The golden hawk was at its last gasp. Su Xing’s hand beckoned, and Langya congregated into a giant sword that spiraled in the sky, like a vulture that had spied its carrion, emitting a severe sword qi.
“You wanting to eat Your Servant was the cause, me killing you is the effect. Cause and effect are settled, sadhu, sadhu.” Su Xing put his hands together, putting on an act of sympathy. In its heart, the golden hawk cursed this man in front of it shamelessly. The Flying Swords twisted and turned it to yellow sands and smithereens.
The screams of the girls came from inside his ocean of consciousness.
Shi Yuan and the others had been woken up.
“Why can’t This Young Lady leave the Star Nest.” Shi Yuan went mad.
“What about the other Elder Sisters?”
“Unable to do so.”
All of them were like Shi Yuan. The Star Nest had seemed to have been frozen, and they were incapable of breaking free, The so-called Star Nest was like a river wrapping around the cosmos, flowing without end, but suddenly, this river had seemingly frozen over. Su Xing and the rest were incapable of breaking out in any way. This certainly made the girls stumped. For Star Generals to be unable to leave the Star Nest, things were certainly grave.
“Probably it is because of this Seven Floor Stupa Pagoda.” Su Xing actually was very unperturbed. Seeing that every layer of this Seven Floor Stupa Pagoda was like a Celestial. They were increasingly certain this was definitely an Immemorial or Ancient Spirit Treasure. Since this was the inside of a Spirit Treasure, being trapped was not a complete mystery.
“It’s fine. Since the Holy Monk dares use the Stupa Pagoda as a trial, naturally he would have planned thoroughly Being unable to go out is normal. I can settle this matter myself, I just have to work sincerely.”
There was only this way.
The group was helpless.
“Big Brother, then are your injuries alright?” An Suwen asked, concerned.
Their contractor had been injured. The girls inside the Star Nest naturally could sense this.
Su Xing inspected his wounds. In Su Xing’s experience, these could only count as flesh wounds. He took out pills to ingest, and then he took out that white dove hiding in his chest.
“Noble Warrior, Buddha, Hero, please spare me…” The white dove had put its wings together in prayer, a very comical scene.
“Now that I’ve saved you, how will you repay me?” Su Xing smiled.
“Ah? You won’t eat me?”
“Your meat isn’t enough to fill the gaps between my teeth.” Su Xing licked his teeth, and the white dove shuddered.
“Don’t waste time. Directly inform me, how should I get to the Third Floor. Since it was Buddha who carved his flesh for the hawk, this was the trial, right?” Su Xing said.
“Then I must ask that Noble Warrior first release me.” The white dove bashfully said.
Su Xing turned grim. His mind said, What is this dove doing acting shy, and the girls inside the Star Nest giggled. His fingers let go, and the white dove flapped its wings, soaring freely in circles.
A solemn Buddhist voice rang throughout the boundless void, and Su Xing’s face turned pious.
The white dove released white light. That feeble little body immediately transformed in midair to something more blinding than the sun. Su Xing shut his eyes uncomfortably, and by the time the light had faded, a flight of steps extending to the upper level had appeared in front of him.
“That honestly was a lot of trouble.” Su Xing thought. He stepped up the steps, walking slowly towards the upper floor.
Wu Xinjie was very depressed. Not outside of her expectations, though she wished to go into this Seven Floor Stupa Pagoda to test this Holy Monk’s sermon, she had been washed out before even finishing the First Floor. When she thought of getting close, the surroundings of the Seven Floor Stupa Pagoda already had a forbiddance.
She walked at a restaurant and gazed at that distant pagoda. Wu Xinjie sighed. She wondered how Young Lord was doing right now? She heard people discussing in the surroundings that tens of thousands of cultivators had lost their chance during the first level. Wu Xinjie inwardly rebuked that this trial was too abnormal, and her heart was worried.
Lin Yingmei was the same as always. Her eyes had an indescribable tranquility, and her heroism was nowhere to be seen. Passersby repeatedly raised their eyebrows at her.
Wu Xinjie rubbed her chin, and she curiously asked: “Lin Yingmei, are you regretting it now?”
“Regret? Are you referring to the Star Nest?” Lin Yingmei’s brows rose.
Wu Xinjie nodded.
As their contractor’s Star Generals, to be unable to stand beside their Star Master at moments of crisis was perhaps a serious blow to the Majestic Star. Of course, an even more important point was that having lost the Star Nest, the contracted Star Generals’ greatest advantage of “immortality” had also vanished from the face of the earth.
