Chu Qing-Yan stood in place for a moment and just was about to lift her foot to leave when she heard a familiar crisp ringing sound.
She turned around and saw Xu Jian in grey monk robes, behind him were green bamboo, making him seem even taller and more handsome.
"Great Master, long time no see." Chu Qing-Yan bowed to him.
Although last time he wanted to convince her to enter the monastery and offended her. However he had after all saved her both times when she encountered him, so she could not forget the gratitude of being saved.
"Benefactor Chu, I trust you have been well since we last met." Xu Jian smiled, walking towards her step by step.
Although he was dressed in simple monk clothes, it was made from the most famous and valuable Indian silk. Every step he took, the cloth gave off a subdued luster, just like his identity. It was indistinct, yet lofty and unapproachable.
"Is Great Master also going to participate in the Chrysanthemum Viewing Banquet?" Chu Qing-Yan accompanied him to slowly walk towards the imperial gardens.
"Yes." A period before, he entered the palace to chant sutras and pray to Buddha for the Western Xuan Emperor to ward off distracting thoughts, then Western Xuan Emperor invited him to enter the palace. Originally, he didn't participate in these ordinary affairs but once he recalled that Chu Qing-Yan would show up, he also agreed. He didn't expect that he would bump into her just as he was entering the palace.
"I trust Benefactor Chu has been well recently?" Xu Jian smiled and asked.
Chu Qing-Yan spread her hands out, "Not bad, passable, what about Great Master yourself?"
"Chanting sutras and praying to Buddha, sitting in meditation, everyday there is a new insight to learn, rich and quiet, meaningful." Xu Jian smilingly looked at her.
Looking at his pair of penetrative and clear eyes looking at herself, Chu Qing-Yan promptly raised her hands. "Halt, Great Master, you wouldn't be thinking of persuading me to become a nun again, right?"
"What's wrong with being a nun? It's a lot better than frittering your time away." Xu Jian asked in confusion.
"Great Master, where do you see me frittering away? Everyday, I'm living life freely and to the fullest." Chu Qing-Yan shrugged.
"Indeed, your steps are lighter, seems like you've learnt airy martial arts." Xu Jian pointed out.
Chu Qing-Yan was surprised; she didn't expect that he would be able to tell whether she has learnt martial arts or not just by looking at her, simply too amazing.
"Great Master's perception is amazing, you can even see this. But I say, you as an enlightened senior monk, why would you participate in this banquet of the secular world? Shouldn't you be in the Buddhist temple, chanting and meditating to comprehend the principles of the world?" Chu Qing-Yan blinked her eyes looking at him.
Xu Jian knew she did it on purpose, but it was not as if he couldn't answer this question.
"Monks were born among worldly affairs and they will enter the secular world from worldly affairs, as long as their mental state is calm, everywhere will be the same to them."
Chu Qing-Yan nodded, she felt these words weren't without reason. It was a pity she didn't want to be a nun.
"Then, Great Master, can you see the future? I've heard it said that enlightened senior monks have discerning eyes that see through the heavens, able to see the ghosts and devils that a mortal man can't see, to be able to thoroughly grasp the fantastic oddities that happen in this world, is that true?"
Xu Jian heard this and laughed in spite of himself, a smile that spread from the corner of his lips. It was not that Chu Qing-Yan hadn't seen him laugh before, however, those smiles were always without joy or sadness, made people feel that it was all the same, without any feelings. At one point, she thought his smile was just an ornament. Now that she had seen him really laugh, it was like a snow white lotus flower that blossomed from the corner of his lips. It was so noble and pure that it made people's heart speed up from being enchanted.
Tsk, tsk, tsk —— Sure enough good looking people, no matter what they did, always looked pleasing to the eyes of everyone.
Seeing Chu Qing-Yan's gaze continuously stayed on his face, Xu Jian retracted his smile and after pondering for a moment, he explained. "I am a Buddhist disciple, aside from having a heart to Buddha, there is no difference from ordinary citizens. Don't have any magical power to see through the heavens. But Benefactor Chu seems to have a misunderstanding, Buddhist disciples are committed to transforming humanity and not fortune-telling."
Chu Qing-Yan pursed her lips, she felt her words just now was quite rude and was just about to change the topic when she saw Xu Jian speak again.
"Only sometimes can we see things that you can't, for example, your future."
"My future?" Chu Qing-Yan's eyes widened. Didn't this person just say he was like an ordinary person? How did the painting style change so quickly, was he sure he wasn't an augur?
"Correct, it's because I saw your future that this poor monk would encourage you to be a nun. If you still obstinately continue to persist in going about things the wrong way among worldly affairs, in the future there will be a huge calamity. It would harm you and implicate the people by your side." Xu Jian looked at her eyes and earnestly said.
But when Xu Jian finished talking, Chu Qing-Yan couldn't help but hold her stomach and laugh. "Great Master, just now you said Buddhist disciples don't tell fortunes, why do the words you said now seem so unreliable? If you set up a stall to tell people's fortunes, it would really look almost believable!"
Xu Jian saw her laughing, rocking back and forth, and still said with a resolute face. "Benefactor Chu, monks don't tell lies."
Seeing he still had a principled, incorruptible, noble and eminent appearance, Chu Qing-Yan slowly stopped laughing. Her body stood straight, and although her eyes still contained mirth, it also carried a faint, wise and intelligent light.
"Great Master, have you heard this? Fortunes of people that are foretold are not accurate, because destiny cannot be foretold. Once it's foretold, it will consciously influence a person's thoughts, changing its trajectory. Therefore since you just said my fortune now, it has already changed, moreover——"
Chu Qing-Yan lifted her head to look at the slightly stunned Xu Jian, her mouth split open into a confident smile. "I, Chu Qing-Yan, have never believed in gods and I also don't believe anyone can control my destiny. In a person's palm is life, their marriage and their careers, these three lines. People say that these three lines decide the fate in their lives but they are wrong. When we tightly clench our fist, the fact is actually in our own hands. Therefore Great Master, the fortune you told doesn’t count because my life is controlled by myself, not by the heavens.
Looking at the young girl in front of him who was young yet still shone with confidence brighter than an ordinary person, Xu Jian finally felt his heart was shaken, he felt the words she said were wrong, yet he couldn't find the reason why. He could only watch helplessly as she waved at him before minding her business to enter the imperial gardens.
Xu Jian slowly turned the Buddhist beads in his hand and calmed the hit her words just now brought to him.
Fate should not be foretold?
My life is controlled by myself, not by the heavens?
Xu Jian was somewhat perplexed, was he wrong in trying to persuade her to enter Buddhism?
He originally wanted to persuade her to enter Buddhism to change the future that he foresaw. But she had told him that once you had foretold someone's fate, it becomes invalid. Then did his own participation change something? For the first time in his life, Xu Jian sank into confusion because of something he couldn't see through.
He took a step forward but at this moment, he stopped turning the beads. He frowned slightly, closed his eyes in slight contemplation and opened his eyes a moment later.
Tonight, Xiao Xu would encounter a calamity.
This calamity could not be avoided.
Xu Jian´s perplexed eyes earlier had resumed its clarity and looked towards the already disappearing figure up ahead. Xu Jian slightly shook his head. Xiao Xu's calamity this time was already foreordained and her life would also be affected by this.
Thinking back to Chu Qing-Yan unusually bright eyes, Xu Jian suddenly had a moment of enlightenment. Since it couldn't be changed, then just rise up to the challenge!
This was also his predestined fate.