Chapter 165: This Is His Level

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While Chen Mo and Chen Luan were chatting, the world suddenly rumbled with a roll of thunder, as if a god was snarling, intimidating all things.

“That is?” Chen Mo looked carefully, noticing that atop one plateau of Longevity Mountain was a man sitting atop a lotus flower in a Buddhist posture. Accumulated above his head was mass like ink, rolling like a dragon. Thunder bellowed, about to break out of the clouds, exceptionally frightening.

Chen Luan had gone through several layers of Lesser Thunder Tribulation. She knew from a glance that man was cultivating Lesser Thunder Tribulation.

“This man appears young, but his Lesser Thunder Tribulation is at least Third Layer?” Chen Luan carefully checked.

That man wore Wanshou Zen clothes. His facial features were young, but he appeared very stead. Compared to a middle-aged man, he was far too calm. The man sat on that lotus, his hands forming seals. A vajra and a yaksha leapt out from empty space, guarding him. When that malevolent yaksha spotted Chen Mo, it bared its enormous mouth, its hand brandishing a forked spear.

“That is the ‘Kassapa Yaksha Protection.’1 This man has cultivated to such a profound Realm.” Chen Luan immediately realized this ability’s background, which came from none other than Wanshou Temple’s “Kassapa Sutra.”2

“As expected of the Wanshou Temple.” Chen Mo said in amazement.

To have such powerful cultivation at so young an age, he upholds the hundred year reputation of Zen.”

“Let’s not bother him.” Chen Luan agreed.

Lesser Thunder Tribulation cultivators required backing from natural thunderfields in order to temper their entire bodies, and this phase was extremely dangerous. To suffer an interruption would create an irreparable disaster. However, cultivators who refined to Lesser Thunder Tribulation mostly had preparations, so bothering them was not so easy.

Chen Luan had this strength but not this mood. In truth, she was quite fond of emerging geniuses. They left, and that man slowly opened his eyes. His youth-like expression was unfeeling, his mind already at a certain level. The youth did not pay much attention to Chen Luan, who was able to fly with a riding swords. Rather, he was more focused on Chen Mo. Afterwards, he closed his eyes, no longer distracted.

Chen Luan maneuvered the Flying Sword to descend in front of Longevity Mountain. Then, they were welcomed by a monk aware of the guests, his expression elegant and delicate.

Chen Mo asked: “Who is that young man tempering Lesser Thunder Tribulation at Longevity Mountain.”

“Answering to Your Highness. That is Junior Brother Fang Xi.3 He has always devoted himself to self-cultivation at This Temple. Yesterday, he only just left seclusion to cultivate Lesser Thunder Tribulation. The other Poor Monks are not aware.” That law protector appeared unwilling to say more, and Chen Mo did not pursue.

Arriving at the Wanshou Temple’s Bodhi Hall, there was a very long path. Along the way, there was the scent of sandalwood. Chen Mo curiously glanced over this place, noticing a large number of warrior monks training to the sides. Their Qi-blood stirred, very strong.

Chen Mo was considered someone famous even at the Wanshou Temple. His Hanshan Asks Shide and his Zen verse at the banquet already made his name echo throughout Wanshou Temple.

After he appeared, all of the monks tossed attentive stares. These looks were mostly a kind of disbelief and amazement towards his understanding of Zen. There were others of envy that he was able to enter the Bodhi Cliff and meditate.

Among the monks of Wanshou Temple who cultivated, those able to enter the Bodhi Cliff for meditation were extremely few in number. Some people even cultivated their entire lives without necessarily being able to glimpse the Bodhi, but Chen Mo, at such a young age no more than fifteen or sixteen years old, was able to reach the level of accomplishment only a Great Zen Master could. Any other person would be a bit powerless.

Zen cultivated the mind, which was actually aptly named. Up until they arrived at Bodhi Hall, Chen Mo did not see any negative moods from the gazes of those monks along the sides, which made Chen Luan feel impressed.

Wanshou Temple’s abbot, Buddhist Master Compassionate Emptiness, was currently standing in front of Bodhi Hall.

“Buddhist Master Compassionate Emptiness, thank you for your troubles.” The two of them reverently placed their palms together

“Your Highness, please.” Buddhist Master Compassionate Emptiness faintly smiled. The expression he had when he gazed at Chen Mo was somewhat loving. In front of this Great Zen Master of good moral standing and reputation, any person who could have an epiphany about Zen would be like his own child. For Chen Mo to be able to have this level of mastery, Buddhist Master Compassionate Emptiness became very fond of him. Otherwise, he would not have easily allowed Chen Mo to meditate at Zen’s precious Bodhi Cliff.

