Sending the Divine

Sending the Divine

Chapter 58 - Making a Move

When Yan Budu woke up again, the night had already fallen.

The monk's stone sword had returned to its original position, and Kongshi sat upright in front of the fire, cooking something in an iron bowl. Like the past few dozen days, the cave was dimly lit and filled with the glow of the fire, with the man always in his fixed position.

However, this time, there was a pleasant fragrance wafting through the cave.

After years of being arrogant and domineering, Yan Budu had tasted all kinds of rare and exotic herbs, and he instantly recognized the scent of this one.

"Ice Peak Snake Lotus...truly worthy of a high-ranking monk. Even the heavens grant you blessings to find this sort of legendary item."

This herb was extremely rare, growing in the deep mountains during the harsh winter and was considered a holy medicine for treating internal injuries. Although the Zongwu Mountain was not a fertile land, it was still able to produce such a precious herb, probably due to the ancient ruins nearby.

The reason why the Ice Peak Snake Lotus is so rare is not due to its harsh growing conditions or its scarcity, but rather its association with the Lotus Snake.

The more miraculous the effects of the Ice Peak Snake Lotus, the more poisonous the Lotus Snake is. They like to gather in groups, with their numbers matching the number of petals on the Ice Peak Snake Lotus, ranging from a few to dozens. The snow-capped mountains are already dazzling to the eyes, and these strange snakes are transparent and extremely fast, making them extremely difficult to deal with.

Not to mention the monk who has a clear and simple mind, even Yan Budu may not be willing to take the Ice Peak Snake Lotus even when he encounters such an opportunity.

However, it seems that even the sky-high difficulty of acquiring it can't make Kongshi change his mind. He casually took the legendary herb and boiled it, his expression unchanged as if it were just a strange-shaped mushroom.

Even though they will become enemies after today.

"Wow, you really have some skills to escape from the Lotus Snake, Kongshi. It seems like tomorrow's battle will be quite enjoyable," gasped Yan Budu, still not mincing any of his words.

Not wanting to appear too awkward leaning against the wall, Yan Budu sat back down at the chessboard. Despite his sickly appearance, he still exuded a certain charm.

Yan Budu had suddenly collapsed in the afternoon, leaving the chess game unfinished. He didn't bother to clear the board, just leaned against it lightly.

Kongshi had prepared the medicinal soup and approached Yan Budu with it. He sat down in front of Yan Budu and placed the stone spoon in the bowl, offering it to him. "Please, use this."

"When I was weak before, you fed me spoonful by spoonful...why are you being so distant now, even though you've even challened the Lotus Snake for me?"

Kongshi said lightly, "Amitabha, I have other matters to attend to. Your might be weak, but surely you can distinguish the importance of matters."

Yan Budu was already used to the monk, whose words were like a soft nail. He snorted, picked up the iron bowl, and drank the medicinal soup in one gulp.

The medicinal soup was cooled with snow and was just the right temperature. After drinking a bowl of warm medicine, hot streams flowed through Yan Budu's body, and his bloodshot eyes relaxed a bit. He stretched out his furrowed brow and showed a hint of relief.

Yan Budu may be arrogant, but he wouldn't waste time. He immediately sat on the grass cushion in front of the chessboard to adjust and heal.

This time, Kongshi didn't help him.

Kongshi sat on the other side of the chessboard as usual, with his hands clasped together, silently reciting sutras.

Half an hour passed, and Yan Budu coughed up some clotted blood. The eerie blood vessels seemed to be retracting, slowly fading away from his limbs. His face still lacked color, but at least his body was no longer trembling and convulsing.

Yan Budu finally breathed a sigh of relief and looked over at his opponent, his expression freezing on the spot.

The monk's hands had always been beautiful, with slender fingers and distinct knuckles. In the past, when he clasped his hands together to recite sutras, they were pleasing to the eye.

But now they didn't look so good.

Kongshi's hands were completely exposed from his sleeves. On the edge of his left palm were two small black holes - his entire left arm, along with his hand, was swollen and covered in dark blue veins.

A wound from a snake bite.

Yan Budu calmly looked at the wound for a while, his face gradually changing from a relaxed smile to a twisted one, and then into a wild laughter.

He laughed so hard that he coughed and gasped for breath, as if he had seen the most interesting thing in the world.

"Monk, is this the cycle of karma? Is this the law of cause and effect? Why do I feel like this is also heaven helping me?"

The Lotus Snake was extremely poisonous, and even if one were to sever their limbs, it would be of no use once bitten. Fortunately, Kongshi immediately took action and had profound internal strength, which allowed him to suppress the snake venom.

However, it was only a delay.

With the help of Kongshi's profound internal strength and true energy, there was still a slight possibility of clearing out the snake venom and saving his life.

