A Buddhist temple was built in the center of the Western Pure Lands. Light flares shone all around its premise as the temple basked in the luster of a seven-colored radiance.
The Dipankara Archaic Buddha reached the temple and pressed his hands together, making a formal saluting gesture toward the temple.
This was the abode of the Western Pure Lands’ owner, also known as one of Buddhism’s Patriarch – Amitabha.
No voice responded to the Dipankara Archaic Buddha’s plea. Only a twelve-petal green lotus flew out from within and landed in front of the Dipankara Archaic Buddha.
“O’Benevolent Buddha.” The Dipankara Archaic Buddha voiced his thanks and ascended the twelve-petals green lotus.
The lotus brought him out of the Western Pure Lands, descending upon the void’s boundless outskirts. Then, it started rising once again, as if it was heading toward a plain “higher” than where he was at.
The Dipankara Archaic Buddha remained seated by the twelve-petal green lotus and remained silent as his thoughts flew back into the distant past.
At the time of the Great Calamity, he had walked through the same “path” as well, heading toward the same destination. Only, this time, the matter he was about to do was different.
The green lotus “ascended” and gradually approached a particular location.
The place seemed to be shrouded amidst a mystifying obscurity; its traces were practically non-existent in the world as if it was a mere illusory divine realm. The marvelousness it exhibited was profuse beyond belief.
“May I know if Daoist Xuan Du is present?”
After a short while, a glimmer of light sparked within the Dipankara Archaic Buddha’s eyes. The divine realm before his eyes instantly opened up, immediately leading him within.
Spiritual flowers and mystifying grasses encompassed the surroundings, while divine beasts were scattered all about.
Amidst the enchanting panoramic world of beauty, a normal-looking castle was erected.
An inscription tablet hung by the door of the palace, which wrote “Tushita Palace.” While it seemed mundane, it burst to the brim with the essence of dao. The higher one’s cultivation was, the more they could sense the boundless profundities contained within.
A houseboy stood by the palace door and greeted the Dipankara Archaic Buddha, “The young master is waiting for you by the side hall. Please head there if you intend on meeting him.”
“Okay.” The Dipankara Archaic Buddha nodded and got off the green lotus, following the houseboy into the palace.
As they arrived at a side hall, someone was already sitting on a cushion within. He was a Grand Clear lineage bigwig – Bhikkhu Xuan Du.
The two were already familiar with each other during the Ancient era and frequently interacted together.
During this era’s Great Calamity, the two even sparked some hostility between each other.
However, the Dipankara Archaic Buddha seemed to have forgotten all matters of the Great Calamity. His expression remained calm and even showed a few hints of reminiscence, “It’s been a long time since I last came here. How is the Elder Lord? How art thou?”
The Dipankara Archaic Buddha took a cushion over habitually and placed it in front of Bhikkhu Xuan Du, sitting face-to-face.
Bhikkhu Xuan Du didn’t mention anything about the past events either. He said plainly, “The Elder Lord is fine, naturally. As for me, I’m merely a nugatory individual that’s living leisurely.”
“Thou art being too modest, Daoist Xuan Du.” The Dipankara Archaic Buddha said with a smile, “Thy cultivation hath already reached culmination, allowing thunders to peal soundlessly and hiding all essence of cultivation in thy mundaneness. Thy style holds semblance to the Elder Lord’s true teachings, implying that thou hath surpassed the progress of others. What thou lack are but a mere few opportunities.”
A brocade box emerged from the complete form of Buddha light hanging atop his head.
The Dipankara Archaic Buddha took out the brocade box and placed it on the ground, pushing it to somewhere reachable by Bhikkhu Xuan Du’s hands.
“Coincidentally, I came across this item recently. Perchance, it might be of assistance to thee.”
Bhikkhu Xuan Du looked at the brocade box, and his eyelids twitched a little. He took the brocade box and opened it.
Treasured lights gleamed from within, basking Bhikkhu Xuan Du’s face with its glamorous luster.
Bhikkhu Xuan Du’s expression remained unchanged, but he couldn’t remain silent any longer.
After a while, he took out a bronze bell and lightly tolled it.
A houseboy immediately entered the side hall, “Your orders, young master?”
