Nightfall - Chapter 840

Published at 25th of March 2019 09:20:08 AM

Chapter 840

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Dressed in a long robe made of silk, the prosperous-looking priest raised his hand slightly to cover his nose, obviously not used to the unpleasant odor of the dirty water coming from the alley.

Ye Su asked, "Do I need permission to teach at Linkang City?"

The priest replied, "If you want to teach the children manual skills, no one will stop you. But apparently, every day, at the end of your lesson, you will share with them a piece of doctrine from the god, Haotian?

Ye Su replied, "Yes, you are right."

The priest looked at Ye Su and chastised him in a stern voice, "Anyone who shares the teachings of the gods but is not a priest is committing an unforgivable sin."

Ye Su thought about it, placed his rice bowl on the windowsill and said, "If you think that I have sinned, I will not deny it."

The priest looked at Ye Su's calm expression and felt really humiliated. He thought that he would see Ye Su sniveling and being penitent and was ready to assume the role of a savior with much pleasure. So, he became furious, grabbed a whip from his bodyguard and proceeded to unleash his whip on Ye Su.

No one dared to stop him. Regardless of how much the children who held their rice bowls loved their teacher, at this moment, they could only stand at one side, trembling. That was because the priest represented the will of Haotian, the supreme god.

Ning Que stood amongst the crowd, looking down at how the lowly priest punished Ye Su for such a minor offense and naturally, found it ridiculous. He thought what Ye Su had done was akin to courting death.

Yet when the whip cracked down on Ye Su, he had no reaction. He lowered his head while standing in front of the dilapidated house, as if waiting for the lash to leave a bloody imprint on his face.

Ning Que just recalled, during the battle of Verdant Canyon, Ye Su was defeated by Second Brother in a sword fight, lost his cultivation and became a normal person. Perhaps, even a useless one. He was no longer the proud, sword-yielding Taoist practitioner walking the earth.

The Ye Su now, could not avoid this whipping so naturally, he could not avoid the barrage of lashes thereafter. Once a talented Taoist martial artist, he would perhaps die at this mediocre person's hands.

Ning Que did not prepare to help because he had no reason to.

He felt that for a talented martial artist like Ye Su to die in such a pathetic way, it was quite regrettable. But he did not want to reveal his own whereabouts. When he saw a blind man with a sword amongst the crowd, he knew such a regrettable act would not happen.

The whip broke into pieces, inch by inch, in the middle of the grimy air and landed in the muddy water in front of the dilapidated house. The priest looked at the whip handle in his right hand perplexingly, wondering what had happened.

And then, all five fingers on his right hand were sliced off and the whip handle fell onto the floor. Fresh blood gushed from the exposed cross section of the eerily white bones, signifying five white flags that announced the priest's surrender.

The priest's face became ashen white, looking at his right hand with blood trickling down, he was in so much pain that his body shook uncontrollably. Yet he bit down on his lips and refused to cry out in pain.

He was not a particularly devout or determined person but he was able to bear the pain because like Ning Que, he too had spotted the blind swordsman.

From the moment he set eyes on the blind swordsman, the priest knew why his whip and his fingers had been cut. And he also knew that if he wanted to keep his head, he had to bear with the pain.

The Xi Ling Temple had a respectable status outside of the Tang Dynasty. The nobles did not even dare offend their lower level priests. However, there was a place in the South where even those from the temple must be careful and respectful because the lower level priests were looked down upon.

That place is the Sword Garret.

The priest did not dare to stay in front of the house any longer. Together with his bodyguards that amounted to more than ten, he bowed his head as he walked along the street. When he passed by the blind swordsman, he wished he could bury his head further into his trousers.

According to hearsay, the King of the South Dynasty died at the hands of this blind swordsman. He felt that his life was not any more precious than his bodyguards.

Liu Yiqing walked to the front of the house and respectfully greeted Ye Su as a junior. Even though he had achieved a high status and Ye Su was just a normal person whose Snow Mountain and Ocean of Qi had been abandoned, Yiqing was still respectful towards him.

"Teacher would like you to come back to the cabinet and meditate?" Liu Yiqing gently said, "You are so brilliant, why do you hide? Teacher knows that there will always be those ignorant and arrogant people making fools of themselves."

Ye Su saw the smiling blind swordsman in front of him. This was the third time that the Sword Garret had sent someone for him; he also knew what Liu Bai meant by those words.

Having failed to learn the ways of Taoism as well as his studies, the situation had changed subtly. Having stayed hidden for many years, the Taoist monastery was no longer a place people revered and paid respects to.

He looked at Liu Yiqing and said, "I am only an ordinary person; those people who have their eyes on me can't go too far. If that is the case, there's no need to care."

Liu Yiqing asked doubtfully, "Mister, how can you be sure this living is safe?"

Ye Su replied, "The people living here are all ordinary people. I too wish to live like them. If I cannot do so, it means that it is Haotian's will. Please give my regards to Teacher."

Liu Yiqing knew that it would not be that easy to convince him and shook his head helplessly. He knew in his heart that his state had been destroyed, and although it seemed that he had resigned to fate, Ye Su would always be Ye Su.

