Chapter 33: Taking Action
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Zhao Ying’s pretty face turned sour. She creased her brows and looked at the shattered rock pieces before turning nervously to face Chu Li. “Could the girls be in danger, senior?”
Chu Li shook his head.
He had already checked the situation with the Omniscient Mirror. All one hundred and fifty girls inside the cave were untouched. They were sitting in the grand hall, looking downwards whilst mumbling prayers with their palms pressed together.
He also saw an old monk with a scar on top of his head wearing a grey cloak. He was big and looked fearsome. He sat opposite to the group of girls, his mouth mumbling prayers too.
Through the Omniscient Mirror, Chu Li could see that the old monk’s veins were glowing. It was a sign that he was a very skillful person and that his inner energy had been cultivated to close to its full potential. As things stood, the monk’s power was vastly superior to his own. He would not be an easy opponent.
“Is the maestro inside?” Zhao Ying asked.
Chu Li gave her a single nod.
Zhao Ying became worried. “He didn’t do anything to hurt them, right?”
“Not as far as I can tell… Come, let’s go in.” Chu Li took a big step into the cave as soon found himself standing right in front of the magnificent Raging Tiger hideout.
The old monk suddenly opened his eyes, his gaze as sharp as a blade. It would send shivers down anybody’s spine. His eyes glanced across the girls before he got up and walked out of the grand hall. He kept walking until he reached the base of the mountain, whereby he raised his head and saw Chu Li.
Chu Li stood on a nearby rock and watched him. Then, he cupped his hands together and said, “Who you are, monk? Why did you trespass into this place?”
“I am an ordinary monk, with a kind soul.” The old monk mumbled a word of prayer before staring coldly at Chu Li. “However, I am also curious, what are you two here for?”
Chu Li scoffed. “We are Scribes from the Yi Dynasty’s Federal Government. We just happened to stumble upon this place by accident. We saw that there was a gang of criminals around here, hence we are here to carry out our duties. We are here to get rid of the criminals and save the girls.”
Once he had learned of this monk’s identity, Chu Li quickly pulled out sophisticated government terms to help him craft an excuse.
“So, it was you who made that big hole in front of the Raging Tiger cave?” The monk’s eyes beamed brightly.
Chu Li nodded.
“Not bad. You’re young but you already possess great power, I am truly impressed!” The old monk said slowly. “I had come here with the intention to advise them to stop practicing such evil and start doing good. Unfortunately, they were already gone by the time I got her – I was but a few steps behind them. What a shame!”
Chu Li smiled. “Sir you have great wisdom. Unfortunately, they will not be able to hear any of it.”
“Hah… excuse me, but I sincerely believe that they should be given a chance to rid themselves of their bad behaviors and start fresh in life.”
“I have to disagree. You say to give them a chance, but have they ever given any chances to their victims? They have committed such a great deal of evil that even God cannot forgive them!”
“Amitābha. Do you believe in karma or reincarnation? There is a cause for every consequence.”
“Do you mean that the victims deserved to die? Then the same logic applies to the murderers!”
Zhao Ying cut them off impatiently. “My dear monk, please step aside. I need to see my sisters inside.”
The monk put his palms together and smiled. “The girls have already repented to Buddha. They have been purged of their sins and free from their sufferings. This is good news.”
“I need to speak to them.” Zhao Ying stressed.
“Please, go ahead!” The monk’s robe swayed lightly as he stepped out of the way.
Chu Li and Zhao Ying leaped down from the rock and landed gently on the ground. Then, they walked past the monk. Chu Li looked relaxed, but he was very determined and focused on the task at hand. He ready should the monk decide to attack them.
This old monk clearly did not have good intentions. He was from the Tempest Temple, one of the world’s Big Four religious institutions. They even called themselves the world’s best, so much so that nobody dared to challenge their integrity.
Chu Li feared the Tempest Temple, even after they had moved out of the Federal territory.
