The Five Finger tablet stood in front of Chen Mo. The ancient ability’s spiritual power was like a wisp of smoke wound around Chen Mo’s body. It entered his body from his hundred pores and left the same way as well over and over like this, blowing out smoke and mist, enveloping the room in a fog.
“Together with Heaven in life, the immortality of the mind. Together with Earth in life, the indestructibility of the soul. Between Heaven and Earth, the mediocre are like dogs. The only character who dominates Heaven and Earth can stand above the rest, to be known as the Human Sovereign!!”
Chen Mo formed the Zhangtian Seal’s hand seals, making the pores of his complete Saint of War body that unified spirit and flesh breathe in and out. However, the two types of energy entering his pores nevertheless rejected one another. The forces were unable to mix. The Zhangtian Seal was originally the supreme ability of a cultivator. For cultivators that were Thunder Tribulation and beyond, they used thunder to temper their whole bodies. Once at the Unification of Heaven and Man Realm, those in this Realm were able to control the spiritual power of Heaven and Earth, to ride the wind upon swords and break free of the roots of the earth.
Cultivators who controlled space were considered True Immortals of the land. They were able to roam the four seas with but a snap of their fingers. The Zhangtian Seal borrowed the strength of Earth, controlling Heaven in one’s palm. It was difficult for any cultivator to avoid it. No magic weapon or ability was able to activate under its power, so it became the strongest ability in the Great Chong Dynasty. But the Five Finger Mountain was the opposite. The cultivator soared into the sky, sending his strength downwards, able to firmly trap targets on the ground with the weight of Mount Tai. This borrowed the power of Heaven.
The spiritual power of Heaven and Earth was always indistinct, but right here by Chen Mo, it was seemingly substantial.
To fuse the two together into one was honestly too difficult.
Chen Mo continuously formed hand seals. The Zhangtian Seal and the Five Finger Mountain were practically in mutual opposition, and the Bagua intent was also unfolding inside the room.
The spiritual power below his body formed into the Bagua imprints, bringing this spiritual power into his pores, but not long after, this spiritual power was spat out again. Chen Mo stopped his hand seals and sighed. The Book Of Changes developed the powers under heaven. The Bagua in particular was its foundation. Originally, Chen Mo thought that by relying on this basis, he should have very easily been able to combine the Five Finger Mountain and the Zhangtian Seal abilities. However, he always felt his mind was missing something, making these powers unable to combine and function. It was too exhausting.
“Maybe I’d better master them individually first.” Chen Mo muttered. Because he had the Book Of Changes as a foundation and a Three Flowers Gathered Overhead Saint Of War Realm, grasping a few abilities was not too difficult in actuality. However, these two powers were polar opposites. The first combinations were somewhat easier, so Chen Mo, who was unable to think of the particulars, continued to cultivate.
Outside the room, the morning stars were sparse, for dawn rose from the east.
Chen Mo rinsed his face and cleaned himself up and left the room.
Chen Mo lived in the “Laurel Chamber” in the west wing of Chang’an Mansion. A Four Seasons Laurel was planted outside his room. It was lush and thriving, its fragrance wafting, very suitable for self-cultivation. Taking a few dozen steps, he spotted a woman currently brandishing a sword amidst the osmanthus flowers.
The sword was like a flying luan departing, fast as it was graceful, extremely captivating.
Chen Mo quietly admired her for a while. The woman stopped her routine, and he finally said: “Big Sis, why are you practicing your sword in my courtyard?”
“You wake up too late.” Chen Luan criticized Chen Mo’s slight laziness. She came to the Laurel Chamber several hours ago because she wanted to train with Chen Mo together, only to discover his door remained closed. When warriors trained, the early morning was the most optimal, the best time to cultivate True Qi, to circulate Qi-blood inside and out. But this guy unexpectedly was lazing about. She was truly at a loss as to how this genius came about.
Chen Luan nevertheless did not know that Chen Mo had awoken very early. Right now, he had no need to cultivate True Qi nor warm up his Qi-blood. However, to be able to practice martial arts was always a good thing. Chen Mo did not justify himself, “I have to be up early tomorrow.”
“Are you preparing to pay respects to Third Mother?” Chen Luan said.
Chen Mo was taken aback, having completely forgot. When he returned to Chang’an, it was proper that he should have gone to the imperial mausoleum to worship his mother.
However, he already learned from Auntie that his mother from the very start was not dead, just that she was no longer in the Tail Fire Star Field. To go worship her felt strange. “Mother is only missing. She isn’t dead, I don’t want to go pay my respects.”
“Indeed.” Chen Luan nodded. The disappearance of Chen Mo’s mother was known to the few of them, but the precise details were unclear.
“Then good, I’m taking you someplace.”
“The place to concentrate that you mentioned yesterday, Third Sister?”
