A series of large round buddhist beads hung around Monk Dazhi’s neck. If he didn’t look like an accomplished monk before, then just by wearing these beads, others would be convinced that he was one.
Buddhist lights flashed inside these beads as if there was a Buddha inside each of them, sitting in a solemn pose. Sometimes, loud chants could be heard.
Whether he was an accomplished monk or not, these buddhist beads alone commanded respect from others.
Monk Dazhi was the abbot of the Great Wisdom Temple, but the reality was that he was the only one that was part of this temple. The abbot was him, the monk was him, and the servant was him as well. 1
Although the temple was built right outside of the village, Monk Dazhi was not from this part of the world. Rumor has it that Monk Dazhi came from the northern Misty Field, undergoing a harsh pilgrimage all the way to the village. In the end, he said that this village had a fateful connection with him, so he immediately built the Great Wisdom Temple right outside and became its abbot and sole monk.
It was said that his dharma was unlimited. A villager once saw him subdue a white tiger that was turned into his mount.
After the village head invited Monk Dazhi to the backyard, he said: “Wise Monk, this is the spot. The shadow would sometimes appear here at random times; sometimes during the day and sometimes at night.”
After hearing the village head’s story, Monk Dazhi used his fingers to calculate. Then, he placed his palms together while giving the appearance of a high monk: “Amitabha, oh merciful Buddha. Benefactor, this monk has calculated something with regards to this ghost for you. It is a hungry ghost. This hungry ghost died from starvation. How about this, Benefactor should host a great feast so that this monk can lead it out to see if I can help it move on.”
Having heard this, the old village head did not prolong the conversation and went with his wife to prepare a feast. They immediately prepared it at the backyard.
“Amitabha, merciful Buddha!” After seeing this large feast laid out in front of him, he placed his palms together again and started to speak: “Benefactor, a hungry ghost is not easy to deal with. When I lead him out and perform my ceremony, I hope that there will not be another person present, lest the ghost attack. It is not good if someone else becomes wounded!” With this, he took out a ceremonial sword while chanting incantations as if he wanted to communicate with the ghost.
“Then I will leave everything to Wise Monk!” The old village head quickly left with his wife after listening to the monk.
After the couple left, Monk Dazhi put away his ceremonial sword and quickly rubbed his palms together. After seeing that no one else was around, he cheerfully laughed: “Amitabha, amitabha, the Buddhist path is merciful, meat and wine are poison, but this monk had always been aiming for the Buddhist path with only love in my heart. I will temporarily take all of the poison in the ghost’s stead!” With this, he rolled up his sleeves and grabbed a big fat duck to take a big bite.
Not too long after, the feast on the table was completely devoured by Monk Dazhi. His mouth was covered with grease so any resemblance of a high monk quickly disappeared.
However, the village head’s backyard becoming “haunted” was not due to a ghost, it was because of Li Qiye. He was in a heavenly grotto trying to refine the primordial chaos that wanted to break out from the inside. Because of this, others were able to see a floating image of a ghost as the primordial chaos was about to escape outside.
Li Qiye chose this place as his stopping point for a reason; there was a secret at this location. The Soaring Remembrance Village had an amazing heavenly grotto; it was an independent space — an absolute domain.
This place was related to a particular secret that had something to do with Immortal Emperor Fei Yang during the Desolate Era.
Immortal Emperor Fei Yang was one of the oldest Immortal Emperors of the human race. Coming from the Nantian Clan of the Grand Middle Territory, he achieved his dao during the Desolate Era. But despite this, he had never acknowledged that he was one of its disciples.
What was even more interesting was that after he left the clan, he never returned even after he became an Immortal Emperor.
The Nantian Clan’s attitude was also very strange. During the emperor’s generation and many long ones after it, they never announced that Immortal Emperor Fei Yang was one of the clan’s disciples to outsiders.
It was not until much later that they dared to tell others that the emperor was their disciple and their pride.
Nevertheless, the clan did not receive any inheritance from the emperor, and his lineage did not go back to the Nantian Clan.
The matter between the emperor and the Nantian Clan, along with some of the emperor’s later tales, became unknown riddles.
