Long Live The Emperor!

Chapter 34

I Sat In The Snow, Smiling With a Flower In My Hand

The next day.

In a mansion within the Imperial Capital.

The great scholar fiddled with his beard, laughing as he said, “Eunuch Mei came with news last night. The Seventh Imperial Prince has indeed left through the east gates this morning in the direction of Leiyin Temple on Mount Meru. He would need three days for this trip. It looks like this Imperial Prince truly is friendless. Danger surrounds him and whatever path he takes has an ambush laid out for him.”

“That’s what he gets for coupling such quiet patience and huge ambitions. It is no surprise that those closest to him would turn their backs on him. This is a good opportunity for us to do something while he is away.”

The great scholar smiled. “There is no need to… since he won’t be coming back.”

After a thought, the great scholar added, “Even if he did return, the Imperial Emperor’s vanguard general tasked with stabilizing the Imperial City would have arrived by then. What can he do all on his own? Besides, there’s still the Ninth Imperial Princess. Even if he is able to slaughter his way out of here, it would be impossible for the Ninth Imperial Princess to do the same, right? Hahaha!”


“Doing nothing might be better than taking action, letting things loose might be better than tight control. Regardless, the end has been decided.”

“Master He, you are indeed wise, hahaha.”

The snow was fluttering all about. Xia Ji brought along the items left behind by Sorrowful. He was wearing black casual clothes as he rode his horse and left the Imperial City via the East gate, heading straight toward Mount Meru.

By the time he had arrived at Leiyin Temple, it was close to noontime.

He brushed off the snow that had draped his clothes and walked toward the fifth peak of Mount Meru.

The doors of Leiyin Temple were closed and there currently were no believers at the temple.

Xia Ji circulated his inner vitality to call out loudly.

“The Shang Dynasty’s Seventh Imperial Prince Xia Ji is here at the mountain as promised, come to read!!”

The voice, filled to the brim with vigor, sliced through the falling snow and covered the entire Leiyin Temple before dissipating in echo all around it. His calling voice fell clearly upon the ears of every single monk in the temple.

It was not long before the temple doors opened. Two novice monks stood on each side. They shot unfriendly looks toward the Seventh Imperial Prince. This prince had killed Sorrowful and destroyed Wen Kong’s meditative mind, how could they possibly be cordial toward him?

Xia Ji saw the door open and immediately took a step forward and entered the temple. The two novice monks rushed to close the doors behind him without delay.


The door shut tight, cutting off the ties between the worlds within and beyond.

Inside Leiyin Temple.

The abbot was in his kasaya and he held onto his monk’s staff. He was standing in front of the Sakyamuni Valuable Palace. Behind him was a huge, benevolent-looking golden Buddha, who was watching down at the young Imperial Prince who was walking in one step at a time.

“Amitabha, Your Highness has killed my senior, Sorrowful, and destroyed my junior, Wen Kong. Why would you still come here?”

“I’m here because of the promise between me and Wen Kong. If I won, the temple would lend me ‘The Secret of Tathagata’, but if I lost, I would return the monk’s staff, prayer beads, and sarira to him. He has lost, so I am here as promised.

“As for Sorrowful, he would never have died if he did not harbor great vileness within him.”

“I was intending to ask Your Highness, where did you obtain your Buddhist instrument?”

“What does it have anything to do with you?”

“I heard that Your Highness used this Buddhist instrument to create the Golden Palm of Buddha. This Golden Palm of Buddha has been recorded in Leiyin Temple’s books as a medium caliber Buddhist instrument, but has been long-lost. I’m just curious as to why Your Highness would have it.”

“Are you looking to take it from me?”

“Amitabha. If Your Highness is unwilling to say anything, I will not force you to.

“I had originally prepared to exchange the book with senior Sorrowful’s Buddhist instrument and sarira. Since Your Highness is here, well then… Yuan Zhi, take His Highness to the archive chamber to read the secret book.”

The little novice monk immediately replied, “Yes, abbot. Your Highness, please follow me.”

Xia Ji gave a wave of his hand and tossed Sorrowful’s prayer beads, monk’s staff, and sarira over.

The abbot caught them and replied with a curt ‘Blessed be’.

The little novice monk led the way as Xia Ji followed him deep into the temple.

They passed through a set of doors.

Then, two sets of doors.

Snow floated about, making the air look fuzzy. It was not long before Xia Ji’s black clothes were covered in white, but the inner vitality within him was filled to the brim and the white snow that had fallen on him slipped off on its own.

After the third set of doors, the little novice monk pointed to a little building afar and said, “Your Highness, that is where you need to go.”

Xia Ji lifted his head and saw the words ‘Archive Chamber’ and nodded slightly. He pushed open the doors and entered the chamber, but the moment he walked in, he frowned immediately. There were many bookcases in the dark. Even if there was no source of light, he could tell one thing.

