Chapter 19: Seedling
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
"Cane, ten times!" The leader waved his hands. The soldiers behind immediately pounced upon Li Huer, pressing him to the ground.
Village Chief Meng Bai and Li Zhuangshi didn’t even have time to react. They had completely no idea what has happened? What is this all about? Cane… ten times?
The soldiers couldn’t be bothered with these thoughts. Raising the cane high, the cane made contact with Li Huer’s backside.
Li Huer didn’t even have time to reach, his face blank with confusion. Yet, the burning pain on his backside was indeed real.
Li Huer began to bawl.
"Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow… "
Before Li Zhuangshi had time to plead for his son, all ten strokes of cane had already landed.
"Move out!" The leader took one glance at Li Huer lying on the floor, shook his head and sighed. Mounting his horse, the soldiers took off into the distance.
The villagers were all staring blankly at the Li Huer, lying sprawled onto the floor, each carrying an expression of pure shock. They were still deep in admiration and envy for Li Huer’s luck a second ago, but in the next second he was already sprawled onto the floor!
Aren’t things happening too fast?
Fang Zhengzhi stared at Li Huer, thinking about the illustration written on the white paper, then recalling everything that had happened previously. His mother’s delighted shouts, the Divine Constabulary’s great gift, adding another slot to the Hall of Dao, the age requirements of being between six to eight years of age…
All of a sudden, he realised what was happening. Could this all be Lolita’s doing?
The generosity of the Divine Constabulary? This is obviously a trap. If he was the one who entered the Hall of Dao, he would be the one lying on the floor today!
He never expected Lolita’s revenge to come so quickly.
Fang Zhengzhi looked up at the azure blue skies, and a dark feeling rose up inside him. Isn’t it just a kick to the backside? Does that merit such an obsession to take revenge?
Looks like she deserves more kicks!
Fang Zhengzhi pondered, purely, over this challenging problem.
It was obvious to anybody that Li Huer was canned because he was unable to come up with a reply.
"Li Huer, don’t give up! Study hard and you will definitely be able to answer the question in the future!"
"Yeah, Huer, this is a form of training by the Divine Constabulary! It has always been said that bitterness comes before sweetness!"
"Yes, we all believe in you!"
As the surrounding villages reassured the sobbing Li Huer, nobody blamed the Divine Constabulary. That was unthinkable. Nobody would ever dream of doing such a thing.
Hearing the reassuring words of the villagers, Village Chief Meng Bai and Li Zhuangshi quickly came to their senses. After all, love is painful! Inflicting pain on Li Huer definitely means that the Divine Constabulary cares deeply about him! No matter what, if Missus was able to recall Li Huer’s name, and even personally send people to test his knowledge, it is surely a good thing!
Listening to the villagers, Li Huer started to smile, wiping off his tears. No wonder he was caned! It was the Divine Constabulary’s way of caring for him…
Looking at Li Huer’s tear stricken smile, Fang Zhengzhi sighed silently, "How can man even possess such stupidity?"
Night fell. At the Fang household, Fang Zhengzhi was in his room, looking out of the open windows and staring dreamily at the stars.
Then, his hand unconsciously slipped over the book in his pocket. A strange feeling welled up in him. This is probably his first ever book in this world!
Trimetric Classic may be one of the most ordinary books, moreover it’s heavily torn and tattered, yet this represented all the hopes and dreams Qin Xuelian and Fang Houde pinned on him.
As he thought, he carefully took out the Trimetric Classic.
"Men at birth, are naturally good. Their natures similar…"
Words, words that were still the same as those of his previous world, text, text that also came from his previous world. Not a single word was missing, how could things be so coincidental? Who wrote the Law of Dao of this world?
It should be who copied the Law of Dao of this world!
The sound of thunder roared, a bolt of lightning came flashing down. Droplets of rain fell from the skies, bouncing off the windowsill, as if conveying Heaven’s dissatisfaction.
Fang Zhengzhi twitched his lips. Tilting his head to one side, he continued reciting the Trimetric Classic.
"Their habits differ, neglected not taught, their nature deteriorates…"
As he read, Fang Zhengzhi felt something was amiss. There was a strange feeling within him, as if something was about to occur, something was about to break out of its shell.
He stopped reading.
The feeling disappeared.
The feeling returned.
What was happening? Fang Zhengzhi was confused. Could this Trimetric Classic be a treasure? Placing down the Trimetric Classic, he continued to ponder.
He decided to instead try reciting the Tao Te Ching from his past life.
"Tao (The Way) that can be spoken of is not the Constant Tao The name that can be named is not a Constant Name.
Nameless, is the origin of Heaven and Earth;
The named is the Mother of all things.
Thus, the constant void enables one to observe the true essence.
The constant being enables one to see the outward manifestations.
These two come paired from the same origin.
But when the essence is manifested,
It has a different name.
This same origin is called "The Profound Mystery."
As profound the mystery as It can be,
It is the Gate to the essence of all life."
All of a sudden, Fang Zhengzhi felt his heart shatter…
Actually, a better way to describe it would be that something in his heart shattered. Like the sprouting of a seed, there was a certain feeling flowing within him. He couldn’t grasp it, but it definitely was real.
Books! Reading books!
I understand, I finally understand! Chi techniques, channeling spiritual energy, meditation, enlightenment, they are completely useless in this world!
This world revolves around Dao, and only through the reading of books can one become enlightened. Moreover, the deeper the contents of the book, the more enlightened one becomes. Even though the Trimetric Classic can stir something within him, it was nowhere as strong as that from the Tao Te Ching.
Even the opening chapter of the Tao Te Ching can instill in him such joyfulness!
Then, it’s time to continue! The second chapter of Tao Te Ching,
"As soon as beauty is known by the world as beautiful, it becomes ugly.
As soon as virtue is being known as something good, it …"
Wait a minute, what was it that came next?
Fang Zhengzhi wiped the sweat off his forehead with his meaty palms.
Although I was indeed a scholar specialising in the ancient literature, but who was to say that such a scholar was to be able to memorise the entire Tao Te Ching?
If I was asked to fill a word in the Tao Te Ching, or translate the original texts, that would indeed be doable. But if I was supposed to memorise the entire text…
Nevermind, let’s try Doctrine of the Mean.
Fang Zhengzhi quickly regained his focus, and began to recite the Doctrine of the Mean. The feeling of joy once again washed over him. He felt like he was floating, he felt truly alive!
Nevermind, let’s try The Works of Mencius…
After working for almost two hours, he had recited whatever he could memorise from the Four Books and Five Classics. He felt divine. Despite the immense sense of joy he felt, he began to feel mentally fatigued. He was still young, only six years of age. His mind was still undeveloped and naturally will begin to feel tired after these recitations.
As he dreamt, he vaguely saw a black seed buried deep inside his heart. On the seed, a small, delicate leaf was dancing around.
On the leaf, a pearly droplet of water was forming.
The droplet hit the ground. Instead of splattering, it rapidly penetrated the ground, as if disappearing within the thirsty soil. As it sunk through, it showed no signs of stopping.
The droplet vanished.
Immediately after, another pearly droplet began to form, and slowly fell onto the soil.
Again and again, the cycle continued. Droplets formed and reformed…
The first rays of sunlight peeked through the window and landed on Fang Zhengzhi’s boyish face. Sitting up, his jet-black eyes opened slowly.
He felt like a brand new person.