The monstrous Ranga Sword that shook the world since ancient times had unexpectedly broke free from the underworld. From this, one was able to tell how mysterious and terrifying it was.
Xiao Chen and Oxman remained silent for a long time. There were much too many things people on their level wouldn’t be able to comprehend. However, precisely because of this, their feeling to become more powerful was stronger than ever. They wished one day, they could reach those level and rise to a higher realm.
Xiao Chen’s party had already trodden on the barren land of the nether world for fifteen days. According to Emperor Jiang’s words, they should be getting close to the Ninth Underworld Platform.
They travelled with lightning speed all the way. Xiao Chen wanted to get there as soon as possible and find out Keke’s current situation.
By the sixteenth day, Xiao Chen’s party had already covered at least tens of thousands of miles. Although they still didn’t find the so-called Ninth Underworld Platform, they knew that they were undoubtedly getting closer and closer.
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And just at this time, a faintly discernible chanting sound transmitted into their ears. It seemed like there was a senior monk chanting sutras in the Northwest. A divine fluctuation was slightly rippling in the underworld.
In this gloomy underworld, the holy attribute was very obvious as well as unusual. Therefore, Xiao Chen’s party detected it in the first moments.
“Let’s go and take a look.” Oxman was born with a tendency towards curiosity, he urged the Black Dragon King and Xiao Chen to run towards the northwest with him.
After advancing for a few dozen miles, the brilliant golden light spilled over. It was so bright in front of them, as if daytime had descended upon the underworld. The praying sound came from there precisely.
It was an old Buddhist temple. The entire temple seemed to be plated in a layer of golden luster, it was shining like the morning sun. Endless amounts of Buddhist power leaked out from the temple like ripples of water.
“The underworld’s Buddhist temple!” The fatty looked pensive as he said, “Could this be where the great Ksitigarbha stayed in the past?”
Xiao Chen’s party really didn’t want to get close to the temple. They were only surveying it on top of a brown mountain twenty or so miles away.
“Buddha is the embodiment of benevolence!”
The voice abruptly resounded on the mountaintop, right behind Xiao Chen’s party. Before then, they actually did not detect anyone approaching.
The sacred sword hidden in the Black Dragon King’s back was unsheathed immediately as the holy light enveloped them.
Xiao Chen and Oxman turned around to look, and they only saw a skinny old monk standing in front of the precipice. His long white eyebrows hanged down from the corner of his eyes all the way to his cheeks. His skin was dried up and his figure was so thin the bones were clearly visible. He was standing there quietly like a bamboo stick. With both palms placed together, he was reciting the sutra.
The gray-colored gown he was wearing seemed like it hadn’t been washed for hundreds of years already. It was extremely dirty and was covered in the vicissitudes of time. Not to mentioned the broken kasaya robe ⌈1⌋, it had already lost its original shape and covered his body like a fishnet.
Not to mention Xiao Chen, anyone would be extremely shocked to suddenly run into an old monk in this gloomy underworld. The instant Xiao Chen and Oxman looked at him, the first thing that crossed their mind was; is this old man a human or a ghost?
“Are you a real monk, or a ghost monk?” Oxman raised his guard.
“This poor monk’s body already died two hundred years ago. Back in those days, I was a hermit monk. I am currently taking up temporary residence in the great Ksitigarbha’s temple.”
“Hermit monk? Your ascetic practice led you to the great Ksitigarbha’s temple?” Oxman asked in astonishment.
“The great Ksitigarbha has not shown himself for a few millennia already. The numbers of evil spirits and greater demons have increased without end. As a result, many of the ancient temples has been occupied by the demons. This poor monk had no choice but to wander about everywhere, and it finally led me to this ancient temple that was once built by the great Ksitigarbha personally.” The old monk pointed at the brightly lit location in front before he continued, “That place is the last of the holy lands in the underworld. The other temples have already become the nests of devils. Even if the great Ksitigarbha is to make a reappearance, it wouldn’t be easy to retake those temples either, because this is no longer just a problem regarding the savage ghosts. A few exceptional demons with corporeal bodies had entered the underworld from the world of living and occupied those temples. By the way, will you follow this old man to the temple?”
“Nonono, I appreciate your kindness, but we will decline.” Oxman hastily waved his hand. To follow a ghost monk to his nest? He wouldn’t dare to go even if you beat him to death.
The old monk smiled and said, “You guys need not be afraid. I am not an evil spirit. I am merely a soul that has dedicated all its life to Buddhism. It’s not like there are only ghost monks in the great Ksitigarbha’s temple, there are two living monks with the bloodline of the great Ksitigarbha in the temple.”
“Nonono, we are in a rush, we really don’t want to be a bother.” Oxman was unwilling to go no matter what.
“Alright, if you insist, this poor monk won’t force you. However, I have one request. May I request the three of you to donate a few drops of blood? The evil spirits in the underworld are really too violent. Recently, even this ancient temple is on the verge of collapse.”
“This… alright.” Oxman and Xiao Chen cast a glance at one another as they agreed helplessly. This old monk seemed to possess unfathomable strength, if he was plotting to murder them, there was no need to spend so much effort.
In fact, what the old monk really wanted was the blood of the Dragon King. After using a jade bottle to store the few drops of blood, he recited a sutra to express his gratitude.
In the end, he once again invited them in earnest, “Before this poor monk’s corporeal body died, I had a great divination ability. Although I can’t completely forecast what will happen in the future, I could still feel them to some extent. I felt that a great treasure is about to be unearthed in the great Ksitigarbha temple, and it is related to the three of you. Therefore, I will ask again, consider it my repayment for your kind donation.”
