Sending the Divine

Sending the Divine

Chapter 51 - Disagreement

After a satisfying meal of red bean cakes, Sect Leader Shi found himself unable to sit still, as though nails were growing from beneath his seat. 

Having improved in his cultivation and with his beloved disciple by his side, he couldn't waste any happy moments. Since leaving the palace, Shi Jingzhi had never felt so content.

Only the Ku Mountain Sect knew about Yan Budu's letter left in Yuanxian Village. Even the mysterious figure in black had a clue in the form of the "Dustless Words" pointing to his identity. With several leads lined up, Shi Jingzhi was determined to unravel each one.

Usually, he would tirelessly chase after these leads alone, but now he was feeling satisfied and generous. 

So he contentedly said: "Ah Ci, you've been sitting for quite some time. Let's go out and clear our minds."

Yin Ci didn't bother pretending to be obedient anymore and casually stood up, saying, "Sure." 

"Let's go find Yan Qing and the others, it's been too long," said Shi Jingzhi as he pulled Yin Ci's hand.

The two of them walked through the forest like characters from a painting come to life. Unfortunately, characters from any painting wouldn't be dragging along such a ridiculously large Heart Demon. The human head lamp slowly moved, turning the painting of "Two Immortals Touring the Forest" into "Two Ants Walking Their Dog".

They hadn't walked far when the dog got stuck. 

The human head lamp, relying solely on the countless shadow hands on its base, couldn't pass through the narrow space. The uneven terrain at the mountaintop was full of strange peaks and rocks. 

The Heart Demon wavered and got stuck in a small valley, unable to move forward. The valley was shrouded in mist, obscuring the human head lamp like a third mountain that had appeared out of nowhere.

Shi Jingzhi hung his head in disappointment. "The misty scenery over here seemed quite nice, but it's fine, let's just turn back." 

Yin Ci extended a finger and pressed it against his lips, "Shh." 

His fingertip was warm, and Shi Jingzhi immediately stopped moving. 

Soon, he heard voices - Yan Qing and Su Si were on the other side of the mist, talking about something. He faintly heard words like "sect leader" and "Ku Mountain Sect," and Shi Jingzhi's curiosity was piqued.

After a long time, the two servants had caught a sturdy deer. They were afraid of offending taboos and didn't want to dirty the Buddha's head pond, so they had to dismember the deer on the spot. With the valley mist covering them, the two of them didn't notice the human head lamp.

Su Si's knife was extremely sharp, and he was faster than Yin Ci at separating the meat from the bones. He didn't stop talking while he worked, "San-zi, we still have time to leave the mountain."

Unlike his previous teasing tone, Su Si's voice was very serious this time. 

"Their skills are not much different from those of the real masters I've seen. They were able to overcome the Greedy Butterflies, and we weren't able to give them any help at all. Do you really want to risk your life just to carry their luggage?" 

Yan Qing silently wiped the meat with snow.

"If you don't want to leave the Ku Mountain Sect, we can wait outside the mountain. They are looking for clues on the mountain, and they may not be happy with outsiders knowing too much..." 

"I understand, you don't have to say it." 

Su Si's meat cleaver stopped. "What?" 

"Ah Si, how about this? I'll ask the sect leader for permission later to send you down the mountain first. You are following the Ku Mountain Sect now, partly because of me, right?" 

Yan Qing remained gentle as always. 

"Your Heart Demon is not convenient, and I don't want to implicate you. Rest well once you're outside the mountain and wait for us." 

Su Si completely stopped, his face looking a bit unpleasant. 

Seeing Su Si furrow his brow, Yan Qing quickly added, "Ah Si, I'm not looking down on you. Greed, anger, and ignorance are all things I want to overcome by following the sect leader on this journey."

"But based on what you said earlier, even with Taiheng Sect protecting you, you didn't want to venture into the Ghost Tomb."

"The Buddha's Heart Formation and the Ghost Tomb are completely different. There isn't as much malice."

"You're not a monk, how do you know there's no risk involved? If there really is no risk, how could it stop those demonic cultists? And as for malice, this time we're following the lead of Yan Budu. Those two specifically wanted for you, a descendant, to come along. Who knows what they have planned?" 

As Su Si bristled with anger, Yan Qing wisely changed the subject and stopped talking about himself. 

"The Jianchen Temple is known for its righteousness and compassion. Those two must have something to discuss and wouldn't do anything too extreme under the watchful eye of the monks. Besides, even if they are following Yan Budu's lead, they're all looking for the Shi Rou. Every sect is the same in this regard."

Su Si sneered, "Seeking the Shi Rou, will that really grant eternal life? In my opinion, those who desire such things must have something wrong with their heads."

"What do you mean?" Yan Qing asked.

"Those who seek immortality openly are either the emperor or the likes of Yan Budu, all of whom don't treat others as human beings. If life is difficult, even a lifetime would seem long. Even common people who desire long lives also need to hope for a life of blessings from the gods as a package. San-zi, ask yourself, do you really want to live forever?" 

Yan Qing shook his head slowly. 

"So, if you hadn't thought it through clearly, risking your life to find the Shi Rou is just foolish. If you've already thought it through and still risk your life to find it, then you must be as cunning as a ghost. No matter how you look at the Sect Leader, it's probably the latter, right?"

"He seems to be in poor health, maybe he just wants to cure himself."

"Who knows?" 

Yan Qing gave up on the conversation. Su Si no longer pretended to be childish, but his true nature was even more sharp than before. His words were aggressive, seeing everyone as suspicious, like a young animal with a broken leg caught in a trap.

"Let's go back first, we've been out for a while," Yan Qing tried to change the subject.

