The Old Monk.. Part One

 Sun Gu panics standing behind the tree, where did the Crown Prince come from? Sweat starts pouring down his face and he uses his qinggong to fly beyond the rock mountain, he pretends to be picking herbs. He knows his presence is known but he must act surprised and most importantly innocent!

     Xiaolian is gasping for air as she lightly grips onto Kang Longwei’s arms. He brushes her wet hair off her face looking worriedly into her eyes that are half open. Her undergarments are virtually transparent clinging to her, he has never seen a woman’s naked body and the way her curves are accentuated by the sheer clothing he is momentarily unable to look away.

     She faints as he lays her down on the ground. He waves his palm to dry her then places her dress over her. Why did the hot spring begin to form a whirlpool, of course it has been a thousand years but he remember this particular hot spring to be quite tranquil.

     He sits by her side while carefully infusing her body with his spiritual energy. That combined with what she absorbed in the hot spring should be enough to push her to the peak of this lowly cultivation stage. Xiaolian feels her meridians are being slowly strengthened as she lays in the grass. She is transported to a cloud high above where she is laying, a monk with a shaved head and a long purple beard welcomes her. He is sitting on a small mountain on either side are two menacing looking Mythological Beasts.

     One beast has a black furry face full of wrinkles, glowing green eyes, unusually tiny ears, its sharp fangs hang almost to its shoulders. Whew…She has never seen such a beast, it lashes its large red tongue at her as she steps near the old monk. The Beast on the other side doesn’t seem to be paying attention, it is pure white with short hair, large orange eyes, large like a cow. It continues licking its paws covered with snow white fur ignoring her. It iss almost making the purring sound of a big cat.

     “Do you like the beasts?” The monk notices her intense gaze on them.

     “They are magnificent, I have never seen beasts such as them. They seem to have completely different temperaments.”

     “You are perceptive for having only glanced at them.The black one on the right is called a Night Sky Wolf, on the left a female Snow Sky Fox.

     Xiaolian thinks those names are strange he doesn’t look like a wolf and the female doesn’t look like a fox, more like a cat. Oh well. “It is in their eyes, the beast on your right is dissatisfied with his life he wants to be free to roam again. The beast on your left is lazy, content, and only wishes to remain by your side. “Are you forcing the Night Sky Wolf to remain here?”

     The monk feels the hair on the back of his neck bristle, audacious girl! “Why would you say such a rude remark.”

      “I apologize”, she bows deeply. Xiaolian doesn’t want to jeopardize her breakthrough but she senses such loneliness from the beast. “I thought you wanted to know my opinion of the beasts! I can prove my point if you like.” For some reason she feels sympathetic toward the wrinkled faced beast.

     He waves his arms at her to proceed. She is a little frightened but takes tiny steps towards the Night Sky Wolf. It raises his huge head to inspect this girl. No one ever notices his unhappiness, he has been stuck at this monk’s side since his mother dropped him at the monk’s feet when he was young in payment for saving her eldest son. As he has grown he sees people come and go, he is curious about the outside world longing to have adventure.

     Maybe this girl will intervene for him… no he decides, she looks weak. The monk is intimidating her with an oppressive aura right now because of her insolence. She will step back and kowtow for forgiveness.

     Xiaolian hesitantly pets his black furry head, rubbing his cheek with her tiny hand.

     “Monk can the Night Sky Wolf speak?”

     “No, he is mute.” The monk knows the beast can speak but is too stubborn. He hasn’t heard him utter a word since the day his mother left him here. He didn’t even beg his mother not to go only said,”Good bye, Mother.”

     The beast thinks I’m not mute I just have nothing to say to you old man.

     “Hmmm”

     Since the beast hasn’t reacted or tried to bite her she continues petting him while she is thinking how to prove her point. Why did I say anything she asks herself, looking over at the monk’s smug face. He is stroking his long purple beard while studiously watching her pet the Wolf.

     Xiaolian looks in the beast’s eyes, is he laughing at her dilemma. She whispers in the beasts ear, “I know you understand me, I have an affinity with beasts. I know you are unhappy, if you can acknowledge what I say by even a howl possibly I can help you leave this place.”

     The ancient monk hears what she says and wants to laugh at this tiny girl. She could have just stood in front of him and received the knowledge she needs, but she decided to stir up trouble for herself. She lives up to what Kang Longwei had told him, she is an unusual girl!”