There were no books on the bookcases, they were empty!

However, the moment he stepped into the chamber, the floor started to shine.

A gigantic, golden 卍 floated from the ground and his foot was stepping right in the middle of the symbol.

This 卍 was huge. Each arm of the symbol was a few hundred meters long as it rotated gradually. It lit up the entire chamber, even shining onto the snowy grounds outside of the chamber. It turned the Leiyin Temple, situated on the fifth peak of Mount Meru, into a shining beacon. The bright rays of light broke into the arch of the night sky.

At the same time, Xia Ji felt a strong binding sensation. Xia Ji lowered his eyes and saw a Sanskrit Chain had appeared from the ground without him realizing it. It was now entwined on his body, rendering him immobile.

“I didn’t come here uninvited. I am here because of a promise made. Is this the way Leiyin Temple treats its guests?”

Following his calm accusation, nine burning suns appeared around Xia Ji. They spun until all nine suns were hanging midair and then the nine became one, forming a blazing flame of energy that could only have been created by two comets colliding. It circled about in different layers and shot out madly in all corners like a raging wind whistling about.

Everything, including the bookcases, tables, and wooden pillars, was engulfed in this vast energy and were blown up into smithereens as the pieces scattered wildly into the distance!

Boom, boom, boom!

Boom, boom!!!

The empty archive chamber had been completely obliterated by his energy amidst the booming sound of an explosion, and it collapsed into ruins.

Even though the energy of the inner vitality was powerful, it was not able to loosen even an inch of the chain that was binding him.

Clearly, the chain was not binding the physical body.

Xia Ji was not planning to loosen the bind using this method. All he wanted to do was to take a good look around him.

Without the covers of the building, everything became much clearer. On the side of the 卍, sat four old monks, and behind the monks sat many other monks.

All the monks had their heads lowered with a wooden fish in each of their hands as they chanted Buddhist scriptures. The chanting voices and the sound of the wooden fish formed into waves of golden dust as they flowed toward the golden 卍 on the ground.

“Your Highness, it is useless. Just stay with us on Mount Meru for a while.”

The abbot walked forward slowly, clutching his staff. He stood at a distance, observing the Imperial Prince bound up at the center as he smiled. He formed a gesture of respect and said, “Amitabha.”

Xia Ji said, “Is this the Array of Spellbinding Formation?”

The abbot replied, “Not bad. To think Your Highness can recognize it. This is Leiyin Temple’s Demon Suppressing Formation. Once one enters the formation, they would no longer be in control. With that, maybe Your Highness can now make things clear with me. Where did Your Highness’s Buddhist instrument come from? It belongs to Leiyin Temple and should be returned to its original owner.”

The snow filled the air.

Atop the pitch-black peak stood numerous ancient temples.

However, in the middle of the golden glow, there was a young Imperial Prince who was bound up. There was no sign of anger on his face, nor was there hatred. There was only calmness.

He asked casually, “I had just descended from Mount Meru when you announced your judgment to the Imperial Palace. Today, I have come to Meru as promised, but you’re greeting me with this formation. Why is that?”

The abbot said calmly, “The Seventh Imperial Prince is supposed to be a dead man. You should have died on the city walls. A member of the Imperial family dying on the city walls would have ignited an outcry throughout the country. After that, Your Highness’s older brothers would have sought revenge on your behalf and brought order onto the lands, and the Imperial Capital will recover.”

“Unfortunately, Your Highness has gone against heaven’s will and prevented Guifang from invading the city. This is truly a shame. All I’m doing now is to right the wrongs that have happened.”

Xia Ji said, “Monk, you did not help to guard the city, nor did you help us fight the exotic tribes, yet now, you’re blaming me for succeeding in protecting the city?”

The Abbot replied, “Every bite and sip is preordained. This was supposed to be a major catastrophe faced by the Imperial Capital. Be it myself, the Director of Astronomy, or the junior astronomers, all of our lives are preordained. Since this is a major catastrophe, we should go with the flow as this is our fate. No one can fight against it. After this catastrophe, the Shang Dynasty will reach new heights—greater and brighter than before—under the leadership of our new emperor, and defeating Guifang would be just the beginning!”

“However, the Seventh Imperial Prince has made a mess of this situation.”

“That is why, it’s not that I have no mercy, but I am granting you the biggest mercy. Your Highness was arrogant enough to think that you have protected the city, but in fact, you have disrupted a large-scale turning point of fate.”

Xia Ji lifted his head as he laughed uproariously. “So, I shouldn’t have protected the city? I should have just allowed the exotic tribes to slaughter the people and destroy the city?”

“I shouldn’t have lived, but instead deserved to die at the top of the city walls?”