“With Siyou and Little Yi, Your Servant has faith they can protect Young Master.” Lin Yingmei was calm, her appearance seemingly unconcerned with anything else.
Wu Xinjie smiled. Her problems were unnecessary. Originally, when she broke through that last layer in their relationship, naturally, she had already considered this sort of consequence. Now, discussing it afterwards, regret was merely self-deprecating. Besides, Majestic Star Panther Head Lin Chong was a top-notch Star General any way it was put. The so-called “immortality” honestly was not on her mind. Otherwise, the Majestic Star would not have declined contracts for a millennia.
“Your Servant is actually worried about Elder Sister.” Lin Yingmei answered back. Now that Maiden Mountain had now intervened, and the future Star Duels would inevitably be very violent. As far as the Knowledge Star that completely lacked martial force and magic energy was concerned, losing the Star Nest honestly was dangerous to the extreme.
Wu Xinjie showed a completely unworried smile.
After several cups of green tea, Lin Yingmei pursed her thin lips: “From then until now, there have always been people staring at us.”
“Are they monks of the Happiness Together Courtyard?” Wu Xinjie was indifferent.
“Each person possesses their own life, but not everyone understands living. Thus, to treasure life, for those that do not understand living, living is a kind of punishment to them.” Wu Xinjie seemed to be taking pity on a pitiful creature: “Just oblige them…”
“Elder Sister also has very Chan logic.” Lin Yingmei was thoughtful.
Wu Xinjie smiled. Then, she gazed at the Seven Floor Stupa Pagoda. “Xinjie wonders how Young Lord is right now? Xinjie somewhat misses him.”
“…” Lin Yingmei was frozen for a bit. She said: “If Young Lord is defeated, what should we do?”
“Defeated?” Wu Xinjie charmingly winked, “Yingmei, what does the First Wife say we should do then?”
Lin Yingmei suddenly understood. Her gaze similarly turned to that pagoda, carrying a chill that reached the bone.
At this time, Su Xing had finally finished climbing the flight of stairs and entered the Third Level of the Seven Floor Stupa Pagoda.
What made Su Xing very disappointed was that this level similarly did not have Wu Siyou’s figure. What entered his view was still a mundane world, but this world was somewhat different compared to the second level. The ground had golden polo flowers piled like a sea, countless golden shala and bodhi wood forming a forest, and the trees were full of blooming shala flowers, more lush than snow.
Without Buddhist chanting lingering, without red-crowned cranes or magic clouds, there was only this towering golden shala and bodhi grove standing in this world. The sound of wind whistled, and the shala and bodhi trees rustled. Golden flower petals successively drifted across the whole sky, just like flying snow. As if he was in the middle of paradise, it was beautiful beyond belief.
A deep quiet.
Su Xing had never felt such peace. Even the Shi Yuan that was currently complaining about being unable to leave the Star Nest had fallen silent.
Stepping forward on the soft polo tree flower petals, Su Xing did not forget the objective of this trip was not to cultivate his mind. His Divine Intent expanded, and his gaze swept around, searching for the entrance into the Fourth Level.
Finally, amidst the dense shala and bodhi, Su Xing found a bodhi gate.
Things were apparently more simple than he had imagined?
Su Xing walked quickly over, and very quickly he reached the front of those bodhi gates. The scene he saw before him suddenly stunned him.The passage to the fourth level of the pagoda indeed was in front of him, but in front of the gate was a white-haired and extremely aged monk currently in quiet meditation. His apparently frail body had a majesty that was more imposing than Mount Tai. He completely blocked that gate, which completely blocked that route.
Su Xing slightly wrinkled his brow upon seeing this. He respectfully stepped forward and put his hands together in salute.
“If Your Servant may ask, Great Master, what meaning is there in meditating here?”
That old man was like an ancient Buddha, not caring for Su Xing’s question.
“Great Master? Is it possible to allow Your Servant to pass? Buddha said: For all living things, rid them of non-beneficial things, and that is known as great compassion; and for all that wish for measureless happiness, that is known as great sorrow; and for all living things whose hearts are filled with happiness, that is known as great joy; self-sacrifice for the happiness of others, to give alms to others, that is known as great abdication.1 Your Servant asks Great Master move for convenience.” Su Xing unloaded the Buddhist knowledge he had most recently crammed.
But this Chang Master was as if he had not heard, motionless and aloof. Not even a single strand of brow hair had moved.
Su Xing again amiably said every sort of request, but no matter how much Su Xing chapped his lips, this old monk seemed to have entered into a deep meditative state, remaining unmoved. If it was not for Su Xing sensing this old monk’s breathing, he would have doubted if in fact the old man was a statue.
