Joy of Life - Chapter 729 - Someone In The Temple (3)[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:50:59]
Chapter 729: Someone In The Temple (3)
In the extremely cold northern mountain, in the very cold illusory Temple, Fan Xian walked toward the building without looking back at all. He once again crashed into the being’s body. In this world covered by white snow, countless dazzling spots of light erupted.
No one noticed that under his winter coat his back was soaked through. Even in such cold weather, sweat seeped out of his body and wet all of his inner clothing. His expression remained calm. No one knew how much courage and determination he pulled together in the instant before he charged through the being’s body.
Fan Xian did not know just what kind of unfathomable strength the Temple had, or if, as the Emperor and Uncle Wu Zhu said, it had already fallen to some extent. However, Uncle Wu Zhu was clearly lost in this temple. This made him feel an instinctive wariness toward the Temple, but he still had to take a gamble.
It looked like he had won the bet. The being’s body formed by light spots clearly did not have any powerful strength. It was more like the hologram Fan Xian had guessed earlier.
There were still many secrets in the Temple and many things that couldn’t be explained, such as the thick yuanqi and collection of martial secrets that had been stolen by his mother. In that world, there may be the Chen Family’s T’aichi Guide, but there certainly wasn’t such magical things as the Tyrannical martial method.
Fan Xian’s thin lips trembled slightly as he stepped over the threshold of the still whole building. His hands were held behind his back. He made a gesture toward Haitang and Thirteenth Wang. He hoped that his two friends could continue to stand strong under the temple’s godlike prestige and be able to help him.
He charged into the building. The spots of light followed him in like fireflies, leaving behind an empty snow-covered ground and the stage devoid of the claw marks of the green bird. Two heavy doors swung shut without sound and shut Fan Xian within while Haitang and Thirteenth Wang were shut outside.
Haitang and Thirteenth Wang had not shaken off their shock. They didn’t know where Fan Xian found the courage to walk through the being’s body. They also didn’t understand why the being erupted into spots of light after Fan Xian walked into it.
They were more worried about Fan Xian’s safety behind the tightly closed doors. Haitang Duoduo narrowed her eyes. Light erupted in her pupils. As she elevated all the cultivation in her body in preparation to charge down the door, Thirteenth Wang suddenly said, “His hand gesture told us to stay outside and use this opportunity to search for the person.”
Fan Xian had taken a great risk to leave Haitang and Thirteenth Wang outside the door. He hoped they would use this opportunity he had fought desperately for to search for traces of Uncle Wu Zhu. Fan Xian had traveled thousands of li and made nothing off the hardships to come to the Temple. Much of his reason for doing so was for the sake of his Uncle that he was closest to.
This was a pseudo-classical temple. However, the building material inside was not common limestone. Instead, it was a metal-like material. Fan Xian’s pupils shrank slightly. He swept his gaze across the hall quickly but found that the inside of the building was completely empty with nothing amazing. There were only patches of emptiness, faintly making one think, with regard to its name as a museum, that perhaps, countless years ago, these were display cases.
The wall paintings outside the Temple had long fallen into disrepair. The ones inside this building were still well-preserved. One could clearly see the scene depicted.
Fan Xian put his hands behind his back and bowed his body like an old man as he carefully walked in front of this wall painting. His gaze swept across it. Not missing a single detail, he examined it very closely. Since the being formed of light spots would not tell him the truth of history, then he could only search for this truth himself.
Just as Fan Xian bent his body and looked intently at the wall painting, the being formed of light spots floated behind him like a demon. Fan Xian was aware of this, but he didn’t turn his head to look. He also didn’t ask anything. The scene at this moment was strange. Followed by a being or a demon, it was inevitable that Fan Xian would feel uncomfortable, but his behavior was particularly calm.
The style of the wall paintings were similar to the oil paintings Fan Xian knew from his previous life. The contents of the paintings were mostly myths of antiquity that were occasionally mentioned in the classics of the land. The faces of the gods were blurry. Regardless of whether they were summoning lightning on a mountain summit, sunk into the ocean, or immersed in lava in the mouth of a volcano, there was always a bundle of white fog covering their true appearance.
Fan Xian’s heart thumped. He once again thought of the wall paintings in the Qing Temple in Jingdou and those in the Qing Temple on Dong Mountain. The contents of those wall paintings were events that happened thousands and thousands of years ago and would have been handed down over countless generations. It was inevitable they would become somewhat blurry. However, this Temple was the source of all legend. Why were the gods on these wall paintings still blurry?
The being of the Temple who had followed Fan Xian like a wisp of light suddenly said, “These wall paintings are by Boer.”
