Rong Donglin has a feeling that the air around Lin’s house has become fresher lately. Between breathes, Rong’s mind and eyes are clear. His translation proceeds even more quickly.
Mr. Lin has a more direct feeling about this. He can feel the Reiki molecules in the air. The willow by the lake grows so fast that its young twigs reach the lake in a few days.
Lin Luoran is desperate to read Rong’s translation. However, she has to hold back her desire because something else is on her mind.
She has to deal with something before going to find the Soul Wood.
Lin Luoran tells her mother that she will be out for a few days. Ms. Lin is practicing the Five-animal exercises and she says nothing but to tell Lin Luoran to come back sooner.
Mr. Lin only realizes that his daughter is out when she is already away. He wants to ask his wife about this but Ms. Lin’s attention is caught by the television. The journalist is talking about the girl who was bitten by a poisonous snake around downtown.
“They say that over a hundred people are hurt by the snake. Those who made it to the hospital are still unconscious and those who didn’t are all dead… This is such a tragedy.” Ms. Lin points at the television and speaks to Mr. Lin.
Both Mr. and Ms. Lin seldom go out these days. However, Luodong has to go to school. This red snake is so dangerous. They hope that the police can catch the snake soon.
Mr. Lin thinks for a while and says, “This is scary. Luoran is not at home recently, and we should not go out recently. I will walk with Luodong to school every day.”
Lin Luoran has told her parents about the protection circle she planted around the house. Mr. and Ms. Lin believe in their daughter and they are sure that staying at home is safe.
Lin Luoran is on the way to the airport. She has bought a ticket to Jinyang.
She has put some affairs aside but she never forgets about them. Lin Luoran has to do everything carefully.
“Golden Wutai, Silver Putuo, Coppery Emei, and Iron Jiuhua.” This proverb is talking about the most famous Buddahist mountain in the State of Huaxia.
Lin Luoran gets off the plane and walks out of the airport. Some young boys in fancy cars drive pass Lin and some of them even whistle to attract her attention.
Jinyang is a city of mine coals. Lin Luoran notices the huge gap between the rich and the poor here. Nevertheless, she is not here because of this.
Lin doesn’t take a taxi. Instead, she puts on a hat and gets on a bus along with other tourists and heads to the Wutai County. This is a secret trip, so she doesn’t ride on the sword or Goldie. Lin wants to keep a low key.
Lin arrives at the Wutai County in the afternoon. She checks in to a little hotel that needs no ID for the registration. She takes a shower and heads to the Taihuai Town over seventy miles away.
Few people know about Taihuai Town. In fact, this small town locates in the center of Mount Wutai. In the Han Dynasty, the monks built a temple called The Great Eagle Temple on the mountain, which later becomes a sacred place of the Buddhists.
As time passes, the temple is renamed as Xiantong Temple. The temple is Lin’s destination.
Mount Wutai is high, and the temperature at the top of the mountain is low. Lin Luoran respects these tourists around her. Some of them have silver hair. Lin wonders if they are here for a trip or they are Buddhists.
Of course, Lin doesn’t believe in Buddhism. She is here because Master Mu told her that Buddhist cultivators live in the temple.
In the first place, Lin thought that Buddist cultivators are nothing unusual from other cultivators and they also have to meditate and cultivate in mountain. However, Master Mu told her that Buddhist cultivators gained power from their faith and they were able to cast holy spells. Buddhists are never the same as common cultivators. They are Buddhas living in the secular world.
Mount Wutai is in the best location for cultivation. The Buddhist cultivators really have made a good choice.
Lin Luoran walks to the temple along with other tourists. Taoist temples in Lin’s native place always locate in deep mountains. However, Xiantong Temple is built on the top of Mount Wutai without many trees around it.
The temple is crowded and many young monks have to serve as the guide. It’s already dusk and most of the tourists leave after touring around the temple. Lin Luoran walks to the famous main temple hall. The hall is decorated with copper sculptures. Its eaves are overhanging. It is so grand and splendid. People say that this hall is built under Emperor Wanli’s command for his mother, yet Master Mu said something else.
The bronze bell in the center of the hall weighs over one thousand pounds. Everyone on every corner of the mountain will be able to hear its sound.
Night falls. There is no one around the bronze bell. Lin Luoran puts her hand on the bell and knocks it in a strange frequency.
The heavy bell moves. It is moving so quietly that no one except Lin can hear the sound.
Suddenly, Lin hears people talking. She turns around and sees two young monks walk this way while talking about their evening class. Lin immediately walks into the room behind the brozen bell.
“My name is Lin Luoran. I am a cultivator. May I please see Master Puji?”
Lin Luoran is not sure whether Master Puji will see her or not. However, she didn’t have other choices but to open the door first. Master Mu told Lin that Master Puji lives in a place behind the bronze bell, which is isolated from the Xiantong Temple by holy spells. This is where all the Buddhist cultivators live.
“Greetings, miss. I’m Zhixiu.” A young monk shows up in the dark. He is wearing plain clothes and cloth shoes. He doesn’t seem to be surprised by Lin’s arrival.
Lin Luoran is interested in his Buddhist name.
“Master Zhixiu. I’m here to see Master Puji.” Lin Luoran says, making a bow. Zhixiu answers,
“Master Puji is doing night class. May I show you the place around while waiting for him?” Though Zhixiu knows that the woman in front of him is not a Buddhist cultivator, he doesn’t underestimate her power because she knows the location of them and she just opened the bronze bell by herself.
Lin Luoran nods and says ok. The door closes. She walks in along with Zhixiu.
The road is paved by blue bricks and several bodhi trees are planted along the road. The architectural style here is similar to that of the Xiantong Temple. To be frank, it is less grand and luxurious than that Lin imagined before.
Zhixiu leads Lin to go forward. He smells nice.
Lin hears the sound of reciting sutra. This must be the night class Zhixiu talked about. Thinking of the possibility that Zhixiu was in the night class when she came, Lin Luoran feels sorry to interrupt.
In the darkness, the sound of reciting sutra is shocking. Standing in front of the hall, Lin Luoran is entranced. A plantain lily is blooming. Lin suddenly realizes that the smell on Zhixiu must be the mix of plantain lily and sanders.
The hall is not even as grand as the main hall of the Xiantong Temple. If Lin hadn’t sensed the power of Zhixiu, she might think this is just a normal temple.
Lin Luoran regrets coming here. She hates to disturb such a peaceful place of cultivation.
The sound of reciting sutra stops. Monks in the same outfit with Zhixiu walk out the hall one after another. They have been so focused on the class that they don’t even know that a guest is here.
This woman is beautiful. A few of the monks blush when they see Lin’s pretty face. They pass her quickly.
“Amitabha. Miss, you are in the level of Laying Foundation at such a young age. Your future is promising.”
An old monk in grey mafors walks out of the hall.
Lin Luoran tidies her clothes and makes a bow,
“Master Puji, sorry to disturb you.”