Dao Tian Xian Tu

 
 
 

Dao Tian Xian Tu Chapter 6


“Oh, what is it? Tell me.”

“Mister, last night the Black Wind bandits came raiding and requested food and women. The village wanted to offer my intimate childhood friend Ye Su’er.” Here Pei Ziyun paused a moment.

“I am a scholar, and I had no strength to resist them. Fortunately the heavens have eyes and the bandits have been killed for unknown reasons inside the temple. The village is making a big ruckus about it right now.”

“This time is my good luck, but I can’t rely on it each and every time. I thought about every possible way and could only come to Mister Zhao for help.”

“Oh?” Mister Zhao looked at Ye Su’er and Pei Ziyun, suddenly laughing: “…Of course, the village’s doings are immoral. All right, I’ll keep her.”

“Thank estimated teacher -“

“Don’t be hasty.” Mister Zhao waved his hand, laughter gone from his face, and said solemnly: “However I don’t plan on tarrying here long. The Black Wind bandits can’t hide their bunny tail for long, but the fated time of their extinction isn’t now. Villagers are ignorant and bound to harbor improper thoughts within their heart. To shield her you will have to exert drastic measures.”

Pei Ziyun’s body shook and he bowed. “Respected teacher please instruct.”

“Ziyun, yesterday I marked your essay and thought your learning has sufficiently matured and you were ready to apply for the imperial examinations now. I planned on telling you but I hadn’t thought you would already come today.”

“The spring examinations are coming soon. You need only go to the prefectural seat and pass the county level examinations, then you will be able to convince the patrol leader to extend his range to the Crouching Bull village. Although the Black Wind bandits are arrogant, they aren’t a bunch of ignorant people and won’t dare frontally clash with the government.”

“In this way you can become her shield!”

Mister Zhao fished a silver ingot from his bosom after a pause and put it in front of Pei Ziyun: “This is for travel expenses, take it and use it for yourself. I will certainly protect your childhood sweetheart in the meantime.”

Ye Su’er saw Mister Zhao take out ten taels of silver and stared. Usually a family can survive for three months with one tael of silver, three taels of silver could be enough for one year, ten taels were enough to last rural families for three years.

At this moment, Ye Su’er’s face showed a difficult color: “As a lowly female it’s not convenient for me to live together with Mister, big brother Pei…”

She didn’t want to refuse big brother Pei’s good intentions but she couldn’t help showing an embarassment. She stopped in the middle of her sentence, not knowing how to continue.

“Haha, such matter is easy.”

“Five li away lies a monastery housing a female priest, that woman is a good friend of mine. I shall write a letter for you. Ziyun can go there with you, and certainly will they allow you to stay therein if you show them my letter. You may go today.”

Mister Zhao took the wine cup from the table. He covered it with his hand, raised his head and swallowed another cup of sake before saying: “As long as you pass the county examinations you will be able to redeem your ancestral land at a reasonable price, the Li clan won’t refuse.”

At this time Pei Ziyun only felt something brighten between his eyebrows, and saw a tiny white plum blossom quickly enlarge and turn into a data screen.

There was a mission, but now wasn’t the time to look at it. Pei Ziyun only smiled and contemplated silently: “Indeed, teacher won’t be staying here for a long time, even the priestess won’t be a long term solution. If I want to resist against the Black Wind bandits and the villagers I need to achieve rank and honor in the imperial examinations.”

“Not only this. In the long run, I want to change fate, but with my family’s povery Iwill need rank and status. This time as long as I pass the county examinations my situation can be greatly improved.”

Thinking of this his heart came to a decision. He arched his hands in salute: “Misters has ordered and student will naturally obeys.”

Seeing Pei Ziyun comply, Mister Zhao let out two big laughs, feeling greatly happy: “I know your impatience. Come, drink this cup and be on your way. Escort the beautiful girl to the monastery so she may find shelter from disaster. Remember to come often before the exam, I shall coach you personally. You have to succeed this time and not disappoint your mother’s painstaking efforts.”

“Yes!”