“Boer? A sorcerer of the west from 300 years ago. I heard that he and his wife, Fubo, were both Tianmai Beings. In the end, they disappeared without a trace. So, they returned to the Temple in the end,” Fan Xian said with furrowed brows. “In any case, Tianmai Beings were those chosen by the Temple to scatter seeds of wisdom in the world. I had thought that these Tianmai Beings had a change of heart at the end and were all killed by emissaries sent out by the Temple. Who would have thought there were those who returned alive?”
“The Temple is forbidden to interfere in the affairs of the world, naturally, it would not rashly kill mortals. However, you’re right in saying that after countless years, there would eventually be Tianmai Beings who inherited the learning of the Temple, developed wild fantasies, and brought calamity to the people. Whenever this happens, the Temple would send out emissaries to make them disappear.”
“This is probably the reason for the legend that all Tianmai Beings disappeared in the end without a trace.” Fan Xian noticed that the wisp of light behind him still spoke in a calm and warm tone. However, when it referred to him, it used the polite form. It had also begun to communicate with him.
“But, Boer and Fubo were another cup of tea. They didn’t have any secular desires. After Fubo died, Boer experienced boundless hardship and returned to the Temple. Coincidentally, at that time, the wall paintings in the Temple were almost gone, so he spent seven years repairing the wall paintings.”
“But, the history of the Qing Temple in Dong Mountain and Jingdou are both longer than 300 years. How is it possible that those wall paintings are also in Boer’s style?”
“Because Boer only repaired and did not create. He followed the style of wall paintings from many years ago. It is somewhat similar to the ones in the world you grew up in.”
Fan Xian suddenly pointed at the flames and light filling the sky in the wall painting and asked with narrowed eyes, “Why don’t those gods have faces?”
“True gods never use their faces to meet people.”
“So, you are not a true god,” Fan Xian said.
The spots of light floating in mid-air behind Fan Xian gradually shed its elderly face and changed into a mirror-like surface. After a long silence, it said, “Just as you said earlier, I am not a god.”
“Very good. I was just worried that after being cooped up in this snowy mountain for tens of thousands of years, you had gone crazy and truly thought of yourself as a god. Then, things would be difficult.” Hearing the sounds of the Temple itself all around him, Fan Xian’s mood relaxed a little. At least the craziest and terrifying possibility had been denied by the Temple itself.
If life and feeling truly existed in it, it would certainly understand the meaning hidden in Fan Xian’s heart after listening to these words. Clearly, the existence inside the Temple only passively followed some kind of set process of thinking and did not say anything further.
“It’s not that gods do not have a face. It’s that there are no gods.” For some reason, after Fan Xian said these words, his emotions suddenly became lonely. If there truly were no gods in the world, then his existence and his mother’s existence were still so incomprehensible and without reason.
“Those are just some powerful machines or weapons,” Fan Xian said quietly as he pointed to the gods in the wall painting that could split the earth. “I don’t know what weapon it is. Is it the atom bomb or the neutron bomb? In any case, they’re both very terrifying things.”
After hearing Fan Xian’s words, the mirrored surface of the floating wisp of light suddenly trembled powerfully. It was as if it was carrying out a fierce thinking action. Or, perhaps it was because words that it had never imagined it would hear had come from Fan Xian’s mouth, making it unable to analyze clearly for a short period of time.
The light in the building was not very dazzling. But, it was light, and it spilled gently and softly on Fan Xian, like it was shining a layer of holy light on him. Perhaps it was out of necessity to protect the exhibited items or because the power source of the Temple had almost run dry, but the rays of light were not very bright. Fan Xian walked forward silently until he saw all of the wall paintings, only then did he return to the center of the building.
Turning his head to look at the wisp of light floating in midair, he was silent for a long time. He then said, “At this point, you should know that I am not a common person. My two friends are also not present. I think there is nothing for you to fear, so tell me about the origins of the Temple.”
The mirrored surface formed by the light sunk into a deathly calm like it was analyzing whether this request of Fan Xian’s could go through.
“I’ll start it for you.” Fan Xian coughed and felt a wave of weakness wash over him. Slowly, he sat down on the icy floor. As he slowly absorbed the omnipresent yuanqi, he slowly spoke in a raspy voice, “The Temple is a historical ruin, and the remnants of some civilization. In your words, this is a military museum, so the best and most terrifying items from that civilization are preserved inside. You won’t tell me the history of the Temple, so I can only guess using these wall paintings and what I know. That civilization must be one I am familiar with.”