However, even though outsiders were ignorant, Li Qiye was not. He also knew some secrets about Immortal Emperor Fei Yang.
Immortal Emperor Fei Yang was just like his title — an unbridled and free individual. 2 During his youth, he did many controversial things that became hot topics of discussion in future generations, including stealing and swindling.
Rumor has it that the young Immortal Emperor Fei Yang’s mouth could even spew out lotus flowers capable of changing black to white and amazing rhetorics. Even the stone buddha from the Buddhist Funeral Plateau was swindled by him, so one could easily imagine his articulate speech. 3
Moreover, his luck with women was also great. Before becoming an Immortal Emperor, countless women’s hearts swayed because of him; among them, there was no shortage of princesses, saintesses, fairies, and even those with great backgrounds, including descendants from Immortal Emperor lineages.
But despite having many women throughout his life, the strange part was that he did not marry anyone throughout his life even after becoming an Immortal Emperor.
Since time immemorial, there were not that many emperors who didn’t have descendants, and Immortal Emperor Fei Yang was one of them. He was the type who had a lot of women but did not marry.
A person who loves too much would end up being loveless. This issue was the source of a lot of turmoil and gossip for future generations. 4
Soon after becoming an emperor, a certain matter occurred unbeknownst to the rest of the world. Among his women, there were many with supreme intelligence, and one of them used an unimaginable method to steal the seed of Immortal Emperor Fei Yang. After bearing his child, this woman did not ask for an official title from the emperor and instead disappeared from this world. From that point forth, no one saw her again.
This peerlessly intelligent woman was very much in love with Immortal Emperor Fei Yang. She bore his child not to become the empress nor his wife. She quickly left the emperor and went into hiding in order to raise his child to continue his bloodline.
This woman disappeared for many years in this world. No one knew that she was living in seclusion in the mortal world and had turned into an ordinary mortal.
Eventually, this woman passed away. Her offspring with Immortal Emperor Fei Yang also did not become a cultivator, but rather thrived as a mortal.
The village built by her was named the Soaring Remembrance Village. Its name signified her memories and longing for Immortal Emperor Fei Yang. However, this old tale did not just end here. Very few things in this world could escape the gaze of an Immortal Emperor, and this also applied to Immortal Emperor Fei Yang.
He knew about this matter and also knew where this woman was living, but he chose to do nothing.
It was not until much later, after the lady had passed away and his descendants — as mortals — had prospered at the village for generations that he acted. It could have been because this woman’s persistent love for him moved him, it could also be that the descendants carried his bloodline… Regardless of the reason, Immortal Emperor Fei Yang laid out a supreme spell at the village.
An Immortal Emperor exerted countless efforts to perform a spell at this location and left behind many things. This supreme spell remained active for millions of years at this location and had always been quietly protecting this village.
Because of this, the village had produced many geniuses. Many great characters came to visit the village as well.
However, despite all of this, they were all just fleeting passengers to the village. No matter who came and went, nothing could break the tranquility of the village under the spell’s protection; nothing could stop the village from being a paradise in this world.
Tens of millions of years went by again. Generation after generation in the village, Immortal Emperor Fei Yang’s descendants had multiplied, but the village remained peaceful and unknown.
This whole thing was odd because, despite the supreme spell and the presence of many treasures, the emperor did not pass on any cultivation methods to his descendants.
Later on, the village did produce some cultivators, and some great ones at that. However, they did not come from Immortal Emperor Fei Yang’s dao lineage. Instead, they were recruited by other great powers from the outside world, and they had no relationship with the emperor.
An eternity had passed, perhaps no one else knew the secret of the Soaring Remembrance Village. Even those who knew of this secret during the emperor’s generation were no longer of this world.
However, Li Qiye was one of those who knew this secret, and he was also someone who had survived to the present era!
1. Raw says fire-starter, so it is someone who heats up the fire for cooking or bathing, but I think servant is close enough. 2. Fei Yang means soaring. 3. Changing black to white is a metaphor for being masterful with speech, as is this whole paragraph. Lotus flowers cannot change colors, but he can manage to convince people otherwise. 4. A guy who loves too much/many people doesn’t really love anyone or knows how to love.