“Su Xing, just move him aside. What are you doing wasting breath on him.” Shi Yuan was very direct: “If it was not for This Young Lady being unable to come out, This Young Lady would have patted this old monk’s clothes down, see how he’ll meditate through that.”
“Yuan’er, you can’t be so rude.” Su Xing smiled and chided her.
“But what will Big Brother do now? This Great Master has blocked the road, and you cannot go forward.” An Suwen said.
“Perhaps you must defeat him?” Tang Lianxin guessed.
“Nope.” Su Xing was very certain.
All of the girls felt confused at Su Xing’s firmness. Yan Yizhen asked if Master had discovered some mystery?
Su Xing looked at the surroundings and explained: “You girls can see that this place is abnormally quiet, without any killing intent. That indicates the third trial tests ‘calmness.’” Even Su Xing the layman somewhat understood. What Chan cultivation paid attention to most was this “calmness” word.
Furthermore, this calmness was all-inclusive. How could it not have touched upon the fringe of killing intent.
If someone were to get angry because words were incapable of persuasion, then he would be trapped by outer appearances, confused by an idea. Of course, he would have no qualifications to hear the Holy Monk’s Chan techniques.
Hearing Su Xing’s explanation, the girls suddenly understood, “Big Brother truly is very proficient in Buddhism.” An Suwen was very reverent.
“I only know the surface of Buddhism, however, I did practice psychology before at the air force academy. This environment is more or less susceptible to psychological activity.” Su Xing smiled.
The girls thinly smiled. They had previously heard Wu Xinjie mention this psychological activity subject when she previously spoke of solving the puzzles of ruins. Although they had never heard of this, they only treated it as some secret technique.
“Your Highness, what should be done now?” Gongsun Huang was puzzled. Su Xing could even imagine the little loli’s innocent face adorably at a loss.
“Let’s take a look first.”
Su Xing said.
The gate was in view right in front of him, but having exhausted every sort of method and not being able to make this monk move in the slightest, it seemed this level would not be very easy. But how do they cross?
Su Xing racked his brains for a solution.
Since there was a vulnerability, there was a breaking point. There should be some clues.
Recalling the story of Buddha carving his flesh for the hawk on the second level, Su Xing immediately recalled this perhaps would be related to some classical story. The girls inside the Star Nest pondered a moment.
The girls who completely lacked any knowledge of Buddhism were without a solution. Things would have been solved if Wu Siyou was here. She was very understanding of Buddhism, and it was certain she could grasp the theory. Otherwise, Wu Xinjie would also have been good. The Knowledge Star was very resourceful and more careful than himself. Obviously, they had not been separated for more than a day, but it felt as if ten thousand years had passed. No wonder Su Xing missed them.
No can do, I have to calm down.
Su Xing similarly sat facing the monk and entered meditation.
The Heart Like Mirror Soul Technique had nearly reached the Still Water realm. Su Xing only felt it, the sound of a slight wind, the sound of flowers falling, slightly entering his ear, the sound of breathing, the extreme quiet of the void, faintly entering his mind;
The world’s myriad noises were entirely quiet. Even the ladies inside the Star Nest sensed this.
Wind blew, flowers fell, silent, bodhi, old monk, ancient Buddha…
Suddenly, there was clarity in his mind. Su Xing opened his eyes. He looked around at those petals drifting down, and he abruptly had an epiphany.
So it turned out to be this.
This was truly a clever arrangement.
Su Xing exclaimed.
“Su Xing, you understand it?” Shi Yuan asked in pleasant surprise.
Su Xing affirmed. He rose and saluted. He then walked towards those shala and bodhi trees, raised his head to gaze at the countless polo leaves drifting down, and extended a hand to pick two flowers.
“To present Buddha with borrowed flowers.” Su Xing smiled.
“Ah? To present Buddha with borrowed flowers??”
Su Xing nodded with certainty.
“So it was this.” The deft of mind Yan Yizhen was the very first to understand. She then explained to the Sisters, and Shi Yuan inwardly cursed that this monk was truly shameless. She probably felt this was robbery, that sort of “if you wish to pass, leave your money and valuables behind.”
“However, I fear it isn’t so simple.” Su Xing said.
“Could it be incorrect?”
“It doesn’t matter. Let’s test it first then see.”
Su Xing took a deep breath and walked towards the ancient Buddha, “Great Master’s meditation is profound. Your Servant reveres it. This golden polo flower is borrowed to present to Buddha. Your Servant asks that Great Master shows how to get on the right path.”