Unexpectedly, Su Si didn't fall for it. "Let's make things clear first."

"What do you mean?" Yan Qing asked.

"Should we leave the mountain early?" Su Si asked. 

After some thought, Yan Qing spoke confidently, "I'm not leaving, I need to gain experience. Otherwise, the next time we encounter danger, I'll just hold you back again."

"I don't mind you holding me back, you shouldn't have gotten involved in this in the first place."

"I trust my own judgment. Ah Si, you're not always right."

Su Si stood there in shock for a few seconds, his face turning pale.

Yan Qing quickly realized his mistake, "I didn't mean that one time..."

"Let's go."

"Ah Si!"

Su Si's voice was dry, "It's okay, since you've made up your mind, let's go back."

Not far away, Yin Ci's head was pounding. He felt that compared to these two inexperienced kids, Sect Leader Shi could be considered stable.

The stable Sect Leader Shi also didn't dare to greet them recklessly. He stood there for a while before choosing to bring Yin Ci with him, and the two of them left in unison. 

Half an hour later, when faced with two squabbling servants, Shi Jingzhi kept a calm demeanor, pretending to know nothing with a Buddha-like expression.

Yin Ci had figured out this person's character. Whenever he dealt with unfamiliar people, Fox Shi would spin one lie after another. But when it came to those close to him, he couldn't bring himself to be confrontational and was more cautious than anyone else.

Sure enough, after seeing Su Si and Yan Qing remain silent for a long time, Shi Jingzhi slowly made his way over to Yin Ci while roasting deer meat and asked, "Ah Ci, about those two..."

Yin Ci replied, "...Don't worry about them."

These two young ones were just that, young and inexperienced in expressing their emotions. It was awkward, but it was okay. Shi Jingzhi himself wasn't feeling quite right, and interfering now would only make things more complicated. 

Unexpectedly, Fox Shi pondered for a moment and spoke seriously, "It's a good thing that Yan Qing has ambition. If you have time, teach him a few moves. As for using internal energy, you can teach him on my behalf." 

"You can come teach him yourself." With no one around, Yin Ci didn't even bother to call him "Shizun". 

Shi Jingzhi suddenly became stern, "Ah Ci, I said I would only take you as my disciple, so I will have you. If I go teach Yan Qing, wouldn't that break the rules?" 

After speaking, he tore the roasted deer meat in half and gave one half to Yin Ci. The deer meat was ordinary and unremarkable, just like the previous few meals. 

However, the temperature was just right, probably becuase this cheap master had been paying attention. 

As Yin Ci chewed on the deer meat, he couldn't help but think of the fleeting glimpse he had seen during the day, and his tone softened, "It's fine, I'll teach him when there's time." 

With a smile on his face, Shi Jingzhi said, "Thank you." 

He didn't leave after that, but instead sat next to Yin Ci. In the past, he had always restrained his dependence on his disciple due to their master-disciple relationship. Now, without any worries, he relaxed openly like a bird finding its first branch after a long flight. 

Yin Ci took another bite of meat and covered up a smile at the corner of his mouth. The person next to him was warm, and he would occasionally shift like a wild animal trying to get closer but not knowing how. 

This journey was even more interesting than he had expected. 

"Greed, anger, and ignorance are nothing to fear," said Shi Jingzhi, leaning on Yin Ci with a hint of drowsiness in his voice. 

"Anger leads to hasty judgments, and ignorance leads to an inability to distinguish good from evil. Yin Ci, you are indifferent to worldly desires, and Yan Qing is honest and straightforward. Su Si, on the other hand, may fall into ignorance. If that happens, we'll help him out, and maybe he won't be thinking of running away all the time..."

After speaking, he startled and became alert: "Yin Ci, do you think these two boys, after arguing and with resentment against each other, will attract the attention of anger?"

"No, there are four of us in total, and the only one who is greedy is you, who has a 'Object Addiction.' Ordinary people's emotions and desires are not strong enough to attract the attention of the mountain demons. To attract the mountain demon of Anger, there must be years of resentment." 

As Yin Ci spoke, he suddenly felt regretful. If he could turn back time two hundred years, he would at least be able to lure out the anger demon of Huilian Mountain and take a good look at its appearance. Unfortunately, now all his love and hate were buried under thick ashes, unable to stir up any waves.

"Very good, very good. It seems that the descent from the mountain will be easier," said Shi Jingzhi, relieved after Yin Ci's explanation. 

It turned out that Shi Jingzhi was good at reading people's desires, but not so good at judging other emotions.

The next day, the four finally crossed the outermost mountain and headed towards the middle peak. Su Si and Yan Qing still maintained a cold standoff - they didn't have a falling out, but were extremely polite to each other, lacking the closeness they once had. 

Su Si's emotions were always intense, and he had a somewhat dark personality, but the good thing was that his moods came and went quickly. In the past, Yan Qing would have gone up to comfort this brother of his, but this time Yan Qing remained silent, with a stern expression, lost in thought.

Perhaps it was because he had confirmed that he would not give in to anger, after passing the test of the Greed Butterflies, Shi Jingzhi no longer hesitated. The group from the Ku Mountain Sect moved quickly and in no time they reached the top of the mountain peak, seemingly about to pass through without incident.

But Anger still arrived.

Unlike Greed, it did not make a grand entrance, and even when the group was immobilized, they could not catch a glimpse of it.

Author's note: 

Upon careful consideration, it dawned on me that greed, anger, and ignorance may not be the guardian demons of the mountain, but rather the peeler knives. 

Once caught in their grasp, there is no escape. 

Although San-zi cannot quite be called an onion that is to be peeled _(:з」∠)_


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