Chapter 727: Someone In The Temple (1)
The wind and snow stopped.
Hearing that flat voice, Fan Xian’s pupils shrunk. He looked warily at the edict-like wooden doors, unsure what strange creature would run out.
After a long time, the Temple in the depths of the snow mountain remained silent. After the voice in the temple resolved Fan Xian’s angry question, it seemed to have also sunk into some kind of complicated process of thought and was silent.
Immediately after, the strangely large door in front of the temple opened up a sliver in silence. Although it was a heavy door, it opened without a single sound, making one shiver. The temple door opened 15 degrees. It was impossible to see inside from the front. However, this silently opened door seemed to symbolize some kind of invitation by the people in the temple.
Fan Xian’s heart began to thud. He was forced to calm it. He narrowed his eyes at the shadows of the door without any expression on his face. Unexpectedly, he slowly sat down, right on the shallow snow on the stone platform.
He had thought it would be like what had happened decades ago, like when Master Ku He was about to open the temple doors. He though a lightning-like black shadow would come out from within and strike each of them powerfully. However, the temple door opened, but there was no movement. Was it to say that the person in the Temple could also feel loneliness and the cold? Did the people in the temple hope to see their arrival?
The mountain was in front, and hell was behind. Heaven was in front, and the snowy landscape was behind. There was very little distance, yet Fan Xian sat down. A slightly acerbic smile hung from the corners of his mouth. He closed his eyes and began to meditate.
Haitang and Thirteenth Wang did not understand the conversation between that voice and Fan Xian. After all, there were no museums in this world. They also didn’t understand why Fan Xian sat down in front of the temple doors. They stared in a daze at the open doors of the temple and walked nervously to Fan Xian’s side. Taking out their weapons, they protected him.
Haitang’s weapon was still the soft sword at her waist, but Thirteenth Wang had found a wooden stick from somewhere. Like a hunger, he stared sharply at the temple doors that were slightly ajar.
Just like this, the three people in the snow silently stood guard in front of the temple doors.
The yuanqi around them was very thick. Fan Xian clearly sensed this. That was why he had sat down with his eyes closed. Before entering the Temple, he had to at least ensure that he could move without a problem. If they had to escape wildly in a moment, at least he wouldn’t hold back Haitang and Thirteenth Wang. Since the Temple was in front, the doors had already opened, and they had already waited for millennia, centuries, and decades, why rush?
After an indeterminable amount of time, Fan Xian slowly opened his eyes. All 36,000 pores had greedily absorbed enough of the yuanqi around them and repaired the meridians in his body greatly. The store of qi behind his waist could finally try to slowly flow, and his energy was much better. He was ready to enter the temple.
Fan Xian’s eyes fell on the entrance to the temple. Thirteenth Wang was also nervously staring there, only to hear two crisp chirrups. A small bird walked out from the door of the Temple and chirruped at the three nervous people outside.
The bird was completely green and very beautiful. It shone with a sense of calmness. The three people outside looked at the arrival of this world. Who would have thought that the Temple would use a bird to welcome guests rather than some demonic being?
The green bird looked solicitously at them.
“Let’s go,” Haitang said unconsciously. Her heart trembled slightly as she looked at the beautiful green bird. She helped Fan Xian rise from the snowy ground.
Fan Xian was much more energetic. He thought deeply for a moment and then said, “Enter.”
One temple, one world. Naturally, there was a different world behind the door. However, unlike the imagination of the masses, there was no fairyland behind the doors of the Temple. Unlike Haitang’s imagination, the bird flew off with a chirrup. There were no more cute creatures coming forward to welcome the tired travelers.
It was still a square inside the Temple, a very large square. Massive buildings were scattered around the square. Although these buildings were large, they were completely hidden by the black stone walls outside. It was impossible for anyone to see them at the foot of the mountain.
The materials and styles of the buildings, as well as their height and width, were not at a level achievable by the people in this world. There were some very faded remnants of wall paintings on either side of the path. One could faintly see a fine line and some dim colors.
The three of them walked on the path inside the Temple. Above them was the snowy sky, and beneath them was the snowy ground. The world felt very silent and alone. The mythical scenery around them did not seem to truly exist.
The three of them were like three black dots silently walking on the pathway. The voice in the temple did not ring out again. It was as if the people in the temple did not care about where they came from and couldn’t be bothered to direct them to where they should go.
Thus, the three of them just walked silently and casually along the pathway in the temple. Their eyes calmly observed the eaves of the building passing by them and the large stone platform. They seemed calm and relaxed. In reality, waves of shock had long risen in their hearts. After all, this was the inside of the Temple. Probably no one in this world had ever come inside. The legendary and mythical soil had finally appeared in front of them. What complex emotions were suppressed under Haitang Duoduo’s and Thirteenth Wang’s outward calm?