The Abbot answered, “The slaughter and destruction in your eyes is new life, reincarnation, and birth and death in my eyes. How can new life begin without death and destruction?”

Xia Ji heaved a light sigh. The monk in front of him had revealed an important piece of information.

The sentence he had said, “Be it myself, the Director of Astronomy, or the junior astronomers, all of our lives are preordained. Since this is a major catastrophe, we should go with the flow as this is our fate. No one can go against it” had too many hidden implications.

Xia Ji had even begun to suspect that the Imperial Emperor’s retreat, even the death of the Heir Apparent and his hundred thousand soldiers at Wolf Restraining Pass, were more than meets the eye.

Xia Ji said, “Let me ask one last question. I wonder, who might this new and never-before-seen glorious future emperor of the Shang Dynasty that you mentioned be?”

The abbot said, “Your Highness will meet him. He had, after all, only asked of me to trap you and not to kill you. Now, could Your Highness tell me where you obtained that Buddhist instrument?”

Xia Ji lifted his head to look at the sky. “Abbot, do you know how the Buddhist instruments at Leiyin Temple are made?”

The abbot said, “Naturally, they were refined with great wisdom and great perseverance by Leiyin Temple’s many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas since Ancient Times.”

Xia Ji continued, “Do you know what is great wisdom and great perseverance?”

The abbot replied honestly, “I do not. I am, after all, neither Buddha nor Bodhisattva.”

The moment he said this, Xia Ji suddenly said, “Then let me teach you.”

His words were calm, yet sonorous, much like Arhats ringing the large bells in the temple above the clouds. The sound rang within the ears of all the monks.

The abbot was shocked as he took two steps backward. The Shang Dynasty’s Seventh Imperial Prince before him now looked completely different from before. His thumb and index finger touched firmly together, like an unmovable mountain, while the rest of his fingers spread out naturally in a relaxed manner, like the floating clouds in the sky. He had actually created a Mudra of Tathagata’s Teachings.

“Listen to my teachings.”

His voice was like thunder as it boomed through the snowy night.

As the echo of his voice started to dissipate, the Zen-ness surrounding Xia Ji bloomed like a twelfth-grade lotus. It was vast and boundless, much like a great river or sea flooding miles of the surroundings.

The raging storm and fiercely-falling snow sensed his mind and suddenly fell silent.

Hundreds of Buddha’s statues within the ancient temple sensed his mind and had started buzzing in unison.

The little beasts in the snow sensed his mind and popped up their small heads from their hiding holes and caves with their paws placed together as they stared out into the mountain peak in the distance.

A great golden augmented shadow of a Buddha appeared behind the Imperial Prince.

Both of the Buddha’s feet and insteps were on the thighs as the sole of both feet faced the sky. He sat still in meditating form with his fingers forming a Mudra of Teachings. Both his eyes were shut as he rode the path of truth to attain samadhi. He appeared to be in deep sleep, emanating an aura of extreme serenity and peace.

Atop all four of the wheels of the gigantic, golden wording of 卍, the old monks and the other monks were still chanting. However, this time their chanting quickened and their frowns turned tighter by the minute.

Every single Sanskrit chain tightened, however, this time, the one bound up was no longer the Seventh Imperial Prince of the Shang Dynasty, but the divine form of Tathagata.

A shocked look appeared on the face of the usually tranquil abbot. He felt an intense fear creeping within him. He wanted to point at the person in front of him and shout out “unorthodox and evil ways”, but he did not dare to because Tathagata’s reveal of the true meaning of fear was right in front of his eyes. Buddha was right there in front of him, how could he possibly shout out this accusation?

Amidst the snowstorm.

Xia Ji sat cross-legged on the ground. He was Tathagata and Tathagata was him. He closed his eyes and Tathagata closed his eyes as well.

Suddenly, the hand of Tathagata reached out into the snowy weather and picked a flower, bringing it close to his nose. A slight crack appeared on the lids of his closed eyes. A smile abruptly appeared on the Buddha’s face.

He smiled with a flower in his hand.

A powerful and vast spirituality erupted all around him as it moved along the entangling twines of the Sanskrit Chains and flowed toward all the monks.

The many monks seated on the golden 卍 could not bear the direct hit of this vast spirituality and at that moment, the spirituality suddenly burst into its highest flames and quickly died out. It only took a while and all the monks now bore white eyebrows, had dry and wrinkly skin, and looked extremely fragile with old age. There was a look of fear and shock in their eyes.

The 卍 gradually spun slower and finally exploded into dust, even the chains had turned into dust simultaneously.

With a change of the mind, Xia Ji made Tathagata’s augmented shadow vanish. He looked at the abbot, who had knelt in panic in front of him, and later glanced around at the monks whose eyebrows had turned white. He asked calmly, “Do you understand now?”

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