A simple and unadorned temple towered over the quiet White Tiger Avenue. Its entrance was unguarded and was without even stone lions. It was completely deserted, somewhat cold and cheerless. Two words were written upon the signboard above the grounds, Watchful Mind.
The characters were well-written, flowing like serpents, bold and vigorous.
He could vaguely hear a sermon from inside the grounds.
Chen Mo looked skeptically at his Third Sister.
“This is much better than that brothel. Use your mind to comprehend, and you can understand many things.” Chen Luan mysteriously said.
Although the entrance was unguarded, Chen Luan still showed great reverence, her footfalls when she entered the courtyard especially light, out of fear of disturbing those inside. Chen Mo was well aware of Third Sister’s personality, one of violence. She did not louse out to the rude and forthright Zhongli Sanmei. To be able to make her so solemn right now, Chen Mo’s curiosity was piqued.
They walked past a cobblestone path and saw a wooden house that was covered in the scars of bleak winds and icy rain. Opening the door, they could see a spacious hall. Inside, many warriors and cultivators were sitting down, each of them surprisingly upright and attentive.
“Consider not this desire for good or evil, and the mind’s innate sense of right and wrong will be quiet and free. This has selfishness, a vain and wild delusion…”1
An extremely flat voice came from inside, word after word like a string of pearls, slowly entering the ear.
Chen Mo felt this voice was a bit familiar. After he entered the hall, he spotted a tall and straight man. Just as expected, he was none other than that man he met back in the Underworld Cave. Chen Mo had a deep impression of his strange Gravedigger Sword. Since he was here, then…Chen Mo turned his gaze to the woman sitting at the very front.
Black long robes, as dark as ink.
She was none other than Wuyi.
Chen Mo remembered that the Star Name this woman inherited was Gu Yanwu.
Right, after they parted at the Underworld Cave, Gu Wuyi said she was going to Chang’an for a look around. He did not expect that she would surprisingly begin to preach sermons.
Chen Mo looked around. Surprisingly, there were many warriors who came to listen, around thirty to forty. Their breathing was full, their True Qi condensed. At the very least, they were all at complete Three Flowers Gathered Overhead Realm.
Since Third Sister had come here, presumably there were some Thunder Tribulations as well.
When Gu Wuyi spotted Chen Mo, he winked at her. The woman was expressionless, neither sad nor cheerful, as if she did not recognize him. Without any response, she continued to preach the School Of Mind.
“Little Brother, listen carefully. The teachings of this School Of Mind are still a bit profound, able to comprehend many things about cultivation.” Chen Luan saw him throw a flirtatious glance. She was angered enough to tug his ear.
Chen Mo turned serious and sat down cross-legged like Third Sister.
As for the School Of Mind, Chen Mo had received its founder Wang Yangming’s authentic tradition. In terms of theory or doctrine, perhaps even Gu Wuyi could not compare. However, Chen Mo did not have significant research into the School Of Mind.
Regarding the School Of Mind, he knew about pursuing knowledge and “the mind is principle.”
At first, Chen Mo still acted like he came for education, but the more he listened, the more he found that the School Of Mind was very out of the ordinary, and he finally understood why a genius cultivator like Third Sister would come to listen to a sermon.
The School Of Mind could cultivate the True Mind as well as all abilities in the world. The mind was like a vessel, able to deepen the comprehension a warrior had towards abilities and Realm. Only with deep understanding could one walk further along the path of cultivation.
Chen Mo suddenly thought that the School Of Mind was perhaps an opportunity, capable of blending the two different powers of the Zhangtian Seal and the Five Finger Mountain.
Chen Luan stole a glance at him. Seeing that Chen Mo was earnestly listening to the lecture, completely absorbed, her expression showed relief.
“What desire have you not seen nor heard. To rid yourself of it is to be lifeless. You may be deaf and blind, but even those who can see or hear cannot escape.”2
When she uttered this phrase, Gu Wuyi stopped speaking, “Thus, today’s School Of Mind lecture ends here. If everyone is willing , please come again next time.”
All of the cultivators and warriors stood one after another and politely saluted according to etiquette.
When Chen Mo saw this etiquette, he was tongue-tied to recognize this was surprisingly the style for a great master. Just what did this Gu Wuyi do in Chang’an, to surprisingly have so many followers.
The crowd did not disperse, rather, they each sat in meditation to comprehend the School Of Mind’s lecture.
“How about it, Little Brother, any comprehension?” Chen Luan narrowed her eyes.
“Third Sister, I really can concentrate here.” Chen Mo replied. “But Third Sister, you like the School Of Mind even when you’re nearly Greater Thunder Tribulation?”
“Little Brother, you are very perceptive, to surprisingly know this is the School Of Mind.” Chen Luan said in surprise.
“Although this Big Sister is nearly Greater Thunder Tribulation, this School Of Mind indeed makes my eyes sparkle. So long as you immerse your mind, you can reap the benefits.”
