Nightfall - LightNovelsOnl.com
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He hunted the wild boar by the side of the lake and built a fire. The meat on the fire roasted and sizzled. The oil gradually dried out, and the smell of meat dispersed. They ate their fill and went to rest.
Ning Que thought of what Sangsang had said during the day and said, "Don't compare the Academy with Buddhism in the future. You can say anything about the Academy, but not this."
Sangsang lay on the ground that was warm due to the fire and asked, "Why not?"
Ning Que said, "Is the Academy that disgusting?"
Sangsang smiled and said, "Your master injected the power of the human world into my body, and then you took me to the world to transform me into a human. The Buddha injected the three poisons of greed, anger and foolishness into my body with the same purpose. So what's the difference between them?"
Ning Que was sharpening the cutla.s.s by the stream. When he heard this, he stopped and said after thinking, "The difference lies in that the Buddha wants to transform you into a human in order to kill you."
"What about the Academy?" Sangsang asked. "Is transforming me into a human the sole purpose of the Academy? If it weren't for you, wouldn't people in the Academy try to kill me when I am weak like this?
"You said 'if'," Ning Que said. "This proves everything. If's don't exist in the world. Since I am always beside you, the Academy won't kill you."
Sangsang said, "Even though I killed Ke Haoran?"
Nig Que was silent for a while and then said, "Disregarding the time in the Chessboard, you've been in the human world for 20 years. You have only been Sangsang in these 20 years."
Sangsang understood what he meant. She shouldn't be responsible for the events that happened before her birth. That was why the Academy didn't attribute Youngest Uncle's death to her, but to Haotian.
"What if…" Sangsang said, "I kill your Headmaster too in the end?"
A bit annoyed, Ning Que asked, "Can't you say something else? I said if's don't exist. Can't you leave it alone and stop looking for drama?"
Smiling, Sangsang said, "Then I'll say something interesting. Where should we go next?"
In such a remote mountain, they could still see Buddhas. They could imagine that danger was everywhere inside the Chessboard world too, since every living being had become a Buddha and were searching for them.
It made no sense to keep going like this because they couldn't find the way out of the Chessboard even if they had gone to the end of the horizon.
"If we remove the poison in you, can you break through this Chessboard?" Ning Que asked.
Sangsang said, "You just said there is no 'if' in the world."
Ning Que sighed. "Be serious."
Sangsang said, "If I can't, then why did we leave Chaoyang City?"
Ning Que said, "According to Buddhism, the Buddha is the only one who could detoxify the three poisons."
"That's a lie."
"Buddhist sutras aren't fairytales," Ning Que said. "I think it does make some sense."
Sangsang said, "The three poisons are hard to be cleared unless one is cultivating to be enlightened."
Ning Que wiped the water on the cutla.s.s and walked back to her. Looking at Sangsang's eyes, he said quietly, "Why not have a try? Can you cultivate to be enlightened?"
In his opinion, if she could be enlightened right here, the three poisons of greed, anger and foolishness could be cleared. Then those Buddhas wouldn't be a threat to her anymore.
Ning Que asked with his brows slightly frowned, "Why not?"
Sangsang copied his own reply, "Disgusting."
Ning Que felt helpless. "Living is more important than anything else. You can do it."
Sangsang said, "This is the Buddha's world. I can't be enlightened."
Ning Que thought a long while and said, "We should still try."
Some things must be attempted because there were no other choices. Just like the old saying in the Academy, the last choice was the best, because it was the only way.
"What do you want to try?" Sangsang asked.
Ning Que looked over the stream and into the east and said, "I just want to try to find the Buddha."
Sangsang said with a smile, "And then? Can you kill him for good?
Ning Que said, "No, but I want to see him."
In the morning, they woke up by the side of the stream. The bonfire had turned to ash, but some warmth still lingered.
Ning Que tied Sangsang to his back, held up the black umbrella, and continued to climb towards the mountaintop. They went through the heavily foggy peak and headed east, instead of going south.
Sangsang opened her eyes, looked at the direction, but said nothing.
The dense woods were difficult to pa.s.s through. Ning Que opened a way with the cutla.s.s. After walking for two days and one night, they finally went out of the range of mountains and came to the open gra.s.sland. He continued ahead while carrying Sangsang.
It was raining for days on the gra.s.sland. The land was soft and clear footsteps were left while he stamped on it, forming a straight line aiming towards the distant horizon.
When the footsteps on the gra.s.sland surpa.s.sed one hundred, the ground suddenly caved in. The straight line became something substantial. The dirt cracked and the gra.s.s was swallowed. It was pitch black.
The whole world was shaking; the lights wending on the darkness suddenly approached their heads. Thanks to the s.h.i.+eld of the big black umbrella, the lights didn't fall.
The lights seemed to be suspended in the dark sky. The front end of the lights became increasingly brighter, and then exploded, spraying countless golden flowers from the sky to the ground.
Ning Que stopped and turned to the northwest. He saw gloss reflected in the dark sky. It should be the reflection of the Buddha's Lights on the ground. It was conceivable how many Buddhas were there.
Sangsang looked over and said, "I can hear them chanting."
"They are in fear, as is the Buddha," Ning Que said.
Sangsang said, "The Buddha can't know all this while in nirvana."
Nirvana was the overlapping of the death and life. It could also simply mean sleeping. In this sense, the Buddha couldn't know they were heading east. How could he be afraid?
"Then it means the whole world is starting to be afraid."
Ning Que looked into the distance and said, "Our direction was right. The Buddha is here."
Sangsang lay on his body and scratched his ear with her fingers. "Are you really going to look for the Buddha?"