But in the vast Zongwu Mountain, with only the two of them present, the only one who could save Kongshi was Yan Budu himself.

Could there be a more wonderful situation than this?

"Baldy, do you know what I'm thinking?"

Kongshi stopped chanting and calmly looked at Yan Budu. "You must be wondering, how can I tempt this poor monk to succumb to greed, anger, and ignorance?"

"Indeed. Since I have nothing better to do, I will explain it to you in detail." Yan Budu replied with a dazzling smile that blended with the blood vessels all over his body, sending shivers down one's spine.

"I have already seen through your precious Breaking Nightmare technique. I can break the formation and leave the mountain on my own... I was even considering attacking you from behind just now. But that kind of 'betrayal' is not even worth mentioning, and it wouldn't impress you.

"Then I thought, why not pretend to be defeated by you and follow you down the mountain. My disciples have been waiting outside, ready to poison you. Once you're back in our temple, I can slowly brainwash you. But unfortunately, you're too upright and I doubt you'll give in easily. If I accidentally kill you, I'll be at a loss, won't I?

"Finally, I thought, why not go back to Jianchen Temple with you and risk my life to kill the old bald donkey in front of you. That way, you'll surely have a different expression on your face, won't you?

"...Who would have thought that things don't always go as planned. The heavens have a funny way of arranging things, even more interesting than what I had in mind."

Kongshi remained motionless like a mountain, "You have the energy to say so much, the Ice Peak Snake Lotus lives up to its fame."

"I have to ask, monk, are you really foolish or just pretending to be? You're not just feeding the tiger with your own body, you're actually letting the tiger return to the mountain."

The potency of the medicine grew stronger and stronger. Yan Budu was already skilled in his martial arts, his blood-red eyes shining like ghostly flames. He reached out his hands and held the face of Kongshi, forcing him to meet his gaze.

"As one of the most high-ranked of the Jianchen Temple, to die for my sake is truly a great tragedy. All this talk of karma and retribution is nothing but a feeble attempt by the weak to justify their own shortcomings."

The snake venom continued to spread, and the life in Kongshi's eyes gradually faded. He lifted his head slightly, neither breaking free from Yan Budu's grasp nor avoiding his gaze, his eyes as calm as an ancient well.

It was a composure that could make one feel uneasy.

"When I leave here, I will kill thousands of people and light a bonfire of human flesh at the foot of Huilian Mountain. But it's different for you, monk. If you survive, you can save thousands of people... It's an unfair trade, isn't it?"

Yan Budu attempted to find hatred, confusion, or regret from Kongshi's eyes, but he found nothing.

"Think about it, if I spread this matter, how many insults will Jianchen Temple have to bear from the world?... If you truly care about all living beings, why not kneel down and beg me? If I am pleased, I might even give you some inner strength to help you leave the mountain alive."

He tried again to find hesitation, worry, or pleading from the Kongshi eyes, but still found nothing.

The suffering of the mortal world rolled by, but his eyes remained clear.

Kongshi's face was cold, and his complexion had turned somewhat gray.

The venom of the Lotus Snake was as deadly as if it had turned his five organs into mud and was devouring his heart like a swarm of ants. Although the monk should have been in excruciating pain and delirious, his annoying calmness remained undisturbed, without a ripple.

The two of them were once again at a stalemate.

Yan Budu knelt with one leg on the chessboard, his waist lowered and his hands holding onto Kongshi's face. The two were so close that they seemed to be about to kiss, yet frozen in mid-air like an ice sculpture caught in the winter wind.

Kongshi looked back at him with a candid expression. For a moment, Yan Budu felt as though he was not facing a living being, but a stone Buddha statue.

This person was simply incomprehensible. Yan Budu couldn't see through him, couldn't understand him.

Despite being the one looking down at the other's face, Yan Budu felt a faint sense of being pitied.

After a moment of silence, Kongshi spoke again. He didn't beg for mercy, but spoke gently: "You have just taken medicine and your meridians are weak. It would be better to sit up straight and continue to practice."


The air grew colder and Yan Budu's expression finally faded. For the first time, he couldn't hide his thoughts and they showed on his face.

This shouldn't be happening.

He had seen too many people who talked about justice but cried and begged for mercy when death approached. Even if mortals could bravely face death, it was only because death came in an instant. Yan Budu knew better than anyone how terrifying a slow approach to death could be.

But he couldn't even find a hint of fear in Kongshi's eyes.

Yan Budu suddenly shuddered and his gaze towards Kongshi became increasingly uncertain.

"I won't save you," he muttered under his breath, his lips trembling.

"Waiting here won't do you any good, and pretending everything is fine won't help either. Don't you understand? I won't help you, I never planned on saving you from the beginning."

Kongshi remained motionless, continuing to recite the sutras.