The three of them made their way to the grand hall. A hundred and fifty girls sat on futons, mumbling prayers. They looked solemn. Zhao Ying saw this and unconsciously slowed down her pace.
Chu Li let out a cough, breaking the solemn atmosphere of the hall.
The group of girls raised their head towards the sound. Their faces lit up with delight when they saw Chu Li and Zhao Ying.
A warm smile appeared on Zhao Ying’s face. She waved happily at the group of girls before calling out, “My sisters, I am here to free you all.”
One of the more senior girls stood up and asked, “Where to, Sister Zhao?”
“Brother Chu has purchased a big house in Chong Ming Town. All of you can move there to start a new life. We plan to turn the place into a restaurant in the future. You can choose to stay and work there if you please!.”
The girls became hesitant upon hearing this.
Zhao Ying smiled and continued, “Senior Chu said you all need to stand on your own feet, work hard and earn a living for yourselves. You could choose to either stay inside the house to be a maid or help serve in the restaurant. Put simply, you cannot just stay there and do nothing.”
The girls nodded in reply. They were more than willing to make a living with their own hands. Not being able to do anything was an ordeal for them. By making themselves busy at work, they could take their minds off the other more complicated matters.
“Sister Zhao, what about those who choose to stay behind?”
“This place is not safe. Anybody could walk in at any given moment. Take for example this monk, didn’t he just walk in here like it’s nobody’s business? Fortunately, he did not have bad intentions, if not, you all would be in grave danger.”
“Saviour Zhao, these girls have already devoted themselves to the teachings of Buddha, I, as a humble monk, would be more than willing to bring them to the nunnery so they could begin their practice, to get rid of the sins of their present life.” The monk said as he held his palms together.
Zhao Ying was shocked at his words. “A conversion?”
The monk gave her a single nod. “That’s correct. They are touched by the ways of the Buddha and have chosen to be followers.”
“You speak too soon, don’t you think?” Zhao Ying raised an eyebrow before taking a quick glance at the girls. However, they could only look back at her helplessly.
Zhao Ying immediately dragged the girl who had stood up earlier out of the hall and started whispering to her.
She made sure her voice was low enough when she questioned her. “Sister, what’s going on?”
Her name was Zhang Fu. She quickly shook her head at the question and whispered back, “He is an eminent monk of the Tempest Temple. He has a deep understanding of dharma. We just felt that what he preached to us made a lot of sense. Our present life was already miserable enough, so we might as well start repenting for a better next life.”
Zhao Ying looked uninterested in what she was saying and cut her off. “Just go to Chong Ming Town and start a new life. Sister Zhang, there’s still a lot to do in our present lives!”
“Sister Zhao, we have brought shame to our own bodies, we are destined to not have a bright future.”
“Nonsense! Senior Chu and I will not leave you all here. We are Scribes of the Public House!”
“A Public House of the Yi Empire?”
Zhao Ying slowly nodded. “That’s why there is no need to worry, we will take good care of all of you!”
Zhang Fu stared at her as Zhao Ying smiled. “What’s the matter, do we not look like Scribes?”
“I’m just surprised that the two of you are people from the Public House!” Zhang Fu shook her head and sighed. “If I had known this earlier, then we wouldn’t have worried that much.”
The Public House was regarded highly by society. They had great power and, because of this, demanded a lot of respect.
“Sister Zhang, why don’t you go and advise the other girls. You all have a great life ahead of you, why bother being nuns? Live life to the fullest!”
“Alright, I will.”
After the brief conversation, the two of them headed back to the hall. Zhang Fu lowered her voice and told the other girls what they had just discussed. The group of girls stared in awe at Chu Li and Zhao Ying, seemingly delighted with what they heard.
The monk’s face looked gloomy. He recited a word of prayer before shaking his head and sighing. “There is no end to your sea of suffering. Repent, dear girls, for you are still confused about your mistakes. How sad, how wasteful!”
