Chapter 148: Harmonizing Flute Lullabies
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
"So he's the inside man that we have. According to our reports, his cultivation level is at the full circle foundation and he is looking to break through the gates of heaven soon. It doesn't matter that his cultivation is better than his fighting capabilities, as we can still use him. It's just that he's afterall a member of the Free Cloud Sect. Would he betray us as well, and cause us to fail in our plan and even lose our lives?" Qin Gao spoke out, sounding worried.
"There's no need to worry. The Enchanted Talisman that I gave to him is extremely effective. Master only has a total of three of those talismans. He knew beforehand that I would encounter some difficulties and intentionally handed one to me!" Shi Mu Zhong explained after hearing Qin Gao's doubts. He then continued speaking, "An item like that is a curse that would erode his morals and logical thinking. The curse would continue to flourish with increased hatred within his heart. The more he hates, the deeper the curse would delve, and the more effective it would be. Based on my own observations, the curse had been etched rather deeply into his heart. At this point, he probably hates him as much as we do."
Shi Mu Zhong then waved his hands, "In fact, we shall cause him to do all the wrong things and play the role of evil person. Even if he snaps out of it, it will be too late for him to extricate himself from the situation he finds himself in."
"Mister Shi's plans are the best after all. But to use such a precious item for Pei Zi Yun, Mister Shi really has a heart for the plans of Young Master Xie." Qin Gao looked at Shi Mu Zhong and spoke.
"When the time comes, I wonder what the look on Pei Zi Yun's face will be when he sees his own sect's Senior Brother killing him." Shi Mu Zhong spoke out before thinking to himself and laughing loudly.
"I'm sure when the time comes, his expression must be priceless." Qin Gao started laughing too.
The both of them had failed in their endeavors several times when it came to Pei Zi Yun and bore no small amount of ill will and negative sentiments towards him. When Shi Mu Zhong finished laughing, he waved his hands once more and said, "But, even if we have an inside man that would soon be driven crazy by hatred, we still might not be able to kill him. We have to plan a way for him to walk right into our ambush, and force him into the corner of our plans. Only when he's completely taken aback will we able to kill him, since he would not be able to react in time."
"The last thing we want is for him to reverse the situation on us and cause us to start fleeing for our own lives."
"Oh, if Mister Shi has a plan, please tell me about it." Qin Gao's eyes lit up. He himself was aware of the number of times they had failed and felt somewhat guilty as well.
"This is what we shall do...." Shi Mu Zhong leaned close towards Qin Gao and whispered into his ears.
Qin Gao listened attentively, his heart had clearly been won over by the plan and was convinced, "Mister Shi is even able to think of such a plan, I really admire your talents. When the time comes, we shall kill him once and for all."
On the third day of the tenth month every year was the day of celebrations for the Patriarchs who had the title of Dao Masters. Now however, was the first grand celebration for the Patriarchs who had just attained the new title of True Sovereign. At this point, everywhere within a fifty meter radius had people coming up to offer their incense. Merchants and businessmen had all arrived earlier to offer their sacrifices and incenses. People were buying and selling incense to offer, where drums, auspicious characters filled the entire area.
And the the people who came were not all normal citizens as well. Since this year was a special year in which the Sect had been ordained with the title of True Sovereign, the government officials led by the County Magistrate came to celebrate and enjoy the festivities as well. Under such a situation, Pei Zi Yun found himself having to play host, and could not leave as he wanted. In fact, he became the leading host.
This was because Pei Zi Yun was the Top Scorer and his reputation had spread far and wide. He had even met with the Emperor and impressed him. To the minor officials, even the Sect Leader was just a normal Daoist. However, they were extremely impressed with Pei Zi Yun and all of them saluted him with utmost reverence and respect.
The government officials came to pay their respects before seating around the many tables scattered across. Although the County Magistrate was just a seventh ranked official, he had High Scholar status, and came to hold meaningful conversations with Pei Zi Yun. Back in Pei Zi Yun's previous life, vegetarian banquets were very common among both Buddhism and Daoism. Ever since Emperor Wu Liang of the Liang Dynasty established that Buddhism was to be the common religion across the land, he erected thousands of temples across the nation and allowed the hundreds of thousands of monks to live off the nation. Soon after, he had been unable to support these monks any longer and thus mandated that they were to consume solely vegetarian meals. That was the origin of Buddhist monks having regular vegetarian banquets.
