Yan Zhaoge supported Ne Zha’s letter of challenge to Archaic Dipankara Buddha not just for Daoism’s benefits as a whole but also his personal perspective.
After all, the Archaic Dipankara Buddha was the closest to the Dao Realm among the known Buddhism bigwigs.
Although he wasn’t as strong as Mahamayuri, he was closer to Dao Realm than Mahamayuri on the road of realm ascension.
Even if Archaic Dipankara Buddha won the battle against Ne Zha, it might not be safe for him.
He had to attain an overwhelming victory. Otherwise, his failure to achieve that would possibly hurt his foundation and, in return, affect his ascension to the Dao Realm.
As for losing, the outcome was negligible.
The benefits of winning this duel were limited. He would at most kill Ne Zha, eliminating one of the bigwigs that orthodox Daoism had today.
Although Ne Zha was strong, the current pillar of orthodox Daoism wasn’t him after all.
Therefore, it wasn’t worth it for Archaic Dipankara Buddha to duel against Ne Zha.
After all, Ne Zha had a deep hatred for him, not that he had suffered a loss from Ne Zha.
Of course, if he cowered from the duel, there would be some level of harm, at the very least tarnishing the Archaic Dipankara Buddha’s reputation and prestige.
Although this Buddhist bigwig had a good state of mind and wouldn’t be disturbed by this, it still hurt his reputation in the end.
Buddhism cultivated zen in martial arts. Of course, they dedicated their cultivation to mind and calmness. Hence, they would avoid being angered, refrain from insulting others, and be calm as a clear sky. On the contrary, they might face fear and hesitation in pursuing Dao Realm, breeding obsession and attachment. This would lead to a possibility of losing their emptiness in mind and falling into an inferior state.
This complex situation was a stringent test on the Archaic Dipankara Buddha.
If the person requesting the duel was someone else, the Buddha could ignore it. But, there were too many karma and grievances involved in Ne Zha’s case. It would be troublesome if Ne Zha were to mock and provoke him every day.
“If the old and bald Dipankara doesn’t accept my duel, I will mock at him every day right at the gate of Western Pure Lands.” Ne Zha sneered, “If he doesn’t care about his reputation, I would like to see if other people in Western Pure Lands are so thick-faced as well.”
Yan Zhaoge gave Ne Zha a thumbs up, “Anyway, I wish you the best of luck. But, do be wary that they may have sly tricks, especially the demon races and Nine Underworlds might intervene.”
“I have contacted Senior Brother Southern Extremity and Yang Jian. He will be there with my apprentice and look after him secretly.” Taiyi Cultivated Deity said with a smile, “If you want to come as well, I believe fellow Daoist Incogurence and fellow Daoist Cloudy Firmament, who are taking charge of Immortal Extermination Formation, will pay attention to this matter too. “
Yan Zhaoge said with a smile, “If you allow me, that will be the best. I may join in the fun if I have time. I hope that Tri-Buddhism Platforms Great Divinity will allow my group to watch the duel.”
“I’m already very pleased if fellow Daoist is coming.” Ne Zha said, “But, I’m afraid that the old baldy won’t accept my challenge.”
After all, he and Taiyi Cultivated Deity bid farewell to Yan Zhaoge, leaving Zhuluo Royal Reed Heavens and disappearing into the endless void outside the realm.
Ne Zha had a fiery temperament, so he would do what he said without hesitation.
Soon, Yan Zhaoge received news from the outside world that Tri-Buddhism Platforms Great Divinity Ne Zha had officially sent the challenge letter to Archaic Dipankara Buddha outside the Western Pure Lands. He allowed the Western Pure Lands to decide the location of the duel but just make it happen soon as possible.
As soon as the news came out, it was not only the Western Pure Lands that was shocked, but Astro Mountains Starry Sea, Immortal Court, and Blessed Lands of the White Lotus were also interested and paid close attention to this matter.
Events like this didn’t happen for many years.
Although there were often battles between the Western Pure Lands and the demon race, it would be a full-blown war rather than a personal duel.