“If the old master didn’t instruct otherwise, then bring me the treasure I kept in the Rudimentary Five Pavilion,” said Bhikkhu Xuan Du.
The houseboy backed away, while Bhikkhu Xuan Du closed the brocade box back and placed it back on the ground, not looking at it any further.
The Dipankara Archaic Buddha smiled but didn’t take the brocade box back.
The side hall sunk into momentary silence.
After a while, the houseboy returned with a wooden coffer and handed it over to Bhikkhu Xuan Du, “The old master said nothing.”
The Dipankara Archaic Buddha smiled, “Thank the Elder Lord, thank Daoist Xuan Du.”
Bhikkhu Xuan Du took the wooden coffer and handed it over to the Dipankara Archaic Buddha, “I’ll save my thanks from you.”
“Then, I shall bid my farewell. No need to send me off.” The Dipankara Archaic Buddha’s smile still hung on his face. After keeping the wooden coffer and leaving the brocade box behind, he turned around and left.
Before he left the Tushita Palace, the Dipankara Archaic Buddha suddenly stopped and asked, “May I know if the Earth Mother was the one who entered the Jade Illusory Palace?”
Bhikkhu Xuan Du replied calmly, “Yes.”
“Then, was the Immortal Extermination Sword she used to distract us her item, or was it from the Tushita Palace?” The Dipankara Archaic Buddha softly asked, “Could thee possibly tell me?”
Bhikkhu Xuan Du said, “From the palace.”
The Dipankara Archaic Buddha sunk deep into his thoughts but pried no further as he bid his farewell. After going back to the twelve-petal green lotus, he left the area.
After the Dipankara Archaic Buddha left, Bhikkhu Xuan Du quietly stared at the brocade box lying within the side hall.
Another person appeared on the cushion lying opposite of him. She was a gentle woman in traditional clothings, whose aura had a noble and gracious bearing.
Then, the woman in traditional clothing transformed.
He wore a Fanned-Cloud Crown, traditional daoist clothing, a pair of hemp shoes. He was Yang Jian, Yang Erlang.
“You met Lu Ya already? How did it go?” asked Bhikkhu Xuan Du.
Yang Jian replied, “He’s tempted. We should be able to succeed.”
Bhikkhu Xuan Du nodded, “He requires the Kindling Devil Spirit within the Jade Illusory Glazed Lamp. By using the Devil of Fire, he could accomplish his goal instantly. Other than that, even if he kept the qin by his side, it won’t guarantee his success. After all, he couldn’t determine whether this generation’s Devil of Fire vessel would be in the Astro Mountains Starry Seas or not.”
“A Demon in the Ancient era, entering Dao during the Ancient era, becoming a Buddhist in the Middle era, and becoming a Devil in the current era. By completing these four paths, he would attain completion. Only, I wonder what he requires in the final juncture.” Yang Jian turned his gaze toward the brocade box lying on the ground, “But, with this treasure, surely you won’t be slower than him any longer?”
Being in the Tushita Palace for so many years, Yang Jian gradually came to understand this senior apprentice-uncle of his who maintained a low profile all the time,
Just as the Dipankara Archaic Buddha had said, those truly proficient in warfare would already attain guaranteed victory before it even started. Bhikkhu Xuan Du’s concealment of his cultivation masked by his mundaneness had truly inherited the essence of the Elder Lord’s teachings.
Perhaps he was inferior to the Purple Tenuity Emperor, the Great Sage Equalling Heavens, and the others in terms of fighting. However, from a particular perspective, the culmination of his dao was much harder to accomplish.
“It’s still far too early.” Bhikkhu Xuan Du looked toward the brocade box lying on the floor as well, “Dipankara was earlier than all of us, and had already combined the flares of the Jade Illusory Palace and the Eight Landscapes Palace as the Ancient era transitioned into the Middle era. He made his preparations so long ago, yet he still had to wait till now, allowing us to catch up to him. Who knows if we’ll follow in his footsteps and lay all our lives to waste?”
“What did the Dipankara Archaic Buddha want from the Tushita Palace?” asked Yang Jian.
Bhikkhu Xuan Du replied, “He wanted a sarira left behind by the Sakyamuni Tathagata Buddha.”
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