“All physical phenomena are like a dream, illusion, bubble, shadow. Like dew or like lightning, thus do we perceive them.”
The second round “Card Scripture” had ended.
As anticipated, Jiang Yanyu and Fang Xi both obtained complete card characters. The words they assembled were none other than Buddhism’s most famous saying, “all physical phenomena.” Twenty characters total, four obtained each round, this was just perfect to pass with ten points.
However, what surprised everyone was that for the final “perceive” character, Fang Xi surprisingly stole a march and surpassed Jiang Yanyu. In the end, in terms of qualifications, they had both received full scores from the first and second floors. His final total of 52 points placed him in first on the Divine Warrior Examination’s gold leaves.
Jiang Yanyu was similarly at fifty-two points, but because her speed was slightly slower, she ranked second.
Chen Mo just had a life and death struggle with Cui Wumeng and did not pay attention to the situation between Jiang Yanyu and Fang Xi. Only after he spoke with Qing Wan did he learn that because the two of them fought over the same Zen mantra, the struggle over that final character was especially intense. The battle between Jiang Yanyu’s Misty Rain Sword Intent and Fang Xi’s Vajra Protection stifled everyone.
If it was not for Fang Xi cultivating Zen dharma ever since he was little, which granted him a significant resistance advantage over the Karma Fire, Jiang Yanyu would not have necessarily lost.
As the prior hot topic of the Divine Warrior Examination, Jiang Yanyu, who was the favorite to be zhuangyuan, had placed second in the first two floors of the pagoda’s assessments. This surprised everyone.
Jiang Yanyu herself played with a lock of her hair, faintly smiling.
As far as she was concerned, the show was far from over.
The Divine Warrior Examination’s gold leaves then displayed the performance of the third place candidate.
Again, it was another perfect 10 point score, and when everyone saw the warrior’s name, they inhaled sharply.
“How can it be him?”
“Impossible, didn’t he get two of the same character before?”
“Exactly, how can he have gotten full score from randomly grabbing cards.”
All of the warriors talked over one another. As a similarly famous character in the Divine Warrior Examination, Chen Mo’s each and every move were closely studied. Having received a full score himself, everyone felt this was outrageous.
After the phrase that Chen Mo formed was displayed, all of the warriors present immediately became speechless.
The characters that Chen Mo gathered came from the “Prajñāpāramitā Heart Sutra.” It was “Having hearts without worry, being without any hindrances, without fear or terror, thus transcend all kinds of illusion, attain the highest nirvana.”
Twenty-two characters in total, beating out Fang Xi by two characters.
In the Card Scripture test, each card character required a lot of effort. From the perspective of difficulty, this greatly surpassed Fang Xi. Everyone was very speechless. They had believed Chen Mo would be defeated this round. Who could have anticipated that he would be even more amazing than Fang Xi.
Besides the top three, the disparity between fourth place and the rest began to show. Fourth place was a man named Qu Kuo. Just about at the Divine Warrior Examination age limit of twenty years old, he came from Cang Province. He was the son of a feudal prince. His Divine Warrior Examination score totaled up to 45 points. The top ten all had scores above forty. Cui Wumeng placed eighth with a score of 42, and she was the sole warrior who had yet to reach Three Flowers Gathered Overhead Saint Of War.
This made everyone very astonished.
But Cui Wumeng was not happy in the slightest. She gazed at Chen Mo, itching to drink his blood and eat his flesh.1
In the final calculation, more than a hundred jinshi exceeded the thirty-four minimum score to receive qualifications to enter the third floor.
A flight of stairs appeared. The warriors who qualified impatiently ascended the staircase to the third floor.
They entered the fourth floor. Originally, everyone thought that there would be a Buddhist hall like before. After he entered the light, what appeared in front of Chen Mo was a perfectly straight avenue of colored glass. Polo and bodhi trees were planted in the surroundings. At the end of the road seemed to be a towering staircase.
Other than these, a thick mist covered everything.
The other jinshi at Chen Mo’s side had already vanished without a trace. He was the only one left in the entire third floor.
Just as he was confused, Monk Seven Treasures’ voice came from the fog to explain the third floor’s assessment.
The third floor was named “Question and Answer.”
Compared to when everyone was gathered together before, all jinshi were now alone. Warriors were required to see through this colored glass path in front of them to reach the fourth floor.
Five questions would arise along the way to the fourth floor.
Warriors were required to answer one after the other. If the answer was correct, this would count as a pass, and they would receive two points. If they were incorrect, they would need to use martial prowess to defeat the target to still pass.
The third floor had ten points in total, which meant there were five questions.