"You will die here, exposed in the wilderness, with no one to mourn you, cursed for a hundred years. You..."

Yan Budu's eyes didn't even blink. He released his grip on Kongshi and licked his lips, his tone revealing a slight tremble.

"...You're abnormal, are you really just a heartless stone?"

Kongshi stopped silently reciting and easily replied, "I'm ashamed to say that this poor monk enjoys eating apricots, which is also a preference of the living."

If it weren't for the black and rotten left arm, just listening to his tone, this monk seemed like a person without any problems.

Yan Budu slowly sat back on the grass mat, his face no longer showing a hint of a smile.

Kongshi undoubtedly saw through his anxiety: "Amitabha. Your inner realm is unstable. Why don't we continue this game and calm our minds?"

Yan Budu had nothing to say.

Faced with a game of chess that was more than half over and a dying monk, he tried his best and racked his brains, but he couldn't find any more cruel words. All his questioning and intimidation turned into empty threats in front of this stone-like monk.

"Your turn to make a move, sir," said the monk gently, just like the day he stepped into the cave.

Yan Budu stared at him in a dazed manner.

Moments passed, and Yan Budu seemed to have an epiphany.

He slowly smiled, with a hint of bitterness in his expression. "So that's it. A whole month of contemplation, exchanging emotions... it was just my one-sided wishfulness."

He revealed his true heart, with painstaking effort, and it turn out the the only one enjoying it was himself. In front of this person, there was no such thing as being close or distant between their hearts.

"Kongshi, from the very beginning, what you see in your eyes is not 'me', is it?"

A month has passed, and all the peace and gentleness from this person, was the same as what would have been bestowed upon all living beings in the eyes of this person.

Whether it is a three-year-old child or a hundred-year-old man, whether there is another hidden reason or being born as a demon, they are just an ordinary stone in the eyes of this person.

From the moment he stepped into the cave, Kongshi's attitude has not changed even a bit, not more, not less.

What a great person who sees all living beings as equal.

"People all over the world say that I am the most ruthless one. Now it seems that you are even better than me, monk."

Kongshi smiled, "You flatter me."

Time passes slowly and cruelly, without a sound.

Yan Budu rested his elbow on the stone chessboard, fingers interlocked in his hair, his once confident demeanor now gone. He wasn't even holding a chess piece, just gritting his teeth and remaining silent.

"...If you cannot think of a way to break the stalemate, this monk has a suggestion."

The monk lowered his head slightly, as if observing the chessboard.

"Spit it out."

"Perhaps you could do a good deed, just one would suffice."

Yan Budu sneered, "Nonsense. You're wasting your breath thinking about these pointless things. You should save your energy and light a few more incense sticks."

Both in and out of the game, the battle between good and evil was at a standstill, making it difficult to determine a winner. Faced with an opponent without any weaknesses, how could he win?

But no matter what, he couldn't give up on attacking.

Yan Budu pondered for a moment, then clenched the blood-stained stone chess piece in his hand. "I say, monk--"

As he began to speak, he immediately closed his mouth before finishing the sentence.

It was too quiet.

The silence was not that of the cave itself. The fire was still burning, and the howling of the storm could be faintly heard from outside. The iron bowl still had some medicinal soup left in it, and the stone sword was quietly leaning in the corner. The edges of the monk's robe were covered in dust, stirring up a bit of brownish-gray powder.

Everything was in its place, but the sound of the monk's breathing had disappeared.

The monk had a peaceful expression on his face, with his hands clasped together. He sat in front of the chessboard, like a solitary peak that had stood there since ancient times.

Yan Budu slowly released the chess piece. It touched the board, making a slight sound. But in the midst of the silence, it sounded like a thunderclap.

They never finished the game of chess in the end. Just like the passing of countless days and nights, in the end, it was all like a fleeting dream, without beginning or end.

He could never win again.

Yan Budu sat expressionless in front of the chessboard, motionless, until the long night was almost over and the snow began to reflect a faint light.

"You monk, at least wait for me to finish this move."

Finally, he stood up and muttered to himself almost silently.

"When a high-ranking monk passes away, there are often strange phenomena. But now, upon closer inspection, it's just a pile of dead flesh, rotting away."

After that, Yan Budu never spoke again.

The night passed and the sun rose.

Yan Budu chose a sunny slope nearby, dug a crude pit with the giant sword, and buried Kongshi on the mountain. He didn't erect a tombstone, just placed the stone chessboard on one side as a marker. When he left, he didn't even look back.

Although he left the cave and the world was vast, this time Yan Budu didn't keep his audience waiting too long.

Winter melted into spring and autumn came and went.

In the next moment, the mountain was still a mountain, but there was no more white snow in sight, only endless wild grass. The tombstone of Kongshi was covered in weeds and was difficult to distinguish.