Fan Xian slowly closed this eyes and thought of the words Xiao En said in the mountain cave, as well as what Uncle Wu Zhu had once said. Back then, not long after his mother escaped the Temple for the first time, she should have returned to the Temple to find Uncle Wu Zhu. Since it was so, that chest should have been stolen from the temple by his mother during the second time.
The military museum had a Barrett in its collection. Clearly, the time in which this museum existed should be a bit later than when Fan Xian left. Furthermore, the civilizations were of the same origin. Fan Xian did not believe that some antique civilization could have the exact same gun.
When he thought of the fact that the familiar civilization was of the same origins as the world he had once lived in and had become a faint shadow in history, a broken down temple that no one could come into contact with he felt pained. In the snowy mountains, those people that Fan Xian, or rather Fan Shen, had once loved, hated, and pitied had long become wisps of spirit in the long river of time. Those matters over which he had gone wild over, seen, or admired had already become yellow sand.
His pain was not strong but unusually clear and twisting. He was particularly disappointed and frustrated. He could see none before him and none to follow him. Other than Ye Qingmei, there was only himself. Heaven and earth lasted forever. How could this be endured? Tens of thousands of years of loneliness had landed on him alone. It was an unimaginable weight.
Fan Xian sat on the ground and coughed repeatedly. He panted for breath. After a long time, an indifferent and dim light grew in his eyes. His expression was not quite a smile. He looked at the mirror in the air formed of light spots and asked, “As someone once of the same profession, can you tell me how the world back then was destroyed? Did mad men actually begin to throw nuclear bombs for fun?”
The light mirror was as smooth as water. After a long time, the warm and steady voice rang out all around the building, “It was a great battle in the god realm. Immortals each used startling treasures to raise up perilous situations. The Earth changed shape. Volcanoes erupted…”
“Enough!” Fan Xian’s enraged voice rang out in the empty building. He stared fixedly at the mirror and coughed violently. He even coughed up a trace of blood. He ruthlessly wiped away the blood at the corner of his lips and cursed at the mirror, “I’m a person from that bullsh*t god realm! Don’t use such sh*t to speak of matters! You’re just a stupid f*cking museum, not some goddamn Temple!”
In the Qing Royal Palace, which was filled with the sense of spring, a crisp and icy voice slowly rang out inside the royal study. The wooden door of the royal study was slightly ajar to aid in air circulation. The eunuchs and serving girls led by Eunuch Yao waited carefully outside the room and did not go in.
“When one is in a lofty position in court, one is concerned about the people. When one is far away, one is concerned about their Emperor. One worries when promoted and when exiled. When is one happy? One would answer: One should worry about the affairs of state first then enjoy oneself…”
Fan Ruoruo gently finished reading this essay and closed the book. She then walked to a corner of the study and became lost in thought with her eyes wide open. She looked at the flourishing spring trees outside and involuntarily thought of her brother. She heard that he had gone North. What was in the North? Was the Temple of legend in the North? She heard that the North was icy and snowy year round, not a place that normal people could go near. Was her brother alright?
It was now the end of spring. Four months had passed since the last Palace incident. The entire Royal Palace was enveloped in beautiful sunlight. Inside the royal study, there was still a sense of icy chill. The Qing Emperor laid on a soft bed with a thin blanket over his body. His face was pale, and his eyes were spiritless. Following Fan Ruoruo’s gaze, he looked at the green trees outside the window. For some reason, the Emperor felt particularly annoyed at the existence of the green trees. Perhaps it was because he felt spring leaving and the arrival of autumn. All things are eventually replaced. It was an impossible to oppose natural cycle.
“Worried about the Emperor, worried about the people… Back then, An Zhi spoke up in the Northern Qi Palace. In the end, was forced by the little Emperor to write something. He just wrote this part that had neither head nor tail,” the Emperor said slowly. “I just don’t understand, how could a man who could write such things do such a traitorous thing?”
After so long, the Qing court knew that the traitor Fan Xian had long escaped Jingdou. Intelligence reports from the North accurately pointed at Fan Xian’s whereabouts. What surprised many of the officials in the Qing Kingdom was that after Fan Xian escaped Jingdou, he did not throw himself into the arms of the Northern Qi court. More surprisingly, the Emperor seemed to focus his anger only on Fan Xian and did not begin a purge within the Qing Kingdom.
The Emperor narrowed his eyes slightly. His sparse eyelashes drooped like inauspicious autumn leaves on his increasingly wrinkled face. His gaze swept past Fan Ruoruo’s shoulder. He suddenly asked, “Am I truly not a good Emperor?”
This was a lamentable question, an absurd question. Just how well the Qing Emperor did while on the throne was a question that needed history to validate it, but this most powerful man in the world, for some reason, particularly needed to obtain the recognition of certain people.
