huang Xiaolong's ears.
His curiosity rose, his heart was tempted.
Blessed Buddha Altar?!
"Waiter," Huang Xiaolong called for the waiter.
"This Young Master, what orders do you have?" the waiter scurried over to Huang Xiaolong, bowing and smiling in a courteous manner.
Huang Xiaolong threw a money bag containing several hundred gold coins to the waiter, asking: "The Blessed Buddha Altar that they mentioned, what is it?"
Catching the bag, the waiter lightly bounced the bag of money in the curve of his palm and a brilliant smile bloomed on his face, "Young Master must be from somewhere outside Blessed Buddha Empire, no? This Blessed Buddha Altar was something left behind by our empire founder Tianfu Emperor, appearing once every several dozen years or several hundred years. Anyone selected by the Blessed Buddha Altar is granted an audience with our Emperor Shi Fantian and could have one request fulfilled."
Huang Xiaolong listened and asked the waiter a few more questions related to the Blessed Buddha Altar. Awhile later, the waiter retreated whereas Huang Xiaolong fell into pensiveness. According to what the waiter said, the person who is chosen by the Blessed Buddha Altar would undergo a sanctification ritual by the sacred Buddhism energy within it, not only did it enhance one's cultivation, it was beneficial to one's cultivation path in the long term.
All these weren't the most vital point; the most important of all was Shi Fantian would grant the chosen person one request!
If he was chosen by the Blessed Buddha Altar, with that promised one request he could smoothly enter the Buddha Cavern!
Hence, Huang Xiaolong decided, first thing tomorrow morning, he would go and take a look at the Blessed Buddha Altar.
Difference: Monks' kasaya robes are usually one block color (saffron, red) while on a Daoist, the official robe has the Bagua Diagram depicted on them.
1. Fantian is often linked to Brahma, the Hindu God of Creator
2. Holy Prajna refers to "direct insight to the truth taught by Buddhism."