Back then, Ku He and Xiao En had only come to the outside of the Temple, where they happened upon the black shadow and the woman. The three of them had truly entered the Temple.
Fan Xian needed to calm down because he had already faintly guessed at the origins of this Temple from the answer the voice in the Temple provided. His gaze stopped on the remnants of the wall paintings on either side. The paintings had peeled badly. It was impossible to clearly see the contents of what had been depicted. The secrets of history seemed to be hidden within these paintings. Fan Xian could easily see some familiar traces within the remaining lines.
Just like how the building style of the Temple influenced the Royal Palace in Shangjing, the style of the wall paintings in the temple was of the same family as that in the Qing Temple and even the oil paintings in Yishi Tavern and restaurants. It looked like the Temple had existed in the world for countless years. Although it did not enter the world, it still had a faint influence on the world.
The wind and snow inside the Temple were much weaker than outside. The wind and snow had stopped. A thin layer of powdered snow lay on the path with their footsteps imprinted clearly on it, marking a solitary line straight into the depths of the Temple.
All along the way, all they saw were broken down buildings. it was a cold and empty wasteland. The place was not a fairyland or a place for gods. Just as the Emperor and Uncle Wu Zhu said, it was nothing but a ruin.
Fan Xian withdrew his gaze from the footprints in the snow and thought for a moment. He then continued to lead Haitang and Thirteenth Wang forward. Ever since they entered the snowy plains, he had become the leader. Although he was not recovered from his injuries and also ill, Haitang and Thirteenth Wang faintly sensed that Fan Xian knew more about certain things than most of the people in the world.
The small agile and beautiful green bird still chirruped in front. Sometimes it appeared, and sometimes it was hidden. It led the three powerful youths who had come to worship. Stepping across the thin snow, it moved forward, alone and silently.
Having approximately confirmed the boundary of the buildings inside the Temple, it was a parallelogram. The three of them had unconsciously walked to the center of the Temple.
In the center of the Temple was a stage. Behind the stage was the best-preserved building of them all. Although one could still see many marks of time on the outside of the building and the gradual wind erosion on the corners of the rocks bore witness to the heartlessness of the world, this building had still not collapsed.
Up to here, they still had not seen a single person, not a single legendary emissary of the Temple. There was only that flying green bird that had landed on the stone stage covered with a thin layer of snow.
Fan Xian’s brows pulled together slightly. He noticed that the bird did not leave any claw prints on the thin snow it landed on, but emissaries of the Temple still did not appear. The silence of the voice allowed him to confirm another truth.
Perhaps it was a mysterious and inexorable feeling that made the three of them stop in front of the stone stage and look at the green bird on it without speaking. It was as if they wanted to watch it turn into a flower or pull out a flower.
They waited for an indeterminable amount of time. The oppressively silent atmosphere in the Temple did not change. Fan Xian’s movement also didn’t change. His body was silently bent, but his heart was trembling slightly. The marks on all the buildings they had passed actually made him nervous. He had faintly sensed that these buildings were remnants of a civilization from countless years ago. Perhaps there was even some connection from the world he previously lived in.
“There is no danger in the temple. The emissaries of the Temple should have all died,” Fan Xian’s raspy voice suddenly broke the silence that had stretched for countless years in the Temple. The bird on the stage turned its head and glanced at him.
Fan Xian’s sudden words surprised Haitang and Thirteenth Wang. Ever since they entered the Temple, their mood had been stunned by the remnants of the large buildings they had never seen or heard of before and by that seemingly psychic bird. They had long lost the cool judgment they had in the world and were somewhat perplexed.
“All dead?” Haitang and Thirteenth Wang were purely repeating Fan Xian’s words unconsciously. They absolutely did not agree with his judgment. There was no danger in the temple? An illusory place that only existed in legends suddenly appeared in front of them. Who could come to such a firm decision as Fan Xian did?
Haitang looked at the green bird on the stage with a slightly pale face. In a trembling voice, she said, “Even if it is a fairyland in ruins, it is still a fairyland. It is the path of heavenly beings, so one must have a respectful and fearful heart.”
For the innocent children of Tianyi Dao, their worship of the Temple was deeply rooted in their bones. Of the disciples and grand disciples of the Qing Mountain sect, there had never been one who inherited Master Ku He’s most valiant spirit, including Haitang. Faced with the Temple, after entering the Temple, everyone, unconsciously, became much weaker in their own eyes.