In this world, Emperor Liang Wu didn't exist and thus the monasteries didn't prepare a vegetarian banquet. Although the food was somewhat light, there were still a variety of meat presented. Wine was served all the way till the afternoon when people started dispersing.
After Pei Zi Yun was done playing host to the guests, he finally had some time to himself. When he looked far ahead, he saw more people coming towards the main hall. The amount of incense that had been burnt filled up the entire hall, causing the area to feel stuffy and hot. He hurriedly walked out to get a breather. When he stepped out, he turned around to look at the monastery, and saw the signboard atop the entrance. He then sighed, "After being conferred the additional title of True Sovereign, the donations received by the officials would amount up to at least three thousand silver taels. Including the donations made by the public, there would be at least a total of five thousand silver taels."
"Although this festivity happens once a year, the sect earns about ten thousand silver taels just by selling incense daily."
"This money is more than enough to allow the hundreds of Daoists living under the monastery roof to live comfortably. In fact, the monastery is able to make yearly renovations. It's no wonder that the sect seems to be flourishing in wealth."
Some distance away, a gust of cool wind blew across, gently causing the trees to sway. At this point Yu Yun Jun walked across, looking for Pei Zi Yun. When she finally got his attention, she called him over, "Today, I bring you good news. I have some news on your childhood sweetheart."
"Master, could it be that Ye Su'er has come to Free Cloud Sect?" Pei Zi Yun asked excitedly.
"You do not usually grace us with your presence so often. And now seeing you so excited, it must be that you are eager to find her. She did not come to Free Cloud Sect. It's just that..." Yu Yun Jun paused right at the crucial moment. Pei Zi Yun listened attentively, his heart had been stirred. Seeing that his Master chose to pause at the opportune timing, he looked up at her face before tapping her on her shoulder, "Master, please tell me the rest!"
"You ah, you ah!" Yu Yun Jun seemed to be rather pleased as opened her mouth to speak. Just then, a voice interrupted hers, "Aunt, do not tell him. He's been gone from us for so long, when he returned he didn't even bother to pay his respects to his Senior Sister and Master."
Chu Xia stood up, her brows were creased as if she was not too pleased.
"Senior Sister, the last time I saw a toy that you might like. It was huge. I shall buy it for you next time." Pei Zi Yun hurriedly said.
"Hmm!" Chu Xia seemed more dissatisfied, "I don't want any toys."
"Okay Chu Xia, that's enough. Zi Yun, Ye Su'er has reached Peach Blossoms Origin Monastery. This very monastery's name had been chosen by you... Peach Blossoms Origin!"
"Many thanks Master." Pei Zi Yun's face depicted clear elation.
"Don't be too excited yet. Ye Su'er's Master, Daoist Su Qing brought her down from their mountains, and is currently residing within the Peach Blossom Origins Monastery. Daoist Su Qing is known to be very upright and pure, and might not let you see her." Yu Yun Jun said.
"I'm sure I can get to see her. Allow me to leave, Master. Besides, I've already waited on all the guests and played host to them for long enough." Pei Zi Yun then bade farewell before turning to leave, his heart felt light and and happy.
Seeing his shadow gradually disappearing, Yu Yun Jun seemed somewhat depressed. All of a sudden, she heard the sound of wailing. When she looked up, she saw Chu Xia crying some distance away.
"Little Xia, come here into my arms." Yu Yun Jun said as she opened her arms out, and received Chu Xia with a big hug.
"Aunt, I'm already fourteen years old. Why does Junior Brother still treat me like a little girl?" Chu Xia then started weeping into the embrace of her aunt.
"Run!" Pei Zi Yun urged his horse onwards as the trees around him turned into a blur. He had been riding for the past few days, speeding towards Peach Blossom Origins.
Pei Zi Yun rode across the meandering roads before seeing an entire forest full of dense peach blossoms. When he rode closer to the peach blossom forest, he hastily pulled the reins on the horse to a halt.