Su Xing was already sufficiently pious, his heart somewhat nervous. If this old Buddha was still aloof, Su Xing honestly was in dire straits. He considered taking a risk out of desperation.
Fortunately, this time, Su Xing’s judgment was correct. The statue-like old Buddha finally opened his mouth.
Su Xing inwardly breathed a sigh of relief. To be able to speak indicated that presenting Buddha with borrowed flowers was indeed correct. He then set down one of the golden polo flowers.
The old monk again said: “Set down.”
Su Xing set down the other flower.
Seeing this, the old monk still spat out two words.
“…” Su Xing was taken aback. Staring in surprise at him, “Great Master, both of Your Servant’s hands are already empty, what else is there to set down?”
The old monk’s eyes were shut, and he shook his head, “If Benefactor can truly set down, then Poor Monk can give Benefactor a sermon.” Then, the monk continued to shut his eyes and meditate silently.
“What is this monk doingggg.” Shi Yuan was about to go mad. Obviously, the flowers had been set down. Was he blind? Or maybe deliberately being difficult? The Thief Star truly very much wanted to rush out and scream.
“Little Sister, do not be angry. It will affect Big Brother.” An Suwen promptly said. Within the Star Nest, Star Generals and contractors were one. Her fury would influence Su Xing’s thinking.
“Sorry, Su Xing.” Shi Yuan guiltily said.
Su Xing did not mind. He currently was devoted to delving into the meaning behind what the old monk had said.
Buddhism’s Chan techniques loved to play with specious word games, and Su Xing knew this. His presentation of borrowed flowers to the Buddha was not wrong, but just what was the mystery of “set down?”
Was the polo flower the problem?
Or was he missing something else?
Su Xing furrowed his brow, pondering as he strolled around this Pure Land, searching for any place of this Pure Land that stood out from the rest, to see if he could perhaps find inspiration. However, these shala and bodhi trees were all the same. Even the flower petals were the same way, difficult to distinguish. Su Xing was somewhat at wits’ end about the profundity of this Buddhism.
Su Xing looked at his hands. Faintly, he had grasped the crucial point, but there still was a little thing missing.
Seeing Su Xing so vexed, Shi Yuan was even more loathing towards that monk’s deliberate complexity: “This Young Lady hates this monk. In the end, Su Xing, what are you winning favor with this monk. This Young Lady, hm, hm, would directly beat him to a bloody pulp, see how he poses as an adept removed from the world then.”
“I am winning favor with him?” Su Xing paused.
“This Young Lady is only describing that borrowing flowers to present to Buddha. You, don’t you get the wrong idea.” Shi Yuan hastily corrected.
Su Xing laughed: “So it was this, so it was this.”
“Many thanks, Yuan’er. I finally know what to set down. This Buddhism honestly is indeed fond of making things overly complicated.”
“Really? Did Yuan’er really help you?” Shi Yuan was somewhat embarrassed.
“Watch. If this time doesn’t work, I’ll listen to Yuan’er.”2
Su Xing once again picked two golden polo flowers and walked over. This did not appear any different from the last time. Su Xing spoke without hurry and even activated the Extreme Sincerity Soul Technique to its limit, making himself reach the Heart Still As Water realm.
“Your Servant asks Great Master to show how to get on the right path.” Su Xing was very earnest.
“Set down.” The old monk was still as before.
Su Xing set down the golden polo flower of his left hand.
The golden polo flower in his right hand was set down at the same time.
“Uh, Su Xing, just what do you think you’re doing?” Shi Yuan did not understand. The other beauties did not dare breathe, so as to avoid affecting Su Xing.
So far, there seemed to have been nothing special.
Could it be he won’t say “set down” anymore?
Shi Yuan thought.
Which made the Thief Star very disappointed. This old monk again spat out these two words.
Su Xing at this time was empty-handed, with nothing to put down. However, Su Xing nevertheless put his hands together, bringing up a completely pious salutation.
The old monk then opened his eyes and returned the greeting: “The meditative mind is by comprehension, and the gates to Buddhism shall open. Benefactor, please…” After speaking, the old monk’s figure transformed into golden polo flowers that filled the sky and disappeared.
“Ah??? Why’s that?”
Shi Yuan and the others stared dumbly.
They could not understand what the situation was. Su Xing merely bowed, nothing more, and this monk’s attitude made a one hundred eighty degree turn, which was too strange.
“Big Brother, just what did you do??”
An Suwen asked the question that was on their minds.
Su Xing’s face slowly recovered its normal appearance, and he chuckled. “I merely truly set down.”