     Xiaolian begins to sing a song of a wayfaring young man who only wants to see the world. It is a sad ballad, he becomes lost in a forest of illusions trapped by his own fear. He can only sit on a rock watching people travel through past him. They can’t see him, he doesn’t call out to them steadfast in his thinking they are merely illusions, so they continue on their way. He grows old sitting on the rock until a fairy pities him, unlocks his mind to set him free from the illusion. If he had called out only once he would have broken the spell holding him there. He is very old now, his ancient withered body can only move through the forest slowly, he then dies when he reaches the edge. Never seeing the world he wanted to explore.

     The monk was moved by her sweet voice singing this sad ballad, without even the accompaniment of a jade flute her tender notes pulled at his heart. The Night Sky Wolf had wanted to not acknowledge his pain of loneliness here but when he heard the song in a mighty voice he bellowed.“Monk she is right, I want to leave your side to see the world! I know I am here to repay a debt but it has been three hundred years, the debt was never mine.”

     The old monk stands up, stares at the sight of the girl and the black beast, she is nodding her head and has a  satisfied smile, the Night Sky Wolf is in shock he spit his thoughts out. The beast wants to bite the stupid girl. Damn it, he won’t let me leave! Now he knows what I think.

     The old monk throws his head back,starts laughing at he scene, he has waited all these years for the beast to say what he felt. Stubbornness has kept the black beast here, the mother told him when he dropped the beast here he was arrogant and stubborn. The monk didn’t want to accept him as payment but she said if he didn’t she would kill it, she hated his stubborn attitude. So looking at the young beast who at the time looked frightened but trying to hide its feelings, he accepted her offering. The monk thought if this little beast will set aside his stubbornness to admit he is unhappy, he will let him go. It has been three hundred years and the beast never uttered a word.

     The old monk looks at the black beast and says, “When did I say you could never leave? You never asked me if you could.”

   The black beast moves in one powerful movement closer, glares at the old monk,”You mean if at anytime I had asked you to leave you would have agreed?”

     “Yes”

     The beast realizes his own stubbornness has prevented him from leaving the old monk’s side. He doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

     He looks at the petite girl and nods his giant head.

     “Where do you want to go?” the monk is surprised this encounter with Kang Longwei’s savior would reveal such a talent. This beast hasn’t spoken in three hundred years and in the time it takes to light an incense stick she had him reveal his innermost desire.

     “I don’t know this is the only place I know.”

     “Girl, when you leave why don’t you take him with you?” He senses she not only will become a great Sorceress but also will be able to tame beasts. Interesting find.

   Xiaolian’s delicate face is wrinkled up in thought. She looks troubled as she peers over at the Beast and at the monk. She is happy to have helped the Beast but doesn’t need another one, she has the Astral Void Beast.

     “I have a Mythological Beast at my side, I’m not sure you two would get along. But, I will take you to my Butterfly Wing Residence, you can live there, have complete freedom to come and go as you like. Can you transform into another form, such as a man?”

     The monk nods his head, this is good, that is a good suggestion, he is hesitant to see the Beast wandering with no roots or home. He has lived here for three hundred years, although he is arrogant and stubborn he has affection for him. This small girl Kang Longwei sent here is very strange, not to be afraid of the Beast and to try to help him.

     She looks at the beast’s appearance, his looks are spine chilling, those long fangs could rip a person apart easily. When she returns with him hopefully her servants won’t be terrified, he seems not to be ferocious. This is getting complicated, nothing seems like the cultivation manual described. Nothing!

     The three of them stare at each other, the monk is the first to speak, “Beast, I will give you two transformation pills. If you can show me your attitude has changed you are no longer arrogant and stubborn, you may remain outside. The first pill will transform you into human form for a period of one year, during which time you must learn kindness. If you enjoy living in human form and complete seven acts of kindness after that year you will remain human. If you wish to return to being a beast, the second pill will transform you into the Night Sky Wolf. if you want to roam the forests where others like you live

   “Do you agree?”

    “I agree.”

     Well, Xiaolian thinks I wonder what his human form will look like, his beast form is hideous. He might be even more frightening looking as a human. Well, at least he gets a chance to be free.

     “Girl, you need not concern yourself with the Beast when he leaves with you. I appreciate you offering your home to him and will compensate you.”

     “No need.” Xiaolian didn’t do this to attain rewards, it was out of pity for the beast..to also prove to the monk she was right..haha.

     First, we will now address your moving through the Soaring Sky Stage. I will administer the pill to the beast before you depart. Little Sorceress you have done well to reach the Soaring Sky Stage. Most people need to fight their way through but because of your pure heart you were able to free the Black Abyss  Beast from the darkness and despair he was living in for a thousand years. When your tears fell on him out of compassion on the Sacred Cloud you formed a bond with Kang Longwei.  He wants to reward you with a gift.”

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