Sending the Divine

Sending the Divine

Chapter 55 - Kongshi

After Yan Budu finished speaking, a young monk emerged from the wind and snow and stepped into the cave. 

He carried a large, gray-green sword on his back, which appeared to have never been unsheathed and was likely forged from the Muyan stone. Despite his tall stature, he did not appear bulky. Standing there in the wind and snow, he resembled a solitary peak that had stood there since ancient times.

Upon closer inspection, the monk had a handsome and resolute appearance, with deep facial features. There was a prominent scar on his right cheek, but his demeanor did not seem aggressive.

It was Monk Kongshi.

Yin Ci recognized him. A hundred years ago, he went by the name "Su Zhi" and was one of the "Four Heroes of the Jianghu" along with Yan Budu, Kongshi, and Qu Tinglei. Except for Qu Tinglei, who was over fifty years old, the other three were all in their prime.

They were formidable and full of youthful vigor, and were considered the pinnacle of martial arts since the founding of the country. 

But the good times didn't last long. Yan Budu, in order to build the Ghost Tomb, stirred up a bloody storm that affected half the country and defeated countless masters with his own strength. The reclusive Jianchen Temple finally intervened and sent Kongshi to capture Yan Budu. 

The monks intended to imprison him in the temple's dungeon and publicly try him, sentencing him to a lifetime of imprisonment.

Yin Ci remembers the aftermath of this story. 

The monks never gave up, but Yan Budu was not taken to Jianchen Temple. It is likely that he killed Kongshi. After that, Yan Budu disappeared, leaving only Qu Tinglei and himself as the remaining two young heroes in the martial world. 

They shone like shooting stars in the dark night, dazzling and falling quickly. 

When Yin Ci was still "Su Zhi", his actions were a mix of good and evil, but he knew when to stop and was therefore accepted by the righteous path. He had never fought against the monk Kongshi and knew nothing about him, so he couldn't guess the secret of his death - no one knew how or where Kongshi died. 

Even today, the Jianchen Temple is still searching for the young monk's remains. 

Could this be the answer to the mystery? 

Yin Ci couldn't help but sit up straighter, but unfortunately he had the soft and flimsy Shi Jingzhi hanging on him, which added some difficulty to the movement. 

Kongshi was dressed in tattered clothes and covered in sword marks, but his aura was quite calm. Compared to the disheveled Yan Budu, he looked more like he had come to enjoy the snow. 

He sat opposite Yan Budu, adjusted his clothes, and began to silently recite scriptures. 

This one recitation lasted for most of the day. 

Shi Jingzhi couldn't hold on any longer. He curled up and rested his head on Yin Ci's thigh, sleeping soundly. Yin Ci continued to meditate, playing with Shi Jingzhi's hair while staring at the seemingly still scene in front of him.

After several hours of sleep, Shi Jingzhi finally woke up and took a deep breath. He pulled his hair out of Yin Ci's grasp and rubbed his eyes, asking, "How has it been?"

Yin Ci replied, "They haven't said a word since."

Shi Jingzhi: "...How long has it been already? Yan Qing and Su Si's memories also weren't short, but even then they could piece together the Heart Demons in no time. Are we going to stay here and wait for him to recount everything? Ah Ci, we have no food or drink here..." 

Yin Ci felt like his master had multiplied his nagging after developing his Heart Demon. It was good that Shi Jingzhi was willing to rely on him, but he hadn't quite grasped the right degree of dependency and wanted to spill all his thoughts and feelings.

Despite having such an energetic person causing a ruckus by his side, Yin Ci couldn't bring himself to be annoyed. 

He patted Shi Jingzhi's arm and said, "Don't worry, since Yan Budu wants to leave a message, he won't kill the messenger... Why don't you close your eyes and feel your body's condition?"

Shi Jingzhi followed his advice and closed his eyes, but immediately became agitated, "I slept for so long, why haven't I regained any energy?"

"As expected," Yin Ci smiled, "Yan Budu is not strong enough to establish his own small world, so this place should be purely an 'inner realm'. Everything that's happening now is only in our consciousness - the formation accelerates our thought speed, and a day in the 'inner realm' is just a blink of an eye outside."