“The School Of Mind is spreading through Chang’an very quickly right now, like it has become a new study. That woman is called Wuyi, and she even once debated with the Wanshou Temple’s abbot. She has some talent.” Chen Luan’s expression was very impressed.
Chen Mo remembered that the Great Chong Dynasty’s mainstream was Zen. This Gu Wuyi was too brazen, to surprisingly introduce an alternative school of thought. She did not fear meeting the Wanshou Temple’s reprisal. Those monks at the Wanshou Temple were not vegetarians. It appeared that they would inevitably seek her out for a chat.
Gu WUyi glanced at Chen Mo and went to the back room.
Chen Mo also stood up.
“Little Brother, what are you doing?”
“I’m going to chat with her.”
“It’s useless, she has never talked about her sermons.” Chen Luan shook her head.
“Even Third Sister couldn’t speak with her?” Chen Mo asked.
“Right. The School Of Mind only relies on the True Mind for comprehension. She has never socialized with anyone. Emperor Tang even invited her into the palace, only to be refused.” Chen luan said.
“She’s quite arrogant.”
Chen Mo walked towards the back room. When Chen Luan saw she was unable to stop him, she could only follow along. At this moment, the other cultivators and warriors saw this scene. The Flying Luan Princess was famous, known to all in Chang’an. But Chen Mo had only returned a few days ago. No one recognized him.
“Who is that brat?”
“He seems surprisingly very close to the Flying Luan Princess.”
“This brat unexpectedly wants to seek out Wuyi.”
“Looks like he doesn’t know the rules of the Watchful Mind.”
Mu stood in front of the door. Chen Mo smiled and said: “Can I see Wuyi?”
Mu was taken aback. He suddenly nodded. “Go on in, Wuyi’s waiting for you right now!”
“Thanks.” Chen Mo cupped his fist.
Chen Luan’s jaw dropped, not daring to believe this. “Third Sister, let’s go together.” Chen Mo grabbed her hand and entered the room with her. Mu did not stop them.
The others were slack jawed.
They were not mistaken, were they, that someone was surprisingly able to enter Wuyi’s back room?
Back room, a side room.
Wuyi was currently steeping tea.
“Wuyi, long time no see.” Chen Mo casually greeted her.
As one who received Wang Yangming’s recognition, Chen Mo’s position in the School Of Mind was inevitably higher than Gu Wuyi’s. Gu Wuyi naturally did not have a reason to refuse Chen Mo’s meeting.
See him arrive, the woman was still expressionless as she passed two cups of finished green tea in front of her.
“Your Highness Chen Mo, is there any advice you seek.”
“Little Brother, you know Great Master Wuyi?” Chen Luan asked in shock.
“En, we had a life and death encounter before.” Chen Mo said.
“You exaggerate, it was merely a chance meeting between strangers.” Gu Wuyi gave him no face at all.
Chen Luan was speechless. Just who was her Little Brother, for him to surprisingly be familiar with the Great Master of the School Of Mind. No wonder he understood the School Of Mind so well.
“I did not expect that you would actually start a school in Chang’an, to preach the School Of Mind. Aren’t you afraid of trouble from the Wanshou Temple?” Chen Mo asked.
“I have gone to the Wanshou Temple and debated with the Wanshou Abbot.”
“Hm?” Chen Mo could tell that she was not finished with the story.
“Zen’s path is not bad. It deepened my comprehension of the School Of Mind, and the School Of Mind and Zen are somewhat related, not in conflict.” Wuyi said.
“How so?” Chen Mo only knew that the School Of Mind was the successor of the Confucian Schools, evolving from them. He had never heard that they were related to Zen.
“Take this comprehension, for example.” Wuyi’s tone was flat, her gestures elegant and slow as she drank her tea: “The goal of Zen is that ‘non-thought is the tenet, the formless is the essence, the non-abiding is the fundamental,’ and the Founder’s School Of Mind believes, ‘to not see and not hear truly is diligence.’ Clouds scatter and rivers flow, silencing the world. The two of them are of one logic.”
So that’s how it is. To be able to listen to Great Master Wuyi’s lecture face-to-face, I have comprehended a lot.” Chen Luan exclaimed.
Chen Mo pondered. This Wuyi was very formidable, as expected, to be able to blend Zen into the School Of Mind so quickly. Her prospects were endless.
However, Chen Mo did not seek her out this time to discuss these. A moment ago, as he listened to her lecture, his mind vaguely had some ideas that could combine the Zhangtian Seal and Five Finger Mountain, but they were not very clear. Gu Wuyi was an expert in the School Of Mind, her comprehension of it even deeper than his. Chen Mo wanted to see whether or not he could receive enlightenment from her, after all, to combine an Immemorial Ability with what was practically the Human Sovereign’s strongest technique was absolutely not an easy task.
Gu Wuyi muttered to herself for a while. She raised her eyes, her gaze twinkling: “You stay here tonight.”
Third Sister spurted tea out of her mouth.