Initially, he wanted to keep Fan Xian under arrest in Jingdou because he wanted to use Fan Xian’s eyes to tell those people that died. Now that Fan Xian had rebelled, he grew used to asking Fan Ruoruo this question. It was clear that this question had been asked more than once. Fan Ruoruo didn’t even turn her head and answered straightforwardly and calmly, “That is not a question I should answer.”
Eunuch Yao’s voice suddenly rang out from outside the royal study, “Imperial Consort Yi has arrived, Princess Chen has arrived…”
Before Eunuch Yao’s voice had faded, Imperial Consort Yi and Lin Wan’er had walked in. It was clear that during this period, these two women had come a number of times. The Emperor just glanced at them coldly but did not scold them or tell them to get out. He allowed them to come to the bed and help him sit up.
Lin Wan’er changed all of the blankets on the bed. As she wiped away the fine sweat on her forehead, she smiled and said, “It’s all new cotton from Zhongzhou. The embroidery is all the most fashionable methods from Quanzhou, see if Your Majesty think it’s comfortable.”
Imperial Consort Ye took out a few dishes from a food container and carefully fed it to the Emperor. As she fed him, she chattered, “The sun has been good these few days, Your Majesty should go out and walk a bit.”
The Emperor coldly said, “Don’t you find it annoying to come every day? It’s not like I can’t move.” The Emperor’s injury had indeed not recovered. It was even out of Fan Ruoruo and the Imperial Academy of Medicine’s expectations. It was strangely lingering. Perhaps, it was truly because the Emperor was older. If this had been during the Emperor’s prime, no matter how heavy the injury, he would probably would have recovered by now.
It was if Lin Wan’er had not heard her uncle’s words. She smiled sweetly as she began to rub his shoulders. To the side, Fan Ruoruo watched for a moment and couldn’t resist shaking her head. She then sat down on the Emperor’s other side and started to give him a massage.
The royal study sank into silence. Imperial Consort Yi just sat quietly in front of the Emperor and watched this scene with a slight smile. There hadn’t been a purge within the court. The officials of the He faction had been wiped out by Fan Xian. Contrarily, it had made the court come together. Led by Scholar Hu, the Third Prince, Li Chengping, began to come into contact with state affairs. Although Consort Mei’s stomach had grown incredibly large, no matter how one looked at it, the internal factions of the Qing court existed together in a strangely stable state.
At least in the opinion of the people, the Emperor had no intention of changing the heir.
It seemed that nothing had changed in the Qing Kingdom. On the contrary, it seemed to have become better. Other than the young man called Fan Xian, he had already disappeared from the world for almost half a year. No one knew where he was or if he was still alive.
Lin Wan’er did not do as Fan Xian arranged and take the entire family back to Danzhou. Instead, she calmly remained in Jingdou. Furthermore, she visited the Royal Palace even more frequently than before. As expected, this scene shocked many people.
“I’ll be attending court starting tomorrow, so there is no need to come again,” the Emperor said suddenly after a long silence. His tone was cold, but there was a sliver of heaviness that was difficult to sense. Perhaps even such a man as this actually quite enjoyed the service of his family these few days. However, these family members were also the family of his son that dared to oppose him.
“Yes, Your Majesty.” Lin Wan’er smiled warmly and did not say anything more. She knew what she was doing. She was only carrying on Fan Xian’s thoughts.
“Don’t have expectations that he can come back alive. If he actually comes back, even if I can show him mercy, the officials under heaven will not allow him to continue living.” The Emperor slowly closed his eyes. The corners of his mouth drooped like his eyelashes. He appeared somewhat tired.
Could Fan Xian come back alive? This was a question that weighed heavily on everyone’s heart. The Emperor’s words clearly severed everyone’s path of retreat. The Emperor kept his eyes tightly closed and coldly said, “None of you know why he has to find the Temple, but I know why. He wants to bring Lao Wu back to kill me. For such a son, who is devoid of all conscience, am I still to feel any tenderness of affection?”
For the Qing Emperor to not have already struck these people connected to Fan Xian into the dust was already a rare demonstration of leniency. Of course, it was more so because of his deal with Fan Xian. After all, he didn’t know for sure if Fan Xian was dead or not.
Although it seemed that no one had been able to find the Temple by themselves since antiquity, much less rescued anyone from it, the Emperor was still unable to relax. He knew that a woman had once accomplished it in the past. So, would he and that woman’s child bring this world another incredible surprise?
If Lao Wu actually came back to Fan Xian, what would happen to the Emperor? What would happen to the world? The Emperor suddenly opened his eyes, revealing a chilling light. He said, “Summon Ye Zhong in the Palace.”