In the real world, only a moment had passed, and Shi Jingzhi's body could not naturally recover. 

But there are benefits, even if Yan Budu's memory lasts for a year, in reality, it would only be an hour. They won't die of hunger or thirst, nor do they have to worry about cleanliness.

...But someone might die of boredom.

Shi Jingzhi has always loved to jump around and can't sit still for even a moment. Now trapped in a narrow cave, he visibly withered away.

Yin Ci smiled, "No worries, even if we are trapped for a whole winter, it's only three months." 

He paused and leaned in towards Shi Jingzhi's ear, "This is stolen time from the heavens. Shizun, you don't need to worry about your illness here, why not just enjoy it...I'm here keeping you company, aren't I?" 

After their previous encounter in Yuanxian Village, Shi Jingzhi had become more subdued and less playful. But now, after passing through the Buddha's Heart Formation, he revealed a bit of his true self and became easy to tease again. Yin Ci watched as a hint of red rose to Shi Jingzhi's ear, feeling quite satisfied. 

Shi Jingzhi looked like he wanted to move away, but he couldn't bear to leave the warmth of the person beside him. He could only turn around with a stern face, pretending nothing had happened. 

The cave was dark and cold, suffocating like a coffin. The howling wind outside made the atmosphere even more oppressive. If someone were trapped alone in this dull and suffocating environment, they might go crazy before starving to death. 

"We were too busy fighting earlier and didn't have a chance to talk. Now that we have a ceasefire, why are you still so quiet?" 

Perhaps feeling bored, Yan Budu spoke up again. 

"You bald donkeys from Jianchen Temple are always talking about saving all living beings, when seeing me you all can't wait to talk until your saliva runs dry. But now that I'm here with just you, you suddenly become so tight-lipped?" 

Kongshi glanced at him and did not respond. 

Yan Budu's interest was piqued even more. "Oh? Could it be that you are a different kind of person? One who thinks they're noble and pure, afraid to be tainted by a sinner like me and lose their righteousness?" 

Yin Ci had no words. Yan Budu not only spat blood like Shi Jingzhi, but also talked without giving any face. 

Kongshi stopped silently reciting the sutras and finally spoke up. 

The monk's voice was as gentle as a spring breeze after the rain, "I remember that you are twenty-nine years old this year."


"Since you founded the Ling Sect at the age of seventeen, until now, I wonder how many bloody battles you have fought and how many sins you have committed."

"So what?"

"you have created this demon cult with your own strength, and have been fighting against the righteous path for nearly two years with the power of your sect. It shows your extraordinary wisdom."

Yan Budu narrowed his red eyes. He was used to hearing flattery from his followers, but it was the first time he had been flattered by a monk. He almost became wary, "So what?"

"So, you have been immersed in the evil for twelve years, and you haven't died like a dog at such a young age. Your mind seems to be functioning well. You must have listened to everything you should have and thought about everything you should have."

The monk, Kongshi, revealed a peaceful and friendly smile. 

"If just a few words from this humble monk could lead you to enlightenment, then this monk should not be here. Perhaps I would have already become a Buddha." 

Upon meeting such a high-ranking monk without any ambition, Yan Budu was momentarily confused. "You--" 

Master Kongshi said with a smile, "Amitabha." 

Although his words were quite impolite, his tone and demeanor were surprisingly gentle, without any contempt or anger. 

Yin Ci: "..."

Shi Jingzhi: "...The Jianchen Temple holds themselves back from greed, anger and ignorance, but I somehow feel like this master should also restrain himself from being deliberately cryptic." 

Yan Budu was caught off guard by the polite "Amitabha", and looked at the monk's calm expression that seemed to say, "Even if you're capable, it's better to ferry a rock than to ferry you."* He couldn't help but feel a surge of nameless anger and spat out a mouthful of blood.

*T/N: Saying that some people are simply not worth helping. 

Kongshi sighed and took out a piece of cloth, handing it over with both hands. 

Yan Budu chuckled lightly, his sarcasm unchanged: "You just broke my arm and now you're pretending to be compassionate?"