Ning Que said, "It's necessary to see the Buddha himself if I want to be enlightened. I need to see him."
Sangsang's actions were a bit staff as she said, "If you go to see him, he will wake up."
Ning Que scratched himself with the cutla.s.s handle and said, "I want him to wake up."
Sang Sang said seriously, "If I wasn't poisoned, I would have gone after him and woken him up in order to kill him. But now I can't do it; neither can you."
"You were wrong about one thing," Ning Que said. "Waking up is only one way to describe it. The correct one should be that we only know if he's dead or alive once we see him."
"And then the Buddha might be alive or dead...In other words, his death or life would be confirmed once we see it with a chance of 50 to 50."
Sangsang said, "You're gambling with our own lives."
"We're betting on the Buddha's life," Ning Que said, smiling.
"On ours as well."
Ning Que said, "Since we're all on the verge of death, why don't we take a shot? The gamble would at least give us 50 percent of chance."
Sangsang said, "I don't like to gamble on lives."
Ning Que said, "Why?"
"Because Haotian never plays dice," Sangsang said.
Haotian knew and was capable of everything. That was because the G.o.d could calculate and control everything. She obviously wouldn't play dices, because that was something she couldn't control.
Ning Que understood Sangsang's instinct, but he was much clearer that she wasn't omniscient or invincible anymore. If they didn't bet on their lives with the Buddha, the only thing facing them was their eventual death.
The good thing was that she was on Ning Que's back now. She couldn't do anything about where he wanted to go.
They walked across the gra.s.sland after the rain and the deserted field. Finally they came to an area of hills.
Ning Que noticed that the Buddha's Light in the rear side of them was getting brighter and brighter. This meant that the Buddhas were gathered and approaching, so he speeded up.
Three days after they pa.s.sed the hills, a large forest came in front of them. Countless redwoods reached to the sky. The fog in the forest made it seem like a world of smoke. The sound of water indistinctly echoed from the distant front.
A monk who looked quite normal walked out from behind a redwood. A fat and rich man came from behind another redwood. More and more people walked out.
They were the Buddhas cultivated from common beings. All the Buddhas came here and were too crowded to count. A lot of Buddhas chased them from Chaoyang City with the wounds created by Ning Que's cutla.s.s and arrows. Golden liquid spilled out of the wounds and became the Buddha's Lights once exposed in the wind.
Tens of thousands of Buddha's Lights instantly dispelled the thin fog in the woods. All Buddhas bowed, hands together in prayer. Then they started to chant the sutra with benevolent voices.
Sangsang paled. Looking at countless Buddhas in the woods, she said, "Noisy."
Golden Buddha's Lights spread through the quiet woods. The fluctuating chanting was the only sound. The countless Buddhas looked solemn, but to Ning Que, the whole picture was full of gloom and grue.
He didn't speak. He drew out the iron bow and shot out an invisible arrow.
Golden blood bespeckled the redwoods. A Buddha sat dead on knees aside him with a deep and slightly curved wound between his chest and abdomen. Golden liquid bled out, and then became the Buddha's Light.
The Buddha's Light in the woods grew much stronger, making it more painful for Sangsang.
Ning Que looked very serious. During their escape, these Buddhas seldom fought back or used any dharmvessels. Instead, he even felt they were waiting to be killed.
Each Buddha he killed would brighten the Buddha's Light. In this sense, Sangsang was one step nearer to her death. Right now, he could neither ignore them nor kill them. It was impossible to kill them even if he set his mind to it.
"Move away! If stand in our way, be killed no matter a Buddha or human..." Ning Que shouted while looking at countless Buddhas in the woods. He thought to say no matter a Buddha or human, but there was no man at all in the world. "Any Buddhas stand in our way will be killed," he said.
Hardly before he finished speaking, he rushed into the woods while carrying Sangsang.
Haoran Qi skyrocketed to the climax. His figure became a shadow as fast as a streak of light. He broke the silk bag and dozens of Fu papers lit up and emitted extraordinary glows in the lush woods. He cut and slashed with the cutla.s.s. The vermillion bird called sharply, and horrific fire swept in all directions. The iron bow was drawn in its full to clank. Countless redwoods beyond a span of arms were snapped and fell down.
In a very short while, Ning Que unleashed all of his most powerful means of attack. As a result, at least dozens of Buddhas fell down in a pool of blood. He looked valiant.
However, no matter what measure he took, the chanting in the woods never been stopped. The expressions of all Buddhas were still nothing but sympathetic. The way towards the distant east was still blocked.
The death of dozens of Buddhas dyed the gloomy and dark woods with extremely bright gold. The Buddha's Light became unprecedentedly bright, making it feel tangible and thick.
The Buddha's Light was too strong. It abruptly burst the cracks on the big black umbrella. Then, it fell on Sangsang. She leaned weakly on Ning Que's shoulders and coughed out blood at times.
Ning Que felt extremely cold. Even his hand holding the knife started to s.h.i.+ver.
"You can't die," he said, face pale as he looked at the blood flowing down him.
Sangsang couldn't hold on any longer. "I'm going in," she whispered in his ear.
Ning Que didn't understand. The next moment, he felt another person inside his body.
Sangsang was still on his back, but Sangsang had gone into his body. Since the big black umbrella could no longer protect her, Ning Que was her last hope.
Ning Que lowered his head and fell silent for a long while. His breathing steadied, gradually aligning with that of the Sangsang's divine body. Finally, the rhythms were the same.
He didn't know what had happened, but he knew Sangsang paid a huge price.
He raised his head. He put away big black umbrella and put it on his back.
Looking at the countless Buddhas in the woods, he said "Now, we'll fight another round."