On the contrary, between Immortal Court and Blessed Lands of the White Lotus, duels like this always happened to compete for incense offerings and establish their prestige.
As Ne Zha suddenly raised the duel, everyone was a little surprised. But, it all made sense after giving it careful thought.
For the Archaic Dipankara Buddha, it wasn’t a big problem.
“The previous contact with Nine Underworlds was just the beginning. Now, it’s the first step in which the Three Clear Lineage counterattack.” In Astro Mountains Starry Sea Grand Plainness Heavens, Dao Monarch Lu Ya shook his head and smiled, “Before the Immortal Extermination Formation is established, how could such a thing happen?”
“Good news is that Ne Zha is reborn. Otherwise, the Three Clear Lineage will not have such a good candidate.” Roc of Ten Thousand Cloudy Miles said. “Archaic Dipankara Buddha could have ignored other challengers but not him.”
In custom, not accepting the duel among peers was a sign of no hatred and no grudges, while not accepting the duel from a junior was said to be magnanimous.
Roc of Ten Thousand Cloudy Miles had his face appear sour.
His son Fuluo Zi died in the hands of Yan Zhaoge and others. He wanted to use this formal challenge to cut off his grievances, but he didn’t have an appropriate opponent.
Yan Zhaoge and others who killed Fuluo Zi with the incomplete Immortal Extermination Formation had not yet reached the Grand Heavenly Realm.
A Grand Heavenly Realm cultivator challenge a Grand Virtual Realm cultivator?
Roc of Ten Thousand Cloudy Miles would be mocked terribly.
Even if Yan Zhaoge, Yan Di, and others were incomparable even at Grand Virtual Immortal, Roc of Ten Thousand Cloudy Miles wasn’t a heretic Grand Heavenly Immortal.
“As for Archaic Dipankara Buddha accepting the duel or not, things would be different entirely.” Dao Monarch Lu Ya said with a smile, “We shall pay close attention to this matter, and maybe we can gain something from it.”
Roc of Ten Thousand Cloudy Miles nodded in agreement.
In the end, the Archaic Dipankara Buddha didn’t accept the duel.
Some might say he was rational, while some might mock him as a coward. In short, one of the oldest Buddhas in the world had rejected Ne Zha’s invitation to a duel.
Although he showed a kind of magnanimity to forgive the younger generation, the grudges and entanglements between him and Ne Zha put his stance unconvincing in the eyes of insiders.
Ne Zha stayed at the Western Pure Lands’ entrance and continued his provocation like what he had told Yan Zhaoge previously.
“Unless Archaic Dipankara Buddha can request Mahamayuri to participate in this matter, he will have a headache for a long time.” Yan Zhaoge said with a smile to Feng Yunsheng after hearing this piece of news.
Buddhism had many experts, and not necessarily all of them were afraid of Ne Zha. However, the candidates who could drive Ne Zha in Archaic Dipankara Buddha’s shoes were limited.
Striking a tie was useless. It must be an overwhelming victory to drive Ne Zha away.
Under the premise that Amitabha wouldn’t intervene, the entire Western Pure Lands only left Kong Xuan, who had absolute certainty of defeating Ne Zha.
Other than that, they had to rely on a besiegement.
However, in that case, the result was likely to evolve into a war between Western Pure Lands and Daoism lineage, allowing the demon races to benefit from the sidelines.
So, in the end, the Archaic Dipankara Buddha had continued his passive stance.
In Western Pure Lands, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva secretly contacted Taiyi Cultivated Deity and Ne Zha, hoping to ease the relationship and persuade Ne Zha to go away.
But unfortunately, Ne Zha didn’t heed any attention to it. Instead, his mind was occupied with settling the score with Archaic Dipankara Buddha, putting Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva’s efforts in vain.
As both sides came to a stalemate, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva accepted the challenge in the shoes of Archaic Dipankara Buddha. In the end, he utilized his trickeries to force Ne Zha to retreat temporarily.
Ne Zha was unwilling. After going back, he cracked his brain and finally thought of a way to overcome Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva’s intricate methods. With that hurdle settled, he went to provoke the Western Pure Lands at their entrance again.
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