Compared to the stele carving and card scripture battles from before, the third floor was far simpler. However, a warrior could only count on their own capabilities for this floor. Other people had no way to help.
Chen Mo took out the Bodhi Treasure Karma. As he approached the top, the Bodhi Treasure Karma’s resonance became increasingly intense.
Chen Mo tidied himself up and walked towards the fourth floor.
This Vast Desolation Spirit Treasure was capable of establishing a Sumeru World. Chen Mo looked at this colored glass road. The polo trees and treasure pagodas all seemed vivid and lifelike, as if they had existed since ancient times. Who knew how many mysteries lay within.
Chen Mo’s interest was briefly piqued. Suddenly, he looked down both ways of the street. Who knew what lay outside the thick mist.
Chen Mo released several punches, their wind chilling and whooshing, but this mist did not stir at all. Chen Mo was quite surprised. This Vast Desolation Spirit Treasure World was mysterious indeed.
Thinking it over, Chen Mo gave up on his plan of investigating the depths of the mist. Most important right now was still the Divine Warrior Examination.
Chen Mo exercised the Bodhi Soul Technique, his pace leisurely.
Very quickly, a wandering monk appeared carrying a ceremonial knife.
Chen Mo stopped.
That monk seemed to be a middle-aged man. He put his palms together in salute to Chen Mo: “Your Servant has a question to ask of Benefactor.”
“What is entifying view?”2
Chen Mo went, “Huh?” He had not heard the question clearly. “Did you say ‘deep view?'”3
“What is entifying view!” The monk repeated.
Chen Mo twisted his brow. What sort of question was this. Entifying view, deep view…What a strange noun. The moment he heard it, he was certain it was related to Buddhism.
Indeed, the Divine Warrior Examination’s court examination began in the Seven Treasures Pagoda. This pagoda would naturally only have things pertinent to Buddhism.
But entifying view, Chen Mo honestly did not know. He was not Buddhist in his previous life. On the contrary, he was a staunch atheist. He knew some Buddhist mantras, but to actually inquire about a profound Buddhist discussion, Chen Mo was confounded.
He may as well make his move.
Chen Mo tightly curled his fists.
The monk slightly sighed. “It seems Benefactor still does not understand my Buddha. The so-called entifying view is attachment to the Five Skandhas, that the body is real and not an illusion.”
“So it turned out to be this. Your Servant shall commit this to memory and will definitely review more in the future.” Chen Mo sincerely wanted to pass through.
The monk drew the knife, “Please go back.”
Without uttering a word, Chen Mo brandished a fist. His punch-intent emerged, seemingly overturning Heaven and Earth.
The monk slashed with twin daggers.
Chen Mo continued to unleash punch-wind, firing like a repeating crossbow.
Clang, clang, clang.
The dagger slashed at the two punches. The monk’s martial arts were excellent. His technique Rolling Ground Knife slashed upwards, bringing a dusty wind from the ground that turned into knife-qi.
In fighting a warrior, the lower body was their greatest weakness. The Rolling Ground Knife was used with perfection.
Chen Mo’s leg stamped the ground, using Kun Six Severed.
Six stomps destroyed the knife-qi. Chen Mo already closed the distance. Another punch struck with the arrogance of rolling thunder. The monk’s cultivation was Three Flowers Gathered Overhead at best, not a match for Chen Mo at all.
The monk was sent flying by the blow.
After a “My Buddha of compassion,” the monk vanished like smoke.
His score instantly jumped to 54 points, so Chen Mo knew that he had passed the first question.4
The polo trees shifted. Flowers petals fell like snow, and a vajra appeared meditating under a tree.
Vajra were categorized as Law Protector-level characters in Buddhism. Novels depicted them with boundless strength, possessing the deepest comprehension of Buddhism’s powers.
When Chen Mo walked near, he heard the vajra under the tree asked: “What is extreme view!”5
“Don’t know.” Chen Mo said directly.
The vajra rose, testing him with glowering eyes. “Attachments to nihilism or eternalism, that is extreme view!”
The vajra roared. In a split second, Buddhist light glowed, and Buddhist markings alternated. The earth shuddered, and the vajra’s flesh seemed to be gilded, turning into an impenetrable defense.
Even from a distance, Chen Mo was able to sense his foe’s indestructible defenses.
“Looks like this will take a bit of effort.” Chen Mo smiled, exercising his Star Energy.
“Golden Bell Cover!”
“My Buddha of compassion…”
The vajra behind him slowly faded away. Chen Mo flexed all of his muscles. This vajra was indeed formidable, but fortunately, it was not not at the level of a genuine Buddhist celestial being. However, its powers still widened Chen Mo’s horizons.
