Plundering the Dao of the Immortal Journey Chapter 7
"Oh? What happened? Elaborate."
"Teacher, the Black Wind bandits came to our village and demanded goods and women, so the villagers wanted me to hand my childhood sweetheart over to them." At this point, Pei Zi Yun paused.
"I am just a scholar with no way of resisting. Thankfully, the heavens have eyes. For some strange reason, the bandits had been murdered in the temple. The entire village has been buzzing over the state of recent events.
"This was my good fortune, but I cannot just rely on this. I thought hard and could only come to you for help Mr. Zhao."
"Oh?" Mr. Zhao eyed Ye Su'er and Pei Zi Yun before smiling, "…But of course. The actions of the villagers, were simply unreasonable. Fine. I will let her stay."
"Thank you, my benefactor!"
"Wait a second." Mr. Zhao waved his hand. With the smile gone from his face and a harsh tone in his voice, he said, "Staying at my place is not a permanent solution. Although justice has long arms, and the Black Wind Brigands will meet their end sooner rather than later, their time is not up yet. The villagers are ignorant people and when they are afraid they become desperate. If you wish to protect her, you have to take several drastic measures."
Pei Zi Yun arched his body into a bow and said, "Please show me how, benefactor."
"Zi Yun, as I was reading your essays yesterday, I realized that you already have all the essential knowledge down pat, and I believe you can attain Elementary Scholar status. I had intended to tell you soon, but you showed unexpectedly up before I could.
"The spring examinations are drawing near. All you have to do is take the Imperial Examinations in the capital and attain Elementary Scholar status. You will then be able to leverage your status to speak to to the patrol officers and convince them to deploy patrols in Snail Village. Although the Black Wind Brigands are unyielding, they are not ignorant and would not dare to attack with the threat of patrolling soldiers.
"You can use that to protect her!"
When Mr. Zhao finished his piece, he paused then retrieved a pouch of silver and placed it in front of Pei Zi Yun. "This is for your expenses, take it. In the meantime, I shall protect you and your sweetheart."
Ye Su'er was stunned when she saw Mr. Zhao giving them the pouch with ten taels of silvers. A normal household's expenditure for three months was only one tael of silver. Three silver taels could last a family for a year. If they paid attention ten silver taels could be used for three years!
At this point, Ye Su'er looked to be in a dilemma. "I am a woman, how can I stay in a man's house, brother Pei…."
Not wanting to put further stress on her brother Pei, she looked uneasy and stuttered before ending mid sentence.
"Haha, this could be resolved easily.
"There is a female Dao Monastery nearby where the head nun is a good friend of mine. I can just write her a letter, and Zi Yun can bring you there. With this letter, she will agree to accept you. You can go today."
Mr. Zhao picked up the bottle of wine, using his hands to shield his lips, took a sip of wine and said, "Zi Yun, if you can score well in the Imperial Examinations, you will be able to repurchase the land on which your house is built. The Li family will be glad to sell it back to you."
As he said this, Pei Zi Yun felt the area between his brows light up, and a small white plum began to materialize before him, getting bigger before it eventually became a transparent information interface.
'There's a mission, but now is not the time to find out more.'
Pei Zi Yun smiled and thought to himself.
'Indeed, staying at my teacher's place is not a permanent solution. Even staying in the Dao monastery is not a long term solution as well. In order to prevent the Black Wind Sect from attacking the village, I have to ace the Imperial Examinations.'
Since he had came from a poor family, the only way to change his destiny was to have a distinguished status. He had to ace the upcoming Imperial Examinations so that he could have a chance at changing his fortune.
As his thoughts formed, his heart sprang into action, "Since teacher has given his instructions, your student shall obey."
Looking at Pei Zi Yun, Mr. Zhao laughed out loud in happiness, "Come, I know you are enthusiastic, but finish this drink and then you can bring her to the monastery to prevent further complications. Remember to drop by before your examinations so I can tutor you further, and you shall not let your mother down."