Upon entering the hall, they saw an enormous idol of Buddha, which was different from the vajra, arhat, and bodhisattvas that packed the hall. The idol of Zen’s main hall was both simple and unadorned. The statue merely sat there, a feeling that it had been present since ancient times. Chen Luan was not too fond of Zen because Zen comprehension was honestly too profound, but she could not help but be respectful when she saw this statue.

May golden lanterns hung around the main hall. The lamps were about the size of jars, illuminating the exquisitely constructed upper and lower floors, all woven from thin golden thread, supporting thin colored glass, their light like the moon, their oil fragrant.

These perfumed oils were not the sort an ordinary person would have. These were polo butter, used to visualize the Polo Buddha Kingdom while meditating. Each liang was worth two hundred times that in gold. Chen Mo was inwardly startled when he saw the quantity of the perfumed oil and candles.

The candles were an important formality in Buddhism when making offerings, for they represented the pursuit of light and wisdom. But the number of candles in front him was worth at least a million liang in gold. As a Zen monk, the degree of this extravagance far outdid the imperial family.

So much so that it rendered one speechless.

Buddhist Master Compassionate Emptiness apparently saw through Chen Mo’s thinking and said: “The Wisdom Lamps can break all darkness. This candle’s name is ‘Radiance Of Heaven.’4 The sutras say, light ten thousand lamps, wipe away all guilt with remorse. Only when the Bodhi Cliff opens will the Bodhi Hall light the ‘Radiance Of Heaven.'”

Chen Mo began to perspire. It turned out all of this was related to him. “Your Servant shall definitely meditate sincerely and will not profane the Wisdom Lamps.”

“What you meditate to understanding is the True Mind. That Your Highness is so attached contrarily makes you fall to a lower level.” Buddhist Master Compassionate Emptiness cautiously said.

“Indeed, Buddhist Master. Your Servant engraves to memory.” Chen Mo nodded.

Before he could enter the Bodhi Cliff, he still needed burn incense, bathe, and pray; this was a succession of very orthodox Zen etiquette. Afterwards, Buddhist Master Compassionate Emptiness would finally Chen Mo to a side door in the main hall.

Just when all of the monks finished praying, a tiny head suddenly poked through the door to gaze inquisitively at Chen Mo.

That little novice monk’s eyes were black, very quick-witted.

Chen Mo looked at him and beckoned him over. The little novice monk immediately retracted his head.

Chen Luan rolled her eyes.

All of a sudden, a swarm of novice monks entered. The monks currently in the hall were taken aback, subsequently smiling knowingly. “Big Brother, Big Brother.”

Although there were many young girls among these fledgling novice monks dressed in Zen robes, they shouted very energetically, like baby chicks crying for food as they surrounded Chen Mo.

“Big Brother, so you’re the one who made Hanshan Asks Shide? So awesome.”

“Big Brother, I’ll be like you someday.”

“Big Brother…”

Hearing the little boys and girls so readily spout “Big Brother,” Chen Mo’s heart melted.

“Do not bother His Highness. Clean Mind, quickly bring the children back to the Zen Room to properly self-cultivate.” Buddhist Master Compassionate Emptiness said to a monk who ran over.

“Abbot, are they all cared for by your venerable temple?” Chen Mo asked.

“Some of them were sent here to cultivate by their families, and others are orphans who lost their parents.” Buddhist Master Compassionate Emptiness gazed at these children with great pity.

Seeing these children still maintained a bit of purity and innocence, Chen Mo could not help but feel deep respect for the Wanshou Temple.

That monk named Clean Mind called over the children to herd them back to the Zen Room.

“Big Brother, preach to us about the dharma.”

“Big Brother, give us a sermon.”

These children were reluctant to part, clinging to the hem of Chen Mo’s clothes. They had already heard about Chen Mo, and in the hearts of these children, Chen Mo was somehow like the Wanshou Temple’s abbot. Faced with their idol today, they were very eager to listen to his lecture.

Chen Mo broke into an enormous sweat. To have him deliver a sermon in front of Buddhist Master Compassionate Emptiness, that was displaying insignificant tricks in front of an expert.

“Your Highness, why not speak to them. These children but very much adore Your Highness.” Clean Mind laughed.

The hundred monks and Zen Masters in the main hall turned their gazes to Chen Mo at this time. As someone able to enter the Bodhi Cliff, everyone was very eager to know what understanding Chen Mo actually had towards Buddhism and Zen.

Chen Mo saw there was no other way, but for the moment, he really did not know what to say. Sure, he could lecture, but he had never done a sermon on Buddhism. Glancing around at the golden lanterns Radiance Of Heaven, Chen Mo had a stroke of inspiration, saying: “Then shall I talk to you about the story of the poor girl offering a light? Have you heard of it?”