What is there to be respectful and fearful of? These words did not leave Fan Xian’s mouth, he just thought them fiercely. Uncle Wu Zhu had said there were not many people left at home. One died in the alley outside his manor. When his mother died, one died in the Temple. Seeing that he had walked calmly until now and still no emissaries of the Temple had appeared, one could ascertain that this broken temple was just a wasteland.
The Temple was not a fairyland, just some historic relics. Having confirmed this truth, there was no longer any fear in Fan Xian’s heart. He narrowed his eyes and looked at the green bird on the snowy stage. Suddenly, he said, “It looks like the emissaries are all dead. The immortals of the Temple have long left and left behind this immortal bird to loiter around. Let’s leave as well.”
Haitang and Thirteenth Wang turned their heads in disbelief to look at Fan Xian. Their emotions were unstable. They did not pick up on Fan Xian’s lie. This was also because of the faint disappoint and sorrow on Fan Xian’s pale face that could not be wiped away. His acting was too good.
“The blind…” Haitang was going to say that if the Temple was really broken and decrepit to such an extent, if there really wasn’t a higher existence to all this, why not try to discover Wu Zhu’s whereabouts instead returning empty-handed? All of the muscles in Thirteenth Wang’s body were tensed. He wasn’t sure how to face the empty and desolate temple. After experiencing so much hardship to go through the snowy plains to reach it, how could he be satisfied leaving?
Fan Xian coughed urgently and stopped Haitang’s question. He stared fixedly at the green bird on the stage. Everything in the world needed a reason. Since the Temple was the ruins of a civilization, a museum, then the voice in this Temple that invited the three of them into the temple naturally had something they wanted him to do.
Matters progressed as Fan Xian expected. The green bird on the stage suddenly chirruped. With a flutter of its wings, it flew up into the sky. It only flew a few dozen feet before it changed into countless spots of light and dispersed into the air.
Haitang and Thirteenth Wang’s bodies shook. They moved near Fan Xian as quickly as they could, protecting his entire body. They were terrified that the change in the Temple would cause Fan Xian, the weakest person, to die.
Fan Xian was not afraid. He just narrowed his eyes and looked coldly at the slowly descending light spots in the air. The light spots descended to a level above the stage and began to coalesce together, like countless fireflies in the summer night sky forming into different shapes because of mysterious reasons.
The light spots gradually brightened and dimmed, revealing a human figure in the air that gradually cleared. The lines grew clearer until one could see the flowing clouds on one corner of the sleeve, a black gold and jade belt at the waist, and shoes with upturned points on the person’s feet.
An elder in wide-sleeved ancient robes had suddenly appeared in mid-air. They could not see his face or features clearly, but they could clearly see his existence. His feet did not stand on the stage but instead floated in the air. He was clearly there, but Haitang and Thirteenth Wang could not sense any sign of breathing or heartbeat. They couldn’t even sense his existence.
He stood in mid-air like he could go with the wind. The wide sleeves danced gently above the stage. A faint light enveloped the elder’s entire body.
This sight stunned all three of them in front of the stage. To be able to hover in the air and emit a gold light from his the body, what level of cultivation was this? No, this was not cultivation. This was clearly magic. Other than immortals of the Temple, who else could use these worshipful methods to appear in front of them?
Haitang and Thirteenth Wang’s eyes were wide open with confusion. Looking at the sight in front of them that they were completely unable to understand, they naturally connected the existence that had evolved from the bird with the immortals of legend that lived in the Temple. Their bodies trembled beyond their control. They naturally knelt down, sincerely kowtowing toward the snow.
Fan Xian also kowtowed. His knees sunk into the thin and soft snow. His body began to tremble like a person who had sunk into excitement and could not extricate themselves.
No one could explain the scene in front of them. Even the civilization of Fan Xian’s previous life could not create such a marvelous phenomenon. The being on the stage, emitting light and standing in mid-air, appeared very real and was truly like an immortal.
However, much of Fan Xian’s excitement and fear was faked. He forced himself to calm down. His brain turned furiously to analyze this being that had appeared in front of his eyes. If the Temple was a museum, and a military museum as the person in the temple said, how could there be an immortal?
Since it wasn’t an immortal, what could it be? As a person of two lives, Fan Xian had never squeezed the cells of his brain like he was today. His head was slightly lowered as he thought desperately. Was this a hologram the he had heard about in his previous life?
Fan Xian didn’t throw a handful of snow to see if it would pass through the being’s body. Once he had a judgment in his heart, his fear naturally reduced a lot. Like Haitang and Thirteenth Wang, he knelt sincerely in the snow in front of the stage.