Pei Zi Yun received the glass of wine from Mr Zhao, raised his glass and tipped his head back to drink. The drink was fiery and burned his throat and was not pleasant at all, but he shouted anyway, "This is good!"
As they left Mr. Zhao's house, they had quite some distance to travel to reach the Dao Monastery. Taking Ye Su'er there, they glimpsed upon the river and numerous trees around them. The bright sunlight radiated onto the myriad flowers and bushes. The peach blossoms were abundant as their scent diffused all around, giving of a sweet smell. This Dao Monastery, was in the thick of the peach blossom trees.
As they were reaching, the smell of sweet scented peach blossoms entered their noses. Several butterflies and bees were prancing and dancing around them. Right in front of the entrance stood two huge peach trees, completely blocking the plot of land the monastery was on. It was as if the leader of the monastery had deep affections for peach blossoms.
There was a signboard in front of the Dao Monastery that read, Peach Blossom Park. Pei Zi Yun paused at the entrance, considering that this was an all women's lodging. In his previous life, he had studied all the time and had never been here. Smelling the wondrous scents, Ye Su'er turned around and spoke to Pei Zi Yun, "Brother Pei, this Peach Blossom Park, I've heard of it. The owner is known to be kind, generous and hardworking. Who would've expected that Mr. Zhao is acquainted with her."
"That is wonderful. Let's knock." After saying so, Pei Zi Yun walked up to the door and knocked a few times. Someone from inside replied, "Coming!"
As she spoke, a rumble came from the door before it finally opened. A junior Daoist Nun, who had a small stature and looked like a flower, greeted them. Seeing the two people before her, she bowed politely and said, "Hi there, have you come to Peach Blossom Park to seek God or to burn some incense? Since it is a female monastery, men are not permitted, I hope you'll understand."
Pei Zi Yun stepped forward and handed her the letter, "I am Mr Zhao's student from Snail Village. Because we have a favour to ask, can we visit the Dao Leader of this place? This is the letter from Mr Zhao, kindly pass it to the leader."
"It is a letter from Mr Zhao." The little Daoist Nun seemed like she was very familiar with Mr Zhao. Accepting the letter and looking through it, she said, "It indeed is Elder Zhao's writing. Please hold on while I pass the letter to the leader."
As she finished, she gently closed the door and shouted, "Teacher, teacher, someone is here to visit. It's one of Mr Zhao's students."
"Elder Zhao.. The way she addressed him sounded like they are familiar with him. Could it be that this is also an entrance to immortality? There should be some link to Elder Zhao." Pei Zi Yun thought to himself.
In the original owner's memory, although this was indeed an entrance to immortality, it was not cut off from the rest of the world, especially with its numerous complicated roots and links.
After awhile of waiting, some footsteps could be heard before the door reopened, a lady stepping out before them.
Based on the way this woman dressed, she did not look very old, maybe around thirty. She had an authentic look about her, with clear eyes. Upon taking a closer look, she was not extraordinarily pretty and looked very plain.
As soon as the woman walked out, Pei Zi Yun and Ye Su'er dipped their heads in respect. Pei Zi Yun said, "Greetings Dao Leader, as to the letter you've received I hope you've read, and was wondering if Dao Leader will grant the request."
This lady paced a few steps as if in some dilemma before sincerely saying, " You know I am an outsider here, and would not participate or interfere in matters pertaining to the locals. However, Mr Zhao is an old friend of mind, and thus am hesitant in turning you away."
"But as a Daoist I strongly believe in fate. If I have a problem and you are able to resolve it, that is fate. Solve my problem, and I will shelter her and protect her from any harm from the outside what do you think?"
"That will be so."
Pei Zi Yun maintained a stoic expression, but Ye Su'er turned a pale white as if she became suddenly worried.
