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Nightfall - Chapter 573

Published at 15th of November 2018 03:55:04 AM


Chapter 573: 573

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Chapter 573: Unpredictable Future



Translator: Transn Editor: Transn

Ning Que woke up before dawn.

He opened his eyes and fell into a long silence while looking at a few spiders weaving webs on the beams. Knowing Sangsang could be cured indeed cheered him up, but he always felt that something would happen. It might be the three games of chess on Wa Mountain, especially what they saw in the illusion of the chessboard.

What alarmed him most was the Buddhist carriage. He didn't understand why the bigwig from the Xuankong Temple came to the Wa mountain. After all, it was an Unknown Place to the outside world.

The cultivators who came to the Yue Laan Hungry Ghost Festival didn't leave last night. Quni Madi and the president of Commandment Yard at the Xuankong Temple stayed at the Lanke Temple.

Ning Que had decided they must keep away from the cultivators, especially the bigwig from the Xuankong Temple before Sangsang was cured. His dangerous chilhood hunting experiences at Min Mountain had brought him an instinctive habit. If you could not locate the danger in the forest, you'd better stay away from it.

There were footsteps outside the Buddhist room.

Ning Que glanced at the sleeping Sangsang, then quietly got up, dressed, and walked out of the room.

The morning light was shining. The old temple was exceptionally beautiful in the autumn fog.

Master Qishan stood beside the stone balusters in a thick cotton coat. He was still shaking because of the coldness. Looking at the temples and towers, he said, "Nothing has changed for decades."

He had lived in seclusion at Wa mountain for half his life. He did not leave the mountain since the Lotus' bloody conspiracy decades ago. Now, looking at the familiar yet strange temple, he sighed with emotion.

Ning Que stood beside the master and said while looking at the looming front hall, "Yesterday, Sangsang spent at least decades in the chessboard. She told me nothing, but I know it must be very painful."

Master Qishan said, "She is not a normal girl, so she wasn't in as much pain as you think."

Ning Que asked, "Did Buddha really leave the chessboard in the world? What does our experience in the chessboard mean?"





Master Qishan said, "It was indeed the Buddha's relic. As for the world in the chessboard, you can see it as an illusion created by the Buddha's supreme power, or a possible future."

Hearing the master's reply, Ning Que fell into a long silence, and then asked, "Is that the future of me and Sangsang?"

Master Qishan looked into the distance in the fog and said, "The future one can see is no longer the future."

Ning Que said, "Is it possible to change the future?"

Master Qishan looked at Ning Que's eyes and said kindly, "Since it is a possible future, it's not settled. Why can't we change it?"

Ning Que seemed to realize something and continued, "They say you can see the future. Is that because of the chessboard which gives you the power to help people avoid misfortune and answer their doubts?"

Master Qishan laughed and said, "The Buddha may be able to see the future. How can I, a mortal, see it? And even if you could, when you see the future, the future will be influenced by your gazing. How can it be the same future as before?"

Ning Que answered, "It sounds complicated."

Master Qishan did not make any further explanations and continued, "So, if someone wants to see the future like what Li Qingshan, the Nation Master of Tang Empire, the Great Divine Priest of Revelation and I have done, he can only secretly take a look at the chaotic future from a distance in fear."

"Because it is only then that we mortals won't influence the world of chaos, but be swallowed up by the chaotic future."

Master Qishan said with emotion, "But if we try to see the future more carefully and clearly, the future we see may be false and we will bear a more severe punishment from the heaven. It is said that the Great Divine Priest of Revelation went to Chang'an City last spring and foresaw that Sangsang in the Old Brush Pen Shop would come back to the West-Hill Divine Palace three years later. The Priest almost went blind from looking."

Ning Que became serious. He had only learned what the Priest had to pay to see Sangsang's future today.

"No wonder the Priest agreed to my three-year promise."


He suddenly thought of something and frowned, then he said, "The future might not be true, but since the Priest had paid a big price for seeing Sangsang's future, he must have some confidence about it."

Master Qishan sighed and said, "For some reason, I have some doubts about the future he saw, but as you said, I have to believe what he saw. That's why I'm so confused."