Chu Li laughed. “Monk, one must be sincere in order to devote oneself to the Buddha. It cannot be done by coercion.”
“Saviour Chu, the leader of the Raging Tiger ravine, his blood is on your hands, right?”
“Not a bad guess!” smirked Chu Li.
“What kind of martial arts was he using?”
“Forgive me for my lack of knowledge. I did not recognize it.”
The monk suddenly scoffed angrily. “He was a traitor to the Temple!”
“Although he betrayed us, he was still one of our own. He possessed great skills, but since you were able to defeat and kill him, I would like to witness your abilities first hand.”
Chu Li laughed. “Don’t tell me you want to avenge his death?”
“Utter nonsense, savior Chu!” the monk shook his head. “The real reason I’m here is to get rid of the traitor himself. But since he was already taken care of, I can’t bear to return to the Temple empty-handed.”
“Monk, what are you implying?” Chu Li laughed. “Don’t tell me that traitors from your temple can only be dealt with by your own people, while outsiders like me have no rights to deliver the punishment.”
“Amitābha…” The monk held his palms together once again.
Chu Li grit his teeth angrily. “How arrogant!”
“Saviour Chu, this rule is not exclusive to our temple, the other religious institutions have the same rule as well!” The monk said defensively.
“Monk, do you want to end my life?”
“Of course not!” The monk shook his head. “He was a filthy traitor. You merely need to defeat me, then I will not cause you any more trouble.”
“What if I lose?”
“Then you’ll need to cut off an arm or a leg!”
“Interesting!” Chu Li laughed. “The mighty Tempest Temple has such brutal condition! Enough talk, let’s begin!”
“Let’s begin!” The monk started by holding his palms together as a sign of respect to his opponent. “Please give me your all, savior Chu, there’s no room for error!”
“Heh heh…” Chu Li let out a long laugh before unsheathing his sword.
Zhao Ying heard the declaration for battle and creased her eyebrows. She gave the monk a cold stare. “I thought you were a monk, impostor!”
Chu Li could only shake his head.
With the Omniscient mirror enchantment, he could see what was going on in his opponent’s mind. The monk was very cruel in nature, he said that he only wanted an arm, but in truth, he could not wait to take Chu Li’s life. If he lost the battle, he would end up dead!
He still could not believe his very eyes. The man before him looked like he was just another innocent monk with a kind soul, but he was so ruthless at heart. It was true what they said, that even Buddha’s teachings could not wipe away one’s true character.
“You asked for it!” Chu Li let out a cry before stabbing outward with his sword.
“Ding…” The sound of a palm deflecting a sword’s blow rang out sharply. His sword was steered away as a chilling feeling ran down the tip of his sword down to his hilt, before sending chills down his spine and into his heart.
Chu Li realized that the first stage powers of the Infinite Azure Sea were not enough. He quickly increased his efforts. Only after doubling his initial power was the sinister force that was creeping towards him stopped from reaching the depths of his heart.
What force! If that blow had landed on his chest, then it would surely be fatal.
Chu Li staggered two steps back, his face flushed from the clash. The power of his Infinite Azure Sea skill continued to increase in intensity. He took a deep breath and mustered just enough strength to give his opponent another taste of his sword.
The monk smiled as if he had anticipated the move. He gave it another hit from his almighty palm.
“Pom!” a different sound rang out. The monk’s eyes quickly widened as he took a step backward.
He quickly analyzed the blow he had just received and saw that he had been tricked by Chu Li. He had thought that Chu Li was struggling and could only manage a weak strike, but he was wrong. He did not expect Chu Li’s inner energy to be this strong.
Chu Li quickly followed up as he waved his sword and struck the monk’s shoulder.
“Ding…” it sounded like metal hitting metal. The long sword could not pierce the man’s skin.
Chu Li raised his eyebrow in shock. At that moment, he realized that he was facing a user of the Sentient Menace!