The children were in high spirits.

“Hurry and thank His Highness.”

“Thank you, Your Highness.” The boys and girls spoke in unison.

Upon hearing Chen Mo’s words, these children immediately knelt, listening in earnest. Not only them but those Great Zen Masters in the surroundings also perked up their ears and listened respectfully.

Chen Luan was very curious about what Chen Mo would talk about. According to what she knew, this little brother definitely did not have actual contact with Buddhism.

The “poor girl offering a light” that Chen Mo spoke of was a very special classic story in Buddhism. The general idea of the whole story was that a king invited Buddha to have a meal. Afterwards, to convey the respect he had for the Buddha, he decided that the entire kingdom should light lanterns in the Buddha’s honor; a poor woman named Nantuo had a respectful heart for the Buddha. Although she was very inclined to make an offering to the Buddha, she suffered from poverty. One day, the king lit ten thousand lanterns in offering, and she decided to also make an effort. Therefore, she brought a single copper coin she earned from begging to a sesame oil store and requested the shopkeeper sell her some balm to light a lantern for the Buddha.

The shopkeeper looked and asked her: When you are so impoverished, why do you not use the money you received from begging to go buy food. And what do you want the balm for?

Nanyuo said: I heard the Buddha has come. This is something very rare, and now, I am fortunate enough to be able to meet the Buddha. But I do not have money for dana. When I saw the king light the lanterns today, I was overjoyed in my heart, and I wanted to light a lantern offering for the Buddha, too.

When the shopkeeper learned of Nantuo’s intentions, he was very moved. One coin could buy only two boxes of oil, but he gave her three. Nantuo knew this was not a lot of oil. In half a night, it would be exhausted. Therefore, she devoutly vowed to the Buddha: “I am willing to save all things. I ask Buddha please preserve this lantern’s brilliance through the night.” Then, all of the lanterns in the city were extinguished, save only for Nantuo’s that did not go out. Afterwards, Buddha was moved to make her a Buddha.

Sincerity was the reason, and it was lit with virtue. The Meng Buddha received those instructions and became a Buddha.5

When the story was told, the monks in the main hall sunk into contemplation, silent for a long time. These children listened with their eyes wide open, showing adorable expressions.

The story of the “poor woman’s lamp offering” that Chen Mo told could be considered apt for this environment. Even Buddhist Master Compassionate Emptiness was shaken.

“What were you able to learn from this story?” Chen Mo blinked. Elder Sister knew from a glance this brat was full of shit.

But the children did not know this and obediently answered.

“Things work out with a sincere heart!”

“Only with sincerity can one receive rewards.”

“And what do the Great Masters feel?” Chen Mo smiled and asked.

The monks meditating in the Bodhi Hall all had deep cultivation in the Wanshou Temple. Hearing his question, they thought it over and had the same answer as the children. However, this was not incorrect. In Buddhist scripture, the tale of the poor girl’s lamp offering was originally one of sincerity towards the Buddha, which Buddha would then in turn repay. 

Chen Mo did not like this kind of situation. He said: “Indeed, things will work out with a sincere heart. In anything you do, you can receive the greatest repayment only with sincere intentions. But the chance is the most important…In the tale of the poor girl’s lamp offering, if the king and Buddha did not meet to offer lanterns, how could the Buddha realize Nantuo’s sincerity. There are so many people in the world who are sincere towards Buddha. There are certainly many who were like Nantuo, but why was Nantuo the only one able to become a Buddha? Coincidentally, it was because the country was making lantern offerings to the Buddha that the Buddha realized everything.”

“The Buddha saw her sincerity. Therefore, he also seized this chance. In other words, sincerity is very important, but opportunity is even more important.”

The boys and girls had a sudden realization.

Those adults spectating from the side were all tongue-tied, speechless. This Highness’ lecture on Buddhism honestly was far outside their recognition.

It was plainly a very beautiful story, but his speech was that special, as if there was an entirely new understanding.

Could this be the so-called level of a Great Zen Master?

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  1. 迦葉夜叉護法
  2. 迦葉經
  3. 方夕
  4. 光明諸天
  5. This part was really hard to translate. I tried my best.


  1. sincerity is very important, but opportunity is even more important.

    That is an extraordinarily cynical moral to extract from the tale, and I guess I must say that is exactly what I expected from our protagonist. It’s quite depressing, really.

    Could this be the so-called level of a Xianxia protagonist?

    1. Yeah, it really sucks, too, because it reflects what happened with him. He needed his aunt to come in and reset his body (his opportunity) to even prove how dedicated he was to learning martial arts (his sincerity).

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