What kind of future could it be that even the Priest and Master Qishan could not see? Where was Sangsang's future? What would happen to her?

Looking at the heavy fog, Ning Que patted the baluster and said, "I still don't understand."

Seeing the future was like peeking at the secret of the heavens. Even bigwigs such as the Great Divine Priest of Revelation, Master Qishan or Li Qingshan could not confirm that they really understood what they had seen, let alone Ning Que.

But Ning Que did not care. Since the Priest had foreseen that Sangsang would come back to West-Hill three years later, she should have been cured then.

As long as Sangsang could live, any future was acceptable to him.

...

...

The temple bell rang.

After a simple breakfast, the monks at the Lanke Temple started their morning class. Sangsang was a little bit sleepy because her illness. Ning Que took her out of bed and started the class.

Sangsang studied in the back hall of the temple.

It was a bit too much for such a magnificent golden hall to be used as one person's classroom.

They had the privilege partly because of their special identities. More importantly, their dharma lessons' teacher was Master Qishan, the ancestor of the Lanke Temple.

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If necessary, one word from Master Qishan could empty the back hall, even the whole temple, and nobody at Lanke Temple would dare to say anything.

All the monks had been banned from entering the back hall except for some senior monks waiting outside as servants. The hall was very quiet.

Occasionally, one could hear Master Qishan's calm and wisdom-filled voice from outside.

Sangsang did not speak. She listened carefully and studied.

Under the porch outside the hall, Ning Que was listening to the essence of Buddhism while looking at the scattered autumn fog. He felt very calm.

Master Qishan did not stop him from attending the class, but Ning Que thought, that he was a disciple from the Academy after all. It was an exception last night inside the cave, but today it was an exclusive Buddhist class for Sangsang; he should not attend it. Besides, he was not interested in the dharma because of Second Brother.

As time passed slowly, the dharma lesson in the main hall came to an end. Sangsang sat on the futon and tried to meditate with closed eyes. She was thinking about the earlier lessons.

Master Qishan walked out of the hall.

It was near noon. Autumn clouds covered the sky and occasionally a few cold spots of rain fell to the ground. It was cold outside the hall. The master was chilled and coughed a few times.

Ning Que sent the master a cup of hot tea to warm him up.

Master Qishan took a sip of the tea and put the teacup on the step in front of him. He looked at Ning Que and smiled, "You treat me better than you treat others. And you're nicer to me than last night."

Ning Que laughed and said, "I'm a realist and even a snob. I hope you don't mind."

The master shook his head with a smile and said, "Frankness sometimes does not necessarily change people's impression on you, but I believe that before becoming the Headmaster's disciple, you were already a realist but more cautiously."


Ning Que said, "It wasn't until I entered the Wilderness and found that the token of the Academy's Second floor could frighten so many people, did I realize I could be less cautious."

Master Qishan nodded and said, "Since you can now rely on the Headmaster, nobody in the world could make you live as gingerly as before."

Ning Que said, "Sometimes I ask myself if I am really a snob."

The master said, "Sometimes a snob is the one who is free and easy. How you succeed won't affect their opinions on you. Yesterday you took a tough stance, but compared with Mr. Ke, you were as submissive as a rabbit."

Ning Que said, "I don't want to be the second Youngest Uncle, so I think being a snob is more interesting than fighting against the world alone."

Master Qishan looked at him and said with a touch of pity, "I know you have suffered so much and even endured the most unbearable things in your childhood; that's how you became the man I know today. But, since you have entered the Academy, became the Headmaster's disciple and made friends with other disciples, you should change a little bit."

After a short silence, Ning Que answered, "The Academy has changed me a lot and I like it. That's why I'm grateful to the Academy. But the change can be very time-consuming."

Master Qishan said kindly, "I'm looking forward to what you will become eventually, though I may not be able to see it."

Ning Que was slightly surprised and asked, "Then what is the last thing you want to see in me?"

The master did not directly answer the question. He sadly looked across the continuous rain to the distant square in front of the Lanke Temple.

"Decades ago, my younger brother Lotus slaughtered many at Lanke Temple, where he ate people for the first time."

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