In the end, however, it was still his Northern Dipper that was a bit stronger.
After walking another while, the surrounding scenery abruptly and gradually dimmed. An evil wind blew, and a warped shadow slowly appeared along the ground. Slowly, it formed an ugly and malevolent demon.
Chen Mo brought out the Northern Dipper staff.
That yaksha bared its fangs, an intimidating appearance. It asked: “What is erroneous view!”
“An erroneous view is whatever an evil creature sees?” Chen Mo seriously thought it over.
The yaksha sinisterly said: “Erroneous view is to not acknowledge proper cause and effect.”
When the yaksha died, the darkness receded, and the colored glass road recovered its brilliance. Chen Mo frowned at his numerous wounds, which were deep enough to show bone, all inflicted by the yaksha.
The yaksha was comparable to Lesser Thunder Tribulation in strength. Without magic energy, he honestly could not easily handle it.
Qing Wan and the others perhaps would not be able to pass further than this.
Chen Mo took out healing medicines and noticed that his white clothes had been ripped apart. However, that Heavenly Silkworm clothing had sentience and was automatically repairing itself. At the same time, the silk was also slowly healing his wounds.
Chen Mo was greatly relieved. He did not want to turn the Heavenly Silkworm Snow Brocade that Auntie had sent him into an incomparable heap of scraps by the time the Divine Warrior Examination was over.
After walking some more, he suddenly caught the scent of a strange perfume everywhere.
A celestial maiden whose hand touched shala flowers appeared. She asked: “What is the view of attachment to views!”6
Chen Mo answered that he did not know. As the celestial maiden blew the shala flowers in her palm, their scent assailed his nostrils. A Pure Land World appeared in front of him. The woman scattered the flowers, and the colored glass was filled with bliss, Buddhist chanting, and various other scenes.
This illusion was naturally very formidable against other warriors, but Chen Mo basically was unafraid since he had the Bodhi Soul Technique.
View of attachment to views.
Chen Mo suddenly recalled something, and he broke the celestial maiden’s illusion without haste. After all, he had the Bodhi Soul Technique. Even if he had never learned Buddhism, he had both intelligence and a meditative mind that were extraordinary.
“So it was the Five Mistaken Views!”
All kinds of information from before appeared in his mind, and Chen Mo had an epiphany.
The illusion vanished. The woman was nowhere to be seen.
Finally, under the steps to the fourth floor, there was a monk. That monk sat on a five petaled lotus platform, shining gloriously with Buddhist light. Golden lotuses appeared everywhere.
Astonishingly, it was an arhat that had attained the level of a bodhisattva.
“What is the view of rigid attachment to the precepts!”
As expected, the final question that the arhat bodhisattva had raised was none other than the last of the Five Mistaken Views.
Buddhism had a saying: To become Buddha, one should cut off the Five Views, follow and grasp the proper disciplines, hold fast to the ultimate essence in the path, and become the supreme Bodhi.
All kinds of knowledge from his previous life was pulled out of his mind, Chen Mo operated the School Of Mind, and his intentions were empty and untainted.
He stared at that arhat, not seeing any evil as he produced a spiritual light.
When the Divine Hawk Eyesight looked again through that motionless and impenetrable fog, it slowly peeled away layer by layer before his eyes, thousands of meters away, somewhere even deeper, up to the edge of the Buddhist sea. At this moment, Chen Mo’s eyes were like the Buddha, supremely imposing.
After breaking the Five Views, and putting himself under the combination of the Bodhi Soul Technique and the School of Mind, the result coincidentally allowed Chen Mo’s Divine Hawk Eyesight to surprisingly breach into a higher level.
In Star World, to see what ordinary people saw was to use a layman’s eyes. To see the world as the gods see it was to see with Heavenly Eyes.
And Chen Mo had unwittingly already pried into the realm of “Deva Eyes.”7
To see with divine eyes was to see all of Heaven. That bodhisattva sighed, lowered its head, and became dust.
- Figuratively, not literally. ↩
- 身見 This is some esoteric concept that basically talks about the illusion that one’s physical body is real and not a product of the five skandhas. http://www.buddhism-dict.net/ddb/pcache/4eid(b4e94-898b).html ↩
- 深見 The joke here is that 身見 and 深見 have the same pronunciation. ↩
- I wish I could pass my tests by beating up the proctors. ↩
- 邊見 ↩
- 見取見 Yes, it repeats the word views. ↩
- 諸天神瞳 ↩