Liu Yiqing used the sword as a walking stick and left. The dilapidated house regained its serenity and the children looked up at Ye Su whose eyes filled up with passion once again. The children were used to seeing bloodshed on the streets so they were not affected by the sight of the bloody severed fingers in the muddy waters, but they understood that their teacher was no ordinary person.

As the saying goes, children from poor families tend to take charge of the household much earlier. If this saying did not have some truth to it, Sangsang would not be what she had become. The children who were in front of the dilapidated house had used the knowledge that they had gained from the streets to figure out that Ye Su was no ordinary human. Hence, they were not frightened by him or what had happened just now. Instead, they used their charms and innocence to claim a place around him.

Ye Su did not care too much about the excitement around him. After the children had finished their meals, he went into the house, retrieved a small blackboard and started teaching the children. In an instant, the surroundings became much quieter.

Ning Que stood outside and looked on. He listened to Ye Su's calm and gentle voice, seeing how patient he was when it came to answering the children's questions and suddenly realised that Ye Su reminded him of his big brother.

The content of Ye Su's lessons surprised him because it was not about religion. Initially, he started by teaching them how to weave a flowery ornament for the head, then he proceeded to teach them how to draw. He also taught the boys carpentry. It was only when the lesson was coming to an end, that he started to talk a little about religion and it consisted of very simple teachings.

Ning Que did not understand.

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As dusk approached, the street was filled with the voices of parents asking for their children to return. The poor could only afford two meals a day and dinner was always served earlier so that if they were to become hungry, they could retire to bed and the hunger would be more bearable.

Ye Su waved his hands, indicating that the lesson had come to an end. With the blackboard wedged between his arms and body, he walked into the house as the children bowed respectfully and left the house while chattering boisterously.

Ning Que walked to the front of the house and stared in silence at the flapping broken door that could not even hold back the wind.

Logically speaking, he should not enter. However, it was his destiny to follow the same path as those in the mortal world. To have met Ye Su in this town where muddy waters flow through was precisely an opportunity that Fate had planned for him. To think that he would chance upon Ye Su before he was headed for the West-Hill to meet death was an even greater opportunity. Therefore, he believed that he was ready to kill the other person.

He took two steps forward, raised his hand and knocked on the door.

"Please come in." Ye Su announced from inside the house.

Ning Que entered the house and looked around. There was a bed, a water jar and the felt that covered the roof was full of holes, which allowed the sun's rays to enter, brightening up the place.

Ye Su was surprised to see him. He smiled and asked, "What are you doing here?"

Ning Que replied. "I am just wandering around and did not expect to see you here."

Ye Su invited him to sit on the bed and said. "Meeting like this is always random."

Ning Que replied, "Who would have thought that you would be hiding here and working as a teacher?"

Ye Su scooped a bowl of water from the jar, handed over to him and said, "After the battle at the Verdant Canyon, I headed to the Kingdom of Song and from there, I came here and have been here for a while."

Ning Que took the bowl of water from him, thanked him and asked, "It was rumoured that you had faced death during that particular journey?"

With a smile on his face, Ye Su replied, "Life and death are things that one cannot fathom. Looking back at the days when I was so full of pride, it is really quite ridiculous."

Considering the state that Ning Que was in, he could not quite understand what Ye Su had said. But he could vaguely grasp the idea that Ye Su might have already surpassed his former self in certain ways, even though he seemed to be in a decrepit state right now.

Ye Su asked, "Why did you come to the South Jin Kingdom?"

Ning Que replied, "I was just passing by. I was preparing to go to the Xiling temple."

After the battle of Verdant Canyon, Ye Su had become powerless and no longer practiced self-cultivation, so naturally, he did not concern himself with the matters of the spiritual world nor did he care.

Ning Que remembered the scene where Ye Su was teaching and asked, "Based on your knowledge, if you wanted, producing an outstanding scholar or a cultivation powerhouse for the South Jin Kingdom is chicken feed to you. But why do you teach them such simple things?"

Ye Su replied, "If one wants to follow the ways of the Buddha, one needs an innate talent for it. Linkang City does not have that many talents. Even if there are, they would have joined the Sword Garret. As to why I teach these children to knit and to work with wood, it is because these skills can help them earn money in the shortest possible time. Hence, they can have more food."

Ning Que pondered for a long time and finally replied with two words, "That's admirable."

Ye Su replied, "If you think that what I did was admirable, what about your eldest brother? He taught here many years ago, so what I am doing now is nothing new."

Ning Que replied, "Eldest Brother has been that kind of person all along but for you, it was a big change so that is why I admire you."

Ye Su said, "When I was staying at a Taoist temple at Chang'an for a while, I was able to find true righteousness in the streets and I liked that. Now, I am still searching for peace so there is nothing much to admire about me."

After hearing what Ye Su had said about finding true righteousness, Ning Que raised his bowl of water, looked into Ye Su's eyes and asked him in a serious tone, "Can you teach me all these?"
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