Even if it was an old holy temple, it was currently occupied by ghost monks. The little fatty Oxman really did not want to go, but after pondering for awhile, Xiao Chen decided to go and take a look.
Just as they were getting close to the brilliant temple, Xiao Chen knew that the old monk was not lying. That was because the burial cloth, Suiren Gimlet, and the two stone legs were trembling simultaneously. This made Xiao Chen look at the old monk with a whole new level of respect. This old monk might have been a powerful monk in his past life. One must know that the divination technique was one of the most profound divine abilities.
Xiao Chen couldn’t calm down and dug out the two mysterious stone legs in succession. Could it be that he was about to find another parts?
Although it was an ancient temple in the underworld, the loud chant was overwhelming. Although the great majority of them was ghost monks, they were able to maintain their Buddhist power despite being a ghost. In a sense, they already couldn’t be considered an evil spirit, but a soul filled with pure Buddhist power.
Many old monks looked on as they entered the temple, but they didn’t say anything and continued to chant loudly in their respective seats. Although they were ghost monks, their chants possessed more holy aura than what many called the “Highest Enlightenment” in the living world. This was really ironic.
With a slight fluctuation, the Suiren Gimlet separated from Xiao Chen’s body and flew towards one of the most desolate temples.
A rumbling sound transmitted not long later as a few ancient temples topple over. The Suiren Gimlet flew back, and to his surprise, Xiao Chen found that there was another item attached to it; a stone arm about the size of a fingertip.
Many ghost monks gathered because of the disturbance, there were even two old monks flying over.
“Who dares destroy the ancient temple built personally by the great Ksitigarbha?” The two old monks had skinny corporeal bodies. They were the only monks left with the bloodline of Ksitigarbha.
The ghost monk who invited Xiao Chen’s party stepped forward to transmit a spiritual message to explain everything.
The two old monks gazed at Xiao Chen with a piercing glance. Noticing the stone arm in his hand, they had incomparably complicated expressions.
One of the old monks shuddered and said, “There was a rumor that the compassionate and intelligent Ksitigarbha had once been at a loss. He occasionally muttered to himself that, ‘The status had been divided into nine parts, three of them fell into the underworld’. Apart from this, nobody knows of its origin. As for this arm, they say that back in those days, the great Ksitigarbha had prostrated himself in worship before it and sealed it under the temple like a sacred treasure. It is said that, Tongtian, who dared to challenge ancestor god Youchaoshi, lost his Ranga Sword in the underworld during his battle with Laozi. By coincidence, it fell onto where one parts of the stone statue was hidden. Since then, the Ranga Sword couldn’t be pulled out anymore.”
Hearing this, Xiao Chen was unable to remain calm. It looked like this mediocre-looking stone statue possessed some kind of unknown history. All of a sudden, he thought of a possibility and asked in reflex, “Could the stone statue be ancestor god Suirenshi’s body?”
Although the stone statue was really small, the ancestor god’s divine abilities were unfathomable. It wouldn’t be out of the question if he petrified and became like this after death. Moreover, this was found by the stone artifact, Suiren Gimlet. And even the burial cloth reacted to it.
The ghost monk who led Xiao Chen’s party to the temple could be said to be an extraordinary existence while living. He had practiced the divination technique, if nothing unexpected were to happen, it wouldn’t be strange if he became a Buddha. That kind of him shook his head and said, “That is definitely not the case. By the time the stone statue was divided into nine, ancestor god Suirenshi was still alive. You can actually find a little clue from some nameless ancient scriptures. When I was in the world of the living, I had obtained a certain ancient scriptures. It was not the Buddhist scripture, there was only a few pages left. There were some very fuzzy records among them. The general idea is that Suirenshi, Youchaoshi, and a few other ancestor gods had divided a few stone artifacts and one piece of stone statue among themselves equally. I am not sure if the nine parts were referring to the stone statue, but the stone artifact in your hand is very similar to one of the artifacts mentioned in the scripture.”
Hearing these, everyone was very shocked. Other than feeling shocked, the two living monks with Ksitigarbha’s bloodline even saluted to the ghost monk who once came from the living world. At this moment, they could already tell he was not an ordinary individual.
Xiao Chen was incomparably shocked, he originally thought this Suiren Gimlet was a divine artifact that Suirenshi had created when he achieved enlightenment, but it turned out that he obtained it by chance. It seems that, this stone statue was really not that simple! It gave people unlimited imagination…
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“This must be fate, since you guys obtained it, you should take it with you.” The two living monks did not try to make things too difficult for Xiao Chen’s party.
With the direction pointed out by the ghost monk, Xiao Chen’s party finally arrived at the Ninth Underworld Platform in three days. They could already spot a huge mountain-like shadow from a distance.
And during this three day, Xiao Chen found to his surprise, an astonishing change occurred to the stone statue hidden in his body.The two stone legs that formed the lower limbs were no longer upright. They were actually in a cross-legged position. Moreover, the legs and left arm were actually connected by a faint light. The light made up each parts of the missing body, other than the legs and left arm. He (or she) was sitting quietly within Xiao Chen’s chest, as if he/she was meditating in silence.
There was no incongruity. On the contrary, it seemed to have become one with Xiao Chen, it was that natural and harmonious. What Xiao Chen didn’t dare to believe was that, even the Suiren Gimet was reduced to the size of a fingernail and appeared on the left palm of the stone statue. The palm was facing upward and supported the gimlet.