Pei Ziyun took the cup of sake from Mister Zhao’s hand, raised his head and drank. The alcohol burned his mouth and flowed down his throat. How very refreshing. He couldn’t help but sigh “happy.”

They went out of Mister Zhao’s house. The monastery was only five li away, not too far and not too close. When they neared their destinay, they could see a river flowing by, with peach trees in full bloom planted on the hillside. Sunlight flowed on the peach blossoms that jostled together, bunch after bunch blooming abundantly together, exuding a faint sweet scent. And this monastery occupied a spot within this very peach forest.

Coming close, their nose filled with the scent of peaches. Butterflies and honeybees danced in the air, and two big tree stood in front of the monastery’s entrance, shading an empty clearing in front. They were peach trees as well, covered in peach blossoms. It appeared the owner of the school was greatly fond of them.

Only then did he see the plaque on top of the monastery’s front. Four words on them “Peach Blossom Garden Monastery”. Pei Ziyun paused slightly. This building was a female monastery, in his previous life he had bitterly focused on his studies and never came here. But Ye Su’er had heard of it. She turned to Pei Ziyun and said, “Big brother Pei, I have heard of this “Peach Blossom Garden Monastery”. There’s a priestess of good reput here with a generous heart, kind and charitable, often offering relief for the poor. I didn’t think Mister Zhao would be introducing us to this place.”

“That’s great, let’s go and call them.” Pei Ziyun immediately went forward and knocked a few times on the door with the copper ring. Someone inside yelled “coming!”.

As she spoke the door squeaked and opened, and a nun came out. This nun was a small child, a loli. She ceremoniously greeted the two persons in front of her and asked: “Why have you two benefactors come to the Peach Blossom Garden? Is it to pray, or to burn incense? Our monastery is for women only and men cannot enter, I hope for your forgiveness.”

Pei Ziyun stepped forward and handed the missive in his hand: “I am the student of Mister Zhao from Crouching Bull village. I came seeking help, hence we especially came to call on the temple’s head priestess. This is a letter from Mister Zhao, I hope you will pass it on.”

“A letter from Mister Zhao.” The small nun semed very familiar with Mister Zhao. She looked at the writing on the envelope as she received it and said: “It’s indeed Mister Zhao’s handwriting, you wait a moment first, I’ll pass the letter on.”

So saying she turned inside, half-closed the door and could be heard yelling inside: “Master, master, someone came to visit, it’s Mister Zhao’s student.”

“This nun seems actually very familiar with Elder Zhao, maybe they also came from an immortal sect? And have some relationship with this Elder Zhao!”

Pei Ziyun was silently surprised in his mind.

In the original’s memory, although the were called immortal sects they weren’t entirely cut off from the world. They especially had branches were deeply involved in the mortal world. Unexpectedly it seemed to be the case here also.

After sometime he heard footsteps inside the monastery. The entrance door opened and a priestess came out.

Presently this priestess was dressed in taoist robes, and her age didn’t look very advanced, perhaps 30 years old or so. Her appearance was peculiar, her features clear and bright, but looking carefully she wasn’t stunning either, slightly average.

Seeing the priestess come out Pei Ziyun and Ye Su’er greeted her ceremoniously. Pei Ziyun said: “Ten thousand fortunes on the head priestess. The head priestess must have read Mister’s letter already, hence this matter we hope the head priestess will allow, after matters are solvd I will surely come proffer my prayers.

The priestess strolled a few steps, appearing a little embarassed, and said after thinking for a moment: ” You also know I am come from somewhee else, and do not meddle in the affairs of the mundane vulgar world. Only I have old friendship with Mister Zhao, hence I somewhat waver.”

“However we taoists have are uninterested in secular affairs and only heed the tidings of karma. I have a matter, if you may solve then it would mean we have karma together. Naturally will I bestow on her protection from mortal harm then, what say you?”

“It will naturally be so.”

Pei Ziyun answered evenly but Ye Su’er’s face became white and she couldn’t help being a little angry.

