Nightfall - Chapter 930

Published at 8th of May 2019 09:50:04 AM

Chapter 930: 930

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The black carriage kept going west. Inside the carriage, Ning Que rolled out the black cloth very carefully, stared at the chessboard and asked, "Why did we come here?"

Sangsang said, "I have to confirm something."

The chessboard was made of an unknown material. It looked like metal and felt cold and firm. But when Ning Que knocked with his fingers, he did not make any sound.

It was the chessboard left by the Buddha. Of course it was different.

Ning Que stared at the chessboard and asked after a pause, "What's that? Does that have anything to do with the Buddha?"

Sangsang answered, "Yes. I want to know whether he is dead or still alive."

Ning Que was stunned. He did have wondered if Sangsang was trying to find her way back to the Divine Kingdom via some secret teachings of Buddhism in the Xuankong Temple or if she was about to destroy the temple. However, it never came to him that she was trying to figure out if the Buddha was really dead. Does that mean the Buddha could still be alive?"

"I don't understand. The Buddha should have attained nirvana long ago. Hadn't him?"

"I've told you this when we were at the Lanke Temple. He already died, yet he is still alive."

Ning Que recalled her comments the other day on top of Wa Mountain. She stood in front of the destroyed Buddha statue in the spring rain and said that the Buddha was that cat named Xue.

He felt ridiculous and did not take it seriously. He could not believe that she did actually think that the Buddha was still alive and had come all the way to the West Wilderness to confirm that.

Ning Que was very confused. The Buddha had definitely attained nirvana. How could he still be alive?

"What is nirvana?" Sangsang asked.

Ning Que paused then answered, "Nirvana is the highest state of Buddhism…"

Sangsang said expressionlessly, "If nirvana means death, why don't they just call it death?"

That was a simple and brutal question. Ning Que could not give an answer because he knew that her question itself had provided with an answer.

Sangsang looked at the snowy Wilderness outside the carriage and said, "Like your Master, the Buddha also tried to surpass me. He tried to see through me with wisdom but failed. Then he tried to see through the cycle of cause and effect and go beyond that. If someone could surpass time, he would surpass me. But how could anyone defeat the cycle of cause and effect? How could anyone surpass time?"

Ning Que asked, "Therefore?"

Sangsang said, "Therefore the Buddha had hidden himself from me. He is waiting for a perfect chance to wake up."

A chance was something unpredictable. It might be when she will head back to the Divine Kingdom, or when she will be doomed to stay in the human world and become weaker and weaker. For someone as great as the Buddha, there must be a foresight.

Ning Que had an idea but was still quite confused. Haotian was all-knowing and almighty. How could she not know whether the Buddha was dead or alive? Powerful as the Headmaster was, he was not able hide from Haotian. It was only because he had integrated himself with the human world that Haotian could no longer identify his mortal figure.

"I'm indeed all-knowing." Sangsang said, "Therefore I do not understand and have to see it for myself. If the Buddha is still alive, then I will kill him. And thus I will be sure that he is dead." I am not sure about if you are dead or alive, therefore I have to find you. It is fine if you have already died. But if not, I will kill you. Then I can make sure you are no longer alive. What a dictatorial claim it was!

But she was the only one qualified for such claims.

Ning Que suddenly realized that having such a mighty wife meant that he could only become a househusband. Therefore he voluntarily picked up the black cloth and started mending the big black umbrella.



Same as in that autumn years ago, Ning Que and Sangsang had come from Lanke Temple to the West Wilderness again. During that time, they came with the help of the Buddha's Chessboard, whereas now the Buddha's Chessboard was in their hands.

In the deserted and cold fields stood a lonely tree.

The tree trunk was grey and its leaves assembled like a futon in the slight snow. It was the Bodhi Tree.

There were several slightly sunken spots under the Bodhi Tree. Inside the spots, it was smooth like mirror with no dust, no fallen leaves or snow flakes. There was nothing in the spots.

The Buddha attained nirvana under the Bodhi Tree lying on the side with his eyes closed. That was the last sight of him in the human world.

The black carriage stopped at the Bodhi Tree and Ning Que and Sangsang got out.

There was an elderly monk under the Bodhi Tree.

He was wearing a bamboo hat and holding a cane. His body connected seamlessly with the ground, as if he was as heavy as mountains and as solid as fields. Even the strongest wind could not move him a bit.

The elderly monk was not the Buddha, but someone who had attained enlightenment in the human world, the Chief Monk of Scripture of the Xuankong Temple.

It had been years since Ning Que met the Chief Monk in Chaoyang City. He was one of the most powerful men Ning Que had ever met. Probably only the Chief Monk and the Abbey Dean could rank second to the Headmaster. Therefore he felt a bit nervous to be in front of the Chief Monk.

The Chief Monk of Scripture looked at Sangsang instead of Ning Que. It seemed he felt a complex of sentiments, with some compassion and sympathy, but mostly determination.

Sangsang wanted to see the trace of the Buddha's attainment of nirvana under the Bodhi Tree.

But the Chief Monk was sitting there under the Bodhi Tree. How could she see anything if he would not budge?

Even the Eldest and the Second Brother in their heydays could not have defeated the Chief Monk of Scripture. Ning Que would never imagine that he could overcome this powerful figure by himself.

