Chapter 713 - Decades-old Wounds
Jing Rong said, "Although the letters from the capital are also sent via messenger pigeons, Lang Po's eyes are much sharper than yours . He would naturally have noticed once the pigeon arrived - how could he have let you chase the pigeon all over? Thus, this pigeon isn't delivering something for this prince . "
Bro, that's so embarrassing! Perhaps Ji Yunshu really is being too suspicious, to the point of paranoia and imagining plots where there were none . She shook her head at herself . “Maybe I was overthinking it . ”
The two of them left the prayer hall and headed back towards the meditation rooms . Ji Yunshu suddenly asked him, “What did the abbot talk to you about?”
“Something about the true meaning of Buddhism . ”
“The true meaning?” Ji Yunshu’s lips parted slightly . “True Buddhism as in, ‘Strive for the absence of intent’, ‘to embrace meditation’, ‘It is difficult to distinguish virtue and evil’, and ‘karma’?”
“You understand Buddhism?”
She shook her head . “I don’t . I’ve merely read a few books and can parrot a few phrases . ”
Jing Rong glanced at her, an appreciative smile flashing on his face before quickly disappearing again as he frowned, saying, “That abbot said a phrase to me just now . It’s not what you mentioned about ‘distinguishing virtue and evil’ nor ‘karma’, but ‘if revenge breeds revenge, would it ever end?’ . As they say, kindness starts from the core, evil breeds in the heart . What he meant can undoubtedly be summarised as, let it go . ” Let go of the butcher’s knife and attain enlightenment!
As he spoke, Ji Yunshu abruptly stopped walking and turned to face him, looking up directly at him . “Seems like it was very thought-provoking for you . ”
“Not just thought-provoking!”
“These words are both very clear and completely impenetrable . ”
“But like you, this prince doesn’t believe in Buddhism . ” Jing Rong said earnestly .
Ji Yunshu understood his unspoken meaning . He meant that the ties and grievances between him and Jing Yi could not be solved as simply as ‘letting go’ . When one person retreats, the other would advance . It was an endless cycle . Ji Yunshu gazed at him without saying anything else .
The pouring rain that night didn’t show any sign of letting up . The entire mountain was enshrouded by the torrential rain, the dense veil of raindrops blurring the view . Great gusts of wind buffeted the entire mountain, bringing with it a bone-piercing chill . The tempestuous weather extinguished several of the lanterns that hung within the temple, creating an eerie atmosphere .
Ji Yunshu shut her doors, preparing to retire . Her wide open windows swung back and forth, creaking noisily . The wind blew in a fine shower of raindrops that landed on her windowsill and the floor, creating a puddle .
She reached out to close the windows but just as her hands touched the wooden shutters, a pigeon suddenly landed beside her hand . It gave her such a shock that she immediately drew her hands back from the window and took two steps back . It’s so late at night this would scare anyone silly!
The pigeon strutted proudly along the windowsill, grooming its feathers . Its sleek feathers were drenched and dripping with rainwater . If Ji Yunshu wasn’t mistaken, this pigeon was the same as that she chased to the prayer hall . This pigeon had a very distinctive black mark on the left side of its wings .
However, that bamboo tube that was tied onto its leg had been removed .
She looked at it carefully and took out a handkerchief to wipe the pigeon’s drenched feathers . The pigeon didn’t fly away but rubbed its head against the handkerchief in enjoyment instead . When the clean white handkerchief wiped along the inside of its wings, a reddish smear appeared . It’s blood!
“Little fellow, are you injured?”
“Coo coo . ”
Ji Yunshu frowned and was about to carry it in to apply some medicine, but the pigeon flapped its wings and flew away . However, because its wings were injured, it merely landed back on the ground to slowly creep along the wall, after flapping its wings several times .
One should see a good deed through to the end . Thus, Ji Yunshu hurried after the pigeon .
But when she reached the other side of the window, it had disappeared again . She searched for it along the corridor, and bumped into another person as she turned the corner . This person was very strong and the impact made her take several steps back . Luckily, that person grabbed her arm and steadied her . Otherwise, she would surely have landed on her butt .
When she regained her composure, the first thing she saw was a hand pulling at her arm . This hand was as skinny as a piece of wood, purplish red, and covered in a dense net of scars . One could even almost see the blood vessels on the back of his hand . This… are burn scars!
That person quickly drew his hand back and put his palms together . “Amithaba, this old monk did not do this on purpose, Benefactor, please forgive me . ”
Ji Yunshu quickly put her palms together as well and gave a slight bow, “This one was clumsy . ”
“Amithaba . ”
Ji Yunshu lifted her head and carefully observed the monk in front of her . Isn’t this the same unshaved old monk she had previously bumped into in front of the prayer hall?
Due to the stormy weather, several lanterns along the corridor had been extinguished, leaving the area dim and dark . However, she still managed to get a clear look at that old monk’s face . It was covered with wrinkles and he looked to be around fifty .
Most shockingly, half his face was covered in terrifying reddish burn scars, and looked as if someone had torn a large piece of skin off . The other half of his face was hidden within the shadows, his hooded eyes difficult to read .
Ji Yunshu habitually ran a diagnostic eye along those scars . According to the extent of wrinkling and the colouration of the scarring, these should be wounds left behind from decades ago!
The old monk lowered his head and said, “Benefactor, it’s windy late at night . Many of the lanterns have been extinguished and the corridor is pitch black . It’s not a good time to wander around and Benefactor should go back to rest soon . ” He raised his gaze to glance at her, then quickly looked back down .
However, just this glance gave Ji Yunshu an impression of familiarity, but she couldn’t explain where this familiarity came from . She could only retract her assessing gaze, nod lightly, and step to the side . “Master, please take care . ”
The old monk hobbled off slowly .
As she looked at the retreating silhouette, Ji Yunshu ruminated on this mystery for a moment, but couldn’t make heads or tails of it and decided to return instead . She had just taken two steps when she felt a sharp pain in her abdomen . “Ah!” She braced one hand against the ache, and another on the wall, hunching slightly .
The pain intensified . She slowly started to crouch down, but someone pulled her up instead .
It was Mo Ruo! He took out a pill bottle from his sleeve and shook out a round pill, shoving it at her . “Eat this . ”
She looked at the red pill in his hand and asked, “What is this?”
“Medicine to relieve pain . ”
“What kind of medicine?”
“Eat it first . ”
A suspicion rose up in Ji Yunshu’s mind . Covered in cold sweat, she could only obediently swallow the pill . After a while, the pain slowly faded away .
Mo Ruo helped her back to her room .
Inside, her face as pale as a sheet, Ji Yunshu sat and looked at Mo Ruo opposite . “Tell me . What on earth happened to me?”