"Fine. I've resided in Peach Blossom Park for many years. Just a few days ago, a few old friends visited and admired the beauty of Peach Blossom Park and loved it. However, they hated the name of this place and said, "Since you wish to leave this mortal earth (to become immortal), why does the name of your monastery sound so offensive." But I have loved peach blossoms ever since I was a child, and thus do not want to remove the words peach blossom from the name. I do want to transcend mortality and become an immortal one day. You are a scholar, and since you have a favour to ask of me, help me out and I will repay you as well.
"Peach blossom as a subject, and wants to transcend mortality." Pei Zi Yun was in some difficulty,, "Peach blossoms, peach blossoms.."
If it were the original owner, he would have felt it was difficult. Pei Zi Yun took a few strides and thought of the nearby streams and rivers, and a thought flashed in his mind. He had an idea! Starting to smile, he spoke, "Would Dao Leader be so kind as to retrieve some ink and paper, this is an easy thing to solve, I have a solution."
As the leader heard this, she was surprised and casted a doubtful eye at Pei Zi Yun who was full of confidence,, "Looks like young master if full of confidence. Ink and paper are over there, this way."
They strolled into the yard and realized this was the main hall of the monastery. The tiles on the floor were made up limestone, with some grass growing in the crevices of the tiles. On the left was a small door which led to a corridor and a room. Although it was not big, it was rather spectacular. This had to be where the leader resided.
On the right side of the corridor stood a table, with several rolls of paper and pen on it. It seemed like the leader had gotten up early this morning to practice her calligraphy, where several words had been written before.
Pei Zi Yun took the ink and paper, took a deep breath and began editing her work.
…. To fish as a livelihood along the waters of fate. He lost his sense of direction and chanced upon a forest of peach blossoms a hundred steps away from shore. There were no weed or wild flowers, only nice smelling grass in abundance. The fisherman felt that this was unusual. He walked forward and began to explore the entire forest.
The forest relies on a stream for its water, up high on a mountain. There is an entrance in the mountain from which light seeps out….. Those who got lost along the way… Has nobody to ask for directions.
After he was done, he wrote three big words on the paper : Peach Blossom Origins
Putting the ink down, he asked,, "Monastery leader, what do you think of this name?"
"Peach Blossom Park, Peach Blossom Origins."
She pondered for awhile, as if sampling the taste of his work, before smiling, "You are indeed a student of Mr Zhao. To create a work that is so intimately close with the Dao Words, I have to bless you and allow her to stay.
Pei Zi Yun heaved a sigh of relief as he saw the monastery leader admiring his work, without much care for him. After all, this was a women's monastery. He went over to say some words to Ye Su'er before hurriedly leaving.
Just as he had left the Dao Monastery, he called out, "System!"
Immediately, a small white Plum Blossom materialized before his eyes, it grew big rapidly until it became a transparent information interface. It bore with it a faint white light as it floated across.
Name: Pei Zi Yun
Power: None (Parasitic)
- The Four Books and 5 Classics Initiate (Rookie)
- Free Cloud Sword Technique Initiate
Mission 1: Save Ye Su'er (Completed) , Obtain authority, the first Plum Blossom Petal (Empty)!
Mission 2: Ace the imperial exam
"This is authority?"
"Looks like the original owner had suffered alot, yet did not make much progress. The Innate Spiritual Plum Blossom is linked to the missions, updating the progress along the way. Pei Zi Yun looked at the interface before him and paused to think of the previous owner's memory. After a couple of seconds he instructed, "Extract!"
A glow of warmth flooded his body as a single flower petal formed on his forehead. The petal was transparent and barely visible.
Note : Chinese people are very particular about the meaning of certain words. Some words can have more than one meanings, and if any of them have negative dispositions, the word can become, "inauspicious." The problem with the old name of the monastery was that it was not the most auspicious of names based on chinese characters. Hence Pei Zi Yun changed the words but not the meaning to give it a more auspicious outlook.