Kongshi spoke seriously: "But you have already wrapped up your arm. How about this, if you really mind, I can wrap another layer for you?"

He really used a negotiating tone.

Yan Budu: "..."

This monk probably practiced Yin Yang Zen. Every word was gentle and made it hard to find fault, and there was no problem with his tone. But when put together, it sounded mocking.

Yin Ci could tell what Yan Budu was thinking.

If this was a monk with a worried face for the people or a vengeful arhat, Yan Budu would have been better off. Those two types of people were easy to see through, but the monk in front of him was hidden in the clouds and mist. Not only Yan Budu, even he couldn't see him through clearly. 

Upon seeing Yan Budu silently collect the cloth, Kongshi continued his meditation with a serene Buddha-like expression. 

If it weren't for the fact that they knew of Yan Budu's past misdeeds, the master and disciple would have almost started to sympathize with him. Shi Jingzhi returned to Yin Ci's side and couldn't help but feel that, compared to Yan Budu, his disciple was gentle and amiable.

As darkness gradually fell outside the cave and the wind and snow showed no signs of stopping, Kongshi opened his bag and took out a iron bowl and rice, then melted some snow to skillfully cook some white porridge. 

Yan Budu couldn't help but ask, "...After five days and nights of fighting and traveling thousands of miles in the mountains, you still have the leisure to carry rice?" 

Kongshi calmly replied, "People still need to eat." 

After he finished cooking the porridge and let it cool for a bit, he pushed it towards Yan Budu and said, "Please, have some first." 

Yan Budu didn't hesitate and quickly gulped down the porridge. He regained some strength and a hint of killing intent emanated from him. "Baldy, do you know what I'm thinking?" 

The monk continued to cook the porridge, his tone indifferent. "You are thinking of finding an opportunity to kill this poor monk. In doing so, you'll have both rice and human flesh to sustain you for longer." 

Yan Budu sneered, "Would the master like to sacrifice himself to feed the tiger?" 

Kongshi blew on the porridge and replied, "No." 

Yan Budu chuckled and flicked his red jade smoking pipe. A sharp sword aura emerged and he swung his sword towards Kongshi without hesitation. The latter casually deflected with his stone sword and the sword aura was deflected, leaving a deep crack on the ground. 

"Sigh... it's troublesome when martial arts clash," Yan Budu sighed as he slumped against the rock wall. 

"Please stop, if you kill me, you won't be able to leave."

"Why is that? Once the storm stops, there's nothing to fear." 

The monk replied while stirring his porridge: "The condition is that you know how to get down the mountain. I see traces of ancient formations around us, and this mountain is full of them, causing illusions everywhere. You must break the spell to dispel the interference and proceed normally," the monk continued.

Yan Budu was not surprised, "The Zongwu Mountain is quite large, and strange things often happen. Perhaps some immortal practiced here and left some trouble behind."

With that, his killing intent dissipated.

Monks do not lie, and the Kongshi monk was a well-known high-ranking monk from the Jianchen Temple. He would not lie to save his own life. 

Yan Budu quickly adjusted his emotions and when he spoke again, his tone returned to being lazy, as if he wasn't the one who had just tried to kill someone: "What about food? This little bit of rice won't be enough for the two of us."

Kongshi remained calm: "This mountain is not barren. On the way here, I saw many wild vegetables and mushrooms that we can eat. You won't starve."

"No meat? Monks are troublesome indeed." Yan Budu looked dissatisfiedly at his broken arm and had to accept his fate.

After finishing their meal, the monk put on his hat and stepped into the snow. He returned in the pitch-black night, his backpack filled with wild vegetables and tender mushrooms.

However, Kongshi was covered in snow and as he approached the fire pit near the cave, the snow melted and soaked his clothes, making them stick to his skin. So, he took off his shirt and used a tree branch to prop it open, drying it by the fire. 

Yan Budu used fire to dry his tobacco pouch, then twisted a bit of tobacco and slowly smoked it. 

The monk was facing away from him, with flickering firelight and swirling smoke revealing his sturdy back, which had a slight sheen to it. 