“Haitang of Northern Qi’s Tianyi Dao gives her greetings to you,” Haitang reported in a trembling voice. Haitang Duoduo thought that the immortals of the Temple must know of the Qing Mountain’s bloodline, of the Sect of Tianyi Dao that worshipped the Temple and broadcast the Temple’s edict of love.
“Thirteenth Wang of Dongyi’s Sword Hut,” Thirteenth Wang’s voice was a bit odd. This powerful man was probably stunned by the powerful psychological attack.
“Fan Xian of the Qing Kingdom.” Fan Xian did not hide his true name. The last emissary of the Temple to descend to the world had died to Uncle Wu Zhu because of the Emperor’s ruthless tactics. Presumably, the Temple did not know of his relationship to Ye Qingmei.
What he was thinking now was that the Temple had opened its doors to the three of them, so what exactly did it want to do? If the legends of the Temple in this world had pretended to be immortals for countless years, then presumably it would continue acting. One must have been very proud and stately to pretend to be an immortal, only then could one scare people like Haitang and Thirteenth Wang. If he hadn’t spoken first, the Temple would probably not have any reaction.
“The three of us come from the South…” Fan Xian’s raspy voice spoke of the hardship on the snowy plains to prove their determination and worship to the Temple. Haitang and Thirteenth Wang finally came to themselves and knew that Fan Xian was lying. They involuntarily felt greatly shocked. They thought that an immortal would know, with a thought, whether one was lying or truthful. Fan Xian was too daring to tell such lies in front of the immortal.
“You are creatures of the world, people that the mighty Temple pities and observes. The ice and snowy paths prove your determination. All doubts need the guiding hand of light, and light is in front of you.”
The being that the green bird had evolved into finally spoke. There was no inflection of emotion in their voice, but, strangely, it was not cold. On the contrary, it had a sense of warmth and intimacy.
The being’s voice echoed through the empty Temple with a buzzing sound. It was impossible to know if the voice came from between the being’s lips or if it came from all around.
The wondrousness of these words convinced Haitang and Thirteenth Wang of their belief that this was an immortal. However, Fan Xian smiled coldly and thought that it was nothing more than a very leveled-up loudspeaker.
Light in front, need to be guided? How bleak were the people? If there were any doubts, they could ask the immortals of the Temple for help. Thus, Fan Xian opened his mouth. “Loft immortal, we want to know who we are, where are we from, and where will we go?”
They were from the South and had reached the Temple, who knew where they would go? The green bird guided them to the stone stage but was unable to answer them this awkward philosophical question. After the being heard Fan Xian’s three questions, it immediately fell silent. The clothes floating in the frigid air also immediately froze and did not move in the slightest.
Haitang and Thirteenth Wang did not understand why Fan Xian asked these three questions. Fan Xian slowly stood. His eyes were unusually calm and cold. Looking at the being that had sunk into silence, he finally confirmed his guess through observations of the details.
“You are you. You come from where you come from, and you go where you go.” The being’s clothes moved. Its voice remained just as warm, but its reply was very mysterious. To Haitang and Thirteenth Wang’s ears, this reply was very pleasing. To anyone else, it would probably seem particularly marvelous.
Fan Xian wanted this kind of answer. He looked calmly at the figure made of light floating in the air and thought that if it needed this much time to search through its databases, the power of the Temple must be almost at an end.
Very clearly, the being felt no anger toward Fan Xian’s standing body and rude and direct gaze. In the light, he gazed warmly at Fan Xian.
“This is not the answer I want,” Fan Xian said.
“An answer is an answer, whether or not it is wanted is just a matter of the heart.” The immortal of the Temple’s answer remained mysterious.
Fan Xian was silent for a moment. He then said, “I want to know about the history of the Temple.”
The immortal once again fell silent. The light enveloping his clothes immediately dimmed. Fan Xian stared unblinkingly at this patch of light and begged silently in his heart, If you’re truly a hologram, if you’re really only the guide of this museum, complete your mission and talk about this piece of history that has already passed into oblivion.
If someone was able to enter the Temple of legend, perhaps they would want Midas’ Touch, the art of immortality, or those magical martial secrets. Fan Xian was not like that. He wanted to know the history of the Temple. Outside the temple’s doors, he had said the word “museum,” but it was clear that this person in the Temple had not guessed, because of that word, that Fan Xian had a similar soul in his body.
The clothes on the being froze for a very, very long time, and the light dimmed a great deal. Perhaps the human thoughts flying in the spots of light were balancing some kind of permission and access.