“Very well, I have resided several years in this Peach Blossom Garden Monastery. Some days ago old friends came in visit and saw the beauty of my Peach Blossom Garden Monastery. They much loved the sight but much loathed the name. Such they said, I have already bidden my farewells to the mortal world, why is this monastery’s name so irritating to the ear? But I have loved peach blossoms since the time I was a child and don’t want to change “Peach Blossom” those two words, while at the same time I wish for it to aloof from this dirty world. Since you are a scholar and have come seeking assistance, if you can help me solve this dilemma I naturally will assent to your request.”

“Peach Blossom in the title, but still cut off from the mundane world!” Pei Ziyun couldn’t help but feel some embarassment: “Peach Blossom, Peach Blossom.”

The body’s original owner would naturally find this matter difficult, but the Pei Ziyun now had only strolled a few steps that he remembered the river flowing near the monastery. It was like an electric bulb lighted in is mind and an idea suddenly came to him. He didn’t repress his laughter: “Head priestess please bring brush and ink, this matter is easy and I have a solution.”

The priestess was a little surprised when she heard this. When she looked over Pei Ziyun and saw his confidence, she gained some faith in him and smiled: “It seems the noble son has a card up his sleeve. Brush and inkstone are inside, please come in.”

Inside the courtyard, they saw a proper taoist temple hall. The floor was covered in limestone, and among the limestone slabs grew tender green grass. On the right was a small door leading to a side house with a veranda. It didn’t look very big but appeared peculiar nonethless. On the right side of the veranda was a table with a brush and inkstone on it. It turned out this priestess had gotten up early and was practicing her handwriting, copying scriptures.

Pei Ziyun went up and took the brush. He wrote a few words after pondering for only a little while.

…a fisherman, followed a stream and forgot how far he had strayed from the road. Suddenly he came to an orchard of peach trees in blossom, and for hundreds of steps there was no other kind of tree on either side of the stream. There was a pleasingly fresh scent of fragrant grass. Fallen peach blossoms were scattered in great number on the ground. Astonished at what he saw, the fisherman pressed on and made his way to the end of the forest.

The forest ended with a stream of water, whereupon he came to a mountain. The mountain had a small cave, as though emitting light from within.

…looking for it, they were too confused to find exact the way… Afterwards, no one inquired about it. [1]

When he finished writing, he penned three big words on a blank page: “Peach Blossom Spring”

He put the pen down: “Mistress of the monastery, how about this name?”

“Peach Blossom Garden, Peach Blossom Spring.”

Presently the priestess was startled for a long while, pondering the meaning within, and laughed without restraint: “You are indeed Mister Zhao’s student, such smart and intimate rhymes and cadence. I will certainly protect your childhood friend.”

Pei Ziyun silently sighed in relief. He saw her take the paper and carefully judge it, looking a little foolish, not caring about him in the least. Here was a female residence, he couldn’t stay long inside. Pei Ziyun said a few words to Ye Su’er and withdrew outside.

Outside the monastery, Pei Ziyun silently called: “System!”

Suddenly in his vision came a tiny white plum blossom, quickly enlarging and becoming a data screen, flowing in his vision with a faint glow as it projected the data.

Name: Pei Ziyun

Privilege: None (parasite)

Occupation: Scholar

Skills: Novice Four Books Five Classics (incomplete), Novice Pine Wind swordsmanship

“Mission one: Save Ye Su’er (complete) , obtain privilege, first plum blossom petal (virtual)!”

“Mission two: pass the county exam.”

“This is privilege?”

“Looks like the original made some progress after suffering such losses. He’s transferring over this plum blossom spiritual treasure depending of the missions’ degree of completion.” Pei Ziyun looked at the screen and suddenly recalled the original’s memories. After a short absence he ordered: “Receive!”

A warm flow appeared, then a red petal appared between his eyebrows. It was just faint and transparent, and didn’t appear like a real existence.


T/N: I tried to convey the formal/mystical/religious/scholarly way some character talk. Tell me if you prefer everything to be in a more easy-going language.

[1]: Excerpt from the chinese fable The Peach Blossom Spring. I took  bash at translating it for the kick but there are other translations you can find online, much more competent than mine.


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