But Yan Budu remained the same.

He was still wearing the same clothes as that day, and his face no longer had the dark blood vessels, restoring his former enchanting appearance. The previous despair seemed to be just an illusion, and he still had that arrogant expression.

However, he now had a jar of wine and a roasted chicken in his hand.

"After leaving the mountain, I encountered many strange things," Yan Budu said as he sat cross-legged and deliberately offered some wine and meat to the monk. He casually chattered as if the two were still chatting in front of a chessboard.

"I even met an immortal, do you believe it? Unfortunately, they couldn't stand my soft fish demon eyes, so I don't have any images to show you." As he spoke, he coughed up a mouthful of blood and washed it down with a bowl of wine.

"That day you asked me what my plans were after becoming an immortal. Now that I have seen the ancient immortal village and the magnificent palace, I have to say, those immortals are more boring than I thought..."

The stone chessboard stood alone, and the wine flowed slowly along its edges. It was silent all around, except for the chirping of insects in the grass.

Yan Budu laughed, a wild and unrestrained laugh.

"But they gave me a great toy - I've been searching for the Shi Rou for a long time. But now that I have it, it's not that interesting. It's better to keep it for the younger generation to fight over and at the same time see the true colors of those immortals. It will definitely be exciting enough to make the world tremble.

"As for the Ling Sect, I have taken care of everything there. I have arranged all the other clues properly, including my precious tomb... When I built the tomb, I left no room for turning back. Now, cleaning up the demons and reducing the killing intent is even more difficult than setting up traps.

"In another hundred years, a group of people will rush around looking for it. But even if they find the place, they will only find a lock."

Yan Budu waved his sleeve, and a jade-colored object flew out with the wind. It was deeply embedded in the stone chessboard, like a fallen piece. The unfinished chess game from the past finally came to an end, just as it was in the beginning.

However, this time he took the initiative to set it up properly, and brought the game to a tie.

"As for the key, I have left it with you. You can see for yourself how those younger generations will fight and slaughter amongst each other. Monk, your merit is profound, and in a hundred years you will definitely reincarnate into a human, you may even be one of the ones fighting to get in."

After speaking, he fell silent again, as if waiting for a response.

But of course, no one answered.

As the wine was finished and only a few bones of the roasted chicken remained, Yan Budu stretched lazily and gazed at the sunset, which looked like fresh blood.

"Eating the Shi Rou will make one immortal. But in this world, no one knows me better than myself. Once I achieve immortality, in a few months, I'll be back to enjoying the soft and fragrant pleasures, forgetting all about that wretched cave.

"But I can't find another cave like that anymore. It's a bit of a waste to just forget about it like this."

Yan Budu lit his tobacco and exhaled a cloud of smoke.

"And as for your suggestion of 'doing a good deed,' as long as I am who I am, no matter what I give, if the recipient is a righteous person, they are destined to not have a good ending.

"Doing a good deed requires a clear reputation. Monk, in the end, you still want to save me...what beautiful thinking."

As the sky gradually darkened, the fire in the pipe slowly extinguished.

Yan Budu stood up and gazed at the stone chessboard in front of him. His smile was arrogant, and his eyes were full of vitality and the same evil spirit as before.

"In this life, I, Yan Budu, have killed countless people and have no regrets. I won't save those who are dying, and I won't look back. You believe in reincarnation, but I don't. The world is vast, and if we don't see each other, then that's fine.

"But if I don't repay that debt owed to you, my heart will feel uneasy. Your good chess has an evil solution - watch closely, Kongshi. Today, I will do the greatest 'good deed' in the world."

As soon as he finished speaking, it only took a moment.

He didn't hesitate, and a sharp sword aura suddenly appeared. The sword aura pointed towards himself, and his heart was instantly pierced, causing a burst of bright red blood to splash out.

Yan Budu was a ruthless man, showing no mercy to anyone, including himself.

"What a pity..."

He chuckled silently, spitting out his last breath.

"...I spent so much effort on my immortal tomb."

The sword energy shattered the fabric on Yan Budu's chest, and a few round apricots rolled into the pool of blood. At the edge of the black-red hole in his chest, a dark green spider mole lay quietly, gradually being covered by fresh blood.

The Ghost Tomb had been empty for ten years, and the half-life of immortal fate was cut off. This talent of a generation died, and in the end, the earth became their tomb, without a coffin or a tombstone.

As night fell, the mountains remained the same.

The stone chessboard lay quietly in its original place, surrounded by overgrown weeds, and the gentle breeze blew by.

The author has something to say:

In the end, a Demon Lord is still a Demon Lord, and a high-ranking monk is still a high-ranking monk.

Fox Shi's onion-like layers is in danger.


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