Yan Budu seemed truly bored, so he let his long hair down and blew smoke out bit by bit. "It's a shame, a shame. Among the Four Heroes, except for that old man Qu Tinglei, both Su Zhi and you can be considered beauties, but all such a pain to deal with." 

Kongshi replied, "Your definition of 'beauty' is quite broad." 

Yan Budu burst out laughing, "You have a handsome face and a great figure, there's no need to belittle yourself. As for Su Zhi, he usually wears a mask, but I've heard some interesting rumors about him. Besides, beauty is in the bone, not the skin. I've seen so many beauties, I won't make a mistake." 

Kongshi simply said, "Oh." 

Yan Budu said, "I only love beauty, but I wouldn't even bother playing with a dead person. I don't know what kind of demon possessed that person, their eyes were dead and their insides were rotten. People like that are the most boring, wasting their good looks for nothing." 

Yin Ci: "..." It was quite refreshing to hear others talk behind his back, but what Yan Budu said wasn't really gossip, it was more like the truth. 

Truly a genius, Yan Budu had a sharp eye for people. 

However, at this moment, Yin Ci couldn't help but have some strange thoughts. Yan Budu's ability to read people was similar to Shi Jingzhi's, only more refined and mature. 

Could it be a coincidence? 

Meanwhile, Yan Budu and Kongshi continued their conversation. 

Kongshi clearly had no interest in the conversation. He focused on wiping his body - ordinary people didn't have Shi Jingzhi's abnormal amount of internal force, and maintaining their body temperature was already the limit of what they could do. The more damp the body, the faster the heat dissipated, wasting their true energy for no reason.

However, as the topic became more and more inappropriate, Kongshi turned his head and glanced at Yan Budu.

Yan Budu seemed encouraged and became more talkative: "Speaking of him, I get angry. That kid deliberately picked up the Red Hook Sect, a third-rate sect, and single-handedly turned it into a dominant force in the north. If he hadn't taken over the north, my sect wouldn't have suffered so badly. Ah, he had to cause trouble for me at a critical time."

As he spoke, he became even more aggrieved: "If it weren't for that Su guy, I would be lying in a silk quilt now, with soft jade and fragrance in my arms." 

Kongshi regarded Yan Budu as air that could talk and sat cross-legged with his bare upper body and closed his eyes. 

Little did he know that Yan Budu had quietly approached him, suppressing his true energy. Without a hint of killing intent, Yan Budu leaned in from behind Kongshi, one arm reaching over his shoulder and towards his chest.

"Compared to that Su Zhi, you are different... Your eyes are full of vitality, very moving," Yan Budu deliberately slowed down his tone, his voice like silk and full of laughter.

Silky long hair and swirling smoke mixed with warm breath, brushing over Kongshi's bare skin.

"I say, we can consider this fate. Life is unpredictable, who knows if we'll both die here... Since we have nothing better to do, why don't I teach you some other ways to have fun? Consider it a way to repay your kindness..." 

Unfortunately, despite Sect Leader Yan's best efforts to seduce him, the monk remained unmoved. Kongshi turned his head to the side, as if he were watching a wolf chasing its own tail. 

Suddenly, he turned around and grabbed Yan Budu's broken arm, and quickly applied pressure to several acupoints while Yan Budu was still in pain. Then, he moved him back to his original position and kindly covered him with a coat.

After completing all of this, the monk resumed his seated position and earnestly said, "Sir, our temple specializes in close combat techniques. You should remember that." 

"Once we leave here, I will definitely kill you."

Kongshi continued to speak kindly, "Very well, but did you not plan to kill me earlier, sir?"

It was a shame that Yan Budu's desire for conquest was extinguished just as he had encountered such a high-ranking monk with both good looks and martial arts skills. 

How could such a good monk have such a sharp tongue? 

Yan Budu's was expressionless: "...Forget it, you should continue to recite your scriptures."

The author has something to say:

Yan Budu is not a normal Demon Lord, but unfortunately the high-ranking monk is not a normal high-ranking monk either (?)

Fox Shi: I'm finished, I'm trapped in a cage --> but at least I have free time --> there's nothing to eat or drink --> but I have Ah Ci to keep me company. I don't know if I'm winning or losing in this situation (?)

Demon Lord Yin: ?


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