It was true. The Chief Monk of Scripture was like an invisible yet steepest and most magnificent mountain on earth. His feet seemed to be rooted into the fields and his cane became a giant tree in the mountain.

"Please allow us, your honor," Ning Que said.

The Chief Monk asked calmly, "Why?"

Ning Que said, "We would like to see the Bodhi Tree."

The Chief Monk sighed slightly and said, "The Bodhi Tree is not a tree."

Ning Que said, "We are not monks. Please don't talk to us like that."

The Chief Monk continued, "Even if it was a tree, it belongs to the Xuankong Temple."

Sangsang asked abruptly, "Is the name of Xuankong Temple carved on the tree?"

That was an unreasonable question. She sounded like a naughty kid trying to rob a toy from someone else. The Chief Monk of Scripture would have never expected Haotian to talk like that and he was stuck.

The Chief Monk of Scripture of Xuankong Temple was on top of the cultivation world. However, in Sangsang's perception, he was merely an ordinary human being. Even if he had blended into the fields, he was nothing but a hulking rock.

Sangsang walked toward the Bodhi Tree.

Ning Que became even more nervous.

Since Liu Bai challenged her at Peach Mountain with his sword, it was the second time that Haotian was confronted by one of the most powerful humans in the world.

The Chief Monk closed his eyes gently and chose not to look at the approaching Sangsang.

He sat under the tree like a mountain. The mountain was deeply rooted into the ground while reaching high beyond the clouds into the sky. Even if Haotian had come to the human world, how could she overcome him?

Sangsang walked toward the Bodhi Tree and stepped on the Chief Monk.

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Her feet stepped on the Chief Monk's knees.

The Chief Monk was not lofty but rather skinny, but she was giant and plump.

She stepped on the Chief Monk's body as if a white elephant was stepping onto a delicate rockery in a garden.

It looked ridiculous and overwhelming.

When her feet on the Chief Monk's body, the rockery turned into a real mountain.

The mountain was extremely magnificent.

However, she did not care and carried on. Her left foot was placed on the Chief Monk's shoulder.

Despite the height of this mountain, it only took her three steps to mount the peak.

When her blue embroidered shoes touched the bamboo hat, the earth started quaking and clouds started darting around.

She stood on top of the Chief Monk's head with her hands on the back, and looked quietly at the Bodhi Tree in front of her as well as the Xuankong Temple afar.

It was as if she was enjoying a beautiful scenery on the peak.

It was weirdly miraculous.

No mountain in the human world was too high for Sangsang.

Even though the mountain was so magnificent and almost reached the sky, it was after all not as high as the Heaven.

Even though the mountain was rooted into the fields and earth, she could still conquer it.

She used her sublime power to conquer the earth.

The earth continued quaking more violently.

The green Bodhi Tree did not fall down, but its futon-shaped leaves fell all over the ground.

The body of the Chief Monk started quivering fiercely. His kasaya was smashed and turned into numerous butterflies and scattered in all directions. His pale figure shined with white lights as if he was a statue.

Ning Que witnessed what had happened under the tree and was startled. Years ago in Chaoyang City, he would have never made a single scar on the Chief Monk's body even if he were to use his Thirteen Primordial Arrows or iron blade.

The Chief Monk had attained Buddhahood and his body and soul became immortal. It seemed he was able to hold out against the Sublime Heavenly Power.

Sangsang kept standing on the head of the Chief Monk emotionlessly, with her hands behind her back.

She did not care how long the elderly monk could hold under her feet. She just wanted to see that tree.

The earth kept quaking violently. Countless deep black cracks were formed throughout the deserted fields. Even flaming magma emitted from the underground.

Sangsang's flowery blue dress swung in the wind and snow and started descending.

The Chief Monk under her feet started to sink into the ground. Dark mud was squeezed out and grating and piercing sounds of breaking rocks were heard.

It was not long before the Chief Monk had completely sunk into the ground. Only his head was left above the ground. His white eyebrows fluttered in the dust and seemed extremely miserable.

As long as he was connected to the ground, his body was immortal. This was the highest Buddhism practice the Chief Monk of Scripture had been cultivating. Even if the Abbey Dean could regain his cultivation, he would probably not be able to defeat him.

Sangsang's approach was simple. She grounded him into the earth.

Only the head of the Chief Monk remained above the ground. His eyes stayed closed.

Sangsang walked down from his head. It was nothing but a low step now.

She did not turn to take another glance at this powerful buddhist cultivator and walked directly to the Bodhi Tree with her hands behind her back.

She told the Chief Monk that since the name of Xuankong Temple was not carved on the Bodhi Tree, it did not belong to the temple. Actually the Bodhi Tree was engraved with her name, therefore it belonged to her.

Years ago when she ran away from Lanke Temple with Ning Que on an autumn day, they were exhausted from being hunted by the entire world and Ning Que took her here to see the trace of the Buddha and left some words on the tree.

"In the autumn of the Sixteenth Year of Tianqi, Ning Que of the Academy, together with his wife Sangsang, the daughter of the Invariant Yama, paid a visit here."

Finished her investigation on the trace of the Buddha's nirvana, she walked away from the Bodhi Tree, held her hands behind her back and headed for the peak as high as the ground level where the Xuankong Temple was located.

Ning Que laughed at the words that were carved on the Bodhi Tree and sighed slightly toward the Chief Monk's head above the ground. Then he led the carriage and followed her giant figure towards the fields.


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