“Uh…What do you mean truly set down?” Shi Yuan was bewildered.
“The so-called third set down was precisely this mind of borrowing flowers to present to Buddha.” Su Xing did not keep them waiting as he explained. Shi Yuan said that Su Xing ought not to curry favor with the monk, and then Su Xing finally understood what the last “set down” was missing. This was precisely Su Xing’s first thought of borrowing flowers to present to Buddha. Setting down the intent to obtain approval was the true trial of the Stupa Pagoda’s third realm.
They were also deft of mind, and very quickly, they understood Su Xing’s meaning. They could not help but be speechless.
The mysteries of Buddhism honestly were too ingenious.
This simply was like a monster.
However, that Su Xing could smoothly enter the fourth floor of the stupa pagoda made them expand their horizons, satisfying them endlessly.
“For this Buddhism to be so difficult, Suwen wonders how Elder Sister Wu Siyou is right now.” An Suwen was somewhat anxious.
“Siyou understands Buddhism more than I do. This is just a cheap trick plus luck. If it was Siyou, perhaps things would be even simpler.” Su Xing smiled. As far as cultivators that truly comprehended Buddhism, perhaps this borrowing flowers to present to Buddha was obvious at a glance.
Thinking of this, Su Xing suddenly was somewhat curious about the Seven Floor Stupa Pagoda.
In the Void Paradise, the sounds of body endlessly entered the ear. A dragon roar quaked, blowing a severe hurricane.
A beautiful silhouette traveled back and forth in attack. When the smoke and dust cleared, a wonderfully cool and elegant stance was revealed.
“Where there is cause, there is effect. You still have the chance to repent.”
In front of Wu Siyou was a golden winged, roc-like man. His aggression was fierce, his hands like sharp blades.
“You wish to have Your Servant carve her flesh?” Wu Siyou’s gaze contained only two words – how laughable.
The Harm Star swayed. She disappeared from where she was, the cool and elegant swordtip directly brushing by the golden winged roc’s body, sending this arrogant man directly flying away.
Wu Siyou slashed downwards. A golden figure very quickly pounced from the side, and the Harm Star’s hard leg swept to block. This golden winged roc’s speed was extremely fast, instantly arriving in front of her, but Wu Siyou’s attack clearly was not slow. The golden winged roc’s arms blocked. The pressure from Wu Siyou’s kick made his appearance malevolent, feel his bones about to shatter.
After the kick, Wu Siyou then punched.
This time, she sent the man flying.
“Dammit.” The golden winged roc flapped his wing with all his might, waving his weapon, his attacks in disarray and chaos.
Wu Siyou nimbly advanced, her graceful stance only containing two words for the foe – how laughable.
What was going on?
Before the golden winged roc could understand.
Wu Siyou once again disappeared, and her sword approached from the west. The air between the two once again splashed with violent sparks. This time, her strength did not run through the golden winged roc’s irate defenses. The golden armor of his whole body crisscrossed, and like a bloody sword, simultaneously launched, cutting apart a bone-chilling cold.
However, this sort of defense was far from enough. Wu Siyou was but a martial general that stood between the peaks of power and speed.
When Wu Siyou’s double-ended sword Noble Frost Demonic Lotus played audible chants on that golden armor defense, the Harm Star’s figure also instantly launched thoroughly. Consecutive slashes like a storm suppressed the golden winged roc, making his protective barrier let out shrill laments. Although he obviously knew that he could defend if he concentrated his power, let alone that the roc could complete those movements right now, even just seeing the path of the opponent’s sword was basically impossible.
The sword wind pierced through the barrier and once again ruthlessly bit into its prey’s body. The blood spatter that flew stained the golden wings red, and the eye-catching color of scarlet dyed those golden clothes.
The golden winged roc used all his strength to stop it, but Wu Siyou was calm, more monstrous than he. She completely was indifferent. The sole existing objective of this ice-cold martial general who rejected all sentiment was to dispatch the opponent.
Dammit, it is over.
The golden winged roc silently shouted. He fought as hard as he could. His golden wings became countless saber lights and sword shadows that pounced at Wu Siyou from every direction. He attempted to kill the woman, but Wu Siyou’s lips curled into a sneer.
Instantly, Noble Frost Demonic Lotus blossomed. The Harm Star was like a sharp long sword.
She pierced through the void.
A booming shatter.
Golden feathers drifted down across the entire sky.
The golden winged roc man stared in disbelief at the giant hole in his belly.
“To think of making Your Servant carve her flesh, you had best see how much you have yourself.” Wu Siyou stowed her sword, uttering an ice-cold assertion.