"Up ahead is where Peach Blossom Origins Monastery is." Pei Zi Yun whispered to himself. He had been riding here continuously for two days, and travelled more than a few hundred kilometers. And yet now that he was several meters away from Ye Su'er, he hesitated.
Not far away was a creek, which was flowing with water. He stood atop a rock and allowed the water to flow beneath his feet. He was deep in thought, wondering why hehad turned timid after getting so close to his love. He was afraid to finally meet her again after two years. He was afraid that they would feel distant and even foreign to each other. Was there a chance that they would no longer have the same feelings as they had all those years ago?
Just as Pei Zi Yun was deep in thought, pacing back and forth frantically, he heard the lone sound of a flute being played. The melody pierced through the woods and reverberated all across. Based on the way it was being played, Pei Zi Yun could tell that the person playing had just started learning how to play, the tune was pure and fresh.
'What a familiar feeling. All those years ago, I didn't know how to play the flute, but she knew how to. There were many nights she would play the flute, while I would listen quietly in awe.Two years later, and the sound of her flute remains the same. It seems like she didn't make much improvement!'
'It's just that, even without any improvement, we're still of the same standards when it come to playing the flute.'
'That warm and familiar feeling, all those memories. I can tell from her tune that she's missing me and hoping to see me.'
Pei Zi Yun smiled before whispering to himself, "Your heart is in such a mess."
As he spoke, he retrieved his own flute and started playing.
In the monastery, the smell of autumn was extremely dense. After lunch, the Sect Leader and the Monastery Leader were talking leisurely.
"Sect Leader, you know of what we do as well. We help women with problems and try to resolve it for them. I've been here for almost two years and have seen my own fair share of women. There are some who are hardworking, and others who are meticulous. But thus far, I have yet to meet one who's able to plan, and with good foresight. Especially not anyone who can understand the grand scheme of things with intelligence."
"In other words, most of the disciples I've accepted are weak in character and often can't grasp the concept of the grand scheme of things. If they were to be handed to Sect Leader to be taught, they might not make it out alive."
The Sect Leader sighed, "There are indeed too few intelligent people. Although I admire people with a keen eye for details, for they are extremely capable for day to day tasks, they would not be able to survive for long in the outside world."
"It took me a good five years before I finally understood this, and I'm not ashamed to admit it."
"What about Ye'er?" The monastery leader was stunned that the Sect Leader had implied she had not met anyone talented.
The Sect Leader clapped her hands together before whispering, "This child has amazing innate talents that astonished me. However, whether she can eventually lead is hard to say for now. Besides, she cares too much about relationships and cares too much for everyone, especially with regards to that Pei Zi Yun."
Even before her sentence had been completed, they could hear the flute playing, "See, she's playing the flute again, as a sign of how much she misses him. This lady, once she's in love with someone it's very hard to extricate her away."
"Give her time and be patient. She will eventually come to her senses. Besides, she's still young." The monastery leader consoled. She then paused as if thinking of what to say next. In the next moment, they heard the sound of another flute playing and she burst out into a giggle, "Speak of the devil."
The both of them quietened down, listening to the flutes playing.
The melody of the flute was clearly one of sentiments and longing. When they both played together, it was clear that the other flute was better and more polished than her. The melody wafted throughout the entire air, enveloping the surrounding with their loving tunes.
They then paused before each taking turns to play. After one was done, the other would reply in similar fashion. It was a light hearted tune, as they went back and forth before joining their tunes in harmony.
The monastery leader then laughed, "Senior Sister listen, Ye Su'er and Pei Zi Yun are playing the flute, and yet sounds like the Qin and Sen playing together, as if they were doing a sort of marriage initiation."
"A flute is a flute, and the Qin Sen is a Qin Sen. How could you compare them like that? This girl is not conscientious enough when it comes to cultivating, and had always been dreaming about leaving the mountain to pursue her lover. She even learnt how to play the flute to express her love and longing for him." The Sect Leader spoke coldly, clearly displeased and unhappy.
Hearing these words, the monastery leader of the Peach Flower Origins laughed, "My dear Senior Sister, please stop with your sharp tongue but soft heart. If you had really hardened your heart towards the pair, would you still have brought Ye Su'er down from the mountains? Since you've brought her here, you must've know that your soft heart has won."